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Animals, Volume 12, Issue 14 (July-2 2022) – 133 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Improving the sustainability of beef cows involves reducing feed costs and enteric methane emissions and increasing calf production while addressing concerns including animal health and welfare and worker safety. Reducing cow weight can favorably impact feed costs and methane emissions. Cumulative weight weaned observed throughout a cow’s productive life directly addresses calf production and indirectly addresses other concerns—cumulative production is higher for cows who wean healthy calves and avoid culling because of reproductive failure, unsoundness, and dangerous behavior. This examination of cow weight and cumulative weight weaned in a herd of crossbred cattle suggests cow weight can be controlled by selection, but mating strategies to maximize heterosis or reduce genomic inbreeding are needed to breed for increased productivity. View this paper
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15 pages, 625 KiB  
Article
Age Evolution of Lipid Accretion Rate in Boars Selected for Lean Meat and Duroc Barrows
by Laura Sarri, Joaquim Balcells, Ahmad Reza Seradj, Ramona N. Pena, Gustavo A. Ramírez, Marc Tor and Gabriel de la Fuente
Animals 2022, 12(14), 1868; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12141868 - 21 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1369
Abstract
Fatty acid (FA) deposition in growing–fattening pigs is mainly based on endogenous lipid synthesis, but also direct FA incorporation from the diet. To evaluate the direct fat incorporation rates and the endogenous desaturation action of the stearoyl-CoA desaturase (SCD) enzyme, a deuterium (D)-labeled [...] Read more.
Fatty acid (FA) deposition in growing–fattening pigs is mainly based on endogenous lipid synthesis, but also direct FA incorporation from the diet. To evaluate the direct fat incorporation rates and the endogenous desaturation action of the stearoyl-CoA desaturase (SCD) enzyme, a deuterium (D)-labeled saturated FA (d35-C18:0) was added to the diet. Sixteen three-way (3W) crossbred boars, and thirty-two purebred Duroc barrows homozygous for the SCD single nucleotide polymorphism rs80912566 (16 CC/16 TT), were used. Half of the animals of each genotype belonged to the growing and fattening phases. The fractional incorporation rate (FIR) of dietary fat in growing pigs was generally higher in adipose tissues, whereas in fattening pigs it was higher in the liver. Duroc pigs exhibited lower FIRs than 3W pigs, suggesting lower rates of endogenous synthesis by 3W pigs. Real fractional unsaturation rates (FURs) increased with age by the higher FIRs in 3W pigs and the de novo synthesis pathway in Duroc genotypes. Moreover, pigs carrying the SCD_T allele showed more enhanced oleic acid biosynthesis than Duroc CC pigs. In conclusion, suitable feeding protocols should be designed for each pig type to optimize production traits, considering that the metabolic pathway of FA for its deposition may differ. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Nutrition)
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18 pages, 3790 KiB  
Article
Let Us Give Voice to Local Farmers: Preferences for Farm-Based Strategies to Enhance Human–Elephant Coexistence in Africa
by María Montero Botey, Mario Soliño, Ramón Perea and María Martínez-Jauregui
Animals 2022, 12(14), 1867; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12141867 - 21 Jul 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2446
Abstract
Local communities surrounding wildlife corridors and natural reserves often face challenges related to human–wildlife coexistence. To mitigate the challenges and ensure the long-term conservation of wildlife, it is important to engage local communities in the design of conservation strategies. By conducting 480 face-to-face [...] Read more.
Local communities surrounding wildlife corridors and natural reserves often face challenges related to human–wildlife coexistence. To mitigate the challenges and ensure the long-term conservation of wildlife, it is important to engage local communities in the design of conservation strategies. By conducting 480 face-to-face interviews in 30 villages along and adjacent to the Selous-Niassa Wildlife Corridor (Tanzania), we quantified farmers’ preferences for farm-based measures to mitigate African elephant damage using choice experiments. Results show that farmers considered no action the least preferred option, revealing that they are open to trying different measures. The most preferred management strategy matched with the preferences of wildlife rangers in the area, suggesting low concern about the potential conflicts between stakeholders. However, a latent class model suggests that there are significant differences among responses triggered by farmers’ previous experience with elephants, the intensity of the elephant damage, and the socioeconomic situation of the farmer. Results show a marked spatial distribution among respondents, highlighting the benefits of zone management as conflicts were found to be highly context dependent. Understanding the human dimension of conservation is essential for the successful planification and implementation of conservation strategies. Therefore, the development and broad utilization of methodologies to gather specific context information should be encouraged. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conservation Behavior Approaches to Elephant Management and Welfare)
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16 pages, 2485 KiB  
Article
Effects of Climate Change on the Habitat of the Leopard (Panthera pardus) in the Liupanshan National Nature Reserve of China
by Jinyuan Zeng, Jie Hu, Yurou Shi, Yueqi Li, Zhihong Guo, Shuanggui Wang and Sen Song
Animals 2022, 12(14), 1866; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12141866 - 21 Jul 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2009
Abstract
Climate change affects animal populations by affecting their habitats. The leopard population has significantly decreased due to climate change and human disturbance. We studied the impact of climate change on leopard habitats using infrared camera technology in the Liupanshan National Nature Reserve of [...] Read more.
Climate change affects animal populations by affecting their habitats. The leopard population has significantly decreased due to climate change and human disturbance. We studied the impact of climate change on leopard habitats using infrared camera technology in the Liupanshan National Nature Reserve of Jingyuan County, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, China, from July 2017 to October 2019. We captured 25 leopard distribution points over 47,460 camera working days. We used the MAXENT model to predict and analyze the habitat. We studied the leopard’s suitable habitat area and distribution area under different geographical scales in the reserve. Changes in habitat area of leopards under the rcp2.6, rcp4.5, and rcp8.5 climate models in Guyuan in 2050 were also studied. We conclude that the current main factors affecting suitable leopard habitat area were vegetation cover and human disturbance. The most critical factor affecting future suitable habitat area is rainfall. Under the three climate models, the habitat area of the leopard decreased gradually because of an increase in carbon dioxide concentration. Through the prediction of the leopard’s distribution area in the Liupanshan Nature Reserve, we evaluated the scientific nature of the reserve, which is helpful for the restoration and protection of the wild leopard population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Ecology and Conservation)
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14 pages, 300 KiB  
Article
Changes in a Comprehensive Profile of Saliva Analytes in Fattening Pigs during a Complete Productive Cycle: A Longitudinal Study
by Alba Ortín-Bustillo, Damián Escribano, Marina López-Arjona, María Botia, Pablo Fuentes, Silvia Martínez-Miró, Camila P. Rubio, Edgar García-Manzanilla, Lorena Franco-Martínez, Luis Pardo-Marín, José J. Cerón, Pol Llonch and Fernando Tecles
Animals 2022, 12(14), 1865; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12141865 - 21 Jul 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1753
Abstract
A comprehensive panel of 29 salivary analytes was measured in fattening pigs to evaluate its possible changes along their productive cycle. The identification of those changes would allow a better interpretation of the results according to the productive phase of the animal. Saliva [...] Read more.
