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Animals, Volume 10, Issue 4 (April 2020) – 206 articles

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Human presence and handling affect the behavior and physiology of other animals, typically causing [...] Read more.
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Open AccessReview
Natural Preservatives from Plant in Cheese Making
Animals 2020, 10(4), 749; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10040749 - 24 Apr 2020
Viewed by 441
Abstract
Today, consumers are increasingly demanding safety alternatives concerning the use of synthetic additives in the food industry, as well as healthy food. As a result, a major number of plant-derived preservatives have been tested in the food industry. These natural ingredients have antioxidant [...] Read more.
Today, consumers are increasingly demanding safety alternatives concerning the use of synthetic additives in the food industry, as well as healthy food. As a result, a major number of plant-derived preservatives have been tested in the food industry. These natural ingredients have antioxidant properties and have shown to increase the bioactive molecules levels and the microbiological stability of the food items. The effect of the plant-based preservatives on the sensorial properties of the new products has also to be considered, because natural preservatives could result in sensorial characteristics that may not be accepted by the consumers. Cheese is a dairy product widely appreciated all over the world, but it is also susceptible to contamination by pathogenic and spoilage microorganisms; therefore, the use of preservatives in cheese making represents an important step. This review deals with one of the innovation in the cheese sector, which is the addition of natural preservatives. Several aspects are discussed, such as the effect of natural ingredients on the microbial stability of cheese, and their influence on the chemical, nutritional and sensorial characteristics of the cheeses. Although the promising results, further studies are needed to confirm the use of natural preservatives from plants in cheese making. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bovine and Non-bovine Milk Quality)
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Open AccessArticle
The Prevalence of Endoparasites of Free Ranging Cats (Felis catus) from Urban Habitats in Southern Poland
Animals 2020, 10(4), 748; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10040748 - 24 Apr 2020
Viewed by 735
Abstract
Growing urbanization leads to an increased risk of parasite spread in densely inhabited areas. Free-ranging cats can be locally numerous and come into frequent contact with both wildlife and humans. Cats are thus expected to contribute to parasitic disease transmission. In our study, [...] Read more.
Growing urbanization leads to an increased risk of parasite spread in densely inhabited areas. Free-ranging cats can be locally numerous and come into frequent contact with both wildlife and humans. Cats are thus expected to contribute to parasitic disease transmission. In our study, we investigated the prevalence of endoparasites in free ranging cats in urban areas of Kraków city, based on necropsy of road-killed cats in relation to sex and diet of cat, season and habitat type. We found that 62% of 81 cats were infected with endoparasites with Toxocara cati being the most prevalent. In total, we identified seven parasite species. The number of parasite species was higher in suburban habitats and aside from Eucoleus aerophilus the prevalence of all parasites was higher in cats from suburban areas than in the individuals living in the city urban core. The prey of examined cats included mostly rodents, followed by soricomorphs and birds, which can all serve as paratenic hosts. Based on our results, we suggest that cats in urban areas should be considered as a serious potential zoonotic threat. Implementation of proper veterinary control and wider education on the topic is recommended. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Anthropogenic Impacts on Urban Mammals)
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Open AccessArticle
A Data-Driven Prediction Method for an Early Warning of Coccidiosis in Intensive Livestock Systems: A Preliminary Study
Animals 2020, 10(4), 747; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10040747 - 24 Apr 2020
Viewed by 339
Abstract
Coccidiosis is still one of the major parasitic infections in poultry. It is caused by protozoa of the genus Eimeria, which cause concrete economic losses due to malabsorption, bad feed conversion rate, reduced weight gain, and increased mortality. The greatest damage is [...] Read more.
Coccidiosis is still one of the major parasitic infections in poultry. It is caused by protozoa of the genus Eimeria, which cause concrete economic losses due to malabsorption, bad feed conversion rate, reduced weight gain, and increased mortality. The greatest damage is registered in commercial poultry farms because birds are reared together in large numbers and high densities. Unfortunately, these enteric pathologies are not preventable, and their diagnosis is only available when the disease is full-blown. For these reasons, the preventive use of anticoccidials—some of these with antimicrobial action—is a common practice in intensive farming, and this type of management leads to the release of drugs in the environment which contributes to the phenomenon of antibiotic resistance. Due to the high relevance of this issue, the early detection of any health problem is of great importance to improve animal welfare in intensive farming. Three prototypes, previously calibrated and adjusted, were developed and tested in three different experimental poultry farms in order to evaluate whether the system was able to identify the coccidia infection in intensive poultry farms early. For this purpose, a data-driven machine learning algorithm was built, and specific critical values of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were found to be associated with abnormal levels of oocystis count at an early stage of the disease. This result supports the feasibility of building an automatic data-driven machine learning algorithm for an early warning of coccidiosis. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Influence of Housing Systems on Physical, Emotional, and Cognitive Functions with Aging in DBA/2CrSlc Mice
Animals 2020, 10(4), 746; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10040746 - 24 Apr 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 411
Abstract
Environmental conditions, including enrichment and stress, affect animal behaviors, but limited information is available regarding the differences in animal functions between the chamber (ventilated system) vs. IVC (individually ventilated cages) housing systems. Therefore, the effects of different housing systems were examined on physical, [...] Read more.
Environmental conditions, including enrichment and stress, affect animal behaviors, but limited information is available regarding the differences in animal functions between the chamber (ventilated system) vs. IVC (individually ventilated cages) housing systems. Therefore, the effects of different housing systems were examined on physical, emotional, and cognitive functions and the intestinal flora with aging. DBA/2CrSlc mice were divided into chamber and IVC groups. Differences in the structure of the two cages considered whether the mouse could dangle or not. Physical, emotional, and cognitive functions were examined using the open field, black and white box, object recognition, horizontal bar, wire hanging, balancing, footprint, and locomotor tests. The IVC group demonstrated significantly less food intake, higher body weight (by approximately 5 g), lower rectal core temperature, less muscle and balancing powers with aging, and fewer anxiety-like behaviors than the chamber group. No differences were observed in the cognitive function and intestinal microbiota between the groups. The housing environment affected the rodent basal temperature and body weight as well as the physical and emotional functions. Scientists should be attentive to the type of cages used in the housing system for an experiment, especially when comparing the results with animals reared in different systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Laboratory Animals)
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Open AccessArticle
A Detailed Study of Rainbow Trout (Onchorhynchus mykiss) Intestine Revealed That Digestive and Absorptive Functions Are Not Linearly Distributed along Its Length
Animals 2020, 10(4), 745; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10040745 - 24 Apr 2020
Viewed by 378
Abstract
To increase the sustainability of trout farming, the industry requires alternatives to fish-based meals that do not compromise animal health and growth performances. To develop new feeds, detailed knowledge of intestinal morphology and physiology is required. We performed histological, histochemical, immunohistochemical and morphometric [...] Read more.
