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Vet. Sci., Volume 5, Issue 2 (June 2018)

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Open AccessFeature PaperReview Ticks and Tick-Borne Infections: Complex Ecology, Agents, and Host Interactions
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(2), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5020060
Received: 16 May 2018 / Revised: 11 June 2018 / Accepted: 15 June 2018 / Published: 20 June 2018
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Abstract
Ticks transmit the most diverse array of infectious agents of any arthropod vector. Both ticks and the microbes they transmit are recognized as significant threats to human and veterinary public health. This article examines the potential impacts of climate change on the distribution
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Ticks transmit the most diverse array of infectious agents of any arthropod vector. Both ticks and the microbes they transmit are recognized as significant threats to human and veterinary public health. This article examines the potential impacts of climate change on the distribution of ticks and the infections they transmit; the emergence of novel tick-borne pathogens, increasing geographic range and incidence of tick-borne infections; and advances in the characterization of tick saliva mediated modulation of host defenses and the implications of those interactions for transmission, establishment, and control of tick infestation and tick-borne infectious agents. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperTechnical Note Additional Progress in the Development and Application of a Direct, Rapid Immunohistochemical Test for Rabies Diagnosis
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(2), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5020059
Received: 2 May 2018 / Revised: 12 June 2018 / Accepted: 14 June 2018 / Published: 20 June 2018
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Abstract
Laboratory-based surveillance is fundamental to effective rabies prevention and control. The direct fluorescent antibody (AB) test (FAT) is the gold standard for rabies diagnosis. Recently, additional tests besides the FAT have been developed, such as the direct rapid immunohistochemical test (DRIT). In this
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Laboratory-based surveillance is fundamental to effective rabies prevention and control. The direct fluorescent antibody (AB) test (FAT) is the gold standard for rabies diagnosis. Recently, additional tests besides the FAT have been developed, such as the direct rapid immunohistochemical test (DRIT). In this study, our objective was to further refine technical aspects of the DRIT using a combination of two monoclonal ABs (MABs), 502 and 802, conduct additional testing among rabies reference laboratories using a diversity of animal species and rabies virus (RV) variants and compare the potential utility of the DRIT for end users via proficiency testing (PT) against the FAT. Considering the ideal molar ratios of biotin to AB in formulation of the DRIT conjugate, 3.9 was found to be superior to 7.4, for detection of RV antigens in the brain of a naturally infected raccoon. Optimization of the DRIT conjugate may also be dependent upon the apparent choice of specific viral antigens for testing, as a gray fox RV variant reacted less strongly than a raccoon RV variant in determining the working dilution of the MAB cocktail. Using the same MABs and protocol, the DRIT was compared to the FAT using more than 800 samples of mammalian brains, representative of more than 25 taxa, including in excess of 250 animal rabies cases from Europe and North America. Sensitivity was determined at 98% (96–100%, 95% CI) and specificity was calculated at 95% (92–96%, 95% CI). In a comparison among end users, PT of laboratory personnel resulted in values of 77–100% sensitivity and 86-100% specificity. Based upon these and previously reported results, the DRIT appears to be a suitable alternative to the FAT for use in lyssavirus diagnosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Canine Rabies Surveillance, Control and Elimination)
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Open AccessArticle Computer Assisted Learning: Assessment of the Veterinary Virtual Anatomy Education Software IVALA™
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(2), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5020058
Received: 13 April 2018 / Revised: 14 May 2018 / Accepted: 11 June 2018 / Published: 19 June 2018
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Abstract
Although cadaveric dissection has historically been the cornerstone of anatomical education, it comes at the cost of some emotional, moral, safety, and environmental concerns. Computer assisted learning (CAL) programs are an increasingly common solution to these issues; however, research regarding the efficacy of
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Although cadaveric dissection has historically been the cornerstone of anatomical education, it comes at the cost of some emotional, moral, safety, and environmental concerns. Computer assisted learning (CAL) programs are an increasingly common solution to these issues; however, research regarding the efficacy of high fidelity simulation is limited. The traditional first semester veterinary gross anatomy course curriculum at Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine (RUSVM) was supplemented with a web based virtual anatomy program, IVALA™ (www.ivalalearn.com). The purpose of this study was to assess the relationship between supplementary use of the IVALA™ program and student examination scores, and to measure student perception surrounding IVALA™. IVALA™ uses an interactive virtual canine specimen that enables students to identify, move, rotate, magnify, and remove individual anatomic structures while providing a text description of each selected anatomic point. Fifty-six first semester RUSVM students who supplemented their anatomic learning with the IVALA™ program performed significantly higher on examinations compared to students (n = 123) that did not (p = 0.003). Students’ overall perception toward IVALA™ was enjoyable (mean = 3.8 out of a 5-point Likert scale) and beneficial to their knowledge of anatomy (mean = 3.7); however, students did not support replacing cadaveric dissection with CAL (mean = 2.1). CAL can effectively supplement learning outcomes for veterinary anatomy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Educating the Future of Veterinary Science and Medicine)
Open AccessArticle Efficient Transduction and Expansion of Ovine Macrophages for Gene Therapy Implementations
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(2), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5020057
Received: 6 May 2018 / Revised: 5 June 2018 / Accepted: 14 June 2018 / Published: 18 June 2018
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Abstract
A number of bacteria provoking zoonotic diseases present intracellular survival and a host cell tropism limited to the monocyte/macrophage lineage. Thus, infection is rendered difficult to eradicate, causing chronic inflammatory reactions to the host and widespread prevalence. Although self-inactivating lentiviral vectors have been
