Editor's Choice Articles

Editor’s Choice articles are based on recommendations by the scientific editors of MDPI journals from around the world. Editors select a small number of articles recently published in the journal that they believe will be particularly interesting to readers, or important in the respective research area. The aim is to provide a snapshot of some of the most exciting work published in the various research areas of the journal.

Order results
Result details
Results per page
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Article

Article
Population Genetic Structure of Anisakis simplex Infecting the European Hake from North East Atlantic Fishing Grounds
Animals 2023, 13(2), 197; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13020197 - 04 Jan 2023
Viewed by 408
Abstract
The European hake, one of the most commercially valuable species in ICES fishing areas, is considered an important neglected source of zoonotic risk by nematode parasites belonging to the genus Anisakis. Merluccius merluccius is, by far, the most important host of Anisakis [...] Read more.
The European hake, one of the most commercially valuable species in ICES fishing areas, is considered an important neglected source of zoonotic risk by nematode parasites belonging to the genus Anisakis. Merluccius merluccius is, by far, the most important host of Anisakis spp. at the European fishing grounds, in terms of demographic infection values, and carries the highest parasite burden. These high parasite population densities within an individual fish host offer a chance to explore new sources of variations for the genetic structure of Anisakis spp. populations. A total of 873 Anisakis spp. third-stage larvae, originally sampled from viscera and muscular sections of hake collected at ten fishing grounds, were primarily identified using ITS rDNA region as molecular marker. After that, we used mtDNA cox2 gene to reveal the high haplotype diversity and the lack of genetic structure for A. simplex. Dominant haplotypes were shared among the different fishing areas and fish sections analyzed. Results indicate a clear connection of A. simplex from European hake along the Northern North Sea to the Portuguese coast, constituting a single genetic population but revealing a certain level of genetic sub-structuring on the Northwest coast of Scotland. This study also provides useful information to advance the understanding of parasite speciation to different fish host tissues or microenvironments. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Investigation of the Efficacy of Pyrantel Pamoate, Mebendazole, Albendazole, and Ivermectin against Baylisascaris schroederi in Captive Giant Pandas
Animals 2023, 13(1), 142; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13010142 - 29 Dec 2022
Viewed by 363
Abstract
Baylisascaris schroederi is one of the main health risks threatening both wild and captive giant pandas. The administration of anthelmintics is a common method to effectively control B. schroederi infection, but there is a notable risk of anthelmintic resistance (AR) after long-term, constant [...] Read more.
Baylisascaris schroederi is one of the main health risks threatening both wild and captive giant pandas. The administration of anthelmintics is a common method to effectively control B. schroederi infection, but there is a notable risk of anthelmintic resistance (AR) after long-term, constant use of anthelmintics. Four anthelmintics—pyrantel pamoate (PYR), mebendazole (MBZ), albendazole (ABZ), and ivermectin (IVM)—were each administered separately at intervals of 2 months to 22 enrolled giant pandas. The fecal egg count reduction (FECR) proportions were calculated by both the Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) Bayesian mathematical model and the arithmetic mean. AR was assessed based on the criteria recommended by the World Association for the Advancement of Veterinary Parasitology (WAAVP). The estimated prevalence of B. schroederi infection was 34.1%. After treatment with PYR, MBZ, ABZ, and IVM, it was determined that MBZ, ABZ, and IVM were efficacious against B. schroederi, while nematodes were suspected to be resistant to PYR according to the fecal egg count reduction (FECR) proportions. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Role of Guinea Pigs (Cavia porcellus) Raised as Livestock in Ecuadorian Andes as Reservoirs of Zoonotic Yeasts
Animals 2022, 12(24), 3449; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12243449 - 07 Dec 2022
Viewed by 683
Abstract
Guinea pigs (Cavia porcellus) have been reared for centuries in the Andean region for ceremonial purposes or as the main ingredient of traditional foods. The animals are kept in close proximity of households and interact closely with humans; this also occurs in [...] Read more.
Guinea pigs (Cavia porcellus) have been reared for centuries in the Andean region for ceremonial purposes or as the main ingredient of traditional foods. The animals are kept in close proximity of households and interact closely with humans; this also occurs in western countries, where guinea pigs are considered pets. Even though it is acknowledged that domestic animals carry pathogenic yeasts in their tissues and organs that can cause human diseases, almost nothing is known in the case of guinea pigs. In this work we used traditional microbiological approaches and molecular biology techniques to isolate, identify, and characterize potentially zoonotic yeasts colonizing the nasal duct of guinea pigs raised as livestock in Southern Ecuador (Cañar Province). Our results show that 44% of the 100 animals studied were colonized in their nasal mucosa by at least eleven yeast species, belonging to eight genera: Wickerhamomyces, Diutina, Meyerozyma, Candida, Pichia, Rhodotorula, Galactomyces, and Cryptococcus. Noticeably, several isolates were insensitive toward several antifungal drugs of therapeutic use, including fluconazole, voriconazole, itraconazole, and caspofungin. Together, our results emphasize the threat posed by these potentially zoonotic yeasts to the farmers, their families, the final consumers, and, in general, to public and animal health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Veterinary Microbiology in Farm Animals)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Evaluation of a Novel Infrared Thermography Projection to Assess Udder Health in Primigravid Dairy Heifers
Animals 2022, 12(23), 3410; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12233410 - 03 Dec 2022
Viewed by 470
Abstract
Heifer mastitis in early lactation impacts negatively on animal welfare, milk production and longevity. A major challenge for the prevention and control of mastitis in dairy heifers is to establish when intramammary infection occurs because pre-partum secretum sampling is risky. We evaluated a [...] Read more.
Heifer mastitis in early lactation impacts negatively on animal welfare, milk production and longevity. A major challenge for the prevention and control of mastitis in dairy heifers is to establish when intramammary infection occurs because pre-partum secretum sampling is risky. We evaluated a ventrodorsal projection to capture thermal images of the entire udder of primigravid and compared results against caudocranial projection, which is used in lactating cattle. Based on the analysis of 119 heifers and images taken at 2 months and 2 weeks pre-partum, a very strong positive correlation (r = 0.91 and r = 0.96, respectively) was shown between caudocranial and ventrodorsal projections of hind quarters. Quarter maximum gradient temperatures were consistently greater on ventrodorsal projection than on caudocranial projection, and less variable than minimum gradient temperatures. The collection of ventrodorsal images is a simple one-step method involving the imaging of the entire udder in a manner safe for both the cattle and handlers. Together, these results demonstrate that a single projection can be used to scan the entire udder of primigravid dairy heifers in commercial farm conditions, with the potential to implement this as a routine method for the early detection of intramammary infection based on udder surface temperature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diagnostic Imaging Applied to the Internal Medicine of Ruminants)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Effects of Paratuberculosis Vaccination at Different Ages in a Dairy Goat Herd: A 2-Year Follow-Up
Animals 2022, 12(22), 3135; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12223135 - 14 Nov 2022
Viewed by 492
Abstract
Vaccination could be considered as an effective method for paratuberculosis control, although controversial, with a need for investigation in some aspects. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of vaccination, depending on the age of the animals, on their immune [...] Read more.
Vaccination could be considered as an effective method for paratuberculosis control, although controversial, with a need for investigation in some aspects. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of vaccination, depending on the age of the animals, on their immune response, the reduction of paratuberculosis cases, mortality and culled animals in a commercial dairy herd. Goats from three different ages were immunized with the inactivated Gudair® vaccine. Peripheral antibody and IFN-γ output were evaluated for 21 months post-vaccination (mpv) and intradermal skin tests (IDSTs) for tuberculosis, with avian- and bovine-purified protein derivatives (PPD), were carried out at 6 and at 18 mpv to evaluate the humoral and cellular immune peripheral responses, respectively. The number of dead or culled animals, regardless of the reason, was also monitored and the causes of death determined by pathological examination. A significant increase in the production of IFN-γ was observed in all the vaccinated groups when the blood samples were stimulated with avian PPD, from 3 mpv to 18 mpv, and with bovine PPD, between 3 and 21 mpv. Moreover, serum antibody levels increased between 3 and 21 mpv in all vaccinated groups. The highest levels were found in animals vaccinated at 5 months, and the lowest in adult individuals. No positive reactants to tuberculosis were found by intradermal skin test. No animal losses associated with clinical paratuberculosis were detected in any of the groups. The number of total culled animals was significantly lower in the vaccinated than in the unvaccinated groups, especially on 1.5-month-old vaccinated kids. These results suggest that vaccination of paratuberculosis, especially in young animals, could induce heterologous protection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Veterinary Clinical Studies)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Protective Effect of Litchi chinensis Peel Extract-Prepared Nanoparticles on Rabbits Experimentally Infected with Eimeria stiedae
Animals 2022, 12(22), 3098; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12223098 - 10 Nov 2022
Viewed by 550
Abstract
The present study used Litchi chinensis peel extract to synthesize silver nanoparticles (AgNPs). This technique is eco-friendly and can be performed in a single step; thus, it has attracted great attention for NPs biosynthesis. Herein, we biosynthesized AgNPs with L. chinensis peel extract [...] Read more.
The present study used Litchi chinensis peel extract to synthesize silver nanoparticles (AgNPs). This technique is eco-friendly and can be performed in a single step; thus, it has attracted great attention for NPs biosynthesis. Herein, we biosynthesized AgNPs with L. chinensis peel extract and examined their anticoccidial activity in rabbit hepatic coccidiosis induced by E. stiedae infection. Thirty-five rabbits were allocated into seven groups: a healthy group (G1), an infected control group (G2), four groups infected before treatment with 10 mg/kg L. chinensis peel extract-biosynthesized AgNPs (G3, G5) or 50 mg/kg amprolium (G4, G6), and rabbits infected after two weeks of pretreatment with 10 mg/kg L. chinensis eel extract-biosynthesized AgNPs (G7). In this study, both pre-and post-treatment with AgNPs produced a substantial reduction in fecal oocyst output, liver enzyme levels, and histopathological hepatic lesions relative to the infected group. In conclusion, L. chinensis peel extract-prepared AgNPs should be considered harmless and efficient in the cure of hepatic coccidiosis in rabbits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Veterinary Clinical Studies)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Air Quality, Management Practices and Calf Health in Italian Dairy Cattle Farms
Animals 2022, 12(17), 2286; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12172286 - 03 Sep 2022
Viewed by 1063
Abstract
Among factors that can affect calf health, microbial quality of the pen air is poorly studied. In 25 Italian dairy farms, data concerning air quality in the calf pens, hygiene of pens and equipment, microclimatic conditions, calf health and management were collected during [...] Read more.
