ResearchPad - italy https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Identification and detection of a novel point mutation in the Chitin Synthase gene of <i>Culex pipiens</i> associated with diflubenzuron resistance]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14502 Diflubenzuron is one of the main larvicides used for the control of the West Nile Virus vector Culex pipiens in the Mediterranean. However, the efficiency of control is now under threat due to the selection of insecticide resistance. Two point mutations were previously identified at the Chitin synthase and shown to confer low and high levels of resistance and a diagnostic was developed to monitor the trait. This study reports the identification of a third mutation associated with high levels of diflubenzuron resistance in Italy. This mutation was also detected in France, whereas no resistance mutations were found in Cx. pipiens mosquitoes sampled from Greece, Portugal and Israel. The findings are of major concern for mosquito control programs in S. Europe, which rely on the use of a limited number of larvicides.

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<![CDATA[Time-to-Death approach in revealing Chronicity and Severity of COVID-19 across the World]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13808 The outbreak of coronavirus disease, 2019 (COVID-19), which started from Wuhan, China, in late 2019, have spread worldwide. A total of 5,91,971 cases and 2,70,90 deaths were registered till 28th March, 2020. We aimed to predict the impact of duration of exposure to COVID-19 on the mortality rates increment.MethodsIn the present study, data on COVID-19 infected top seven countries viz., Germany, China, France, United Kingdom, Iran, Italy and Spain, and World as a whole, were used for modeling. The analytical procedure of generalized linear model followed by Gompertz link function was used to predict the impact lethal duration of exposure on the mortality rates.FindingsOf the selected countries and World as whole, the projection based on 21st March, 2020 cases, suggest that a total (95% Cl) of 76 (65–151) days of exposure in Germany, mortality rate will increase by 5 times to 1%. In countries like France and United Kingdom, our projection suggests that additional exposure of 48 days and 7 days, respectively, will raise the mortality rates to10%. Regarding Iran, Italy and Spain, mortality rate will rise to 10% with an additional 3–10 days of exposure. World’s mortality rates will continue increase by 1% in every three weeks. The predicted interval of lethal duration corresponding to each country has found to be consistent with the mortality rates observed on 28th March, 2020.ConclusionThe prediction of lethal duration was found to have apparently effective in predicting mortality, and shows concordance with prevailing rates. In absence of any vaccine against COVID-19 infection, the present study adds information about the quantum of the severity and time elapsed to death will help the Government to take necessary and appropriate steps to control this pandemic. ]]> <![CDATA[Prevalence of depressive symptoms among Italian medical students: The multicentre cross-sectional “PRIMES” study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N89095419-220d-4d38-944c-d00bb778cf6f

Background

Four percent of the world’s population suffers from depression, which is a major public health issue. Medical students are at risk, as their depressive symptoms (DS) prevalence is reported to be approximately 27% worldwide. Since few data on Italian medical students exist, this study aimed to estimate their DS prevalence and assess risk and protective factors.

Methods

The PRIMES was a multicentre cross-sectional study performed in 12 Italian medical schools. Questionnaires were self-reported and included 30 sociodemographic items and the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II). The primary outcome was the presence of DS (BDI-II score≥14). The main analyses were chi-squared tests and multivariable logistic regressions with a p-value<0.05 considered significant.

Results

The number of collected questionnaires was 2,513 (117 BDI-II incomplete). Females accounted for 61.3% of the respondents, and the median age was 22 years (IQR = 4). The prevalence of DS was 29.5%. Specifically, 14.0% had mild depression, 11.1% had moderate depression, and 4.5% had severe depression. The main risk factors for DS were age, being female, bisexual/asexual orientation, living with partner/housemates, poor economic status (worsened by living far from home), less than 90 min of weekly exercise, relatives with psychiatric disorders, personal chronic disease, judging medical school choice negatively, unsatisfying friendships with classmates, competitive and hostile climate among classmates, thinking that medical school hinders specific activities and being worried about not measuring up to the profession. Protective factors included family cohesion, hobbies, intellectual curiosity as a career motivation and no worries about the future.

Conclusion

Italian medical students are at high risk of reporting DS, similar to the global population of medical students’. Medical schools must make efforts to implement preventive and treatment interventions by offering counselling and working on modifiable factors, such as lifestyle and learning climate.

