Fausto Baldanti

University of Pavia, Ticinum, Lombardy, Italy

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Publications (239)842.78 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: A global reemergence of human enterovirus 68 (EV-D68) associated with severe respiratory illness was occurred during the 2014. We developed and validated an EV-D68-specific real-time RT-PCR for the detection of EV-D68 in respiratory samples. The rapid diagnosis of EV-D68 may contribute to better management of EV-D68 infections. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
    Journal of Clinical Microbiology 02/2015; DOI:10.1128/JCM.03691-14 · 4.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To evaluate the best diagnostic technique and risk factors of the human Cytomegalovirus (HCMV) and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). A cohort of 40 IBD patients (17 refractory) and 40 controls underwent peripheral blood and endoscopic colonic mucosal sample harvest. Viral infection was assessed by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemistry, and correlations with clinical and endoscopic indexes of activity, and risk factors were investigated. All refractory patients carried detectable levels of HCMV and/or EBV mucosal load as compared to 13/23 (56.5%) non-refractory and 13/40 (32.5%) controls. The median DNA value was significantly higher in refractory (HCMV 286 and EBV 5.440 copies/10(5) cells) than in non-refractory (HCMV 0 and EBV 6 copies/10(5) cells; P < 0.05 and < 0.001) IBD patients and controls (HCMV and EBV 0 copies/10(5) cells; P < 0.001 for both). Refractory patients showed DNA peak values ≥ 10(3) copies/10(5) cells in diseased mucosa in comparison to non-diseased mucosa (P < 0.0121 for HCMV and < 0.0004 for EBV), while non-refractory patients and controls invariably displayed levels below this threshold, thus allowing us to differentiate viral colitis from mucosal infection. Moreover, the mucosal load positively correlated with the values found in the peripheral blood, whilst no correlation with the number of positive cells at immunohistochemistry was found. Steroid use was identified as a significant risk factor for both HCMV (P = 0.018) and EBV (P = 0.002) colitis. Finally, a course of specific antiviral therapy with ganciclovir was successful in all refractory patients with HCMV colitis, whilst refractory patients with EBV colitis did not show any improvement despite steroid tapering and discontinuation of the other medications. Viral colitis appeared to contribute to mucosal lesions in refractory IBD, and its correct diagnosis and management require quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction assay of mucosal specimens.
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    ABSTRACT: The coding sequences of five human enterovirus (HEV)-C genotype 105 strains recovered in Italy, Romania and Burundi from patients with upper and lower respiratory tract infections were analyzed and phylogenetically compared with other circulating HEV-C strains. The EV-C105 was closely related with EV-C109 and EV-C118 strains. The European strains were similar to other circulating EV-C105 strains, while the two African EV-C105 clustered in a separate bootstrap-supported (>0.90) branch of P2 and P3 region trees. Minor inconsistencies in the clustering pattern of EV-C105 in the capsid region (P1) and non-capsid region (P3) suggest that recombination may have occurred in EV-C105 group B viruses. In conclusion, phylogenetic analysis revealed the circulation of two distinct EV-C105 lineages in Europe and Africa. A different pattern of evolution could be hypothesized for the two EV-C105 lineages.
    Journal of General Virology 02/2015; DOI:10.1099/vir.0.000088 · 3.53 Impact Factor
  • Digestive and Liver Disease 02/2015; 47:e53. DOI:10.1016/j.dld.2015.01.116 · 2.89 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The identification of a putative novel type human papillomaviruses (HPV) strain related to HPV-RTRX3 in a subject with penile skin warts and glans lichen sclerosus is reported. A beta-HPV-RTRX3-like strain was detected in a immunocompetent patient with glans lichen sclerosus. HPV screening was performed by PCR in L1 gene. The MY fragment showed 99% nt identity with HPV-RTRX3 and 64.5% nt identity with HPV-37. The remaining part of the L1 gene showed similarity with HPV 80, 15, 17, and 37. Based on the presence of penile lichen sclerosus and the HPV-RTRX3-like strain found in our patient, a potential correlation was hypothesized.
