Francesca Ghidini

Università degli studi di Parma, Parma, Emilia-Romagna, Italy

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Publications (7)9.55 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Antimicrobial-peptide-based therapies could represent a reliable alternative to overcome antibiotic resistance, as they offer potential advantages such as rapid microbicidal activity and multiple activities against a broad spectrum of bacterial pathogens. Three synthetic antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), AMP72, AMP126, and also AMP2041, designed by using ad hoc screening software developed in house, were synthesized and tested against nine reference strains. The peptides showed a partial β-sheet structure in 10-mM phosphate buffer. Low cytolytic activity towards both human cell lines (epithelial, endothelial, and fibroblast) and sheep erythrocytes was observed for all peptides. The antimicrobial activity was dose dependent with a minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) ranging from 0.17 to 10.12 μM (0.4-18.5 µg/ml) for Gram-negative and 0.94 to 20.65 μM (1.72-46.5 µg/ml) for Gram-positive bacteria. Interestingly, in high-salt environment, the antibacterial activity was generally maintained for Gram-negative bacteria. All peptides achieved complete bacterial killing in 20 min or less against Gram-negative bacteria. A linear time-dependent membrane permeabilization was observed for the tested peptides at 12.5 µg/ml. In a medium containing Mg(2+) and Ca(2+) , the peptide combination with EDTA restores the antimicrobial activity particularly for AMP2041. Moreover, in combination with anti-infective agents (quinolones or aminoglycosides) known to bind divalent cation, AMP126 and AMP2041 showed additive activity in comparison with colistin. Our results suggest the following: (i) there is excellent activity against Gram-negative bacteria, (ii) there is low cytolytic activity, (iii) the presence of a chelating agent restores the antimicrobial activity in a medium containing Mg(2+) and Ca(2+) , and (iv) the MBC value of the combination AMPs-conventional antibiotics was lower than the MBC of single agents alone. Copyright © 2013 European Peptide Society and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Journal of Peptide Science 07/2013; · 2.07 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Among 97 bacterial isolates, 74 strains of Staphylococcus spp developed from 95 swabs taken from skin lesions in dogs. Twenty-eight staphylococcal strains resistant to methicillin and/or oxacillin were identified and mecA expression was confirmed for 14 of these strains. S. aureus and S. intermedius group (SIG) strains were particularly relevant in our cases due to their antibiotic resistance leading to an increased veterinary and public health risk. We suggest a diagnostic protocol based on cytological examination, bacterial identification to species level, and antibiotic sensitivity testing prior to prescribing antibiotic treatment for canine skin diseases.
    The New Microbiologica: official journal of the Italian Society for Medical Virology (SIVIM) 10/2011; 34(4):403-8. · 1.67 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The study is aimed at assessing and comparing the immune response to BoHV-1 elicited by an inactivated marker vaccine in buffaloes and cattle. Vaccination did not produced any local or general reactions in buffaloes. Seroneutralizing antibodies and cellular response by IFN-γ- test have been detected in buffaloes and cattle after a prime/ booster vaccination strategy. Humoral and cellular responses were significantly higher in cattle than in buffaloes. Data pointed out the possibility to use the marker vaccine in buffaloes. However, further studies must be planned to assess the immune pressure of marker vaccines in terms of IBR eradicative attitude in infected buffalo herds.
