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Animals, Volume 12, Issue 12 (June-2 2022) – 122 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Time-activity budgets describe how animals divide their day into various behaviours and activities, e.g., time spent foraging or resting. Activity budgets serve as crucial indicators of energy intake and expenditure, providing knowledge on a species’ lifestyle. Conventionally, group-level time-activity budgets are quantified, ignoring the great variability among individuals. We considered animal personality, a behavioural and cognitive construct that makes one individual different from another, as a predictor of individual-level variation in time-activity budgets. Using a multi-method approach including behavioural observations and experiments, the personalities of lion-tailed macaques were assessed. As hypothesized, personality traits significantly predicted individual time-activity budgets, which can be broadly categorized into food-related, active, and resting behaviours. View this paper
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13 pages, 263 KiB  
Article
A Preliminary Study of Modulen IBD Liquid Diet in Hospitalized Dogs with Protein-Losing Enteropathy
by Aarti Kathrani and Gina Parkes
Animals 2022, 12(12), 1594; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12121594 - 20 Jun 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1813
Abstract
Modulen IBD is an enteral liquid diet that can induce remission rates similar to glucocorticoids in children with inflammatory bowel disease. The Modulen IBD liquid diet has not been previously investigated in dogs. Our study aimed to describe the use of the Modulen [...] Read more.
Modulen IBD is an enteral liquid diet that can induce remission rates similar to glucocorticoids in children with inflammatory bowel disease. The Modulen IBD liquid diet has not been previously investigated in dogs. Our study aimed to describe the use of the Modulen IBD liquid diet in hospitalized dogs with inflammatory protein-losing enteropathy (PLE), including its tolerance and effects on appetite and gastrointestinal signs, and laboratory parameters during hospitalization. Of the 14 dogs hospitalized for PLE that had an esophagostomy feeding tube placed at the time of endoscopy, 5 were eligible and prospectively enrolled. The Modulen IBD liquid diet was supplemented with whey powder isolate and a multivitamin/mineral blend to ensure the diet was complete and balanced for canine adult maintenance and had a macronutrient profile desirable for PLE. All five dogs tolerated tube feedings with the Modulen IBD liquid diet, allowing an increase of 75 to 100% of the resting energy requirement (RER) by day 3 to 4. The diet was administered without glucocorticoid in all five dogs. All five of these dogs had a resolution of anorexia allowing the voluntary intake of a commercial hydrolyzed protein diet prior to the use of glucocorticoids. Of these five dogs, three (60%) had stable or improved serum albumin concentrations (median % increase: 10.3, range: 0–31.1), four (80%) had improved or normalized serum globulin concentrations (median % increase: 12.9, range: 5.1–66.2) and four (80%) had improved or normalized serum cholesterol concentrations (median % increase: 31.5, range: 4.8–63) 2–3 days after initiating the diet. However, there were no significant differences in these selected biochemical parameters pre- and post-feeding with the diet (p > 0.080). In conclusion, the Modulen IBD liquid diet, fed via an esophagostomy feeding tube was well-tolerated in-hospital and resolved anorexia in all dogs and helped to improve selected biochemical parameters in some dogs. Further studies are needed to assess the long-term effects of feeding this diet on the rate of serum albumin increase and remission in dogs with inflammatory PLE. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Frontiers in Canine and Feline Gastrointestinal Disease)
11 pages, 1377 KiB  
Communication
Influenza A in Wild Boars: Viral Circulation in the Emilia-Romagna Region (Northern Italy) between 2017 and 2022
by Alice Prosperi, Laura Soliani, Elena Canelli, Laura Baioni, Valentina Gabbi, Camilla Torreggiani, Roberta Manfredi, Irene Calanchi, Giovanni Pupillo, Filippo Barsi, Patrizia Bassi, Laura Fiorentini, Matteo Frasnelli, Maria Cristina Fontana, Andrea Luppi and Chiara Chiapponi
Animals 2022, 12(12), 1593; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12121593 - 20 Jun 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1674
Abstract
A systematic surveillance against influenza A viruses (IAVs) in the Suidae population is essential, considering their role as IAV mixing vessels. However, the viral circulation in wild Sus scrofa species is poorly investigated in comparison to the knowledge of IAV infection dynamics in [...] Read more.
A systematic surveillance against influenza A viruses (IAVs) in the Suidae population is essential, considering their role as IAV mixing vessels. However, the viral circulation in wild Sus scrofa species is poorly investigated in comparison to the knowledge of IAV infection dynamics in domestic pigs. This study investigated the circulation and the genetic diversity of wild boars’ IAVs detected in the Emilia-Romagna region (2017–2022). A total of 4605 lung samples were screened via an M gene real-time RT-PCR for SwIAV; positive samples were subtyped by multiplex RT-PCR, and viral isolation was attempted. Isolated strains (3 out of the 17 positives) were fully sequenced to evaluate viral genotypic diversity. H1N1 was the most frequently detected subtype, with identification of H1pdm09N1 and H1avN1. Whole-genome phylogenetic analysis revealed SwIAVs belonging to different genotypes, with different genetic combinations, and highlighted the simultaneous circulation of the same genotypes in both pigs and wild boars, supporting the hypothesis of SwIAV spillover events at the wildlife–livestock interface. This study represents an update on the wild boar SwIAV Italian situation, and the strains’ complete genome analysis showed an evolving and interesting situation that deserves further investigation. Full article
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65 pages, 32092 KiB  
Article
Before Azaria: A Historical Perspective on Dingo Attacks
by Adam Brumm
Animals 2022, 12(12), 1592; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12121592 - 20 Jun 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 6233
Abstract
This paper investigates the origin of the once popular belief in Australian society that wild dingoes do not attack humans. To address this problem, a digital repository of archived newspaper articles and other published texts written between 1788 and 1979 were searched for [...] Read more.