To increase the sustainability of trout farming, the industry requires alternatives to fish-based meals that do not compromise animal health and growth performances. To develop new feeds, detailed knowledge of intestinal morphology and physiology is required. We performed histological, histochemical, immunohistochemical and morphometric analysis at typical time points of in vivo feeding trials (50, 150 and 500 g). Only minor changes occurred during growth whereas differences characterized two compartments, not linearly distributed along the intestine. The first included the pyloric caeca, the basal part of the complex folds and the villi of the distal intestine. This was characterized by a significantly smaller number of goblet cells with smaller mucus vacuoles, higher proliferation and higher apoptotic rate but a smaller extension of fully differentiated epithelial cells and by the presence of numerous pinocytotic vacuolization. The second compartment was formed by the proximal intestine and the apical part of the posterior intestine complex folds. Here we observed more abundant goblet cells with bigger vacuoles, low proliferation rate, few round apoptotic cells, a more extended area of fully differentiated cells and no pinocytotic vacuoles. Our results suggest that rainbow trout intestine is physiologically arranged to mingle digestive and absorptive functions along its length. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immunohistochemical and Physiological Research on Farm Animals)
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Open AccessArticle
Pathotypes and Antimicrobial Susceptibility of Escherichia Coli Isolated from Wild Boar (Sus scrofa) in Tuscany
Animals 2020, 10(4), 744; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10040744 - 24 Apr 2020
Viewed by 303
Abstract
Wild boar are among the most widespread wild mammals in Europe. Although this species can act as a reservoir for different pathogens, data about its role as a carrier of pathogenic and antimicrobial-resistant Escherichia coli are still scarce. The aim of this study [...] Read more.
Wild boar are among the most widespread wild mammals in Europe. Although this species can act as a reservoir for different pathogens, data about its role as a carrier of pathogenic and antimicrobial-resistant Escherichia coli are still scarce. The aim of this study was to evaluate the occurrence of antimicrobial-resistant and pathogenic Escherichia coli in wild boar in the Tuscany region of Italy. During the hunting season of 2018–2019, E. coli was isolated from 175 of 200 animals and subjected to antimicrobial resistance tests and PCR for detection of resistance and virulence factor genes. The highest resistance rates were against cephalothin (94.3%), amoxicillin–clavulanic acid (87.4%), ampicillin (68.6%), and tetracycline (44.6%). The most detected resistance genes were blaCMY-2 (54.3%), sul1 (38.9%), sul2 (30.9%), and tetG (24.6%). Concerning genes encoding virulence factors, 55 of 175 isolates (31.4%) were negative for all tested genes. The most detected genes were hlyA (47.4%), astA (29.1%), stx2 (24.6%), eaeA (17.1%), and stx1 (11.4%). E. coli was classified as Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) (21.7%), enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) (6.3%), enteroaggregative E. coli (EAEC) (5.1%), and atypical enteropathogenic E. coli (aEPEC) (3.4%). Enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC), enteroinvasive E. coli (EIEC), and typical enteropathogenic E. coli (tEPEC) were not detected. Our results show that wild boars could carry pathogenic and antimicrobial-resistant E. coli, representing a possible reservoir of domestic animal and human pathogens. Full article
Open AccessArticle
The Effect of Behind-The-Scenes Encounters and Interactive Presentations on the Welfare of Captive Servals (Leptailurus serval)
Animals 2020, 10(4), 743; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10040743 - 24 Apr 2020
Viewed by 478
Abstract
The serval (Leptailurus serval) is a small African felid that is well represented in zoos and often serves as an animal ambassador in encounter programs with zoo visitors. The impact on serval welfare in relation to such programs has not been [...] Read more.
The serval (Leptailurus serval) is a small African felid that is well represented in zoos and often serves as an animal ambassador in encounter programs with zoo visitors. The impact on serval welfare in relation to such programs has not been investigated to date, and the aim of this study was to assess short-term welfare effects of varying levels of visitor interaction in two captive servals. Weekly blocks of four different treatments were imposed three times on each animal over 12 weeks, and the treatments involved (1) Presentations (serval undertaking a routine training session in a designated presentation space, typically attracting high visitor numbers), (2) Behind-the-scenes (BTS, a close encounter allowing a small group of visitors to interact closely with the cat in its enclosure), (3) Presentations and BTS combined, and (4) No visitor interaction. Serval activity budgets as well as behavioural diversity were created from behaviours observed from Close Circuit Television (CCTV) footage during four daily recording sessions per animal over three consecutive days per treatment, using instantaneous scan sampling every 60 s. Individual faecal samples were collected daily to monitor changes in faecal glucocorticoid metabolite (FGM) concentration. Results indicate that the mean number of scans with stereotypic pacing was significantly reduced (p = 0.01) during Treatments 1 and 3, when cats participated in presentations only, or the two activities combined. Conversely, a significant reduction in behavioural diversity (p < 0.001) was observed when cats participated in Treatment 3, i.e., cats expressed fewer behaviours when interaction with visitors was more frequent. FGM concentrations did not vary significantly with treatment (p > 0.05). Given the reduction in stereotypic pacing, these findings suggest that involvement in an encounter program appears to exert an overall positive short-term welfare effect on the individual servals in this study. Although a reduction in behavioural diversity was not considered a negative welfare effect in the short term, potential long-term negative welfare effects resulting from a more frequent encounter program could not be ruled out in the present study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Zoo Animals)
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Open AccessArticle
Antimicrobial Resistance and Virulence Properties of Campylobacter Spp. Originating from Domestic Geese in Poland
Animals 2020, 10(4), 742; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10040742 - 24 Apr 2020
Viewed by 273
Abstract
A total of 240 samples were evaluated for the presence of Campylobacter spp. Campylobacter was found in 83.3% of the cecum contents samples and 52.5% of the neck skin samples from carcasses. The prevailing species was C. jejuni, accounting for 87.7% of [...] Read more.
