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Animals, Volume 13, Issue 5 (March-1 2023) – 184 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Large grazers are essential for nature conservation. In order to prevent grazers from moving to unintended areas, it may be necessary to keep them inside enclosures. This has traditionally been done using physical barriers, such as electric fences. These types of fences are widespread, but they do present a number of problems, such as fragmenting the landscape. Virtual fencing, however, is a possible replacement for physical fencing, making it possible to enclose grazers without physical boundaries. Virtual fencing systems rely on GPS technology to keep animals within enclosures by deterring escapes using auditory warnings and electric impulses. This study examines the effectiveness of one such system in a rotational strip grazing regime with 17 Angus bull calves. View this paper
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15 pages, 891 KiB  
Article
Limited Probiotic Effect of Enterococcus gallinarum L1, Vagococcus fluvialis L21 and Lactobacillus plantarum CLFP3 to Protect Rainbow Trout against Saprolegniosis
by Juan-Miguel Fregeneda-Grandes, Concepción González-Palacios, Tania Pérez-Sánchez, Daniel Padilla, Fernando Real and José-Miguel Aller-Gancedo
Animals 2023, 13(5), 954; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13050954 - 06 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1667
Abstract
Previous studies have demonstrated that the strains Enterococcus gallinarum L1, Vagococcus fluvialis L21 and Lactobacillus plantarum CLFP3 are probiotics against vibriosis or lactococosis in sea bass or rainbow trout. In this study, the utility of these bacterial strains in the control of saprolegniosis [...] Read more.
Previous studies have demonstrated that the strains Enterococcus gallinarum L1, Vagococcus fluvialis L21 and Lactobacillus plantarum CLFP3 are probiotics against vibriosis or lactococosis in sea bass or rainbow trout. In this study, the utility of these bacterial strains in the control of saprolegniosis was evaluated. For this purpose, both in vitro inhibition studies and competition for binding sites against Saprolegnia parasitica and in vivo tests with experimentally infected rainbow trout were carried out. In the in vitro tests, the three isolates showed inhibitory activity upon mycelium growth and cyst germination and reduced the adhesion of cysts to cutaneous mucus; however, this effect depended on the number of bacteria used and the incubation time. In the in vivo test, the bacteria were administered orally at 108 CFU g−1 in the feed or at 106 CFU ml−1 in the tank water for 14 days. None of the three bacteria showed protection against S. parasitica infection either through water or feed, and the cumulative mortality reached 100% within 14 days post infection. The obtained results show that the use of an effective probiotic against a certain disease in a host may not be effective against another pathogen or in another host and that the results obtained in vitro may not always predict the effects when used in vivo. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Aquatic Animals)
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17 pages, 2073 KiB  
Article
Phylogenetic History and Phylogeographic Patterns of the European Wildcat (Felis silvestris) Populations
by Edoardo Velli, Romolo Caniglia and Federica Mattucci
Animals 2023, 13(5), 953; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13050953 - 06 Mar 2023
Viewed by 4138
Abstract
Disentangling phylogenetic and phylogeographic patterns is fundamental to reconstruct the evolutionary histories of taxa and assess their actual conservation status. Therefore, in this study, for the first time, the most exhaustive biogeographic history of European wildcat (Felis silvestris) populations was reconstructed [...] Read more.
Disentangling phylogenetic and phylogeographic patterns is fundamental to reconstruct the evolutionary histories of taxa and assess their actual conservation status. Therefore, in this study, for the first time, the most exhaustive biogeographic history of European wildcat (Felis silvestris) populations was reconstructed by typing 430 European wildcats, 213 domestic cats, and 72 putative admixed individuals, collected across the entire species’ distribution range, at a highly diagnostic portion of the mitochondrial ND5 gene. Phylogenetic and phylogeographic analyses identified two main ND5 lineages (D and W) roughly associated with domestic and wild polymorphisms. Lineage D included all domestic cats, 83.3% of putative admixed individuals, and also 41.4% of wildcats; these latter mostly showed haplotypes belonging to sub-clade Ia, that diverged about 37,700 years ago, long pre-dating any evidence for cat domestication. Lineage W included all the remaining wildcats and putative admixed individuals, spatially clustered into four main geographic groups, which started to diverge about 64,200 years ago, corresponding to (i) the isolated Scottish population, (ii) the Iberian population, (iii) a South-Eastern European cluster, and (iv) a Central European cluster. Our results suggest that the last Pleistocene glacial isolation and subsequent re-expansion from Mediterranean and extra-Mediterranean glacial refugia were pivotal drivers in shaping the extant European wildcat phylogenetic and phylogeographic patterns, which were further modeled by both historical natural gene flow among wild lineages and more recent wild x domestic anthropogenic hybridization, as confirmed by the finding of F. catus/lybica shared haplotypes. The reconstructed evolutionary histories and the wild ancestry contents detected in this study could be used to identify adequate Conservation Units within European wildcat populations and help to design appropriate long-term management actions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Seeking Efficiency in the Conservation of Wild Mammals)
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11 pages, 1329 KiB  
Article
Intensity and Duration of Vibration Emissions during Shipping as Interacting Factors on the Quality of Boar Semen Extended in Beltsville Thawing Solution
by Tim Hafemeister, Paul Schulze, Christian Simmet, Markus Jung, Frank Fuchs-Kittowski and Martin Schulze
Animals 2023, 13(5), 952; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13050952 - 06 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1528
Abstract
Vibration emissions during the transport of boar semen for artificial insemination (AI) affect sperm quality. In the present study, the common influence of the following factors was investigated: vibrations (displacement index (Di) = 0.5 to 6.0), duration of transport (0 to [...] Read more.
Vibration emissions during the transport of boar semen for artificial insemination (AI) affect sperm quality. In the present study, the common influence of the following factors was investigated: vibrations (displacement index (Di) = 0.5 to 6.0), duration of transport (0 to 12 h) and storage time (days 1 to 4). Normospermic ejaculates were collected from 39 fertile Pietrain boars (aged 18.6 ± 4.5 months) and diluted in a one-step procedure with an isothermic (32 °C) BTS (Minitüb) extender (n = 546 samples). Sperm concentration was adjusted to 22 × 106 sperm·mL−1. Extended semen (85 ± 1 mL) was filled into 95 mL QuickTip Flexitubes (Minitüb). For transport simulation on day 0, a laboratory shaker IKA MTS 4 was used. Total sperm motility (TSM) was evaluated on days 1 to 4. Thermo-resistance test (TRT), mitochondrial activity (MITO) and plasma membrane integrity (PMI) were assessed on day 4. Sperm quality dropped with increasing vibration intensity and transport duration, and the effect was enhanced by a longer storage time. A linear regression was performed using a mixed model, accounting for the boar as a random effect. The interaction between Di and transport duration significantly (p < 0.001) explained data for TSM (−0.30 ± 0.03%), TRT (−0.39 ± 0.06%), MITO (−0.45 ± 0.06%) and PMI (−0.43 ± 0.05%). Additionally, TSM decreased by 0.66 ± 0.08% with each day of storage (p < 0.001). It can be concluded that boar semen extended in BTS should be transported carefully. If this is not possible or the semen doses are transported a long way, the storage time should be reduced to a minimum. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modern Technology in Farm Animals’ Reproductive Services)
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11 pages, 901 KiB  
Article
Dietary Fermentation Product of Aspergillus Oryzae Prevents Increases in Gastrointestinal Permeability (‘Leaky Gut’) in Horses Undergoing Combined Transport and Exercise
by Melissa McGilloway, Shannon Manley, Alyssa Aho, Keisha N. Heeringa, Lynsey Whitacre, Yanping Lou, E. James Squires and Wendy Pearson
Animals 2023, 13(5), 951; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13050951 - 06 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1881
Abstract
Equine leaky gut syndrome is characterized by gastrointestinal hyperpermeability and may be associated with adverse health effects in horses. The purpose was to evaluate the effects of a prebiotic Aspergillus oryzae product (SUPP) on stress-induced gastrointestinal hyperpermeability. Eight horses received a diet containing [...] Read more.
