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Animals, Volume 12, Issue 11 (June-1 2022) – 139 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The Rhabdoviridae is a large family of negative-sense RNA viruses that includes important pathogens of fish and marine mammals. Recent revisions of the taxonomic classification of rhabdoviruses, implemented by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses, include establishment of three new genera (Cetarhavirus, Siniperhavirus, Scophrhavirus) and seven new species. This has allowed classification of all rhabdoviruses infecting fish or marine mammals for which coding-complete sequences are currently available. The expanding number of viral sequences obtained from metagenomic sampling without associated virus neutralization data has increased reliance on amino acid sequence divergence for virus species demarcation. A taxonomic conundrum presented by phylogenetic analyses of RNA-directed RNA polymerase sequences of fish viruses assigned to the genus Novirhabdovirus is also discussed. View this paper
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Article
Are Hair Cortisol Levels of Humans, Cats, and Dogs from the Same Household Correlated?
Animals 2022, 12(11), 1472; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12111472 - 06 Jun 2022
Viewed by 519
Abstract
Human–animal interactions and the emotional relationship of the owner with the pet are the subjects of many scientific studies and the constant interest of not only scientists but also pet owners. The aim of this study was to determine and compare the hair [...] Read more.
Human–animal interactions and the emotional relationship of the owner with the pet are the subjects of many scientific studies and the constant interest of not only scientists but also pet owners. The aim of this study was to determine and compare the hair cortisol levels of dogs, cats, and their owners living in the same household. The owners were asked to complete a questionnaire concerning the frequency of their interactions with pets and emotional relationship with each of their cats and each of their dogs. The study involved 25 women who owned at least one dog and at least one cat. In total, 45 dogs and 55 cats from 25 households participated in the study. The average level of hair cortisol of the owners was 4.62 ng/mL, of the dogs 0.26 ng/mL, and in the hair of cats 0.45 ng/mL. There was no significant correlation between the hair cortisol level of the owner and dog or the owner and the cat and between dogs and cats living together. A significant positive correlation was observed between the hair cortisol level in the owner and the pet, for dogs in which the owner performs grooming treatments once a week and for cats which are never kissed. Although our study did not find many significant correlations, studies using other stress markers might have yielded different results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dog–Human Relationships: Behavior, Physiology, and Wellbeing)
Communication
Potential Probiotic Acceptability of a Novel Strain of Paenibacillus konkukensis SK 3146 and Its Dietary Effects on Growth Performance, Intestinal Microbiota, and Meat Quality in Broilers
Animals 2022, 12(11), 1471; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12111471 - 06 Jun 2022
Viewed by 405
Abstract
This study evaluates the in vitro probiotic characteristics of P. konkukensis sp. nov. SK-3146, which was isolated from animal feed, and its dietary effects on growth performance, intestinal characteristics, intestinal microbiota, and meat quality in broilers. In vitro experiments revealed that P. konkukensis [...] Read more.
This study evaluates the in vitro probiotic characteristics of P. konkukensis sp. nov. SK-3146, which was isolated from animal feed, and its dietary effects on growth performance, intestinal characteristics, intestinal microbiota, and meat quality in broilers. In vitro experiments revealed that P. konkukensis was non-hemolytic with variable antibiotic susceptibility, and acid as well as bile tolerance. To assess the effect of P. konkukensis on broilers, a total of four hundred eighty 1-day-old Ross 308 broiler chicks were allocated to 3 treatment groups with 4 replicates of 40 birds each; the negative control group was fed a basal diet without any feed additives (NC), the positive control group was fed a basal diet containing 0.01% enramycin (PC), and the experimental group was fed a basal diet containing P. konkukensis bacterial culture (PK) at 104 CFU/g of the diet based on bacterial count. The experiment lasted for 35 days. Results indicated that there were no significant differences in any growth performance parameters among the dietary treatments (p > 0.05). In addition, the inclusion of P. konkukensis in the broilers’ diet did not affect meat cooking loss, color, and pH but increased the relative weight of breast meat (p < 0.05). The PK group showed heavier intestinal weight and shorter intestinal length than the NC group (p < 0.05). The ratio of the intestinal weight to length of jejunum was the highest in the PK group (p < 0.05). The PK group showed increased counts of Streptococcus thermophilus (p < 0.05) with no adverse effects of P. konkukensis on other intestinal microbiota in the jejunum. This study implies that P. konkukensis might have the potential to be applied as a probiotic feed additive in poultry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Poultry Feeding and Gut Health)
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Article
An Instrumented Golden Eagle’s (Aquila chrysaetos) Long-Distance Flight Behavior
Animals 2022, 12(11), 1470; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12111470 - 06 Jun 2022
Viewed by 640
Abstract
One-second-processed three-dimensional position observations transmitted from an instrumented golden eagle were used to determine the detailed long-range flight behavior of the bird. Once elevated from the surface, the eagle systematically used atmospheric gravity waves, first to gain altitude, and then, in multiple sequential [...] Read more.
One-second-processed three-dimensional position observations transmitted from an instrumented golden eagle were used to determine the detailed long-range flight behavior of the bird. Once elevated from the surface, the eagle systematically used atmospheric gravity waves, first to gain altitude, and then, in multiple sequential glides, to cover over 100 km with a minimum expenditure of its metabolic energy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Birds)
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Article
Towards Ecological Management and Sustainable Urban Planning in Seoul, South Korea: Mapping Wild Pollinator Habitat Preferences and Corridors Using Citizen Science Data
Animals 2022, 12(11), 1469; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12111469 - 06 Jun 2022
Viewed by 673
Abstract
The preservation and restoration of habitats and ecological connectivity inside cities is crucial to ensure wildlife can find suitable areas to forage, rest and reproduce, as well as to disperse, thereby allowing metapopulation functioning. In this study, we used data collected by a [...] Read more.
