Filippo Ansaldi

Università degli Studi di Genova, Genova, Liguria, Italy

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Publications (135)362.58 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Despite the great successes achieved in the fields of virology and diagnostics, several difficulties affect improvements in hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection control and eradication in the new era. New HCV infections still occur, especially in some of the poorest regions of the world, where HCV is endemic and long-term sequelae have a growing economic and health burden. An HCV vaccine is still no available, despite years of researches and discoveries about the natural history of infection and host-virus interactions: several HCV vaccine candidates have been developed in the last years, targeting different HCV antigens or using alternative delivery systems, but viral variability and adaption ability constitute major challenges for vaccine development. Many new antiviral drugs for HCV therapy are in preclinical or early clinical development, but different limitations affect treatment validity. Treatment predictors are important tools, as they provide some guidance for the management of therapy in patients with chronic HCV infection: in particular, the role of host genomics in HCV infection outcomes in the new era of direct-acting antivirals may evolve for new therapeutic targets, representing a chance for modulated and personalized treatment management, when also very potent therapies will be available. In the present review we discuss the most recent data about HCV epidemiology, the new perspectives for the prevention of HCV infection and the most recent evidence regarding HCV diagnosis, therapy and predictors of response to it.
    World journal of gastroenterology : WJG. 08/2014; 20(29):9633-9652.
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    ABSTRACT: Influenza vaccination is a fundamental tool for the prevention of influenza in healthcare settings and its administration to healthcare workers (HCWs) is recommended in more than 40 countries including United States of America and many countries of the European Union. Despite these recommendations, the compliance of HCWs to influenza vaccination is largely inadequate in Italy. Since 2005/06 season, a comprehensive multifaceted intervention project aimed at increasing the seasonal influenza vaccination coverage rates among HCWs was performed at the IRCCS AOU San Martino IST teaching hospital in Genoa, Italy, the regional tertiary adult acute-care reference center with a 1300 bed capacity. Despite almost a decade of efforts, the vaccination coverage rates registered at our hospital steadily remain unsatisfactory and very distant by the minimum objective of 75% defined by the Italian Ministry of Health. During the last influenza season (2013/14), vaccination coverage rates by occupation type resulted 30% among physicians, 11% among nurses and 9% among other clinical personnel. Further efforts are necessary to prevent the transmission of influenza to patient and novel strategies need to be identified and implemented in order to increase the compliance of HCWs, particularly nurses, with the seasonal influenza vaccination.
    Human vaccines & immunotherapeutics. 08/2014; 11(1).
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    ABSTRACT: Candida is the most common cause of severe yeast infections worldwide, especially in critically ill patients. In this setting, septic shock attributable to Candida is characterized by high mortality rates. The aim of this multicenter study was to investigate the determinants of outcome in critically ill patients with septic shock due to candidemia. This was a retrospective study in which patients with septic shock attributable to Candida who were treated during the 3-year study period at one or more of the five participating teaching hospitals in Italy and Spain were eligible for enrolment. Patient characteristics, infection-related variables, and therapy-related features were reviewed. Multiple logistic regression analysis was performed to identify the risk factors significantly associated with 30-day mortality. A total of 216 patients (mean age 63.4 ± 18.5 years; 58.3 % males) were included in the study. Of these, 163 (75 %) were admitted to the intensive care unit. Overall 30-day mortality was 54 %. Significantly higher Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE) II scores, dysfunctional organs, and inadequate antifungal therapy were compared in nonsurvivors and survivors. No differences in survivors versus nonsurvivors were found in terms of the time from positive blood culture to initiation of adequate antifungal therapy. Multivariate logistic regression identified inadequate source control, inadequate antifungal therapy, and 1-point increments in the APACHE II score as independent variables associated with a higher 30-day mortality rate.