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<![CDATA[The Italian Osteopathic Practitioners Estimates and RAtes (OPERA) study: A cross sectional survey]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c79aff7d5eed0c4841e3b42

The prevalence of osteopathic practitioners, their professional profile and features of their clinical practice, particularly where statutory regulation does not yet exist, are still significantly underreported. The Osteopathic Practitioners Estimates and RAtes (OPERA) project was developed as an European-based census dedicated to profiling the osteopathic profession across Europe. The present study aimed to describe the osteopathic practitioners and the profession in Italy. A voluntary, online based, closed-ended survey was distributed across Italy in the period between February and June 2017. An e-based campaign was set up to reach the Italian osteopathic professionals. Participants were asked to complete the forms by filling in the information regarding the demographics, working status and professional activities, education, consultation fees, patient complaints, treatment and management. The survey was completed by 4816 individuals. 196 people started the survey but did not finish, which corresponds to a 4% attrition rate. The majority of respondents were males (66.7%). The modal age group was 30–39 (40.0%). 73.8% of respondents had a previous academic degree, mainly in the fields of sports science (36.4%) and physiotherapy (25.3%). 25.6% declared not to have a previous academic degree. The majority of respondents declared to work alone (58.4%), while the remaining declared to work in association with other professionals. The osteopaths /citizens ratio was 8.0 osteopaths/100,000 citizens. The profile of osteopaths in Italy seems to be characterised by a self-employed young adult male working mostly as a sole practitioner, who has been trained as osteopath through a part-time curriculum and had a previous degree mostly in the fields of sports science or physiotherapy. These results provide important insights into the osteopathic profession in Italy. The varied professional educational backgrounds need to be considered with regard to the implementation of a professional licensing process and future pre-registration education in the country. The number of respondents is an estimate of the actual number of Italian osteopaths. Only the completion of the regulatory process and the creation of the mandatory official register will allow to know the number of Italy based osteopaths.

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<![CDATA[A model based on intensity of medical care may improve outcomes for internal medicine patients in Italy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5ca2a1d5eed0c48441e7b2

Background

In medical wards, to guarantee safe, sustainable and effective treatments to heterogeneous and complex patients, care should be graduated into different levels of clinical intensity based on a standardised assessment of acute-illness severity. To support this assumption, we conducted a prospective observational study on all unselected admissions of 3,381 patients to a medium size internal Italian Medicine Unit by comparing Standard Medical Care model (SMC) to a new paradigm of patient admission based on Intensity of Medical Care (IMC).

Methods

The SMC operated during 2013, while an IMC organizational model started in 2014. In SMC, patient’s admission was performed according to bed availability only. In IMC, after the stratification of clinical instability performed using the National Early Warning Score (NEWS) and clinical judgment, patients were allocated to three different ward areas (high, middle, and post-acute medical care). We compared clinical and organizational outcomes of IMC patients (2015) to SMC patients (2013), performing adjusted logistic regression model.

Results

We managed 1,609 and 1,772 patients using SMC and IMC, respectively. The IMC seemed to be associated to a lower risk of clinical worsening for patients. Comparing IMC to SMC, the odds ratio (aOR) for urgent transfers to intensive care units was 0.69 (p = 0.03), and for combination of urgent transfers and early deaths was 0.68 (p<0.01).

Conclusions

Redesigning the configuration of internal medicine ward to support urgency and competency of the clinical response by applying IMC paradigm based on the NEWS, improved outcomes in patients with acute illness and enhanced ward performances.

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<![CDATA[The lost children: The underdiagnosis of dyslexia in Italy. A cross-sectional national study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c521831d5eed0c484797709

Background

Developmental dyslexia is one of the most common neurobehavioral disorders affecting children, but prevalence data on this condition are poor. The objective of the present study is to determine the prevalence of dyslexia in Italy in an unselected school population, using clearly defined diagnostic criteria and methods.

Methods

Cross-sectional study carried out in nine Italian Regions: two located in Northern Italy (Friuli Venezia Giulia and Veneto), three in Central Italy (Marche, Lazio and Umbria) and four in Southern Italy (Abruzzo, Molise, Puglia and Sardegna). Three consecutive levels of screening were carried out: the first two at school, to screen the population and identify children with suspect dyslexia; the last in centers with multi-professional staff specialized in learning disabilities to confirm the diagnosis. The key outcome measure is the prevalence of dyslexia, defined as the ratio between the number of children confirmed positive at the third level of screening and the total number of children enrolled in the study.