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A number of bacteria provoking zoonotic diseases present intracellular survival and a host cell tropism limited to the monocyte/macrophage lineage. Thus, infection is rendered difficult to eradicate, causing chronic inflammatory reactions to the host and widespread prevalence. Although self-inactivating lentiviral vectors have been successfully tested in the clinic against virally-induced human infectious diseases, little is known about the transduction susceptibility of ruminant animal phagocytes that play a critical role in the outbreak of zoonotic diseases such as brucellosis. In view of the development of a lentiviral vector-based platform targeting and inactivating specific genetic features of intracellular bacteria, we have tested the transducibility of ovine macrophages in terms of transgene expression and vector copy number (VCN). We show that ovine macrophages are relatively resistant to transduction even at a high multiplicity of infection with a conventional lentiviral vector expressing the green fluorescence protein and that addition of transduction enhancers, such as polybrene, increases transgene expression even after a one-week culture of the transduced cells in vitro. Overall, we demonstrate that ovine macrophages may be efficiently expanded and transduced in culture, thus providing the benchmark for gene therapy applications for zoonotic diseases. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Exploring Shyness among Veterinary Medical Students: Implications for Mental and Social Wellness
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(2), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5020056
Received: 26 April 2018 / Revised: 10 June 2018 / Accepted: 13 June 2018 / Published: 15 June 2018
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Abstract
Background: Shyness is defined as “the tendency to feel awkward, worried or tense during social encounters, especially with unfamiliar people.” While shyness is not necessarily a social disorder, extreme cases of shyness may classify as a social phobia and require medical treatment. Extant
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Background: Shyness is defined as “the tendency to feel awkward, worried or tense during social encounters, especially with unfamiliar people.” While shyness is not necessarily a social disorder, extreme cases of shyness may classify as a social phobia and require medical treatment. Extant research has noted shyness may be correlated with social problems that could be detrimental to one’s health, career, and social relationships. This exploratory study examined the prevalence, source, and nature of shyness among incoming Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program students at one veterinary medical school. Methods: One hundred first-year DVM program students were administered a modified version of the Survey on Shyness. Results: Results indicate most students (85%) self-identified as at least a little shy, a figure that is believed to be significantly higher than national population norms in the United States. Students attributed the primary source of shyness to personal fears and insecurities. Students reported frequent feelings of shyness and generally perceived shyness as an undesirable quality. Students reported that strangers, acquaintances, authority figures, and classmates often make them feel shy. Conclusions: Given the high prevalence of self-reported shyness among veterinary medical students, institutions may wish to include strategies to address shyness as part of a comprehensive wellness program. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Educating the Future of Veterinary Science and Medicine)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Comparing Item Performance on Three- Versus Four-Option Multiple Choice Questions in a Veterinary Toxicology Course
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(2), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5020055
Received: 29 May 2018 / Revised: 6 June 2018 / Accepted: 8 June 2018 / Published: 9 June 2018
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Abstract
Background: The number of answer options is an important element of multiple-choice questions (MCQs). Many MCQs contain four or more options despite the limited literature suggesting that there is little to no benefit beyond three options. The purpose of this study was to
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Background: The number of answer options is an important element of multiple-choice questions (MCQs). Many MCQs contain four or more options despite the limited literature suggesting that there is little to no benefit beyond three options. The purpose of this study was to evaluate item performance on 3-option versus 4-option MCQs used in a core curriculum course in veterinary toxicology at a large veterinary medical school in the United States. Methods: A quasi-experimental, crossover design was used in which students in each class were randomly assigned to take one of two versions (A or B) of two major exams. Results: Both the 3-option and 4-option MCQs resulted in similar psychometric properties. Conclusion: The findings of our study support earlier research in other medical disciplines and settings that likewise concluded there was no significant change in the psychometric properties of three option MCQs when compared to the traditional MCQs with four or more options. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Educating the Future of Veterinary Science and Medicine)
Open AccessArticle Variation in the Reported Management of Canine Prolapsed Nictitans Gland and Feline Herpetic Keratitis
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(2), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5020054
Received: 23 March 2018 / Revised: 9 May 2018 / Accepted: 23 May 2018 / Published: 1 June 2018
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Abstract
Treatment variation in medicine may be driven by evidence gaps, clinician factors, and patient preferences. Although well-documented in human medicine, variation in clinical management is relatively unexplored in veterinary practice. Clinical vignette questionnaires were administered to a cross section of general practitioners (GPs)
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Treatment variation in medicine may be driven by evidence gaps, clinician factors, and patient preferences. Although well-documented in human medicine, variation in clinical management is relatively unexplored in veterinary practice. Clinical vignette questionnaires were administered to a cross section of general practitioners (GPs) and veterinarians with postgraduate training in ophthalmology (PGs) to survey recommended management of canine prolapsed nictitans gland (“cherry eye”, PNG) and feline herpesvirus (FHV-1) keratitis. The majority of veterinarians (96.2%) suggested surgical replacement of cherry eye, with a pocketing technique being the most frequently nominated procedure. GPs were more likely to suggest gland excision in the event of surgical failure, while PGs more frequently nominated techniques incorporating a periosteal anchor for salvage repair. Most respondents managed FHV-1 keratitis with topical antibiotics (76.4%), with a minority suggesting topical antivirals (32.2%). GPs favoured topical acyclovir whilst PGs more frequently recommended topical trifluorothymidine. A significantly larger proportion of PGs nominated systemic famciclovir and lysine supplement for FHV-1 keratitis. This survey revealed moderate treatment variation for these conditions, both between and within practitioner groups. Additional research is needed to assess the reasons for this variation, particularly for conditions in which high quality evidence is scant. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview Tick Paralysis: Solving an Enigma
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(2), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5020053
Received: 13 April 2018 / Revised: 4 May 2018 / Accepted: 9 May 2018 / Published: 14 May 2018
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Abstract
In comparison to other arachnids, ticks are major vectors of disease, but less than 8% of the known species are capable of inducing paralysis, as compared to the ~99–100% arachnids that belong to venomous classes. When considering the potential monophyly of venomous Arachnida,
