P Borghetti

University of Bologna, Bologna, Emilia-Romagna, Italy

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Publications (42)74.92 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) vaccination represents an important measure to cope with PCV2 infection; however, data regarding the modulation of the immune cell compartment are still limited, especially under field conditions. This study is aimed at investigating the features of the cellular immune response in conventional piglets induced by vaccination using a capsid (Cap) protein-based PCV2 vaccine compared to unvaccinated animals when exposed to PCV2 natural infection. Immune reactivity was evaluated by quantifying peripheral cell subsets involved in the anti-viral response and characterizing the interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) secreting cell (SC) responsiveness both in vivo and upon in vitro whole PCV2 recall. The vaccination triggered an early and intense IFN-gamma secreting cell response and induced the activation of peripheral lymphocytes. The early increase of IFN-gamma SC frequencies resulted in a remarkable and transient tendency to increased IFN-gamma productivity in vaccinated pigs. In vaccinated animals, soon before the onset of infection occurring 15-16 weeks post-vaccination, the recalled PCV2-specific immune response was characterized by moderate PCV2-specific IFN-gamma secreting cell frequencies and augmented productivity together with reactive CD4+CD8+ memory T cells. Conversely, upon infection, unvaccinated animals showed very high frequencies of IFN-gamma secreting cells and a tendency to lower productivity, which paralleled with effector CD4-CD8+ cytotoxic cell responsiveness. The study shows that PCV2 vaccination induces a long-lasting immunity sustained by memory T cells and IFN-gamma secreting cells that potentially played a role in preventing the onset of infection; the extent and duration of this reactivity can be an important feature for evaluating the protective immunity induced by vaccination.
    Veterinary Research 04/2014; 45(1):44. · 3.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The systemic and respiratory local immune response induced by the intradermal administration of a commercial inactivated Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae whole-cell vaccine (Porcilis(®) MHYO ID ONCE - MSD AH) in comparison with two commercial vaccines administered via the intramuscular route and a negative control (adjuvant only) was investigated. Forty conventional M. hyopneumoniae-free pigs were randomly assigned to four groups (ten animals each): Group A=intradermal administration of the test vaccine by using the needle-less IDAL(®) vaccinator at a dose of 0.2ml; Group B=intramuscular administration of a commercially available vaccine (vaccine B); Group C=intramuscular administration of the adjuvant only (2ml of X-solve adjuvant); Group D=intramuscular administration of a commercially available vaccine (vaccine D). Pigs were vaccinated at 28 days of age. Blood and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid samples were collected at vaccination (blood only), 4 and 8 weeks post-vaccination. Serum and BAL fluid were tested for the presence of antibodies by ELISA test. Peripheral blood monomorphonuclear cells (PBMC) were isolated to quantify the number of IFN-γ secreting cells by ELISpot. Moreover, cytokine gene expression from the BAL fluid was performed. Total antibodies against M. hyopneumoniae and specific IgG were detected in serum of intradermally and intramuscularly (vaccine B only) vaccinated pigs at 4 and 8 weeks post-vaccination. M. hyopneumoniae specific IgA were detected in BAL fluid from vaccinated animals (Groups A and B) but not from controls and animals vaccinated with the bacterin D (p<0.05). Significantly higher gene expression of IL-10 was observed in the BAL fluid at week 8 post-vaccination in the intradermally vaccinated pigs (p<0.05). The results support that the intradermal administration of an adjuvanted bacterin induces both systemic and mucosal immune responses. Moreover, the intramuscularly administered commercial vaccines each had a different ability to stimulate the immune response both systemically and locally.
    Veterinary Microbiology 11/2013; · 2.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In veterinary medicine, there have been different experiences with the plasmid DNA vaccination. In this area and with the hypothesis to demonstrate the effectiveness of different plasmids encoding porcine respiratory and reproductive syndrome (PRRS), five DNA vaccines against PRRS were evaluated for their innocuity and efficacy in pigs. Eighteen animals were divided into five groups which were injected with five (A, B, C, D, E) different DNA vaccines. Albeit, none of the proposed vaccines were able to protect the animals against PRRS virus. Only vaccines A and B were able to reduce the clinical signs of the infection. ELISA IgM were detected 30 days after the first vaccination in the pigs injected by Vaccine A or B. ELISA IgG were detected 90 days after the first vaccination in the pigs injected by Vaccine B or C. Neutralizing antibody were detected Post Challenge Days 61 (PCD) in all groups. In the pigs inoculated with Vaccine C, IFN- were detected 90 days after first vaccination, and after challenge exposure they increased In the othergroups, the IFN- were detected after challenge infection. Pigs injected with each of the vaccines A, B, C, D and E showed a significantly higher level of CD4−CD8+ lymphocytes (p < 0.001) after infection in comparison with their controls.
    vaccines. 10/2013; 1(463):480.
