Publications by authors named "Andrea Serraino"

69 Publications

Epidemiologic case investigation on the zoonotic transmission of Staphylococcus aureus infection from goat to veterinarians.

Zoonoses Public Health 2021 May 5. Epub 2021 May 5.

Department of Veterinary Medical Sciences, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.

Staphylococcus aureus infection led to a case of goat abortion, and four veterinarians contracted S. aureus infection from the goat during and after the abortion. Three veterinarians assisted a doe during the dystocic delivery of a dead foetus. Seventy-two hours after the dystocia, which ended with the goat's death, the veterinarians who assisted during the kidding and the veterinarian who performed the necropsy showed the presence of multiple, isolated, painful pustules 1-5 mm in diameter located along their forearms and knees. S. aureus was isolated from the pustules of the veterinarians, the placenta and uterus of the goat, the organs (brain, thymus gland, abomasum, liver and spleen) of the foetus, the scrotum and eye swabs of the buck, and mammary pustules of another goat from the same herd. Histological analysis revealed purulent metritis and inflammation of the placental cotyledons. Additional investigations eliminated the chances of other infections. S. aureus isolates recovered from the veterinarians, goats, foetus and buck were sensitive to the tested anti-microbials and did not encode staphylococcal enterotoxin genes (sea, ser, sep, see, seg and sei). The isolates were closely related, as indicated by the results of Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy and comparative whole-genome sequencing analysis. The results of this study clearly support the hypothesis that an episode of professional zoonosis was caused by S. aureus infection during the abortion and also highlight the need for bacterial subtyping in epidemiological surveys.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/zph.12836DOI Listing
May 2021

Antimicrobial Resistance Profile and ExPEC Virulence Potential in Commensal of Multiple Sources.

Antibiotics (Basel) 2021 Mar 26;10(4). Epub 2021 Mar 26.

Department of Veterinary Medical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Bologna, Ozzano Emilia, 40064 Bologna, Italy.

We recently described the genetic antimicrobial resistance and virulence profile of a collection of 279 commensal of food-producing animal (FPA), pet, wildlife and human origin. Phenotypic antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and the role of commensal as reservoir of extra-intestinal pathogenic (ExPEC) virulence-associated genes (VAGs) or as potential ExPEC pathogens were evaluated. The most common phenotypic resistance was to tetracycline (76/279, 27.24%), sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim (73/279, 26.16%), streptomycin and sulfisoxazole (71/279, 25.45% both) among the overall collection. Poultry and rabbit were the sources mostly associated to AMR, with a significant resistance rate ( > 0.01) to quinolones, streptomycin, sulphonamides, tetracycline and, only for poultry, to ampicillin and chloramphenicol. Finally, rabbit was the source mostly associated to colistin resistance. Different pandemic (ST69/69*, ST95, ST131) and emerging (ST10/ST10*, ST23, ST58, ST117, ST405, ST648) ExPEC sequence types (STs) were identified among the collection, especially in poultry source. Both ST groups carried high number of ExPEC VAGs (pandemic ExPEC STs, mean = 8.92; emerging ExPEC STs, mean = 6.43) and showed phenotypic resistance to different antimicrobials (pandemic ExPEC STs, mean = 2.23; emerging ExPEC STs, mean = 2.43), suggesting their role as potential ExPEC pathogens. Variable phenotypic resistance and ExPEC VAG distribution was also observed in uncommon ExPEC lineages, suggesting commensal flora as a potential reservoir of virulence (mean = 3.80) and antimicrobial resistance (mean = 1.69) determinants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/antibiotics10040351DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8067153PMC
March 2021

Update on a model to describe Salmonella spp. population reduction in Italian salami during production and high-pressure processing.

Meat Sci 2021 Jul 18;177:108506. Epub 2021 Mar 18.

Department of Veterinary Medical Sciences, University of Bologna, Via Tolara di Sopra 50, 40064 Ozzano Emilia (BO), Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.meatsci.2021.108506DOI Listing
July 2021

First isolation of Klebsiella variicola from a horse pleural effusion.

BMC Vet Res 2021 Feb 12;17(1):75. Epub 2021 Feb 12.

Department of Veterinary Medical Sciences, University of Bologna, Via Tolara di Sopra 50, Bologna, 40064, Italy.

Background: Respiratory diseases are the second most common cause of illnesses in horses, their etiology can be viral, bacterial, immune-mediated, or mechanical (Racklyeft and Love DN, Aust Vet J 78:549-59, 2000; Austin et al., J Am Vet Med Assoc 207:325-328, 1995; Arroyo et al., J Vet Intern Med 31:894-900, 2017). Klebsiella variicola is a Gram-negative bacterium that was initially identified as an endophyte in soil and plants such as bananas, rice, sugar cane and maize but recent studies have identified this microorganism as an emerging pathogen in humans (Rodríguez-Medina et al., Emerg Microbes Infect 8:973-988, 2019; Fontana et al., J Clin Microbiol 57:e00825-18, 2019; Rosenblueth et al., Syst Appl Microbiol 27:27-35, 2004). This paper describes, for the first time to our knowledge, the isolation of K. variicola from pleural effusion in a male adult horse.