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In comparison to other arachnids, ticks are major vectors of disease, but less than 8% of the known species are capable of inducing paralysis, as compared to the ~99–100% arachnids that belong to venomous classes. When considering the potential monophyly of venomous Arachnida, this review reflects on the implications regarding the classification of ticks as venomous animals and the possible origin of toxins. The origin of tick toxins is compared with scorpion and spider toxins and venoms based on their significance, functionality, and structure in the search to find homologous venomous characters. Phenotypic evaluation of paralysis, as caused by different ticks, demonstrated the need for expansion on existing molecular data of pure isolated tick toxins because of differences and discrepancies in available data. The use of in-vivo, in-vitro, and in-silico assays for the purification and characterization of paralysis toxins were critically considered, in view of what may be considered to be a paralysis toxin. Purified toxins should exhibit physiologically relevant activity to distinguish them from other tick-derived proteins. A reductionist approach to identify defined tick proteins will remain as paramount in the search for defined anti-paralysis vaccines. Full article
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Open AccessReview Nutrition of Six Selected Neo-Tropical Mammals in Trinidad and Tobago with the Potential for Domestication
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(2), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5020052
Received: 14 February 2018 / Revised: 23 April 2018 / Accepted: 3 May 2018 / Published: 14 May 2018
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Abstract
This review highlights the available literature on the nutrition of six neo-tropical animals with the potential for domestication—the agouti (Dasyprocta leporina/D. aguti), lappe (Agouti paca), capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris), manicou/opossum (Didelphis marsupialis insularis), collared
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This review highlights the available literature on the nutrition of six neo-tropical animals with the potential for domestication—the agouti (Dasyprocta leporina/D. aguti), lappe (Agouti paca), capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris), manicou/opossum (Didelphis marsupialis insularis), collared peccary (Peccary tajucu) and the red brokcet deer (Mazama americana). Over 100 references were used, spanning over 100 years. The earliest being 1915 and the most recent being 2018. The references used in this review were synthesized to give a detailed look of the dentition, anatomy of the gastrointestinal tract and type of feed these animals consume. Nutritional requirements of the animals are required to understand what is needed for growth, maintenance and reproduction of each physiological stage. The agouti (D. leporina/D. aguti) was observed to be a monogastric mammal that fed primarily on fruits, seeds, animal matter and practiced caecotrophy. The lappe/paca (C. paca/A. paca) was described as a strict herbivore and a frugivore which practiced caecotrophy, with a diet that varied throughout the year, according to food availability. The capybara (H. hydrochaeris) was found to be the largest known rodent and was described as a semiaquatic hindgut fermenter that practiced caecotrophy. The manicou/opossum (D. marsupialis insularis) was found to be an omnivore with a simple stomach. The collared peccary (T. tajacu) was found to be frugivorous. Their unique stomach enabled them to consume a wide variety of feedstuff, allowing them to be found in a wide range of habitats. The red brocket deer (M. americana), a ruminant, was described as a browser that consumed mainly fruits and seeds and they frequented mineral lick. Knowledge of what they consume in the wild is important, so that we know what to feed in captivity. There is also the need to evaluate captive diets while trying to domesticate these mammals and develop nutrient requirement tables for these neo-tropical animals. Finally, an understanding of the dentition and gastrointestinal tract is important to increase efficiency (nutritional and cost). These six neo-tropical mammals were chosen due to their prevalence as game species in Trinidad and Tobago. Full article
Open AccessArticle Serosurvey for Infectious Agents Associated with Subfertility and Abortion in Dairy Cattle in Trinidad and Tobago, West Indies
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(2), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5020051
Received: 30 March 2018 / Revised: 26 April 2018 / Accepted: 1 May 2018 / Published: 11 May 2018
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Abstract
Despite frequent reports of subfertility and abortion in dairy cattle in Trinidad and Tobago (T&T), little is known about the potential infectious and non-infectious causes. This study set out to investigate possible infectious causes of reproductive problems by measuring the seroprevalence of four
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Despite frequent reports of subfertility and abortion in dairy cattle in Trinidad and Tobago (T&T), little is known about the potential infectious and non-infectious causes. This study set out to investigate possible infectious causes of reproductive problems by measuring the seroprevalence of four of the most significant reproductive pathogens in dairy cattle worldwide: Brucella abortus (B. abortus); Neospora caninum (N. caninum), Bovine Viral Diarrhoea virus (BVDV), and Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis virus (IBRV). These four reproductive pathogens have been suspected to be present in dairy cattle in T&T for some time but, previously, studies have not been carried out to confirm their presence. Bulk milk samples were collected from 92 dairy farms across Trinidad, representing a total of 1177 dairy cattle. Four dairy farms were selected for individual milk sampling to assess in-farm seroprevalence levels. Milk samples were tested for antibodies to the four pathogens by commercial ELISA kits. The overall farm seroprevalence was 62% for N. caninium and 23% for IBRV, and no antibodies were detected in any of the bulk milk samples for B. abortus or BVDV. Mixed infections for IBRV and N. caninum were common. Seroprevalence levels were between 8% and 65% for N. caninum and between 3% and 53% IBRV on the four individual farms. These results reveal the presence of IBRV and N. caninum for the first time on the island of Trinidad and importantly reveal no evidence for the circulation of BVDV or B. abortus in dairy cattle in Trinidad. Full article
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Open AccessBrief Report Serological Evidence for Influenza A Virus Exposure in Wild Birds in Trinidad & Tobago
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(2), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5020050
Received: 29 March 2018 / Revised: 2 May 2018 / Accepted: 3 May 2018 / Published: 9 May 2018
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Abstract
Migratory waterfowl and shorebirds are known to be important reservoirs for influenza A viruses (IAV) and they have been repeatedly implicated as causing avian influenza virus (AIV) outbreaks in domestic poultry flocks worldwide. In recent years, wild birds have been implicated in spreading
