[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In 2010, in Veneto Region, Italy, surveillance of summer fevers was conducted to promptly identify autochthonous cases of West Nile fever and increase detection of imported dengue and chikungunya in travelers. Surveillance highlighted the need to modify case definitions, train physicians, and when a case is identified, implement vector control measures.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In 2005, universal varicella vaccination was introduced in the Veneto region, Italy. We examined trends in varicella incidence and hospitalization rates before and after vaccine introduction, and applied statistical models to assess vaccine effectiveness. Varicella incidence rates for 2000-2008 were calculated from the mandatory regional surveillance data and from a special surveillance system based on reports from a sample of family pediatricians that during the study period followed more than 40,000 children. To evaluate hospital admission rates, we analyzed the regional hospital discharge registry. The vaccine coverage rate was 6.8% in the 2004 birth-cohort and 78.6% in the 2008 cohort. Varicella incidence in 0-14 year-olds was 6136.8/100,000 person-years in 2000 and 4004.8 in 2008; hospitalization rates were 18.7 and 8.4. Incidence rates significantly decreased 2.5 years after beginning the universal vaccination, while hospitalization rates showed a significant decrease one year earlier. There was a remarkable decline of both varicella incidence and hospitalizations especially in 1-4 year-old children. This study confirms the positive impact of universal vaccination.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Following reports of West Nile neuroinvasive disease in the north-eastern area of Italy in 2009, all blood donations dating from the period between 1 August and 31 October 2009 in the Rovigo province of the Veneto region were routinely checked to exclude those with a positive nucleic acid test for West Nile virus (WNV). Only one of 5,726 blood donations was positive (17.5 per 100,000 donations; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.4–97.3). In addition, a selection of 2,507 blood donations collected during the period from 20 July to 15 November 2009 were screened by ELISA for IgG and IgM antibodies against WNV. A positive result was received for 94 of them. The positive sera were further evaluated using immunofluorescence and plaque reduction neutralisation test (PRNT), in which only 17 sera were confirmed positive. This corresponds to a prevalence of 6.8 per 1,000 sera (95% CI: 4.0–10.9). In a case-control study that matched each of the 17 PRNT-positive sera with four negative sera with the same date of donation and same donation centre, we did not find a significant association with age and sex of the donor; donors who worked mainly outdoors were significantly more at risk to have a positive PRNT for WNV.
Euro surveillance: bulletin europeen sur les maladies transmissibles = European communicable disease bulletin 03/2011; 16(10). · 5.49 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: With the control of many infections through national vaccination programmes, varicella is currently the most widespread preventable childhood disease in industrialized nations. In 2005 varicella vaccination was added to the Veneto Region routine immunization schedule for all children at 14 months of age and 12 year-old susceptible adolescents through an active and a free of charge offer. To evaluate parameters at the start of the programme, we conducted a study to describe the epidemiology of varicella infection and coverage rates for varicella vaccine in the Veneto Region (North-East Italy).
We examined incidence rates and median age of case patients in the Veneto Region for 2000-2007 period using two data sources: the mandatory notification of infections diseases and the Italian Paediatric Sentinel Surveillance System of Vaccine Preventable Diseases. Corrected coverage rates were calculated from data supplied by the Public Health and Screening Section of the Regional Department for Prevention.
In the Veneto Region from 2000 to 2007, a total of 99,351 varicella cases were reported through mandatory notifications, mostly in children under 15 years of age. The overall standardised annual incidence ranged from 2.0 to 3.3 per 1,000 population, with fluctuations from year to year. The analysis by geographic area showed a similar monthly incidence rate in Italy and in the Veneto Region. The vaccination average adherence rate was 8.2% in 2004 cohort, 63.5% in 2005 cohort and 86.5% in 2006 cohort. Corrected coverage rates were 8.1% in 2004 cohort, 59.9% in 2005 cohort and 70.0% in 2006 cohort, respectively.
Data from passive and active surveillance systems confirm that varicella is a common disease which each year affects a large proportion of the population, mainly children. Uptake of the varicella vaccination programme was strikingly good with average coverage rates of about 70% after only 3 years. Sustained implementation of existing vaccine policies is needed to warrant any significant reduction of varicella incidence in the Veneto Region. Continued surveillance will be important to monitor the impact of the recently introduced mass vaccination policy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: West Nile disease in humans has been detected for the first time in Italy in two regions, Emilia-Romagna and Veneto. We conclude that also West Nile fever cases should be specifically targeted by surveillance.
Euro surveillance: bulletin europeen sur les maladies transmissibles = European communicable disease bulletin 02/2009; 14(10). · 5.49 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In 2009, to date 16 human cases of West Nile neuroinvasive disease (WNND) have been reported in Italy, in three regions: Veneto, Emilia-Romagna and Lombardia. The number of cases is higher compared with last year when nine cases were identified (eight cases of WNND and one case of West Nile fever) and the geographical distribution indicates spread from east to west.
