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Animals, Volume 14, Issue 11 (June-1 2024) – 198 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The use of saliva for the measurement of biomarkers is growing in pigs due to its ease of collection and non-invasive nature. Cystatin C, ammonia, and bicarbonate have been reported to be biomarkers of sepsis and inflammation in humans, but little is known about their role in pigs. The objective of the following report was to validate commercially available assays for the measurement of these three biomarkers in the saliva of pigs and study their variations in a septic disease such as Streptococcus suis (S. suis) infection. The assays showed adequate analytical precision and accuracy. Pigs with S. suis infection had higher mean concentrations of cystatin and ammonia and lower concentrations of bicarbonate in their saliva than healthy pigs. Based on the above results, cystatin C, ammonia, and bicarbonate can be noted as potential biomarkers in the saliva of pigs. View this paper
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7 pages, 1941 KiB  
Case Report
Blood Fluke Infection (Spirorchidiasis) and Systemic Granulomatous Inflammation: A Case Study of Green Sea Turtles (Chelonia mydas) on Jeju Island, South Korea
by Da Sol Park, Won Hee Hong, Jae Hoon Kim, Adams Hei Long Yuen, Sib Sankar Giri, Sung Bin Lee, Won Joon Jung, Young Min Lee, Su Jin Jo, Mae Hyun Hwang, Jae Hong Park, Eun Jae Park and Se Chang Park
Animals 2024, 14(11), 1711; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani14111711 - 6 Jun 2024
Viewed by 322
Abstract
Despite the precarious state of marine turtles as a highly endangered species, our understanding of their diseases remains limited. This case report presents a detailed pathological investigation of spirorchiidiasis, a blood fluke infection that poses a substantial threat to marine turtles. This retrospective [...] Read more.
Despite the precarious state of marine turtles as a highly endangered species, our understanding of their diseases remains limited. This case report presents a detailed pathological investigation of spirorchiidiasis, a blood fluke infection that poses a substantial threat to marine turtles. This retrospective study examined three cases of spirorchiid-infected sea turtles, specifically, green sea turtles stranded on Jeju Island, South Korea. Premortem examination of the three spirorchiid-infected green sea turtles demonstrated nonspecific clinical symptoms; blood analysis revealed dehydration, malnutrition, and anemia. Computed tomography scans provided insights into severe pulmonary and extrapulmonary manifestations, including the mass present in the joint region. Post-mortem examinations consistently indicated severe lung lesions and systemic manifestations, with histopathological examination confirming the presence of spirorchiid ova across various organs. Despite the global prevalence of spirorchiidiasis in sea turtles, disease severity varies regionally. This report provides a detailed demonstration of the pathology of spirorchiidiasis in sea turtles from Northeast Asia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Aquatic Animals)
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14 pages, 885 KiB  
Article
Periparturient Changes in Voluntary Intake, Digestibility, and Performance of Grazing Zebu Beef Cows with or without Protein Supplementation
by Gabriel Santos Souza David, Ellém Maria de Almeida Matos, Bianca Rodrigues Domingos, Yuri Cesconetto Ebani, Luiz Carlos Oliveira de Sousa, Gabriela Duarte Oliveira Leite, Pedro Henrique Borba Pereira, Luciana Navajas Rennó, Sidnei Antônio Lopes, Sebastião de Campos Valadares Filho and Mário Fonseca Paulino
Animals 2024, 14(11), 1710; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani14111710 - 6 Jun 2024
Viewed by 343
Abstract
We aimed to understand the changes in nutritional parameters and performance of beef cows during the peripartum, whether receiving or not receiving protein supplements. Forty cows were used, divided into two treatments: CON—mineral mix and SUP—protein supplementation. Digestibility trial was performed at 45, [...] Read more.
We aimed to understand the changes in nutritional parameters and performance of beef cows during the peripartum, whether receiving or not receiving protein supplements. Forty cows were used, divided into two treatments: CON—mineral mix and SUP—protein supplementation. Digestibility trial was performed at 45, 30, and 15 days (d) before the parturition and at 20 and 40 d of lactation. The ADG of cows pre- and postpartum was recorded along with the BCS in gestational (GT) and maternal (MT) tissues in the prepartum. There was an effect of treatment and period (p ≤ 0.044) for intakes of DM and CP. The forage intake was similar (p > 0.90) but varied with the effect of days related to parturition (p < 0.001). There was a 14.37% decrease in DM intake from d −30 to d −15 of prepartum. In the postpartum, at 20 d of lactation, there was an increase of 72.7% in relation to d −15 of prepartum. No differences were observed in postpartum ADG or BCS at parturition and postpartum (p ≥ 0.12). However, higher total and MT ADG (p ≤ 0.02) were observed in animals receiving supplementation, while ADG in GT remained similar (p > 0.14). In conclusion, there is a decrease in intake for pregnant cows close to parturition and greater performance of animals supplemented in prepartum. Full article
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15 pages, 813 KiB  
Article
The Effects of Slaughter Methods and Drying Temperatures on the Protein Hydrolysis of Black Soldier Fly Larvae Meal
by María Rodríguez-Rodríguez, María José Sánchez-Muros, María del Carmen Vargas-García, Ágnes Timea Varga, Dmitri Fabrikov and Fernando García Barroso
Animals 2024, 14(11), 1709; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani14111709 - 6 Jun 2024
Viewed by 315
Abstract
In recent years, the potential of insects as a sustainable protein alternative to feed the growing world population has been explored. Differences in the ways insects are processed can affect their proximate composition and digestibility. This work studied the effects of the combination [...] Read more.
In recent years, the potential of insects as a sustainable protein alternative to feed the growing world population has been explored. Differences in the ways insects are processed can affect their proximate composition and digestibility. This work studied the effects of the combination of different types of slaughter methods and drying temperatures on the proximate composition, organic matter digestibility (OMd), hydrolysis degree (DH/NH2 and DH/100 g DM), total hydrolysis (TH), and hygienic and sanitary characteristics of BSFL (black soldier fly larvae) meal. Four types of slaughter methods were used including freezing (F), blanching + freezing (B), Melacide® + freezing (M), and liquid nitrogen slaughter (N). Each of these was used with three drying temperatures (50, 70, and 90 °C). A negative correlation between the acid detergent fiber (ADF) and protein digestibility parameters was obtained. The most suitable drying temperature was 70 °C, as it produced higher values of protein digestibility (DH and TH), resulting in hygienic and sanitary conditions suitable for food use. Slaughtering with liquid nitrogen and blanching was more conducive to achieving high protein digestibility results than traditional freezing or the use of Melacide®. Full article
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11 pages, 2290 KiB  
Article
Comparative Cytogenetics of the Malagasy Ground Geckos of the Paroedura bastardi and Paroedura picta Species Groups
by Marcello Mezzasalma, Gaetano Odierna, Rachele Macirella and Elvira Brunelli
Animals 2024, 14(11), 1708; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani14111708 - 6 Jun 2024
Viewed by 293
Abstract
We present a comparative chromosome study of several taxa of the Malagasy ground geckos of the Paroedura bastardi and P. picta species groups. We employed a preliminary molecular analysis using a trait of the mitochondrial 16S rRNA gene (of about 570 bp) to [...] Read more.
