Publications by authors named "Giuseppe Passantino"

26 Publications

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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

Effect of incremental levels of sumac (Rhus coriaria L.) seed powder on growth, carcass traits, blood parameters, immune system and selected ileal microorganisms of broilers.

Vet Ital 2020 12 1;56(3):185-192. Epub 2020 Dec 1.

Department of DETO, Section of Veterinary Science and Animal Production, University of Bari "Aldo Moro", Valenzano, Bari, Italy.

Sumac (Rhus coriaria L.) is a plant species belong to Anacardiaceous family that is worldwide diffused. The sumac seed power (SSP), produced by grinding dried fruits, is recognized to have defensive and beneficial effects on numerous health‑related problems. In this study, SSP was included in broilers basal‑diet to investigate the comparative effects of different levels of SSP on performance, carcass characteristics, blood parameters, immune system and ileal microorganisms. A total of 225, one day‑old male broilers (Ross 308) were randomly assigned to the five dietary treatments with three replicates per treatment. The experimental diets were: basal‑diet (BD); and BD including 0.05, 0.10, 0.15 and 0.20% SSP, respectively. During the whole feeding period (42 days), birds fed corn‑based grower (1‑21 days) and finisher (22‑42 days) diets, respectively. Results indicated that supplementing SSP had no effect on broiler body weight gain, feed intake and feed conversion as well as carcass characteristics (P > 0.05). Similarly, blood total protein, albumin, glucose and triglyceride were not influenced by dietary SSP. Conversely, serum total cholesterol and LDL‑cholesterol levels were decreased, while HDL‑cholesterol increased in all SSP fed groups compared to control (P < 0.05). In this study the addition of SSP in broilers diets did not show any effect on blood heterophils and lymphocyte. Moreover, the lactobacillus count remained unaffected by dietary treatments, while E. coli count in broiler ileal content was lower when fed 0.10% SSP than the other groups (P < 0.05). Thus, the present findings indicated a positive effect of feeding SSP (especially at 0.10% diet) on blood cholesterol levels and E. coli count in broiler chickens
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http://dx.doi.org/10.12834/VetIt.1892.10049.3DOI Listing
December 2020

Microvascular Density, Endothelial Area, and Ki-67 Proliferative Index Correlate Each Other in Cat Post-Injection Fibrosarcoma.

Cells 2020 12 28;10(1). Epub 2020 Dec 28.

Department of Veterinary Medicine, Section of Veterinary Pathology and Comparative Oncology, University of Bari "Aldo Moro", Strada p.le per Casamassima, km 3, 70010 Valenzano, Bari, Italy.

Soft tissue sarcomas are a large group of different tumor types both in humans and in animals. Among them, fibrosarcoma is the most frequent malignant mesenchymal tumoral form in cats, representing up to 28% of all cat skin tumors, while human fibrosarcoma, fortunately, only represents 5% of all sarcomas and 0.025% of the world-wide burden of tumors. This low incidence in humans leads to consideration of this group of tumoral diseases as rare, so therapeutic options are few due to the difficulty of starting clinical trials. In this context, the identification of research models for fibrosarcomas could be of great interest to deepen knowledge in this field and recognize new or possible biological pathways involved in tumor progression and metastasis. Angiogenesis is considered a fundamental scattering cause of tumor aggressiveness and progression in all forms of cancer, but only a few research parameters were developed and reported to express them quantitatively and qualitatively. The role in angiogenesis of microenvironmental stromal cells, such as fibroblasts, lymphocytes, mast cells, and macrophages, was largely demonstrated since this topic was first approached, while quantification of new vessels and their blood capacity in tumoral area is a relatively recent approach that could be well developed thanks to expertise in immunohistochemistry and image analysis. In this paper, a crossing study evaluating microvascular density (MVD), endothelial area (EA), and Ki-67 proliferative index was reported for a series of formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded tissue samples from 99 cat patients, affected by cat post-injection fibrosarcoma, by using a till ×400 magnification light microscopy. We aim to demonstrate that cat pets may be considered a useful animal model for better studying the correspondent human diseases and we report, for the first time to our knowledge, experimental data in terms of correlation among MVD, EA, and Ki-67 strictly involved in aggressiveness and tumoral progression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cells10010031DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7823643PMC
December 2020

Absorbable fixation straps for laparoscopic gastropexy in dogs.

Vet Surg 2020 Nov 11. Epub 2020 Nov 11.

Dipartimento Dell'Emergenze e trapianti di Organo, sez Cliniche Veterinarie e PA, Università degli studi di Bari, Valenzano, Bari, Italy.

Objective: To evaluate the feasibility and efficacy of laparoscopic absorbable fixation straps (AFS) for laparoscopic gastropexy in dogs.

