1,023 research outputs found

    Factors affecting the vaccination choices of pregnant women for their children. A systematic review of the literature

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    In recent years, an increase in vaccine hesitancy has led to a decrease in vaccination coverage in several countries. We conducted a systematic review of studies that assessed knowledge of and attitudes toward pediatric vaccinations, and the vaccination choices and their determinants among pregnant women. A total of 6,277 records were retrieved, and 16 full texts were included in the narrative synthesis. The published literature on the topic shows that, overall, pregnant women believe that vaccines are important for the protection of their children and the community, but various concerns and misunderstandings persist around vaccine safety and efficacy, which reduce the trust of expectant mothers in immunization. Nevertheless, such attitudes and choices vary depending on the vaccine being considered and the corresponding determinants should therefore be studied in the context of each specific vaccination. Further research on this topic is needed, particularly in non-western countries

    Measles among healthcare workers in Italy. Is it time to act?

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    Vaccination of healthcare workers (HCWs) against measles is strongly recommended in Europe. In this study, we examined the impact of measles on Italian HCWs by systematically and quantitatively analyzing measles cases involving HCWs over time and by identifying the epidemiological characteristics of the respective measles outbreaks. We retrieved data on measles cases from the Italian national integrated measles and rubella surveillance system from January 2013 to May 2019. Additionally, we performed a systematic review of the literature and an analysis of the measles and rubella aggregate outbreaks reporting forms from 2014 to 2018. Our review suggests that preventing measles infection among HCWs in disease outbreaks may be crucial for the elimination of measles in Italy. National policies aiming to increase HCW immunization rates are fundamental to the protection of HCWs and patients, will limit the economic impact of outbreaks on the institutions affected and will help achieve the elimination goal

    Modulation Transfer Function (MTF) evaluation for x-ray phase imaging system employing attenuation masks

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    OBJECTIVE: Attenuation masks can be used in x-ray imaging systems to increase their inherent spatial resolution and/or make them sensitive to phase effects, a typical example being Edge Illumination X-ray phase contrast imaging (EI-XPCI). This work investigates the performance of a mask-based system such as EI-XPCI in terms of Modulation Transfer Function (MTF), in the absence of phase effects. APPROACH: Pre-sampled MTF measurements, using an edge, were performed on the same system implemented without masks, with non-skipped masks and finally with skipped masks (i.e., masks in which apertures illuminate every other pixel row/column). Results are compared to simulations and finally images of a resolution bar pattern acquired with all the above setups are presented. MAIN RESULTS: Compared to the detector's inherent MTF, the non-skipped mask setup provides improved MTF results. In comparison to an ideal case where signal spill-out into neighbouring pixels is negligible, this improvement takes place only at specific frequencies of the MTF, dictated by the spatial repetition of the spill-out signal. This is limited with skipped masks, which indeed provide further MTF improvements over a larger frequency range. Experimental MTF measurements are supported through simulation and resolution bar pattern images. SIGNIFICANCE: This work has quantified the improvement in MTF due to the use of attenuation masks and lays the foundation for how acceptance and routine quality control tests will have to be modified when systems using masks are introduced in clinical practice and how MTF results will compare to those of conventional imaging systems

    Status and perspectives of the neutron time-of-flight facility n_TOF at CERN

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    The neutron time-of-flight facility of CERN, called n TOF, started its operation in 2001, and since then it plays a major role in the field of neutron cross-section measurements. The two beam-lines available provide an excellent combination of good energy resolution and high instantaneous neutron flux, combining the time-of-flight method with a powerful neutron spallation source. So far, a large number of experiments has been performed on a variety of isotopes of interest for nuclear astrophysics, advanced nuclear technologies, nuclear medicine, and for basic nuclear physics. After the CERN long shutdown, a new phase of data taking is planned to start in 2021. The R&D of a new spallation target is ongoing and its upgrade will bring important improvements in both beam lines, allowing the n TOF Collaboration to perform new, challenging measurements

    How public health professionals view mandatory vaccination in italy-a cross-sectional survey

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    In response to the decline in child vaccination coverage and the subsequent occurrence of large vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks, in 2017 Italy introduced a new law that made ten vaccines mandatory for children aged 0–16 years. The policy change initiated an ongoing debate among the general public, as well as in the political arena and the scientific community, over this major public health concern. Hence, we conducted a survey aimed at assessing Italian public health professionals’ attitudes towards and opinions on mandatory vaccination. A validated online questionnaire was administered to 1350 members of the Italian Society of Hygiene, Preventive Medicine and Public Health. Among the 1044 responders (response rate 77%), a large majority were in favour of the Italian mandatory vaccination law (91%) and against its repeal (74%). Nevertheless, according to our sample, maintaining a high level of vaccination coverage without the need to mandate would be preferable, and thus efforts to promote vaccine confidence and proactive vaccine uptake are still needed

    Evaluation of neutron induced reaction cross sections in the resolved and unresolved resonance region at EC-JRC-IRMM

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    Recent efforts made at the EC-JRC-IRMM to produce evaluated cross section data files for neutron induced reactions are described as well as the methodology applied in both the resolved and unresolved resonance. For the resolved resonance region the paper focuses on a recent evaluation of isotopes present in natural cadmium. For the unresolved resonance region results for gold are presented.JRC.D.4-Standards for Nuclear Safety, Security and Safeguard

