The Quirra Syndrome: Matter of Translational Medicine

Conference paper

DOI: 10.1007/978-94-007-7003-4_4

Part of the NATO Science for Peace and Security Series B: Physics and Biophysics book series (NAPSB)
Cite this paper as:
Gatti A.M., Montanari S., Capitani F. (2013) The Quirra Syndrome: Matter of Translational Medicine. In: Vaseashta A., Khudaverdyan S. (eds) Advanced Sensors for Safety and Security. NATO Science for Peace and Security Series B: Physics and Biophysics. Springer, Dordrecht


The study deals with the military firing range of Perdasdefogu (Sardinia–Italy) called PISQ, the activities there performed and the impact that some activities could have on human and animal health. The research started from some occurrences of evidence of diseases (a.k.a. Quirra Syndrome) among a population of 2,500 human inhabitants and an unknown number of animals, and proposes a novel type of investigation to verify whether the effects of military activities can trigger pathologies in humans. The investigation takes as starting point the analyses of the pathological tissues of inhabitants who developed cancers of the blood and the soft tissues. This was done by means of a Field Emission Gun Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope equipped with an X-ray microprobe of an Energy Dispersion System in order to detect micro- and nano-sized foreign bodies and identify their chemical composition. This method indicates the exposure the patients underwent by inhaling polluted air or ingesting polluted food. The investigation is based on the fact that the explosion of weapons hitting a target implies a temperature rise within the volume involved. The higher the temperature, the thinner are the particles (bomb + target) produced and aerosolized, thus allowing a higher possibility of particle internalization in the body. So, the study of the internalized particles compared with those produced by the different military activities through an environmental 1-year-long survey carried out by the Italian Ministry of Defense can give an idea if there is a coincidence of chemical composition. The pollution detected in the urban area of Mantua (Italy) is taken as a reference or control. The results indicate that in the pathological tissues of ten civilians, two soldiers who worked in the PISQ and five malformed lambs born of ewes that pastured in the firing range that there is the presence of nano-sized foreign bodies with chemical compositions that can be the results of bomb explosions and not of a usual urban environmental pollution.


Military firing range Nanoparticles Combustion Leukaemia Hodgkin’s lymphoma 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ISTEC-CNRFaenza (RA)Italy
  2. 2.Nanodiagnostics srlModenaItaly

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