Alfonso Zecconi

Alfonso Zecconi
University of Milan | UNIMI · Department of Veterinary Sciences and Public Health DIVET

About

122
Publications
16,138
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3,182
Citations
Citations since 2016
31 Research Items
1535 Citations
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250

Publications

Publications (122)
Preprint
Milk production loss due to mastitis in dairy herds is economically important. Before estimating the economic impacts of mastitis, it is crucial to quantify the association between mastitis and milk production. The objective of this study was to estimate the association between somatic cell count (SCC, as an indicator of intramammary infection due...
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Clinical and subclinical ketosis (SCK) in dairy cows occurs during the lactation period frequently in many herds, causing a reduction in milk yield and alterations in milk quality with significant economic losses for farmers. SCK is defined as a preclinical stage of ketosis characterized by an elevated ketone body level without clinical signs. Ofte...
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Mastitis is one of the major diseases of dairy cows that affects milk quality and quantity and increases the potential risk for the presence of antimicrobial residues (AR) in milk, which could lead to the development of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) among human pathogens. Even if the presence of AR in milk and milk products is low in many countrie...
Article
Dystocia, defined as prolonged or difficult birth, negatively affects the dam and calf survival, health and welfare together with the economy of the farm. The main income in beef industry is represented by calves to be grown for meat production. However, stillbirth and dam mortality due to dystocia represent an economic and welfare issue and even i...
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This study aimed to investigate the effect of interaction between total (SCC) and differential somatic cell count (DSCC) on milk yield, composition and coagulation traits from individual dairy cows. A total of 159 224 test-day records (daily milk yield, composition and coagulation traits) have been collected during a period of 14 months from 12 849...
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One critical point of dairy farm management is calving and neonatal first care. Timely calving assistance is associated with the reduction of calf mortality and postpartum uterine disease, and with improved fertility in dairy cattle. This study aimed to evaluate the performance and profitability of an intravaginal sensor for the prediction of stage...
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The One Health approach emphasizes the importance of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) as a major concern both in public health and in food animal production systems. As a general classification, E. coli can be distinguished based on the ability to cause infection of the gastrointestinal system (IPEC) or outside of it (ExPEC). Among the different path...
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Current sensor systems are used to detect cows with clinical mastitis. Although, the systems perform well enough to not negatively affect the adoption of automatic milking systems, the performance is far from perfect. An important advantage of sensor systems is the availability of multiple measurements per day. By clearly defining the need for dete...
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Mastitis is an inflammatory disease of the mammary gland, caused by the invasion of microorganism on this site, associated with an altered immune response. Recent studies in this field hypothesize that the origin of these pathogens can also be from the gastrointestinal tract, through the entero-mammary pathway in relation to an increase in gut perm...
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The virus responsible for the pandemic that has affected 152 countries worldwide is a new strain of coronavirus (CoV), which belongs to a family of viruses widespread in many animal species, including birds, and mammals including humans. Indeed, CoVs are known in veterinary medicine affecting several species, and causing respiratory and/or enteric,...
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Milk differential somatic cells count (DSCC), made possible under field conditions by the recent availability of a high-throughput milk analyzer may represent an improvement in mastitis diagnosis. While an increasing number of studies reports data on DSCC on individual cow samples, very few concerns DSCC from quarter milk samples. This paper report...
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The environment, including animals and animal products, is colonized by bacterial species that are typical and specific of every different ecological niche. Natural and human-related ecological pressure promotes the selection and expression of genes related to antimicrobial resistance (AMR). These genes might be present in a bacterial consortium bu...
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Data on the prevalence of major contagious pathogens in bulk tank milk (BTM) in Italy are generally not available. The availability of Real-Time PCR procedures (qPCR) to perform BTM analysis by represents an important step to define herd health status. Therefore, a cross-sectional epidemiological study was designed to assess the prevalence of conta...
