Open AccessReview
Parallelisms and Contrasts in the Diverse Ecologies of the Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Borrelia burgdorferi Complexes of Bacteria in the Far Western United States
Vet. Sci. 2016, 3(4), 26; doi:10.3390/vetsci3040026 -
Abstract
Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Borrelia burgdorferi are two tick-borne bacteria that cause disease in people and animals. For each of these bacteria, there is a complex of closely related genospecies and/or strains that are genetically distinct and have been shown through both observational [...] Read more.
Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Borrelia burgdorferi are two tick-borne bacteria that cause disease in people and animals. For each of these bacteria, there is a complex of closely related genospecies and/or strains that are genetically distinct and have been shown through both observational and experimental studies to have different host tropisms. In this review we compare the known ecologies of these two bacterial complexes in the far western USA and find remarkable similarities, which will help us understand evolutionary histories and coadaptation among vertebrate host, tick vector, and bacteria. For both complexes, sensu stricto genospecies (those that infect humans) share a similar geographic range, are vectored mainly by ticks in the Ixodes ricinus-complex, utilize mainly white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus) as a reservoir in the eastern USA and tree squirrels in the far west, and tend to be generalists, infecting a wider variety of vertebrate host species. Other sensu lato genospecies within each complex are generally more specialized, occurring often in local enzootic cycles within a narrow range of vertebrate hosts and specialized vector species. We suggest that these similar ecologies may have arisen through utilization of a generalist tick species as a vector, resulting in a potentially more virulent generalist pathogen that spills over into humans, vs. utilization of a specialized tick vector on a particular vertebrate host species, promoting microbe specialization. Such tight host-vector-pathogen coupling could also facilitate high enzootic prevalence and the evolution of host immune-tolerance and bacterial avirulence. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Anaplasma phagocytophilum-Occupied Vacuole Interactions with the Host Cell Cytoskeleton
Vet. Sci. 2016, 3(3), 25; doi:10.3390/vetsci3030025 -
Abstract
Anaplasma phagocytophilum is an obligate intracellular bacterial pathogen of humans and animals. The A. phagocytophium-occupied vacuole (ApV) is a critical host-pathogen interface. Here, we report that the intermediate filaments, keratin and vimentin, assemble on the ApV early and remain associated with [...] Read more.
Anaplasma phagocytophilum is an obligate intracellular bacterial pathogen of humans and animals. The A. phagocytophium-occupied vacuole (ApV) is a critical host-pathogen interface. Here, we report that the intermediate filaments, keratin and vimentin, assemble on the ApV early and remain associated with the ApV throughout infection. Microtubules localize to the ApV to a lesser extent. Vimentin, keratin-8, and keratin-18 but not tubulin expression is upregulated in A. phagocytophilum infected cells. SUMO-2/3 but not SUMO-1 colocalizes with vimentin filaments that surround ApVs. PolySUMOylation of vimentin by SUMO-2/3 but not SUMO-1 decreases vimentin solubility. Consistent with this, more vimentin exists in an insoluble state in A. phagocytophilum infected cells than in uninfected cells. Knocking down the SUMO-conjugating enzyme, Ubc9, abrogates vimentin assembly at the ApV but has no effect on the bacterial load. Bacterial protein synthesis is dispensable for maintaining vimentin and SUMO-2/3 at the ApV. Withaferin A, which inhibits soluble vimentin, reduces vimentin recruitment to the ApV, optimal ApV formation, and the bacterial load when administered prior to infection but is ineffective once vimentin has assembled on the ApV. Thus, A. phagocytophilum modulates cytoskeletal component expression and co-opts polySUMOylated vimentin to aid construction of its vacuolar niche and promote optimal survival. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial
Comparative Pathogenesis of Cancers in Animals and Humans
Vet. Sci. 2016, 3(3), 24; doi:10.3390/vetsci3030024 -
Open AccessArticle
An Evaluation of Quantitative PCR Assays (TaqMan® and SYBR Green) for the Detection of Babesia bigemina and Babesia bovis, and a Novel Fluorescent-ITS1-PCR Capillary Electrophoresis Method for Genotyping B. bovis Isolates
Vet. Sci. 2016, 3(3), 23; doi:10.3390/vetsci3030023 -
Abstract
Babesia spp. are tick-transmitted haemoparasites causing tick fever in cattle. In Australia, economic losses to the cattle industry from tick fever are estimated at AUD$26 Million per annum. If animals recover from these infections, they become immune carriers. Here we describe a [...] Read more.