A total of 240 samples were evaluated for the presence of Campylobacter spp. Campylobacter was found in 83.3% of the cecum contents samples and 52.5% of the neck skin samples from carcasses. The prevailing species was C. jejuni, accounting for 87.7% of all Campylobacter isolates, and the remaining 12.3% of isolates were C. coli. All Campylobacter isolates, independent of the sample origin and species, were positive for 6 out of 15 tested genes (flaA, flhA, cadF, racR, ciaB, and cdtA genes). The prevalence of dnaJ, docA, pldA, cdtB, cdtC, and iam genes was also very common (ranging from 86.5% to 98.8%). The lowest prevalence was noted for virB11 and wlaN genes, both in Campylobacter isolates from cecum (12% and 19%) and carcasses (11.1% and 17.5%). None of the isolates tested, regardless of the sample origin, carried the cgtB gene. The highest resistance rates were observed for quinolones (90.8%) and tetracyclines (79.8%). Simultaneously, only single Campylobacter isolate was resistant to macrolides (0.6%) and none of the isolates showed resistance to aminoglycosides and amphenicols. The common presence of Campylobacter on geese carcasses as well as the detection of multidrug-resistant isolates indicate that consuming goose meat might cause a potential risk, therefore leading to human campylobacteriosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antimicrobial Resistance in Poultry Production)
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Open AccessArticle
Changes in Serum and Salivary Proteins in Canine Mammary Tumors
Animals 2020, 10(4), 741; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10040741 - 24 Apr 2020
Viewed by 474
Abstract
The aim of this study was to evaluate changes in serum and saliva proteomes in canine mammary tumors (CMT) using a high-throughput quantitative proteomic analysis in order to potentially discover possible biomarkers of this disease. Proteomes of paired serum and saliva samples from [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to evaluate changes in serum and saliva proteomes in canine mammary tumors (CMT) using a high-throughput quantitative proteomic analysis in order to potentially discover possible biomarkers of this disease. Proteomes of paired serum and saliva samples from healthy controls (HC group, n = 5) and bitches with CMT (CMT group, n = 5) were analysed using a Tandem Mass Tags-based approach. Twenty-five dogs were used to validate serum albumin as a candidate biomarker in an independent sample set. The proteomic analysis quantified 379 and 730 proteins in serum and saliva, respectively. Of those, 35 proteins in serum and 49 in saliva were differentially represented. The verification of albumin in serum was in concordance with the proteomic data, showing lower levels in CMT when compared to the HC group. Some of the modulated proteins found in the present study such as haptoglobin or S100A4 have been related to CMT or human breast cancer previously, while others such as kallikrein-1 and immunoglobulin gamma-heavy chains A and D are described here for the first time. Our results indicate that saliva and serum proteomes can reflect physiopathological changes that occur in CMT in dogs and can be a potential source of biomarkers of the disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomarkers in Animal Health and Disease)
Open AccessArticle
Reproductive Traits of an Invasive Alien Population of Grey Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) in Central Italy
Animals 2020, 10(4), 738; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10040738 - 24 Apr 2020
Viewed by 411
Abstract
The reproductive cycle of an invasive alien Italian grey squirrel population was studied to understand its adaptation and limit its spread, in order to conserve the autochthonous red squirrel. Female and male genital traits were evaluated throughout the reproductive cycle, including the ovary, [...] Read more.
The reproductive cycle of an invasive alien Italian grey squirrel population was studied to understand its adaptation and limit its spread, in order to conserve the autochthonous red squirrel. Female and male genital traits were evaluated throughout the reproductive cycle, including the ovary, uterus, testicle, epididymis, seminiferous tubule morphometry, and germinative epithelium histology. Moreover, individual female fecundity was determined by counting uterine scars. Ovary width and uterus weight, length, and width reached their highest values in the luteal and pregnancy phases. On conducting a histological evaluation of the testicular germinal epithelium, four morphotypes related to the different reproductive phases of the male squirrels were identified: immature, pubertal, spermatogenesis, and regressive. Testicle and epididymis weights and seminiferous tubule diameters reached their largest values during spermatogenesis. Uterine scar analysis showed that 69% of the females had given birth to one or two litters, while 31% had no uterine scars. Litters were larger in the first breeding period than in the second; annual fecundity was 4.52 ± 1.88 uterine scars/female. Umbrian grey squirrels have adapted to their non-native range, showing two annual mating periods at times similar to those in their native range, and high reproductive success. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Squirrel Behavior, Welfare and Habitat)
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Open AccessArticle
Expression of DAZL Gene in Selected Tissues and Association of Its Polymorphisms with Testicular Size in Hu Sheep
Animals 2020, 10(4), 740; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10040740 - 23 Apr 2020
Viewed by 393
Abstract
The deleted in azoospermia-like (DAZL) gene encoding an RNA binding protein is pivotal in gametogenesis in lots of species and also acts as a pre-meiosis marker. The current study was conducted to detect expression profiles and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of [...] Read more.
The deleted in azoospermia-like (DAZL) gene encoding an RNA binding protein is pivotal in gametogenesis in lots of species and also acts as a pre-meiosis marker. The current study was conducted to detect expression profiles and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of DAZL in sheep using qPCR, DNA-pooled sequencing, improved multiplex ligase detection reaction (iMLDR®) and restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) methods. The results confirmed that ovine DAZL showed the highest expression level at six-months of age across five developmental stage. At six-month stage, DAZL expressed primarily in testis across seven tissues analyzed. The abundance of DAZL in the large-testis group is higher than that in the small-testis group although it is not significant. In addition, six SNPs (SNP1-SNP6) were identified in DAZL. Of those, SNP1 (p < 0.05) and SNP6 (p < 0.01) were significantly correlated with the variation coefficient between left and right epididymis weight (VCTW). The current study implies DAZL may play important roles in testicular development and its SNPs are associated with testicular parameters, which supply important indicators for ram selection at early stage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Small Ruminants)
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Open AccessArticle
Association Between BMP2 Functional Polymorphisms and Sheep Tail Type
Animals 2020, 10(4), 739; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10040739 - 23 Apr 2020
Viewed by 304
Abstract
Bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP2) is strongly selected in both fat-tailed and thin-tailed sheep and may be a candidate gene for sheep tail type selection. However, the mechanism of action of BMP2 in sheep tail fat deposition remains unclear. This study [...] Read more.
Bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP2) is strongly selected in both fat-tailed and thin-tailed sheep and may be a candidate gene for sheep tail type selection. However, the mechanism of action of BMP2 in sheep tail fat deposition remains unclear. This study investigated genetic variation and haplotype combinations of the BMP2 gene in sheep with different tail types, aiming to reveal the molecular mechanism of BMP2 in sheep tail fat deposition. We detected a total of three single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (g.48401619 T > A, g.48401272 C > A, and g.48401136 C > T) among 533 sheep. The alleles and genotype frequencies of these SNPs were in Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium and showed significant correlations with tail length. Linkage disequilibrium existed between the g.48401272 C > A and g.48401136 C > T sites, where CACT was the predominant genotype. At the cellular level, the expression levels of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) and lipoprotein lipase (LPL) were upregulated after BMP2 overexpression; there were significantly higher levels of PPARγ than controls at 0 d and 1 d, and of LPL than controls at 1 d and 7 d. These results indicate that the BMP2 gene may participate in sheep tail fat deposition and could be used for molecular-marker-assisted selection of sheep tail type. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Small Ruminants)
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Open AccessReview
Commonalities in Management and Husbandry Factors Important for Health and Welfare of Captive Elephants in North America and Thailand
Animals 2020, 10(4), 737; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10040737 - 23 Apr 2020
Viewed by 474
Abstract
This review paper is a synthesis of results from multiple studies that we have conducted over the past several years using similar methodologies to identify factors related to welfare of captive populations of elephants in North American zoos and Thailand tourist camps. Using [...] Read more.
This review paper is a synthesis of results from multiple studies that we have conducted over the past several years using similar methodologies to identify factors related to welfare of captive populations of elephants in North American zoos and Thailand tourist camps. Using multiple conservation physiology tools, we found that, despite vastly disparate management systems, there are commonalities in how environmental and husbandry factors affect physical and physiological outcomes. Elephants appear to have better welfare, based on fecal glucocorticoid metabolite (FGM) analyses, when housed under conditions that provide a more enriched, stimulating, and less restrictive environment. We also found it is essential to balance diet and exercise for good body condition and metabolic function. In Thailand, use of tools to control elephants, such as the ankus (i.e., guide, hook) and chains, did not equate to poor welfare per se, nor did riding; however, improper uses were associated with higher wound scores and FGM concentrations. Foot health was good overall in both regions, with cracks being the most common problem, and better foot scores were found in elephants kept on softer substrates. Based on these findings, science-based guidelines are being developed in Thailand, while in North America, changes are being incorporated into elephant standards and husbandry resource guides. Management across venues can be improved by encouraging elephant exploration and exercise, establishing socially compatibility groups, ensuring proper use of tools, and providing balanced diets. We contend there is no “one-size-fits-all” management strategy to guarantee good welfare for elephants, but there are essential needs that must be met regardless of where or how they are managed. Future studies are needed to find ways to better socialize elephants; determine how temperament affects coping styles and resilience; study the importance of good handler-elephant relationships; identify more ways for elephants to engage with the environment; and assess the effect of life history on subsequent physiological and psychological well-being. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Captive Elephant Welfare and Behaviour)
Open AccessArticle
Wolf Media Coverage in the Region of Castilla y León (Spain): Variations over Time and in Two Contrasting Socio-Ecological Settings
Animals 2020, 10(4), 736; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10040736 - 23 Apr 2020
Viewed by 419
Abstract
People’s attitudes towards large carnivores, and thus public support for their conservation, can be influenced by how these species are framed in the media. Therefore, assessing media coverage of large carnivores is of particular interest for their coexistence with humans. I used content [...] Read more.
People’s attitudes towards large carnivores, and thus public support for their conservation, can be influenced by how these species are framed in the media. Therefore, assessing media coverage of large carnivores is of particular interest for their coexistence with humans. I used content analysis to assess how the grey wolf was portrayed in a newspaper in northern Spain, how wolf media coverage varied over time (2006–2017), and in two different socio-ecological settings. Most documents addressed the conflictive relationship between the wolf and livestock (60%; n = 902). Moreover, coverage of this relationship increased over the study period in the south of the study area, where the wolf is strictly protected, has recolonised new localities, and damage to livestock has increased. Overall, other topics, such as wolf conservation or hunting, appeared much less frequently in the media, but predominated in the north of the study area, where the wolf is more abundant and huntable. Conflictive issues like wolf-livestock interactions are generally attractive for audiences, but drawing attention to this issue may compromise the management of conflicts associated with wolves. Ideally, the media should promote potential wolf conservation values if coexistence between wolves and humans is sought. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Wildlife)
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Open AccessArticle
Quality of Eggs, Concentration of Lysozyme in Albumen, and Fatty Acids in Yolk in Relation to Blue Lupin-Rich Diet and Production Cycle
Animals 2020, 10(4), 735; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10040735 - 23 Apr 2020
Viewed by 297
Abstract
In recent years, the interest in lupin seeds as a source of protein in poultry nutrition has increased. The aim of this study was to assess the quality of table eggs produced by hens that were fed diets containing pea seeds and various [...] Read more.
In recent years, the interest in lupin seeds as a source of protein in poultry nutrition has increased. The aim of this study was to assess the quality of table eggs produced by hens that were fed diets containing pea seeds and various levels of narrow-leafed lupin as a substitute for soybean meal. The share of lupin seeds in the treatment groups was 10%, 15%, 20% and 25%. Egg morphology, the fatty acid profile in egg yolk and the amount and activity of lysozyme in egg white were analysed. Results show that using 10–20% lupin seeds in feed in the diet of laying hens in intensive farming does not result in a change in weight or egg structure, their physical properties or their morphological composition. Increasing the share of lupin seeds in feed for laying hens increases the saturation of the colour of egg yolks, which is a desirable feature among consumers. The use of lupin seeds in feed for laying hens does not adversely affect the chemical properties of egg proteins, as expressed by the amount and activity of lysozyme. In feed for laying hens, replacing soybean meal with lupin seeds has a positive effect on the fatty acid profile in egg yolk (omega-3 and -6 polyunsaturated acids and hypocholesterolemic acids). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green Feeds and Byproducts)
Open AccessArticle
Increase in Milk Yield from Cows through Improvement of Forage Production Using the N2-Fixing Legume Leucaena leucocephala in a Silvopastoral System
Animals 2020, 10(4), 734; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10040734 - 23 Apr 2020
Viewed by 411
Abstract
The objective was to evaluate milk production, N2-fixation and N transfer, forage yield and composition (under two cutting intervals) in a silvopastoral system (SPS) with Leucaena leucocephala-Megathyrsus maximus and M. maximus-monoculture (MMM) with crossbred cows in a completely randomized design. [...] Read more.