This paper investigates the origin of the once popular belief in Australian society that wild dingoes do not attack humans. To address this problem, a digital repository of archived newspaper articles and other published texts written between 1788 and 1979 were searched for references to dingoes attacking non-Indigenous people. A total of 52 accounts spanning the period between 1804 and 1928 was identified. A comparison of these historical accounts with the details of modern dingo attacks suggests that at least some of the former are credible. The paper also examined commonly held attitudes towards dingoes in past Australian society based on historical print media articles and other records. Early chroniclers of Australian rural life and culture maintained that dingoes occasionally killed and ate humans out of a predatory motivation. By the early decades of the 20th century, however, an opposing view of this species had emerged: namely, that dingoes were timid animals that continued to pose a danger to livestock, but never to people. This change in the cultural image of dingoes can possibly be linked to more than a century of lethal dingo control efforts greatly reducing the frequency of human–dingo interactions in the most populous parts of the country. This intensive culling may also have expunged the wild genetic pool of dingoes that exhibited bold behaviour around people and/or created a dingo population that was largely wary of humans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Human-Animal Interactions, Animal Behaviour and Emotion)
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14 pages, 3206 KiB  
Article
Effects of Dietary Fucoidan Supplementation on Serum Biochemical Parameters, Small Intestinal Barrier Function, and Cecal Microbiota of Weaned Goat Kids
by Weiguang Yang, Guangzhen Guo, Jiayi Chen, Shengnan Wang, Zhenhua Gao, Zhihui Zhao and Fuquan Yin
Animals 2022, 12(12), 1591; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12121591 - 20 Jun 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1810
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of fucoidan supplementation on serum biochemical parameters, small intestinal barrier function, and cecal microbiota of weaned goat kids. A total of 60 2-month-old weaned castrated male goat kids (Chuanzhong black goat) were used [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of fucoidan supplementation on serum biochemical parameters, small intestinal barrier function, and cecal microbiota of weaned goat kids. A total of 60 2-month-old weaned castrated male goat kids (Chuanzhong black goat) were used in this 30-day experiment. The goat kids were randomly divided into four groups: a control group (CON) fed the basal diet, and three other groups supplemented with 0.1%, 0.3%, and 0.5% fucoidan in the basal diet (denoted as F1, F2, and F3 groups, respectively). The results indicated that dietary fucoidan supplementation decreased (p < 0.05) the activity of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and the content of glucose (GLU) as measured on day 15. As measured on day 30, dietary fucoidan increased (p < 0.05) the content of total protein (TP) and decreased the activity of aspartate aminotransferase (AST), and supplementation with 0.3% and 0.5% fucoidan decreased (p < 0.05) the activity of LDH. Dietary fucoidan decreased (p < 0.05) the content of D-lactic acid (D-LA) and the activity of diamine oxidase (DAO). Dietary fucoidan increased (p < 0.05) the activity of catalase (CAT) in the duodenum. Dietary 0.3% and 0.5% fucoidan enhanced (p < 0.05) the activity of glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) in the ileum, the activity of total superoxide dismutase (T-SOD) in the jejunum and ileum, and the activity of CAT in the ileum. Dietary 0.3% and 0.5% fucoidan reduced the contents of malondialdehyde (MDA) in the duodenum, jejunum, and ileum and the content of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) in the duodenum. Dietary fucoidan increased (p < 0.05) the content of secretory immunoglobulin A (sIgA) in the duodenum. Supplementation of 0.3% and 0.5% fucoidan upregulated (p < 0.05) the gene expression of ZO-1 and claudin-1 in the duodenum, jejunum, and ileum, and dietary supplementation of 0.3% and 0.5% fucoidan upregulated (p < 0.05) the gene expression of occludin in the jejunum and ileum. The 16S rRNA high-throughput sequencing results showed that at the phylum level, dietary fucoidan increased (p < 0.05) the abundance of Bacteroidetes while decreasing (p < 0.05) the abundance of Firmicutes. At the genus level, dietary 0.3% and 0.5% fucoidan increased (p < 0.05) the abundances of Unspecified_Ruminococcaceae, Unspecified_Bacteroidale, Unspecified_Clostridiales, and Akkermansia. In conclusion, dietary fucoidan supplementation had positive effects on intestinal permeability, antioxidant capacity, immunity function, tight junctions, and the cecal microflora balance in weaned goat kids. Full article
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9 pages, 3932 KiB  
Review
Yellow Lamb Disease (Clostridium perfringens Type A Enterotoxemia of Sheep): A Review
by Francisco A. Uzal, Federico Giannitti and Javier Asin
Animals 2022, 12(12), 1590; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12121590 - 20 Jun 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3498
Abstract
Yellow lamb disease is an infrequent disease in sheep for which there is scant literature, and that has been reported in the US, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Europe, although anecdotal evidence indicates that it may have also been diagnosed in South [...] Read more.
Yellow lamb disease is an infrequent disease in sheep for which there is scant literature, and that has been reported in the US, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Europe, although anecdotal evidence indicates that it may have also been diagnosed in South America. The disease is produced by some strains of Clostridium perfringens type A that produce unusually high levels of alpha- toxin. Because C. perfringens type A is ubiquitous and is found in the intestine of most clinically healthy sheep, diagnosis of yellow lamb disease is challenging and requires quantitating the amount of this microorganism present in feces and/or intestinal content. Clinically, yellow lamb disease is characterized by depression, anemia, icterus and hemoglobinuria. Occasionally, sudden death may occur. Gross findings include generalized icterus, red urine in the bladder, enlarged, pale, and friable spleen, enlarged liver with an acinar pattern, and dark, swollen kidneys. Microscopically, yellow lamb disease is characterized by centrilobular necrosis of the liver, hemoglobinuria-associated acute tubular injury, splenic congestion, pulmonary congestion and edema. Although there are no vaccines specifically designed to prevent yellow lamb disease, several vaccines against the different types of C. perfringens may afford at least some level of protection against yellow lamb disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Anaemia Associated Disorders in Sheep)
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14 pages, 312 KiB  
Article
Replacing the Concentrate Feed Mixture with Moringa oleifera Leaves Silage and Chlorella vulgaris Microalgae Mixture in Diets of Damascus Goats: Lactation Performance, Nutrient Utilization, and Ruminal Fermentation
by Ahmed E. Kholif, Gouda A. Gouda, Amgad A. Abu Elella and Amlan K. Patra
Animals 2022, 12(12), 1589; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12121589 - 20 Jun 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2131
Abstract
Exploring suitable alternatives for high-cost concentrate feeds is a critical factor for successful livestock production. The present experiment aimed to evaluate the dietary inclusion of Moringa oleifera silage and Chlorella vulgaris microalgae (at 1% of total diet, DM basis) in a quintuplicate 3 [...] Read more.
Exploring suitable alternatives for high-cost concentrate feeds is a critical factor for successful livestock production. The present experiment aimed to evaluate the dietary inclusion of Moringa oleifera silage and Chlorella vulgaris microalgae (at 1% of total diet, DM basis) in a quintuplicate 3 × 3 Latin square design for milk production performance, nutrient utilization and ruminal fermentation in Damascus goats. Fifteen lactating Damascus goats were divided into three groups to be fed a diet composed of a concentrate mixture and rice straw at 60:40 (DM basis) in the control group and fed for 30 days in each period. The concentrate mixture in the control treatment was replaced with M. oleifera silage and C. vulgaris microalgae at 20% (MA20 treatment) or 40% (MA40 treatment). Treatments did not affect total feed intake but increased (p < 0.01) crude protein (CP) and fiber intakes while decreasing nonstructural carbohydrates intake. The digestibility of CP and acid detergent fiber increased due to silage supplementation compared to the control treatment. Treatments increased (p < 0.05) ruminal pH and the concentrations of total volatile fatty acids, acetate, and propionate; however, they decreased (p < 0.05) the concentrations of ammonia-N. Treatments increased (p < 0.05) the concentrations of serum glucose and antioxidant capacity. Both MA20 and MA40 treatments increased the daily milk production, the concentrations of milk fat and lactose, and feed efficiency compared to the control treatment. Additionally, MA20 and MA40 treatments increased the proportions of total polyunsaturated fatty acids and total conjugated linoleic acids. It is concluded that the concentrate feed mixture in the diet of lactating goats can be replaced up to 40% (equals to 24% of total diet) with M. oleifera silage to improve feed intake and nutrient utilization, and milk production performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New and Potential Feedstuffs and Additives in Livestock)
9 pages, 782 KiB  
Brief Report
Prevalence and Evolution Analysis of Porcine Circovirus 3 in China from 2018 to 2022
by Dengjin Chen, Yi Huang, Yating Guo, Lihong Wang, Yongning Zhang, Lei Zhou, Xinna Ge, Jun Han, Xin Guo and Hanchun Yang
Animals 2022, 12(12), 1588; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12121588 - 20 Jun 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1676
Abstract
Porcine circovirus 3 (PCV3) is an emerging virus, causing substantial economic losses in pig populations, that was first detected in 2016. Furthermore, the virus has already been reported in Europe, the Americas, and Asia, including China, indicating that the virus has spread worldwide. [...] Read more.