We present a comparative chromosome study of several taxa of the Malagasy ground geckos of the Paroedura bastardi and P. picta species groups. We employed a preliminary molecular analysis using a trait of the mitochondrial 16S rRNA gene (of about 570 bp) to assess the taxonomic status of the samples studied and a cytogenetic analysis with standard karyotyping (5% Giemsa solution), silver staining (Ag–NOR staining) and sequential C-banding (C-banding + Giemsa and + fluorochromes). Our results show that all the taxa studied of the P. bastardi group (P. ibityensis, P. rennerae and P. cf. guibeae) have a similar karyotype composed of 2n = 34 chromosomes, with two metacentric pairs (1 and 3) and all other pairs being acrocentric. Chromosome diversification in the P. bastardi group was mainly linked to the diversification of heteromorphic sex chromosome systems (ZZ/ZW) in P. ibityensis and P. rennerae, while no heteromorphic sex chromosome pair was found in P. cf. guibeae. The two taxa investigated of the P. picta species group (here named P. picta and P. cf. picta based on molecular data) showed the same chromosome number of 2n = 36, mostly acrocentric elements, but differed in the number of metacentric elements, probably as a result of an inversion at chromosome pair 2. We highlight that the genus Paroedura is characterized by the independent diversification of heterogametic sex chromosomes in different evolutionary lineages and, similarly to other phylogenetically related gecko genera, by a progressive formation of a biarmed element by means of tandem fusions and inversions of distinct pairs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Genetics and Genomics)
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16 pages, 3466 KiB  
Article
Exploration of Molecular Mechanisms of Immunity in the Pacific Oyster (Crassostrea gigas) in Response to Vibrio alginolyticus Invasion
by Enshuo Zhang, Zan Li, Luyao Dong, Yanwei Feng, Guohua Sun, Xiaohui Xu, Zhongping Wang, Cuiju Cui, Weijun Wang and Jianmin Yang
Animals 2024, 14(11), 1707; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani14111707 - 6 Jun 2024
Viewed by 266
Abstract
Over the years, oysters have faced recurring mass mortality issues during the summer breeding season, with Vibrio infection emerging as a significant contributing factor. Tubules of gill filaments were confirmed to be in the hematopoietic position in Crassostrea gigas, which produce hemocytes [...] Read more.
Over the years, oysters have faced recurring mass mortality issues during the summer breeding season, with Vibrio infection emerging as a significant contributing factor. Tubules of gill filaments were confirmed to be in the hematopoietic position in Crassostrea gigas, which produce hemocytes with immune defense capabilities. Additionally, the epithelial cells of oyster gills produce immune effectors to defend against pathogens. In light of this, we performed a transcriptome analysis of gill tissues obtained from C. gigas infected with Vibrio alginolyticus for 12 h and 48 h. Through this analysis, we identified 1024 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) at 12 h post-injection and 1079 DEGs at 48 h post-injection. Enrichment analysis of these DEGs revealed a significant association with immune-related Gene Ontology (GO) terms and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathways. To further investigate the immune response, we constructed a protein–protein interaction (PPI) network using the DEGs enriched in immune-associated KEGG pathways. This network provided insights into the interactions and relationships among these genes, shedding light on the underlying mechanisms of the innate immune defense mechanism in oyster gills. To ensure the accuracy of our findings, we validated 16 key genes using quantitative RT-PCR. Overall, this study represents the first exploration of the innate immune defense mechanism in oyster gills using a PPI network approach. The findings provide valuable insights for future research on oyster pathogen control and the development of oysters with enhanced antimicrobial resistance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Aquatic Animals)
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18 pages, 528 KiB  
Review
Milk Odd- and Branched-Chain Fatty Acids as Biomarkers of Rumen Fermentation
by Robert Kupczyński, Katarzyna Pacyga, Kamila Lewandowska, Michał Bednarski and Antoni Szumny
Animals 2024, 14(11), 1706; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani14111706 - 6 Jun 2024
Viewed by 439
Abstract
Cow’s milk and dairy products are the primary sources of OBCFAs, which have beneficial health properties. The goal of this study was to identify the factors that influence the content of OBCFAs in cow’s milk and to indicate which OBCFAs can serve as [...] Read more.
Cow’s milk and dairy products are the primary sources of OBCFAs, which have beneficial health properties. The goal of this study was to identify the factors that influence the content of OBCFAs in cow’s milk and to indicate which OBCFAs can serve as biomarkers for fermentation processes. The content of OBCFAs in milk depends on the species of ruminants, with studies showing that this varies between 3.33% (in goat’s milk) and 5.02% (in buffalo’s milk). These differences also stem from the animals’ energy balance, lactation phases, forage-to-concentrate ratio, and the presence of bioactive compounds in feeds, as well as management practices and environmental conditions. The OBCFAs in milk fat mainly come from rumen bacteria, but can also be synthesized de novo in the mammary gland, making them potentially useful noninvasive indicators of rumen fermentation. The concentration of BCFA is lower in colostrum and transitional milk than in full lactation milk. The proportions of total OBCFAs are higher in first- and second-parity cows. The most effective predictors of the biohydrogenation of fatty acids in the rumen are likely C18:2 cis-9, trans-11, iso-C16:0, and iso-C13:0. OBCFAs have been identified as potential biomarkers for rumen function, because their synthesis depends on specific bacteria. Strong predictors of subclinical ruminal acidosis include iso-C14:0, iso-C13:0, and C15:0. The concentration of ∑ OBCFA >C16 in milk is associated with fat mobilization and serves as a significant marker of the energy balance in cows. Full article
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11 pages, 908 KiB  
Article
Effects of Acetic Acid and Morphine in Shore Crabs, Carcinus maenas: Implications for the Possibility of Pain in Decapods
by Stuart Barr and Robert W. Elwood
Animals 2024, 14(11), 1705; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani14111705 - 6 Jun 2024
Viewed by 351
Abstract
Noxious chemicals, coupled with morphine treatment, are often used in studies on pain in vertebrates. Here we show that injection of morphine caused several behavioural changes in the crab, Carcinus maenas, including reduced pressing against the sides of the enclosure and more [...] Read more.
Noxious chemicals, coupled with morphine treatment, are often used in studies on pain in vertebrates. Here we show that injection of morphine caused several behavioural changes in the crab, Carcinus maenas, including reduced pressing against the sides of the enclosure and more rubbing and picking at the mouth parts and, at least for a short time, more defensive displays. Subsequent injection of acetic acid into one rear leg caused rubbing of the injected leg and the injected leg was held vertically off the ground. These activities directed at or involving the specific leg are consistent with previous observations of directed behaviour following noxious stimuli and are consistent with the idea that decapods experience pain. Further, acetic acid but not injection of water induced autotomy of the injected leg in these animals. Because autotomy is temporally associated with directed behaviour, it is possible that the autotomy is a pain-related response. Acetic acid is clearly a noxious substance when applied to decapods. However, morphine had no effect on the activities associated with acetic acid injection and thus there is no evidence for an analgesic effect. Further, the injection of acetic acid did not interfere with behavioural effects of morphine. The activities directed towards the site of injection are like those observed with injection, or with external application, of various noxious substances and the present study adds to a growing body of knowledge about possible pain in decapods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Invertebrate Welfare)
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11 pages, 563 KiB  
Article
Serum D-Lactate Concentrations in Dogs with Inflammatory Bowel Disease
by Giulia Maggi, Elisabetta Chiaradia, Alice Vullo, Matteo Seccaroni, Laura Valli, Sara Busechian, Domenico Caivano, Francesco Porciello, Sabrina Caloiero and Maria Chiara Marchesi
Animals 2024, 14(11), 1704; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani14111704 - 6 Jun 2024
Viewed by 351
Abstract
The D-enantiomer of lactic acid (D-lactate) is normally produced from bacterial fermentation in the gastrointestinal tract in mammals. In humans, increased D-lactate concentrations are related to gastrointestinal disease, including short bowel syndrome and malabsorptive syndrome. Similarly, increased D-lactate concentrations have been described in [...] Read more.