The objective was to evaluate milk production, N2-fixation and N transfer, forage yield and composition (under two cutting intervals) in a silvopastoral system (SPS) with Leucaena leucocephala-Megathyrsus maximus and M. maximus-monoculture (MMM) with crossbred cows in a completely randomized design. Forage yield in the SPS was 6490 and 6907 kg DM ha−1 for cutting intervals (CI) of 35 and 50 days. Forage yield for the MMM was 7284 and 10,843 kg DM ha−1, and forage crude protein (CP) was 29.0% and 26.1% for L. leucocephala, harvested at 35 and 50 days, respectively. CP for the associated M. maximus was 9.9% and 7.8% for CI 35 and 50 days, respectively, and for MMM was 7.4% and 8.4%, harvested at 35 and 50 days. Milk production was 4.7 kg cow−1 day−1 for cows grazing MMM and 7.4 kg cow−1 day−1 under SPS. Nitrogen fixation in L. leucocephala (%Ndfa) was estimated to be 89% and 95%, at 35 and 50 days, with an N2 transfer to the associated grass of 34.3% and 52.9%. SPS has the potential to fix and transfer important amounts of N2 to the associated grass, and increase forage CP content and milk production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal System and Management)
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Open AccessArticle
Changes in Pulse Rate, Respiratory Rate and Rectal Temperature in Working Dogs before and after Three Different Field Trials
Animals 2020, 10(4), 733; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10040733 - 23 Apr 2020
Viewed by 304
Abstract
Physiological changes (pulse rate, respiratory rate and rectal temperature) induced by exercise are usually studied as physical fitness indices. The aim of this study was to investigate how these physiological parameters could be modified in a group of trained working dogs during three [...] Read more.
Physiological changes (pulse rate, respiratory rate and rectal temperature) induced by exercise are usually studied as physical fitness indices. The aim of this study was to investigate how these physiological parameters could be modified in a group of trained working dogs during three different field trials (rubble, search on field, obedience), in order to assess which parameter would be more useful to detect the dog response to exercise. Nine dogs were included in this study. The animals were monitored at rest, immediately before and after the working session. Pulse rate values increased significantly in all the phases compared to rest status. Respiratory rate values increased significantly after the competition, while rectal temperature was significantly increased only after search on rubbles and obedience activities. Reference values for specific competitions need to be stablished in order to promptly identify poor performance or exercise intolerance. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
In Vitro Estimation of the Effect of Grinding on Rumen Fermentation of Fibrous Feeds
Animals 2020, 10(4), 732; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10040732 - 23 Apr 2020
Viewed by 272
Abstract
The fermentation patterns of six fiber sources, soybean hulls (SH), sugarbeet pulp (BP), palm kernel cake (PK), oat hulls (OH), dehydrated alfalfa meal (DA), and barley straw (BS) were evaluated for this study on the effect of their presentation form (non-processed, NP and [...] Read more.
The fermentation patterns of six fiber sources, soybean hulls (SH), sugarbeet pulp (BP), palm kernel cake (PK), oat hulls (OH), dehydrated alfalfa meal (DA), and barley straw (BS) were evaluated for this study on the effect of their presentation form (non-processed, NP and ground, GR). Substrates were tested in a conventional in vitro batch system, using rumen fluid obtained from ewes fed 0.5 alfalfa hay and 0.5 barley straw. All substrates rendered a higher gas production in GR form (p < 0.05) except for BS but ranked similarly irrespective of the presentation form. Among the substrates, when incubated NP, the highest volume of gas was recorded with BP from 8 h onwards (p < 0.05), whereas OH and BS resulted in the lowest gas volume (p < 0.05). During the first half of the incubation period, methane production was higher in GR than NP (p < 0.05). Among substrates, despite NP or GR, methane production with BP was the highest (p < 0.05). Similarly, the presentation form did not qualitatively affect fermentation, as no differences were observed in volatile fatty acids proportions. The effect of particle size of fibrous substrates does not have a major impact on the rate and extent of the rumen microbial fermentation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of High-Dose Topical Minoxidil on Erythrocyte Quality in SKH1 Hairless Mice
Animals 2020, 10(4), 731; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10040731 - 23 Apr 2020
Viewed by 307
Abstract
SKH1 hairless mice are widely used in carcinogenesis and dermatology research due to their bare skin, as exposure to different agents is facilitated. Minoxidil is a cosmetic drug that is recognized as a mitogenic agent, and mitogens are suggested to have carcinogenic and [...] Read more.
SKH1 hairless mice are widely used in carcinogenesis and dermatology research due to their bare skin, as exposure to different agents is facilitated. Minoxidil is a cosmetic drug that is recognized as a mitogenic agent, and mitogens are suggested to have carcinogenic and mutagenic potential by inducing cell division and increasing the possibility of perpetuating DNA damage. Therefore, we hypothesized that the application of high doses of minoxidil to the skin of hairless mice would increase the number of micronucleated erythrocytes (MNEs) in peripheral blood. The objective of this study was to evaluate the topical administration of high doses of minoxidil on peripheral blood erythrocytes of SKH1 mice by means of micronucleus assay. Minoxidil was administered on the entire body surface of mice every 12 or 24 h. Minoxidil dosing every 24 h increased the number of micronucleated polychromatic erythrocytes (MNPCEs), and dosing every 12 h increased the number of MNEs and MNPCEs, as compared to baseline and the negative control group. No decrease in polychromatic erythrocyte frequencies was observed in the minoxidil groups. Therefore, topical application of high minoxidil doses to mice can produce DNA damage, as observed through an increase in the number of MNEs, without producing cytotoxicity, possibly due to its mitogenic effect. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Physiology)
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Open AccessArticle
An Assay System to Evaluate Riboflavin/UV-A Corneal Phototherapy Efficacy in a Porcine Corneal Organ Culture Model
Animals 2020, 10(4), 730; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10040730 - 23 Apr 2020
Viewed by 316
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to investigate the response of porcine corneal organ cultures to riboflavin/UV-A phototherapy in the injury healing of induced lesions. A porcine corneal organ culture model was established. Corneal alterations in the stroma were evaluated using an assay [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the response of porcine corneal organ cultures to riboflavin/UV-A phototherapy in the injury healing of induced lesions. A porcine corneal organ culture model was established. Corneal alterations in the stroma were evaluated using an assay system, based on an automated image analysis method able to (i) localize the holes and gaps within the stroma and (ii) measure the brightness values in these patches. The analysis has been performed by dividing the corneal section in 24 regions of interest (ROIs) and integrating the data analysis with a “multi-aspect approach.” Three group of corneas were analyzed: healthy, injured, and injured-and-treated. Our study revealed a significant effect of the riboflavin/UV-A phototherapy in the injury healing of porcine corneas after induced lesions. The injured corneas had significant differences of brightness values in comparison to treated (p < 0.00) and healthy (p < 0.001) corneas, whereas the treated and healthy corneas showed no significant difference (p = 0.995). Riboflavin/UV-A phototherapy shows a significant effect in restoring the brightness values of damaged corneas to the values of healthy corneas, suggesting treatment restores the injury healing of corneas after lesions. Our assay system may be compared to clinical diagnostic methods, such as optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging, for in vivo damaged ocular structure investigations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Companion Animals)
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Open AccessReview
Synthetic and Crystalline Amino Acids: Alternatives to Soybean Meal in Chicken-Meat Production
Animals 2020, 10(4), 729; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10040729 - 22 Apr 2020
Viewed by 471
Abstract
: This review explores the premise that non-bound (synthetic and crystalline) amino acids are alternatives to soybean meal, the dominant source of protein, in diets for broiler chickens. Non-bound essential and non-essential amino acids can partially replace soybean meal so that requirements are [...] Read more.