Among factors that can affect calf health, microbial quality of the pen air is poorly studied. In 25 Italian dairy farms, data concerning air quality in the calf pens, hygiene of pens and equipment, microclimatic conditions, calf health and management were collected during the winter season (January-March 2020 and December-March 2021). The average air Standard Plate Count (SPC) of 85 pens was 4.51 (SD = 0.52) log10 cfu/m3 whereas the average air ammonia concentration was 0.66 (SD = 0.53) ppm. Positive correlations were found between average Temperature Humidity Index (THI) in the pen and air SPC, night maximum THI and air SPC and between SPC and yeast, mould and ammonia concentration in the pen air. The concentrations of E. coli, Enterobacteriaceae and yeasts in the pen air were higher and calf cough increased as the renewal interval of bedding material became longer. High bedding dry matter and low THI were associated with low air SPC, good calf health scores and low mortality. Maintaining low bedding humidity and controlling microclimatic conditions can contribute to enhancing air microbiological quality in the pen and reduce calf diseases and mortality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal System and Management)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Can Insect Meal Replace Fishmeal? A Meta-Analysis of the Effects of Black Soldier Fly on Fish Growth Performances and Nutritional Values
Animals 2022, 12(13), 1700; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12131700 - 30 Jun 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1464
Abstract
The search for quality alternatives to fishmeal and fish oil in the fish feed industry has occupied many researchers worldwide. The use of black soldier fly meal (BSFM) as a substitute has increased. This study evaluated the effect of this substitution on fish [...] Read more.
The search for quality alternatives to fishmeal and fish oil in the fish feed industry has occupied many researchers worldwide. The use of black soldier fly meal (BSFM) as a substitute has increased. This study evaluated the effect of this substitution on fish growth and nutritional quality through a meta-analysis of the literature. A list of studies was selected after an exhaustive literature search followed by the extraction of growth and nutritional parameters. Two random-effects models were used to estimate the differences between the experimental parameters and the controls. The results showed significant heterogeneity between studies for all parameters. The sources of heterogeneity between studies were mainly fish species and protein substitution rate. High substitutions can be considered without necessarily worrying about an adverse effect. Financial profitability studies of the fish production chain from BSFM should be carried out to validate or invalidate the economic viability of this substitution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Nutrition)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Influence of Heifer Post-Weaning Voluntary Feed Intake Classification on Lifetime Productivity in Black Angus Beef Females
Animals 2022, 12(13), 1687; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12131687 - 30 Jun 2022
Viewed by 773
Abstract
This study evaluated heifer post-weaning voluntary feed intake (g/kg BW) classification on performance and reproductive measures, as well as impacts on lifetime productivity of 519 commercial Angus beef females. Heifer post-weaning voluntary feed intake (g/kg BW) was calculated over 80 test days following [...] Read more.
This study evaluated heifer post-weaning voluntary feed intake (g/kg BW) classification on performance and reproductive measures, as well as impacts on lifetime productivity of 519 commercial Angus beef females. Heifer post-weaning voluntary feed intake (g/kg BW) was calculated over 80 test days following weaning using GrowSafe units. Heifers were categorized based on voluntary feed intake (g/kg BW) as either low (<−0.50 SD from the mean), average (±0.50 SD from the mean), or high (>0.50 SD from the mean) within year. Cow body weight (BW) and body condition score (BCS) at breeding displayed an age effect (p < 0.001), with 2- and 3-year-old cows having lighter BW and lower BCS than 4-yr-old and older cows. Cow BW at weaning showed significance for age and intake (p < 0.001) with younger cows being lighter than older cows, while low intake classified females had greater BW at weaning compared to average and high intake females. Additionally, calf 205-d weights and calf weaning weights (p < 0.01) were significant for age with calves born from older cows weighing more than younger cows. Weaning weight ratio displayed a linear increase with increasing intake classification (p < 0.01). Heifer yearling BW was significant for intake (p < 0.01) with low and average intake heifer classifications having greater heifer yearling BW than cows that had high intake classification as a heifer. Age and intake classification did not impact (p ≥ 0.22) pregnancy status or AI conception. In summary, heifer post-weaning feed intake classification had only minor impacts compared to age effects on lifetime productivity of Angus beef females. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Nutrition)
Article
Partial Substitution of Corn Grain in the Diet with Beet Pulp Reveals Increased Ruminal Acetate Proportion and Circulating Insulin Levels in Korean Cattle Steers
Animals 2022, 12(11), 1419; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12111419 - 31 May 2022
Viewed by 961
Abstract
We investigated the effects of the partial substitution of corn grain in the diet with beet pulp on growth performance, ruminal fermentation characteristics, microbial profiles, and blood lipogenic parameters in fattening steers. Twelve Korean cattle steers (body weight, 485 ± 19.32 kg; age, [...] Read more.
We investigated the effects of the partial substitution of corn grain in the diet with beet pulp on growth performance, ruminal fermentation characteristics, microbial profiles, and blood lipogenic parameters in fattening steers. Twelve Korean cattle steers (body weight, 485 ± 19.32 kg; age, 18.0 ± 0.17 months) were equally divided into corn grain (CG) and beet pulp (BP) groups. Approximately 75% of dry matter of the requirement was offered as a concentrate portion, and the remaining 25% was offered as oat straw. Eighty percent of the concentrate portion was provided by a pelleted basal concentrate, and the remaining 20% with corn grain for the CG group, or 18% beet pulp plus 2.0% rumen-protected fat for the BP group, respectively, by top dressing. The experiment was conducted for 14 weeks, including a 2-week acclimation period. Growth rate was not affected by beet pulp feeding (p = 0.55). The molar proportions of ruminal acetate (p < 0.05) on wk 4, the relative abundances of ruminal cellulolytic bacteria, including Fibrobacter succinogenes (p = 0.01) and Ruminococcus albus (p = 0.04) on wk 12, and serum insulin concentrations (p < 0.05) on wk 12 were higher in the BP group than in the CG group, whereas the molar proportions of propionate (p < 0.05) on wks 8 and 12 and serum nonesterified fatty acids (p < 0.05) on wk 12 were lower in the BP group. Beet pulp could be used as a lipogenic energy source without affecting growth performance during the fattening period of cattle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Nutrition)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Hempseed By-Product in Diets of Italian Simmental Cull Dairy Cows and Its Effects on Animal Performance and Meat Quality
Animals 2022, 12(8), 1014; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12081014 - 13 Apr 2022
Viewed by 1183
Abstract
Cull dairy cows are important contributors to total beef production in the USA and in Europe. Hempseed cake is a by-product of oil production and it is rich in unsaturated fatty acids (FA). This study aimed to investigate the effect of adding hempseed [...] Read more.
Cull dairy cows are important contributors to total beef production in the USA and in Europe. Hempseed cake is a by-product of oil production and it is rich in unsaturated fatty acids (FA). This study aimed to investigate the effect of adding hempseed cake to the diet of Italian Simmental (IS) cull dairy cows on performances and meat quality. Twenty-six cull dairy cows were divided into three dietary groups: hay-based, corn silage-based and pasture-based diets. Within each group, the animals were equally divided into two treatments according to the protein source of the concentrate: hempseed cake (HEMP) or soybeans meal (SB). The trial lasted four months. HEMP showed similar in vivo performance and carcass characteristics, such as average daily gain (p > 0.05) and dressing percentage (p > 0.05), compared with SB. Meat characteristics, such as ether extract content and Warner–Bratzler shear force, were also similar between experimental groups (p > 0.05). Considering FA composition, HEMP showed similar saturated FA and polyunsaturated FA content (p > 0.05) but lower desirable fatty acids (p < 0.05) content and a tendentially lower hypocholesterolemic/hypercholesterolemic ratio (p < 0.10) than SFA. Hempseed cake can substitute soybean in the diet of cull dairy cows without effects on performance or meat quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Nutrition)
Article
Serum Cortisol and Its Correlation with Leucocyte Profile and Circulating Lipids in Donkeys (Equus asinus)
Animals 2022, 12(7), 841; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12070841 - 26 Mar 2022
Viewed by 1223
Abstract
The values for basal serum cortisol concentrations of horses are available in many studies. However, there are limited data about serum cortisol in donkeys. The present study aimed to determine the baseline values for serum cortisol, to evaluate the influence of age and [...] Read more.
The values for basal serum cortisol concentrations of horses are available in many studies. However, there are limited data about serum cortisol in donkeys. The present study aimed to determine the baseline values for serum cortisol, to evaluate the influence of age and pregnancy on its levels, and to correlate its values with leucocyte profile, serum cholesterol, and triglycerides. Serum samples were collected from 97 healthy donkeys. Cortisol was analyzed by chemo-luminescent assay. The median and the 2.5th and 97.5th percentiles of serum cortisol measured and calculated in all donkeys were 5.64, 3.40, and 10.54 µg/dL, respectively. Females (n.91) were divided into three groups: Group A (young), Group B (adult), and Group C (pregnant at the 9th–11th months). The effect of age and physiological status was investigated by the Mann–Whitney test. Group C showed significantly higher levels than Group B (p < 0.05). Significant correlations were found in Group B with monocytes (r = 0.37, p < 0.01) and triglycerides (r = 0.30, p < 0.05), and in Group C with monocytes (r = 0.79, p < 0.01), basophils (r = 0.6, p < 0.05), and neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio (r = −0.63, p < 0.05). Higher cortisol values related to late pregnancy are also found in this species. These preliminary results provide evidence for a relationship between cortisol and the immune system as well as cortisol and lipid metabolism modulated by age and pregnancy when parameters are within normal values. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Exploring and Developing the Questions Used to Measure the Human–Dog Bond: New and Existing Themes
Animals 2022, 12(7), 805; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12070805 - 22 Mar 2022
Viewed by 2944
Abstract
Dogs play an important role in many western societies, providing companionship, emotional support, and assistance, as well as other more specialist roles. The literature reveals that many human–animal interaction (HAI) questionnaires exist to measure the human–dog bond (HDB). The first part of this [...] Read more.
Dogs play an important role in many western societies, providing companionship, emotional support, and assistance, as well as other more specialist roles. The literature reveals that many human–animal interaction (HAI) questionnaires exist to measure the human–dog bond (HDB). The first part of this study assessed how far existing questionnaires went in measuring HDB (defined as the unique, dynamic and reciprocated relationship between a person and dog, one in which each member can influence the other’s psychological and physiological state). A systematic literature review revealed that a common limitation in HDB questionnaires was a lack of questions based on the dog’s investment in the bond and, therefore, a failure to measure the two-way characteristic of the HDB. This led to the second part of the study: to identify novel themes relating to dog investment in the HDB from which new tool questions could be developed. This was investigated qualitatively using twelve semi-structured interviews on HDB, undertaken with participants from a variety of dog–guardian relationship types. HDB themes that emerged included ‘adaptation’, ‘understanding of a dog’s preferences, likes, and dislikes’, and ‘affirmation’. Subthemes included ‘boundaries’ and ‘expectations’ (within adaptation), ‘excitement’, ‘proximity’, ‘affection’, and ‘recall’ (within affirmation). The themes that arose provide a foundation from which to build new lines of questioning within HDB tools. Such questioning can better represent a dog’s investment in the HDB and, therefore, help create tools that reflect the reciprocal nature of a bond more accurately. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Human-Animal Interactions, Animal Behaviour and Emotion)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Effects of Environmental Heat Load on Endocannabinoid System Components in Adipose Tissue of High Yielding Dairy Cows
Animals 2022, 12(6), 795; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12060795 - 21 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1962
Abstract
Environmental heat load (HL) adversely affects the performance of dairy cows. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) regulates metabolism and the stress response, thus we hypothesized that HL may affect the ECS of dairy cows. Our objective was to determine the levels of endocannabinoids (eCBs) [...] Read more.