A comprehensive panel of 29 salivary analytes was measured in fattening pigs to evaluate its possible changes along their productive cycle. The identification of those changes would allow a better interpretation of the results according to the productive phase of the animal. Saliva samples were obtained from 49 Large-White pigs (24 females, 25 males) in suckling phase, at the beginning and the end of the nursery phase, and at the beginning and the end of the growing phase. Several analytes changed according to the phase of the productive cycle, with most of the analytes showing higher values at lactation and at the beginning of nursery. Additionally, differences were seen due to sex. When possible relations between performance parameters and analytes were evaluated, significant positive but weak relationships were found between weight at birth and salivary γ-glutamyl transferase, and between back-fat thickness and salivary lactate dehydrogenase. In conclusion, differences in the values of salivary analytes can be found in fattening pigs depending on the productive phase and sex of the animals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Clinical Pathology in Animals)
10 pages, 489 KiB  
Article
Molecular Detection of Feline Coronavirus in Captive Non-Domestic Felids from Zoological Facilities
by Gabriele Ratti, Angelica Stranieri, Alessia Giordano, Maurizio Oltolina, Eleonora Bonacina, William Magnone, Manuel Morici, Giuliano Ravasio, Saverio Paltrinieri and Stefania Lauzi
Animals 2022, 12(14), 1864; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12141864 - 21 Jul 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1735
Abstract
Cases of feline infectious peritonitis (FIP), a disease with a high mortality rate caused by the feline coronavirus (FCoV), have been reported in non-domestic felids, highlighting the need for surveys of FCoV in these endangered species. With the aim of adding information on [...] Read more.
Cases of feline infectious peritonitis (FIP), a disease with a high mortality rate caused by the feline coronavirus (FCoV), have been reported in non-domestic felids, highlighting the need for surveys of FCoV in these endangered species. With the aim of adding information on FCoV prevalence in captive non-domestic felids, samples (feces or rectal swabs and, when available, oral swabs, blood, and abdominal effusion) collected between 2019 and 2021 from 38 non-domestic felids from three different zoological facilities of Northern Italy were tested for evidence of FCoV infection via RT-qPCR. Three animals were found to be FCoV positive, showing an overall 7.9% FCoV prevalence ranging from 0% to 60%, according to the zoological facility. FCoV infection was detected in tiger cubs of the same litter, and all of them showed FCoV-positive oral swabs, with low viral loads, whereas in one animal, FCoV presence was also detected in rectal swabs at low FCoV copy numbers. Future studies should be carried out, including samplings from a higher number of captive non-domestic felids, in order to gain a deeper knowledge of FCoV epidemiology within these populations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Zoo Animals)
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11 pages, 911 KiB  
Article
Anaemia in Lambs and Kids Reared Indoors on Maternal Milk and the Impact of Iron Supplementation on Haemoglobin Levels and Growth Rates
by James Patrick Crilly and Peter Plate
Animals 2022, 12(14), 1863; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12141863 - 21 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1466
Abstract
This study aimed to assess iron deficiency anaemia in new-born lambs and goat kids and was carried out in two parts: (1) Twenty blood samples were taken from one-month-old lambs and kids under different systems and were tested for haemoglobin. Three groups of [...] Read more.
This study aimed to assess iron deficiency anaemia in new-born lambs and goat kids and was carried out in two parts: (1) Twenty blood samples were taken from one-month-old lambs and kids under different systems and were tested for haemoglobin. Three groups of lambs were compared: indoor reared on maternal milk, indoor reared on milk replacer, and outdoor reared on maternal milk. Indoor-reared kids were compared: those fed on maternal milk and fed on milk replacer. Indoor-reared kids and lambs on maternal milk showed significantly lower haemoglobin levels than those on milk replacer or reared outdoors. (2) On farms with indoor-reared lambs or goat kids on maternal milk, an intervention trial was carried out: animals were randomly assigned at 1–8 days of age to either receive 300 mg (lambs) or 150 mg iron (goat kids) as intramuscular iron dextran, and growth rates were compared after one and two months. Haemoglobin levels at one month were also compared in randomly selected animals from both groups. Treated lambs and kids showed higher haemoglobin levels at one month of age and a numerically increased growth rate that was statistically significant for twin lambs. Iron dextran improves haemoglobin levels in these animals and may lead to higher growth rates, especially in twin lambs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Anaemia Associated Disorders in Sheep)
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16 pages, 2043 KiB  
Article
Patient and Caregiver Perceptions of Animal Assisted Activity in Orthodontics
by Katelyn Cass, Clare Bocklage, Taylor Sulkowski, Christina Graves, Nare Ghaltakhchyan, Allen Rapolla, Tate Jackson, Kimon Divaris, Chris Wiesen, Timothy Strauman and Laura Jacox
Animals 2022, 12(14), 1862; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12141862 - 21 Jul 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2200
Abstract
Dental anxiety affects up to 21% of children and 80% of adults and is associated with lifelong dental avoidance. Animal assisted activity (AAA) is widely used to reduce anxiety and pain in medical settings and has promise in dentistry. The primary objective of [...] Read more.
Dental anxiety affects up to 21% of children and 80% of adults and is associated with lifelong dental avoidance. Animal assisted activity (AAA) is widely used to reduce anxiety and pain in medical settings and has promise in dentistry. The primary objective of this study was to evaluate caregiver and patient perceptions of canine AAA in orthodontics. A cross-sectional survey consisting of pre-tested and validated questions was conducted (n = 800) including orthodontic patients (n = 352 minors, n = 204 adults) and parents/caregivers (n = 244) attending university orthodontic clinics. In this study, AAA and dog therapy were not used or tested for dental anxiety management. More than a third of orthodontic patients (37%) had moderate or greater anxiety related to care. Participants believed that therapy animals would make dental experiences more enjoyable (75%) and reduce anxiety (82%). There was little to no concern expressed regarding cleanliness (83%), allergies (81%), and safety (89%) with a therapy animal in dental settings. Almost half of the participants would preferentially select an orthodontic office offering AAA. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we assessed whether perceptions of AAA changed before and after the shutdown of dental offices, with no significant differences. Across patients and caregivers, the responses support the use of AAA in orthodontic settings with minimal concerns. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dog–Human Relationships: Behavior, Physiology, and Wellbeing)
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26 pages, 34933 KiB  
Article
Evaluating Potential Cetacean Welfare Indicators from Video of Live Stranded Long-Finned Pilot Whales (Globicephala melas edwardii)
by Rebecca M. Boys, Ngaio J. Beausoleil, Matthew D. M. Pawley, Emma L. Betty and Karen A. Stockin
Animals 2022, 12(14), 1861; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12141861 - 21 Jul 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3768
Abstract
Despite the known benefit of considering welfare within wildlife conservation and management, there remains a lack of data to inform such evaluations. To assess animal welfare, relevant information must be captured scientifically and systematically. A key first step is identifying potential indicators of [...] Read more.