Equine leaky gut syndrome is characterized by gastrointestinal hyperpermeability and may be associated with adverse health effects in horses. The purpose was to evaluate the effects of a prebiotic Aspergillus oryzae product (SUPP) on stress-induced gastrointestinal hyperpermeability. Eight horses received a diet containing SUPP (0.02 g/kg BW) or an unsupplemented diet (CO) (n = 4 per group) for 28 days. On Days 0 and 28, horses were intubated with an indigestible marker of gastrointestinal permeability (iohexol). Half the horses from each feeding group underwent 60 min of transport by trailer immediately followed by a moderate-intensity exercise bout of 30 min (EX), and the remaining horses stayed in stalls as controls (SED). Blood was sampled before iohexol, immediately after trailering, and at 0, 1, 2, 4, and 8 h post-exercise. At the end of the feeding period, horses were washed out for 28 days before being assigned to the opposite feeding group, and the study was replicated. Blood was analyzed for iohexol (HPLC), lipopolysaccharide (ELISA), and serum amyloid A (latex agglutination assay). Data were analyzed using three-way and two-way ANOVA. On Day 0, the combined challenge of trailer transport and exercise significantly increased plasma iohexol in both feeding groups; this increase was not seen in SED horses. On Day 28, EX increased plasma iohexol only in the CO feeding group; this increase was completely prevented by the provision of SUPP. It is concluded that combined transport and exercise induce gastrointestinal hyperpermeability. Dietary SUPP prevents this and therefore may be a useful prophylactic for pathologies associated with gastrointestinal hyperpermeability in horses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Physiology)
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14 pages, 3821 KiB  
Article
Black Bear Behavior and Movements Are Not Definitive Measures of Anthropogenic Food Use
by Don W. Hardeman, Jr., Hannah B. Vander Zanden, J. Walter McCown, Brian K. Scheick and Robert A. McCleery
Animals 2023, 13(5), 950; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13050950 - 06 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1654
Abstract
Increasing human–bear conflicts are a growing concern, and managers often assume bears in developed areas are food-conditioned. We examined the relationship between human–bear conflicts and food conditioning by analyzing isotopic values of hair from black bears (Ursus americanus floridanus) involved in [...] Read more.
Increasing human–bear conflicts are a growing concern, and managers often assume bears in developed areas are food-conditioned. We examined the relationship between human–bear conflicts and food conditioning by analyzing isotopic values of hair from black bears (Ursus americanus floridanus) involved in research (n = 34) and conflicts (n = 45). We separated research bears into wild and developed subgroups based on the impervious surface within their home ranges and separated conflict bears based on observations of human food consumption (anthropogenic = observations; management = no observations). We initially assumed wild bears were not food conditioned and anthropogenic bears were. However, using isotopic values, we classified 79% of anthropogenic bears and 8% of wild bears as food conditioned. Next, we assigned these bears to the appropriate food conditioned category and used the categorizations as a training set to classify developed and management bears. We estimated that 53% of management bears and 20% of developed bears were food conditioned. Only 60% of bears captured within or using developed areas showed evidence of food conditioning. We also found that δ13C values were a better predictor of anthropogenic foods in a bear’s diet than δ15N values. Our results indicate that bears in developed areas are not necessarily food conditioned and caution against management actions based on limited observations of bear behavior. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Wildlife)
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33 pages, 5899 KiB  
Review
The Evolution of Coral Reef under Changing Climate: A Scientometric Review
by Chandra Segaran Thirukanthan, Mohamad Nor Azra, Fathurrahman Lananan, Gianluca Sara’, Inga Grinfelde, Vite Rudovica, Zane Vincevica-Gaile and Juris Burlakovs
Animals 2023, 13(5), 949; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13050949 - 06 Mar 2023
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 9322
Abstract
In this scientometric review, we employ the Web of Science Core Collection to assess current publications and research trends regarding coral reefs in relation to climate change. Thirty-seven keywords for climate change and seven keywords for coral reefs were used in the analysis [...] Read more.
In this scientometric review, we employ the Web of Science Core Collection to assess current publications and research trends regarding coral reefs in relation to climate change. Thirty-seven keywords for climate change and seven keywords for coral reefs were used in the analysis of 7743 articles on coral reefs and climate change. The field entered an accelerated uptrend phase in 2016, and it is anticipated that this phase will last for the next 5 to 10 years of research publication and citation. The United States and Australia have produced the greatest number of publications in this field. A cluster (i.e., focused issue) analysis showed that coral bleaching dominated the literature from 2000 to 2010, ocean acidification from 2010 to 2020, and sea-level rise, as well as the central Red Sea (Africa/Asia), in 2021. Three different types of keywords appear in the analysis based on which are the (i) most recent (2021), (ii) most influential (highly cited), and (iii) mostly used (frequently used keywords in the article) in the field. The Great Barrier Reef, which is found in the waters of Australia, is thought to be the subject of current coral reef and climate change research. Interestingly, climate-induced temperature changes in “ocean warming” and “sea surface temperature” are the most recent significant and dominant keywords in the coral reef and climate change area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Aquatic Animals)
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13 pages, 296 KiB  
Article
Seroprevalence and Factors Associated with Toxoplasma gondii, Neospora caninum, and Besnoitia besnoiti Infections in Cattle and Goats in Selangor, Malaysia
by Mohammed Babatunde Sadiq, Azim Salahuddin Muhamad, Siti Aisyah Hamdan, Siti Zubaidah Ramanoon, Zunita Zakaria, Nor Azlina Abdul Aziz, Rozaihan Mansor, Siti Suri Arshad, Nurulhidayah Khalid, Norhamizah Abdul Hamid, Juriah Kamaludeen and Sharifah Salmah Syed-Hussain
Animals 2023, 13(5), 948; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13050948 - 06 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1346
Abstract
Apicomplexan parasites such as Toxoplasma gondii, Neospora caninum, and Besnoitia besnoiti are widely recognized as causes of production diseases in ruminants. This study aimed to investigate the serological occurrence of T. gondii, N. caninum, and B. besnoiti in cattle [...] Read more.
