[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Infection by a novel canine astrovirus was associated with gastroenteritis in two dogs. The virus displayed 70.3 to 73.9% amino acid identity to other canine astroviruses in the full-length capsid. Specific antibodies were detected in the convalescent-phase sera of the dogs, indicating seroconversion. Also, the virus appeared weakly related antigenically to the prototype canine astrovirus isolate ITA/2008/Bari.
Journal of clinical microbiology 12/2011; 50(3):1066-9. · 4.16 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this study, the association of red complex (RC) bacteria that include Treponema denticola, Tannerella forsythia and Porphyromonas gingivalis with acute, exacerbated or chronic apical periodontitis was evaluated. Seventy-one patients with periapical disease were evaluated by clinical examination and microbiological samples obtained from the root canals were analyzed by a polymerase chain reaction assay. Twenty-one (29.6%) samples were positive for RC bacteria, with T. denticola, T. forsythia and P. gingivalis being detected in 14 (19.7%), 10 (14.1%) and 6 (8.5%) samples, respectively. RC bacteria were mainly associated with acute apical periodontitis (29.2%) and phoenix abscess (63.2%), while they were only sporadically detected (7.1%) in patients with chronic apical periodontitis. Generally, RC bacteria were associated with pain and a higher frequency of intracanalar/intrasulcular pus drainage. Involvement of RC bacteria in symptomatic periapical disease should be suspected in the presence of particularly severe clinical pain and pus drainage.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Brucella spp. is a worldwide zoonotic pathogen. Infection by Brucella canis in dogs is endemic in the Southern USA and in Central and South America, but it appears sporadically in other parts of the world, including Europe. Tissue samples from a dog with chronic prostatitis, discospondylitis and locomotor problems were subjected to clinical and laboratory examinations. B. canis was detected by PCR in biological fluids and tissues of the animal, while antibodies to B. canis were found in the serum, providing additional strong evidence for the circulation of B. canis in Italy.
The new microbiologica: official journal of the Italian Society for Medical, Odontoiatric, and Clinical Microbiology (SIMMOC) 10/2010; 33(4):337-41. · 1.67 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The oral cavity may represent a site of colonization by antibiotic-resistant bacteria, such as methicillin-resistant staphylococci (MRS). To define the prevalence of staphylococci and MRS in the oral cavity, an observational study was carried out in the city of Bari (Italy).
Sixty subjects were asked to provide oral samples and a questionnaire about risk factors of colonization by MRS. An enrichment medium specific for staphylococci was used for the isolation.
Swabs and corresponding questionnaires were available from 36 out of 60 patients. Staphylococci were isolated from seven out of 36 samples (prevalence 19.4%). Among the seven staphylococcal isolates, three were Staphylococcus aureus, and one strain, belonging to S. epidermidis species, was found to be MR (1.7%). No methicillin-resistant S. aureus were isolated. Five out of seven staphylococcal isolates exhibited resistance to more than two classes of non-beta-lactams antimicrobials. None of the risk factors analysed correlated with the status of MRS carriers, except the presence of oral disease.
The results underline the potential role of the oral cavity as a reservoir of staphylococci.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Italian Mediterranean Buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) has low fecundity and high incidence of abortion. Several studies have associated reproductive failure of water buffalo with viral infections but there is limited information on the role of chlamydial infections. To investigate the presence and the role of Chlamydiaceae in water buffalo a retrospective study was performed in a farm where, in the arch of 11 months, the pregnant heifers suffered an abortion rate of 36.8% in the 3rd and 5th month of pregnancy. Antibodies to Chlamydiaceae were detected in 57% of the aborted cows, while the rate of positivity was 0% in overtly healthy cows used as control. By a PCR assay 3 of 14 vaginal swabs from aborted animals tested positive for Chlamydophila agents and, additionally, 3 out of 7 aborted foetuses tested positive for Chlamydophila spp., with two being co-infections by Cp. abortus and Cp. pecorum and one being characterised as Cp. abortus. The presence of anti-Chlamydiaceae antibodies in 57% of the aborted animals and the detection of Chlamydophila agents in foetal organs and in vaginal swabs is consistent with the history of abortions (P<0.002) observed in the herd and may suggest a pathogenic role by Chlamydophila spp. in water buffalo.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The long-term protective immunity of an inactivated mineral-oil adjuvanted Mycoplasma agalactiae vaccine was evaluated in sheep. The antigen suspension was emulsified with a mixture of three mineral oils (Montanide ISA-563, Marcol-52, Montane-80 at the ratio of 30%, 63%, and 7%, respectively). Twenty-two animals were divided in 2 groups (A and B) and immunised with two doses of the vaccine (group A, n=14) or used as unvaccinated control (group B, n=8). Five months after the second vaccination, seven animals of group A and four animals of group B were challenged by nasal route with M. agalactiae. The remaining seven vaccinated and four control animals were challenged intranasally eight months after vaccination. The vaccine was able to induce a full-protective immunity preventing the clinical signs of contagious agalactia and the infection by M. agalactiae in all groups of animals irrespective of the time of challenge after booster administration.