The D-enantiomer of lactic acid (D-lactate) is normally produced from bacterial fermentation in the gastrointestinal tract in mammals. In humans, increased D-lactate concentrations are related to gastrointestinal disease, including short bowel syndrome and malabsorptive syndrome. Similarly, increased D-lactate concentrations have been described in calves affected by diarrhea, in cats with gastrointestinal diseases, and in dogs with parvoviral enteritis. The purpose of the present study was to measure the serum D-lactate concentrations in dogs with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). We retrospectively reviewed data from the database of the VTH of Perugia University, and dogs affected by IBD with serum samples stored at −80 °C were considered eligible for inclusion. A total of 18 dogs with IBD and 10 healthy dogs were included in the study. The dogs with IBD were divided into three subcategories based on the severity of the disease. Serum D-lactate concentrations (μM) were determined using a commercially available colorimetric assay kit (D-Lactate Colorimetric Assay Kit; Catalog #K667-100, BioVision Inc., Milpitas, CA, USA). Our results showed no significant difference (p > 0.05) in the serum concentrations of D-lactate between dogs with various degrees of IBD and healthy dogs. However, the wide variability of the D-lactate concentrations in dogs with IBD and evidence of increased serum D-lactate concentrations in dogs with confirmed dysbiosis encourage further studies on this topic to understand potential factors influencing the serum D-lactate concentrations in dogs affected by IBD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Companion Animals)
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13 pages, 272 KiB  
Review
Welfare Assessment in Pigs Using the Salivary Proteome
by Sara Prims, Chris Van Ginneken, Xaveer Van Ostade and Christophe Casteleyn
Animals 2024, 14(11), 1703; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani14111703 - 5 Jun 2024
Viewed by 374
Abstract
Identifying the potential presence of stress at the pig farm is fundamental since it affects pig welfare. As a result, a reliable and straightforward tool to monitor stress could record the welfare status of the animals. Although numerous methods to assess the welfare [...] Read more.
Identifying the potential presence of stress at the pig farm is fundamental since it affects pig welfare. As a result, a reliable and straightforward tool to monitor stress could record the welfare status of the animals. Although numerous methods to assess the welfare of pigs have been developed in the past, no gold standard has been established yet. Recently, the value of saliva as a tool to identify chronic stress in piglets was explored, as it can be collected fast and non-invasively. Since the protein composition, i.e., the proteome of porcine saliva, responds to stress, the affected proteins could be used as salivary stress biomarkers. The present review first defines stress and its relationship with welfare. Next, the porcine gland-specific salivary proteome is characterized. Finally, six potential salivary biomarkers for stress are proposed, i.e., odorant-binding protein, vomeromodulin-like protein, chitinase, lipocalin-1, long palate lung and nasal epithelium protein, and alpha-2-HS-glycoprotein. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Saliva and Blood Markers in Animal Welfare and Health Monitoring)
15 pages, 281 KiB  
Article
Effects of Sweet and Forge Sorghum Silages Compared to Maize Silage without Additional Grain Supplement on Lactation Performance and Digestibility of Lactating Dairy Cows
by Sujiang Zhang, Jiao Wang, Shunping Lu, Abdul Shakoor Chaudhry, Divine Tarla, Hassan Khanaki, Imtiaz Hussain Raja and Anshan Shan
Animals 2024, 14(11), 1702; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani14111702 - 5 Jun 2024
Viewed by 316
Abstract
This study investigated the effects of replacing maize silage (MZS) with high-sugar sorghum silage (HSS) or forage sorghum silage (FSS) without additional grain supplement in the diets of dairy cows on nutrient digestibility, milk composition, nitrogen (N) use, and rumen fermentation. Twenty-four Chinese [...] Read more.
This study investigated the effects of replacing maize silage (MZS) with high-sugar sorghum silage (HSS) or forage sorghum silage (FSS) without additional grain supplement in the diets of dairy cows on nutrient digestibility, milk composition, nitrogen (N) use, and rumen fermentation. Twenty-four Chinese Holstein cows (545 ± 42.8 kg; 21.41 ± 0.62 kg milk yield; 150 ± 5.6 days in milk) were randomly assigned to three dietary treatments (n = 8 cows/treatment). The cows were fed ad libitum total mixed rations containing (dry matter basis) either 40% MZS (MZS-based diet), 40% HSS (HSS-based diet), or 40% FSS (FSS-based diet). The study lasted for 42 days, with 14 days devoted to adaptation, 21 days to daily feed intake and milk production, and 7 days to the sampling of feed, refusals, feces, urine, and rumen fluid. Milk production was measured twice daily, and digestibility was estimated using the method of acid-insoluble ash. The data were analyzed using a one-way ANOVA in SPSS 22.0 according to a completely randomized design. Dietary treatments were used as fixed effects and cows as random effects. The results indicate that MZS and HSS had greater crude protein but less neutral detergent fiber (NDF), acid detergent fiber (ADF), acid detergent lignin (ADL), and a lower pH than FSS (p ≤ 0.04). High starch contents in MZS and water-soluble carbohydrate (WSC) contents in HSS were observed (p < 0.01). While the highest starch intake was observed for the MZS-based diet, the highest WSC intake was noted for the HSS-based diet, and the highest NDF, ADF, ADL intake was observed for the FSS-based diet (p ≤ 0.05). The diets, including MZS and HSS, had greater digestibility than that of FSS (p ≤ 0.03). Feeding MZS- and HSS-based diets increased the yield, fat, and protein content of the milk, as well as feed conversion efficiency (p ≤ 0.03). However, feeding the MZS- and HSS-based diets decreased the contents of milk urea N, urinary urea N, and urinary N excretion more than the FSS-based diet (p ≤ 0.05). The N use efficiency tended to increase relative to diets containing MZS and HSS compared with FSS (p = 0.06 and p = 0.09). Ruminal ammonia-N and pH were lower, but total volatile fatty acids, acetate, and propionate were higher in cows fed the HSS- and MZS-based diets compared to those fed the FSS-based diet (p ≤ 0.03). It appears as though replacing MZS with HSS in the diet of cows without additional grain supplements has no negative influence on feed intake, milk yield, N utilization, or ruminal fermentation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cattle)
17 pages, 2994 KiB  
Article
Disparities in Body Color Adaptability and Ambient Light Color Preference between Wild and Hatchery-Reared Marbled Rockfish (Sebastiscus marmoratus)
by Yulu Qi, Chenhui Liu, Guozi Yuan, Haoyu Guo, Joacim Näslund, Yucheng Wang, Jiangfeng Ru, Yingying Ou, Xuejun Chai and Xiumei Zhang
Animals 2024, 14(11), 1701; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani14111701 - 5 Jun 2024
Viewed by 301
Abstract
Hatchery rearing significantly influences the phenotypic development of fish, with potential adverse effects for the post-release performance of hatchery-reared individuals in natural environments, especially when targeted for stock enhancement. To assess the suitability of releasing hatchery-reared fish, a comprehensive understanding of the phenotypic [...] Read more.