Case Presentation: 17-years Italian Saddle Horse with respiratory distress and fever was admitted to the Veterinary Teaching Hospital of the Department of Veterinary Medical Sciences, University of Bologna. At home, the patient had undergone antibiotic therapy without clinical improvement. Vital signs on admission revealed an increased respiratory rate, tachycardia, pyrexia and weight loss. The animal was submitted for collateral examination including thoracic radiology and ultrasound and thoracoscopy that showed bilateral pleural effusion associated with multifocal pulmonary atelectasis. During the thoracoscopic examination, that confirmed the presence of a seropurulent pleural effusion, a sample of pleural fluid was collected and Gram-negative bacteria were isolated and subjected to matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) that allowed the identification of K. variicola. The isolate was sensitive to amikacin, cefazolin, enrofloxacin, marbofloxacin, tetracycline, and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole;the horse was treated with Oxytetracycline and amikacin. Despite a general health improvement of the subject, the pleural effusion did not resolve after treatment.

Conclusions: This paper describes, for the first time, the isolation of K. variicola in a horse with respiratory disease. The misidentification between K. variicola and K. pneumoniae has caused unawareness about significant aspects of this bacterial species. In fact, even though in animals the role of this bacterium is not clear, in humans it has been recognized as an emerging pathogen. The use of new methods for bacterial identification will probably lead to the isolation of a greater number of strains which will have to be studied to acquire knowledge that will be useful to clarify the clinical importance and relevance of K. variicola also in animals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12917-021-02776-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7881548PMC
February 2021

Snapshot Study of Whole Genome Sequences of from Healthy Companion Animals, Livestock, Wildlife, Humans and Food in Italy.

Antibiotics (Basel) 2020 Nov 6;9(11). Epub 2020 Nov 6.

The ithree Institute, University of Technology Sydney, City Campus, Ultimo, NSW 2007, Australia.

Animals, humans and food are all interconnected sources of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), allowing extensive and rapid exchange of AMR bacteria and genes. Whole genome sequencing (WGS) was used to characterize 279 isolates obtained from animals (livestock, companion animals, wildlife), food and humans in Italy. predominantly belonged to commensal phylogroups B1 (46.6%) and A (29%) using the original Clermont criteria. One hundred and thirty-six sequence types (STs) were observed, including different pandemic (ST69, ST95, ST131) and emerging (ST10, ST23, ST58, ST117, ST405, ST648) extraintestinal pathogenic (ExPEC) lineages. Eight antimicrobial resistance genes (ARGs) and five chromosomal mutations conferring resistance to highest priority critically important antimicrobials (HP-CIAs) were identified (, , , , , and ). Twenty-two class 1 integron arrangements in 34 strains were characterized and 11 ARGs were designated as related gene cassettes (, , , , , , , , , , ). Notably, most positive strains belonged to rabbit (38%) and poultry (24%) sources. Three rabbit samples carried the colistin resistance gene in association with IS family insertion elements. Poultry meat harbored some of the most prominent ExPEC STs, including ST131, ST69, ST10, ST23, and ST117. Wildlife showed a high average number of virulence-associated genes (VAGs) (mean = 10), mostly associated with an ExPEC pathotype and some predominant ExPEC lineages (ST23, ST117, ST648) were identified.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/antibiotics9110782DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7694828PMC
November 2020

Distribution, virulence, genotypic characteristics and antibiotic resistance of Listeria monocytogenes isolated over one-year monitoring from two pig slaughterhouses and processing plants and their fresh hams.

Int J Food Microbiol 2021 Jan 9;336:108912. Epub 2020 Oct 9.

Department of Veterinary Medical Sciences, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy. Electronic address:

Listeria monocytogenes contamination in raw pork and ready to eat foods is an important food safety concern, also for the increasing detection of antimicrobial-resistant isolates. Data on L. monocytogenes occurrence, persistence, distribution and genetic characterization in two different plants, namely in continuum from slaughtered pigs, environment and unfinished products (fresh hams) were observed by one-year monitoring and were integrated with their antimicrobial resistance patterns. A total of 98 samples out of the overall 1131 (8.7%) were positive for L. monocytogenes, respectively 2.6% and 13.2% in plants A and B: only three serotypes were identified, 1/2c (50%), 1/2b (36.7%) and 1/2a (13.27%), and strains were classified in 35 pulsotypes and 16 clusters by PFGE; a unique P-type was highlighted according to the detection of virulence genes. The contamination flow of L. monocytogenes has a low occurrence in slaughterhouse (Plant A = 1.1%, Plant B: 3.1%; p > 0.05) and increased throughout the processing chain with trimming area as the most contaminated (Plant A: 25%, Plant B: 57%; (p < 0.05)), both in the environment and in unfinished products (80% in hams before trimming in plant B). The dominant role of environmental contamination in post-slaughter processing is confirmed to be a significant cause of meat contamination by L. monocytogenes. Very high levels of resistance were observed for clindamycin (57%) and high resistance levels (>20-50%) to ciprofloxacin, oxacillin, levofloxacin and daptomycin, confirming the L. monocytogenes resistance trend to a wide range of antimicrobial agents. A total of 11 L. monocytogenes isolates were multidrug resistant and 7 out of them were isolated from slaughtered pigs. An interesting significant (p < 0.05) statistical correlation has been found between resistance to some antimicrobial agents and lineage/serotypes. Microbiological sampling of food and environments after sanitization are commonly used as verification procedure for the absence of L. monocytogenes in food plants and to give assurance of food safety, but strains characterization is necessary for industries to target specific control measures, like the enforcement of the hygiene program and of the control of operator activities, at least for permanent strains. The only presence of L. monocytogenes could not be considered as the conclusive assessment of a potential risk for public health, also in terms of emerging and emerged antimicrobial resistances.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2020.108912DOI Listing
January 2021

Modeling the behavior of Listeria innocua in Italian salami during the production and high-pressure validation of processes for exportation to the U.S.

Meat Sci 2021 Feb 17;172:108315. Epub 2020 Sep 17.