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Migratory waterfowl and shorebirds are known to be important reservoirs for influenza A viruses (IAV) and they have been repeatedly implicated as causing avian influenza virus (AIV) outbreaks in domestic poultry flocks worldwide. In recent years, wild birds have been implicated in spreading zoonotic H5 influenza viruses to many countries, which has generated high levels of public health concern. Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) is positioned along the wintering route of migratory birds from the Americas; every year, many species of wild birds stopover on the islands of T&T, potentially carrying AIVs and exposing local populations of wild and domestic birds, including commercial poultry, to infection. The aim of this study was to trap, sample, and test as many wild bird species as possible to see whether they were actively infected or previously exposed to AIV. A total of 38 wild birds were trapped, sampled, and tested for IAV RNA, antibodies specific for influenza A nucleoprotein (NP) and antibodies that were specific for H5 and H7 subtypes. Five of the samples tested antibody positive for IAV, while three of these samples had positive titres (≥16) for the H5 subtype, indicating that they were likely to have been previously infected with an H5 IAV subtype. One of the samples tested positive for IAV (M gene) RNA. These results highlight the potential threat that is posed by wild birds to backyard and commercial poultry in T&T and emphasise the importance of maintaining high levels of biosecurity on poultry farms, ensuring that domestic and wild birds are not in direct or indirect contact. The results also underline the need to carry out routine surveillance for AIV in domestic and wild birds in T&T and the wider Caribbean region. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Field Efficacy of an Attenuated Infectious Bronchitis Variant 2 Virus Vaccine in Commercial Broiler Chickens
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(2), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5020049
Received: 3 April 2018 / Revised: 25 April 2018 / Accepted: 2 May 2018 / Published: 9 May 2018
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Abstract
Egyptian poultry suffer from frequent respiratory disease outbreaks associated with Infectious Bronchitis Virus (IBV) variant 2 strains (Egy/VarII). Different vaccination programs using imported vaccines have failed to protect the flocks from field challenge. Recent studies confirmed a successful protection using homologous strains as
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Egyptian poultry suffer from frequent respiratory disease outbreaks associated with Infectious Bronchitis Virus (IBV) variant 2 strains (Egy/VarII). Different vaccination programs using imported vaccines have failed to protect the flocks from field challenge. Recent studies confirmed a successful protection using homologous strains as live attenuated vaccines. In this study, a newly developed live attenuated IB-VAR2 vaccine representing the GI-23 Middle East IBV lineage was evaluated in day-old commercial broilers in an IBV-endemic area. A commercial broiler flock was vaccinated with the IB-VAR2 vaccine at day-old age followed by IB-H120 at day 16. The vaccinated flock was monitored on a weekly basis till the slaughter age. The health status and growth performance were monitored, and selected viral pathogen real-time RT-PCR (rRT-PCR) detection was conducted on a weekly basis. Finally, the flock was compared to a nearby farm with only the classical IB-H120 vaccination program. Results showed that the IB-VAR2 vaccine was tolerable in day-old broiler chicks. The IBV virus rRT-PCR detection was limited to the trachea as compared to its nephropathogenic parent virus. Respiratory disease problems and high mortalities were reported in the IB-H120-only vaccinated flock. An exposure to a wild-type Egy/VarII strain was confirmed in both flocks as indicated by partial IBV S1 gene sequence. Even though the IB-VAR2-vaccinated flock performance was better than the flock that received only IB-H120, the IBV ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) and log2 Haemagglutination inhibition (HI) antibody mean titers remained high (3128 ± 2713 and ≥9 log2, respectively) until the 28th day of age. The current study demonstrates the safety and effectiveness of IB-VAR2 as a live attenuated vaccine in day-old commercial broilers. Also, the combination of IB-VAR2 and classical IBV vaccines confers a broader protective immune response against IBV in endemic areas. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Prevalence of PNPLA1 Gene Mutation in 48 Breeding Golden Retriever Dogs
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(2), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5020048
Received: 10 April 2018 / Revised: 2 May 2018 / Accepted: 4 May 2018 / Published: 8 May 2018
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Abstract
A non-epidermolytic ichthyosis has been identified in Golden Retrievers due to a variant in the PNPLA1 gene, and a genetic test is available to detect wild-type, heterozygous and homozygous dogs. The aims of this study were to investigate the prevalence of the PNPLA1
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A non-epidermolytic ichthyosis has been identified in Golden Retrievers due to a variant in the PNPLA1 gene, and a genetic test is available to detect wild-type, heterozygous and homozygous dogs. The aims of this study were to investigate the prevalence of the PNPLA1 gene variant in Golden Retrievers used for breeding and to provide more information to breeders in order to restrict the spread of this disease. Clinical examination and assessment of the PNPLA1 genotype using PCR testing of oral swabs were performed in 48 breeding Golden Retrievers. Wild-type, heterozygous or homozygous variants of the PNPLA1 gene were demonstrated in 10 (21%), 23 (48%), and 15 (31%) of the 48 dogs, respectively. In only 3 of the 48 dogs were clinical signs suggestive of ichthyosis identified. Data collected agreed with data reported in the literature. The high prevalence of homozygous and heterozygous variants makes the exclusion of mutated dogs from breeding impractical. Furthermore, the reliability of the PNPLA1 mutation in prediction of clinical signs of ichthyosis is unclear. Additional studies are needed to investigate if PNPLA1 is the only gene involved or if other genes and environmental factors have a role in the development of ichthyosis in Golden Retrievers. Full article
Open AccessArticle Field Studies Evaluating Bait Acceptance and Handling by Free-Roaming Dogs in Thailand
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(2), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5020047
Received: 27 March 2018 / Revised: 20 April 2018 / Accepted: 3 May 2018 / Published: 4 May 2018
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Abstract
(1) Background: As part of the ongoing endeavor to eliminate dog-mediated human rabies in Thailand, renewed interest has been shown in oral vaccination of dogs as a supplementary tool to increase vaccination coverage of the dog population. (2) Methods: Three different bait types
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(1) Background: As part of the ongoing endeavor to eliminate dog-mediated human rabies in Thailand, renewed interest has been shown in oral vaccination of dogs as a supplementary tool to increase vaccination coverage of the dog population. (2) Methods: Three different bait types were tested using a hand-out model on the campus of the Kasetsart University and the surrounding temples in Thailand during September 2017, consisting of two industrial manufactured baits (fish meal and egg-flavored) and one bait made from local material (boiled pig intestine placed in collagen casing). A PVC-capsule containing dyed water was inserted in the bait. (3) Results: The fishmeal bait was significantly less often accepted and consumed (50.29%) than the other two baits (intestine bait—79.19%; egg bait—78.77%). Delivery and release of the dyed water in the oral cavity was highest in the egg-flavored bait (84.50%), followed by the intestine bait (76.61%) and fishmeal (54.85%) baits. Bait acceptance was influenced by sex, age, and body size of the dog. Also, the origin of the dogs had a significant effect: temple dogs accepted the baits more often than street dogs. (4) Conclusion: A significant portion of the free-roaming dog population in this study can be vaccinated by offering vaccine baits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Canine Rabies Surveillance, Control and Elimination)