Porcine circovirus 3 (PCV3) is an emerging virus, causing substantial economic losses in pig populations, that was first detected in 2016. Furthermore, the virus has already been reported in Europe, the Americas, and Asia, including China, indicating that the virus has spread worldwide. However, the molecular epidemiology of PCV3 still needs further study. To investigate PCV3 epidemiological characteristics in China, 2707 serum samples of pigs were randomly collected from 17 provinces in China between September 2018 and March 2022 and analyzed via PCR assays. The study showed that PCV3 infection was prevalent in the overall population with 31.07% (841/2707) and 100.0% (17/17) at sample and province levels, respectively, though the positivity rate of PCV3 varied from 7.41 to 70.0% in different provinces, suggesting that PCV3 infection has a widespread distribution in China. We selected 22 serum samples from different regions that had high levels of viral DNA for amplification and sequenced their ORF2 (Cap) gene. According to the phylogenetic analysis, all isolates in the current study could be grouped into two separate subclades, with 15 strains belonging to clade 3a and 7 strains belonging to clade 3b, indicating that PCV3a and PCV3b were the predominant subtypes in the regions of China studied. Meanwhile, additional analysis revealed that the capsid gene sequences identified in this study displayed 97.46~99.8% nucleotide (nt) and 97.06~100% amino acid (aa) sequence similarity with other PCV3 available reference strains, respectively. In general, our studies provide important insights for understanding the prevalence and evolution of PCV3 in China and will guide future efforts to develop measures for preventing and controlling the disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Frontiers in Porcine Circovirus 3 in the Swine Population)
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10 pages, 710 KiB  
Article
Two Different Copy Number Variations of the SOX5 and SOX8 Genes in Yak and Their Association with Growth Traits
by Zhilong Zhang, Min Chu, Qi Bao, Pengjia Bao, Xian Guo, Chunnian Liang and Ping Yan
Animals 2022, 12(12), 1587; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12121587 - 20 Jun 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1531
Abstract
Copy number variation (CNV) is a structural variant with significant impact on genetic diversity. CNV has been widely used in breeding for growth traits, meat production or quality, and coat color. SRY-like box genes (SOXs) are a class of transcription factors that play [...] Read more.
Copy number variation (CNV) is a structural variant with significant impact on genetic diversity. CNV has been widely used in breeding for growth traits, meat production or quality, and coat color. SRY-like box genes (SOXs) are a class of transcription factors that play a regulatory role in cell fate specification and differentiation. SOX5 and SOX8 belong to subgroups D and E of the SOXs, respectively. Previous studies have shown that SOX5 and SOX8 are essential in the development of bones. In this study, we explored the association between the growth traits and CNVs of SOX5 and SOX8 in 326 Ashidan yaks and detected mRNA expression levels in different tissues. Our results illustrated that CNVs of SOX5 and SOX8 were significantly associated with withers height at 18 months of age and chest girth at 30 months of age (p < 0.05). The CNV combination of SOX5 and SOX8 was significantly associated with withers height at 18 months of age (p < 0.01). SOX5 expression in the lung was significantly higher than in the heart, spleen, kidney, and muscle (p < 0.05). SOX8 expression in the lung was significantly higher than in the liver and muscle (p < 0.05). Our results provide evidence that the CNVs of SOX5 and SOX8 genes could be used as new markers for the selection of yak growth traits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Genetics and Genomics)
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14 pages, 2218 KiB  
Article
Immune Modulation Ability of Hepcidin from Teleost Fish
by Claudio Andrés Álvarez, Paula A. Santana, Nicolás Salinas-Parra, Dina Beltrán, Fanny Guzmán, Belinda Vega, Félix Acosta and Luis Mercado
Animals 2022, 12(12), 1586; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12121586 - 20 Jun 2022
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 1984
Abstract
Antimicrobial peptides (AMP) play an essential role in the innate immune system, modulating the defense response. In a previous study, we demonstrated the antimicrobial activity of synthetic hepcidin (hep20) from rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), and its protective effect in European sea [...] Read more.
Antimicrobial peptides (AMP) play an essential role in the innate immune system, modulating the defense response. In a previous study, we demonstrated the antimicrobial activity of synthetic hepcidin (hep20) from rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), and its protective effect in European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) challenged with Vibrio anguillarum. Additionally, we described the uptake and distribution of hep20 in different tissues and leukocyte cells. Interestingly, various AMPs characterized in high vertebrates, called host defense peptides (HDPs), also possess immunomodulation activity. For that reason, the present study explores the immunomodulatory abilities of hep20 through in vitro and in vivo studies. First, a monocyte/macrophage RTS-11 cell line from rainbow trout was used to evaluate hep20 effects on pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines in fish leukocyte cells. Next, the European sea bass juveniles were used to determine if hep20 can regulate the expression of cytokines in fish immune tissues. The results show that hep20 was uptake inner to RTS-11 cells and was able to induce the expression of IL-10, IL-1β, and TNFα at transcriptional and protein levels. Then, the European sea bass juveniles were given intraperitoneal injections of the peptide. At 1, 3, 7, 14, and 21 days post-injection (dpi), IL-10, IL -1β, and TNFα mRNA were quantified in the anterior gut, spleen, and head kidney. The hep20 was able to up-regulate cytokine gene expression in these tissues, mainly in the head kidney. Furthermore, the evaluated cytokines showed a cyclical tendency of higher to lesser expression. Finally, a bioinformatics analysis showed that the structure adopted by hep20 is similar to the γ-core domain described for cysteine-stabilized AMP, defined as immunomodulatory and antimicrobial, which could explain the ability of hep20 to regulate the cytokine expression. This study provides new insights into immunomodulatory function complementary to the previously established antimicrobial activity of hep20, suggesting a role as an HDP in teleost fish. These facts are likely to be associated with molecular functions underpinning the protective effect of fish hepcidin against pathogens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Fish and Shellfish Immunology)
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18 pages, 1178 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of a Treadmill-Based Submaximal Fitness Test in Pugs, and Collecting Breed-Specific Information on Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome
by Rebekka Mach, Pia S. Wiegel, Jan-Peter Bach, Martin Beyerbach, Lothar Kreienbrock and Ingo Nolte
Animals 2022, 12(12), 1585; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12121585 - 19 Jun 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 4037
Abstract
Despite efforts of veterinarians and breeders, brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS) is still a common problem in pugs, underlining the need for objective tests to identify and prevent breeding with affected dogs. In the current study, a submaximal, treadmill-based fitness test was evaluated [...] Read more.
Despite efforts of veterinarians and breeders, brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS) is still a common problem in pugs, underlining the need for objective tests to identify and prevent breeding with affected dogs. In the current study, a submaximal, treadmill-based fitness test was evaluated as a tool to identify signs of airway obstruction not recognisable under rest conditions. In addition to this, different body conformation and measurements were assessed regarding their association with BOAS. A total of 62 pugs and 10 mesocephalic dogs trotted with an individual comfort speed on a treadmill for 15 min. Before and during the examination, dogs were examined for signs of respiratory distress, and a functional BOAS grading was applied. The influence of body conformation on BOAS grading was tested in a univariable and multivariable logistic regression model. During exercise, more respiratory noises were observed, and existing respiratory noises became more apparent in comparison to when at rest. In the multivariable logistic regression model, no factor had a statistically significant influence on BOAS classification. Submaximal fitness testing helped to identify signs of respiratory distress not apparent under resting conditions, and could be a valuable addition for identifying dogs with BOAS. Performing testing on a treadmill facilitates continuous observation of the patients, and enables standardisation of the test regarding the test environment, as well as provides an uninterrupted, steady workload. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Veterinary Clinical Studies)
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13 pages, 2267 KiB  
Article
Identification of Genomic Regions and Candidate Genes for Litter Traits in French Large White Pigs Using Genome-Wide Association Studies
by Jianmei Chen, Ziyi Wu, Ruxue Chen, Zhihui Huang, Xuelei Han, Ruimin Qiao, Kejun Wang, Feng Yang, Xin-Jian Li and Xiu-Ling Li
Animals 2022, 12(12), 1584; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12121584 - 19 Jun 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2013
Abstract
The reproductive traits of sows are one of the important economic traits in pig production, and their performance directly affects the economic benefits of the entire pig industry. In this study, a total of 895 French Large White pigs were genotyped by GeneSeek [...] Read more.