Babesia spp. are tick-transmitted haemoparasites causing tick fever in cattle. In Australia, economic losses to the cattle industry from tick fever are estimated at AUD$26 Million per annum. If animals recover from these infections, they become immune carriers. Here we describe a novel multiplex TaqMan qPCR targeting cytochrome b genes for the identification of Babesia spp. The assay shows high sensitivity, specificity and reproducibility, and allows quantification of parasite DNA from Babesia bovis and B. bigemina compared to standard PCR assays. A previously published cytochrome b SYBR Green qPCR was also tested in this study, showing slightly higher sensitivity than the Taqman qPCRs but requires melting curve analysis post-PCR to confirm specificity. The SYBR Green assays were further evaluated using both diagnostic submissions and vaccinated cattle (at 7, 9, 11 and 14 days post-inoculation) showed that B. bigemina can be detected more frequently than B. bovis. Due to fewer circulating parasites, B. bovis detection in carrier animals requires higher DNA input. Preliminary data for a novel fluorescent PCR genotyping based on the Internal Transcribed Spacer 1 region to detect vaccine and field alleles of B. bovis are described. This assay is capable of detecting vaccine and novel field isolate alleles in a single sample. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Forced-Air Warming Provides Better Control of Body Temperature in Porcine Surgical Patients
Vet. Sci. 2016, 3(3), 22; doi:10.3390/vetsci3030022 -
Abstract
Background: Maintaining normothermia during porcine surgery is critical in ensuring subject welfare and recovery, reducing the risk of immune system compromise and surgical-site infection that can result from hypothermia. In humans, various methods of patient heating have been demonstrated to be useful, [...] Read more.
Background: Maintaining normothermia during porcine surgery is critical in ensuring subject welfare and recovery, reducing the risk of immune system compromise and surgical-site infection that can result from hypothermia. In humans, various methods of patient heating have been demonstrated to be useful, but less evaluation has been performed in techniques to prevent hypothermia perioperatively in pigs. Methods: We compared body temperature regulation during surgery before and after modification of the ambient temperature of the operating laboratories. Three different methods of heating were then compared; a standard circulating water mattress, a resistive fabric blanket, and a forced hot air system. The primary measure was percentage of temperature readings outside a specification range of 36.7–40.0 °C. Results: Tighter control of the ambient temperature while using a circulating water mattress reduced the occurrence of out-of-specification body temperature readings from 20.8% to 5.0%, with most of these the result of hypothermia. Use of a resistive fabric blanket further reduced out-of-specification readings to 1.5%, with a slight increase in the occurrence of hyperthermia. Use of a forced air system reduced out-of-specification readings to less 0.1%. Conclusions: Maintenance of normothermia perioperatively in pig can be improved by tightly controlling ambient temperatures. Use of a resistive blanket or a forced air system can lead to better control than a circulating water mattress, with the forced air system providing a faster response to temperature variations and less chance of hyperthermia. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Genomic Tools and Animal Health
Vet. Sci. 2016, 3(3), 21; doi:10.3390/vetsci3030021 -
Abstract
Animals have been selected to improve their productivity in order to increase the profitability to the producer. In this scenario, not much attention was given to health traits. As a consequence of that, selection was made for animals with higher production and [...] Read more.
Animals have been selected to improve their productivity in order to increase the profitability to the producer. In this scenario, not much attention was given to health traits. As a consequence of that, selection was made for animals with higher production and a shortened productive life. In addition to that, the intense production system used in livestock has forced animals to be exposed to higher pathogen loads, therefore predisposing them to infections. Infectious diseases are known to be caused by micro-organisms that are able to infect and colonize the host, affecting their physiological functions and causing problems in their production and on animal welfare. Even with the best management practices, diseases are still the most important cause of economic losses in the animal industry. In this review article we have addressed the new tools that could be used to select animals to better cope with diseases and pathogens. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Ehrlichioses: An Important One Health Opportunity
Vet. Sci. 2016, 3(3), 20; doi:10.3390/vetsci3030020 -
Abstract
Ehrlichioses are caused by obligately intracellular bacteria that are maintained subclinically in a persistently infected vertebrate host and a tick vector. The most severe life-threatening illnesses, such as human monocytotropic ehrlichiosis and heartwater, occur in incidental hosts. Ehrlichia have a developmental cycle [...] Read more.
