Cytogenetic and Genomic Investigations in River Buffaloes Raised in Farms Located in Urban and Rural Areas of Campania Region (Southern-Italy)

Rapid Communication

Ann Carcinog. 2019; 4(1): 1020.

Cytogenetic and Genomic Investigations in River Buffaloes Raised in Farms Located in Urban and Rural Areas of Campania Region (Southern-Italy)

Iannuzzi A1*, Perucatti A1, Genualdo V1, Rossetti C1, Iorio C1, Caputi Jambrenghi A2, Giannico F2, Andreassi MG3 and Iannuzzi L1

¹National Research Council (CNR), ISPAAM, Laboratory of Animal Cytogenetics and Genomics, Naples, Italy

²Department of Animal Production, Agricultural Faculty of Sciences, University of Bari, Bari, Italy

³CNR Institute of Clinical Physiology, Pisa, Italy

*Corresponding author: Iannuzzi A, National Research Council (CNR), ISPAAM, Laboratory of Animal Cytogenetics and Genomics, via Argine 1085, 80147 Naples, Italy

Received: October 29, 2019; Accepted: November 28, 2019; Published: December 05, 2019


This study aimed to check possible differences between long- and shortterm DNA damages in lymphocytes of river buffalo cows raised in urban and rural areas by both cytogenetic and genomic tests. Two groups of buffaloes, homogeneous for age, sex and feeding, were studied: group A (Naples district) was raised in an urban area, while group B (Salerno district) was raised in a rural area. Three long-term DNA damage tests (CA, SCE and CBMN) and one short-term DNA damage test (RLTL) have been performed on both groups. Interestingly, no statistical differences were found between the two groups for each test, supporting the possible restarting of normal environmental conditions in the urban area, considered potentially polluted in the past.

Keywords: River Buffalo; Cytogenetic Tests; Genomic Test; Environment; Pollution


CA: Chromatid and Chromosome Breaks; SCE: Sister Chromatid Exchange; CBMN: Cytokinesis-Block Micronucleus; RLTL: Relative Leukocyte Telomere Length; CCL: Concentration of Contamination Level; BCI: Binucleated Cell Index; MN: Micronuclei, BN: Binucleated; MMQPCR: Monochrome Multiplex Quantitative PCR; STL: Sperm Telomere Length; SCG: Single Copy Gene; NTC: No Template Control


Several pollutant types, partially volatile and derived from human activities, even if present at low concentration in the environment, can interfere with physiological systems and therefore the capacity of ruminants and other animals to reproduce, rear offspring or fight disease. Indeed, the exposition to exogenous agents, alone or in combination, can lead to a variety of modifications on DNA composition, resulting in genome and chromosome alterations. Chromosomes are still considered one of the best biological markers to monitor damages associated with natural or in vitro exposure to environmental mutagens. Recently, in addition to routine cytogenetic tests such as CA, SCE and CBMN [1-3], also a genomic test has been used. The analysis of the RLTL (expressed as telomere length relative to a single copy reference gene) has been performed to check DNA-damages in human populations exposed to pollutants in both leucocytes [4] and sperms [5]. For this reason, the monitoring of livestock population by cyto-genomic tests might represent a good tool to indirectly control of the food chain, to preserve health problems, and to avoid management and income issues at the farm level.

Several studies have investigated the mortality rates in the polluted areas of the Campania region highlighting an increased level of mortality in the human population of Naples and Caserta districts, compared to the remaining ones (Avellino, Benevento, and Salerno) [6]. However, the CCL analyses, recently performed by the official Environmental Regional Agency of Campania region (ARPAC http://, within different areas of Naples and Caserta districts, reported that only the 6.2% of the areas earlier retained polluted are now forbidden for agro-food production [7].

The study is also a comparison between long- (cytogenetic) and short- (genomic) term tests to be applied for environmental assays. In our knowledge, this is the first time that this type of study has been performed in domestic animals.

Materials and Methods

Two groups of Italian Mediterranean river buffaloes (20 animals per group), homogeneous for age (2-3 years old) and sex (females), randomly chosen from two farms have been selected for the analysis. The two farms used also similar diet and vitamin supplementation and were located in two different areas of the Campania region: the group A in a urban area of Naples district with high environmental pressure in the past, and the group B located in an rural area at low environmental pressure (Salerno district), considered as control (Figure 1). The study was also approved by the Ethical Commission of the National Research Council (CNR), ISPAAM of Naples (reg. n 653 of June 5, 2017).