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Animals, Volume 13, Issue 6 (March-2 2023) – 171 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Vegetable oil inclusion in fish diets is a common practice, but its effects on their oxidative status at an intestinal level, which can affect animal health and welfare, are poorly understood. The effects of different dietary treatments containing soybean oil alone or in combination with other vegetable oils in sea bream were tested. The results revealed that the blend of soybean and linseed oils triggers high oxidative stress in some fish that could not be counteracted by the high levels of antioxidant enzymes. However, palm oil addition to the previous vegetable oil mixture makes it possible for the fish to maintain low oxidative stress, preserving the intestinal health of the animal. In conclusion, this study demonstrates the importance that the mixture of vegetable oils in a diet can have on the intestinal health of sea bream. View this paper
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12 pages, 516 KiB  
Article
Automated Quantification of the Behaviour of Beef Cattle Exposed to Heat Load Conditions
by Musadiq Idris, Caitlin C. Gay, Ian G. Woods, Megan Sullivan, John B. Gaughan and Clive J. C. Phillips
Animals 2023, 13(6), 1125; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13061125 - 22 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1544
Abstract
Cattle change their behaviour in response to hot temperatures, including by engaging in stepping that indicates agitation. The automated recording of these responses would be helpful in the timely diagnosis of animals experiencing heat loading. Behavioural responses of beef cattle to hot environmental [...] Read more.
Cattle change their behaviour in response to hot temperatures, including by engaging in stepping that indicates agitation. The automated recording of these responses would be helpful in the timely diagnosis of animals experiencing heat loading. Behavioural responses of beef cattle to hot environmental conditions were studied to investigate whether it was possible to assess behavioural responses by video-digitised image analysis. Open-source automated behavioural quantification software was used to record pixel changes in 13 beef cattle videorecorded in a climate-controlled chamber during exposure to a simulated typical heat event in Queensland, Australia. Increased digitised movement was observed during the heat event, which was related to stepping and grooming/scratching activities in standing animals. The 13 cattle were exposed in two cohorts, in which the first group of cattle (n = 6) was fed a standard finisher diet based on a high percentage of cereal grains, and the second group of cattle (n = 7) received a substituted diet in which 8% of the grains were replaced by lucerne hay. The second group displayed a smaller increase in digitised movements on exposure to heat than the first, suggesting less discomfort under hot conditions. The results suggest that cattle exposed to heat display increased movement that can be detected automatically by video digitisation software, and that replacing some cereal grain with forage in the diet of feedlot cattle may reduce the measured activity responses to the heat. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Welfare)
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18 pages, 6527 KiB  
Article
Bioclimatic Zoning for Sheep Farming through Geostatistical Modeling in the State of Pernambuco, Brazil
by Gabriel Thales Barboza Marinho, Héliton Pandorfi, Marcos Vinícius da Silva, Abelardo Antônio de Assunção Montenegro, Lizandra de Barros de Sousa, Raquel Desenzi, Jhon Lennon Bezerra da Silva, José Francisco de Oliveira-Júnior, Márcio Mesquita, Gledson Luiz Pontes de Almeida, Cristiane Guiselini, Alexandre Maniçoba da Rosa Ferraz Jardim and Thieres George Freire da Silva
Animals 2023, 13(6), 1124; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13061124 - 22 Mar 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1859
Abstract
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has pointed out the high vulnerability of developing countries to climate change, which is expected to impact food and income security. Sheep farming is one of the main animal productions among the families located in the [...] Read more.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has pointed out the high vulnerability of developing countries to climate change, which is expected to impact food and income security. Sheep farming is one of the main animal productions among the families located in the most vulnerable regions of the semiarid region of Pernambuco state, a Brazilian territory known for its high temperatures, low relative humidity, and high net solar radiation. Therefore, the objective of this study was to identify different regions of Pernambuco that may be more suitable for different breeds of sheep, based on non-parametric statistics and kriging maps of the temperature and humidity index (THI). THI values were determined based on mean annual temperature and wind speed extracted from the TerraClimate remote sensing database. Pernambuco state presented THI values ranging from 66 to 79, with the hair breeds having a high potential for exploitation in almost all territories, including the main meat-producing breeds. The East Friesian breed, a high milk producer, would be well suited to the Agreste mesoregion, a territory that, like the Pajeú and Moxotó microregions, also proved favorable for the introduction of three wool breeds (Suffolk, Poll Dorset, and Texel) known as major meat producers. The kriging maps of the THI values successfully allowed the identification of strategic development regions of Pernambuco state with high potential for sheep breeding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Welfare)
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11 pages, 306 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Encapsulated Propyl Propane Thiosulfonate (PTSO) on Apparent Ileal Digestibility and Productive Performance in Broiler Chickens
by Gonzalo Villar-Patiño, María del Carmen Camacho-Rea, Myrna Elena Olvera-García, Arturo Soria-Soria, Julio César Baltazar-Vázquez, Gabriela Gómez-Verduzco, Lourdes Solano, Guillermo Téllez and Aurora Hilda Ramírez-Pérez
Animals 2023, 13(6), 1123; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13061123 - 22 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1360
Abstract
This study analyzed the effects of different dietary doses of encapsulated propyl propane thiosulfonate (Pe-PTSO) on the apparent ileal digestibility (AID) of nutrients and productive performance in broilers. A total of 100 one-day-old Cobb 500 were housed in battery cages for 20 days. [...] Read more.
This study analyzed the effects of different dietary doses of encapsulated propyl propane thiosulfonate (Pe-PTSO) on the apparent ileal digestibility (AID) of nutrients and productive performance in broilers. A total of 100 one-day-old Cobb 500 were housed in battery cages for 20 days. At 10 days of age, the birds were assigned to one of five diets: negative control (P0), 250 mg/kg of Pe-PTSO (P250), 500 mg/kg of Pe-PTSO (P500), 750 mg/kg of Pe-PTSO (P750), and positive control, nicarbazin–narasin (ION). Titanium dioxide was the external marker, which was added to the diets from day 17 to 20. In the birds fed the P250 diet, there was a significant difference (p ≤ 0.05) in the AID values for amino acids and energy compared to those that consumed the P0 diet. Furthermore, the P250 diet significantly increased (p ≤ 0.05) the average daily weight gain compared to the P0 diet. No significant differences were observed between treatments in average daily feed intake and feed conversion ratio. In summary, the inclusion of 250 mg of encapsulated PTSO per kg in broiler chickens diet improved the digestibility of amino acids and energy, as well as weight gain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feed Additives in Broiler Nutrition)
12 pages, 2110 KiB  
Article
Assessing the Role of Lizards as Potential Pollinators of an Insular Plant Community and Its Intraspecific Variation
by Víctor Romero-Egea, Cristina Robles, Anna Traveset, Laura Del Rio and Sandra Hervías-Parejo
Animals 2023, 13(6), 1122; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13061122 - 22 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2109
Abstract
The role of lizards as potential pollinators on islands has been documented for either one or a few plants in different parts of the world, but it has never been assessed for an entire plant community. Here, we quantified interaction rate by lizards [...] Read more.
