Publications by authors named "Manuela Signorini"

6 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Towards improved, cost-effective surveillance of Ixodes ricinus ticks and associated pathogens using species distribution modelling.

Geospat Health 2019 05 13;14(1). Epub 2019 May 13.

Department of Animal Medicine, Production and Health, University of Padua, Legnaro (PD).

Various ticks exist in the temperate hilly and pre-alpine areas of Northern Italy, where Ixodes ricinus is the more important. In this area different tick-borne pathogen monitoring projects have recently been implemented; we present here the results of a twoyear field survey of ticks and associated pathogens, conducted 2009-2010 in North-eastern Italy. The cost-effectiveness of different sampling strategies, hypothesized a posteriori based on two sub-sets of data, were compared and analysed. The same two subsets were also used to develop models of habitat suitability, using a maximum entropy algorithm based on remotely sensed data. Comparison of the two strategies (in terms of number of ticks collected, rates of pathogen detection and model accuracy) indicated that monitoring at many temporary sites was more cost-effective than monthly samplings at a few permanent sites. The two model predictions were similar and provided a greater understanding of ecological requirements of I. ricinus in the study area. Dense vegetation cover, as measured by the normalized difference vegetation index, was identified as a good predictor of tick presence, whereas high summer temperatures appeared to be a limiting factor. The study suggests that it is possible to obtain realistic results (in terms of pathogens detection and development of habitat suitability maps) with a relatively limited sampling effort and a wellplanned monitoring strategy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4081/gh.2019.745DOI Listing
May 2019

Lungworms in Alpine ibex (Capra ibex) in the eastern Alps, Italy: An ecological approach.

Vet Parasitol 2015 Nov 30;214(1-2):132-8. Epub 2015 Sep 30.

Department of Agronomy, Food, Natural Resources, Animals and Environment, University of Padova, Viale dell'Università, 16, 35020 Legnaro, PD, Italy.

Host-parasite relationships have been frequently investigated in mountain dwelling ungulates, though mostly focusing on gastrointestinal nematodes. On the contrary, very few studies were conducted on broncopulmonary nematodes, which may result in severe parenchymal lesions and act as predisposing factor for multifactorial pneumonia. The epidemiological and ecological features of lungworms infecting an Alpine ibex population in the Eastern Alps, Italy, were non-invasively investigated by means of a modified Baermann technique with an original quantitative methodology. Out of a total of 269 samples collected monthly from July to November 2013 and from July to October 2014, 212 (78.8%) were positive for Muellerius and 26 (9.7%) for Protostrongylus, whereas Neostrongylus and Cystocaulus were less prevalent (4.1% and 0.7%, respectively). None of the investigated samples tested positive for dictyocaulids. The genus Muellerius showed the highest larval output intensity (134.2 L1/g), followed by Protostrongylus with 33.8 L1/g. A contrasting age-related pattern of Muellerius and Protostrongylus was revealed, with the former significantly more prevalent and abundant in adult animals, while the latter in kids. Due to the limited accessibility of the study area during winter and spring, it was difficult to describe clear seasonal trends in larval output, although Muellerius showed a minimum in the late summer and a rise in the autumn. The newly developed diagnostic method showed a fair repeatability, thus representing an interesting tool to investigate the ecology of lungworms in protected species, such as the A. ibex. Based on results, ibex in the Marmolada massif seem to have an ecologically stable relationship with their lungworm community.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetpar.2015.09.026DOI Listing
November 2015

Ecological niche model of Phlebotomus perniciosus, the main vector of canine leishmaniasis in north-eastern Italy.

Geospat Health 2014 Nov;9(1):193-201

Center for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate, the Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.

With respect to the epidemiology of leishmaniasis, it is crucial to take into account the ecoclimatic and environmental characteristics that influence the distribution patterns of the vector sand fly species. It is also important to consider the possible impact of on-going climate changes on the emergence of this disease. In order to map the potential distribution of Phlebotomus perniciosus, the main vector species of canine leishmaniasis in north-eastern Italy, geographical information systems tools, ecological niche models (ENM) and remotely sensed environmental data were applied for a retrospective analysis of an entomological survey conducted in north-eastern Italy over 12 years. Sand fly trapping was conducted from 2001 to 2012 in 175 sites in the provinces of Veneto, Friuli-Venezia Giulia and Trentino-Alto Adige. We developed a predictive model of potential distribution of P. perniciosus using the maximum entropy algorithm software, based on seasonal normalized difference vegetation index, day and night land surface temperature, the Corine land cover 2006, a digital elevation model (GTOPO30) and climate layers obtained from the WorldClim database. The MaxEnt prediction found the more suitable habitat for P. perniciosus to be hilly areas (100-300 m above the mean sea level) characterised by temperate climate during the winter and summer seasons, high winter vegetation cover and moderate rainfall during the activity season of vector sand fly. ENM provided a greater understanding of the geographical distribution and ecological requirements of P. perniciosus in the study area, which can be applied for the development of future surveillance strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4081/gh.2014.16DOI Listing
November 2014

Retrospective and spatial analysis tools for integrated surveillance of cystic echinococcosis and bovine cysticercosis in hypo-endemic areas.