Research in Veterinary Science 09/2009; 88(1):16-9. · 1.77 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A methicillin-resistant (MR) Staphylococcus epidermidis strain was isolated from a saddle horse affected by osteolysis. MR coagulase-negative staphylococci (MRCNS) were isolated from 11 of 14 (78.8%) horses housed in the same riding club. By typing of the SCCmec region, almost the strains displayed a non typeable (NT) pattern and possessed the ccr type 2. Altogether, the high prevalence of MRCNS and the detection of NT SCCmec types support the hypothesis that horses may represent a reservoir of MRCNS for humans and that equine MRCNS may act as potential source of resistance genes for other staphylococci.
The new microbiologica: official journal of the Italian Society for Medical, Odontoiatric, and Clinical Microbiology (SIMMOC) 07/2009; 32(3):311-4. · 1.67 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We identified a novel calicivirus in a pup with enteritis. The isolate was related genetically (90.1% aa identity in the capsid protein) to a lion norovirus strain.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Whether animals may act as reservoirs for human caliciviruses is unclear. By sequence analysis of a short fragment of the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) region, porcine sapovirus (SaV) strains that genetically resemble human SaVs have been detected in piglets, but more-informative sequences (capsid gene) were not available for a precise characterization. In this study, the 3' terminus (the 3' end of open reading frame 1 [ORF1], including the polymerase complex and the complete capsid; ORF2; and the 3' untranslated region) of one such human SaV-like strain, 43/06-18p3/2006/It, was determined, revealing that these viruses are more related genetically to human (47.4 to 54.9% amino acid identity) than to animal (35.2 to 44.7% amino acid identity) SaVs in the capsid gene. In addition, the recombination-prone RdRp-capsid junction region was highly conserved with those of human SaVs of genogroup GI. The presence of porcine viruses similar to human SaVs is a significant finding because of the potential for zoonotic infections or generation of porcine/human recombinants.
Journal of clinical microbiology 07/2008; 46(6):1907-13. · 4.16 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) are affected by high rates of embryonic mortality and abortion related to infectious diseases and non-infectious factors. A number of viral and bacterial infections have been associated with reproductive failure, but there is limited information on the role of chlamydial infections. In order to investigate the presence and the role of Chlamydiaceae in water buffalo a retrospective study was performed in a herd with a history of reproductive failure. During an 11-month period, the pregnant heifers suffered an abortion rate of 36.8% between the 3rd and 7th month of pregnancy. Antibodies to Chlamydiaceae were detected in 57% of the aborted cows, and in 0% of the overtly healthy cows used as control. By a nested-PCR assay, three of 14 vaginal swabs from aborted animals tested positive for Chlamydophila agents and, additionally, three out of seven aborted fetuses tested positive for Chlamydophila spp., with two being co-infections by Cp. abortus and Cp. pecorum and one being characterised as Cp. abortus. Sequence analysis of the amplicons confirmed the results of the nested-PCR. The presence of anti-Chlamydiaceae antibodies in more than half of the aborting animals (P<0.002) and the detection of Chlamydophila agents in several fetal organs and in the vaginal swabs are consistent with the history of abortions observed in the herd and suggest an abortifacient role by Chlamydophila spp. in water buffalo (B. Bubalis) herds.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The immunogenicity and efficacy of three inactivated vaccines (A, B, C) prepared with Mycoplasma agalactiae (M. agalactiae) and with different oil-emulsion adjuvants were evaluated in sheep. Twenty-eight animals were used, divided into four groups (a, b, c, d) of seven animals each. Three groups were immunized with the same vaccine, but using different adjuvants, while one group (d) was used as an unvaccinated control group. All the vaccine formulations were able to induce clinical protection of animals after challenge with M. agalactiae, but only vaccine C, emulsioned with Montanide ISA-563, Marcol-52 and Montane-80 (ratio: 30%, 63%, 7% respectively), was able to induce full protection in challenged animals, preventing both the onset of clinical signs and infection by M. agalactiae.
