Publications by authors named "Andrea Zatelli"

37 Publications

Clinical and Histopathological Features of Renal Maldevelopment in Boxer Dogs: A Retrospective Case Series (1999-2018).

Animals (Basel) 2021 Mar 13;11(3). Epub 2021 Mar 13.

Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Bari, 70010 Valenzano, Italy.

Renal maldevelopment (RM) has been proposed to replace the old and sometimes misused term "renal dysplasia" in dogs. Although renal dysplasia has been described in Boxers, hereditary transmission has only been hypothesized. This study reports clinical and renal histological findings in Boxer dogs with RM, proposing a possible mode of inheritance. Medical records of 9 female Boxer dogs, older than 5 months and with a clinical diagnosis of chronic kidney disease prior to one year of age, were retrospectively reviewed. Polyuria and polydipsia (PU/PD), decreased appetite, weight loss, lethargy and weakness were described in all affected dogs. Common laboratory findings were proteinuria, diluted urine, non-regenerative anemia, azotemia, hyperphosphatemia, hypoalbuminemia and hypercholesterolemia. Histopathology of the kidneys revealed the presence of immature glomeruli in all dogs, which is consistent with RM. In 7 related dogs, the pedigree analysis showed that a simple autosomal recessive trait may be a possible mode of inheritance. Renal maldevelopment should be suspected in young Boxer dogs with a history of PU/PD, decreased appetite, weight loss, lethargy, weakness and proteinuria. Due to its possible inheritance, an early diagnosis of RM may allow clinicians to promptly identify other potentially affected dogs among the relatives of the diagnosed case.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ani11030810DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8001074PMC
March 2021

Dirofilarioses in two cats in southern Italy.

Parasitol Res 2021 Mar 23. Epub 2021 Mar 23.

Dipartimento di Medicina Veterinaria, Università degli Studi di Bari, Bari, Italy.

Two cats infected by Dirofilaria immitis and Dirofilaria repens, respectively, were taken to two different private practitioners for a clinical examination. The analyses conducted on the first cat revealed a microfilaraemia due to D. repens of 66 mfs/mL by a modified Knott's test. No clinical signs of D. repens infection were observed in the cat. The animal was euthanised because of a lymphoma condition, and two adult females of D. repens were found in the subcutaneous tissue of the lumbar and left scapular regions at the post-mortem examination. The second cat showed severe abnormalities in the white blood cells, including eosinophil count. Microfilariae of D. immitis were detected in the blood smear, with an average length (n = 2) of 296.2 μm. These clinical cases represent the first reports of feline dirofilarioses in southern Italy and are indicative of a common occurrence of dirofilarial infection in the local canine population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00436-021-07127-6DOI Listing
March 2021

Preventive measures of canine leishmaniosis in Italy: Attitudes of veterinarians based on a questionnaire.

Prev Vet Med 2020 Oct 10;183:105148. Epub 2020 Sep 10.

formerly, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Viale Regina Elena 299, 00161 Rome, Italy.

There are several topical ectoparasiticides, drugs, supplements and vaccines that protect dogs against sand fly bites and/or reduce the risk of Leishmania infantum infection. This large variety of products and the absence of comparative studies mean that veterinarians are often faced with uncertainty. The aim of the study was to characterise the attitudes of veterinarians towards leishmaniosis prevention in client-owned dogs in Italy. A web-based questionnaire was prepared with 28 questions covering the working environment of veterinarians, advice given to owners regarding topical ectoparasiticides, advice on systemic prevention, and the use of diagnostic tests on which to base advice for prevention. The questionnaire was emailed to 9,426 veterinarians and answers were collected after 100 days. A total of 542 questionnaires were returned (response percentage 5.8 %): 54.8 % of the veterinarians considered their working area to be endemic, 29.3 % examined dogs from urban areas, and 42.3 % diagnosed ≥10 dogs/year with leishmaniosis. Those veterinarians who diagnosed ≥10 dogs/year with leishmaniosis were more likely to consider their working area to be endemic, whereas those who examined dogs mainly from urban areas were less likely to consider the area to be endemic. Veterinarians who considered the working area to be endemic were more prone to prescribe ectoparasiticides throughout the year, including collars and spot-on products and a combination of the two, vaccine alone or vaccine and domperidone combined, and used qualitative serological Leishmania tests. The attitude of veterinarians did not differ whether dogs were from urban or rural areas. In conclusion, veterinarians who consider their working area to be endemic or who frequently diagnose dogs with leishmaniosis tend to adopt more comprehensive strategies, and their attitudes are not influenced by the origin of the dogs: urban or rural. Overall, in Italy the attitudes of veterinarians in relation to canine leishmaniosis prevention appear to vary considerably.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.prevetmed.2020.105148DOI Listing
October 2020

Clinical, haematological and biochemical findings in tigers infected by Leishmania infantum.

BMC Vet Res 2020 Jun 22;16(1):214. Epub 2020 Jun 22.

Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Bari, 70010, Valenzano, Italy.

Background: A large number of animal species are susceptible to Leishmania infantum (Kinetoplastida, Trypanosomatidae) in endemic areas, including domestic and wild felids such as tigers (Panthera tigris). Knowledge on the infection of this endangered species is still at its infancy, and therefore this study aims to identify clinical presentation and clinicopathological findings of tigers naturally infected by L. infantum.