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    ABSTRACT: Liver fibrosis is accelerated in patients co-infected with human immunodeficiency virus and hepatitis C viruses. We investigated the correlation between liver fibrosis, immune activation and microbial translocation. This cross-sectional study included patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) mono-infections, HIV/HCV co-infection, and healthy controls (20 subjects/group). Peripheral blood was analysed to determine the levels of Forkhead box 3 (Foxp3) T cells, TGF-β1, CD14 (soluble and surface isoforms), IL-17 and bacterial translocation products. These measurements were correlated to the severity of liver fibrosis, measured with the FIB-4 score and transient elastography. Foxp3T cell levels were significantly elevated in HIV mono-infected and co-infected groups (p<0.0005). FIB-4 and liver stiffness values inversely correlated with TGF-β1 (p=0.0155 and p=0.0498). Bacterial DNA differed significantly in the HIV-positive compared to the other groups: HIV/HCV co-infected subjects had significantly higher serum levels of bacterial translocation products, CD14, and IL-17 levels (p<0.001). Fibrosis stage in HIV/HCV co-infection may be influenced by immune activation due either by viral infections or to bacterial translocation. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
    Digestive and Liver Disease 11/2014; 47(3). DOI:10.1016/j.dld.2014.11.012 · 2.89 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is characterized by persistent B-cell activation, with enhanced differentiation and reduced proliferative ability. To assess the possible role of HCV in altering B-cell subset distribution, we examined ex vivo frequencies and B-cell inhibitory receptor expression in 37 chronic HCV-infected patients and 25 healthy donors (HD). In addition, we determined whether short-term exposure to culture-derived HCV (HCVcc) resulted in B-cell subset skewing and/or activation. There was a statistically significant increase in the frequencies of immature transitional, activated memory and tissue-like memory (TLM) B cells in HCV-infected patients compared with HD. We also found that the frequency of memory B cells correlated with serum HCV RNA levels. The proportion of B cells expressing the marker of exhaustion Fc receptor-like 4 (FcRL4) was generally low even though significantly higher in the patients' memory B-cell compartment compared with HD, and a positive correlation was found between the frequencies of the patients' TLM FcRL4+ B cells and serum alanine aminotransferase and histological activity index at liver biopsy. Exposure to cell-free HCVcc in vitro did not result in B-cell skewing but induced significant activation of naïve, TLM and resting memory B cells in HCV-infected patients but not in HD, in whom cell-associated virus was an absolute requirement for activation of memory B cells. These findings provide corroborative evidence in favour of significant B-cell subset skewing in chronic HCV infection and in addition show that expression of exhaustion markers in selected B-cell subsets does not impair virus-induced B-cell activation.
    Journal of Viral Hepatitis 09/2014; 22(4). DOI:10.1111/jvh.12336 · 3.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is the most common opportunistic virus infection in solid organ transplant recipients. The analysis of HCMV-specific T-cell immunity after organ transplant is of relevant clinical interest. Objectives To analyze HCMV-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell responses in healthy subjects and kidney transplant recipients (KTR). Study design: HCMV-specific T-cell responses were evaluated by interferon-γ (IFN-γ) enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISPOT) using overlapping 15-mer peptide pools of immediate early (IE)-1, IE-2, phosphoprotein 65 (pp65) (for stimulation of both CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell responses) and a pool of 34 short peptides (8-12 amino acids in length, for stimulation of CD8+ T-cell responses). ELISPOT results were normalized to T-cell subset counts and their correlations with a reported dendritic cell (DC)-based assay, which simultaneously quantifies HCMV-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell responses, were analyzed. Results HCMV-seropositive KTR showed higher ELISPOT responses compared to HCMV-seropositive healthy subjects. IE-1 and pp65 ELISPOT responses were mediated mainly by CD8+ T-cells and, to a lesser extent, CD4+ T cells; IE-2 peptides appear to stimulate CD56+ cells (natural killer cells). In HCMV-seropositive healthy subjects, ELISPOT results (expressed either as net spots/million cells or normalized to the corresponding T-cell count) significantly correlated with the DC assay. However, in HMCV-seropositive KTR, only normalized ELISPOT responses to overlapping 15-mer peptide pools significantly correlated with DC-assay responses. Conclusions The normalized ELISPOT represents a novel and simple approach for quantifying and monitoring HCMV-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell responses in KTR.