    European Journal of Intensive Care Medicine 05/2014; · 5.17 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Nonadherence to recommended pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) schedules may have implications for protection against pneumococcal disease. In this commentary, we have assessed adherence to the recommended dosing schedules (the completion of the primary PCV and booster series) in different European countries. We found that adherence with the PCV schedule was lower than that for diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis (DTaP) and that higher adherence was observed in countries where PCV vaccination is recommended and funded. Adherence with the booster dose is often lower than that with the primary series completion, and it is often given after the recommended age. These data highlight the need to encourage timely vaccination of children with PCV, in line with local immunization schedules. There is no single solution to improve adherence; actions need to be tailored to the context of individual countries through initiatives at the national, regional, and local levels and should target different stakeholders.
    Clinical Therapeutics 04/2014; · 2.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Neisseria meningitidis is an obligate human commensal which commonly colonizes the oropharyngeal mucosa. Carriage is age-dependent and very common in young adults. The relationships between carriage and invasive disease are not completely understood.In this work, we performed a longitudinal carrier study in adolescents and young adults (173 subjects). Overall, 32 subjects (18.5%) resulted positive to meningococcal carriage at least at one visit (average monthly carriage rate 12.1%). Only five subjects were positive at all four visits. All meningococcal isolates were characterized by molecular and serological techniques. Multilocus sequence typing, PorA typing and sequencing of the 4CMenB vaccine antigens were used to assess strain diversity. The majority of positive subjects were colonized by Capsule-null (34.4%) and by capsular group B strains (28.1%), accounting for 23.5% and 29.4% of the total isolates, respectively. Fhbp and nhba genes were present in all isolates, while nadA in 5% of the isolates. The genetic variability of the 4CMenB vaccine antigens in this collection was relatively high if compared with other disease-causing strain panels. Indications about the persistence of the carriage state were limited to the time span of the study. All strains isolated from the same subject were identical, or cumulated minor changes overtime. The expression levels and antigenicity of the 4CMenB vaccine antigens in each strain were analyzed by the meningoccoccal antigen typing system (MATS), and it revealed that expression can change overtime in the same individual. Future analysis of antigen variability and expression in carrier strains after the MenB vaccine introduction will allow to define its impact on naso/oropharyngeal carriage.
    Journal of clinical microbiology 03/2014; · 4.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The morbidity and mortality related to many communicable infectious diseases have significantly decreased in Western countries largely because of the use of antibiotics, and the implementation of well-planned vaccination strategies and national immunisation schedules specifically aimed at infants and children. However, although immunisation has proved to be highly effective for public health, more effort is needed to improve the currently sub-optimal rates of vaccination against various diseases among adults who may be at risk because of their age, medical condition or occupation. The vaccines currently licenced in Western countries are safe, immunogenic and effective against many infectious diseases and their complications, but the availability of newer vaccines or vaccines with new indications, the evolving ecology and epidemiology of many infections, population ageing, and other demographic changes (i.e. the increasing prevalence of chronic comorbidities and immunodeficiencies, mass migration, new working relationships, and widespread international tourism) require changes in the approach to immunisation. There is now a need for appropriate preventive measures for adults and the elderly aimed at protecting people at risk by using every possible catch-up opportunity and recommending specific age-related schedules on the basis of local epidemiology.
    European Journal of Internal Medicine 01/2014; · 2.05 Impact Factor
  • G Testino, S Leone, F Ansaldi, P Borro
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    ABSTRACT: The alcoholic liver disease (ALD) is the leading cause of death from liver failure in Italy and worldwide. Ethanol abstention, a healthy diet, and a significant improvement of life-style are the mainstay of treatment for this disease. Currently, we do not have effective therapeutic options are at our disposal to restore and maintain an improved clinical status. Silymarin is a complementary and alternative medicine often prescribed and self-prescribed; it has anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-fibrotic, and metabolic properties. It improves the laboratoristic values and the ultrasonographic grading of liver disease in case of steatosis/steatohepatitis. S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAMe) is the principal biological methyl donor, and it is also a precursor of glutathione (GSH), essential for the anti-oxidant pathways. SAMe is particularly important for opposing the toxicity of free radicals generated by various toxins, including alcohol. An association between Silymarin and SAMe (labelled as a dietary supplement) has been recently brought to market, and seems to be promising. It could be beneficial in such cases of alcoholic hepathopathies. New therapeutic options are needed by hepatologists to successfully overcome a constantly growing disease.
