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Animals, Volume 13, Issue 7 (April-1 2023) – 148 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Calprotectin (CALP, S100A8/A9) belongs to the S-100 protein family and has a wide range of proinflammatory functions. In humans, it is measured in feces, serum, and saliva as a biomarker of inflammation and sepsis. The objective of this study was to validate an automated assay for CALP measurements in the saliva of pigs, having the advantage of the use of a non-invasive sample that is easy to collect. The assay was precise and accurate. CALP in saliva measured by this assay showed significant changes depending on the hour of the day. It showed significant increases in saliva after the administration of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and showed a rise, although with increases of lower magnitude, after a stressful stimulus. Further studies should be conducted to gain knowledge about the possible practical applications of this biomarker. View this paper
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16 pages, 565 KiB  
Systematic Review
Can We Reliably Detect Respiratory Diseases through Precision Farming? A Systematic Review
by Luís F. C. Garrido, Sabrina T. M. Sato, Leandro B. Costa and Ruan R. Daros
Animals 2023, 13(7), 1273; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13071273 - 6 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1964
Abstract
Respiratory diseases commonly affect livestock species, negatively impacting animal’s productivity and welfare. The use of precision livestock farming (PLF) applied in respiratory disease detection has been developed for several species. The aim of this systematic review was to evaluate if PLF technologies can [...] Read more.
Respiratory diseases commonly affect livestock species, negatively impacting animal’s productivity and welfare. The use of precision livestock farming (PLF) applied in respiratory disease detection has been developed for several species. The aim of this systematic review was to evaluate if PLF technologies can reliably monitor clinical signs or detect cases of respiratory diseases. A technology was considered reliable if high performance was achieved (sensitivity > 90% and specificity or precision > 90%) under field conditions and using a reliable reference test. Risk of bias was assessed, and only technologies tested in studies with low risk of bias were considered reliable. From 23 studies included—swine (13), poultry (6), and bovine (4) —only three complied with our reliability criteria; however, two of these were considered to have a high risk of bias. Thus, only one swine technology fully fit our criteria. Future studies should include field tests and use previously validated reference tests to assess technology’s performance. In conclusion, relying completely on PLF for monitoring respiratory diseases is still a challenge, though several technologies are promising, having high performance in field tests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Precision Feeding and Management of Farm Animals)
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18 pages, 3067 KiB  
Article
Genomic Prediction Accuracies for Growth and Carcass Traits in a Brangus Heifer Population
by Sunday O. Peters, Kadir Kızılkaya, Mahmut Sinecen, Burcu Mestav, Aranganoor K. Thiruvenkadan and Milton G. Thomas
Animals 2023, 13(7), 1272; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13071272 - 6 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1334
Abstract
The predictive abilities and accuracies of genomic best linear unbiased prediction (GBLUP) and the Bayesian (BayesA, BayesB, BayesC and Lasso) genomic selection (GS) methods for economically important growth (birth, weaning, and yearling weights) and carcass (depth of rib fat, apercent intramuscular fat and [...] Read more.
The predictive abilities and accuracies of genomic best linear unbiased prediction (GBLUP) and the Bayesian (BayesA, BayesB, BayesC and Lasso) genomic selection (GS) methods for economically important growth (birth, weaning, and yearling weights) and carcass (depth of rib fat, apercent intramuscular fat and longissimus muscle area) traits were characterized by estimating the linkage disequilibrium (LD) structure in Brangus heifers using single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) markers. Sharp declines in LD were observed as distance among SNP markers increased. The application of the GBLUP and the Bayesian methods to obtain the GEBV for growth and carcass traits within k-means and random clusters showed that k-means and random clustering had quite similar heritability estimates, but the Bayesian methods resulted in the lower estimates of heritability between 0.06 and 0.21 for growth and carcass traits compared with those between 0.21 and 0.35 from the GBLUP methodologies. Although the prediction ability of the GBLUP and the Bayesian methods were quite similar for growth and carcass traits, the Bayesian methods overestimated the accuracies of GEBV because of the lower estimates of heritability of growth and carcass traits. However, GBLUP resulted in accuracy of GEBV for growth and carcass traits that parallels previous reports. Full article
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13 pages, 14493 KiB  
Article
Alarm Calling in Plateau Pika (Ochotona curzoniae): Evidence from Field Observations and Simulated Predator and Playback Experiments
by Meina Ma, Rui Hua, Darhan Bao, Guohui Ye, Zhuangsheng Tang and Limin Hua
Animals 2023, 13(7), 1271; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13071271 - 6 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1464
Abstract
Acoustic communication plays a vital role in passing or sharing information between individuals. Identifying the biological meaning of vocal signals is crucial in understanding the survival strategies of animals. However, there are many challenges in identifying the true meaning of such signals. The [...] Read more.
Acoustic communication plays a vital role in passing or sharing information between individuals. Identifying the biological meaning of vocal signals is crucial in understanding the survival strategies of animals. However, there are many challenges in identifying the true meaning of such signals. The plateau pika (Ochotona curzoniae) is a call-producing mammal endemic to the Qinghai–Tibet plateau (QTP) and considered a keystone species owing to its multiple benefits in alpine rangeland ecosystems. Previous studies have shown that plateau pikas emit alarm calls as part of their daily activities. However, only field observations have been used to identify these alarm calls of the plateau pika, with no attempts at using playback experiments. Here, we report the alarm calling of plateau pikas through field observations as well as simulated predator and playback experiments in the Eastern QTP from 2021 to 2022. We found that both female and male adults emitted alarm calls, the signals of which comprised only one syllable, with a duration of 0.1–0.3 s. There were no differences in the characteristics between the observed alarm calls and those made in response to the simulated predator. The duration of the alarm call response varied with altitude, with plateau pikas living at higher altitudes responding at shorter durations than those at lower altitudes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Behavioural Methods to Study Cognitive Capacities of Animals)
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20 pages, 2272 KiB  
Article
Exploring Efflux as a Mechanism of Reduced Susceptibility towards Biocides and Fluoroquinolones in Staphylococcus pseudintermedius
by Marta Leal, Catarina Morais, Bárbara Ramos, Constança Pomba, Patrícia Abrantes, Sofia Santos Costa and Isabel Couto
Animals 2023, 13(7), 1270; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13071270 - 6 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1542
Abstract
Staphylococcus pseudintermedius is the main bacterial cause of skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs) in companion animals, particularly dogs. The emergence of methicillin-resistant S. pseudintermedius (MRSP) strains, frequently with multidrug resistance phenotypes is a public health concern. This study aimed to evaluate efflux, [...] Read more.