Study Design: Cadaveric and prospective clinical study.

Animals: Five dog cadavers for the cadaveric study; 12 dogs for the clinical study.

Methods: The pyloric antrum was affixed to the abdominal wall laparoscopically by applying a series of straps. The cadaveric study assessed potential challenges during the procedure and stomach mucosal penetration. For the clinical study, the total duration of surgery, time to complete the gastropexy, and the number of straps used were recorded. Ultrasound evidence of adhesion, complications, and weight were monitored at 7, 30, and 90 days after surgery. Owner satisfaction was evaluated at the 6-month follow-up.

Results: The total duration of surgery was 25.8 minutes (range, 19-39; SD, 6.7), and the time to complete the gastropexy was 10.1 minutes (range, 7-19; SD, 3.9). The linear regression analysis revealed an inverse correlation between the time to complete the gastropexy and the order of the surgeries (r = 0.75, P < .05). No complications were recorded. Ultrasound examination was used to confirm gastropexy at all follow-ups.

Conclusion: Laparoscopic gastropexy with AFS was performed in both cadavers and clinical animals with minimal complications. Persistent adhesion was demonstrated during ultrasound evaluations and in one postmortem evaluation.

Clinical Significance: This novel laparoscopic technique can be employed safely, effectively, and reasonably quickly, and the learning curve is expected to be relatively short.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/vsu.13543DOI Listing
November 2020

Systematic Pathologic Findings Report of (Horsfield, 1823) (Rodentia, Sciuridae) Squirrels from Maratea area (South Italy) to Investigate Species-Specific Pathologies, Reliability of CO Euthanasia Method, and Possible Use as Environmental Sentinels.

Animals (Basel) 2020 Sep 30;10(10). Epub 2020 Sep 30.

Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Bari "Aldo Moro", Strada Prov.le per Casamassima Km. 3 70010 Valenzano (Bari), Italy.

The aim of the present study was to macroscopically and microscopically describe the main pathological findings occurring in this invasive species, in order to better understand the real risks for naïve animals and humans. The present study was conducted on squirrels (n = 165), captured in the Maratea area and euthanatized with CO according to a population control of invasive species of the Italian Agriculture Ministry project (ex CIPE project) and conferred to the Department of Veterinary Medicine of Bari (Italy). Macroscopic analysis demonstrated heart, lung, and liver congestion, probably due to the euthanasia method, and variable lesions of bowel, liver, and kidney. The microscopically examination showed the presence of lymphocytic infiltration in the lower layers of the bowel, suggesting enteritis. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first systemic report of gross and microscopical anatomopathological lesions in in South Italy. The results could be useful to fill a gap of knowledge of this species in Italy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ani10101771DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7600486PMC
September 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

The hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin-minoxidil inclusion complex improves the cardiovascular and proliferative adverse effects of minoxidil in male rats: Implications in the treatment of alopecia.

Pharmacol Res Perspect 2020 06;8(3):e00585

Section of Pharmacology, Department of Pharmacy - Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Bari, Bari, Italy.

The efficacy of minoxidil (MXD) ethanolic solutions (1%-5% w/v) in the treatment of androgenetic alopecia is limited by adverse reactions. The toxicological effects of repeated topical applications of escalating dose (0.035%-3.5% w/v) and of single and twice daily doses (3.5% w/v) of a novel hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin MXD GEL formulation (MXD/HP-β-CD) and a MXD solution were investigated in male rats. The cardiovascular effects were evaluated by telemetric monitoring of ECG and arterial pressure in free-moving rats. Ultrasonographic evaluation of cardiac morphology and function, and histopathological and biochemical analysis of the tissues, were performed. A pharmacovigilance investigation was undertaken using the EudraVigilance database for the evaluation of the potential cancer-related effects of topical MXD. Following the application of repeated escalating doses of MXD solution, cardiac hypertrophy, hypotension, enhanced serum natriuretic peptides and K -ion levels, serum liver biomarkers, and histological lesions including renal cancer were observed. In addition, the administration of a twice daily dose of MXD solution, at SF rat vs human = 311, caused reductions in the systolic, diastolic, and mean blood pressure of the rats (-30.76 ± 3%, -28.84 ± 4%, and -30.66 ± 5%, respectively, vs the baseline; t test P < .05). These effects were not reversible following washout of the MXD solution. Retrospective investigation showed 32 cases of cancer associated with the use of topical MXD in humans. The rats treated with MXD HP-β-CD were less severely affected. MXD causes proliferative adverse effects. The MXD HP-β-CD inclusion complex reduces these adverse effects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/prp2.585DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7203570PMC
June 2020

Histological features of Rickettsia-like organisms in the European flat oyster (Ostrea edulis L.).

