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Persichetti M.-F.,Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Sicilia Adelmo Mirri | Solano-Gallego L.,Autonomous University of Barcelona | Serrano L.,Vetgenomics | Altet L.,Vetgenomics | And 3 more authors.
Parasites and Vectors | Year: 2016

Background: Vector-borne pathogens are the subject of several investigations due to the zoonotic concern of some of them. However, limited data are available about the simultaneous presence of these pathogens in cats and their ectoparasites. The aim of the present study was to define the species of ectoparasites found on cats as well as to investigate vector-borne pathogens in cats and their ectoparasites in southern Italy. Methods: Blood from 42 cats and fleas or flea pools (n = 28) and ticks (n = 73) collected from them were investigated by quantitative PCR for the detection of vector-borne pathogens. Feline serum samples were tested by IFAT to detect IgG antibodies against Leishmania infantum, Bartonella henselae, Rickettsia conorii, Rickettsia felis, Rickettsia typhi, Babesia microti, Ehrlichia canis and Anaplasma phagocytophilum antigens. Results: Only one flea species (Ctenocephalides felis) and four tick species belonging to the genera Rhipicephalus and Ixodes were identified on cats from southern Italy. Molecular evidence of Bartonella spp., Rickettsia spp., hemoplasmas, Babesia vogeli and L. infantum was found in ectoparasites (fleas and/or ticks) while DNA from Hepatozoon felis and Ehrlichia/Anaplasma spp. was not detected. Likewise, DNAs from Bartonella, hemoplasma and Leishmania were the only pathogens amplified from feline blood samples. Cats had also antibodies against all the investigated pathogens with the exception of Rickettsia typhi. Agreement between serological and molecular results in individual cats and their ectoparasites was not found. The only exception was for Bartonella with a fair to moderate agreement between individual cats and their ectoparasites. Bartonella clarridgeiae was the species most frequently found in cats and their fleas followed by B. henselae. Conclusions: In conclusion, cats harboring ticks and fleas are frequently exposed to vector-borne pathogens. Furthermore, ticks and fleas harbored by cats frequently carry pathogens of zoonotic concern therefore appropriate feline ectoparasiticide preventative treatments should be used in cats. © 2016 Persichetti et al. Source


Settanni L.,University of Palermo | Tanguler H.,Cukurova University | Moschetti G.,University of Palermo | Reale S.,Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Sicilia Adelmo Mirri | And 2 more authors.
Food Microbiology | Year: 2011

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the evolution of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and yeasts during the fermentation of tarhana produced with some pasteurised ingredients and carried out at 30 and 40 °C. The chemical parameters were those typical for tarhana production. Coliform bacteria were not detected during fermentation, while LAB and yeasts were in the range 10 7-10 8 colony forming units (CFU) g -1. Plate counts showed an optimal development of both fermenting microbial groups and the differences in cell concentrations were not significant (P > 0.05). LAB were isolated during fermentation and grouped on the basis of phenotypic and polymorphic characteristics. LAB isolates were identified by a combined genetic approach consisting of 16S/23S rRNA intergenic spacer region (ITS) and partial 16S rRNA gene sequencing as Pediococcus acidilactici, Lactobacillus plantarum and Lactobacillus brevis. Hence, the pasteurisation of the vegetable ingredients, excluded wheat flour, enhanced the hygienic conditions of tarhana without influencing the normal evolution of LAB. However, the fermentation at 40 °C favoured pediococci, while the production at 30 °C was mainly characterised by lactobacilli. Yeasts, identified by the restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) of the 5.8S ITS rRNA gene, were mainly represented by the species Saccharomyces cerevisiae in both productions. © 2011. Source


Todaro M.,University of Palermo | Francesca N.,University of Palermo | Reale S.,Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Sicilia Adelmo Mirri | Moschetti G.,University of Palermo | And 2 more authors.
European Food Research and Technology | Year: 2011

The present work was carried out to evaluate the effect of two salting technologies [dry salting (DS) and the combined dry-brine salting (DBS)] on the chemico-physical and microbiological characteristics of PDO Pecorino Siciliano cheeses of different final weight (6 and 12 kg). Dry matter was significantly influenced by both salting process and final size. Twelve kilogram cheeses treated by DBS showed higher protein content with higher soluble nitrogen per cent than 6 kg cheeses. Salt content was in the range 3. 1-4. 0% on dry matter. The colour did not show significant differences for any of the factors, but 12 kg cheeses subjected to DS showed higher yellow index than the other cheeses. The resistance at 30% of strain was influenced by cheese size, with 6 kg cheeses showing higher resistances than 12 kg cheeses. All cheeses were dominated by coccus LAB, but pseudomonads and Enterobacteriaceae showed comparable levels of about 105 cfu/g. Significant microbiological differences were evidenced only for enterococci and yeasts concerning the final cheese size. Thirteen species of LAB, belonging to five genera (Enterococcus, Lactobacillus, Lactococcus, Pediococcus and Streptococcus), were identified, but several spoilage/pathogenic species were also identified, especially Pseudomonas putida, Citrobacter freundii and Stenotrophomonas maltophilia. LAB isolates were preliminary evaluated for their physiological characteristics in view of developing autochthonous starters to improve the microbiological quality of PDO Pecorino Siciliano cheese. © 2011 Springer-Verlag. Source