Results

We finally recruited 11094 children aged 8–10 years, of which 9964 constituted the final working sample after applying exclusion criteria and including only children who received parents’ consent to participate. The prevalence of dyslexia in the whole sample was 3.5% (95% CI 3.2–3.9%), with little differences between Northern, Central and Southern Italy (respectively 3.6%, 3.2% and 3.7%). In almost two out of three children with dyslexia the disorder had not been previously diagnosed.

Conclusions

This study confirms that in primary school children at the age of 8–10 years in Italy dyslexia is widely underestimated. Reliable data on dyslexia prevalence are needed to allocate necessary human and financial resources both to Health Services and Schools, ensuring timely support to children and families.

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<![CDATA[Assessing the risk of autochthonous yellow fever transmission in Lazio, central Italy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c40f80dd5eed0c484386f28 ]]> <![CDATA[Length of stay following vaginal deliveries: A population based study in the Friuli Venezia Giulia region (North-Eastern Italy), 2005-2015]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c37b7c6d5eed0c484490c88

Background

Lengths of hospital stay (LoS) after childbirth that are too long have a number of health, social and economic drawbacks. For this reason, in several high-income countries LoS has been reduced over the past decades and early discharge (ED) is increasingly applied to low-risk mothers and newborns.

Methods

We conducted a population-based study investigating LoS after chilbirth across all 12 maternity centres of Friuli Venezia-Giulia (FVG), North-Eastern Italy, using a database capturing all registered births in the region from 2005 to 2015 (11 years). Adjusting for clinical factors (clinical conditions of the mother and the newborn), socio-demographic bakground and obstetric history with multivariable logistic regression, we ranked facility centres for LoS that were longer than our proposed ED benchmarks (defined as >2 days for spontaneous vaginal deliveries and >3 days for instrumental vaginal deliveries). The reference was hospital A, a national excellence centre for maternal and child health.

Results

The total number of births examined in our database was 109,550, of which 109,257 occurred in hospitals. During these 11 years, the number of births significantly diminished over time, and the pooled mean LoS for spontaneous vaginal deliveries in the whole FVG was 2.9 days. There was a significantly decreasing trend in the proportion of women remaining admitted more than the respective ED cutoffs for both delivery modes. The percentage of women staying longer that the ED benchmarks varied extensively by facility centre, ranging from 32% to 97% for spontaneous vaginal deliveries and 15% to 64% for instrumental vaginal deliveries. All hospitals but G were by far more likely to surpass the ED cutoff for spontaneous deliveries. As compared with hospital A, the most significant adjusted ORs for LoS overcoming the ED thresholds for spontaneous vaginal deliveries were: 89.38 (78.49–101.78); 26.47 (22.35–31.36); 10.42 (9.49–11.44); 10.30 (9.45–11.21) and 8.40 (7.68–9.19) for centres B, D, I, K and E respectively. By contrast the OR was 0.77 (95%CI: 0.72–0.83) for centre G. Similar mitigated patterns were observed also for instrumental vaginal deliveiries.

Conclusions

For spontaneous vaginal deliveries the mean LoS in the whole FVG was shorter than 3.4 days, the average figure most recently reported for the whole of Italy, but higher than other countries’ with health systems similar to Italy’s. Since our results are controlled for the effect of all other factors, the between-hospital variability we found is likely attributable to the health care provider itself. It can be argued that some maternity centres of FVG may have had ecocomic interest in longer LoS after childbirth, although fear of medico-legal backlashes, internal organizational malfunctions of hospitals and scarce attention of ward staff on performance efficiency shall not be ruled out. It would be therefore important to ensure higher level of coordination between the various maternity services of FVG, which should follow standardized protocols to pursue efficiency of care and allow comparability of health outcomes and costs among them. Improving the performance of FVG and Italian hospitals requires investment in primary care services.