Apicomplexan parasites such as Toxoplasma gondii, Neospora caninum, and Besnoitia besnoiti are widely recognized as causes of production diseases in ruminants. This study aimed to investigate the serological occurrence of T. gondii, N. caninum, and B. besnoiti in cattle and goats from smallholder farms in Selangor, Malaysia. A cross-sectional study was conducted on 19 farms by collecting 404 bovine (n = 225) and caprine (n = 179) serum samples, which were then essayed for T. gondii, N. caninum, and B. besnoiti antibodies using commercially available ELISA test kits. Farm data and animal characteristics were documented, and the data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and logistic regression models. The seroprevalence of T. gondii at animal and farm levels in cattle was 5.3% (95% CI 1.2–7.4%) and 36.8% (95% CI 22.4–58.0%), respectively. Animal-level seropositivity for N. caninum was 2.7% (95% CI 0.4–4.2%) and 5.7% for B. besnoiti (95% CI 1.3–9.4%) with corresponding farm-level seropositivity of 21.0% and 31.5%, respectively. For the goat samples, a high animal- (69.8%; 95% CI 34.1–82.0%) and farm-level (92.3%) seropositivity was recorded for T. gondii, but was relatively lower for N. caninum antibodies, at 3.9% (95% CI 1.5–6.2%) and 38.4% (5/13). The factors associated with T. gondii seropositivity were older animals (above 12 months) (OR = 5.3; 95% CI 1.7–16.6), semi-intensive farms (OR = 2.2; 95% CI 1.3–6.2), the presence of either dogs or cats (OR = 3.6; 95% CI 1.1–12.3), a large herd size (>100 animals) (OR = 3.7; 95% CI 1.4–10.0), and a single source of replacement animals (OR = 3.9; 95% CI 1.6–9.6). These findings are vital in developing effective control measures against these parasites in ruminant farms in Selangor, Malaysia. More national epidemiological research is required to elucidate the spatial distribution of these infections and their potential impact on Malaysia’s livestock industry. Full article
15 pages, 1572 KiB  
Article
In Situ Degradation Kinetics of 25 Feedstuffs and the Selection of Time Points in Mathematical Statistics
by Sen Li, Liwen He, Fang Mo and Wei Zhang
Animals 2023, 13(5), 947; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13050947 - 06 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1143
Abstract
Rumen degradation kinetics of 25 feedstuffs (six protein feeds, nine energy feeds and ten roughages) were first determined using the nylon bag technique in situ and the differences of degradation characteristics fitted with five or seven time points measuring data were evaluated with [...] Read more.
Rumen degradation kinetics of 25 feedstuffs (six protein feeds, nine energy feeds and ten roughages) were first determined using the nylon bag technique in situ and the differences of degradation characteristics fitted with five or seven time points measuring data were evaluated with the goodness of fit (R2) of degradation curves. Protein and energy feeds were incubated for 2, 4, 8, 16, 24, 36, 48 h, roughages were incubated for 4, 8, 16, 24, 36, 48, 72 h, where three and six data sets of five time points were screened out, respectively. Only the degradation parameters a (rapidly degraded proportion), b (slowly degraded proportion) and c (degradation rate of slowly degraded proportion) of several feeds at five time points were significantly different from those at seven time points (p < 0.05), and the others were not significant (p > 0.05). The R2 of the degradation curves obtained at five time points was closer to 1, indicating that the fitting obtained at five time points was more accurate in predicting the real-time rumen degradation rate of feed. These results indicate that it is feasible to determine the rumen degradation characteristics of feedstuffs by only setting five measuring time points. Full article
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15 pages, 1741 KiB  
Article
Effect of Maternal Gradient Nutritional Restriction during Pregnancy on Mammary Gland Development in Offspring
by Xusheng Dong, Xueyan Lin, Qiuling Hou, Zhiyong Hu, Yun Wang and Zhonghua Wang
Animals 2023, 13(5), 946; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13050946 - 06 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1369
Abstract
We aimed to investigate the effect of different levels of nutritional restriction on mammary gland development during the embryonic period by gradient nutritional restriction in pregnant female mice. We started the nutritional restriction of 60 female CD-1(ICR) mice from day 9 of gestation [...] Read more.
We aimed to investigate the effect of different levels of nutritional restriction on mammary gland development during the embryonic period by gradient nutritional restriction in pregnant female mice. We started the nutritional restriction of 60 female CD-1(ICR) mice from day 9 of gestation based on 100%, 90%, 80%, 70% and 60% of ad libitum intake. After delivery, the weight and body fat of the offspring and the mother were recorded (n = 12). Offspring mammary development and gene expression were explored by whole mount and qPCR. Mammary development patterns of in offspring were constructed using Sholl analysis, principal component analysis (PCA) and regression analysis. We found that: (1) Mild maternal nutritional restriction (90–70% of ad libitum intake) did not affect offspring weight, while body fat percentage was more sensitive to nutritional restriction (lower at 80% ad libitum feeding). (2) A precipitous drop in mammary development and altered developmental patterns occurred when nutritional restriction ranged from 80% to 70% of ad libitum intake. (3) Mild maternal nutritional restriction (90% of ad libitum intake) promoted mammary-development-related gene expression. In conclusion, our results suggest that mild maternal nutritional restriction during gestation contributes to increased embryonic mammary gland development. When maternal nutritional restriction reaches 70% of ad libitum intake, the mammary glands of the offspring show noticeable maldevelopment. Our results help provide a theoretical basis for the effect of maternal nutritional restriction during gestation on offspring mammary development and a reference for the amount of maternal nutritional restriction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Nutrition)
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13 pages, 2097 KiB  
Article
Growth Performance, Antioxidant and Immunity Capacity Were Significantly Affected by Feeding Fermented Soybean Meal in Juvenile Coho Salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch)
by Qin Zhang, Fanghui Li, Mengjie Guo, Meilan Qin, Jiajing Wang, Hairui Yu, Jian Xu, Yongqiang Liu and Tong Tong
Animals 2023, 13(5), 945; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13050945 - 06 Mar 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1670
Abstract
This study aims to investigate the effects of partial dietary replacement of fish meal with unfermented and/or fermented soybean meal (fermented by Bacillus cereus) supplemented on the growth performance, whole-body composition, antioxidant and immunity capacity, and their related gene expression of juvenile [...] Read more.
This study aims to investigate the effects of partial dietary replacement of fish meal with unfermented and/or fermented soybean meal (fermented by Bacillus cereus) supplemented on the growth performance, whole-body composition, antioxidant and immunity capacity, and their related gene expression of juvenile coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch). Four groups of juveniles (initial weight 159.63 ± 9.54 g) at 6 months of age in triplicate were fed for 12 weeks on four different iso-nitrogen (about 41% dietary protein) and iso-lipid (about 15% dietary lipid) experimental diets. The main results were: Compared with the control diet, the diet with replaced 10% fish meal protein with fermented soybean meal protein supplementation can significantly (p < 0.05) influence the expression of superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase, glutathione S-transferase, nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2, tumor necrosis factor α and interleukin-6 genes, the growth performance, the serum biochemical indices, and the activity of antioxidant and immunity enzymes. However, there was no significant effect (p > 0.05) on the survival rate (SR) and whole-body composition in the juveniles among the experimental groups. In conclusion, the diet with replaced 10% fish meal protein with fermented soybean meal protein supplementation could significantly increase the growth performance, antioxidant and immunity capacity, and their related gene expression of juveniles. Full article
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34 pages, 3994 KiB  
Review
Molecular Cytogenetics in Domestic Bovids: A Review
by Alessandra Iannuzzi, Leopoldo Iannuzzi and Pietro Parma
Animals 2023, 13(5), 944; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13050944 - 06 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1864
Abstract
The discovery of the Robertsonian translocation (rob) involving cattle chromosomes 1 and 29 and the demonstration of its deleterious effects on fertility focused the interest of many scientific groups on using chromosome banding techniques to reveal chromosome abnormalities and verify their effects on [...] Read more.
