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1.  Reducing the burden of Herpes Zoster in Italy 
Herpes Zoster (HZ) is a viral disease with painful neuro-dermatologic manifestations. Incidence increases with age. In Italy, the estimated incidence is 6.3 cases/1000 person/year; hospital admissions are less than 2%, 69% in patients aged over 65 years. The most frequent complication of HZ is Post-Herpetic Neuralgia (PHN) characterized by metameric pain, allodynia, and hyperalgesia. In Italy 20.6% and 9.2% of HZ patients experience PHN after 3 and 6 months, respectively. Available antiviral and analgesic treatments are relatively unsatisfactory in reducing pain and length of the disease. Prevention has recently become possible with the live attenuated vaccine Oka/Merck. Clinical studies show a reduction of 51% in the incidence of the disease, 61% of its burden and 67% of PHN in vaccinees. Protection seems to be long lasting and vaccine safety matches registration requirements. Available evidence suggests that the costs for QALY (less than € 20 000) and avoided cases is favorable. Due to the heavy burden of disease, it is time to offer this vaccination to elderly population.
PMCID: PMC4514152  PMID: 25483522
Herpes Zoster; epidemiology; burden; prevention; immunization
2.  Booster Vaccination: The Role of Reduced Antigen Content Vaccines as a Preschool Booster 
BioMed Research International  2014;2014:541319.
The need for boosters for tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, and polio, starting from preschool age, is related to the waning immune protection conferred by vaccination, the elimination/reduction of natural boosters due to large-scale immunization programs, and the possibility of reintroduction of wild agents from endemic areas. Taking into account the relevance of safety/tolerability in the compliance with vaccination among the population, it have been assessed whether today enough scientific evidences are available to support the use of dTap-IPV booster in preschool age. The review of the literature was conducted using the PubMed search engine. A total of 41 works has been selected; besides, the documentation produced by the World Health Organization, the European Centre for Disease Control, and the Italian Ministry of Health has been consulted. Many recent papers confirm the opportunity to use a low antigenic dose vaccine starting from 4 to 6 years of age. There is also evidence that 10 years after immunization the rate of seroprotected subjects against diphtheria does not differ significantly between those vaccinated with paediatric dose (DTaP) or reduced dose (dTaP or dTap) product. The dTpa vaccine is highly immunogenic for diphtheria toxoids regardless of prior vaccination history (2 + 1 and 3 + 1 schedules).
PMCID: PMC3941168  PMID: 24678509
3.  Randomized Trial on the Safety, Tolerability, and Immunogenicity of MenACWY-CRM, an Investigational Quadrivalent Meningococcal Glycoconjugate Vaccine, Administered Concomitantly with a Combined Tetanus, Reduced Diphtheria, and Acellular Pertussis Vaccine in Adolescents and Young Adults▿ †  
This study evaluated the safety, tolerability, and immunogenicity of an investigational quadrivalent meningococcal conjugate vaccine, MenACWY-CRM, when administered concomitantly with a combined tetanus, reduced diphtheria, and acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine, in subjects aged 11 to 25 years. Subjects received either MenACWY-CRM and Tdap, MenACWY-CRM and saline placebo, or Tdap and saline placebo. No significant increase in reactogenicity and no clinically significant vaccine-related adverse events (AEs) occurred when MenACWY-CRM and Tdap were administered concomitantly. Similar immunogenic responses to diphtheria, tetanus, and meningococcal (serogroups A, C, W-135, and Y) antigens were observed, regardless of concomitant vaccine administration. Antipertussis antibody responses were comparable between vaccine groups for filamentous hemagglutinin and were slightly lower, although not clinically significantly, for pertussis toxoid and pertactin when the two vaccines were administered concomitantly. These results indicate that the investigational MenACWY-CRM vaccine is well tolerated and immunogenic and that it can be coadministered with Tdap to adolescents and young adults.
PMCID: PMC2849330  PMID: 20164251

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