    Minerva gastroenterologica e dietologica 12/2013; 59(4):341-356.
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    ABSTRACT: Viral respiratory tract infections (VRTI) are an important cause of morbidity and mortality in haematology patients, particularly after haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). The incidence, clinical presentation and outcome of symptomatic and asymptomatic VRTI in HSCT outpatient unit were prospectively evaluated during a single influenza season (January-March 2011). Pharyngeal swabs were performed at the first visit and if new symptoms were present. Molecular multiplex assay for 12 respiratory viruses was performed by the regional reference laboratory. Among 264 swabs from 193 outpatients, 58 (22 %) resulted positive for 61 viruses (influenza, n = 20; respiratory syncytial virus [RSV], n = 21; rhinovirus, n = 12; coronavirus, n = 4; adenovirus, n = 3; parainfluenza, n = 1). VRTI were detected more frequently in the presence of symptoms than in asymptomatic patients: 49 out of 162 (30 %) vs. 9 out of 102 (9 %), p < 0.001. Influenza-like illness syndrome (ILI) was significantly associated with a VRTI if compared to other presentations (42 %), while the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control definition was not (30 %). Positive predictive value (PPV) of ILI for influenza was 17 %. Influenza and RSV peak periods were contemporary. Influenza prophylaxis was given to 25 patients following exposure. Low rate of progression from upper to lower respiratory tract infection (approximately 5 % for influenza and RSV), no nosocomial epidemics and no VRTI-related deaths were observed. VRTI are very frequent in high-risk haematology outpatients, but symptoms are aspecific and PPV of ILI is low. Symptoms of influenza and RSV overlap. Thus, microbiological diagnosis and contact preventive measures are crucial. Rather than universal influenza prophylaxis, prompt diagnosis and treatment of only documented infections could be pursued.
    Annals of Hematology 10/2013; · 2.87 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The screening of both healthcare workers and students attending teaching hospitals for latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) is recommended in hospitals of many countries with a low-incidence of TB, including Italy, as a fundamental tool of tuberculosis (TB) control programs. The aim of the study was to estimate the prevalence of LTBI and evaluate the main risk-factors associated with this condition in a cohort of healthcare Italian students. In a cross-sectional study, performed between January and May 2012, 881 undergraduate students attending the Medical, Nursing, Pediatric Nursing and Midwifery Schools of the University of Genoa, trained at the IRCCS San Martino-IST Teaching Hospital of Genoa, were actively called to undergo the Tuberculin Skin Test (TST). All the TST positive cases were also tested with an Interferon-Gamma Release Assay (IGRA) to confirm the diagnosis of LTBI. A standardized questionnaire was collected for risk-assessment analysis. Seven hundred and thirty-three (83.2%) subjects underwent TST testing. The prevalence of TST positives was 1.4%, and in 4 (0.5%) out of 10 TST positive cases LTBI diagnosis was confirmed by IGRA. No difference in the prevalence of subjects who tested positive to TST emerged between pre-clinical (n = 138) and clinical (n = 595) students. No statistically significant association between TST positivity and age, gender, and BCG vaccination was observed. The main independent variable associated with TST positivity was to be born in a country with a high TB incidence (i.e., >=20 cases per 100,000 population) (adjusted OR 102.80, 95% CI 18.09-584.04, p < 0.001). The prevalence of LTBI among healthcare students resulted very low. The only significant association between TST positivity and potential risk factors was to be born in high TB incidence areas. In countries with a low incidence of TB, the screening programs of healthcare students before clinical training can be useful for the early identification and treatment of the sporadic cases of LTBI.