The preservation and restoration of habitats and ecological connectivity inside cities is crucial to ensure wildlife can find suitable areas to forage, rest and reproduce, as well as to disperse, thereby allowing metapopulation functioning. In this study, we used data collected by a citizen science program between 2016 and 2018 to determine which families of pollinators were the most frequently observed in Seoul and with which habitats pollinators had the highest affinities. Using species distribution modeling and landscape graph approaches, we located the main habitats and corridors to reinforce connectivity for six pollinator families. Finally, we identified habitats and corridors where conservation actions should be prioritized. In total, 178 species belonging to 128 genera and 60 families were observed. Hymenopterans were the most recorded, followed by dipterans and lepidopterans. The most suitable habitats for pollinators were constituted of public parks, university campuses, and Cultural Heritage sites. In a dense city like Seoul, most of the conservation corridors are located in built-up areas. Innovative urban planning and architecture are therefore required as well as the setting-up of ecological management practices to lead to a more sustainable urbanism for pollinators and wildlife in general. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Ecology and Conservation)
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Article
SNP Genotyping Characterizes the Genome Composition of the New Baisary Fat-Tailed Sheep Breed
Animals 2022, 12(11), 1468; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12111468 - 06 Jun 2022
Viewed by 379
Abstract
Lamb meat has become increasingly popular in several nations during the last few decades, especially in Kazakhstan. Due to the rising demand for lamb meat, our sheep breeders developed a new fat-tailed sheep and named the breed Baisary. Animals of the Baisary breed [...] Read more.
Lamb meat has become increasingly popular in several nations during the last few decades, especially in Kazakhstan. Due to the rising demand for lamb meat, our sheep breeders developed a new fat-tailed sheep and named the breed Baisary. Animals of the Baisary breed are characterized by a large physique, strong constitution, stretched body, deep and wide chest, medium or large-sized fat tail, long legs (height at the withers of adult rams 85–100 cm, sheep 75–90 cm), long lanceolate ears and strong hooves. Lambs of the Baisary breed surpass their peers of the original parent breeds by 15–20% in live weight at the weaning period. To characterize the genetic structure of Baisary sheep and compare it with the ancestral breeds, we genotyped 247 individuals from five sheep breeds with Ovine SNP50K. The estimated private allelic richness ranged from 0.0030 to 0.0047, with the minimum and maximum provided by the Gissar (Giss1) and Kazakh meat-wool breeds, respectively. The highest and lowest FIS values, meanwhile, were observed in the Afghan fat-tailed population and Baisary sheep, respectively. The calculated inbreeding coefficient showed that Edilbay and Baisary sheep have excess heterozygosity. According to principal components analysis, Baisary are close to Gissar populations, the Afghan fat-tailed breed and Edilbay sheep. These results were consistent with the Admixture and phylogenetic analysis. Overall, our results indicated that Baisary sheep differ genetically from their progenitors. Full article
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Article
Effect of Heat Stress on Egg Production, Steroid Hormone Synthesis, and Related Gene Expression in Chicken Preovulatory Follicular Granulosa Cells
Animals 2022, 12(11), 1467; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12111467 - 05 Jun 2022
Viewed by 440
Abstract
This study was conducted to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying heat stress (HS)-induced abnormal egg-laying in laying hens. Hy-Line brown laying hens were exposed to HS at 32 °C or maintained at 22 °C (control) for 14 days. In addition, granulosa cells (GCs) [...] Read more.
This study was conducted to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying heat stress (HS)-induced abnormal egg-laying in laying hens. Hy-Line brown laying hens were exposed to HS at 32 °C or maintained at 22 °C (control) for 14 days. In addition, granulosa cells (GCs) from preovulatory follicles were subjected to normal (37 °C) or high (41 °C or 43 °C) temperatures in vitro. Proliferation, apoptosis, and steroidogenesis were investigated, and the expression of estrogen and progesterone synthesis-related genes was detected. The results confirmed that laying hens reared under HS had impaired laying performance. HS inhibited proliferation, increased apoptosis, and altered the GC ultrastructure. HS also elevated progesterone secretion by increasing the expression of steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR), cytochrome P450 family 11 subfamily A member 1 (CYP11A1), and 3b-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3β-HSD). In addition, HS inhibited estrogen synthesis in GCs by decreasing the expression of the follicle-stimulating hormone receptor (FSHR) and cytochrome P450 family 19 subfamily A member 1 (CYP19A1). The upregulation of heat shock 70 kDa protein (HSP70) under HS was also observed. Collectively, laying hens exposed to high temperatures experienced damage to follicular GCs and steroidogenesis dysfunction, which reduced their laying performance. This study provides a molecular mechanism for the abnormal laying performance of hens subjected to HS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Reproduction)
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Article
Nutritional Value, Fermentation Characteristics and In Vitro Degradability of Whole Wheat Hay Harvested at Three Stages of Maturity
Animals 2022, 12(11), 1466; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12111466 - 05 Jun 2022
Viewed by 396
Abstract
The nutritional value of whole crop wheat hay (WCWH) harvested at different maturation stages are different, and its feeding effects on dairy cows have not been thoroughly evaluated. In this study, the in vitro digestibility of whole wheat (Nongda 22) hay harvested during [...] Read more.
The nutritional value of whole crop wheat hay (WCWH) harvested at different maturation stages are different, and its feeding effects on dairy cows have not been thoroughly evaluated. In this study, the in vitro digestibility of whole wheat (Nongda 22) hay harvested during the flowering, late milk and dough stages were evaluated using batch culture technique. The neutral detergent fiber (NDF) and acid detergent fiber (ADF) contents of whole wheat hay decreased by 35.5% and 40.4%, respectively, whereas the non-fibrous carbohydrates (NFC) content increased by 50.3% in WCWH harvested during the dough stage as compared to the flowering stage (p < 0.01). The pH of the fermentation liquid and acetate to propionate ratio was greatest in the wheat harvested during the flowering stage and lowest during the dough stage (p = 0.03), whereas the volatile fatty acid (VFA) concentration was greatest during the dough stage and lowest during the flowering stage (p < 0.01). The dry matter loss (DML) was 9.6% and 6.2% greater (p < 0.01) during the late milk stage than in the flowering or dough stages, and the NDF loss (NDFL; p = 0.01) and ADF loss (ADFL; p < 0.01) was greater in both the flowering and late milk stages. In conclusion, though the content of NDF was lower in the dough stage, and the starch to NFC ratio was greater, we determined that the optimal harvest stage should be the late milk stage due to the greater dry matter digestibility, the relatively greater NFC content and the shorter planting days. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feed Evaluation for Animal Health and Product Quality)
Article
Using Pruning-Based YOLOv3 Deep Learning Algorithm for Accurate Detection of Sheep Face
Animals 2022, 12(11), 1465; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12111465 - 05 Jun 2022
Viewed by 433
Abstract
Accurate identification of sheep is important for achieving precise animal management and welfare farming in large farms. In this study, a sheep face detection method based on YOLOv3 model pruning is proposed, abbreviated as YOLOv3-P in the text. The method is used to [...] Read more.