The new microbiologica: official journal of the Italian Society for Medical, Odontoiatric, and Clinical Microbiology (SIMMOC) 02/2008; 31(1):117-23. · 1.67 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We describe the isolation, biological and genetic characterization of a host-range variant of bovine coronavirus (BCoV) detected in water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis). By conventional and real-time RT-PCR assays, the virus was demonstrated in the intestinal contents of two 20-day-old buffalo calves dead of a severe form of enteritis and in the feces of additional 17 buffalo calves with diarrhea. Virus isolation, hemagglutination and receptor-destroying enzyme activity showed that the buffalo coronavirus (BuCoV) is closely related to BCoV but possesses some different biological properties. Sequence and phylogenetic analyses of the 3' end (9.6 kb) of the BuCoV RNA revealed a genomic organization typical of group 2 coronaviruses. Moreover, the genetic distance between BuCoV and BCoV was proven to be the same or even higher than the distance between other ruminant coronaviruses and BCoV. In conclusion, our data support the existence of a host-range variant of BCoV associated with enteritis in buffaloes.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We identified a novel calicivirus in a pup with enteritis. The isolate was related genetically (90.1% aa identity in the capsid protein) to a lion norovirus starin.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To compare several methods for detection of methicillin resistance in Staphylococcus aureus isolates from food.
Two hundred S. aureus isolates from food of animal origin were screened for methicillin resistance by a PCR assay specific for the mecA gene, an oxacillin agar screen test and a cefoxitin disk diffusion test. Six out of 200 strains (3%) were found to be methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) by PCR. The oxacillin agar screen test detected only one of the MRSA isolates (sensitivity of 16.7%) and mischaracterized three additional strains as MRSA (specificity of 98.45%). None of the MRSA strains was detected by the cefoxitin test (sensitivity of 0%), while 15 methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) strains were misclassified as resistant (specificity of 92.3%). Fifteen MSSA strains displayed a beta-lactamase hyperproducer-like phenotype. The six MRSA (mecA-positive) strains resembled the characteristics of heteroresistant strains.
As MRSA of animal origin may display atypical phenotypes, PCR appears to be more reliable for detection of methicillin resistance in animal strains.
The study stresses the need for implementing the methods of screening S. aureus from food of animal origin for methicillin resistance.
Letters in Applied Microbiology 12/2007; 45(5):535-9. · 1.63 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to develop a rapid, sensitive, specific tool for detection and quantification of Mycoplasma agalactiae DNA in sheep milk samples.
A real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay targeting the membrane-protein 81 gene of M. agalactiae was developed. The assay specifically detected M. agalactiae DNA without cross-amplification of other mycoplasmas and common pathogens of small ruminants. The method was reproducible and highly sensitive, providing precise quantification of M. agalactiae DNA over a range of nine orders of magnitude. Compared with an established PCR assay, the real-time PCR was one-log more sensitive, detecting as few as 10(1) DNA copies per 10 microl of plasmid template and 6.5x10(0) colour changing units of reference strain Ba/2.
The real-time PCR assay is a reliable method for the detection and quantification of M. agalactiae DNA in sheep milk samples. The assay is more sensitive than gel-based PCR protocols and provides quantification of the M. agalactiae DNA contained in milk samples. The assay is also quicker than traditional culture methods (2-3 h compared with at least 1 week).
The established real-time PCR assay will help study the patterns of shedding of M. agalactiae in milk, aiding pathogenesis and vaccine efficacy studies.
