First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Science
Course unit
SCP6076477, A.A. 2019/20

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2017/18

Information on the course unit
Degree course First cycle degree in
IF1839, Degree course structure A.Y. 2011/12, A.Y. 2019/20
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 9.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination FOOD, TOXICOLOGY AND PATHOLOGY
Website of the academic structure
Department of reference Department of Biology
E-Learning website
Mandatory attendance
Language of instruction Italian
Single Course unit The Course unit can be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit can be chosen as Optional Course unit

Teacher in charge LAURA CAVICCHIOLI VET/03
Other lecturers MERY GIANTIN VET/07

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Educational activities in elective or integrative disciplines VET/03 General Pathology and Veterinary Pathological Anatomy 5.0
Educational activities in elective or integrative disciplines VET/07 Veterinary Pharmacology and Toxicology 4.0

Course unit organization
Period First semester
Year 3rd Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Laboratory 1.0 16 9.0 No turn
Lecture 8.0 64 136.0 No turn

Start of activities 30/09/2019
End of activities 18/01/2020
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2011 course timetable

Examination board
Board From To Members of the board
GIANTIN MERY (Membro Effettivo)
GIANTIN MERY (Membro Effettivo)

Prerequisites: Basic knowledge and expertise about simple and complex living organisms and related bio-molecular mechanisms
Required foundation courses: Biochemistry, General and comparative Animal Physiology Anatomy and Embryology
Target skills and knowledge: The course is divided into two parts: Comparative general pathology (5 CFU) and Veterinary and Comparative Pharmacology and Toxicology (4 UFC).

Comparative general pathology
Basic knowledge on vertebrate immune system, with special emphasis on food allergies and role of immune system in food-borne diseases. Cellular and molecular basis of disease. Inflammation and its role in infectious and food-borne diseases. General principles of pathogenesis of infections in humans and animals, host-pathogen interactions, mechanisms of action of food-borne toxins. General pathology of neoplasia, focusing on cellular and molecular mechanisms of tumor development in the digestive system.

Veterinary and Comparative Pharmacology and Toxicology
The course provides students basic knowledge about toxicology, xenobiotic kinetics (absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion) and dynamics (mechanism of action); factors contributing to xenobiotic response; major classes of toxic compounds.
Examination methods: Written examination with free text answers.

Oral interview for Veterinary and Comparative Pharmacology and Toxicology
Assessment criteria: Evaluation of the acquired knowledge about specific arguments; the student’s capability to discuss and solve specific problems. and make by itself intra- and inter-disciplinary connections; the use of a specific scientific language.
Course unit contents: Comparative general pathology
Fundamentals of comparative immunology
Immune system components. Innate and acquired immunity. Recognition and effector mechanisms of acquired immunity. Antibody structure. Antigen-antibody interaction. Antigen recognition, processing and presentation. Lymphocyte antigen receptors. Lymphocyte response to antigens. Immune tolerance. Allergy. Immunity and defense against pathogens. Food allergy, celiac disease, immune response in the digestive system.

Molecular basis of cell injury. Reversible and irreversible injury. Cell death. Molecular mechanisms of action for food-borne toxins.

Inflammation and repair
Definition and general features of inflammation and pathogenesis. Classification of flogoses. Pathogenesis of acute inflammation. Essudate formation. Inflammatory cells and their functions. Chemical mediators of inflammation. Systemic aspects of acute inflammation. Main features of chronic inflammation. Healing: regeneration, repair, scarring, fibrosis. Relationship between inflammation and nutrition.

Definition and general features of neoplasia. Human and animal cancer epidemiology. Classification criteria of neoplasia. Control mechanisms of cell proliferation and differentiation. Cancer development. Tumor progression. Molecular basis of cancer: oncogenes and tumor-suppressors. Local effects of neoplasia. Systemic effects of neoplasia: metastasis. Eziology of cancer: endogenous and exogenous factors. Food utagens and cancerogens in food. Neoplastic diseases of the digestive system and their relationship with diet.

Toxicokinetics. Routes of exposure. Absorption and passage through cellular membranes. Distribution. Drug metabolism Excretion.
Toxicodynamics. Receptors and xenobiotic mechanisms of action.
Basic Toxicology. General aspects. Toxic effects. Acute, subacute and chronic toxicity studies. Factors modulating the xenobiotic toxicity. Xenobiotic absorption and accumulation. Bioactivation.
Classes of toxic compounds. Environmental contaminants (Dioxin; PCB). Heavy metals (Mercury, Lead, Copper). Herbicides. Insecticides (Organophosphates, Carbamates, Organochlorines, Pyretrins/Pyrethroids). Mycotoxins. Nitrates and Nitrites. Nitrosamines. Urea. Antibiotics and antibiotic resistance.
Lab sessions: determination of a drug metabolizing enzyme (cytochrome P450-dependent) catalytic activity; MDR1 genotyping in canine blood; enzyme immunoassay (ELISA kit) for the detection of total aflatoxins. Virtual laboratories: reading and critical discussion of a scientific article concerning toxicology.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: Altogether, the course includes:
64 hours of frontal teaching
16 hours of practicals and hands on teaching
Additional notes about suggested reading: Microsoft Power Point slide presentations are available on Moodle platform (

Consulting hour: by appointment vi email
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • Mengozzi, Soldani, Tossicologia veterinaria. --: Idelson-Gnocchi, 2010. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Robbins e Cotran, Le basi patologiche delle malattie. Patologia generale.. --: Elsevier, 2010. ISBN 8821431754 Cerca nel catalogo
  • Abbas, Lichtman, Le basi dell'immunologia. --: Elsevier, 2006. ISBN 8885675859 Cerca nel catalogo
  • Carli S., Ormas P., Re G., Soldani G., Farmacologia veterinaria. --: Idelson-Gnocchi, 2009. ISBN 978-88-7947-484-9 Cerca nel catalogo
  • Zachary James F, Pathologic basis of Veterinary Diseases.. St Louis Missouri:: Elsevier, 2017. 6th Edi

Innovative teaching methods: Teaching and learning strategies
  • Laboratory
  • Interactive lecturing
  • Flipped classroom
  • Students peer review

Innovative teaching methods: Software or applications used
  • Moodle (files, quizzes, workshops, ...)

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Good Health and Well-Being