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<![CDATA[A cross-sectional serosurvey in a sheep population in central Italy following a bluetongue epidemic]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3fa5cbd5eed0c484ca89e4

Bluetongue (BT) is a viral disease that affects ruminants and is transmitted by midges of the genus Culicoides spp. The seroprevalence, the clinical form and the occurrence rates significantly differ in relation to several factors such as bluetongue virus (BTV) serotype, host species, breed susceptibility, specific previous exposure, vector ecology, husbandry and health status. Following the 2001–2006 BTV2 and BTV16 epidemics in central Italy, a new epidemic caused by BTV1 occurred in 2013–2015 causing 398 outbreaks in a susceptible population of about 1 million ruminants. The present study assessed the BTV1 seroprevalence in the sheep population of central Italy by conducting two cross-sectional surveys, in the proximity of and within BT outbreak farms. A total of 2,984 sheep from 437 farms were sampled. The animal-level prevalence was 19% (95% CI: 17–21%), the between-herd prevalence was 46% (95% CI: 41–51%) and the within-herd prevalence was 21% (95% CI: 16–26%). Risk factors were investigated by logistic regression models. Living on a farm where an outbreak occurred and the number of outbreaks in proximity of the farm were identified as risk factors, while herd size was identified as a protective factor. This study represents the first BT survey in southern Europe and reports valuable findings on BTV epidemiology. Despite intensive virus circulation, the estimated seroprevalences were low. The assessment of the population immunity level is crucial for defining an efficient vaccination strategy and for predicting the impact of future virus circulation. In view of the low seroprevalence detected albeit an extensive BTV1 circulation, the population immunity was likely to be inadequate in preventing new BTV1 epidemics. Moreover, considering the recurrent introduction of new serotypes from North Africa and the Balkans, the control of multi-serotype BTV infections will continue to present a challenge in the near future.

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<![CDATA[GI-16 lineage (624/I or Q1), there and back again: The history of one of the major threats for poultry farming of our era]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c33d20ad5eed0c4845dd448

The genetic variability of Infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) is one of the main challenges for its control, hindering not only the development of effective vaccination strategies but also its classification and, consequently, epidemiology understanding. The 624/I and Q1 genotypes, now recognized to be part of the GI-16 lineage, represent an excellent example of the practical consequences of IBV molecular epidemiology limited knowledge. In fact, being their common origin unrecognized for a long time, independent epidemiological pictures were drawn for the two genotypes. To fix this misinterpretation, the present study reconstructs the history, population dynamics and spreading patterns of GI-16 lineage as a whole using a phylodynamic approach. A collection of worldwide available hypervariable region 1 and 2 (HVR12) and 3 (HVR3) sequences of the S1 protein was analysed together with 258 HVR3 sequences obtained from samples collected in Italy (the country where this genotype was initially identified) since 1963. The results demonstrate that after its emergence at the beginning of the XX century, GI-16 was able to persist until present days in Italy. Approximately in the late 1980s, it migrated to Asia, which became the main nucleus for further spreading to Middle East, Europe and especially South America, likely through multiple introduction events. A remarkable among-country diffusion was also demonstrated in Asia and South America. Interestingly, although most of the recent Italian GI-16 strains originated from ancestral viruses detected in the same country, a couple were closely related to Chinese ones, supporting a backward viral flow from China to Italy. Besides to the specific case-study results, this work highlights the misconceptions that originate from the lack of a unified nomenclature and poor molecular epidemiology data generation and sharing. This shortcoming appears particularly relevant since the described scenario could likely be shared by many other IBV genotypes and pathogens in general.

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<![CDATA[Anisakiasis in Italy: Analysis of hospital discharge records in the years 2005-2015]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1966f2d5eed0c484b53669

Background

Anisakiasis is a fish-borne zoonosis caused by the ingestion of marine food infected with Anisakis third-stage larvae, widespread marine parasitic nematodes. Gastrointestinal and/or allergic clinical signs and symptoms are not specific. While frequently reported in countries with large raw fish consumption as Japan, the global prevalence of anisakiasis may be severely underestimated due to limitations of available diagnostic tools and to diverse clinical manifestations. Recently, infective larvae were found in the same localization with gastrointestinal tumors. The occurrence of allergic exacerbation upon secondary exposure and the possible occupational exposure, highlight the need to increase scientific evidences on anisakiasis.

Methods

We performed a retrospective descriptive study using analysis of Hospital Discharge Records (HDRs) from 2005 to 2015 in Italy, with particular attention to allergic manifestations. Descriptive statistics and multivariate analyses were performed using backward step-wise logistic regression models to assess spatial distribution and temporal trend as well as the variables independently associated with the allergic clinical signs and symptoms in Italian cases of anisakiasis.

Results

HDRs reporting the ICD-9 code for anisakiasis were retrieved (370), with a higher number of cases reported from central and southern regions, with particular regard to populations inhabiting the coastal territories. Around 40% of patients presented allergic manifestations and half of them showed serious allergic reactions. The multivariate analyses showed an independent association between allergic manifestations and features as living in southern regions and female gender, while anaphylactic episodes was independently associated only with female gender.