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2020 Jan 9;27(1):882-889. Epub 2019 Dec 9.

Department of Veterinary Medicine, Veterinary Pathology and Comparative Oncology Unit, University of Bari Aldo Moro, Valenzano, 70010, Bari, Italy.

The European flat oyster (Ostrea edulis L.) represents an economically important oyster production in Southern Italy, widespread in natural beds along the coast. The practice to be eaten raw is an everlasting concern for possible health risk with a need to stringently monitor the health of aquatic environment. A screening survey using histopathological examination was undertaken by harvesting O. edulis from different sites along the Apulian coast of Italy. Tissue samples of the digestive gland, kidney, gonad, and gill were provided for morphologic study in light microscopy (LM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis. The LM observations revealed spherical cytoplasmic inclusions as basophilic prokaryote colonies in 13/250 oysters. The TEM and SEM confirmed the presence of intracytoplasmic inclusions of Rickettsia-like organisms (RLOs), merely in the epithelial cells of the digestive gland tubule tissues in the 13 oysters. Within intracytoplasmic vacuoles, RLOs exhibited a prokaryotic characteristic ultrastructure with transverse binary fission, a DNA zone full of chromatin fibers and a granular periplasmic ribosome zone. O. edulis were found positive for RLOs in wild oysters from Manfredonia, while the other sites were found free of pathological inclusions. Thus, we present the first report of a Rickettsia-like infection in the Apulian wild oyster (O. edulis) from Italy, including an ultrastructural description and pathological characterization.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-019-07007-8DOI Listing
January 2020

Thymidine Phosphorylase Expression and Microvascular Density Correlation Analysis in Canine Mammary Tumor: Possible Prognostic Factor in Breast Cancer.

Front Vet Sci 2019 25;6:368. Epub 2019 Oct 25.

Interventional and Medical Oncology Unit, Department of Pathology National Cancer Research Centre, IRCCS Istituto Tumori Giovanni Paolo II, Bari, Italy.

The thymidine phosphorylase (TP) is a key enzyme involved in the metabolism of pyrimidines. Inhibition or downregulation of this enzyme causes accumulation of metabolites with consequences in DNA replication. TP regulates angiogenesis and chemotactic activity of endothelial cells. Different studies showed the presence of TP upregulation in human cancer but the correlation between TP expression and the microvascular density (MVD) in canine mammary tumors is unknown. The aim of this study was to investigate a possible correlation between the MVD and TP expression in tumor cells of canine mammary tumors of different degree of severity (G1-G3) by immunohistochemical analysis. Sixty-eight samples of spontaneous mammary neoplasia of 5-12 cm in diameter were collected from purebred and mixed-breed dogs (mean aged = 9.5 ± 7), not subject to chemotherapy treatments in veterinary clinics. Histopathological analysis and immunostaining were performed. Carcinoma simple samples have been classified as 72.06% of tubule-papillary, 20.59% cysto-papillary, and 7.35% tubular carcinomas. Immunostainings revealed a marked cytoplasmic expression of TP in 30.88% of samples, mild in 32.35%, weaker in 22.07%, and negative in 14.70%. The correlation analysis and two-way ANOVA showed a linear correlation between MVD and TP with a coefficient of correlation () > 0.5 ( < 0.05) in G2 and G3. No correlation between variables was found in G1. These findings suggest that cytoplasmic TP overexpression is correlated with microvascular density in canine mammary tumors, in severe grade, and it can be a potential prognostic factor in breast cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fvets.2019.00368DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6823610PMC
October 2019

Neurological symptoms and mortality associated with Streptococcus gallolyticus subsp. pasteurianus in calves.

Vet Microbiol 2019 Sep 23;236:108369. Epub 2019 Jul 23.

Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Bari "Aldo Moro", Str. Prov. per Casamassima Km 3, 70010, Valenzano, BA, Italy.

Suppurative meningitis-meningoencephalitis (M-ME) is a sporadic disease in neonatal ungulates and only a few studies have reported the involvement of Streptococcus bovis/Streptococcus equinus complex (SBSEC) members in bovine neonatal M-ME. The SBSEC taxonomy was recent revised and previous biotype II/2 was reclassified as S. gallolyticus subsp. pasteurianus (SGP). The aim of this study was to describe a case of fatal neonatal neurological syndrome associated with SGP in calves. Ten calves were monitored because of neurological hyperacute symptoms associate with bilateral hypopyon and death. They were not fed with maternal colostrum; two of them died and were subjected to bacteriological, histopathological and biomolecular analysis as well as antibiotic susceptibility test. Both animals presented lesions mostly concentrated to meninges and brain and had bilateral hypopyon. Nine strains isolated in purity from brain, ocular humors and colon were identified as S. bovis group by using the API Strep system and as S. gallolyticus by using the 16S rRNA sequence. Two of these strains where subjected to WGS analysis that confirmed the sub-species identification and the clonality of the two SGP strains. The strains were found resistant to OT, SXT, MTZ and EN and susceptible to AMP, AMC, KZ and CN. We hypothesized that the syndrome observed could be due to the lack of maternal colostrum feeding. A timely and precise diagnosis could have likely prevented the death of the calves and, since the zoonotic potential of SBSECs members is known, accurate and rapid identification is required.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetmic.2019.07.021DOI Listing
September 2019