Despite the known benefit of considering welfare within wildlife conservation and management, there remains a lack of data to inform such evaluations. To assess animal welfare, relevant information must be captured scientifically and systematically. A key first step is identifying potential indicators of welfare and the practicality of their measurement. We assessed the feasibility of evaluating potential welfare indicators from opportunistically gathered video footage of four stranded odontocete species (n = 53) at 14 stranding events around New Zealand. The first stranded cetacean ethogram was compiled, including 30 different behaviours, 20 of which were observed in all four species. Additionally, thirteen types of human intervention were classified. A subset of 49 live stranded long-finned pilot whales (Globicephala melas edwardii) were assessed to determine indicator prevalence and to quantify behaviours. Four ‘welfare status’ and six ‘welfare alerting’ non-behavioural indicators could be consistently evaluated from the footage. Additionally, two composite behavioural indicators were feasible. Three human intervention types (present, watering, and touching) and five animal behaviours (tail flutter, dorsal fin flutter, head lift, tail lift, and head side-to-side) were prevalent (>40% of individuals). Our study highlights the potential for non-invasive, remote assessments via video footage and represents an initial step towards developing a systematic, holistic welfare assessment framework for stranded cetaceans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Welfare Assessment: Novel Approaches and Technologies)
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11 pages, 453 KiB  
Article
Thermoregulatory Response of Blackbelly Adult Ewes and Female Lambs during the Summer under Tropical Conditions in Southern Mexico
by Maricela Ruiz-Ortega, Ethel Caterina García y González, Pedro Enrique Hernández-Ruiz, Blanca Celia Pineda-Burgos, Mario Alberto Sandoval-Torres, José Vicente Velázquez-Morales, José del Carmen Rodríguez-Castillo, Elsa Lysbet Rodríguez-Castañeda, José Manuel Robles-Robles and José Luis Ponce-Covarrubias
Animals 2022, 12(14), 1860; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12141860 - 21 Jul 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1501
Abstract
High environmental temperatures cause heat stress in ewes, resulting in thermoregulatory problems. In this study, the thermoregulatory responses of Blackbelly adult ewes (G1, n = 14) and female lambs (G2, n = 7), during the summer under tropical conditions, in southern Mexico were [...] Read more.
High environmental temperatures cause heat stress in ewes, resulting in thermoregulatory problems. In this study, the thermoregulatory responses of Blackbelly adult ewes (G1, n = 14) and female lambs (G2, n = 7), during the summer under tropical conditions, in southern Mexico were analyzed. Different physiological variables and skin temperatures (ST) of the ewes were recorded. Breathing frequency (BF) values were similar between groups at 116.73 ± 33.598 bpm (G1) and 113.661 ± 34.515 bpm (G2) (p > 0.05). In the case of skin elasticity (SE), there were no significant differences between the time of day and the age of the ewes (p > 0.05). Significant differences were observed between groups for BF, rectal temperature (RT), and heart rate (HR) values (p < 0.05). All ST values, for both groups, were significantly higher during the afternoon (p < 0.001). In general, all Blackbelly adult ewes and female lambs during the summer present severe heat stress conditions as a result of an increase in physiological constants and ST. It is concluded that all ewes thermoregulate body temperature by modifying different physiological variables to counteract the effect of heat stress. Full article
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14 pages, 2712 KiB  
Article
Hoxa5 Inhibits the Proliferation and Induces Adipogenic Differentiation of Subcutaneous Preadipocytes in Goats
by Dingshuang Chen, Yaqiu Lin, Nan Zhao, Yong Wang and Yanyan Li
Animals 2022, 12(14), 1859; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12141859 - 21 Jul 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1620
Abstract
The homeobox a5 (Hoxa5) plays considerable roles in the differentiation and lipid metabolism of adipocytes. However, the current knowledge about the mechanistic roles and functions of Hoxa5 in goat subcutaneous preadipocyte remains unclear. Therefore, Hoxa5 loss-of-function and gain-of-function was performed to reveal its [...] Read more.
The homeobox a5 (Hoxa5) plays considerable roles in the differentiation and lipid metabolism of adipocytes. However, the current knowledge about the mechanistic roles and functions of Hoxa5 in goat subcutaneous preadipocyte remains unclear. Therefore, Hoxa5 loss-of-function and gain-of-function was performed to reveal its functions in adipogenesis. For differentiation, overexpression of Hoxa5 notably increased the expression of adipogenic genes (PPARγ, CEBP/α, CEBP/β, AP2, and SREBP1), as well as promoted goat subcutaneous preadipocyte lipid accumulation. Knockdown of Hoxa5 mediated by siRNA technique significantly inhibited its differentiation and suppressed the accumulation of lipid droplets. Regarding proliferation, overexpression of Hoxa5 reduced the number of cells stained with crystal violet, and inhibited mRNA expression of the marker genes including CCNE1, PCNA, CCND1, and CDK2, and also significantly reduced EdU-positive rates. Consistently, knockdown of Hoxa5 demonstrated the opposite tendency. In conclusion, these data demonstrated that Hoxa5 promotes adipogenic differentiation of goat subcutaneous preadipocyte and inhibits its proliferation in vitro. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Small Ruminants)
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16 pages, 4799 KiB  
Article
Expression and Characterization of the Spats1 Gene and Its Response to E2/MT Treatment in the Chinese Soft-Shelled Turtle (Pelodiscus sinensis)
by Luo Lei, Junxian Zhu, Chen Chen, Yakun Wang, Xiaoyou Hong, Xiaoli Liu, Lingyun Yu, Chengqing Wei, Haigang Chen, Yihui Liu, Ruiyang Li, Wei Li and Xinping Zhu
Animals 2022, 12(14), 1858; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12141858 - 21 Jul 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1656
Abstract
Spats1 (spermatogenesis-associated, serinerich 1) has been characterized as a male-biased gene which acts an important role in the germ cell differentiation of mammals. Nevertheless, the function of Spats1 in the Chinese soft-shelled turtle (P. sinensis) has not yet been reported. To [...] Read more.
Spats1 (spermatogenesis-associated, serinerich 1) has been characterized as a male-biased gene which acts an important role in the germ cell differentiation of mammals. Nevertheless, the function of Spats1 in the Chinese soft-shelled turtle (P. sinensis) has not yet been reported. To initially explore the expression of Spats1 in P. sinensis and its response to sex steroid treatment, we cloned the CDS of Spats1 for the first time and analyzed its expression profile in different tissues, including the testes in different seasons. The Spats1 cDNA fragment is 1201 base pairs (bp) in length and contains an open reading frame (ORF) of 849 bp, which codes for 283 amino acids. Spats1 mRNA was highly expressed in the testes (p < 0.01) and barely detectable in other tissues. In P. sinensis, the relative expression of Spats1 also responsive to seasonal changes in testis development. In summer (July) and autumn (October), Spats1 gene expression was significantly higher in the testes than in other seasons (p < 0.05). Spats1 mRNA was found to be specifically expressed in germ cells by chemical in situ hybridization (CISH), and it was mainly located in primary spermatocytes (Sc1), secondary spermatocytes (Sc2) and spermatozoa (St). Spats1 expression in embryos was not significantly changed after 17α-methyltestosterone (MT)and 17β-estradiol (E2) treatment. In adults, MT significantly induced Spats1 expression in male P. sinensis. However, the expression of Spats1 in testes was not responsive to E2 treatment. In addition, the expression of Spats1 in females was not affected by either MT or E2 treatment. These results imply that Spats1 is a male-specific expressed gene that is mainly regulated by MT and is closely linked to spermatogenesis and release in P. sinensis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechanisms of Sex Determination and Reproduction in Aquatic Animals)
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12 pages, 974 KiB  
Article
Molecular Assessments, Statistical Effectiveness Parameters and Genetic Structure of Captive Populations of Tursiops truncatus Using 15 STRs
by Rocío Gómez, Rocío M. Neri-Bazán, Araceli Posadas-Mondragon, Pablo A. Vizcaíno-Dorado, Jonathan J. Magaña and José Leopoldo Aguilar-Faisal
Animals 2022, 12(14), 1857; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12141857 - 21 Jul 2022
Viewed by 1572
Abstract
Genetic analysis is a conventional way of identifying and monitoring captive and wildlife species. Knowledge of statistical parameters reinforcing their usefulness and effectiveness as powerful tools for preserving diversity is crucial. Although several studies have reported the diversity of cetaceans such as Tursiops [...] Read more.
