Special Issue "Animal Infectious Diseases and Zoonoses"

A special issue of Animals (ISSN 2076-2615).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2022) | Viewed by 9540

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Fathiah Zakham
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Department of Virology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
2. Department of Veterinary Biosciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
3. Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
Interests: microbiology and genetics; molecular biology; veterinary sciences; infectious diseases and zoonoses
Dr. Tarja Sironen
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Virology, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
Interests: One Health; microbiology and microbial evolution; zoonoses; emerging infectious diseases
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Pacifique Ndishimye
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Medical Research Centre, Rwanda Biomedical Centre, Kigali, Rwanda
Interests: global health; infectious diseases; host–pathogen interaction; computational biology; predictive analytics; immunology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Animal infectious diseases are associated with unprecedented consequences in both health and socioeconomic terms. Their increased impact is closely correlated with several environmental and anthropogenic factors. Further, 60% of human infectious agents are from the Animalia kingdom, thus called zoonoses. Emerging and reemerging diseases represent 75% of zoonotic infections. These infections can be transmitted between different animal species, resulting in genetic exchange and leading to the emergence of new highly pathogenic variants and strains that have animals as reservoir hosts.

Pandemics due to zoonotic diseases tend to spread fast in a very short period of time (e.g., MERS, Ebola, COVID-19, HIV). However, such infectious diseases can be controlled and even eradicated using epidemiological studies and effective prophylaxis, which often depend on the development of efficient diagnostics and rapid treatments. In addition, combating newly emerging diseases in animals and humans is challenging and requires deep knowledge of genomics of the causative agents to i) improve the surveillance of the new strains and ii) enable the assessment of the pandemic risks and, consequently, the preparedness for any future threat.

In this Special Issue, we aim to provide an overview of animal infectious and zoonotic diseases and their related etiological agents. Researchers are invited to submit both original research papers and review articles on studies related to animal infectious and zoonotic diseases, emphasizing the added value of the One Health approach.

Dr. Fathiah Zakham
Dr. Tarja Sironen
Dr. Pacifique Ndishimye
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Animals is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • infectious diseases of animals
  • zoonoses
  • emerging and re-emerging animal and zoonotic pathogens
  • One Health approach