Effect of cat litters on feline coronavirus infection of cell culture and cats.

J Feline Med Surg 2020 04 16;22(4):350-357. Epub 2019 May 16.

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

Objectives: Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) is caused by infection with feline coronavirus (FCoV). FCoV is incredibly contagious and transmission is via the faecal-oral route. FCoV infection, and therefore FIP, is most common in breeder and rescue catteries, where many cats are kept indoors, using litter trays. Whether it is possible to break the cycle of FCoV infection and reinfection using cat litters has never been investigated. The aim of the study was to examine the effect of cat litters on FCoV infectivity and virus load in multi-cat households, and transmission frequency.

Methods: Fifteen cat litters were mixed and incubated with FCoV, centrifuged and the supernatants tested in vitro for the ability to prevent virus infection of cell culture. To test applicability of in vitro results to real life, virus load was measured in two households in a double crossover study of four Fuller's earth-based cat litters by testing rectal swabs using FCoV reverse transcriptase quantitative PCR.

Results: Four litters abrogated FCoV infection of cell culture, nine reduced it to a greater or lesser extent and two had no effect. One brand had different virus inhibitory properties depending on where it was manufactured. Fuller's earth-based litters performed best, presumably by adsorbing virus. In the field study, there appeared to be less virus shedding on one Fuller's earth-based cat litter.

Conclusions And Relevance: The in vitro study successfully identified cat litters that inactivate FCoV; such litters exist so do not need to be developed. Fuller's earth-based litters best prevented infection of cell culture, but did not completely abrogate FCoV transmission in two multi-cat households. A dust-free clumping Fuller's earth litter appeared to fare best, but virus shedding also varied on the control litters, complicating interpretation. Sawdust-based cat litters are not useful in FCoV-endemic households because they track badly and have a poor effect on virus infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1098612X19848167DOI Listing
April 2020

Sarcocystis bertrami in skeletal muscles of donkeys (Equus africanus asinus) from Southern Italy.

Vet Parasitol Reg Stud Reports 2019 04 14;16:100283. Epub 2019 Mar 14.

Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Bari "Aldo Moro", Valenzano, Italy.

Among the protozoa of the genus Sarcocystis (Apicomplexa; Sarcocystidae), Sarcocystis bertrami (syn. Sarcocystis fayeri) is an obligate intracellular parasite of donkeys and horses with worldwide distribution. Here, we report the detection of S. bertrami in naturally infected donkeys from southern Italy and describe their structure by light microscopy (LM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Protozoal cysts were detected both morphologically and molecularly in skeletal muscles of 28.57% (40/140) donkeys. Mature cysts of S. bertrami were found in skeletal muscle measuring 31-102 μm long and 19-83 μm wide with radially striated thick cyst wall. The high prevalence of infected donkeys suggests that dogs, the definitive hosts of S. bertrami, are contaminating environment with environmentally resistant sporocysts. Considering the increased consumption of raw donkey meat results also suggest a potential risk for human health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vprsr.2019.100283DOI Listing
April 2019

Haplosporidium pinnae associated with mass mortality in endangered Pinna nobilis (Linnaeus 1758) fan mussels.

J Invertebr Pathol 2019 06 23;164:32-37. Epub 2019 Apr 23.

Dipartimento di Medicina Veterinaria, Università degli Studi di Bari, Str. prov. per Casamassima km 3, 70010 Valenzano, Bari, Italy. Electronic address:

The fan mussel, Pinna nobilis (Linnaeus 1758), is an endemic bivalve of the Mediterranean basin, protected by international legislation as an endangered species. In the early summer of 2018, a mass mortality event (MME) of P. nobilis was recorded in the Gulf of Taranto (Southern Italy, Ionian Sea). Moribund specimens of P. nobilis were collected by scuba divers and processed by bacteriological, parasitological, histopathological and molecular analyses to investigate the causes of this MME. Different developmental stages (i.e., plasmodia, spores and sporocysts) of a presumptive haplosporidian parasite were observed during the histological analysis in the epithelium and in the lumen of the digestive tubules, where mature spores occurred either free or in sporocysts. The spores presented an operculum and an ovoid shape measuring 4.4 µm (±0.232) in length and 3.6 µm (±0.233) in width. BLAST analysis of an 18SrRNA sequence revealed a high nucleotide similarity (99%) with the reference sequence of Haplosporidium pinnae available in GenBank database. Phylogenetic analysis clustered the sequence of the pathogen in a paraphyletic clade with the reference sequence of H. pinnae, excluding other haplosporidians (i.e., Bonamia and Minchinia genera). Based on data reported, H. pinnae was the causative agent of MME in the populations of P. nobilis sampled in the Ionian Sea, where the conservation of this endangered species is heavily threatened by such a protozoan infection. Further investigations should contribute to knowledge about the life cycle of H. pinnae in order to reduce spread of the pathogen and to mitigate the burden of the disease where P. nobilis is facing the risk of extinction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jip.2019.04.005DOI Listing
June 2019

Nectin-4 and p63 immunohistochemical expression in canine prostate tumourigenesis.

Vet Comp Oncol 2019 Sep 8;17(3):298-307. Epub 2019 Apr 8.

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

Nectin-4 is an E-cadherin-based adherens junction protein of normal epithelial cells, as well as a potent mediator of anchorage-independent cancer colony formation. It is considered a tumour-associated histological and serological marker in various human cancers. The transcription factor p63 is a basal cell marker in the normal prostate, involved in cell adhesion, as well as in the formation and survival of circulating tumour cell clusters. The aim of this study was to evaluate Nectin-4 and p63 immunohistochemical expression in 42 canine prostate tissues including 2 normal prostates, 10 benign prostatic hyperplasias (BPHs), 30 prostatic carcinomas (PCs), 1 pulmonary and 1 lymph node metastasis. From normal to neoplastic tissues, Nectin-4 showed a progressive switching from membranous (m-Nectin-4) to cytoplasmic (c-Nectin-4), regardless of the histological subtypes, except for lack of expression in solid PCs. Metastatic cells exhibited both strong membranous and cytoplasmic positivity. c-Nectin-4 expression was significantly (P < 0.0001) increased in PCs/metastasis compared to BPHs cases and a decrease (P < 0.05) of nuclear p63 immunostaining was also detected in the two groups. Furthermore, data showed a significant association (P < 0.05) between p63 and m-Nectin-4 distribution, although their colocalization was detected only in scattered cells by double immunofluorescence. Our results suggest the involvement of m-Nectin-4 in canine prostate tumourigenesis and metastatic potential, while the exact role of c-Nectin-4 expression detectable in primary PCs requires further investigations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/vco.12469DOI Listing
September 2019

Antigenic relationship among zoonotic flaviviruses from Italy.

Infect Genet Evol 2019 03 2;68:91-97. Epub 2018 Dec 2.

School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK.

Here we report studies of the antigenic relationship of West Nile virus (WNV) and Usutu virus (USUV), two zoonotic flaviviruses from Italy, together with a Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) strain and compared them with their genetic relationship using the immunodominant viral E protein. Thirty-nine isolates and reference strains were inactivated and used to immunize rabbits to produce hyper immune sera. Serum samples were tested by neutralization against all isolates and results visualized by generating antigenic map. Strains of WNV, USUV, and JEV grouped in separate clusters on the antigenic map. JEV was closer antigenically to USUV (mean of 3.5 Antigenic Unit, AU, equivalent to a 2-fold change in antibody titer) than to WNV strains (mean of 6 AU). A linear regression model predicted, on average, one unit of antigenic change, equivalent to a 2-fold change in antibody titer, for every 22 amino acid substitutions in the E protein ectodomain. Overall, antigenic map was demonstrated to be robust and consistent with phylogeny of the E protein. Indeed, the map provided a reliable means of visualizing and quantifying the relationship between these flaviviruses. Further antigenic analyses employing representative strains of extant serocomplexes are currently underway. This will provide a more in deep knowledge of antigenic relationships between flaviviruses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.meegid.2018.11.023DOI Listing
March 2019

Cell Cycle Regulation by Ca-Activated K⁺ (BK) Channels Modulators in SH-SY5Y Neuroblastoma Cells.

Int J Mol Sci 2018 Aug 18;19(8). Epub 2018 Aug 18.

Section of Pharmacology, Department of Pharmacy-Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Bari, Via Orabona 4, 70125 Bari, Italy.

