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Lab Overview

The research at Pathology Lab addresses four components of disease: the aetiology, the pathogenesis, the structural alterations of organs, tissues and cells and the consequences of the changes produced in an organism that may or may not cause its death. The Pathology Lab should be seen as a platform were the most common activities can be summarized as follows:

  • Diagnosis for internal and external clients, with the major client being the Small Animal Hospital of the Faculty. This part of the activity, going on for more than three decades, provides the large experience this Lab can claim as major asset.
  • Teaching of undergraduates and postgraduates (residents). The Pathology Lab is registered as “Qualified for Residency Programs” by the European College of Veterinary Pathology, since 2000.
  • Support to various research projects internal and external. This support is materialized by processing samples for histological observation; performing immunohistochemistry and histochemistry techniques; providing in most cases the adequate reports and registering the results by microphotography.
  • Finally and most importantly, developing research projects of its own.

The main research lines of the Lab are:

  • Oncology and oncological markers for diagnosis and treatment;
  • Mammalian and avian pathogenesis of infectious and toxic diseases;
  • Retinal changes associated with disease and ageing;
  • Fish pathology and aquaculture

The Pathology Lab collaborates with most of the other CIISA Labs, participating activily in their research lines.


Selected publications


Cota, J.B., Carvalho, T., Pinto, C., Peleteiro, M.C. 2014. Epithelial urinary bladder tumors from cows with enzootic hematuria – Structural and cell cycle related proteins expression. Vet. Pathol. 51: 749-754.

The expression of structural proteins (UPIII and CK7) and of cell cycle related proteins (Cyclin D1 and p53) is altered in high grade and high stage bladder carcinomas, confirming its association with the highest malignant behaviour of the tumors in Bovine Enzootic Hematuria.

Soares, M., Correia, J., Rodrigues, P., Simões, M., Matos, A., Ferreira, F. 2013. Feline HER2 protein expression levels and gene status in feline mammary carcinoma: optimization of immunohistochemistry (IHC) and In Situ Hybridization (ISH) techniques. Microsc. Microanal. 19: 876-82.

HER2 is a biomarker that when overexpressed and/or amplified is associated with a poor prognosis for women with breast cancer and there is few information regarding feline mammary carcinomas (FMC). In this study, fHER2 was overexpressed in 33% of FMC, without fHER2 or fTOP2A gene amplification, which supports the possibility of using FMC as a natural model for comparative oncology.

Abrantes, J., Lopes, A.M., Dalton, K.P., Melo, P., Correia, J.J., Ramada, M., Alves, P.C., Parra, F., Eesteves, P.J. 2013. New variant of rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus, Portugal, 2012–2013. Emerg Infect Dis. 19: 1900-1902.

During November 2012–February 2013, rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV) strains belonging to the new variant RHDV were isolated in Portugal from wild European rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus subsp. algirus). The major capsid protein, VP60, of these strains was partially characterized. RHDV had been previously been detected in Portugal in 1989. Before 2011, RHDV outbreaks in wild European rabbit (O. cuniculus) populations in the Iberian Peninsula were exclusively caused by strains belonging to genogroup 1.

Códices, V., Martins, C., Novo, C., Pinho, M., De Sousa, B., Lopes, A., Borrego, M., Matos, O. 2103. Cell phenotypic change due to Cryptosporidium parvum infection in immune competent mice. Acta Parasitol. 58: 70-79.

Here, we report information which may be important for the understanding of the specific cell-mediated response in immunocompetent mice to C. parvum infection. Although some questions remain unanswered and complementary studies are needed, our results are expected to contribute to a better understanding of innate and Treg cells role in the clearance process of this parasite.

Mendes-Jorge, L., Llombart, C., Ramos, D., López-Luppo, M., Valença, A., Nacher, V., Navarro, M., Carretero, A., Méndez-Ferrer, S., Rodrigues-Baeza, A., Ruberte, J. 2012. Intercapillary bridging cells: immunocytochemical characteristics of cells that connect blood vessels in the retina. Exp. Eye Res. 98: 79-87.

The aim of this study was to characterize the immunophenotype of intervascular bridging cells, and to understand their mechanical and intercellular communication properties in the retina.