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    ABSTRACT: Aim of the study was to verify the clinical and morphological effects of intra-articular stanozolol or placebo treatment, lasting 3 and 9months, in sheep in which a femoro-tibial osteo-arthritis (OA) were surgically induced (medial bilateral meniscectomy). Twenty healthy sheep divided into four groups and two control animals group, after surgical medial bilateral meniscectomy, were weekly injected in femoral-tibial joint (FTJ) with stanozolol or placebo. Lameness evaluation was performed and synovial fluid was collected from all sheep at each treatment time. Necropsies were performed after 3 or 9month as described in experimental design. Gross pathologies were described and specimen tissues collected from femoro-tibial articular joints were processed for routine histological examination. The gross anatomy of the FTJ was well-preserved in stanozolol-treated sheep; this also applied to the histological features of articular cartilage. Joint aseptic inflammation and fibrosis were observed in placebo-treated sheep, associated with a different degree of severity of condylar and tibial plate cartilage degeneration. Stanozolol intra-articular treatment reduces osteophytes formation and subchondral bone reaction and promotes articular cartilage regeneration.
    Research in Veterinary Science 01/2013; · 1.51 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pro-inflammatory (IL-8, TNF-α, IL-1β) and immune (IFN-γ, IL-10) cytokines were evaluated in PCV2-vaccinated and unvaccinated pigs exposed to natural PCV2 infection retrospectively selected according to the time of the onset of viremia and the viral burden, and the presence of PMWS clinical signs. In a farrow-to-finish herd with a history of PMWS in animals aged older than 15 weeks, at weaning (21±3 days of age), vaccinated pigs were intramuscularly inoculated with one dose of Porcilis(®) PCV vaccine+adjuvant whereas the adjuvant alone was administered to the control animals. Thirty animals bled at 16 weeks of age (before the occurrence of the natural infection and the onset of the disease) and then at 19, 20, 22 and 26 weeks of age, were categorized as: (a) vaccinated non-infected and non-PMWS-affected (PCV2-vac), (b) unvaccinated spontaneously infected/non-PMWS-affected (Ctrl) and (c) unvaccinated spontaneously infected/PMWS-affected (Ctrl-PMWS+) pigs. A major evidence of this study is that PMWS-affected animals were not able to mount an efficient innate pro-inflammatory response to cope with PCV2 infection as demonstrated by the low levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, namely IL-8, TNF-α and IL-1β, and IFN-γ. Conversely, significantly increased gene expression levels of IL-8, TNF-α and IL-1β were detected especially in the PCV2-vac group at the early phase of the infection. Moreover, in PMWS diseased animals, a significant increase of IL-10 occurred at the early phase of infection, while, vaccinated pigs, in addition to the low viremia burden and its frequency and the absence of PMWS disease, showed a more stable IFN-γ response.