The effects of Ca-activated K⁺ (BK) channel modulation by Paxilline (PAX) (10⁻10 M), Iberiotoxin (IbTX) (0.1⁻1 × 10 M) and Resveratrol (RESV) (1⁻2 × 10 M) on cell cycle and proliferation, AKT1p phosphorylation, cell diameter, and BK currents were investigated in SH-SY5Y cells using Operetta-high-content-Imaging-System, ELISA-assay, impedentiometric counting method and patch-clamp technique, respectively. IbTX (4 × 10 M), PAX (5 × 10 M) and RESV (10 M) caused a maximal decrease of the outward K⁺ current at +30 mV (Vm) of -38.3 ± 10%, -31.9 ± 9% and -43 ± 8%, respectively, which was not reversible following washout and cell depolarization. After 6h of incubation, the drugs concentration dependently reduced proliferation. A maximal reduction of cell proliferation, respectively of -60 ± 8% for RESV (2 × 10 M) (IC50 = 1.50 × 10 M), -65 ± 6% for IbTX (10 M) (IC50 = 5 × 10 M), -97 ± 6% for PAX (1 × 10 M) (IC50 = 1.06 × 10 M) and AKT1p dephosphorylation was observed. PAX induced a G1/G2 accumulation and contraction of the S-phase, reducing the nuclear area and cell diameter. IbTX induced G1 contraction and G2 accumulation reducing diameter. RESV induced G2 accumulation and S contraction reducing diameter. These drugs share common actions leading to a block of the surface membrane BK channels with cell depolarization and calcium influx, AKT1p dephosphorylation by calcium-dependent phosphatase, accumulation in the G2 phase, and a reduction of diameter and proliferation. In addition, the PAX action against nuclear membrane BK channels potentiates its antiproliferative effects with early apoptosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms19082442DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6121591PMC
August 2018

Heart valve pathology in regularly slaughtered horses.

Vet Ital 2018 06;54(2):165-168

Università degli Studi di Bari

In this study we examined macroscopic and microscopic lesions in the mitral valves of 50 regularly slaughtered horses in Italy. Macroscopically the results were minor. Microscopic lesions to the valve were found in both young and elderly subjects, confirming that there is no correlation between age and onset of lesions. We set out to evaluate whether the lesions correspond to valve disorder during the life of the animal.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.12834/VetIt.1394.7616.1DOI Listing
June 2018

Long-term shedding of Canine alphaherpesvirus 1 in naturally infected newborn pups.

Res Vet Sci 2018 Aug 6;119:244-246. Epub 2018 Jul 6.

Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Bari, Valenzano, Bari, Italy. Electronic address:

The long-term shedding of Canine alphaherpesvirus 1 (CaHV-1) by neonatal pups with natural infection is reported. The pups belonged to a litter of 11 pointers of a breeding kennel in southern Italy, 9 of which developed a fatal form of systemic infection, as resulted by the detection of CaHV-1 in internal organs (kidney, liver, lung and brain) of one of this dogs and in the vaginal swab of their mother. The two remaining animals displayed a milder form of disease, with one pup showing ocular involvement, and underwent a progressive recovery. These pups were monitored from 11 to 36  days of age, showing a long-term shedding of the virus through the nasal and ocular secretions and the faeces. CaHV-1 shedding, as assessed by means of a specific and sensitive real-time PCR assay, occurred mainly through the nasal secretions, although the pup displaying ocular disease shed the virus at high titres and for a long period even in the ocular secretions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rvsc.2018.07.001DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7172181PMC
August 2018

C-Kit receptor and tryptase expressing mast cells correlate with angiogenesis in breast cancer patients.

Oncotarget 2018 Jan 22;9(8):7918-7927. Epub 2017 Dec 22.

Interventional and Medical Oncology Unit, National Cancer Research Centre, Istituto Tumori Giovanni Paolo II, 70124 Bari, Italy.

C-Kit protein is a transmembrane tyrosine kinase (TK) receptor (c-KitR-TK), which is predominantly expressed on mast cells (MCs) playing a role in tumor angiogenesis. It could be also expressed on epithelial breast cancer cells (EBCCs), but no data have been published regarding the correlation between mast cells positive to c-KitR (MCs-c-KitR), EBCCs positive to c-KitR (EBCCs-c-KitR), BC angiogenesis in terms of microvessel density (MVD) and the main clinic-pathological features. This study aims to evaluate the above parameters and their correlations in a series of selected 121 female early BC patients. It has been found a strong correlation between MVD and MCDPT, and MCs-c-KitR, MVD and MCs density positive to tryptase (MCDPT), and MCs-c-KitR and MCDPT by Pearson correlation. These data suggest an involvement of both MCDPT and MCs-c-KitR in BC tumor angiogenesis. Furthermore, BC tissue expressing c-KitR could be a putative predictive factor to c-KitR-TK inhibitors. In this way, selected patients with higher MCs-c-KitR could be candidate to receive c-KitR-TK inhibitors (e.g. masitinib, sunitinib) or tryptase inhibitors (e.g. nafamostat mesilate, gabexate mesilate).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.23722DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5814269PMC
January 2018

First report of Angiostrongylus vasorum in a wild red fox (Vulpes vulpes) from Apulia (Italy).