Genetic analysis is a conventional way of identifying and monitoring captive and wildlife species. Knowledge of statistical parameters reinforcing their usefulness and effectiveness as powerful tools for preserving diversity is crucial. Although several studies have reported the diversity of cetaceans such as Tursiops truncatus using microsatellites, its informative degree has been poorly reported. Furthermore, the genetic structure of this cetacean has not been fully studied. In the present study, we selected 15 microsatellites with which 210 dolphins were genetically characterized using capillary electrophoresis. The genetic assertiveness of this set of hypervariable markers identified one individual in the range of 6.927e13 to 1.806e16, demonstrating its substantial capability in kinship relationships. The genetic structure of these 210 dolphins was also determined regarding the putative capture origin; a genetic stratification (k = 2) was found. An additional dolphin group of undetermined origin was also characterized to challenge the proficiency of our chosen markers. The set of markers proposed herein could be a helpful tool to guarantee the maintenance of the genetic diversity rates in conservation programs both in Tursiops truncatus and across other odontocetes, Mysticeti and several genera of endangered and vulnerable species. Full article
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1 pages, 582 KiB  
Correction
Correction: Neethirajan, S. Affective State Recognition in Livestock—Artificial Intelligence Approaches. Animals 2022, 12, 759
by Suresh Neethirajan
Animals 2022, 12(14), 1856; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12141856 - 21 Jul 2022
Viewed by 1387
Abstract
The authors wish to make the following correction to the original paper [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Use of New Technology to Enhance Animal Welfare)
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9 pages, 1679 KiB  
Article
Genome-Wide Association Study of Body Weight Trait in Yaks
by Jiabo Wang, Xiaowei Li, Wei Peng, Jincheng Zhong and Mingfeng Jiang
Animals 2022, 12(14), 1855; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12141855 - 21 Jul 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1817
Abstract
The yak is the largest meat-producing mammal around the Tibetan Plateau, and it plays an important role in the economic development and maintenance of the ecological environment throughout much of the Asian highlands. Understanding the genetic components of body weight is key for [...] Read more.
The yak is the largest meat-producing mammal around the Tibetan Plateau, and it plays an important role in the economic development and maintenance of the ecological environment throughout much of the Asian highlands. Understanding the genetic components of body weight is key for future improvement in yak breeding; therefore, genome-wide association studies (GWAS) were performed, and the results were used to mine plant and animal genetic resources. We conducted whole genome sequencing on 406 Maiwa yaks at 10 × coverage. Using a multiple loci mixed linear model (MLMM), fixed and random model circulating probability unification (FarmCPU), and Bayesian-information and linkage-disequilibrium iteratively nested keyway (BLINK), we found that a total of 25,000 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were distributed across chromosomes, and seven markers were identified as significantly (p-values < 3.91 × 10−7) associated with the body weight trait,. Several candidate genes, including MFSD4, LRRC37B, and NCAM2, were identified. This research will help us achieve a better understanding of the genotype–phenotype relationship for body weight. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genome-Wide Associations for Growth Traits in Livestock Species)
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14 pages, 2302 KiB  
Article
Collagen Type III as a Possible Blood Biomarker of Fibrosis in Equine Endometrium
by Joana Alpoim-Moreira, Carina Fernandes, Maria Rosa Rebordão, Ana Luísa Costa, Miguel Bliebernicht, Telmo Nunes, Anna Szóstek-Mioduchowska, Dariusz J. Skarzynski and Graça Ferreira-Dias
Animals 2022, 12(14), 1854; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12141854 - 21 Jul 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1929
Abstract
Collagen pathological deposition in equine endometrium (endometrosis) is responsible for infertility. Kenney and Doig’s endometrial biopsy histopathological classification is the gold standard method for endometrosis evaluation, whereby blood biomarkers identification would be less invasive and could provide additional information regarding endometrosis diagnosis and [...] Read more.
Collagen pathological deposition in equine endometrium (endometrosis) is responsible for infertility. Kenney and Doig’s endometrial biopsy histopathological classification is the gold standard method for endometrosis evaluation, whereby blood biomarkers identification would be less invasive and could provide additional information regarding endometrosis diagnosis and fertility prognosis. This study aimed to identify blood biomarkers for endometrosis diagnosis (42 mares were used in experiment 1), and fertility assessment (50 mares were used in experiment 2). Reproductive examination, endometrial biopsy histopathological classification (Kenney and Doig) and blood collection were performed. Endometrium and serum collagen type I (COL1) and type III (COL3), and hydroxyproline concentrations were measured (ELISA). Serum COL3 cut-off value of 60.9 ng/mL allowed healthy endometria (category I) differentiation from endometria with degenerative/fibrotic lesions (categories IIA, IIB or III) with 100% specificity and 75.9% sensitivity. This cut-off value enabled category I + IIA differentiation from IIB + III (76% specificity, 81% sensitivity), and category III differentiation from others (65% specificity, 92.3% sensitivity). COL1 and hydroxyproline were not valid as blood biomarkers. Serum COL3 cut-off value of 146 ng/mL differentiated fertile from infertile mares (82.4% specificity, 55.6% sensitivity), and was not correlated with mares’ age. Only COL3 may prove useful as a diagnostic aid in mares with endometrial fibrosis and as a fertility indicator. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Reproduction)
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14 pages, 989 KiB  
Article
Antimicrobial Resistance Pattern of Escherichia coli Isolates from Small Scale Dairy Cattle in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
by Rogers R. Azabo, Stephen E. Mshana, Mecky I. Matee and Sharadhuli I. Kimera
Animals 2022, 12(14), 1853; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12141853 - 21 Jul 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2102
Abstract
In Tanzania, information on antimicrobial resistance in small-scale dairy cattle is scarce. This cross-sectional study was conducted to determine the different levels and pattern of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), in 121 Escherichia coli isolated from rectal swab of 201 apparently healthy small-scale dairy cattle [...] Read more.
In Tanzania, information on antimicrobial resistance in small-scale dairy cattle is scarce. This cross-sectional study was conducted to determine the different levels and pattern of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), in 121 Escherichia coli isolated from rectal swab of 201 apparently healthy small-scale dairy cattle in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Isolation and identification of E. coli were carried out using enrichment media, selective media, and biochemical tests. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing was carried out using the Kirby–Bauer disk diffusion method on Mueller-Hinton agar (Merck), according to the recommendations of Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI). Resistance was tested against ampicillin, gentamicin, chloramphenicol, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, tetracycline, nalidixic acid, ciprofloxacin and cefotaxime. Resistance to almost all antimicrobial agents was observed. The agents to which resistance was demonstrated most frequently were ampicillin (96.7%), cefotaxime (95.0%), tetracycline (50.4%), trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (42.1%) and nalidixic acid (33.1%). In this case, 20 extended-spectrum beta-lactamases (ESBLs) producing E. coli were identified. 74.4% (90/121) of the isolates were Multidrug resistant (MDR), ranging from a combination of three to 8 different classes. The most frequently observed phenotypes were AMP-SXT-CTX with a prevalence of 12.4%, followed by the combination AMP-CTX with 10.7% and TE-AMP-CTX and NA + TE + AMP + CTX with 8.3% each. The high prevalence and wide range of AMR calls for prudent antimicrobial use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cattle)
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11 pages, 542 KiB  
Case Report
Administration of Altrenogest to Maintain Pregnancy in Asian Elephants (Elephas maximus)
by Jack J. Kottwitz, Wendy Kiso, Dawn M. Boothe and Dennis Schmitt
Animals 2022, 12(14), 1852; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12141852 - 21 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1758
Abstract
Progesterone and progesterone derivatives are key hormones in pregnancy maintenance in mammalian species. Cessation of pregnancy, including birth or miscarriage, is certain if levels of these hormones drop below a given species-specific requirement necessary to maintain pregnancy. The synthetic progestin, altrenogest, is FDA-approved [...] Read more.