    Veterinary Microbiology 12/2012; · 2.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The present study evaluated the lymphocyte activation in PRRSV-vaccinated pigs subsequently exposed to natural infection by in vitro stimulation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) with homologous vaccine and two heterologous PRRSV isolates. The responsiveness was assessed by determining IFN-γ secreting cells by ELISpot assay, lymphocyte CD8 phenotype by intracellular staining/flow cytometry, cytokine gene expression by real-time quantitative PCR and cytokine secretion by ELISA. Conventional pigs were weaned at 28 days of age and inoculated intramuscularly (IM) or needle-less intradermally (ID) with a modified-live PRRSV vaccine suspended in adjuvant, while control pigs were injected with adjuvant alone (ADJ). Blood samples were collected at vaccination, 35 days post-vaccination and after 35 days post-exposure to natural infection by a heterologous field strain. Thirty-five days post-vaccination, PRRSV vaccine induced a low but significant virus-specific IFN-γ secreting cell response upon stimulation with both the vaccine strain and the two isolates in vaccinated pigs. Conversely, after 35 days post-exposure, only the vaccine strain and the BS/114/S isolate triggered this response. Intracellular staining showed that PRRSV-specific immune cells reacting upon vaccine strain and BS/114/S stimulation were mostly CD8(+) IFN-γ producing cells whereas the stimulation with BS/55 isolate induced an IFN-γ production associated to the CD8(-)IFN-γ(+) phenotype. At 35 days post-vaccination, PBMC from vaccinated pigs showed lower IL-10 expression and release, and higher TNF-α gene expression upon stimulation with both the vaccine and viral isolates. After infection, both cytokines were not differently modulated in different groups. Immune parameters give evidence that IFN-γ secreting cells in the peripheral blood can be elicited upon PRRSV infection although vaccination itself does not stimulate high levels of these reactive cells. Moreover, the cross-reactivity against divergent PRRS viruses can show a different intensity and be differently associated with cytotoxic CD8(+)IFN-γ(+) as well as CD8(-)IFN-γ(+) cells. Overall, the obtained data confirmed that the immune activation against PRRSV is not dependent on the genetic divergence of the virus. Especially after infection, a different immune reactivity was evident upon stimulation with the different isolates in terms of frequency and CD8 phenotype of PRRSV-specific IFN-γ producing cells. The modulation of cytokines in vaccinated pigs appeared to be more dependent on vaccination or infection conditions than on stimulation by different isolates, and the changes of IL-10 more relevant than those of TNF-α at gene and protein levels. Moreover, under the conditions of this study, the PRRSV vaccine administered via the intradermal route by a needle-less device was confirmed to induce an immune response comparable or in some cases higher than the intramuscular route.
    Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology 11/2012; · 1.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The present study aims at evaluating the efficacy of the concurrent PCV2 and PRRS vaccinations in comparison with single vaccinations and placebo in pigs exposed to both natural viral infections. Four groups of pigs (200 animals each) at 4 weeks of age were considered. Pigs from group A were concurrently vaccinated with a modified live PRRSV-1-based vaccine and a genotype a-based PCV2 subunit (Cap) vaccine via the intramuscular route. Animals from groups B and C were vaccinated with PRRSV and PCV2 vaccines alone, respectively, and group D was inoculated with the adjuvant alone. Clinical score (morbidity), mortality and average daily weight gain (ADWG) were evaluated. Viraemia, virus-specific ELISA antibodies and cell-mediated immunity (CMI) as IFN-γ secreting cells by ELISpot were detected. The clinical signs associated with PRRSV infection lasted from 8 to 16 weeks while those related to PCV2 infection from 5 months of age. The results showed that the concurrent vaccinations reduced clinical signs and increased the preventive fraction (40.4%) and the ADWG. In concurrently vaccinated pigs, the probability of dying due to infection, especially in association with PCV2 viraemia was reduced 3-fold. PRRSV viraemia was not reduced by vaccination but lower and shorter PCV2 viral load was detected in both concurrently and single PCV2-vaccinated pigs. Despite the presence of maternally derived antibodies, animals showed a prompt seroconversion after vaccination and PCV2 natural infection. Moreover, maternal immunity did not interfere with the development of the specific cellular IFN-γ SC response in single and concurrently vaccinated animals. The study demonstrates that concurrent PRRSV+PCV2 vaccination has no interference with the development of the specific humoral and cell-mediated immunity and it is associated with clinical protection upon natural challenge.
