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Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33802554


Leptospirosis is a worldwide-spread zoonosis causing disease and death in dogs and in humans. A Leptospiral infection has been recorded in several wild carnivore species in Europe, but tissue pathological changes were not commonly described. The Grey wolf (Canis lupus) has been expanding its distribution range in north-eastern Italy during the last decade. A young wolf, representing the first individual handled in the region, was found road-killed and then submitted to necropsy. Pathological changes included erosive lesions of gingival mucosa, mild liver enlargement, and multifocal degenerative-necrotic areas along with hyperemic reactive lesions; multifocal interstitial nephritis and multifocal lung hemorrhages were observed. A Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) able to detect pathogenic species of Leptospira performed on a kidney sample was positive. Serological reactions for serogroup Gryppotyphosa (1:6400), Pomona (1:800), and Icterohaemorrhagiae (1:200) were evidenced by MAT. Genotyping by Multilocus Sequence Typing (MLST) performed on detected Leptospira characterized it as belonging to Sequence Type (ST) 117, which refers to L. kirschneri, serogroup Pomona, serovar Mozdok. Regardless of the role of Leptospira infection as an eventual predisposing factor to the road killing of this wolf, to the best of the authors' knowledge, this is the first report of Leptospira-induced pathology in a wolf in Europe. Surveys on Leptospira infection in free-ranging wildlife species should be pursued in order to achieve further epidemiological knowledge on the circulation of the Leptospira strain.

Leptospira , Leptospirose , Lobos , Animais , Cães , Exposição Ambiental , Europa (Continente) , Itália/epidemiologia , Leptospira/genética , Leptospirose/epidemiologia , Leptospirose/veterinária , Tipagem de Sequências Multilocus , Sorogrupo
Parasit Vectors ; 14(1): 29, 2021 Jan 07.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33413547


BACKGROUND: Echinococcus multilocularis is a small tapeworm affecting wild and domestic carnivores and voles in a typical prey-predator life cycle. In Italy, there has been a focus of E. multilocularis since 1997 in the northern Italian Alps, later confirmed in red foxes collected from 2001 to 2005. In this study, we report the results of seven years of monitoring on E. multilocularis and other cestodes in foxes and describe the changes that occurred over time and among areas (eco-regions) showing different environmental and ecological features on a large scale. METHODS: Eggs of cestodes were isolated from feces of 2872 foxes with a sedimentation/filtration technique. The cestode species was determined through multiplex PCR, targeting and sequencing ND1 and 12S genes. Analyses were aimed to highlight variations among different eco-regions and trends in prevalence across the study years. RESULTS: Out of 2872 foxes, 217 (7.55%) samples resulted positive for cestode eggs at coproscopy, with differences of prevalence according to year, sampling area and age class. Eight species of cestodes were identified, with Taenia crassiceps (2.65%), Taenia polyacantha (1.98%) and E. multilocularis (1.04%) as the most represented. The other species, Mesocestoides litteratus, Taenia krabbei, T. serialis, T. taeniaeformis and Dipylidium caninum, accounted for < 1% altogether. Echinococcus multilocularis was identified in foxes from two out of six eco-regions, in 30 fecal samples, accounting for 1.04% within the cestode positives at coproscopy. All E. multilocularis isolates came from Bolzano province. Prevalence of cestodes, both collectively and for each of the three most represented species (T. crassiceps, T. polyacantha and E. multilocularis), varied based on the sampling year, and for E. multilocularis an apparent increasing trend across the last few years was evidenced. CONCLUSIONS: Our study confirms the presence of a focus of E. multilocularis in red foxes of northeast Italy. Although this focus seems still spatially limited, given its persistence and apparent increasing prevalence through the years, we recommend research to be conducted in the future on the ecological factors that, on a smaller scale, allow this zoonotic species to persist. On the same scale, we recommend a health education campaign to inform on the measures to prevent this zoonosis, targeted at people living in the area, especially hunters, dog owners, forestry workers and other potentially exposed categories.