Progesterone and progesterone derivatives are key hormones in pregnancy maintenance in mammalian species. Cessation of pregnancy, including birth or miscarriage, is certain if levels of these hormones drop below a given species-specific requirement necessary to maintain pregnancy. The synthetic progestin, altrenogest, is FDA-approved in the United States for suppression of estrus or synchronization and is administered extra-label to multiple species to maintain pregnancies in cases of luteal deficiency or otherwise abnormally low progesterone levels. Three pregnant Asian elephants received altrenogest from 41 to 131 days during the final trimester of pregnancy, with parturition occurring from 15 to 31 days after altrenogest administration stopped. A single dose of 0.2 mg/kg altrenogest administered to two nonpregnant Asian elephants provided pilot pharmacokinetic data. Serum samples from two of the three clinical cases and the two pilot study elephants were analyzed using Ultra Performance Liquid chromatography coupled to a triple quadruple mass spectrometer (UPLC-MS). Small sample numbers limited analysis; however, the following were determined: AUC∞ of 635.4 ± 73.8 ng*h/mL, Cmax of 30.2 ± 14.4 ng/mL at a Tmax of 4 ± 2.8 h, terminal T1/2 of 47.5 ± 3.0 h, MRT of 36.0 + 3.4 h and Vd/F of 1243.8 + 275.0 L/kg. These data and the three described cases serve as an indication that altrenogest can be administered to Asian elephants as an exogenous progestin to support pregnancy in elephant pregnancies with low endogenous progestin levels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Elephant Reproduction and Conservation)
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14 pages, 291 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Quinoa Seed (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) Extract on the Performance, Carcass Characteristics, and Meat Quality in Japanese Quails (Coturnix coturnix japonica)
by Shaistah Naımatı, Sibel Canoğulları Doğan, Muhammad Umair Asghar, Martyna Wilk and Mariusz Korczyński
Animals 2022, 12(14), 1851; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12141851 - 21 Jul 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2071
Abstract
This research was conducted to determine the effect of quinoa seed (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) extract on the performance, carcass parameters, and meat quality in Japanese quails. In this study, 400 quail chicks were divided into a control group (without quinoa seed extract [...] Read more.
This research was conducted to determine the effect of quinoa seed (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) extract on the performance, carcass parameters, and meat quality in Japanese quails. In this study, 400 quail chicks were divided into a control group (without quinoa seed extract addition) and 3 experiment groups (4 replicates containing 25 quails in each). Commercial feed and the addition of different concentrations of quinoa seed extract (QSE) 0.1 g/kg, 0.2 g/kg, and 0.4 g/kg were used in the study. During the second week of the experiment, the highest feed intake was obtained from the supplemented groups (p < 0.01). After 5 weeks of experimentation, the highest feed consumption was noticed in the group with 0.4 g of QSE additive. The QSE additive affected the live weight gain values of all experimental groups during 1 week of the experiment. The highest values of hot carcass weight were noticed in groups with 0.2 and 0.4 g of QSE additive (p < 0.01). While the highest value of cold carcass weight was noticed in a group with 0.2 g of QSE additive (p < 0.05). Thigh, breast, back and neck ratio, and internal organs (except gizzard) were not affected by the supplementation of QSE. As a result of storage of breast meat at 4 °C for 0, 1 days, 3 days, 5 days, and 7 days, it was determined that the number of pH, thiobarbituric acid, peroxide, and total psychrophilic bacteria were lower in the groups with QSE as compared to the control group (p < 0.05). In conclusion, the best results of quail performance were obtained with 0.2 g/kg and 0.4 g QSE/kg of the quail’s fodder. While the addition of 0.4 g QSE/kg of the quail’s fodder had a significant effect on meat shelf life and could be used in poultry mixed feed to prevent or delay lipid oxidation of meat. Full article
10 pages, 903 KiB  
Article
Correlation between Ocular and Rectal Temperature with Intra Ocular Pressure in Horse during Exercise
by Francesca Aragona, Simona Di Pietro, Francesca Arfuso, Francesco Fazio, Giuseppe Piccione, Elisabetta Giudice and Claudia Giannetto
Animals 2022, 12(14), 1850; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12141850 - 21 Jul 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1512
Abstract
The aim of the present study was to investigate the response to physical exercise of some ocular physiological variables (ocular temperature and intraocular pressure) in horses performing a jumping course in the morning (a.m.) or in the afternoon hours (p.m.), before and after [...] Read more.
The aim of the present study was to investigate the response to physical exercise of some ocular physiological variables (ocular temperature and intraocular pressure) in horses performing a jumping course in the morning (a.m.) or in the afternoon hours (p.m.), before and after the exercise, in correlation with the rectal temperature. Data collection was carried out on 14 clinical healthy Italian saddle horses. All horses were trained from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. and from 19:00 to 20:00 p.m. according to a specific training program. Ocular temperature (OT), rectal temperature (RT) and intraocular pressure (IOP) were determined. Statistical analysis showed no differences between the results for the left and the right eyes. The application of two-way repeated-measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) showed a statistically significant effect of time (before vs. after) on IOP (p = 0.0001). RT and OT were statistically influenced by time of day and by experimental conditions (a.m. vs. p.m.) (p = 0.0001). Bland–Altman (B-A) testing showed an agreement between the values of RT and OT. Our results showed a correlation between increased body temperatures and IOP variations during exercise, so they can probably be considered indicators of athletic horses’ physical fitness during exercise. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Physiology)
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21 pages, 5733 KiB  
Article
Genotype Shift of Malaysian Porcine Circovirus 2 (PCV2) from PCV2b to PCV2d within a Decade
by Chew Yee Tan, Roongroje Thanawongnuwech, Siti Suri Arshad, Latiffah Hassan, Michelle Wai Cheng Fong and Peck Toung Ooi
Animals 2022, 12(14), 1849; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12141849 - 21 Jul 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2629
Abstract
This paper aims to update the molecular status of porcine circovirus 2 (PCV2) in Malaysia. Firstly, the molecular detection rate of PCV2 in farm and sampled pig population were reported to be 83.78% (31/37 farms) and 83.54% (66/79 pigs) positive for PCV2, respectively. [...] Read more.