Environmental heat load (HL) adversely affects the performance of dairy cows. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) regulates metabolism and the stress response, thus we hypothesized that HL may affect the ECS of dairy cows. Our objective was to determine the levels of endocannabinoids (eCBs) and gene and protein expressions of the ECS components in adipose tissue (AT) and plasma of early postpartum (PP) and late-lactation cows. In addition, we examined eCBs in milk, and studied the interaction of eCBs with bovine cannabinoids receptors CB1 and CB2. In the first experiment, plasma and AT were sampled from cows calving during summer (S, n = 9) or winter (W, n = 9). Dry matter intake (DMI) and energy balance (EB) were lower in S vs. W, and relative gene expressions of transient-receptor-potential-cation-channel-subfamily-V-member-1 (TRPV1), the cannabinoid receptors CNR1 (CB1) and CNR2 (CB2), and monoglyceride lipase (MGLL) were decreased in AT of S compared to W. Protein abundance of peroxisome proliferator-activated-receptor-alpha (PPAR-α) was decreased, while tumor-necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) was increased in AT of S vs. W. Other components of the ECS were not different between S and W calving cows. To study whether the degree of HL may affect the ECS, we performed a second experiment with 24 late-lactation cows that were either cooled (CL) or not cooled (heat-stressed; HS) during summer. DMI was lower in HS vs. CL, AT protein abundance of PPAR-α was lower, and TRPV1 tended to be lower in HS vs. CL, but other components of the ECS were not different between groups. Milk levels of 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) tended to increase in HS vs. CL. Additionally, modeling of the bovine cannabinoid receptors demonstrated their binding to anandamide and 2-AG. Environmental HL, possibly via lower intake, is associated with limited alterations in ECS components in AT of dairy cows. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Physiology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Dietary Betaine and Fatty Acids Change Circulating Single-Carbon Metabolites and Fatty Acids in the Dog
Animals 2022, 12(6), 768; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12060768 - 18 Mar 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1454
Abstract
In order to evaluate the interaction of betaine and n-3 PUFA in foods consumed by the dog, six extruded dry foods were formulated. The control food had no specific source of added betaine or n-3 fatty acids, while the test foods were supplemented [...] Read more.
In order to evaluate the interaction of betaine and n-3 PUFA in foods consumed by the dog, six extruded dry foods were formulated. The control food had no specific source of added betaine or n-3 fatty acids, while the test foods were supplemented with betaine, flax or fish oil in a 2 × 3 factorial design (no added n-3 source, added flax, added menhaden fish oil, and all with or without added betaine). Forty eight adult dogs were used in this study. All dogs were assigned to one of the six dietary treatments and consumed that food for the length of the 60-day study. Blood was analyzed for metabolomics (plasma), fatty acids and selected health-related analytes (serum) at the beginning and the end of the study. Added dietary betaine increased single-carbon metabolites (betaine, dimethyl glycine, methionine and N-methylalanine), decreased xenobiotics (stachydrine, N-acetyl-S-allyl-L-cysteine, 4-vinylguaiacol sulfate, pyrraline, 3-indoleglyoxylic acid, N-methylpipecolate and ectoine) and enhanced the production of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Dietary betaine also decreased the concentration of circulating carnitine and a number of carnitine-containing moieties. The addition of the n-3 fatty acids alpha-linolenic, EPA and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) increased their respective circulating concentrations as well as those of many subsequent moieties containing these fatty acids. The addition of alpha-linolenic acid increased the concentration of EPA when expressed as a ratio of EPA consumed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Companion Animals)
Article
Ruminal Microbial Degradation of Individual Amino Acids from Heat-Treated Soyabean Meal and Corn Gluten Meal in Continuous Culture
Animals 2022, 12(6), 688; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12060688 - 09 Mar 2022
Viewed by 1265
Abstract
Eight dual-flow continuous culture fermenters were used in three periods to study the effects of diets containing heat-treated soyabean meal (HSBM) or corn gluten meal (CGM) on ruminal microbial fermentation and the degradation of individual amino acids (AA). Treatments were a mix of [...] Read more.
Eight dual-flow continuous culture fermenters were used in three periods to study the effects of diets containing heat-treated soyabean meal (HSBM) or corn gluten meal (CGM) on ruminal microbial fermentation and the degradation of individual amino acids (AA). Treatments were a mix of non-protein nitrogen (N; urea and tryptone) that were progressively substituted (0, 33, 67 and 100%) for HSBM or CGM. Ruminal escape of AA was calculated with the slope ratio technique. Total volatile fatty acids (95.0 mM) and molar proportions (mol/100 mol) of acetate (59.3), propionate (21.8) and butyrate (10.5) were not affected by the treatments. As the level of HSBM or CGM increased, the concentration of ammonia-N and the degradation of protein decreased (p < 0.01), and the flows of nonammonia and dietary N increased (p < 0.01) quadratically. Compared with HSBM, CGM provided the highest flow (g/d) of total (20.6 vs. 18.3, p < 0.01), essential (9.04 vs. 8.25, p < 0.04) and nonessential (11.5 vs. 10.0, p < 0.01) AA, and increased linearly (p < 0.01) as the level of supplemental protein increased. Ruminal degradation of essential AA was higher (p < 0.04) than nonessential AA in CGM, but not in HSBM. Degradation of lysine was higher (p < 0.01) in both proteins, and degradation of methionine was higher in CGM. Ruminal degradation of individual AAs differ within and between protein sources and needs to be considered in precision feeding models. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Nutrition)
Article
Effects of Dietary Supplementation with Honeybee Pollen and Its Supercritical Fluid Extract on Immune Response and Fillet’s Quality of Farmed Gilthead Seabream (Sparus aurata)
Animals 2022, 12(6), 675; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12060675 - 08 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1490
Abstract
The awareness of the correlation between administered diet, fish health and products’ quality has led to the increase in the research for innovative and functional feed ingredients. Herein, a plant-derived product rich in bioactive compounds, such as honeybee pollen (HBP), was included as [...] Read more.
The awareness of the correlation between administered diet, fish health and products’ quality has led to the increase in the research for innovative and functional feed ingredients. Herein, a plant-derived product rich in bioactive compounds, such as honeybee pollen (HBP), was included as raw (HBP) and as Supercritical Fluid Extracted (SFE) pollen (HBP_SFE) in the diet for gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata). The experiment was carried out on 90 fish with an average body weight of 294.7 ± 12.8 g, divided into five groups, according to the administration of five diets for 30 days: control diet (CTR); two diets containing HBP at 5% (P5) and at 10% (P10) level of inclusion; two diets containing HBP_SFE, at 0.5% (E0.5) and at 1% (E1) level of inclusion. Their effects were evaluated on 60 specimens (336.2 ± 11.4 g average final body weight) considering the fish growth, the expression of some hepatic genes involved in the inflammatory response (il-1β, il-6 and il-8) through quantitative real-time PCR, and physico-chemical characterization (namely color, texture, water holding capacity, fatty acid profile and lipid peroxidation) of the fish fillets monitored at the beginning (day 0) and after 110 days of storage at −20 °C. The results obtained showed that the treatment with diet E1 determined the up-regulation of il-1β, il-6, and il-8 (p < 0.05); however, this supplementation did not significantly contribute to limiting the oxidative stress. Nevertheless, no detrimental effect on color and the other physical characteristics was observed. These results suggest that a low level of HBP_SFE could be potentially utilized in aquaculture as an immunostimulant more than an antioxidant, but further investigation is necessary. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
A Friend in Prison: Human-Animal Bond, Stress and Self-Esteem of Detained Juveniles in Dutch Cell Dogs
Animals 2022, 12(5), 646; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12050646 - 03 Mar 2022
Viewed by 1637
Abstract
This study examined to what extent the human–animal bond (HAB) had a positive impact on stress and self-esteem among detained juveniles participating in the prison-based dog training program Dutch Cell Dogs (DCD). Participants were 75 detained juveniles (mean age = 19.5, 86.7% male). [...] Read more.
This study examined to what extent the human–animal bond (HAB) had a positive impact on stress and self-esteem among detained juveniles participating in the prison-based dog training program Dutch Cell Dogs (DCD). Participants were 75 detained juveniles (mean age = 19.5, 86.7% male). Self-reported stress and self-esteem were assessed before the start of DCD (T1), after four weeks (halfway training/T2) and after eight weeks (end training/T3). Structured interviews and questionnaire items were used to measure the HAB quality and perceived reciprocity in the HAB at T2 and T3. Data were analyzed using Structural Equation Modeling. In the variable-centered approach analyses, only the cross-sectional positive association between HAB quality and self-esteem at T2 was significant in the cross-lagged panel models. None of the cross-lagged paths between the HAB and stress or self-esteem were significant. In the person-centered approach analyses, growth mixture modeling identified two patterns of self-esteem (“high stable” and “high decreasing”); however, these patterns were not predicted by HAB. Thus, in contrast to our hypotheses, the HAB did not predict improvements in detained juveniles’ stress and self-esteem. These findings underline the need for more research into the often-presumed role of HAB within prison-based dog training programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Mental Health: Human–Animal Interaction)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Pandemic Puppies: Demographic Characteristics, Health and Early Life Experiences of Puppies Acquired during the 2020 Phase of the COVID-19 Pandemic in the UK
Animals 2022, 12(5), 629; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12050629 - 02 Mar 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 5330
Abstract
The UK recorded sharp rises in puppy purchasing during the 2020 phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, with many first-time dog owners purchasing puppies to improve their mental health during this challenging period. Government restrictions on movement and social interaction during the pandemic led [...] Read more.
The UK recorded sharp rises in puppy purchasing during the 2020 phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, with many first-time dog owners purchasing puppies to improve their mental health during this challenging period. Government restrictions on movement and social interaction during the pandemic led to animal welfare concerns over puppies’ reduced time-sensitive exposures to key environmental and social stimuli during their critical developmental period. This study aimed to compare demographics, health and early-life experiences of puppies purchased and brought home < 16 weeks of age between 23 March–31 December 2020 (“Pandemic Puppies”), with dogs purchased and brought home < 16 weeks during the same date period in 2019 (“2019 puppies”). An online survey of UK-based puppy owners was conducted between 10 November and 31 December 2020 with valid responses representing 5517 puppies (Pandemic Puppies: n = 4369; 2019 puppies: n = 1148). Multivariable logistic regression modelling revealed that Pandemic Puppies were less likely to have attended puppy training classes (67.9% 2019 vs. 28.9% 2020; p < 0.001) or had visitors to their home (94.5% 2019 vs. 81.8% 2020; p < 0.001) aged < 16 weeks compared with 2019 puppies. Fewer Pandemic Puppies underwent veterinary checks prior to purchase than 2019 puppies (2019: 91.3% vs. 2020: 87.4%; p < 0.001), but more were sold with a passport (2019: 4.1% vs. 2020: 7.1%; p < 0.001). Pandemic Puppies were significantly more likely to be ‘Designer Crossbreeds’ (2019: 18.8% vs. 2020: 26.1%; p < 0.001) and less likely to be Kennel Club registered than 2019 puppies (2019: 58.2% vs. 2020: 46.2%; p < 0.001). Greater support from veterinary and animal behavioural professionals is likely needed to ameliorate the health and behavioural impacts of growing up in a pandemic upon this vulnerable population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Companion Animals)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Effects of Dietary Lysolecithin Supplementation during Late Gestation and Lactation on Sow Reproductive Performance, Sow Blood Metabolic Parameters and Piglet Performance
Animals 2022, 12(5), 623; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12050623 - 01 Mar 2022
Viewed by 1461
Abstract
The objective of the present study was to evaluate the effects of dietary supplementation of lysolecithin in sows’ diets during the last three weeks of the gestation period and throughout the lactation period on performance and metabolic parameters. In total 60 sows were [...] Read more.
