Publications by authors named "Alessandra Orsi"

14 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Association of herd-level risk factors and incidence rate of clinical mastitis in 20 Brazilian dairy herds.

Prev Vet Med 2018 Dec 12;161:9-18. Epub 2018 Oct 12.

Department of Animal Nutrition and Production, School of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, University of São Paulo, Pirassununga, Brazil. Electronic address:

The objectives of this study were to characterize the pathogen frequency and severity of clinical mastitis (CM) in 20 dairy herds of southeastern Brazil; and to determine the incidence rate of clinical mastitis (IRCM; overall and based on specific-pathogen groups) based on quarter time at risk and its association with risk factors at the herd-level. Data were recorded in each herd for a period of 8 to 15 months. The association between herd-level risk factors and IRCM were determined by two groups of mixed regression models: one based on the overall IRCM, and five based on the following specific-pathogen groups: contagious, other Gram-positive, Gram-negative, other, and negative culture. The following herd-level risk factors were evaluated: herd size, housing system, average daily milk yield per cow, bulk milk somatic cell count (BMSCC), and bulk milk total bacterial count (BMTBC). A total of 5957 quarter-cases of CM were recorded from 2637 cows, but only 4212 cases had milk samples collected for culture. The most frequently isolated pathogens were Escherichia coli (6.6% of total cultures), Streptococcus uberis (6.1%), and Streptococcus agalactiae (5.9%). The majority of CM cases were mild (60.3%), while 34.1% were moderate and 5.6% severe. The frequency of severe CM cases was lower for those with a Gram-positive result (4.6%) compared to a Gram-negative result (11.4%). Overall, monthly mean IRCM was 9.7 cases per 10,000 quarter-days at risk (QDAR). Herds with a geometric mean BMSCC ≥ 601 × 10 cell/mL had higher overall IRCM (16/10,000 QDAR) than those with BMSCC ≤ 600 × 10 cell/mL (≤7.7/10,000 QDAR). When the specific-pathogen groups were evaluated, for contagious pathogens, variables housing (free-stalls or compost-bedded pack barns), BMSCC (≥601 × 10 cells/mL), and average daily milk yield per cow (21 and 25 Kg/d) presented the highest IRCM. Furthermore, in Gram-negative group, herds with BMTBC ≥ 31 × 10 cfu/mL had higher IRCM compared with herds with BMTBC ≤ 30 × 10 cfu/mL. Although environmental pathogens were the most common cause of CM in this study, contagious pathogens (e.g., Strep. agalactiae and Staph. aureus) are still a concern in dairy herds of Brazil. Additionally, as there were some herd-level risk factors associated with the IRCM, there may be opportunity for management strategies aiming to improve the control of CM in dairy herds.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.prevetmed.2018.10.007DOI Listing
December 2018

Surveillance of Environmental and Procedural Measures of Infection Control in the Operating Theatre Setting.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2017 12 28;15(1). Epub 2017 Dec 28.

Department of Biomedical and Neuromotor Sciences, Unit of Hygiene, Public Health and Medical Statistics, University of Bologna, via S. Giacomo 12, 40126 Bologna, Italy.

The microbiological contamination of operating theatres and the lack of adherence to best practices by surgical staff represent some of the factors affecting Surgical Site Infections (SSIs). The aim of the present study was to assess the microbiological quality of operating settings and the staff compliance to the SSI evidence-based control measures. Ten operating rooms were examined for microbiological contamination of air and surfaces, after cleaning procedures, in "at rest" conditions. Furthermore, 10 surgical operations were monitored to assess staff compliance to the recommended practices. None of the air samples exceeded microbiological reference standards and only six of the 200 surface samples (3.0%) were slightly above recommended levels. Potentially pathogenic bacteria and moulds were never detected. Staff compliance to best practices varied depending on the type of behaviour investigated and the role of the operator. The major not compliant behaviours were: pre-operative skin antisepsis, crowding of the operating room and hand hygiene of the anaesthetist. The good environmental microbiological quality observed is indicative of the efficacy of the cleaning-sanitization procedures adopted. The major critical point was staff compliance to recommended practices. Awareness campaigns are therefore necessary, aimed at improving the organisation of work so as to facilitate compliance to operative protocols.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15010046DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5800145PMC
December 2017

Severe myoclonic epilepsy of infancy: Seizure reduction during adjunctive eslicarbazepine in two cases.

Epilepsy Behav Case Rep 2015 30;4:38-40. Epub 2015 Jun 30.