Accurate identification of sheep is important for achieving precise animal management and welfare farming in large farms. In this study, a sheep face detection method based on YOLOv3 model pruning is proposed, abbreviated as YOLOv3-P in the text. The method is used to identify sheep in pastures, reduce stress and achieve welfare farming. Specifically, in this study, we chose to collect Sunit sheep face images from a certain pasture in Xilin Gol League Sunit Right Banner, Inner Mongolia, and used YOLOv3, YOLOv4, Faster R-CNN, SSD and other classical target recognition algorithms to train and compare the recognition results, respectively. Ultimately, the choice was made to optimize YOLOv3. The mAP was increased from 95.3% to 96.4% by clustering the anchor frames in YOLOv3 using the sheep face dataset. The mAP of the compressed model was also increased from 96.4% to 97.2%. The model size was also reduced to 1/4 times the size of the original model. In addition, we restructured the original dataset and performed a 10-fold cross-validation experiment with a value of 96.84% for mAP. The results show that clustering the anchor boxes and compressing the model using this dataset is an effective method for identifying sheep. The method is characterized by low memory requirement, high-recognition accuracy and fast recognition speed, which can accurately identify sheep and has important applications in precision animal management and welfare farming. Full article
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Article
Comparison of the Genetic Diversity of the Captive and Wild Populations of the Tsushima Leopard Cat Using a GRAS-Di Analysis
Animals 2022, 12(11), 1464; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12111464 - 05 Jun 2022
Viewed by 477
Abstract
The Tsushima leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis euptilurus) (TLC) is a regional population of the Amur leopard cat (P. bengalensis euptilurus) that lives only on the Tsushima Island in Japan and is threatened with extinction. Because the TLC population is [...] Read more.
The Tsushima leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis euptilurus) (TLC) is a regional population of the Amur leopard cat (P. bengalensis euptilurus) that lives only on the Tsushima Island in Japan and is threatened with extinction. Because the TLC population is small, genetic management is important. In this study, we obtained the draft genome of the TLC and identified single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers using a genotyping by random amplicon sequencing-direct (GRAS-Di) analysis. We genotyped 31 captive individuals and 50 wild individuals, of which 48 were from a previous study. The identified SNPs were used to clarify the genetic diversity and genetic structure of the wild and captive populations of the TLC. The size of the genome was estimated to be about 2.42 Gb. The number of SNP markers developed was 139, and although PID and probability of exclusion obtained using these SNP markers were not as high as those reported in the studies of other wild species, these SNP markers could be used to identify individuals and parentage. Moreover, the genetic diversity indices of the captive population were similar to those of the wild population. These SNP markers will be useful for understanding the ecology of the TLC and planning conservation strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue High Throughput Technique use in Animal Genetics and Genomics)
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Case Report
First Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Observation of Epimeletic Behavior in Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphins
Animals 2022, 12(11), 1463; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12111463 - 05 Jun 2022
Viewed by 623
Abstract
Epimeletic behavior has been reported in various species of cetaceans and sometimes in wild populations during vessel-based surveys. Epimeletic behavior in cetaceans involves complex social interactions which have been described using observational and acoustic studies. The recent advances in unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) [...] Read more.
Epimeletic behavior has been reported in various species of cetaceans and sometimes in wild populations during vessel-based surveys. Epimeletic behavior in cetaceans involves complex social interactions which have been described using observational and acoustic studies. The recent advances in unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology allowed its application in wildlife research and frequently in cetaceans in conjunction with vessel-based surveys. This article is the first report of intraspecific epimeletic behavior of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis) in Hong Kong waters using a combination of UAV- and vessel-based photography. Using both techniques, we were able to observe and qualitative analyze the individual body condition, group behavior, and swimming pattern during the epimeletic event. This study highlighted that UAVs can be used to observe the complex social behaviors and interactions of cetaceans from the aerial angle while keeping a minimal level of disturbance to the animals. Aerial footage can also be quantitatively analyzed to provide further insights on the group behaviors of cetaceans. The application allows efficient assessment of health, behavior, and ecology of wild animals, offering valuable opportunities for researchers working on free-ranging populations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Aquatic Animals)
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Article
EST-Microsatellite Types and Structural Scenarios in European Hake Fisheries
Animals 2022, 12(11), 1462; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12111462 - 04 Jun 2022
Viewed by 501
Abstract
A fishery’s structure and connectivity are priors to its effective management. A successful description of such processes depends on both the sampling design and the choice of adequate genetic markers. EST markers are perfusing the studies of marine metapopulations and are believed to [...] Read more.
A fishery’s structure and connectivity are priors to its effective management. A successful description of such processes depends on both the sampling design and the choice of adequate genetic markers. EST markers are perfusing the studies of marine metapopulations and are believed to provide access to functional polymorphisms. However, the assumed adaptive role of outlier EST loci might not be generalizable. EST-microsatellites represent the upper polymorphic boundary in these regions because of their high mutation rate. We have subclassified the polymorphisms of EST-microsatellites to assess their structural contribution in the European hake, a paradigmatic and highly mobile marine species (HMMS). Because of the counterbalanced forces between directional markers (15%) and balanced markers (23%), the whole marker set offers the same structural situation as the one observed with neutral markers (62%), i.e., k = 2 gene pools. In contrast to outlier EST- microsatellites, neutral EST subsets allow one to measure crucial population phenomena for fisheries’ management. The high inter-population divergence of outlier EST-microsatellites is compatible with drifted post-selection genomic regions rather than with ongoing local selective pressures. The structural scenario in hake is explainable by a limited gene flow across the Almería-Oran Front (AOF) and by the within-basin IBD pattern of connectivity plus drift-related demographic events. This study highlights how polymorphic properties of EST-microsatellite types can be useful to address mutually excluding research tasks in fisheries, i.e., to address its evolutionary history (directional markers or FAPS: Fossil Adaptive Polymorphic Systems); to delineate management units (neutral markers or NAPS: Non Adaptive Polymorphic Systems); or to ensure sustainability (balanced markers or APS: Adaptive Polymorphic Systems). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Genetics and Genomics)
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Article
The Effect of Baby Schema in Cats on Length of Stay in an Irish Animal Shelter
Animals 2022, 12(11), 1461; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12111461 - 04 Jun 2022
Viewed by 539
Abstract
Several factors may influence cats’ length of stay (LoS) within the shelter environment. The aim of this study was to investigate the potential influence that baby schema (characteristic facial features of infants, related to perceived ‘cuteness’) has on cats’ length of stay (LoS) [...] Read more.
