#Virological #Surveillance of #Influenza in the eight #epidemic seasons after the 2009 #pandemic in Emilia-Romagna (Northern #Italy) (Acta Biomed., abstract)

[Source: US National Library of Medicine, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Acta Biomed. 2019 Sep 13;90(9-S):35-44. doi: 10.23750/abm.v90i9-S.8722.

Virological Surveillance of Influenza in the eight epidemic seasons after the 2009 pandemic in Emilia-Romagna (Northern Italy).

Affanni P1, Colucci ME, Bracchi MT, Capobianco E, Zoni R, Caruso L, Castrucci MR, Puzelli S, Cantarelli A, Veronesi L.

Author information: 1 Department of Medicine and Surgery, University of Parma, Italy. paola.affanni@unipr.it.




Influenza virological surveillance is essential for monitoring the evolution of influenza viruses (IVs) as well as for annual updating of the vaccine composition. The aim of this study is to analyse IVs circulation in Emilia-Romagna during the eight epidemic seasons after the 2009 pandemic and to evaluate their match with seasonal vaccine strains.


A total of 7882 respiratory specimens from patients with influenza-like illness (ILI), were collected by regional sentinel practitioners and hospital physicians. Viral investigations were conducted by rRT-PCR assay. Genetic characterization was performed for a spatial-temporal representative number of influenza laboratory-confirmed specimens.


Influenza-positive samples per season ranged between 28.9% (2013-2014) and 66.8% (2012-2013). Co-circulation of IVs type A and type B was observed in all seasons, although with a different intensity. In all seasons, the highest number of positive samples was recorded in younger patients aged 5-14 years with relative frequencies ranging from 40% in the 2013-2014 season and 78% in the 2012-2013 season. Since the 2009 pandemic, A/H1N1pdm09 IVs circulating were closely related to the vaccine strain A/California/7/2009. Antigenic mismatch between vaccine strain and A/H3N2 IVs was observed in the 2011-2012 and 2014-2015 seasons. During 2015-2016, 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 seasons a complete or nearly complete mismatch between the predominant influenza B lineage of IVs type B circulating and vaccine B lineage occurred.


This analysis confirms the importance of the virological surveillance and highlights the need of a continuous monitoring of IVs circulation, to improve the most appropriate vaccination strategies. (www.actabiomedica.it).

PMID: 31517888 DOI: 10.23750/abm.v90i9-S.8722

Keywords: Seasonal Influenza; H1N1pdm09; H3N2; Influenza B; Italy.



#Isolation of #Candida auris from invasive and non-invasive samples of a #patient suffering from #vascular disease, #Italy, July 2019 (Euro Surveill., abstract)

[Source: Eurosurveillance, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Isolation of Candida auris from invasive and non-invasive samples of a patient suffering from vascular disease, Italy, July 2019

Francesca Crea1,2, Giulia Codda2,3, Andrea Orsi4, Alberto Battaglini4, Daniele Roberto Giacobbe5, Emanuele Delfino5, Riccardo Ungaro5, Anna Marchese6

Affiliations: 1 Unità Operativa di Microbiologia, Ospedale Policlinico San Martino-IRCCS, Genoa, Italy; 2 FC and GC contributed equally to this article; 3 Microbiology Unit, DISC University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy; 4 Unità Operativa di Igiene, University of Genoa (DISSAL) and Ospedale Policlinico San Martino-IRCCS, Genoa, Italy; 5 Unità Operativa Clinica Malattie Infettive, University of Genoa (DISSAL) and Ospedale Policlinico San Martino-IRCCS, Genoa, Italy; 6 Unità Operativa di Microbiologia, University of Genoa (DISC) and Ospedale Policlinico San Martino-IRCCS, Genoa, Italy

Correspondence:  Anna Marchese

Citation style for this article: Crea Francesca, Codda Giulia, Orsi Andrea, Battaglini Alberto, Giacobbe Daniele Roberto, Delfino Emanuele, Ungaro Riccardo, Marchese Anna. Isolation of Candida auris from invasive and non-invasive samples of a patient suffering from vascular disease, Italy, July 2019. Euro Surveill. 2019;24(37):pii=1900549. https://doi.org/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2019.24.37.1900549

Received: 02 Sep 2019;   Accepted: 11 Sep 2019



We recently isolated Candida auris from a blood culture and cutaneous swabs of a patient in her mid-70s. Our routine phenotypic methods failed to identify the microorganism, but it was identified by molecular tests and MALDI-TOF MS analysis. Our report, the first from Italy, further underlines the geographically wide distribution of C. auris and the need to confirm species identification of any suspicious colony as soon as possible to stop its spread.