This paper aims to update the molecular status of porcine circovirus 2 (PCV2) in Malaysia. Firstly, the molecular detection rate of PCV2 in farm and sampled pig population were reported to be 83.78% (31/37 farms) and 83.54% (66/79 pigs) positive for PCV2, respectively. PCV2 was detected across all age groups, from fetuses, porkers to sows. Co-detection of PCV2 and PCV3 antigens was also reported at a rate of 28.77% (21/73). Secondly, PCV2 antigen was also detected in Malaysian abattoir lung samples: 18 out of 19 (94.74%) samples originating from clinically healthy finishers were tested positive. Further, this is the first study to confirm the circulation of PCV2 in the wild boar population roaming Peninsular Malaysia, where 28 out of 28 (100%) wild boar lung samples were found positive. One decade earlier, only genotype PCV2b was reported in Malaysia. This most recent update revealed that genotypes PCV2a, PCV2b and PCV2d were present, with PCV2d being the predominant circulating genotype. PCV2 cap gene nucleotide sequences in this study were found to be under negative selection pressure, with an estimated substitution rate of 1.102 × 10−3 substitutions/site/year (ssy). Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Animal Diseases in Agricultural Production Systems)
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9 pages, 1054 KiB  
Article
Snail Mucus Filtrate Reduces Inflammation in Canine Progenitor Epidermal Keratinocytes (CPEK)
by Laura Messina, Fabio Bruno, Patrizia Licata, Davide Di Paola, Gianluca Franco, Ylenia Marino, Alessio Filippo Peritore, Salvatore Cuzzocrea, Enrico Gugliandolo and Rosalia Crupi
Animals 2022, 12(14), 1848; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12141848 - 21 Jul 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2439
Abstract
Atopic dermatitis (AD) is an inflammatory and allergic disease, whose multifactorial etiopathogenesis is the consequence of the link between the genetic, immunological and environmental components. The complexity and difficulty in understanding the causes that trigger or exacerbate this pathology makes it difficult, once [...] Read more.
Atopic dermatitis (AD) is an inflammatory and allergic disease, whose multifactorial etiopathogenesis is the consequence of the link between the genetic, immunological and environmental components. The complexity and difficulty in understanding the causes that trigger or exacerbate this pathology makes it difficult, once diagnosed, to proceed with a targeted and effective therapeutic process. Today, the new frontiers of research look to natural and innovative treatments to counteract the different manifestations of dermatitis. From this point of view, the mucus secreted by Helix aspersa Muller has proven, since ancient times, to be able to neutralize skin diseases. To study canine atopic dermatitis (cAD), we used cell lines of canine epidermal keratinocytes (CPEK) that are optimal to understand the biological reactivity of keratinocytes in vitro. The data obtained from our study demonstrate the anti-inflammatory capacity of snail secretion filtrate (SSF) in counteracting the production of proinflammatory cytokines produced during cAD, highlighting the opportunities for further studies to be able to identify new, natural and safe treatments for cAD and to open new frontiers for veterinarians and owners. Full article
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19 pages, 3716 KiB  
Article
Overexpression of DGAT2 Stimulates Lipid Droplet Formation and Triacylglycerol Accumulation in Bovine Satellite Cells
by Jun-Fang Zhang, Seong-Ho Choi, Qiang Li, Ying Wang, Bin Sun, Lin Tang, En-Ze Wang, Huan Hua and Xiang-Zi Li
Animals 2022, 12(14), 1847; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12141847 - 20 Jul 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2890
Abstract
Intramuscular fat (IMF) is closely related to the tenderness, juiciness, and flavor of beef, and is an important indicator for beef quality assessment internationally. The main components of skeletal intramuscular fat (IMF) are phospholipids and triacylglycerols (TAG), and the final step of TAG [...] Read more.
Intramuscular fat (IMF) is closely related to the tenderness, juiciness, and flavor of beef, and is an important indicator for beef quality assessment internationally. The main components of skeletal intramuscular fat (IMF) are phospholipids and triacylglycerols (TAG), and the final step of TAG biosynthesis is catalyzed by diacylglycerol acyltransferase 2 (DGAT2). To explore the effect of DGAT2 on the differentiation of bovine muscle satellite cells (BSCs) and its role in the signaling pathway related to lipid metabolism, the adenovirus overexpression and interference vector of the DGAT2 gene was constructed in this study, and the overexpression adenovirus Ad-DGAT2 and interfering adenovirus sh-DGAT2 were used to infect BSCs. Overexpression of DGAT2 resulted in a significant increase in the contents of TAG and ADP, and the mRNA and protein expression levels of PPARγ, C/EBPα, and SREBF1 (p < 0.05). Interfering with the expression of DGAT2 reduced the intracellular TAG content and lipid droplet accumulation. Furthermore, the mRNA and protein expression levels of PPARγ, C/EBPα, and SREBF1 (p < 0.05) were significantly downregulated. Transcriptome sequencing showed that a total of 598 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were screened in BSCs infected with Ad-DGAT2, and these DEGs included 292 upregulated genes and 306 downregulated genes. A total of 49 DEGs were screened in BSCs infected with sh-DGAT2, and these DEGs included 25 upregulated and 24 downregulated genes. KEGG enrichment analysis showed that the DEGs, after overexpression of DGAT2, were mainly enriched in the PPAR signaling pathway, and the fat digestion and absorption, glycerophospholipid metabolism, fatty acid biosynthesis, and AMPK signaling pathways. The DEGs obtained after interfering with DGAT2 were mainly enriched in the metabolic pathways, such as the PPAR signaling pathway and PI3K/AKT signaling pathway. In summary, our study demonstrated that the lipid droplet formation, TAG accumulation, and adipogenic gene expression in BSCs overexpressing DGAT2 were higher than those in the control cells. These results highlight the important role of DGAT2 in regulating BSCs during adipogenic transdifferentiation and underscore the complexity of intramuscular adipogenesis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cattle)
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9 pages, 372 KiB  
Communication
10-Hydroxy-trans-2-decenoic Acid, a New Potential Feed Additive for Broiler Chickens to Improve Growth Performance
by Yuxin Zhang, Shixia Geng, Yuting Di, Yongbo Sun, Ying Liu, Juntao Li and Liying Zhang
Animals 2022, 12(14), 1846; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12141846 - 20 Jul 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1540
Abstract
The purposes of this study were to explore the potential possibility of 10-hydroxy-trans-2-decenoic acid (10-HDA) use in feeding broiler chickens. A total of 216 healthy 1-day-old chicks were divided into 2 treatments at random (diets supplemented with 0 or 40 mg/kg [...] Read more.
The purposes of this study were to explore the potential possibility of 10-hydroxy-trans-2-decenoic acid (10-HDA) use in feeding broiler chickens. A total of 216 healthy 1-day-old chicks were divided into 2 treatments at random (diets supplemented with 0 or 40 mg/kg 10-HDA, respectively) with 6 replicates of 18 birds each, and were then reared for 42 days. The results found that a diet supplemented with 10-HDA significantly increased average daily gain of broiler chickens in d 22~42 and d 0~42. Compared with the control group, dietary inclusion of 10-HDA markedly increased the serum concentrations of immunoglobulin (Ig) G at d 21, as well as IgM and interleukin (IL)-10 at d 42, while decreasing the levels of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α at d 21, as well as IL-6, TNF-α, and IL-1β at d 42. Furthermore, broiler chickens fed a diet with 10-HDA had a higher (p < 0.05) serum activity of superoxide dismutase at d 42. Additionally, serum malondialdehyde content also decreased notably at d 21 and d 42. These results made it clear that 10-HDA increased the growth performance of broiler chickens, possibly by enhancing immune function and antioxidant capacity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Nutrition)
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15 pages, 4713 KiB  
Concept Paper
Alternative Paradigms in Animal Health Decisions: A Framework for Treating Animals Not Only as Commodities
by Noguera Z. Liz Paola, Paul R. Torgerson and Sonja Hartnack
Animals 2022, 12(14), 1845; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12141845 - 20 Jul 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2458
Abstract
Zoonoses are diseases transmitted from (vertebrate) animals to humans in the environment. The control and prevention of these diseases require an appropriate way to measure health value for prudent and well-balanced decisions in public health, production costs, and market values. Currently, the impact [...] Read more.