Department of Molecular Medicine and Developmental Medicine, Section of Child Neurology and Psychiatry, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Senese, Policlinico Le Scotte, Siena, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ebcr.2015.06.002DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4501557PMC
August 2015

Silent increase of urinary ethylmalonic acid is an indicator of nonspecific brain dysfunction.

NMR Biomed 2010 May 25;23(4):353-8. Epub 2010 Feb 25.

Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Senese, Policlinico Le Scotte, Siena, Italy.

Our aim was to compare urinary ethylmalonic acid (EMA) levels in subjects who had no apparent clinical reason to have increased levels of this substance but were suffering from non-specific CNS impairment, and healthy controls. Urinary EMA concentrations detected by (1)H-NMR spectroscopy were studied in 130 subjects with CNS impairment of unknown origin (with no definite diagnosis, no specific symptoms or signs, and normal common biochemical and metabolic screening results) and 130 age- and sex-matched healthy subjects. EMA levels exceeding two standard deviations (SD) above normal (i.e. 8.1 mmol/molCn) were found in a subgroup of CNS-impaired patients and healthy controls. EMA levels exceeding 2 SD above normal were fourfold prevalent in the urine of patients with non-specific CNS impairment compared to from the EMA levels in healthy controls. Moreover, we found that the level exceeding > 8.1 mmol/molCn (i.e. > + 2 SD) had sufficient discrimination accuracy in identifying subjects with non-specific CNS impairment; the level exceeding 12 mmol/molCn (i.e. > + 6 SD) reaches suitable accuracy (i.e. 100% specificity and 78.6% sensitivity). These observations are of importance, as we found that subtle increases in urinary EMA levels are frequent in patients with non-specific CNS impairment. The reasons for this association remain unknown.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/nbm.1468DOI Listing
May 2010

Drug-resistant epilepsy and epileptic phenotype-EEG association in MECP2 mutated Rett syndrome.

Clin Neurophysiol 2008 Nov 7;119(11):2455-8. Epub 2008 Oct 7.

Pediatrics Neuropsychiatric Unit, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Senese, Policlinico Le Scotte, Siena, Italy.

Objective: To determine in MECP2-mutated Rett syndrome (RTT [MIM 312750]): (1) the prevalence of drug-resistant epilepsy (DRE); (2) whether the presence of DRE is related to the abnormal EEG patterns or to the particular MECP2 mutant genotype.

Methods: Retrospective survey of a large population of patients (n=154) evaluated between 1978 to 2007 (May) at the Child Psychiatry and Neurology Unit of Siena (Italy) with both clinical and genetic (i.e. MECP2 mutated) diagnoses of RTT. Some subjects were followed for up to 20 years. Among those, cases with epilepsy were first selected for study; within that group, cases with DRE were identified and studied. The association between clinical severity of their epilepsy and quantitative or qualitative scores of EEG severity was tested using rank coefficients (Spearman's rho values). The relationship between DRE and RTT genotype category (i.e. gene deletion, gene duplication, early truncating mutation, late truncating mutation, and missense mutation) or a specific MECP2 genotype was tested using the chi-square test. A p-value <0.05 (two sided) was considered to indicate statistical significance.

Results: Prevalence of DRE was 16% (i.e. 16 DRE out of 100 MECP2-mutated RTT epileptic patients). No significant relationship was found between clinical severity of DRE and quantitative (p=0.9190) or qualitative EEG scores (p=0.1511). In addition, no significant relationship was found between the DRE and the RTT genotype category (chi-square=1.147, DF=4, p=0.8867), or a specific MECP2 genotype (chi-square=30.958, DF=39, p=0.8173).

Conclusions: Although RTT MECP2-mutated patients suffer from a serious and progressive encephalopathy, it is "epileptogenic" but not "DREgenic" as they have a decreased risk (16%) for DRE compared to the general epileptic population (DRE: 20-40%). The presence of DRE is not related to abnormal EEG findings or a particular MECP2 mutant genotype.

Significance: These observations could be of help in the practical management and family counseling.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clinph.2008.08.015DOI Listing
November 2008

Delineation of the phenotype associated with 7q36.1q36.2 deletion: long QT syndrome, renal hypoplasia and mental retardation.

Am J Med Genet A 2008 May;146A(9):1195-9

Medical Genetics, University of Siena, Siena, Italy.

