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1.  Dairy calcium intake and lifestyle risk factors for bone loss in hiv-infected and uninfected mediterranean subjects 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2012;12:192.
Despite the reported high prevalence of osteoporosis in the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-population, there have been no previous studies examining dairy calcium intake and bone mineral density (BMD) in HIV-subjects.
We assessed the prevalence of low BMD in HIV-infected and uninfected subjects and analyzed the effects of calcium intake, lifestyle and HIV-related risk factors on BMD.
One hundred and twelve HIV-infected subjects were consecutively enrolled. Seventy- six HIV-uninfected subjects matched for age and sex were enrolled as the control group. The HIV-subjects were interviewed about lifestyle habits and completed a weekly food-frequency questionnaire to estimate calcium intake. HIV-RNA, CD4+ T-cell count and data on antiretroviral therapy were also recorded. Both biochemical bone turnover markers and BMD, assessed by dual-energy radiographic absorptiometry (DXA) were recorded in the HIV-cases and controls. We also calculated the 10-year fracture risks using the WHO FRAX equation.
Osteoporosis prevalence was significantly higher in the HIV-cases than controls (p < 0.05). BMI values were positively correlated with BMD (p < 0.05). Vitamin D levels were lower in the HIV-subjects (p < 0.02). No correlation was found with daily calcium intake.
BMI values were significantly correlated with dairy intake quartiles (p < 0.003). In HIV-subjects, the mean of FRAX score was 1.2 % for hip and 4.7 % for major osteoporotic fractures. On multivariate analysis of the lumbar spine DXA T-score, age (p < 0.005) and HIV/hepatitis C virus co-infection (p < 0.0001) were negatively correlated with BMD, while yogurt intake was a protective predictor of BMD (p < 0.05). In the femur DXA T-score, age (p < 0.01), nadir CD4 + T-cell count < 200 cells/μL (p < 0.05) and drug addiction ( p < 0.0001) were negatively correlated with BMD.
Among the foods rich in calcium, yogurt was a protective predictor of BMD in HIV-subjects. HIV/HCV co-infection, nadir CD4 + T-cell count < 200 cells/μL and drug addiction were independent predictors of severe BMD. Promoting behavioral changes in food intake and lifestyle, aimed at the primary prevention of bone disease in the chronically-infected subjects seems to be essential for implementing medical intervention in these cases.
PMCID: PMC3447655  PMID: 22894751
HIV; Osteopenia; Osteoporosis; Dairy intake; Bone mineral density
2.  Aneruptive Fever Associated with Antibodies to Rickettsia helvetica in Europe and Thailand†  
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2004;42(2):816-818.
We report that eight patients from France, Italy, and Thailand had serological evidence of Rickettsia helvetica infection. The infection presented as a mild disease in the warm season and was associated with fever, headache, and myalgia but not with a cutaneous rash. R. helvetica should be suspected in patients with unexplained fever, especially following a bite from an Ixodes sp. tick.
PMCID: PMC344501  PMID: 14766859
3.  Isolation and Characterization of Borrelia burgdorferi Sensu Lato Strains in an Area of Italy Where Lyme Borreliosis Is Endemic 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2001;39(6):2254-2260.
Between 1993 and 1998, we isolated Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato from 55 of the 119 patients with clinically diagnosed Lyme borreliosis who were admitted to “San Martino” Hospital in Belluno, Veneto, an Adriatic region in northeastern Italy where Lyme borreliosis is endemic. Upon hospitalization, all patients presented erythema migrans. Isolates were typed using ribosomal DNA PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis of the rrfA-rrlB intergenic spacer. Of the 41 isolates typed, 37 belonged to Borrelia afzelii, 2 to Borrelia garinii, and 2 to B. burgdorferi sensu stricto. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, performed on 21 strains (13 new isolates and 8 controls), revealed different RFLP patterns within the B. garinii and B. afzelii strains; among the five B. garinii strains and the 12 B. afzelii strains, three or two different RFLP patterns were identified, according to the restriction enzyme used. The protein patterns of the new isolates confirmed their genotypic classification and revealed the level of expression of some immunodominant proteins like OspA and other characteristic Osps. These findings constitute the first report of such a high recovery rate of B. burgdorferi from patients in a very restricted area in Italy; they also indicate the predominance of the genospecies B. afzelii in the study area and the heterogeneity of the circulating strains.
PMCID: PMC88120  PMID: 11376066
4.  Effect of ischaemia on sensory potentials of normal subjects of different ages 
In 73 normal subjects, from 10 to 82 years of age, maximum orthodromic sensory nerve conduction velocity was measured in the median nerve before and during a 30 minute period of vascular occlusion. During ischaemia progressive slowing in conduction velocity, decrease in amplitude, and increase in duration of the sensory action potential evoked at wrist and elbow by supramaximal stimulation of digit III were observed. However, a statistically significant difference (P<0·05 to P<0·01) between subjects was noted by grouping them by age: the older the subject, the longer the persistence of sensory response and the less marked the slowing in conduction velocity. The mechanism of the phenomenon has been discussed in relation to a similar longer resistance to ischaemia found in peripheral nerves of diabetic and uraemic patients.
PMCID: PMC494346  PMID: 4714108

Results 1-4 (4)