Several factors may influence cats’ length of stay (LoS) within the shelter environment. The aim of this study was to investigate the potential influence that baby schema (characteristic facial features of infants, related to perceived ‘cuteness’) has on cats’ length of stay (LoS) in an animal shelter. Other factors such as paired-homing requirements, adoption profile (adverts to encourage the adoption of a specific animal) wording, coat colour, sex and age were also explored. Objective ‘cuteness’ scores were created by measuring specific facial features of 165 shelter cats. Several proportions of the cats’ faces were explored to identify the best objective measure of cuteness, including elements which have been found to associate with cuteness in cats and humans and new exploratory eye measurements. Subjective cuteness scores were developed by participants rating the ‘cuteness’ of the cat from ‘1-Not very cute’ to ‘5-Extremely cute’ through two online surveys; survey 1 investigated the cats’ social nature as well as cuteness while the second only looked at cuteness. The subjective cuteness scores were used to validate the objective cuteness scores. The analysis found that subjective cuteness in survey 1 was the only variable of influence on LoS. A novel objective cuteness measurement was developed which reflects the eye shape associated with subjective cuteness scores. The current study found that cuteness may not be as influential on cats’ LoS in shelters as hypothesised. This research looks to understand factors which influence LoS to help identify potential methods to reduce time spent in shelters and improve the welfare of cats within these environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cats Behaviors, Cognition and Human-Cat Interactions)
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Article
Antibiotic Resistance Carriage Causes a Lower Survivability Due to Stress Associated with High-Pressure Treatment among Strains from Starter Cultures
Animals 2022, 12(11), 1460; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12111460 - 04 Jun 2022
Viewed by 370
Abstract
High-pressure processing is one of the most promising novel food preservation methods that is increasingly used in the food industry. Its biggest advantage is that it is a nonthermal method that ensures the microbiological safety of the product while maintaining other features, including [...] Read more.
High-pressure processing is one of the most promising novel food preservation methods that is increasingly used in the food industry. Its biggest advantage is that it is a nonthermal method that ensures the microbiological safety of the product while maintaining other features, including nutritional value. If products made with starter cultures are subjected to high-pressure treatment, the process parameters should be selected so as not to eliminate all microorganisms in the product. The aim of the study was to investigate if carrying antibiotic resistance genes affects the survival of lactic acid bacteria (Lactococcus and the former Lactobacillus) strains during high-pressure treatment. Survival was assessed using the plate count method. It was shown that the strains carrying antibiotic resistance genes showed a lower survival to high pressure. This might be explained by the phenomenon of fitness cost, consisting in a reduced adaptation of antibiotic-resistant strains related to metabolic expenditure. The obtained results indicate the need for further research in this field and the need to select food processing parameters depending on the strains intentionally included in the food. Full article
Article
First Description of Serological Evidence for SARS-CoV-2 in Lactating Cows
Animals 2022, 12(11), 1459; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12111459 - 04 Jun 2022
Viewed by 881
Abstract
Following the COVID-19 epidemic outbreak in Ariano Irpino, Campania region (Italy), we tested lactating cows for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 on a cattle farm at which, prior to the investigation, 13 of the 20 farmworkers showed COVID-19-like symptoms, and one of them died. [...] Read more.
Following the COVID-19 epidemic outbreak in Ariano Irpino, Campania region (Italy), we tested lactating cows for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 on a cattle farm at which, prior to the investigation, 13 of the 20 farmworkers showed COVID-19-like symptoms, and one of them died. Twenty-four lactating cows were sampled to detect SARS-CoV-2. All nasal and rectal swabs and milk samples were negative for SARS-CoV-2 RNA. Of the 24 collected serum samples, 11 showed antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein, 14 showed antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, and 13 developed neutralising antibodies for SARS-COV-2; all samples were negative for Bovine Coronavirus (BCoV), another betacoronavirus. To our knowledge, this is the first report of natural serological evidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in lactating cows. We hypothesise that this may be a case of reverse zoonosis. However, the role of cattle in SARS-CoV-2 infection and transmission seems to be negligible. Full article
Article
The Effects of Different Forms of Butyric Acid on the Performance of Turkeys, Carcass Quality, Incidence of Footpad Dermatitis and Economic Efficiency
Animals 2022, 12(11), 1458; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12111458 - 04 Jun 2022
Viewed by 339
Abstract
The aim of this study was to compare the efficacy of butyric acid glycerides (BAG), sodium butyrate (SB) and coated sodium butyrate (CSB) in turkey nutrition based on the growth performance of birds, carcass yield, meat quality, the dry matter (DM) content of [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to compare the efficacy of butyric acid glycerides (BAG), sodium butyrate (SB) and coated sodium butyrate (CSB) in turkey nutrition based on the growth performance of birds, carcass yield, meat quality, the dry matter (DM) content of faeces, the incidence of footpad dermatitis (FPD), and economic efficiency. A 105-day experiment was conducted on 400 BIG 6 female turkeys (4 treatments, 5 replications, 20 birds per replication). The addition of CSB and BAG to turkey diets improved the feed conversion ratio (FCR, p ≤ 0.05) and increased the values of the European Efficiency Index (EEI, p ≤ 0.01). The analysed forms of BA in turkey diets increased the concentration of DM in faeces (p ≤ 0.01) and decreased FPD incidence (p ≤ 0.01), which may suggest that all forms of butyrate improved litter quality and inhibit the risk for diarrhoea. The results of this study indicate that all forms of butyric acid can be valuable feed additives in turkey nutrition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Poultry Feeding and Gut Health)
Editorial
Diagnostic and Therapeutic Advancements in the Field of Animal Reproduction
Animals 2022, 12(11), 1457; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12111457 - 04 Jun 2022
Viewed by 327
Abstract
Reproductive physiology and breeding have fascinated scientist since ancient times, and it is not surprising that explorations in these fields are included among the oldest and most well-documented branches of veterinary medicine [...] Full article
Article
Identification of the Key Genes Associated with Different Hair Types in the Inner Mongolia Cashmere Goat
Animals 2022, 12(11), 1456; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12111456 - 04 Jun 2022
Viewed by 358
Abstract
The Inner Mongolia cashmere goat is an excellent local breed in China. According to the characteristics of wool quilts, the Inner Mongolia cashmere goat can be divided into three types: a long-hair type (hair length of >22 cm), a short-hair type (hair length [...] Read more.
