Publications by authors named "Angelo Romano"

37 Publications

Epidemiologic case investigation on the zoonotic transmission of Staphylococcus aureus infection from goat to veterinarians.

Zoonoses Public Health 2021 May 5. Epub 2021 May 5.

Department of Veterinary Medical Sciences, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.

Staphylococcus aureus infection led to a case of goat abortion, and four veterinarians contracted S. aureus infection from the goat during and after the abortion. Three veterinarians assisted a doe during the dystocic delivery of a dead foetus. Seventy-two hours after the dystocia, which ended with the goat's death, the veterinarians who assisted during the kidding and the veterinarian who performed the necropsy showed the presence of multiple, isolated, painful pustules 1-5 mm in diameter located along their forearms and knees. S. aureus was isolated from the pustules of the veterinarians, the placenta and uterus of the goat, the organs (brain, thymus gland, abomasum, liver and spleen) of the foetus, the scrotum and eye swabs of the buck, and mammary pustules of another goat from the same herd. Histological analysis revealed purulent metritis and inflammation of the placental cotyledons. Additional investigations eliminated the chances of other infections. S. aureus isolates recovered from the veterinarians, goats, foetus and buck were sensitive to the tested anti-microbials and did not encode staphylococcal enterotoxin genes (sea, ser, sep, see, seg and sei). The isolates were closely related, as indicated by the results of Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy and comparative whole-genome sequencing analysis. The results of this study clearly support the hypothesis that an episode of professional zoonosis was caused by S. aureus infection during the abortion and also highlight the need for bacterial subtyping in epidemiological surveys.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/zph.12836DOI Listing
May 2021

Generosity and cooperation across the life span: A lab-in-the-field study.

Psychol Aging 2021 Feb;36(1):108-118

Experimental Economics Group, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.

Understanding persistence and changes in prosociality across the life span is fundamental to inform theory and practice. As life expectancy increases and pressing societal challenges demand increasing generosity and cooperation among individuals, it is crucial to understand intergenerational interactions. We present the findings from a novel lab-in-the-field experiment (N = 359, 18-90 years) that examines generosity and cooperation between generations. Our methodological approach allows us to study the effect of age on prosocial behavior as a function of the age of an unknown partner. We ask participants to make several decisions, and to state their expectations for their partners' behavior, in a dictator game and a prisoner's dilemma game with real monetary outcomes. The dictator game serves as a measure of generosity, whereas the prisoner's dilemma serves as a measure of cooperation. We find that individuals used age as key information to condition behavior. Generosity was greater among older adults in response to young and older relative to middle-aged partners. Among younger adults, cooperation was greater in response to middle-aged and older partners relative to their own age cohort. All age groups expect less cooperation from young partners than from older and middle-aged partners. However, relative to young adults, older adults are more cooperative with young partners. Our study has crucial implications for the understanding of human generosity and cooperation across the life span. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/pag0000457DOI Listing
February 2021

Political ideology, cooperation and national parochialism across 42 nations.

Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 2021 Apr 22;376(1822):20200146. Epub 2021 Feb 22.

Department of Experimental and Applied Psychology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, 1081BT Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Political ideology has been hypothesized to be associated with cooperation and national parochialism (i.e. greater cooperation with members of one's nation), with liberals thought to have more cooperation with strangers and less national parochialism, compared to conservatives. However, previous findings are limited to few-and predominantly western-nations. Here, we present a large-scale cross-societal experiment that can test hypotheses on the relation between political ideology, cooperation and national parochialism around the globe. To do so, we recruited 18 411 participants from 42 nations. Participants made decisions in a prisoner's dilemma game, and we manipulated the nationality of their interaction partner (national ingroup member, national outgroup member or unidentified stranger). We found that liberals, compared to conservatives, displayed slightly greater cooperation, trust in others and greater identification with the world as a whole. Conservatives, however, identified more strongly with their own nation and displayed slightly greater national parochialism in cooperation. Importantly, the association between political ideology and behaviour was significant in nations characterized by higher wealth, stronger rule of law and better government effectiveness. We discuss the implications of these findings for understanding the association between political ideology and cooperation. This article is part of the theme issue 'The political brain: neurocognitive and computational mechanisms'.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2020.0146DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7934968PMC
April 2021

Investigation and Follow-Up of a Staphylococcal Food Poisoning Outbreak Linked to the Consumption of Traditional Hand-Crafted Alm Cheese.

Pathogens 2020 Dec 19;9(12). Epub 2020 Dec 19.

Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Lombardia e dell'Emilia Romagna, Headquarters, 25124 Brescia, Italy.

Staphylococcal food poisoning (SFP) is one of the most important foodborne diseases. This work describes a SFP event linked to the consumption of alm cheese and involved three people belonging to the same family. Leftovers of the consumed cheese, samples from the grocery store and the producing alm were collected and tested for Coagulase positive staphylococci (CPS) enumeration and for the presence of staphylococcal enterotoxins (SEs). Isolates were typed with MLST, spa typing, and tested for SEs and methicillin resistance genes. An in vitro test evaluated SEs production in relation to bacterial growth. The presence of CPS and SEs was detected in all cheese samples and all isolates belonged to the same methicillin sensitive ST8/t13296 strain harbouring , and genes. The in vitro test showed the production of enterotoxins started from 10 CFU/mL. The farmer was prescribed with corrective actions that led to eradication of the contaminating strain.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9121064DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7766287PMC
December 2020

Recent Trends in Applying Rrtho-Nitrobenzyl Esters for the Design of Photo-Responsive Polymer Networks.