The reproductive traits of sows are one of the important economic traits in pig production, and their performance directly affects the economic benefits of the entire pig industry. In this study, a total of 895 French Large White pigs were genotyped by GeneSeek Porcine 50K SNP Beadchip and four phenotypic traits of 1407 pigs were recorded, including total number born (TNB), number born alive (NBA), number healthy piglets (NHP) and litter weight born alive (LWB). To identify genomic regions and genes for these traits, we used two approaches: a single-locus genome-wide association study (GWAS) and a single-step GWAS (ssGWAS). Overall, a total of five SNPs and 36 genomic regions were identified by single-locus GWAS and ssGWAS, respectively. Notably, fourof all five significant SNPs were located in 10.72–11.06 Mb on chromosome 7, were also identified by ssGWAS. These regions explained the highest or second highest genetic variance in the TNB, NBA and NHP traits and harbor the protein coding gene ENSSSCG00000042180. In addition, several candidate genes associated with litter traits were identified, including JARID2, PDIA6, FLRT2 and DICER1. Overall, these novel results reflect the polygenic genetic architecture of the litter traits and provide a theoretical reference for the following implementation of molecular breeding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Genetics and Genomics)
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9 pages, 1035 KiB  
Article
Ecofriendly Usability of Mushroom Cultivation Substrate as a Ruminant Feed: Anaerobic Digestion Using Gas Production Techniques
by Valiollah Palangi, Adem Kaya, Ali Kaya and Ilias Giannenas
Animals 2022, 12(12), 1583; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12121583 - 19 Jun 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2787
Abstract
The current study was carried out to evaluate the nutritive value of mushroom-uncultivated and -cultivated substrates, and their in vitro gas and methane production. The experiment was conducted in a completely randomized design, and analyzed with GLM using SAS 9.4. Analysis of the [...] Read more.
The current study was carried out to evaluate the nutritive value of mushroom-uncultivated and -cultivated substrates, and their in vitro gas and methane production. The experiment was conducted in a completely randomized design, and analyzed with GLM using SAS 9.4. Analysis of the structural morphology of mushroom-cultivated substrate was performed using a scanning electron microscope. Mushroom cultivation led to lower ether extract, acid detergent fiber, and crude fiber level of substrate (p < 0.05). Mushroom-cultivated substrate showed higher in vitro cumulative gas production (p < 0.05). Moreover, mushroom cultivation led to a higher sample surface, and improved the microorganisms’ access to feed materials, thus stimulating rumen fermentation and increasing methane production (p < 0.05). The organic matter digestibility, metabolizable energy, and net energy lactation values were higher for mushroom-cultivated substrate than uncultivated substrate. The results demonstrate that mushroom-cultivation not only increases the contact surface of cellulose, leading to higher ruminal microorganisms’ access to feedstuff, but could also had higher nutritive value; this material might be used in ruminant ration formulation, to reduce environmental pollution and feed costs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New and Potential Feedstuffs and Additives in Livestock)
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13 pages, 275 KiB  
Article
Has the Australian Endemic Grey Falcon the Most Extreme Dietary Specialization among all Falco Species?
by Jonny Schoenjahn, Chris R. Pavey and Gimme H. Walter
Animals 2022, 12(12), 1582; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12121582 - 19 Jun 2022
Viewed by 1351
Abstract
A clear understanding of a species’ diet is crucial in understanding its spatio-temporal dynamics, and is, therefore, pertinent to conservation considerations. The diet of the Grey Falcon (Falco hypoleucos), a rare and threatened predator endemic to the Australian arid and semi-arid [...] Read more.
A clear understanding of a species’ diet is crucial in understanding its spatio-temporal dynamics, and is, therefore, pertinent to conservation considerations. The diet of the Grey Falcon (Falco hypoleucos), a rare and threatened predator endemic to the Australian arid and semi-arid zone, is subject to diverging assertions; therefore, we studied its diet through direct observation of food ingestion during more than 17 years of fieldwork across the species’ distribution. We found that Grey Falcons of all ages fed almost exclusively on a single type of food, namely, birds, and non-avian food items never constituted a substantial portion of any individual’s diet. The extraordinary circumstances that were associated with the ingestion of non-avian food suggest strongly that, across its vast distribution, throughout the year, and throughout its life, the Grey Falcon feeds almost exclusively on birds. Further, we compared the diets of all Falco species and found that the dietary specialization is most extreme in the Grey Falcon, more so than even in the Taita (F. fasciinucha) and Peregrine Falcons (F. peregrinus). Based on aspects of the species’ environment and relative prey availability, we offer an evolutionary explanation of the apparently unique dietary specialization of the arid-adapted Grey Falcon. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Wildlife)
13 pages, 272 KiB  
Article
Risk Factors and Clinical Presentation in Dogs with Increased Serum Pancreatic Lipase Concentrations—A Descriptive Analysis
by Harry Cridge, Nicole Scott and Jörg M. Steiner
Animals 2022, 12(12), 1581; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12121581 - 19 Jun 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3118
Abstract
Limited data exist regarding the full array of clinical signs seen in dogs with pancreatitis and potential risk factors for the disease. Laboratory submissions from the Gastrointestinal Laboratory at Texas A&M University were retrospectively reviewed for dogs with an increased serum pancreatic lipase [...] Read more.
Limited data exist regarding the full array of clinical signs seen in dogs with pancreatitis and potential risk factors for the disease. Laboratory submissions from the Gastrointestinal Laboratory at Texas A&M University were retrospectively reviewed for dogs with an increased serum pancreatic lipase immunoreactivity (cPLI) concentration (≥400 µg/L), and an internet-based survey was distributed to the attending veterinarian and/or technician on each case. The survey contained questions related to (i) clinical signs, (ii) prior gastrointestinal upset, (iii) comorbidities, (iv) pre-existing medical therapies, and (v) dietary history. One hundred and seventy (170) survey responses were recorded. The top three clinical signs reported were inappetence (62%), diarrhea (53%), and vomiting (49%). Abdominal pain was noted in only 32% of dogs, likely associated with poor pain detection. Additionally, the majority of dogs (71%) had prior episodes of gastrointestinal upset within the past 12 months, lending support for the commonality of recurrent acute pancreatitis, or acute on chronic disease. Hepatobiliary abnormalities (24%) were the most common concurrent disease, and endocrine disorders were seen in a low proportion of respondents (5–8%). Adult maintenance diets (65%), dog treats (40%), and human foods (29%) were commonly consumed by dogs prior to the discovery of increased cPLI concentration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Frontiers in Canine and Feline Gastrointestinal Disease)
13 pages, 2153 KiB  
Article
The Effects of Pen Size and Design, Bedding, Rooting Material and Ambient Factors on Pen and Pig Cleanliness and Air Quality in Fattening Pig Houses
by Marko Ocepek and Inger Lise Andersen
Animals 2022, 12(12), 1580; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12121580 - 19 Jun 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3988
Abstract
There are several environmental and ambient factors that can affect pig eliminative behaviour. The aim of this survey was to investigate factors related to the physical and ambient environment that have the strongest effects on pig and pen cleanliness and ammonia concentration. Data [...] Read more.