: This review explores the premise that non-bound (synthetic and crystalline) amino acids are alternatives to soybean meal, the dominant source of protein, in diets for broiler chickens. Non-bound essential and non-essential amino acids can partially replace soybean meal so that requirements are still met but dietary crude protein levels are reduced. This review considers the production of non-bound amino acids, soybeans, and soybean meal and discusses the concept of reduced-crude protein diets. There is a focus on specific amino acids, including glycine, serine, threonine, and branched-chain amino acids, because they may be pivotal to the successful development of reduced-crude protein diets. Presently, moderate dietary crude protein reductions of approximately 30 g/kg are feasible, but more radical reductions compromise broiler performance. In theory, an ‘ideal’ amino acid profile would prevent this, but this is not necessarily the case in practice. The dependence of the chicken-meat industry on soybean meal will be halved if crude protein reductions in the order of 50 g/kg are attained without compromising the growth performance of broiler chickens. In this event, synthetic and crystalline, or non-bound, amino acids will become viable alternatives to soybean meal in chicken-meat production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alternatives Protein in Animal Nutrition)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Is Dietary 2-Oxoglutaric Acid Effective in Accelerating Bone Growth and Development in Experimentally-Induced Intrauterine Growth Retarded Gilts?
Animals 2020, 10(4), 728; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10040728 - 22 Apr 2020
Viewed by 411
Abstract
In this study, the effect of long-term 2-oxoglutaric acid (2-Ox) supplementation to experimentally-induced intrauterine growth retarded gilts was examined. Sows were treated with synthetic glucocorticoid (dexamethasone) every second day, during the last 45 days of pregnancy, at a dose of 0.03 mg/kg b.w. [...] Read more.
In this study, the effect of long-term 2-oxoglutaric acid (2-Ox) supplementation to experimentally-induced intrauterine growth retarded gilts was examined. Sows were treated with synthetic glucocorticoid (dexamethasone) every second day, during the last 45 days of pregnancy, at a dose of 0.03 mg/kg b.w. At birth, the gilts were randomly divided into two groups: unsupplemented and supplemented with 2-Ox for nine months (0.4 g/kg body weight/day). Oral supplementation of 2-Ox to experimentally-induced intrauterine growth retarded gilts increased body weight at weaning as well as final body weight at the age of nine months, and showed a regenerative effect on bone mineralization and morphology of trabeculae and articular cartilage. The positive effects on bone structure were attributed to the 2-Ox-induced alterations in bone metabolism, as evidenced by the changes in the expression of proteins involved in bone formation and remodeling: osteocalcin (OC), osteoprotegerin (OPG), receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa-Β ligand (RANKL), tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases 2 (TIMP-2), bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP-2), cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (COMP), and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gut and bone in health and disease)
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of Heavy Metal Content in Feed, Litter, Meat, Meat Products, Liver, and Table Eggs of Chickens
Animals 2020, 10(4), 727; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10040727 - 22 Apr 2020
Viewed by 357
Abstract
We assessed the concentrations of Fe, Cu, Zn, Mn, Se, Co, Cr, Pb, Cd, and Ni in chicken meat and meat products, feed, and litter, as well as laying hens’ eggs, feed and litter to monitor the quality of products on the market [...] Read more.
We assessed the concentrations of Fe, Cu, Zn, Mn, Se, Co, Cr, Pb, Cd, and Ni in chicken meat and meat products, feed, and litter, as well as laying hens’ eggs, feed and litter to monitor the quality of products on the market and their safety for human consumption as judged by recommended daily allowance (RDA) and tolerable upper levels. Samples were chosen as the most popular poultry products in Saudi Arabia. A total of 45 broiler samples of frozen or fresh meat, liver, burger, or frankfurter were chosen from the same brand. Additionally, 60 table eggs from four commercial brands were collected, and the edible parts of these were used to determine levels of minerals and toxic elements. Furthermore, 30 feed and litter samples were collected from the starter, grower, and layer diets of broilers and laying hens. The results indicated that there were significant levels of most of the trace elements and heavy metals in the different meat sources. Furthermore, the liver contained the highest levels of elements, except for Cr, Co, and Ni. The highest Cr level was detected in the fresh meat, followed by frozen meat. Trace elements (Mn and Co) and heavy metals (Ni and Pb) were not detected in either the frozen or the fresh meat. The chicken burger and the frankfurter exhibited similar trace-element and heavy-metal contents, except for Zn and Mn, as the frankfurter showed higher concentrations than the burger. Differences in most of the trace and toxic elements among the different sources of eggs were not found to be significant, except for Zn. Differences between the broiler meat and table eggs were only substantial for Fe and Zn. Fe was significantly higher in meat than in eggs, and the opposite trend was found for Zn. The liver contained higher heavy metals than the eggs, except for Cr. In addition, the burger had higher concentrations of essential (Cu and Co) and heavy metals (Pb and Ni) than the eggs but had lower levels of Zn and Cr. The frankfurter exhibited significantly higher levels of Fe, Cu, Mn, Co, Pb, and Ni than the eggs but lower levels of Zn and Cr. To summarize, Cd, Pb, As, and Se were not detected in the broiler meat or eggs, indicating no risks from these toxic elements. Conversely, the liver exhibited the highest content of heavy metals, except for Cr, indicating that the intake of Pb and Cd was above the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for adults. The meat products exhibited higher Pb, Cd, and Ni levels than the broiler meat and the table eggs, suggesting that they posed a health threat to humans, and the intake of Pb in the meat products was higher than the RDA. Thus, chicken meat and table eggs, which are primary protein sources, are safe sources of human nutrition, while liver and meat products may present potential health hazards through the food chain. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Effects of Tributyrin Supplementation on Growth Performance, Insulin, Blood Metabolites and Gut Microbiota in Weaned Piglets