Hatchery rearing significantly influences the phenotypic development of fish, with potential adverse effects for the post-release performance of hatchery-reared individuals in natural environments, especially when targeted for stock enhancement. To assess the suitability of releasing hatchery-reared fish, a comprehensive understanding of the phenotypic effects of captive rearing, through comparisons with their wild conspecifics, is essential. In this study, we investigated the divergence in body coloration between wild and hatchery-reared marbled rockfish Sebastiscus marmoratus. We examined the selection preferences for different light colors and assessed the impact of different ambient light colors on the morphological color-changing ability of juvenile marbled rockfish. Our findings revealed significant differences in body color between wild and hatchery-reared marbled rockfish. The hue and saturation values of wild marbled rockfish were significantly higher than those of their hatchery-reared counterparts, indicative of deeper and more vibrant body coloration in the wild population. Following a ten-day rearing period under various light color environments, the color of wild marbled rockfish remained relatively unchanged. In contrast, hatchery-reared marbled rockfish tended to change their color, albeit not reaching wild-like coloration. Light color preference tests demonstrated that wild juvenile marbled rockfish exhibited a preference for a red-light environment, while hatchery-reared individuals showed a similar but weaker response. Both wild and hatchery-reared marbled rockfish displayed notable negative phototaxis in the presence of yellow and blue ambient light. These results highlight the impact of hatchery rearing conditions on the body color and morphological color-changing ability, and provide insight into light color selection preferences of marbled rockfish. To mitigate the divergence in phenotypic development and produce more wild-like fish for stocking purposes, modifications to the hatchery environment, such as the regulation of ambient light color, should be considered. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Aquatic Animals)
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9 pages, 6311 KiB  
Case Report
Splenic Myelolipomas in the Domestic Cat—To Operate or Not to Operate?
by Diana J. Kennedy, Helena M. T. Ferreira, Melanie J. Dobromylskyj, Stefan Hobi, Angel Almendros and Paweł M. Bęczkowski
Animals 2024, 14(11), 1700; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani14111700 - 5 Jun 2024
Viewed by 473
Abstract
Myelolipoma is a benign, typically inert neoplasm of uncertain aetiology that is rarely reported in cats. Although commonly asymptomatic, in some cases, myelolipomas can cause abdominal discomfort or present with rupture and haemorrhage. Here, we describe a rare case of a splenic myelolipoma [...] Read more.
Myelolipoma is a benign, typically inert neoplasm of uncertain aetiology that is rarely reported in cats. Although commonly asymptomatic, in some cases, myelolipomas can cause abdominal discomfort or present with rupture and haemorrhage. Here, we describe a rare case of a splenic myelolipoma in a Domestic Long Hair cat in which, after extensive diagnostic investigations, clinical signs of hyporexia and weight loss were attributable to the presence of an intra-abdominal mass. The patient was treated by splenectomy and unexpectedly died during the post-operative period. Although splenectomy appears to be a sensible intervention in symptomatic patients, the optimal management of splenic myelolipomas in cats remains unknown. The risk–benefit ratio of surgical management needs to be carefully considered, and therapeutic intervention should be tailored individually to each patient. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Companion Animals)
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12 pages, 2418 KiB  
Article
The Role of BMP7 in the Proliferation of Hu Sheep Dermal Papilla Cells Is Influenced by DNA Methylation
by Xiaoyang Lv, Mingliang He, Shanhe Wang, Wenxin Zheng, Hanlin Zhou, Joram M. Mwacharo and Wei Sun
Animals 2024, 14(11), 1699; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani14111699 - 5 Jun 2024
Viewed by 256
Abstract
Previous studies have shown that the BMP7 gene is differentially expressed in Hu sheep lamb skin of different pattern types, and its expression level is significantly correlated with hair follicle indices of different pattern types, but the molecular mechanism of the differential expression [...] Read more.
Previous studies have shown that the BMP7 gene is differentially expressed in Hu sheep lamb skin of different pattern types, and its expression level is significantly correlated with hair follicle indices of different pattern types, but the molecular mechanism of the differential expression of the BMP7 gene remains unclear. This study investigated the effect of DNA methylation on the transcriptional expression of BMP7. Firstly, we found that the mRNA expression of the BMP7 gene and the activity of the core promoter of the BMP7 gene were upregulated after 5-Aza-Deoxycytidine-induced demethylation treatment using qRT-PCR and double luciferase reporter assay. Then, we found that the proliferation of Hu sheep DPCs in vitro was promoted after 5-Aza-Deoxycytidine-induced demethylation treatment through qRT-PCR, CCK-8, and EdU assay, and that the overexpression of DNMT1 in DPCs induced the opposite effect. In addition, the results of the cell cycle assay reveal that the percentage of cells in the S phase was increased after 5-Aza-Deoxycytidine-induced demethylation treatment, and that the percentage of cells in the S phase was decreased after overexpression of DNMT1 in DPCs. This study indicated that the differential expression of the BMP7 gene in different patterns of Hu sheep lamb skin may be regulated by DNA methylation modification. In addition, DNA methylation can regulate the proliferation and cell cycle of DPCs in Hu sheep. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Small Ruminant Genetics and Breeding)
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14 pages, 3805 KiB  
Article
Prevalence and Genetic Characterization of Porcine Respiratory Coronavirus in Korean Pig Farms
by Ju-Han Kim, Jonghyun Park, Dong-Kyu Lee, Won-Il Kim, Young S. Lyoo, Choi-Kyu Park and Hye-Ryung Kim
Animals 2024, 14(11), 1698; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani14111698 - 5 Jun 2024
Viewed by 303
Abstract
Porcine respiratory coronavirus (PRCV) is a member of the species Alphacoronavirus 1 within the genus Alphacoronavirus of the family Coronaviridae. A few studies have been conducted on the prevalence of PRCV since its first identification in 1997, but there have been no [...] Read more.
Porcine respiratory coronavirus (PRCV) is a member of the species Alphacoronavirus 1 within the genus Alphacoronavirus of the family Coronaviridae. A few studies have been conducted on the prevalence of PRCV since its first identification in 1997, but there have been no recent studies on the prevalence and genetic characterization of the virus in Korea. In this study, the seroprevalence of PRCV was determined in Korean pig farms using a commercially available TGEV/PRCV differential enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kit. The farm-level seroprevalence of PRCV was determined to be 68.6% (48/70), similar to previous reports in Korea, suggesting that PRCV is still circulating in Korean pig herds nationwide. Among the 20 PRCV-seropositive farms tested in this study, PRCV RNAs were detected in 17 oral fluid samples (28.3%) from nine farms (45.0%), while TGEV RNAs were not detected in any sample. To investigate the genetic characteristics of Korean PRCV strains, genetic and phylogenetic analyses were conducted on PRCV spike gene sequences obtained in this study. The three Korean PRCV strains (KPRCV2401, KPRCV2402, and KPRCV2403) shared 98.5–100% homology with each other and 96.2–96.6% and 91.6–94.5% homology with European and American strains, respectively. A 224-amino acid deletion was found in the S gene of both Korean and European PRCVs but not in that of American PRCVs, suggesting a European origin for Korean PRCVs. Phylogenetic analysis showed that Korean PRCVs are more closely related to European PRCVs than American PRCVs but clustered apart from both, suggesting that Korean PRCV has evolved independently since its emergence in Korean PRCVs. The results of this study will help expand knowledge on the epidemiology and molecular biology of PRCV currently circulating in Korea. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Studies of Swine Coronavirus)
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18 pages, 1016 KiB  
Article
Effect of Olive Cake in Bísaro Pig Feed on Physicochemical Composition and Fatty Acid Profile of Three Different Muscles of Dry-Cured Shoulder
by Ana Leite, Lia Vasconcelos, Sandra Rodrigues, Etelvina Pereira, Rubén Domínguez-Valencia, José Manuel Lorenzo and Alfredo Teixeira
Animals 2024, 14(11), 1697; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani14111697 - 5 Jun 2024
Viewed by 732