Ehrlichioses are caused by obligately intracellular bacteria that are maintained subclinically in a persistently infected vertebrate host and a tick vector. The most severe life-threatening illnesses, such as human monocytotropic ehrlichiosis and heartwater, occur in incidental hosts. Ehrlichia have a developmental cycle involving an infectious, nonreplicating, dense core cell and a noninfectious, replicating reticulate cell. Ehrlichiae secrete proteins that bind to host cytoplasmic proteins and nuclear chromatin, manipulating the host cell environment to their advantage. Severe disease in immunocompetent hosts is mediated in large part by immunologic and inflammatory mechanisms, including overproduction of tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α), which is produced by CD8 T lymphocytes, and interleukin-10 (IL-10). Immune components that contribute to control of ehrlichial infection include CD4 and CD8 T cells, natural killer (NK) cells, interferon-γ (IFN-γ), IL-12, and antibodies. Some immune components, such as TNF-α, perforin, and CD8 T cells, play both pathogenic and protective roles. In contrast with the immunocompetent host, which may die with few detectable organisms owing to the overly strong immune response, immunodeficient hosts die with overwhelming infection and large quantities of organisms in the tissues. Vaccine development is challenging because of antigenic diversity of E. ruminantium, the necessity of avoiding an immunopathologic response, and incomplete knowledge of the protective antigens. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Pathogen and Host Response Dynamics in a Mouse Model of Borrelia hermsii Relapsing Fever
Vet. Sci. 2016, 3(3), 19; doi:10.3390/vetsci3030019 -
Abstract
Most Borrelia species that cause tick-borne relapsing fever utilize rodents as their natural reservoirs, and for decades laboratory-bred rodents have served as informative experimental models for the disease. However, while there has much progress in understanding the pathogenetic mechanisms, including antigenic variation, [...] Read more.
Most Borrelia species that cause tick-borne relapsing fever utilize rodents as their natural reservoirs, and for decades laboratory-bred rodents have served as informative experimental models for the disease. However, while there has much progress in understanding the pathogenetic mechanisms, including antigenic variation, of the pathogen, the host side of the equation has been neglected. Using different approaches, we studied, in immunocompetent inbred mice, the dynamics of infection with and host responses to North American relapsing fever agent B. hermsii. The spirochete’s generation time in blood of infected mice was between 4–5 h and, after a delay, was matched in rate by the increase of specific agglutinating antibodies in response to the infection. After initiating serotype cells were cleared by antibodies, the surviving spirochetes were a different serotype and, as a population, grew more slowly. The retardation was attributable to the host response and not an inherently slower growth rate. The innate responses at infection peak and immediate aftermath were characterized by elevations of both pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines. Immunodeficient mice had higher spirochete burdens and severe anemia, which was accounted for by aggregation of erythrocytes by spirochetes and their partially reversible sequestration in greatly enlarged spleens and elsewhere. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
p16, pRb, and p53 in Feline Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Vet. Sci. 2016, 3(3), 18; doi:10.3390/vetsci3030018 -
Abstract
Feline oral squamous cell carcinoma (FOSCC) is a highly aggressive head and neck cancer in cats, but the molecular pathogenesis of this cancer is still uncertain. In this study, p16, p53, and pRb proteins were detected and quantified by immunohistochemistry in forty-three [...] Read more.