There are several environmental and ambient factors that can affect pig eliminative behaviour. The aim of this survey was to investigate factors related to the physical and ambient environment that have the strongest effects on pig and pen cleanliness and ammonia concentration. Data were collected from 87 pig farms and analysed using mixed (ammonia concentration) or generalized linear (pen and pig cleanliness) model in SAS. The pen was cleaner when pen partitions were open compared to closed (p = 0.010) and increased with increasing amount of litter (p = 0.002), using straw (p = 0.002) as rooting material. Pig cleanliness was higher when pen partitions in the eliminative area were open compared to closed (p = 0.007) and increased with increasing space per pig in the resting area (p < 0.001), with decreasing temperature (p < 0.001), and lowering of air velocity (p = 0.003). Other factors that increased cleanliness was using straw as rooting material (p = 0.028) and increasing amount of litter in the resting area (p = 0.002). Ammonia concentration was reduced with increasing floor space in the eliminative area (p < 0.001) and increasing amount of litter (p = 0.006). Our results pinpoint physical and ambient conditions affecting pen and pig cleanliness and air quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Behaviour of Pigs in Relation to Housing Environment)
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13 pages, 1003 KiB  
Article
Effects of Dietary Fiber Type on Growth Performance, Serum Parameters and Fecal Microbiota Composition in Weaned and Growing-Finishing Pigs
by Zhiqian Lv, Zeyu Zhang, Fenglai Wang, Jiyu Guo, Xiaogang Zhao and Jinbiao Zhao
Animals 2022, 12(12), 1579; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12121579 - 19 Jun 2022
Viewed by 1731
Abstract
The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of different SDF to IDF ratios on growth performance, serum indexes and fecal microbial community in pigs. Weaned and growing-finishing pigs were fed a diet containing five different ratios of SDF to IDF [...] Read more.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of different SDF to IDF ratios on growth performance, serum indexes and fecal microbial community in pigs. Weaned and growing-finishing pigs were fed a diet containing five different ratios of SDF to IDF from 1:5 to 1:9 and from 1:3 to 1:7, respectively. Results showed a linear tendency that average daily gain (ADG) of weaned pigs decreased but the feed intake to weight gain ratio (F/G) increased as the ratio of SDF to IDF increased from 1:5 to 1:9 (p = 0.06). The ADG of growing-finishing pigs showed quadratic changes (p < 0.05) as ratios of SDF to IDF increased from 1:3 to 1:7. The Shannon index of fecal microbial diversity increased first and then decreased as the SDF to IDF ratio increased from 1:5 to 1:9 (p < 0.05). The Shannon and Chao indexes of fecal microbial diversity in growing-finishing pigs showed significant incremental linearly as the SDF to IDF ratio increased from 1:3 to 1:7 (p < 0.05). In conclusion, the recommended inclusion ratios of SDF to IDF in weaned and growing-finishing pigs diets are 1:7 and 1:5. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrient Digestion Kinetics in Pigs and Poultry)
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16 pages, 1668 KiB  
Review
Epidemiology, Diagnosis, and Prevention of Sparganosis in Asia
by Wei Liu, Tengfang Gong, Shuyu Chen, Quan Liu, Haoying Zhou, Junlin He, Yong Wu, Fen Li and Yisong Liu
Animals 2022, 12(12), 1578; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12121578 - 18 Jun 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 5325
Abstract
Sparganosis is a zoonotic parasitic disease caused by the larvae (spargana) of the genus Spirometra, which is widely distributed globally and threatens human health. More than 60 species of Spirometra have already been identified, and over 2000 cases have been reported. This [...] Read more.
Sparganosis is a zoonotic parasitic disease caused by the larvae (spargana) of the genus Spirometra, which is widely distributed globally and threatens human health. More than 60 species of Spirometra have already been identified, and over 2000 cases have been reported. This review summarizes the prevalence of humans, frogs, snakes, and other animals with spargana. Furthermore, the infection mode, distribution, and site are summarized and analyzed. We also describe the epidemiology, molecular diagnosis, and other aspects which are of considerable significance to preventing sparganum. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Advances in Parasite Epidemiology and Population Genetics)
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14 pages, 2019 KiB  
Review
Biogenic Amines in Poultry Meat and Poultry Products: Formation, Appearance, and Methods of Reduction
by Wojciech Wójcik, Monika Łukasiewicz-Mierzejewska, Krzysztof Damaziak and Damian Bień
Animals 2022, 12(12), 1577; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12121577 - 18 Jun 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2527
Abstract
Poultry meat is a source of many important nutrients, micro- and macro-elements, and biologically active substances. During meat storage, many physicochemical changes take place, also affecting the content of biologically active substances, including biogenic amines.They are formed as a result of three processes: [...] Read more.
Poultry meat is a source of many important nutrients, micro- and macro-elements, and biologically active substances. During meat storage, many physicochemical changes take place, also affecting the content of biologically active substances, including biogenic amines.They are formed as a result of three processes: decarboxylation of amino acids by microorganisms, reductive amination, and transamination of aldehydes and ketones, and as a result of activity of body tissues. Excessive consumption of biogenic amines shows toxic properties. The increasing consumption of poultry meat and the lack of established limits for biogenic amine content is a major challenge for scientists, producers, and consumer organisations, which have not yet established limits for biogenic amine content in meat (including poultry meat). Analyses of biogenic amine content in meat account for less than 10% of scientific papers, which raises the scope of the problem of limiting biogenic amines in meat. Among the methods of amine reduction are methods of destroying or reducing microorganisms’ high hydrostatic pressure (HHP), ozonisation, radiation, or the use of essential oils. Full article
16 pages, 1684 KiB  
Article
The Use of Live Action, Animation, and Computer-Generated Imagery in the Depiction of Non-Human Primates in Film
by Alexandra Martinez, Marco Campera and K. A. I. Nekaris
Animals 2022, 12(12), 1576; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12121576 - 18 Jun 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2817
Abstract
For over 100 years, non-human primates (primates) have been a part of the now hundred-billion-dollar global film industry in a variety of capacities. Their use in the film industry is of concern due to the negative welfare effects on individuals, the potential for [...] Read more.