©  This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Keywords: Candida auris; Nosocomial outbreaks; Italy.


#MRSA in #swine, #farmers and #abattoir #workers in Southern #Italy (Food Microbiol., abstract)

[Source: US National Library of Medicine, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Food Microbiol. 2019 Sep;82:287-293. doi: 10.1016/j.fm.2019.03.003. Epub 2019 Mar 6.

MRSA in swine, farmers and abattoir workers in Southern Italy.

Parisi A1, Caruso M1, Normanno G2, Latorre L1, Miccolupo A1, Fraccalvieri R1, Intini F3, Manginelli T3, Santagada G1.

Author information: 1 Experimental Zooprophylactic Institute of Apulia and Basilicata, Via Manfredonia 20, 71121, Foggia, Italy. 2 Department of Science of Agriculture, Food and the Environment (SAFE), Via Napoli 25, University of Foggia, 7121, Foggia, Italy. Electronic address: giovanni.normanno@unifg.it. 3 Azienda Sanitaria Locale Bari, Lungomare Starita 6, 70123, Bari, Italy.



Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is an important medical issue, since it causes serious and sometimes fatal infections in humans. Intensively reared swine may serve as reservoirs for MRSA that can infect swine workers, and also consumers (via contaminated meat). In this study, MRSA strains were isolated from 55 of the 85 (64.7%) intensive pig farms surveyed, and prevalence was greater on pig fattening farms than on breeding farms. In addition, we included in the study 63 foreign pigs imported for slaughter. Overall, the prevalence of MRSA in the 418 sampled swine was 59.1%; 12 genotypes were identified among the isolates; ST398 (96.4%) was most prevalent, followed by ST97 (2%), ST9 (0.8%) and ST1 (0.8%). MRSA isolates were also detected in 26 (17.3%) of the 150 operators included in the study; the genotypes detected were ST398 (85%), ST9 (7.6%), ST5 (3.8%) and ST1 (3.8%). All the strains were pvl negative and pia positive. Both swine and human strains displayed a multi-resistance pattern, and almost all were resistant to tetracycline. The results obtained in this study confirm the high prevalence of MRSA in swine reared and slaughtered in Italy, and underline the public health risk linked to the spread of antimicrobial-resistant Staphylococcus aureus among intensively reared pigs.

Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

KEYWORDS: Antimicrobial resistance; Food safety; MRSA; Professional risk; Public health; Swine

PMID: 31027785 DOI: 10.1016/j.fm.2019.03.003 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Keywords: Antibiotics; Drugs Resistance; Tetracycline; MRSA; Staphylococcus aureus; Italy; Apulia; Pigs; Human.


#Staphylococcus aureus from #hospital-acquired #pneumonia from an #Italian nationwide #survey: activity of #ceftobiprole …, & molecular epidemiology of methicillin-resistant isolates (J Antimicrob Chemother., abstract)

[Source: Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Staphylococcus aureus from hospital-acquired pneumonia from an Italian nationwide survey: activity of ceftobiprole and other anti-staphylococcal agents, and molecular epidemiology of methicillin-resistant isolates

Alberto Antonelli, Tommaso Giani, Marco Coppi, Vincenzo Di Pilato, Fabio Arena, Olga Lorenza Colavecchio, Viola Conte, Anne Santerre Henriksen, Gian Maria Rossolini, MRSA-HAP Study Group

Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, dkz371, https://doi.org/10.1093/jac/dkz371

Published: 06 September 2019




To determine the prevalence of Staphylococcus aureus from hospital-acquired pneumonia (HAP) in Italy and the susceptibility to ceftobiprole and comparators of MSSA and MRSA isolates. A secondary objective was to characterize the clonality and acquired resistance and virulence genes of MRSA.