Feline oral squamous cell carcinoma (FOSCC) is a highly aggressive head and neck cancer in cats, but the molecular pathogenesis of this cancer is still uncertain. In this study, p16, p53, and pRb proteins were detected and quantified by immunohistochemistry in forty-three FOSCC primary tumors and three FOSCC xenografts. p16 mRNA levels were also measured in three FOSCC cell lines (SCCF1, F2, and F3), which were consistent with their p16 immunoreactivity. Feline SCCF1 cells had very high levels of p16 protein and mRNA (55-fold greater) compared to SCCF2 and F3. A partial feline p16 cDNA sequence was amplified and sequenced. The average age of cats with FOSCC with high p16 immunoreactivity was significantly lower than the average age in the low p16 group. Eighteen of 43 (42%) FOSCCs had low p16 intensity, while 6/43 (14%) had high p16 immunoreactivity. Feline papillomavirus L1 (major capsid) DNA was not detected in the SCC cell lines or the FOSCCs with high p16 immunostaining. Five of 6 (83%) of the high p16 FOSCC had low p53, but only 1/6 (17%) had low pRb immunoreactivity. In summary, the staining pattern of p16, p53, and pRb in FOSCC was different from human head and neck squamous cell carcinoma and feline cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma. The majority of FOSCCs have low p16 immunostaining intensity, therefore, inactivation of CDKN2A is suspected to play a role in the pathogenesis of FOSCC. A subset of FOSCCs had increased p16 protein, which supports an alternate pathogenesis of cancer in these cats. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Cat Mammary Tumors: Genetic Models for the Human Counterpart
Vet. Sci. 2016, 3(3), 17; doi:10.3390/vetsci3030017 -
Abstract
The records are not clear, but Man has been sheltering the cat inside his home for over 12,000 years. The close proximity of this companion animal, however, goes beyond sharing the same roof; it extends to the great similarity found at the [...] Read more.
The records are not clear, but Man has been sheltering the cat inside his home for over 12,000 years. The close proximity of this companion animal, however, goes beyond sharing the same roof; it extends to the great similarity found at the cellular and molecular levels. Researchers have found a striking resemblance between subtypes of feline mammary tumors and their human counterparts that goes from the genes to the pathways involved in cancer initiation and progression. Spontaneous cat mammary pre-invasive intraepithelial lesions (hyperplasias and neoplasias) and malignant lesions seem to share a wide repertoire of molecular features with their human counterparts. In the present review, we tried to compile all the genetics aspects published (i.e., chromosomal alterations, critical cancer genes and their expression) regarding cat mammary tumors, which support the cat as a valuable alternative in vitro cell and animal model (i.e., cat mammary cell lines and the spontaneous tumors, respectively), but also to present a critical point of view of some of the issues that really need to be investigated in future research. Full article
Open AccessReview
Tick-Borne Relapsing Fever Spirochetes in the Americas
Vet. Sci. 2016, 3(3), 16; doi:10.3390/vetsci3030016 -
Abstract
Relapsing fever spirochetes are tick- and louse-borne pathogens that primarily afflict those in impoverished countries. Historically the pathogens have had a significant impact on public health, yet currently they are often overlooked because of the nonspecific display of disease. In this review, [...] Read more.
Relapsing fever spirochetes are tick- and louse-borne pathogens that primarily afflict those in impoverished countries. Historically the pathogens have had a significant impact on public health, yet currently they are often overlooked because of the nonspecific display of disease. In this review, we discuss aspects of relapsing fever (RF) spirochete pathogenesis including the: (1) clinical manifestation of disease; (2) ability to diagnose pathogen exposure; (3) the pathogen’s life cycle in the tick and mammal; and (4) ecological factors contributing to the maintenance of RF spirochetes in nature. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Anaplasma phagocytophilum Manipulates Host Cell Apoptosis by Different Mechanisms to Establish Infection
Vet. Sci. 2016, 3(3), 15; doi:10.3390/vetsci3030015 -
Abstract
Anaplasma phagocytophilum is an emerging zoonotic pathogen that causes human and animal granulocytic anaplasmosis and tick-borne fever of ruminants. This obligate intracellular bacterium evolved to use common strategies to establish infection in both vertebrate hosts and tick vectors. Herein, we discuss the [...] Read more.