    Veterinary Microbiology 11/2012; · 2.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The effects of dietary nucleotide supplementation from 9 days of age until the end of post-weaning on piglets hormonal and immune responses and on growth performance were investigated. During lactation (days 9 to 21) and post-weaning (days 22 to 55) 10 [HBI Fomeva11 × (Large White × Landrace)] litters (n = 108 piglets) had ad libitum access to two standard diets, both supplemented with 0% (T0 group) or 0.1% (T1 group) of yeast extract nucleotides. BW of piglets at days 21 (P < 0.10), 35 and 55 (P < 0.05) was greater in T1 compared with T0. Feed intake was not different between groups (P > 0.05). Cortisol content was lower in T1 than in T0 at days 28 and 35 (P < 0.05), whereas growth hormone was lower at day 35 (P < 0.05). Levels of IGF-1 were similar across groups (P > 0.05). Nucleotide-supplemented diets increased lymphocyte subpopulation CD4-CD8+high at days 21 and 35 (P < 0.05), whereas CD4+CD8- cells were higher in T1 than in T0 at day 21 (P < 0.05). Peripheral blood mononuclear cells cytokine expression was influenced by dietary nucleotide supplementation. At weaning, interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-1β expression was lower (P < 0.05) in T1 compared with T0, whereas the expression of interferon (IFN)-γ and IL-10 was higher (P < 0.05). At day 28, piglets in T1 showed higher values of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α expression than T0 and lower values of IL-10 expression (P < 0.05). Dietary nucleotide supplementation had a suppressive effect on IL-6 and IL-10 expression (P < 0.05) at day 35. On the contrary, the expression of IFN-γ, TNF-α and IL-1β was enhanced (P < 0.05). In conclusion, these results suggest that starting a dietary nucleotide supplementation before weaning can improve the adaptive capabilities of weaned piglets to the stressors, enhancing the growth performance.
    animal 06/2012; 6(6):902-8. · 1.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Studies investigating the effect of different factors on the skeletal system require characterization of an appropriate animal model. Rabbits are among the most commonly studied animals for medical research, being used in about 35% of musculoskeletal research studies. The present dynamic cross-sectional histomorphometric study quantitatively determined mineral apposition rates (MARs) in the distal femoral epiphysis in four regions of interest (ROIs) in New Zealand white rabbits. ROIs included the craniolateral (CrL), caudolateral (CaL), craniomedial (CrM) and caudomedial (CaM) areas, using a reference height at different stages of skeletal maturity corresponding to experimental ages of 6, 7 and 8 months old (M6, M7 and M8). We evaluated whether a correlation exists in MARs between the times and the regions examined. Such data could be used in studies on growth of the rabbit's femur, on biomaterials for bone integration or regeneration and on growth disturbances produced by various pathologic factors. We found no interaction at the experimental times; thus, M6, M7 and M8 are considered homogeneous in terms of MARs. The velocity profiles of the MARs were statistically significantly different among the considered ROIs. For all experimental times, the CrM region had a higher MAR than the other ROIs. Both the CrM and CaM ROIs had higher MARs than the corresponding lateral ROIs. Our results indicate that bone formation is not constant within the cross-section, but is statistically different between the ROIs considered.
    Anantomia Histologia Embryologia 12/2011; 41(3):163-9. · 0.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The objective of this paper was to study the changes of some cytokines and neuroendocrine hormones in vaccinated and unvaccinated pigs that were naturally infected by a PRRSV-1 (porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus) heterologous field strain. We analyzed gene expression of pro-inflammatory (TNF-α, IL-1β, MCP-1, IL-6), pro-immune (IFN-γ) and anti-inflammatory cytokines (IL-10) in PBMC, as well as hormonal (GH and cortisol) levels in blood samples of pigs obtained in a field trial previously reported [Martelli P, Gozio S, Ferrari L, Rosina S, De Angelis E, Quintavalla C, et al. Efficacy of a modified-live porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) vaccine in pigs naturally exposed to a heterologous European (Italian cluster) field strain: clinical protection and cell-mediated immunity. Vaccine 2009;27:3788-99]. All vaccinated pigs showed an increase in pro-inflammatory and pro-immune cytokine gene expression with respect to controls and a prompt increase in GH that could be consistently associated with pro-inflammatory cytokines in sustaining innate immunity; moreover, the higher levels of cortisol indicates the activation of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis response. In contrast, unvaccinated pigs showed down-regulation of the cortisol and GH responses, and the pro-inflammatory and pro-immune cytokines remained at a basal or low level, with an increase of TNF-α and IL-6 in association with a higher level of IL-10 in the late phase of natural infection. The associated trends of pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines together with the cortisol level demonstrate that a previous vaccination promotes an early immune responsiveness in pigs and a more efficient control of inflammation in the late phase of infection with a heterologous PRRSV isolate; both events could sustain clinical protection.