Materials (Basel) 2020 Jun 19;13(12). Epub 2020 Jun 19.

Department of Applied Science and Technology, Politecnico di Torino, Corso Duca degli Abruzzi 24, 10129 Torino, Italy.

Polymers with light-responsive groups have gained increased attention in the design of functional materials, as they allow changes in polymers properties, on demand, and simply by light exposure. For the synthesis of polymers and polymer networks with photolabile properties, the introduction o-nitrobenzyl alcohol (o-NB) derivatives as light-responsive chromophores has become a convenient and powerful route. Although o-NB groups were successfully exploited in numerous applications, this review pays particular attention to the studies in which they were included as photo-responsive moieties in thin polymer films and functional polymer coatings. The review is divided into four different sections according to the chemical structure of the polymer networks: (i) acrylate and methacrylate; (ii) thiol-click; (iii) epoxy; and (iv) polydimethylsiloxane. We conclude with an outlook of the present challenges and future perspectives of the versatile and unique features of o-NB chemistry.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ma13122777DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7344511PMC
June 2020

Laser-Triggered Writing and Biofunctionalization of Thiol-Ene Networks.

Macromol Rapid Commun 2020 May 16;41(10):e2000084. Epub 2020 Apr 16.

Department of Applied Science and Technology, Politecnico di Torino, Corso Duca degli Abruzzi 24, Torino, 10129, Italy.

The light responsivity of ortho-nitrobenzyl esters (o-NBE) is exploited to inscribe µ-scale 2.5D patterns in thiol-ene networks by direct laser writing. For this purpose, a multifunctional thiol and a photosensitive alkene with an o-NBE chromophore are cured upon visible light exposure without inducing a premature photocleavage of the o-NBE links. Once the network is formed, a laser beam source with a wavelength of 375 nm is used for selectively inducing the photocleavage reaction of the o-NBE groups. Positive tone patterns are directly inscribed onto the sample surface without the requirement of a subsequent development step (removing soluble species in an appropriate organic solvent). Along with the realization of dry-developable micropatterns, the chemical surface composition of the exposed areas can be conveniently adjusted since different domains with a tailored content of carboxylic groups are obtained simply by modulating the laser energy dose. In a following step, those are activated and exploited as anchor points for attaching an Alexa-546 conjugated Protein A. Thus, the laser writable thiol-ene networks do not only provide a convenient method for the fabrication of positive tone patterns but also open future prospectives for a wide range of biosensing applications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/marc.202000084DOI Listing
May 2020

Cooperation in Groups of Different Sizes: The Effects of Punishment and Reputation-Based Partner Choice.

Front Psychol 2019 21;10:2956. Epub 2020 Jan 21.

Department of Experimental and Applied Psychology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Reputation and punishment are two distinct mechanisms that facilitate cooperation among strangers. However, empirical research on their effectiveness is mainly limited to relatively small groups and does not address how they enhance cooperation in relatively larger groups. We address this gap in the literature by testing hypotheses from competing perspectives about the extent to which reputation-based partner choice and punishment enhance cooperation in both small and large groups. Prior work recognizes that an increase in group size is accompanied by a change in the incentive structure, which determines whether the temptation (extra benefit for each person from non-cooperation over cooperation, regardless of others' choices) or gain (extra benefit for each person from full cooperation over full non-cooperation) remains constant or varies with group size. Thus, we first test how group size affects cooperation when temptation or gain increases with group size (Study 1), and then move on to testing predictions on the effectiveness of reputation and punishment across different group sizes (Study 2). In Study 1 ( = 820), we randomly assigned participants to play an online one-shot public goods game in groups of 4, 20, or 40, while keeping the marginal group return or marginal per capita return fixed across groups, in which case the temptation or gain increased with group size. In Study 2 ( = 1,132), we further compared a public goods situation involving a punishment or reputation mechanism with an anonymous situation across group sizes, while the marginal group return was fixed across groups. Overall, we found that when temptation increased with group size, 20-person groups cooperated significantly less than 4-person groups in one-shot interactions, and that this effect was explained by lower expectation of others' cooperation, less perceived collective efficacy, and greater perceived conflict. However, 40-person and 4-person groups did not vary in one-shot cooperation. Importantly, reputation-based partner choice and punishment invariably promoted one-shot cooperation in groups of different sizes. These findings suggest no simple effect of group size on cooperation and underscore the utility of reputation and punishment in fostering cooperation (at least in one-shot interactions) regardless of the size of groups.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02956DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6985556PMC
January 2020

Genome-Wide Profiling of Enterotoxigenic Strains Used for the Production of Naturally Contaminated Cheeses.

Genes (Basel) 2019 12 27;11(1). Epub 2019 Dec 27.

National Reference Laboratory for Coagulase-Positive Staphylococci including Staphylococcus aureus, Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale del Piemonte, Liguria e Valle d'Aosta, Via Bologna 148, 10154 Torino, Italy.

is a major human pathogen and an important cause of livestock infections. More than 20 staphylococcal enterotoxins with emetic activity can be produced by specific strains responsible for staphylococcal food poisoning, one of the most common food-borne diseases. Whole genome sequencing provides a comprehensive view of the genome structure and gene content that have largely been applied in outbreak investigations and genomic comparisons. In this study, six enterotoxigenic strains were characterised using a combination of molecular, phenotypical and computational methods. The genomes were analysed for the presence of virulence factors (VFs), where we identified 110 genes and classified them into five categories: adherence ( = 31), exoenzymes ( = 28), genes involved in host immune system evasion ( = 7); iron uptake regulatory system ( = 8); secretion machinery factors and toxins' genes ( = 36), and 39 genes coding for transcriptional regulators related to staphylococcal VFs. Each group of VFs revealed correlations among the six enterotoxigenic strains, and further analysis revealed their accessory genomic content, including mobile genetic elements. The plasmids pLUH02 and pSK67 were detected in the strain ProNaCC1 and ProNaCC7, respectively, carrying out the genes , , and . The genes carried out by prophages were detected in the strain ProNaCC2 (), ProNaCC4, and ProNaCC7 (both positive for ). The strain ProNaCC5 resulted positive for the genes , , , , grouped in an exotoxin gene cluster, and the strain ProNaCC6 resulted positive for , a transposon-associated gene. The six strains were used for the production of naturally contaminated cheeses which were tested with the European Screening Method for staphylococcal enterotoxins. The results obtained from the analysis of toxins produced in cheese, combined with the genomic features represent a portrait of the strains that can be used for the production of staphylococcal enterotoxin-positive cheese as reference material.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/genes11010033DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7016664PMC
December 2019

Serum indirect immunofluorescence assay and real-time PCR results in dogs affected by Leishmania infantum: evaluation before and after treatment at different clinical stages.

J Vet Diagn Invest 2019 Mar 13;31(2):222-227. Epub 2019 Jan 13.

Department of Veterinary Science (Bruno, Zanatta), University of Turin, Torino, Italy.

We compared results of a serum immunofluorescence assay (IFA) and lymph node quantitative PCR (qPCR) in dogs classified as exposed, infected, or sick because of leishmaniasis. We also determined how IFA or qPCR results changed in response to treatment and reflected different clinical and clinicopathologic improvement of dogs. We included 108 dogs in our retrospective study: 12 exposed, 25 infected, and 71 sick, as classified according to Canine Leishmaniasis Working Group standards. Between-group comparison showed higher IFA values ( p < 0.01) for sick dogs; qPCR values were higher for sick than infected dogs ( p < 0.01). A novel clinical and clinicopathologic score was created and applied to 50 sick dogs. Using this score, 41 were reclassified as partially recovered (PR) within 3 mo, and 37 as totally recovered (TR) 3-6 mo after presentation. Statistically significant differences in IFA values were found between the sick and TR dogs ( p < 0.01), but not between sick and PR dogs ( p = 0.98). During follow-up, qPCR revealed a progressive decrease in parasite load, with a statistically significant difference in sick versus PR ( p < 0.01), sick versus TR ( p < 0.01), and PR versus TR ( p < 0.01) dogs. A decrease of 1 point in the clinical score corresponded to 1.3 Leishmania/μL qPCR decrease ( p < 0.01) and decrease of 1:42 in IFA ( p < 0.01). Our findings confirm that the clinical status of dogs affected by leishmaniasis is closely related to parasite load and antibody level, both before and after treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1040638718824140DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6838825PMC
March 2019

Characterization of A Staphylococcal Food Poisoning Outbreak in A Workplace Canteen during the Post-Earthquake Reconstruction of Central Italy.

Toxins (Basel) 2018 12 6;10(12). Epub 2018 Dec 6.

Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale Umbria e Marche "Togo Rosati", via G. Salvemini 1, 06126 Perugia, Italy.

In summer 2017, a foodborne outbreak occurred in Central Italy, involving 26 workers employed in the post-earthquake reconstruction. After eating a meal provided by a catering service, they manifested gastrointestinal symptoms; 23 of them were hospitalized. The retrospective cohort study indicated the pasta salad as the most likely vehicle of poisoning. Foods, environmental samples, and food handlers' nasal swabs were collected. () and coagulase-positive staphylococci (CPS) including , together with their toxins, were the targets of the analysis. CPS, detected in all the leftovers, exceeded 10⁵ CFU/g in the pasta salad, in which we found Staphylococcal Enterotoxins (SEs) (0.033 ng SEA/g; 0.052 ng SED/g). None of the environmental and human swabs showed contamination. We characterized 23 from foods. They all belonged to the human biotype, showed the same toxigenic profile (, , , and genes), and had the same Pulsed Field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE) pattern; none of them harbored or genes. We also detected contamination in the pasta salad but none of the isolates harbored the gene for the emetic toxin cereulide. The EU Reference Laboratory for CPS confirmed the case as a strong-evidence outbreak caused by the ingestion of SEs produced by a single strain of carried by the same human source. This outbreak was successfully investigated despite the emergency situation in which it occurred.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/toxins10120523DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6315814PMC
December 2018

A Set of Multiplex Polymerase Chain Reactions for Genomic Detection of Nine Edible Insect Species in Foods.

J Insect Sci 2018 Sep 1;18(5). Epub 2018 Sep 1.

Controllo Alimenti e Igiene delle Produzioni, Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale Piemonte, Liguria e Valle d'Aosta, via Bologna, Turin, Italy.

On 1 January 2018, a new regulation on 'Novel Food' has come into application in the EU. Insects and insect-based products are therefore included among the categories of food which constitute novel foods. Insects are nutrient-rich, produce fewer greenhouse gases and ammonia than conventional livestock, and have high feed conversion efficiency. Insects may be an alternative food source in the near future, but consideration of insects as a food requires scrutiny due to the risk of allergens. The aim of the present study was to develop a set of multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to detect nine edible insect species directly in foods. Four sets of mPCRs were designed to detect Locusta migratoria migratorioides (Reiche & Fairmaire, 1849) (Orthoptera: Acrididae), Tenebrio molitor (Linnaeus, 1758) (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) (mPCR-I), Acheta domesticus (Linnaeus, 1758) (Orthoptera: Gryllidae), Bombyx mori (Linnaeus, 1758) (Lepidoptera: Bombycidae (mPCR-II), Alphitobius diaperinus (Panzer, 1797) (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae), Schistocerca gregaria (Forskål, 1775) (Orthoptera: Acrididae), Zophobas atratus (Fabricius, 1775) (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) (mPCR-III), Galleria mellonella (Linnaeus, 1758) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), and Gryllodes sigillatus (Walker, 1869) (Orthoptera: Gryllidae) (mPCR-IV). Results demonstrate that the panel of mPCRs allowed a rapid genetic identification of the insect species and has proved to be a sensible and highly discriminatory method. The assay is a potential tool in issues related to the labeling of products and food safety, in case of allergic consumers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jisesa/iey087DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6132929PMC
September 2018

Changes in the gut microbiota composition during pregnancy in patients with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM).

Sci Rep 2018 08 15;8(1):12216. Epub 2018 Aug 15.

Department of Medical Sciences, University of Turin, Turin, Italy.

Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), a common pregnancy complication, is associated with an increased risk of maternal/perinatal outcomes. We performed a prospective observational explorative study in 41 GDM patients to evaluate their microbiota changes during pregnancy and the associations between the gut microbiota and variations in nutrient intakes, anthropometric and laboratory variables. GDM patients routinely received nutritional recommendations according to guidelines. The fecal microbiota (by 16S amplicon-based sequencing), was assessed at enrolment (24-28 weeks) and at 38 weeks of gestational age. At the study end, the microbiota α-diversity significantly increased (P < 0.001), with increase of Firmicutes and reduction of Bacteroidetes and Actinobacteria. Patients who were adherent to the dietary recommendations showed a better metabolic and inflammatory pattern at the study-end and a significant decrease in Bacteroides. In multiple regression models, Faecalibacterium was significantly associated with fasting glucose; Collinsella (directly) and Blautia (inversely) with insulin, and with Homeostasis-Model Assessment Insulin-Resistance, while Sutterella with C-reactive protein levels. Consistent with this latter association, the predicted metagenomes showed a correlation between those taxa and inferred KEGG genes associated with lipopolysaccharide biosynthesis. A higher bacterial richness and strong correlations between pro-inflammatory taxa and metabolic/inflammatory variables were detected in GDM patients across pregnancy. Collectively these findings suggest that the development of strategies to modulate the gut microbiota might be a potentially useful tool to impact on maternal metabolic health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-30735-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6093919PMC
August 2018

[Italian contribute to the CIASS validation].

G Ital Med Lav Ergon 2017 Nov;39(1):49-55

Dipartimento di Psicologia, Università degli Studi di Torino, Italy.

Objectives: Interpersonal relationships contribute to the psychological adjustments to chronic disease, directly affecting health and, more generally, life satisfaction of patients. Those factors are often threatened by the fear of becoming target of prejudices and discrimination from those who share their daily life with. Thus, this study proposes a contribution to the Italian adaptation and validation of the Chronic Illness Anticipated Stigma Scale (CIASS), a brief questionnaire (12 items) that aims to assess perceived stigma of chronic illness patients in family, work and health care contexts.

Methods: 279 chronic illness patients have completed the questionnaire, comparing the scores with those obtained in depression (BDI-II), anxiety (STAI), and internalized stigma scales.

Results: Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) on the Italian sample has shown the same structure of the original questionnaire, composed by three dimensions of anticipated stigma, experienced with family and friends, work colleagues and health care providers. Correlation analyses confirm the relation between scores of anticipated stigma and other mental health indicators as anxiety and depression.

Conclusions: Italian version of CIASS demonstrates to be a valid and reliable instrument, considering it both as an indicator of person's state of health and a promising marker of the specific kind of perceived discrimination in family, care and working contexts.
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November 2017

Build the Read: A Hands-On Activity for Introducing Microbiology Students to Next-Generation DNA Sequencing and Bioinformatics.

J Microbiol Biol Educ 2017 1;18(3). Epub 2017 Dec 1.

Teagasc Food Research Centre, Moorepark, Fermoy, Cork, Ireland; APC Microbiome Institute, Cork, Ireland.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/jmbe.v18i3.1363DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5976044PMC
December 2017

Case report of a pustular dermatitis outbreak in sheep: Clinical and food safety considerations.

Ital J Food Saf 2018 Mar 11;7(1):6980. Epub 2018 Apr 11.

Department of Veterinary Medical Sciences, University of Bologna.

The objective of this report is to describe an outbreak of pustular dermatitis in a flock of about 200 sheep, its clinical evolution and food safety implications. The onset of the symptoms was sudden and the lesions spread very quickly from ewe to ewe, so that in about 3 days almost all of the lactating sheep were stricken. Pustules from 5 different animals, six milk samples, two cheese samples, teat cup samples from the milking machine and farmer's hands were analysed. A pure culture of , producing staphylococcal enterotoxin (SE) C, was isolated from pustules. Milk and cheese showed a contamination by coagulase positive staphylococci <15 and 30 colony forming units respectively and the absence of SE. Farmer's hands and teat cups samples resulted negative for coagulase positive staphylococci. Therapy with daily topical medicaments was prescribed and a prophylactic intervention was suggested by the administration of an autovaccine. The low level of milk and cheese contamination and the absence of SE in cheese supported the decision to not advise the farmer to recall cheese produced with milk from affected animals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4081/ijfs.2018.6980DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5913706PMC
March 2018

Measures of Drug Prescribing at Care Transitions in an Internal Medicine Unit.

J Clin Pharmacol 2018 09 3;58(9):1171-1183. Epub 2018 May 3.

Department of Oncology and Onco-Hematology, Postgraduate School of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Milan, Milan, Italy.

Care transitions represent a common source of drug errors and confusions. The purpose of our prospective observational study was to assess the prevalence of medication discrepancies at care transitions, along with potentially inappropriate medications and potential drug-drug interactions, in an internal medicine unit of an Italian hospital. Adverse drug reactions that occurred in the 30-day period after the discharge from the hospital were included. A related-samples McNemar test was performed for evaluating the effects of hospitalization on the above-mentioned measures of drug prescribing. Medication discrepancies were frequent both on admission (93.4% [95%CI 0.8749, 0.9713]) and at discharge (78.7% [95%CI 0.7035, 0.8558]), with a significant difference between transition times (-14.7% [95%CI -21.82%, -7.69%]; P < .001)]. A high potentially inappropriate medication use prevalence was revealed without differences between care transitions. Potential drug-drug interactions were more frequent at admission to the hospital, with a significant difference of 8.2% in the distribution of patients with potential drug-drug interactions between care transitions. None of the adverse drug reactions recorded on follow-up was related to unintentional discrepancies, and the prevalence rate of patients with potentially inappropriate medication-related adverse drug reactions ranged between 4.9% and 6.9%, and the prevalence rate of patients with drug-drug interaction-related adverse drug reactions was 4.1% of patients. This study is important to raise awareness of the potential dangers medication discrepancies, potentially inappropriate medications, and potential drug-drug interactions could have on older adults. Clinicians and clinical pharmacologists must collaborate to improve patient care and minimize drug-related clinical outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jcph.1123DOI Listing
September 2018

Outbreak of febrile gastroenteritis caused by 1/2a in sliced cold beef ham, Italy, May 2016.

Euro Surveill 2018 03;23(10)

Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale del Piemonte, Liguria e Valle D'Aosta, Turin, Italy.

In May 2016, two separate clusters of febrile gastroenteritis caused by were detected by the local health authority in Piedmont, in northern Italy. We carried out epidemiological, microbiological and traceback investigations to identify the source. The people affected were students and staff members from two different schools in two different villages located in the Province of Turin; five of them were hospitalised. The epidemiological investigation identified a cooked beef ham served at the school canteens as the source of the food-borne outbreak. was isolated from the food, the stools of the hospitalised pupils and the environment of the factory producing the cooked beef ham. All isolates except one were serotype 1/2a, shared an indistinguishable PFGE pattern and were 100% identical by whole genome sequencing (WGS). By combining a classical epidemiological approach with both molecular subtyping and WGS techniques, we were able to identify and confirm a gastroenteritis outbreak associated with consumption of sliced cold beef ham.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2018.23.10.17-00155DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5850591PMC
March 2018

NEUROPATHOLOGIC FINDINGS IN CETACEANS STRANDED IN ITALY (2002-14).

J Wildl Dis 2018 04 25;54(2):295-303. Epub 2018 Jan 25.

1   National Reference Center for Diagnostic Activities on Stranded Marine Mammals (C.Re.Di.Ma.)-Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale del Piemonte, Liguria e Valle D'Aosta, via Bologna 148, 10154 Torino, Italy.

We summarized the neuropathologic findings in 60 cetaceans stranded along the Italian coastline from 2002 to 2014. The following neuropathologic changes were detected in 45% (27/60) of animals: nonsuppurative meningo-encephalitides (30%, 18/60), nonspecific lesions (12%, 7/60), suppurative encephalitis (2%, 1/60), and neoplasm (2%, 1/60). No histologic lesions were found in 47% (28/60) of the specimens. Five (8%, 5/60) samples were unsuitable for analysis. Analysis with PCR detected Brucella spp., morbillivirus, and Toxoplasma gondii infection in one, six, and seven individuals, respectively. Immunohistochemical analysis confirmed positivity for morbillivirus and for T. gondii infection in three cases each. No evidence of the scrapie-associated prion protein PrPSc was detected. Our findings underscore the importance of an adequate surveillance system for monitoring aquatic mammal pathologies and for protecting both animal and human health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7589/2017-02-035DOI Listing
April 2018

Reply to De Dreu: Shared partner nationality promotes ingroup favoritism in cooperation.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2018 01 9;115(5):E846-E847. Epub 2018 Jan 9.

School of Psychology, Massey University, Auckland 0745, New Zealand.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1720651115DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5798387PMC
January 2018

Shotgun Metagenomics and Volatilome Profile of the Microbiota of Fermented Sausages.

Appl Environ Microbiol 2018 02 17;84(3). Epub 2018 Jan 17.

DISAFA, Microbiology and Food Technology Sector, University of Turin, Grugliasco, Italy

Changes in the microbial gene content and abundance can be analyzed to detect shifts in the microbiota composition due to the use of a starter culture in the food fermentation process, with the consequent shift of key metabolic pathways directly connected with product acceptance. Meat fermentation is a complex process involving microbes that metabolize the main components in meat. The breakdown of carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids can lead to the formation of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can drastically affect the organoleptic characteristics of the final products. The present meta-analysis, performed with the shotgun DNA metagenomic approach, focuses on studying the microbiota and its gene content in an Italian fermented sausage produced by using a commercial starter culture (a mix of and ), with the aim to discover the connections between the microbiota, microbiome, and the release of volatile metabolites during ripening. The inoculated fermentation with the starter culture limited the development of and reduced the microbial diversity compared to that from spontaneous fermentation. KEGG database genes associated with the reduction of acetaldehyde to ethanol (EC 1.1.1.1), acetyl phosphate to acetate (EC 2.7.2.1), and 2,3-butanediol to acetoin (EC 1.1.1.4) were most abundant in inoculated samples (I) compared to those in spontaneous fermentation samples (S). The volatilome profiles were highly consistent with the abundance of the genes; elevated acetic acid (1,173.85 μg/kg), ethyl acetate (251.58 μg/kg), and acetoin (1,100.19 μg/kg) were observed in the presence of the starters at the end of fermentation. Significant differences were found in the liking of samples based on flavor and odor, suggesting a higher preference by consumers for the spontaneous fermentation samples. Inoculated samples exhibited the lowest scores for the liking data, which were clearly associated with the highest concentration of acetic acid. We present an advance in the understanding of meat fermentation by coupling DNA sequencing metagenomics and metabolomics approaches to describe the microbial function during this process. Very few studies using this global approach have been dedicated to food, and none have examined sausage fermentation, underlying the originality of the study. The starter culture drastically affected the organoleptic properties of the products. This finding underlines the importance of starter culture selection that takes into consideration the functional characteristics of the microorganism to optimize production efficiency and product quality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/AEM.02120-17DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5772244PMC
February 2018

Parochial trust and cooperation across 17 societies.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2017 11 13;114(48):12702-12707. Epub 2017 Nov 13.

School of Psychology, Massey University, Auckland 0745, New Zealand.

International challenges such as climate change, poverty, and intergroup conflict require countries to cooperate to solve these complex problems. However, the political tide in many countries has shifted inward, with skepticism and reluctance to cooperate with other countries. Thus, cross-societal investigations are needed to test theory about trust and cooperation within and between groups. We conducted an experimental study in 17 countries designed to test several theories that explain why, who, and where people trust and cooperate more with ingroup members, compared with outgroup members. The experiment involved several interactions in the trust game, either as a trustor or trustee. We manipulated partner group membership in the trust game (ingroup, outgroup, or unknown) and if their reputation was at stake during the interaction. In addition to the standard finding that participants trust and cooperate more with ingroup than outgroup members, we obtained findings that reputational concerns play a decisive role for promoting trust and cooperation universally across societies. Furthermore, men discriminated more in favor of their ingroup than women. Individual differences in cooperative preferences, as measured by social value orientation, predicted cooperation with both ingroup and outgroup members. Finally, we did not find support for three theories about the cross-societal conditions that influence the degree of ingroup favoritism observed across societies (e.g., material security, religiosity, and pathogen stress). We discuss the implications for promoting cooperation within and between countries.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1712921114DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5715771PMC
November 2017

Reciprocity Outperforms Conformity to Promote Cooperation.

Psychol Sci 2017 Oct 6;28(10):1490-1502. Epub 2017 Sep 6.

2 Department of Experimental and Applied Psychology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

Evolutionary psychologists have proposed two processes that could give rise to the pervasiveness of human cooperation observed among individuals who are not genetically related: reciprocity and conformity. We tested whether reciprocity outperformed conformity in promoting cooperation, especially when these psychological processes would promote a different cooperative or noncooperative response. To do so, across three studies, we observed participants' cooperation with a partner after learning (a) that their partner had behaved cooperatively (or not) on several previous trials and (b) that their group members had behaved cooperatively (or not) on several previous trials with that same partner. Although we found that people both reciprocate and conform, reciprocity has a stronger influence on cooperation. Moreover, we found that conformity can be partly explained by a concern about one's reputation-a finding that supports a reciprocity framework.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0956797617714828DOI Listing
October 2017

Whole-Genome Shotgun Sequence of , First Isolated in Northwestern Italy.

Genome Announc 2017 Jul 6;5(27). Epub 2017 Jul 6.

Food Control and Production Hygiene Unit, Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale del Piemonte, Liguria e Valle d'Aosta, Turin, Italy

This study describes the whole-genome shotgun sequence of 48:z35:-, originally isolated from a 1-year-old symptomatic patient in northwest Italy, a typically nonendemic area. The draft genome sequence contained 4.56 Mbp and the G+C content was 51.27%.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/genomeA.00560-17DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5502851PMC
July 2017

RNA-Based Amplicon Sequencing Reveals Microbiota Development during Ripening of Artisanal versus Industrial Lard d'Arnad.

Appl Environ Microbiol 2017 08 1;83(16). Epub 2017 Aug 1.

DISAFA, Microbiology and Food Technology Sector, University of Turin, Grugliasco, Turin, Italy

Valle d'Aosta Lard d'Arnad is a protected designation of origin (PDO) product produced from fat of the shoulder and back of heavy pigs. Its manufacturing process can be very diverse, especially regarding the maturation temperature and the NaCl concentration used for the brine; thereby, the main goal of this study was to investigate the impact of those parameters on the microbiota developed during curing and ripening. Three farms producing Lard d'Arnad were selected. Two plants, reflecting the industrial process characterized either by low maturation temperature (plant A [10% NaCl, 2°C]) or by using a low NaCl concentration (plant B [2.5% NaCl, 4°C]), were selected, while the third was characterized by an artisanal process (plant C [30% NaCl, 8°C]). Lard samples were obtained at time 0 and after 7, 15, 30, 60, and 90 days of maturation. From each plant, 3 independent lots were analyzed. The diversity of live microbiota was evaluated by using classical plate counts and amplicon target sequencing of small subunit (SSU) rRNA. The main taxa identified by sequencing were , , , , , , , and , and differences in their relative abundances distinguished samples from the individual plants. The composition of the microbiota was more similar among plants A and B, and it was characterized by the higher presence of taxa recognized as undesired bacteria in food-processing environments. Oligotype analysis of and revealed the presence of several characteristic oligotypes associated with A and B samples. Changes in the food production process can drastically affect the microbial community structure, with a possible impact on the final characteristics of the products. The industrial processes of Lard d'Arnad production are characterized by a reduction in the salt concentration in the brines to address a consumer demand for less salty products; this can negatively affect the dynamics and development of the live microbiota and, as a consequence, can negatively impact the quality of the final product due to the higher abundance of spoilage bacteria. This study is an overview of the live microbiota that develop during lard manufacturing, and it highlights the importance of the use of traditional process to produce PDO from a spoilage perspective.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/AEM.00983-17DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5541216PMC
August 2017

Detection of morbillivirus infection by RT-PCR RFLP analysis in cetaceans and carnivores.

J Virol Methods 2017 09 17;247:22-27. Epub 2017 May 17.

Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale del Piemonte, Liguria e Valle d'Aosta, Turin, Italy. Electronic address:

Morbillivirus genus comprises several members related to specific hosts, such as canine distemper virus (CDV) and cetacean morbillivirus (CeMV) in which the dolphin morbillivirus (DMV) is included. Both CDV and DMV are able to cause serious outbreak associated with high morbidity and mortality representing an important conservation threat for terrestrial and aquatic mammalian species. This paper describes a new RT-PCR RFLP technique based on a RT-PCR with degenerate primers targeting a 287 bp fragment located on the conserved N terminus of the morbillivirus NP gene, followed by MseI RFLP, in order both to confirm the detection of the virus and to distinguish DMV from CDV. Both carnivores and cetaceans tissues (brain, lung and lymph node) presenting evidence of morbillivirus infection (MI) were analyzed. RT-PCR positive samples were typed by RFLP analysis and then sequenced to confirm the RFLP results. This method was applied during the last morbillivirus cetacean die-off occurred in the Mediterranean basin in 2013, when there was the urgent need of a rapid and economic method to investigate among causes of death on stranded cetaceans. This new technique has proved to be a valuable, reliable, simple and relatively inexpensive diagnostic tool easily applicable also in limited-resource laboratories.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jviromet.2017.05.009DOI Listing
September 2017

Draft Genome Sequences of Four Strains, Isolated from Wild Ungulate Carcasses.

Genome Announc 2017 Apr 13;5(15). Epub 2017 Apr 13.

Food Control and Production Hygiene Unit, Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale del Piemonte, Liguria e Valle d'Aosta, Turin, Italy

This study describes the draft genome sequences of four strains, originally isolated from ungulate carcasses. These isolates were typed biochemically and two were determined to be highly virulent (biotype 1B). The draft genome sequences had a mean size of 4.77 Mb and a mean G+C content of 47.1%.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/genomeA.00192-17DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5391427PMC
April 2017

Food Safety and Sustainable Nutrition Workshops: Educational Experiences for Primary School Children in Turin, Italy.

Ital J Food Saf 2017 Jan 30;6(1):6177. Epub 2017 Jan 30.

Food Control and Production Hygiene Unit, Institute for Experimental Veterinary Medicine of Piedmont, Liguria and Aosta Valley , Turin, Italy.

European control and prevention policies are focused to guarantee a high level of protection of consumers' health. Food-borne diseases as obesity, diabetes, food allergy, and food-borne outbreaks are increasing. To prevent food-borne diseases, it is fundamental to involve consumers, in particular children, in educational experiences aimed to learn the proper behaviours to be applied. In this context, we designed and performed 5 educational workshops about food safety, hidden allergens in food and nutrition aimed to involve children attending primary and summer school. These experiences let us collect observations about children knowledge and behaviours. From May to October 2015, a total of 1708 children aged 6 to 11 years joined our workshops. Children were involved in listening activities, laboratory experiments, handling games and sensory experiences. All participants were familiar with food allergy and were interested to know how to behave with allergic people. Children showed great curiosity in discovering that many foods normally contain live bacteria. Less than 25% of children reported to skip breakfast, to have it watching TV or to spend few minutes for it. Many of them (>75%) thought that fruits and vegetables are all year-round available and are not related to a specific period. Very few participants (<25%) knew that freezing is the treatment to be applied to make fresh fish safe from parasites. Children involved in food safety and nutrition educational experiences have the opportunity to increase their awareness about the correct behaviours to prevent food-borne diseases and to improve their own critical thinking about food consumption.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4081/ijfs.2017.6177DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5337781PMC
January 2017

Safe Reentry for False Aneurysm Operations in High-Risk Patients.

Ann Thorac Surg 2017 Jun 1;103(6):1907-1913. Epub 2016 Dec 1.

Department of Cardiac Surgery, Clinica San Gaudenzio-Gruppo Policlinico di Monza, Novara, Italy.

Background: In the absence of a standardized safe surgical reentry strategy for high-risk patients with large or anterior postoperative aortic false aneurysm (PAFA), we aimed to describe an effective and safe approach for such patients.

Methods: We prospectively analyzed patients treated for PAFA between 2006 and 2015. According to the preoperative computed tomography scan examination, patients were divided into two groups according to the anatomy and extension of PAFA: in group A, high-risk PAFA (diameter ≥3 cm) developed in the anterior mediastinum; in group B, low-risk PAFA (diameter <3 cm) was situated posteriorly. For group A, a safe surgical strategy, including continuous cerebral, visceral, and coronary perfusion was adopted before resternotomy; group B patients underwent conventional surgery.

Results: We treated 27 patients (safe reentry, n = 13; standard approach, n = 14). Mean age was 60 years (range, 29 to 80); 17 patients were male. Mean interval between the first operation and the last procedure was 4.3 years. Overall 30-day mortality rate was 7.4% (1 patient in each group). No aorta-related mortality was observed at 1 and 5 years in either group. The Kaplan-Meier overall survival estimates at 1 and 5 years were, respectively, 92.3% ± 7.4% and 73.4% ± 13.4% in group A, and 92.9% ± 6.9% and 72.2% ± 13.9% in group B (log rank test, p = 0.830). Freedom from reoperation for recurrent aortic disease was 100% at 1 year and 88% at 5 years.

Conclusions: The safe reentry technique with continuous cerebral, visceral, and coronary perfusion for high-risk patients resulted in early and midterm outcomes similar to those observed for low-risk patients undergoing conventional surgery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.athoracsur.2016.09.028DOI Listing
June 2017

Quality of life of hemodialysis patients in Central and Southern Italy: cross-sectional comparison between Hemodiafiltration with endogenous reinfusion (HFR) and Bicarbonate Hemodialysis.

G Ital Nefrol 2016 May-Jun;33(3)

Introduction: in hemodialysis (HD) patients, poor health-related quality of life (HR-QoL) is prevalent and associated with adverse outcomes. HR-QoL is strictly linked to nutritional status of HD patients. Hemodiafiltration with endogenous reinfusion (HFR) is an alternative dialysis technique that combines diffusion, convection and absorption. It reduces burden of inflammation and malnutrition and this effect may cause beneficial effect on HR-QoL. However no data on HR-QoL in HFR is currently available.

Methods: we designed a cross-sectional multicentre study in order to compare the HR-QoL in patients treated with HFR versus Bicarbonate HD (BHD). We enrolled adult patients HFR treated for at least 6 months, with life expectancy greater than six months and without overt cognitive deficit. The recruited patients in HFR were matched for age, gender, dialytic vintage and performance in activities of daily living (Barthel index) with BHD treated patients. SF-36 questionnaire for the assessment of HR-QoL was administered.

Results: one hundred fourteen patients (57 HFR vs 57 BHD) were enrolled (age 65.413.5 years; dialysis vintage 5.4 (3.3-10.3) years; 53% males) from 18 dialysis non-profit centres in central and southern Italy. As result of matching, no difference in age, gender, dialytic age and Barthel index was found between HFR and BHD patients. In HFR patients we observed better values of physical component score (PCS) of SF-36 than BHD patients (P=0.048), whereas no significant difference emerged in the mental component score (P=0.698). In particular HFR patients were associated with higher Physical Functioning (P=0.045) and Role Physical (P=0.027).

Conclusions: HFR is associated with better physical component of HR-QoL than BHD, independently of age, gender, dialysis vintage and invalidity score. Whether these findings translate into a survival benefit must be investigated by longitudinal studies.
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November 2017