Zoonoses are diseases transmitted from (vertebrate) animals to humans in the environment. The control and prevention of these diseases require an appropriate way to measure health value for prudent and well-balanced decisions in public health, production costs, and market values. Currently, the impact of diseases and animal disease control measures are typically assessed in monetary values, thus lacking consideration of other values such as emotional, societal, ecological, among others. Therefore, a framework is proposed that aims to explore, understand, and open up a conversation about the non-monetary value of animals through environmental and normative ethics. This method might help us complement the existing metrics in health, which are currently DALY and zDALY, adding more comprehensive values for animal and human health to the “One Health” approach. As an example of this framework application, participants can choose what they are willing to give in exchange for curing an animal in hypothetical scenarios selecting a human health condition to suffer, the amount of money, and lifetime as a tradeoff. Considering animals beyond their monetary value in public health decisions might contribute to a more rigorous assessment of the burden of zoonotic diseases, among other health decisions. This study is structured as follows: after a brief introduction of zoonoses, animal health, and health metrics, briefly, different environmental health perspectives are presented. Based on this, a framework for animal health decisions is proposed. This framework introduces the “anthropozoocentric interface” based on anthropocentrism and zoocentrism perspectives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Welfare)
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26 pages, 54569 KiB  
Article
Effects of Intra-Articular Autologous Adipose Micrograft for the Treatment of Osteoarthritis in Dogs: A Prospective, Randomized, Controlled Study
by Riccardo Botto, Valentina Riccio, Livio Galosi, Giacomo Rossi, Silvia Vincenzetti, Adolfo Maria Tambella, Francesco De Francesco, Luca Pennasilico, Michele Riccio, Alberto Salvaggio, Sara Sassaroli and Angela Palumbo Piccionello
Animals 2022, 12(14), 1844; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12141844 - 20 Jul 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2450
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to estimate the safety, feasibility, and efficacy of the intra-articular treatment of autologous microfragmented adipose tissue in dogs with spontaneous osteoarthritis (OA) in comparison with hyaluronic acid (HA), the standard intra-articular treatment. Specifically, it clinically evaluated pain [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to estimate the safety, feasibility, and efficacy of the intra-articular treatment of autologous microfragmented adipose tissue in dogs with spontaneous osteoarthritis (OA) in comparison with hyaluronic acid (HA), the standard intra-articular treatment. Specifically, it clinically evaluated pain and lameness, the radiographic progression of osteoarthritis, and synovial fluid inflammation. This was a prospective, single-center, parallel-group, randomized, controlled, in vivo clinical study. Participants (n = 40) received either a single intra-articular injection of microfragmented adipose tissue or a single intra-articular injection of HA (1:1). Clinical outcomes were determined using a specialistic clinician assessment obtained by the completion of a specific clinical form based on the Vesseur modified lameness classification system, a pain evaluation using the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS), the measurement of the range of motion (ROM) of the affected joint, limb circumference, and the owners’ score evaluation using the Canine Brief Pain Inventory (CBPI) for up to 6 months after the time of injection. Patients underwent a radiographic examination to establish the degree of OA in the affected joint, and synovial fluid samples were collected to assess the biochemical environment of the joint and evaluate and quantify the cellular population and the presence of three specific inflammation biomarkers for up to 60 days. The results of this study suggest that microfragmented autologous adipose tissue is safe and can effectively relieve pain and improve function in dogs with spontaneous articular OA. This one-step procedure is simple, timesaving, cost-effective, minimally invasive, and eliminates the need for complex and time-intensive cell culture processing. Furthermore, the clinical evidence and cytological results suggest better long-term pain control, resulting in an improvement in joint function, compared to HA treatment. The canine spontaneous OA model could play a key role in developing successful treatments for human medicine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Use of Regenerative Therapies in Canine Osteoarthritis)
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15 pages, 337 KiB  
Article
Male Layer Chicken’s Response to Dietary Moringa oleifera Meal in a Tropical Climate
by Esther Faustin Evaris, Luis Sarmiento Franco, Carlos Sandoval Castro, Jose Segura Correa and Jesús Arturo Caamal Maldonado
Animals 2022, 12(14), 1843; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12141843 - 20 Jul 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1566
Abstract
This study was conducted to evaluate the effects of different dietary amounts of Moringa oleifera meal (MOM), consisting of leaves and small edible green stems, on growth performance, carcass traits, and blood parameters of finisher male layer-type slow-growing chickens raised with outdoor access. [...] Read more.
This study was conducted to evaluate the effects of different dietary amounts of Moringa oleifera meal (MOM), consisting of leaves and small edible green stems, on growth performance, carcass traits, and blood parameters of finisher male layer-type slow-growing chickens raised with outdoor access. A total of 198 Dominant Blue D 107, 72-day-old male chickens were randomly assigned to tree dietary treatments containing 0, 30, and 60 g/kg MOM that corresponded to T1 or control, T2, and T3, separately. Each treatment was divided into 6 replicates of 11 birds apiece, and all birds had access to the outdoors. After 7 weeks of experimental rearing, live weight was 2218.1, 2164.4, and 2176.6 g for birds raised in T1, T2 and T3, respectively, without statistical differences (p ≥ 0.05). Live weight gain and daily live weight gain increased (p ≤ 0.05) in favor of the control group during the first 4 weeks but decreased (p ≤ 0.05) in the last 3 weeks of the trial. Overall feed intake was not influenced by the treatments (p ≥ 0.05). Birds raised with MOM in their diets had higher feed conversion (p ≤ 0.05). T2 diet considerably increased (p ≤ 0.05) birds’ breast and gizzard weight and yield while decreasing feet weight and yield, in comparison to T1. Dietary MOM inclusion did not impair or improve (p ≥ 0.05) blood parameters. The results of this study suggest that up to 60 g/kg MOM could be included in the diets of slow-growing Dominant Blue D 107 male chickens grown with access to outdoors without compromising their productive performance (except for feed conversion), slaughter characteristics, and health status. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Poultry Nutrition and Metabolism)
19 pages, 1448 KiB  
Article
Reactivation of a Hospital-Based Therapy Dog Visitation Program during the COVID-19 Pandemic
by Lisa Townsend, Jennifer K. Heatwole and Nancy R. Gee
Animals 2022, 12(14), 1842; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12141842 - 20 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2389
Abstract
This study examined human–animal interactions during the reactivation of a hospital-based therapy dog program during the COVID-19 pandemic. Data were collected from human–dog interactions at an academic medical center in Virginia. Interaction length, participant role, age group (pediatric or adult), and observed gender [...] Read more.