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Open AccessArticle Clinicopathological Diversity of Canine Mammary Gland Tumors in Sri Lanka: A One-Year Survey on Cases Presented to Two Veterinary Practices
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(2), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5020046
Received: 19 February 2018 / Revised: 23 April 2018 / Accepted: 24 April 2018 / Published: 27 April 2018
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Abstract
Mammary gland tumors (MGTs) are one of the most common neoplasms among dogs in Sri Lanka. However, the clinicopathological diversity of MGTs in Sri Lanka is largely unknown, impeding accurate diagnosis and effective treatment of the disease. The present study investigated the clinicopathological
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Mammary gland tumors (MGTs) are one of the most common neoplasms among dogs in Sri Lanka. However, the clinicopathological diversity of MGTs in Sri Lanka is largely unknown, impeding accurate diagnosis and effective treatment of the disease. The present study investigated the clinicopathological features of MGTs in 74 dogs presented to two veterinary practices in Sri Lanka treated surgically, over a one-year period. Information regarding the patient signalment, clinical presentation, and reproductive history were collected, and each neoplasm was examined histologically. Forty-one (54.4%) dogs were primarily presented for mammary neoplasia, while a MGT was an incidental finding in 33 (44.6%) dogs. The majority of tumors were histologically malignant (n = 65, 87.8%), and 18 malignant tumor sub-types were identified. A significantly higher proportion of malignant tumors were large (>3 cm diameter) and observed in inguinal mammary glands. Nulliparous (n = 42, 55.3%) dogs predominated in the group, and the mean age of MGT diagnosis was 8.0 ± 2.41 years. The present study identified tumor location and size to be predictive of malignancy. A high histological diversity of MGTs was observed. Overall, the present findings emphasize the necessity of improving awareness of MGTs among Sri Lankan clinicians as well as dog owners. Full article
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Open AccessArticle In Vitro Activity of 30 Essential Oils against Bovine Clinical Isolates of Prototheca zopfii and Prototheca blaschkeae
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(2), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5020045
Received: 19 March 2018 / Revised: 17 April 2018 / Accepted: 18 April 2018 / Published: 24 April 2018
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Abstract
Protothecal mastitis poses an emergent animal health problem in dairy herds, with a high impact on dairy industries, causing heavy economic losses. Current methods of treating protothecal infections are ineffective, and no drug is licensed for use in cattle. The aim of the
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Protothecal mastitis poses an emergent animal health problem in dairy herds, with a high impact on dairy industries, causing heavy economic losses. Current methods of treating protothecal infections are ineffective, and no drug is licensed for use in cattle. The aim of the present study was to check the antialgal activity of 30 chemically defined essential oils (EOs) against Prototheca zopfii and Prototheca blaschkeae isolated from the milk of dairy cows with mastitis. A microdilution test was carried out to estimate the antialgal effectiveness of the selected chemically defined EOs. The microdilution test showed different degrees of inhibition among the examined Prototheca species. The activity of some of the examined EOs seem interesting. In particular, Citrus paradisi yielded the lowest minimal inhibitory concentration values (0.75%) for both algal species. P. zopfii appeared to be more sensitive to EOs in comparison to P. blaschkeae. The present study investigated the in vitro susceptibility of P. zopfii and P. blaschkeae to a wide range of EOs, obtained from different botanical families. Further investigations are necessary to evaluate the efficacy of EO-based formulations intended for the disinfection of both udder and milking products. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Anatomical and Radiographic Study on the Skull and Mandible of the Common Opossum (Didelphis Marsupialis Linnaeus, 1758) in the Caribbean
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(2), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5020044
Received: 11 April 2018 / Revised: 17 April 2018 / Accepted: 18 April 2018 / Published: 23 April 2018
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Abstract
Common opossums (Didelphis marsupialis) are found throughout the Caribbean island of Trinidad and Tobago. The present work was conducted on 10 skulls and mandibles of the common opossum to describe the osteology and foramina of these skulls and mandibles grossly and
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Common opossums (Didelphis marsupialis) are found throughout the Caribbean island of Trinidad and Tobago. The present work was conducted on 10 skulls and mandibles of the common opossum to describe the osteology and foramina of these skulls and mandibles grossly and radiographically. The information that is garnered can be used to detect, diagnose, and treat head affections, as well as for comparative studies with the skulls and mandibles of other similar species. The skulls and mandibles were prepared and cleaned using standard method. All of the characteristic features of various standards views of the skulls bones, including dorsal, lateral, caudal and midsagittal, and the lateral and caudal views of the mandibles as well as the foramina of the skulls and mandibles were described and discussed. Each skull was divided into long facial and short cranial regions. No supraorbital foramen was observed in the skulls. The tympanic bulla was absent while there was the tympanic process of the alisphenoid. The temporal process of the zygomatic bone, zygomatic process of maxilla, and zygomatic process of the squamosal bone formed the zygomatic arch. The dental formula was confirmed. The bones and foramina of the skull and mandible were similar to other marsupial species and were homologue to that of other mammals. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Effect of Propofol Continuous-Rate Infusion on Intravenous Glucose Tolerance Test in Dogs
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(2), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5020043
Received: 24 December 2017 / Revised: 7 April 2018 / Accepted: 19 April 2018 / Published: 20 April 2018
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Abstract
Hyperglycemia causes perioperative complications and many anesthetics impair glucose metabolism and cause hyperglycemia. We evaluated the effects of propofol on blood glucose metabolism and insulin secretion during an intravenous glucose tolerance test (IVGTT) in dogs. Blood glucose, insulin, triglyceride, cholesterol, and free fatty
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Hyperglycemia causes perioperative complications and many anesthetics impair glucose metabolism and cause hyperglycemia. We evaluated the effects of propofol on blood glucose metabolism and insulin secretion during an intravenous glucose tolerance test (IVGTT) in dogs. Blood glucose, insulin, triglyceride, cholesterol, and free fatty acid (FFA) levels were measured in dogs during IVGTT in a conscious state and under the effect of 2.0% isoflurane, low-concentration propofol (0.2 mg/kg/min), and high-concentration propofol (0.4 mg/kg/min) anesthesia. Plasma glucose levels significantly increased in all of the treatment groups when compared with those in the conscious group. The prolonged half-life period of plasma glucose suggested that isoflurane and propofol attenuated glucose metabolism in dogs. Plasma insulin levels were significantly lower in the isoflurane group when compared with those in the other groups, whereas blood FFA levels were increased in the propofol groups when compared with the other groups. These results suggest that propofol itself does not directly raise plasma glucose levels, but attenuates glucose metabolism by accumulating FFA. Full article