Staphylococcus pseudintermedius is the main bacterial cause of skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs) in companion animals, particularly dogs. The emergence of methicillin-resistant S. pseudintermedius (MRSP) strains, frequently with multidrug resistance phenotypes is a public health concern. This study aimed to evaluate efflux, a resistance mechanism still poorly characterized in S. pseudintermedius, as a contributor to biocide and fluoroquinolone resistance. Susceptibility to the efflux pump substrates ethidium bromide (EtBr), tetraphenylphosphonium bromide (TPP) and ciprofloxacin (CIP) was evaluated by minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) determination for 155 SSTIs-related S. pseudintermedius in companion animals. EtBr and TPP MIC distributions were analyzed to estimate cut-off (COWT) values. The effect of the efflux inhibitors (EIs) thioridazine and verapamil was assessed upon MICs and fluorometric EtBr accumulation assays, performed with/without glucose and/or EIs. This approach detected a non-wild type population towards TPP with increased efflux, showed to be strain-specific and glucose-dependent. Resistance to fluoroquinolones was mainly linked to target gene mutations, yet a contribution of efflux on CIP resistance levels could not be ruled out. In sum, this study highlights the relevance of efflux-mediated resistance in clinical S. pseudintermedius, particularly to biocides, and provides a methodological basis for further studies on the efflux activity on this important pathogen of companion animals. Full article
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18 pages, 4293 KiB  
Article
A Quieter Ocean: Experimentally Derived Differences in Attentive Responses of Tursiops truncatus to Anthropogenic Noise Playbacks before and during the COVID-19-Related Anthropause
by Paige E. Stevens, Veda Allen and Jason N. Bruck
Animals 2023, 13(7), 1269; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13071269 - 6 Apr 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2765
Abstract
The effects of anthropogenic noise continue to threaten marine fauna, yet the impacts of human-produced sound on the broad aspects of cognition in marine mammals remain relatively understudied. The shutdown of non-essential activities due to the COVID-19-related anthropause created an opportunity to determine [...] Read more.
The effects of anthropogenic noise continue to threaten marine fauna, yet the impacts of human-produced sound on the broad aspects of cognition in marine mammals remain relatively understudied. The shutdown of non-essential activities due to the COVID-19-related anthropause created an opportunity to determine if reducing levels of oceanic anthropogenic noise on cetaceans affected processes of sensitization and habituation for common human-made sounds in an experimental setting. Dolphins at Dolphin Quest Bermuda were presented with three noises related to human activities (cruise ship, personal watercraft, and Navy low-frequency active sonar) both in 2018 and again during the anthropause in 2021 via an underwater speaker. We found that decreased anthropogenic noise levels altered dolphin responses to noise playbacks. The dolphins spent significantly more time looking towards the playback source, but less time producing burst pulse and echolocation bouts in 2021. The dolphins looked towards the cruise ship sound source significantly more in 2021 than 2018. These data highlight that different sounds may incur different habituation and sensitization profiles and suggest that pauses in anthropogenic noise production may affect future responses to noise stimuli as dolphins dishabituate to sounds over time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Noise and Light on Marine Fauna and Environment)
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6 pages, 1068 KiB  
Communication
The Spread of Peste Des Petits Ruminants Virus Lineage IV in West Africa
by Emmanuel Couacy-Hymann, Kouramoudou Berete, Theophilus Odoom, Lamouni Habibata Zerbo, Koffi Yao Mathurin, Valère Kouame Kouakou, Mohamed Idriss Doumbouya, Aminata Balde, Patrick Tetteh Ababio, Lalidia Bruno Ouoba, Dominique Guigma, Adama Dji-tombo Drobo, Mariétou Guitti, Sherry Ama Mawuko Johnson, David Livingstone Mawuko Blavo, Giovanni Cattoli, Charles E. Lamien and William G. Dundon
Animals 2023, 13(7), 1268; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13071268 - 6 Apr 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1507
Abstract
Monitoring the transboundary spread of peste des petits ruminants (PPR) virus is an essential part of the global efforts towards the eradication of PPR by 2030. There is growing evidence that Lineage IV is becoming the predominant viral lineage, replacing Lineage I and [...] Read more.
Monitoring the transboundary spread of peste des petits ruminants (PPR) virus is an essential part of the global efforts towards the eradication of PPR by 2030. There is growing evidence that Lineage IV is becoming the predominant viral lineage, replacing Lineage I and II in West Africa. As part of a regional investigation, samples collected in Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea and Ghana were screened for the presence of PPRV. A segment of the nucleoprotein gene from positive samples was sequenced, and phylogenetic analysis revealed the co-circulation of Lineage II and IV in Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire and Guinea, and the identification of Lineage IV in Ghana. These data will be of importance to local and regional authorities involved in the management of PPRV spread. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Diseases of Small Ruminants)
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11 pages, 300 KiB  
Article
Nutrient Intake, Performance, Carcass Characteristics, Meat Quality, and Cost Analysis of Sheep Submitted to Intermittent Supplementation on Masai Grass Pastures
by Stela Antas Urbano, Jessica Caroline Nascimento Rodrigues, Pedro Henrique Cavalcante Ribeiro, Yasmin dos Santos Silva, Rodrigo Ferreira da Silva, João Virgínio Emerenciano Neto, Adriano Henrique do Nascimento Rangel, Juliana Paula Felipe de Oliveira and Henrique Rocha de Medeiros
Animals 2023, 13(7), 1267; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13071267 - 6 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1312
Abstract
This study aimed to assess nutrient intake, performance, intake behavior, carcass characteristics, and meat quality of sheep managed on Masai grass pastures along with intermittent concentrate supplementation, in addition to the economic impacts of applying that strategy. A sample of 24 Santa Inês [...] Read more.
This study aimed to assess nutrient intake, performance, intake behavior, carcass characteristics, and meat quality of sheep managed on Masai grass pastures along with intermittent concentrate supplementation, in addition to the economic impacts of applying that strategy. A sample of 24 Santa Inês sheep (12 males and 12 females) was kept for 80 days on Panicum maximum cv. Massai pastures and was supplemented daily or every other day. The voluntary intake of dry matter and nutrients was estimated. Mean daily weight gain and total weight gain were calculated and intake behavior parameters were assessed. The males were slaughtered and the weight and yield of the carcasses and meat cuts were assessed. The meat was analyzed for cooking losses, shear force, and color. The gross margin of the system was estimated from the difference between total income and operational cost. No effect was seen of the interaction between supplementation frequency and sex for any parameter assessed (p > 0.05). Intermittent supplementation of Santa Inês sheep managed with Masai grass is recommended since the strategy does not impact nutrient intake, performance, intake behavior, carcass characteristics, or meat quality, but lowers the costs of producing 1 kg of meat by 15%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Nutrition)
12 pages, 2258 KiB  
Article
Nutraceutical Effect of Resveratrol on the Mammary Gland: Focusing on the NF-κb /Nrf2 Signaling Pathways
by Muhammad Umair Ul Hassan Malik, Nighat Hashmi, Marium Khan, Zain ul Aabdin, Rokayya Sami, Amani H. Aljahani, Rasha A. Al-Eisa, Mamdoh S. Moawadh and Naseh A. Algehainy
Animals 2023, 13(7), 1266; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13071266 - 6 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1772
Abstract
The aim of this study is to evaluate the defensive role of resveratrol, which is antagonistic to the oxidative stress and inflammation that is prompted by LPS in mammary tissue of female mice. Thirty adult mice were distributed into three groups (n [...] Read more.
