Veterinary medicine
Study-unit Code
In all curricula
Luca Mechelli
Course Regulation
Coorte 2017
Type of study-unit
Obbligatorio (Required)
Type of learning activities
Attività formativa integrata


Code 85060002
Teacher Luca Mechelli
  • Chiara Brachelente (Codocenza)
  • 26 ore (Codocenza) - Chiara Brachelente
Learning activities Caratterizzante
Area Discipline anatomo-patologiche ed ispettive veterinarie
Academic discipline VET/03
Type of study-unit Obbligatorio (Required)
Language of instruction Italian
Contents Natural immunity and acquired. General immunopathology. Pathological immune reactions and their etiologic and pathogenetical mechanisms. Hypersensitivity reactions. Autoimmune diseases. Immunodeficiency syndromes.
Reference texts Recommended books:
Pathologic basis of Veterinary Disease. James F. Zachary, M. Donald McGavin. 6th Edition, Elsevier, 2017

Suggested books:
1. Veterinary immunology. Ian R. Tizard. 9th Edition. Saunders, 2013
2. Veterinary Immunology: Principles and Practice. Michael J. Day. 2nd Edition. Manson Publishing, 2014
Educational objectives The class begins with a summary of general immunology that students have already acquired in the previous six months and addresses issues related to the malfunction of the immune response. The main objective of this class is to let the students understand the pathogenetic mechanisms underlying the immune response and the changes resulting from an immune system dysfunction, such as hypersensitivity reactions, immune deficiencies and autoimmune diseases.
The main knowledge gained will be:
- knowledge of the pathogenetic mechanisms underlying the most common immune-mediated diseases of domestic animals,
- pathogenesis of type I, II, III and IV hypersensitivity and associated lesions,
- pathogenetic mechanisms of immunodeficiencies
- pathogenetic mechanisms of autoimmune diseases
- ability to evaluate the effects of an altered immune response, and ability to identify the consequences of excessive or defective immune response.
The principal skills (ie applying knowledge and understanding) will be:
- choose the best diagnostic technique to demonstrate the presence of an immune-mediated disease,
- identify the involvement of innate and acquired components of the immune response in tissue lesions determined by an alteration of it,
- recognize the fundamental histological lesions of immune-mediated diseases, and correlate the structural damage to basic pathogenic mechanisms.

Exams will be carried out according to the schedule available on http://www.medvet.unipg.it/
Teaching methods The class is organized as follows:
- Lectures: lectures regarding the topics of the course.
- Practical classes: lessons consist of an explanation of the laboratory diagnostic technique done by the teacher; or by the observation of slides through an optic microscope done by each single student; or by the demonstration of a slide with an optic microscope connected to a projector by the teacher; or by the demonstration of a picture with a macroscopic/histologic lesion on a projector screen. The laboratory classes are carried out with an initial review and simulation of the consequential steps of an immunohistochemical protocol, followed by the observation of slides and interpretation of the results of selected cases.
• Presentation of the course, of the recommended textbooks and final exam evaluation mode - Introduction to immunopathology - Self-recognition mechanisms - Role of barriers in immune responses (1.5 hours)
• Host-parasitic interaction. Establishment of different barriers in different systems and organs (1.5 hours)
• Introduction to type I hypersensitivity. Allergens, mediators and cells of the type I hypersensitivity and protective and pathological significance of it (1.5 hours)
• Examples of diseases mediated by type I hypersensitivity mechanisms: localized and systemic reactions. Type II hypersensitivity. Antibodies and effector cells. Antibody-dependent cell mediated cytotoxicity and antibody-mediated cell function alterations (1.5 hours)
• Examples of diseases mediated by type II hypersensitivity (1.5 hours)
• Type III hypersensitivity. Immunopathogenetic mechanisms and examples of pathologies mediated by type III hypersensitivity (1.5 hours)
• Type IV hypersensitivity. Immunopathogenetic mechanisms and examples of pathologies mediated by type IV hypersensitivity. Immunopathogenetic mechanisms causing granuloma formation. Role of cell-mediated response in the formation of granulomatous lesions (1.5 hours)
• Cytotoxicity mediated by T lymphocytes. Immunology of tumors. Mechanisms for antigenic recognition of tumor cells. Mechanisms of immune system evasion by tumor cells (1.5 hours)
• Immune tolerance. Central tolerance and peripheral tolerance. Mechanisms for maintaining immunological tolerance and consequences resulting from its loss (1.5 hours)
• Autoimmune diseases: genetic factors and role of infections and tissue damage. Examples of autoimmune diseases and their correlation with hypersensitivity diseases (1.5 hours)
• Immune deficiency: loss of immune system's ability to react to an immunogenic stimulus. Primitive Immunodeficiency (congenital) (1.5 hours)
• Secondary (acquired) immune deficiency (1.5 hours).