    BMC Infectious Diseases 09/2013; 13(1):443. · 3.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic immune-mediated inflammatory multisystem disease. The onset of viral and bacterial infections may favor the exacerbation of the disease, amplify autoimmune processes and contribute to mortality and morbidity. The prevention of influenza and Streptococcus pneumoniae infections with vaccination should receive particular attention in SLE patients considering their elevated incidence, their high attack rate in epidemic periods, their potentially severe complications as well as the immunocompromised state of the host. The use of non-adjuvanted vaccine preparations should be preferred in order to avoid the onset of the "Autoimmune (auto-inflammatory) Syndrome Induced by Adjuvants" or "ASIA". In this review, we report that influenza and pneumococcal vaccination in SLE patients are: 1) recommended to reduce the risk of development of these infections; 2) strongly suggested in elderly subjects and in those receiving high dose immunosuppressive treatments; 3) efficacious, even if specific immune responses may be lower than in the general population, as generally the humoral response fulfills the criteria for vaccine immunogenicity; 4) safe in inactive disease although may favour a transient increase in autoantibody levels and rarely disease flares.
    Autoimmunity reviews 09/2013; · 6.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This clinical driven report describes the unexpected detection of a multidrug resistant (MDR)Streptococcus pneumoniae strain. Italy is usually considered a country characterized by a low prevalenceof MDR )S. pneumoniae. We describe the occurrence of bacterial meningitis sustained by a MDR S.pneumoniae strain in Italy. The first-line treatment was started with ceftriaxone and dexamethasone, butafter the identification of such a resistant strain a second-line regimen was needed. The new regimen waschosen on both susceptibility and pharmacokinetic criteria. Linezolid and levofloxacin were started and adramatic improvement was observed. A more sensitive anamnesis revealed some elements known to beassociated to a MDR S. pneumoniae occurrence (immunesuppression, former antibiotic therapy). So thiscase should pinpoint our attention on risk factors of MDR for a careful choice of antibiotic therapy in seriouspneumococcal infections.
    Journal of chemotherapy (Florence, Italy) 08/2013; · 0.83 Impact Factor
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    Blood transfusion = Trasfusione del sangue 04/2013; · 1.86 Impact Factor
  • A Ceravolo, A Orsi, V Parodi, F Ansaldi
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    ABSTRACT: Annual influenza vaccination is recommended for persons with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Recent reports indicate that immunizations may increase IIeplication in infected individuals. Generally, vaccination against influenza is well tolerated in both children and adult individuals with HNIVand does not induce significant changes in viral load and CD4+ cell counts. The observed increase in viral replication is usually transient and a clear, measurable progression of the underlying HIV disease is hard to be determined. Several studies reported immunogenicity data in HIV+ population, by comparing diferfent influenza vaccines, adjuvanted or not, and different administration routes. Data are encouraging because an adequate immune response is shown, although split/subunit vaccines do not elicite an efficient immune response in these subjects. New strategies have been evaluated to increase the immune response in immunocompromised patients.The aim of this review is to evaluate tolerability, safety, immunogenicity and efficacy of vaccines actually approved for human use and to consider latest evidence and future perspective in HIV positive subjects.
    Journal of preventive medicine and hygiene 03/2013; 54(1):1-10.
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    ABSTRACT: In the present study we first compare immunogenicity against vaccine and heterologous circulating A(H1N1)pdm09 strains, tolerability and safety of intradermal Intanza® 15 µg and of virosomal adjuvanted, intramuscularly delivered influenza vaccine, Inflexal® V, in healthy elderly volunteers. Five-hundred participants were enrolled in the study and randomly assigned to the two vaccine groups to receive either one dose of Intanza® 15 µg or Inflexal® V vaccine. All subjects reported solicited local and systemic reactions occurred within 7 d after vaccination and unsolicited adverse events up to 21 d post-immunization and any serious adverse event appeared during the study. A subset of 55 participants was randomly selected for immunogenicity and cross-protection evaluations. Serum samples were collected before and 1 and 3 mo after immunization. Antibody responses were measured using hemagglutination inhibition (HI) against all viruses used in the study and neutralization (NT) assays against A(H1N1)pdm09 strains. At least one of the CHMP criteria for influenza vaccine approval in the elderly was met by virosomal vaccine against all the tested viruses; intradermal vaccine met all criteria against all strains. Several parameters of immune response against strains with a different antigenic pattern from that of vaccine A/California/04/09(H1N1)pdm09 were significantly higher in the intradermal vaccine group compared with the virosomal group. Safety and systemic tolerability of both vaccines were excellent, but injection site reactions occurred significantly more frequently in the intradermal vaccination group. Immunogenicity of Intanza® 15 µg intradermal vaccine tended to be higher than that of Inflexal® V against heterologous strains in healthy elderly.