The objective of the present study was to evaluate the effects of dietary supplementation of lysolecithin in sows’ diets during the last three weeks of the gestation period and throughout the lactation period on performance and metabolic parameters. In total 60 sows were allocated to two treatments: (a) CG (control group): the sows were fed commercially control diets; (b) LLG (lysolecithin group): the sows were fed the control diets supplemented with 750 g/t of feed supplemented with lysolecithin (Lysoforte Booster DryTM, Kemin Europa N.V., Herentals, Belgium). Backfat was lower in LLG than CG at end of gestation and at weaning (p = 0.030 and 0.044, respectively), while the CG sows mobilized more backfat between day 14 to weaning (p = 0.006). Litter weight at weaning was higher in the LLG (p = 0.027). Fasted glucose levels at day 14 of lactation tended to be lower in LLG compared to CG (p = 0.074). Urea concentrations were higher in LLG than CG at day 14 (p = 0.002). Lysolecithin supplemented sows compared to the control mobilized less tissue during lactation to support lactation demands. In conclusion, lysolecithin supplementation in sows resulted in improved litter weight at weaning without an excessive catabolism of backfat tissue, most probably due to an efficient nutrient utilization, which warrants further investigation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Nutrition)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Case Distribution, Sources, and Breeds of Dogs Presenting to a Veterinary Behavior Clinic in the United States from 1997 to 2017
Animals 2022, 12(5), 576; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12050576 - 25 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1456
Abstract
The purpose of this retrospective case study was to evaluate trends over time in case distribution, sources, and breeds of dogs presenting to the behavioral medicine service at a veterinary college referral hospital in the United States. For case distribution and sources, the [...] Read more.
The purpose of this retrospective case study was to evaluate trends over time in case distribution, sources, and breeds of dogs presenting to the behavioral medicine service at a veterinary college referral hospital in the United States. For case distribution and sources, the available records from the behavior service (n = 1923) from 1997 to 2017 were evaluated. Breeds of dogs presenting to all services (n = 51,052) were compared to behavior cases (n = 822) from 2007 to 2016. Over twenty years, 72.2% of dogs presented for aggression, 20.1% for anxieties/fears/phobias, and 7.4% for miscellaneous behavioral problems. Dogs acquired from breeders decreased and dogs from shelters, rescues, or adopted as a stray increased over twenty years (p < 0.0001). The Herding (p = 0.0124) and Terrier (p < 0.0001) groups were overrepresented for behavior problems as compared to all other services over ten years. Variations in terminology and diagnostic approach made comparisons with earlier studies difficult, which underscores a need for a more consistent methodology in veterinary behavioral medicine. Understanding trends in sources of dogs could direct resources aimed at guiding owners when acquiring a pet dog and preventing behavioral problems. Findings related to breeds could help guide research focused on the genetic contributions to behavior. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pet Behavioral Medicine)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Improvement of Albendazole Bioavailability with Menbutone Administration in Sheep
Animals 2022, 12(4), 463; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12040463 - 14 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1437
Abstract
The pharmacokinetic interaction between a benzimidazole (albendazole, ABZ) and a choleretic drug (menbutone, MEN) was evaluated in sheep. The plasma disposition of albendazole sulfoxide (ABZSO, active metabolite) and albendazole sulfone (ABZSO2, inactive metabolite) was investigated following an oral administration of albendazole [...] Read more.
The pharmacokinetic interaction between a benzimidazole (albendazole, ABZ) and a choleretic drug (menbutone, MEN) was evaluated in sheep. The plasma disposition of albendazole sulfoxide (ABZSO, active metabolite) and albendazole sulfone (ABZSO2, inactive metabolite) was investigated following an oral administration of albendazole (ABZ) (5 mg/kg) alone or with menbutone (MEN) (intramuscular, 10 mg/kg). Blood samples were collected over 3 days post-treatment, and drug plasma concentrations were measured by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). ABZSO was measured from 0.5 to 48 h, and ABZSO2 from 2 to 60 h. No parent drug was detected at any sampling time. Mean maximum plasma concentration (Cmax) and the area under the plasma concentration-time curve (AUC) were 12.8% and 21.5% higher for ABZSO when ABZ and MEN were administered together, which indicates a significant increase in the amount absorbed. The rate of absorption was not modified, with similar values for the time to reach Cmax (tmax) (11.5 h with ABZ + MEN and 10.7 h with ABZ treatment), although no significant differences were observed for these latter pharmacokinetic parameters. Regarding ABZSO2, Cmax, AUC and tmax values were similar after both treatments (ABZ or ABZ + MEN). The results obtained indicate that co-administration of ABZ and MEN may be an interesting and practical option to increase the efficacy of this anthelmintic. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Chemical Composition and Fatty Acid Profile of the Pectoralis major Muscle in Broiler Chickens Fed Diets with Full-Fat Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia illucens) Larvae Meal
Animals 2022, 12(4), 464; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12040464 - 14 Feb 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1610
Abstract
The aim of this study was to determine the effect of full-fat Hermetia illucens (HI) larvae meal used as a substitute for 50%, 75% and 100% of soybean meal (SBM) in diets fed to male Ross 308 broiler chickens on the [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to determine the effect of full-fat Hermetia illucens (HI) larvae meal used as a substitute for 50%, 75% and 100% of soybean meal (SBM) in diets fed to male Ross 308 broiler chickens on the proximate chemical composition and fatty acid profile of the Pectoralis major (PM) muscle. The muscles of chickens fed HI larvae meal were characterized by a higher (p < 0.05) total concentration of pigments and lower (p < 0.05) ash content. At the lowest dietary inclusion rate (50%) of HI larvae meal, the PM muscle had a lower (p < 0.05) content of fat and collagen, compared with the remaining treatments. An analysis of the fatty acid profile of the PM muscle revealed that the total concentrations of saturated fatty acids increased (p < 0.05) and the total concentrations of polyunsaturated fatty acids decreased (p < 0.05) with increasing inclusion levels of HI larvae meal. The changes in the fatty acid profile of muscles in birds receiving HI larvae meal led to a decrease in the nutritional value of fat. The present findings indicate that the ≥50% inclusion rate of full-fat HI larvae meal as a protein source alternative to SBM in broiler chicken diets is too high due to its negative effect on the fatty acid profile of meat. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Nutrition)
Article
Race-Level Reporting of Incidents during Two Seasons (2015/16 to 2016/17) of Harness Racing in New Zealand
Animals 2022, 12(4), 433; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12040433 - 11 Feb 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1021
Abstract
The objective of this study was to describe the incident and non-incident reporting of harness racing in New Zealand, the primary injury and reporting outcomes, and to examine horse- and race-level variables associated with the odds of these outcomes. Retrospective stipendiary stewards’ reports [...] Read more.
The objective of this study was to describe the incident and non-incident reporting of harness racing in New Zealand, the primary injury and reporting outcomes, and to examine horse- and race-level variables associated with the odds of these outcomes. Retrospective stipendiary stewards’ reports of race day events during the 2015/16 to 2016/17 racing seasons were examined. The number of incident and non-incident events and binomial exact 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated per 1000 horse starts. Most reports were for non-incidents and an examination was requested for poor performance (11.06 per 1000 starts (95% CI = 10.23–11.89). Races with more than eight participants were 1.9 (95% CI = 1.13–3.4) times more likely to have an incident than races with eight or less participants. The low incidence of significant injuries such as fractures (0.13 per 1000 starts (95% CI = 0.03–0.23) reflects the lower risk of injury in harness racing compared to Thoroughbred racing. The high incidence of poor performance reports highlights the steward’s role in maintaining animal welfare to a high standard. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Equids)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Effect of Grape Marc Added Diet on Live Weight Gain, Blood Parameters, Nitrogen Excretion, and Behaviour of Sheep
Animals 2022, 12(3), 225; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12030225 - 18 Jan 2022
Viewed by 1517
Abstract
A 39-day field experiment was conducted to assess the effect of grape marc (GM) feeding on sheep productivity, health, and environmental sustainability. Forty merino sheep were divided into two dietary groups, each having five replications (n = 4 sheep/replication). Experimental diet consisted [...] Read more.
A 39-day field experiment was conducted to assess the effect of grape marc (GM) feeding on sheep productivity, health, and environmental sustainability. Forty merino sheep were divided into two dietary groups, each having five replications (n = 4 sheep/replication). Experimental diet consisted of: (i) control: 55% lucerne hay + 40% wheat grain + 5% faba bean; (ii) GM treatment: control diet with 20% replaced by GM on a dry matter (DM) basis. The GM treatment contained 2–10% higher phytochemical contents than the control. The DMI from the GM treatment was 15% higher than the control (p < 0.001). No difference was found in sheep live weight gain, behaviour, and quality between groups (p > 0.05). No difference was found in total faecal production, faecal organic matter, and nitrogen contents (p > 0.05) and parasitic egg count. The GM treatment led to higher nitrogen intake (23.1 vs. 27.2 g/d) and faecal nitrogen excretion (6.3 vs. 8.7 g/d) compared to the control. Urinary creatinine, allantoin, and purine derivatives were lower in the GM treatment than control (p < 0.05). However, both groups had similar purine derivatives/DMI (i.e., indicator of rumen microbial protein synthesis efficiency; p > 0.05). Overall, the results showed that GM can replace 20% of the control ration to maintain sheep productivity, health, and environmental sustainability. Full article
Article
Partial Vaginectomy, Complete Vaginectomy, Partial Vestibule-Vaginectomy, Vulvo-Vestibule-Vaginectomy and Vulvo-Vestibulectomy: Different Surgical Procedure in Order to Better Approach Vaginal Diseases
Animals 2022, 12(2), 196; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12020196 - 14 Jan 2022
Viewed by 2268
Abstract
Total or partial vulvo-vaginectomy or vaginectomy are not routinely performed due to the complexity of the techniques and because they are considered radical treatments. Little information can be found in the literature, as the same technique is often named in a different way [...] Read more.
Total or partial vulvo-vaginectomy or vaginectomy are not routinely performed due to the complexity of the techniques and because they are considered radical treatments. Little information can be found in the literature, as the same technique is often named in a different way by different authors, confusing the reader. Therefore, the aim of this essay is to describe five different surgical techniques: partial vaginectomy, complete vaginectomy, partial vestibule-vaginectomy, vulvo-vestibule-vaginectomy and vulvo-vestibulectomy. All techniques are described on the basis of the correct identification of the anatomical nomenclature related to structures involved in surgery, in order to give a more precise and unambiguous description and execution of surgical techniques. Moreover, possible intraoperative and perioperative complications and the authors’ clinical experience in 33 dogs are described. All techniques are well tolerated and could be curative in case of benign or malignant tumours that have not yet metastasized and palliative in other cases. Moreover, they are also useful for therapeutic purposes for chronic vaginitis, severe vaginal cysts or congenital abnormalities. It is our opinion that having five different available techniques to approach vaginal disease is useful to perform the best surgery according to the clinical findings, patient’s characteristics, technique invasiveness and whether it is palliative or not. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Veterinary Clinical Studies)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
RNA Sequencing Reveals circRNA Expression Profiles in Chicken DF1 Cells Infected with H5N1 Influenza Virus
Animals 2022, 12(2), 158; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12020158 - 10 Jan 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1317
Abstract
H5N1, a highly pathogenic avian influenza virus that is prevalent in Asia, seriously harms the poultry industry and global public health. However, its pathogenesis is still not well understood. Circular RNAs (circRNAs), a newly identified type of RNA, reportedly play crucial roles in [...] Read more.
