Tecilla / Roccabianca

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TecillaMarco Tecilla graduated in Veterinary Medicine at the University of Milan in May 2014 with 105/110 with a thesis project focused on Testudinid herpesvirus 3 related pathology. He performed a two years internship in veterinary anatomical pathology with major emphasis on domestic and exotic animal pathology and a one month externship at the Animal Pathology Institute of the University of Bern working on the micriobiology of tortoises and gaining insights on molecular and virological characterization of herpesviruses in general. His main interest fields are reptile pathology and microbiology, exotic animals and wildlife pathology.

RoccabiancaTutor: Paola Roccabianca
Associate Professor of Pathology at the Department of Veterinary Science and Public Health of the University of Milan, Italy. Currently her main research fields deal with the characterization of lymphoproliferative diseases in several animal species and with the pathological (gross, microscopic, immunohistochemical) and chemical evaluation of factors endangering and reducing the populations of various edible fishes (including food safety issues) and wildlife including autoctonous reptile populations. The focus is both on possible food safety issues, environmental issues and the possible use of these species as biomonitors of environmental pollution for human health biohazard screening. Her recent research is focused on the involvement of herpesviruses and environmental pollution in the decrease of turtles and tortoises in collaboration with the university of Bern (CH). She is the responsible of the diagnostic non-conventional companion and exotic animal pathology service and the program director of the training of veterinary anatomical pathology of the European college of veterinary pathologists.


TecillaRoccabianca01The aim of the project is to evaluate the direct and indirect pathogenic effects of Herpesvirus genotypes and environmental pollution in the decline of tortoises and turtles in Italy. Serological surveys on alive free ranging and housed animals and pathological evaluation (cytology, histopathology and necropsies) will be performed in order to assess the most common lesions of these species with major focus on the evaluation of internal organs (lung, liver, kidney and genital system).

TecillaRoccabianca02According with the lesional profiles (gross and microscopical lesions) and the chronicity (immunedepression) selected cases will be sampled to investigate for the presence of TeHVs and ChHVS. Immunohistochemistry, viral isolation, molecular characterization and typing will be performed on target lesional tissues in order to identify specific viral genotypes. In spontaneously deceased free ranging animals the presence of selected heavy metals will be evaluated by liquid chromatography from liver, muscles and possibly kidneys.

TecillaRoccabianca03Concentration of selected pesticides and Polychlorinated biphenyl species will be also analyzed. The concentration of pollutants will be correlated with the possible histopathological lesions in the aforementioned organs. We expect to obtain data on the seroprevalence and pathogenicity of TeHV, their role in immunesuppression (association of TeHV chronic infenction with bacterial, fungal and parasitic diseases) and to find possible lesional profiles correlated with high concentration of specific pollutants with specific geographical distribution.