    Human vaccines & immunotherapeutics. 01/2013; 9(3).
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    ABSTRACT: Antigenic drift, the evolutionary mechanism of influenza viruses, results in an increased susceptibility of vaccinated subjects against circulating viruses. New vaccines able to grant a broader and cross-reactive immune response against drifted influenza variants are needed. Several strategies were explored to enhance the immunogenicity of plain vaccines: adjuvants, carriers and intradermal administration of influenza vaccine emerge as a promising options. To evaluate the ability of a MF59™-adjuvanted and intradermal influenza vaccine to elicit an effective antibody response against circulating viruses presenting antigenic patterns different from those of the vaccine strains, we compared antibody responses elicited by "implemented" vaccines and conventional intramuscular trivalent inactivated vaccine against heterologous circulating influenza A viruses. Different studies, simulating different epidemiological pictures produced by the natural antigenic drift of seasonal influenza viruses, highlighted the superior cross-reactivity of the antibodies elicited by MF59™ and intradermal vaccines, compared with subunit or split vaccine against heterologous viruses.
    Human vaccines & immunotherapeutics. 01/2013; 9(3).
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    ABSTRACT: A serial cross-sectional study of nasopharyngeal carriage among adults aged 60 y or over was conducted in winter-spring 2012 with the aim to describe circulating Streptococcus pneumoniae in an area, Liguria Administrative Region, where the vaccine was implemented for a decade and coverage in pediatric age group reached a value close to 100% for more than 5 y, determining a picture of very high vaccine immunological pressure. The serotype-specific carriage picture in adults was compared with that observed in children by means of a cross-sectional study performed one year before using the same sampling and laboratory methods. Cluster sampling enrolled 283 adults, representative of the open population. Detection of multi-serotype carriage was performed using, real-time PCR and primer specific PCRs. Carriage prevalence of participants with at least one positive sample adjusted for age, i.e., period prevalence, was 18.7%, considering the Ligurian population as standard population, showing that the pneumococcal carriage in the elderly is not a rare event as emerged in other surveys. The long-term use of PCV7 has resulted in strong decrease of vaccine types carriage among adults and children. A multivariate analysis showed that age class and contact with children attending day care covariates were strongly associated with Streptococcus pneumoniae carriage. A strong link between the picture observed in < 5-y-old children and ≥ 60-y-old adults emerged: a strong correlation of specific-serotype prevalence between adults and children and risk factor analysis supported the role played by inter-age-group transmission.
    Human vaccines & immunotherapeutics. 01/2013; 9(3).
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The cause of transfusion-related immunomodulation (TRIM) has proved tantalisingly elusive. An ever-growing body of evidence indicates that the infusion of large amounts of soluble and cell-associated antigens into a recipient can somehow induce TRIM. One soluble molecule that has been implicated in TRIM is soluble human leucocyte antigen I (sHLA-I). However, patients infused with large amounts of sHLA-I do not always and unambiguously experience TRIM. As soluble CD8 (sCD8) molecules have been shown to capable of binding membrane and soluble HLA-I molecules, we focused on sCD8 as a possible modulator of sHLA-I-mediated TRIM. MATERIAL AND METHODS: To this aim we compared the up-regulation of circulating sCD8 in plasma from patients suffering from the same pathology, but chronically transfused with two different blood derivatives: pre- and post-storage leucodepleted red blood cells which contain low and high levels of contaminating sHLA-I, respectively. RESULTS: Significantly larger amounts of sCD8 circulating molecules were detectable in the plasma of patients transfused with post-storage leucodepleted red blood cells whose supernatants contained significantly larger amounts of sHLA-I contaminating molecules. CONCLUSION: With the limitation of indirect evidence, this report introduces a new facet of the bioactivity of sCD8 as a possible modulator of sHLA-I-mediated TRIM.