Journal of Applied Microbiology 11/2007; 103(4):918-23. · 2.20 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Evidence for a possible zoonotic role of group C rotaviruses (GCRVs) has been recently provided. To gain information on the genetic relationships between human and animal GCRVs, we sequenced the VP7 gene of 10 porcine strains detected during a large surveillance study from different outbreaks of gastroenteritis in piglets. Four GCRV strains were genetically related to the prototype GCRV porcine Cowden strain. A completely new VP7 genotype included 4 strains (344/04-7-like) that shared 92.5% to 97.0% aa identity to each other, but <83% to human GCRVs and <79% to other porcine and bovine GCRVs. A unique 4-aa insertion (SSSV or SSTI), within a variable region at the carboxy-terminus of VP7, represented a distinctive feature for these 4 unique strains. An additional strain, 134/04-18, was clearly different from all human and animal GCRVs (<85% aa identity) and likely accounts for a distinct VP7 genotype. The VP7 of a unique strain, 42/05-21, shared similar ranges of aa sequence identities with porcine and human strains (88.0-90.7% to porcine GCRVs and 85.2-88.2% to human GCRVs). Plotting the VP7 gene of strain 42/05-21 against the VP7 of human and porcine strains revealed discontinuous evolution rates throughout the VP7 molecule, suggesting different mutational pressure or a remote intragenic recombination event. These findings provide the need for future epidemiological surveys and warrant studies to investigate the pathogenic potential of these novel GCRVs in pigs.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: African lions (Panthera leo) are susceptible to viral diseases of domestic carnivores, including feline calici-virus infection. We report the identification of a novel enteric calicivirus, genetically related to human noroviruses of genogroup IV, in a lion cub that died of severe hemorrhagic enteritis.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) strains are a global health concern. The present study regarded 160 S. aureus strains that had been isolated from 1634 foodstuff samples of animal origin in a previous survey conducted in Italy during 2003-2005. The strains were characterized by detecting the mecA gene, the production of type A to D staphylococcal enterotoxins (SEs), and studying their resistance properties against several antibiotics; their ecological origin was determined by biotyping. Of the 160 analyzed S. aureus strains six (3.75%) were mecA positive and derived from six different samples; four isolates were from bovine milk and two from dairy products (pecorino cheese and mozzarella cheese). Two strains isolated from milk belonged to the non-host-specific biovar while the others to the ovine biovar. The strain isolated from mozzarella cheese belonged to the non-host-specific biovar and the strain isolated from pecorino cheese to the ovine biovar. All the MRSA strains isolated were enterotoxigenic; two strains synthesized SEA/SED two SED and one SEC. All the strains showed resistance to at least one of the antibiotics tested but none was resistant to glycopeptides.
International Journal of Food Microbiology 07/2007; 117(2):219-22. · 3.43 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Staphylococcus aureus is considered to be one of the leading causes of food-borne illnesses. Milk, dairy products and meats are often contaminated with enterotoxigenic strains of this bacterium. Foodstuff contamination may occur directly from infected food-producing animals or may result from poor hygiene during production processes, or the retail and storage of foods, since humans may carry the microorganism. The number of S. aureus strains that exhibits antimicrobial-resistance properties has increased, together with the potential risk of transmitting the same properties to the human microflora via foods or inducing infections hard to be treated. This paper reports the results of a 3-year survey (2003-2005) on the occurrence of S. aureus in meat and dairy products. Of 1634 samples examined, 209 (12.8%) were contaminated with S. aureus. A total of 125 enterotoxigenic S. aureus strains were biotyped and their antimicrobial resistance pattern tested. Most of the isolated strains produced SED (33.6%), followed by SEA (18.4%), SEC (15.2%), SEB (6.4%) and belonged mainly to the Human ecovar (50.4%), followed by Ovine (23.2%), Non-Host-Specific (17.6%), Bovine (7.2%) and Poultry-like (1.6%) ecovars. Finally, the 68.8% analysed strains showed antimicrobial resistance properties at least at one of antibiotics tested. Human biotype showed antimicrobial resistance at more than one antibiotic than the other biotypes (p<0.05). The results provided evidence that the presence of enterotoxigenic and antimicrobial resistant strains of S. aureus has become remarkably widespread in foods. This calls for better control of sources of food contamination and of the spread of antimicrobial-resistance organisms.
International Journal of Food Microbiology 04/2007; 115(3):290-6. · 3.43 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The VP4 gene of a G5 Italian porcine rotavirus strain, 344/04-1, was nontypeable by PCR genotyping. The amino acid sequence of the full-length VP4 protein had low identity (<or=76.6%) with the homologous sequences of representative strains of the remaining P genotypes, providing evidence for a novel P genotype.
Journal of Clinical Microbiology 02/2007; 45(2):577-80. · 4.07 Impact Factor