For over 100 years, non-human primates (primates) have been a part of the now hundred-billion-dollar global film industry in a variety of capacities. Their use in the film industry is of concern due to the negative welfare effects on individuals, the potential for increased pet trade, and the conservation impacts of public perception. While the effects on human perception of using live primates in film have been studied, little research has been performed on their appearance in animation and none in computer-generated imagery (CGI). We aimed to investigate how the portrayal of primates varied between depiction medium types and how this related to the films’ performance with critics and in the box office. We observed 151 primates in 101 different English-speaking films that debuted between 2000 and 2019. For each appearance we recorded aspects of primate portrayals based on accuracy, anthropomorphism, environment, and agency displayed, along with the depiction medium. We used structural equation models to depict the highest likelihood of the portrayal aspects on the medium’s relationship to the films gross profit worldwide and film critic consensus scores. We found that over the 20-year time frame, use of live primates has decreased, CGI has increased, and animations have remained relatively steady. While animation had no significant relationship to gross profit or critic consensus, both were significantly lower for films that used live primates and were significantly higher for films that used CGI primates. Due to the steady increase in the use of the CGI medium and its positive relationship with gross profit and critic consensus, it could have great effects on people’s perceptions of primates and implications for conservation efforts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Welfare)
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9 pages, 593 KiB  
Article
Urinary Protein/Creatinine Ratio in Feline Medicine: Reasons to Perform It and Its Role in Clinical Practice—A Retrospective Study
by Maria Ana Fidalgo, Rodolfo Oliveira Leal and José Henrique Duarte-Correia
Animals 2022, 12(12), 1575; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12121575 - 18 Jun 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2415
Abstract
This study aimed at understanding the reasons veterinarians conduct a urinary protein/creatinine ratio (UPCR) in cats, correlating it with signalment, dipstick proteinuria tests, and urine specific gravity (USG) and assessing its role in chronic kidney disease (CKD) diagnosis and monitoring. A retrospective study [...] Read more.
This study aimed at understanding the reasons veterinarians conduct a urinary protein/creatinine ratio (UPCR) in cats, correlating it with signalment, dipstick proteinuria tests, and urine specific gravity (USG) and assessing its role in chronic kidney disease (CKD) diagnosis and monitoring. A retrospective study was conducted, including medical data from cats consulted between 2016 and 2018 in a veterinary teaching hospital and submitted to at least one UPCR measurement. A total of 140 cats were included: 35% non-proteinuric (UPCR < 0.2), 25% borderline proteinuric (0.2 < UPCR < 0.4), and 40% overtly proteinuric (UPCR > 0.4). In contrast to other studies, there was no association between UPCR and male reproductive status. UPCR was mainly requested for CKD diagnosis and monitoring. Correlation between UPCR and combined results from dipstick tests and USG was low and inconsistent. Proteinuric CKD cats had a worse outcome at both 6 (odds ratio (OR 4.04) and 12 months (OR 4.36)), and this finding was more pronounced for severely proteinuric cases in which the OR for death was 4.36 and 6.00 at 6 and at 12 months, respectively. In addition to reinforcing the negative prognostic value of proteinuria, this study stresses the low and the inconsistent agreement between UPCR and the combined results of dipstick tests and USG in cats. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Canine and Feline Nephropathies)
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19 pages, 2082 KiB  
Article
Pet dogs’ Behavioural Reaction to Their Caregiver’s Interactions with a Third Party: Join in or Interrupt?
by Sabrina Karl, Kristina Anderle, Christoph J. Völter and Zsófia Virányi
Animals 2022, 12(12), 1574; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12121574 - 18 Jun 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 4056
Abstract
Pet dogs are promising candidates to study attachment-related and potentially jealousy-like behaviours in non-human animals, as they form a strong and stable bond with their human caregivers who often engage in affiliative interactions with diverse social partners. Nevertheless, it is still debated whether [...] Read more.
Pet dogs are promising candidates to study attachment-related and potentially jealousy-like behaviours in non-human animals, as they form a strong and stable bond with their human caregivers who often engage in affiliative interactions with diverse social partners. Nevertheless, it is still debated whether non-human animals are capable of experiencing such complex emotions. Even though caregivers frequently report observations of jealousy-like behaviours in dogs, behavioural studies in dogs have thus far led to contradictory results. Adding to this complexity, dogs appear extraordinarily skilled in understanding humans’ communicative behaviour and can flexibly and diversely interact with them in social contexts. Here, we aimed at investigating (1) whether dogs indeed respond in a jealousy-consistent manner when seeing their caregiver interact in an affiliative way with a remotely controlled, realistic-looking fake dog, or (2) whether they would rather synchronize their reaction to the fake dog with the caregiver’s behaviour, or (3) whether they respond directly to the caregiver without paying much attention to the third party. To address what drives the dogs’ behaviours in this triadic situation, we compared four groups of dogs who first observed and then joined the interaction of either the caregiver or a stranger greeting or medically examining the fake dog. We found that the dogs initially responded negatively or neutrally when the fake dog entered the room but changed to more positive reactions when the caregiver approached the fake dog, especially if initiating a positive interaction. When being released, more dogs showed friendly behaviours towards the fake dog when the caregiver—rather than the stranger—was interacting with it. At the same time, however, the dogs tried to block the interaction of the caregiver with the fake dog more often than the one of the stranger. In conclusion, we did not find clear evidence for jealousy-like behaviours in dogs during the human–fake dog interactions, but we observed indicators of behavioural synchronization with the caregivers, suggesting that the caregivers’ affiliative behaviours directed at a third party may more often facilitate positive than negative interactions in dogs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Approaches to Comparative Study of Human and Animal Emotions)
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13 pages, 8718 KiB  
Article
Anatomy of the Palmar Region of the Carpus of the Dog
by Sonia González-Rellán, Andrés Barreiro, José Manuel Cifuentes and Patricia Fdz-de-Trocóniz
Animals 2022, 12(12), 1573; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12121573 - 18 Jun 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3847 | Correction
Abstract
The palmar region of the canine carpus is anatomically complex, and the information found in the literature about its anatomy is inconsistent. The aims of this prospective, descriptive, anatomic study were (1) the clarification and (2) the description of the precise anatomic composition [...] Read more.
The palmar region of the canine carpus is anatomically complex, and the information found in the literature about its anatomy is inconsistent. The aims of this prospective, descriptive, anatomic study were (1) the clarification and (2) the description of the precise anatomic composition of the palmar region of the canine carpus, with special reference to the canalis carpi. For this study, 92 cadaveric specimens were obtained from 46 dogs that had died for reasons unrelated to this study. Of these, 43 medium-to-large-breed dogs were randomly selected for the dissection of transverse slices of the carpus. Samples of the flexor retinaculum and flexor carpi radialis tendon and surrounding tissues were taken for complementary histology. For additional histology of the palmar structures in their anatomical position, three small breed dogs were randomly selected for obtaining transverse slices. The anatomic characteristics of the components of the palmar region of the canine carpus were qualitatively described, with special attention to the following structures: flexor retinaculum, flexor carpi radialis muscle, arteria and vena mediana, nervus medianus, interflexorius muscle, flexor digitorum profundus muscle, canalis carpi, and arteria and nervus ulnaris. The findings from this study provide reference information about the anatomy of the palmar region of the canine carpus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Companion Animals)
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10 pages, 1453 KiB  
Article
Investigation of Bacterial Isolations and Antimicrobial Susceptibility of Chronic Rhinitis in Cats
by Wannisa Meepoo, Tassanee Jaroensong, Chantima Pruksakorn and Jatuporn Rattanasrisomporn
Animals 2022, 12(12), 1572; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12121572 - 17 Jun 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2879
Abstract
Chronic rhinitis is a quite common upper respiratory tract (URT) disease in cats. As a result of unclear etiology, frequently, multidrug-resistant bacteria are identified. This study investigated bacterial isolations and an antimicrobial susceptibility test (AST) in chronic rhinitis in cats. The medical records [...] Read more.