The discovery of the Robertsonian translocation (rob) involving cattle chromosomes 1 and 29 and the demonstration of its deleterious effects on fertility focused the interest of many scientific groups on using chromosome banding techniques to reveal chromosome abnormalities and verify their effects on fertility in domestic animals. At the same time, comparative banding studies among various species of domestic or wild animals were found useful for delineating chromosome evolution among species. The advent of molecular cytogenetics, particularly the use of fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), has allowed a deeper investigation of the chromosomes of domestic animals through: (a) the physical mapping of specific DNA sequences on chromosome regions; (b) the use of specific chromosome markers for the identification of the chromosomes or chromosome regions involved in chromosome abnormalities, especially when poor banding patterns are produced; (c) better anchoring of radiation hybrid and genetic maps to specific chromosome regions; (d) better comparisons of related and unrelated species by comparative FISH mapping and/or Zoo-FISH techniques; (e) the study of meiotic segregation, especially by sperm-FISH, in some chromosome abnormalities; (f) better demonstration of conserved or lost DNA sequences in chromosome abnormalities; (g) the use of informatic and genomic reconstructions, in addition to CGH arrays, to predict conserved or lost chromosome regions in related species; and (h) the study of some chromosome abnormalities and genomic stability using PCR applications. This review summarizes the most important applications of molecular cytogenetics in domestic bovids, with an emphasis on FISH mapping applications. Full article
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11 pages, 1700 KiB  
Article
In Vitro Viral Recovery Yields under Different Re-Suspension Buffers in Iron Flocculation to Concentrate Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia Virus Genotype IVa in Seawater
by Na-Gyeong Ryu, Eun-Jin Baek, Min-Jae Kim and Kwang-Il Kim
Animals 2023, 13(5), 943; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13050943 - 06 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1328
Abstract
Iron flocculation is widely used to concentrate viruses in water, followed by Fe-virus flocculate formation, collection, and elution. In the elution stage, an oxalic or ascorbic acid re-suspension buffer dissolved iron hydroxide. After the concentration of viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus (VHSV) in seawater [...] Read more.
Iron flocculation is widely used to concentrate viruses in water, followed by Fe-virus flocculate formation, collection, and elution. In the elution stage, an oxalic or ascorbic acid re-suspension buffer dissolved iron hydroxide. After the concentration of viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus (VHSV) in seawater (1 × 101 to 1 × 105 viral genome copies or plaque-forming unit (PFU)/mL), the recovery yield of the viral genome using quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) and viral infectivity using the plaque assay were investigated to evaluate the validity of the two re-suspension buffers to concentrate VHSV. The mean viral genome recovery yield with oxalic and ascorbic acid was 71.2 ± 12.3% and 81.4 ± 9.5%, respectively. The mean viral infective recovery yields based on the PFU were significantly different between the two buffers at 23.8 ± 22.7% (oxalic acid) and 4.4 ± 2.7% (ascorbic acid). Notably, although oxalic acid maintains viral infectivity over 60% at a viral concentration above 105 PFU/mL, the infective VHSVs were not sufficiently recovered at a low viral concentration (102 PFU/mL, <10%). To support this result, concentrated VHSV was inoculated in Epithelioma papulosum cyprini (EPC) cells to confirm cell viability, viral gene expression, and extracellular viral titer. All results demonstrated that oxalic acid buffer was superior to ascorbic acid buffer in preserving viral infectivity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Veterinary Clinical Studies)
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16 pages, 578 KiB  
Review
Animal Welfare Assessment Protocols for Bulls in Artificial Insemination Centers: Requirements, Principles, and Criteria
by Aleksandar Cojkic and Jane M. Morrell
Animals 2023, 13(5), 942; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13050942 - 05 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2242
Abstract
Animal welfare is a complex subject; as such, it requires a multidimensional approach with the main aim of providing the animals with the “five freedoms”. The violations of any one of these freedoms could have an influence on animal wellbeing on different levels. [...] Read more.
Animal welfare is a complex subject; as such, it requires a multidimensional approach with the main aim of providing the animals with the “five freedoms”. The violations of any one of these freedoms could have an influence on animal wellbeing on different levels. Over the years, many welfare quality protocols were developed in the EU thanks to the Welfare Quality® project. Unfortunately, there is a lack of such summarized information about bull welfare assessment in artificial insemination stations or about how disturbed welfare can be reflected in their productivity. Animal reproduction is the basis for the production of meat and milk; therefore, factors contributing to reduced fertility in bulls are not only indicators of animal welfare but also have implications for human health and the environment. Optimizing the reproductive efficiency of bulls at an early age can help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In this review, welfare quality assessment will be evaluated for these production animals using reproduction efficiency as a key area, focusing on stress as a main effect of poor animal welfare and, thereby, reduced fertility. We will address various welfare aspects and possible changes in resources or management to improve outcomes. Full article
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17 pages, 991 KiB  
Article
The Role of Human–Animal Bonds for People Experiencing Crisis Situations
by Karl Oosthuizen, Bianca Haase, Jioji Ravulo, Sabrina Lomax and Gemma Ma
Animals 2023, 13(5), 941; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13050941 - 05 Mar 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 4655
Abstract
Human–animal bonds, by providing social support, have been shown to improve the health and wellbeing of pet owners, especially those experiencing a crisis situation. The human–animal bond for people in crisis situations is complex and multifaceted, as it has shown to improve health, [...] Read more.
Human–animal bonds, by providing social support, have been shown to improve the health and wellbeing of pet owners, especially those experiencing a crisis situation. The human–animal bond for people in crisis situations is complex and multifaceted, as it has shown to improve health, whilst it can also discourage people from seeking help, due to fears of leaving their pet behind. The purpose of the study is to capture and to assess the role of the human–animal bond for people in crisis situations. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with pet owners involved in the RSPCA NSW Community Programs (n = 13) in 2021 and 2022. The findings of the study indicate that the human–animal bond is highly valued by people experiencing crisis situations, that the human–animal bonds can affect people’s ability to seek help or refuge, and that the human–animal bond helps people to recover after a crisis. The findings suggest that community crisis support services, prison systems, hospital systems, emergency housing, and government legislation should recognize and aim to preserve this bond to provide the best help for people experiencing crisis situations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on the Human–Pet Relationship)
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9 pages, 254 KiB  
Article
Estimates of Genetic Parameters for Direct and Maternal Effects on Pre-Weaning Growth Traits in Turkish Saanen Kids
by Funda Erdoğan Ataç, Çiğdem Takma, Yakut Gevrekci, Şeniz Öziş Altınçekiç and Tugay Ayaşan
Animals 2023, 13(5), 940; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13050940 - 05 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1364
Abstract
Data on 4487 Turkish Saanen kids from 176 bucks and 1318 dam-goats, obtained from the Turkish Saanen goats in the Izmir region and collected between 2018 and 2019, were analyzed to examine the effect of genetic and non-genetic factors on growth traits. The [...] Read more.
Data on 4487 Turkish Saanen kids from 176 bucks and 1318 dam-goats, obtained from the Turkish Saanen goats in the Izmir region and collected between 2018 and 2019, were analyzed to examine the effect of genetic and non-genetic factors on growth traits. The average birth weight of the kids was determined as 3.33 ± 0.68 kg, the average W60 was 13.06 ± 2.94 kg, the average WW was 18.38 ± 4.14 kg, and the average PreWDG until weaning was 0.17 ± 0.04 g. Model 1, which does not account for the maternal effect, and Model 2, which includes the maternal effect, were used in the estimation of genetic parameters. The heritability estimates of BW, W60, WW, and PreWDG ranged from 0.05 to 0.59 in both models. It is recommended to consider the maternal effect as well as the environmental factors in the selection program for the best early breeder selection of kids growing alongside their mothers until the weaning period. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Genetics and Genomics)
12 pages, 2027 KiB  
Article
Feeding Habits of Dentex maroccanus and the Effect of Body Size
by Amalia Mina, Chryssi Mytilineou, Alexandros Kaminas, Anthi Rekleiti, Apostolos Siapatis and Aikaterini Anastasopoulou
Animals 2023, 13(5), 939; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13050939 - 05 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3472
Abstract
The feeding habits of organisms are important elements in their ecological role and are affected by several factors. The present study provides for the first time information on the diet and feeding strategy of Dentex maroccanus (Valenciennes, 1830) and examines the effects of [...] Read more.