Results: Tigers either L. infantum-positive (group A) or -negative (group B) were apparently healthy or presented visceral leishmaniasis unrelated conditions, except for one animal in which a large non-healing cutaneous lesion was observed. However, histological exam and immunohistochemistry carried out on the lesion excluded the presence of L. infantum amastigotes. Biochemical analysis showed that the average concentration of total proteins, globulins and haptoglobin were significantly higher (p < 0.01, p = 0.01 and p = 0.02, respectively), while the albumin/globulin ratio significantly lower (p = 0.05) in group A compared with group B. The biochemical alterations were partially confirmed by the serum protein electrophoresis results revealing a significant increase in the total protein value (p = 0.01) and hypergammaglobulinemia (p = 0.03) but an unmodified albumin/globulin ratio in group A.

Conclusions: In this study tigers infected by L. infantum have shown to be mainly asymptomatic. The absence of clinical signs may lead veterinarians to overlook leishmaniasis in animals kept in captivity. Therefore, diagnostic and screening tests as serology should be part of routinely surveillance programs to be performed on tigers in zoological gardens located in endemic areas. Though only few protein-related laboratory abnormalities were recorded in infected animals, they could provide diagnostic clues for a first suspicion of L. infantum infection in tigers. Indeed, considering the high risk of zoonotic transmission in heavily frequented environment as zoos, a prompt diagnosis of L. infantum infection is of pivotal importance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12917-020-02419-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7310479PMC
June 2020

Hyperendemic Dirofilaria immitis infection in a sheltered dog population: an expanding threat in the Mediterranean region.

Int J Parasitol 2020 07 30;50(8):555-559. Epub 2020 May 30.

Dipartimento di Medicina Veterinaria, Università degli Studi di Bari, Bari, Italy; Faculty of Veterinary Sciences, Bu-Ali Sina University, Hamedan, Iran. Electronic address:

A study on the occurrence of Dirofilaria immitis and its vectors was carried out in order to assess the prevalence of the disease in dogs in previously non-endemic areas of southern Italy. Blood samples (n = 385) and mosquitoes (n = 1540) were collected in two dog shelters and analysed by Knott's test and duplex real-time PCR, respectively. Dirofilaria immitis was the most prevalent filarioid (44.2%), while Culex pipiens was the most prevalent mosquito species (68.8%). This high prevalence of D. immitis infection confirms this location as one of the most hyperendemic foci of dirofilariosis in Europe.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpara.2020.04.002DOI Listing
July 2020

Leishmania infantum in Tigers and Sand Flies from a Leishmaniasis-Endemic Area, Southern Italy.

Emerg Infect Dis 2020 06;26(6):1311-1314

We detected Leishmania infantum infection in 45% of tigers and 5.3% of sand flies tested at a zoo in southern Italy in 2019. These infections in tigers and the abundance of Phlebotomus perniciosus sand flies represent a potential risk to other animals and humans living in or visiting the zoo.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3201/eid2606.191668DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7258470PMC
June 2020

A molecular survey of vector-borne pathogens and haemoplasmas in owned cats across Italy.

Parasit Vectors 2020 Apr 21;13(1):116. Epub 2020 Apr 21.

Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Bari, Valenzano, Bari, Italy.

Background: Feline vector-borne pathogens (FeVBPs) have been increasingly investigated for their impact on cat health and their zoonotic potential. The aim of the present study was to assess the prevalence of FeVBPs and haemoplasmas in cats across Italy and to identify potential risk factors linked to their occurrence.

Methods: Blood samples from 958 owned cats living in the North (n = 556), Centre (n = 173) and South (n = 229) of Italy were tested for Babesia spp., Hepatozoon spp., Ehrlichia spp., Anaplasma spp. and filarioids by conventional PCR (cPCR) and for haemoplasmas and Bartonella spp. by SYBR green real-time PCR. Cats included in the study represent a sub-sample from a larger number of animals enrolled in a previous study, which were selected based on the geographical origin. Data on cats' positivity for Leishmania infantum, feline leukaemia virus (FeLV) and for feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), available from the previous study, were included and examined. Potential risk factors for pathogen infection were assessed in relationship to categorical variables including sex, geographical origin, breed, neutering status and age of cats.

Results: Out of the 958 cats, 194 (20.2%) were positive for at least one of the tested pathogens, 89 (16%) from the North, 32 (18.5%) from the Centre and 73 (31.9%) from the South of Italy. A high prevalence of FeVBPs was detected in male cats (n = 125, 27.8%), living in the southern part of the country (n = 73, 31.9%), younger than 18 months of age (n = 24, 22.4%) and not neutered (n = 39; 27.5%). In particular, 24 cats (2.5%) tested PCR-positive for Bartonella spp., of which 1.6% for B. henselae and 0.9% for B. clarridgeiae. A total of 111 cats scored PCR-positive for haemoplasmas (11.6%), specifically "Candidatus Mycoplasma haemominutum" (n = 95, 9.9%), M. haemofelis (n = 14, 1.5%) and "Candidatus Mycoplasma turicensis" (n = 2, 0.2%). Moreover, 39, 31 and 8 cats were positive for FeLV (4.1%), L. infantum (3.2%) and FIV (0.8%), respectively. Co-infections were registered for 19 (9.8%) cats.

Conclusions: These results confirm the occurrence of haemoplasmas and FeVBPs throughout Italy. Preventive measures to protect both animal and human health should be carried out also for owned cats, even if no health status of animals has been assessed in this study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13071-020-3990-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7171850PMC
April 2020

Leishmania infantum and Dirofilaria immitis infections in Italy, 2009-2019: changing distribution patterns.

