• Foodborne botulism associated with home-preserved turnip tops in Italy Brief Notes

    Anniballi, Fabrizio; Chironna, Elisa; Astegiano, Sara; Fiore, Alfonsina; Auricchio, Bruna; Buonincontro, Giuseppina; Corvonato, Maria; Segala, Vincenzo; Mandarino, Giuseppina; De Medici, Dario; Decastelli, Lucia

    Abstract in English:

    In Italy, foodborne botulism is a rare disease mainly due to home-preserved food. In the case reported here, clinical diagnosis was performed on the basis of clinical signs and referred consumption of home-preserved turnip tops in oil. Definitive diagnosis was performed by detection of botulinum toxin in sera and neuro-toxigenic organisms in stools and leftover food. This case report highlights the need of a high medical awareness, prompt clinical diagnosis, and synergic collaboration among the health authorities for a correct management of botulism as well as disease containment.
  • A study on prophagic and chromosomal sodC genes involvement in Escherichia coli O157:H7 biofilm formation and biofilm resistance to H2O2 Brief Notes

    Scotti, Raffaella; Nicolini, Laura; Stringaro, Annarita; Gabbianelli, Roberta

    Abstract in English:

    Introduction. Escherichia coli O157:H7 possesses one chromosomal and two prophagic sodC genes encoding for Cu,Zn superoxide dismutases. We evaluated the contribution of sodC genes in biofilm formation and its resistance to hydrogen peroxide. Methods. The biofilm of sodC deletion mutants has been studied, in presence or absence of hydrogen peroxide, by crystal violet in 96-well plates and Scanning Electron Microscopy on glass coverslips. Results. Deletion of prophagic sodC genes had no effect on biofilm construction, in contrast to the chromosomal gene deletion. Hydrogen peroxide treatment showed higher cell mortality and morphological alterations in sodC deletion mutants respect to wild type. These effects were related to the biofilm development stage. Conclusion. The role of the three SodCs is not redundant in biofilm formation and the resistance to oxidative damage. The stage of biofilm development is a crucial factor for an effective sanitization.
  • Preliminary investigation on tick fauna in the neighborhood of Tarquinia, Lazio, Italy Brief Notes

    Toma, Luciano; Khoury, Cristina; Bianchi, Riccardo; Severini, Francesco; Mancini, Fabiola; Ciervo, Alessandra; Ricci, Daniele; Fausto, Anna Maria; Quarchioni, Elisa; Di Luca, Marco

    Abstract in English:

    Introduction. This study represents a preliminary inquiry on tick fauna composition carried out in Maremma, Central Italy, where very few data are available. Materials and methods. The study area was selected in the limestone hills surrounding Tarquinia town, on the base of suitable elements directly affecting the tick occurrence and the possible circulation of tick-borne pathogens, such as wild cattle rearing, kind of vegetation and human activities. Since a proper understanding of tick ecology is critical in predicting the risk of tick-borne pathogen transmission in a given area, a series of surveys was planned in such area in 2011. Results. One hundred fifty-four ticks belonging to 4 genera and 6 species, namely Ixodes ricinus (n. = 109; 70%), Rhipicephalus bursa (n. = 18; 12%), Rhipicephalus turanicus (n. = 14; 9%), Rhipicephalus sanguineus (n. = 6; 4%), Hyalomma marginatum (n. = 4; 3%) and Dermacentor marginatus (n. = 3; 2%) were identified and reported for the area. Discussion. The results of this acarological research represent a significant contribution to the knowledge of the tick fauna of rural areas in Northern Lazio Region, as first step toward a future molecular investigation on pathogen circulation.
  • Barriers in the management of cancer-related pain and strategies to overcome them: findings of a qualitative research involving physicians and nurses in Italy Brief Notes

    Prandi, Cesarina; Garrino, Lorenza; Mastromarino, Paola; Torino, Francesco; Vellone, Ercole; Peruselli, Carlo; Alvaro, Rosaria

    Abstract in English:

    Introduction and aims. There are many barriers and obstacles that even today lead to an inadequate treatment of cancer-related pain. The aim is to describe the experiences of a group of Italian physicians and nurses as far as the nature of these barriers is concerned and the possible tools to be used to overcome them. Material and method. We run 5 focus groups with 42 healthcare professionals (11 physicians, 31 nurses) working in 5 hospitals in Italy. The findings of the focus groups were analysed according to the “Content Analysis” method. Results. Five main items emerged: the importance of communication, the need for education regarding pain therapy, the ethnic/cultural/religious differences, the mutual trust and support within the working group, the daily challenges. Conclusion. In harmony with the most recent literature, physicians and nurses voice above all their need for an education more directly aimed at overcoming the prevailing barriers rooted in ignorance, prejudice and fears.
  • The perception of the fetus in mothers with liver transplantation. Brief communication Brief Notes

    Ambrosini, Alessandra; Paddeu, Erica Maria; Donzelli, Gianpaolo; Stanghellini, Giovanni

    Abstract in English:

    Background. In this brief note we present the preliminary findings of a study of 16 women who underwent liver transplants before becoming pregnant and giving birth. The aim of the study was to show the similarities and differences between ways women experience the transplanted organ (liver) and the fetus. Methods. To explore bodily experiences, a semi-structured ad hoc interview was done on a sample of 16 transplanted women who had completed a pregnancy. The interview was designed to explore the possible similarities between their perception of the transplanted organ (liver) and of the fetus. Results. The main findings that emerge from our study are the following: a) in the post-transplant, pre-pregnancy phase, these women develop a polarized attention on the transplanted organ; b) during pregnancy this attention shifts towards the fetus; c) after childbirth the hyper-attention on the transplanted organ disappears and the subject resumes a normal relationship with her body. Conclusions. Therefore, pregnancy and childbirth are experiences that can normalize relations between a person who has undergone a transplant and their transplanted organ.
Istituto Superiore di Sanità Roma - Rome - Italy
E-mail: annali@iss.it