Chronic rhinitis is a quite common upper respiratory tract (URT) disease in cats. As a result of unclear etiology, frequently, multidrug-resistant bacteria are identified. This study investigated bacterial isolations and an antimicrobial susceptibility test (AST) in chronic rhinitis in cats. The medical records of 395 cats with chronic URT signs were reviewed at the Kasetsart University Veterinary Teaching Hospital (KUVTH) between 2016 and 2021 to survey the underlying causes of URT. Then, apart from rhinitis, other causes were excluded to identify the bacterial species and antimicrobial susceptibility. The results indicated that the most frequent finding was neoplasia, followed by rhinitis and anatomical defects. Furthermore, the only significant association was between the age range and disease group, with gender, FIV, or FeLV infection not being significant. Rhinitis was 4.7 times more likely to occur than neoplasia in younger and young adult cats in the age range < 1–3 years compared to the group > 10 years. The main bacterial species was the Pseudomonas species. Antimicrobials with a susceptibility rate of more than 90% were amikacin, gentamicin, ciprofloxacin, norfloxacin, marbofloxacin, imipenem, and meropenem. In conclusion, rhinitis was the second most common chronic URT disease in cats and was more common in younger and young adult cats. The predominant bacteria with AST in this study reflect the antimicrobial resistance situation. Thus, antimicrobial usage should follow antimicrobial use guidelines first. Full article
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8 pages, 665 KiB  
Communication
The Mitochondrial Genome of Cylicocyclus elongatus (Strongylida: Strongylidae) and Its Comparative Analysis with Other Cylicocyclus Species
by Yuan Gao, Zhonghuai Zhang, Chunren Wang and Kai Zhao
Animals 2022, 12(12), 1571; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12121571 - 17 Jun 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1523
Abstract
Cylicocyclus elongatus (C. elongatus) is one of the species in Cylicocyclus, subfamily Cyathostominae, but its taxonomic status in Cylicocyclus is controversial. Mitochondrial (mt) genome is an excellent gene marker which could be used to address the taxonomy controversy. In the [...] Read more.
Cylicocyclus elongatus (C. elongatus) is one of the species in Cylicocyclus, subfamily Cyathostominae, but its taxonomic status in Cylicocyclus is controversial. Mitochondrial (mt) genome is an excellent gene marker which could be used to address the taxonomy controversy. In the present study, the complete mt genome of C. elongatus was determined, and sequence and phylogenetic analyses were performed based on mtDNA data to determine the classification of C. elongatus. The circular complete mt genome of C.elongatus was 13875 bp in size, containing 12 protein-coding genes (12 PCGs), 22 transfer RNA (tRNA) genes, 2 ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes, and 2 non-coding regions (NCRs). The A + T content of C. elongatus complete mt genome was 76.64%. There were 19 intergenic spacers with lengths of 2–53 bp and 2 overlaps with lengths of 1–2 bp in the impact complete mt genome. ATT and TAA were the most common start and termination codons of 12 PCGs, respectively. Comparative analyses of mt genomes nucleotide sequence and amino acid sequence showed that there were higher identities between C. elongatus and five other Cylicocyclus, rather than with P. imparidentatum. Phylogenetic analyses based on concatenated nucleotide sequences of 12 PCGs of 23 species in the family Strongylidae showed that C. elongatus was closely related to Cylicocyclus species, rather than P. imparidentatum. We concluded that C. elongatus was a member in Cylicocyclus based on comparative and phylogenetic analyses of mt genome sequences. The data of the complete mt genome sequence of C. elongatus provide a new and useful genetic marker for further research on Cyathostominae nematodes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Advances in Parasite Epidemiology and Population Genetics)
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11 pages, 453 KiB  
Article
Serum Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 Is a Biomarker of Testosterone Production and Intact Acrosome in Asian Elephants (Elephas maximus)
by Yuqing Yang, Junpen Suwimonteerabutr, Taweepoke Angkawanish and Kaywalee Chatdarong
Animals 2022, 12(12), 1570; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12121570 - 17 Jun 2022
Viewed by 1453
Abstract
The objective of this study was to find relationships among serum IGF-1, serum testosterone, seminal plasma IGF-1 concentrations and semen parameters in Asian elephants (Elephas maximus). A total of 17 ejaculates (one to three ejaculates/bull) were collected from seven captive elephant [...] Read more.
The objective of this study was to find relationships among serum IGF-1, serum testosterone, seminal plasma IGF-1 concentrations and semen parameters in Asian elephants (Elephas maximus). A total of 17 ejaculates (one to three ejaculates/bull) were collected from seven captive elephant bulls by performing rectal massage. Before each ejaculation, blood samples were obtained for serum IGF-1 and testosterone assays. Subsequently, the semen characteristics of each ejaculate were evaluated. Mean serum IGF-1 concentration of elephant bulls was estimated as 326.3 ± 114.6 ng/mL (median, 286.2 ng/mL; range, 167.4–542.7 ng/mL). An increase in serum IGF-1 concentration was found to correlate with the percentage of spermatozoa with intact acrosomes. In addition, IGF-1 concentration was positively correlated with testosterone level. However, seminal IGF-1 concentrations could not be detected. In conclusion, our findings suggest that serum IGF-1 concentration is likely a biomarker of normal testicular functions, particularly spermatogenesis in elephants. Moreover, this commercial IGF-1 ELISA is eligible for analyzing serum IGF-1 concentration in Asian elephants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Reproduction)
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17 pages, 1269 KiB  
Article
Tracing the Fate of the Northern Bald Ibis over Five Millennia: An Interdisciplinary Approach to the Extinction and Recovery of an Iconic Bird Species
by Johannes Fritz and Jiří Janák
Animals 2022, 12(12), 1569; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12121569 - 17 Jun 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 6132
Abstract
We trace the history of the endangered Northern Bald Ibis through different epochs to the present. A particular focus is placed on its life in and disappearance from ancient Egypt, where the bird attained great cultural and religious significance, and on the modern [...] Read more.
We trace the history of the endangered Northern Bald Ibis through different epochs to the present. A particular focus is placed on its life in and disappearance from ancient Egypt, where the bird attained great cultural and religious significance, and on the modern endeavour to re-wild the species. Due to the characteristic appearance, behaviour and habitat of the species as well as its need for open foraging areas, a close mutualistic relationship between humans and the birds was formed in ancient Egypt, as in other cultures. A clear benefit for the Northern Bald Ibis was the availability of feeding habitats, which were cleared by humans for farming or grazing. The benefit to people was rather cultural because the bird attracted religious veneration or symbolic meanings from ancient Egypt to medieval Europe. The proximity to humans, however, carried a high risk as well. We discuss various types of impact (including human impacts as well as climate change) as triggers for the extinction of the species. The evidence for a triple disappearance of the Northern Bald Ibis (around 2000 BCE, around 1600 CE and in modern time) represents a unique basis for studying both the bird’s habitat preferences and its vulnerability. This is because different, mainly anthropogenic, causes stood behind these three historical disappearances, although the disappearances in all three epochs occurred during a period of climate change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Birds)
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11 pages, 2705 KiB  
Article
Iturin A Rescued STb-R-Induced Pork Skeletal Muscle Growth Restriction through the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-mTORC1 Growth Axis
by Mao Ye, Zhenhua Liu, Chunqi Gao, Huichao Yan, Xiuqi Wang, Liufa Wen and Chenglong Jin
Animals 2022, 12(12), 1568; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12121568 - 17 Jun 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1460
Abstract
The engineered STb-Rosetta Escherichia coli (STb-R) was designed to investigate the effects of Iturin A on the skeletal muscle growth of weaned piglets. A total of 28 piglets were randomly divided into 4 groups (7 piglets per group): the control group (100 mL [...] Read more.