Parasit Vectors 2020 Apr 15;13(1):193. Epub 2020 Apr 15.

Dipartimento di Medicina Veterinaria, Università degli Studi di Bari, Bari, Italy.

Background: For long time, canine leishmaniosis (CanL) was considered endemic in the southern, central, and insular regions of Italy, whereas heartworm disease (HW) caused by Dirofilaria immitis was considered endemic in the northern region and in the swampy Po Valley. Following the reports of new foci of both diseases, in this study we update the distribution patterns and occurrence of new foci of CanL and HW discussing the main drivers for the changes in the epidemiology of these two important zoonotic canine vector-borne diseases.

Methods: Based on the statistical analyses of serological assays (n = 90,633) on L. infantum exposure and D. immitis infection performed by two reference diagnostic centres in Italy over a ten-year period (2009-2019) irrespective of the anamnesis of dogs. The distribution patterns of both parasites are herein presented along with the occurrence of new foci.

Results: Results highlighted the changing distribution patterns of L. infantum vs D. immitis infection in Italy. CanL is endemic in some areas of northern regions and HW has endemic foci in central and southern regions and islands. Significant differences in L. infantum exposure and HW infection prevalence among the study macroareas were detected. The overall results of the positive tested samples were 28.2% in southern Italy and islands, 29.6% in central Italy and 21.6% in northern Italy for L. infantum and 2.83% in northern Italy, 7.75% in central Italy and 4.97% in southern Italy and islands for HW. HW positivity significantly varied over years (χ = 108.401, df = 10, P < 0.0001), gradually increasing from 0.77% in 2009 to 8.47% in 2016-2017.

Conclusions: New potential epidemiological scenarios are discussed according to a range of factors (e.g. environmental modifications, occurrence of competent insect vectors, transportation of infected animals to non-endemic areas, chemoprophylaxis or vector preventative measures), which may affect the current distribution. Overall, the results advocate for epidemiological surveillance programmes, more focussed preventative and control measures even in areas where few or no cases of both diseases have been diagnosed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13071-020-04063-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7161282PMC
April 2020

Zoonotic and vector-borne pathogens in tigers from a wildlife safari park, Italy.

Int J Parasitol Parasites Wildl 2020 Aug 28;12:1-7. Epub 2020 Mar 28.

Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Bari, Bari, Italy.

Infectious diseases by pathogens, including those of zoonotic concern, may act as a primary or contributory cause of threat to wildlife conservation and may represent a risk for human health, mainly for people working at, or visiting the zoological parks. Given the paucity of data on pathogens infecting wild tigers, we investigated the occurrence of infectious agents in this animal species, with a special focus on those of zoonotic concern. Blood and serum samples from tigers (n = 20) living in a wildlife safari park of southern Italy were screened by serological and molecular tests. All animals scored positive for antibodies against (100%), whereas they displayed different prevalence of seropositivity for (30%), (15%) and Icterohaemorrhagiae and/or Grippotyphosa (15%). No antibodies against were detected. In addition, 8 tigers (40%) tested molecularly positive to " Mycoplasma haemominutum", and 3 (15%) to . No DNA of , spp., / spp. and piroplasmids was amplified. The occurrence of tiger infections by bacteria and parasites may represent a risk for morbidity and, in some circumstances, mortality in this endangered species and a source of infection for other animals, including humans. These findings indicate that the circulation of zoonotic pathogens such as Icterohaemorrhagiae, " Mycoplasma haemominutum" and in given environments may represent a relevant health issue considering the close association among animals and humans visiting, or working at, the wildlife safari park. Preventative measures are advocated in order to control ectoparasites and other sources of infection (e.g., small rodents), thus for minimizing the risk of infection for animals as well as for humans.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijppaw.2020.03.006DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7139133PMC
August 2020

Evaluation of the analytical variability of dipstick protein pads in canine urine.

Vet Clin Pathol 2018 Jun 26;47(2):246-251. Epub 2018 Mar 26.

Medical Consultancy Services, Ta'Xbiex, Malta.

Background: The dipstick is a first-line and inexpensive test that can exclude the presence of proteinuria in dogs. However, no information is available about the analytical variability of canine urine dipstick analysis.

Objectives: The aim of this study was to assess the analytical variability in 2 dipsticks and the inter-operator variability in dipstick interpretation.

Methods: Canine urine supernatants (n = 174) were analyzed with 2 commercially available dipsticks. Two observers evaluated each result blinded to the other observer and to the results of the other dipstick. Intra- and inter-assay variability was assessed in 5 samples (corresponding to the 5 different semi-quantitative results) tested 10 consecutive times over 5 consecutive days. The agreement between observers and between dipsticks was evaluated with Cohen's k test.

Results: Intra-assay repeatability was good (≤3/10 errors), whereas inter-assay variability was higher (from 1/5 to 4/5 discordant results). The concordance between the operators (k = 0.68 and 0.79 for the 2 dipsticks) and that of the dipsticks (k = 0.66 and 0.74 for the 2 operators) was good. However, 1 observer and 1 dipstick overestimated the results compared with the second observer or dipstick. In any case, discordant results accounted for a single unit of the semi-quantitative scale.

