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 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.
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 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.
Abstract: This study addresses the tradeoff between Vietnam’s national poultry vaccination program, which implemented an annual two-round HPAI H5N1 vaccination program for the entire geographical area of the Red River Delta during the period from 2005–2010, and an alternative vaccination program which would involve vaccination for every production cycle at the recommended poultry age in high risk areas within the Delta. The ex ante analysis framework was applied to identify the location of areas with high probability of HPAI H5N1 occurrence for the alternative vaccination program by using boosted regression trees (BRT) models, followed by weighted overlay operations. Cost-effectiveness of the vaccination programs was then estimated to measure the tradeoff between the past national poultry vaccination program and the alternative vaccination program. Ex ante analysis showed that the focus areas for the alternative vaccination program included 1137 communes, corresponding to 50.6% of total communes in the Delta, and located primarily in the coastal areas to the east and south of Hanoi. The cost-effectiveness analysis suggested that the alternative vaccination program would have been more successful in reducing the rate of disease occurrence and the total cost of vaccinations, as compared to the national poultry vaccination program.
Abstract: Conventional cytotoxic chemotherapy involving DNA-interacting agents and indiscriminate cell death is no longer the future of cancer management. While chemotherapy is not likely to completely disappear from the armamentarium; the use of targeted therapies in combination with conventional treatment is becoming the standard of care in human medicine. Tyrosine kinases are pivotal points of functional cellular pathways and have been implicated in malignancy, inflammatory, and immune-mediated diseases. Pharmaceutical interventions targeting aberrant tyrosine kinase signaling has exploded and is the second most important area of drug development. The “Valley of Death” between drug discovery and approval threatens to blunt the enormous strides in cancer management seen thus far. Kinase inhibitors, as targeted small molecules, hold promise in the treatment and diagnosis of cancer. However, there are still many unanswered questions regarding the use of kinase inhibitors in the interpretation and management of cancer. Comparative oncology has the potential to address restrictions and limitations in the advancement in kinase inhibitor therapy.
Abstract: Osteosarcoma is an aggressive primary bone tumor in humans and is among the most common cancer afflicting dogs. Despite surgical advancements and intensification of chemo- and targeted therapies, the survival outcome for osteosarcoma patients is, as of yet, suboptimal. The presence of metastatic disease at diagnosis or its recurrence after initial therapy is a major factor for the poor outcomes. It is thought that most human and canine patients have at least microscopic metastatic lesions at diagnosis. Osteosarcoma in dogs occurs naturally with greater frequency and shares many biological and clinical similarities with osteosarcoma in humans. From a genetic perspective, osteosarcoma in both humans and dogs is characterized by complex karyotypes with highly variable structural and numerical chromosomal aberrations. Similar molecular abnormalities have been observed in human and canine osteosarcoma. For instance, loss of TP53 and RB regulated pathways are common. While there are several oncogenes that are commonly amplified in both humans and dogs, such as MYC and RAS, no commonly activated proto-oncogene has been identified that could form the basis for targeted therapies. It remains possible that recurrent aberrant gene expression changes due to gene amplification or epigenetic alterations could be uncovered and these could be used for developing new, targeted therapies. However, the remarkably high genomic complexity of osteosarcoma has precluded their definitive identification. Several advantageous murine models of osteosarcoma have been generated. These include spontaneous and genetically engineered mouse models, including a model based on forward genetics and transposon mutagenesis allowing new genes and genetic pathways to be implicated in osteosarcoma development. The proposition of this review is that careful comparative genomic studies between human, canine and mouse models of osteosarcoma may help identify commonly affected and targetable pathways for alternative therapies for osteosarcoma patients. Translational research may be found through a path that begins in mouse models, and then moves through canine patients, and then human patients.