Veterinary medicine
Study-unit Code
In all curricula
Luca Mechelli
Course Regulation
Coorte 2021
Type of study-unit
Obbligatorio (Required)
Type of learning activities
Attività formativa integrata


Code 85060002
Teacher Chiara Brachelente
  • Chiara Brachelente
  • 26 ore - 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
Patologia generale veterinaria. James F. Zachary. A cura di M. Castagnaro e L. Mechelli L. 4 Edizione. Edra, 2018

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.

D1. Knowledge and understanding.
At the end of the course, the student must have acquired:
- 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.

D2. Applying knowledge and understanding.
At the end of the course, the student will be able:
- 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.

D3. Making judgement.
At the end of the course, the student must be able to recognize and apply the most basic diagnostic techniques in the field of immunopathology and will also be able to recognize the situations and problems in which these techniques can be advantageously used. In addition, the student must be able to study in-depth what he/she has learned, and to use the basic knowledge as a starting "platform" that allows him/her to understand, knowing the basic pathogenetic mechanisms, the clinical aspects of immune-mediated diseases.

D4. Communication skills
At the end of the training activity, the student will be able to convey the acquired knowledge to his interlocutors, in a clear and complete way, using an appropriate and correct language.

D5. Lifelong learning skills
At the end of the training activity, the student will progressively become independent from the teacher, acquiring the ability to refine and deepen their knowledge in an autonomous and original way, identifying the most up-to-date and suitable bibliographic sources and knowing how to read and understand them in a critical manner. The student must also be able to deal with the more complex problems that will be presented in the subsequent classes.
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.
Other information
Learning verification modality
• 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).

• Introduction and principles of immunohistochemistry. Direct and indirect techniques. 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)
• Discussion of clinical cases with students divided into work groups in which students must analyze the clinicopathological alterations of hypothetical cases of immune system disorders, interpret their laboratory results and formulate pathogenetic hypotheses (2 hours).
• Practical exercise in the immunohistochemistry laboratory with simulation of a part of the method. Observation of histological and immunohistochemical preparations with the formulation of a histological diagnosis in the light of the results of the immunohistochemical examination (2 hours).


Code 85060102
Teacher Leonardo Leonardi
  • Leonardo Leonardi
  • 26 ore - 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.
The student must:
a) express the ability to deduce the ways in which an etiological agent of various nature can produce damage;
b) possess the fundamental notions of the mechanisms of response to damage implemented by the complex molecular, cellular and tissue systems of a living organism
c) have learned the basic tools to be able to discriminate the main injuries, both from a cytological and histological and macroscopic point of view in order to arrive at a morphological diagnosis.
At the end of the training activity the student must:
a) Knowing how to recognize and evaluate morphological lesions
b) know the morphopathological assessment methods related to macro and microscopic, primary and secondary lesions
At the end of the training activity, the student will be able to:
a) recognize and evaluate the damage produced by an etiological agent
b) to consider the consequences that may arise on the homeostasis of the system
c) to evaluate the prognostic aspects of acute and chronic injuries

At the end of the training activity, the student will be able to:
a) know how to organize, prepare and exhibit their assessments related to pathological models observed on tissues or organs of animals of zootechnical interest or pet, through assessments supported by suitable pathogenetic considerations
b) demonstrate an adequate medical-scientific language in written and oral form through the use of appropriate terminology
At the end of the training activity the candidate must be able to:
a) consult and understand scientific texts, articles in printed and online journals;
b) to be able to evaluate bibliographic sources to develop continuing education even after graduation

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.
Learning verification modality Examination, description, interpretation of images of macro and micro lesions
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 Italian language
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 The course will pursue the objective of providing the student with a series of knowledge on the etiology and pathogenetic mechanisms that underlie the alterations of the homeostasis of the great organic functions and of the various organs and systems of the animal. Particular importance will be given, in this context, to the treatment of the pathogenetic mechanisms that govern and regulate the onset and subsequent development of inflammatory and neoplastic lesions. The topics of the course will be treated according to an interdisciplinary approach, taking care to interact in this sense with the teachers of related subjects and disciplines.

* Knowledge and understanding (knowledge and understanding)
As regards the knowledge that the student should have already acquired in his training course, these primarily concern the biology of the cell, with particular reference to the replication cycle, "turnover", cell differentiation and the mechanisms / systems of inter- mobile phone. The possession of adequate knowledge on the part of the Student also appears essential both in the field of "general" biochemistry and in the field of biochemistry and cellular "physiology. Appropriate knowledge of the equally necessary in the morpho-structural field, as well as of the functioning of the various systems and main organs and tissues of vertebrate animals.
The knowledge that the student should acquire during the course concerns the themes of "health" and "disease", together with those of "homeostasis" and "normality" in the biological sense. Further knowledge concerns the causes of disease, with particular reference to physical, chemical and biological agents. Certain postulates on the pathogenesis of degenerative-necrotic, inflammatory and neoplastic lesions assume considerable importance as a "tool" for the study and characterization of the pathogenic action carried out by the various noxae (with relative "simulations" and others aimed at developing a suitable understanding and judgment by the Student). Further knowledge that the learner should acquire concerns the morphological and immunohistochemical investigation techniques applied to the identification and recognition of biological agents in animal tissues.
* Ability to apply knowledge and understanding
At the end of the course, through an oral exam, the theoretical knowledge of the topics covered and the student's ability to link this knowledge through a problem-based learning approach within the etiopathogenetic mechanisms that regulate the development of lesions or syndromes will be assessed. , applied to the animal and human sphere (the general pathology expression of "ONE HEALTH"). In particular:
- classify the different causes of disease;
- know the pathogenetic mechanisms of damage and disease;
- recognize cellular adaptation responses to damage and associated morphological and biochemical changes, up to cell death;
- have an in-depth knowledge of inflammation and the mechanisms of tissue repair;
- know the oncogenesis and growth mechanisms of tumors;
- explain the body's defense mechanisms against infectious agents and tumors;
- acquire correct terminology to describe pathological processes.

* Making judgments
During the theoretical and practical lessons carried out under the guidance of the teacher, the student's ability to identify, independently or through group work, the correct methodological approach to the research of the etiopathogenesis that determines the development of a lesion or morphological damage will be assessed. biochemist, also through the correct evaluation and definition of the same lesions observed.

* Communication skills
The student's communicative ability is assessed and stimulated during lectures and exercises, answering questions posed by the teacher during the course, as well as during the oral presentation in the final exam
The latter's evaluation parameters include:
mastery of the subject; the ability to deal with issues across the board; the ability to think critically; the quality of the exposure and the correct use of the specialist vocabulary.
* Learning skills
Learning skills are assessed during the lessons with a continuous dialogue with the students, and then to define the degree of learning by individually verifying the ability to transfer theoretical knowledge to the application field, methodological skills and critical issues in different contexts of the program .
In parallel with the acquisition of the previously mentioned knowledge, the Course simultaneously aims at achieving an adequate capacity for understanding, applying, judging and communicating the knowledge acquired by the Student, in compliance with the indications provided by the "Dublin Descriptors ". These latter objectives, in particular, will be pursued through the dual use of both appropriate "simulations" of "real" cases ("problem-oriented approach") and a specific final oral test.
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.
Other information
Learning verification modality
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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