Francesco Testa

Professor of Ophtalmology

Name Francesco
Surname Testa
Institution Università degli Studi della Campania Luigi Vanvitelli
E-Mail francesco.testa@unicampania.it
Address Eye Clinic, Multidisciplinary Department of Medical, Surgical and Dental Sciences, University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli, Naples, Italy

Member PUBLICATIONS

  • Vitreous substitutes: the present and the future.

    Publication Date: 01/01/2014 on BioMed research international
    by Donati S, Caprani SM, Airaghi G, Vinciguerra R, Bartalena L, Testa F, Mariotti C, Porta G, Simonelli F, Azzolini C
    DOI: 10.1155/2014/351804

    Vitreoretinal surgery has advanced in numerous directions during recent years. The removal of the vitreous body is one of the main characteristics of this surgical procedure. Several molecules have been tested in the past to fill the vitreous cavity and to mimic its functions. We here review the currently available vitreous substitutes, focusing on their molecular properties and functions, together with their adverse effects. Afterwards we describe the characteristics of the ideal vitreous substitute. The challenges facing every ophthalmology researcher are to reach a long-term intraocular permanence of vitreous substitute with total inertness of the molecule injected and the control of inflammatory reactions. We report new polymers with gelification characteristics and smart hydrogels representing the future of vitreoretinal surgery. Finally, we describe the current studies on vitreous regeneration and cell cultures to create new intraocular gels with optimal biocompatibility and rheological properties.

  • Three-year follow-up after unilateral subretinal delivery of adeno-associated virus in patients with Leber congenital Amaurosis type 2.

    Publication Date: 01/06/2013 on Ophthalmology
    by Testa F, Maguire AM, Rossi S, Pierce EA, Melillo P, Marshall K, Banfi S, Surace EM, Sun J, Acerra C, Wright JF, Wellman J, High KA, Auricchio A, Bennett J, Simonelli F
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2012.11.048

    The aim of this study was to show the clinical data of long-term (3-year) follow-up of 5 patients affected by Leber congenital amaurosis type 2 (LCA2) treated with a single unilateral injection of adeno-associated virus AAV2-hRPE65v2.

  • Clinical and genetic features in Italian Bietti crystalline dystrophy patients.

    Publication Date: 01/02/2013 on The British journal of ophthalmology
    by Rossi S, Testa F, Li A, Yaylaciońülu F, Gesualdo C, Hejtmancik JF, Simonelli F
    DOI: 10.1136/bjophthalmol-2012-302469

    The aim of the study was to describe the clinical and genetic features of 15 Italian patients with Bietti crystalline dystrophy (BCD).

  • The ADAMTS18 gene is responsible for autosomal recessive early onset severe retinal dystrophy.

    Publication Date: 28/01/2013 on Orphanet journal of rare diseases
    by Peluso I, Conte I, Testa F, Dharmalingam G, Pizzo M, Collin RW, Meola N, Barbato S, Mutarelli M, Ziviello C, Barbarulo AM, Nigro V, Melone MA, , Simonelli F, Banfi S
    DOI: 10.1186/1750-1172-8-16

    Inherited retinal dystrophies, including Retinitis Pigmentosa and Leber Congenital Amaurosis among others, are a group of genetically heterogeneous disorders that lead to variable degrees of visual deficits. They can be caused by mutations in over 100 genes and there is evidence for the presence of as yet unidentified genes in a significant proportion of patients. We aimed at identifying a novel gene for an autosomal recessive form of early onset severe retinal dystrophy in a patient carrying no previously described mutations in known genes.

  • Subretinal Fibrosis in Stargardt's Disease with Fundus Flavimaculatus and ABCA4 Gene Mutation.

    Publication Date: 01/09/2012 on Case reports in ophthalmology
    by Rossi S, Testa F, Attanasio M, Orrico A, de Benedictis A, Corte MD, Simonelli F
    DOI: 10.1159/000345415

    To report on 4 patients affected by Stargardt's disease (STGD) with fundus flavimaculatus (FFM) and ABCA4 gene mutation associated with subretinal fibrosis.

  • Pupillometric analysis for assessment of gene therapy in Leber Congenital Amaurosis patients.