H5N1, a highly pathogenic avian influenza virus that is prevalent in Asia, seriously harms the poultry industry and global public health. However, its pathogenesis is still not well understood. Circular RNAs (circRNAs), a newly identified type of RNA, reportedly play crucial roles in various pathogenic processes. In this study, RNA sequencing was performed to analyze the expression profile of circRNAs in H5N1-infected chicken embryo fibroblast (DF1) cells. A total of 14,586 circRNAs were identified. The expression profiles of infected cells changed more significantly, relative to uninfected cells, as the infection period was extended; namely, 261, 626, and 1103 circRNAs exhibited differential expression in cells infected for 6 h, 12 h, and 20 h, respectively. GO and KEGG enrichment analysis revealed significant enrichment of the parental genes of the differentially expressed circRNAs for viral replication and immune response-related pathways, such as positive regulation of transcription from the RNA polymerase II promoter, positive regulation of I-kappaB kinase/NF-kappaB signaling, innate immune response, and ubiquitin protein ligase activity. In conclusion, we identified the expression profile of circRNAs in H5N1-infected chicken DF1 cells. Bioinformatic analyses of the dysregulated circRNAs suggest that circRNAs might play important roles in the pathogenesis of H5N1 infection, offering new insights into the mechanisms underlying H5N1–host interaction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Genetics and Genomics)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Concerted and Independent Evolution of Control Regions 1 and 2 of Water Monitor Lizards (Varanus salvator macromaculatus) and Different Phylogenetic Informative Markers
Animals 2022, 12(2), 148; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12020148 - 08 Jan 2022
Viewed by 1615
Abstract
Duplicate control regions (CRs) have been observed in the mitochondrial genomes (mitogenomes) of most varanids. Duplicate CRs have evolved in either concerted or independent evolution in vertebrates, but whether an evolutionary pattern exists in varanids remains unknown. Therefore, we conducted this study to [...] Read more.
Duplicate control regions (CRs) have been observed in the mitochondrial genomes (mitogenomes) of most varanids. Duplicate CRs have evolved in either concerted or independent evolution in vertebrates, but whether an evolutionary pattern exists in varanids remains unknown. Therefore, we conducted this study to analyze the evolutionary patterns and phylogenetic utilities of duplicate CRs in 72 individuals of Varanus salvator macromaculatus and other varanids. Sequence analyses and phylogenetic relationships revealed that divergence between orthologous copies from different individuals was lower than in paralogous copies from the same individual, suggesting an independent evolution of the two CRs. Distinct trees and recombination testing derived from CR1 and CR2 suggested that recombination events occurred between CRs during the evolutionary process. A comparison of substitution saturation showed the potential of CR2 as a phylogenetic marker. By contrast, duplicate CRs of the four examined varanids had similar sequences within species, suggesting typical characteristics of concerted evolution. The results provide a better understanding of the molecular evolutionary processes related to the mitogenomes of the varanid lineage. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Effects of Dietary Cereal and Protein Source on Fiber Digestibility, Composition, and Metabolic Activity of the Intestinal Microbiota in Weaner Piglets
Animals 2022, 12(1), 109; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12010109 - 04 Jan 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1491
Abstract
This study aimed to investigate the effect of fiber-rich rye and rapeseed meal (RSM) compared to wheat and soybean meal (SBM) on fiber digestibility and the composition and metabolic activity of intestinal microbiota. At weaning, 88 piglets were allocated to four feeding groups: [...] Read more.
This study aimed to investigate the effect of fiber-rich rye and rapeseed meal (RSM) compared to wheat and soybean meal (SBM) on fiber digestibility and the composition and metabolic activity of intestinal microbiota. At weaning, 88 piglets were allocated to four feeding groups: wheat/SBM, wheat/RSM, rye/SBM, and rye/RSM. Dietary inclusion level was 48% for rye and wheat, 25% for SBM, and 30% for RSM. Piglets were euthanized after 33 days for collection of digesta and feces. Samples were analyzed for dry matter and non-starch-polysaccharide (NSP) digestibility, bacterial metabolites, and relative abundance of microbiota. Rye-based diets had higher concentrations of soluble NSP than wheat-based diets. RSM-diets were higher in insoluble NSP compared to SBM. Rye-fed piglets showed a higher colonic and fecal digestibility of NSP (p < 0.001, p = 0.001, respectively). RSM-fed piglets showed a lower colonic and fecal digestibility of NSP than SBM-fed piglets (p < 0.001). Rye increased jejunal and colonic concentration of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) compared to wheat (p < 0.001, p = 0.016, respectively). RSM-fed pigs showed a lower jejunal concentration of SCFA (p = 0.001) than SBM-fed pigs. Relative abundance of Firmicutes was higher (p = 0.039) and of Proteobacteria lower (p = 0.002) in rye-fed pigs compared to wheat. RSM reduced Firmicutes and increased Actinobacteria (jejunum, colon, feces: p < 0.050), jejunal Proteobacteria (p = 0.019) and colonic Bacteroidetes (p = 0.014). Despite a similar composition of the colonic microbiota, the higher amount and solubility of NSP from rye resulted in an increased fermentative activity compared to wheat. The high amount of insoluble dietary fiber in RSM-based diets reduced bacterial metabolic activity and caused a shift toward insoluble fiber degrading bacteria. Further research should focus on host–microbiota interaction to improve feeding concepts with a targeted use of dietary fiber. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
The Effect of Rumination Time on Milk Performance and Methane Emission of Dairy Cows Fed Partial Mixed Ration Based on Maize Silage
Animals 2022, 12(1), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12010050 - 27 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2782
Abstract
The objective of this study was to determine the effect of the rumination time on milk yield and composition as well as methane emission during lactation in high-yielding dairy cows fed a partial mixed ration based on maize silage without pasture access. A [...] Read more.
The objective of this study was to determine the effect of the rumination time on milk yield and composition as well as methane emission during lactation in high-yielding dairy cows fed a partial mixed ration based on maize silage without pasture access. A total of 365 high-yielding Polish Holstein-Friesian multiparous dairy cows were included in the study covering 24 to 304 days of lactation. Methane emission, rumination time, and milk production traits were observed for the period of 12 months. Next, the data from the cows were assigned to three groups based on daily rumination time: low rumination up to 412 min/day (up to 25th rumination percentile), medium rumination from 412 to 527 min/day (between the 25th and 75th percentile), and high rumination above 527 min/day (from the 75th percentile). Rumination time had no effect on milk yield, energy-corrected milk yield, or fat and protein-corrected milk yield. High rumination time had an effect on lower fat concentration in milk compared with the medium and low rumination groups. The highest daily CH4 production was noted in low rumination cows, which emitted 1.8% more CH4 than medium rumination cows and 4.2% more than high rumination cows. Rumination time affected daily methane production per kg of milk. Cows from the high rumination group produced 2.9% less CH4 per milk unit compared to medium rumination cows and 4.6% in comparison to low rumination cows. Similar observations were noted for daily CH4 production per ECM unit. In conclusion, a longer rumination time is connected with lower methane emission as well as lower methane production per milk unit in high-yielding dairy cows fed a maize silage-based partial mixed ration without pasture access. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Genetic Parameters for Growth, Ultrasound and Carcass Traits in New Zealand Beef Cattle and Their Correlations with Maternal Performance
Animals 2022, 12(1), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12010025 - 23 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1999
Abstract
Research has shown that enhancing finishing performance in beef cows is feasible; however, any adverse impact of selection strategies for finishing performance on the performance of the maternal herd should be taken into account. The aim of this research was to examine the [...] Read more.
Research has shown that enhancing finishing performance in beef cows is feasible; however, any adverse impact of selection strategies for finishing performance on the performance of the maternal herd should be taken into account. The aim of this research was to examine the inheritance of growth, ultrasound and carcass traits in finishing beef cattle and to evaluate their correlations with maternal performance traits. Data were collected from a nationwide progeny test on commercial New Zealand hill country farms comprising a total of 4473 beef cows and their progeny. Most finishing traits were moderately to highly heritable (0.28–0.58) with the exception of meat or fat colour and ossification (0.00–0.12). Ultrasound scan traits had high genetic correlations with corresponding traits measured at slaughter (rg = 0.53–0.95) and may be used as a selection tool for improved genetic merit of the beef carcass. Fat content determined via ultrasound scanning in the live animal or at slaughter in finishing cattle is positively genetically correlated with rebreeding performance (rg = 0.22–0.39) in female herd replacements and negatively correlated with mature cow live weight (rg = −0.40 to −0.19). Low-magnitude associations were observed between the genetic merit for carcass fat traits with body condition in mature cows. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Genetics and Genomics)
Article
Short-Term Adaptation of Dairy Cattle Production Parameters to Individualized Changes in Dietary Top Dress
Animals 2021, 11(12), 3518; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11123518 - 10 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1733
Abstract
Immediate and short-term changes in diet composition can support individualized, real-time interventions in precision dairy production systems, and might increase feed efficiency (FE) of dairy cattle in the short-term. The objective of this study was to determine immediate and short-term effects of changes [...] Read more.
Immediate and short-term changes in diet composition can support individualized, real-time interventions in precision dairy production systems, and might increase feed efficiency (FE) of dairy cattle in the short-term. The objective of this study was to determine immediate and short-term effects of changes in diet composition on production parameters of dairy cattle fed varying amounts of top dressed commodities. A 4 × 4 replicated Latin square design was used to evaluate responses of twenty-four Holstein cows fed either no top dress (Control) or increasing amounts of: corn grain (CG), soybean meal (SBM), or chopped mixed grass hay (GH) top dressed on a total mixed ration (TMR) over four, 9-day periods. Throughout each period, top dressed commodities were incrementally increased, providing 0% to 20% of calculated net energy of lactation (NEL) intake. Measured production responses were analyzed for each 9-d period using a mixed-effects model considering two different time ranges. Samples collected from d 3 and 4 and from d 7 and 8 of each period were averaged and used to reflect “immediate” vs. “short-term” responses, respectively. In the immediate response time frame, control fed cows had lower milk yield, milk fat yield, and milk true protein yield than CG and SBM supplemented animals but similar responses to GH supplemented animals. Milk fat and protein percentages were not affected by top dress type in the immediate term. In the short-term response time-frame, GH supplemented animals had lower DMI and milk fat yield than all other groups. Control and GH supplemented cows had lower milk yield than CG and SBM fed cows. In the immediate response time frame, FE of SBM supplemented cows was superior to other groups. In the short-term time frame, FE of GH and SBM groups was improved over the control group. Results suggest that lactating dairy cows show rapid performance responses to small (<20% NEL) changes in dietary composition, which may be leveraged within automated precision feeding systems to optimize efficiency of production. Before this potential can be realized, further research is needed to examine integration of such strategies into automatic feeding systems and downstream impacts on individual animal FE and farm profitability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Nutrition)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Aristolochic Acid I-Induced Hepatotoxicity in Tianfu Broilers Is Associated with Oxidative-Stress-Mediated Apoptosis and Mitochondrial Damage
Animals 2021, 11(12), 3437; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11123437 - 02 Dec 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1399
Abstract
Aristolochic acid (AA) is a component of traditional Chinese herbs and commonly used for farm animals in China. Over-exposure of AA has been proven to be associated with hepatotoxicity; however, the mechanism of action of AA-I-induced hepatotoxicity remains unknown. In the current study, [...] Read more.