Conclusion

The present study is the first attempt to a better understanding of the epidemiological picture of anisakiasis in Italy, mining official data. A common strategy on data collection, monitoring and reporting would favor a more accurate epidemiological scenario in Italy, since the report of the diseases is not mandatory.

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<![CDATA[Spatial transmission of H5N2 highly pathogenic avian influenza between Minnesota poultry premises during the 2015 outbreak]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5bae98f940307c0c23a1c154

The spatial spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N2 during the 2015 outbreak in the U.S. state of Minnesota was analyzed through the estimation of a spatial transmission kernel, which quantifies the infection hazard an infectious premises poses to an uninfected premises some given distance away. Parameters were estimated using a maximum likelihood method for the entire outbreak as well as for two phases defined by the daily number of newly detected HPAI-positive premises. The results indicate both a strong dependence of the likelihood of transmission on distance and a significant distance-independent component of outbreak spread for the overall outbreak. The results further suggest that HPAI spread differed during the later phase of the outbreak. The estimated spatial transmission kernel was used to compare the Minnesota outbreak with previous HPAI outbreaks in the Netherlands and Italy to contextualize the Minnesota transmission kernel results and make additional inferences about HPAI transmission during the Minnesota outbreak. Lastly, the spatial transmission kernel was used to identify high risk areas for HPAI spread in Minnesota. Risk maps were also used to evaluate the potential impact of an early marketing strategy implemented by poultry producers in a county in Minnesota during the outbreak, with results providing evidence that the strategy was successful in reducing the potential for HPAI spread.

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<![CDATA[Multilocus microsatellite typing (MLMT) reveals host-related population structure in Leishmania infantum from northeastern Italy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b4a19d4463d7e428027f8e9

Background

Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) caused by Leishmania infantum is an ongoing health problem in southern Europe, where dogs are considered the main reservoirs of the disease. Current data point to a northward spread of VL and canine leishmaniasis (CanL) in Italy, with new foci in northern regions previously regarded as non-endemic.

Methodology/Principal findings

Multilocus microsatellite typing (MLMT) was performed to investigate genetic diversity and population structure of L. infantum on 55 samples from infected humans, dogs and sand flies of the E-R region between 2013 and 2017. E-R samples were compared with 10 L. infantum samples from VL cases in other Italian regions (extra E-R) and with 52 strains within the L. donovani complex. Data displayed significant microsatellite polymorphisms with low allelic heterozygosity. Forty-one unique and eight repeated MLMT profiles were recognized among the L. infantum samples from E-R, and ten unique MLMT profiles were assigned to the extra E-R samples. Bayesian analysis assigned E-R samples to two distinct populations, with further sub-structuring within each of them; all CanL samples belonged to one population, genetically related to Mediterranean MON-1 strains, while all but one VL cases as well as the isolate from the sand fly Phlebotomus perfiliewi fell under the second population. Conversely, VL samples from other Italian regions proved to be genetically similar to strains circulating in dogs.

Conclusions/Significance

A peculiar epidemiological situation was observed in northeastern Italy, with the co-circulation of two distinct populations of L. infantum; one population mainly detected in dogs and the other population detected in humans and in a sand fly. While the classical cycle of CanL in Italy fits well into the data obtained for the first population, the population found in infected humans exhibits a different cycle, probably not involving a canine reservoir. This study can contribute to a better understanding of the population structure of L. infantum circulating in northeastern Italy, thus providing useful epidemiologic information for public health authorities.

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<![CDATA[Variations in diagnostic testing utilization in Italy: Secondary analysis of a national survey]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b297b7c463d7e06147f8d6e

Background

According to the principle of horizontal equity, individuals with similar need may have the same possibility of access to health services. The aim of this study is to identify patterns of diagnostic services utilization, in people with, and without chronic disease in Italy.

Methods

Secondary analysis of data from the national survey on Health and use of health care in Italy, carried out in 2013, including 99,497 participants. Multilevel analysis has been used to study the variables associated to diagnostic services utilization.

