Ascoli Piceno PI, Sergio Bonini

Ascoli Piceno PI, Sergio Bonini

Local Publications

The following publications used ISAAC data from the Ascoli Piceno centre:

  • Pierdomenico R, Bonini S. Prevalence of paediatric asthma in Central Italy [Abstract]. Allergy 1997; 52(s37): 188.

Ascoli Piceno Centre

Phase OnePhase TwoPhase Three
Centre:Ascoli Piceno, Italy ( Western Europe )
Principal Investigator:Professor Sergio Bonini
Age Groups:13-14Timeframe:
Sampling Frame:Local Health Autority


Professor Sergio Bonini

Professor Sergio Bonini

Professor of Medicine, Second University of Naples,
Institute of Translational Pharmacology,
Italian National Research Council,


  • Phase One Principal Investigator for Ascoli Piceno


The decision of creating the ISAAC Ascoli Piceno Centre was the natural outcome of a longstanding collaboration between the Institute of Neurobiology and Molecular Medicine of the Italian Research Council (INMM-CNR) and the Local Health Unit of Ascoli Piceno (ASL). In fact, these two institutions were already involved in an observational study on the prevalence of allergic diseases in school children and its relationship to the life-style in Rome and Ascoli Piceno. The launch of ISAAC represented an attracting opportunity to collect data with a validated questionnaire and methodology, also permitting to compare them with those collected in other centres worldwide.

For the ISAAC study, it was decided to confine the population sample to school-children in Ascoli Piceno- a middle-size city in Central Italy- since this allowed to study all the children of a Health Unit living both in the urban and the country area of Ascoli Piceno, thus avoiding the potential bias deriving from the socio-economic differences among schools in Rome.

Impact of ISAAC on the Ascoli Piceno Centre

Although for organizational and economic reasons it was not possible to have the Ascoli Piceno Centre involved in further ISAAC phases, it was decided to repeat an ISAAC Phase one four years later, and to compare data with those collected during the original Phase One as well as with those collected in Tirana (Albania). In this second survey, following the publications from some of us of strict relationships between allergic diseases and infections (1,2) also data about early-life infections were recorded (3).

Some years later, the study was extended to children living in Maranello, a small Ferrari-Maserati Town in Central Italy, with special focus on the relationships between physical exercise, obesity and asthma.(4).

Unfortunately, most of the data collected were not published, but as abstracts. However, the ISAAC methodology represented a standard procedure for many studies and helped in educating to epidemiological research a large number of medical students and young investigators.

Findings of our Centre

The Phase One data are summarized in the first ISAAC paper and in an abstract (5). They were made available for being accessed by everybody interested.

In addition, mostly unpublished research showed :

  1. A significant increase in asthma prevalence in Ascoli Piceno after 4 years, which almost doubled being usually associated with rhinitis.
  2. No association between allergy prevalence and vaccinations or respiratory infections (which, on the contrary, appeared to be a risk factor for subsequent development of asthma).
  3. A marked higher prevalence of allergy and asthma in Ascoli Piceno vs Tirana, in spite of the same latitude and aerobiological features.
  4. A higher prevalence of allergy and asthma in Rome vs Maranello, associated with a reduced attitude to physical exercise and a higher prevalence of increased BMI or obesity.
    1. Co-workers

      Most of the studies were made possible by the commitment of Dr. Rosella Pierdomenico and the staff of the ASL of Ascoli Piceno. My co-ordination of the study was greatly helped at INMM-CNR by Prof. Guido Rasi and by the CNR staff made by Paolo Matricardi, Megon Bresciani and Claudia Gramiccioni, Claudio D’Ambrosio, Claudio Parisi and Andrea Torre. The Ascoli/Tirana survey was performed with the collaboration of Prof. Albert Priftanij. The Rome/Maranello study with the collaboration of Dr. Antonella Schirru and Dr. Valeria Porcaro.

      1. Matricardi PM, Rosmini F, Riondino S, Fortini M, Ferrigno L, Rapicetta M, Bonini S.
        Exposure to foodborne and orofecal microbes versus airborne viruses, in relation to atopy and allergic asthma: epidemiological study.
        Br Med J. 2000; 320: 412-17.
      2. Matricardi PM, Rosmini F, Panetta V, Ferrigno L, Bonini S.
        Hay fever and asthma in relation to markers of infection in the United States.
        J Allergy Clin Immunol 2002; 110: 381-387.
      3. Pierdomenico R, D’Ambrosio C, Rasi G, Lapucci G, Torre A, Matricardi PM, Carlucci A, Bonini S.
        Allergic diseases in relation to vaccinations and infectious diseases: two cross-sectional studies in schoolchildren 4 years Apart.
        J Allergy Clin Immunol 2003; 111: S292.
      4. Bresciani M, Parisi C, Schirru MA, Porcaro V, Torre A, Bonini M, Biffi A, Fernando F, D’Ambrosio C, Rasi G, Bonini S.
        Lifestyle, Sports Activities and Allergic Diseases
        J Allergy Clin Immunol 2006; 117: S294 (1134).
      5. Pierdomenico R, Bonini
        Prevalence of paediatric asthma in Central Italy.
        Allergy. 1997; 52 (37): 188.