Aristolochic acid (AA) is a component of traditional Chinese herbs and commonly used for farm animals in China. Over-exposure of AA has been proven to be associated with hepatotoxicity; however, the mechanism of action of AA-I-induced hepatotoxicity remains unknown. In the current study, a subchronic toxicity test was conducted to evaluate the mechanism of AA-induced hepatotoxicity in Tianfu broilers. According to the results, AA-I-induced hepatotoxicity in Tianfu broilers was evidenced by the elevation of liver weight, levels of serum glutamic oxalacetic transaminase (GOT) and glutamic-pyruvic transaminase (GPT). Furthermore, hepatocyte swelling, vesicular degeneration and steatosis were observed. Additionally, AA-I elevated the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and induced oxidative stress, which further led to excessive apoptosis, characterized by mitochondrial depolarization, upregulation of Bax, and down-regulation of Bcl-2 expression. In conclusion, the mechanism of AA-I-induced hepatotoxicity was associated with oxidative-stress-mediated apoptosis and mitochondrial damage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Veterinary Clinical Studies)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
A Bibliometric Analysis and Global Trends in Fascioliasis Research: A Neglected Tropical Disease
Animals 2021, 11(12), 3385; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11123385 - 26 Nov 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1903
Abstract
Background: Fascioliasis is a zoonotic neglected tropical disease caused by Fasciola hepatica and F. gigantica. In endemic regions, fascioliasis represents a huge problem in livestock production and significantly threatens public health. The present study was performed to assess the key bibliometric [...] Read more.
Background: Fascioliasis is a zoonotic neglected tropical disease caused by Fasciola hepatica and F. gigantica. In endemic regions, fascioliasis represents a huge problem in livestock production and significantly threatens public health. The present study was performed to assess the key bibliometric indicators, plot the global research outcome, and strive to find the research frontiers and trends in fascioliasis. Methods: A descriptive bibliometric and visualized study was conducted. The data were extracted from the Web of Science Core Collection (WoSCC) database. The WoSCC was searched using key terms covering a wide range of synonyms related to the causative agent (Fasciola) and the disease (fascioliasis). The database search was performed for the period from the inception of WoSCC until 3 October 2021. The downloaded data were exported into VOSviewer software version 1.6.17 for Windows to construct co-authorship countries, keywords co-occurrence, bibliographic coupling sources, and citation and documents network visualization. Results: A total of 4165 documents were included in this bibliometric analysis. The included documents were published between the years 1913 and 2021 from 116 countries, mainly from the United States of America (USA) (n = 482, 11.6%). The most prolific year was 2018 (n = 108). The journal that attracted the most publications was Veterinary Parasitology (n = 324), while the most productive author in this area was Rondelaud D (n = 156). In terms of total link strength (TLS), the most influential country was Spain (TLS = 236), followed by the USA (TLS = 178). Conclusion: This study is of value for veterinarians, doctors, and researchers to explore insights into research frontiers and trends in research on fascioliasis. The number of publications on fascioliasis has increased over time. Above 35% of publications have been produced by the USA, France, England, and Spain. “Fasciola hepatica” and “cattle” were the most dominant and widely used keywords. Research collaboration should be established among the researchers from developing countries with developed countries to learn new advancements and effective control strategies for fascioliasis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Veterinary Clinical Studies)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Raw Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) as a Substitute of Soybean Meal in Compound Feed for Broiler Chickens: Effects on Growth Performance, Lipid Metabolism, Fatty Acid Profile, Antioxidant Status, and Dietary Value of Muscles
Animals 2021, 11(12), 3367; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11123367 - 24 Nov 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1515
Abstract
The aim of this study was to determine the effect of substitution of 50% of soybean meal protein with 310–350 g/kg diet of raw chickpea seed protein on the chemical composition, fatty acid profile, dietary value, and antioxidant status of breast and thigh [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to determine the effect of substitution of 50% of soybean meal protein with 310–350 g/kg diet of raw chickpea seed protein on the chemical composition, fatty acid profile, dietary value, and antioxidant status of breast and thigh muscles, as well as the antioxidant status of blood serum, in Ross 308 male broilers. In the 42-day experiment, one-day-old male broiler chicks were assigned to two nutritional groups (n = 100 in each, 20 birds in each group, and 5 replications). In the control group, 100% of protein in the feed was derived from soybean meal. In the experimental group, 310–350 g/kg protein from raw chickpea seeds was introduced. Data with a normal distribution were analyzed using the Student t-test, and the relationships between the traits were assessed with the use of Pearson’s correlation coefficients. p < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. The replacement with chickpea protein did not exert an impact on the final body weight, feed consumption, and feed conversion ratio compared to the control group. However, it induced changes in the color of the breast muscles (increased L* and b* values), and reduced the cholesterol content. The addition of chickpea seeds improved the fatty acid profile, mainly in the breast muscle. A decrease in the total SFA content and a higher level of unsaturated fatty acids (UFA), UFAs/saturated fatty acids (SFAs), polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), omega-3, and omega-6 were observed in the experimental group. Additionally, the chickpea-supplemented group exhibited better values of meat quality indicators (atherogenic index-AI; thrombogenic index–TI, ratio of saturated fatty acids to unsaturated fatty acids-S/P, n-6/n-3, hypocholesterolemic/Hypercholesterolemic ratio-h/H). It can be concluded that raw chickpea seeds are a good source of protein in broiler chicken nutrition, and can replace the traditionally used protein source (soybean meal), simultaneously exerting a positive effect on the dietary value of poultry meat and an expected enhancing impact on consumer health. Full article
Article
Estimating Amino Acid Requirements in Real-Time for Precision-Fed Pigs: The Challenge of Variability among Individuals
Animals 2021, 11(12), 3354; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11123354 - 24 Nov 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1594
Abstract
This study aimed to measure protein deposition (PD) in pigs fed with daily tailored diets where either dietary lysine (Lys) or threonine (Thr) were provided at independent levels (ignoring an ideal ratio). A total of 95 growing pigs (35 kg body weight (BW)) [...] Read more.
This study aimed to measure protein deposition (PD) in pigs fed with daily tailored diets where either dietary lysine (Lys) or threonine (Thr) were provided at independent levels (ignoring an ideal ratio). A total of 95 growing pigs (35 kg body weight (BW)) with electronic ear tags granting them access to automatic feeders were randomly assigned to treatments. The setup was an unbalanced 2 × 5 factorial arrangement with Lys and Thr provided at five levels (i.e., 60%, 80%, 100%, 120%, and 140% of the estimated individual requirements of Lys and Thr), resulting in 25 treatments for 21 days. The observed PD variation to Lys and Thr provisions was large, with Lys and Thr intake explaining only 11% of the variation. Cluster analysis discriminated pigs with low (167 g/d, n = 16), medium (191 g/d, n = 38), and high (213 g/d, n = 37) PD, but with a similar amino acid intake. Differences in PD were associated with differences in nutrient efficiency of utilization. Providing Lys and Thr in a factorial mode, ignoring an ideal ratio, did not decrease the variability in PD. Future research efforts should focus on identifying and investigating the sources of interindividual variability—a necessary step before final recommendations can be made for AA in precision-fed pigs. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Sweet vs. Salty Former Food Products in Post-Weaning Piglets: Effects on Growth, Apparent Total Tract Digestibility and Blood Metabolites
Animals 2021, 11(11), 3315; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11113315 - 19 Nov 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1513
Abstract
Former food products (FFPs) have a great potential to replace conventional feed ingredients. This study aimed to investigate the possibility to partially replace standard ingredients with two different types of FFPs: bakery (FFPs-B) or confectionary (FFPs-C) FFPs and their effects on growth performances, [...] Read more.
Former food products (FFPs) have a great potential to replace conventional feed ingredients. This study aimed to investigate the possibility to partially replace standard ingredients with two different types of FFPs: bakery (FFPs-B) or confectionary (FFPs-C) FFPs and their effects on growth performances, feed digestibility and metabolic status in post-weaning piglets. Thirty-six post-weaning piglets were randomly assigned to three experimental diets (n = 12 per diet) for 42 days: a standard diet (CTR), a diet where 30% of standard ingredients were replaced by confectionary FFPs (FFPs-C) and a diet where 30% of standard ingredients were replaced by bakery FFPs (FFPs-B). Individual body weight and fecal dry matter were measured weekly. Feed intake (FI) was determined daily. Average daily gain (ADG), average daily feed intake (ADFI) and feed conversion ratio (FCR) were calculated. Fecal samples were collected daily for three days/week to determine apparent total tract digestibility of dry matter (ATTD). At day 0, 21 and 42, blood samples were collected from all the piglets. No significant differences (p > 0.05) between groups were found in growth performances and metabolic profile. However, ATTD in FFPs-B group was lower (p < 0.05) compared to the CTR group at the end of the experiment. This study confirmed the possibility to formulate homogeneous diets integrated with 30% of both categories of FFPs. Further investigations are needed to clarify the effects of bakery former food products on the digestibility of the diet. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Nutrition)
Article
High Prevalence of Antibiotic-Resistant Escherichia coli Isolates from Retail Poultry Products in Spain
Animals 2021, 11(11), 3197; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11113197 - 09 Nov 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1203
Abstract
The prevalence of Escherichia coli was analysed in poultry products from different Spanish retailers and determined its antibiotic resistance capability by phenotypic (ampicillin, amoxicillin, chloramphenicol, gentamicin, imipenem, cefotaxime, tetracycline, ciprofloxacin, trimethoprim, and colistin) and genotypic assays. A total of 30 samples (hindquarters or [...] Read more.
The prevalence of Escherichia coli was analysed in poultry products from different Spanish retailers and determined its antibiotic resistance capability by phenotypic (ampicillin, amoxicillin, chloramphenicol, gentamicin, imipenem, cefotaxime, tetracycline, ciprofloxacin, trimethoprim, and colistin) and genotypic assays. A total of 30 samples (hindquarters or livers) were collected from supermarkets and butchers. Enterobacteriaceae counts ranged between 3.2 and 6.5 log colony-forming units (CFU)/g, and the highest values were found in livers and in samples from supermarkets. E. coli was detected in 83% of the samples tested, and the highest prevalence was observed in livers (100%) and supermarkets (91%). Regarding the antibiotic sensitivity test, 100% of the E. coli showed resistance to at least one antibiotic. The highest resistance rates were detected for colistin (87%) and gentamicin (79%), while only two antibiotics (chloramphenicol and cefotaxime) showed a resistance lower than 10%. Furthermore, the resistance genes of tetracycline and beta-lactams were analysed by multiplex PCR, revealing that tet(A) and blaTEM were the majority genes, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Veterinary Clinical Studies)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
An Official Outbreak Investigation of Acute Haemorrhagic Diarrhoea in Dogs in Norway Points to Providencia alcalifaciens as a Likely Cause
Animals 2021, 11(11), 3201; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11113201 - 09 Nov 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2739
Abstract
An outbreak investigation was initiated in September 2019, following a notification to the Norwegian Food Safety Authority (NFSA) of an unusually high number of dogs with acute haemorrhagic diarrhoea (AHD) in Oslo. Diagnostic testing by reporting veterinarians had not detected a cause. The [...] Read more.
