66270 - General and Fish Pathology

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Zero hunger Good health and well-being Clean water and sanitation Oceans

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student knows: -what are the causes of illness; -what are the main diseases affecting fish species; - how to apply the basic knowledge acquired / being acquired, such as those of histology, physiology, chemistry, physics, nutrition and aquaculture, to integrate the mechanisms that regulate the appearance of diseases; - how to deal with the critical study of the material indicated by the teacher in order to obtain solid basic concepts; - how to prepare a powerpoint presentation relating to critical reading and the translation of a review or specific experimental work on the subject, to be commented with colleagues and with the teacher during the lessons; - how to set up a differential diagnostic reasoning; -how to set up the correct sampling ; - the anatomical-pathological aspects concerning the main infectious diseases affecting troticulture and salmonids, marine fish, carp, eel and some animal animal models (medaka, zebrafish, octopus) integrated by the notions of contemporary or subsequent courses such as for example parasitic and infectious diseases, ecotoxicology.

The student is also able to: - recognize the pathological organs and tissues and associate the most probable causes of the disease - carry out a complete necropsy examination in order to perform a correct sampling - use the optical microscope and interpret cytological and histological preparations - written summary of the pathological findings observed, in order to interact with the manager of the aquarium/ tank/plant.

The "practical" test, in part of it, refers both to the verification of knowledge (to know) and to skills (to know how to do).

Course contents


1-Concept of disease and classification of the determining causes. Cell damage and mechanisms involved. Signal transduction.

2-Cell adaptive processes; metaplasia, dysplasia and anaplasia

3-Cellular degenerations characterized by accumulation of substances.

4-Cell death. Triggering pathways for cell death and main cellular mechanisms involved.

5-Inflammation: cardinal signs, concept of exudate. Acute and chronic inflammation

6-Hemodynamic disorders

7-Immune system disorders: hypersensitivity reactions

8-Environmental causes

9-Nutritional causes: vitamin imbalances

10- Nutritional causes: mineral imbalances


Fish pathology:

Systematic pathology of the main organs / systems of fish species: 1- skin, 2- gills, 3-kidney, 4-liver, 5- stomach and intestine, 6-hematopoietic, 7-skeleton- muscular system, 8-eye and nervous system.


PATHOLOGY (choose one)

1- Robbins e Cotran- Le basi patologiche delle malattie- Vol. 1. Elsevier casa editrice; 2- Castagnaro M. et al., Patologia veterinaria sistematica. Elsevier casa editrice, 2008 3- DeVico G., Carella F. Argomenti di patologia comparata dei molluschi. Loffredo editore, 2012.

FISH PATHOLOGY (choose one)

1-Roberts. Fish pathology. 4th edition. Wiley-Blackwell, 2012. 2-Ferguson: Systemic pathology of fish. A text and atlas of normal tissues in teleosts and their responses in disease. 2nd edition. Scotian Press, 2006. 3- Bruno, Noguera, Poppe: A colour atlas os salmonid diseases. Springer Verlag, 2013. 4- Noga. Fish Disease Diagnosis and Treatment. Second Edition. Wiley- Blackwell, Iowa, 2010. 5-Eiras, Segner, Wahli, Kapoor. Fish diseases. Science Publishers, USA, 2008. 6- Woo & Bruno. Fish Disease and disorders. Second Edition. CAB International, UK, 2011.

Teaching materials are being created and will be uploaded to the Moodle platform; the teaching material repository is on the IOL - Insegnamenti OnLine platform https://iol.unibo.it/ of the teacher in charge.

Teaching methods

Frontal lessons

Working groups of students and students with the teacher

E-learning activities

Small group practical lessons in the laboratory classroom

In case of COVID-19 emergency precautional measures will be taken and lessons will be carried out remotely.


Assessment methods

Passing the exam includes an oral test and a "practical" test: the oral test consists of two questions concerning the topics of the pathology program and two questions relating to that of the fish pathology, while the practical test consists in the observation of a prepared under an optical microscope, chosen from the cases discussed during the exercises or, alternatively, if a microscope could not be available, from the presentation of a pathological case chosen from those presented and discussed during the course or from an image from one of the recommended texts. The practical test is considered passed if the tissue and the pathological process are recognized, which must be correctly presented, described and argued in such a way as to set up a differential diagnosis.

The final mark of the exam is the result of the average of the marks obtained deriving from the part of Pathology and Fish Pathology. Each question corresponds to 6 points; the same score is reserved for the practical test. To pass the exam with the minimum score it is necessary to answer at least two questions and recognize the tissue and the basic pathological process in the practical part. The detailed presentation of the answers to the questions, demonstrating the development of a critical ability, combined with fine reasoning of differential diagnosis allow to reach gradually higher scores. The praise is given in the event that a full answer is given and the practical test is successfully passed, having demonstrated the ability to articulate the diagnostic reasoning.


Teaching tools

ppt of the lessons on the IOL platform

websites from which to select case studies of fish pathology, such as ECVP histology dataset, Veterinary Systemic Pathology Online - (JPC), slides of the PIGI group website

Moodle platform for e-learning

Sampling demonstration videos

Laboratory materials for practical teaching

Office hours

See the website of Luciana Mandrioli