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

Article
Intelligent-Responsive Enrofloxacin-Loaded Chitosan Oligosaccharide–Sodium Alginate Composite Core-Shell Nanogels for On-Demand Release in the Intestine
Animals 2022, 12(19), 2701; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12192701 - 08 Oct 2022
Viewed by 799
Abstract
Enrofloxacin has a poor palatability and causes strong gastric irritation; the oral formulation of enrofloxacin is unavailable, which limits the treatment of Escherichia coli (E. coli) infections via oral administration. To overcome the difficulty in treating intestinal E. coli infections, an [...] Read more.
Enrofloxacin has a poor palatability and causes strong gastric irritation; the oral formulation of enrofloxacin is unavailable, which limits the treatment of Escherichia coli (E. coli) infections via oral administration. To overcome the difficulty in treating intestinal E. coli infections, an oral intelligent-responsive chitosan-oligosaccharide (COS)–sodium alginate (SA) composite core-shell nanogel loaded with enrofloxacin was explored. The formulation screening, characteristics, pH-responsive performance in gastric juice and the intestinal tract, antibacterial effects, therapeutic effects, and biosafety level of the enrofloxacin composite nanogels were investigated. The optimized concentrations of COS, SA, CaCl2, and enrofloxacin were 8, 8, 0.2, and 5 mg/mL, respectively. The encapsulation efficiency, size, loading capacity, zeta potential, and polydispersity index of the optimized formulation were 72.4 ± 0.8%, 143.5 ± 2.6 nm, 26.6 ± 0.5%, −37.5 ± 1.5 mV, and 0.12 ± 0.07, respectively. Scanning electron microscopy images revealed that enrofloxacin-loaded nanogels were incorporated into the nano-sized cross-linked networks. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy showed that the nanogels were prepared by the electrostatic interaction of the differently charged groups (positive amino groups (-NH3+) of COS and the negative phenolic hydroxyl groups (-COO) of SA). In vitro, pH-responsive release performances revealed effective pH-responsive performances, which can help facilitate targeted “on-demand” release at the target site and ensure that the enrofloxacin has an ideal stability in the stomach and a responsive release in the intestinal tract. The antibacterial activity study demonstrated that more effective bactericidal activity against E. coli could have a better treatment effect than the enrofloxacin solution. Furthermore, the enrofloxacin composite nanogels had great biocompatibility. Thus, the enrofloxacin composite core-shell nanogels might be an oral intelligent-responsive preparation to overcome the difficulty in treating intestinal bacterial infections. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Infectious Diseases and Zoonoses)
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Article
Prevalence and Population Diversity of Listeria monocytogenes Isolated from Dairy Cattle Farms in the Cantabria Region of Spain
Animals 2022, 12(18), 2477; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12182477 - 19 Sep 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1018
Abstract
Listeria monocytogenes is an opportunistic pathogen that is widely distributed in the environment. Here we show the prevalence and transmission of L. monocytogenes in dairy farms in the Cantabria region, on the northern coast of Spain. A total of 424 samples was collected [...] Read more.
Listeria monocytogenes is an opportunistic pathogen that is widely distributed in the environment. Here we show the prevalence and transmission of L. monocytogenes in dairy farms in the Cantabria region, on the northern coast of Spain. A total of 424 samples was collected from 14 dairy farms (5 organic and 9 conventional) and 211 L. monocytogenes isolates were recovered following conventional microbiological methods. There were no statistically significant differences in antimicrobial resistance ratios between organic and conventional farms. A clonal relationship among the isolates was assessed by pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) analysis and 64 different pulsotypes were obtained. Most isolates (89%, n = 187) were classified as PCR serogroup IVb by using a multiplex PCR assay. In this case, 45 isolates of PCR serogroup IVb were whole genome-sequenced to perform a further analysis at genomic level. In silico MLST analysis showed the presence of 12 sequence types (ST), of which ST1, ST54 and ST666 were the most common. Our data indicate that the environment of cattle farms retains a high incidence of L. monocytogenes, including subtypes involved in human listeriosis reports and outbreaks. This pathogen is shed in the feces and could easily colonize dairy products, as a result of fecal contamination. Effective herd and manure management are needed in order to prevent possible outbreaks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Infectious Diseases and Zoonoses)
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Article
Evidence-Based Approaches for Determining Effective Target Antigens to Develop Vaccines against Post-Weaning Diarrhea Caused by Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli in Pigs: A Systematic Review and Network Meta-Analysis
Animals 2022, 12(16), 2136; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12162136 - 19 Aug 2022
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Abstract
In this study, we conducted a meta-analysis (MA) and systematic review to evaluate the effectiveness of vaccines against post-weaning diarrhea (PWD), caused by enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC), in piglets. A Bayesian network meta-analysis (NMA) was also performed to compare the effects of combining [...] Read more.