• Exercise on Sampling and Sample Delivery Methods to the Diagnostic Laboratory (2 Hours)
• Morphological routine and special stainings. Introduction and principles of immunohistochemistry. Direct and indirect techniques (2 hours)
• Applications of the immunohistochemical method for the study of immune-mediated diseases: diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic purposes (2 hours)
• Other methods of investigation for the study of immune-mediated diseases: ISH, PCR, ELISA, WB, Northern blot, Southern blot, Fluorocytometry, Lymphocyte proliferation assay, Emolytic complement activity test, ANA test, Coombs Test, Lymphocyte-mediated lysis (2 hours)


Code 85060102
Teacher Luca Mechelli
  • Leonardo Leonardi (Codocenza)
  • 26 ore (Codocenza) - Leonardo Leonardi
Learning activities Caratterizzante
Area Discipline anatomo-patologiche ed ispettive veterinarie
Academic discipline VET/03
Type of study-unit Obbligatorio (Required)
Language of instruction italian
Contents Related to the learning of the main methodologies for the morphological study of macroscopic and microscopic lesions of tissues.
Reference texts Patologia Generale Veterinaria
M.D. McGavin; J.F. Zachary
Elsevier Masson.

Pathologic Basis of Disease
Robbins and Cotran, 7th edition, Kumar Abbas Fausto, Elsevier.
Educational objectives Students must acquire the ability to express a morphological description and evaluation on macro and microscopic lesions in various organs and apparatus.
In this course the student receives for the first time concepts related to injury, damage and illness.
This condition determines the need and identifies the goal of providing the student:
1. a) the ability to recognize and describe the basic characteristics of the injuries;
2. b) the ability to deduce the ways in which an etiological agent of various kinds can produce damage;
c) the knowledge of the damage response mechanisms implemented by the complex molecular, cellular and tissue systems of a living organism.
Teaching methods Lectures and practical exercises, both on organs and tissues of animal origin, and also with te support of photographic and histopathological materials.
Extended program Program:
Morphological investigation techniques applied to the study of veterinary pathology.
Approach to morphological description of macro and microscopic lesions.
Morphology of congenital changes: failure or reduced development of an organ (agenesis, hypoplasia); excessive development (congenital hyperplasia); heterotopies; congenital tumors.
Morphology of injuries due to physical causes: traumatic, thermal, electrical and radiations.
Morphological aspects of chemical alterations.
Morphological aspects of alterations from food errors (deficiencies and excesses).
Morphological aspects of adaptive changes in volume, number and type of cells (hyperplasia, hypertrophy, dysplasia, metaplasia)
Morphological aspects of lesions linked to cellular degeneration and changes in the fundamental substance of connective tissue.
Morphological aspects of necrosis, apoptosis, ulcers and gangrene.
Morphological aspects of alterations due to mineral precipitation and pathological pigmentations.
Morphology of alterations related to disorders of blood and lymphatic circulation.
Morphology of the acute inflammatory process: i. serous, i. catarrhal, i. purulent, i. fibrinosa, i. hemorrhagic, i. Necrotizing.
Morphological aspects of granulomatous lesions.
Morphology of lesions induced by hypersensitivity.
Morphological aspects of neoplasms and histological grading.
Program Summary:
Survey techniques in veterinary pathology
Morphology of lesions
Congenital disorders
Injury from external causes
Increase and decrease in volume of organs and tissues
Cellular and connective degeneration
Necrosis, apoptosis, ulcers and gangrene
Circulatory disorders
Acute and chronic inflammation


Code 85004004
Teacher Luca Mechelli
  • Luca Mechelli
  • 52 ore - Luca Mechelli
Learning activities Caratterizzante
Area Discipline anatomo-patologiche ed ispettive veterinarie
Academic discipline VET/03
Type of study-unit Obbligatorio (Required)
Language of instruction Italiano
Contents Summary of the program
1.Introduction to the general pathology
2.General etiology
3.Stress and cellular adaptive responses
4.Mechanisms of cell damage
5. Regressive processes and cell death
6. Acute and chronic inflammation
7.Healing processes
8. General oncology and tumor biology
9. Hemodynamic disturbances and thrombosis
Reference texts James F. Zachary: Patologia Generale Veterinaria. Edra, 6 edizione,2018.