The aim of this study is to evaluate the defensive role of resveratrol, which is antagonistic to the oxidative stress and inflammation that is prompted by LPS in mammary tissue of female mice. Thirty adult mice were distributed into three groups (n = 10) control (CON), lipopolysaccharides at 2.5 mg/kg (LPS), and lipopolysaccharides at 2.5 mg/kg with 2 mg/kg of resveratrol (RES + LPS). The treatments were applied for 15 consecutive days. Spectrophotometry was used to quantify ROS in the blood, and proinflammatory cytokines concentrations were determined through radioimmunoassay. NF-κB, Jnk, IL-1β, Erk, IL-6, Nrf2 and TNF-α were quantified by RT-qPCR, and Western blots were used to quantifyP65 and pP65 protein intensities. MDA production was considerably increased, and the activity of T-AOC declined in the LPS treatment in comparison with the CON group but was significantly reversed in the RES + LPS group. Proinflammatory cytokines production and the genes responsible for inflammation and oxidative stress also showed higher mRNA and pP65 protein intensity in the LPS group, while Nrf2 showed a remarkable decline in mRNA expression in the LPS versus the CON group. All these mRNA intensities were reversed in the RES + LPS group. There were no remarkable changes in P65 protein intensity observed between the CON, LPS, and RES + LPS groups. In conclusion, resveratrol acts as a protective agent to modulate cellular inflammation and oxidative stress caused by LPS in mammary tissue of female mice. Full article
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12 pages, 683 KiB  
Review
Euthanasia and Pain in Canine Patients with Terminal and Chronic-Degenerative Diseases: Ethical and Legal Aspects
by Daniel Mota-Rojas, Adriana Domínguez-Oliva, Julio Martínez-Burnes, Alejandro Casas-Alvarado and Ismael Hernández-Ávalos
Animals 2023, 13(7), 1265; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13071265 - 6 Apr 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 4474
Abstract
Euthanasia is commonly performed in veterinary medicine to humanely induce the death of an animal when its quality of life is affected by pain or chronic degenerative diseases. The choice of euthanasia is a bilateral decision that represents a challenge for both the [...] Read more.
Euthanasia is commonly performed in veterinary medicine to humanely induce the death of an animal when its quality of life is affected by pain or chronic degenerative diseases. The choice of euthanasia is a bilateral decision that represents a challenge for both the veterinarian and the owner of the animal due to the close emotional human–animal bond. Currently, there is legislation that can orient veterinarians concerning euthanasia and the causes that would justify this resolution. However, it is still controversial, and deciding it as the last available resort requires considering it from a medical, legal, and moral perspective. Therefore, this review aims to explore the ethical and legal implications of euthanasia in canine patients. It will analyze the reason that can justify euthanasia in animals with pain or terminal and chronic degenerative diseases, highlighting the importance of effective communication, ethical knowledge, and consideration of euthanasia as a multimodal resolution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Advocacy: Legal Status, Rights & Responsibilities)
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12 pages, 810 KiB  
Article
Factor in Fear: Interference Competition in Polymorphic Spadefoot Toad Tadpoles and Its Potential Role in Disruptive Selection
by Alexandru Strugariu and Ryan Andrew Martin
Animals 2023, 13(7), 1264; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13071264 - 6 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2199
Abstract
Disruptive selection arises when extreme phenotypes have a fitness advantage compared to more-intermediate phenotypes. Theory and evidence suggest that intraspecific resource competition is a key driver of disruptive selection. However, while competition can be indirect (exploitative) or direct (interference), the role of interference [...] Read more.
Disruptive selection arises when extreme phenotypes have a fitness advantage compared to more-intermediate phenotypes. Theory and evidence suggest that intraspecific resource competition is a key driver of disruptive selection. However, while competition can be indirect (exploitative) or direct (interference), the role of interference competition in disruptive selection has not been tested, and most models of disruptive selection assume exploitative competition. We experimentally investigated whether the type of competition affects the outcome of competitive interactions using a system where disruptive selection is common: Mexican spadefoot toads (Spea multiplicata). Spea tadpoles develop into alternative resource-use phenotypes: carnivores, which consume fairy shrimp and other tadpoles, and omnivores, which feed on algae and detritus. Tadpoles intermediate in phenotype have low fitness when competition is intense, as they are outcompeted by the specialized tadpoles. Our experiments revealed that the presence of carnivores significantly decreased foraging behavior in intermediate tadpoles, and that intermediate tadpoles had significantly lower growth rates in interference competition treatments with carnivores but not with omnivores. Interference competition may therefore be important in driving disruptive selection. As carnivore tadpoles are also cannibalistic, the ‘fear’ effect may have a greater impact on intermediate tadpoles than exploitative competition alone, similarly to non-consumptive effects in predator–prey or intraguild relationships. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Predator-Prey Interactions in Amphibians and Reptiles)
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12 pages, 333 KiB  
Article
Net Portal Appearance of Amino Acids in Iberian and Landrace Pigs Fed Different Protein Content in the Diet
by Manuel Lachica, José Miguel Rodríguez-López, Lucrecia González-Valero and Ignacio Fernández-Fígares
Animals 2023, 13(7), 1263; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13071263 - 5 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1642
Abstract
Iberian pigs have low rates of muscle protein deposition compared with modern breeds. Differences in net portal appearance (NPA) of amino acids (AA) might partially explain that. NPA of AA was measured in six Iberian and six Landrace gilts (28 kg) fitted with [...] Read more.
Iberian pigs have low rates of muscle protein deposition compared with modern breeds. Differences in net portal appearance (NPA) of amino acids (AA) might partially explain that. NPA of AA was measured in six Iberian and six Landrace gilts (28 kg) fitted with catheters in portal and mesenteric (para-aminohippuric acid infusion) veins, and carotid artery. Blood samples from porta and artery were simultaneously taken at 0, 0.5, 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, 3.5, 4, 5, and 6-h after feeding two isoenergetic diets (14–14.5 MJ metabolizable energy/kg dry matter) with different crude protein (145 (LCP) and 187 (HCP) g/kg dry matter) content. NPA of essential AA (EAA) and non-essential AA (NEAA) was lower (p < 0.05) in Iberian than Landrace pigs, and in LCP than HCP diet. Fractional absorption (NPA/AA intake) of EAA, NEAA, and total AA was, respectively, 36, 49, and 44% lower in LCP than HCP diet in Iberian pigs; and 8, 2, and 4% greater in Landrace pigs. Fractional absorption of EAA, NEAA, and total AA was 42, 68, and 60% lower in Iberian than Landrace pigs fed LPC diet; and 1, 36, and 26% when fed the HCP diet. NPA of AA may partially explain the low growth rate of Iberian pigs. Full article
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20 pages, 1601 KiB  
Article
Biosecurity and Hygiene Procedures in Pig Farms: Effects of a Tailor-Made Approach as Monitored by Environmental Samples
by Annalisa Scollo, Alice Perrucci, Maria Cristina Stella, Paolo Ferrari, Patrizia Robino and Patrizia Nebbia
Animals 2023, 13(7), 1262; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13071262 - 5 Apr 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 5404
Abstract
In livestock, the importance of hygiene management is gaining importance within the context of biosecurity. The aim of this study was to monitor the implementation of biosecurity and hygiene procedures in 20 swine herds over a 12-month period, as driven by tailor-made plans, [...] Read more.
