Experimental Zooprophylactic Institute of Apulia and Basilicata

Foggia, Italy

Experimental Zooprophylactic Institute of Apulia and Basilicata

Foggia, Italy
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Lomonaco S.,University of Turin | Nucera D.,University of Turin | Parisi A.,Experimental Zooprophylactic Institute of Apulia and Basilicata | Bottero M.T.,University of Turin
International Journal of Food Microbiology | Year: 2011

Listeria monocytogenes ranks among the most frequent causes of death due to foodborne illness (20-30% case fatality rate).Discriminative subtyping methods are important to detect the relatedness of isolates and verify epidemiologic associations. AFLP analysis is a DNA fingerprinting technique based on the selective amplification of genomic restriction fragments. In this study, two AFLP methods and PFGE were compared in regard to discriminatory power, typeability and concordance.A total of 103 unrelated L. monocytogenes strains isolated from different environmental and food sources were analyzed. Strains were isolated from samples obtained from food-production plants, supermarkets and small food markets in Piedmont, Italy.All methods clustered L. monocytogenes strains into two genetic lineages, Lineage I and II. The three methods were compared using the 82 isolates which were typeable with all techniques. The calculated pair-wise Pearson's correlation coefficients (r) showed close agreement between all three methods.Our findings suggest that the AFLP II method can be successfully used to subtype L. monocytogenes strains isolated from foods and food processing facilities. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

Parisi A.,Experimental Zooprophylactic Institute of Apulia and Basilicata | Latorre L.,Experimental Zooprophylactic Institute of Apulia and Basilicata | Miccolupo A.,Experimental Zooprophylactic Institute of Apulia and Basilicata | Fraccalvieri R.,Experimental Zooprophylactic Institute of Apulia and Basilicata | Santagada G.,Experimental Zooprophylactic Institute of Apulia and Basilicata
Food Microbiology | Year: 2010

Standardized tools for typing Listeria monocytogenes isolates are required in epidemiological surveys investigating food-borne disease outbreaks and in the food-processing environment to identify the sources of contamination and routes by which the organisms are spread. In this survey Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism (AFLP) and Multi-Locus Sequence Typing (MLST) have been used to study 103 L. monocytogenes isolates from food and environmental sources. A total of 62 AFLP types and 66 MLST Sequence Types were identified. AFLP and MLST produced similar results in terms of discriminating power. The Discrimination Index calculated for the two techniques was 0.976 for AFLP and 0.972 for MLST. These values were appreciably higher compared to serotyping (0.739). A good congruence was observed between AFLP and MLST. The present study demonstrated that AFLP and MLST subtyping are suitable tools for studying the epidemiology of L. monocytogenes. The great advantage of MLST over AFLP and other molecular typing methods based on fragment fingerprinting lies in the unambiguity of sequence data while AFLP is less costly and highly processive. In conclusion the two methods can be perfectly integrated for high-resolution genotyping of L. monocytogenes. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Mammina C.,University of Palermo | Parisi A.,Experimental Zooprophylactic Institute of Apulia and Basilicata | Guaita A.,University of Milan | Aleo A.,University of Palermo | And 3 more authors.
BMC Infectious Diseases | Year: 2013

Background: Invasive listeriosis is a rare, life-threatening foodborne disease. Lombardy, an Italian region accounting for 16% of the total population, reported 55% of all listeriosis cases in the years 2006-2010. The aim of our study was to provide a snapshot of listeriosis epidemiology in this region after the implementation of a voluntary laboratory-based surveillance system. Methods: We characterized by serotyping, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, multilocus sequence typing and detection of epidemic clone markers, 134 isolates from 132 listeriosis cases, including 15 pregnancy-related cases, occurring in the years 2006-2010 in Lombardy. Demographic and clinical characteristics of cases have also been described. Results: The mean age of non pregnancy-associated cases was 64.7 years, with 55.9% of cases being older than 65 years. Cases having no underlying medical conditions accounted for 11.6%. The all-cause fatality rate of 83 cases with a known survival outcome was 25.3%. Serotypes 1/2a and 4b comprised 52.2% and 38.8% of isolates, respectively. Seventy-three AscI pulsotypes and 25 sequence types assigned to 23 clonal complexes were recognized. Moreover, 53 (39.5%) isolates tested positive for the epidemic clone markers. Twelve molecular subtype clusters including at least three isolates were detected, with cluster 11 (1/2a/ST38) including 31 isolates identified during the entire study period. No outbreaks were notified to public health authorities during this period. Conclusions: The findings of our study proved that epidemiology of listeriosis in Lombardy is characterized by a high prevalence of major clones and the increasing role of serotype 1/2a. Molecular subtyping is an essential tool in the epidemiology and surveillance of listeriosis. Rapid molecular cluster detection could alert about putative outbreaks, thus increasing the chance of detecting and inactivating routes of transmission. © 2013 Mammina et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Normanno G.,University of Foggia | Dambrosio A.,University of Bari | Lorusso V.,University of Bari | Samoilis G.,Veterinary Quality Manager in Food Sector | And 2 more authors.
Food Microbiology | Year: 2015