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Milk is considered not only a source of nutrient for the offspring but also a font of immunoregulatory compounds capable to predispose the naïve intestinal immune system of the new-born to react to the external environment. In the present study we evaluated the composition of milk microbiome from cows classified according to milk total and differen...
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Selective dry cow therapy (SDCT) is one measure suggested to reduce the use of antibiotics on dairy farms. This procedure may have a negative impact on dairy herds, affecting both milk yield and quality. The aim of this observational study was to evaluate the implementation of a SDCT protocol based on the treatment only of cows with SCC at last ind...
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The factors that influence the diversity and composition of raw milk and fecal microbiota in healthy commercial dairy herds are not fully understood, partially because the majority of metataxonomic studies involve experimental farms and/or single factors. We analyzed the raw milk and fecal microbiota of 100 healthy cows from 10 commercial alpine fa...
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Differential leukocyte count (DSCC) in milk is considered important to improve knowledge of udder immune response. The investigations on milk DSCC were limited by the techniques available until recently, when a high-throughput tool to perform DSCC opened the way to explore these factors in rapid and economically sustainable ways. We hypothesized th...
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Envelope protein of coronaviruses is a structural protein existing in both monomeric and homo-pentameric form. It has been related to a multitude of roles including virus infection, replication, dissemination and immune response stimulation. In the present study, we employed an immunoinformatic approach to investigate the major immunogenic domains...
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Recent available instruments allow to record the number of differential somatic cell count (DSCC), representing the combined proportion of polymorphonuclear leukocytes and lymphocytes, on a large number of milk samples. Milk DSCC provides indirect information on the udder health status of dairy cows. However, literature is limited regarding the eff...
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The recent availability of a high-throughput milk analyzer performing a partial differential somatic cell count (DSCC) opened new opportunities in investigations on bovine udder health. This analyzer has a potential limitation on the accuracy of measurements when the somatic cell count (SCC) is below 50,000 cells/mL, values characterizing a good pr...
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There is increasing evidence to suggest that, in addition to their regenerative effect, mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs), and their secretome have an anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial role in the innate immune response in conditions such as sepsis. However, there is no published information on the effect of MSCs in bovine mastitis. Mastitis often...
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In this study we developed a model for risk prioritisation and characterisation focused on zoonoses and food safety for diseases of interest in veterinary public health at a regional level in Italy. A previous model (Discontools) based on scorecards was used as a basis to develop the new model. A Formalised Consensus Process approach involving acad...
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The progressive decrease of mean SCC in dairy herds worldwide is affecting SCC accuracy as a subclinical mastitis marker. This evidence supports studies aiming to apply differential cell count (DSCC) as a tool to identify mastitis. Two of the major obstacles to apply DSCC were the unavailability of high-throughput milk analysers and the cost of the...
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The application of selective dry cow therapy is one of the measures currently suggested to reduce the use of antibiotics in dairy herds. However, the application of selective dry cow therapy will have a profound impact on Italian dairy herds, very likely affecting both milk yield and quality. Identifying cows to be treated at drying off is crucial...
Article
Data on the presence of pathogenic Escherichia coli in bulk tank milk (BTM) and raw milk filters (RMF) are not available in Italy and there are few studies worldwide. Therefore, a study under field condition was conducted to assess the presence of E.coli pathogenic and commensal (CoEC) strains in BTM and RMF samples and their associated AMR pattern...
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During drying off and transition period, cows are subject to changes in endocrine status, metabolic stressors and altered immune functions, which could lead to an increased risk of disease. To expand our knowledge on the immune/inflammatory status and to identify markers to define cow status during this interval, the pattern of 9 different cellular...
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In this Research Communication we report the results of a controlled study conducted under field conditions in which we analysed milk ejection curves in cows with chronic mastitis, and assessed the influence of antinflammatory treatment with ketoprofen. Total milking time was reduced in chronic mastitis cows, irrespective of ketoprofen treatment, a...