Department of Veterinary Medical Sciences, University of Bologna, Via Tolara di Sopra 50, 40064 Ozzano Emilia (BO), Italy.

A model describing Listeria innocua evolution according to process parameters of 51 Italian salami processes and HPP in 31 companies was developed. A total of 51 challenge tests were performed. During processing a L. innocua reduction of 0.34-4.32 Log10 CFU/g was observed and HPP further reduced the count of 0.48-3.47 Log10 CFU/g; an overall reduction of 1.04-5.68 is reached. PH after acidification/drying process, a after seasoning, duration of the seasoning and caliber resulted associated (p < 0.05) with L. innocua decrease. HPP efficacy was associated (p < 0.05) with a and pH of the product: higher the pH and a after the acidification/drying and seasoning phases, higher resulted the L. innocua reduction after HPP. No significant association was observed between L.innocua and salt, nitrate and starter content and other characteristics of process. The model meets companies and Authorities needs and represents a useful tool to predict L. monocytogenes lethality, giving recommendations to food business operators interested in exportation to the U.S.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.meatsci.2020.108315DOI Listing
February 2021

Effect of production process and high-pressure processing on viability of in traditional Italian dry-cured .

Ital J Food Saf 2020 Aug 19;9(2):9133. Epub 2020 Aug 19.

Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Lombardia e dell'Emilia Romagna, Sede Territoriale di Bologna.

In this study the effect of the application of High Pressure Treatment (HPP) combined with four different manufacturing processes on the inactivation of Listeria innocua, used as a surrogate for L. monocytogenes, in artificially contaminated samples was evaluated in order to verify the most suitable strategy to meet the Listeria inactivation requirements needed for the exportation of dry-cured meat in the U.S. Fresh anatomical cuts intended for production were supplied by four different delicatessen factories located in Northern Italy. Raw meat underwent experimental contamination with using a mixture of 5 strains. Surface contamination of the fresh anatomical cuts was carried out by immersion into inoculum containing spp The conditions of the HPP treatment were: pressure 593 MPa, time 290 seconds, water treatment temperature 14°C. was enumerated on surface and deep samples post contamination, resting, ripening and HPP treatment. The results of this study show how the reduction of the microbial load on during the production process did not vary among three companies (P>0.05) ranging from 3.73 to 4.30 log CFU/g, while it was significantly different (P<0.01) for the fourth company (0.92 log CFU/g). HPP treatment resulted in a significant (P<0.01) deep decrease of count with values ranging between 1.63-3.54 log CFU/g with no significant differences between companies. Regarding superficial contamination, HPP treatment resulted significant (P<0.01) only in Coppa produced by two companies. The results highlight that there were processes less effective to inhibit the pathogen; in particular for company D an increase of L. innocua count was shown during processing and HPP alone cannot be able to in reaching the Listeria inactivation requirements needed for exportation of dry-cured meat in the U.S. According to the data reported in this paper, HPP treatment increases the ability of the manufacturing process of in reducing count with the objective of a lethality treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4081/ijfs.2020.9133DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7459741PMC
August 2020

Behavior of during the manufacturing and pit-ripening of Formaggio di Fossa di Sogliano PDO cheese.

Ital J Food Saf 2020 Aug 19;9(2):8552. Epub 2020 Aug 19.

Department of Veterinary Medical Sciences, University of Bologna, Ozzano dell'Emilia.

Formaggio di Fossa di Sogliano is a traditional Italian Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) cheese ripened for a minimum of 5 months, with the feature of a ripening of at least 80 to at most 100 days in pits, digged into tuffaceous rocks according to medieval tradition of Italy. In this study, a challenge test using as a surrogate of was performed, with the aim of increasing knowledge concerning the impact of the Fossa cheese process, and especially of the traditional ripening process of this PDO, on the behaviour of Pasteurized milk was experimentally inoculated with 4.5 log CFU/mL cocktail by three strains, and and Mesophilic Lactic Acid Bacteria (LAB) counts as well as the evolution of temperatures, pH and a values were monitored throughout the manufacturing and ripening processes. Throughout the ripening in maturation room a constant temperature of 8°C was observed reaching a temperature between 10 and 15.5°C during ripening into pit. In the final products data for LAB concentration, pH and a values were roughly in accordance with literature, even if some differences were, probably due to variability of artisanal cheese productions. The numbers of showed a slight decrease but remained stable until the end of ripening in maturation room, whereas a significant reduction of the microorganism was observed in the final product, at the end of the ripening into the pit. The findings give scientific evidence that the process of this PDO prevented the growth, allowing us to speculate a similar behaviour of . Based on this study, the recommendation to extend as much as possible the ripening into pit (from 80 to 100 days) was provided to food business operators as a risk mitigation strategy to be implemented.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4081/ijfs.2020.8552DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7459755PMC
August 2020

Effect of production process and high-pressure processing on viability of in traditional Italian dry-cured .

Ital J Food Saf 2020 Aug 19;9(2):8445. Epub 2020 Aug 19.

Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Lombardia e dell'Emilia Romagna, Sede Territoriale di Bologna.