    Italian Journal of Animal Science. 01/2010;
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    ABSTRACT: Lichtheimia corymbifera (previously Absidia corymbifera) is a filamentous zygomycetes belonging to the order Mucorales and to the family Lichtheimiaceae. Members of genus Lichtheimia spp. are cosmopolitan and ubiquitous in nature. Lichtheimia corymbifera is a recognized agent of diseases in man and animals. In cattle it causes abortion and mastitis. Three cases of bovine abortion occurred in a herd located in the Po Valley. Serological examinations were performed on fetal and mother's blood. One of the aborted fetus was referred to our laboratory. The paper describes the isolation and characterization of Lichtheimia corymbifera from a bovine aborted fetus. Serological examinations were performed on fetal and mother's blood. Lesions on fetal tissues and placenta leaded the diagnostic suspect towards a mycotic aetiology. Tissues were then put in culture, and at the same time an histological examination was performed, together with bacteriological and virological tests. The isolate from placenta and fetal tissues was identified and characterized by PCR and RFLP, using the ITS region as a target sequence and AclI restriction site within the amplicon to distinguish Lichtheimia corymbifera among the other fungi. Serological, bacteriological and virological tests gave aspecific results. Histological examination evidenced numerous PAS positive hyphae within the necrotic cotiledons and numerous fungal nonseptate hyphae to the GMS stain. Colonies with typical morphological features of fungi grew up on Sabouraud agar from fetal skin and placenta. On the developed colonies the microscopic examination has shown a large number of nonseptate hyphae and sporangia consistent with Mucorales. PCR and RFLP allowed the identification of the isolate as Lichtheimia corymbifera. The present report describes the isolation and the molecular characterisation of a fungal isolate from bovine aborted fetus and placenta. The diagnostic protocol allowed to identify and characterise the strain. This is the first isolation in Italy of Lichtheimia corymbifera in a bovine aborted fetus.
    Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology 11/2009; 7:138. · 2.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In order to obtain data concerning the involvement of Mannheimia haemolytica in bovine respiratory disease (BRD) outbreaks, a serological survey was carried out on paired (acute-convalescent) sera from 1310 beef and 810 dairy cattle collected in 262 BRD outbreaks in Italian herds during 2002-2006. No vaccination program to M. haemolytica A1 was applied in the investigated herds. For each outbreak, 5 to 12 animals were considered for serum sampling. An enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was used to determine serum antibody response to M. haemolytica leukotoxin (LKT). Seroconversion involved 467 animals (22%), 314 beef cattle (24%) and 153 dairy cattle (19%), respectively. On a serological basis, M. haemolytica involvement was detected in 162 (62%) BRD outbreaks. Prevalence of seroconversion ranged from 20% to 60%. Concurrent seroconversion to M. haemolytica and the main bovine respiratory viruses was re-corded in 141 (54%) outbreaks. Seroconversion to M. haemolytica LKT involved mainly cattle not vaccinated to BRD vi-ral agents.
    The Open Veterinary Science Journal 11/2007; 107:7-10.
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    ABSTRACT: Coxiella burnetii, the agent of Q fever in humans, has been associated with abortion in cattle. In this study 650 sera from cattle with abortion and 600 randomly-selected control sera were examined for antibodies to C. burnetii by ELISA. Two hundred and ninety-two (44.9%) out of 650 animals which experienced abortion were seropositive versus 132 (22%) out of 600 of the control group. A statistically significant difference resulted from the comparison of the seroprevalence of aborted cattle with that of controls (p < 0.001). Moreover, a significant higher prevalence was disclosed in cattle which aborted during late gestation (p < 0.002) and in the autumn (p < 0.001).
    The New Microbiologica: official journal of the Italian Society for Medical Virology (SIVIM) 07/2006; 29(3):211-4. · 1.67 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: From January 2001 to December 2002, 543 ostrich eggs were submitted for bacteriologic investigation. The eggs were laid by 387 domesticated ostriches that suffered fertility disorders and that came from 44 farms located in different areas of Northern and Central Italy. Microbiologic investigations showed bacterial isolation in 105 (19.3%) of 543 eggs examined, with a high prevalence of enterobacteria from albumen and yolk. In only a few cases did bacterial isolation result from yolk or albumen alone. An antibiotic sensitivity test was conducted on isolates by the Kirby-Bauer disc diffusion method. This is the first report regarding the microbiologic status of eggs from ostrich farms located in different Italian regions.
    Avian Diseases 10/2004; 48(3):716-22. · 1.73 Impact Factor