Special Issue "Biomarkers in Animal Health and Disease"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Fernando Capela e Silva
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biology, School of Sciences and Technology and Institute of Mediterranean Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (ICAAM), University of Évora, Portugal
Interests: comparative animal histology and cytology tissues homeostasis and biomarkers of tissue function; injury and repair; oral biology
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Rita Payan-Carreira
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Veterinary Medicine, School of Sciences and Technology and MED-Mediterranean Institute for Agriculture, Environment and Development, University of Évora, Portugal
Interests: Molecular determinants in animal fertility; Embryo-maternal interactions at implantation; Veterinary theriogenology
Dr. Elsa Lamy
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Institute for Agriculture, Environment and Development - MED, University of Évora, Portugal
Interests: biological factors influencing food choices; saliva proteomics; salivary glands regulation; food perception; oral biology
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Asta Tvarijonaviciute
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Interdisciplinary Laboratory of University of Murcia Interlab-UMU, University of Murcia, Spain
Interests: Clinical pathology; Non-invasive samples; One Health; Obesity. Saliva

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The identification and quantification of biomarkers are important for the evaluation of animal physiological and clinical responses, supporting therapeutic decisions, the definition of treatment and management programs, and the management of the determinants of changes observed in an individuals or the general population. Biomarkers should be obtained, whenever possible, from easily accessible, preferably noninvasive, or minimally invasive body fluids such as blood plasma, urine, milk, sweat, or saliva, or other materials, namely, hair and faeces. This Special Issue aims to bring together high-quality research, highlighting the importance of the use of biomarkers in animal health and disease. The submission of new and comparative methodologies and new analysis methods is welcomed. Review articles are also welcomed. Potential topics include but are not limited to the following: the characterization, applications, and validation of biomarkers; intake biomarkers and dietary preferences; stress biomarkers; prognostic biomarkers in cancer; toxicity biomarkers; biomarkers of inflammation; fertility-associated biomarkers; and acute and chronic disease biomarkers in companion animals. Preference will be given to works related to the study of biomarkers in farm and companion animals, as well as in wild and laboratory/model animals, which address issues related to their biology.

Prof. Fernando Capela e Silva
Prof. Rita Payan-Carreira
Dr. Elsa Lamy
Prof. Asta Tvarijonaviciute
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 monthly 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.