Vet Ital 2017 09 5;53(3):259-262. Epub 2017 Apr 5.

University of Bari, Department of Veterinary Medicine, 70010 Valenzano (BA), Italy.

Severe lung strongylosis was detected in a wild red fox (Vulpes vulpes) (1/12) from Apulia (Italy). We performed routine diagnostics on 12 foxes found dead in Apulia. Eleven of them showed lesions consistent with a vehicle collision. However, the remaining fox appeared to have died from other causes. At necropsy we observed, catarrhal enteritis, fatty liver, lung congestion with some areas rm in consistence and brain haemorrhages and malacia. Histopathology revealed lung brosis with mononucleate cells in ltration, thrombosis a several larval nematodes spread in the parenchyma, interstitial nephritis, interstitial myocarditis, encephalitis, encephalomalacia, and a brain granuloma. The larvae recovered from the lung parenchyma were identi ed as the rst stage larvae of Angiostrongylus vasorum. This is the rst documented report of angiostrongylosis in a fox in Southern Italy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.12834/VetIt.438.2132.3DOI Listing
September 2017

ATP Sensitive Potassium Channels in the Skeletal Muscle Function: Involvement of the KCNJ11(Kir6.2) Gene in the Determination of Mechanical Warner Bratzer Shear Force.

Front Physiol 2016 10;7:167. Epub 2016 May 10.

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

The ATP-sensitive K(+)-channels (KATP) are distributed in the tissues coupling metabolism with K(+) ions efflux. KATP subunits are encoded by KCNJ8 (Kir6.1), KCNJ11 (Kir6.2), ABCC8 (SUR1), and ABCC9 (SUR2) genes, alternative RNA splicing give rise to SUR variants that confer distinct physiological properties on the channel. An high expression/activity of the sarco-KATP channel is observed in various rat fast-twitch muscles, characterized by elevated muscle strength, while a low expression/activity is observed in the slow-twitch muscles characterized by reduced strength and frailty. Down-regulation of the KATP subunits of fast-twitch fibers is found in conditions characterized by weakness and frailty. KCNJ11 gene knockout mice have reduced glycogen, lean phenotype, lower body fat, and weakness. KATP channel is also a sensor of muscle atrophy. The KCNJ11 gene is located on BTA15, close to a QTL for meat tenderness, it has also a role in glycogen storage, a key mechanism of the postmortem transformation of muscle into meat. The role of KCNJ11 gene in muscle function may underlie an effect of KCNJ11 genotypes on meat tenderness, as recently reported. The fiber phenotype and genotype are important in livestock production science. Quantitative traits including meat production and quality are influenced both by environment and genes. Molecular markers can play an important role in the genetic improvement of animals through breeding strategies. Many factors influence the muscle Warner-Bratzler shear force including breed, age, feeding, the biochemical, and functional parameters. The role of KCNJ11gene and related genes on muscle tenderness will be discussed in the present review.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2016.00167DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4862255PMC
May 2016

Cryptococcus neoformans in the respiratory tract of squirrels, Callosciurus finlaysonii (Rodentia, Sciuridae).

Med Mycol 2015 Sep 30;53(7):666-73. Epub 2015 Jul 30.

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

Cryptococcosis is a fungal disease acquired from the environment, for which animals may serve as sentinels for human exposure. The occurrence of Cryptococcus spp. in the respiratory tract of 125 squirrels, Callosciurus finlaysonii, trapped in Southern Italy, was assessed. Upon examination of nasal swabs and lung tissue from each individual, a total of 13 (10.4%) animals scored positive for yeasts, 7 for Cryptococcus neoformans (C.n.) (5.6%) and 6 for other yeasts (4.8%). C.n. was isolated from the nostrils and lungs, with a high population size in nostrils. Two C.n. molecular types, VNI and VNIV, were identified, with C.n. var. grubii VNI the most prevalent. Phylogenetic analyses of ITS+ and URA5 sequences revealed that C.n. isolates were genetically similar to isolates from a range of geographical areas and hosts. Results suggest that C.n. can colonize or infect the respiratory tract of C. finlaysonii. The high occurrence and level of colonization of nasal cavities might be an indicator of environmental exposure to high levels of airborne microorganism. The close phylogenetic relationship of C.n. strains from squirrels with those from human and other animal hosts suggests a potential role for these animals as "sentinels" for human exposure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/mmy/myv045DOI Listing
September 2015

Pathological and histological findings associated with the feline lungworm Troglostrongylus brevior.