Consecutive non-replicate isolates from HAP were collected from 13 laboratories distributed across Italy, from January to May 2016. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing was performed by broth microdilution, and results were interpreted according to the EUCAST breakpoints. All MRSA isolates were subjected to WGS using an Illumina platform. Clonality and resistance and virulence gene content were investigated with bioinformatics tools.


Among 333 isolates from HAP, S. aureus was the third most common pathogen (18.6%). The proportion of MRSA was 40.3%. Susceptibility to ceftobiprole was 100% for MSSA and 95.5% for MRSA. Lower susceptibility rates of 78.4% and 94.6% in MSSA and 36.4% and 12.1% in MRSA isolates were observed for erythromycin and levofloxacin, respectively. The MRSA from HAP mostly belonged to clonal complex (CC) 22 (47.0%), CC5 (25.8%) and CC8 (15.2%), with a minority of other lineages (ST1, ST6, ST7, ST30, ST152 and ST398). Acquired resistance and virulence genes in most cases exhibited a clonal distribution. The three ceftobiprole-resistant isolates exhibited an MIC of 4 mg/L and belonged to ST228-MRSA-I of CC5.


S. aureus is an important cause of HAP in Italy. Ceftobiprole exhibited good in vitro activity against S. aureus isolated from HAP, including MRSA. A trend to replacement of ST228 with ST22 was noticed compared with previous studies.


© The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model (https://academic.oup.com/journals/pages/open_access/funder_policies/chorus/standard_publication_model)

Keywords: Antibiotics; Drugs Resistance; Staphylococcus aureus; MRSA; Pneumonia; Nosocomial outbreaks; Italy.


#Airborne concentrations and chemical considerations of #radioactive #ruthenium from an undeclared major nuclear release in 2017 (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, abstract)

[Source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Airborne concentrations and chemical considerations of radioactive ruthenium from an undeclared major nuclear release in 2017

O. Masson, G. Steinhauser, D. Zok, O. Saunier, H. Angelov, D. Babić, V. Bečková, J. Bieringer, M. Bruggeman, C. I. Burbidge, S. Conil, A. Dalheimer, L.-E. De Geer, A. de Vismes Ott, K. Eleftheriadis, S. Estier, H. Fischer, M. G. Garavaglia, C. Gasco Leonarte, K. Gorzkiewicz, D. Hainz, I. Hoffman, M. Hýža, K. Isajenko, T. Karhunen, J. Kastlander, C. Katzlberger, R. Kierepko, G.-J. Knetsch, J. Kövendiné Kónyi, M. Lecomte, J. W. Mietelski, P. Min, B. Møller, S. P. Nielsen, J. Nikolic, L. Nikolovska, I. Penev, B. Petrinec, P. P. Povinec, R. Querfeld, O. Raimondi, D. Ransby, W. Ringer, O. Romanenko, R. Rusconi, P. R. J. Saey, V. Samsonov, B. Šilobritienė, E. Simion, C. Söderström, M. Šoštarić, T. Steinkopff, P. Steinmann, I. Sýkora, L. Tabachnyi, D. Todorovic, E. Tomankiewicz, J. Tschiersch, R. Tsibranski, M. Tzortzis, K. Ungar, A. Vidic, A. Weller, H. Wershofen, P. Zagyvai, T. Zalewska, D. Zapata García, and B. Zorko

PNAS first published July 26, 2019 / DOI: https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1907571116

Edited by John H. Seinfeld, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, and approved June 21, 2019 (received for review May 2, 2019)



A massive atmospheric release of radioactive 106Ru occurred in Eurasia in 2017, which must have been caused by a sizeable, yet undeclared nuclear accident. This work presents the most compelling monitoring dataset of this release, comprising 1,100 atmospheric and 200 deposition data points from the Eurasian region. The data suggest a release from a nuclear reprocessing facility located in the Southern Urals, possibly from the Mayak nuclear complex. A release from a crashed satellite as well as a release on Romanian territory (despite high activity concentrations) can be excluded. The model age of the radioruthenium supports the hypothesis that fuel was reprocessed ≤2 years after discharge, possibly for the production of a high-specific activity 144Ce source for a neutrino experiment in Italy.