Open AccessReview A Review of Current Research and Knowledge Gaps in the Epidemiology of Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli and Salmonella spp. in Trinidad and Tobago
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(2), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5020042
Received: 9 February 2018 / Revised: 10 April 2018 / Accepted: 11 April 2018 / Published: 17 April 2018
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Abstract
Salmonella and Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli are two of the main causes of foodborne disease globally, and while they have been implicated as possible causes of foodborne disease within the Caribbean region, the actual incidence is unknown. Trinidad and Tobago, one of the
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Salmonella and Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli are two of the main causes of foodborne disease globally, and while they have been implicated as possible causes of foodborne disease within the Caribbean region, the actual incidence is unknown. Trinidad and Tobago, one of the larger countries in the Caribbean, has an estimated annual foodborne disease burden of over 100,000 cases and, similar to other countries, the etiology of most of these cases is unknown. Both pathogens can reside as part of the normal gastrointestinal microflora of many wild and domestic animals, with animals acting as reservoirs, spillover hosts, or dead-end hosts. Carriage in animal species can be asymptomatic or, in the case of Salmonella in particular, there may be clinical manifestation in animals, which resemble the disease seen in humans. In this review, we will focus on the epidemiology of these two foodborne pathogens in Trinidad and Tobago and identify any knowledge gaps in the published literature. The filling of this critical knowledge void is essential for the development and implementation of appropriate mechanisms to reduce the dissemination and transmission of these pathogens, not only in Trinidad and Tobago, but also in the wider Caribbean. Full article
Open AccessArticle Cysteine Proteinase C1A Paralog Profiles Correspond with Phylogenetic Lineages of Pathogenic Piroplasmids
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(2), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5020041
Received: 16 February 2018 / Revised: 6 April 2018 / Accepted: 11 April 2018 / Published: 17 April 2018
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Abstract
Piroplasmid parasites comprising of Babesia, Theileria, and Cytauxzoon are transmitted by ticks to farm and pet animals and have a significant impact on livestock industries and animal health in tropical and subtropical regions worldwide. In addition, diverse Babesia spp. infect humans
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Piroplasmid parasites comprising of Babesia, Theileria, and Cytauxzoon are transmitted by ticks to farm and pet animals and have a significant impact on livestock industries and animal health in tropical and subtropical regions worldwide. In addition, diverse Babesia spp. infect humans as opportunistic hosts. Molecular phylogeny has demonstrated at least six piroplasmid lineages exemplified by B. microti, B. duncani, C. felis, T. equi, Theileria sensu stricto (T. annulata, T. parva, and T. orientalis) and Babesia sensu stricto (B. bovis, B. bigemina, and B. ovis). C1A cysteine-proteinases (C1A-Cp) are papain-like enzymes implicated in pathogenic and vital steps of the parasite life cycle such as nutrition and host cell egress. An expansion of C1A-Cp of T. annulata and T. parva with respect to B. bovis and B. ovis was previously described. In the present work, C1A-Cp paralogs were identified in available genomes of species pertaining to each piroplasmid lineage. Phylogenetic analysis revealed eight C1A-Cp groups. The profile of C1A-Cp paralogs across these groups corroborates and defines the existence of six piroplasmid lineages. C. felis, T. equi and Theileria s.s. each showed characteristic expansions into extensive families of C1A-Cp paralogs in two of the eight groups. Underlying gene duplications have occurred as independent unique evolutionary events that allow distinguishing these three piroplasmid lineages. We hypothesize that C1A-Cp paralog families may be associated with the advent of the schizont stage. Differences in the invertebrate tick host specificity and/or mode of transmission in piroplasmid lineages might also be associated with the observed C1A-Cp paralog profiles. Full article
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Open AccessReview Resistance to Carbapenems in Non-Typhoidal Salmonella enterica Serovars from Humans, Animals and Food
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(2), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5020040
Received: 27 February 2018 / Revised: 3 April 2018 / Accepted: 4 April 2018 / Published: 8 April 2018
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Abstract
Non-typhoidal serovars of Salmonella enterica (NTS) are a leading cause of food-borne disease in animals and humans worldwide. Like other zoonotic bacteria, NTS have the potential to act as reservoirs and vehicles for the transmission of antimicrobial drug resistance in different settings. Of
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Non-typhoidal serovars of Salmonella enterica (NTS) are a leading cause of food-borne disease in animals and humans worldwide. Like other zoonotic bacteria, NTS have the potential to act as reservoirs and vehicles for the transmission of antimicrobial drug resistance in different settings. Of particular concern is the resistance to critical “last resort” antimicrobials, such as carbapenems. In contrast to other Enterobacteriaceae (e.g., Klebsiella pneumoniae, Escherichia coli, and Enterobacter, which are major nosocomial pathogens affecting debilitated and immunocompromised patients), carbapenem resistance is still very rare in NTS. Nevertheless, it has already been detected in isolates recovered from humans, companion animals, livestock, wild animals, and food. Five carbapenemases with major clinical importance—namely KPC (Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase) (class A), IMP (imipenemase), NDM (New Delhi metallo-β-lactamase), VIM (Verona integron-encoded metallo-β-lactamase) (class B), and OXA-48 (oxacillinase, class D)—have been reported in NTS. Carbapenem resistance due to the production of extended spectrum- or AmpC β-lactamases combined with porin loss has also been detected in NTS. Horizontal gene transfer of carbapenemase-encoding genes (which are frequently located on self-transferable plasmids), together with co- and cross-selective adaptations, could have been involved in the development of carbapenem resistance by NTS. Once acquired by a zoonotic bacterium, resistance can be transmitted from humans to animals and from animals to humans through the food chain. Continuous surveillance of resistance to these “last resort” antibiotics is required to establish possible links between reservoirs and to limit the bidirectional transfer of the encoding genes between S. enterica and other commensal or pathogenic bacteria. Full article
Open AccessCase Report Syringomyelia in an Adult American Paint Horse
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(2), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5020039
Received: 7 February 2018 / Revised: 23 March 2018 / Accepted: 23 March 2018 / Published: 5 April 2018