The Inner Mongolia cashmere goat is an excellent local breed in China. According to the characteristics of wool quilts, the Inner Mongolia cashmere goat can be divided into three types: a long-hair type (hair length of >22 cm), a short-hair type (hair length of ≤13 cm), and an intermediate type (hair length of >13 cm and ≤22 cm). It is found that hair length has a certain reference value for the indirect selection of other important economic traits of cashmere. In order to explore the molecular mechanisms and related regulatory genes of the different hair types, a weighted gene coexpression network analysis (WGCNA) was carried out on the gene expression data and phenotypic data of 12-month-old Inner Mongolia cashmere goats with a long-hair type (LHG) and a short-hair type (SHG) to explore the coexpression modules related to different coat types and nine candidate genes, and detect the relative expression of key candidate genes. The results showed that the WGCNA divided these genes into 19 coexpression modules and found that there was a strong correlation between one module and different hair types. The expression trends of this module’s genes were different in the two hair types, with high expression in the LHG and low expression in the SHG. GO functions are mainly concentrated in cellular components, including intermediate filaments (GO:0005882), intermediate filament cytoskeletons (GO:0045111), and cytoskeletal parts (GO:0044430). The KEGG pathway is mainly enriched in arginine as well as proline metabolism (chx00330) and the MAPK signaling pathway (chx04010). The candidate genes of the different hair types, including the KRT39, KRT74, LOC100861184, LOC102177231, LOC102178767, LOC102179881, LOC106503203, LOC108638293, and LOC108638298 genes, were screened. Through qRT-PCR, it was found that there were significant differences in these candidate genes between the two hair types, and most of them had a significant positive correlation with hair length. It was preliminarily inferred that these candidate genes could regulate the different hair types of cashmere goats and provide molecular markers for hair growth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Genetics and Genomics)
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Review
Grading Systems for Canine Urothelial Carcinoma of the Bladder: A Comparative Overview
Animals 2022, 12(11), 1455; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12111455 - 04 Jun 2022
Viewed by 580
Abstract
The relationship between tumor morphology and clinical behavior is a key point in oncology. In this scenario, pathologists and clinicians play a pivotal role in the identification and testing of reliable grading systems based on standardized parameters to predict patient prognosis. Dogs with [...] Read more.
The relationship between tumor morphology and clinical behavior is a key point in oncology. In this scenario, pathologists and clinicians play a pivotal role in the identification and testing of reliable grading systems based on standardized parameters to predict patient prognosis. Dogs with bladder urothelial carcinoma (BUC) were recently proposed as a “large animal” model for the study of human BUCs due to the similar morphology and metastasis locations. BUC grading systems are consolidated in human medicine, while in veterinary medicine, the BUC grading systems that have been proposed for canine tumors are not yet applied in routine diagnostics. These latter systems have been proposed, decade by decade, over the last thirty years, and the reason for their scarce application is mainly related to a lack of specific cutoff values and studies assessing their prognostic relevance. However, for any prognostic study, reliable grading is necessary. The aim of the present article was to give an overview of the BUC grading systems available in both human and veterinary pathology and provide an extensive description and a critical evaluation to support veterinary researchers in the choice of possible grading systems to apply in future studies on canine BUCs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Companion Animals)
Article
Post-Mortem Computed Tomography Pulmonary Findings in Harbor Porpoises (Phocoena phocoena)
Animals 2022, 12(11), 1454; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12111454 - 04 Jun 2022
Viewed by 389
Abstract
The application of whole-body post-mortem computed tomography (PMCT) in veterinary and wildlife post-mortem research programs is advancing. A high incidence of pulmonary pathology is reported in the harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena). In this study, the value of PMCT focused on pulmonary [...] Read more.
The application of whole-body post-mortem computed tomography (PMCT) in veterinary and wildlife post-mortem research programs is advancing. A high incidence of pulmonary pathology is reported in the harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena). In this study, the value of PMCT focused on pulmonary assessment is evaluated. The objectives of this study were to describe pulmonary changes as well as autolytic features detected by PMCT examination and to compare those findings with conventional necropsy. Retrospective evaluation of whole-body PMCT images of 46 relatively fresh harbor porpoises and corresponding conventional necropsy reports was carried out, with a special focus on the respiratory tract. Common pulmonary PMCT findings included: moderate (24/46) to severe (19/46) increased pulmonary soft tissue attenuation, severe parasite burden (17/46), bronchial wall thickening (30/46), and mild autolysis (26/46). Compared to conventional necropsy, PMCT more frequently identified pneumothorax (5/46 vs. none), tracheal content (26/46 vs. 7/46), and macroscopic pulmonary mineralization (23/46 vs. 11/46), and provided more information of the distribution of pulmonary changes. These results indicate that PMCT adds information on pulmonary assessment and is a promising complementary technique for necropsy, despite the frequent presence of mild autolytic features. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Veterinary Clinical Studies)
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Article
Individual Beef Cattle Identification Using Muzzle Images and Deep Learning Techniques
Animals 2022, 12(11), 1453; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12111453 - 04 Jun 2022
Viewed by 480
Abstract
Individual feedlot beef cattle identification represents a critical component in cattle traceability in the supply food chain. It also provides insights into tracking disease trajectories, ascertaining ownership, and managing cattle production and distribution. Animal biometric solutions, e.g., identifying cattle muzzle patterns (unique features [...] Read more.