The role of lizards as potential pollinators on islands has been documented for either one or a few plants in different parts of the world, but it has never been assessed for an entire plant community. Here, we quantified interaction rate by lizards and evaluated intraspecific differences in the use of flowers on Cabrera Gran (Cabrera archipelago, Balearic Islands) by means of visual observations, automated cameras and the analysis of pollen grain samples. Overall, we recorded interactions of the Balearic wall lizard (Podarcis lilfordi) with flowers of 44 plant species, 72.7% of which were unknown to date. Although florivory occurs in some of these species (35%), the majority of visits were legitimate (65%); in addition, we found intraspecific differences in the interactions related to the sex and age of lizards. Our findings support the role of Balearic wall lizards as potential pollinators across the entire plant community, and their contribution to particular plant species, for instance the endangered Cistus heterophyllus carthaginensis. This study also documents the first record of another sympatric lizard (Tarentola mauritanica) visiting flowers and contributes to the few existing records of flower interactions involving geckos in the Paleartic ecozone. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lizard Evolutionary Ecology in Islands)
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23 pages, 1249 KiB  
Systematic Review
Applications of Technology to Record Locomotion Measurements in Dairy Cows: A Systematic Review
by Anna Bradtmueller, Amir Nejati, Elise Shepley and Elsa Vasseur
Animals 2023, 13(6), 1121; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13061121 - 22 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1667
Abstract
Lameness within the dairy industry is a concern because of its associated costs and welfare implications. Visual locomotion scoring has been commonly used for assessing cows’ locomotion quality, but it can have low reliability and is relatively subjective compared to automated methods of [...] Read more.
Lameness within the dairy industry is a concern because of its associated costs and welfare implications. Visual locomotion scoring has been commonly used for assessing cows’ locomotion quality, but it can have low reliability and is relatively subjective compared to automated methods of assessing locomotion. Kinematic, kinetic, and accelerometric technologies can provide a greater number of more detailed outcome measurements than visual scoring. The objective of this systematic review was to determine outcome measurements, and the relationships between them, that have been recorded using kinematic, kinetic, and accelerometric technologies, as well as other approaches to evaluating cow locomotion. Following PRISMA guidelines, two databases were searched for studies published from January 2000 to June 2022. Thirty-seven articles were retained after undergoing a screening process involving a title and abstract evaluation, followed by a full-text assessment. Locomotion measurements recorded using these technologies often overlapped, but inconsistencies in the types of technology, the arrangement of equipment, the terminology, and the measurement-recording approaches made it difficult to compare locomotion measurements across studies. Additional research would contribute to a better understanding of how factors regarding the health, environment, and management of dairy cows affect aspects of locomotion, as recorded through the detailed, objective outcome measurements provided by these technologies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Smart Farming in Dairy Production)
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15 pages, 2150 KiB  
Article
Housing Conditions Affect Adult Zebrafish (Danio rerio) Behavior but Not Their Physiological Status
by Sara Jorge, Luís Félix, Benjamín Costas and Ana M. Valentim
Animals 2023, 13(6), 1120; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13061120 - 22 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2038
Abstract
Zebrafish is a valuable model for neuroscience research, but the housing conditions to which it is exposed daily may be impairing its welfare status. The use of environmental enrichment and the refinement of methodology for cortisol measurement could reduce stress, improving its welfare [...] Read more.
Zebrafish is a valuable model for neuroscience research, but the housing conditions to which it is exposed daily may be impairing its welfare status. The use of environmental enrichment and the refinement of methodology for cortisol measurement could reduce stress, improving its welfare and its suitability as an animal model used in stress research. Thus, this study aimed to evaluate (I) the influence of different housing conditions on zebrafish physiology and behavior, and (II) skin mucus potential for cortisol measurement in adult zebrafish. For this, AB zebrafish were raised under barren or enriched (PVC pipes and gravel image) environmental conditions. After 6 months, their behavior was assessed by different behavioral paradigms (shoaling, white-black box test, and novel tank). The physiological response was also evaluated through cortisol levels (whole-body homogenates and skin mucus) and brain oxidative stress markers. The results revealed that enriched-housed fish had an increased nearest neighbors’ distance and reduced activity. However, no effect on body length or stress biomarkers was observed; whole-body and skin mucus cortisol levels had the same profile between groups. In conclusion, this study highlights the skin mucus potential as a matrix for cortisol quantification, and how housing conditions could influence the data in future studies. Full article
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15 pages, 2239 KiB  
Article
Detection of Selected Canine Viruses in Nigerian Free-Ranging Dogs Traded for Meat Consumption
by Linda A. Ndiana, Gianvito Lanave, Costantina Desario, Amienwanlen E. Odigie, Kelechi G. Madubuike, Maria Stella Lucente, Chukwuemeka A. Ezeifeka, Giovanni Patruno, Eleonora Lorusso, Gabriella Elia, Canio Buonavoglia and Nicola Decaro
Animals 2023, 13(6), 1119; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13061119 - 22 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1513
Abstract
Animal trade favors the spreading of emerging and re-emerging pathogens. Concerns have been previously expressed regarding the risks of dog trade in spreading zoonotic pathogens in Nigeria. However, the role of these dogs in disseminating highly pathogenic canine viruses has not yet been [...] Read more.
Animal trade favors the spreading of emerging and re-emerging pathogens. Concerns have been previously expressed regarding the risks of dog trade in spreading zoonotic pathogens in Nigeria. However, the role of these dogs in disseminating highly pathogenic canine viruses has not yet been explored. The present study aimed to identify selected canine viruses in dogs traded for meat consumption in Nigeria. A total of 100 blood samples were screened for carnivore protoparvovirus-1 (CPPV-1), canine adenovirus 1/2 (CAdV-1/2), canine circovirus (CaCV), and canine distemper virus (CDV) by using real-time PCR and conventional PCR and/or sequencing. CPPV-1 DNA was identified in 83% of canine samples while CaCV DNA and CDV RNA were detected in 14% and 17% of the dog samples, respectively. None of the dogs tested positive for CAdV-1/2. The CaCVs identified in this study clustered along with other European, Asian, and American strains. Moreover, CDV strains identified in Nigeria clustered in a separate lineage with the closest genetic relatedness to the Europe–South America-1 clade. Further surveys prior to and after arrival of dogs at the slaughtering points are required to clarify the real virus burden in these animals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Products)
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14 pages, 876 KiB  
Article
Influence of Improved Microclimate Conditions on Growth and Physiological Performance of Two Japanese Quail Lines
by Ahmed M. Emam, Shaaban S. Elnesr, Ensaf A. El-Full, Bothaina Y. Mahmoud and Hamada Elwan
Animals 2023, 13(6), 1118; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13061118 - 22 Mar 2023
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2327
Abstract
Microclimate parameters (ammonia, ambient temperature, heat index, and relative humidity) surrounding birds affect the production and health status of poultry. Therefore, this study aimed to evaluate the impact of adding natural zeolite to the litter of Japanese quail on improving microclimate parameters and [...] Read more.