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Abstract
Syringomyelia is a form of myelodysplasia defined by the formation of one or more fluid-filled cavities within the spinal cord that do not communicate with the central canal. The defect may be congenital or acquired. Clinical signs correlate to the segment of spinal
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Syringomyelia is a form of myelodysplasia defined by the formation of one or more fluid-filled cavities within the spinal cord that do not communicate with the central canal. The defect may be congenital or acquired. Clinical signs correlate to the segment of spinal cord affected and include pain, paresis, proprioceptive deficits, alterations in sensation, scoliosis, and autonomic dysfunction. This report describes the clinical and pathologic changes in a case of acquired syringomyelia in a 10-year-old American Paint Horse mare. The horse had a six-week history of progressive proprioceptive deficits in all four limbs, bilateral pelvic limb ataxia, and muscle fasciculations that were unresponsive to treatment with stall rest, phenylbutazone, and dexamethasone. Syringomyelia was diagnosed postmortem within cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spinal cord segments. Acquired syringomyelia should be considered among differential diagnoses in adult horses displaying progressive neurologic deficits. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Enteric Virus Diversity Examined by Molecular Methods in Brazilian Poultry Flocks
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(2), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5020038
Received: 1 February 2018 / Revised: 26 March 2018 / Accepted: 26 March 2018 / Published: 29 March 2018
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Abstract
Enteric viruses play an important role in the Brazilian poultry industry due to the economic impact of resulting low yields of broilers, layers, and breeders. The most common enteric viruses affecting commercial flocks in Brazil include Fowl Adenovirus of group I (FAdV-I), Chicken
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Enteric viruses play an important role in the Brazilian poultry industry due to the economic impact of resulting low yields of broilers, layers, and breeders. The most common enteric viruses affecting commercial flocks in Brazil include Fowl Adenovirus of group I (FAdV-I), Chicken Parvovirus (ChPV), Chicken Astrovirus (CAstV), Avian Nephritis Virus (ANV), Infectious Bronchitis Virus (IBV), Avian Reovirus (AReo), and Avian Rotavirus (ARtV). The aim of this study was to identify single and multiple infections using data obtained from 270 samples from eleven Brazilian states, corresponding to the period between 2010 and 2017. This was accompanied by an analysis of the relationship between the age of birds, clinical signs, and geographical distribution, using Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) and Reverse Transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) techniques. Twenty-five profiles of virus combinations were detected. Single infections were encountered in 86.3% of samples, and multiple infections were present in the remaining 13.7%. Both single and multiple infections affected all kinds of commercial chickens with digestive problems, stunting syndrome, decreases in egg and meat production, increased mortality, and respiratory signs. FAdV-I, ChPV, CAstV, ANV, and ARtV were mostly detected in young broilers, in contrast with IBV, which was detected in hens from one to greater than 51 weeks of age. These results exhibit the complexity of enteric diseases and the still poorly understood role of each pathogen as a unique etiological agent. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle The Nothoaspis amazoniensis Complete Mitogenome: A Comparative and Phylogenetic Analysis
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(2), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5020037
Received: 5 February 2018 / Revised: 22 March 2018 / Accepted: 23 March 2018 / Published: 27 March 2018
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Abstract
The molecular biology era, together with morphology, molecular phylogenetics, bioinformatics, and high-throughput sequencing technologies, improved the taxonomic identification of Argasidae family members, especially when considering specimens at different development stages, which remains a great difficulty for acarologists. These tools could provide important data
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The molecular biology era, together with morphology, molecular phylogenetics, bioinformatics, and high-throughput sequencing technologies, improved the taxonomic identification of Argasidae family members, especially when considering specimens at different development stages, which remains a great difficulty for acarologists. These tools could provide important data and insights on the history and evolutionary relationships of argasids. To better understand these relationships, we sequenced and assembled the first complete mitochondrial genome of Nothoaspis amazoniensis. We used phylogenomics to identify the evolutionary history of this species of tick, comparing the data obtained with 26 complete mitochondrial sequences available in biological databases. The results demonstrated the absence of genetic rearrangements, high similarity and identity, and a close organizational link between the mitogenomes of N. amazoniensis and other argasids analyzed. In addition, the mitogenome had a monophyletic cladistic taxonomic arrangement, encompassed by representatives of the Afrotropical and Neotropical regions, with specific parasitism in bats, which may be indicative of an evolutionary process of cospeciation between vectors and the host. Full article
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Open AccessReview Greenshell™ Mussels: A Review of Veterinary Trials and Future Research Directions
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(2), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5020036
Received: 8 February 2018 / Revised: 15 March 2018 / Accepted: 22 March 2018 / Published: 27 March 2018
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Abstract
The therapeutic benefits of Greenshell™ mussel (GSM; Perna canaliculus) preparations have been studied using in vitro test systems, animal models, and human clinical trials focusing mainly on anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic effects. Activity is thought to be linked to key active ingredients that
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The therapeutic benefits of Greenshell™ mussel (GSM; Perna canaliculus) preparations have been studied using in vitro test systems, animal models, and human clinical trials focusing mainly on anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic effects. Activity is thought to be linked to key active ingredients that include omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, a variety of carotenoids and other bioactive compounds. In this paper, we review the studies that have been undertaken in dogs, cats, and horses, and outline new research directions in shellfish breeding and high-value nutrition research programmes targeted at enhancing the efficacy of mussel and algal extracts. The addition of GSM to animal diets has alleviated feline degenerative joint disease and arthritis symptoms, and chronic orthopaedic pain in dogs. In horses, GSM extracts decreased the severity of lameness and joint pain and provided improved joint flexion in limbs with lameness attributed to osteoarthritis. Future research in this area should focus on elucidating the key active ingredients in order to link concentrations of these active ingredients with their pharmacokinetics and therapeutic effects. This would enable consistent and improved efficacy from GSM-based products for the purpose of improved animal health. Full article