Vet Parasitol 2014 Aug 17;204(3-4):416-9. Epub 2014 May 17.

Dipartimento di Medicina Veterinaria, Università degli Studi di Bari, Valenzano, Bari, Italy. Electronic address:

Troglostrongylus brevior is a neglected feline lungworm species, which has been increasingly reported in the Mediterranean area, although scant data are available on the respiratory alterations it causes in cats. Therefore, we describe the gross and histological lesions of a 20-week old kitten that succumbed due to the onset of a fulminant respiratory failure. At necropsy, a catarrhal exudate was observed in the airways, along with nematodes in the trachea and bronchi. The lungs were processed for histological examination and serial pulmonary sections were performed. A total of 14 nematodes were collected, being all morphologically and molecularly identified as T. brevior. Lungworms were histologically localized within the bronchial lumen, surrounded by an eosinophilic infiltrate. The presence of T. brevior in the airways has been histologically documented for the first time and its life-threatening potential is discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetpar.2014.05.020DOI Listing
August 2014

Cercopithifilaria rugosicauda (Spirurida, Onchocercidae) in a roe deer and ticks from southern Italy.

Int J Parasitol Parasites Wildl 2013 Dec 9;2:292-6. Epub 2013 Oct 9.

Department of Veterinary Medicine, Università degli Studi di Bari, Valenzano, Bari, Italy.

Cercopithifilaria rugosicauda (Spirurida, Onchocercidae) is a subcutaneous filarial nematode of the European roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) transmitted by Ixodes ricinus (Acari, Ixodidae). At the necropsy of a roe deer from the Parco Regionale di Gallipoli Cognato (Basilicata region, southern Italy), two female nematodes of C. rugosicauda were found. Following the necropsy, seven skin snips were sampled from different body regions and 96 I. ricinus ticks were collected. In addition, 240 ticks were collected by dragging in the enclosure where the roe deer lived. Samples were examined for the presence of C. rugosicauda larvae and assayed by PCR targeting cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (cox1, ∼300 bp) and 12S rDNA (∼330 bp) gene fragments. Female nematodes, microfilariae from skin samples and eight third stage larvae (L3) from ticks were morphologically and molecularly identified as C. rugosicauda. Phylogenetic analyses clustered this species with other sequences of Cercopithifilaria spp. This study represents the first report of C. rugosicauda in a roe deer and ticks from Italy and provides new morphological and molecular data on this little known nematode.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijppaw.2013.09.009DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3862540PMC
December 2013

Expression of proto-oncogene C-kit and correlation with morphological evaluations in canine cutaneous mast cell tumors.

Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol 2008 ;30(3):609-21

Department of Animal Health and Welfare, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Bari, Bari, Italy.

Canine cutaneous mast cell tumor (MCT) is very common disease in dogs, this is more aggressive than in other species. The biologic behavior of MCT is highly variable and a more accurate prognosis for these tumors needs to performed. The proto-oncogene c-kit is known to play a critical role in development and function of mast cells (MC). The aim of this study was to evaluate the expression of immunohistochemical pattern of c-kit in MCTs and to correlate these results with MC density (MCD) and intratumoral microvessel density (MVD). Our results confirm that a more aggressive biologic behavior of canine MCT is associated with the increased c-kit expression, further suggesting a new role for c-kit, as a useful marker, in diagnostic pathology and in tumor progression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08923970801949265DOI Listing
September 2008

The dog mast cell tumour as a model to study the relationship between angiogenesis, mast cell density and tumour malignancy.

Oncol Rep 2003 Sep-Oct;10(5):1189-93

National Cancer Institute, Interventional Radiology Unit, Bari 70126, Italy.

Substantial experimental data suggest that tumour progression is associated with angiogenesis and that increase in microvessel density (MVD) is associated with increase in mast cells density (MCD). Dog mast cell tumour (MCT) is common in dog with an incidence much higher than that found in human and in both species several common biological and clinical characteristics have been demonstrated. To evaluate the role of angiogenesis in progression of this tumour and to correlate MVD and MCD, in this study a series of 78 MCT was investigated. Serial sections obtained from biopsy specimens were processed with toluidine blue staining, specific for MC identification, and by immunohistochemistry using a polyclonal antibody anti factor VIII-related antigen (FVIII-RA), used as an endothelial marker, and MVD and MCD were determined. Results showed that MVD was significantly higher in poorly differentiated (G3) MCTs than in intermediate (G2) and well differentiated (G1) MCTs and that MCD and MVD were significantly correlated in G3, but not in G1 and G2 subgroups. These data indicate that angiogenesis and MCD are significantly correlated in MCTs progression.
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April 2004
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