Microclimate parameters (ammonia, ambient temperature, heat index, and relative humidity) surrounding birds affect the production and health status of poultry. Therefore, this study aimed to evaluate the impact of adding natural zeolite to the litter of Japanese quail on improving microclimate parameters and its reflection in growth performance, blood gases, and blood biochemical parameters. A total of 1152 chicks were obtained from the same hatch at the 20th selection generation. Chicks were allocated into two groups based on the litter composition: Group 1: wheat straw as litter (untreated group); Group 2: 80% wheat straw + 20% zeolite (treated group). Each group consisted of 576 chicks: 410 selected line chicks and 166 control line chicks. Significant and favorable effects of the treatment on microclimate parameters during tested periods were found to favor the treated group. Either the treated group or the selected line had significantly better growth performance than the untreated group and control line. Zeolite-treated quails had significantly desirable blood gases and lower blood acidity and serum total iron binding capacity compared to the untreated group. Thus, adding natural zeolite to the litter enhanced the microclimate parameters that improved growth performance, blood gases, and blood biochemical parameters and reduced ammonia emission. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Poultry)
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9 pages, 261 KiB  
Article
Blood Gas, Acid-Base and Electrolyte Analysis in Healthy Dromedary Camel Calves up to 21 Days of Life
by Taher Osman, Monica Probo, Davide Monaco, Hazem Karem Shafiek and Francesca Freccero
Animals 2023, 13(6), 1117; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13061117 - 22 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1525
Abstract
The importance of prompt evaluation and care of the newborn is essential for reducing neonatal mortality, which represents a major cause of loss in camelids. This study investigated the blood gases, acid-base and electrolyte profiles in healthy dromedary calves during the first 3 [...] Read more.
The importance of prompt evaluation and care of the newborn is essential for reducing neonatal mortality, which represents a major cause of loss in camelids. This study investigated the blood gases, acid-base and electrolyte profiles in healthy dromedary calves during the first 3 weeks of life, assessing possible associations with age. Twenty-one dromedary camel calves aged 1 to 21 days were sampled, and venous whole blood analyzed through a VETSTAT® analyzer. The following parameters were measured: sodium (Na+), potassium (K+), chloride (Cl), hydrogen ion concentration (pH), partial pressure carbon dioxide (pCO2), partial pressure oxygen (pO2), total hemoglobin concentration (tHb), hemoglobin oxygen saturation (sO2), total carbon dioxide (tCO2), bicarbonate (HCO3), base excess (BE) and anion gap (AG). Calves were divided in two groups; younger calves (1–10 d), and older calves (11–21 d). Statistical analysis showed an effect of age, with lower K+ (p < 0.001) and higher Na+ and Cl (p < 0.05) mean concentrations in the younger calves compared to the older ones, and higher pCO2 and lower sO2 mean concentrations in the older group. These preliminary results firstly described the blood gas, acid-base and electrolyte profiles in the healthy dromedary calf during the first 3 weeks of age, suggesting an effect of age on some parameters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Camelid Reproduction)
15 pages, 624 KiB  
Article
Investigating the Effect of Pulicaria jaubertii as a Natural Feed Additive on the Growth Performance, Blood Biochemistry, Immunological Response, and Cecal Microbiota of Broiler Chickens
by Abdulrahman S. Alharthi, Nawaf W. Alruwaili, Hani H. Al-Baadani, Maged A. Al-Garadi, Ghalia Shamlan and Ibrahim A. Alhidary
Animals 2023, 13(6), 1116; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13061116 - 22 Mar 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2114
Abstract
Based on the biologically active compounds of Pulicaria jaubertii studied so far, there are no studies on the use of this plant in broilers. Therefore, the present study aims is to investigate the effect of Pulicaria jaubertii on the performance, blood biochemistry, internal [...] Read more.
Based on the biologically active compounds of Pulicaria jaubertii studied so far, there are no studies on the use of this plant in broilers. Therefore, the present study aims is to investigate the effect of Pulicaria jaubertii on the performance, blood biochemistry, internal organs, gene expression related to immune response, and the cecal microbiota of broiler chickens. A total of two hundred and forty male broilers were used and divided into four diet groups (T1 = 0, T2 = 3, T3 = 6, and T4 = 9 g Pulicaria jaubertii powder/kg basal diet). The performance evaluation, serum biochemical parameters, internal organ indicators, cytokines’ gene expression, and microbiota colonization were determined. The study results showed that this plant was rich in nutrients, some fatty acids, and bioactive phenolic compounds. All growth performance indicators and relative liver weight were improved by Pulicaria jaubertii levels (T2 to T4) with no effect on feed intake. T3 and T4 showed higher total protein and lower triglycerides and total cholesterol. Birds fed Pulicaria jaubertii showed immune regulation through the modulation of pre-inflammatory cytokines and increased mucin-2 and secretory Immunoglobulin A compared with the control group. Diet groups (T2 to T4) had higher quantities of Lactobacillus spp. and lower levels of Salmonella spp. than the control group. We conclude that Pulicaria jaubertii could be used as a feed supplement for broilers due to its beneficial effects on overall performance, immune response, and microbiota. Further studies are recommended to investigate the potential mechanism of Pulicaria jaubertii in broilers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Poultry Feeding and Gut Health)
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13 pages, 3312 KiB  
Article
The Mechanisms of BDNF Promoting the Proliferation of Porcine Follicular Granulosa Cells: Role of miR-127 and Involvement of the MAPK-ERK1/2 Pathway
by Xue Zheng, Lu Chen, Tong Chen, Maosheng Cao, Boqi Zhang, Chenfeng Yuan, Zijiao Zhao, Chunjin Li and Xu Zhou
Animals 2023, 13(6), 1115; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13061115 - 21 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1355
Abstract
As a member of the neurotrophic family, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) provides a key link in the physiological process of mammalian ovarian follicle development, in addition to its functions in the nervous system. The emphasis of this study lay in the impact of [...] Read more.
