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PhD Student: Giulia Sala

Graduated in October 2016 in Veterinary Medicine at the University of Milan, with a thesis entitled “Methodological evaluation of the antibacterial use in pig farming” (Supervisor: Prof. Vittorio Sala). The year before graduation she attended the Clinic for Ruminants and Swine and at the Large Animal Veterinary Teaching Hospital of Lodi, where she collaborated to clinical activities as internal student. In particular, her work was focus on therapy and diagnosis of food production animals’ major diseases. She is currently working at the Clinic for Ruminants and Swine of the Veterinary Teaching Hospital of Lodi (Department DIMEVET, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Milan) where she started a PhD program in October 2016. Her research interest is focused on therapy, diagnosis and management of neonatal calf, in particular neonatal calf with Failure of Passive Transfer.

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Tutor: Prof. Davide Pravettoni

After graduating in Veterinary Medicine in 1997 with full marks and honor, he earned a PhD in Bovine Clinics in 2003 at the Section of Veterinary Internal Medicine and Laboratory Diagnostics, School of Veterinary Medicine, State University of Milan on influence of insulin-resistance on abomasal motility disorders in cows affected by left abomasal displacement. He is currently associate professor at the Clinic for Ruminants and Swine of the Veterinary Teaching Hospital of Lodi (Department DIMEVET, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Milan). His research interest is focused on bovine etiopathogenesis and therapy of abomasal displacement in cattle, clinical and diagnostic approach to traumatic reticuloperitonitis, neonatal diarrhea in calves, downer cow syndrome. He cooperated with the klinik für wiederkäuer und schweine - Justus Liebig University - Giessen (Germany), ITALBU - ASBL - Bujumbura (Burundi), and Miyazaki University (Japan). Davide Pravettoni is author of more than 100 published articles on specialistic national and international journals.



Bovine neonatology: use of plasma transfusions as a method for influencing morbidity and mortality in calves affected by neonatal diarrhea and advances in the treatment of failure of passive transfer of immunity

Neonatal calf diarrhea is a serious disease that causes economic loss due to mortality, treatment costs and poor growth. Calf management, colostrum administration, calf housing and feeding, farm size as well as hygiene, have an important effect on calf’s performance and health. The immunity system of the newborn calf is closely implicated in the pathogenesis of neonatal diarrhea. In fact, the relationship between Failure of Passive Transfer (FPT) and morbidity or mortality has been observed in many studies. In normal calves, an sTP value lower than 52 g/L is associated with poor passive transfer of immunity and these calves are classified FPT. This value should be corrected in calves with neonatal diarrhea with an sTP value of 55 g/L because of the effect of dehydration. Plasma transfusion has been empirically recommended as a therapeutic intervention in calves with FPT. In the treatment of calf diarrhea, antimicrobial drugs are widely employed but the real importance of this use is controversial. In fact, the European guidelines suggest the responsible use of antimicrobials and encourages studies about alternative uses to antibiotics in order to reduce antimicrobials resistance. In this project, the use of hyper immune plasma will be studied for treatment of FPT and consequently for the treatment of neonatal calf diarrhea also without administration of antimicrobial drugs. Finally, this project aims to find a practical protocol usable also in field conditions.

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Figure 1: Calf suffering from Neonatal Diarrhea with severe metabolic acidosis and dehydration.

A: Same calf at admission

B: Same calf four hours after starting fluid therapy