Terminal deletions of the long arm of chromosome 7 are well known and are frequently associated with hypotelorism or holoprosencephaly due to the involvement of the SHH gene located in 7q36.3. These deletions are easily detectable with routine subtelomeric MLPA analysis. Deletions affecting a more proximal part of 7q36, namely bands 7q36.1q36.2 are less common, and may be missed by subtelomeric MLPA analysis. We report a 9-year-old girl with a 5.27 Mb deletion in 7q36.1q36.2, and compare her to literature patients proposing a phenotype characterized by mental retardation, unusual facial features, renal hypoplasia and long QT syndrome due to loss of the KCNH2 gene. These characteristics are sufficiently distinct that the syndrome may be diagnosed on clinical grounds.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.a.32197DOI Listing
May 2008

New neurocutaneous syndrome with defect in cell trafficking and melanosome pathway: the future challenge.

Brain Dev 2008 Aug 28;30(7):461-8. Epub 2008 Jan 28.

Department of Pediatrics, Section of Pediatrics Neurology and Pediatrics Neuropsychiatric Unit, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Senese, Policlinico Le Scotte, University of Siena, Viale Bracci, I-53100 Siena, Italy.

Objective: Case study of a CNS impairment lacking in presumptive cause; case presents with a clinical phenotype encompassing multiple differently expressed and combined symptoms, as well as a subtle skin defect.

Materials And Methods: A 6-year-old male with apparently isolated mental delay, speech delay, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, epilepsy, and subtle and insignificant skin dyschromias. The patient underwent a systematic evaluation, including clinical history; medical, neurological and ophthalmologic examinations. Skin, teeth, nails, hair and sudation were examined for defects. Routine laboratory tests for blood, urine, were performed. The proband had thyroid function tests, electrocardiography, genitourinary system and abdominal examinations. Special examinations pertaining to mental performance, biochemistry, chromosome studies, imaging and electrodiagnostic studies, and skin biopsy were also performed.

Results: Investigators ruled out genetic syndromes, congenital infections, fetal deprivation, perinatal insults, intrauterine exposure to drug abuse, and postnatal events such as CNS infections as possible common causes of brain impairment. Being all further test negative, the patient exhibited an ultrastructural defect of the skin, identical to that previously described [Buoni S, Zannolli R, de Santi MM, Macucci F, Hayek J, Orsi A et al. Neurocutaneous syndrome with mental delay, autism, blockage in intracellular vesicular trafficking and melanosome defects. Eur J Neurol 2006;13:842-51], suggesting that some cell compartments, such as rough endoplasmic reticulum, lysosomes, Golgi apparatus, and the vesicular zone (racket) of Birbeck granules, sharing similar components, can be altered, resulting in a common defect in cell trafficking, associated to melanosome defects.

Conclusions: This new devasting, ultrastructural phenotype accompanied by apparently unspecific and mixed neurological symptoms should represent a future challenge to finally discover the pathogenesis of many childhood CNS symptoms, that currently seem to lack any apparent cause.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.braindev.2007.12.008DOI Listing
August 2008

Polydactyly with ectodermal defect, osteopenia, and mental delay.

J Child Neurol 2008 Jun 8;23(6):683-9. Epub 2008 Jan 8.

Department of Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Reproductive Medicine, Section of Pediatrics, Policlinico Le Scotte, University of Siena, Siena, Italy.

Five members from 3 generations, including a 35-year-old woman and her 2 sons, both mentally impaired to a different degree, were studied in a tertiary care hospital. Anamnestic, clinical, neurological, and radiological evaluations were used to describe phenotypes. A and B postaxial polydactyly, transmitted likely as autosomal dominant, was associated with an extensive variability of phenotypic features: (1) cutaneous syndactyly, (2) nail-teeth dysplasia, (3) osteopenia, and (4) mental delay. The likelihood that the constellation of observations we report here is caused by mutation of a single gene that subsequently affects multiple physiological activities, although fascinating, remains to be proven. Instead, we hypothesize that it likely develops as a contiguous gene syndrome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0883073807309778DOI Listing
June 2008

Regional cerebral blood flow in childhood autism: a SPET study with SPM evaluation.

Nucl Med Commun 2008 Feb;29(2):150-6

Department of Nuclear Medicine, University of Siena, Italy.

Aim: To establish a link between rCBF assessed with Tc-ECD SPET and the clinical manifestation of the disease.

Methods: We performed the study on 11 patients (five girls and six boys; mean age 11.2 years) displaying autistic behaviour and we compared their data with that of an age-matched reference group of eight normal children. A quantitative analysis of rCBF was performed calculating a perfusion index (PI) and an asymmetry index (AI) in each lobe. Images were analysed with statistical parametric mapping software, following the spatial normalization of SPET images for a standard brain.

Results: A statistically significant (P=0.003) global reduction of CBF was found in the group of autistic children (PI=1.07+/-0.07) when compared with the reference group (PI=1.25+/-0.12). Moreover, a significant difference was also observed for the right-to-left asymmetry of hemispheric perfusion between the control group and autistic patients (P=0.0085) with a right prevalence greater in autistic (2.90+/-1.68) with respect to normal children (1.12+/-0.49). Our data show a significant decrease of global cerebral perfusion in autistic children in comparison with their normal counterparts and the existence of left-hemispheric dysfunction, especially in the temporo-parietal areas devoted to language and the comprehension of music and sounds.

Conclusion: We suggest that these abnormal areas are related to the cognitive impairment observed in autistic children, such as language deficits, impairment of cognitive development and object representation, and abnormal perception and responses to sensory stimuli. Tc-ECD SPET seems to be sensitive in revealing brain blood flow alterations and left-to-right asymmetries, when neuroradiological patterns are normal.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MNM.0b013e3282f1bb8eDOI Listing
February 2008

Kabuki syndrome with trichrome vitiligo, ectodermal defect and hypogammaglobulinemia A and G.

Brain Dev 2007 Jul 14;29(6):373-6. Epub 2006 Dec 14.

Department of Pediatrics, Section of Neurology, Policlinico Le Scotte, University of Siena, Siena, Italy.

We report a unique combination of symptoms in a case of Kabuki syndrome (KS), a multiple malformation/mental retardation syndrome that has a prevalence of 1:32,000 to 1:86,000. The patient was a mentally delayed 12-year-old male with trichrome vitiligo, ectodermal defect, and hypogammaglobulinemia A and G. This unique combination of signs, described here for the first time, indicates that KS comprises multiple deficits that affect not only the brain, but ectoderm-derived structures and the immune system as well. Our report may provide important clues for understanding the pathogenesis of the KS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.braindev.2006.11.004DOI Listing
July 2007

Myoclonic encephalopathy in the CDKL5 gene mutation.

Clin Neurophysiol 2006 Jan 2;117(1):223-7. Epub 2005 Dec 2.

Department of Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Reproductive Medicine, Section of Pediatrics, Policlinico Le Scotte, University of Siena, Siena, Italy.

Objective: Epilepsy with mutation of the CDKL5 gene causes early seizures and is a variant of Rett syndrome (MIM (312750), which is reported typically as infantile spasms. The purpose of this study was to analyze the epileptic histories and EEGs of patients with the CDKL5 mutation.

Methods: We reviewed the epilepsy histories and electroclinical analyses of three girls aged 9.5, 7.4, and 9.4 years, each with a mutation of the CDKL5 gene.

Results: We revealed the presence of an encephalopathy that started by 1.5 months of age. At first, seizures involved tonic spasms or complex partial seizures, and were complicated by the later appearance of complex partial, tonic, and unexpectedly, myoclonic seizures. This form of epilepsy was drug resistant. Routine and prolonged video EEGs both displayed a homogeneous electroclinical pattern consisting of (a) unique background with diffuse high voltage sharp waves of 6-7 Hz, and absence of the typical rhythmic frontal-central theta activity present in Rett syndrome; (b) unique awake and sleep background, with diffuse, high voltage, continuous sharp waves with multifocal and diffuse spikes; (c) rhythmic, diffuse, 15 Hz activity accompanied clinically by tonic seizures; (d) intercritical pattern with pseudoperiodic, diffuse, sharp waves or pseudoperiodic, diffuse spike and polyspike or wave discharges; and (e) diffuse, spike, polyspike and wave discharges accompanied by massive or focal myoclonias or both.

Conclusions: Patients with the CDKL5 mutation have an early onset, epileptic encephalopathy in infancy that evolves into myoclonic seizures in childhood with a unique EEG pattern.

Significance: Recognizing this type of encephalopathy could be useful in prompting clinicians to proceed further with their diagnostic work in patients not fitting the criteria of classical Rett syndrome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clinph.2005.09.008DOI Listing
January 2006

Cutaneous leishmaniasis: an atypical case.

Int J Dermatol 2005 Jan;44(1):38-40

Infectious Diseases Unit and Laboratory of Microbiology, Azienda Ospedaliera Careggi, Florence, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-4632.2004.02190.xDOI Listing
January 2005

Constrictive pericarditis associated with hydrops fetalis.

Ital Heart J 2002 Sep;3(9):529-31

Department of Pathology, University of Florence, Italy.

We report a rare case of constrictive pericarditis coexistent with a unique heart malformation in a fetus. Cardiac abnormalities, possibly due to a transplacental viral infection, were responsible for severe hydrops fetalis.
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September 2002