Conclusions: As for any other method, analytic variability may affect the semi-quantitation of urinary proteins when using the dipstick method. Subjective interpretation of the pad and, to a lesser extent, intrinsic staining properties of the pads could affect the results. Further studies are warranted to evaluate the effect of this variability on clinical decisions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/vcp.12594DOI Listing
June 2018

Short-term effects of dietary supplementation with amino acids in dogs with proteinuric chronic kidney disease.

Can Vet J 2017 Dec;58(12):1287-1293

The Medical Consultancy Services, G Calì street 60, Ta'Xbiex, XBX1424 Malta (Zatelli, D'Ippolito); The Hospital Clínic Veterinari, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra, Spain (Roura); The Clinic for Small Animal Internal Medicine, Vet Suisse Faculty, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 260, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland, Department of Animal Medicine, Production and Health, viale dell'Università 16, 35020 Legnaro (PD), University of Padova, Italy, and Istituto Veterinario di Novara, Strada Provinciale 9, 28060 Granozzo con Monticello (NO), Italy (Zini).

This retrospective study investigated the impact of amino acid supplementation on body weight, serum albumin, creatinine and urea concentrations, and urine protein-to-creatinine (UPC) ratio in proteinuric dogs with chronic kidney disease (CKD). Forty-six client-owned azotemic dogs with spontaneous proteinuric CKD already on a renal diet and in therapy with enalapril were included. After approximately 1 month of treatment (baseline), 29 dogs received oral amino acid supplementation daily (group A) and 17 dogs did not (group B). The parameters under investigation were determined at baseline and after 4 to 8 weeks in both groups. Compared to baseline, body weight and serum albumin increased ( < 0.01, < 0.05, respectively) at follow-up in group A, but did not change in group B. Serum creatinine concentration did not change in both groups; urea concentration ( < 0.05) and UPC ratio ( < 0.01) decreased in group B, but not in group A. Supplementation with amino acids increased body weight and serum albumin concentration in these dogs but it might have prevented a decrease in proteinuria and urea concentration.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5680804PMC
December 2017

Discrepancies between feline coronavirus antibody and nucleic acid detection in effusions of cats with suspected feline infectious peritonitis.

Res Vet Sci 2019 Aug 31;125:421-424. Epub 2017 Oct 31.

Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Bari, Strada per Casamassima Km 3, Valenzano, Bari 70010, Italy. Electronic address:

Intra-vitam diagnosis of feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) is a challenge for veterinary diagnosticians, since there are no highly specific and sensitive assays currently available. With the aim to contribute to fill this diagnostic gap, a total of 61 effusions from cats with suspected effusive FIP were collected intra-vitam for detection of feline coronavirus (FCoV) antibodies and RNA by means of indirect immunofluorescence (IIF) assay and real-time RT-PCR (qRT-PCR), respectively. In 5 effusions there was no evidence for either FCoV RNA or antibodies, 51 and 52 specimens tested positive by IIF and qRT-PCR, respectively, although antibody titres≥1:1600, which are considered highly suggestive of FIP, were detected only in 37 effusions. Three samples with high antibody levels tested negative by qRT-PCR, whereas 18 qRT-PCR positive effusions contained no or low-titre antibodies. qRT-PCR positive samples with low antibody titres mostly contained low FCoV RNA loads, although the highest antibody titres were detected in effusions with C values>30. In conclusion, combining the two methods, i.e., antibody and RNA detection would help improving the intra-vitam diagnosis of effusive FIP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rvsc.2017.10.004DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7111774PMC
August 2019

Laboratory tests for diagnosing and monitoring canine leishmaniasis.

Vet Clin Pathol 2016 Dec 2;45(4):552-578. Epub 2016 Nov 2.

Clinic for Small Animal Internal Medicine, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.

Although several reviews on canine leishmaniasis have been published, none thoroughly described clinicopathologic abnormalities and their clinical usefulness. The aim of this review was to provide information concerning current diagnostic tests relevant for clinical pathologists and from a practical perspective. Specifically, in canine leishmaniasis, nonregenerative normocytic normochromic anemia, thrombocytopenia, or leukogram changes may be present. Clinical chemistry and urinalysis may indicate renal dysfunction (azotemia, decreased urine specific gravity, proteinuria) and an inflammatory/immune response (increased acute phase proteins [APP] or α - and/or γ-globulins). Although a potential gammopathy is usually polyclonal, it may also appear oligo- or monoclonal, especially in dogs coinfected by other vector-borne pathogens. When lesions are accessible to fine-needle aspiration (lymphoadenomegaly, nodular lesions, joint swelling), cytology is strongly advised, as the presence of Leishmania amastigotes in a pattern of pyogranulomatous inflammation or lymphoplasmacytic hyperplasia is diagnostic. If the cytologic pattern is inconclusive, the parasite should be identified by histology/immunohistochemistry or PCR on surgical biopsies. Alternatively, cytology and PCR may be performed on bone marrow samples where amastigotes, along with erythroid hypoplasia, myeloid hyperplasia, plasmacytosis, or secondary dysmyelopoiesis can be observed. Dogs with overt leishmaniasis generally have high antibody titers, while low titers predominate in immunologically resistant infected dogs or in exposed dogs with no parasite confirmation. Quantitative serology is recommended in clinically suspect dogs as high-titer antibodies titers may confirm the clinical diagnosis. In confirmed and treated dogs, renal function and inflammatory/immune response variables should be periodically monitored.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/vcp.12413DOI Listing
December 2016

Big-endothelin 1 (big ET-1) and homocysteine in the serum of dogs with chronic kidney disease.