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a pathogen present in the hospital environment (HA-MRSA), in the community (CA-MRSA) and in livestock, including pigs (LA-MRSA). MRSA may enter the human food chain during slaughtering and may infect humans coming into direct contact with pigs or pork products. This study aimed to determine the prevalence and characteristics of MRSA isolated from pigs and workers at industrial abattoirs in southern Italy. A total of 215 pig nasal swabs were screened for the presence of MRSA using PCR. An MRSA isolate was detected from each mecA/. nuc PCR-positive sample and characterized by spa-typing, Multi-Locus Sequence Typing, SCC-. mec and Panton-Valentine Leukocidin (PVL), and also tested for the production of staphylococcal enterotoxins (SEs).Eighty-one MRSA isolates (37.6%) were obtained from the 215 pig nasal swabs; 37 of these isolates were further characterized, and showed 18 different spa-types and 8 different STs. The most frequently recovered STs were ST398 (CC398-t034, t011, t899, t1939 - 43.2%) followed by ST8 (CC8-t008, t064, t2953, t5270 - 24.3%) and ST1 (CC1-t127, t174, t2207 - 10.8%).Nine MRSA isolates were obtained from the 113 human swabs; the isolates showed 5 different spa-types and 5 different STs, including the novel ST2794 (t159). The most representative STs recovered were ST1 (CC1-t127) and ST398 (CC398-t034) (33.3%). None of the MRSA isolates showed the ability to produce SEs and PVL and all resulted resistant to two or more classes of antimicrobials. This study shows the great genetic diversity of MRSA strains in slaughtered pigs and in abattoir employees in Italy, and clearly demonstrates the need for improved hygiene standards to reduce the risk of occupational and food-borne infection linked to the handling/consumption of raw pork containing MRSA. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

Dantas-Torres F.,Oswaldo Cruz Foundation | Dantas-Torres F.,University of Bari | Latrofa M.S.,University of Bari | Annoscia G.,University of Bari | And 3 more authors.
Parasites and Vectors | Year: 2013

Background: The taxonomic status of the brown dog tick (Rhipicephalus sanguineus sensu stricto), which has long been regarded as the most widespread tick worldwide and a vector of many pathogens to dogs and humans, is currently under dispute. Methods. We conducted a comprehensive morphological and genetic study of 278 representative specimens, which belonged to different species (i.e., Rhipicephalus bursa, R. guilhoni, R. microplus, R. muhsamae, R. pusillus, R. sanguineus sensu lato, and R. turanicus) collected from Europe, Asia, Americas, and Oceania. After detailed morphological examination, ticks were molecularly processed for the analysis of partial mitochondrial (16S rDNA, 12S rDNA, and cox1) gene sequences. Results: In addition to R. sanguineus s.l. and R. turanicus, three different operational taxonomic units (namely, R. sp. I, R. sp. II, and R. sp. III) were found on dogs. These operational taxonomical units were morphologically and genetically different from R. sanguineus s.l. and R. turanicus. Ticks identified as R. sanguineus s.l., which corresponds to the so-called "tropical species" (=northern lineage), were found in all continents and genetically it represents a sister group of R. guilhoni. R. turanicus was found on a wide range of hosts in Italy and also on dogs in Greece. Conclusions: The tropical species and the temperate species (=southern lineage) are paraphyletic groups. The occurrence of R. turanicus in the Mediterranean region is confirmed. A consensual re-description of R. sanguineus s.s. and R. turanicus will be necessary to solve the taxonomic problems within the so-called R. sanguineus group. © 2013 Dantas-Torres et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Manfreda G.,University of Bologna | Parisi A.,Experimental Zooprophylactic Institute of Apulia and Basilicata | Lucchi A.,University of Bologna | Zanoni R.G.,University of Bologna | De Cesare A.,University of Bologna
Applied and Environmental Microbiology | Year: 2011

Helicobacter pullorum represents a potential food-borne pathogen, and avian species appear to be a relevant reservoir of this organism. In this study, the prevalence of H. pullorum was investigated at 30 conventional farms where 169 ceca from 34 flocks were tested, at eight organic farms where 39 ceca from eight flocks were tested, and at seven free-range farms where 40 ceca from eight flocks were tested. All of the ceca were obtained from healthy broiler chickens. Moreover, amplified fragment length polymorphism, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, and automated ribotyping were employed to estimate the levels of genetic variability of H. pullorum broiler isolates within and between flocks. Overall, Gram-negative, slender, curved rods, identified as H. pullorum by PCR, were isolated at 93.3% of the farms tested. The percentage of positive free-range farms (54.2%) was significantly lower than that of conventional (100%) or organic (100%) farms (P < 0.001). The level of within-flock genetic variability, calculated as the number of flocks colonized by isolates genetically different by all of the typing methods, was 34.9%. Isolates showing identical profiles by each typing method were observed in 11.6% of the flocks, but they were never detected between flocks. However, groups of isolates clustered together with an overall similarity level of ≥85%. Our results suggest that even though a high level of genetic variability is attributable to H. pullorum broiler isolates, their hierarchical genotyping produces data useful for epidemiological investigations. Copyright © 2011, American Society for Microbiology.