Results

13.78% of participants have had one diagnostic testing in the four weeks before the interview. In healthy people, utilization of diagnostic testing is reduced in people with low educational level (OR 0.75; 95%CI 0.67–0.84), in housewives (OR 0.66; 95%CI 0.51–0.87), or in those unable to work (OR 0.48; 95%CI 0.26–0.87), while increased in those perceiving a worse health status (up to OR 4.00, 95%CI 2.00–8.01 in very bad health). In people afflicted with chronic disease, access to diagnostic assessment is impaired by educational level (OR 0.69; 95%CI 0.61–0.78) and low household income (OR 0.75; 95%CI 0.58–0.97), while it is increased in the presence of a ticket exemption (OR 1.55, 95%CI 1.42–1.68), and fixed-term occupation (OR2.28, 95%CI 1.31–3.95). Being former-smokers in associated to an increased utilization of services in both groups.

Conclusions

Despite a universal and theoretically egalitarian, public, health care system, variations in diagnostic services utilization are still registered in Italy, both in healthy people and those afflicted by chronic diseases, on socio-economic/occupational basis, and self-perceived health status. Moreover, this significant effect of occupation on healthcare utilization, suggests the need for a comprehensive evaluation of economics in occupational health.

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<![CDATA["Willing to Pay?" Tax Compliance in Britain and Italy: An Experimental Analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da22ab0ee8fa60b7f663

As shown by the recent crisis, tax evasion poses a significant problem for countries such as Greece, Spain and Italy. While these societies certainly possess weaker fiscal institutions as compared to other EU members, might broader cultural differences between northern and southern Europe also help to explain citizens’ (un)willingness to pay their taxes? To address this question, we conduct laboratory experiments in the UK and Italy, two countries which straddle this North-South divide. Our design allows us to examine citizens’ willingness to contribute to public goods via taxes while holding institutions constant. We report a surprising result: when faced with identical tax institutions, redistribution rules and audit probabilities, Italian participants are significantly more likely to comply than Britons. Overall, our findings cast doubt upon “culturalist” arguments that would attribute cross-country differences in tax compliance to the lack of morality amongst southern European taxpayers.

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<![CDATA[Phylogenetic Analysis and Epidemic History of Hepatitis C Virus Genotype 2 in Tunisia, North Africa]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dabaab0ee8fa60bae6d4

HCV genotype 2 (HCV-2) has a worldwide distribution with prevalence rates that vary from country to country. High genetic diversity and long-term endemicity were suggested in West African countries. A global dispersal of HCV-2 would have occurred during the 20th century, especially in European countries. In Tunisia, genotype 2 was the second prevalent genotype after genotype 1 and most isolates belong to subtypes 2c and 2k. In this study, phylogenetic analyses based on the NS5B genomic sequences of 113 Tunisian HCV isolates from subtypes 2c and 2k were carried out. A Bayesian coalescent-based framework was used to estimate the origin and the spread of these subtypes circulating in Tunisia. Phylogenetic analyses of HCV-2c sequences suggest the absence of country-specific or time-specific variants. In contrast, the phylogenetic grouping of HCV-2k sequences shows the existence of two major genetic clusters that may represent two distinct circulating variants. Coalescent analysis indicated a most recent common ancestor (tMRCA) of Tunisian HCV-2c around 1886 (1869–1902) before the introduction of HCV-2k in 1901 (1867–1931). Our findings suggest that the introduction of HCV-2c in Tunisia is possibly a result of population movements between Tunisia and European population following the French colonization.

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<![CDATA[Detection of Viral RNA in Tissues following Plasma Clearance from an Ebola Virus Infected Patient]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db54ab0ee8fa60bdd08e

An unprecedented Ebola virus (EBOV) epidemic occurred in 2013–2016 in West Africa. Over this time the epidemic exponentially grew and moved to Europe and North America, with several imported cases and many Health Care Workers (HCW) infected. Better understanding of EBOV infection patterns in different body compartments is mandatory to develop new countermeasures, as well as to fully comprehend the pathways of human-to-human transmission. We have longitudinally explored the persistence of EBOV-specific negative sense genomic RNA (neg-RNA) and the presence of positive sense RNA (pos-RNA), including both replication intermediate (antigenomic-RNA) and messenger RNA (mRNA) molecules, in the upper and lower respiratory tract, as compared to plasma, in a HCW infected with EBOV in Sierra Leone, who was hospitalized in the high isolation facility of the National Institute for Infectious Diseases “Lazzaro Spallanzani” (INMI), Rome, Italy. We observed persistence of pos-RNA and neg-RNAs in longitudinally collected specimens of the lower respiratory tract, even after viral clearance from plasma, suggesting possible local replication. The purpose of the present study is to enhance the knowledge on the biological features of EBOV that can contribute to the human-to-human transmissibility and to develop effective intervention strategies. However, further investigation is needed in order to better understand the clinical meaning of viral replication and shedding in the respiratory tract.