Vet J 2013 Oct 27;198(1):109-15. Epub 2013 Jul 27.

Department of Veterinary Sciences and Public Health, University of Milan, Via Celoria 10, 20133 Milan, Italy.

This study was aimed at determining the serum concentration of homocysteine (Hcy) and big endothelin-1 (big ET-1, the precursor of endothelin) in dogs with chronic kidney disease (CKD) with and without hypertension, proteinuria and inflammation, in order to explore their role as biomarkers of hypertension associated with CKD. Hcy and big ET-1 were measured using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and an enzymatic cyclic reaction, respectively, in dogs with CKD staged, as proposed by the International Renal Interest Society (IRIS), using serum creatinine, urinary protein to creatinine (UPC) ratio and systolic blood pressure, and classified as affected or not by inflammation based on the serum concentration of C-reactive protein (CRP). Serum Hcy was significantly higher in dogs of IRIS stages II, III and IV compared with controls and in proteinuric compared with non-proteinuric dogs. No differences relating to the degree of hypertension or to the CRP concentration were found. Serum big ET-1 significantly increased in dogs of IRIS stage IV compared with controls, in proteinuric compared with non-proteinuric dogs, in dogs with severe hypertension compared with those without hypertension, and in dogs with increased CRP compared to those with normal CRP concentrations. Hcy only correlated with serum creatinine but big ET-1 significantly correlated with serum creatinine, UPC ratio, systolic blood pressure, and increased CRP. In conclusion, both Hcy and big ET-1 increase in dogs with CKD. Although further research is needed, big ET-1, but not Hcy, may also be considered as a biomarker of hypertension.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tvjl.2013.06.022DOI Listing
October 2013

Variation of proteinuria in dogs with leishmaniasis treated with meglumine antimoniate and allopurinol: a retrospective study.

J Am Anim Hosp Assoc 2013 Jul-Aug;49(4):231-6. Epub 2013 May 20.

Clinica Veterinaria Pirani, Reggio Emilia, Italy.

A retrospective study was performed using 53 client owned dogs with leishmaniasis to determine whether the degree of proteinuria, evaluated by the urine protein/creatinine ratio (UP/C), changes following treatment with meglumine antimoniate and allopurinol. Medical records of dogs with leishmaniasis in clinical stage C (according to the Canine Leishmaniasis Working Group staging system) and either proteinuric or borderline proteinuric (according to the International Renal Interest Society [IRIS] staging system) were reviewed. All dogs were treated with meglumine antimoniate and allopurinol for 4-8 wk. After treatment, UP/C, total protein, and total globulin significantly decreased and albumin and the albumin/globulin ratio (A/G) increased. After treatment, 7 of the 53 dogs (13.4%) became nonproteinuric following either a proteinuric or borderline proteinuric stage. Moreover, 12 of the 53 proteinuric dogs (22.6%) changed their stage to borderline proteinuric. The antileishmaniasis treatment with meglumine antimoniate in combination with allopurinol in dogs significantly reduced the degree of proteinuria in a short period of time. The results of the current study may be useful to the veterinary practitioner in the clinical management of canine leishmaniasis (CanL) in dogs with proteinuric chronic kidney disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5326/JAAHA-MS-5840DOI Listing
June 2014

Prognosis and monitoring of leishmaniasis in dogs: a working group report.

Vet J 2013 Oct 14;198(1):43-7. Epub 2013 May 14.

Hospital Clínic Veterinari, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra, Spain. Electronic address:

This review presents the consensus opinion of the Canine Leishmaniasis Working Group on the prognosis and monitoring of leishmaniasis in dogs. While the prognosis for both exposed and infected dogs is considered to be favourable, this changes if infection progresses to overt disease. For clinically affected animals undergoing treatment, the prognosis is dictated by the severity of the signs (and in particular the severity of renal dysfunction) when therapy is initiated; assessing the degree of proteinuria is useful in this context. Approximately 75% of dogs without evidence of renal involvement live for >4years if adequately treated. Monitoring the response to treatment includes ongoing clinical and clinicopathological assessment, as well as quantifying serological responses and the parasite load in the patient.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tvjl.2013.04.001DOI Listing
October 2013

Evaluation of factors that affect analytic variability of urine protein-to-creatinine ratio determination in dogs.

Am J Vet Res 2012 Jun;73(6):779-88

Department of Veterinary Pathology, Hygiene and Public Health, University of Milano, 20133 Milan, Italy.

Objective: To determine whether preanalytic and analytic factors affect evaluation of the urinary protein-to-creatinine (UPC) ratio in dogs.

Sample: 50 canine urine samples.

Procedures: The UPC ratio was measured to assess the intra-assay imprecision (20 measurements within a single session), the influence of predilution (1:10, 1:20, and 1:100) for urine creatinine concentration measurement, and the effect of storage at room temperature (approx 20°C), 4°C, and -20°C.

Results: The coefficient of variation at room temperature determined with the 1:20 predilution was < 10.0%, with the highest coefficients of variation found in samples with a low protein concentration or low urine specific gravity. This variability could result in misclassification of samples with UPC ratios close to the thresholds defined by the International Renal Interest Society to classify dogs as nonproteinuric (0.2), borderline proteinuric (0.21 to 0.50), or proteinuric (> 0.51). A proportional bias was found in samples prediluted 1:10, compared with samples prediluted 1:20 or 1:100. At room temperature, the UPC ratio did not significantly increase after 2 and 4 hours. After 12 hours at room temperature and at 4°C, the UPC ratio significantly increased. The UPC ratio did not significantly change during 3 months of storage at -20°C.