The aim of the study was to investigate the combined effect of the manufacturing process followed by HPP treatment on the inactivation of spp. in artificially contaminated samples, in order to verify the ability of the combined processes to achieve the objective of a 5-log reduction of spp. needed for exportation to the U.S. Fresh anatomical cuts intended for production were supplied by four different delicatessen factories located in Northern Italy. Raw meat underwent experimental contamination with spp. using a mixture of 3 strains. Surface contamination of the fresh anatomical cuts was carried out by immersion into inoculum containing spp The conditions of the HPP treatment were: pressure 593 MPa, time 290 seconds, water treatment temperature 14°C. Surface and deep samples were performed post contamination (T0), end of the cold phase (T1), end of process (Tend), and after HPP treatment (postHPP) and spp. Enumerated. The results of this study show a significant reduction of spp. all through the production process (P<0.01) for all companies, followed by an additional reduction of bacterial counts due to HPP treatment (P<0.01), both in superficial and deep contaminations (P<0.01). The superficial overall reduction resulted of 1.58 to 5.04 log CFU/g during the production process. HPP treatment resulted in a significant (P<0.01) superficial and deep decrease in spp. enumeration varying from 0.61 to 4.01 log and from 1.49 to 4.13 log. According to the data presented in this study, only the combined approach of manufacturing process followed by HPP treatment always led to a 5-log reduction of Salmonella spp. required by USDA/FSIS guidelines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4081/ijfs.2020.8445DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7459750PMC
August 2020

Adverse Effects, Transformation and Channeling of Aflatoxins Into Food Raw Materials in Livestock.

Front Microbiol 2019 11;10:2861. Epub 2019 Dec 11.

Department of Molecular Biotechnology and Microbiology, Institute of Biotechnology, Faculty of Science and Technology, University of Debrecen, Debrecen, Hungary.

Aflatoxins are wide-spread harmful carcinogenic secondary metabolites produced by species, which cause serious feed and food contaminations and affect farm animals deleteriously with acute or chronic manifestations of mycotoxicoses. On farm, both pre-harvest and post-harvest strategies are applied to minimize the risk of aflatoxin contaminations in feeds. The great economic losses attributable to mycotoxin contaminations have initiated a plethora of research projects to develop new, effective technologies to prevent the highly toxic effects of these secondary metabolites on domestic animals and also to block the carry-over of these mycotoxins to humans through the food chain. Among other areas, this review summarizes the latest findings on the effects of silage production technologies and silage microbiota on aflatoxins, and it also discusses the current applications of probiotic organisms and microbial products in feeding technologies. After ingesting contaminated foodstuffs, aflatoxins are metabolized and biotransformed differently in various animals depending on their inherent and acquired physiological properties. These mycotoxins may cause primary aflatoxicoses with versatile, species-specific adverse effects, which are also dependent on the susceptibility of individual animals within a species, and will be a function of the dose and duration of aflatoxin exposures. The transfer of these undesired compounds from contaminated feed into food of animal origin and the aflatoxin residues present in foods become an additional risk to human health, leading to secondary aflatoxicoses. Considering the biological transformation of aflatoxins in livestock, this review summarizes (i) the metabolism of aflatoxins in different animal species, (ii) the deleterious effects of the mycotoxins and their derivatives on the animals, and (iii) the major risks to animal health in terms of the symptoms and consequences of acute or chronic aflatoxicoses, animal welfare and productivity. Furthermore, we traced the transformation and channeling of Aspergillus-derived mycotoxins into food raw materials, particularly in the case of aflatoxin contaminated milk, which represents the major route of human exposure among animal-derived foods. The early and reliable detection of aflatoxins in feed, forage and primary commodities is an increasingly important issue and, therefore, the newly developed, easy-to-use qualitative and quantitative aflatoxin analytical methods are also summarized in the review.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2019.02861DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6917664PMC
December 2019

spp. in raw milk from vending machines in Piedmont and occurrence of virulence genes in isolates.

Ital J Food Saf 2019 Dec 5;8(4):7859. Epub 2019 Dec 5.

Food Control and Production Hygiene complex Unit, Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale del Piemonte, Liguria e Valle d'Aosta, Torino.

spp. has been recognized as an emerging foodborne pathogen and a hazard to human health. In the dairy chain, it has been isolated from different sources, nevertheless data on occurrence in raw milk provided by vending machines are few. This study aimed to identify potentially pathogenic spp. in raw milk intended for human consumption sold through vending machines located in Piedmont. In an 8-month period, 37 raw milk samples were collected from 24 dairy farms: 12 (32,4%) were collected directly in farm from bulk tank milk and 25 (67,6%) from vending machines. Eight (21,6%) out of the 37 milk samples and 7 (29,2%) out of the 24 dairy farms were positive for spp. by culture examination. Four (16%) out of the 25 samples from vending machines and 4 (33,3%) out of the 12 samples from bulk tank milk were positive. All 8 isolates were identified as both by MALDI-TOF MS and multiplex end-point PCR. According to the detection of virulence genes, a total of four Patho-types were highlighted: 5 isolates in P-type 1 and only one isolate for each of the P-types 2-3-4. isolates carrying encoding virulence factors genes were isolated from raw milk intended for human consumption: these findings strengthen the compulsory consumption after boiling as required by current legislation and suggest the need of enlarging the analytical investigations to other microorganisms not yet included in the food safety criteria.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4081/ijfs.2019.7859DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6912143PMC
December 2019

Occurrence of Aflatoxin M1 in Raw Milk Marketed in Italy: Exposure Assessment and Risk Characterization.

Front Microbiol 2019 8;10:2516. Epub 2019 Nov 8.

Doctoral School of Nutrition and Food Sciences, University of Debrecen, Debrecen, Hungary.