Individual feedlot beef cattle identification represents a critical component in cattle traceability in the supply food chain. It also provides insights into tracking disease trajectories, ascertaining ownership, and managing cattle production and distribution. Animal biometric solutions, e.g., identifying cattle muzzle patterns (unique features comparable to human fingerprints), may offer noninvasive and unique methods for cattle identification and tracking, but need validation with advancement in machine learning modeling. The objectives of this research were to (1) collect and publish a high-quality dataset for beef cattle muzzle images, and (2) evaluate and benchmark the performance of recognizing individual beef cattle with a variety of deep learning models. A total of 4923 muzzle images for 268 US feedlot finishing cattle (>12 images per animal on average) were taken with a mirrorless digital camera and processed to form the dataset. A total of 59 deep learning image classification models were comparatively evaluated for identifying individual cattle. The best accuracy for identifying the 268 cattle was 98.7%, and the fastest processing speed was 28.3 ms/image. Weighted cross-entropy loss function and data augmentation can increase the identification accuracy of individual cattle with fewer muzzle images for model development. In conclusion, this study demonstrates the great potential of deep learning applications for individual cattle identification and is favorable for precision livestock management. Scholars are encouraged to utilize the published dataset to develop better models tailored for the beef cattle industry. Full article
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Case Report
Nose-Flap Devices Used for Two-Stage Weaning Produce Wounds in the Nostrils of Beef Calves: Case Report
Animals 2022, 12(11), 1452; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12111452 - 04 Jun 2022
Viewed by 428
Abstract
This case report aims to describe the occurrence of negative impacts of wearing nose-flap devices on beef calves subjected to the two-stage weaning method. Forty-one calves, twenty-one pure Nellore and twenty F1 Angus-Nellore, were weaned on average at 236 days of age. Commercial [...] Read more.
This case report aims to describe the occurrence of negative impacts of wearing nose-flap devices on beef calves subjected to the two-stage weaning method. Forty-one calves, twenty-one pure Nellore and twenty F1 Angus-Nellore, were weaned on average at 236 days of age. Commercial nose-flap devices were fitted in the nostrils of the calves (d0) to prevent suckling and removed five days later (d5). Individual body weights were assessed at d0 and d5, and average daily gain (ADG) was calculated. At d5, during nose-flap device removal, it was noted that 26.8% of the calves lost the nose-flap device; however, all of them had wounds in their nostrils (no injuries in the nostrils had been observed on d0). To assess the severity of these injuries, an impairment score was assigned to each calf, ranging from 1 = no lesions to 5 = injured with purulent discharge. A logistic regression model was fitted to evaluate the effect of sex and genetic group on nose-flap retention (kept or lost). The retention rate did not differ (p > 0.05) between sex and genetic groups. All calves showed at least open wounds of the nasal septum (score 2), including those that lost the nose-flaps before d5. Almost half of the calves showed weight loss during this period. We conclude that there is a considerable risk of the two-stage weaning method compromising the physical integrity of the nostrils of beef calves through the use of these devices, and due to this, it should not be referred to as a low-stress weaning practice for beef calves. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Welfare)
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Article
Sulfur Amino Acid Metabolism and the Role of Endogenous Cystathionine-γ-lyase/H2S in Holstein Cows with Clinical Mastitis
Animals 2022, 12(11), 1451; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12111451 - 04 Jun 2022
Viewed by 618
Abstract
H2S plays an important role in various inflammatory diseases. However, the role of H2S and synthetic enzymes in Holstein cows with CM is unknown. The aim of this study was to identify DEPs associated with sulfide metabolism and further [...] Read more.
H2S plays an important role in various inflammatory diseases. However, the role of H2S and synthetic enzymes in Holstein cows with CM is unknown. The aim of this study was to identify DEPs associated with sulfide metabolism and further investigate their roles in dairy cows with CM. From 3739 DEPs generated by data-independent acquisition proteomics, we identified a total of 17 DEPs included in 44 GO terms and five KEGG pathways related to sulfide metabolism, including CTH and cystathionine-β-synthase (CBS). Immunohistochemical and immunofluorescence staining results showed that CTH and CBS proteins were present mainly in the cytoplasm of mammary epithelial cells. Endogenous H2S production in the serum of the CM group was significantly lower than that of the healthy Holstein cows. CTH and CBS mRNA and protein levels in the mammary glands of the CM group were significantly downregulated compared to those of the healthy group. These results indicate that CTH and H2S were correlated with the occurrence and development of CM in Holstein cows, which provides important insights into the function and regulatory mechanism of CTH/H2S in Holstein cows. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Decoding the Genetics of Bovine Mastitis)
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Review
Insects as Feed for Companion and Exotic Pets: A Current Trend
Animals 2022, 12(11), 1450; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12111450 - 03 Jun 2022
Viewed by 618
Abstract
The objective of this review was to carry out a comprehensive investigation of the benefits of incorporating insects as a pet food ingredient and the implications this can have in determining a market demand for insect-based pet foods. Black soldier fly larvae ( [...] Read more.
The objective of this review was to carry out a comprehensive investigation of the benefits of incorporating insects as a pet food ingredient and the implications this can have in determining a market demand for insect-based pet foods. Black soldier fly larvae (Hermetia illucens), mealworm larvae (Tenebrio molitor) and adult house crickets (Acheta domesticus) are currently used in pet food. These insects are widely fed to exotic pets, mainly in whole, live or dehydrated formats. They are also incorporated as meal or fat and are offered to cats and dogs as dry or wet food and treats. Scientific studies about the use of insects for dog and cat feed are scarce. Most studies are in dogs. Research shows that insect nutrients, mainly amino acids, have high digestibility, are beneficial to health, do not have any detrimental effect on the gut microbiota and are accepted by dogs. In several countries, insects are approved for use in pet food and commercialization has spread throughout the world. Pet owners are willing to try foods made with insect meal for their pets. In conclusion, the use of insects in pet food is a reality that is taking on more and more prominence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Nutrition)
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Article
Companion Animals’ Roles for AIDS Survivors, Mostly Aging Males, during HIV/AIDS and COVID-19 Pandemics
Animals 2022, 12(11), 1449; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12111449 - 03 Jun 2022
Viewed by 1264
Abstract
Long-term HIV/AIDS survivors responded online concerning their experiences during the AIDS and COVID pandemics. Recruited from web-based organizations for AIDS survivors, 147 answered questions on: frequency of experiencing stigma, isolation, aloneness, or grief/sadness; pet ownership; and sources of human support during each pandemic. [...] Read more.