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We optimized a combination of microbiological and molecular methods to quickly identify the presence of the O157 and the six non-O157 serogroups (O26, O45, O103, O111, O121 and O145) most frequently associated with VTEC status, at herd level. The lower detection limit of this methodology is 10(1)CFU/ml for each of the serogroups tested. We tested 6...
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Client-veterinarian communication increases client satisfaction and compliance as well as the welfare of companion animals. Conversely, poor communication affects the health and the welfare of both humans and animals, mainly in a critical circumstance such as breaking bad news. In many countries, the veterinary education programs included also this...
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This study analysed the usefulness of near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), combined with volatile compound (VOC) and fatty acid (FA) analyses, for the authentication of the unique Italian Valle d’Aosta Arnad Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) lard. Ensuring the authenticity of high value meat products remains an emerging topic within the food sect...
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Gene expression in early stage embryos relies mostly on post-transcriptional control of maternal transcripts accumulated during oocyte maturation. However, while the building process to obtain a competent oocyte is now better understood, it is still not clear what transcriptome blueprint composes a competent oocyte. The aim of the study was to comp...
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Staphylococcus aureus isolated from mammary gland are characterized by different genetic patterns. Ninety four isolates from 33 dairy herds were analyzed by the means of a microarray to investigate S. aureus virulence patterns and the distribution of genes believed to be involved in immune evasion. None of the 94 isolates considered were MRSA. Howe...
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Despite the fact that health communication is a discipline developed only recently, its importance in human medicine is well recognized. However, it is less considered in veterinary medicine, even if it has the potential to improve public health because of the role of veterinary medicine in public health. For this reason, an One Health approach is...
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Staphylococcus aureus represents one of the leading causes of mastitis in dairy cows worldwide. S. aureus IMI have variable outcomes due to virulence of the strain involved, immune defenses of the host, and by antibiotic resistance. The difficulty in eradication and the increasing concerns on antibiotics usages underscore the interest in developing...
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Effective communication in dairy farms improves management and herd health, and it is also pivotal for public health in a "from farm to fork" perspective. This paper reports the results of a descriptive study on dairy farmers' perception of veterinarian and other consultants' communication skills. Perceived communication skills showed to be signifi...
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Nowadays food wrapping assures attractive presentation and simplifies self-service shopping. Polyvinylchloride (PVC)- and polyethylene (PE)-based cling-films are widely used worldwide for wrapping cheeses. For this purpose, films used in retail possess suitable technical properties such as clinginess and unrolling capacity, that are achieved by usi...
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The need for antibiotic treatments in dairy cattle farms can be reduced by a combined intervention scheme based on: 1) timely clinical inspections, 2) the assessment of animal-based welfare parameters, and 3) the use of predictive laboratory tests. These can provide greater insight into environmental adaptation of dairy cows and define animals at r...
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Farm management failure is considered to be the cause of much sub-clinical prevalent pathologies in dairy cattle rearing. The aim of this study was: the quantitative evaluation of data assessment in farm management through the use of institutional instruments such as questionnaire and system of points (Scoring system) and their comparison with the...
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In the last decades, S.aureus acquired a dramatic relevance in human and veterinary medicine for different reasons, one of them represented by the increasing prevalence of antibiotic resistant strains. However, antibiotic resistance is not the only weapon in the arsenal of S.aureus. Indeed, these bacteria have plenty of virulence factors, including...
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Maternal transcripts are accumulated during oocyte growth and drive early embryonic development; therefore, their characterisation is a relevant factor for predicting fertility. DNA microarrays have been the method of choice for transcriptional profiling, but this method has some limitations when applied to domestic species because it relies upon e...
Article
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is one of the most widespread agent of diseases in humans and animals. In dairy cows, S. aureus is the most frequently isolated contagious pathogens in mastitis cases and vaccines are one of the potential tools to control the infections, thus decreasing the use of antibiotics. Among all the virulence factors produc...
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Connection between mastitis and fertility is multifaceted; therefore, several aspects need more elucidation. In particular, the aim was to investigate if naturally occurring chronic mastitis has an effect on ovarian function. At the time of slaughter, a milk sample and both ovaries were collected from 68 cows. The presence and intensity of chronic...