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to assess the following effects: (1) the inclusion of olive in the animal’s diet on the dry-cured shoulder; (2) the effect of curing on three different muscles (infraspinatus, supraspinatus, and subscapular); (3) the effect of different curing [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to assess the following effects: (1) the inclusion of olive in the animal’s diet on the dry-cured shoulder; (2) the effect of curing on three different muscles (infraspinatus, supraspinatus, and subscapular); (3) the effect of different curing times (fresh shoulder, 6 months curing, and 12 months curing). For this purpose, forty shoulders were used, followed by a cold nitrite-free curing process with controlled humidity and temperature, according to the flowchart of a company that implements highly stringent standards in terms of food safety and quality. Samples were evaluated for their physicochemical composition and lipid profile. All the physicochemical composition parameters were significantly different (p < 0.001) in the three muscles studied. As might be expected, the curing times from the fresh product to the final product were also significantly different for all the parameters studied in this work. Regarding the inclusion of olive cake, it was found that treatment with a base diet + 10% exhausted olive cake (T4) showed higher levels for the parameters NaCl, collagen, and total fat. As for the fatty acid profile, in general, the olive did not influence the final product. On the other hand, we found that the type of muscle and the curing time of the cured shoulder had a significant influence on the fatty acid profile. We should also point out that there are significant differences in the interaction between curing time and muscle, particularly in saturated fatty acids (SFAs), monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), as well as the lipid quality indices. Canonical discriminant analysis is viable for evaluating the evolution of the curing process, discriminating and classifying curing times, and evaluating the muscles of the Bísaro pork shoulder. Also, the introduction of olive cake into the animal diet does not affect the final product obtained. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutritional Strategies for Healthy Pork Meat)
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10 pages, 1342 KiB  
Article
Effect of Oligo-Fucoidan, Fucoxanthin, and L-Carnitine on Chronic Kidney Disease in Dogs: A Retrospective Study
by Naeun Hong, Ju-Hyun An, Sung-Soo Kim, Su-Min Park, Ga-Hyun Lim, Ye-In Oh, Kyoung-Won Seo and Hwa-Young Youn
Animals 2024, 14(11), 1696; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani14111696 - 5 Jun 2024
Viewed by 265
Abstract
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) commonly occurs in old dogs and cats. Oligo-fucoidan, fucoxanthin, and L-carnitine (OFL) compounds have a variety of reno-protective properties, including anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative, and anti-fibrotic effects. Because their effects have not been investigated in naturally occurring canine CKD, we examined [...] Read more.
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) commonly occurs in old dogs and cats. Oligo-fucoidan, fucoxanthin, and L-carnitine (OFL) compounds have a variety of reno-protective properties, including anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative, and anti-fibrotic effects. Because their effects have not been investigated in naturally occurring canine CKD, we examined their reno-protective activities in dog patients with CKD. A total of 50 patients (OFL, n = 28; control, n = 22) were included in the analysis. A significant difference was identified in serum blood urea nitrogen and creatinine concentrations between the control and OFL groups at 6 months. No significant difference in electrolytes was found between the groups. A significant difference was identified in serum creatinine concentration between the control and OFL groups in azotemic (CKD IRIS stage 2–4) at 6 months. The OFL compounds showed a reno-protective effect, consistent with previous animal studies. The OFL combination can potentially delay the progression of canine CKD and be used as an adjuvant therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Companion Animals)
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15 pages, 2770 KiB  
Article
Genome-Wide Gene–Environment Interaction Analysis Identifies Novel Candidate Variants for Growth Traits in Beef Cattle
by Tianyu Deng, Keanning Li, Lili Du, Mang Liang, Li Qian, Qingqing Xue, Shiyuan Qiu, Lingyang Xu, Lupei Zhang, Xue Gao, Xianyong Lan, Junya Li and Huijiang Gao
Animals 2024, 14(11), 1695; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani14111695 - 5 Jun 2024
Viewed by 399
Abstract
Complex traits are widely considered to be the result of a compound regulation of genes, environmental factors, and genotype-by-environment interaction (G × E). The inclusion of G × E in genome-wide association analyses is essential to understand animal environmental adaptations and improve the [...] Read more.
Complex traits are widely considered to be the result of a compound regulation of genes, environmental factors, and genotype-by-environment interaction (G × E). The inclusion of G × E in genome-wide association analyses is essential to understand animal environmental adaptations and improve the efficiency of breeding decisions. Here, we systematically investigated the G × E of growth traits (including weaning weight, yearling weight, 18-month body weight, and 24-month body weight) with environmental factors (farm and temperature) using genome-wide genotype-by-environment interaction association studies (GWEIS) with a dataset of 1350 cattle. We validated the robust estimator’s effectiveness in GWEIS and detected 29 independent interacting SNPs with a significance threshold of 1.67 × 10−6, indicating that these SNPs, which do not show main effects in traditional genome-wide association studies (GWAS), may have non-additive effects across genotypes but are obliterated by environmental means. The gene-based analysis using MAGMA identified three genes that overlapped with the GEWIS results exhibiting G × E, namely SMAD2, PALMD, and MECOM. Further, the results of functional exploration in gene-set analysis revealed the bio-mechanisms of how cattle growth responds to environmental changes, such as mitotic or cytokinesis, fatty acid β-oxidation, neurotransmitter activity, gap junction, and keratan sulfate degradation. This study not only reveals novel genetic loci and underlying mechanisms influencing growth traits but also transforms our understanding of environmental adaptation in beef cattle, thereby paving the way for more targeted and efficient breeding strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Genetics and Genomics)
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18 pages, 3568 KiB  
Article
No Evidence of Neutrophil Response Modulation in Goats after Immunization against Paratuberculosis with a Heat-Inactivated Vaccine
by Miguel Criado, Marta Silva, Pedro Mendívil, Elena Molina, Valentín Pérez, Julio Benavides, Natalia Elguezabal and Daniel Gutiérrez-Expósito
Animals 2024, 14(11), 1694; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani14111694 - 5 Jun 2024
Viewed by 346
Abstract
Neutrophils are believed to play a role in the initial stages of paratuberculosis, and it has recently been demonstrated that vaccination can modulate their function via priming or through epigenetic and metabolic reprogramming (training). Modulation of the neutrophil response against Mycobacterium avium subspecies [...] Read more.
Neutrophils are believed to play a role in the initial stages of paratuberculosis, and it has recently been demonstrated that vaccination can modulate their function via priming or through epigenetic and metabolic reprogramming (training). Modulation of the neutrophil response against Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (Map) through vaccination has been demonstrated in a rabbit model but not in ruminants. Therefore, in the present work, the effect of vaccination on the response of caprine neutrophils against Map was studied. Neutrophils were isolated from non-vaccinated (n = 7) and Gudair®-vaccinated goat kids (n = 7), before vaccination and 30 days post-vaccination. Then, several neutrophil functions were quantified ex vivo: cell-free and anchored neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) release, phagocytosis, and the differential expression of several cytokines and TLR2. The induction of cell-free NETosis and TLR2 expression by Map is reported for the first time. However, vaccination showed no significant effect on any of the functions studied. This suggests that the protection conferred by Gudair® vaccination is based on mechanisms that are independent of the neutrophil function modulation. Further research into the impact of alternative vaccination strategies or the paratuberculosis infection stage on ruminant neutrophil function could provide valuable insights into its role in paratuberculosis. Full article
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11 pages, 515 KiB  
Article
Fish Welfare-Related Issues and Their Relevance in Land-Based Olive Flounder (Paralichthys olivaceus) Farms in Korea
by Seoyeon Oh and Seunghyung Lee
Animals 2024, 14(11), 1693; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani14111693 - 5 Jun 2024
Viewed by 291
Abstract
Korean aquaculture has expanded considerably in recent decades; however, this growth has often prioritized quantity over fish welfare. Therefore, we analyzed the aquaculture practices of olive flounder, the predominant species in Korean consumption and production, within the framework of fish welfare. We conducted [...] Read more.