The feeding habits of organisms are important elements in their ecological role and are affected by several factors. The present study provides for the first time information on the diet and feeding strategy of Dentex maroccanus (Valenciennes, 1830) and examines the effects of various factors on the species’ feeding activity. Various indices (vacuity index, numerical and weight proportion, frequency of occurrence, alimentary coefficient, index of relative importance, diet breadth and overlap, Shannon–Wiener index, and trophic level) were estimated. The diet of the species consisted of 18 different prey taxa. The most important prey taxon was Decapoda. The study of the feeding strategy showed the narrow width of the species. Body size was found to significantly affect the species’ feeding habits. Polychaeta and Stomatopoda were found only in individuals with size ≥165 mm, Bivalvia mainly in sizes ≤120 mm, and Decapoda in the intermediate sizes. The largest individuals showed the lowest overlap with all other size groups. The trophic level increased from 3.7 in young individuals to 4.0 in larger sizes, indicating the carnivorous character of the species. The results of the present work contribute to a better knowledge of the species’ feeding ecology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Factors Affecting Fish Food Intake)
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11 pages, 2340 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Treatment with Oestradiol Benzoate on Oestrus Expression and Endometrial Oedema in Anovulatory and Cyclic Mares
by Elisa S. M. Silva, John R. Newcombe and Juan Cuervo-Arango
Animals 2023, 13(5), 938; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13050938 - 05 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1783
Abstract
Oestrogens treatment is often used to induce oestrus behaviour in anoestrous mares to aid in the collection of stallion semen and as recipient mares to receive embryos when combined with progesterone. However, there are no studies to describe the effect of dose and [...] Read more.
Oestrogens treatment is often used to induce oestrus behaviour in anoestrous mares to aid in the collection of stallion semen and as recipient mares to receive embryos when combined with progesterone. However, there are no studies to describe the effect of dose and individual mare on the intensity and duration of the response, in both anoestrous and cyclic mares. In Experiment 1, 13 anoestrous mares were treated with one of five doses of oestradiol benzoate (OB) (1, 1.5, 2, 3 and 4 mg) per mare in five consecutive treatment periods (n = 65), to determine the response in terms of endometrial oedema and oestrous behaviour. Experiment 2 and 3 used 3 mg of OB in cyclic mares to confirm or deny the presence of an active corpus luteum (CL). There was a dose rate of OB and individual mare effect (p < 0.05) on the intensity and persistence of endometrial oedema and oestrous behaviour. A total of 2 mg OB was enough to induce endometrial oedema and oestrous behaviour within 48 h in most mares. Mares with an active CL did not show endometrial oedema following treatment of 3 mg OB. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Reproduction)
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14 pages, 3566 KiB  
Article
Habitat Suitability and Conflict Zone Mapping for the Blue Bull (Boselaphus tragocamelus) across Nepal
by Bijaya Dhami, Arjun Bhusal, Binaya Adhikari, Mahamad Sayab Miya, Surya Kumar Maharjan, Dinesh Neupane and Hari Adhikari
Animals 2023, 13(5), 937; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13050937 - 05 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2736
Abstract
Rapidly changing environmental conditions (bioclimatic, anthropogenic, topographic, and vegetation-related variables) are likely to alter the spatial distribution of flora and fauna. To understand the influence of environmental variables on the Blue bull’s distribution and to identify potential conflict zones, the habitat suitability analysis [...] Read more.
Rapidly changing environmental conditions (bioclimatic, anthropogenic, topographic, and vegetation-related variables) are likely to alter the spatial distribution of flora and fauna. To understand the influence of environmental variables on the Blue bull’s distribution and to identify potential conflict zones, the habitat suitability analysis of the Blue bull was performed using ensemble modeling. We modelled the distribution of the Blue bull using an extensive database on the current distribution of the Blue bull and selected 15 ecologically significant environmental variables. We used ten species distribution modeling algorithms available in the BIOMOD2 R package. Among the ten algorithms, the Random Forest, Maxent, and Generalized linear model had the highest mean true skill statistics scores, ensuring better model performance, and were considered for further analysis. We found that 22,462.57 km2 (15.26%) of Nepal is suitable for the Blue bull. Slope, precipitation seasonality, and distance to the road are the environmental variables contributing the most to the distribution of Blue bull. Of the total predicted suitable habitats, 86% lies outside protected areas and 55% overlaps with agricultural land. Thus, we recommend that the future conservation initiatives including appropriate conflict mitigation measures should be prioritized equally in both protected areas and outside protected areas to ensure the species’ survival in the region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Ecology and Conservation)
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13 pages, 1744 KiB  
Article
Morphology, Histology, and Histochemistry of the Digestive Tract of the Marbled Flounder Pseudopleuronectes yokohamae
by Jeong-Hyeon Cho, Jin Woo Park, Yong-Woon Ryu, Kang-Woong Kim and Sang-Woo Hur
Animals 2023, 13(5), 936; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13050936 - 05 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2639
Abstract
This study investigated the morphological, histological, and histochemical characteristics of the digestive tract of the marbled flounder (Pseudopleuronectes yokohamae). The relative length of the gut of the marbled flounder digestive tract was 1.54 ± 0.10 (n = 20), and it [...] Read more.
This study investigated the morphological, histological, and histochemical characteristics of the digestive tract of the marbled flounder (Pseudopleuronectes yokohamae). The relative length of the gut of the marbled flounder digestive tract was 1.54 ± 0.10 (n = 20), and it had a simple stomach and 6–9 pyloric caeca. The mucosal folds of the marbled flounder digestive tract exhibited a general branched morphology. The thickness and mucosal fold length of the intestinal muscularis externa showed similar aspects in all areas. The thickness of the intestinal muscularis externa was the thickest in the posterior intestine portion, and the length of mucosal folds was the longest in the anterior intestine portion. It was indicated that food digested by gastric acid in the stomach moves to the anterior portion (including pyloric caeca) and mid portion of the intestine, ensuring effective stimulation of cholecystokinin (CCK)-producing cells. In addition, the distribution pattern of CCK-producing cells in the intestine was very similar to that of mucus-secreting goblet cells. The CCK-producing cells and goblet cells in the marbled flounder were well-adapted to promote optimal control of the digestive process. Based on the morphological and histochemical studies, it was concluded that the marbled flounder displays a digestive tract comparable to that of fish species with carnivorous habits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Morphological and Physiological Research on Fish)
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11 pages, 2125 KiB  
Article
A New Parasitic Archamoeba Causing Systemic Granulomatous Disease in Goldfish Extends the Diversity of Pathogenic Endolimax spp.
by Maria Constenla and Oswaldo Palenzuela
Animals 2023, 13(5), 935; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13050935 - 05 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1820
Abstract
Endolimax is a genus of intestinal amoebae which stands among the least known human protists. Previous studies on amoebic systemic granulomatosis of a marine fish (Solea senegalensis) resulted in the unexpected characterization of a new organism which was related to Endolimax [...] Read more.