Cruciata M.,University of Palermo | Sannino C.,University of Palermo | Ercolini D.,University of Naples Federico II | Scatassa M.L.,Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Sicilia Adelmo Mirri | And 5 more authors.
Applied and Environmental Microbiology | Year: 2014

The microbial composition of artisan and industrial animal rennet pastes was studied by using both culture-dependent and -independent approaches. Pyrosequencing targeting the 16S rRNA gene allowed to identify 361 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) to the genus/species level. Among lactic acid bacteria (LAB), Streptococcus thermophilus and some lactobacilli, mainly Lactobacillus crispatus and Lactobacillus reuteri, were the most abundant species, with differences among the samples. Twelve groups of microorganisms were targeted by viable plate counts revealing a dominance of mesophilic cocci. All rennets were able to acidify ultrahigh-temperature-processed (UHT) milk as shown by pH and total titratable acidity (TTA). Presumptive LAB isolated at the highest dilutions of acidified milks were phenotypically characterized, grouped, differentiated at the strain level by randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD)-PCR analysis, and subjected to 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Only 18 strains were clearly identified at the species level, as Enterococcus casseliflavus, Enterococcus faecium, Enterococcus faecalis, Enterococcus lactis, Lactobacillus delbrueckii, and Streptococcus thermophilus, while the other strains, all belonging to the genus Enterococcus, could not be allotted into any previously described species. The phylogenetic analysis showed that these strains might represent different unknown species. All strains were evaluated for their dairy technological performances. All isolates produced diacetyl, and 10 of them produced a rapid pH drop in milk, but only 3 isolates were also autolytic. This work showed that animal rennet pastes can be sources of LAB, mainly enterococci, that might contribute to the microbial diversity associated with dairy productions. © 2014, American Society for Microbiology. Source


Gaglio R.,University of Palermo | Scatassa M.L.,Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Sicilia Adelmo Mirri | Cruciata M.,University of Palermo | Miraglia V.,Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Sicilia Adelmo Mirri | And 5 more authors.
International Journal of Food Microbiology | Year: 2014

Twelve lactic acid bacteria (LAB), previously selected in vitro (Gaglio et al., 2014), were evaluated in situ for their potential to act as starter cultures for the continuous four-season production of Vastedda-like cheese, made with raw ewes' milk. The strains belonged to Lactobacillus delbrueckii, Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris, Leuconostoc mesenteroides subsp. mesenteroides and Streptococcus thermophilus. LAB were first inoculated in multiple-strain combinations on the basis of their optimal growth temperatures in three process conditions which differed for milk treatment and medium for strain development: process 1, growth of strains in the optimal synthetic media and pasteurised milk; process 2, growth of strains in whey based medium (WBM) and pasteurised milk; and process 3, growth of strains in WBM and raw milk. The strains that acidified the curds in short time, as shown by a pH drop, were all mesophilic and were then tested in a single inoculum through process 3. Randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD)-PCR analysis applied to the colonies isolated from the highest dilutions of samples confirmed the dominance of the added strains after curd acidification, stretching and storage. After 15. days of refrigerated storage, the decrease in pH values showed an activity of the mesophilic strains at low temperatures, but only Lc. lactis subsp. cremoris PON153, Ln. mesenteroides subsp. mesenteroides PON259 and PON559 increased their number during the 15. days at 7. °C. A sensory evaluation indicated that the cheeses obtained by applying protocol 3 and by inoculation with lactococci are the most similar to the protected denomination of origin (PDO) cheese and received the best scores by the judges. Thus, the experimental cheeses obtained with raw milk and inoculated with single and multiple combinations of lactococci were subjected to the analysis of the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) carried out by a headspace solid phase microextraction (SPME) technique coupled with gas chromatography with mass spectrometric detection (GC/MS). The dominance of lactococci over thermophilic LAB of raw milk was verified during summer production and, based on the combination of VOC profiles and sensory evaluation of the final cheeses, the multi-strain Lactococcus culture resulted in the most suitable starter preparation for the full-year production of Vastedda-like cheese. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. Source

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