    Tumor type M2-pyruvate-kinase levels in pleural fluid versus plasma in cancer patients: a further tool to define the need for invasive procedures

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    Pleural effusion is a common diagnostic problem and a challenge to the thoracic surgeon. The analysis of serum and body fluids for tumor markers is an established diagnostic procedure. Among various markers, tumors are linked to the overexpression of a glycolytic isoenzyme, M2-pyruvate-kinase (M2-PK). This preliminary study evaluated this enzyme as a tumor marker to differentiate malignant from benign pleural effusion

    Towards elimination of measles and rubella in Italy. Progress and challenges

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    Introduction In the WHO European Region, endemic transmission of measles and rubella had been interrupted by 37 and 42 of the 53 member states (MSs), respectively, by 2018. Sixteen MSs are still endemic for measles, 11 for rubella and nine for both diseases, the latter including Italy. Elimination is documented by each country’s National Verification Committee (NVC) through an annual status update (ASU). Objective By analysing data used to produce the ASUs, we aimed to describe the advances made by Italy towards elimination of measles and rubella. Moreover, we propose a set of major interventions that could facilitate the elimination process. Methods A total of 28 indicators were identified within the six core sections of the ASU form and these were evaluated for the period 2013–2018. These indicators relate to the incidence of measles/rubella; epidemiological investigation of cases; investigation of outbreaks; performance of the surveillance system; population immunity levels; and implementation of supplemental immunization activities (SIAs). Results From 2013 to 2018, epidemiological and laboratory analyses of measles cases in Italy improved substantially, allowing timely investigation in 2017 and 2018 of most outbreak and sporadic cases and identification of the majority of genotypic variants. Moreover, since 2017, vaccination coverage has increased significantly. Despite these improvements, several areas of concern emerged, prompting the following recommendations: i) improve outbreak monitoring; ii) strengthen the MoRoNet network; iii) increase the number of SIAs; iv) reinforce vaccination services; v) maintain regional monitoring; vi) design effective communication strategies; vii) foster the role of general practitioners and family paediatricians. Conclusions The review of national ASUs is a crucial step to provide the NVC with useful insights into the elimination process and to guide the development of targeted interventions. Against this background, the seven recommendations proposed by the NVC have been shared with the Italian Ministry of Health and the Technical Advisory Group on measles and rubella elimination and have been incorporated into the new Italian Elimination Plan 2019–2023 as a technical aid to facilitate the achievement of disease elimination goals

    Synthesis of Ternary Borocarbonitrides by High Temperature Pyrolysis of Ethane 1,2-Diamineborane

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    Ethane 1,2-diamineborane (EDAB) is an alkyl-containing amine-borane adduct with improved hydrogen desorption properties as compared to ammonia borane. In this work, it is reported the high temperature thermolytic decomposition of EDAB. Thermolysis of EDAB has been investigated by concomitant thermogravimetry-differential thermal analysis-mass spectrometry experiments. EDAB shows up to four H2 desorption events below 1000 °C. Small fractions of CH4, C2H4 and CO/CO2 are also observed at moderate-high temperatures. The solid-state thermolysis product has been characterized by means of different structural and chemical methods, such as X-ray diffraction, Raman spectroscopy, Scanning electron microscopy, Elemental analysis, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The obtained results indicate the formation of a ternary borocarbonitride compound with a poorly-crystalline graphitic-like structure. By contrast, XPS measurements show that the surface is rich in carbon and nitrogen oxides, which is quite different to the bulk of the materialSome authors (Fabrice Leardini, Lorenzo Massimi, Maria Grazia Betti and Carlo Mariani) also thank Sapienza Università di Roma for financial support under “Progetti di Ateneo”, and the Italian Ministry of Education and Research (MIUR) for the PRIN grant “GRAF” n. 20105ZZTS

    Combined use of x-ray fluorescence microscopy, phase contrast imaging for high resolution quantitative iron mapping in inflamed cells

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    X-ray fluorescence microscopy (XRFM) is a powerful technique to detect and localize elements in cells. To derive information useful for biology and medicine, it is essential not only to localize, but also to map quantitatively the element concentration. Here we applied quantitative XRFM to iron in phagocytic cells. Iron, a primary component of living cells, can become toxic when present in excess. In human fluids, free iron is maintained at 10-18 M concentration thanks to iron binding proteins as lactoferrin (Lf). The iron homeostasis, involving the physiological ratio of iron between tissues/secretions and blood, is strictly regulated by ferroportin, the sole protein able to export iron from cells to blood. Inflammatory processes induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or bacterial pathoge inhibit ferroportin synthesis in epithelial and phagocytic cells thus hindering iron export, increasing intracellular iron and bacterial multiplication. In this respect, Lf is emerging as an important regulator of both iron and inflammatory homeostasis. Here we studied phagocytic cells inflamed by bacterial LPS and untreated or treated with milk derived bovine Lf. Quantitative mapping of iron concentration and mass fraction at high spatial resolution is obtained combining X-ray fluorescence microscopy, atomic force microscopy and synchrotron phase contrast imaging
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