Conclusions And Clinical Relevance: The intra-assay precision of the UPC ratio was sufficiently low to avoid misclassification of samples, except for values close to 0.2 or 0.5. The optimal predilution ratio for urine creatinine concentration measurement was 1:20. A 1:100 predilution is recommended in samples with a urine specific gravity > 1.030. The UPC ratio must be measured as soon as samples are collected. Alternatively, samples should be immediately frozen to increase their stability and minimize the risk of misclassification of proteinuria.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2460/ajvr.73.6.779DOI Listing
June 2012

Effect of dietary supplements in reducing probability of death for uremic crises in dogs affected by chronic kidney disease (masked RCCT).

ScientificWorldJournal 2012 19;2012:219082. Epub 2012 Apr 19.

Clinica Veterinaria Pirani, Nephrology and Urology Division, Via Majakowski 2/L,M,N, 42124 Reggio Emilia, Italy.

Chitosan and alkalinizing agents can decrease morbidity and mortality in humans with chronic kidney disease (CKD). Whether this holds true in dog is not known. Objective of the study was to determine whether a commercial dietary supplement containing chitosan, phosphate binders, and alkalinizing agents (Renal), compared to placebo, reduces mortality rate due to uremic crises in dogs with spontaneous CKD, fed a renal diet (RD). A masked RCCT was performed including 31 azotemic dogs with spontaneous CKD. Dogs enrolled in the study were randomly allocated to receive RD plus placebo (group A; 15 dogs) or RD plus Renal (group B; 16 dogs). During a first 4-week period, all dogs were fed an RD and then randomized and clinically evaluated up to 44 weeks. The effects of dietary supplements on mortality rate due to uremic crises were assessed. At 44 weeks, compared to group A, dogs in group B had approximately 50% lower mortality rate due to uremic crises (P = 0.015). Dietary supplementation with chitosan, phosphate binders, and alkalinizing agents, along with an RD, is beneficial in reducing mortality rate in dogs with spontaneous CKD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1100/2012/219082DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3348639PMC
October 2012

High-resolution gel electrophoresis and sodium dodecyl sulphate-agarose gel electrophoresis on urine samples for qualitative analysis of proteinuria in dogs.

J Vet Diagn Invest 2011 Jul 13;23(4):682-90. Epub 2011 Jun 13.

Department of Veterinary Pathology Hygiene and Public Health, University of Milan, Via Celoria 10 Milan, Milan 20133, Italy.

The aims of the current study were to assess whether sodium dodecyl sulphate-agarose gel electrophoresis (SDS-AGE) and high-resolution electrophoresis (HRE) can identify dogs with a urinary protein-to-creatinine ratio (UPC ratio) >0.2 and whether HRE can provide preliminary information about the type of proteinuria, using SDS-AGE as a reference method. HRE and SDS-AGE were conducted on 87 urine samples classified according to the International Renal Interest Society as non-proteinuric (NP; UPC ratio: <0.20; 32/87), borderline proteinuric (BP; UPC ratio: 0.21-0.50; 15/87), or proteinuric (P; UPC ratio: >0.51; 40/87). SDS-AGE and HRE were positive in 14 out of 32 and 3 out of 32 NP samples and in 52 out of 55 and 40 out of 55 samples with a UPC ratio >0.20, respectively. The concordance between HRE or SDS and UPC ratio was comparable (κ = 0.59; κ = 0.55). However, specificity (90%) and positive likelihood ratio (7.76) were higher for HRE than for SDS-AGE (56% and 2.16) while sensitivity was lower (73% vs. 94%). The analysis of HRE results revealed that a percentage of albumin >41.4% and an albumin/α(1)-globulin ratio (alb/α(1) ratio) >1.46 can identify samples classified by SDS-AGE as affected by glomerular proteinuria while a percentage of α(1)-globulin >40.8% and an alb/α(1) ratio <0.84 can identify samples classified by SDS-AGE as affected by tubular proteinuria. In conclusion, both SDS-AGE and HRE could misclassify samples with a UPC ratio higher or lower than 0.20. Therefore, UPC ratio must always be determined before conducting these tests. The percentage of albumin and α(1)-globulin or the alb/α(1) ratio determined by HRE can provide preliminary information about the origin of proteinuria.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1040638711407900DOI Listing
July 2011

Microdamage accumulation changes according to animal mass: an intraspecies investigation.

Calcif Tissue Int 2011 May 18;88(5):409-15. Epub 2011 Feb 18.

Department of Surgical and Medical Disciplines, Section of Gerontology, University of Torino, Corso Bramante 88/90, 10126 Torino, Turin, Italy.