Korean aquaculture has expanded considerably in recent decades; however, this growth has often prioritized quantity over fish welfare. Therefore, we analyzed the aquaculture practices of olive flounder, the predominant species in Korean consumption and production, within the framework of fish welfare. We conducted extensive interviews and surveys across olive flounder farms in Jeju-do and Wando to examine prevalent issues impacting fish welfare in aquaculture. These issues include stressors, mass mortality events, and disease outbreaks, all of which strain the welfare of farmed fish. Moreover, our survey revealed farmers’ varying perceptions of fish welfare, highlighting the necessity for a cohesive approach. Accordingly, we propose recommendations to enhance fish welfare and establish a more sustainable aquaculture model in Korea. Ensuring fish welfare in aquaculture operations requires a comprehensive approach that considers the physiological and behavioral needs of fish throughout the farming lifecycle. By prioritizing fish welfare, Korean aquaculture can strengthen its growth while maintaining ethical standards and ensuring the well-being of farmed fish. This welfare-centric approach is crucial for the long-term sustainability and resilience of the Korean aquaculture industry. By addressing welfare concerns and promoting responsible practices, Korean aquaculture can foster an ethically sound and sustainable future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Health and Welfare in Aquaculture)
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13 pages, 258 KiB  
Article
Effects of Defatted and Hydrolyzed Black Soldier Fly Larvae Meal as an Alternative Fish Meal in Weaning Pigs
by Jihwan Lee, Younguk Park, Dongcheol Song, Seyeon Chang and Jinho Cho
Animals 2024, 14(11), 1692; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani14111692 - 5 Jun 2024
Viewed by 359
Abstract
In Experiment 1, a total of eighteen crossbred ([Landrace × Yorkshire] × Duroc) barrows with an initial body weight of 6.74 ± 0.68 kg were randomly divided into three dietary treatments (one pig per cage and six replicates per treatment) and housed in [...] Read more.
In Experiment 1, a total of eighteen crossbred ([Landrace × Yorkshire] × Duroc) barrows with an initial body weight of 6.74 ± 0.68 kg were randomly divided into three dietary treatments (one pig per cage and six replicates per treatment) and housed in metabolic cages that were equipped with a feeder and slatted floor to collect urine and feces. In Experiment 2, a total of 96 crossbred ([Landrace × Yorkshire] × Duroc) barrows with an initial body weight of 8.25 ± 0.42 kg were used in the 6-week trial. The pigs were randomly divided into three dietary treatments (three pigs per pen and eight replicates per treatment). In Experiment 1, nutrient composition of defatted black soldier fly larvae meal (BLM) was superior to that of hydrolyzed BLM but lower than that of fish meal (FM). Also, defatted BLM and FM had better apparent total track digestibility (ATTD) of crude protein (CP) and better nitrogen retention (p < 0.05) than hydrolyzed BLM, but there was no significant difference (p > 0.05) between defatted BLM and FM. In Experiment 2, defatted BLM improved (p < 0.05) average daily gain (ADG), feed conversion ratio (FCR), and feed cost per kg gain (FCG) compared with FM. Defatted BLM could replace soybean meal and fish meal as an alternative protein source for weaning pigs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Nutrition)
16 pages, 3655 KiB  
Article
Observation of Agonistic Behavior in Pacific White Shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei) and Transcriptome Analysis
by Bo Wu, Chenxi Zhao, Xiafei Zheng, Zhilan Peng and Minhai Liu
Animals 2024, 14(11), 1691; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani14111691 - 5 Jun 2024
Viewed by 300
Abstract
Agonistic behavior has been identified as a limiting factor in the development of intensive L. vannamei aquaculture. However, the characteristics and molecular mechanisms underlying agonistic behavior in L. vannamei remain unclear. In this study, we quantified agonistic behavior through a behavioral observation system [...] Read more.
Agonistic behavior has been identified as a limiting factor in the development of intensive L. vannamei aquaculture. However, the characteristics and molecular mechanisms underlying agonistic behavior in L. vannamei remain unclear. In this study, we quantified agonistic behavior through a behavioral observation system and generated a comprehensive database of eyestalk and brain ganglion tissues obtained from both aggressive and nonaggressive L. vannamei employing transcriptome analysis. The results showed that there were nine behavior patterns in L. vannamei which were correlated, and the fighting followed a specific process. Transcriptome analysis revealed 5083 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in eyestalk and 1239 DEGs in brain ganglion between aggressive and nonaggressive L. vannamei. Moreover, these DEGs were primarily enriched in the pathways related to the energy metabolism process and signal transduction. Specifically, the phototransduction (dme04745) signaling pathway emerges as a potential key pathway for the adjustment of the L. vannamei agonistic behavior. The G protein-coupled receptor kinase 1-like (LOC113809193) was screened out as a significant candidate gene within the phototransduction pathway. Therefore, these findings contribute to an enhanced comprehension of crustacean agonistic behavior and provide a theoretical basis for the selection and breeding of L. vannamei varieties suitable for high-density aquaculture environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Behavioral Ecology of Aquatic Animals)
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22 pages, 3024 KiB  
Article
Augmenting Aquaculture Efficiency through Involutional Neural Networks and Self-Attention for Oplegnathus Punctatus Feeding Intensity Classification from Log Mel Spectrograms
by Usama Iqbal, Daoliang Li, Zhuangzhuang Du, Muhammad Akhter, Zohaib Mushtaq, Muhammad Farrukh Qureshi and Hafiz Abbad Ur Rehman
Animals 2024, 14(11), 1690; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani14111690 - 5 Jun 2024
Viewed by 258
Abstract
Understanding the feeding dynamics of aquatic animals is crucial for aquaculture optimization and ecosystem management. This paper proposes a novel framework for analyzing fish feeding behavior based on a fusion of spectrogram-extracted features and deep learning architecture. Raw audio waveforms are first transformed [...] Read more.
Understanding the feeding dynamics of aquatic animals is crucial for aquaculture optimization and ecosystem management. This paper proposes a novel framework for analyzing fish feeding behavior based on a fusion of spectrogram-extracted features and deep learning architecture. Raw audio waveforms are first transformed into Log Mel Spectrograms, and a fusion of features such as the Discrete Wavelet Transform, the Gabor filter, the Local Binary Pattern, and the Laplacian High Pass Filter, followed by a well-adapted deep model, is proposed to capture crucial spectral and spectral information that can help distinguish between the various forms of fish feeding behavior. The Involutional Neural Network (INN)-based deep learning model is used for classification, achieving an accuracy of up to 97% across various temporal segments. The proposed methodology is shown to be effective in accurately classifying the feeding intensities of Oplegnathus punctatus, enabling insights pertinent to aquaculture enhancement and ecosystem management. Future work may include additional feature extraction modalities and multi-modal data integration to further our understanding and contribute towards the sustainable management of marine resources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Health and Welfare in Aquaculture)
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22 pages, 1398 KiB  
Review
Copra Meal: A Review of Its Production, Properties, and Prospects
by Jan Kathleen M. Punzalan and Kurt A. Rosentrater
Animals 2024, 14(11), 1689; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani14111689 - 5 Jun 2024
Viewed by 388
Abstract
Copra meal, the byproduct of coconut oil production, has been widely available at low cost but has been underutilized, with huge portions still becoming waste. Extensive research on different species have been performed to improve its use as an alternative feed ingredient, aiming [...] Read more.