Endolimax is a genus of intestinal amoebae which stands among the least known human protists. Previous studies on amoebic systemic granulomatosis of a marine fish (Solea senegalensis) resulted in the unexpected characterization of a new organism which was related to Endolimax and named E. piscium. The existence of multiple reports of systemic granulomatosis caused presumptively by unidentified amoebae in goldfish lead us to investigate the organism involved in goldfish disease. Analysed goldfish presented small whitish nodules in the kidney, which correspond to chronic granulomatous inflammatory reactions with a ring-layer of amoebae in the periphery. Amoebae were amitochondriate and were located in a parasitophorous vacuole within macrophages, as previous studies on this condition in goldfish and other freshwater fish pointed out. SSU rDNA characterization confirmed a new Endolimax lineage which appears closely related to E. piscium, but the molecular evidence, distinct pathological features and lack of ecological overlapping between the hosts support their assignment to a new species, E. carassius. The results support the existence of a considerable unexplored diversity of Endolimax spp. among fish, and their proper characterization can contribute to an understanding of Archamoebae evolution and pathogenic potential. Full article
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14 pages, 324 KiB  
Article
Effect of Palm Kernel Cake Supplementation on Voluntary Feed Intake, In Situ Rumen Degradability and Performance in Buffaloes in the Eastern Amazon
by João Maria do Amaral-Júnior, Eziquiel de Morais, Alyne Cristina Sodré Lima, Lucieta Guerreiro Martorano, Benjamim de Souza Nahúm, Luciano Fernandes Sousa, José de Brito Lourenço-Júnior, Thomaz Cyro Guimarães de Carvalho Rodrigues, Jamile Andréa Rodrigues da Silva, Artur Luiz da Costa Silva and André Guimarães Maciel e Silva
Animals 2023, 13(5), 934; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13050934 - 04 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1333
Abstract
The objective was to evaluate the effects of palm kernel cake (PKC) supplementation on voluntary feed intake, in situ rumen degradability and performance in the wettest (WS—January to June) and less rainy seasons (LR—July to December) in the eastern Amazon. A total of [...] Read more.
The objective was to evaluate the effects of palm kernel cake (PKC) supplementation on voluntary feed intake, in situ rumen degradability and performance in the wettest (WS—January to June) and less rainy seasons (LR—July to December) in the eastern Amazon. A total of 52 crossbred buffaloes that were neither lactating nor gestating were used, with 24 for the LR, aged 34 ± 04 months and an initial average weight of 503 ± 48 kg, and 24 for the WS aged 40 ± 04 months with an average weight of 605 ± 56 kg. The four treatments (levels of PKC in relation to body weight) were distributed in a completely randomized design, with 0% (PKC0), 0.25% (PKC0.2), 0.5% (PKC0.5) and 1% (PKC1) with six repetitions. The animals were housed in Marandu grass paddocks, intermittently, with access to water and mineral mixture ad libitum. Degradability was evaluated by the in situ bag technique in four other crossbred buffaloes with rumen cannulae, in a 4 × 4 Latin square (four periods and four treatments). The inclusion of PKC increased supplement consumption and production of ether extracts and reduced the intake of forage and non-fibrous carbohydrates. The dry matter degradability of Marandu grass was not affected; however, the fermentation kinetics in neutral detergent fiber (NDF) differed between the treatments. The co-product dry matter colonization time was greater in PKC1 and the highest effective degradability rates were from PKC0, but the productive performance of the animals was not influenced. Supplementation of buffaloes with PKC is recommended for up to 1% of body weight. Full article
10 pages, 244 KiB  
Article
Microbial Fermented Liquid Supplementation Improves Nutrient Digestibility, Feed Intake, and Milk Production in Lactating Dairy Cows Fed Total Mixed Ration
by Sineenart Polyorach, Rutsamee Nampukdee, Metha Wanapat, Sungchhang Kang, Anusorn Cherdthong, Onanong Poungchompu, Pongsatorn Gunun, Nirawan Gunun, Suban Foiklang, Anusorn Thinowong, Yaungyote Jindatajak, Anuwat Lapmee and Thitima Norrapoke
Animals 2023, 13(5), 933; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13050933 - 04 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2089
Abstract
The purpose of this experiment was to examine the effects of MFL supplementation on feed intake, nutrient digestibility, milk yield, and milk composition in early lactating dairy cows. Twelve, Thai crossbred Holstein Friesian cows in early lactation, 500 ± 30 kg of body [...] Read more.
The purpose of this experiment was to examine the effects of MFL supplementation on feed intake, nutrient digestibility, milk yield, and milk composition in early lactating dairy cows. Twelve, Thai crossbred Holstein Friesian cows in early lactation, 500 ± 30 kg of body weight (BW), were randomly assigned according to a completely randomized design (CRD). MFL supplementation levels of 0, 100, 200, and 300 mL/d were used as treatments. Experimental animals were fed a total mixed ration (TMR) with a roughage to concentrate ratio (R:C ratio) of 40:60, which contains 12% crude protein (CP) and 70% total digestible nutrient (TDN). Rice straw was a roughage source. MFL supplementation levels had no effect (p > 0.05) on body weight change and dry matter intake (DMI) expressed as %BW, whereas DMI expressed as metabolic body weight (BW0.75) was linearly (p < 0.05) increased, with the highest at 200 mL/d in the YFL supplementation group (147.5 g/kg BW0.75), whereas feed intake of organic matter (OM), CP, ether extract (EE), neutral detergent fiber (NDF) and acid detergent fiber (ADF) did not significant (p > 0.05) difference among treatments. Related to apparent digestibility, MFL levels did not affect (p > 0.05) on DM, OM, and EE digestibility, while apparent digestibility of CP, NDF, and ADF were linearly increased (p < 0.05) when increasing MFL supplementation levels, and the highest (p < 0.05) were the 200 and 300 mL/d FML supplemented groups. BUN at 0 h post feeding did not show a significant difference (p > 0.05) between treatments, while at 4 h after feeding, BUN was linearly (p < 0.05) increased from 0, 100, 200, and 300 (mL/day) MFL supplementation, the values were 12.9, 13.1, 19.7, and 18.4 mg/dL, respectively and the highest was 200 mL/head/day for the MFL supplemented group. MFL supplementation did not affect (p > 0.05) milk fat, lactose, solid not fat (SNF), and specific gravity of milk, while MFL supplementation at 200 mL/day caused a linear increase (p < 0.01) in BUN, MUN, milk yield, milk protein, total solids (TS) and 3.5% FCM when supplement levels were increased. In conclusion, MFL supplementation in early lactating dairy cows could improve feed intake, nutrient digestibility, milk yield, and milk composition. Full article
15 pages, 3640 KiB  
Article
Effects of Bacillus coagulans and Lactobacillus plantarum on the Fermentation Characteristics, Microbial Community, and Functional Shifts during Alfalfa Silage Fermentation
by Yan Wang, Wencan Ke, Qiang Lu and Guijie Zhang
Animals 2023, 13(5), 932; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13050932 - 04 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1600
Abstract
This study aimed to investigate the potential of Bacillus coagulans (BC) as an inoculant in alfalfa silage fermentation. Fresh alfalfa was harvested at a dry matter (DM) content of 329.60 g/kg fresh weight (FW), and inoculated without (CON) or with BC (1 × [...] Read more.