The fatigue life of a structure is also influenced by its size. Statistically, a bone from a large animal is expected to bear a higher risk of stress fracture if compared to the same bone from a small animal of the same species. This is not documented in the dog, where individuals can have a 40 times difference in body mass. We investigated the effect of body size on cortical bone microdamage accumulation, cortical microstructural organization (porosity, osteon area, and osteocyte lacunar density), and turnover in dogs with a wide body mass range. The aim was to understand and mathematically model how the bone tissue copes with the microdamage accumulation linked to body mass increase. Calcified transverse cortical sections of 18 canine radii of remarkably different size were examined by means of a standard bulk-staining technique and histomorphometric standard algorithms. Relationships between the investigated histomorphometric variables age, sex and mass were analyzed by general linear multivariate models and exponential equations. Type and location of microdamage and bone turnover were not influenced by body mass. Gender did not influence any parameter. Age influenced bone turnover and activation frequency. Microcrack density was influenced by bone mass. Bones had a similar microstructural organization within the same species regardless of the subject's dimension. Microdamage accumulation is inversely related to bone mass, whereas bone turnover is mass-invariant. We theorize a mass-related change in the bone fracture toughness targeted to reach an optimal unique dimensionless curve for fatigue life.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00223-011-9470-8DOI Listing
May 2011

Comparison of urine protein-to-creatinine ratio in urine samples collected by cystocentesis versus free catch in dogs.

J Am Vet Med Assoc 2010 Jun;236(11):1221-4

Sezione di Clinica Medica Veterinaria, Dipartimento di Salute Animale, University of Parma, 43100 Parma, Italy.

Objective: To assess whether urine protein-to-creatinine (UPC) ratios determined in urine samples collected by cystocentesis versus those collected by free catch provide similar diagnostic information for dogs.

Design: Evaluation study.

Animals: 115 client-owned dogs evaluated because of various health problems requiring urinalysis or to screen for proteinuria in an area endemic for leishmaniasis.

Procedures: 230 paired urine samples, 1 collected by cystocentesis and 1 by free catch, were collected from the 115 dogs. The UPC ratio was determined in paired urine samples (n = 162) from 81 dogs with no indication of active inflammation according to urine sediment analysis. On the basis of the UPC ratio of urine sample collected by cystocentesis, dogs were classified as nonproteinuric (UPC ratio < 0.2), borderline proteinuric (UPC ratio of 0.2 to 0.5), or proteinuric (UPC ratio > 0.5), according to the International Renal Interest Society (IRIS).

Results: The correlation between UPC ratio in urine samples collected by cystocentesis and by free catch was strong (r(2) = 0.90); 75 of 81 (92.6%) dogs had UPC ratios from both urine samples that resulted in classification in the same IRIS substage with a kappa coefficient of 0.83.

Conclusions And Clinical Relevance: The UPC ratio in dogs was minimally affected in urine samples collected by free catch, thus allowing correct grading of proteinuria with this method. The high reliability of the UPC ratio in free-catch urine samples coupled with the ease of collection should increase the use of this value for assessment of proteinuria.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2460/javma.236.11.1221DOI Listing
June 2010

Guidelines for prevention of leishmaniasis in dogs.

J Am Vet Med Assoc 2010 Jun;236(11):1200-6

Vector-borne Diseases & International Health Unit, MIPI Department, National Institute of Health, 00161 Rome, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.2460/javma.236.11.1200DOI Listing
June 2010

Guidelines for treatment of leishmaniasis in dogs.

J Am Vet Med Assoc 2010 Jun;236(11):1192-8

Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Naples, 80137 Naples, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.2460/javma.236.11.1192DOI Listing
June 2010

Guidelines for diagnosis and clinical classification of leishmaniasis in dogs.

J Am Vet Med Assoc 2010 Jun;236(11):1184-91

Department of Veterinary Pathology, Hygiene and Public Health, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Milan, 20122 Milan, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.2460/javma.236.11.1184DOI Listing
June 2010

Evaluation of a urine dipstick test for confirmation or exclusion of proteinuria in dogs.

Am J Vet Res 2010 Feb;71(2):235-40

Clinica Veterinaria Pirani, Via Majakowski 2/L,M,N - 42100 Reggio Emilia, Italy.

Objective: To evaluate a urine dipstick test as a possible replacement for urine protein-to-creatinine (UPC) ratio for identifying proteinuria in dogs.

Sample Population: 507 urine samples from adult dogs.

Procedures: Urine dipstick, UPC ratio, specific gravity (USG), and sediment testing were performed on 507 samples. With UPC ratio as the reference criterion, diagnostic accuracy of the urine dipstick test was calculated for the entire data set and for urine samples grouped by USG (< or = 1.012 or > 1.012; < 1.030 or > or = 1.030). A UPC ratio < 0.2 was used to indicate absence of proteinuria.

Results: The sensitivity of the urine dipstick test for detection of proteinuria was > 90% when 0 mg of protein/dL (a 0+ result) was used to indicate a negative test result, and the specificity ranged from 40% to 60%, depending on the USG. Sensitivity decreased to a range of 56% to 81% when 30 mg of protein/dL (a 1+ result) was used as the cutoff, depending on the USG, but the specificity increased to > 90%. The likelihood of correctly identifying nonproteinuric dogs was low when the USG was < or = 1.012, particularly when samples with a 1+ result were considered negative.

Conclusions And Clinical Relevance: For dogs with a dipstick-test result of 1+ and USG < or = 1.012, proteinuria should be assessed by use of the UPC ratio; dogs with a USG value > 1.012 are likely nonproteinuric. When used together, the urine dipstick test and USG measurement were reliable as a rapid alternative to UPC ratio determination in dogs in this study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2460/ajvr.71.2.235DOI Listing
February 2010

Ultrasound-assisted drainage and alcoholization of hepatic and renal cysts: 22 cases.

