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Formenti N.,University of Milan | Trogu T.,University of Milan | Pedrotti L.,Consorzio Parco Nazionale dello Stelvio | Gaffuri A.,Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Lombardia | And 2 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

In contrast to the depth of knowledge on the pathological effects of parasitism in domestic animals, the impact of the vast majority of parasites on wildlife hosts is poorly understood and, besides, information from domestics is rarely usable to disclose the parasites' impact on free-ranging populations' dynamics. Here we use Toxoplasmosis as a study model since, until now, the infection process and the protozoan's effects in natural conditions has received little attention. We analysed 81 sera from red deer (Cervus elaphus) sampled in Italian Alps and through generalized linear models we evaluated (1) the epidemiological factors influencing T. gondii infection dynamics; (2) its impact on female fertility. High seroprevalence of T. gondii infection was recorded in yearling (1 year-old; prevalence = 52.4%) and adult (>2 year-old; prevalence = 51.3%) red deer, while calves (<1 year-old) did not contract the infection suggesting horizontal transmission as the main route of infection. The stable prevalence between yearlings and adults and the higher serological titres of younger individuals lead to two alternative infection processes suggesting a difference between age classes or in acquiring the infection or in responding to the pathogen. No associations between T. gondii serological titres and pregnancy status was observed indicating no direct effect on the probability of being pregnant; nevertheless a relation between females' higher serological titres and lower foetal development emerged, suggesting potential effects of the parasite infection on deer reproduction. The results demonstrate high seroprevalence of T. gondii infection in free-ranging red deer and, furthermore, the effect on foetal development suggests the potential impact of the parasite on red deer fertility and thus on its population dynamics. © 2015 Formenti et al. Source

Maioli G.,Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Lombardia | Pistone D.,University of Milan | Bonilauri P.,Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Lombardia | Pajoro M.,Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Lombardia e dellEmilia Romagna | And 4 more authors.
Experimental and Applied Acarology | Year: 2012

Ticks are the main vectors of rickettsiae of the spotted fever group, as well as of a variety of other Rickettsiales, including bacteria of the genus Anaplasma, that might cause diseases in humans and animals. Here we present the result of a survey for ticks and for tick-associated Rickettsiales in the Emilia Romagna region (Northern Italy). The study was focused on ticks collected from wild-hunted animals. Out of 392 ticks collected from these animals, 282 (72%) were identified as Ixodes ricinus, 110 (28%) as Dermacentor marginatus. The former was found on four vertebrate species, whereas the latter appeared more specific for wild boar. The presence of rickettsiae was demonstrated in 22. 5% of I. ricinus (57/253) and in 29% of D. marginatus (32/110). Five ticks of the species I. ricinus were also positive for Anaplasma phagocytophilum (2%). In addition, we collected ticks by dragging in a natural park of the same region. All of the ticks captured by dragging were identified as I. ricinus. Thirty-six out of 200 analyzed ticks proved positive for Rickettsia monacensis and R. helvetica (16. 5 and 1. 5%, respectively). Our results highlight that that ticks present in wild areas, widely exploited for recreation and hunting in Emilia-Romagna, represent a risk for the transmission of spotted fevers and anaplasmosis to humans. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V. Source

Daminelli P.,Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Lombardia | Dalzini E.,Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Lombardia | Cosciani-Cunico E.,Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Lombardia | Finazzi G.,Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Lombardia | And 2 more authors.
Italian Journal of Food Science | Year: 2014

The growth parameter (maximum specific growth rate, μmax) of two different strains of Listeria monocytogenes on sliced Mortadella were calculated. Three batches of sliced Mortadella were vacuum packed, stored at 8°C and samples collected at different time intervals were enumerated for L. monocytogenes. The pathogen counts were fitted using the DMFit version 2.1 Excel® add-in, based on Baranyi model, to determine the specific growth rates. At 8°C the sliced Mortadella supported rapid and prolific L. monocytogenes growth: The μmax varied between 0.035/h and 0.044/h, and the pathogen counts increased up to 108 CFU/g after 21-27 days. A square root type model, Ratkowsky model, was used to describe how μmax changes as a function of storage temperature. Growth kinetics data could be useful for establishing a safe shelf life, once the product could be post process contaminated and stored under different handling scenarios. Source

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