Cestoides/fisiologia , Infecções por Cestoides/epidemiologia , Infecções por Cestoides/veterinária , Equinococose/epidemiologia , Equinococose/veterinária , Echinococcus multilocularis/fisiologia , Raposas/parasitologia , Animais , Cestoides/classificação , Cestoides/genética , Cestoides/isolamento & purificação , DNA de Helmintos/genética , Echinococcus multilocularis/genética , Echinococcus multilocularis/isolamento & purificação , Fezes , Feminino , Itália/epidemiologia , Masculino , Contagem de Ovos de Parasitas , Prevalência , Zoonoses
Infect Genet Evol ; 84: 104359, 2020 10.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32407794


Canine distemper virus (CDV) represents an important threat for both wild and domestic carnivores. Since 2006, the North-Eastern regions in Italy have been experiencing severe and widespread recurring outbreaks of CDV affecting the wild carnivore population. In this study we performed an extensive phylogeographic analysis of CDV strains belonging to the Wildlife-Europe genetic group identified between 2006 and 2018 in Veneto, Trentino Alto Adige and Friuli Venezia Giulia regions. Our analysis revealed that viruses from the first (2006-2009) and the second (2011-2018) epidemic wave cluster separately, suggesting the introduction of two distinct genetic variants. These two events were characterized by different diffusion rates and spatial distribution, thus suggesting the existence of a connection between infection spread and host population dynamics. We also report the first spillover event of this strain to a non-vaccinated dog in a rural area of Friuli Venezia Giulia. The increasing prevalence of the infection in wildlife population, the broad host range of CDV circulating in the Alpine wildlife and the first reported transmission of a wild-adapted strain to a domestic dog in this region raise concerns over the vulnerability of wildlife species and the exposure of our pets to new threatening strains. Understanding the dynamic of CDV epidemics will also improve preparedness for re-emerging diseases affecting carnivore species.

Animais Selvagens/virologia , Vírus da Cinomose Canina/genética , Cinomose/epidemiologia , Animais , Vírus da Cinomose Canina/isolamento & purificação , Raposas/virologia , Itália/epidemiologia , Filogenia , Filogeografia , Análise Espaço-Temporal
Vet Microbiol ; 150(1-2): 63-9, 2011 May 12.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-21310557


Canine distemper virus (CDV) infection represents an important conservation threat to many carnivore species and has contributed to the population decline of several wild terrestrial and aquatic mammalian species. Since 2006, the Alpine region of North-Eastern (NE) Italy has been experiencing a severe and widespread outbreak of CDV affecting the wild carnivore population. In this study we performed an extensive phylogenetic and molecular evolutionary analysis of CDV identified during the recent wildlife epidemic in the Alpine region. Our analysis yielded data on the evolutionary dynamics of the Alpine wildlife CDV epidemic and revealed the emergence and spread of a single genetic cluster of CDV. The wide distribution of the novel cluster combined with the identification of a specific amino acid mutation, which is believed to increase the ability of the virus to replicate in a wider host range, raises concerns over the possible implications of the spread of this virus on the conservation of endangered wildlife species.

Carnívoros/virologia , Vírus da Cinomose Canina/classificação , Cinomose/epidemiologia , Genótipo , Animais , Cinomose/virologia , Vírus da Cinomose Canina/genética , Epidemias , Evolução Molecular , Raposas/virologia , Itália/epidemiologia , Mustelidae/virologia , Filogenia , RNA Viral/genética
Geospat Health ; 1(2): 169-76, 2007 May.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-18686242


New human cases of tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) have recently been recorded outside the recognised foci of this disease, i.e. in the province of Trento in northern Italy. In order to predict the highest risk areas for increased TBE virus activity, we have combined cross-sectional serological data, obtained from 459 domestic goats, with analysis of the autumnal cooling rate based on Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) land surface temperature (LST) data. A significant relationship between finding antibodies against the virus in serum (seroprevalence) in goats and the autumnal cooling rate was detected, indicating that the transmission intensity of the virus does not only vary spatially, but also in relation to climatic factors. Virus seroprevalence in goats was correlated with the occurrence of TBE in humans and also with the average number of forestry workers' tick bites, demonstrating that serological screening of domestic animals, combined with an analysis of the autumnal cooling rate, can be used as early-warning predictors of TBE risk in humans.

Vírus da Encefalite Transmitidos por Carrapatos/isolamento & purificação , Encefalite Transmitida por Carrapatos/epidemiologia , Animais , Animais Domésticos , Anticorpos/análise , Clima , Vírus da Encefalite Transmitidos por Carrapatos/imunologia , Encefalite Transmitida por Carrapatos/imunologia , Encefalite Transmitida por Carrapatos/parasitologia , Sistemas de Informação Geográfica , Cabras/imunologia , Humanos , Itália/epidemiologia , Medição de Risco , Estações do Ano , Estudos Soroepidemiológicos