Long-term HIV/AIDS survivors responded online concerning their experiences during the AIDS and COVID pandemics. Recruited from web-based organizations for AIDS survivors, 147 answered questions on: frequency of experiencing stigma, isolation, aloneness, or grief/sadness; pet ownership; and sources of human support during each pandemic. Conditional inference trees were run to identify relevant demographic factors. Post-hoc comparisons were conducted to compare dog owners and cat owners. AIDS survivors reported more frequent feelings of stigma, aloneness, and sadness/grief during the AIDS pandemic than during COVID. Cat owners’ sadness/grief during AIDS was greater than non-owners. During COVID, older respondents unexpectedly were less often sad/grieving than younger ones; dog owners less often felt alone and isolated than non-dog owners. Support during the AIDS pandemic retrospectively was rated better for older respondents; young gays’ support was greater than young straights. During COVID, support was better for men than women. Contrastingly, women with pets felt less support than those without; men with dogs felt more support than those without. Cat owners more often felt isolated and unsupported during COVID than dog owners. Few dog or cat owners received support from family members in either pandemic; during AIDS, family support was better for owners of dogs than cats. Full article
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Article
An Observational Survey Study on the Use of Locoregional Anaesthesia in Non-Conventional Species: Current Practice and Potential Future Developments
Animals 2022, 12(11), 1448; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12111448 - 03 Jun 2022
Viewed by 359
Abstract
The objectives of this study were to investigate the current attitudes of veterinarians towards the use of locoregional anaesthesia in non-conventional animal species and to identify areas for future useful research on this topic. A questionnaire was circulated online. A total of 417 [...] Read more.
The objectives of this study were to investigate the current attitudes of veterinarians towards the use of locoregional anaesthesia in non-conventional animal species and to identify areas for future useful research on this topic. A questionnaire was circulated online. A total of 417 veterinarians, including American and European specialists/specialists-in-training in both zoological medicine and anaesthesia/analgesia (ACZM/ECZM and ACVAA/ECVAA), participated in the study. Fifty-nine percent of respondents performed locoregional anaesthesia in rabbits, with intratesticular injections and local infiltration being the most commonly-reported techniques. ACZM/ECZM specialists reportedly performed dental blocks in rabbits more frequently than ACVAA/ECVAA specialists (p = 0.030). Forty percent of respondents performed locoregional anaesthesia in rodents, with intratesticular injections, topical/splash blocks and local infiltration being the most commonly reported techniques. The proportions of respondents who reportedly used locoregional anaesthesia in ferrets, birds and reptiles were 37.9%, 34.5% and 31.2%, respectively. The use of Tuohy (p < 0.001) and spinal needles (p < 0.001), as well as of ultrasonography (p = 0.009) and nerve-stimulators (p < 0.001), was more common among ACVAA/ECVAA compared to ACZM/ECZM specialists. Major topic areas for future research were identified as dental block techniques for rabbits and rodents and blocks for the wings of birds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Loco-Regional Anaesthesia in Veterinary Medicine)
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Article
Development of a New Wearable 3D Sensor Node and Innovative Open Classification System for Dairy Cows’ Behavior
Animals 2022, 12(11), 1447; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12111447 - 03 Jun 2022
Viewed by 563
Abstract
Monitoring dairy cattle behavior can improve the detection of health and welfare issues for early interventions. Often commercial sensors do not provide researchers with sufficient raw and open data; therefore, the aim of this study was to develop an open and customizable system [...] Read more.
Monitoring dairy cattle behavior can improve the detection of health and welfare issues for early interventions. Often commercial sensors do not provide researchers with sufficient raw and open data; therefore, the aim of this study was to develop an open and customizable system to classify cattle behaviors. A 3D accelerometer device and host-board (i.e., sensor node) were embedded in a case and fixed on a dairy cow collar. It was developed to work in two modes: (1) acquisition mode, where a mobile application supported the raw data collection during observations; and (2) operating mode, where data was processed and sent to a gateway and on the cloud. Accelerations were sampled at 25 Hz and behaviors were classified in 10-min windows. Several algorithms were trained with the 108 h of behavioral data acquired from 32 cows on 3 farms, and after evaluating their computational/memory complexity and accuracy, the Decision Tree algorithm was selected. This model detected standing, lying, eating, and ruminating with an average accuracy of 85.12%. The open nature of this system enables for the addition of other functions (e.g., real-time localization of cows) and the integration with other information sources, e.g., microenvironment and air quality sensors, thereby enhancing data processing potential. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal System and Management)
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Article
Precision Feeding in Ecological Pig-Raising Systems with Maize Silage
Animals 2022, 12(11), 1446; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12111446 - 03 Jun 2022
Viewed by 416
Abstract
Ecological pig-raising systems (EPRSs) differ from conventional breeding systems, focusing more on environmental consequences, human health, and food safety during production processes. Thus productions from EPRSs have undergone significant development in China. Thus far, adding plant fiber sources (e.g., sweet potato leaves, maize [...] Read more.
