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Spada E.,University of Milan | Proverbio D.,University of Milan | Galluzzo P.,Experimental Zooprophylaxis Institute of Sicily | Della Pepa A.,University of Milan | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery | Year: 2014

Feline vector-borne diseases can be caused by a range of pathogens transmitted by arthropods. Many of these infections have zoonotic implications, and stray cats are potential sentinels for human and pet health. This study investigated the prevalence of selected vector-borne infections in stray colony cats in Milan. Blood samples from 260 stray cats were evaluated, using conventional polymerase chain reaction tests (cPCRs), for the presence of DNA associated with Rickettsia species, Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Ehrlichia species. Positive cPCR results occurred in 127/260 subjects (48.9%; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 40.7-58.1), with a prevalence of 31.9% (83/260, 95% CI = 25.4-39.6) for Rickettsia species, 17.7% (46/260, 95% CI= 13.0-23.6) for A phagocytophilum, and 5.4% (14/260, 95% CI = 2.9-9.0) for Ehrlichia species. There was no statistical association between a positive PCR test for vector-borne infections surveyed and colony location, age, gender, body condition score or complete blood count abnormalities, nor feline immunodeficiency virus, feline leukaemia virus or Toxoplasma gondii status. The only variable linked to positive PCR results was detection of signs of ocular infection and PCR positivity for Rickettsia species (P = 0.04, odds ratio [OR] = 2.2, 95% CI = 1.1-4.4, P = 0.02). There is a significant prevalence of vector-borne infections with zoonotic potential in urban stray cats in Milan. Thus, dogs and pet cats with outdoor access should be monitored and treated for ectoparasites on a regular basis to minimise risks of disease and the potential transmission of zoonotic agents to people. © ISFM and AAFP 2013. Source

Piccione G.,Messina University | Monteverde V.,Experimental Zooprophylaxis Institute of Sicily | Rizzo M.,Messina University | Vazzana I.,Experimental Zooprophylaxis Institute of Sicily | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Applied Animal Research | Year: 2014

The aim of this study was to establish and compare reference intervals of some haematological and electrophoretic parameters at different ages (1-2, 3-4 and over 5 years) in two Italian goat breeds: Aspromontana and Girgentana. A total of 90 female Aspromontana goats and 95 female Girgentana goats, ranging from 1 to 11 years of age, clinically healthy, were used. Blood samples were collected from each animal and analysed for haematological parameters and serum proteins profile with routine methods. Two-way analysis of variance showed a significant effect of age on white blood cell (WBC, P < 0.0001) in Aspromontana goats and on haematocrit (Hct, P < 0.009) in Girgentana goats. Statistical analysis showed a significant effect of age on concentrations of total protein (P < 0.05), albumin (P < 0.01) and on the albumin: globulins (A/G) ratio (P < 0.05) in Aspromontana goats. In Girgentana goats, statistical analysis showed a significant effect of age on concentrations of total protein (P < 0.01), albumin (P < 0.01) α-globulins (P < 0.05), γ-globulins (P < 0.01) and on the A/G ratio (P < 0.01). Age-related effects were not detected in β1-globulins and β2-globulins fractions in booth breed. Statistical analysis showed a significant effect of breed in the following haematological and electrophoretic parameters: WBC (P < 0.005), Hct (P < 0.0001), mean corpuscular volume (P < 0.0001), mean corpuscular haemoglobin (P < 0.01), mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentrations (P < 0.0001), concentrations of total protein (P < 0.03), α-globulins (P < 0.001), β1-globulins (P < 0.05), β2-globulins (P < 0.01) fractions and on the A/G ratio (P < 0.05). © 2014 Taylor & Francis. Source

Cosenza M.,Experimental Zooprophylaxis Institute of Sicily | Reale S.,Experimental Zooprophylaxis Institute of Sicily | Lupo T.,Experimental Zooprophylaxis Institute of Sicily | Vitale F.,Experimental Zooprophylaxis Institute of Sicily | Caracappa S.,Experimental Zooprophylaxis Institute of Sicily
Genetics and Molecular Research | Year: 2015

Short tandem repeats are used as an effective method to trace DNA markers in genotyping. Using a standardized kit, we tested 11 microsatellite markers recommended by the International Society for Animal Genetics (ISAG) in a sample of 495 Sicilian cattle. The aim of this study was to investigate the allele frequencies in the Sicilian cattle population to provide a reference database and at the same time to assess the use of the ISAG microsatellite panel for pedigree analysis. DNA samples were collected from blood and amplified in an 11-plex polymerase chain reaction (PCR); PCR products were injected in a 3130 Genetic Analyzer. All loci showed high mean polymorphism information content (0.768), and the observed mean heterozygosity was less than the expected value (0.732 vs 0.794, respectively). The exact test for Hardy-Weinberg proportions, allele number, and inbreeding coefficient were calculated. Our results indicated that equilibrium was not always maintained. The observed mean homozygote value exceeded the expected value (132.81 vs 102.14), but no evidence for allele dropout was found. These results could be explained by a non-random mating; further studies using a larger number of animals could confirm or invalidate this hypothesis. The probability of identity and exclusion of a locus were also estimated and proved to be useful in paternity testing. The ISAG microsatellite panel is useful to screen the Sicilian bovine kinship. Currently, an allele frequency database is being constructed. © 2015, FUNPEC-RP. Source

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