The engineered STb-Rosetta Escherichia coli (STb-R) was designed to investigate the effects of Iturin A on the skeletal muscle growth of weaned piglets. A total of 28 piglets were randomly divided into 4 groups (7 piglets per group): the control group (100 mL PBS), the Iturin A group (100 mL 320 mg/kg body weight (BW) Iturin A), the STb-R group (100 mL 1 × 1010 CFU/mL STb-R), and the Iturin A + STb-R group (100 mL 320 mg/kg BW Iturin A + 1 × 1010 CFU/mL STb-R). Compared with the control, STb-R-reduced body weight gain were rescued by Iturin A. The semimembranosus muscle weight recovered to normal level in the Iturin A + STb-R group. The level of relevant genes of the growth axis were elevated by Iturin A, including GHRH in the hypothalamus, GHRHR and GH in the pituitary, and GHR, IGF-1 and IGF-1R in the semimembranosus muscle. Moreover, Iturin A increased the mean fiber area and the number of proliferating cells in the semimembranosus muscle, which were decreased by STb-R. Additionally, the mTORC1 pathway was reactivated by Iturin A to relieve the suppression of STb-R. Collectively, the hypothalamic-pituitary growth axis-mediated Iturin A reactivated the mTORC1 pathway to rescue STb-R-restricted pork skeletal muscle growth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pigs)
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8 pages, 1686 KiB  
Article
Association of Serum Glucose, Serotonin, Aspartate Aminotransferase, and Calcium Levels with Meat Quality and Palatability Characteristics of Broiler Pectoralis Major Muscle
by Boin Lee and Young Min Choi
Animals 2022, 12(12), 1567; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12121567 - 17 Jun 2022
Viewed by 1424
Abstract
This study investigated the correlations between apoptosis-related blood biochemical parameters measured at exsanguination and the meat and sensory quality characteristics of broiler pectoralis major muscle. The concentration of serotonin showed a positive correlation with aspartate aminotransferase (AST) activity (p < 0.001) and [...] Read more.
This study investigated the correlations between apoptosis-related blood biochemical parameters measured at exsanguination and the meat and sensory quality characteristics of broiler pectoralis major muscle. The concentration of serotonin showed a positive correlation with aspartate aminotransferase (AST) activity (p < 0.001) and a negative correlation with calcium content (p < 0.01). All serum parameters showed relationships with muscle pH at 15 min and/or 24 h postmortem (p < 0.05). Serum AST activity, which had a negative correlation with calcium content (p < 0.01), was positively related with muscle pH and negatively correlated with Warner–Bratzler shear force values (WBS, p < 0.05). Principal component analysis results revealed the associations between AST activity and meat quality traits, including pH24h, lightness, and WBS. Furthermore, cooked breast with higher AST activity and lower calcium level tended to exhibit higher scores of tenderness and overall acceptability than that with lower AST activity and higher calcium level (p < 0.05). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Meat Quality and Protein Expression in Livestock and Poultry)
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15 pages, 1603 KiB  
Article
Molecular Characterization of Anaplasma spp. among Dairy, Cashmere, and Meat Goats in Shaanxi Province, Northwestern China
by Xin Yang, Mingzhe Fu, Zhengqing Yu, Junwei Wang, Junke Song and Guanghui Zhao
Animals 2022, 12(12), 1566; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12121566 - 17 Jun 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1505
Abstract
Anaplasma spp. are important tick-borne pathogens endangering the health of humans and various animals. Although several studies have reported Anaplasma infection in livestock in China, little is known about the impact of production categories on the occurrence of Anaplasma species. In the present [...] Read more.
Anaplasma spp. are important tick-borne pathogens endangering the health of humans and various animals. Although several studies have reported Anaplasma infection in livestock in China, little is known about the impact of production categories on the occurrence of Anaplasma species. In the present study, PCR tools targeting the 16S rRNA and msp4 genes were applied to investigate the prevalence of Anaplasma spp. in 509 blood samples of dairy (n = 249), cashmere (n = 139), and meat (n = 121) goats from Shaanxi province. The prevalence of Anaplasma spp. was 58.5% (298/509) in goats, and significant differences (p < 0.001) were identified in the prevalence among production categories, with the highest in meat goats (84.3%, 102/121), followed by cashmere goats (58.3%, 81/139) and dairy goats (46.2%, 115/249). Significant differences (p < 0.001) in prevalence were also found among sampling sites and age groups. Meanwhile, the prevalence was 36.9% (188/509) for A. phagocytophilum, 36.1% (184/509) for A. bovis, and 11.0% (56/509) for A. ovis, and significant differences (p < 0.001) in prevalence of A. phagocytophilum, A. bovis and A. ovis were recognized among production categories and sampling sites. A. phagocytophilum, A. bovis and A. ovis were dominant species in meat, dairy, and cashmere goats, respectively, and A. ovis was absent in meat goats. Co-infections were found in 124 (24.4%) investigated samples. Goats aged < 2, 3–6, and 7–12 months, and goats from Qingjian and Zhenba were risk factors associated with the occurrence of Anaplasma. Phylogenetic analysis indicated separate clades for the distribution of A. phagocytophilum from different ruminant, reflecting potential host adaption within this species. This study reported the colonization occurrence of Anaplasma spp. among production categories in goats in Shaanxi province and enriched our knowledge on the transmission of Anaplasma spp. in goats in China. Considering the existence of zoonotic A. phagocytophilum in goats in this study and previous reports, interventions based on One Health are needed to be developed to control the transmission of Anaplasma spp. between humans and animals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Advances in Parasite Epidemiology and Population Genetics)
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18 pages, 9237 KiB  
Article
The Alimentary Tract of African Bony-Tongue, Heterotis niloticus (Cuvier, 1829): Morphology Study
by Maria Cristina Guerrera, Marialuisa Aragona, Marilena Briglia, Caterina Porcino, Kamel Mhalhel, Marzio Cometa, Francesco Abbate, Giuseppe Montalbano, Rosaria Laurà, Maria Levanti, Germana Germanà, Giacomo Zaccone, Krystyna Zuwala, Michal Kuciel and Antonino Germanà
Animals 2022, 12(12), 1565; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12121565 - 17 Jun 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2313
Abstract
A morphological study of the alimentary tract, from the oropharyngeal cavity to the rectum, including the attached glands, of African bony-tongue, Heterotis niloticus (Cuvier, 1829) was carried out by gross anatomy, and light microscope analysis. This study aimed to give a deeper knowledge [...] Read more.
A morphological study of the alimentary tract, from the oropharyngeal cavity to the rectum, including the attached glands, of African bony-tongue, Heterotis niloticus (Cuvier, 1829) was carried out by gross anatomy, and light microscope analysis. This study aimed to give a deeper knowledge of the alimentary tract morphological features of this species of commercial interest. H. niloticus is distinguished by individual morphological characteristics showing a digestive tract similar to that of reptiles and birds. Within the oropharyngeal cavity, two tubular structures with digitiform ends are arranged on both lateral sides of the triangular tongue. The oropharyngeal cavity connects the stomach by a short esophagus. This latter is adapted to mechanical trituration, and it is divided into a pars glandularis and a thick-walled pars muscularis. The gizzard flows into the anterior intestine and two blind pyloric appendages, which exhibit specific functions, including immune defense for the presence of secondary lymphoid organs. The anterior intestine continues with the middle and posterior tracts up into the rectum. According to the histological observations, all regions of the alimentary tract have common structural features, typical of hollow organs, with differences in the mucosa structure that reflects the different functions of the apparatus, from mouth to anus. Within this study, we provided the first basis for future studies on optimizing rearing conditions, feed conversion ratio, and the digestive capacity, improving the growth performance of this species, and ensuring its conservation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Morphology Study of the Alimentary Tract of Fish)
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