    Journal of Clinical Virology 09/2014; 61(1):65-73. DOI:10.1016/j.jcv.2014.05.017 · 3.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Measles and rubella are infectious diseases and humans are the only reservoir of these infections. Effective vaccines are available with the potential for measles (MV) and rubella (RuV) virus eradication. According to the World Health Organisation WHO guidelines, a national plan was approved in Italy in 2013 to achieve the MV/RuV elimination by 2015, and active MV/RuV integrated surveillance initiated. Towards this purpose, a regional laboratory centre was set up on 1 September 2013 in Lombardy, Northern Italy. This paper aimed at: (1) evaluating measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine coverage and MV/RuV notified cases retrospectively; and (2) presenting the results of MV/RuV integrated surveillance (laboratory confirmed and viral genetic profiles). The 95% target for MMR vaccine coverage was achieved in 2001, and coverage increased until 2007 (96.6%), but then a decreasing trend was observed. Since 2000 to 2014, 3,026 rubella cases were notified, with nearly 58% of them in the 2002 epidemic. From 2009, less than 45 RuV cases per year were reported. From 2000 to 2014, 5024 measles cases were notified. Since 2008, three large outbreaks (in 2008, 2011, and 2013) were observed. From data obtained during our surveillance activity, there were no rubella cases, and 57.5% (46/80) collected samples were MV-positive by real-time RT-PCR. A fragment of the MV N gene was sequenced from 37 MV-positive samples; D8, D9, and B3 genotypes were detected. Data obtained retrospectively and from active surveillance underline the necessity to achieve and maintain high vaccination coverage and to improve surveillance and the effectiveness of healthcare actions.
    Human Vaccines and Therapeutics 08/2014; 11(1). DOI:10.4161/hv.35865 · 3.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Human immune deficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) circulating recombinant form (CRF) 02_AG is a major recombinant variant in different geographical areas and is predominant in West and Central Africa. Of particular interest is the increased frequency of CRF02_AG in patients living in Italy. In the present study, phylogenetic analyses were performed on Gag, pol (integrase) and env (gp120 and gp41) gene sequences from 34 CRF02_AG infected patients living in Italy. Thirty out of 34 (89.4%) patients were from western Africa, 3/34 (8.8%) were born in Italy and 1/34 (2.9%) was from Cuba. Phylogentic analysis revealed the presence of a well supported clade (aLTR score >0.75) of sequences only in gp120 and gp41 trees. Evolutionary rate estimation showed a faster evolution for the gp120 gene with respect to gag, integrase and gp41 genes. This finding was confirmed by the analysis of inter-patient variability. Intra-patient variability was greater in gp120 gene sequences; 10/19 (52.6%; p<0.001) patients had a ratio of dN/dS >1 as compared with gag, integrase and gp41 gene sequences with dN/dS ratios <1. In summary, phylogenetic analyses of CRF02_AG strains offers a perspective on intra- and inter-patient variability among CRF02_AG infected patients living in Italy. In addition, divergent phylogenetic relationships were observed among different genomic regions.
    AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses 06/2014; DOI:10.1089/AID.2014.0002 · 2.46 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose Patients affected by primary immunodeficiency usually undergo a wide range of infections, including reactivation of latent ones. Here we report two cases suffering from late-onset combined immunodeficiency in which ulcerative enteritis due to human Cytomegalovirus caused a life-threatening malabsorption syndrome. Methods The assessment of the viral load was carried out on both blood and mucosal samples by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction assay. The generation of autologous virus-specific cytotoxic T cell lines was performed according to Good Manufacturing Practice protocol after peripheral blood mononuclear cells were collected through a single leukapheresis. Results In both patients, the viral load resulted negligible in peripheral blood, but very high in mucosal specimens (range 1.064 - 1.031.692 copies/105 cells). After two rounds of antiviral therapy proved unsuccessful, the generation of virus-specific cytotoxic T cell lines was carried out despite severe lymphopenia, and their infusion resulted safe and durably effective in healing intestinal ulcerations and resetting the viral load. Conclusions Virus-specific cellular therapy was useful in reconstituting specific immunity and treating severe human Cytomegalovirus-related enteritis in patients with primary immunodeficiency.
    Journal of Clinical Immunology 06/2014; 34(6). DOI:10.1007/s10875-014-0060-1 · 2.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In recent years, herpes simplex encephalitis (HSE) has been reported with increasing frequency in settings of immunosuppression, such as acquired immunodeficiency, transplantation and cancer. As observed, in immunocompromised individuals HSE presents peculiar clinical and paraclinical features, and poorer prognosis.
    Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry 05/2014; 86(4). DOI:10.1136/jnnp-2013-307198 · 5.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Measles and rubella are infectious diseases and humans are the only reservoir of these infections. Effective vaccines are available with the potential for measles (MV) and rubella (RuV) virus eradication. According to the World Health Organisation WHO guidelines, a national plan was approved in Italy in 2013 to achieve the MV/RuV elimination by 2015, and active MV/RuV integrated surveillance initiated. Towards this purpose, a regional laboratory centre was set up on 1 September 2013 in Lombardy, Northern Italy. This paper aimed at: (i) evaluating measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine coverage and MV/RuV notified cases retrospectively, and (ii) presenting the results of MV/RuV integrated surveillance (laboratory confirm and viral genetic profiles). The 95% target for MMR vaccine coverage was achieved in 2001, and coverage increased until 2007 (96.6%), but then a decreasing trend was observed. Since 2000 to 2014, 3,026 rubella cases were notified, with nearly 58% of them in the 2002 epidemic. From 2009, less than 45 RuV cases per year were reported. From 2000 to 2014, 5,024 measles cases were notified. Since 2008, three large outbreaks (in 2008, 2011 and 2013) were observed. From data obtained during our surveillance activity, there were no rubella cases, and 57.5% (46/80) collected samples were MV-positive by real-time RT-PCR. A fragment of the MV N gene was sequenced from 37 MV-positive samples; D8, D9 and B3 genotypes were detected. Data obtained retrospectively and from active surveillance underline the necessity to achieve and maintain high vaccination coverage and to improve surveillance and the effectiveness of healthcare actions.
    9th World Congress on Vaccine, Immunization and Immunotherapy, Genova - Italy; 04/2014
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    ABSTRACT: To investigate retrospectively the prognostic significance of maternal, fetal, and neonatal parameters and clinical outcome in 150 HCMV congenital infections during the period 1995–2009. HCMV fetal infection was investigated in amniotic fluid and fetal blood samples. HCMV congenital infection was confirmed in newborn urine and blood samples. Symptomatic infection was defined in HCMV-infected fetuses and in infected newborns on the basis of physical and instrumental findings. Follow-up at 3, 6, 12 months, and then annually up to school age, included clinical evaluation, funduscopic, audiologic, neurologic, and cognitive assessment. Overall, 122/150 (81.3%) newborns were asymptomatic and 28/150 (18.7%) were symptomatic at birth. The best prognostic maternal parameter of symptomatic infection at birth was gestational age at infection (P = 0.037). The best fetal virological markers were HCMV DNA levels in amniotic fluid (P < 0.001), antigenaemia levels (P = 0.007), HCMV DNA levels in blood (P = 0.004), and HCMV-specific IgM index values (P = 0.002). The only significant neonatal parameter was HCMV DNA level in blood [P = 0.006; OR, 3.62 (95% CI, 1.46–8.97)]. Symptoms at birth correlated significantly with long-term sequelae (P = 0.021). A trend towards a risk of sequelae in early (n = 15/58 examined) versus late (n = 6/57 examined) maternal infection was documented. The risk of symptomatic congenital infection at birth increased linearly with the number of significant maternal, fetal, and neonatal parameters. J. Med. Virol. 9999: XX–XX, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Journal of Medical Virology 04/2014; DOI:10.1002/jmv.23954 · 2.22 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Influenza virus causes annual epidemics in the winter-spring season with significant morbidity in the general population and important mortality in high-risk groups, including cancer patients. Opinions on the suitability of patients with malignancies not undergoing active treatment and in different phases of antineoplastic therapy, to receive influenza vaccination vary considerably among oncologists, sometimes even within one center. We reviewed available data, including recommendations by national health authorities, on impact of influenza in patients with cancer and their capacity to mount protective immunological responses to vaccination, thus allowing, on behalf of Italian Association of Medical Oncology (AIOM), to make suitable recommendations for the prevention and treatment of seasonal influenza. Patients with cancer often have disease- or treatment-related immunosuppression, and as a consequence they may have a suboptimal serologic response to influenza vaccination. The protective effect of the different preparations of influenza vaccines in patients with cancer has not been widely investigated, especially in adult patients harbouring solid tumors. The optimal timing for administration of influenza vaccines in patients receiving chemotherapy is also not clearly defined. However, since vaccination is the most effective method, along with antiviral drugs in selected patients, for preventing influenza infection, it has to be recommended for cancer patients. Implementing vaccination of close contacts of oncology patients would be an additional tool for enhancing protection in fragile patient populations.
    Annals of Oncology 03/2014; 25(6). DOI:10.1093/annonc/mdu114 · 6.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Enterovirus (HEV) and parechovirus (HPeV) infections are common in the neonatal period, and account for a large portion of febrile illnesses during the summer season. HEV infections appear clinically and seasonally similar to HPeV infections. In this study, we present the virological and clinical data from neonates infected with HEV or HPeV and hospitalized in a neonatal intensive care unit for sepsis-like illness or neurologic disorders. In the period January 2010 to October 2013, 54 cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and 10 plasma samples were obtained from 60 newborns aged <30 days. A total of 7/60 (11.6%) patients were positive for HEV infection and 3 (5.0%) were positive for HPeV infection as determined by specific real-time RT-PCR. The most common clinical signs were fever, irritability, hyporeactivity and, in a few cases, rash. All infections were observed during the summer-fall period. In conclusion, HEV and HPeV were shown to account for a significant portion of febrile illnesses in neonates requiring hospitalization.
    Early human development 03/2014; 90 Suppl 1:S75-7. DOI:10.1016/S0378-3782(14)70023-4 · 2.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Fetal HCMV infection is investigated by amniocentesis when a maternal primary infection is diagnosed or ultrasound (US/MRI) abnormalities are observed. In fetal blood, prognostic markers of symptomatic congenital infection may be evaluated for parental counseling. At birth, viral load measurement in body fluids may correlate with long-term sequelae, but the prognostic accuracy of symptomatic infection increases when maternal, fetal, and neonatal parameters are combined.
    Early human development 03/2014; 90S1:S29-S31. DOI:10.1016/S0378-3782(14)70010-6 · 2.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The epidemiology of virus infections has changed dramatically in Europe in recent years due to ecologic, anthropologic and biologic factors such as: i) climate modifications, ii) global exchange of goods and international travel, iii) increased immigration flux from Africa, South America, the Middle East and Asia, iv) reduction of cultivated areas, and v) emergence and re-emergence of human viruses from zoonotic reservoirs. In addition, recent technical advancements have allowed the identification of previously unrecognized autochthonous viral species. Thus, at present, the technical and cultural challenge is to recognize infections caused by viruses not normally circulating in our geographical region (both as imported cases or potential local outbreaks), sustained by recently discovered autochthonous viruses or due to recognized viruses which are no longer widespread in Western Europe due to past vaccination campaigns.
    Early human development 03/2014; 90S1:S26-S28. DOI:10.1016/S0378-3782(14)70009-X · 2.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: FilmArray Respiratory Panel (RP) (Idaho Technology, Inc., Salt Lake City, UT, USA) performance was retrospectively evaluated in respiratory samples collected from neonates in 2 reference neonatology units. Using the FilmArray RP assay, 121/152 (79.6%) samples were positive for at least 1 respiratory virus, while 31/152 (20.4%) were negative. FilmArray RP results were concordant in 68/72 (94.4%) respiratory samples tested with laboratory-developed real-time PCR assays, while in 4/72 (5.6%) samples, the FilmArray RP assay detected an additional virus (2 human rhinovirus/enterovirus and 2 bocavirus). In addition, FilmArray RP results for 70 of 80 (87.5%) respiratory samples tested were concordant with the Seegene Seeplex RV15® detection assay (Seegene, Inc., Seoul, South Korea), while 10/80 (12.5%) were discordant. The advantages of the FilmArray RP are the rapid detection of respiratory viruses (1 hour), the wide number of pathogens detectable in a single assay, and the reduced hands-on time.
    Diagnostic microbiology and infectious disease 02/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.diagmicrobio.2014.02.010 · 2.45 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Environmental factors may play a role in colon cancer. In this view, several studies investigated tumor samples for the presence of various viral DNA with conflicting results.
    Infectious Agents and Cancer 01/2014; 9:18. DOI:10.1186/1750-9378-9-18 · 2.07 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

5k Citations
842.78 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1993–2015
    • University of Pavia
      • • Department of Diagnostic, Paediatric, Clinical and Surgical Science
      • • Department of Public Health, Experimental and Forensic Medicine
      Ticinum, Lombardy, Italy
  • 1989–2014
    • Policlinico San Matteo Pavia Fondazione IRCCS
      Ticinum, Lombardy, Italy
  • 2013
    • Soroka Medical Center
      • Pediatric Infectious Disease Unit
      Be'er Sheva`, Southern District, Israel
  • 2012
    • Vilnius University
      Vil'nyus, Vilniaus Apskritis, Lithuania
  • 2011
    • Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico San Raffaele Pisana
      Roma, Latium, Italy
  • 1995–2008
    • Istituto di Cura e Cura a Carattere Scientifico Basilicata
      Rionero in Vulture, Basilicate, Italy
  • 2004
    • International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology
      • Molecular Medicine Laboratory
      Trst, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy
    • University of Milan
      Milano, Lombardy, Italy
  • 2003
    • Università degli Studi dell'Insubria
      Varese, Lombardy, Italy
    • Università Politecnica delle Marche
      Ancona, The Marches, Italy
  • 2002
    • Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich
      München, Bavaria, Germany
  • 1999–2002
    • Ospedale di San Raffaele Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico
      Milano, Lombardy, Italy
  • 1994
    • National Research Council
      • Institute of Plant Genetics IGV
      Roma, Latium, Italy