As a member of the neurotrophic family, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) provides a key link in the physiological process of mammalian ovarian follicle development, in addition to its functions in the nervous system. The emphasis of this study lay in the impact of BDNF on the proliferation of porcine follicular granulosa cells (GCs) in vitro. BDNF and tyrosine kinase B (TrkB, receptor of BDNF) were detected in porcine follicular GCs. Additionally, cell viability significantly increased during the culture of porcine GCs with BDNF (100 ng/mL) in vitro. However, BDNF knockdown in GCs decreased cell viability and S-phase cells proportion—and BDNF simultaneously regulated the expression of genes linked with cell proliferation (CCND1, p21 and Bcl2) and apoptosis (Bax). Then, the results of the receptor blocking experiment showed that BDNF promoted GC proliferation via TrkB. The high-throughput sequencing showed that BDNF also regulated the expression profiles of miRNAs in GCs. The differential expression profiles were obtained by miRNA sequencing after BDNF (100 ng/mL) treatment with GCs. The sequencing results showed that, after BDNF treatment, 72 significant differentially-expressed miRNAs were detected—5 of which were related to cell process and proliferation signaling pathways confirmed by RT-PCR. Furthermore, studies showed that BDNF promoted GCs’ proliferation by increasing the expression of CCND1, downregulating miR-127 and activating the ERK1/2 signal pathway. Moreover, BDNF indirectly activated the ERK1/2 signal pathway by downregulating miR-127. In conclusion, BDNF promoted porcine GC proliferation by increasing CCND1 expression, downregulating miR-127 and stimulating the MAPK-ERK1/2 signaling cascade. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Reproduction)
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21 pages, 356 KiB  
Article
Analysis of the Genetic Parameters for Dairy Linear Appraisal and Zoometric Traits: A Tool to Enhance the Applicability of Murciano-Granadina Goats Major Areas Evaluation System
by Javier Fernández Álvarez, Francisco Javier Navas González, Jose Manuel León Jurado, Carlos Iglesias Pastrana and Juan Vicente Delgado Bermejo
Animals 2023, 13(6), 1114; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13061114 - 21 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1272
Abstract
Selection for zoometrics defines individuals’ productive longevity, endurance, enhanced productive abilities and consequently, their long-term profitability. When zoometric analysis is aimed at large highly selected populations or in those at different levels of selection, linear appraisal systems (LAS) provide a timely response. This [...] Read more.
Selection for zoometrics defines individuals’ productive longevity, endurance, enhanced productive abilities and consequently, their long-term profitability. When zoometric analysis is aimed at large highly selected populations or in those at different levels of selection, linear appraisal systems (LAS) provide a timely response. This study estimates genetic and phenotypic parameters for zoometric/LAS traits in Murciano-Granadina goats, estimating genetic and phenotypic correlations among all traits, and determining whether major area selection would be appropriate or if adaptability strategies may need to be followed. Heritability estimates for the zoometric/LAS traits were low to high, ranging from 0.09 to 0.43, and the accuracy of estimation has improved after decades, rendering standard errors negligible. Scale inversion of specific traits may need to be performed before major areas selection strategies are implemented. Genetic and phenotypic correlations suggests that negative selection against thicker bones and higher rear insertion heights indirectly results in the optimization of selection practices in the rest of the traits, especially those in the structure, capacity and mammary system major areas. The integration and implementation of the strategies proposed within the Murciano-Granadina breeding program maximizes selection opportunities and the sustainable international competitiveness of the Murciano-Granadina goat in the dairy goat breed panorama. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability of Local Dairy Farming Systems)
18 pages, 3963 KiB  
Review
The Impact of the Social Determinants of Human Health on Companion Animal Welfare
by Sonya McDowall, Susan J. Hazel, Catherine Chittleborough, Anne Hamilton-Bruce, Rwth Stuckey and Tiffani J. Howell
Animals 2023, 13(6), 1113; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13061113 - 21 Mar 2023
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 6403
Abstract
The social determinants of health (SDH) focus on the social, physical and economic factors that impact human health. Studies have revealed that animal guardians face a range of challenges in attaining positive welfare outcomes for their companion animals, which can be influenced by [...] Read more.
The social determinants of health (SDH) focus on the social, physical and economic factors that impact human health. Studies have revealed that animal guardians face a range of challenges in attaining positive welfare outcomes for their companion animals, which can be influenced by socioeconomic and environmental factors. Despite this, there is a lack of research specifically exploring the relationship between SDH and animal welfare outcomes. Given that the SDH impact on humans, which in turn directly impacts on their companion animal, it is important to adapt an SDH framework for companion animal welfare by characterising the impact of the SDH on companion animal guardians in their attempts to care for their animals and, by extension, the associated welfare outcomes. This paper explores how these human health determinants may impact animal welfare and the possible challenges that may arise for the guardian when attempting to meet their companion animal’s welfare needs. By integrating the SDH with other key frameworks, including the five domains model of animal welfare, through multidisciplinary collaboration, this framework can be used to inform future programs aiming to improve animal welfare. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on the Human–Pet Relationship)
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11 pages, 2573 KiB  
Article
Illegal and Exploitative Sand-Digging Activities Could Be Managed to Create Suitable Nesting Habitats for Blue-Tailed Bee-Eaters (Merops philippinus)
by Canchao Yang, Gang Lu, Ting Cai, Xiaogang Yao and Yan Cai
Animals 2023, 13(6), 1112; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13061112 - 21 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1484
Abstract
The development of human society often interferes with wild animals and their natural habitats. Interference during resource exploitation is mostly negative; however, in some cases, it can be positive and even have significance for some species. In this study, we investigated the number [...] Read more.
The development of human society often interferes with wild animals and their natural habitats. Interference during resource exploitation is mostly negative; however, in some cases, it can be positive and even have significance for some species. In this study, we investigated the number of blue-tailed bee-eaters (Merops philippinus), a species under ‘state protection category II’ in China, between controlled and manipulated nesting habitats from 2017 to 2022. Our results indicated that commercial sand-digging activities, either illegal or approved, initially created suitable nesting habitats to attract blue-tailed bee-eaters but subsequently led to damage of nests or nesting habitats. However, sand digging can be modified by avoiding the breeding season to provide safe and suitable nesting habitats for bee-eaters. The number of breeding birds more than tripled when digging during the breeding season was avoided. We also found that conventional conservation strategies, which strictly prohibited sand-digging activities, did not contribute to the nesting habitats of bee-eaters. This study enriches the theories of conservation biology and emphasizes the importance of dialectical thinking regarding exploitative and seemingly destructive activities. Full article
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17 pages, 2433 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Enrichment on Leopard Geckos (Eublepharis macularius) Housed in Two Different Maintenance Systems (Rack System vs. Terrarium)
by Damian Zieliński
Animals 2023, 13(6), 1111; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13061111 - 21 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 4434
Abstract
The aim of this study was to test the usefulness of environmental enrichment for Eublepharis macularius depending on the maintenance method (terrarium vs. rack system). The hypothesis was that reptiles kept in an extremely low-stimulus environment (rack system) would be more prone to [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to test the usefulness of environmental enrichment for Eublepharis macularius depending on the maintenance method (terrarium vs. rack system). The hypothesis was that reptiles kept in an extremely low-stimulus environment (rack system) would be more prone to interact with environmental enrichment items than those kept in a biotope terrarium. During the study, 21 female geckos were kept in two types of captive enclosures: 9 in terrariums, and 12 in rack system boxes in groups of 3 animals per enclosure. During the enrichment sessions, geckos were observed for 45 min while enrichment items (dry and wet hides, a new feeding method, a new object) were present in the enclosure. All geckos showed interest in enrichment items that enabled hiding and climbing. Animals kept in the rack system showed significantly lower latency in approaching enrichment items and a higher frequency of enrichment interactions than lizards in biotope terrariums. However, no significant differences were found in the total time spent interacting with enrichment items between geckos in the two settings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Captive Animals: Perspectives, Practices, Challenges and Ethics)
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7 pages, 1848 KiB  
Editorial
Advances in Animal Anatomy
by Matilde Lombardero and María del Mar Yllera
Animals 2023, 13(6), 1110; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13061110 - 21 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1536
Abstract
This Special Issue was the result of reviewing Leonardo da Vinci's anatomical drawings of the bear foot and the horse trunk (among others) [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Animal Anatomy)
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18 pages, 530 KiB  
Article
Pre-Weaned Calf Rearing on Northern Irish Dairy Farms—Part 2: The Impact of Hygiene Practice on Bacterial Levels in Dairy Calf Rearing Environments
by Aaron J. Brown, Gillian Scoley, Niamh O’Connell, Alan Gordon, Katie Lawther, Sharon A. Huws and Steven J. Morrison
Animals 2023, 13(6), 1109; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13061109 - 21 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1777
Abstract
Pre-weaned dairy calves are very susceptible to disease in the first months of life due to having a naïve immune system and because of the numerous physiological stressors they face. Hygiene management is a key element in minimizing enteric disease risk in calves [...] Read more.