Copra meal, the byproduct of coconut oil production, has been widely available at low cost but has been underutilized, with huge portions still becoming waste. Extensive research on different species have been performed to improve its use as an alternative feed ingredient, aiming to reduce the impact of fluctuating feed prices in some parts of the world where coconut is a major commodity. As for any biological product, the physical and chemical properties of copra meal play a crucial role in its use and limitations. In the case of copra meal, studies have found that additional treatments are needed to improve its nutritional composition and make it readily and efficiently available for ruminant and monogastric animals, poultry, and aquaculture applications. This paper presents a summary of up-to-date information on the physical and chemical characteristics of the product, as well as discussions on the various methods employed to improve and optimize its biological value as animal feed. There have been limited studies that have explored other effective and economical means of utilizing copra meal outside the livestock and feed industry. Hence, this paper also aims to provide a lens on future prospects and diverse applications involving copra meal, as well as to present the gaps and challenges that have to be addressed to maximize its product value and biological potential. Full article
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13 pages, 2215 KiB  
Article
Significant Differences in Intestinal Bacterial Communities of Sympatric Bean Goose, Hooded Crane, and Domestic Goose
by Jing Yin, Dandan Yuan, Ziqiu Xu, Yuannuo Wu, Zhong Chen and Xingjia Xiang
Animals 2024, 14(11), 1688; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani14111688 - 5 Jun 2024
Viewed by 266
Abstract
The host’s physiological well-being is intricately associated with the gut microbiota. However, previous studies regarding the intestinal microbiota have focused on domesticated or captive birds. This study used high-throughput sequencing technology to identify the gut bacterial communities of sympatric bean geese, hooded cranes, [...] Read more.
The host’s physiological well-being is intricately associated with the gut microbiota. However, previous studies regarding the intestinal microbiota have focused on domesticated or captive birds. This study used high-throughput sequencing technology to identify the gut bacterial communities of sympatric bean geese, hooded cranes, and domestic geese. The results indicated that the gut bacterial diversity in domestic geese and hooded cranes showed considerably higher diversity than bean geese. The gut bacterial community compositions varied significantly among the three hosts (p < 0.05). Compared to the hooded crane, the bean goose and domestic goose were more similar in their genotype and evolutionary history, with less difference in the bacterial community composition and assembly processes between the two species. Thus, the results might support the crucial role of host genotypes on their gut microbiota. The gut bacteria of wild hooded cranes and bean geese had a greater capacity for energy metabolism compared to domestic geese, suggesting that wild birds may rely more on their gut microbiota to survive in cold conditions. Moreover, the intestines of the three hosts were identified as harboring potential pathogens. The relative abundance of pathogens was higher in the hooded crane compared to the other two species. The hooded crane gut bacterial community assemblage revealed the least deterministic process with the lowest filtering/selection on the gut microbiota, which might have been a reason for the highest number of pathogens result. Compared to the hooded crane, the sympatric bean goose showed the least diversity and relative abundance of pathogens. The intestinal bacterial co-occurrence network showed the highest stability in the bean goose, potentially enhancing host resistance to adverse environments and reducing the susceptibility to pathogen invasion. In this study, the pathogens were also discovered to overlap among the three hosts, reminding us to monitor the potential for pathogen transmission between poultry and wild birds. Overall, the current findings have the potential to enhance the understanding of gut bacterial and pathogenic community structures in poultry and wild birds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Poultry)
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10 pages, 3413 KiB  
Case Report
Reconstruction of Bilateral Chronic Triceps Brachii Tendon Disruption Using a Suture-Mediated Anatomic Footprint Repair in a Dog
by Jong-Pil Yoon, Hae-Beom Lee, Young-Jin Jeon, Dae-Hyun Kim, Seong-Mok Jeong and Jae-Min Jeong
Animals 2024, 14(11), 1687; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani14111687 - 5 Jun 2024
Viewed by 380
Abstract
A 2-year-old, intact female Pomeranian presented with bilateral forelimb lameness, characterized by the olecranon making contact with the ground. The patient experienced two separate incidents of falling, occurring four and three weeks before admission, respectively. Following each episode, non-weight-bearing lameness was initially observed [...] Read more.
A 2-year-old, intact female Pomeranian presented with bilateral forelimb lameness, characterized by the olecranon making contact with the ground. The patient experienced two separate incidents of falling, occurring four and three weeks before admission, respectively. Following each episode, non-weight-bearing lameness was initially observed in the left forelimb, followed by the development of crouch gait. Based on the physical examination, radiographic, and ultrasonographic findings, bilateral triceps brachii tendon disruption was diagnosed. Intraoperatively, excessive granulation tissue at the distal end of the tendon was excised. The footprint region of each triceps brachii tendon was decorticated with a high-speed burr until bleeding was observed. The triceps brachii tendon was reattached to completely cover its footprint on the olecranon using the Krackow suture technique. This method involves anchoring the suture through bone tunnels in the ulna. Trans-articular external skeletal fixation was applied to both forelimbs to immobile and stabilize the elbow joints for nine weeks. Subsequently, the dog gradually increased its walking activities while on a leash over a six-week period. At the three-year follow-up, the patient exhibited improved forelimb function and maintained a normal gait without signs of lameness. Suture-mediated anatomic footprint repair proved useful in this single case and may be an effective surgical alternative for the management of chronic triceps brachii tendon disruption in dogs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Small Animal Orthopedic Surgery, Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation)
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15 pages, 2404 KiB  
Article
Insight into Body Condition Variability in Small Mammals
by Linas Balčiauskas and Laima Balčiauskienė
Animals 2024, 14(11), 1686; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani14111686 - 5 Jun 2024
Viewed by 286
Abstract
The body condition index (BCI) is an indicator of both reproductive success and health in small mammals and might help to understand ecological roles of species. We analyzed BCI data from 28,567 individuals trapped in Lithuania between 1980 and 2023. We compared BCIs [...] Read more.
The body condition index (BCI) is an indicator of both reproductive success and health in small mammals and might help to understand ecological roles of species. We analyzed BCI data from 28,567 individuals trapped in Lithuania between 1980 and 2023. We compared BCIs between species and examined differences in age groups, gender, and reproductive statuses within each species. Seven out of eighteen species had sample sizes with N < 100. In terms of species, we found that seven of the eight species with the highest average BCIs are granivores or omnivores, which can consume animal-based food at least seasonally. The two contrasting (decreasing or increasing) BCI patterns observed during ontogeny can be related to diet differences among juveniles, subadults, and adult animals. Our results demonstrate that reproductive stress has a negative impact on the BCI of adult females in all analyzed species and nearly all adult males. Although the animals with extremely low BCI consisted mostly of shrews, for the first time we found 23 common and pygmy shrews exhibiting the Chitty effect, i.e., a very high body mass resulting in a BCI > 5.0. This is the first multi-species approach of body condition at middle latitudes. The results increase our understanding of how changing environmental conditions are affecting small mammals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Mammals)
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28 pages, 4842 KiB  
Article
Transcriptomic Insights and the Development of Microsatellite Markers to Assess Genetic Diversity in the Broodstock Management of Litopenaeus stylirostris
by Ya-Chi Yang, Pei-Yun Chu, Che-Chun Chen, Wen-Chin Yang, Te-Hua Hsu, Hong-Yi Gong, I Chiu Liao and Chang-Wen Huang
Animals 2024, 14(11), 1685; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani14111685 - 5 Jun 2024
Viewed by 471
Abstract
The Pacific blue shrimp (Litopenaeus stylirostris) is a premium product in the international seafood market. However, intensified farming has increased disease incidence and reduced genetic diversity. In this study, we developed a transcriptome database for L. stylirostris and mined microsatellite markers [...] Read more.