The current study is based on the AFM contamination of milk determined from April 2013 to December 2018 in the framework of a self-control plan of six milk processing plants in Italy. These data - together with the consumption data of milk consumers - were evaluated and used for the calculation of the Estimated Daily Intake (EDI), the Hazard Index (HI), and the fraction of hepatocarcinoma cases (HCC) due to AFM exposure in different population groups. Altogether a total of 31,702 milk samples were analyzed, representing 556,413 tons of milk, which is an outstanding amount compared to published studies. The results indicate the monthly fluctuation of AFM levels through a period of nearly 6 years. The EDI of AFM in different population groups was in the range of 0.025-0.328 ng kg body weight (bw) per day, based on the average consumption levels and weighted mean contamination of the milk in the study period. Considering average consumptions, in the groups of infants and toddlers, the HI calculation resulted in 1.64 and 1.4, respectively, while for older age groups, it was <1. The estimated fractions of HCC incidences attributable to the AFM intakes were 0.005 and 0.004 cases per 100,000 individuals in the 0-0.9 and 1-2.9-year age groups, respectively, and below 0.004 cases in the other age categories. The monthly average AFM contamination of tested milk consignments ranged between 7.19 and 22.53 ng kg. Although the results of this extensive investigation showed a low risk of HCC, the variability of climatic conditions throughout years that influence AFB contamination of feed and consequently AFM contamination of milk justifies their continuous monitoring and update of the risk assessment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2019.02516DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6856139PMC
November 2019

Pre-packaged food products Business to Consumer (B2C) distance selling and information obligations in Italian mass market retailers.

Ital J Food Saf 2019 Sep 1;8(3):7713. Epub 2019 Oct 1.

Department of Veterinary Medical Sciences, University of Bologna, Italy.

The supply and sale of food online are on the rise. The value of e-commerce in Europe has been estimated in 602 billion euros in 2017, 324 million people in the old continent purchase online. In the European area, the Netherlands and Italy are the countries where the e-commerce market grew faster in the last five years. Nevertheless, in Italy the spread of online shopping has reached the 89.9% of the population between 11 and 74 years old. The access to the Internet, as declared by 43 million Italians, it is carried out from fixed or mobile locations. In terms of revenues the food sector recorded a +24% among the different sectors facing one of the higher grows in terms of percentages. The regulatory framework that disciplines the food products distance selling can be traced back to two fundamental pillars: the European legislation on e-commerce on the one side and the food information to consumers on the other side. Under article 14 of the Regulation (EU) No. 1169/2011, the European legislator states that the mandatory information, as indicated in article 9, shall be available to the consumer before the purchase is concluded and when the product is delivered. The study aims at verifying: the level of compliance by Italians MMR with the information regulation about food products distance selling in relation to (a) the fulfillment of the obligation concerning mandatory provisions and (b) the fulfillment of the obligations concerning availability and readability of the information provided. The research has been conducted analyzing the websites of the ten largest Italian MMR and in particular: if the mandatory information were provided, the availability of the information according to the Regulation (EU) 1169/2011; the number of clicks needed to identify the food product in the website and the number of clicks required to obtain all the information. The observation testified a substantial compliance with the information obligations according to the European regulation. Differently, when considering the availability and readability of the information, from the analysis emerged that consumers have to follow a path that is not immediate and intuitive. Conclusions are provided in relation to the presented research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4081/ijfs.2019.7713DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6784586PMC
September 2019

Reduction of Salmonella spp. populations in Italian salami during production process and high pressure processing treatment: Validation of processes to export to the U.S.

Meat Sci 2019 Nov 16;157:107869. Epub 2019 Jun 16.

Department of Veterinary Medical Sciences, University of Bologna, Via Tolara di Sopra 50, 40064 Ozzano Emilia (BO), Italy.

This study involved ten enterprises producing Italian salami, 20 different samples of fermented sausages underwent challenge tests to assess and record the following parameters: time, temperature, pH, a, and Salmonella counts. A linear regression model was used to describe the Salmonella spp. decay: at the end of the process the result of total Salmonella reduction was 0.97-5.84 Log CFU/g and it was significantly associated with pH at the end of acidification/drying process, a at the end of seasoning period, the duration of seasoning, and the caliber of salami respectively. High Pressure Processing (HPP) further reduced the Salmonella level by 2.41-5.84 Log CFU/g with an efficacy that resulted inversely associated with a of salami at the end of seasoning; the objective of 5-Log reduction was always reached in all the cases tested by the production process plus HPP. This model could be a useful tool for enterprises and Authorities to evaluate the efficacy of the processes to reduce Salmonella load for exportation to the U.S.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.meatsci.2019.06.005DOI Listing
November 2019

Food safety objectives, criteria, ranking and hierarchization.

Ital J Food Saf 2018 Dec 11;7(4):7395. Epub 2019 Feb 11.

Department of Veterinary Medical Sciences, University of Bologna, Ozzano dell'Emilia, Italy.

The paper describes the terminology of risk in the view of food safety objectives, criteria, ranking and hierarchization: the terms Performance Criterion, Process Criteria, Product Criterion, Microbiological Criteria, Food Safety Objective, Performance standard, Food safety policy objectives, Risk Assessment Policies, Weighing, Precaution, Prevention, Precautionary principle, Prevention principle, Principle of separation between risk assessment and management, Rank, Ranking, Categorization, Ranking, Priorization, ALARA (As Low Reasonably Achievable), ALOP (Appropriate level of protection), Risk Management, Risk management in the public function are reported and discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4081/ijfs.2018.7395DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6379694PMC
December 2018

Social involvement, food safety and food security.

Ital J Food Saf 2018 Sep 26;7(3):7394. Epub 2018 Sep 26.

Department of Veterinary Medical Sciences, University of Bologna, Ozzano dell'Emilia, Italy.