Anaplasma phagocytophilum is an emerging zoonotic pathogen that causes human and animal granulocytic anaplasmosis and tick-borne fever of ruminants. This obligate intracellular bacterium evolved to use common strategies to establish infection in both vertebrate hosts and tick vectors. Herein, we discuss the different strategies used by the pathogen to modulate cell apoptosis and establish infection in host cells. In vertebrate neutrophils and human promyelocytic cells HL-60, both pro-apoptotic and anti-apoptotic factors have been reported. Tissue-specific differences in tick response to infection and differential regulation of apoptosis pathways have been observed in adult female midguts and salivary glands in response to infection with A. phagocytophilum. In tick midguts, pathogen inhibits apoptosis through the Janus kinase/signal transducers and activators of transcription (JAK/STAT) pathway, while in salivary glands, the intrinsic apoptosis pathways is inhibited but tick cells respond with the activation of the extrinsic apoptosis pathway. In Ixodes scapularis ISE6 cells, bacterial infection down-regulates mitochondrial porin and manipulates protein processing in the endoplasmic reticulum and cell glucose metabolism to inhibit apoptosis and facilitate infection, whereas in IRE/CTVM20 tick cells, inhibition of apoptosis appears to be regulated by lower caspase levels. These results suggest that A. phagocytophilum uses different mechanisms to inhibit apoptosis for infection of both vertebrate and invertebrate hosts. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Detection of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococci Isolated from Food Producing Animals: A Public Health Implication
Vet. Sci. 2016, 3(3), 14; doi:10.3390/vetsci3030014 -
Abstract
The emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in food animals is a potential public health concern. Staphylococci are a significant opportunistic pathogen both in humans and dairy cattle. In the present study, the genotypic characterization of methicillin-resistant staphylococcal strains recovered from dairy cattle in [...] Read more.
The emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in food animals is a potential public health concern. Staphylococci are a significant opportunistic pathogen both in humans and dairy cattle. In the present study, the genotypic characterization of methicillin-resistant staphylococcal strains recovered from dairy cattle in a rural community (Okada, Edo State, Nigeria) was investigated. A total of 283 samples from cattle (137 milk samples and 146 nasal swabs) were assessed between February and April 2015. Antimicrobial susceptibility was performed by Kirby-Bauer disc diffusion method. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay was employed for the detection of 16S rRNA, mecA and Panton-Valentine Leucocidinis (PVL) genes. The staphylococcal strains were identified through partial 16S ribosomal ribonucleic acids (rRNA) nucleotide sequencing, and Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLAST) analysis of the gene sequence showed that the staphylococcal strains have 96%–100% similarity to Staphylococcus aureus (30), S. epidermidis (17), S. haemolyticus (15), S. saprophyticus (13), S. chromogenes (8), S. simulans (7), S. pseudintermedius (6) and S. xylosus (4). Resistance of 100% was observed in all Staphylococcus spp. against MET, PEN, CLN, CHL and SXT. Multi-drug resistant (MDR) bacteria from nasal cavities and raw milk reveals 13 isolates were MDR against METR, PENR, AMXR, CLNR, CHLR, SXTR CLXR, KANR, ERYR, and VANR. Of all isolates, 100% harboured the mecA gene, while 30% of the isolates possess the PVL gene. All S. aureus harboured the PVL gene while other Staphylococcus spp. were negative for the PVL gene. The presence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus spp. isolates in dairy cattle is a potential public health risk and thus findings in this study can be used as a baseline for further surveillance. Full article
Open AccessCase Report
Gliomatosis Cerebri in the Brain of a Cat
Vet. Sci. 2016, 3(3), 13; doi:10.3390/vetsci3030013 -
Abstract
An eight-year-old, neutered, female, long-haired cat was presented with a three-week history of progressive lethargy, unlocalized pain in the cervical and lumbar spine, and unwillingness to move. An MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) of the brain revealed poorly circumscribed regions of non-contrast-enhancing heterogeneous [...] Read more.
An eight-year-old, neutered, female, long-haired cat was presented with a three-week history of progressive lethargy, unlocalized pain in the cervical and lumbar spine, and unwillingness to move. An MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) of the brain revealed poorly circumscribed regions of non-contrast-enhancing heterogeneous T2 hyperintensity within the ventral forebrain and midbrain. A mass effect and evidence of increased intracranial pressure, including transtentorial herniation of the midbrain and herniation of the cerebellar vermis through the foramen magnum, were also observed. Due to progressive clinical decline and MRI results, the cat was humanely euthanized. Gross examination of the brain confirmed caudal transtentorial and foramen magnum herniation. The ventral aspect of the forebrain, midbrain, and brainstem were soft and had loss of detail, but lacked a grossly discernible mass. Histopathological examination found a poorly delineated neoplastic mass composed of hyperchromatic cells with indistinct cytoplasm, ovoid to elongate or curved nuclei, and indistinct nucleoli. The cells lacked immunoreactivity for Olig2, GFAP, Iba1, CD3, and Pax5. Based on the cellular morphology, immunolabeling characteristics, and anatomical location, a diagnosis of gliomatosis cerebri was made. Although uncommon, gliomatosis cerebri should be considered as a differential diagnosis in cats with central nervous system disease. Full article
Open AccessReview
Travelling between Two Worlds: Complement as a Gatekeeper for an Expanded Host Range of Lyme Disease Spirochetes
Vet. Sci. 2016, 3(2), 12; doi:10.3390/vetsci3020012 -
Abstract
Evading innate immunity is a prerequisite for pathogenic microorganisms in order to survive in their respective hosts. Concerning Lyme disease spirochetes belonging to the Borrelia (B.) burgdorferi sensu lato group, a broad range of diverse vertebrates serve as reservoir or [...] Read more.