Open AccessArticle Efficacy of Praziquantel in the Treatment of Platynosomum fastosum in Cats with Natural Infections
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(2), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5020035
Received: 2 January 2018 / Revised: 4 March 2018 / Accepted: 12 March 2018 / Published: 24 March 2018
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Abstract
Treatments for Platynosomum fastosum—the liver fluke of cats—have been developed based on fecal egg counts. Post mortem fluke counts are required to understand true efficacy. In this study, two praziquantel treatment regimens were evaluated using post mortem fluke counts: a high-dose treatment
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Treatments for Platynosomum fastosum—the liver fluke of cats—have been developed based on fecal egg counts. Post mortem fluke counts are required to understand true efficacy. In this study, two praziquantel treatment regimens were evaluated using post mortem fluke counts: a high-dose treatment (HT) of 20 mg/kg body weight (BW) administered intramuscularly (IM) once a day for three consecutive days and a low-dose treatment (LT) of 5 mg/kg BW administered once (IM) and repeated 14 days later. A continual enrolment study design was used with 16 naturally infected cats randomly allocated in blocks of four to the HT (eight cats) or LT (eight cats) group. Treatment success, defined as absence of live flukes post mortem, was determined 10 days after the last treatment. Pre- and post-treatment fecal egg counts (centrifugation with Sheather’s sugar flotation solution) and bile egg counts (obtained via percutaneous ultrasound guided cholecystocentesis) were evaluated as supportive efficacy data. Twelve cats completed the study with two cats withdrawn from each group. Neither treatment was 100% effective. In the HT group, three of six cats had live flukes, albeit low numbers, at post mortem, while all six LT group cats had live flukes. While fecal and bile egg counts were reduced in both group, they were not reflective of the true infection status of the cats post mortem. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial Educating the Future of Science and Medicine
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(2), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5020034
Received: 24 February 2018 / Revised: 22 March 2018 / Accepted: 22 March 2018 / Published: 23 March 2018
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Abstract
For the past two decades, veterinary educators have been at the forefront of innovations in educational practices related to science and medicine. Many of the resulting methods have been translated and implemented as best practices across the breadth of disciplines in higher education.
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For the past two decades, veterinary educators have been at the forefront of innovations in educational practices related to science and medicine. Many of the resulting methods have been translated and implemented as best practices across the breadth of disciplines in higher education. However, past World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) global conferences have highlighted the necessity for improving global harmonization of veterinary medical education. This underscores a growing need for even broader dissemination of best practices and assessment programs related to educating our veterinary workforce. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Educating the Future of Veterinary Science and Medicine)
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Open AccessArticle Population Dynamics of Off-Host Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus (Acari: Ixodidae) Larvae in Response to Habitat and Seasonality in South Texas
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(2), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5020033
Received: 12 February 2018 / Revised: 19 March 2018 / Accepted: 21 March 2018 / Published: 23 March 2018
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Abstract
The cattle tick, Rhipicephalus microplus (Canestrini), is an economically destructive arthropod because of its ability to vector bovine babesiosis. It is known that cattle ticks can spend 80–90% of their lifecycle as questing larvae, yet the effect of climatic factors on their off-host
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The cattle tick, Rhipicephalus microplus (Canestrini), is an economically destructive arthropod because of its ability to vector bovine babesiosis. It is known that cattle ticks can spend 80–90% of their lifecycle as questing larvae, yet the effect of climatic factors on their off-host behavior and survival is unclear. The goal of this study was to measure the effects of specific ecological factors on off-host questing larvae in nature. The study was conducted in a south Texas pasture over a two-year period, during which time larval populations were surveyed. Simultaneously, weather variables—precipitation, relative humidity, and ambient temperatures—were recorded. Larval survival rates varied among seasons, with the overall highest populations recorded in the spring and the lowest in the fall by a ratio of 20:1. In the winter, the larger numbers were collected from exposed habitats at a ratio of 6:1. Conversely, canopied habitats in the summer had 10-fold larger larval numbers. In the spring, exposed and canopied habitats showed no difference in tick larval survival rates. The results show that the interaction between season and habitat strongly influence off-host questing tick survival. Relative humidity was a key weather variable. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Immunomolecular Characterization of MIC-1, a Novel Antigen in Babesia bigemina, Which Contains Conserved and Immunodominant B-Cell Epitopes that Induce Neutralizing Antibodies
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(2), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5020032
Received: 1 February 2018 / Revised: 19 March 2018 / Accepted: 21 March 2018 / Published: 23 March 2018
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Abstract
Babesia bigemina is one of the most prevalent species causing bovine babesiosis around the world. Antigens involved in host cell invasion are vaccine targets for this disease but are largely unknown in this species. The invasion process of Babesia spp. into erythrocytes involves
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Babesia bigemina is one of the most prevalent species causing bovine babesiosis around the world. Antigens involved in host cell invasion are vaccine targets for this disease but are largely unknown in this species. The invasion process of Babesia spp. into erythrocytes involves membrane proteins from the apical complex. A protein stored in the micronemes, called Micronemal Protein 1 (MIC-1), contains a sialic acid binding domain that participates in the invasion process of host cells and is a vaccine candidate in other apicomplexan parasites. It is not known if there is a homologous gene for mic-1 in B. bigemina. Therefore, the aim of this study was to characterize the mic-1 gene homologue in Babesia bigemina. A gene was found with a microneme adhesive repeat (MAR) domain in the predicted amino acid sequence. Transcription was determined by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Subsequently, antibodies against peptides containing conserved B-cell epitopes were used to confirm the expression of MIC-1 in intraerythrocytic merozoites. The presence of anti MIC-1 antibodies in cattle naturally infected with B. bigemina was determined and up to 97.4% of the cattle sera (113 out of 116) identified MIC-1 using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) methods. Finally, antibodies against MIC-1 were able to block 70% merozoite invasion in-vitro. Full article
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