Pre-weaned dairy calves are very susceptible to disease in the first months of life due to having a naïve immune system and because of the numerous physiological stressors they face. Hygiene management is a key element in minimizing enteric disease risk in calves by reducing their exposure to pathogens. Samples of milk, concentrate feed and drinking water, boot swabs of bedding and swabs of feed equipment were collected from 66 dairy farms as part of a survey of calf rearing practice and housing design. All the samples were cultured to determine total viable counts (TVC), total coliforms (TCC) and Escherichia coli as indicators of hygiene. Target ranges for levels of TVC, TCC and E. coli were defined from the literature and the sample results compared against them. The TVC targets in milk, MR and water were <4.0 log10 CFU/mL. TCC and E. coli targets of <1.1 log10 CFU/mL (the detection limit) were used for milk, MR, concentrate feed and feeding equipment. For water, the TCC and E. coli targets were <1.0 log10 CFU/100 mL. The targets used for bedding boot swabs were <6.3 log10 TVC CFU/mL and <5.7 log10 TCC or E. coli CFU/mL. Farm management factors were included as fixed effects in a generalized linear mixed model to determine the probability of samples being within each hygiene indicator target range. Milk replacer samples obtained from automatic feeders were more likely to be within the TVC target range (0.63 probability) than those prepared manually (0.34) or milk samples taken from the bulk tank (0.23). Concentrate feed samples taken from buckets in single-calf pens were more likely to have E. coli detected (0.89) than samples taken from group pen troughs (0.97). A very small proportion of water samples were within the indicator targets (TVC 9.8%, TCC 6.0%, E. coli 10.2%). Water from self-fill drinkers had a lower likelihood of being within the TVC target (0.03) than manually filled buckets (0.14), and water samples from single pens were more likely to be within TCC target ranges (0.12) than those from group pens (0.03). However, all self-fill drinkers were located in group pens so these results are likely confounded. Where milk feeders were cleaned after every feed, there was a greater likelihood of being within the TVC target range (0.47, compared with 0.23 when not cleaned after every feed). Detection of coliforms in milk replacer mixing utensils was linked with reduced probability of TVC (0.17, compared with 0.43 when coliforms were not detected) and TCC (0.38, compared with 0.62), which was within target in feeders. Key factors related to increased probability of bedding samples being within TCC target range were use of group calf pens (0.96) rather than single-calf pens (0.80), use of solid floors (0.96, compared with 0.76 for permeable floors) and increased space allowance of calves (0.94 for pens with ≥2 m2/calf, compared with 0.79 for pens with <2 m2/calf). Bedding TVC was more likely to be within the target range in group (0.84) rather than in single pens (0.66). The results show that hygiene levels in the calf rearing environment vary across farms and that management and housing design impact hygiene. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Calf Health and Performance)
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32 pages, 44962 KiB  
Review
Anatomy, Physiology, and Disorders of the Spectacle, Subspectacular Space, and Its Lacrimal Drainage System in Squamates
by Tom Hellebuyck and Ferran Solanes Vilanova
Animals 2023, 13(6), 1108; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13061108 - 21 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 4866
Abstract
Various squamate species have completely fused eyelids that make up a transparent spectacle. The spectacle is a continuation of the integument that is renewed with each shedding cycle and creates a narrow subspectacular or corneospectacular space that is filled with lacrimal fluid. The [...] Read more.
Various squamate species have completely fused eyelids that make up a transparent spectacle. The spectacle is a continuation of the integument that is renewed with each shedding cycle and creates a narrow subspectacular or corneospectacular space that is filled with lacrimal fluid. The latter is considered as the analogue of the conjunctival sac in other vertebrates. Almost all reptiles that have a spectacle lack a nictitating membrane, bursalis muscle, and lacrimal glands. The lacrimal fluid in the subspectacular space is secreted by the Harderian gland. The features of the spectacle and its lacrimal drainage system are an illustration of the enormous variation of the morphological adaptations that are seen in reptiles and one of the most distinguishable traits of snakes and most gecko species. Whereas ocular disease in squamates with a spectacle is infrequently seen in practice, disorders of the spectacle and the subspectacular space are commonly encountered. In order to apply an adequate diagnostic and therapeutic approach for these conditions, a sound knowledge and understanding of the anatomical and physiological peculiarities of the spectacle, subspectacular space, and lacrimal drainage system are fundamental. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Herpetological Medicine and Surgery)
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15 pages, 922 KiB  
Article
Short-Term Survival and Postoperative Complications Rates in Horses Undergoing Colic Surgery: A Multicentre Study
by Alessandro Spadari, Rodolfo Gialletti, Marco Gandini, Emanuela Valle, Anna Cerullo, Damiano Cavallini, Alice Bertoletti, Riccardo Rinnovati, Giulia Forni, Nicola Scilimati and Gessica Giusto
Animals 2023, 13(6), 1107; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13061107 - 20 Mar 2023
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2590
Abstract
The occurrence of colic could be influenced by the characteristics of a population, geographical area, and feeding management. The aim of this study was to report the short-term postoperative complications and survival rates and to identify factors that might affect the outcome of [...] Read more.
The occurrence of colic could be influenced by the characteristics of a population, geographical area, and feeding management. The aim of this study was to report the short-term postoperative complications and survival rates and to identify factors that might affect the outcome of horses that underwent colic surgery in three Italian surgical referral centres. Data of horses subjected to colic surgery in three referral centres (2018–2021) were analysed. Comparisons of the outcomes were performed using a Mann–Whitney or a Chi square test. Areas under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve and multivariable logistic regression analysis were used for parameters that were significant in the previous univariate analysis. The goodness-of-fit of the model was assessed using the Akike information criterion (AIC). Significance was defined as p < 0.05, and odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were calculated as percentages. A total of 451 horses were included. The survival rate was 68.5% of all of the horses that underwent colic surgery and 80% of the horses surviving anaesthesia. Age, BCS, PCV and TPP before and after surgery, amount of reflux, type of disease, type of lesion, duration of surgery, surgeon’s experience, and amount of intra- and postoperative fluids administered influenced the probability of short-term survival. The multivariate analysis revealed that PCV at arrival, TPP after surgery, and BCS had the highest predictive power. This is the first multicentre study in Italy. The results of this study may help surgeons to inform owners regarding the prognosis of colic surgery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Focus on Gut Health in Horses: Current Research and Approaches)
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12 pages, 1950 KiB  
Article
Magnetic Resonance Imaging Measurements of the Proximal Palmar Cortex of the Third Metacarpal Bone and the Suspensory Ligament in Non-Lame Endurance Horses before and after Six Months of Training
by Ines Likon, Sue Dyson and Annamaria Nagy
Animals 2023, 13(6), 1106; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13061106 - 20 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1690
Abstract
Proximal metacarpal injury is common in endurance horses, yet exercise-induced changes in this region have not been described. This study aimed to document objective exercise-induced changes in the proximal palmar cortex of the third metacarpal bone (PcMcIII) and the suspensory ligament (SL). Low-field [...] Read more.