    Comparative immunology, microbiology and infectious diseases 03/2011; 34(2):143-55. · 2.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The immune response induced by intradermal vaccination using a needle-less device was evaluated in conventional pigs in comparison with the more conventional intramuscular vaccination; to this purpose, vaccination against Aujeszky's Disease (AD) was used as a model of antiviral immunity. Two groups of pigs (n=10 each) were vaccinated 4 weeks apart respectively by the intramuscular (IM group) and intradermal route (ID group; needle-less I.D.A.L.® vaccinator) with an AD modified live virus. Ten pigs injected with the vaccine adjuvant only were kept as sham-vaccinated controls (C group). On blood samples collected at 0, 2, 4, 5, 6 and 7 weeks post-vaccination (PV) ADV-specific virus neutralizing (VN) antibodies, IFN-γ secreting cells (SC), lymphocyte subsets and IFN-γ gene expression in PBMC were evaluated. VN antibodies increased after the 1st vaccination and peaked after the 2nd vaccination in both vaccinated groups. Also IFN-γ SC reached maximum levels in both groups after administration of the booster dose. Pigs in the control group remained negative for both parameters throughout the study. Flow cytometry showed persistently higher levels of CD3-CD8α+ Natural Killer cells in both vaccinated pigs. The ID group showed an earlier and regulated activation characterized by an increase of cytotoxic CD8β+ T lymphocytes and CD25+ cells after the boosting dose. No statistically significant differences between treated and control groups were detected for memory CD4+CD8α+(low) T cells. Upregulation of IFN-γ gene expression in PBMC was detected in ID and IM pigs after both vaccine administrations, although at a different extent. Overall, the results showed that the intradermal vaccine delivery by a needle-less device can prime a strong humoral and cellular immune response comparable to that obtained by the intramuscular vaccination.
    Research in Veterinary Science 02/2011; 90(1):64-71. · 1.51 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study investigated the efficacy of a one-dose porcine circovirus 2 (PCV2) subunit vaccine based on the PCV2 Cap protein expressed in a baculovirus system on two different farms at which a history of porcine circovirus-associated disease (PCVD) was present. Morbidity, mortality, average daily weight gain, carcass weight, PCV2 load in serum and vaccine immunogenicity were assessed. Serology to porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) and Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae was performed. A double-blind, randomised, and controlled field trial was performed distributing 818 piglets between two treatment groups. At inclusion (weaning at 21 ± 3 days of age), 408 animals (group B) received a 2-mL intramuscular dose of Porcilis PCV(®) (vaccinated group). Controls (group A, 410 pigs) received 2 mL of the adjuvant Diluvac Forte(®) intramuscularly. Weights were recorded at inclusion and at 12 and 26 weeks of age, and the average daily weight gain (ADWG) was calculated. The carcass weights of the pigs from farm 2 were recorded at slaughter (274 days old). All dead animals (died or culled) underwent autopsy to classify them as PMWS-affected or not. At each farm, blood samples were taken from 22 pigs/group for serologic studies. A beneficial effect was found after vaccination with a single dose of a PCV2 Cap vaccine against PCVD. The vaccination reduced the mortality rate and morbidity, reduced PCV2 viremia and viral load, improved productive performances (e.g. ADWG: +70 g/day between 12 and 26 weeks of age when viremia and the specific disease occurred) as well as carcass weight at slaughter age (+4.5 kg). These effects were associated with virologic and clinical protection from the immunogenicity of the vaccine measured as activation of both a humoral and a cellular immune response.
    Veterinary Microbiology 12/2010; 149(3-4):339-51. · 2.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Flow cytometry is a useful tool to determine both the phenotype and function of immune cells during vaccination and viral infection. Since cytokine release is a hallmark of cell activation, detection of intracellular interferon (IFN)gamma in cytotoxic CD8alpha+ cells under physiological conditions and after Aujeszky's Disease Virus (ADV)- or Porcine Circovirus type 2 (PCV2)-swine interaction was carried out. Blood samples were collected from healthy 10-month-old pigs, ADV- or PCV2-vaccinated pigs, and PCV2-infected pigs; the levels of total IFNgamma+ and CD8alpha+IFNgamma+ cells were evaluated after PMA-ionomycin and virus-specific in vitro stimulation. High CD8alpha+IFNgamma+ cell levels were detected in adult pigs, whereas lower virus-specific cell fractions were observed after ADV or PCV2 vaccination as well as after PCV2 natural infection due to restricted activation. Such results support the use of cytokine intracellular staining to monitor virus-specific cell-mediated immunity.