The paper describes the terminology of risk assessment in the view of food safety: different aspects of social involvement are defined and discussed; the terms Document, Expert, Risk manager, Lay Knowledge, Participant, Participation, Citizens' involvement, Community of interest, Consultation, Trust and Social trust are presented. Also, the terms Adverse effects, Human Illness Source Attribution, Food hygiene, Emerging disease, Safety, Food security and Food safety are discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4081/ijfs.2018.7394DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6240837PMC
September 2018

Case report of a pustular dermatitis outbreak in sheep: Clinical and food safety considerations.

Ital J Food Saf 2018 Mar 11;7(1):6980. Epub 2018 Apr 11.

Department of Veterinary Medical Sciences, University of Bologna.

The objective of this report is to describe an outbreak of pustular dermatitis in a flock of about 200 sheep, its clinical evolution and food safety implications. The onset of the symptoms was sudden and the lesions spread very quickly from ewe to ewe, so that in about 3 days almost all of the lactating sheep were stricken. Pustules from 5 different animals, six milk samples, two cheese samples, teat cup samples from the milking machine and farmer's hands were analysed. A pure culture of , producing staphylococcal enterotoxin (SE) C, was isolated from pustules. Milk and cheese showed a contamination by coagulase positive staphylococci <15 and 30 colony forming units respectively and the absence of SE. Farmer's hands and teat cups samples resulted negative for coagulase positive staphylococci. Therapy with daily topical medicaments was prescribed and a prophylactic intervention was suggested by the administration of an autovaccine. The low level of milk and cheese contamination and the absence of SE in cheese supported the decision to not advise the farmer to recall cheese produced with milk from affected animals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4081/ijfs.2018.6980DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5913706PMC
March 2018

Application of MALDI-TOF MS for the subtyping of Arcobacter butzleri strains and comparison with their MLST and PFGE types.

Int J Food Microbiol 2018 Jul 16;277:50-57. Epub 2018 Apr 16.

Department of Veterinary Medical Sciences, University of Bologna, Ozzano dell'Emilia, Italy. Electronic address:

For the first time, this study evaluated the use of MALDI-TOF as a typing tool for Arcobacter butzleri. A total of 104 A. butzleri strains isolated from different sources in an artisanal dairy plant in Italy were identified and typed using MALDI-TOF and compared with their multilocus sequence typing (MLST) and pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) profiles found in previous studies. MALDI-TOF correctly identified all the isolates to species level. No clearly delineated clusters appeared on dendrograms based on either the complete spectra or the significant peaks, but nine clusters were defined using the cophenetic correlation. Interestingly, MALDI-TOF proved able to discriminate A. butzleri strains below species level, confirming its potential use for epidemiological surveys. As expected, the comparative analysis with PFGE and MLST showed that the discriminatory index was lower for MALDI-TOF but roughly comparable to sequence types and pulsotypes. MALDI-TOF appears to be a relatively low cost answer to the urgent need for more rapid, less expensive typing tools suitable for source attribution studies, readily allowing multiple typing methods to be combined. This study provides insights into MALDI-TOF as potential epidemiological tool. Its application in healthcare surveillance systems awaits further exploration to encourage interaction and convergence studies between primary care in humans and animal and food veterinary authorities as part of the One Health concept.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2018.04.026DOI Listing
July 2018

Preliminary study on the antimicrobial susceptibility pattern related to the genotype of strains isolated in the north-western Adriatic Sea coastal area.

Ital J Food Saf 2017 Oct 20;6(4):6843. Epub 2017 Oct 20.

Department of Veterinary Medical Science, Alma Mater Studiorum- University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.

is a Gram-negative bacterium, commonly found in estuarine and coastal habitats, that can infect humans through seafood consumption or wound exposure. This study represents the first attempt to correlate the genotype of strains isolated in the north-western Adriatic Sea coastal area, with their antimicrobial susceptibility patterns. On the whole, 40 strains, isolated from shellfish (n=20), different coastal water bodies (n=19), and the blood of a turtle (n=1), were utilized. All strains were positive for the species-specific genes A and , with high variability for other markers: 55% (22 out of 40) resulted of the environmental (E) genotype (E, 16S rRNA type A, CPS2 or CPS0), 10% (4 out of 40) of the clinical (C) genotype (C, 16S rRNA type B, CPS1), and 35% (14 out of 40) of the mixed (M) genotype, possessing both E and C markers. The antimicrobial susceptibility was assayed by the diffusion method on agar, according to the Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI), utilizing the following commercial disks (Oxoid): ampicillin (AMP), ampicillin- sulbactam (SAM), piperacillin (PRL), cefazolin (KZ), cefotaxime(CTX), ceftazidime (CAZ), imipenem (IPM), meropenem (MEM), amikacin (AK), gentamicin(CN), tetracycline(TE), ciprofloxacin (CIP), levofloxacin (LEV), trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (SXT), and chloramphenicol (C). 75% of the strains, (n=30) including all C strains, was sensitive to all the tested antibiotics, whereas E strains showed intermediate sensitivity to AK (2 strains), CIP and CAZ (1 strain), TE (1 strain) and resistance to KZ (1 strain), and 4 M strains showed I to AK.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4081/ijfs.2017.6843DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5850071PMC
October 2017

Vitamin B12 determination in milk, whey and different by-products of ricotta cheese production by ultra performance liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry.

Ital J Food Saf 2017 Oct 20;6(4):6795. Epub 2017 Oct 20.

Department of Veterinary Sciences, Alma Mater Studiorum - University of Bologna, Ozzano dell'Emilia (BO), Italy.

Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) is a metal complex composed of a central cobalt ion bonded to six ligands. It is essential for major biological functions such as protein, fat and carbohydrate metabolism, the maintenance of the central nervous system, and the formation of red blood cells. Since mammals cannot synthesize cobalamin, dietary intake represents the only natural source for humans. Dairy products can provide significant levels of cobalamin; moreover, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) panel has set the recommended intake at 4 μg/day for adults. Vitamin B12 content was determined in milk and several matrices related to the process of transformation of the residual whey from Parmigiano Reggiano cheese-making to obtain ricotta cheese. In addition, vitamin B12 degradation during ricotta cheese shelf-life was studied. The analyses were performed using an ultra performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry method. Results show that vitamin B12 amount in ricotta from dairy and experimental cheese-making brings respectively 1/8 to 1/4 of the adequate intake in adults established by EFSA. In addition, shelf-life experiment shows that cobalamine is fairly rapidly degraded in ricotta: light effect seems to be significant, even if the light exposure is short. The use of photoprotective packaging material increases B12 shelf-life in the early stage of storage.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4081/ijfs.2017.6795DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5850060PMC
October 2017

Quantitative Risk Assessment of Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome Associated with Consumption of Bulk Milk Sold Directly from Producer to Consumer in South Africa.

J Food Prot 2018 Feb 23:472-481. Epub 2018 Feb 23.

1 Department of Food Science, University of Pretoria, Private Bag X20, Hatfield, Pretoria 0028, South Africa (ORCID: http://orcid.org/0000-0002-1392-9797 [V.N.]).

This study was conducted to estimate the hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) risk associated with consumption of producer-distributor bulk milk (PDBM) contaminated with Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) in South Africa. Data were obtained from recently completed studies in South Africa taking into account prior collected prevalence data of STEC in raw and pasteurized PDBM and survey information from producer-distributor outlets and households. Inputs for the models were complemented with data from published and unpublished literature. A probabilistic exposure model was developed with Monte Carlo simulation in Excel add-in software using @Risk software. Hazard characterization was based on an exponential dose-response model to calculate the probability of illness from STEC infection in individuals 5 years and younger and individuals older than 5 years. The estimated mean STEC level was 0.12 CFU/mL (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0 to 1.2; σ = 0.34) for raw PDBM and 0.08 CFU/mL (95% CI: 0 to 1; σ = 0.27) for pasteurized PDBM. A higher risk of HUS cases per year was recorded in raw than in pasteurized PDBM and also in individuals younger than 5 years of age. For every 100,000 servings consumed, the expected median numbers of HUS cases per year from raw PDBM were 52 for 5 years and younger and 3.2 for older than 5 years. The median numbers of cases per year for pasteurized PDBM were 47 for 5 years and younger and 2.9 for older than 5 years. Sensitivity analysis revealed that serving volume and time taken to sell PDBM at producer-distributor outlets were the factors with the greatest impact on probability of illness. The models developed in this study are an example of risk assessments for milk produced and marketed from similar scenarios across the globe.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-17-199DOI Listing
February 2018

Evaluation of bovine beta casein polymorphism in two dairy farms located in northern Italy.

Ital J Food Saf 2017 Aug 29;6(3):6904. Epub 2017 Sep 29.

Department of Veterinary Medical Sciences, University of Bologna, Ozzano dell'Emilia (BO).

Bovine beta casein A1 is one of the most common variants in dairy cattle breeds; it is considered a risk factor in milk intolerance and in other important human diseases, because of the bioactive peptide beta casomorphin-7 (BCM7) produced by raw or processed A1-milk, but not by A2-milk, during digestion. The aim of this study was to perform a cheap and rapid method to investigate beta casein polymorphism in copious animals. The study included 2 dairy farms with a totally of 1230 cows. Beta casein genotypes were estimated evaluating Exon 7 region of bovine beta casein gene (CSN2) by sequences analysis. In the population included in the study 5 variants (A1, A2, B, F, I) and 13 genotypes (A1A1, A1A2, A1B, A1F, A1I, A2A2, A2B, A2F, A2I, BB, BF, BI, FI) were detected. The method showed high sensibility and specificity, resulted low-cost and few time consuming.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4081/ijfs.2017.6904DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5641661PMC
August 2017

Highly suspected cases of salmonellosis in two cats fed with a commercial raw meat-based diet: health risks to animals and zoonotic implications.

BMC Vet Res 2017 Jul 24;13(1):224. Epub 2017 Jul 24.

Department of Veterinary Medical Sciences, University of Bologna, Via Tolara di Sopra 50, 40064, Bologna, Italy.

Background: Feeding raw meat-based diets (RMBD) to companion animals raises public health concerns for both animals and humans. While considerable attention has been paid to bacterial contamination of commercial pet food, few literature studies have investigated foodborne disease in companion animals. Salmonellosis is reported to be infrequent in cats but no known data or studies estimating feline salmonellosis are available or large-scale epidemiological studies assessing Salmonella risk factors.

Case Presentation: Two highly suspected cases of salmonellosis in two cats fed with a commercial frozen poultry RMBD are presented, for the first time from the same household. The clinical presentation, diagnostics, treatment and follow-up are reported and the zoonotic implications are discussed.

Conclusions: This case highlights the health risks posed to both animals and owners by feeding RMBD to pets, and suggests that these risks should be considered by veterinary practitioners.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12917-017-1143-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5525297PMC
July 2017

Analysis of Provincial and Municipal Regulations Governing Crustacean Welfare in Italy.

Ital J Food Saf 2017 Jan 28;6(1):6228. Epub 2017 Mar 28.