In this study, we conducted a meta-analysis (MA) and systematic review to evaluate the effectiveness of vaccines against post-weaning diarrhea (PWD), caused by enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC), in piglets. A Bayesian network meta-analysis (NMA) was also performed to compare the effects of combining different target antigens on vaccine efficacy. Relevant electronic databases were searched using pre-specified search terms, and 17 studies were selected based on three outcomes: diarrhea, mortality, and average daily weight gain (ADWG). In pairwise MA, the vaccinated group showed a significant decrease in diarrhea (OR = 0.124 [0.056, 0.275]) and mortality (OR = 0.273 [0.165, 0.451]), and a significant increase in ADWG (SMD = 0.699 [0.107, 1.290]) compared with those in controls. Furthermore, NMA results showed that all vaccine groups, except for group D (LT enterotoxin), were effective against PWD. Rank probabilities indicated that the F4 + F18 + LT combination was the best regimen for preventing diarrhea (SUCRA score = 0.92) and mortality (SUCRA score = 0.89). NMA also demonstrated that, among the vaccine groups, those inducing simultaneous anti-adhesion and antitoxin immunity had the highest efficacy. Our results provide evidence-based information on the efficacy of vaccines in reducing PWD incidence in pigs and may serve as guidelines for antigen selection for commercial vaccine development in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Infectious Diseases and Zoonoses)
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Article
Salmonella Shedding in Slaughter Pigs and the Use of Esterified Formic Acid in the Drinking Water as a Potential Abattoir-Based Mitigation Measure
Animals 2022, 12(13), 1620; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12131620 - 23 Jun 2022
Viewed by 1009
Abstract
Pigs shedding Salmonella at slaughter are considered a source of carcass contamination and human infection. To assess this potential risk, the proportion of Salmonella shedders that arrive for slaughter was evaluated in a population of 1068 pigs from 24 farms. Shedding was present [...] Read more.
Pigs shedding Salmonella at slaughter are considered a source of carcass contamination and human infection. To assess this potential risk, the proportion of Salmonella shedders that arrive for slaughter was evaluated in a population of 1068 pigs from 24 farms. Shedding was present in 27.3% of the pigs, and the monophasic variant of Salmonella Typhimurium, an emerging zoonotic serotype, was the most prevalent (46.9%). Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in Salmonella isolates was common, but few isolates showed AMR to antimicrobials of critical importance for humans such as third-generation cephalosporins (5%), colistin (0%), or carbapenems (0%). However, AMR to tigecycline was moderately high (15%). The efficacy of an esterified formic acid in the lairage drinking water (3 kg formic acid/1000 L) was also assessed as a potential abattoir-based strategy to reduce Salmonella shedding. It was able to reduce the proportion of shedders (60.7% in the control group (CG) vs. 44.3% in the treatment group (TG); p < 0.01). After considering clustering and confounding factors, the odds of shedding Salmonella in the CG were 2.75 (95% CI = 1.80–4.21) times higher than those of the TG, suggesting a potential efficacy of reduction in shedding as high as 63.6%. This strategy may contribute to mitigating the burden of abattoir environmental contamination. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Infectious Diseases and Zoonoses)
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Communication
De Novo Assembly of the Dirofilaria immitis Genome by Long-Read Nanopore-Based Sequencing Technology on an Adult Worm from a Canine Cardiopulmonary Dirofilariosis Case
Animals 2022, 12(11), 1342; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12111342 - 25 May 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 999
Abstract
Dirofilaria immitis is a zoonotic parasitic nematode that infects domestic and wild canids, among its vertebrate hosts. The genetic analysis of D. immitis nowadays transcends the need for genetic taxonomy of nematodes, such as the study of resistance to macrocyclic lactone. We expanded [...] Read more.
Dirofilaria immitis is a zoonotic parasitic nematode that infects domestic and wild canids, among its vertebrate hosts. The genetic analysis of D. immitis nowadays transcends the need for genetic taxonomy of nematodes, such as the study of resistance to macrocyclic lactone. We expanded the use of long-read nanopore-based sequencing technology on nematodes by performing genomic de novo assembly of a D. immitis specimen retrieved from a canine cardiopulmonary dirofilariasis case using the ONT MinION platform, followed by the study of macrocyclic lactone resistance. The assembled genome of D. immitis consists of 110 contigs with an N50 of 3687191. The genome size is 87899012 and contains a total of 9741 proteins; 6 ribosomal RNAs, with three belonging to the small subunit (18S) and three to the large subunit (28S); and 73 tRNAs. Subsequent analysis of six loci previously characterized as being associated to macrocyclic lactone resistance selection pressure showed that four have a genotype associated with either some loss of efficacy or the resistance phenotype. Considering the zoonotic potential of D. immitis, the identification of a resistant parasite alerts for the overuse of macrocyclic lactone in the region, which poses a potential risk to both veterinary and human public health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Infectious Diseases and Zoonoses)
Article
Characterization of Salmonella spp. and E. coli Strains Isolated from Wild Carnivores in Janos Biosphere Reserve, Mexico
Animals 2022, 12(9), 1064; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12091064 - 20 Apr 2022
Viewed by 1165
Abstract