Euro surveillance: bulletin europeen sur les maladies transmissibles = European communicable disease bulletin 01/2009; 14(40). · 5.49 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We estimated the cumulative number of people diagnosed with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in a region of Italy by cross-linking data from four surveillance systems and applying capture-recapture methods.
The study was conducted using data referring to residents of the Veneto Region (population 4.4 million). We cross-linked data from the AIDS Registry (data 1983-2000), the HIV Registry (1988-2000), the Death Registry (1992-1999), and the Hospital-Discharge Registry (1997-2000), using a code based on name, birth date, and sex. A specific software for capture-recapture models (CARE-1) was used to estimate the size of the target population with two different statistical approaches (sample coverage and log-linear models).
A total of 2801 people were reported to the AIDS Registry, 6415 to the HIV Registry, 1598 to the Death Registry as HIV/AIDS-related deaths, and 3330 to the Hospital-Discharge Registry with a diagnosis of HIV infection. Overall, 8723 people were present in at least one registry: 4896 people were present in only one registry, 2387 in two registries, 1286 in three registries, and 154 in all four registries. Using the sample coverage approach, we estimated that, since the beginning of the epidemic in Veneto, an estimated 11 281 people (95% CI: 10 981, 11 621) should have been reported to at least one registry; thus the estimated coverage of the four registries was 77.3% (i.e. 8723/11 281). Results obtained applying the log-linear approach were similar, although the fitting of this model was not adequate.
Cross-linking data from four different sources and applying the capture-recapture method can improve the accuracy of the estimates of the dimensions of the HIV epidemic.
International Journal of Epidemiology 11/2003; 32(5):778-83. · 6.98 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: AIDS surveillance systems, which have provided for many years useful information on HIV epidemic dynamics, are no longer useful for estimating the evolution of the HIV epidemic due to the effect of anti-retroviral treatments that have strongly improved survival of HIV-infected persons. To obtain reliable data on the HIV epidemic, some Italian provinces and regions (Lazio, Veneto, Friuli Venezia-Giulia, Trento, Modena) have set up local surveillance systems of the new HIV diagnoses. Aggregated data collected by these systems since 1988, show that the rapid spread of the infection in the eighties has been followed by a progressive decrease in the number of new diagnoses during the nineties; in more recent years this trend has levelled-off. The composition of cases by exposure category has greatly changed over time: in 1988 75.2% of cases were injecting drug users, whereas in 2000 58.5% of cases acquired the infection through sexual contacts. HIV incidence for the considered areas decreased from 19.2 per 100.000 inhabitants in 1992, to 6.7 per 100.000 inhabitants in 2000. Median age at diagnosis increased over time, from 27 years in 1988 to 34 years in 2000. The changed pattern of the HIV epidemic in Italy stresses the need of a nation-wide surveillance system for HIV infections aimed at allocation of adequate economic resources and planning specific prevention programmes.
Epidemiologia e prevenzione 01/2003; 27(2):73-9. · 0.92 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the Veneto region of Italy, a coverage of 26% for Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) primary vaccination in 1-year-old children plus a 31-53% catch-up coverage in children 1-4 years of age resulted in a 91% reduction of Hib invasive disease in children <5 years of age. These data suggest that vaccination of older children can contribute substantially to herd immunity, even in settings where primary vaccination is low. Since a single Hib vaccine dose is efficacious in preventing Hib invasive disease in children over 1 year of age, and the costs of vaccination are reduced, catch-up should always be considered when introducing Hib vaccine in routine immunization programmes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Surveillance systems based on the reporting of AIDS cases do not provide a completely up to date picture of the trend of the HIV epidemic, stressing the need for systems based on the diagnosis of HIV infection. However, implementation of these systems has been hindered by low feasibility, poor access to HIV testing, and problems related to confidentiality. The advantages and disadvantages of the two systems and of combined use were explored by comparing and integrating information from AIDS and HIV testing registries in a region of Northern Italy.
Linkage of AIDS and HIV testing registries allowed the annual number of incident and prevalent infections to be calculated. For linked cases, concordance of exposure category was determined.
Up to the end of 1995, 2186 AIDS cases and 5306 HIV-positive individuals were diagnosed. Linkage identified 1212 individuals reported to both registries. From 1990 to 1995, annual AIDS incidence steadily increased, while incidence of new HIV diagnoses decreased. The AIDS-to-AIDS-free ratio among those infected decreased from 1:5.6 in 1989 to 1:4.2 in 1995. The proportion of women and noninjecting drug users was higher among AIDS-free cases than among AIDS cases. The concordance of the exposure category was high (K = 0.70; 95% CI: 0.67-0.74), but it varied by exposure category; the highest concordance was for injecting drug users.
Integrated use of the information provided by these surveillance systems allowed us to better understand and foresee the AIDS epidemic dynamics. The data also suggested that the reliability of information on exposure category may vary among categories.
International Journal of Epidemiology 01/1998; 26(6):1352-8. · 6.98 Impact Factor