Animals 2020, 10(4), 726; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10040726 - 22 Apr 2020
Viewed by 406
Abstract
The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of tributyrin supplementation on the production traits, the main metabolic parameters and gut microbiota in weaned piglets. One hundred and twenty crossbred piglets (Large White × Landrace) were randomly divided into two experimental [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of tributyrin supplementation on the production traits, the main metabolic parameters and gut microbiota in weaned piglets. One hundred and twenty crossbred piglets (Large White × Landrace) were randomly divided into two experimental groups (six pens each; 10 piglets per pen): the control group (CTRL), that received a basal diet, and the tributyrin group (TRIB) that received the basal diet supplemented with 0.2% tributyrin. The experimental period lasted 40 days. Production traits were measured at days 14, 28 and 40. A subset composed of 48 animals (n = 4 for each pen; n = 24 per group) was considered for the evaluation of serum metabolic parameters and hair cortisol by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and faecal microbiota by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Our results showed that the treatment significantly increased body weight (BW) at day 28 and day 40 (p = 0.0279 and p = 0.0006, respectively) and average daily gain (ADG) from day 28 to day 40 (p = 0.046). Gain to feed ratio (G:F) was significantly higher throughout the experimental period (p = 0.049). Even if the serum parameters were in the physiological range, albumin, albumin/globulin (A/G) ratio, glucose and high-density lipoproteins (HDL) fraction were significantly higher in the TRIB group. On the contrary, tributyrin significantly decreased the urea blood concentration (p = 0.0026), which was correlated with lean gain and feed efficiency. Moreover, serum insulin concentration, which has a regulatory effect on protein and lipid metabolism, was significantly higher in the TRIB group (p = 0.0187). In conclusion, this study demonstrated that tributyrin can be considered as a valid feed additive for weaned piglets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Dietary Supplements on Livestock and Poultry Products)
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Open AccessArticle
Milk Composition of Asian Elephants (Elephas maximus) in a Natural Environment in Myanmar during Late Lactation
Animals 2020, 10(4), 725; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10040725 - 22 Apr 2020
Viewed by 346
Abstract
The nutritional content of milk from free-living Asian elephants has not previously been reported, despite being vital for better management of captive populations. This study analyzed both milk composition and consumed plant species of Asian elephants managed in their natural environment in Myanmar. [...] Read more.
The nutritional content of milk from free-living Asian elephants has not previously been reported, despite being vital for better management of captive populations. This study analyzed both milk composition and consumed plant species of Asian elephants managed in their natural environment in Myanmar. Longitudinal samples (n = 36) were obtained during both the wet and the dry season from six mature females in mid to late lactation in 2016 and 2017. Milk composition averaged 82.44% water, with 17.56% total solids containing 5.23% protein, 15.10% fat, 0.87% ash, and 0.18 µg/mL vitamin E. Solids and protein increased with lactation month. Total protein in milk was higher during the wet vs. the dry season. Observed factors linked with maternal (age, parity, size and origin) and calf traits (sex) had significant associations with milk nutrient levels. Primary forages consumed contained moderate protein and fiber. Higher dietary protein during the wet season (11–25%) compared to the dry season (6–19%) may be linked with increased milk protein observed. Our results call for further field studies of milk and diet composition, over entire seasons/lactation periods, and across maternal and calf traits, to improve feeding management, with an overall goal of maximized health and survival. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Nutrition)
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Open AccessArticle
Dynamics of Different Buffer Systems in Slurries Based on Time and Temperature of Storage and Their Visualization by a New Mathematical Tool
Animals 2020, 10(4), 724; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10040724 - 21 Apr 2020
Viewed by 397
Abstract
Slurry treatments such as acidification and alkalization have proven to be promising solutions to reduce gaseous emission produced by farm animals. The optimization of these technologies requires detailed knowledge of how and to what extent the buffer capacities in slurries will change during [...] Read more.
Slurry treatments such as acidification and alkalization have proven to be promising solutions to reduce gaseous emission produced by farm animals. The optimization of these technologies requires detailed knowledge of how and to what extent the buffer capacities in slurries will change during storage under the influence of different temperatures, as this may save resources needed to adjust a targeted pH value. Fresh slurries from dairy cows, fattening pigs and sows were collected and stored for 12 weeks under either cold (4.7 ± 1.1 °C) or warm (23.6 ± 2.1 °C) conditions to perform titrations in acidic and alkaline milieu at regular intervals. Based on these results, we successfully verified a new mathematical tool that we have developed to be able to calculate and visualize the most important buffer systems found in the analyzed slurries. Our experimental results showed a strong correlation between the degradation of the volatile fatty acid (VFA) buffer and the emergence of the carbonate buffers, i.e., the HCO3 and the CO32− buffer. Furthermore, a drop in the pH value caused by enhanced microbial production of VFAs can be mitigated by the presence of the NH3 buffer. In conclusion, we demonstrated that the buffers cannot be considered individually but must be interpreted as a complex and interacting system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal waste and wastewater management)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of a Trans-Galactooligosaccharide on Biochemical Blood Parameters and Intestine Morphometric Parameters of Common Carp (Cyprinus carpio L.)
Animals 2020, 10(4), 723; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10040723 - 21 Apr 2020
Viewed by 311
Abstract
The aim of the study was to evaluate the effects of a trans-galactooligosaccharide prebiotic (GOS) on the growth performance, biochemical blood parameters, and intestine morphometric parameters of common carp. The 60-day-long experiment was performed on one-year-old fish with a mean body weight of [...] Read more.