The Pacific blue shrimp (Litopenaeus stylirostris) is a premium product in the international seafood market. However, intensified farming has increased disease incidence and reduced genetic diversity. In this study, we developed a transcriptome database for L. stylirostris and mined microsatellite markers to analyze their genetic diversity. Using the Illumina HiSeq 4000 platform, we identified 53,263 unigenes from muscle, hepatopancreas, the intestine, and lymphoid tissues. Microsatellite analysis identified 36,415 markers from 18,657 unigenes, predominantly dinucleotide repeats. Functional annotation highlighted key disease resistance pathways and enriched categories. The screening and PCR testing of 42 transcriptome-based and 58 literature-based markers identified 40 with successful amplification. The genotyping of 200 broodstock samples revealed that Na, Ho, He, PIC, and FIS values were 3, 0.54 ± 0.05, 0.43 ± 0.09, 0.41 ± 0.22, and 0.17 ± 0.27, respectively, indicating moderate genetic variability and significant inbreeding. Four universal microsatellite markers (CL1472.Contig13, CL517.Contig2, Unigene5692, and Unigene7147) were identified for precise diversity analysis in Pacific blue, Pacific white (Litopenaeus vannamei), and black tiger shrimps (Penaeus monodon). The transcriptome database supports the development of markers and functional gene analysis for selective breeding programs. Our findings underscore the need for an appropriate genetic management system to mitigate inbreeding depression, reduce disease susceptibility, and preserve genetic diversity in farmed shrimp populations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Genetics and Genomics)
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14 pages, 3463 KiB  
Article
Ultrasound Morphology of Presumed Normal Anal Sacs in Dogs and Cats
by Ivana Nývltová-Pírková, Pavel Proks and Hana Moserová
Animals 2024, 14(11), 1684; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani14111684 - 5 Jun 2024
Viewed by 346
Abstract
Ultrasonographic evaluation of canine and feline anal sacs is a practical promising modality to identify anal sac disease. However, limited data are available about normal ultrasound morphology of the anal sacs. This study describes the ultrasound morphology of presumed normal anal sacs in [...] Read more.
Ultrasonographic evaluation of canine and feline anal sacs is a practical promising modality to identify anal sac disease. However, limited data are available about normal ultrasound morphology of the anal sacs. This study describes the ultrasound morphology of presumed normal anal sacs in a larger sample of client-owned dogs and cats. A single-institutional prospective cross-sectional descriptive study was performed, and 137 dogs and 131 cats were included. The most common ultrasound features of the evaluated anal sacs in the dorsal plane were oval shape (99.3% of dogs and 98.5% of cats) and bilaterally similar content (94.2% of dogs and 95.4% of cats), mostly hypoechoic with diffusely hyperechoic points or unformed echogenic material (42.6% of dogs and 44% of cats). Gas in the lumen of the anal sac was detected in two dogs and mineralization in one dog. There was a statistically significant positive correlation between body weight and the size of anal sacs in dogs ≤15 kg and cats and a correlation between age and the size of anal sacs in cats. This simple method provides additional clinically significant information in detecting abnormal findings in asymptomatic patients and could contribute to the early detection of anal sac disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Veterinary Clinical Studies)
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12 pages, 3729 KiB  
Article
Contrast-Enhanced Ultrasound (CEUS) Evaluation of Canine Prostatic Hyperplasia before and after Osaterone Acetate Therapy: Preliminary Results
by Giorgia Pettina, Roberta Bucci, Antonio Mazzetti, Marco Quartuccio, Domenico Robbe and Maria Carmela Pisu
Animals 2024, 14(11), 1683; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani14111683 - 5 Jun 2024
Viewed by 263
Abstract
The prostate is the only sexual gland of the male dog, and dihydrotestosterone (DHT) regulates its growth. In intact dogs, constant DHT stimulation results in benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) that can be treated with osaterone acetate (OSA). This study describes the effects of [...] Read more.
The prostate is the only sexual gland of the male dog, and dihydrotestosterone (DHT) regulates its growth. In intact dogs, constant DHT stimulation results in benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) that can be treated with osaterone acetate (OSA). This study describes the effects of OSA treatment, detected by contrast-enhanced ultrasonography (CEUS), highlighting prostatic vascularization with a contrast agent composed of gas microbubbles. Fifteen dogs (2–8 years) of different sizes and breeds (4–30 kg) diagnosed with BPH are involved in the study. Before treatment (D0), CPSE is measured (294.05 ± 115.97 ng/mL), and a B-mode ultrasound is performed (Vratio = 2.80 ± 1.85), confirming BPH. CEUS highlights the length of the wash-in (11.93 ± 2.08 s) and wash-out (42.20 ± 6.99 s) phases of the contrast agent in the prostate and the presence of cysts and parenchymal alteration. Dogs are treated with OSA (0.5 mg/kg for 7 days) and reassessed after 21 days (D1): CPSE and prostate volume are significantly (p < 0.001) reduced. The length of the wash-in (14.73 ± 2.54 s) and wash-out (51.13 ± 6.03 s) phases are significantly (p < 0.001) increased. The results confirm the effectiveness of the treatment, particularly the reduction in prostatic perfusion, confirmed by the increase in diffusion times of the contrast. Although preliminary, these findings are promising for the use of CEUS in monitoring dogs with BPH. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Advances in Canine and Feline Diagnostics—2nd Edition)
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18 pages, 330 KiB  
Article
Growth Performance, Blood Metabolites, Carcass Characteristics and Meat Quality of Lambs Fed Diets Containing Different Energy Levels Supplemented with Rumen-Protected Choline
by Salih Çelik and Habip Muruz
Animals 2024, 14(11), 1682; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani14111682 - 5 Jun 2024
Viewed by 472
Abstract
This study aimed to examine the effects of metabolizable energy (ME) level and rumen-protected choline (RPC) supplementation on the growth performance, carcass characteristics, meat quality, serum energy, lipid, and protein profiles of Karayaka lambs. Twenty-eight Karayaka lambs, with an initial body weight (BW) [...] Read more.
This study aimed to examine the effects of metabolizable energy (ME) level and rumen-protected choline (RPC) supplementation on the growth performance, carcass characteristics, meat quality, serum energy, lipid, and protein profiles of Karayaka lambs. Twenty-eight Karayaka lambs, with an initial body weight (BW) of 26.85 ± 0.26 kg, were randomly assigned (2 × 2 factorial design) to one of four dietary treatments with two levels of ME (optimum: 2750 or low: 2500 kcal ME/kg dry matter) and two levels of RPC (0 or 4 g/d/lamb). Lambs of each group were housed in individual pens. The experiment lasted 66 d, with the first 10 d consisting of acclimation and the next 56 d of the formal experimental period. The data on BW, dietary matter intake (DMI), and serum glucose concentrations confirm that our model successfully induced low energy using 250 kcal/kg less energy than the optimum level. RPC supplementation did not significantly affect average daily DMI, total average daily gain (ADG), or feed conversion ratio (FCR) at any energy level. Additionally, there was no substantial effect on carcass characteristics, meat quality, serum lipids, energy metabolism indicators, and liver function parameters. There was also no interaction effect of RPC × ME on the parameters tested. However, at 56 d into the experiment, the interaction effect of RPC × ME on serum urea-N was highly significant, and RPC supplementation led to lower serum urea-N levels (p = 0.001). These results suggest that while RPC supplementation did not enhance overall performance and carcass characteristics in Karayaka lambs, it may play a role in modulating nitrogen metabolism, as indicated by the significant reduction in serum urea-N levels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Nutrition)
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