Evading innate immunity is a prerequisite for pathogenic microorganisms in order to survive in their respective hosts. Concerning Lyme disease spirochetes belonging to the Borrelia (B.) burgdorferi sensu lato group, a broad range of diverse vertebrates serve as reservoir or even as incidental hosts, including humans. The capability to infect multiple hosts implies that spirochetes have developed sophisticated means to counter the destructive effects of complement of humans and various animals. While the means by which spirochetes overcome the hosts immune defense are far from being completely understood, there is a growing body of evidence suggesting that binding of the key regulator of the alternative pathway, Factor H, plays a pivotal role for immune evasion and that Factor H is an important determinant of host specificity. This review covers (i) the contribution of complement in host-specificity and transmissibility of Lyme disease spirochetes; (ii) the involvement of borrelial-derived determinants to host specificity; (iii) the interplay of human and animal Factor H with complement-acquiring surface proteins of diverse borrelial species; and (iv) the potential role of additional animal complement proteins in the immune evasion of spirochetes. Full article
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Open AccessReview
The Comparative Diagnostic Features of Canine and Human Lymphoma
Vet. Sci. 2016, 3(2), 11; doi:10.3390/vetsci3020011 -
Abstract
The non-Hodgkin lymphomas (NHLs) are a heterogeneous family of lymphoid malignancies that are among the most common neoplasms of both dogs and humans. Owing to shared molecular, signaling, incidence, and pathologic features, there is a strong framework supporting the utilization of canine [...] Read more.
The non-Hodgkin lymphomas (NHLs) are a heterogeneous family of lymphoid malignancies that are among the most common neoplasms of both dogs and humans. Owing to shared molecular, signaling, incidence, and pathologic features, there is a strong framework supporting the utilization of canine lymphoma as a comparative, large animal model of human NHL. In alignment with the biologic similarities, the current approach towards the diagnosis and classification of canine lymphoma is based upon the human World Health Organization guidelines. While this approach has contributed to an increasing appreciation of the potential biological scope of canine lymphoma, it has also become apparent that the most appropriate diagnostic philosophy must be multimodal, namely by requiring knowledge of microscopic, immunophenotypic, and clinical features before establishing a final disease diagnosis. This review seeks to illustrate the comparative similarities and differences in the diagnosis of canine lymphoma through the presentation of the microscopic and immunophenotypic features of its most common forms. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Sequence Instability in the Proviral Long Terminal Repeat and gag Regions from Peripheral Blood and Tissue-Derived Leukocytes of FIV-Infected Cats during the Late Asymptomatic Phase
Vet. Sci. 2016, 3(2), 10; doi:10.3390/vetsci3020010 -
Abstract
Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) infection results in viral persistence, a prolonged asymptomatic phase, and progressive immunopathology. During the asymptomatic phase, a cohort of experimentally FIV-infected cats exhibits features of viral latency in blood suggestive of inactive viral replication. We sought to investigate [...] Read more.
Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) infection results in viral persistence, a prolonged asymptomatic phase, and progressive immunopathology. During the asymptomatic phase, a cohort of experimentally FIV-infected cats exhibits features of viral latency in blood suggestive of inactive viral replication. We sought to investigate viral replication activity and genomic stability of the FIV proviral long terminal repeat (LTR) and the 5′ aspect of gag over time. FIV-infected cats during the asymptomatic phase demonstrated undetectable plasma FIV gag RNA transcripts and intermittent to undetectable blood-derived cell-associated FIV gag RNA. The LTR sequence demonstrated instability in blood-derived cells over time, in spite of low to undetectable viral replication. Sequence variation in the LTR was identified in CD4+ and CD21+ leukocytes from blood and surgically removed lymph nodes. Three single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the LTR were commonly identified. Promoter functionality of a common LTR SNP and rare U3 mutation were examined by reporter gene assays and demonstrated either no change or increased basal FIV promoter function, respectively. In conclusion, this cohort of asymptomatic FIV-infected cats demonstrated instability of the LTR and 5’ gag sequences during the study period, in spite of undetectable plasma and rare to undetectable viral gag RNA, which suggests that blood may not accurately represent viral activity in asymptomatic FIV-infected cats. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Establishment and Characterization of New Canine and Feline Osteosarcoma Primary Cell Lines
Vet. Sci. 2016, 3(2), 9; doi:10.3390/vetsci3020009 -
Abstract
Osteosarcomas are the most abundant form of bone malignancies in multiple species. Canine osteosarcomas are considered a valuable model for human osteosarcomas because of their similar features. Feline osteosarcomas, on the other hand, are rarely studied but have interesting characteristics, such as [...] Read more.
Osteosarcomas are the most abundant form of bone malignancies in multiple species. Canine osteosarcomas are considered a valuable model for human osteosarcomas because of their similar features. Feline osteosarcomas, on the other hand, are rarely studied but have interesting characteristics, such as a better survival prognosis than dogs or humans, and less likelihood of metastasis. To enable experimental approaches to study these differences we have established five new canine osteosarcoma cell lines out of three tumors, COS_1186h, COS_1186w, COS_1189, and COS_1220, one osteosarcoma-derived lung metastasis, COS_1033, and two new feline osteosarcoma cell lines, FOS_1077 and FOS_1140. Their osteogenic and neoplastic origin, as well as their potential to produce calcified structures, was determined by the markers osteocalcin, osteonectin, tissue unspecific alkaline phosphatase, p53, cytokeratin, vimentin, and alizarin red. The newly developed cell lines retained most of their markers in vitro but only spontaneously formed spheroids produced by COS_1189 showed calcification in vitro. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Sentinel Animals in a One Health Approach to Harmful Cyanobacterial and Algal Blooms
Vet. Sci. 2016, 3(2), 8; doi:10.3390/vetsci3020008 -
Abstract
People, domestic animals, and wildlife are all exposed to numerous environmental threats, including harmful algal blooms (HABs). However, because animals exhibit wide variations in diet, land use and biology, they are often more frequently or heavily exposed to HAB toxins than are [...] Read more.
People, domestic animals, and wildlife are all exposed to numerous environmental threats, including harmful algal blooms (HABs). However, because animals exhibit wide variations in diet, land use and biology, they are often more frequently or heavily exposed to HAB toxins than are people occupying the same habitat, making them sentinels for human exposures. Historically, we have taken advantage of unique physiological characteristics of animals, such as the sensitivity of canaries to carbon monoxide, to more quickly recognize threats and help protect human health. As HAB events become more severe and widespread worldwide, exposure and health outcome data for animals can be extremely helpful to predict, prevent, and evaluate human exposures and health outcomes. Applying a One Health approach to investigation of HABs means that lessons learned from animal sentinels can be applied to protect people, animals and our shared environment. Full article
Open AccessReview
Comparative Aspects of Canine Melanoma
Vet. Sci. 2016, 3(1), 7; doi:10.3390/vetsci3010007 -
Abstract
Melanomas are malignant neoplasms originating from melanocytes. They occur in most animal species, but the dog is considered the best animal model for the disease. Melanomas in dogs are most frequently found in the buccal cavity, but the skin, eyes, and digits [...] Read more.
Melanomas are malignant neoplasms originating from melanocytes. They occur in most animal species, but the dog is considered the best animal model for the disease. Melanomas in dogs are most frequently found in the buccal cavity, but the skin, eyes, and digits are other common locations for these neoplasms. The aim of this review is to report etiological, epidemiological, pathological, and molecular aspects of melanomas in dogs. Furthermore, the particular biological behaviors of these tumors in the different body locations are shown. Insights into the therapeutic approaches are described. Surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, immunotherapy, and the outcomes after these treatments are presented. New therapeutic perspectives are also depicted. All efforts are geared toward better characterization and control of malignant melanomas in dogs, for the benefit of these companion animals, and also in an attempt to benefit the treatment of human melanomas. Full article