An outbreak investigation was initiated in September 2019, following a notification to the Norwegian Food Safety Authority (NFSA) of an unusually high number of dogs with acute haemorrhagic diarrhoea (AHD) in Oslo. Diagnostic testing by reporting veterinarians had not detected a cause. The official investigation sought to identify a possible common cause, the extent of the outbreak and prevent spread. Epidemiological data were collected through a survey to veterinarians and interviews with dog owners. Diagnostic investigations included necropsies and microbiological, parasitological and toxicological analysis of faecal samples and food. In total, 511 dogs with acute haemorrhagic diarrhoea were registered between 1 August and 1 October. Results indicated a common point source for affected dogs, but were inconclusive with regard to common exposures. A notable finding was that 134 of 325 faecal samples (41%) cultured positive for Providencia alcalifaciens. Whole genome sequencing (WGS) of 75 P. alcalifaciens isolates from 73 dogs revealed that strains from 51 dogs belonged to the same WGS clone. Findings point to P. alcalifaciens as implicated in the outbreak, but investigations are needed to reveal the pathogenic potential of P. alcalifaciens in dogs and its epidemiology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Veterinary Clinical Studies)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
The Agreement between Feline Pancreatic Lipase Immunoreactivity and DGGR-Lipase Assay in Cats—Preliminary Results
Animals 2021, 11(11), 3172; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11113172 - 06 Nov 2021
Viewed by 1344
Abstract
The colorimetric catalytic assay based on the use of 1,2-o-dilauryl-rac-glycero-3-glutaric acid-(6′-methylresorufin) (DGGR) ester as a substrate for pancreatic lipase activity is commonly used for the diagnosis of pancreatitis in dogs and cats. Even though the assay has generally been shown to yield consistent [...] Read more.
The colorimetric catalytic assay based on the use of 1,2-o-dilauryl-rac-glycero-3-glutaric acid-(6′-methylresorufin) (DGGR) ester as a substrate for pancreatic lipase activity is commonly used for the diagnosis of pancreatitis in dogs and cats. Even though the assay has generally been shown to yield consistent results with feline pancreatic lipase immunoreactivity (fPLI) assay, the agreement may vary between assays of different manufacturers. In this study, the chance-corrected agreement between a DGGR-lipase assay offered by one of the biggest providers of diagnostic solutions in Poland and fPLI assay was investigated. The study was carried out on 50 cats in which DGGR-lipase activity and fPLI were tested in the same blood sample. The chance-corrected agreement was determined using Gwet’s AC1 coefficient separately for the fPLI assay’s cut-off values of >3.5 μg/L and >5.3 μg/L. The DGGR-lipase activity significantly positively correlated with fPLI (Rs = 0.665; CI 95%: 0.451, 0.807, p < 0.001). The chance-corrected agreement between the fPLI assay and DGGR-lipase assay differed considerably depending on the cut-off values of the DGGR-lipase assay. When the cut-off value reported in the literature (>26 U/L) was used, it was poor to fair. It was moderate at the cut-off value recommended by the laboratory (>45 U/L), and good at the cut-off value recommended by the assay’s manufacturer (>60 U/L). The highest agreement was obtained between the fPLI assay at the cut-off value of 3.5 μg/L and the DGGR-lipase assay at the cut-off value of 55 U/L (AC1 = 0.725; CI 95%: 0.537, 0.914) and between the fPLI assay at the cut-off value of 5.3 μg/L and the DGGR-lipase assay at the cut-off value of 70 U/L (AC1 = 0.749; CI 95%: 0.577, 0.921). The study confirms that the chance-corrected agreement between the two assays is good. Prospective studies comparing both assays to a diagnostic gold standard are needed to determine which of them is more accurate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Veterinary Clinical Studies)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Genetic Variability of Methane Production and Concentration Measured in the Breath of Polish Holstein-Friesian Cattle
Animals 2021, 11(11), 3175; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11113175 - 06 Nov 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1473
Abstract
The genetic architecture of methane (CH4) production remains largely unknown. We aimed to estimate its heritability and to perform genome-wide association studies (GWAS) for the identification of candidate genes associated with two phenotypes: CH4 in parts per million/day (CH4 [...] Read more.
The genetic architecture of methane (CH4) production remains largely unknown. We aimed to estimate its heritability and to perform genome-wide association studies (GWAS) for the identification of candidate genes associated with two phenotypes: CH4 in parts per million/day (CH4 ppm/d) and CH4 in grams/day (CH4 g/d). We studied 483 Polish Holstein-Friesian cows kept on two commercial farms in Poland. Measurements of CH4 and carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations exhaled by cows during milking were obtained using gas analyzers installed in the automated milking system on the farms. Genomic analyses were performed using a single-step BLUP approach. The percentage of genetic variance explained by SNPs was calculated for each SNP separately and then for the windows of neighbouring SNPs. The heritability of CH4 ppm/d ranged from 0 to 0.14, with an average of 0.085. The heritability of CH4 g/d ranged from 0.13 to 0.26, with an average of 0.22. The GWAS detected potential candidate SNPs on BTA 14 which explained ~0.9% of genetic variance for CH4 ppm/d and ~1% of genetic variance for CH4 g/d. All identified SNPs were located in the TRPS1 gene. We showed that methane traits are partially controlled by genes; however, the detected SNPs explained only a small part of genetic variation—implying that both CH4 ppm/d and CH4 g/d are highly polygenic traits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Genetics and Genomics)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Optimal Standardized Ileal Digestible Total Sulfur Amino Acids to Lysine REQUIREMENTS Are Increased in Nursery Pigs Raised under Antibiotic-Free Feeding Regime
Animals 2021, 11(11), 3143; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11113143 - 03 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1703
Abstract
This study aimed to investigate the effect of increasing the standardized ileal digestible (SID) total sulfur amino acid to lysine (TSAA:Lys) on the growth performance of nursery pigs raised with or without antibiotics (AGP) and to determine the optimal SID TSAA:Lys in nursery [...] Read more.
This study aimed to investigate the effect of increasing the standardized ileal digestible (SID) total sulfur amino acid to lysine (TSAA:Lys) on the growth performance of nursery pigs raised with or without antibiotics (AGP) and to determine the optimal SID TSAA:Lys in nursery pigs raised without AGP. In Exp. 1, 924 nursery pigs (7.9 ± 1.3 kg), blocked by initial BW and sex, were randomly allotted to one of six treatments, with seven pens per treatment and twenty-two pigs per pen. The treatments were arranged in a 2 × 3 factorial design, with two AGP levels (0 or 50 mg/kg Carbodox) and three levels of SID TSAA:Lys (51.0, 58.5 or 66.0%). In Exp. 2, 990 weaned piglets (5.1 ± 0.9 kg), blocked by initial BW and sex, were randomly allotted to one of five dietary treatments (SID TSAA:Lys at 51, 58, 65, 72 or 79%) in the absence of AGP, with nine pens per treatment and twenty-two pigs per pen. Competing heteroskedastic models including broken-line linear (BLL), broken-line quadratic (BLQ), and quadratic polynomial (QP) were fitted for the growth performance data to estimate the optimal TSAA:Lys. In Exp. 1, AGP supplementation increased (p < 0.05) ADG and ADFI during the 21 d period. Increasing SID TSAA:Lys in the diets with AGP did not affect growth performance; however, increasing SID TSAA:Lys in the diets without AGP resulted in a linear increase (p < 0.05) in ADG and G:F. In Exp. 2, the best-fitting models for ADG and G:F from d 0 to 21 post-weaning were BLL, which yielded the optimal SID TSAA:Lys of 62% and 72%, respectively. The best-fitting models for ADG and G:F from d 21 to 42 post-weaning were BLL, which yielded the optimal SID TSAA:Lys of 59% and 58%, respectively. In conclusion, SID TSAA to Lys requirements under an antibiotic-free feeding regime during the first 21 d post-weaning were 62% and 72% in terms of ADG and G:F, respectively, whereas an SID TSAA:Lys of approximately 58% was required to maximize ADG and G:F for the late nursery phase. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Nutrition)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Analytical Validation of a New Immunoenzymatic Method for the Measurement of Feline Parathyroid Hormone in Cats with Chronic Kidney Disease
Animals 2021, 11(11), 3100; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11113100 - 29 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1485
Abstract
The determination of parathyroid hormone (PTH) in cats could be of clinical utility in many metabolic disorders, such as renal diseases, hypercalcemia, or nutritional imbalances. However, the available methods for the measurement of feline PTH are limited, not widely available, and need radioimmunoassays. [...] Read more.
The determination of parathyroid hormone (PTH) in cats could be of clinical utility in many metabolic disorders, such as renal diseases, hypercalcemia, or nutritional imbalances. However, the available methods for the measurement of feline PTH are limited, not widely available, and need radioimmunoassays. The aim of this study was to perform the analytical validation of a new immunoenzymatic method for the measurement of feline PTH. Thirty-eight cats affected with chronic kidney disease (CKD) were included. PTH was measured using a two-site immunoenzymatic method validated in humans and dogs (ST AIA-PACK® Intact PTH, Tosoh Bioscience, Tessenderlo, Belgium). The analytical validation provided the evaluation of precision (intra-assay and inter-assay), accuracy (linearity under dilution (LUD) and spike recovery test (SRT)), and the storage stability of serum samples at 20 °C, 4 °C, and −20 °C. The method showed good precision (intra-assay CVs (coefficient of variations) 3.19–9.61%; inter-assay CVs 9.26–15.28%). In both the intra- and inter-assays, the highest imprecision was found with the low concentration pool (9.61% and 15.28%) and accuracy (LUD and SRT r2 = 0.99, p < 0.001), while the stability was optimal up until 7 days at −20 °C (−7.7%). The method was successfully validated in cats, allowing its future use in diagnostic procedures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Veterinary Clinical Studies)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Fibropapillomatosis and Chelonid Alphaherpesvirus 5 Infection in Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtles (Lepidochelys kempii)
Animals 2021, 11(11), 3076; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11113076 - 28 Oct 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2817
Abstract
Fibropapillomatosis (FP), a debilitating, infectious neoplastic disease, is rarely reported in endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys kempii). With this study, we describe FP and the associated chelonid alphaherpesvirus 5 (ChHV5) in Kemp’s ridley turtles encountered in the United States during [...] Read more.