This study aimed to investigate the potential of Bacillus coagulans (BC) as an inoculant in alfalfa silage fermentation. Fresh alfalfa was harvested at a dry matter (DM) content of 329.60 g/kg fresh weight (FW), and inoculated without (CON) or with BC (1 × 106 CFU/g FW), Lactobacillus plantarum (LP, 1 × 106 CFU/g FW), and their combinations (LP+BC, 1 × 106 CFU/g FW, respectively). Samples were taken at 3, 7, 14, 30, and 60 d, with three replicates for each. The prolonged ensiling period resulted in a decrease in pH values and an increase in lactic acid (LA) concentrations in alfalfa silages. After 60 d of fermentation, the application of BC and LP decreased the pH values and increased LA concentrations in treated silages, especially when their combination was applied. Application of BC preserved more water-soluble carbohydrates (WSC), and further application of BC increased WSC in LP+BC-treated silage compared to LP-treated silage. There was no significant difference in the crude protein (CP) content between the CON and treated silages, however, the BC and LP treatments reduced the ammonia nitrogen (NH3-N) concentration, especially when their combination was applied. Additionally, the BC and LP-treated silages had lower neutral detergent fiber (NDF) and acid detergent fiber (ADF) when compared to the CON silage (p < 0.001). Inoculants also increased Lactobacillus abundance and decreased Enterococcus abundance after 60 d of fermentation. Spearman’s rank correlation analysis revealed a positive correlation between LA concentration and Lactobacillus abundance. It was noteworthy that LP, BC, and their combination increased the relative abundances of carbohydrate metabolism, energy metabolism, cofactors, and vitamin metabolism, decreasing the relative abundances of amino acid metabolism and drug resistance: antimicrobial. Therefore, the inclusion of BC increased the fermentation quality of alfalfa silage, with the optimal combination being LP+BC. According to the findings, BC could be considered a viable bioresource for improving fermentation quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances and Challenges in Animal Feed Safety and Quality Control)
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25 pages, 1325 KiB  
Article
A One-Year Retrospective Analysis of Viral and Parasitological Agents in Wildlife Animals Admitted to a First Aid Hospital
by Maria Irene Pacini, Maurizio Mazzei, Micaela Sgorbini, Rossella D’Alfonso and Roberto Amerigo Papini
Animals 2023, 13(5), 931; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13050931 - 04 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1426
Abstract
This study aimed to provide information on the presence and frequency of viral and parasitic agents in wildlife presented to a Veterinary Teaching Hospital in 2020–2021. Serum and faecal samples were collected from 50 rescued animals (roe deer, fallow deer, foxes, badgers, pine [...] Read more.
This study aimed to provide information on the presence and frequency of viral and parasitic agents in wildlife presented to a Veterinary Teaching Hospital in 2020–2021. Serum and faecal samples were collected from 50 rescued animals (roe deer, fallow deer, foxes, badgers, pine martens, and porcupines) and examined by serological, molecular, and parasitological techniques. Transtracheal wash (TTW) was also collected post-mortem from roe deer. Overall, the results of the different techniques showed infections with the following viral and parasitic agents: Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus, Small Ruminant Lentiviruses, Kobuvirus, Astrovirus, Canine Adenovirus 1, Bopivirus, gastrointestinal strongyles, Capillaria, Ancylostomatidae, Toxocara canis, Trichuris vulpis, Hymenolepis, Strongyloides, Eimeria, Isospora, Dictyocaulus, Angiostrongylus vasorum, Crenosoma, Dirofilaria immitis, Neospora caninum, Giardia duodenalis, and Cryptosporidium. Sequencing (Tpi locus) identified G. duodenalis sub-assemblages AI and BIV in one roe deer and one porcupine, respectively. Adult lungworms collected from the TTW were identified as Dictyocaulus capreolus (COX1 gene). This is the first molecular identification of G. duodenalis sub-assemblage AI and D. capreolus in roe deer in Italy. These results show a wide presence of pathogens in wild populations and provide an overview of environmental health surveillance. Full article
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18 pages, 4701 KiB  
Article
Effects of Schisandra chinensis Polysaccharide-Conjugated Selenium Nanoparticles on Intestinal Injury in Mice
by Hongxu Du, Xiaoyan Tan, Zhangxun Li, Hong Dong, Lijuan Su, Zhengke He, Qi Ma, Shiqi Dong, Mythili Ramachandran, Juan Liu and Liting Cao
Animals 2023, 13(5), 930; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13050930 - 04 Mar 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1661
Abstract
Schisandra chinensis polysaccharide (SCP) is an experimental therapeutic for the treatment of intestinal injury. Selenium nanoparticle modification can improve the bioactivity of polysaccharides. In this study, SCP was firstly extracted and purified by a DEAE-52 column, then SCP-Selenium nanoparticles (SCP-Se NPs) were prepared, [...] Read more.
Schisandra chinensis polysaccharide (SCP) is an experimental therapeutic for the treatment of intestinal injury. Selenium nanoparticle modification can improve the bioactivity of polysaccharides. In this study, SCP was firstly extracted and purified by a DEAE-52 column, then SCP-Selenium nanoparticles (SCP-Se NPs) were prepared, and the procedure was optimized. Thereafter, the obtained SCP-Se NPs were characterized by transmission electron microscope, X-ray diffraction, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. The influence of different storage environments on the stability of colloidal SCP-Se NPs was also investigated. Finally, the therapeutic effects of SCP-Se NPs on LPS-induced intestinal inflammatory injuries in mice were evaluated. Results showed that the optimized SCP-Se NPs were amorphous, uniform, spherical particles with a diameter of 121 nm, and the colloidal solution was stable at 4 °C for at least 14 d. Moreover, SCP-Se NPs could more effectively alleviate LPS-induced diarrhea, intestinal tissue injury, and tight junction destruction and decrease the elevated expression levels of TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6 compared with SCP. These results demonstrate that SCP-Se NPs may alleviate LPS-induced enteritis through their anti-inflammatory effects, indicating that SCP-Se NPs can serve as a good candidate for preventing and treating enteritis in the livestock and poultry industry. Full article
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13 pages, 4618 KiB  
Article
Alterations in Fecal Microbiota Linked to Environment and Sex in Red Deer (Cervus elaphus)
by Yue Sun, Yanze Yu, Jinhao Guo, Linqiang Zhong and Minghai Zhang
Animals 2023, 13(5), 929; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13050929 - 04 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2285
Abstract
Gut microbiota play an important role in impacting the host’s metabolism, immunity, speciation, and many other functions. How sex and environment affect the structure and function of fecal microbiota in red deer (Cervus elaphus) is still unclear, particularly with regard to [...] Read more.
Gut microbiota play an important role in impacting the host’s metabolism, immunity, speciation, and many other functions. How sex and environment affect the structure and function of fecal microbiota in red deer (Cervus elaphus) is still unclear, particularly with regard to the intake of different diets. In this study, non-invasive molecular sexing techniques were used to determine the sex of fecal samples from both wild and captive red deer during the overwintering period. Fecal microbiota composition and diversity analyses were performed using amplicons from the V4–V5 region of the 16S rRNA gene sequenced on the Illumina HiSeq platform. Based on Picrust2 prediction software, potential function distribution information was evaluated by comparing the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genome (KEGG). The results showed that the fecal microbiota of the wild deer (WF, n = 10; WM, n = 12) was significantly enriched in Firmicutes and decreased in Bacteroidetes, while the captive deer (CF, n = 8; CM, n = 3) had a significantly higher number of Bacteroidetes. The dominant species of fecal microbiota in the wild and captive red deer were similar at the genus level. The alpha diversity index shows significant difference in fecal microbiota diversity between the males and females in wild deer (p < 0.05). Beta diversity shows significant inter-group differences between wild and captive deer (p < 0.05) but no significant differences between female and male in wild or captive deer. The metabolism was the most important pathway at the first level of KEGG pathway analysis. In the secondary pathway of metabolism, glycan biosynthesis and metabolism, energy metabolism, and the metabolism of other amino acids were significantly different. In summary, these compositional and functional variations in the fecal microbiota of red deer may be helpful for guiding conservation management and policy decision-making, providing important information for future applications of population management and conservation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Ecology and Conservation)
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14 pages, 961 KiB  
Article
Clearance of Biodegradable Polymer and Polyethylene Films from the Rumens of Holstein Bull Calves
by Hailey Galyon, Samuel Vibostok, Jane Duncan, Gonzalo Ferreira, Abby Whittington, Kirk Havens, Jason McDevitt and Rebecca Cockrum
Animals 2023, 13(5), 928; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13050928 - 03 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1023
Abstract
Due to the occurrence of plastic impaction in ruminants and its deleterious effects on health and production, it is necessary to determine the suitability of biodegradable polymers to replace polyethylene-based agricultural plastics, such as hay netting. The objectives of this study were to [...] Read more.
