Publications by authors named "Mariana Roccaro"

6 Publications

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

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

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

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

Age determination in dog puppies by teeth examination: legal, health and welfare implications, review of the literature and practical considerations.

Vet Ital 2020 07 14;56(3):149-162. Epub 2020 Jul 14.

Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna.

Age determination of puppies represents a significant issue of animal welfare and forensic medicine, particularly for what concerns trade and imports of dogs. Despite the movement of puppy dogs before the age of 15 weeks is forbidden by Regulation (EU) No 576/2013, the occurrence of illegal transport of younger puppies is not uncommon. The illegal trade of puppies increases instances of falsified documentation, the counterfeit of vaccine certificates and discrepancies between the declared age and the real age of the puppies. Consequently, determining the exact age of animals and evaluating their welfare become legally crucial. Dental examination currently represents the most common approach to estimate the age of a puppy in clinical practice and in forensic investigations. In this work we addressed the legal, health and welfare issues associated with dogs' trade and import and we reviewed the existing literature referring to the assessment of age in dogs by dental examination. The imprecision and inaccuracy of this method make it poorly convincing in legal proceedings. The reasons for such vagueness are to be ascribed both to the lack of standardization and to many variability factors (size, breed, sex, diet, etc.) which influence dental eruption and development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.12834/VetIt.1876.9968.2DOI Listing
July 2020

Who killed my dog? Use of forensic genetics to investigate an enigmatic case.

Int J Legal Med 2021 Mar 11;135(2):387-392. Epub 2020 Aug 11.

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

Genetic testing of animal biological material has become a valuable tool in forensic investigations, and it is successfully used to identify unknown crime perpetrators, to unmask food frauds, or to clarify cases of animal attacks on humans or other animals. When DNA profiling is not possible due to inadequate amounts of nuclear DNA, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) testing is the only viable alternative, as in the case of shed hair samples. In this case, a dog was allegedly killed by wild animals while being hosted in a boarding house. Extraneous hair fragments recovered from the dog's mouth and paws were subjected to genetic analysis: the cytochrome b gene located on mtDNA was amplified and sequenced in order to determine the species responsible for the killing. The mtDNA analysis provided evidence that the dog was killed by other dogs, thus unmasking a false wild animal attack and putting the case in an entirely different perspective.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00414-020-02388-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7870635PMC
March 2021

Environment and Behavior: Neurochemical Effects of Different Diets in the Calf Brain.

Animals (Basel) 2019 Jun 14;9(6). Epub 2019 Jun 14.

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

Calves reared for the production of white veal are subjected to stressful events due to the type of liquid diet they receive. Stress responses are mediated by three main stress-responsive cerebral regions: the prefrontal cortex, the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus, and the nucleus of the solitary tract of the brainstem. In the present study, we have investigated the effects of different diets on these brain regions of ruminants using immunohistochemical methods. In this study, 15 calves were used and kept in group housing systems of five calves each. They were fed with three different diets: a control diet, a milk diet, and a weaned diet. Brain sections were immunostained to evaluate the distribution of neuronal nitric oxide synthase and myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein immunoreactivity in the prefrontal cortex; the expression of oxytocin in the paraventricular nucleus; and the presence of c-Fos in the A2 group of the nucleus of the solitary tract. The main results obtained indicate that in weaned diet group the oxytocin activity is lower than in control diet and milk diet groups. In addition, weaning appears to stimulate myelination in the prefrontal cortex. In summary, this study supports the importance of maintaining a nutritional lifestyle similar to that occurring in natural conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ani9060358DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6617313PMC
June 2019

The reliability and forensic soundness of the equine shin circumference measurement in living animals versus post‑mortem examination.

Vet Ital 2018 12 31;54(4):281-286. Epub 2018 Dec 31.

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

Catastrophic injuries in racehorses mostly involve the metacarpal region. Although many studies describe fractures of equine limbs, few examine the relationship between bone morphometrics and musculoskeletal problems in racing horses. And yet, according to the regulation of some Italian traditional races, the shin circumference represents a qualifying prerequisite for horses to be admitted to races. This study aims to evaluate the conformity of the shin circumference measurement in living animals and in post‑mortem examinations, in order to evaluate the forensic reliability of these measurements. The right and left distal forelimbs from 11 horses of 5 different breeds were examined. The shin circumference was measured at 3 time points: in the living animal before slaughter/euthanasia, 5 hours post‑mortem, and after 14‑days of cold storage. The isolated limbs were also weighed in both of the post‑mortem examinations. In the examined sample, the mean shin circumference was 24.0 ± 2.4 cm in living animals, 22.9 ± 2.5 cm 5 hours post‑mortem, and 22.4 ± 2.3 cm after 14‑days of cold storage, with a highly significant difference between these measurements (P < 0.001). There was also a significant decrease in the limbs' weight between the 2 post‑mortem examinations (P < 0.001). According to our findings, the post‑mortem measurement significantly underestimates the in vivo dimensions of the shin circumference, even when performed a few hours after death; the forensic soundness of this parameter is therefore limited.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.12834/VetIt.1497.8069.2DOI Listing
December 2018

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

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

Department of Veterinary Medical Sciences, University of Bologna.

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