    Publication Date: 19/07/2012 on Biomedical engineering online
    by Melillo P, Pecchia L, Testa F, Rossi S, Bennett J, Simonelli F
    DOI: 10.1186/1475-925X-11-40

    Objective techniques to assess the amelioration of vision in patients with impaired visual function are needed to standardize efficacy assessment in gene therapy trials for ocular diseases. Pupillometry has been investigated in several diseases in order to provide objective information about the visual reflex pathway and has been adopted to quantify visual impairment in patients with Leber Congenital Amaurosis (LCA). In this paper, we describe detailed methods of pupillometric analysis and a case study on three Italian patients affected by Leber Congenital Amaurosis (LCA) involved in a gene therapy clinical trial at two follow-up time-points: 1 year and 3 years after therapy administration.

  • Correlation between photoreceptor layer integrity and visual function in patients with Stargardt disease: implications for gene therapy.

    Publication Date: 03/07/2012 on Investigative ophthalmology & visual science
    by Testa F, Rossi S, Sodi A, Passerini I, Di Iorio V, Della Corte M, Banfi S, Surace EM, Menchini U, Auricchio A, Simonelli F
    DOI: 10.1167/iovs.11-8201

    To perform a clinical characterization of Stargardt patients with ABCA4 gene mutation, and to investigate the correlation between the inner and outer segment (IS/OS) junction morphology and visual acuity, fundus lesions, electroretinogram abnormalities, and macular sensitivity.

  • The role of optical coherence tomography in an atypical case of oculocutaneous albinism: a case report.

    Publication Date: 01/01/2012 on Case reports in ophthalmology
    by Rossi S, Testa F, Gargiulo A, Di Iorio V, Pierri RB, D'Alterio FM, Corte MD, Surace E, Simonelli F
    DOI: 10.1159/000337489

    Oculocutaneous albinism is a group of autosomal recessive disorders featuring hypopigmentation of the hair, skin and eyes. Ocular signs associated with the disease are nystagmus, decreased visual acuity, hypopigmentation of the retina, foveal hypoplasia, translucency of the iris, macular transparency, photophobia and abnormal decussation of nerve fibers at the chiasm.

  • Comprehensive mutation analysis (20 families) of the choroideremia gene reveals a missense variant that prevents the binding of REP1 with Rab geranylgeranyl transferase.

    Publication Date: 01/12/2011 on Human mutation
    by Esposito G, De Falco F, Tinto N, Testa F, Vitagliano L, Tandurella IC, Iannone L, Rossi S, Rinaldi E, Simonelli F, Zagari A, Salvatore F
    DOI: 10.1002/humu.21591

    Choroideremia (CHM), an X-linked degeneration of the retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE), photoreceptors, and choroid, ultimately leads to blindness. It is caused by loss-of-function of the CHM gene product, the Rab escort protein 1 (REP1) that is involved, together with its homologue REP2, in prenylation of Rab GTPases, key regulators of intracellular vesicular traffic. Here, we report the molecular characterization of 20 unrelated Italian families affected by CHM. We identified 19 different mutations, nine of which are new. In most cases, we analyzed the effect of the mutations at the mRNA level. Furthermore, we demonstrated, by in vitro trancription/translation assays, that the mutated mRNAs produced truncated proteins in all cases but one. In fact, we also identified a novel REP1 missense variant (c.1520A>G; p.H507R) associated to CHM. Thus far, only two other CHM-associated missense mutations have been identified, one of which was a splicing alteration. We investigated the impact of the p.H507R amino acid change on REP1 structure and function, thus providing the first experimental demonstration that correlates a missense mutation in CHM with a functional impairment of REP1. Overall, our results indicate that the REP1-Rab geranyl-geranyl transferase interaction and consequently REP1-mediated Rab prenylation is essential for RPE and photoreceptor function.

  • Evaluation of Italian patients with leber congenital amaurosis due to AIPL1 mutations highlights the potential applicability of gene therapy.

    Publication Date: 29/07/2011 on Investigative ophthalmology & visual science
    by Testa F, Surace EM, Rossi S, Marrocco E, Gargiulo A, Di Iorio V, Ziviello C, Nesti A, Fecarotta S, Bacci ML, Giunti M, Della Corte M, Banfi S, Auricchio A, Simonelli F
    DOI: 10.1167/iovs.10-6543

    To evaluate the suitability of gene delivery-based approaches as potential treatment of Leber congenital amaurosis 4 (LCA4) due to AIPL1 mutations.