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Di Guardo G.,University of Teramo | Cocumelli C.,Instituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale IZS Delle Regioni Lazio e Toscana | Meoli R.,Instituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale IZS Delle Regioni Lazio e Toscana | Barbaro K.,Instituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale IZS Delle Regioni Lazio e Toscana | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Biological Regulators and Homeostatic Agents | Year: 2012

The recent description of a prion disease (PD) case in a free-ranging bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) prompted us to carry out an extensive search for the "disease-associated" isoform (PrPSc) of the cellular prion protein (PrPC) in the brain and in a range of lymphoid tissues from 23 striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba), 5 bottlenose dolphins and 2 Risso's dolphins (Grampus griseus) found stranded between 2007 and 2012 along the Italian coastline. Three striped dolphins and one bottlenose dolphin showed microscopic lesions of encephalitis, with no evidence of spongiform brain lesions being detected in any of the 30 free-ranging cetaceans investigated herein. Nevertheless, we could still observe a prominent PrPC immunoreactivity in the brain as well as in lymphoid tissues from these dolphins. Although immunohistochemical and Western blot investigations yielded negative results for PrPSc deposition in all tissues from the dolphins under study, the reported occurrence of a spontaneous PD case in a wild dolphin is an intriguing issue and a matter of concern for both prion biology and intra/ inter-species transmissibility, as well as for cetacean conservation medicine. Copyright © by BIOLIFE, s.a.s.

Benvenuti M.N.,University of Pisa | Pisseri F.,Homeopathic vet | Azzarello B.M.,University of Pisa | Terracciano G.,IZS delle Regioni Lazio e Toscana | And 4 more authors.
EAAP Scientific Series | Year: 2012

Small ruminant extensive farming system guarantees the animals to express their behavioural pattern but exposes them to gastrointestinal parasitic infections. Chemical drugs are not able to solve the problem in the long time. Moreover, drugs cause degradation of environment and have worrying issues regarding food safety. In this view, homeopathy can be a very useful alternative or complementary tool in annihilating this downside. The aim of this study was to evaluate clinical, productive and welfare parameters in ewes treated with homeopathy to control gastrointestinal parasitic burden. Twenty-seven adult Zerasca sheep were randomly divided among three groups: untreated (Control); chemically treated (Drug) and homeopathically treated (Homeo). Lachesis mutus was prescribed according to the unicist method. Four faecal samplings and two blood samplings were collected from the ewes. McMaster Technique was performed to estimate the faecal egg count (FEC) of gastrointestinal nematodes. Blood samples were analysed for haematological, metabolic and immunological parameters. FAMACHA and body condition scores (BCS) were also recorded. The results indicate that homeopathy is able to reduce parasitic burden keeping animals below the threshold of FECs that can cause zootechnical damage (FEC=387±422.37, 427±440.69 and 509±324.73 respectively for the 'H', 'D' and 'C' group). Parasitic burdens can indeed cause anaemic states and loss of blood proteins inducing a pathological state and associated detrimental effects. The immunological assay shows lysozyme values decrease in all three groups, therefore, a direct association of these immune cells and the state of disease has not been found. Fertility rate and BCS result satisfactory demonstrating resilient characteristics of this breed. Homeopathic medication can be used as a valid environmentally-friendly control method of control pasture contamination.

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