Clinical Pathology 1

Research title:

Integrating routine haematology with advanced techniques for a better staging of infectious and neoplatis diseases in domestic animals

Tutor: Prof. Saverio Paltrinieri


Contact details

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State of the art 

Routine hematology is widely used in veterinary medicine. The main use of routine hematology in infectious or neoplastic diseases are: 1) to support a clinical diagnosis of infectious diseases through the detection of basic hematological changes associated with inflammation (anemia, leukocytosis, leucopenia, thrombocytosis) or of imbalance of immune responses through immunophenotyping of circulating lymphocytes; 2) to diagnose hematologic neoplasms through the detection of hematopoietic precursors in blood; 3) to provide information about the general health status of dogs and cats with non-hematopoietic neoplasms. Little is known, in veterinary medicine, about the limitation of these tests or about the possibility to provide additional diagnostic or prognostic information in various infectious or neoplastic diseases. Conversely, in human medicine, routine hematology is often associated with a wider laboratory approach that includes routine cytology, biochemical markers of disease progression, and advanced techniques, mostly based on imaging or on molecular tests, that may provide prognostic information. More specifically, several molecular markers are available to investigate the expression of proteins involved in the inflammatory/immune response or in the phagocytic process or, as regards tumors, the presence of metastatic cells in blood or the expression of genes/proteins associated with a prognostic relevance. 



Neoplastic cell in the blood, likely of histiocytic origin, in the blood with a paraneoplastic hemophagocytic syndrome


Leishmania amastigotes in a circulating neutrophil


Aims of the project 

The aim of this study is to exploit the advantages and limitations of the current hematologic techniques and to explore the possibility to introduce, in veterinary medicine, additional tests based on advanced methodologies that may integrate the information provided by routine hematology. The laboratory approach should include a comparative analysis of routine hematology, cytology clinical chemistry, innovative molecular or imaging techniques and clinical follow up, in order to select the best combination of tests that may provide information about the clinical course of infectious or neoplastic disease. As regards the research project, the investigations about innovative or molecular techniques not previously used in veterinary medicine should include all the steps routinely used in method validation studies, including pre-analytical, analytical and biological sources of variation, before to fully explore the diagnostic/prognostic relevance of the selected tests.


Recent publications of the tutor in the field

1. Gelain M.E, Rossi G, Giori L, Comazzi S, Paltrinieri S (2010) Identification of neoplastic cells in blood using the Sysmex XT-2000iV: a preliminary step in the diagnosis of canine leukemia. Vet Clin Pathol 39:169-179. IF 1.239

2. Paltrinieri S, Marchini I, Gelain ME (2012) Flow cytometric detection of alpha-1-acid glycoprotein on feline circulating leucocytes. Austr Vet J 90:291-296. IF 0.918

3. Giordano A, Stranieri A, Rossi G, Paltrinieri S (2015) High diagnostic accuracy of the Sysmex XT-2000iV delta total nucleated cells on effusions for feline infectious peritonitis. Vet Clin Pathol 44:295-302. IF 1.069

4. Moretti P, Giordano A, Stefanello D, Ferrari R, Castellano S, Paltrinieri S (2017) Nucleated erythrocytes in blood smears of dogs undergoing chemotherapy. Vet Comp Oncology doi: 10.1111/vco.12156. [Epub ahead of print]. IF 2.452 (IF 2015)

5. Stranieri A., Lauzi S., Giordano A., Paltrinieri S. (2017) Reverse transcriptase loop-mediated isothermal amplification for the detection of feline coronavirus. J Virol. Meth. 243:105–108. IF 1.508 (IF 2015) 10.1016/j.jviromet.2017.01.009