    Veterinary Research Communications 06/2010; 34 Suppl 1:S63-7. · 1.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Four DNA vaccines against BoHV-1 were evaluated for their efficacy in calves. Twelve animals were divided into four groups which were injected with four different DNA vaccines: pVAX-tgD (Vaccine A); pVAX-tgD co-immunised with pVAX-48CpG (Vaccine B); pVAX-UbiLacI-tgD-L (Vaccine C); pVAX-UbiLacI-tgD-L co-immunised with pVAX-48CpG (Vaccine D). Three additional calves were given the plasmid vector and served as controls. Ninety days after the first vaccination all calves were challenge infected with BoHV-1. All animals developed a severe form of infections bovine rhinotracheitis. Only the calves given the pVAX-tgD co-immunised with pVAX-48CpG (Vaccine B) developed humoral antibodies against BoHV-1 between 56 and 90 days after the first vaccination, whereas in calves of other groups and in the controls, antibodies appeared only after the infection. In the calves vaccinated with either pVAX-tgD (Vaccine A) or pVAX-tgD combined with pVAX-48CpG (Vaccine B), BoHV-1-specific IFN-γ secreting cells were detected in PBMCs 90 days after the first vaccination and their number increased after challenge exposure. In the other groups the IFN-γ secreting cells were detected after virus infection and at low values.
    Comparative immunology, microbiology and infectious diseases 11/2009; 34(1):3-10. · 2.99 Impact Factor
  • Journal of Comparative Pathology 11/2009; 141(4):292-292. · 1.10 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Anodic spark deposition (ASD) is an attractive technique for improving the implant-bone interface that can be applied to titanium and titanium alloys. This technique produces a surface with microporous morphology and an oxide layer enriched with calcium and phosphorus. The aim of the present study was to investigate the biological response in vitro using primary human osteoblasts as a cellular model and the osteogenic primary response in vivo within a short experimental time frame (2 and 4 weeks) in an animal model (rabbit). Responses were assessed by comparing the new electrochemical biomimetic treatments to an acid-etching treatment as control. The in vitro biological response was characterized by cell morphology, adhesion, proliferation activity and cell metabolic activity. A complete assessment of osteogenic activity in vivo was achieved by estimating static and dynamic histomorphometric parameters at several time points within the considered time frame. The in vitro study showed enhanced osteoblast adhesion and higher metabolic activity for the ASD-treated surfaces during the first days after seeding compared to the control titanium. For the ASD surfaces, the histomorphometry indicated a higher mineral apposition rate within 2 weeks and a more extended bone activation within the first week after surgery, leading to more extensive bone-implant contact after 2 weeks. In conclusion, the ASD surface treatments enhanced the biological response in vitro, promoting an early osteoblast adhesion, and the osteointegrative properties in vivo, accelerating the primary osteogenic response.