Due to the occurrence of plastic impaction in ruminants and its deleterious effects on health and production, it is necessary to determine the suitability of biodegradable polymers to replace polyethylene-based agricultural plastics, such as hay netting. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the clearance of a polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) and poly(butylene succinate-co-adipate) (PBSA) melt-blend polymer from the rumen when fed to cattle and subsequent animal health. Twelve Holstein bull calves were dosed with an encapsulated 13.6 g of PBSA:PHA (Blend), 13.6 g of low-density polyethylene (LDPE), or four empty gelatin capsules (Control) for 30 d. The feed intake, body weight, and body temperature were evaluated, and hemograms were run on d 0 and d 30. On d 31, calves were euthanized to evaluate gross rumen measurements and pathology, papillae length, and polymer residues in rumen contents. No calves presented any signs related to plastic impaction. The feed intake; body weight; rectal temperature; hematological parameters; gross rumen measurements and pathology; and rumen pH and temperature were not affected by treatments. Calves dosed with LDPE had 27 g of undegraded polymer retained in the rumen while Blend calves had only 2 g of fragmented polymers that were 10% of their original size. Agricultural plastics developed from PBSA:PHA may be a suitable alternative to LDPE-based products in the case of animal ingestion and may reduce the incidence of plastic impaction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Nutrition)
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12 pages, 275 KiB  
Article
Impact of Ethical Ideologies on Students’ Attitude toward Animals—A Pakistani Perspective
by Asiya Khalid, Pim Martens and Aliya Khalid
Animals 2023, 13(5), 927; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13050927 - 03 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1656
Abstract
Idealism and relativism are components of ethical ideologies which have been explored in relation to animal welfare and attitudes, and potential cultural differences. The present study investigated how ethical ideologies influenced attitude toward animals among undergraduate students. With the help of stratified random [...] Read more.
Idealism and relativism are components of ethical ideologies which have been explored in relation to animal welfare and attitudes, and potential cultural differences. The present study investigated how ethical ideologies influenced attitude toward animals among undergraduate students. With the help of stratified random sampling, 450 participants were selected from both private and public sector universities in Pakistan. Research instruments consisted of a demographic sheet, the Ethics Position Questionnaire (EPQ), the Animal Attitude Scale—10-Item Version (AAS-10), and Animal Issue Scale (AIS). The study hypotheses were explored by employing various statistical analyses like Pearson Product Moment Correlation, independent sample t-test, ANOVA, and linear regression. Results revealed that there was a significant positive relationship between ethical ideologies (idealism and relativism) and attitude toward animals in students. Results further showed that students who consumed meat less frequently scored higher on relativism as compared to those who consumed meat more frequently (however, the effect size was small). It was also found that senior students held more idealistic ideologies as compared to freshman students. Finally, idealism positively predicted concern for animal welfare among students. The current study shed light on how ethical ideologies can shape and influence animal welfare. It further highlighted the potential cultural differences for the study variables by allowing for comparison with other published studies. By understanding these dynamics better, researchers will be better equipped to help students become informed citizens that may also influence future decision-making processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Ethics)
18 pages, 2567 KiB  
Article
Parameters of Metabolic Response to Surgical Trauma Induced via Unilateral Total Mastectomy Associated or Not to Ovariohysterectomy in Dogs
by Sabrina Marin Rodigheri, Felipe Noleto de Paiva, Bruna Fernanda Firmo, Taise Fuchs, Cynthia Bueno Mani and Andrigo Barboza de Nardi
Animals 2023, 13(5), 926; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13050926 - 03 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1695
Abstract
Surgical excision of solid tumors is required for local control of neoplasms. However, surgical trauma can stimulate the release of proangiogenic growth factors, suppressing cell-mediated immunity and favoring the development of micrometastases and progression of residual disease. The present study aimed to evaluate [...] Read more.
Surgical excision of solid tumors is required for local control of neoplasms. However, surgical trauma can stimulate the release of proangiogenic growth factors, suppressing cell-mediated immunity and favoring the development of micrometastases and progression of residual disease. The present study aimed to evaluate the intensity of the metabolic response to trauma induced via unilateral mastectomy in bitches with mammary neoplasia, the consequences of its joint performance with ovariohysterectomy, and their respective effects on the organic response. Two groups of animals were evaluated in seven perioperative moments, namely, unilateral mastectomy (G1) and unilateral mastectomy associated with ovariohysterectomy (G2). Thirty-two female dogs were selected, ten clinically healthy, and twenty-two diagnosed with mammary neoplasia. Surgical trauma reduced serum concentrations of albumin and interleukin-2 but increased blood levels of glucose and interleukin-6 in the postoperative of G1 and G2 patients. Moreover, serum cortisol levels increased after unilateral mastectomy associated with ovariohysterectomy. Our findings allowed us to conclude that unilateral mastectomy induces significant metabolic alterations in female dogs with mammary neoplasms and its joint performance with ovariohysterectomy increases the organic response to trauma. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Canine Mammary Tumors)
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14 pages, 1803 KiB  
Article
Transcriptome-Based Evaluation of Optimal Reference Genes for Quantitative Real-Time PCR in Yak Stomach throughout the Growth Cycle
by Qi Min, Lu Yang, Yu Wang, Yili Liu and Mingfeng Jiang
Animals 2023, 13(5), 925; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13050925 - 03 Mar 2023
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Abstract
Efficient nutritional assimilation and energy metabolism in the stomachs of yaks contribute to their adaption to harsh environments. Accurate gene expression profile analysis will help further reveal the molecular mechanism of nutrient and energy metabolism in the yak stomach. RT-qPCR is regarded as [...] Read more.
Efficient nutritional assimilation and energy metabolism in the stomachs of yaks contribute to their adaption to harsh environments. Accurate gene expression profile analysis will help further reveal the molecular mechanism of nutrient and energy metabolism in the yak stomach. RT-qPCR is regarded as an accurate and dependable method for analyzing gene expression. The selection of reference genes is essential to obtain meaningful RT-qPCR results, especially in longitudinal gene expression studies of tissues and organs. Our objective was to select and validate optimal reference genes from across the transcriptome as internal controls for longitudinal gene expression studies in the yak stomach. In this study, 15 candidate reference genes (CRGs) were determined according to transcriptome sequencing (RNA-seq) results and the previous literature. The expression levels of these 15 CRGs were quantified using RT-qPCR in the yak stomach, including the rumen, reticulum, omasum and abomasum at five stages: 0 days, 20 days, 60 days, 15 months and three years old (adult). Subsequently, the expression stabilities of these 15 CRGs were evaluated via four algorithms: geNorm, NormFinder, BestKeeper and the comparative CT method. Furthermore, RefFinder was employed to obtain a comprehensive ranking of the stability of CRGs. The analysis results indicate that RPS15, MRPL39 and RPS23 are the most stable genes in the yak stomach throughout the growth cycle. In addition, to verify the reliability of the selected CRGs, the relative expression levels of HMGCS2 were quantified via RT-qPCR using the three most stable or the three least stable CRGs. Overall, we recommend combining RPS15, MRPL39 and RPS23 as reference genes for the normalization of RT-qPCR data in the yak stomach throughout the growth cycle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Genetics and Genomics)
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