    Blood transfusion = Trasfusione del sangue 12/2012; · 1.86 Impact Factor
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    Blood 08/2012; 120(9):1954-7. · 9.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study evaluated safety, tolerability and immunogenicity of intradermal (ID) trivalent inactivated split influenza vaccine, with a lower antigen content (9 mcg HA per strain) than the conventional intramuscular one (15 mcg), in HIV-1-infected adults younger than 60 years. A total of 54 HIV-1-positive participants were enrolled and randomly assigned to receive a single dose of either ID-administered low-antigen-content split inactivated vaccine or intramuscularly-administered (IM) standard-dose inactivated split vaccine. Subjects were provided with a diary to monitor any local and/or systemic reactions to the vaccine for 7 days following vaccination. Serum samples were collected before, 28 days and 90 days after immunization. The plasma HIV-RNA and CD4+ T-lymphocyte count were checked at day 0 and day 90. Serum hemagglutination-inhibition (HI) activity for the three influenza strains included in the vaccine composition was measured to assess the antibody response at one month and 3 months after vaccination. Both vaccines showed optimal safety and tolerability profiles. All the three Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use immunogenicity criteria for vaccine approval in adults younger than 60 were met by both vaccines against A(H1N1) and A(H3N2) viruses. Both vaccines met mean-fold-increase and seroprotection criteria but failed seroconversion criteria against B virus. No difference in terms of post-vaccination geometric mean titers, mean fold increase, seroprotection and seroconversion rates were found comparing ID and IM vaccines. In conclusion, the recently available low-antigen-content ID vaccine is safe, well-tolerated and as immunogenic as IM standard-dose influenza vaccine.
    Human vaccines & immunotherapeutics. 08/2012; 8(8).
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    ABSTRACT: During the 2010/11 influenza season an epidemiological prospective cohort active study was organized, to evaluate etiologic role due to the main bacteria and viruses causing Community Acquired Pneumonia (CAP) and Influenza like-illness (ILl) in elderly and to explore the role of the bacterial nose-pharingeal carriage in subjects with respiratory tract infections. An integrated active surveillance of a cohort of adults aged > or = 60 y based on a double prospective and retrospective mechanisms of capture of ILl and CAP cases was organized. Samples were collected from all ILI and CAP prospectively identified. The samples were be tested by multiplex PCR for detection of the main respiratory bacteria and viruses. The study population amounted to 2,551 adults. During the 2010/11 influenza season, the ILl cumulative incidence was 4.2%, that was twice higher than that calculated by regional sentinel-based Influenza surveillance system during the 2010/11 season in the elderly (2.2%). Among 45 patients with ILI of which had been collected the swab, 17 (37.8%) were positive for influenza viruses and 2 (4.4%) for RSV, 6 (13.3%) patients carried Streptococcus pn and 6 (13.3%) Haemophilus in. In the same period, 7 CAP cases were observed; 3 cases were prospectively identified and samples were collected, while 4 cases were retrospectively detected. The CAP cumulative incidence was 0,3%. The influenza vaccine effectiveness in prevention of laboratory-confirmed influenza emerged by our study was 61%, in condition of good antigenic matching between vaccine and circulating strains observed during the 2010/11. These data contribute to better defining the epidemiological picture of upper and lower respiratory tract infections, fundamental information in light of the recent introduction of new vaccines for prevention of pneumonia in the elderly, including 13-valent conjugate pneumococcal vaccine.
    Journal of preventive medicine and hygiene 06/2012; 53(2):94-7.

Publication Stats

1k Citations
362.58 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1999–2014
    • Università degli Studi di Genova
      • Dipartimento di Scienze della salute (DISSAL)
      Genova, Liguria, Italy
  • 1993–2012
    • Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria San Martino di Genova
      • Department of Surgical Oncology
      Genova, Liguria, Italy
  • 2011
    • CRO Centro di Riferimento Oncologico di Aviano
      • Division of Medical Oncology A
      Aviano, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy
  • 2005
    • Università del Salento
      • Department of Biotechnology and Environmental Science
      Lecce, Apulia, Italy
  • 2002–2005
    • Università degli Studi di Trieste
      • Department of Life Sciences
      Trst, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy