Christopher Barbara

Christopher Barbara
Mater Dei Hospital · Department of Pathology

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46
Publications
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1,103
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Publications

Publications (46)
Preprint
Background: By December 2021, administration of the third dose of COVID-19 vaccinations coincided with the spread of the Omicron variant in Europe. Questions had been raised on protection against infection conferred by previous vaccination and/or infection. Method: Our study population (n = 252,433) included all those in the COVID-19 vaccination re...
Article
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Background: The European Gonococcal Antimicrobial Surveillance Programme (Euro-GASP) performs annual sentinel surveillance of Neisseria gonorrhoeae susceptibility to therapeutically relevant antimicrobials across the European Union/European Economic Area (EU/EEA). We present the Euro-GASP results from 2019 (26 countries), linked to patient epidemi...
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Background Genomic surveillance using quality-assured whole-genome sequencing (WGS) together with epidemiological and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) data is essential to characterise the circulating Neisseria gonorrhoeae lineages and their association to patient groups (defined by demographic and epidemiological factors). In 2013, the European gono...
Preprint
BACKGROUND Background: In late 2020, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and Epiconcept started implementing a surveillance system for severe acute respiratory infections (SARI) across Europe. Our objective is to describe how SARI surveillance was digitised in Malta and describe the characteristics of people included in the surve...
Article
Objectives The cytochrome P450 2C19 *2 ( CYP2C19*2 ) genetic polymorphism is associated with reduced clopidogrel bioactivation, increasing the risk of atherothrombotic complications after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). In-stent restenosis (ISR) is a complication that limits the long-term prognosis of PCI. The aim was to investigate the a...
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Background: Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is associated with dyspepsia, mucus-associated lymphoid tissue lymphoma, gastritis, and peptic ulcer disease. Treatment in Malta consists of triple therapy, which consists of a proton pump inhibitor and 2 of the antibiotics amoxicillin, clarithromycin, metronidazole and fluoroquinolones. We aimed to dete...
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Invasive meningococcal disease (IMD) is a vaccine-preventable devastating infection that mainly affects infants, children and adolescents. We describe the population epidemiology of IMD in Malta in order to assess the potential utility of a meningococcal vaccination programme. All cases of microbiologically confirmed IMD in the Maltese population f...
Article
Seasonal influenza causes significant morbidity and mortality, and healthcare-associated disease is particularly problematic as it affects high-risk groups. For this reason, annual vaccination against influenza is generally recommended for all healthcare workers, thereby embracing the twin principles of beneficence and non-maleficence. The cost and...
Conference Paper
Background The solute carrier organic anion transporter family member 1B1 (SLCO1B1) protein facilitates the hepatic uptake of simvastatin. The SLCO1B1 c.521T>C genetic polymorphism (rs4149056) decreases the function of SLCO1B1 and is a strong predictor of simvastatin-induced myopathy. SLCO1B1 genotyping and pharmacist interpretation of the results...
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Introduction and Aims: The prevalence of CYP2C19 genetic polymorphisms in the Maltese population is not reported. The aims were to determine CYP2C19 *2 and *17 allele frequencies and CYP2C19 genotype distribution in a cohort of Maltese patients on clopidogrel and to compare observed frequencies of the CYP2C19 *2 allele and *2/*2 genotype to other p...
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Purpose: Individuals with dysglycaemic are prone to dyslipidaemia. Understanding the dyslipidaemic status of dysglycaemic individuals is essential for monitoring and early prevention. The aim was to assess the control of lipidaemia by glycaemic status in a representative adult population. Methods: A retrospective health examination survey was pe...
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From 1 January to 30 June 2018, 11 cases of Lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV; all preserved samples (n = 4) genovar L2b) were identified at the Genitourinary Clinic (GUC), Mater Dei Hospital, Msida, Malta. All cases were diagnosed in men who have sex with men (MSM); six participated in three group-sex parties. Here, we describe the outbreak and risk f...
Article
The pathology laboratory is the hub of investigatory medical care, and constitutes an invaluable asset for clinical research. A number of disciplines fall under the cap of a pathology laboratory. Researchers may gain access to such services provided ethical and laboratory administrative permissions have been granted. While establishing the research...
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Background: Traditional methods for molecular epidemiology of Neisseria gonorrhoeae are suboptimal. Whole-genome sequencing (WGS) offers ideal resolution to describe population dynamics and to predict and infer transmission of antimicrobial resistance, and can enhance infection control through linkage with epidemiological data. We used WGS, in con...
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Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is the standard treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA), with limited data about the prevalence of respiratory infections and microbial colonisation in these patients.
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Introduction: Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is the standard treatment for obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA), with limited data about the prevalence of respiratory infections and microbial colonization in these patients. Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine if CPAP use is associated with respiratory infections and to identify...
Article
Background: A quick CYP2C19*2 genotyping assay can be useful in personalised antiplatelet-therapy. Objective: To apply a rapid point-of-care (POC) CYP2C19*2 genotyping assay for personalisation of antiplatelet therapy in patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) and to compare this POC assay to two laboratory-based CYP2C19*2 g...
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The emerging resistance to the extended-spectrum cephalosporins (ESCs) in Neisseria gonorrhoeae together with increasing incidence of gonorrhoea cases in many countries have been global public health concerns. However, in recent years the levels of ESC resistance have decreased in several regions worldwide. We describe the European Gonococcal Antim...
Conference Paper
https://www.fip.org/abstracts?page=abstracts&action=generatePdf&item=12096
Conference Paper
Introduction Resistance in Neisseria gonorrhoeae has emerged to all antimicrobials available for treatment of gonorrhoea. The first gonococcal strains with high-level resistance to ceftriaxone, the last option for first-line empirical antimicrobial monotherapy, were recently described. Consequently, new treatment options are essential. In this stud...
Conference Paper
Introduction. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is the standard treatment for obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA), with limited data about the prevalence of respiratory infections and microbial colonization in these patients. Aims and objectives. Th e aim of this study is to determine if CPAP use is associated with respiratory infections and t...
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Full-text available
The influenza season 2014/15 started in Europe in week 50 2014 with influenza A(H3N2) viruses predominating. The majority of the A(H3N2) viruses characterised antigenically and/or genetically differ from the northern hemisphere vaccine component which may result in reduced vaccine effectiveness for the season. We therefore anticipate that this seas...
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The aim of the European Sero-Epidemiology Network 2 (ESEN2) project was to estimate age-specific seroprevalence for a number of vaccine-preventable diseases in Europe. To achieve this serosurveys were collected by 22 national laboratories. To adjust for a variety of laboratory methods and assays, all quantitative results were transformed to a refer...
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Mumps outbreaks have recently been recorded in a number of highly vaccinated populations. We related seroprevalence, epidemiological and vaccination data from 18 European countries participating in The European Sero-Epidemiology Network (ESEN) to their risk of mumps outbreaks in order to inform vaccination strategies. Samples from national populati...
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SUMMARYThe WHO recommends hepatitis A virus (HAV) immunization according to level of transmission and disease burden. We aimed to identify susceptible age groups by standardized serosurveys to inform HAV vaccination policy in participating countries: Belgium, Czech Republic, England, Finland, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Malta, Romania, and Slovakia....
Article
Routine sources of data provide limited information on aetiological agents causing infectious intestinal disease (IID) in the community. A retrospective, age-stratified, cross-sectional, telephone study at community level was performed whereby identified cases were asked to submit stools for analysis. Of a total of 3504 persons who participated, 99...
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In Europe, the 2007-08 winter season was dominated by influenza virus A (H1N1) circulation through week 7, followed by influenza B virus from week 8 onward. Oseltamivir-resistant influenza viruses A (H1N1) (ORVs) with H275Y mutation in the neuraminidase emerged independently of drug use. By country, the proportion of ORVs ranged from 0% to 68%, wit...
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The European Sero-Epidemiology Network 2 (ESEN2) aimed to compare serological results of vaccine-preventable diseases across Europe. To ensure direct inter-country comparability of hepatitis A virus antibody (anti-HAV) measurements, a standardization panel of 150 sera was developed by a designated reference laboratory and tested by participating na...
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Objective To evaluate age-specific measles susceptibility in 17 European countries and Australia. Methods As part of the European Sero-Epidemiology Network 2 (ESEN2), 18 countries collected large national serum banks between 1996 and 2004. These banks were tested for measles IgG and the results converted to a common unitage to enable valid intercou...
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To evaluate age-specific measles susceptibility in Australia and 17 European countries. As part of the European Sero-Epidemiology Network 2 (ESEN2), 18 countries collected large national serum banks between 1996 and 2004. These banks were tested for measles IgG and the results converted to a common unitage to enable valid intercountry comparisons....
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To standardize serological surveillance to compare rubella susceptibility in Australia and 16 European countries, and measure progress towards international disease-control targets. Between 1996 and 2004, representative serum banks were established in 17 countries by collecting residual sera or community sampling. Serum banks were tested in each co...
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OBJECTIVE: To standardize serological surveillance to compare rubella susceptibility in Australia and 16 European countries, and measure progress towards international disease-control targets. METHODS: Between 1996 and 2004, representative serum banks were established in 17 countries by collecting residual sera or community sampling. Serum banks we...
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The aim of the European Sero-Epidemiology Network is to establish comparability of the serological surveillance of vaccine-preventable diseases in Europe. The designated reference laboratory (RL) for measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) prepared and tested a panel of 151 sera by the reference enzyme immunoassay (rEIA). Laboratories in 21 countries tested...
Article
The aim of the European Sero-Epidemiology Network 2 was to coordinate and standardize the serological surveillance of vaccine-preventable diseases in Europe. In this study, the standardization of hepatitis B virus (HBV) results is described. The 15 participating national laboratories tested a unique panel of 172 sera established by the Greek refere...
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The DRSP prevalence rate for the Maltese Islands was investigated. Consecutive samples were obtained, both from adults and children, from September 2000 through April 2002. Penicillin-intermediately-resistant isolates amounted to 27%, erythromycin-resistant isolates 31%, and clindamycin-resistant isolates 19%. The oxacillin disk was found to be an...
Article
Visceral leishmaniasis due to infection with Leishmania infantum (a member of the L. donovani complex) has been known in Malta since the beginning of the century. In 1946, when human diseases became compulsorily notifiable on the islands, the leishmaniasis figures were 1264 visceral cases, 36 cutaneous cases and 5 unspecified. Five cases of cutaneo...
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The genetic relatedness of clinical and environmental Cryptococcus neoformans strains in the Maltese Islands was investigated by randomly amplified polymorphic DNA fingerprinting with four primers. The clinical strains isolate over the course of 1 year from AIDS patients showed identical fingerprints. The electrophoretic patterns of the two clinica...

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