Color atlas of VETERINARY PATHOLOGY; Second edition, 2007 - J.E. van Dijk; E.Gruys; J.M. Mouwen - Sunders-Elsevier


Power Point of lessons.
Educational objectives Expected learning outcomes:
in this course the student receives for the first time concepts related to injury, damage and disease.

This condition determines and identifies the following educational objectives:

a) the ability to deduce the ways in which an etiological agent of various kinds can produce damage;

b) the knowledge of the damage response mechanisms implemented by the complex molecular, cellular and tissue systems of a living organism.

c) learning the basic tools to discriminate the main lesions, both from a cytological and histological and macroscopic point of view, in order to reach a morphological diagnosis.
Teaching methods Teaching methods:
Theoretical lessons: the lectures are carried out through the projection of powerpoin files which are delivered to the students at the end of each meeting. During the lesson the students are solicited, through questions or spontaneous interventions, to clarify concepts related to the topic with references to anatomy, biology, biochemistry, endocrinology, physiology etc.

As for the exercises, in addition to a visit to the laboratories of veterinary pathology of the department to define the diagnostic tools in use, meetings are held with groups of students who are shown images projected in the classroom to put into practice the etiopathogenetic assessments of the lesions proposed during the frontal lessons. About halfway through the course, when students have gained adequate confidence with inflammatory and degenerative processes, practical lessons are conducted in smaller groups under a 10-seat multi-microscope. Here, with the observation of the tissue, the aspects related to the type and the phase of the process with particular attention to the inflammatory, preneoplastic and neoplastic processes are clarified. Finally, during the course of the course some seminars are held by students on specific subjects supervised by the teacher.
Extended program Program:
Introduction to veterinary general pathology: purpose of the subject and investigation techniques (1,5h)
The concept of injury and damage in terms of morphological and biochemical changes in the homeostasis of a cell or an organ (1,5h).

General etiology: origin of the causes (internal and external). Predisposing and exciting causes; constitution and condition; multifactorial diseases. (1,5h)

Nature of causes: physical, chemical and biological causes. (1,5)

External and physical causes: trauma, high and low temperatures ("heat stroke" and "heat exhaustion", frostbite), electricity, ionizing and exciting radiation; diseases induced by "confined environment". (1,5h)

External and chemical causes: strong acids and bases, drugs, poisons, nutrition (diet). (1,5h)

External and biological causes: bacteria, fungi, parasites and viruses; pathways and pathogenesis of cell and tissue injury. (1,5h)

Cellular adaptive responses to damaging stimuli and stress: hypertrophy, hyperplasia, atrophy, hypoplasia, aplasia, agenesis, dysplasia, metaplasia.(1,5h)

Mechanisms of cell damage (reduced synthesis of ATP, alterations in cellular membranes and mitochondria, synthesis of free radicals) (1,5h)

Regressive processes, reversible and irreversible cell death (1,5h)
Metabolic accumulation of intracellular lipid, protein and carbohydrate; pigmentary changes; metastatic and dystrophic calcification (1,5h)

Necrosis and apoptosis: cause, pathogenesis, outcome. (3h)

Amyloidosis: definition, classification and identification methods.(1,5h)

Acute and chronic inflammation: definition, causes and classifying models; local and systemic signs of inflammation (1,5h); development of the inflammatory exudate; chemical and cellular mediators of inflammation (1,5h); biomolecular aspects of cell recruitment, leukocyte activities (phagocytosis, respiratory burst, oxygen-dependent and independent effects) (1,5h); evolution of the inflammatory process, chronic inflammatory process with particular reference to the system of mononuclear phagocytes (1,5h).

Repair and regeneration processes: cell proliferation and differentiation: growth factors, receptors and signal transduction pathways, activation mechanisms and control systems, role of stem cells. (1,5h)

Oncology and tumor biology: definition, etiology and comparative epidemiology (1,5h). Features of cancer cells; predisposing, genetic, non genetic and environmental factors associated with cancer, benign and malignant tumors and criteria for classification (1,5h); progressive development of cancer (multistep); heterogeneity and clonal selection of cancer cells. Molecular changes during cancer progression: proliferative signals (oncogenes) and loss of proliferative inhibition (oncosoppression) (1,5h); escape from pro-apoptotic mechanisms, blocking DNA repair, genomic instability. Metastasis and diffusion pathways of cancer cells. Antineoplastic immunity (1,5h). Local and systemic effects of tumors and paraneoplastic syndromes. Tumor grading and staging.(1,5h)

Hemodynamic disturbances and thrombosis: fluid distribution and formation of edema (1,5h)
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