Fibropapillomatosis (FP), a debilitating, infectious neoplastic disease, is rarely reported in endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys kempii). With this study, we describe FP and the associated chelonid alphaherpesvirus 5 (ChHV5) in Kemp’s ridley turtles encountered in the United States during 2006–2020. Analysis of 22 case reports of Kemp’s ridley turtles with FP revealed that while the disease was mild in most cases, 54.5% were adult turtles, a reproductively valuable age class whose survival is a priority for population recovery. Of 51 blood samples from tumor-free turtles and 12 tumor samples from turtles with FP, 7.8% and 91.7%, respectively, tested positive for ChHV5 DNA via quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). Viral genome shotgun sequencing and phylogenetic analysis of six tumor samples show that ChHV5 sequences in Kemp’s ridley turtles encountered in the Gulf of Mexico and northwestern Atlantic cluster with ChHV5 sequences identified in green (Chelonia mydas) and loggerhead (Caretta caretta) sea turtles from Hawaii, the southwestern Atlantic Ocean, and the Caribbean. Results suggest an interspecific, spatiotemporal spread of FP among Kemp’s ridley turtles in regions where the disease is enzootic. Although FP is currently uncommon in this species, it remains a health concern due to its uncertain pathogenesis and potential relationship with habitat degradation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Oncogenic Viruses in Animals)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Cyclosporine Treatment in Cats with Presumed Chronic Pancreatitis—A Retrospective Study
Animals 2021, 11(10), 2993; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11102993 - 19 Oct 2021
Viewed by 3584
Abstract
Chronic pancreatitis (CP) is a common disease in middle-aged to older cats. Cyclosporine has been suggested as an alternative treatment when other immunosuppressive treatments are insufficient or contraindicated. However, no published studies have investigated its efficacy on feline CP. The aim of this [...] Read more.
Chronic pancreatitis (CP) is a common disease in middle-aged to older cats. Cyclosporine has been suggested as an alternative treatment when other immunosuppressive treatments are insufficient or contraindicated. However, no published studies have investigated its efficacy on feline CP. The aim of this retrospective study was to evaluate the efficacy of cyclosporine on supranormal serum feline pancreas-specific lipase (Spec fPL) concentrations in cats with presumed CP. Inclusion criteria were history and clinical signs suggestive of CP, serum Spec fPL concentrations above 5.3 μg/L (reference range 0–3.5 μg/L, equivocal range 3.6–5.3 μg/L) on at least two occasions and treatment with cyclosporine for at least three weeks. Serum Spec fPL was analyzed at Idexx Laboratories, Kornwestheim, Germany. Nineteen cats, aged 6.9–17.5 years (median 11.6), were included. No pancreatic biopsies were available. Median (range) serum Spec fPL concentration was 14.2 μg/L (6.1–43.3) at baseline and 6.7 μg/L (0.9–23.6) at follow-up. Cyclosporine treatment (5.0–7.9 mg/kg orally SID) was associated with a significant reduction in serum Spec fPL concentrations (p < 0.001) at follow-up after 23–206 days (median 35). Body weight decreased significantly between inclusion and follow-up (p = 0.013). Significant improvement of clinical signs could not be measured (p = 0.781). This study has several limitations, including unstandardized treatment length and dose, no control group and lack of pancreatic biopsies. Despite the limitations, our results suggest that cyclosporine treatment reduces supranormal serum Spec fPL concentrations in cats with presumed CP. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Small Animal Gastroenterology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Mathematical Models for the Skin to Lumbosacral Epidural Distance in Dogs: A Cadaveric Computed-Tomography Study
Animals 2021, 11(10), 2974; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11102974 - 15 Oct 2021
Viewed by 1543
Abstract
This study aimed to validate previously published computed tomography (CT) derived mathematical equations with the true skin to lumbosacral epidural distance (SLED) in dog cadavers. Phase 1: The lumbar region of 11 dog cadavers were scanned in sternal recumbency to determine the effect [...] Read more.
This study aimed to validate previously published computed tomography (CT) derived mathematical equations with the true skin to lumbosacral epidural distance (SLED) in dog cadavers. Phase 1: The lumbar region of 11 dog cadavers were scanned in sternal recumbency to determine the effect of cranial, neutral, and caudal pelvic limb positioning on the CT derived lumbosacral epidural distance (CLED). Phase 2: The epidural space was determined using contrast epidurography, and the SLED was analysed against the mathematical equations using a body condition score (BCS) and either the cadaveric occipital-coccygeal length (OCL) (Equation (1): = 7.3 + 0.05*OCL + 16.45*BCS) or the ilium wing distance (IWD) (Equation (2): = 3.5 + 0.56*IWD + 16.6*BCS). There were no differences detected between the pelvic limb positions and the CLED. Both equations demonstrated strong correlations (Equation (1): r = 0.7196; Equation (2): r = 0.7590) with the SLED. The level of agreement was greater for Equation (1) than with Equation (2) (concordance coefficient 0.6061 and 0.3752, respectively). Equation (1) also demonstrated a closer fit to the concordance line compared with Equation (2) (bias correction factor 0.8422 and 0.4960, respectively). Further studies in live anaesthetised dogs will help to determine the usefulness of the pre-procedural knowledge when performing lumbosacral epidurals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Loco-Regional Anaesthesia in Veterinary Medicine)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Factors Associated with Fatality in Ontario Thoroughbred Racehorses: 2003–2015
Animals 2021, 11(10), 2950; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11102950 - 13 Oct 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1607
Abstract
Ontario’s Alcohol and Gaming Commission records equine racing fatalities through its Equine Health Program. The present study examined all Thoroughbred fatalities from 2003 to 2015, inclusive, to identify associations. Official records and details of fatalities were combined in multivariable logistic regression modelling of [...] Read more.
Ontario’s Alcohol and Gaming Commission records equine racing fatalities through its Equine Health Program. The present study examined all Thoroughbred fatalities from 2003 to 2015, inclusive, to identify associations. Official records and details of fatalities were combined in multivariable logistic regression modelling of 236,386 race work-events (433 fatalities), and 459,013 workout work-events (252 fatalities). Fatality rates were 2.94/1000 race starts (all fatalities) and 1.96/1000 (breakdowns only) with an overall rate of 2.61% or 26.1 fatalities/1000 horses. Comparison with published reports reveals rates to be high. Musculoskeletal injury was the predominant complaint and there was a high incidence of horses dying suddenly. Liability was high for young horses early in the season with a differential according to sex and whether a male horse was gelded. Horses undertaking repeated workouts had a higher liability and liability was higher in workouts for horses switching from dirt/synthetic to turf racing and for young horses in sprints. Race distance was not significant but high fatality rates in some large field, distance races combined with effects of age and workload identified groups at particular risk. As field size increased, fatality liability increased for early-finishing horses. Findings suggest jockey strategy could be an important factor influencing fatalities. Probability of fatality declined over the study period. Findings indicate that rapid accumulation of workload in animals early in their preparation is likely to be damaging. Fatality fell toward the end of a season and for horses with a long career history of successful performance; however, horses not exhibiting this robustness and staying power represent the population of greatest concern. Associations may be characterised as representing sources of stress, current or cumulative, and identifying at-risk animals on this basis may be as productive as targeting specific, discrete mechanisms suspected to contribute to individual fatalities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Sustainable Equine)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
A Modified Approach for the Ultrasound-Guided Quadratus Lumborum Block in Dogs: A Cadaveric Study
Animals 2021, 11(10), 2945; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11102945 - 12 Oct 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2664
Abstract
Ultrasound-guided quadratus lumborum block (QLB) is a locoregional technique described in canine cadavers. The aim of this study was to assess a modified approach to QLB to minimise potential complications such as abdominal organ puncture. Nine canine cadavers were included and were positioned [...] Read more.
Ultrasound-guided quadratus lumborum block (QLB) is a locoregional technique described in canine cadavers. The aim of this study was to assess a modified approach to QLB to minimise potential complications such as abdominal organ puncture. Nine canine cadavers were included and were positioned in lateral recumbency. An ultrasound-guided QLB was performed on each side. The probe was placed in the transverse position over the lumbar muscles just caudal to the last rib, and a needle was advanced in-plane from a dorso-lateral to a ventro-medial. A volume of 0.2 mL kg−1 of a mixture of iomeprol and methylene blue was injected. Computed tomography (CT) and dissection were performed to evaluate the spreading. Success was defined as staining of the nerve with a length of more than 0.6 cm. Potential complications such as intra-abdominal, epidural, or intravascular spreading of the mixture were also assessed. The CT images showed a T13 to L7 vertebra distribution, with a median of 5 (3–6). Dissection showed staining of the nerves from T13 to L4, with a median of 3 (2–5). No complications were found. This modified approach to QLB is safe and shows similar results to the previous studies in canine carcass. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Loco-Regional Anaesthesia in Veterinary Medicine)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Species-Level Gut Microbiota Analysis after Antibiotic-Induced Dysbiosis in Horses
Animals 2021, 11(10), 2859; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11102859 - 30 Sep 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2358
Abstract
All current studies have used Illumina short-read sequencing to characterize the equine intestinal microbiota. Long-read sequencing can classify bacteria at the species level. The objectives of this study were to characterize the gut microbiota of horses at the species level before and after [...] Read more.
All current studies have used Illumina short-read sequencing to characterize the equine intestinal microbiota. Long-read sequencing can classify bacteria at the species level. The objectives of this study were to characterize the gut microbiota of horses at the species level before and after trimethoprim sulfadiazine (TMS) administration and to compare results with Illumina sequencing. Nine horses received TMS (30 mg/kg) orally for 5 days twice a day to induce dysbiosis. Illumina sequencing of the V4 region or full-length PacBio sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene was performed in fecal samples collected before and after antibiotic administration. The relative abundance and alpha diversity were compared between the two technologies. PacBio failed to classify the equine intestinal microbiota at the species level but confirmed Bacteroidetes as the most abundant bacteria in the feces of the studied horses, followed by Firmicutes and Fibrobacteres. An unknown species of the Bacteroidales order was highly abundant (13%) and deserves further investigation. In conclusion, PacBio was not suitable to classify the equine microbiota species but detected greater richness and less unclassified bacteria. Further efforts in improving current databanks to be used in equine studies are necessary. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Equine Microbiota)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Fascioliasis in Llama, Lama glama, in Andean Endemic Areas: Experimental Transmission Capacity by the High Altitude Snail Vector Galba truncatula and Epidemiological Analysis of Its Reservoir Role
Animals 2021, 11(9), 2693; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11092693 - 14 Sep 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2101
Abstract
South American camelids are definitive hosts of Fasciola hepatica. However, their capacity to participate in the transmission and epidemiology of fascioliasis has never been appropriately studied. Therefore, an F. hepatica isolate from Argentine llama is for the first time analyzed using Galba [...] Read more.
South American camelids are definitive hosts of Fasciola hepatica. However, their capacity to participate in the transmission and epidemiology of fascioliasis has never been appropriately studied. Therefore, an F. hepatica isolate from Argentine llama is for the first time analyzed using Galba truncatula lymnaeids from Bolivia. Experimental follow-up studies included egg embryogenesis, miracidial infection of lymnaeid snails, intramolluscan larval development, cercarial production, chronobiology of cercarial shedding, vector survival to infection, and metacercarial infectivity of mammal host. Shorter prepatent and patent periods were leading to markedly lower cercarial production, shorter cercarial shedding, and a higher negative impact on snail survival. The usually low liver fluke prevalences and intensities and low daily fecal outputs indicate that llamas do not substantially contribute to fascioliasis transmission. The defecating behavior in dung piles far from freshwater collections prevents lymnaeid infection by eggs shed by this camelid. All results suggest the reservoir role of the llama to be negligible and, therefore, no priority within control measures in endemic areas. However, llamas may play a disease-spreading role if used as pack animals in rural areas. In the Northern Bolivian Altiplano human hyperendemic area, neither llamas nor alpacas should be considered for control measures within a One Health action. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop