• Use of thermographic imaging in clinical diagnosis of small animal: preliminary notes Original Articles and Reviews

    Redaelli, Veronica; Tanzi, Barbara; Luzi, Fabio; Stefanello, Damiano; Proverbio, Daniela; Crosta, Lorenzo; Di Giancamillo, Mauro

    Abstract in English:

    INTRODUCTION. The authors, after a description of the physics of infrared thermographic technique (IRT), analyze the reading of images and the main applications in the veterinary field, compared to the existing literature on the subject and to their experimental researches. IRT lends itself to countless applications in biology, thanks to its characteristics of versatility, lack of invasiveness and high sensitivity. Probably the major limitation to its application in the animal lies in the ease of use and in its extreme sensitivity. MATERIALS AND METHODS. From September 2009 to October 2010, the experimental investigation with the thermo camera took into consideration 110 animals (92 dogs and 18 cats), without any selection criteria. All patients were brought to the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Milan University by the owner, to be examined by a specialist, or to undergo one of the following diagnostic procedures: X-rays, computed tomography, or ultrasound examinations; finally some patients were brought in for surgical procedures. With the consent of the owner, 1 to 10 thermographic images were recorded from each clinical case. Results. In this first experimental investigation, thermography has shown a high sensitivity (100%), but a low specificity (44%). This figure excludes the use of thermal imaging technology to replace other imaging techniques such as radiography, computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging. Furthermore, it does not show any ability to recognize the etiology of the disease, but only the thermal alteration, and this is restricting its use. However, this experimental study has demonstrated that thermography can be used in veterinary medicine, and specifically in dogs and cats. It is hoped that in the field of targeted diseases this technique will become an important tool for diagnostic purposes by using working protocols validated and repeatable.
  • Potential application of thermography (IRT) in animal production and for animal welfare. A case report of working dogs Original Articles and Reviews

    Redaelli, Veronica; Ludwig, Nicola; Costa, Leonardo Nanni; Crosta, Lorenzo; Riva, Jacopo; Luzi, Fabio

    Abstract in English:

    INTRODUCTION. The authors describe the thermography technique in animal production and in veterinary medicine applications. The thermographic technique lends itself to countless applications in biology, thanks to its characteristics of versatility, lack of invasiveness and high sensitivity. Probably the major limitation to most important aspects for its application in the animal lies in the ease of use and in its extreme sensitivity. Materials and methods. This review provides an overview of the possible applications of the technique of thermo visual inspection, but it is clear that every phenomenon connected to temperature variations can be identified with this technique. Then the operator has to identify the best experimental context to obtain as much information as possible, concerning the physiopathological problems considered. Furthermore, we reported an experimental study about the thermography (IRT) as a noninvasive technique to assess the state of wellbeing in working dogs. RESULTS. The first results showed the relationship between superficial temperatures and scores obtained by the animal during the behavioral test. This result suggests an interesting application of infrared thermography (IRT) to measure the state of wellbeing of animals in a noninvasive way.
  • How are the temporary workers? Quality of life and burn-out in a call center temporary employment in Italy: a pilot observational study Original Articles and Reviews

    Mannocci, Alice; Natali, Alessio; Colamesta, Vittoria; Boccia, Antonio; La Torre, Giuseppe

    Abstract in English:

    OBJECTIVES. The aim of this study was to quantify the level of health related quality of life and burnout in a call centers sample of precarious workers. METHODS. An observational study was carried out in Italy. A self-reported anonymous questionnaire was administered to temporary workers in order to estimate burn-out and quality of life levels. RESULTS. 227 questionnaires were collected. 78% of the sample was female and the mean age was 35.48 years (SD = 9.91). Among the participants, 40% were smokers, 42% regularly drinkers, 65% changed the body weight (more than 5 kg, in 1 year). The mental component score (MCS) was significantly better in subject that have a regularly life style, for example in those no change their body weight (p = 0.001), sleep more than 7 hours (p = 0.018) and followed a diet (p = 0.035). The DP (depersonalization) is significant higher in former smokers (p = 0.031), in underweight subjects (p = 0.025) and in the group that have a precarious employment of over 2 years (p = 0.013). CONCLUSIONS. This investigation shows that in this particular category of atypical workers depressive symptoms and quality of life were lower than the general population. It is important to underline that the interpretation of the results is limited partly by the observational character of the study.
  • Some comments on the new regulations governing Ethics Committees in Italy Original Articles and Reviews

    Petrini, Carlo

    Abstract in English:

    Italy has recently introduced regulations that profoundly change the arrangement of ethics committees. Specifically, their numbers have been reduced from more than 200 to a few dozen.The decree defining the criteria for their composition and functioning includes regulations intended to improve efficiency and efficacy. The present article provides a brief overview of the new provisions and identifies some critical aspects.
  • Communication with the public in the health-care system: a descriptive study of the use of social media in Local Health Authorities and public hospitals in Italy Original Articles and Reviews

    Vanzetta, Marina; Vellone, Ercole; Dal Molin, Alberto; Rocco, Gennaro; De Marinis, Maria Grazia; Rosaria, Alvaro

    Abstract in English:

    INTRODUCTION. In 2010 the Italian Ministry of Health set out recommendations for the use of social technology and Web 2.0, inviting organisations within the Italian national health service (Servizio Sanitario Nazionale, SSN) to equip themselves with instruments. Objectives. 1. to ascertain how many local health authorities (Aziende Sanitarie Locali, ASL) and public hospitals have a presence on the most widely used social media websites in Italy: Facebook, Twitter and YouTube; 2. to find out how well the Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages of ASLs and public hospitals are known among the general population; 3. to find out how ASLs and public hospitals engage with the general public on social media sites. MATERIALS AND METHODS. The websites of all ASLs and public hospitals across the country were visited to look for the icons of the social media sites under examination. The data considered were publicly available upon access. RESULTS. A total of 245 websites were analysed. 7.34% ASLs and hospitals had social media accounts. 8 organisations had an account on all three of the social media sites considered in the study. CONCLUSIONS. The results show a low presence of ASLs and hospitals on social media. Other studies are needed in this field.
  • Cross-sectional seroprevalence of antibodies against 6, 11, 16 and 18 human papilloma virus (HPV) types among teenagers and young women in Italy Original Articles and Reviews

    Lupi, Silvia; Bergamini, Mauro; Guidi, Enrica; Gregorio, Pasquale

    Abstract in English:

    BACKGROUND. Little is known about human papilloma virus (HPV) seroprevalence in the healthy Italian population. The aim of the study was to assess seroprevalence of antibodies against HPV 6, 11, 16 and 18 among girls and young women in Italy. METHODS. Sera were tested with a commercially available ELISA assay detecting specific IgG. Results. Seroprevalence was 54.1% in girls between 11 to 18 years old and 8.2% in over 18s. Overall seropositivity in birth cohorts invited for free immunization reached 72.8% and was significantly higher than in other age subgroups. The highest levels of antibodies were detected in girls of 12 years old that should have just completed the vaccination schedule. Conclusion. A standardized seroepidemiological survey on HPV represents a useful tool for identifying groups at risk in which immunization is recommended, monitoring of vaccinated women, assessing whether booster vaccination is required.
  • The European Research Infrastructures of the ESFRI Roadmap in Biological and Medical Sciences: status and perspectives Original Articles and Reviews

    Calzolari, Alessia; Valerio, Arianna; Capone, Francesca; Napolitano, Mariarosaria; Villa, Marika; Pricci, Flavia; Bravo, Elena; Belardelli, Filippo

    Abstract in English:

    INTRODUCTION. Since 2002, the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures identified the needs for Research Infrastructures (RIs) in Europe in priority fields of scientific research and drafted a strategic document, the ESFRI Roadmap, defining the specific RIs essential to foster European research and economy. The Biological and Medical Sciences RIs (BMS RIs) were developed thanks to the active participation of many institutions in different European member states associated to address the emerging needs in biomedicine and, among these, the Italian National Institute of Health (ISS), in virtue of its role in public health and research, has been specifically involved in the national development and implementation of three RIs: the Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure (BBMRI), the European Advanced Translational Research Infrastructure in Medicine (EATRIS) and the European Clinical Research Infrastructures Network (ECRIN). AIM. This article outlines the design and development of these RIs up to the recent achievement of the ERIC status, their importance in the Horizon 2020 programme and their societal and economic potential impact, with special attention to their development and significance in Italy. CONCLUSIONS. The ISS plays a unique role in fostering a coordinated participation of excellence Italian institutes/facilities to different European biomedical RIs, thus contributing to health innovation, healthcare optimization, and healthcare cost containment.
  • Cancer incidence in Italian contaminated sites Original Articles and Reviews

    Comba, Pietro; Ricci, Paolo; Iavarone, Ivano; Pirastu, Roberta; Buzzoni, Carlotta; Fusco, Mario; Ferretti, Stefano; Fazzo, Lucia; Pasetto, Roberto; Zona, Amerigo; Crocetti, Emanuele

    Abstract in English:

    INTRODUCTION. The incidence of cancer among residents in sites contaminated by pollutants with a possible health impact is not adequately studied. In Italy, SENTIERI Project (Epidemiological study of residents in National Priority Contaminated Sites, NPCSs) was implemented to study major health outcomes for residents in 44 NPCSs. METHODS. The Italian Association of Cancer Registries (AIRTUM) records cancer incidence in 23 NPCSs. For each NPCSs, the incidence of all malignant cancers combined and 35 cancer sites (coded according to ICD-10), was analysed (1996-2005). The observed cases were compared to the expected based on age (5-year period,18 classes), gender, calendar period (1996-2000; 2001-2005), geographical area (North-Centre and Centre-South) and cancer sites specific rates. Standardized Incidence Ratios (SIR) with 90% Confidence Intervals were computed. RESULTS. In both genders an excess was observed for overall cancer incidence (9% in men and 7% in women) as well as for specific cancer sites (colon and rectum, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, lung, skin melanoma, bladder and Non Hodgkin lymphoma). Deficits were observed for gastric cancer in both genders, chronic lymphoid leukemia (men), malignant thyroid neoplasms, corpus uteri and connective and soft-tissue tumours and sarcomas (women). DISCUSSION. This report is, to our knowledge, the first one on cancer risk of residents in NPCSs. The study, although not aiming to estimate the cancer burden attributable to the environment as compared to occupation or life-style, supports the credibility of an etiologic role of environmental exposures in contaminated sites. Ongoing analyses focus on the interpretation of risk factors for excesses of specific cancer types overall and in specific NPCSs in relation to the presence of carcinogenic pollutants.
  • Classification and management of animal anthrax outbreaks based on the source of infection Original Articles and Reviews

    Fasanella, Antonio; Adone, Rosanna; Hugh-Jones, Martin

    Abstract in English:

    Anthrax is a non-contagious infectious disease; it primarily affects herbivores, but all mammals, including humans, can be affected. Humans may contract anthrax directly or indirectly from infected animals. Veterinary surveillance systems, providing information about animal and human cases, should increase the efficacy of the animal anthrax management in order to protect population. Any aspect of the disease should be carefully monitored to implement effective prevention and control strategies. In this paper we propose a new, detailed classification of anthrax outbreaks, based on the source of the infection and the risk level for humans. We describe three different types of animal outbreaks and suggest the most effective procedures for their management and prevention.
Istituto Superiore di Sanità Roma - Rome - Italy
E-mail: annali@iss.it