Proximal metacarpal injury is common in endurance horses, yet exercise-induced changes in this region have not been described. This study aimed to document objective exercise-induced changes in the proximal palmar cortex of the third metacarpal bone (PcMcIII) and the suspensory ligament (SL). Low-field magnetic resonance (MR) images of both proximal metacarpal regions were obtained from six novice and six experienced horses, before and after six months of endurance training. Measurements were acquired in T1-weighted transverse MR images at four levels and included the thickness of the PcMcIII, the mediolateral width, and the dorsopalmar depth of the entire SL and its lobes. We used t-tests or their nonparametric equivalents to compare the measurements from the two examinations and both novice and experienced horses. The medial aspect of PcMcIII was significantly thicker in experienced horses than in novice horses at 2 and 3 cm distal to the carpometacarpal joint. This likely reflects the cumulative effect of long-term exercise and possibly age. The PcMcIII was significantly thicker medially than laterally. There was no significant difference between pre- and post-season measurements. Six months of endurance training were not sufficient to induce changes in the thickness of PcMcIII or the SL that are detectable in low-field MR images. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Equids)
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8 pages, 546 KiB  
Article
Awareness and Use of Canine Quality of Life Assessment Tools in UK Veterinary Practice
by Claire Roberts, Emily J. Blackwell, Emma Roe, Joanna C. Murrell and Siobhan Mullan
Animals 2023, 13(6), 1105; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13061105 - 20 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1809
Abstract
The use of formal canine quality of life (QOL) assessment tools in veterinary practice has been recommended. An online survey investigated awareness, use and barriers to use of these tools in the UK. An anonymous 24-question survey was advertised through veterinary groups and [...] Read more.
The use of formal canine quality of life (QOL) assessment tools in veterinary practice has been recommended. An online survey investigated awareness, use and barriers to use of these tools in the UK. An anonymous 24-question survey was advertised through veterinary groups and social media. Ninety veterinary surgeons and twenty veterinary nurses responded. Thirty-two respondents (29.1%) were aware of the existence of formal canine QOL assessment tools. Of the three tools listed, current use was less than four per cent. No statistically significant influence of respondent age, role (veterinary surgeon or nurse) or possession of additional qualifications was found on the awareness of QOL tools (p > 0.05). Over half of respondents (55.5%) would ‘certainly’ or ‘probably’ be willing to use a QOL assessment tool. The main barrier to use was lack of time. Other barriers included a perceived resistance from owners. Although current use and awareness of canine QOL assessment tools in UK veterinary practice is low, veterinary professionals appear willing to use the tools within their daily practice. This discrepancy implies that QOL assessment tools are not well disseminated to veterinary surgeons and nurses in practice and that various barriers inhibit their use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Companion Animals)
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19 pages, 4997 KiB  
Article
Moringa oleifera Leaf Powder as New Source of Protein-Based Feedstuff Improves Growth Performance and Cecal Microbial Diversity of Broiler Chicken
by Haiwen Zhang, Liangmin Huang, Shihui Hu, Xinyun Qin and Xuemei Wang
Animals 2023, 13(6), 1104; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13061104 - 20 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1895
Abstract
Currently, the lack of protein source feed has become a pressing issue. Moringa oleifera leaf powder (MOLP) has good potential for the development of protein-derived feeds due to its good protein quality and abundance, but little is known about its effects on broiler [...] Read more.
Currently, the lack of protein source feed has become a pressing issue. Moringa oleifera leaf powder (MOLP) has good potential for the development of protein-derived feeds due to its good protein quality and abundance, but little is known about its effects on broiler growth performance and cecal microbiota. In this study, the chickens were fed different rates of MOLP (1%, 3%, 5%, 7%, and 9%) instead of the rape seed cake, and the effects of different levels of MOLP on growth performance, carcass characteristics, and cecal microbiota of the broilers were evaluated at two different growth stages (day 28 and day 56). In terms of growth performance, the best results were obtained at the 3% MOLP level in the early stages (p < 0.05). In terms of carcass characteristics, in the early stage, the level of 5% MOLP had the best effect; in the later stage, 5% MOLP also had the best effect. In terms of cecal microbial changes, the alpha diversity analysis revealed that 5% MOLP enhanced the richness and diversity of broiler intestinal flora. At the phylum level, the addition of 5% MOLP adjusted the relative abundance of Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes to a level close to that of the A1 group on day 28, while 5% MOLP significantly reduced the relative abundance of Bacteroidetes (p < 0.05) compared to the A2 group on day 56, and the relative abundance of Firmicutes was still higher in the D2 group than in the A2 group (p < 0.05). At the genus level, MOLP addition consistently and significantly increased the relative abundance of Bacteroides (p < 0.05), except for 3% on day 28 and 1% on day 56. For Oscillospira, increasing MOLP levels in the pre- and post-period resulted in a significant decrease in the relative abundance of Oscillospira (p < 0.05). In conclusion, MOLP helps to enhance growth performance and carcass characteristics and improve the cecal microbial structure of broilers. The recommended rate of MOLP addition for broilers is 5% in both the early and late stages. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Nutrition)
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19 pages, 7411 KiB  
Article
Understanding the Pathogenesis of Red Mark Syndrome in Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) through an Integrated Morphological and Molecular Approach
by Marco Galeotti, Massimo Orioles, Elena Saccà, Omkar Byadgi, Stefano Pesaro, Alessandro Di Cerbo and Gian Enrico Magi
Animals 2023, 13(6), 1103; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13061103 - 20 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2056
Abstract
Red mark syndrome (RMS) is a widespread skin disorder of rainbow trout in freshwater aquaculture, believed to be caused by a Midichloria-like organism (MLO). Here, we aimed to study the pathologic mechanisms at the origin of RMS by analyzing field samples from [...] Read more.
