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1.  Angiostrongylus vasorum: epidemiological, clinical and histopathological insights 
BMC Veterinary Research  2014;10:236.
Canine angiostrongylosis is a nematode infection in domestic dogs and wild carnivores. The present report focuses on epidemiological, clinical and histopathological findings in a case of fatal disseminated angiostrongylosis in a dog living in southern Italy and provides data on the extent of the spread of Angiostrongylus vasorum in the same area.
Case presentation
A 4-year-old female English Setter from the Campania region of southern Italy was referred with a 2-week history of cough and severe respiratory distress that did not respond to antimicrobial therapy. Based on clinical, radiological, echographical and cytological findings (including the presence of larvae), a suspect diagnosis of lungworm infection was performed. After few days the dog died due to progressive clinical aggravation. Complete postmortem examination was conducted within 24 hours from death and samples from lungs, heart, liver, kidney, spleen, stomach and small intestine were fixed in 10% buffered formalin. Grossly, several hemorrhagic foci were observed mostly in the lungs, liver, kidney. Microscopically, the lungs contained numerous, multifocal to coalescing granulomas composed of epitheliod macrophages, multinucleated giant cells and some neutrophils, frequently associated with parasite eggs and larvae. The lungs contained many firm nodules, many adult nematodes approximately 1.5 to 2 cm in length were observed in cut sections and identified as A. vasorum. A subsequent parasitological survey performed with FLOTAC on stray dogs living in the same area showed the presence of A. vasorum larvae in 17 of 1639 stray dogs examined (1.04%).
This survey provides new data on distribution of A. vasorum and underlines that canine angiostrongylosis should be considered as differential diagnosis in dogs.
PMCID: PMC4193975  PMID: 25262002
Angiostrongylus vasorum; Dog; Pathology; Diagnosis
2.  Survey of co-infection by Salmonella and oxyurids in tortoises 
Salmonella spp. and oxyurids are among the most prevalent bacterial and parasitic agents in reptiles. These organisms are routinely isolated in healthy tortoises, although heavy infections may cause significant pathology. Tortoises are considered a common source of reptile-associated salmonellosis, an important zoonosis reported worldwide. A survey of the prevalence of Salmonella spp. and oxyurids in 53 tortoises was conducted in southern Italy and a possible correlation between the two pathogens was therefore investigated.
Salmonella spp. and oxyurids were detected with a prevalence of 49.1 and 81.1%, respectively. A significant positive correlation between Salmonella spp. and oxyurids was demonstrated. However, confounding factors related to husbandry could have been involved in determining this correlation.
Our results suggest that caution should be exercised in translocation, husbandry, and human contact with tortoises and other exotic pets. Further studies on the epidemiology, molecular characterization and pathogenesis of Salmonella and oxyurids are needed to assess the actual impact of these organisms, as single or associated infections, on tortoises and on other exotic pets.
PMCID: PMC3488555  PMID: 22640421
3.  The effect of moxidectin 0,1% vs ivermectin 0,08% on milk production in sheep naturally infected by gastrointestinal nematodes 
Gastrointestinal nematode (GIN) infection is one of the main constraints to sheep production both in temperate and tropical countries. Economic losses caused by GIN are related to decreased production, treatment costs and even animal death. The present paper was aimed at assessing the anthelmintic efficacy (based on faecal egg count reduction) of moxidectin and ivermectin both admistered per os at dose rate of 0.2 mg/Kg body weight and the benefit of anthelmintic treatments on milk production in a commercial dairy sheep farms in central Italy whose animals were naturally infected by GIN.
The treatment with moxidectin was highly effective (> 98%) from day 7 until day 75, and effective (90-98%) until day 105. The treatment with ivermectin was highly effective (> 98%) from day 7 until day 14, effective (90-98%) at day 28 and moderately effective (80-89%) on day 45. The milk productions in the treated groups were significantly higher than those of the control group.
In conclusion, the results of the present study demonstrated that moxidectin and ivermectin adminstered per os according to the manufacturer's instructions were both effective and safe anthelmintics in sheep. The total milk production was higher in the treated groups than the control group. Overall, animals treated with moxidectin had a milk production 40.8% higher than control group; whereas animals treated with ivermectin had a milk production 32.2% higher than control group.
PMCID: PMC2780992  PMID: 19909507
4.  Canine faecal contamination and parasitic risk in the city of Naples (southern Italy) 
Dogs are associated with more than 60 zoonotic diseases among which, parasitosis and, in particular, helminthosis, can pose serious public-health concerns worldwide. Many canine gastrointestinal parasites eliminate their dispersion elements (eggs, larvae, oocysts) by the faecal route. The quantity of canine faeces deposited on public and private property in cities worldwide is both a perennial nuisance and an important health issue. Public sites such as playgrounds, parks, gardens, public squares and sandpits may be an important source of human infection. The aim of this study was to evaluate the extent of both canine faecal contamination in the city of Naples (southern Italy), and presence of canine parasitic elements, with particular regard to those which are potential agents of zoonosis. A regular grid of sub-areas (1 km × 700 m) was overlaid on the city map using a Geographical Information System (GIS). In each sub-area the straightest 1 km transect was drawn and digitalized on-screen in the GIS. Between February and May 2005 canine faeces were counted along the 1 km transects in 143 sub-areas, and 415 canine faecal samples were collected and submitted to coprological examinations. Negative binomial regression models and Gaussian random effects models were used to analyze the association between faeces count and human population density taking into account for extraPoisson variability. Logistic regression model was used to evaluate the association between positivity to parasitic elements and number of canine faeces.
Out of the 143 studied sub-areas, 141 (98.6%) contained canine faeces. There was a strong spatial gradient with 48% of the total variability accounted by between neighbourhood variability; a positive association between the number of faeces and the human population density was found. Seventy (over 415, 16.9%) canine faecal samples were positive for parasitic elements. There was no association between positivity to parasitic elements and the number of canine faeces. Eggs of Toxocara canis, Toxascaris leonina, Ancylostoma caninum and Trichuris vulpis were found, as well as oocysts of Isospora canis.
In conclusion, the results of the present study, conducted using GIS both for planning and sampling and for evaluation and presentation of findings, showed the presence of canine faecal contamination in the city of Naples, and the presence of canine parasitic elements, some of which are potential agents of zoonosis.
PMCID: PMC1590007  PMID: 16995934

Results 1-4 (4)