This study examined human–animal interactions during the reactivation of a hospital-based therapy dog program during the COVID-19 pandemic. Data were collected from human–dog interactions at an academic medical center in Virginia. Interaction length, participant role, age group (pediatric or adult), and observed gender were recorded. Handler adherence to human and animal safety protocols (donning personal protective equipment (PPE), using hand sanitizer, and limiting visit length) was measured. Observations from 1016 interactions were collected. t-tests and analysis of variance were conducted. Most visit recipients were healthcare workers (71.69%). Patients received longer visits than other participants (F(4880) = 72.90, p = <0.001); post hoc Bonferroni analyses (p = 0.05/4) showed that patients, both adult (M = 2.58 min, SD = 2.24) (95% C.I = 0.35–1.68) and pediatric (M = 5.81, SD = 4.38) (95% C.I. 3.56–4.97), had longer interaction times than healthcare workers (M = 1.56, SD = 1.92) but not visitors (p = 1.00). Gender differences were not statistically significant (t(552) = −0.736), p = 0.462). Hand sanitizer protocols were followed for 80% of interactions. PPE guidelines were followed for 100% of visits. Most interactions occurred with healthcare workers, suggesting that therapy dog visits are needed for this population. High adherence to COVID-19 safety protocols supports the decision to reactivate therapy animal visitation programs in hospitals. Challenges to safety protocol adherence included ultra-brief interactions and crowds of people surrounding the dog/handler teams. Program staff developed a “buddy system” mitigation strategy to minimize departures from safety protocols and reduce canine stress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dog–Human Relationships: Behavior, Physiology, and Wellbeing)
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9 pages, 468 KiB  
Article
Mixed-Effects Modelling of the Risk Factors Associated with Multiple Pregnancies in Thoroughbred Mares
by Shebl E. Salem, Alannah Sinnott, Jessica M. Roach, Kristien L. P. Verheyen and Amanda M. de Mestre
Animals 2022, 12(14), 1841; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12141841 - 20 Jul 2022
Viewed by 1571
Abstract
Multiple pregnancies (MPs) are commonly diagnosed during breeding management of mares. Whilst some studies have reported on factors associated with the risk of MPs, few have utilised multivariable data analysis to control for confounding variables. A prospective cohort study of Thoroughbred broodmares was [...] Read more.
Multiple pregnancies (MPs) are commonly diagnosed during breeding management of mares. Whilst some studies have reported on factors associated with the risk of MPs, few have utilised multivariable data analysis to control for confounding variables. A prospective cohort study of Thoroughbred broodmares was conducted with information collected on 27 factors. Mixed-effects logistic regression was used to determine risk factors for MPs. Mare, stallion, stud, and veterinarian were evaluated as random effects. The prevalence of MPs in 1754 mares and 2245 pregnancies was 16.06% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 14.54, 17.58). Multiple ovulations (OR = 15.57, 95% CI = 11.88, 20.53) and treatment with cloprostenol (OR = 1.35, 95% CI = 1.015, 1.80) were associated with increased odds of MPs following multivariable analysis. Mares that foaled at the start of the breeding season (OR = 0.66, 95% CI = 0.47, 0.94), conceived at the second or more oestrus cycles (OR = 0.60, 95% CI= 0.43, 0.84), or identified with a uterine cyst (OR = 0.63, 95% CI = 0.40, 0.97) were at reduced odds of conceiving MPs. Mare, stallion, stud, and veterinarian were not associated with MPs. These findings provide possible explanations as to why the prevalence of MPs but not MOs have increased over the last decade. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maternal Influence on Animal Health and Performance)
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8 pages, 1526 KiB  
Communication
Mast Cell Population and Histamine Content in Hypothyroid Rat Tissues
by Gabriella Chieffi Baccari, Sara Falvo, Antonia Lanni, Maria Maddalena Di Fiore, Federica Cioffi and Alessandra Santillo
Animals 2022, 12(14), 1840; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12141840 - 20 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1403
Abstract
The morphological features and relative number of mast cells (MCs) were studied in the skin and exorbital lacrimal glands of hypothyroid Wistar rats, Rattus norvegicus. Hypothyroidism significantly increased the number of MCs (up to 4.5-fold) and histamine content (up to 50%) in [...] Read more.
The morphological features and relative number of mast cells (MCs) were studied in the skin and exorbital lacrimal glands of hypothyroid Wistar rats, Rattus norvegicus. Hypothyroidism significantly increased the number of MCs (up to 4.5-fold) and histamine content (up to 50%) in the examined tissues. The magnitude of the increase in the number of MCs was greater in the cheek skin and exorbital lacrimal glands than in the back skin. In the skin, the MCs were mainly located within the hypodermis and closely associated with the blood vessels, nerve fascicles, and adipocytes. In the exorbital lacrimal gland, which is a seromucous gland located lateral to the cheek below the ear, the MCs were distributed in the connective tissue surrounding the acini. The secretory granules of MCs showed histochemical characteristics of connective tissue MCs. They were metachromatic with Toluidine blue and safranin positive with the Alcian blue/safranin reactions. Finally, a significant increase in degranulating MCs was observed in hypothyroid tissues, relative to euthyroid tissues. At the ultrastructural level, the MCs of euthyroid rats were predominantly non-degranulating (Stage I). In hypothyroid animals, numerous MCs showed partial degranulation (Stage II–III) or were in a stage of complete degranulation. Our results concerning the skin and exorbital lacrimal gland suggested that the thyroid status might be involved in regulating the frequency and activation state of MCs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Veterinary Clinical Studies)
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9 pages, 1486 KiB  
Communication
Identification of Body Size Determination Related Candidate Genes in Domestic Pig Using Genome-Wide Selection Signal Analysis
by Bing Pan, Haoyuan Long, Ying Yuan, Haoyuan Zhang, Yangyang Peng, Dongke Zhou, Chengli Liu, Baiju Xiang, Yongfu Huang, Yongju Zhao, Zhongquan Zhao and Guangxin E
Animals 2022, 12(14), 1839; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12141839 - 19 Jul 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2101
Abstract
This study aimed to identify the genes related to the body size of pigs by conducting genome-wide selection analysis (GWSA). We performed a GWSA scan on 50 pigs belonging to four small-bodied pig populations (Diannan small-eared pig, Bama Xiang pig, Wuzhishan pig, and [...] Read more.
This study aimed to identify the genes related to the body size of pigs by conducting genome-wide selection analysis (GWSA). We performed a GWSA scan on 50 pigs belonging to four small-bodied pig populations (Diannan small-eared pig, Bama Xiang pig, Wuzhishan pig, and Jeju black pig from South Korea) and 124 large-bodied pigs. We used the genetic parameters of the pairwise fixation index (FST) and π ratio (case/control) to screen candidate genome regions and genes related to body size. The results revealed 47,339,509 high-quality SNPs obtained from 174 individuals, while 280 interacting candidate regions were obtained from the top 1% signal windows of both parameters, along with 187 genes (e.g., ADCK4, AMDHD2, ASPN, ASS1, and ATP6V0C). The results of the candidate gene (CG) annotation showed that a series of CGs (e.g., MSTN, LTBP4, PDPK1, PKMYT1, ASS1, and STAT6) was enriched into the gene ontology terms. Moreover, molecular pathways, such as the PI3K-Akt, HIF-1, and AMPK signaling pathways, were verified to be related to body development. Overall, we identified a series of key genes that may be closely related to the body size of pigs, further elucidating the heredity basis of body shape determination in pigs and providing a theoretical reference for molecular breeding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Myostatin Gene: Future Challenges in Animal Science)
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