In October 2017, most European countries reported unique atmospheric detections of aerosol-bound radioruthenium (106Ru). The range of concentrations varied from some tenths of µBq·m−3 to more than 150 mBq·m−3. The widespread detection at such considerable (yet innocuous) levels suggested a considerable release. To compare activity reports of airborne 106Ru with different sampling periods, concentrations were reconstructed based on the most probable plume presence duration at each location. Based on airborne concentration spreading and chemical considerations, it is possible to assume that the release occurred in the Southern Urals region (Russian Federation). The 106Ru age was estimated to be about 2 years. It exhibited highly soluble and less soluble fractions in aqueous media, high radiopurity (lack of concomitant radionuclides), and volatility between 700 and 1,000 °C, thus suggesting a release at an advanced stage in the reprocessing of nuclear fuel. The amount and isotopic characteristics of the radioruthenium release may indicate a context with the production of a large 144Ce source for a neutrino experiment.

environmental radioactivity – ruthenium – nuclear forensics – environmental release – accidental release

Keywords: Environmental Pollution; Radiations; Radionuclides; Italy; Russia.


Detection of replicative Kashmir #Bee Virus and Black Queen Cell Virus in Asian hornet #Vespa velutina (Lepelieter 1836) in #Italy (Sci Rep., abstract)

[Source: Scientific Reports, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Article | OPEN | Published: 12 July 2019

Detection of replicative Kashmir Bee Virus and Black Queen Cell Virus in Asian hornet Vespa velutina (Lepelieter 1836) in Italy

Maurizio Mazzei, Giovanni Cilia, Mario Forzan, Antonio Lavazza, Franco Mutinelli & Antonio Felicioli

Scientific Reports, volume 9, Article number: 10091 (2019) | Download Citation



Information concerning the pathogenic role of honey bee viruses in invasive species are still scarce. The aim of this investigation was to assess the presence of several honey bee viruses, such as Black Queen Cell Virus (BQCV), Kashmir Bee Virus (KBV), Slow Paralysis Virus (SPV), Sac Brood Virus (SBV), Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus (IAPV), Acute Bee Paralysis Virus (ABPV), Chronic Bee Paralysis Virus (CBPV), in Vespa velutina specimens collected in Italy during 2017. Results of this investigation indicate that among pathogens, replicative form of KBV and BQCV were detected, assessing the spillover effect of both these viruses from managed honey bees to hornets.

Keywords: Wildlife; Honey bee viruses; Bees; Italy.


A lattice model to manage the #vector and the #infection of the #Xylella fastidiosa on #olive #trees (Sci Rep., abstract)

[Source: Scientific Reports, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Article | OPEN | Published: 19 June 2019

A lattice model to manage the vector and the infection of the Xylella fastidiosa on olive trees

Annalisa Fierro, Antonella Liccardo & Francesco Porcelli

Scientific Reports, volume 9, Article number: 8723 (2019)



Since October 2013 a new devastating plant disease, known as Olive Quick Decline Syndrome, has been killing most of the olive trees distributed in Apulia, South Italy. Xylella fastidiosa pauca ST53 is the plant pathogenic bacterium responsible for the disease, and the adult Meadow Spittlebug, Philaenus spumarius (L.) (Hemiptera Aphrophoridae), is its main vector. This study proposes a lattice model for the pathogen invasion of olive orchard aimed at identifying an appropriate strategy for arresting the infection, built on the management of the vector throughout its entire life cycle. In our model the olive orchard is depicted as a simple square lattice with olive trees and herbaceous vegetation distributed on the lattice sites in order to mimic the typical structure of an olive orchard; adult vectors are represented by particles moving on the lattice according to rules dictated by the interplay between vector and vegetation life cycles or phenology; the transmission process of the bacterium is regulated by a stochastic Susceptible, Infected and Removed model. On this baseline model, we build-up a proper Integrated Pest Management strategy based on tailoring, timing, and tuning of available control actions. We demonstrate that it is possible to reverse the hitherto unstoppable Xylella fastidiosa pauca ST53 invasion, by a rational vector and transmission control strategy.

Keywords: Xylella fastidiosa; Plant diseases; Italy.