    Acta biomaterialia 09/2009; 6(3):1014-24. · 5.68 Impact Factor
  • Veterinary Research Communications 08/2009; 33 Suppl 1:133-5. · 1.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The H1N1, H3N2 and, more recently, H1N2 subtypes of influenza A virus are presently co-circulating in swine herds in several countries. The objectives of this study were to investigate the pathogenesis of Sw/Italy/1521/98 (H1N2) influenza virus, isolated from respiratory tissues of pigs from herds in Northern Italy, and to evaluate its potential cross-protection against the Sw/Fin/2899/82 (H1N1) strain. In the pathogenesis test, eight pigs were intranasally infected with H1N2 virus; at pre-determined intervals, these animals were killed and necropsied, along with eight uninfected animals. In the cross-protection test, sixteen pigs were infected by intranasal (i.n.) and intratracheal (i.t.) routes with either H1N2 or H1N1 virus. Twenty days later, all pigs were challenged (by the same route), with either the homologous H1N2 or heterologous H1N1 virus strains. Control group was inoculated with culture medium alone. On post-challenge days (PCD) 1 and 3, two pigs from each infected group, along with one control pig, were killed. Clinical, virological, serological and histopathological investigations were performed in both the pathogenicity and cross-protection tests. In the pathogenicity test, mild clinical signs were observed in two pigs during 3 and 4 days, respectively. Virus was isolated from two pigs over 6 days and from lung samples of pigs killed on post-infection days 2 and 4. Seroconversion was detected in the two infected animals killed 15 days after infection. In the cross-protection study, mild clinical respiratory signs were detected in all pigs infected with either the H1N2 or H1N1 virus. The virus was isolated from nasal swabs of almost all pigs till 6 days. After the challenge infection, the pigs remained clinically healthy and virus isolation from the nasal secretions or lung samples was sporadic. Antibody titres in H1N1 or H1N2 infected groups were similar, whereas the H1N2 sub-type induced less protection against re-infection by homologous and heterologous virus than H1N1 sub-type. The controls had no signs of the disease. In the H1N2 infected pigs, a reduced number of goblet cells in nasal and tracheal mucosa and small foci of lymphomononuclear cell infiltrates in the submucosa were detected. Furthermore, the goblet cell reduction was related to the time of infection. Diffuse mild interstitial pneumonia was also recorded in pigs infected with the H1N2 virus and challenged with either H1N1or H1N2 pigs. These studies showed the moderate virulence of the H1N2 virus and a partial cross-protection against heterologous infection.
    Zoonoses and Public Health 07/2009; 57(4):273-80. · 2.09 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to assess clinical protection in pigs vaccinated with a commercially available attenuated porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) vaccine (Porcilis) PRRS) and then naturally exposed under field conditions to a heterologous (Italian cluster) strain of virulent PRRSV. A total of 30, 4-week-old pigs seronegative for PRRSV were allocated to 1 of 3 groups (IM, ID, and C groups). At 5 weeks of age, pigs of groups IM (n=10 pigs) and ID (n=10 pigs) were vaccinated intramuscularly and intradermally, respectively, with modified live PRRSV-1 vaccine (Porcilis) PRRS). Pigs of group C (n=10 pigs) were kept as non-vaccinated controls. At post-vaccination (PV) days 0, 7, 14, 28, and 45, blood samples were collected for detection of vaccine virus (PCR) and antibody response (ELISA), identification of changes in lymphocyte subpopulations by cytometry, and IFN-gamma PRRSV-specific secreting cells (SC) by ELISpot. At PV day 45, pigs of A, B, and C groups were moved to a site 3 conventional finishing herd with a history of respiratory disease caused by PRRSV and the most common bacteria to be exposed to a natural challenge. The PRRSV field strain, belonging to the Italian cluster of the PRRSV-1, demonstrated a 84% identity with the vaccine virus (DV strain) at ORF5 sequencing. At 0 (exposure day=45 days PV), 4, 7, 11, 14, 19, 21, 28, and 34 days post-exposure (PE) blood samples were collected for detection and titration of PRRSV and antibody, as well as for lymphocyte and IFN-gamma measurement as described above. Throughout the post-exposure period, all pigs were observed daily for clinical signs. The overall clinical signs were reduced by 68 and 72%, respectively in the intramuscularly and intradermally vaccinated pigs compared to controls. Respiratory signs were reduced by 72 and 80%, respectively in the IM and ID groups. Clinical protection was associated with marked activation of cell-mediated immune response. The highest levels of specific IFN-gamma production at 21-34 days PE were concomitant and associated to changes in natural killer (NK) cells, gamma/delta T, and cytotoxic T lymphocytes in the blood. In our field study, evidences of EU attenuated vaccine-induced clinical protection against natural exposure to a genetically diverse (84% homology) PRRSV-1 isolate (Italian cluster) was demonstrated by the statistically significant reduction in clinical signs in terms of incidence, duration and severity and by a more efficient cell-mediated immune response in the vaccinated pigs as compared to the unvaccinated controls.
    Vaccine 05/2009; 27(28):3788-99. · 3.49 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

339 Citations
74.92 Total Impact Points


  • 2013
    • University of Bologna
      • Department of Veterinary Medical Sciences DIMEVET
      Bologna, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
  • 1995–2013
    • Università degli studi di Parma
      • Department of Veterinary Science
      Parma, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
  • 1999
    • University of Sussex
      • School of Life Sciences
      Brighton, England, United Kingdom