In livestock, the importance of hygiene management is gaining importance within the context of biosecurity. The aim of this study was to monitor the implementation of biosecurity and hygiene procedures in 20 swine herds over a 12-month period, as driven by tailor-made plans, including training on-farm. The measure of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) environmental contents was used as an output biomarker. The presence of livestock-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (LA-MRSA) and extended-spectrum β-lactamase producing Escherichia coli (ESBL-E. coli) was also investigated as sentinels of antibiotic resistance. A significant biosecurity improvement (p = 0.006) and a reduction in the ATP content in the sanitised environment (p = 0.039) were observed. A cluster including 6/20 farms greatly improved both biosecurity and ATP contents, while the remaining 14/20 farms ameliorated them only slightly. Even if the ESBL-E. coli prevalence (30.0%) after the hygiene procedures significantly decreased, the prevalence of LA-MRSA (22.5%) was unaffected. Despite the promising results supporting the adoption of tailor-made biosecurity plans and the measure of environmental ATP as an output biomarker, the high LA-MRSA prevalence still detected at the end of the study underlines the importance of improving even more biosecurity and farm hygiene in a one-health approach aimed to preserve also the pig workers health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pigs)
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25 pages, 2107 KiB  
Review
Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome: An Update on Current Knowledge
by Jessica Vokes, Amy Lovett and Benjamin Sykes
Animals 2023, 13(7), 1261; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13071261 - 5 Apr 2023
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 13896
Abstract
Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome (EGUS) is a term that has been used since 1999, initially being used to describe all gastric mucosal disease in horses. Since this time, the identification of two distinct main disease entities of the equine gastric mucosa have been [...] Read more.
Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome (EGUS) is a term that has been used since 1999, initially being used to describe all gastric mucosal disease in horses. Since this time, the identification of two distinct main disease entities of the equine gastric mucosa have been described under the umbrella of EGUS; these are Equine Squamous Gastric Disease (ESGD) and Equine Glandular Gastric Disease (EGGD). In 2015 the European College of Equine Internal Medicine (ECEIM) released a consensus statement defining these disease entities. This document highlighted the lack of evidence surrounding EGGD compared to ESGD, and identified knowledge gaps for further research to be directed. Subsequently, many studies on EGGD have been published, especially on pathophysiology, diagnosis, and treatment. This article updates current knowledge on both ESGD and EGGD as understanding has evolved since the last large-scale review. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Knowledge and Recent Advances on Equine Internal Medicine)
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32 pages, 4759 KiB  
Review
Responses of Dairy Buffalo to Heat Stress Conditions and Mitigation Strategies: A Review
by Francesca Petrocchi Jasinski, Chiara Evangelista, Loredana Basiricò and Umberto Bernabucci
Animals 2023, 13(7), 1260; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13071260 - 5 Apr 2023
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2811
Abstract
Increases in temperature and the greater incidence of extreme events are the consequences of the climate change that is taking place on planet Earth. High temperatures create severe discomfort to animal farms as they are unable to efficiently dissipate their body heat, and [...] Read more.
Increases in temperature and the greater incidence of extreme events are the consequences of the climate change that is taking place on planet Earth. High temperatures create severe discomfort to animal farms as they are unable to efficiently dissipate their body heat, and for this, they implement mechanisms to reduce the production of endogenous heat (reducing feed intake and production). In tropical and subtropical countries, where buffalo breeding is more widespread, there are strong negative consequences of heat stress (HS) on the production and quality of milk, reproduction, and health. The increase in ambient temperature is also affecting temperate countries in which buffalo farms are starting to highlight problems due to HS. To counteract HS, it is possible to improve buffalo thermotolerance by using a genetic approach, but even if it is essential, it is a long process. Two other mitigation approaches are nutritional strategies, such as the use of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants and cooling strategies such as shade, fans, sprinklers, and pools. Among the cooling systems that have been evaluated, wallowing or a combination of fans and sprinklers, when wallowing is not available, are good strategies, even if wallowing was the best because it improved the production and reproduction performance and the level of general well-being of the animals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal System and Management)
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16 pages, 2066 KiB  
Article
In Vitro Activity of Farnesol against Malassezia pachydermatis Isolates from Otitis Externa Cases in Dogs
by Ifarajimi Rapheal Olabode, Nadezhda Sachivkina, Arfenia Karamyan, Ramziya Mannapova, Olga Kuznetsova, Anna Bobunova, Natallia Zhabo, Marina Avdonina and Regina Gurina
Animals 2023, 13(7), 1259; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13071259 - 5 Apr 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2210
Abstract
Chronic otitis externa of dogs is a significant problem due to the prevalence and complexity of the treatment of such animals. There is evidence that in 60–80% of cases of infectious diseases microorganisms located in the biofilm phenotype play the main role. Microorganisms [...] Read more.
Chronic otitis externa of dogs is a significant problem due to the prevalence and complexity of the treatment of such animals. There is evidence that in 60–80% of cases of infectious diseases microorganisms located in the biofilm phenotype play the main role. Microorganisms in the biofilm phenotype have a number of advantages, the most significant of which is considered to be increased resistance to various external factors. Among them, a special place is occupied by resistance to antibiotics. In recent decades, research has been conducted at an increasing scale on the role of biofilm infections in various pathologies in veterinary medicine. The etiology and therapy of dog otitis externa caused by Malassezia pachydermatis biofilm has not been fully studied. This is why we consider relevant the scientific and practical aspects of research on the etiology and therapy of dog otitis externa from the position of biofilm infection. In this work, it has been statistically proven that there is a relationship between the optical density of Malassezia pachydermatis biofilms and their sensitivity to drugs, and this relationship is statistically significant. In addition, we have demonstrated that Farnesol has a good antibiofilm effect at a concentration of more 1.6 μM/mL (24% OD decrease of biofilm), and its highest antibiofilm effect (71–55%—more than a half) was observed at a concentration of 200–12.5 μM/mL. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Veterinary Clinical Studies)
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16 pages, 1163 KiB  
Article
Reproductive Performance of Triplet-Bearing Ewes on Commercial Farms and Research Priorities Identified by Sheep Producers to Improve the Survival of Triplet-Bearing Ewes and Their Lambs
by Andrew N. Thompson, Travis Allington, Sarah Blumer, Jo Cameron, Gavin Kearney, Lyndon Kubeil, Amy Lockwood, Jason Trompf, Emma Winslow and Paul Kenyon
Animals 2023, 13(7), 1258; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13071258 - 5 Apr 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1884
Abstract
Consultation with sheep producers was used to quantify the mortality of triplet-bearing ewes and their lambs, identify management practices adopted by producers to reduce these losses and prioritise future research needs to improve the survival of triplet-bearing ewes and their lambs. Surveys were [...] Read more.
