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PhD Student: Gabriele Meroni

Gabriele Meroni graduated in October 2016 in Veterinary Biotechnology Science Master’s Degree at the University of Milan with full marks and honors arguing a thesis entitled “Molecular typing and investigation into the distribution of genes coding for virulence factors in Staphylococcus pseudintermedius from canine and bovine origin” (Supervisor: Dr. Piera Anna Martino; Assistant Supervirors: Dr. Milena Brasca and Dr. Stefano Morandi). He graduated in Animal Production Sciences at the University of Milan in October 2014 with the final mark of 110/110. Now he is working at the bacteriological laboratory, Dept. of Veterinary Medicine, University of Milan (Supervisor: Dr. Piera Anna Martino) and in the molecular biology laboratory of the Institute of Sciences of Food Production, National Research Council of Italy (CNR-ISPA) (Supervisor: Dr. Milena Brasca), where he started a PhD program in October 2016. His research interests are mainly focused on classical bacteriological procedures and application of molecular techniques, on bacteria in order to investigate the dissemination of genes encoding for bacterial virulence factors and antibiotic-resistance.

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Tutor: Prof. Piera Anna Martino

Degree in Biological Science at the University of Milan (1991), PhD in “Zootechnical Sciences” (1996-1999); Specialist of “Laboratory Animals Science” (2002); Resercher of Domestic Animals Infectious diseases at University of Milan (from 2001); actually she is responsible of the bacteriological diagnostic laboratory at the Microbiology and Immunology Unity of DIMEVET (Dept. of Veterinary Medicine) The scientific activity is supported by over 100 scientific reports many of which as International reports. The main research interest are in veterinary bacteriology and micology. Particularly in classical diagnosis of animal infectious diseases; studies of bacterial strain characterisation and bacterial antibiotic-resistance. The evaluation of anti-prionic molecules both in vivo and in vitro was object of some publications. The environmental microbiology in various animal breedings is another field of interest.



Molecular characterization of Staphylococcus pseudintermedius: research on virulence factors, antibiotic-resistance and quorum-sensing

Staphylococcus pseudintermedius is a Gram-positive, coagulase-positive bacterium which is regarded as the mainly causative agent of canine pyoderma. It is a normal inhabitant of the skin of different animals and it causes up to 80% of pyoderma cases per year, but it is also able to cause otitis and urinary tract infections (UTI). It was identified in 2005 and up to now remain unclear all the possible virulence factors that can be held in its genome.   The first step of the project is the collection of the strains, in literature this bacterium is reported as an opportunistic pathogen only in dogs, but it is essential try to study how the genome is arranged in different hosts Moreover, we would like to study the microbiota of the skin of both healthy and pathologic dogs in order to investigate how changes in this bacterial community could interfere with the functionality of the skin barrier leading to skin diseases.

This project has mainly 4 aims:

  1. Detection of typing techniques that allow the identification of S. pseudintermedius;
  2. Study of virulence factors;
  3. Study of the molecular aspects involved in the antibiotic-resistance mechanisms;
  4. Study of quorum-sensing mechanisms.

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