Geospat Health 2014 May;8(2):509-15

Cystic echinococcosis (CE) and bovine cysticercosis (BC) are two important parasitic zoonoses, whose prevalence varies among European countries. Few data are available on prevalence and geographic distribution of these two diseases in Veneto region in North-Eastern Italy, where they are generally perceived as minor public health problems. Available data from regional farms on cattle positive to CE and BC and slaughtered in the period 2006-2010 were analysed by spatial scan statistic using a Bernoulli probablility model. Out of 576 bovines testing positive to CE, 467 were found to be autochthonous cases. Three significant CE clusters were identified, the most likely one (P < 0.0001) located in the eastern part of the Veneto region. As for BC, two clusters were identified from 148 animals resting positive, 91 which were autochthonous. An epidemiological survey was conducted and the most likely CE cluster was centered, collecting faecal samples from 28 dogs living in the farms of the area. Out of five animals (all shepherd dogs) found positive for taenid eggs by copromicroscopy, one was confirmed positive for Echinoccus granulosus by means of polymerase chain reaction. The study demonstrates the usefulness of integration of slaughterhouse data and geographical coordinates of farms involved for effective surveillance of CE and BC. The reliability of the spatial analysis in the identification of clusters of EC cases was confirmed by the finding of one dog positive for E. granulosus.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4081/gh.2014.40DOI Listing
May 2014

Preliminary study of the effects of preventive measures on the prevalence of Canine Leishmaniosis in a recently established focus in northern Italy.

Vet Ital 2013 Apr-Jun;49(2):157-61

Department of Comparative Biomedicine and Food Science, University of Padova, Viale dell'Università 16, 35020 Legnaro (PD), Italy.

Canine Leishmaniosis is endemic in Mediterranean areas, with a well-documented northward spread. The mass use of preventive measures against sandfly bites (collar and spot-on formulations) was tested in a small focus recently established in an isolated hilly area of north-eastern Italy (Colli Euganei). In 2006 and 2007, a total of 449 dogs living in the southern part of Colli Euganei were screened against Leishmania infantum using an immunofluorescence antibody test (IFAT), and 31 (6.9%) were seropositive. A risk factor analysis clearly described the focus as limited to a small village named Calaone. In 2010, 63 animals from Calaone were sampled and their owners interviewed to verify the effectiveness of the preventive measures. According to what reported by owners, dogs started to be protected in 2006 (66.7% dogs protected), and protection rate incremented (around 90%) during the subsequent years. The seroprevalence value (4.2%) of the youngest age class (<5 years) was significantly lower than other classes, demonstrating that animals born after 2006 had low probabilities of getting infected. Besides, seroprevalence value referred only to dogs living in Calaone was 32.4% (23/71) in 2006-2007 and 20.6% (13/63) in 2010, showing a decreasing trend. Although still preliminary, the results show high sensitization of dog owners and suggest that the mass use of collars and spot-on acts positively in reducing the circulation of L. infantum.
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April 2014

Molecular detection of piroplasms in ixodid ticks infesting cattle and sheep in western Oromia, Ethiopia.

Trop Anim Health Prod 2014 Jan 12;46(1):27-31. Epub 2013 Jul 12.

Department of Parasitology and Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine and Agriculture, Addis Ababa University, P.O. Box 34, Bishoftu, Ethiopia.

In Ethiopia, ticks and tick-borne diseases are widely distributed and contribute to important economic losses. Several studies investigated the prevalence and species composition of ticks infesting ruminants; however, data on tick-borne pathogens are still scarce. During the study period from October 2010 to April 2011, a total of 1,246 adult ticks and 264 nymphs were collected from 267 cattle and 45 sheep in Bako District, western Oromia, Ethiopia. The study showed infestation of 228/267 (85.4 %) cattle and 35/45 (77.8 %) sheep with adult ticks. Overall, eight tick species, belonging to three genera (Amblyomma, Rhipicephalus, Hyalomma), were identified and Amblyomma cohaerens (n = 577), Rhipicephalus evertsi evertsi (n = 290), Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) decoloratus (n = 287), and Amblyomma variegatum (n = 85) were the more prevalent species. A statistically significant host preference in A. cohaerens for cattle and R. evertsi evertsi for sheep was noticed. Molecular detection of piroplasms, performed only for adult ticks of two species of the genus Rhipicephalus (R. evertsi evertsi and R. decoloratus), revealed an overall prevalence of 4 % (8/202) Theileria buffeli/sergenti/orientalis, 0.5 % (1/202) Theileria velifera, and 2 % (4/202) Theileria ovis. The study showed that tick infestation prevalence is considerably high in both cattle and sheep of the area, but with a low intensity of tick burden and a moderate circulation of mildly pathogenic piroplasm species.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11250-013-0442-zDOI Listing
January 2014