Europe was officially declared free from malaria in 1975; nevertheless, this disease remains a potential problem related to the presence of former vectors, belonging to the Anopheles maculipennis complex. Autochthonous-introduced malaria cases, recently reported in European countries, together with the predicted climatic and environmental changes, have increased the concern of health authorities over the possible resurgence of this disease in the Mediterranean Basin. In Italy, to study the distribution and bionomics of indigenous anopheline populations and to assess environmental parameters that could influence their dynamics, an entomological study was carried out in 2005-2006 in an at-risk study area. This model area is represented by the geographical region named the Maremma, a Tyrrhenian costal plain in Central Italy, where malaria was hyperendemic up to the 1950s. Fortnightly, entomological surveys (April-October) were carried out in four selected sites with different ecological features. Morphological and molecular characterization, blood meal identification, and parity rate assessment of the anophelines were performed. In total, 8274 mosquitoes were collected, 7691 of which were anophelines. Six Anopheles species were recorded, the most abundant of which were Anopheles labranchiae and An. maculipennis s.s. An. labranchiae is predominant in the coastal plain, where it is present in scattered foci. However, this species exhibits a wider than expected range: in fact it has been recorded, for the first time, inland where An. maculipennis s.s. is the most abundant species. Both species fed on a wide range of animal hosts, also showing a marked aggressiveness on humans, when available. Our findings demonstrated the high receptivity of the Maremma area, where the former malaria vector, An. labranchiae, occurs at different densities related to the kind of environment, climatic parameters, and anthropic activities.
Retrospective analysis and retrospective follow-up.
Spinal cord injury (SCI) patients have today a nearly normal lifespan. Avoidance of medical complications is key to this end. The aim of the study was to analyse health in individuals surviving 25 years or more after traumatic SCI in Stockholm and Florence, and compare medical complications.
Data from the databases of the Spinal Unit of Florence and from the Spinalis, Stockholm were analysed. Patients included were C2-L 2, American Spinal Cord Association (ASIA) Impairment Scale (AIS) A-C, and =25 years post traumatic SCI. Patients underwent a thorough neurological and general examination, and were interviewed about medical events during those years. Analysed data include: gender, age at injury, current age, neurological level, AIS, cause of injury, presence of neuropathic pain (NP), and spasticity and medical complications.
A total of 66 Italian patients and 74 Swedish patients were included. The only statistical difference between the groups was cause of injury due to falls was higher in the Florence group (P
Measurements of 137Cs contamination in the urine of 37 individuals were performed in 1995 and 1996 in order to evaluate the 137Cs daily urinary excretion in the northwestern italian people ten years from the Chernobyl accident. The difference between the average 137Cs daily urinary excretion assessed for 1995 and for 1996 was not statistically significant. Using the values of urine contamination, an estimate of 0.2 Bq(-1) of mean ingested activity was obtained. A mean committed effective dose of about 1 microSv was determined as due to the 137Cs ingestion during 1 y at 10 y after the accident. Such a dose is lower by a factor of 10(3) than the corresponding value for the population of North Italy in the first year following the Chernobyl accident.
PURPOSE: To compare the outcome of endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) versus conventional open repair (OR) in patients with a short, angulated or otherwise challenging proximal neck. METHODS: The definition of a challenging proximal neck was based on diameter (>or=28 mm), length (or=60 degrees ), shape (reverse tapered or bulging), and thrombus lining (>50%). Between January 2005 and December 2007, 187 consecutive patients (159 men; mean age 73 years, range 48-92) operated for asymptomatic abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) were identified as having challenging proximal neck morphology. Of these, 61 patients were treated with OR at center I (group A), 71 with standard EVAR (group B; 45 center I, 29 center II) and 52 with fenestrated EVAR (group C) at center II. Clinical examination and computed tomography were performed at 1 month and yearly thereafter. RESULTS: There was no statistically significant difference between groups A, B, and C regarding primary technical success rate, 30-day mortality, or late AAA-related mortality. The mean length of follow-up was 19.5 months (range 0-40). Freedom from reintervention at 3 years was 91.8%, 79.7%, and 82.7% for groups A, B, and C, respectively (p = 0.042). The only statistically significant difference between standard and fenestrated EVAR was a higher incidence of late sac expansion [9 (12.2%) versus 1 (1.9%), p = 0.036] in the standard stent-graft group. Reinterventions were more frequent after EVAR (p = NS), but open reinterventions were more common after OR. Reinterventions after EVAR were related to the presence of an angulated (p = 0.039) or short neck (p = 0.024). CONCLUSION: The results of EVAR and OR were similar for AAAs with a challenging proximal neck. Endovascular reinterventions were more frequent after EVAR, particularly in patients with an angulated or short neck. Open reinterventions were more common after OR. More patients and long-term data are needed to confirm these findings.
This selective report notes recent events relating to pregnancy termination in the U.S., France, England, Italy, East and West Germany, Norway, Sweden, and the Netherlands. Due to the Supreme Court decision in January 1973, abortion is now legal in the U.S. Although abortions is illegal in France, an estimated 400,000-1,000,000 clandestine abortions occur each year. Although abortions are legal in Britain, the ease with which they can be obtained varies regionally. As of March 1973, contraceptives are part of Britain's National Health Service. In Italy, a bill to legalize abortion has been introduced in Parliament, though there is little likelihood of its passing. In East Germany, abortion can be granted for medical or social reasons, while in West Germany, the governmental policies are more conservative, resulting in an abundance of illegal abortions performed by physicians. There is a trend toward easier abortion laws in Norway and Sweden. Little is happening in the Netherlands as far as liberalizing the abortion laws. Rather liberal grounds for pregnancy termination exist in China (though emphasis is on contraception), India, Russia, and Eastern Europe (with the exception of Romania). Abortion is frowned upon in Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East resulting in a large number of illegal abortions. It is concluded that there is liberalized abortion in communist bloc countries, there is trend toward liberalizing abortion in a large group of western countries, and tradition and religion are responsible for conservative abortion laws in a third group of countries.
In the last several years, West Nile virus (WNV) was proven to be present especially in the neighboring countries of Austria, such as Italy, Hungary, and the Czech Republic, as well as in eastern parts of Austria, where it was detected in migratory and domestic birds. In summer 2010, infections with WNV were reported from Romania and northern Greece with about 150 diseased and increasingly fatal cases. We tested the sera of 1,607 blood donors from North Tyrol (Austria) and South Tyrol (Italy) for antibodies against WNV by using IgG enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Initial results of the ELISA tests showed seroprevalence rates of 46.2% in North Tyrol and 0.5% in South Tyrol, which turned out to be false-positive cross-reactions with antibodies against tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) by adjacent neutralization assays. These results indicate that seropositivity against WNV requires confirmation by neutralization assays, as cross-reactivity with TBEV is frequent and because, currently, WNV is not endemic in the study area.