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<![CDATA[Access and response to direct antiviral agents (DAA) in HIV-HCV co-infected patients in Italy: Data from the Icona cohort]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5cab0ee8fa60bdfe11

Background

Real-life data on access and response to direct antiviral agents (DAA) in HIV-HCV coinfected individuals are lacking.

Methods

HCV viremic, HIV-positive patients from Icona and Hepaicona cohorts naïve to DAA by January 2013 were included. Access and predictors of starting DAA were evaluated. Switches of antiretroviral drugs at starting DAA were described. We calculated sustained virological response (SVR12) in those reaching 12 weeks after end-of-treatment (EOT), and defined treatment failure (TF) as discontinuation of DAA before EOT or non-SVR12. Statistical analyses included Kaplan-Meier curves, univariable and multivariable analyses evaluating predictors of access to DAA and of treatment outcome (non-SVR and TF).

Results

2,607 patients included. During a median follow-up of 38 (IQR:30–41) months, 920 (35.3%) patients started DAA. Eligibility for reimbursement was the strongest predictor to access to treatment: 761/1,090 (69.8%) eligible and 159/1,517 (10.5%) non-eligible to DAA reimbursement. Older age, HIV-RNA≤50 copies/mL were associated to faster DAA initiation, higher CD4 count and HCV-genotype 3 with delayed DAA initiation in those eligible to DAA reimbursement. Up to 28% of patients (36% of those on ritonavir-boosted protease inhibitors, PI/r) underwent antiretroviral (ART) modification at DAA initiation. 545/595 (91.6%) patients reaching EOT achieved SVR12. Overall, TF occurred in 61/606 patients (10.1%), with 11 discontinuing DAA before EOT. Suboptimal DAA was the only independent predictor of both non-SVR12 (AHR 2.52, 95%CI:1.24–5.12) and TF (AHR: 2.19; 95%CI:1.13–4.22).

Conclusions

Only 35.3% had access to HCV treatment. Despite excellent rates of SVR12 rates (91.6%), only 21% (545/2,607) of our HIV-HCV co-infected patients are cured.

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<![CDATA[Potential Risk of Dengue and Chikungunya Outbreaks in Northern Italy Based on a Population Model of Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da76ab0ee8fa60b96a98

The rapid invasion and spread of Aedes albopictus (Skuse, 1894) within new continents and climatic ranges has created favorable conditions for the emergence of tropical arboviral diseases in the invaded areas. We used mosquito abundance data from 2014 collected across ten sites in northern Italy to calibrate a population model for Aedes albopictus and estimate the potential of imported human cases of chikungunya or dengue to generate the condition for their autochthonous transmission in the absence of control interventions. The model captured intra-year seasonality and heterogeneity across sites in mosquito abundance, based on local temperature patterns and the estimated site-specific mosquito habitat suitability. A robust negative correlation was found between the latter and local late spring precipitations, indicating a possible washout effect on larval breeding sites. The model predicts a significant risk of chikungunya outbreaks in most sites if a case is imported between the beginning of summer and up to mid-November, with an average outbreak probability between 4.9% and 25%, depending on the site. A lower risk is predicted for dengue, with an average probability between 4.2% and 10.8% for cases imported between mid-July and mid-September. This study shows the importance of an integrated entomological and medical surveillance for the evaluation of arboviral disease risk, which is a precondition for designing cost-effective vector control programs.

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<![CDATA[Participatory Online Surveillance as a Supplementary Tool to Sentinel Doctors for Influenza-Like Illness Surveillance in Italy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da43ab0ee8fa60b8ac7f

The monitoring of seasonal influenza yearly epidemics remains one of the main activity of national syndromic surveillance systems. The development of internet-based surveillance tools has brought an innovative approach to seasonal influenza surveillance by directly involving self-selected volunteers among the general population reporting their health status on a weekly basis throughout the flu season. In this paper, we explore how Influweb, an internet-based monitoring system for influenza surveillance, deployed in Italy since 2008 has performed during three years from 2012 to 2015 in comparison with data collected during the same period by the Italian sentinel doctors surveillance system.

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