J Am Anim Hosp Assoc 2007 Mar-Apr;43(2):112-6

Clinica Veterinaria Pirani, via Majakowski 2/n, Reggio Emilia, 42100, Italy.

Twenty-two dogs and cats with symptomatic renal or hepatic cysts that had undergone ultrasound-assisted drainage and alcoholization were retrospectively evaluated. Common presenting complaints were anorexia, reluctance to move, and vomiting. Abdominal pain was observed in all cases. Systemic hypertension was identified in four dogs and four cats with renal cysts. Cyst drainage and alcoholization were achieved without complications in 19 animals, and all clinical signs resolved after the procedure. In three cases, transient bleeding was observed during alcoholization, and the procedure was interrupted. Blood pressure normalized in the four dogs with renal cysts, but it remained elevated in the four cats.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5326/0430112DOI Listing
July 2008

Diagnostic value of cytologic examination of gastrointestinal tract tumors in dogs and cats: 83 cases (2001-2004).

J Am Vet Med Assoc 2006 Oct;229(7):1130-3

Clinica Veterinaria Gran Sasso, via Donatello 26, 20131, Milano, Italy.

Objective: To determine results of cytologic examination of fine-needle aspirates and impression smears of gastrointestinal tract tumors in dogs and cats.

Design: Retrospective case series.

Animals: 38 dogs and 44 cats with histologically confirmed gastrointestinal tract tumors.

Procedures: Results of cytologic examination of fine-needle aspirates (n = 67) or impression smears (31) were compared with the histologic diagnosis, and extent of agreement was classified as complete, partial, none, or undetermined.

Results: For 48 of the 67 (72%) fine-needle aspirates, there was complete or partial agreement between the cytologic and histologic diagnoses. For 12 (18%) aspirates, the extent of agreement could not be determined because the cytologic specimen was considered unsatisfactory. For 29 of the 31 (94%) impression smears, there was complete agreement between the cytologic and histologic diagnoses, and for 2 (6%), there was partial agreement. None of the impression smears were considered unsatisfactory. Proportion of samples with complete agreement and proportion of samples with complete or partial agreement were significantly higher for impression smears than for fine-needle aspirates.

Conclusions And Clinical Relevance: Results suggest that there was moderate agreement between results of cytologic examination of fine-needle aspirates from dogs and cats with gastrointestinal tract neoplasia and the definitive histologic diagnosis. The agreement between results of cytologic examination of impression smears and the histologic diagnosis appeared to be higher.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2460/javma.229.7.1130DOI Listing
October 2006

Proximal ureteral ectopia causing hydronephrosis in a kitten.

J Feline Med Surg 2006 Dec 18;8(6):420-3. Epub 2006 Jul 18.

Clinica Veterinaria Pirani, Via Majakowski n. 2/L,M,N, 42100 Reggio, Emilia, Italy.

A 2-month-old, female cat was presented for abdomen dilation. The patient was undernourished, and severe left hydronephrosis was diagnosed after clinical, ultrasonographical and radiographical examination. Although pyelography was performed in order to visualise the ureteral course, surgery was necessary to reach a final aetiological diagnosis and treatment. At gross examination, the left ureter crossed the renal capsula at the level of the caudal renal pole, and the subcapsular ureteral segment was markedly dilated. Distal to the renal capsula, the left ureter was very thin when compared to the right. The parenchyma of the left kidney, as suggested by ultrasonographical evaluation, was extremely reduced in thickness. An ureteronephrectomy was performed. Histopathological evaluation revealed glomerular sclerosis and diffuse parenchymal fibrosis. Severe hydronephrosis derived from an altered renal pelvic anatomy and abnormal ureteral course determining functional stenosis. Diagnosis of congenital anomaly before development of complications such as hydronephrosis could have allowed a surgical renal capsulectomy and obstruction relief. To the author's knowledge, this is the first report of severe hydronephrosis associated to altered renal pelvic anatomy and proximal ureteral ectopia in cat.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jfms.2006.05.001DOI Listing
December 2006

Comparison of glomerular number and specimen length obtained from 100 dogs via percutaneous echo-assisted renal biopsy using two different needles.

Vet Radiol Ultrasound 2005 Sep-Oct;46(5):434-6

Clinica Veterinaria Pirani, Via Majakowski 2/L, M, N, Reggio Emilia, Italy.

Our objective was to evaluate possible differences in the number of glomeruli and length of renal biopsies collected in canine subjects by two different types of biopsy needles: a semiautomatic 18-gauge Trucut and an automated 18-gauge Jamshidi modified (Biopince). One hundred biopsy samples obtained from dogs of different ages and gender affected by different nephropathies were evaluated retrospectively. All animals were biopsied using one of the two different needles. Biopsies were performed under ultrasound guidance and evaluated by a single pathologist. Statistical analysis was performed to evaluate possible differences in the number of glomeruli and length of renal biopsies collected comparisons were determined between subgroups of dogs with or without the identification of renal interstitial infiltrates and/or fibrosis. Neither the mean difference of the number of glomeruli nor the length of tissue sample collected with the different needles was significantly different. Likewise, the average biopsy length did not differ in dogs with or without renal interstitial infiltrate in animals biopsied with either biopsy needle. Both the Biopince and the Trucut devices provide diagnostically adequate biopsy renal specimens using ultrasound-guidance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1740-8261.2005.00079.xDOI Listing
December 2005