Department of Veterinary Medical Sciences, Alma Mater Studiorum-University of Bologna, Ozzano dell'Emilia (BO), Italy.

The trade in live crustaceans implies keeping these animals alive after capture and/or farming until purchase by the final consumer. Regarding animal welfare, the European Union includes cephalopods in Directive 2010/63/EU on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes, but there are no further regulations on crustaceans in EU legislation. The present study analysed the provisions of Italian municipal regulations on animal welfare applicable to crustaceans. Only 62 of the 110 municipal websites of the provincial capitals reported a regulation safeguarding animal welfare. These regulations contain different rules on: aquaria characteristics (size, volume and shape); management of aquaria; maintenance (preservation and exposure) of live aquatic species; slaughtering and/or suppression of aquatic species and crustaceans; tying of crustacean claws; and crustacean cooking. The analysis on Italian municipal regulations on crustaceans' animal welfare showed that the provisions are vague, lacking uniformity and scientific guidelines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4081/ijfs.2017.6228DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5391507PMC
January 2017

First Multi-Year Retrospective Study on and Prevalence in Harvested in Sacca Di Goro, Italy.

Ital J Food Saf 2016 Sep 15;5(4):6161. Epub 2016 Nov 15.

Department of Veterinary Medical Sciences, Alma Mater Studiorum-University of Bologna , Ozzano dell'Emilia (BO) Italy.

The present work describes a retrospective study aiming to verify a possible correlation between the environmental conditions (temperature, salinity and dissolved oxygen), the abundance of spp., and the prevalence of and in the Manila clam harvested in Sacca di Goro, Emilia-Romagna Region, Northern Italy. On the whole, 104 samples, collected in the period 2007-2015 and submitted to microbiological analyses (isolation and genotyping), have been reconsidered for spp. load, prevalence (total, gene marker toxRP; potentially pathogenic, gene markers and/or and prevalence (total, gene markers A and together with environmental data obtained from the monitoring activity of the Emilia-Romagna Regional Agency for the Prevention, the Environment and the Energy. Environmental data have been processed to calculate the median of each, assessing the seasonal range of seawater temperature (warmer months: April-October, T°C >16.45°C; cooler months November-March, T°C <16.45°C), salinity (27 psu), and dissolved oxygen (< or >8.2 mg/L). Total , total and potentially pathogenic were present respectively in the 11.5, 29.8 and 6.7% of the samples. The spp. load (mean value of 4.69±0.65 log colony forming unit g) and the prevalence of potentially pathogenic , were not significantly correlated to the environmental conditions (P>0.05), whereas the prevalence of both total and total was significantly higher in the warmer period (P<0.05), without correlation with salinity and dissolved oxygen values (P>0.05).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4081/ijfs.2016.6161DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5178842PMC
September 2016

Mislabelling of Döner Kebab Sold in Italy.

Ital J Food Saf 2016 Sep 2;5(4):6149. Epub 2016 Nov 2.

Department of Veterinary Medical Sciences, Alma Mater Studiorum-University of Bologna, Ozzano dell'Emilia (BO) , Italy.

The aim of this study was to assess whether Döner kebabs sold in Italy comply with legal labelling requirements. A checklist of EU labelling requirements was drawn up and nine labels of Döner kebab marketed in the province of Modena were collected to evaluate the mandatory information laid down in article 9 of Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 together with the mandatory requirements of Regulation (EC) 853/2004 for meat preparations. The study showed that different additives are commonly used in Döner kebabs, including E 621 (monosodium glutamate). This additive is not included among the ingredients authorized for the food category. Eight frozen Döner kebab samples were taken and a visual assessment and a histologic examination were performed to verify potential changes in the meat's inner muscle fibre structure that could allow the product to be considered among meat preparations or meat products. The Döner kebab labels showed several systematically deficient regulatory requirements in both extrinsic defects (not related to food composition) and aspects concerning the protection of consumers' health. Histological examination showed that the tissue was moderately swollen, but the muscle fibre structure was intact. Kebab can be reasonably classified as a meat preparation thereby precluding the use monosodium glutamate (E 621) as an ingredient.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4081/ijfs.2016.6149DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5136744PMC
September 2016

Seasonal Variability of Thermophilic Spp. in Raw Milk Sold by Automatic Vending Machines in Lombardy Region.

Ital J Food Saf 2016 Jun 16;5(3):5848. Epub 2016 Jun 16.

Department of Veterinary Medical Sciences, Alma Mater Studiorum-University of Bologna , Ozzano dell'Emilia (BO), Italy.

In temperate climates, a seasonal trend was observed in the incidence of human campylobacteriosis cases, with peaks reported in spring and autumn in some countries, or in summer in others; a similar trend was observed in spp. dairy cattle faecal shedding, suggesting that cattle may play a role in the seasonal peak of human infection. The objectives of this study were to assess if a seasonal trend in thermophilic spp. contamination of raw milk exists and to evaluate a possible relation between this and the increase of human campylobacteriosis incidence in summer months. The results showed a mean prevalence of 1.6% of milk samples positive for thermophilic spp. with a wide range (0.0-3.1%) in different months during the three years considered. The statistical analysis showed a significant difference (P<0.01) of the prevalence of positive samples for thermophilic spp. between warmer and cooler months (2.3 0.6%). The evidence of a seasonal trend in thermophilic spp. contamination of raw milk sold for direct consumption, with an increase of the prevalence in warmer months, may represent one of the possible links between seasonal trend in cattle faecal shedding and seasonal trend in human campylobacteriosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4081/ijfs.2016.5848DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5090118PMC
June 2016