Consultation with sheep producers was used to quantify the mortality of triplet-bearing ewes and their lambs, identify management practices adopted by producers to reduce these losses and prioritise future research needs to improve the survival of triplet-bearing ewes and their lambs. Surveys were completed by 64 producers across Australia who identified and separated triplet-bearing ewes from twin-bearing ewes in 2017 and/or 2018. On average, 5.9% of all ewes mated were identified as carrying triplets (6.6% of non-Merino ewes and 2.9% of Merino ewes). The average mortality of triplet-bearing ewes was 6.4%, and ewe mortality did not differ significantly between ewe breeds. The average survival of triplet-born lambs was 59%, and survival was significantly higher for lambs from non-Merino compared to Merino ewes (60.1 vs. 52.9%, p < 0.05). The key strategies adopted to reduce the mortality of triplet-bearing ewes and their lambs included management of condition score, feed-on-offer, mob size at lambing and use of shelter. There were no differences (p > 0.05) in the average mortality of triplet-bearing ewes or their lambs between producers that prioritised the adoption of certain management practices. However, significant variation existed between producers in their targets at lambing for ewe condition score (2.8 to 3.5), mob size (10 to 150 ewes) and feed-on-offer (800 to 2500 kg dry matter/ha). Overwhelmingly, the highest priorities for further research identified by producers from surveys, workshops and a webinar were ewe condition score, mob size, feed-on-offer at lambing and mineral supplementation. This study informs benchmarks for mortality of triplet-bearing ewes and their lambs under extensive grazing conditions in Australia, and the priorities for future research to reduce these losses. Full article
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13 pages, 3284 KiB  
Article
Ruminating, Eating, and Locomotion Behavior Registered by Innovative Technologies around Calving in Dairy Cows
by Ramūnas Antanaitis, Lina Anskienė, Giedrius Palubinskas, Karina Džermeikaitė, Dovilė Bačėninaitė, Lorenzo Viora and Arūnas Rutkauskas
Animals 2023, 13(7), 1257; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13071257 - 5 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1656
Abstract
The hypothesis for this study was that there are correlations between ruminating, eating, and locomotion behavior parameters registered by the RumiWatch sensors (RWS) before and after calving. The aim was to identify correlations between registered indicators, namely, rumination, eating, and locomotion behavior around [...] Read more.
The hypothesis for this study was that there are correlations between ruminating, eating, and locomotion behavior parameters registered by the RumiWatch sensors (RWS) before and after calving. The aim was to identify correlations between registered indicators, namely, rumination, eating, and locomotion behavior around the calving period. Some 54 multiparous cows were chosen from the entire herd without previous calving or other health problems. The RWS system recorded a variety of parameters such as rumination time, eating time, drinking time, drinking gulps, bolus, chews per minute, chews per bolus, activity up and down time, temp average, temp minimum, temp maximum, activity change, other chews, ruminate chews, and eating chews. The RWS sensors were placed on the cattle one month before expected calving based on service data and removed ten days after calving. Data were registered 10 days before and 10 days after calving. We found that using the RumiWatch system, rumination time was not the predictor of calving outlined in the literature; rather, drinking time, downtime, and rumen chews gave the most clearcut correlation with the calving period. We suggest that using RumiWatch to combine rumination time, eating time, drinking, activity, and down time characteristics from ten days before calving, it would be possible to construct a sensitive calving alarm; however, considerably more data are needed, not least from primiparous cows not examined here. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Second Edition of Dairy Cattle Health Management)
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17 pages, 3422 KiB  
Article
Phylomitogenomic Analyses Provided Further Evidence for the Resurrection of the Family Pseudoacanthocephalidae (Acanthocephala: Echinorhynchida)
by Tian-You Zhao, Rui-Jia Yang, Liang Lü, Si-Si Ru, Matthew Thomas Wayland, Hui-Xia Chen, Yuan-Hao Li and Liang Li
Animals 2023, 13(7), 1256; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13071256 - 5 Apr 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1690
Abstract
The phylum Acanthocephala is an important monophyletic group of parasites, with adults parasitic in the digestive tracts of all major vertebrate groups. Acanthocephalans are of veterinary, medical, and economic importance due to their ability to cause disease in domestic animals, wildlife, and humans. [...] Read more.
The phylum Acanthocephala is an important monophyletic group of parasites, with adults parasitic in the digestive tracts of all major vertebrate groups. Acanthocephalans are of veterinary, medical, and economic importance due to their ability to cause disease in domestic animals, wildlife, and humans. However, the current genetic data for acanthocephalans are sparse, both in terms of the proportion of taxa surveyed and the number of genes sequenced. Consequently, the basic molecular phylogenetic framework for the phylum is still incomplete. In the present study, we reported the first complete mitochondrial genome from a representative of the family Pseudoacanthocephalidae Petrochenko, 1956. The mitogenome of Pseudoacanthocephalus bufonis (Shipley, 1903) is 14,056 bp in length, contains 36 genes (12 protein-coding genes (PCGs) (lacking atp8), 22 tRNA genes, and 2 rRNA genes (rrnL and rrnS)) and two non-coding regions (NCR1 and NCR2), and displayed the highest GC-skew in the order Echinorhynchida. Phylogenetic results of maximum likelihood (ML) and Bayesian inference (BI) using the amino acid sequences of 12 protein-coding genes in different models provided further evidence for the resurrection of the family Pseudoacanthocephalidae and also supported that the order Echinorhynchida is paraphyletic. A monophyletic clade comprising P. bufonis and Cavisoma magnum suggests a close affinity between Pseudoacanthocephalidae and Cavisomatidae. Our phylogenetic analyses also showed that Polymorphidae has a closer relationship with Centrorhynchidae than Plagiorhynchidae in the monophyletic order Polymorphida. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Genetics and Genomics)
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19 pages, 5150 KiB  
Article
Mortality Causes in Captive Cantabrian capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus cantabricus) in Spain
by Alberto García-Rodríguez, Gloria Herrero-García, María Gracia de Garnica García, Álvaro García Esgueva, Ramón Balsera, Álvaro Oleaga, Daniel Fernández, Javier Amado, Luis José Royo, María José García Iglesias and Ana Balseiro
Animals 2023, 13(7), 1255; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13071255 - 5 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2594
Abstract
The Cantabrian capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus cantabricus) is one of the most severely threatened subspecies of capercaillie. Its current population range is restricted to a small area of the Cantabrian Mountains (northwestern Spain), with only around 200 individuals remaining. As part of [...] Read more.
The Cantabrian capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus cantabricus) is one of the most severely threatened subspecies of capercaillie. Its current population range is restricted to a small area of the Cantabrian Mountains (northwestern Spain), with only around 200 individuals remaining. As part of the national strategy for the conservation of the subspecies, the Cantabrian capercaillie Captive Breeding Center of Sobrescobio opened in 2009. Here, we use the information provided by the necropsies performed in this facility on 29 individuals (11 males, 13 females and 5 undetermined; 16 chicks and 13 adults) in order to describe the main mortality causes of captive-bred Cantabrian capercaillies. After necropsy, tissue samples were taken for evaluation using standard methods in histology and microbiology. The majority of the captive animals (18/29, 62.07%) died due to infectious diseases, mainly due to Escherichia coli, Clostridium perfringens, or Aspergillus fumigatus infection. The remaining 11 animals died due to stress-related processes (i.e., rupture of the heart apex and cardiomyopathy or neurogenic shock) (8/29, 27.59%), duodenal obstruction and coelomitis (1/29, 3.45%), perforation of the proventriculus and heart with a briar branch (1/29, 3.45%) or euthanasia due to a valgus leg deformity that prevented proper animal welfare (1/29, 3.45%). Young animals (i.e., younger than 2 months) died mainly due to infectious diseases (14/16, 87.5%), while stress-related causes were responsible for most adult deaths (7/13, 53.85%). We additionally report that two free-ranging adult males died due to exertional myopathy. This study provides relevant information for reducing mortality in captive capercaillies and improving both living conditions in captivity and the adaptation of these animals to the wild. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bacterial Diseases in Livestock and Poultry)
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14 pages, 301 KiB  
Article
Canine Behavioral Assessment and Research Questionnaire (C-BARQ): Validation of the Italian Translation
by Anna Broseghini, Cécile Guérineau, Miina Lõoke, Chiara Mariti, James Serpell, Lieta Marinelli and Paolo Mongillo
Animals 2023, 13(7), 1254; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13071254 - 5 Apr 2023
Viewed by 3170
Abstract
The aim of this study is to develop an Italian translation of the 100-item Canine Behavioral Assessment and Research Questionnaire (C-BARQ) version and to validate its psychometric properties, in order to facilitate systematic, large-scale studies on dog behavior for Italian-speaking dog owners. A [...] Read more.
