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PhD Student: Sara Meazzi

Sara Meazzi graduated in Veterinary Medicine in May 2013 with full marks and honor, with a thesis entitled “Canine Leishmaniasis: the relationship between oxidative and inflammatory events” (Supervisor: Prof. Saverio Paltrinieri, assistant supervisor: Dr. Gabriele Rossi). The results of the study were then published as two papers respectively on Veterinary Journal and Research in Veterinary Science.
As a postgraduate, she spent a 6-months training period in a private clinic in Bozen, especially concerning internal medicine and clinical pathology. After that she started working in veterinary private practice where she was in charge for internal medicine, critical care, imaging and laboratory diagnostic. During this period she has never lost her interest for clinical pathology and in 2016 she enrolled as PhD student at the University of Milan. Her main interests are: diagnostic clinical pathology, clinical pathologic alterations due to infectious disease in domestic animals.

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Tutor: Dr. Alessia Giordano
Dr. Giordano received her DVM degree and her PhD in Animal Pathology and Veterinary Hygiene at the University of Milan where she works since 2007 as Assistant Professor at the Department of Veterinary Medicine. She is board-certified by the European College of Veterinary Clinical Pathology (ECVCP). She is staff member of the clinical pathology service at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital of the University of Milan. Since 2008, Dr. Giordano has been member and, since 2012, chairperson of the ECVCP exam committee. Her main research interests include: diagnostic clinical pathology, feline infectious peritonitis, acute phase proteins and dysproteinemias, biomarkers of inflammation, method validation. Invited speaker at different national and international scientific meeting, Dr. Giordano is co-author of several scientific publications in peer-reviewed international journals. ORCID ID: 0000 0002 8611 8944


During the last decade there have been conducted several studies on mammals gut microbiota, to investigate its composition, its relationship with the host immune system and its possible changes in course of local or systemic diseases. To date, studies on canine and feline microbioma of different body districts have already been conducted, but they focused mainly on the relationship between its composition and the occurrence of acute and chronic inflammation of gut and skin. However, possible interactions between gut commensal microbiota and host immune defenses during systemic infectious diseases has not been evaluated yet. Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) and canine Leishmaniasis represent a model of systemic infection in cats and dogs, respectively. Both these diseases are characterized by a multifaceted and not fully understood immune-pathogenesis, even if it is known that clinical signs are strictly related with the balance between humoral and cell mediated immune response. Aim of this project is to investigate the interplay between the microbiota composition, the host immune response and the susceptibility to these infectious diseases. In order to pursue this goal the following tasks will be developed: evaluation of the difference in gut microbiota between healthy uninfected, asymptomatic/exposed to pathogens and sick animals; investigation of specific immune function (electrophoresis, flow cytometry, cytokines, immunoglobulins) in both asymptomatic/exposed and sick subjects and correlation of the obtained results with routinely used laboratory parameters considered useful for monitoring these diseases. Because of scarce information available in literature about this subject, together with the elevated cost of the microbioma,  the whole set of analysis will be firstly performed on a restricted number of selected animals.

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