Ecological pig-raising systems (EPRSs) differ from conventional breeding systems, focusing more on environmental consequences, human health, and food safety during production processes. Thus productions from EPRSs have undergone significant development in China. Thus far, adding plant fiber sources (e.g., sweet potato leaves, maize or wheat straw, potato, alfalfa, and vinasse) to feed has become a common practice to reduce the cost during the fattening period. Under such a context, it is necessary to choose the precision EPRS diet components and fattening period with low environmental consequences and high economic benefits. This study set up a database via pig growth models to predict environmental and economic performance based on two trials with 0%, 10%, 40%, 60%, and 80% maize silage (dry weight) added to the feed. A continuous curve about plant fiber concentration was built through the generated database. Our results showed that, with increased plant fiber concentration, the environmental performance of the EPRSs exhibited an “increase-decrease-increase” trend, and the economic performance firstly increased and then decreased. The best maize silage added percentages of emergy yield ratio (EYR), environmental loading ratio (ELR), unit emergy value (UEV), and emergy sustainability index (ESI), and the economic profits were 19.0%, 34.3%, 24.6%, 19.9%, and 18.0%, respectively. Besides, the 19.9% sun-dried maize silage added to the feed with a 360-day raising period had the best balance for environmental impact and economic performance. At the balance point, the performances of EYR, ELR, UEV, ESI, and the economic profit were only 0.04%, 3.0%, 0.8%, 0.0%, and 0.1%, respectively, lower than their maximum values. Therefore, we recommended the feed added 20% sun-dried maize silage is suitable for practical pig raising systems. Full article
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Article
Immunocyte Populations Observed from Birth to Weaning in Blood, Spleen and Mesenteric Lymph Nodes of Piglets
Animals 2022, 12(11), 1445; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12111445 - 03 Jun 2022
Viewed by 302
Abstract
Susceptibility to pathogen infections and efficacy of vaccination highly depend on the immune status of the piglet. Here, we measured immunocytes in piglets from birth to weaning to elucidate how immunocyte populations change during development and are affected by weaning. Crossbred piglets were [...] Read more.
Susceptibility to pathogen infections and efficacy of vaccination highly depend on the immune status of the piglet. Here, we measured immunocytes in piglets from birth to weaning to elucidate how immunocyte populations change during development and are affected by weaning. Crossbred piglets were used. Suckling piglets were euthanized at 1, 7, 14, 21, 28 or 35 days old (3~4 piglets at each time point). In addition, seven piglets were weaned at 21 days old, with four being euthanized at 28 days old and the remaining at 35 days old. Piglet carcasses were dissected, and blood, mesenteric lymph nodes (MLN) and spleen were sampled. In total, seven antibodies were used to stain the immunocyte population. Dynamics of myeloid (CD3SWC3+CD16+), natural killer (NK; CD3SWC3CD16+), killer T (CD3+CD8+), helper T (CD3+CD4+) and B (CD3CD21+) cells were analyzed. Percentage of innate immunity cells such as myeloid cells declined (p < 0.05) from the first day after birth. In contrast, percentage of NK cells increased in piglets while they were still suckling. Killer T, helper T, and B cell populations increased around 2~3 weeks after birth. No significant differences in the populations of the evaluated cell types were observed between suckling and weaned piglets at least for 14 days post weaning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Neonate: Care and Immunity)
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Communication
Effect of the Addition of Donkey Milk on the Acceptability of Caciotta Cow Cheese
Animals 2022, 12(11), 1444; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12111444 - 03 Jun 2022
Viewed by 369
Abstract
This study investigated the effects of adding donkey milk in cheesemaking on the acceptability of a Caciotta cow cheese after 10 and 45 days of ripening. The cheeses produced were: a control cheese with cow’s milk only and experimental cheese with the addition [...] Read more.
This study investigated the effects of adding donkey milk in cheesemaking on the acceptability of a Caciotta cow cheese after 10 and 45 days of ripening. The cheeses produced were: a control cheese with cow’s milk only and experimental cheese with the addition of 5% donkey’s milk. The acceptability of Caciotta was determined by the judgement of 80 habitual cheese consumers. The acceptability of the Caciotta cheese was significantly influenced by the addition of donkey milk, with the exception of the texture parameter. At a ripening time of 10 days, the control cheese scored significantly higher than the experimental cheese for aroma, flavor and overall liking; conversely, at the longest time, the experimental cheese had significantly higher scores for color, aroma, flavor, and overall liking. Our results confirm that the use of donkey milk in cheesemaking can improve cheese acceptability. In addition, the known benefits of using donkey milk in cheesemaking, such as the reduction of blowing defects and the probiotic properties, could increase interest in innovative products among both processors and consumers. Processors could reduce, if not eliminate, the use of additives in cheesemaking, while cheese could also appeal to consumers of probiotic and fermented products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Nutrition)
Article
Renal Lesions in Horses with Oleander (Nerium oleander) Poisoning
Animals 2022, 12(11), 1443; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12111443 - 03 Jun 2022
Viewed by 364
Abstract
A presumptive postmortem diagnosis of oleander (Nerium oleander) poisoning is made based on the histological observation of cardiomyocyte degeneration and necrosis, which is considered to be a reliable diagnostic marker, and can be confirmed via the detection of oleandrin in tissues [...] Read more.
A presumptive postmortem diagnosis of oleander (Nerium oleander) poisoning is made based on the histological observation of cardiomyocyte degeneration and necrosis, which is considered to be a reliable diagnostic marker, and can be confirmed via the detection of oleandrin in tissues or fluids. However, cardiac lesions may not be present in every case, and autolysis can often preclude the identification of subtle changes in the cardiomyocytes. Several studies of experimental oleander poisoning have noted the presence of renal lesions in multiple mammalian species, and case studies of accidental exposure have found similar, although more variably severe, renal abnormalities. Kidney pathology in horses with oleander poisoning has been only briefly mentioned. In this study, we reviewed 21 cases of spontaneous oleander poisoning in horses, evaluated the kidneys microscopically, and compared the renal microscopic lesions with those detected in 10 horses that died or were euthanized due to other causes to assess if histological renal changes could serve as an additional diagnostic marker for oleander poisoning in horses. We found that microscopic renal lesions, principally mild to moderate tubular changes such as hyaline cast formation, neutrophilic casts, epithelial attenuation and necrosis, as well as mineralization and congestion, occur in horses with oleander poisoning. Most of these changes match the descriptions of lesions previously noted in other species, although with less frequency and severity. Similar lesions were found in horses that died spontaneously due to different causes or were euthanized. We concluded that microscopic renal lesions may be detected in horses with oleander poisoning but they cannot be used as a diagnostic marker that allows differentiation from other disease processes or causes of death. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Veterinary Pathology)
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