The aim of the study was to evaluate the effects of a trans-galactooligosaccharide prebiotic (GOS) on the growth performance, biochemical blood parameters, and intestine morphometric parameters of common carp. The 60-day-long experiment was performed on one-year-old fish with a mean body weight of 180 g (±5 g). Three diets were used: control diet 1 (C) with no microbiota affecting feed additives, diet 2 (B1) with 1% of prebiotic, and diet 3 (B2) with 2% of prebiotic, in four replications (tanks) per treatment and 25 fish per tank. At the end of the trial, 16 individuals from each group were used for analyses. The study showed that GOS supplementation did not affect growth performance. In turn, the prebiotic had a positive effect on the development of the intestine, and increased the height, width, and surface of the villi in B1 and B2 groups. The content of phosphorus (P) was significantly higher in B1 group compared with B2 group, which indicated that 1% addition of prebiotic causes better absorption of P from the intestine. The other biochemical indicators—namely lipid, protein and hepatic parameters, insulin, and Ca—were not affected by GOS treatment, which may indicate similar metabolic balance of fish in each experimental group. Serum triiodothyronine (TT3) and glucose (stress markers) concentrations were not significantly different among treatments groups. GOS may be recommended as a feed additive for common carp due to its positive effects on fish physiology and development of the gastrointestinal tract. However, our results suggest that 1% diet supplementation causes satisfactory reactions for the abovementioned aspects in comparison to control or 2% supplementation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Healthy and High-Quality Fish Farming)
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Open AccessArticle
Chlamydia psittaci Triggers the Invasion of H9N2 Avian Influenza Virus by Impairing the Functions of Chicken Macrophages
Animals 2020, 10(4), 722; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10040722 - 21 Apr 2020
Viewed by 397
Abstract
In a pilot study, simultaneous infection with Chlamydia psittaci (C. psittaci) and H9N2 virus induced 20% mortality and severe avian airsacculitis, shedding light on animal models of poultry respiratory diseases. However, the pathogenesis is still unclear. In the current study, we [...] Read more.
In a pilot study, simultaneous infection with Chlamydia psittaci (C. psittaci) and H9N2 virus induced 20% mortality and severe avian airsacculitis, shedding light on animal models of poultry respiratory diseases. However, the pathogenesis is still unclear. In the current study, we hypothesized that C. psittaci infection execrates macrophage function and facilitates H9N2 infection. To explore the potential mechanism, we studied the effect of C. psittaci and H9N2 on the functions of HD11 cells in vitro by simultaneous infection of C. psittaci and H9N2. At the same time, we used infection with C. psittaci or H9N2 alone as the control groups. The results showed that coinfection with C. psittaci and H9N2 could significantly aggravate the mortality of HD11 cells compared to C. psittaci or H9N2 infection alone. In addition, coinfection with C. psittaci and H9N2 did not induce high C. psittaci loads compared to C. psittaci infection alone at 12- and 24-hours post-inoculation (hpi), but coinfection with C. psittaci and H9N2 could increase the loads of H9N2 compared to H9N2 alone in HD11 cells at 12 hpi. More importantly, inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression levels, enzyme activity, nitric oxide (NO) production, and phagocytosis were reduced significantly in the group with C. psittaci and H9N2 coinfection compared to those of H9N2 or C. psittaci alone at 24 hpi. Finally, C. psittaci infection induced robust expressions of type Th2 cytokines interleukin (IL)-4 and IL-10, while interferon gamma (IFN-γ) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) displayed a significant decrease compared to H9N2 infection alone at 24 hpi. All the above data indicate that C. psittaci infection can facilitate H9N2 invasion and to aggravate severe avian airsacculitis by impairing macrophage functions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Poultry)
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Open AccessArticle
Individuals with Psychopathic Traits and Poor Attitudes towards Animals Can Recognise Infant Features But Give Them Reduced Attentional Priority
Animals 2020, 10(4), 721; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10040721 - 21 Apr 2020
Viewed by 567
Abstract
Infant features are physical traits that are characteristic of human infants and include facial features such as large and low-lying eyes, and a small nose and mouth. Animals possessing high levels of infant features elicit care-giving responses in humans. Despite this, animal cruelty [...] Read more.
Infant features are physical traits that are characteristic of human infants and include facial features such as large and low-lying eyes, and a small nose and mouth. Animals possessing high levels of infant features elicit care-giving responses in humans. Despite this, animal cruelty is a common occurrence. The aim of this research was to determine whether the ability to recognise and/or attend to infant features is linked to subclinical psychopathic traits and attitudes towards animals. Using a community sample, participants (n = 387) completed a cuteness forced-choice task. Self-reported psychopathy and attitude towards animals were not related to the participants’ ability to detect cues of cuteness in human infants and animals. In a second study, participants (n = 142) were screened for low versus high primary psychopathy and low versus high animal attitude scores. A Psychopathy-Attitude Composite score was created and a subset of participants (n = 50) from the upper and lower quartiles completed a free-viewing eye-tracking task where ‘Cute’, ‘Neutral, ‘Monetary’ and ‘Control’ images were presented in pairs. Higher levels of psychopathic traits and an anti-animal welfare attitude were associated with decreased attention to ‘Cute’ images in terms of decreased dwell time, mean fixation duration and mean fixation count, measures of voluntary attention. There were a number of interactions between Psychopathy-Attitude Composite classification and attention to each image category in terms of dwell time, first fixation duration, mean fixation duration and fixation count. These findings support the theory that individuals with psychopathic traits recognise facial cues of vulnerability but choose to give them reduced attentional priority. This may have implications for animal welfare. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Human-Animals Interactions, Animal Behaviour and Emotion)
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Open AccessArticle
Application of Meta-Analysis and Machine Learning Methods to the Prediction of Methane Production from In Vitro Mixed Ruminal Micro-Organism Fermentation
Animals 2020, 10(4), 720; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10040720 - 21 Apr 2020
Viewed by 345
Abstract
In vitro gas production systems are utilized to screen feed ingredients for inclusion in ruminant diets. However, not all in vitro systems are set up to measure methane (CH4) production, nor do all publications report in vitro CH4. Therefore, [...] Read more.
In vitro gas production systems are utilized to screen feed ingredients for inclusion in ruminant diets. However, not all in vitro systems are set up to measure methane (CH4) production, nor do all publications report in vitro CH4. Therefore, the objective of this study was to develop models to predict in vitro CH4 production from total gas and volatile fatty acid (VFA) production data and to identify the major drivers of CH4 production in these systems. Meta-analysis and machine learning (ML) methodologies were applied to a database of 354 data points from 11 studies to predict CH4 production from total gas production, apparent DM digestibility (DMD), final pH, feed type (forage or concentrate), and acetate, propionate, butyrate and valerate production. Model evaluation was performed on an internal dataset of 107 data points. Meta-analysis results indicate that equations containing DMD, total VFA production, propionate, feed type and valerate resulted in best predictability of CH4 on the internal evaluation dataset. The ML models far exceeded the predictability achieved using meta-analysis, but further evaluation on an external database would be required to assess generalization ability on unrelated data. Between the ML methodologies assessed, artificial neural networks and support vector regression resulted in very similar predictability, but differed in fitting, as assessed by behaviour analysis. The models developed can be utilized to estimate CH4 emissions in vitro. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue In Vitro Digestibility in Animal Nutritional Studies)
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