Enterobacteriaceae are considered one the most important zoonotic pathogens. In this study, we analyzed the characteristics of E. coli and Salmonella spp. strains present in carnivores from Janos Biosphere Reserve, Mexico. These microorganisms had been isolated from a wide range of domestic and [...] Read more.
Enterobacteriaceae are considered one the most important zoonotic pathogens. In this study, we analyzed the characteristics of E. coli and Salmonella spp. strains present in carnivores from Janos Biosphere Reserve, Mexico. These microorganisms had been isolated from a wide range of domestic and free-range animals, including wild carnivores. Fifty-five individuals were sampled, and the presence of Salmonella and E. coli was determined by bacteriological standard methods. Strains isolated were characterized by molecular methods and in vitro infection assays. Eight different species of carnivores were captured, including coyotes (Canis latrans), gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus), desert foxes (Vulpes macrotis), striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis), hooded skunks (Mephitis macroura), lynxes (Lynx rufus), raccoons (Procyon lotor), and badgers (Taxidea taxus). Salmonella spp. and E. coli were isolated from four species of carnivores. Five Salmonella spp. strains were isolated, and their molecular characterization revealed in three of them the presence of fimbrial and virulence genes associated with cell invasion. In vitro evaluation of these strains showed their capability to invade human Hep2 cells. Sixty-one E. coli strains were isolated; different serotypes and phylogroups were observed from these strains. Additionally, the presence of virulence genes showed differently. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Infectious Diseases and Zoonoses)
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Article
Surveys on Exposure to Reptile-Associated Salmonellosis (RAS) in the Piedmont Region—Italy
Animals 2022, 12(7), 906; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12070906 - 01 Apr 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1263
Abstract
Reptile-associated salmonellosis (RAS), Salmonella infection in humans, is acquired through contact with reptiles. Reptiles have become popular pet animals, and RAS is likely to be an underestimated but growing problem. No epidemiological data about RAS are routinely collected in Italy. In order to [...] Read more.
Reptile-associated salmonellosis (RAS), Salmonella infection in humans, is acquired through contact with reptiles. Reptiles have become popular pet animals, and RAS is likely to be an underestimated but growing problem. No epidemiological data about RAS are routinely collected in Italy. In order to estimate the occurrence of RAS in the Italian human population and to investigate the exposure, two epidemiological studies on patients with sporadic salmonellosis were carried out in the Piedmont region, along with an evaluation of human exposure in public places displaying reptiles and with a survey on people awareness. RAS appeared make up 7% of sporadic salmonellosis in the first study and 3% in the second, more extensive study. A prevalence of 11.7% and 5.7%, respectively, were calculated for the age range of 0–21 years. It was observed that in public places displaying reptiles, it was possible to easily come into contact with the animals and their environment. Some knowledge about RAS emerged from the interviews with the general population, but preventive measures are not completely applied by reptile owners. In conclusion, RAS in Italy is present and constitutes a proportion of the human salmonellosis cases in line with the percentages reported in other countries. Exposure to reptiles should always be considered as a risk factor, and people should be more informed about RAS and the related preventive measures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Infectious Diseases and Zoonoses)
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Article
Spatiotemporal Analysis of West Nile Virus Epidemic in South Banat District, Serbia, 2017–2019
Animals 2021, 11(10), 2951; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11102951 - 13 Oct 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1258
Abstract
West Nile virus (WNV) is an arthropod-born pathogen, which is transmitted from wild birds through mosquitoes to humans and animals. At the end of the 20th century, the first West Nile fever (WNF) outbreaks among humans in urban environments in Eastern Europe and [...] Read more.
West Nile virus (WNV) is an arthropod-born pathogen, which is transmitted from wild birds through mosquitoes to humans and animals. At the end of the 20th century, the first West Nile fever (WNF) outbreaks among humans in urban environments in Eastern Europe and the United States were reported. The disease continued to spread to other parts of the continents. In Serbia, the largest number of WNV-infected people was recorded in 2018. This research used spatial statistics to identify clusters of WNV infection in humans and animals in South Banat County, Serbia. The occurrence of WNV infection and risk factors were analyzed using a negative binomial regression model. Our research indicated that climatic factors were the main determinant of WNV distribution and were predictors of endemicity. Precipitation and water levels of rivers had an important influence on mosquito abundance and affected the habitats of wild birds, which are important for maintaining the virus in nature. We found that the maximum temperature of the warmest part of the year and the annual temperature range; and hydrographic variables, e.g., the presence of rivers and water streams were the best environmental predictors of WNF outbreaks in South Banat County. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Infectious Diseases and Zoonoses)
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