The aim of this study is to develop an Italian translation of the 100-item Canine Behavioral Assessment and Research Questionnaire (C-BARQ) version and to validate its psychometric properties, in order to facilitate systematic, large-scale studies on dog behavior for Italian-speaking dog owners. A total number of 803 responses by dog owners were collected online. Using the Principal Axis Method and Common Factor Analysis with Quartimin oblique rotation (p < 0.05), a factorial structure was found including 13 factors composed of 62 items and explaining 53.5% of the total variance. Eight factors showed high reliability (Cronbach’s alpha > 0.70), namely: stranger-directed aggression/fear, dog-directed fear, owner-directed aggression, separation-related behavior, chasing, dog-directed aggression, attachment/attention seeking, and elimination problems. Three factors were slightly under the threshold and two had only modest reliability (non-social fear, energy level, touch sensitivity, excitability and trainability). A potential explanation for factors with low reliability is that the composing items do not describe behaviors resulting from homogeneous stimuli or situations. Although our factorial structure resembled in most respects that of the most recently published Canadian version, some important exceptions are present regarding dog rivalry, intraspecific aggression, fear/aggression towards strangers, touch sensitivity and chewing inappropriate objects. Such differences may be due to demographic and/or cultural differences between the sampled populations. Overall, the results suggest that a 62-item Italian C-BARQ can be reliably used in studies on dog behavior. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Companion Animals)
17 pages, 5117 KiB  
Article
Effects of Changing Veterinary Handling Techniques on Canine Behaviour and Physiology Part 1: Physiological Measurements
by Camille Squair, Kathryn Proudfoot, William Montelpare and Karen L. Overall
Animals 2023, 13(7), 1253; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13071253 - 4 Apr 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2442
Abstract
Signs of distress in dogs are often normalized during routine veterinary care, creating an animal welfare concern. We sought to test whether targeted interventions during veterinary visits affect physiological indicators of stress in dogs. Some 28 dogs were examined within four visits across [...] Read more.
Signs of distress in dogs are often normalized during routine veterinary care, creating an animal welfare concern. We sought to test whether targeted interventions during veterinary visits affect physiological indicators of stress in dogs. Some 28 dogs were examined within four visits across 8 weeks. All dogs received the same care during the first visit and were then randomized into control and intervention groups for visits 2–4. In the intervention group, 14 dogs underwent procedures designed to reduce stress and to enlist their collaboration during examination. The 14 dogs in the control group received routine care. At each visit, heart rate (HR), serum cortisol (CORT), neutrophil lymphocyte ratio (NLR), and creatine kinase (CK) were measured. A composite stress index based on the summed standardized scores for these markers was constructed. No differences in HR, NLR, and CK parameters between groups were found, and both groups had a decrease in CORT by visit four. However, the intervention group showed a greater overall decrease in CORT between the first and fourth visit than the control group (p < 0.04). The composite stress index differed between the first and fourth visits for the intervention group, but not for the control group (Intervention p = 0.03; Control p= 0.288). There was a tendency for the composite stress index to worsen at visit four vs. visit one for the control group. The findings suggest that dogs that participated in adaptive, collaborative exams and procedures designed to minimize fear had a greater reduction in stress over time compared to those receiving standard care. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Veterinary Clinical Studies)
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20 pages, 2370 KiB  
Article
Effects of Natural and Synthetic Astaxanthin on Growth, Body Color, and Transcriptome and Metabolome Profiles in the Leopard Coralgrouper (Plectropomus leopardus)
by Junpeng Zhang, Changxu Tian, Kecheng Zhu, Yong Liu, Can Zhao, Mouyan Jiang, Chunhua Zhu and Guangli Li
Animals 2023, 13(7), 1252; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13071252 - 4 Apr 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2372
Abstract
Natural and synthetic astaxanthin can promote pigmentation in fish. In this study, the effects of dietary astaxanthin on growth and pigmentation were evaluated in leopard coralgrouper (Plectropomus leopardus). Fish were assigned to three groups: 0% astaxanthin (C), 0.02% natural astaxanthin (HP), [...] Read more.
Natural and synthetic astaxanthin can promote pigmentation in fish. In this study, the effects of dietary astaxanthin on growth and pigmentation were evaluated in leopard coralgrouper (Plectropomus leopardus). Fish were assigned to three groups: 0% astaxanthin (C), 0.02% natural astaxanthin (HP), and 0.02% synthetic astaxanthin (AS). Brightness (L*) was not influenced by astaxanthin. However, redness (a*) and yellowness (b*) were significantly higher for fish fed astaxanthin-containing diets than fish fed control diets and were significantly higher in the HP group than in the AS group. In a transcriptome analysis, 466, 33, and 32 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified between C and HP, C and AS, and AS and HP, including various pigmentation-related genes. DEGs were enriched for carotenoid deposition and other pathways related to skin color. A metabolome analysis revealed 377, 249, and 179 differential metabolites (DMs) between C and HP, C and AS, and AS and HP, respectively. In conclusion, natural astaxanthin has a better coloration effect on P. leopardus, which is more suitable as a red colorant in aquaculture. These results improve our understanding of the effects of natural and synthetic astaxanthin on red color formation in fish. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Genetics and Genomics)
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23 pages, 3481 KiB  
Article
The Effects of Mild Disturbances on Sleep Behaviour in Laying Hens
by Endre Putyora, Sarah Brocklehurst, Frank Tuyttens and Victoria Sandilands
Animals 2023, 13(7), 1251; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13071251 - 4 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2202
Abstract
The positive welfare of commercial animals presents many benefits, making the accurate assessment of welfare important. Assessments frequently use behaviour to determine welfare state; however, nighttime behaviours are often ignored. Sleep behaviour may offer new insights into welfare assessments. This study aimed to [...] Read more.
The positive welfare of commercial animals presents many benefits, making the accurate assessment of welfare important. Assessments frequently use behaviour to determine welfare state; however, nighttime behaviours are often ignored. Sleep behaviour may offer new insights into welfare assessments. This study aimed to establish a baseline for sleep behaviour in laying hens and to then apply mild short-term disturbances and observe the subsequent effects. Twelve laying hens were divided into four batches and were surgically implanted with electroencephalogram (EEG) devices to record their brain activity. The batches were subjected to undisturbed, disturbed and recovery types of nights. Disturbed nights consisted of systematic sequences of disturbance application (wind, 90 dB noise or 20 lux light) applied one at a time for 5 min every 30 min from 21:00 to 03:00 (lights off period: 19:00–05:00). Sleep state was scored using EEG data and behaviour data from infrared cameras. Over all the types of night hens engaged in both SWS (58%) and REM sleep (18%) during lights off. When applied, the disturbances were effective at altering the amounts of wakefulness and SWS (Time × Type of Night, p < 0.001, p = 0.017, respectively), whereas REM sleep was unaltered (p = 0.540). There was no evidence of carry-over effects over the following day or night. Laying hens may be resilient to short-term sleep disruption by compensating for this in the same night, suggesting that these disturbances do not impact their long-term welfare (i.e., over days). Sleep behaviour potentially offers a unique means of assessing an aspect of animal welfare that, to date, has been poorly studied. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indicators and Assessment Methods of Poultry Welfare)
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31 pages, 6934 KiB  
Review
Review: Recent Applications of Gene Editing in Fish Species and Aquatic Medicine
by Anikó Gutási, Sabine E. Hammer, Mansour El-Matbouli and Mona Saleh
Animals 2023, 13(7), 1250; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13071250 - 4 Apr 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 4975
Abstract
Gene editing and gene silencing techniques have the potential to revolutionize our knowledge of biology and diseases of fish and other aquatic animals. By using such techniques, it is feasible to change the phenotype and modify cells, tissues and organs of animals in [...] Read more.