Circella E.,University of Bari | Pugliese N.,University of Bari | Todisco G.,University of Teramo | Cafiero M.A.,Experimental Zooprophylactic Institute of Apulia and Basilicata | And 2 more authors.
Experimental and Applied Acarology | Year: 2011

Dermanyssus gallinae is a haematophagous ectoparasite responsible for anemia, weight loss, dermatitis and a decrease in egg production. Dermanyssus gallinae may play a role in the modulation of the host immune system, maybe predisposing the host to some bacterial infections such as chlamydiosis. This is an important zoonosis. Humans are exposed to Chlamydia psittaci through inhalation of the agent dispersed from the infected birds. In this study, a syndrome observed in an aviary of canaries was investigated. A heavy infestation by D. gallinae was reported. Simultaneously, a C. psittaci infection was molecularly confirmed in the canaries. Combined therapy was applied successfully. The association of C. psittaci with the examined mites has been confirmed. Therefore, we think that D. gallinae have played a role in the spreading of C. psittaci infection among the canaries. Moreover, D. gallinae could have played an important role predisposing the canaries to the development of chlamydiosis, by inducing anemia and debilitation. The control of mites in the aviaries may represent a crucial step for the prevention of important infection such as chlamydiosis in birds and humans. © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011.

PubMed | Experimental Zooprophylactic Institute of Apulia and Basilicata and University of Bari
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of clinical microbiology | Year: 2016

Aspergillus section Nigri includes species of interest for animal and human health, although studies on species distribution are limited to human cases. Data on the antifungal susceptibilities and the molecular mechanism of triazole resistance in strains belonging to this section are scant. Forty-two black Aspergillus strains from human patients (16 isolates), animals (14 isolates), and the environment (12 isolates) were molecularly characterized and their in vitro triazole susceptibilities investigated. Aspergillus tubingensis was isolated from humans, animals, and environmental settings, whereas Aspergillus awamori and Aspergillus niger were isolated exclusively from humans. Phylogenetic analyses of -tubulin and calmodulin gene sequences were concordant in differentiating A. tubingensis from A. awamori and A. niger Voriconazole and posaconazole (PSZ) were the most active triazoles. One A. tubingensis strain was resistant to itraconazole and PSZ and one A. niger strain to PSZ. Sequence analysis of the cyp51A gene revealed different sequence types within a species, and A. tubingensis strains were also phylogenetically distinct from A. awamori/A. niger strains according to the strain origin and susceptibility profile. Genetic analysis of the cyp51A sequences suggests that two nonsynonymous mutations resulting in amino acid substitutions in the CYP51A protein (changes of L to R at position 21 [L21R] and of Q to R at position 228 [Q228R]) might be involved in azole resistance. Though azole resistance in black Aspergillus isolates from animals and rural environments does not represent a threat to public health in Southern Italy, the use of triazoles in the clinical setting needs to better monitored. The cyp51A sequence is useful for the molecular identification of black Aspergillus, and point mutations in protein sequences could be responsible for azole resistance phenomena.

PubMed | Parco Regionale Gallipoli Cognato e Piccole Dolomiti Lucane, Experimental Zooprophylactic Institute of Apulia and Basilicata, Instituto zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie and University of Bari
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Medical mycology | Year: 2015

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.

PubMed | University of Foggia and Experimental Zooprophylactic Institute of Apulia and Basilicata
Type: | Journal: Food microbiology | Year: 2016

This paper assesses the prevalence of MRSA in bulk tank milk (BTM) samples from southern Italy, and the relationship between the Coagulase Positive Staphylococci count (CPS) and MRSA prevalence. Of 486 BTM samples tested, 12 samples (2.5%) resulted positive for the presence of MRSA. Great genetic diversity was found among the isolates: ST1/t127 and t174/IVa, ST5/t688/V, ST8/t unknown/IVa/V, ST45/t015/IVa, ST71/t524/V, ST88/t786/Iva, ST398/t011 and t899/IVa/V and ST2781/t1730/V. All isolates were pvl-negative and icaA positive. The majority of strains (58%) carried the ses (sec, seh, seg, seo, sem and sen) genes. All tested strains resulted susceptible to amikacin, cephalotin, cloramphenicol, gentamycin, trimethoprim - sulfamethoxazole, tobramycin and vancomycin, and variably resistant to ampicillin, oxacillin and tetracycline. No statistical association between the CPS count and MRSA detection was found in the MRSA-positive samples. Although some of the spa-types and STs detected in our survey are known to cause human infections, raw milk from Italian herds in the considered area is not a common source of MRSA. Nonetheless, it is necessary to assess the risk of foodborne infection and the risk related to the handling of milk.

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