First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine
Course unit
MVN1027951, A.A. 2019/20

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2019/20

Information on the course unit
Degree course First cycle degree in
MV1734, Degree course structure A.Y. 2011/12, A.Y. 2019/20
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 11.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination PHYSIOLOGY AND GENERAL PATHOLOGY
Website of the academic structure
Department of reference Department of Comparative Biomedicine and Food Science
E-Learning website
Mandatory attendance No
Language of instruction Italian
Single Course unit The Course unit CANNOT be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit is available ONLY for students enrolled in SAFETY AND HYGIENE OF FOOD PRODUCTS

Teacher in charge MARIA ELENA GELAIN VET/03
Other lecturers DANIELA BERTOTTO VET/02

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Optional VET/02 Veterinary Physiology 5.0
Optional VET/03 General Pathology and Veterinary Pathological Anatomy 6.0

Course unit organization
Period Second semester
Year 1st Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Practice 2.0 20 30.0 3
Lecture 9.0 72 153.0 No turn

Start of activities 02/03/2020
End of activities 12/06/2020
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2011 course timetable

Examination board
Board From To Members of the board
10  Commissione a.a. 2019/20 01/12/2019 30/11/2020 GELAIN MARIA ELENA (Presidente)
BERTOTTO DANIELA (Membro Effettivo)
9  Commissione a.a. 2018/19: dal 24/02/2019 24/02/2019 30/11/2019 GELAIN MARIA ELENA (Presidente)
BERTOTTO DANIELA (Membro Effettivo)

Prerequisites: Basic knowledge on simple and complex organisms and their biocehmical-molecular systems.
Required previous knowledge: Vewterinary Anatomy, General Chemistry and Fundaments of Bioechmistry, Animal Biology and Quantitative Genetics of Farm Animals
Target skills and knowledge: General pathology (6 CFU):
Students will be trained to examine and understand the causes and the mechanism of animal diseases, with particular regards on those related to food security and human nutrition.
1. Mechanism of cellular adaptation and degenerative diseases
2. Mechanism of acute and chronic inflammation, role of inflammation in infectious and alimentary diseases. General concept of infectious diseases and host-pathogens interaction.
3. General concept of foodborne disease and of mechanism of foodborne pathogens and their toxins
4. General Pathology of neoplasia, cellular and molecular mechanism in cancerogenesis, with particular regard to chemical causes.
5. Basic knowledge of immunitary system; food allergy and the role of immunity in food-borne disease in humans
6. Basic skills of necropsy techniques.

Physiology (4 CFU):
Students will understand the physiological significance of cells, organs and systems in maintaining homeostasis of the zootechnical animals and will acquire physiological mechanisms with particular attention to those involved in animal food production.
1. Principles of cell physiology, the body fluid compartments and the blood.
2. Principles of physiology of excitable tissues: neuron and muscle.
3. Principles of Endocrinology and principal hormones of hypothalamic-pituitary system, thyroid, pancreatic, adrenal and sexual hormones.
4. Reproduction and lactation
5. Digestive physiology of zoothecnical animals.
6. Principles of kidney physiology.
Examination methods: The final exam is divided in two parts:
1) General pathology: 6 multiple choices question in 30 minuts (only one correct answer). Oral examination for those students who pass the multiple choice part, with 3 questions.
2) Physiology: oral exam includes from two to three open questions based on the topics covered, and aimed at assessing comprehension, critical thinking skills and the ability to identify interrelationships between issues, as well as a good command of scientific language.
Assessment criteria: The knowledge of the information obtained during the course will be evaluated during the exam. Special consideration will be given to the ability of applying the knowledge acquired to solve specific issues; the use of technical terminology and capacity of making cross-links across the arguments.
Course unit contents: General Pathology:
Molecular basis of cellular injury; reversible and irreversible cell injury. necrosis/apoptosis; Hypertrophy/ hyperplasia, Hypotrophy/hypoplasia/ atrophy.

Inflammation and repairing processes. General aspects, pathogenesis and classification of acute inflammation. Exudation; fluid and cellular components of inflammation. Chronic inflammation processes and granulomatous inflammation. Tissue repair processes and fibrosis.

General concept of foodborne disease and of mechanism of foodborne pathogens and their toxins. Mechanism of diseases caused by dietary deficiency, diseases caused by chemical compound.

Definition and general concepts. Classification of neoplasia. Control mechanism of cellular growth and differentiation. Etiology of neoplastic process: intrinsic and extrinsic factors.

Immune system structure, mechanism of natural and acquired immunity. Antibody structure, antigen-antibody interaction. Antigen processing mechanism. Lymphocytes receptors and their function. ; food allergy and the role of immunity in food-borne disease in humans

Principles of Cell Physiology, the Body Fluid Compartments and the Blood (4 hours)
The body fluid compartments: volume, osmolarity and principle constituents. Plasma composition and properties: plasma proteins characteristics and functions. Blood cell structures in domestic species. Platelets and homeostasis. Blood sampling. sample preservation, anticoagulants.

Physiology of excitable tissues. (6 hours)
Introduction to neural communication. Neurotrasmitters; physiology of muscular contraction. Nervous system organization and function. Principles of nociception.

Endocrinology (10 hours)
Hormone structure and transport. Hormone action mechanism. Hypothalamic-pituitary system. Thyroid, pancreatic, adrenal and sexual hormones. Serum calcium hormonal control. Endocrine stress response.

Reproduction and Lactation physiology (8 hours)
Endocrine control of reproduction. Gonadotropins and sexual steroids. Estral cycle, ovulation, pregnancy and parturition. Lactation phases and mammary gland endocrine activity . Biosintesis of milk components and colostrum.

Digestive physiology (8 hours)
Compared analysis of digestive function. Digestive system control mechanisms. Chewing, salivation, and swallow. Lumen digestion and gastric motility. swalllow. Digestive and gastric motility. Lumen and membrane digestion; absorption of nutrients. Prestomach microbiology and function. The liver.

Kidney physiology (4 hours)
Glomerular filtration. proximal tubule, reabsorption, secretion. Henle loop. Ansa di Henle. Distal convoluted tubule and collecting duct system. Urine.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: The course consists of 85 hours of theoretical lectures, 10 hours of practicals (necropsy room) and 2 hours of practical at the microscope.
At the end of each class, a brief multiple choice questions section, using on line resource (Kahoot), will be used to assess the acquisition of the main concepts. During the practicals in the necropsy room, the students will be able to recognize the main lesions in animal organs and tissues related to the pathological process describe in the theoretical lectures.
In the practical activity in the microscope room, the students will be able to recognize the main cell population involved in inflammatory processes.
Additional notes about suggested reading: Teaching material is available on Moodle platform (
Lecture attendanceis recommended.
Visiting hours: by appointment
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • Oystein Sjastaad, Olav Sand, Knut Hove, Fisiologia degli animali domestici. --: Casa Editrice Ambrosiana, 2013. ISBN 978-88-08-18293-7
  • Sherwood L., Klandorf H., Yancey P, Fisiologia degli Animali – dai geni agli organismi. --: Zanichelli, 2007. Cerca nel catalogo
  • James F. Zachary, Patologia generale veterinaria (6a ed.). --: Edra, 2018. ISBN: 9788821447716 Cerca nel catalogo

Innovative teaching methods: Teaching and learning strategies
  • Lecturing
  • Laboratory
  • Questioning
  • Active quizzes for Concept Verification Tests and class discussions

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