Red mark syndrome (RMS) is a widespread skin disorder of rainbow trout in freshwater aquaculture, believed to be caused by a Midichloria-like organism (MLO). Here, we aimed to study the pathologic mechanisms at the origin of RMS by analyzing field samples from a recent outbreak through gene expression, MLO PCR, quantitative PCR, and a histopathological scoring system proposed for RMS lesions. Statistical analyses included a One-Way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) with a Dunnett’s multiple comparisons test to assess differences among gene expression groups and a nonparametric Spearman correlation between various categories of skin lesions and PCR results. In short, the results confirmed the presence of a high quantity of 16S gene copy numbers of Midichloria-like organisms in diseased skin tissues. However, the number of Midichloria-like organisms detected was not correlated to the degree of severity of skin disease. Midichloria-like organism DNA was found in the spleen and head kidney. The spleen showed pathologic changes mainly of hyperplastic type, reflecting its direct involvement during infection. The most severe skin lesions were characterized by a high level of inflammatory cytokines sustaining and modulating the severe inflammatory process. IL-1 β, IL-6, IL-10, MHC-II, and TCR were upregulated in severe skin lesions, while IL-10 was highly expressed in moderate to severe ones. In the moderate form, the response was driven to produce immunoglobulins, which appeared crucial in controlling the skin disease’s severity. Altogether our results illustrated a complex immune interaction between the host and Midichloria-like organism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Histopathology and Immunology of Aquatic Animals)
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14 pages, 326 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Supplementation with Betaine and Zinc on In Vitro Large Intestinal Fermentation in Iberian Pigs under Heat Stress
by Zaira Pardo, Iván Mateos, Cristina Saro, Rómulo Campos, Héctor Argüello, Manuel Lachica, María José Ranilla and Ignacio Fernández-Fígares
Animals 2023, 13(6), 1102; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13061102 - 20 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1642
Abstract
We investigated the effects of betaine and zinc on the in vitro fermentation of pigs under heat stress (HS). Twenty-four Iberian pigs (43.4 ± 1.2 kg) under HS (30 °C) were assigned to treatments for 4 weeks: control (unsupplemented), betaine (5 g/kg), and [...] Read more.
We investigated the effects of betaine and zinc on the in vitro fermentation of pigs under heat stress (HS). Twenty-four Iberian pigs (43.4 ± 1.2 kg) under HS (30 °C) were assigned to treatments for 4 weeks: control (unsupplemented), betaine (5 g/kg), and zinc (0.120 g/kg) supplemented diet. Rectal content was used as the inoculum in 24-hincubations with pure substrates (starch, pectin, inulin, cellulose). Total gas, short-chain fatty acid (SCFA), and methane production and ammonia concentration were measured. The abundance of total bacteria and several bacterial groups was assessed. Betaine increased the acetate production with pectin and inulin, butyrate production with starch and inulin, and ammonia concentration, and decreased propionate production with pectin and inulin. The abundance of Bifidobacterium and two groups of Clostridium decreased with betaine supplementation. Zinc decreased the production of SCFA and gas with starch and inulin, associated with diminished bacterial activity. Propionate production decreased with starch, pectin, and inulin while butyrate production increased with inulin, and isoacid production increased with cellulose and inulin in pigs supplemented with zinc. The ammonia concentration increased for all substrates. The Clostridium cluster XIV abundance decreased in pigs fed zinc supplemented diets. The results reported were dependent on the substrate fermented, but the augmented butyrate production with both betaine and zinc could be of benefit for the host. Full article
11 pages, 3961 KiB  
Communication
In Vivo and In Vitro Expression of iC1, a Methylation-Controlled J Protein (MCJ) in Bovine Liver, and Response to In Vitro Bovine Fatty Liver Disease Model
by Shanti Choudhary, Michelle LaCasse, Ratan Kumar Choudhary, Mercedes Rincon, Donald C. Beitz and Eric D. Testroet
Animals 2023, 13(6), 1101; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13061101 - 20 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1282
Abstract
Mitochondrial complex I inhibitor (iC1) is a methylation-controlled J protein (MCJ) that decreases cellular respiration by inhibiting oxidative phosphorylation. Recent rodent studies showed that loss or inhibition of iC1 was associated with preventing lipid accumulation. A common metabolic disorder of dairy cattle is [...] Read more.
Mitochondrial complex I inhibitor (iC1) is a methylation-controlled J protein (MCJ) that decreases cellular respiration by inhibiting oxidative phosphorylation. Recent rodent studies showed that loss or inhibition of iC1 was associated with preventing lipid accumulation. A common metabolic disorder of dairy cattle is a fatty liver disease (FLD), which often occurs during the periparturient period. In humans and rodents, iC1 is expressed in the liver and acts as a mitochondrial “brake”. However, iC1 expression in bovine liver and its possible role in FLD development have not yet been characterized. We hypothesized that iC1 is expressed in the bovine liver and that the expression of iC1 is correlated with FLD in periparturient dairy cattle. To test this hypothesis, we collected bovine liver tissue samples from an abattoir and isolated primary hepatic cells immediately following harvest. Utilizing an in vitro model of bovine FLD developed in our laboratory, we cultured primary hepatic cells in low-glucose DMEM supplemented with 10% FBS. The basal media was made to induce lipid accumulation and cytotoxicity in the primary liver cells with three treatments. To the basal media (control) we added 0.4 mM palmitate (treatment 1) or 20 ng/mL TNFα (treatment 2), or both 0.4 mM palmitate and 20 ng/mL TNFα (treatment 3). Consistent with our hypothesis, we present the novel characterization of iC1 expression in primary bovine liver cells cultured with or without the addition of lipotoxic factors made to emulate bovine FLD. We demonstrate both in situ and in vitro expression of iC1 in bovine liver and mRNA expression in hepatic cells and in the precipitates of conditioned media. The results of RT-qPCR, IHC, and western blot all demonstrated the expression of iC1 in bovine liver. In addition, we isolated precipitates of conditioned media further demonstrated iC1 expression by RT-qPCR. The transcript of iC1 tended to be more concentrated (4-fold; p > 0.05) in TNFα-treated conditioned media when compared with the control. Taken together, we present the novel finding that iC1 transcript and protein are expressed in liver tissue from dairy cattle, primary hepatic cells isolated from that liver tissue, and, finally, in the conditioned media derived from those cells. These novel findings and the prior findings on the role of iC1 in rodents and humans indicate that further investigation of the role of iC1 in the etiology and pathology of FLD in periparturient dairy cows is warranted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metabolic Disorder Diseases of Ruminants)
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14 pages, 2918 KiB  
Article
Electroencephalogram and Physiological Responses as Affected by Slaughter Empathy in Goats
by Pavan Kumar, Ahmed Abubakar Abubakar, Muideen Adewale Ahmed, Muhammad Nizam Hayat, Mokrish Ajat, Ubedullah Kaka, Yong Meng Goh and Awis Qurni Sazili
Animals 2023, 13(6), 1100; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13061100 - 20 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3172
Abstract
Recent advances in emotions and cognitive science make it imperative to assess the emotional stress in goats at the time of slaughter. The present study was envisaged to study the electroencephalogram and physiological responses as affected by slaughter empathy in goats. A total [...] Read more.
Recent advances in emotions and cognitive science make it imperative to assess the emotional stress in goats at the time of slaughter. The present study was envisaged to study the electroencephalogram and physiological responses as affected by slaughter empathy in goats. A total of 12 goats were divided into two groups viz., E-group (goats exposed to slaughter environment, n = 6) and S-group (goat slaughtered in front of E-group, n = 6). The electroencephalogram and physiological responses in male Boer cross goats (E-group) were recorded in a slaughterhouse in two stages viz., control (C) without exposure to the slaughter of conspecifics and treatment (T) while visualizing the slaughter of conspecifics (S—slaughter group). The exposure of the goat to the slaughter of a conspecific resulted in a heightened emotional state. It caused significant alterations in neurobiological activity as recorded with the significant changes in the EEG spectrum (beta waves (p = 0.000491), theta waves (p = 0.017), and median frequency MF or F50 (p = 0.002)). Emotional stress was also observed to significantly increase blood glucose (p = 0.031) and a non-significant (p = 0.225) increase in heart rate in goats. Thus, slaughter empathy was observed to exert a significant effect on the electric activity of neurons in the cerebrocortical area of the brain and an increase in blood glucose content. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emotional Contagion in Animals)
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2 pages, 195 KiB  
Correction
Correction: da Silva et al. Increased Sulphur Amino Acids Consumption as OH-Methionine or DL-Methionine Improves Growth Performance and Carcass Traits of Growing-Finishing Pigs Fed under Hot Conditions. Animals 2022, 12, 2159
by Caio Abércio da Silva, Cleandro Pazinato Dias, Marco Aurélio Callegari, Kelly Lais de Souza, José Henrique Barbi, Naiara Simarro Fagundes, Dolores I. Batonon-Alavo and Luciana Foppa
Animals 2023, 13(6), 1099; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13061099 - 20 Mar 2023
Viewed by 800
Abstract
In the original publication [...] Full article
12 pages, 938 KiB  
Article
Occurrence of Giardia duodenalis in Cats from Queretaro and the Risk to Public Health
by Nerina P. Veyna-Salazar, Germinal J. Cantó-Alarcón, Andrea M. Olvera-Ramírez, Felipe J. Ruiz-López, Rodolfo Bernal-Reynaga, Isabel Bárcenas-Reyes and Marina Durán-Aguilar
Animals 2023, 13(6), 1098; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13061098 - 20 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1648
Abstract
Giardia is a protozoan that affects humans as well as a wide range of domestic species. It is distributed worldwide, and the highest frequency is seen in developing countries. Due to the potential for domestic cats to be carriers of this parasite and [...] Read more.
Giardia is a protozoan that affects humans as well as a wide range of domestic species. It is distributed worldwide, and the highest frequency is seen in developing countries. Due to the potential for domestic cats to be carriers of this parasite and subsequently transmit the infection to humans, it is important to know the risk of transmission. For this reason, the objective of this study was to determine the frequency of this parasite in the cat population of the city of Santiago de Queretaro, Mexico, and identify the assemblages present to determine the role this host plays in public health, this being the first study of its type to be performed in the country. This was a cross-sectional study during which 200 fecal samples were collected from cats of both sexes and varying ages and strata of origin. The samples were analyzed by microscopy following the flotation technique, having obtained a general frequency of 25%. Giardia cysts were found at higher frequency in pasty stools. The assemblages found were zoonotic, specifically assemblage A, which suggests that the cat poses an important risk for the dissemination of the parasite to humans, making it an important public health problem. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Parasitic Zoonoses: From a Public Health Perspective)
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10 pages, 1601 KiB  
Article
Prediction of the Net Energy of Wheat from Chemical Analysis for Growing Ducks
by Yanru Liang, Qinteng Hou, Mengchao Yu, Yaqi Chang, Hua Zhao, Guangmang Liu, Xiaoling Chen, Gang Tian, Jingyi Cai and Gang Jia
Animals 2023, 13(6), 1097; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13061097 - 20 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1209
Abstract
The goal of this study was to determine the net energy (NE) value of wheat for growing ducks and establish a NE prediction equation based on the grain’s chemical composition. Forty wheat samples were selected based on bulk weight from major wheat-producing regions [...] Read more.
The goal of this study was to determine the net energy (NE) value of wheat for growing ducks and establish a NE prediction equation based on the grain’s chemical composition. Forty wheat samples were selected based on bulk weight from major wheat-producing regions in China. A total of 460 1-week-old ducks (initial body weight (BW): 134.86 ± 3.32 g) were randomly assigned to 46 diets, including a basal diet, 5 restricted feeding diets and 40 test diets. Each diet contained five replicates, each with two ducks. The basic diet was a corn–soybean meal, and 40 kinds of experimental diets were prepared by mixing the basic diet with 20% wheat. A prediction equation for the NE concentration was created using the chemical make-up of wheat samples. The results indicated that the NE and apparent metabolism energy (AME) content of 40 wheat samples ranged from 6.81 to 9.12 MJ/kg and from 11.03 to 14.34 MJ/kg, respectively. The ether extract (EE), neutral detergent fiber (NDF), acid detergent fiber (ADF) and AME were highly correlated with NE value (p < 0.01), with the AME and NE showing the strongest correlation (r = 0.884). Chemical features could be used to predict the NE values with accuracy, and the prediction equation was strengthened by the inclusion of the AME. The best-fit equation was as follows: NE = 0.380 AME − 0.147 NDF − 0.274 ADF + 5.262 (R2 = 0.874, RSD = 0.19, p < 0.001). In summary, the NE value of wheat is 8.49 ± 0.30 MJ/kg for growing ducks, and the chemical composition can be used to accurately predict NE in wheat. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Nutrition)
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15 pages, 2457 KiB  
Review
Formation, Application, and Significance of Chicken Primordial Germ Cells: A Review
by Mathan, Gul Zaib, Kai Jin, Qisheng Zuo, Maham Habib, Yani Zhang and Bichun Li
Animals 2023, 13(6), 1096; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13061096 - 20 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3793
Abstract
Chicken is one of the most widely consumed sources of protein globally. Primordial germ cells (PGCs) are the precursors for ova and sperm. One of the early embryogenesis events in most animals is the segregation of the somatic and germ lineages. PGC cultures [...] Read more.
Chicken is one of the most widely consumed sources of protein globally. Primordial germ cells (PGCs) are the precursors for ova and sperm. One of the early embryogenesis events in most animals is the segregation of the somatic and germ lineages. PGC cultures occur in the germline, and PGCs are less studied in many species. It is relatively challenging to separate, cultivate, and genetically alter chicken without mutating the basic germline. The present study aims to gather previous research about chicken PGCs and provide a customized review of studies and developments in the field of PGCs, especially for avian species. Furthermore, we show that the propagation of chicken PGCs into embryonic germ cells that contribute to somatic tissues may be produced in vitro. Primordial germ cells offer an ideal system in developmental biology, as these cells play a vital role in the genetic modification and treatment of infertility. Cryopreservation helps to maintain genetic resources and sustainable production in the poultry industry. Keeping in mind the significance of cryopreservation for storage and gametogenesis, we discuss its role in the preservation of primordial germ cells. Transgenesis and genetic modifications in chicken lead to the development of various medicinal chicken varieties and aid in improving their production and quality for consumption purposes. Additionally, these characteristics open up new possibilities for modifying the chicken genome for agricultural and medical purposes. Full article
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