Gene editing and gene silencing techniques have the potential to revolutionize our knowledge of biology and diseases of fish and other aquatic animals. By using such techniques, it is feasible to change the phenotype and modify cells, tissues and organs of animals in order to cure abnormalities and dysfunctions in the organisms. Gene editing is currently experimental in wide fields of aquaculture, including growth, controlled reproduction, sterility and disease resistance. Zink finger nucleases, TALENs and CRISPR/Cas9 targeted cleavage of the DNA induce favorable changes to site-specific locations. Moreover, gene silencing can be used to inhibit the translation of RNA, namely, to regulate gene expression. This methodology is widely used by researchers to investigate genes involved in different disorders. It is a promising tool in biotechnology and in medicine for investigating gene function and diseases. The production of food fish has increased markedly, making fish and seafood globally more popular. Consequently, the incidence of associated problems and disease outbreaks has also increased. A greater investment in new technologies is therefore needed to overcome such problems in this industry. To put it concisely, the modification of genomic DNA and gene silencing can comprehensively influence aquatic animal medicine in the future. On the ethical side, these precise genetic modifications make it more complicated to recognize genetically modified organisms in nature and can cause several side effects through created mutations. The aim of this review is to summarize the current state of applications of gene modifications and genome editing in fish medicine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetic and Genomic Advances in Fisheries and Aquaculture)
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13 pages, 2343 KiB  
Article
Total and Differential Somatic Cell Count in Italian Local Cattle Breeds: Phenotypic Variability and Effect on Milk Yield and Composition
by Silvia Magro, Angela Costa and Massimo De Marchi
Animals 2023, 13(7), 1249; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13071249 - 4 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1674
Abstract
Milk differential somatic cell count (DSCC) represents the percentage of polymorphonuclear neutrophils and lymphocytes out of the total somatic cell count (SCC) and has been proposed in recent years as a proxy for udder health in dairy cows. We investigated phenotypic factors affecting [...] Read more.
Milk differential somatic cell count (DSCC) represents the percentage of polymorphonuclear neutrophils and lymphocytes out of the total somatic cell count (SCC) and has been proposed in recent years as a proxy for udder health in dairy cows. We investigated phenotypic factors affecting SCC and DSCC using 3978 records of 212 Alpine Grey and 426 Burlina cows farmed in Northern Italy. The linear mixed model accounted for the fixed effects of breed, parity, lactation stage, sampling season, and first-order interactions of breed with the other effects. Cow, herd-test-date nested within breed were random. Subsequently, four udder health status groups (UHS) were created by combining SCC and DSCC to assess the UHS impact on milk yield and quality. DSCC was greater in Alpine Grey (66.2 ± 0.8%) than Burlina cows (63.2 ± 0.6%) and, similarly to SCC, it increased with days in milk and parity regardless of breed. Milk yield and composition were affected by UHS in both breeds. These results suggest that also udder health of local breeds can be monitored on a large scale through SCC and DSCC for reduction in biodiversity loss and increased farm profitability. However, in addition to milk data, the introduction of mastitis recording and monitoring plans is advisable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lactation Physiology and Milk Quality of Dairy Cattle)
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13 pages, 284 KiB  
Article
Effect of Corn Origin on Broiler Performance, Processing Yield, and Nutrient Digestibility from 1 to 35 Days of Age
by Jose I. Vargas, Joseph P. Gulizia, Susan M. Bonilla, Santiago Sasia and Wilmer J. Pacheco
Animals 2023, 13(7), 1248; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13071248 - 4 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2131
Abstract
This experiment studied the effect of feeding corn from the United States (USA), Argentina (ARG), and Brazil (BRA) on broiler performance, processing yield, and nutrient digestibility from 1 to 35 d of age. A total of 900-day old YPM × Ross 708 male [...] Read more.
This experiment studied the effect of feeding corn from the United States (USA), Argentina (ARG), and Brazil (BRA) on broiler performance, processing yield, and nutrient digestibility from 1 to 35 d of age. A total of 900-day old YPM × Ross 708 male broilers were randomly sorted in 36 floor pens, each containing 25 chicks and subjected to three experimental diets, resulting in 12 replications per dietary treatment. Starter, grower, and finisher diets were formulated to be only different in corn origin. Data were analyzed as a one-way ANOVA and means were separated using Tukey’s HSD test, with statistical significance considered at p ≤ 0.05. No significant differences (p > 0.05) were found in body weight, body weight gain, and feed intake from 1 to 35 d of age among the treatments. However, broilers fed diets with the inclusion of corn from the USA and BRA had a lower feed conversion ratio (FCR) compared with broilers fed diets with corn from ARG from to 1 to 35 d of age (1.434 and 1.434 vs. 1.452 g:g; p = 0.002). Broilers fed diets with the inclusion of corn from BRA had a higher breast weight compared with broilers fed diets with the inclusion of corn from ARG (575 vs. 553 g; p = 0.036), but did not differ in breast weight of broilers fed diets with corn from the USA (575 vs. 556 g; p > 0.05). Corn origin did not influence (p > 0.05) crude protein and fat digestibility. However, broilers fed diets with corn from the USA and BRA had greater phosphorus (P) (63.37, 62.23 vs. 55.26%; p = 0.0003), calcium (Ca) (41.59, 43.85 vs. 30.23%; p = 0.0003), and potassium (K) (88.98, 87.97 vs. 86.04%; p = 0.001) digestibility compared with broilers fed diets with corn from ARG. Overall, corn origin influenced FCR, breast weight, and P, Ca, and K digestibility of broilers from 1 to 35 d of age. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Poultry)
9 pages, 246 KiB  
Article
Effects of Lactobacillus Lactis Supplementation on Growth Performance, Hematological Parameters, Meat Quality and Intestinal Flora in Growing-Finishing Pigs
by Haitao Duan, Lizi Lu, Lei Zhang, Jun Li, Xu Gu and Junguo Li
Animals 2023, 13(7), 1247; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13071247 - 4 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1534
Abstract
Objective: The study was conducted to assess the effect of supplementation with Lactobacillus lactis (LL) on growth performance, hematological parameters, meat quality and intestinal flora in pigs from growing until slaughter. Methods: A total of 72 growing pigs (30.46 ± 3.08 kg) were [...] Read more.
Objective: The study was conducted to assess the effect of supplementation with Lactobacillus lactis (LL) on growth performance, hematological parameters, meat quality and intestinal flora in pigs from growing until slaughter. Methods: A total of 72 growing pigs (30.46 ± 3.08 kg) were randomly assigned to 3 groups (including 3 pens for each group, with 8 pigs in each pen). The three treatments comprised a basal diet (O-0) and two experimental diets supplemented for 14 weeks with 0.01% (O-100) and 0.03% (O-300) LL, respectively. Results: The final body weights of the pigs in the O-100 and O-300 groups were significantly higher (p < 0.05) than those of the O-0 group. In the grower phase, the average daily weight gain (ADG) and average daily feed intake (ADFI) of pigs fed the O-300 diet were higher (p < 0.05) than those of pigs fed the O-0 diet during the grower phase. BUN and MDA were significantly higher (p < 0.05 for all) in the O-0 group than in the O-100 and O-300 groups during the grower phase. No difference (p > 0.05) was observed in the hematological parameters among the three groups during the finisher phase. Counts of LL in the stomach were significantly higher (p < 0.05) in the O-300 group than in the O-0 group. Counts of Escherichia coli in the jejunum were significantly higher (p < 0.05) in the O-0 group than in the O-300 group. Furthermore, the hardness, cohesiveness, gumminess and resilience of longissimus dorsi muscle collected from pigs fed the O-300 diet were higher (p < 0.01; p = 0.024; p = 0.003; p = 0.014, respectively) than those of tissue collected from pigs fed the O-0 diet. Conclusion: Dietary LL supplementation increased final body weight, increased ADG in the grower phase and enhanced meat quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effect of Feed Efficiency on Growth Performance of Pigs)
17 pages, 3253 KiB  
Article
Identification of Potential miRNA-mRNA Regulatory Network Associated with Regulating Immunity and Metabolism in Pigs Induced by ASFV Infection
by Zhongbao Pang, Shiyu Chen, Shuai Cui, Wenzhu Zhai, Ying Huang, Xintao Gao, Yang Wang, Fei Jiang, Xiaoyu Guo, Yuxin Hao, Wencai Li, Lei Wang, Hongfei Zhu, Jiajun Wu and Hong Jia
Animals 2023, 13(7), 1246; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13071246 - 4 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1734
Abstract
African swine fever (ASF) is a devastating infectious disease in domestic pigs caused by African swine fever virus (ASFV) with a mortality rate of about 100%. However, the understanding of the interaction between ASFV and host is still not clear. In this study, [...] Read more.
African swine fever (ASF) is a devastating infectious disease in domestic pigs caused by African swine fever virus (ASFV) with a mortality rate of about 100%. However, the understanding of the interaction between ASFV and host is still not clear. In this study, the expression differences and functional analysis of microRNA (miRNA) in porcine peripheral blood lymphocytes of ASFV infected pigs and healthy pigs were compared based on Illumina high-throughput sequencing, then the GO and KEGG signal pathways were analyzed. The miRNA related to immunity and inflammation were screened, and the regulatory network of miRNA-mRNA was drawn. A total of 70 differentially expressed miRNAs were found (p ≤ 0.05). Of these, 45 were upregulated and 25 were downregulated in ASFV-infected pigs vs. healthy pigs. A total of 8179 mRNA genes targeted by these 70 differentially expressed miRNA were predicted, of which 1447 mRNA genes were targeted by ssc-miR-2320-5p. Five differentially expressed miRNA were validated by RT-qPCR, which were consistent with the RNA-Seq results. The GO analysis revealed that a total of 30 gene functions were significantly enriched, including 7 molecular functions (MF), 13 cellular components (CC), and 10 biological processes (BP). The KEGG enrichment analysis revealed that the differentially expressed genes were significantly enriched in pathways related to immunity, inflammation, and various metabolic processes, in which a total of two downregulated miRNAs after infection and eight upregulated miRNAs related to immunity and inflammation were screened in ASFV-infected pigs vs. healthy pigs. The network of miRNA-mRNA showed that the mRNA target genes were strongly regulated by ssc-miR-214, ssc-miR-199b-3p, and ssc-miR-199a-3p. The mRNA target genes were enriched into the MAPK signaling pathway, Toll-like receptor signaling pathway, TNF signaling pathway, and IL-17 signaling pathway by using a KEGG enrichment analysis. Therefore, ASFV could regulate immunity and metabolism-related pathways in infected pigs by inducing differential expression of miRNAs. These results provided a new basis for further elucidating the interactions between ASFV and the host as well as the immunity regulation mechanisms of ASFV, which will be conducive to better controlling ASF. Full article
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10 pages, 1906 KiB  
Article
Effect of Different Water Salinities on the Larvae of the Blue Bream Ballerus ballerus (Linnaeus, 1758) during Rearing
by Przemysław Piech and Roman Kujawa
Animals 2023, 13(7), 1245; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13071245 - 3 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1143
Abstract
The influence of water salinities of 3, 5, and 7 ppt on the growth and survival of Ballerus ballerus (L.) larvae was studied. The control group was fish reared in freshwater (0 ppt). The larvae showed high tolerance to water salinities of 5–7 [...] Read more.
The influence of water salinities of 3, 5, and 7 ppt on the growth and survival of Ballerus ballerus (L.) larvae was studied. The control group was fish reared in freshwater (0 ppt). The larvae showed high tolerance to water salinities of 5–7 ppt. The mean final weight of the larvae ranged from 48.6 to 64.1 mg, with corresponding mean total lengths from 18.9 to 22.6 mm, depending on the water salinity level. The best larval length increments were recorded in water with salinity of 3 ppt. They were only slightly lower in 0 ppt water, and there were no statistically significant differences between the breeding rates calculated for larvae reared in 3 ppt water. Depending on the salinity level of the water, the final survival rate of the blue bream larvae ranged from 83.5 to 98.6%. The blue bream larvae reared in water with salinity levels of 5 and 7 ppt were statistically smaller than the others, but the results obtained were equally satisfactory. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fisheries Larval Ecology and Oceanography)
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11 pages, 1758 KiB  
Article
New Insights into the Variation and Admixture of the Cave-Dwelling Spider Trogloneta yunnanensis in South China Karst
by Shiliang Liu, Chuang Zhou and Yucheng Lin
Animals 2023, 13(7), 1244; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13071244 - 3 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1313
Abstract
Subterranean karst caves can contain unexpected biodiversity, but few studies related to spider population genetics have been conducted in the karst area of Southern China. In this study, we investigated the population genetic structure of Trogloneta yunnanensis (Song & Zhu, 1994) based on [...] Read more.
Subterranean karst caves can contain unexpected biodiversity, but few studies related to spider population genetics have been conducted in the karst area of Southern China. In this study, we investigated the population genetic structure of Trogloneta yunnanensis (Song & Zhu, 1994) based on 73 spider samples from six underground populations in South China Karst. Population genetic structure analysis showed a clear divergence (FST > 0.9 and Nm < 0.05) among populations according to mitochondrial genes. The phylogenetic gene tree constructed by BI and ML methods recovered six geographic clades. Divergence time estimation indicated that the divergence of these six populations can be traced back to the late Pleistocene. We supposed that the geographic isolation led to the extreme population structure. According to this study and previous studies about troglobites living in this region, the subterranean habitats of the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau may contain many organisms with similar genetic structures. The subterranean biodiversity in the karst area of Southern China needs to be re-evaluated and protected. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Genetics and Genomics)
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