Book
Attività di ricerca finalizzata alla stesura del Piano Regionale di Prevenzione Veterinaria 2012-2014 (Regione Lombardia), pubblicato nel dicembre 2011. Coordinatore Prof. Luigi Bonizzi. Al fine di rispondere alle richieste dell'Unione Europea in termini di standard e procedure operative per i controlli ufficiali, sono stati sviluppati vari aspetti...
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Recent studies have suggested an association between reproductive failure and mastitis in lactating dairy cows, but our understanding of how mastitis affects reproduction is still limited. In the present study we investigated the effects of naturally occurring chronic mastitis on the population dynamics of ovarian follicles. Ovaries and milk sample...
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Non-specific (innate) immune response plays a major role in defending the udder from bacterial invasion. Moreover, recent investigations suggest that mammary gland epithelial cells (MGEC) could have a large and important role as a source of soluble components of immune defences. Despite many attempts to find other ways to control/prevent mastitis (...
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For its characteristics, donkey milk has been proposed as an alternative to goat or artificial milk to feed allergic infants. Therefore, it is important to increase our knowledge on health and immunological characteristics of donkey milk. Ten donkeys, bred as companion animals, were enrolled in this study and sampled once a month, for eight months....
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The importance to evaluate Staphylococcus aureus virulence analysing the combination of virulence genes is largely recognised, and the recent availability of simplified microarray tools allows performing these analyses also in the dairy field. The combined availability of herd-specific S. aureus mastitis prevalence data, isolates from these herds,...
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This paper reports the results of a study that aimed to assess whether liver functionality defined by liver activity index (LAI) is associated with inflammatory and immune parameters in blood and milk. LAI is an index including the average blood levels of albumin, lipoproteins and retinol-binding protein measured three times in the first month of l...
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Staphylococcus aureus is the most common aetiologic agent of contagious bovine mastitis. It is characterized by a wide array of virulence factors. The differences among strains jeopardize the development of effective vaccines against Staph. aureus mastitis. We tested the immunogenicity of a peptide subunit vaccine coding for three different adhesio...
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In the pig ovary, the transition from primordial to primary and secondary ovarian follicles begins before birth, but antral follicles can be observed, for the first time, at approximately 60-90 d of age. At approximately the same time, secondary follicles become responsive to gonadotropins, leading to the formation of antral follicles. Placing piec...
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To assess the impact of automatic milking systems (AMS) on the different aspects of milk production a research projectinvolving both commercial and experimental dairy farms with different AMS and different management was started. Thispaper reports the results of a follow-up study on primiparous cows focused on assessing some markers to be used tomo...
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The aim of this research was to evaluate the effect of the modification of diet starch content on milk composition and onits nitrogen and mineral fractions. Ten Italian Friesian primiparous cows were randomly assigned to two groups and feda basal total mixed ration, (BSD, basal starch diet, 24.9% starch/DM) until 42 days in milking (DIM). At 43 DIM...
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The aim of the study was to investigate the relationships between milk flow traits, milk Somatic Cell Count (SCC) and teat apex score in primiparous cows during the first 120 days of lactation. A total of 82 primiparous Holstein cows were randomly selected in 6 herds characterized by different milking machines and management. The cows were monitore...
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To investigate the relationships between milk flow traits and udder health status in primiparous cows, 74 primiparous Holstein cows were randomly selected in 5 herds and monitored monthly throughout the whole lactation. A total of 2902 quarter milk samples were collected for bacteriological analyses and the determination of lysozyme, N-acetyl-beta-...
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Knowledge of the epidemiological pattern and the potential sources of infections is important to control Staphylococcus aureus in dairy herds. This paper reports the results of a study applying both pulse field gel electrophoresis (PGFE) and the assessment of a selected number of virulence genes to investigate the role of teat skin on Staph. aureus...