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Manfreda G.,University of Bologna | Parisi A.,Experimental Zooprophylactic Institute of Apulia and Basilicata | De Cesare A.,University of Bologna | Mion D.,University of Bologna | And 2 more authors.
Foodborne Pathogens and Disease

In this retrospective study, typing ability, discriminatory power, and concordance between typing results obtained on 123 Campylobacter jejuni Turkey isolates, collected in 1998, within 14 different farms, applying multilocus sequence typing (MLST), pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), antibiotic resistance profile, and virulence gene pattern, were assessed and compared. Overall, 33 sequence types, 28 pulsotypes, 10 resistotypes, and 5 pathotypes were identified. MLST and PFGE showed the better discriminatory ability (i.e., Simpson's diversity index >0.90) as well as unidirectional (i.e., Wallace and adjusted Wallace coefficients >0.86) and bidirectional (i.e., adjusted Rand coefficient >0.60) concordance. Moreover, both methods showed a good unidirectional and bidirectional concordance with the resistotype. On the contrary, the congruence of both genotyping methods and resistotype with the pathotype seemed due to chance alone. A clonal relationship was identified among 66.7% of the isolates. Furthermore, 59.7% of the investigated isolates were resistant to two or more antimicrobials and 92% to tetracycline. All the isolates harbored cadF and pldA genes, whereas a flaA gene product and a cdtB gene product were amplified from 85.4% and 79.7% of the isolates, respectively, using the primers designed by Bang et al. (2003). The results of this study clarify the level of genetic diversity among the C. jejuni originating from Turkeys. MLST level of correlation with PFGE, resistotype, and pathotype is assessed. This result supports the selection of type and number of typing methods to use in epidemiological studies. Finally, the identification of clonal complexes (i.e., groups of profiles differing by no more than one gene from at least one other profile of the group using the entire Campylobacter MLST database) shared between Turkey and human isolates suggests that Turkeys could be a possible source of Campylobacter infection. © 2016 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Source

Iatta R.,University of Bari | Immediato D.,University of Bari | Puttilli M.R.,University of Bari | Danesi P.,Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie | And 5 more authors.
Medical Mycology

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. © 2015 The Author. Source

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

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. Source

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

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. Source

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

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. Source

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