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Urinary Excretion of Iohexol as a Permeability Marker in a Mouse Model of Intestinal Inflammation: Time Course, Performance and Welfare Considerations
Animals 2021, 11(1), 79; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11010079 - 04 Jan 2021
Viewed by 703
Abstract
Intestinal permeability (IP) tests are used to assess intestinal damage in patients and research models. The probe iohexol has shown advantages compared to 51Cr-EDTA or absorbable/nonabsorbable sugars. During IP tests, animals are housed in metabolic cages (MCs) to collect urine. We examined [...] Read more.
Intestinal permeability (IP) tests are used to assess intestinal damage in patients and research models. The probe iohexol has shown advantages compared to 51Cr-EDTA or absorbable/nonabsorbable sugars. During IP tests, animals are housed in metabolic cages (MCs) to collect urine. We examined the performance of an iohexol IP test in mice. Rag1-/- (C57BL/6) mice of both sexes were divided into controls or treatment groups, the latter receiving injections of effector/memory T cells to induce intestinal inflammation. After two, four and five weeks (W), a single dose of iohexol was orally administered. Urine was collected seven times over 24 h in MCs. Iohexol concentration was measured by ELISA. Intestinal histological damage was scored in duodenal sections. In control and treated mice of both sexes, urinary excretion of iohexol peaked at 4 h. From W2 to W4/W5, urinary iohexol excretion increased in treated mice of both sexes, consistent with development of duodenitis in this model. Positive correlations were observed between the urinary excretion of iohexol in W4/W5 and the histological severity of duodenitis in treated male mice. We conclude that a 6 h cumulative urine sample appears sufficient to evaluate small IP to iohexol in this mouse model, improving animal welfare by reducing cage periods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomarkers in Animal Health and Disease)
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Open AccessArticle
Changes in Acute Phase Proteins in Bitches after Laparoscopic, Midline, and Flank Ovariectomy Using the Same Method for Hemostasis
Animals 2020, 10(12), 2223; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10122223 - 27 Nov 2020
Viewed by 539
Abstract
Acute phase proteins (APP) are biomarkers of systemic inflammation, which allow monitoring the evolution of diseases, the response to treatments, and post-operative complications. Ovariectomy (OVE) is frequently performed in veterinary medicine and can be a useful model to evaluate surgical trauma and inflammation [...] Read more.
Acute phase proteins (APP) are biomarkers of systemic inflammation, which allow monitoring the evolution of diseases, the response to treatments, and post-operative complications. Ovariectomy (OVE) is frequently performed in veterinary medicine and can be a useful model to evaluate surgical trauma and inflammation in the bitch. The objective was to investigate and compare the acute phase response (APR) after applying three different OVE techniques by measuring serum levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), haptoglobin (Hp), albumin (Alb), and paraoxonase-1 (PON-1). Forty-five intact bitches were included in the study, being randomly distributed into three groups: laparoscopic OVE (L), midline OVE (M), and flank OVE (F). Serum CRP, Hp, Alb, and PON-1 were measured before surgery, 1, 24, 72, and 168 h post-intervention. CRP levels increased significantly 24 h post-surgery in the M and F groups, but no significant variation was observed in the L group at any time of the study period. Hp was significantly higher in group L than in group F 72 h post-surgery. Alb and PON-1 showed no statistical difference among groups or among sampling periods. CRP response suggests that the use of laparoscopic procedures produce lower inflammation compared to open conventional approaches when performing OVE in the bitch. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomarkers in Animal Health and Disease)
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Open AccessArticle
Serum Health Biomarkers in African and Asian Elephants: Value Ranges and Clinical Values Indicative of the Immune Response
Animals 2020, 10(10), 1756; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10101756 - 27 Sep 2020
Viewed by 661
Abstract
Serum biomarkers indicative of inflammation and disease can provide useful information regarding host immune processes, responses to treatment and prognosis. The aims of this study were to assess the use of commercially available anti-equine reagents for the quantification of cytokines (tumor necrosis factor-alpha [...] Read more.
Serum biomarkers indicative of inflammation and disease can provide useful information regarding host immune processes, responses to treatment and prognosis. The aims of this study were to assess the use of commercially available anti-equine reagents for the quantification of cytokines (tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), interferon-gamma (IFN-γ), interleukins (IL) 2, 6, and 10) in African (Loxodonta africana, n = 125) and Asian (Elephas maximus, n = 104) elephants, and alongside previously validated anti-human reagents for acute-phase proteins (serum amyloid A and haptoglobin), calculate species-specific biomarker value ranges. In addition, we used opportunistically collected samples to investigate the concentrations of each biomarker during identified clinical cases of illness or injury, as a first step to understanding what biomarkers may be useful to managing elephant health. Immune biomarkers were each elevated above the calculated species-specific value ranges in at least one clinical case, but due to variability in both clinical and non-clinical samples, only serum amyloid A was significantly higher in clinical compared to non-clinical paired samples, with tendencies for higher TNF-α and IL-10. We also detected increased secretion of serum amyloid A and all five cytokines following routine vaccination of a single Asian elephant, indicating that these biomarkers can be beneficial for studying normal immune processes as well as pathology. This study indicates that assays developed with commercial reagents can be used to quantify health biomarkers in wildlife species and identifies several that warrant further investigation to elucidate immune responses to various pathologies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomarkers in Animal Health and Disease)
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Open AccessArticle
Urinary Reference Values and First Insight into the Urinary Proteome of Captive Giraffes
Animals 2020, 10(9), 1696; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10091696 - 19 Sep 2020
Viewed by 658
Abstract
Urinalysis is widely recognized to be a useful tool in routine health investigations, since it can diagnose numerous pathologies. Considering the paucity of knowledge concerning giraffes, urine from 44 giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis) (18 males and 26 females, from 3 months of [...] Read more.
Urinalysis is widely recognized to be a useful tool in routine health investigations, since it can diagnose numerous pathologies. Considering the paucity of knowledge concerning giraffes, urine from 44 giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis) (18 males and 26 females, from 3 months of age to 21 years of age) underwent routine urinalysis, 1D-electrophoresis, and protein identification using mass spectrometry, with the aim of identifying the urinary reference values and the urine proteome. The urine specific gravity (USG), urine total proteins (uTP), urine creatinine (uCr), and urine protein:creatinine ratio (UPC) reference values, reported as the median, and lower limit (LL) and upper limit (UL), were 1.030 (1006–1.049), 17.58 (4.54–35.31) mg/dL, 154.62 (39.59–357.95) mg/dL, and 0.11 (0.07–0.16), respectively. Mass spectrometry, together with electrophoresis, revealed a pattern of common urinary proteins; albumin, lysozyme C, and ubiquitin were the most represented proteins in the giraffe urine. It has been hypothesized that these proteins could act as a defense against microbes. Moreover, in giraffes, urinalysis could be a valid tool for gauging renal function and physiological status changes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomarkers in Animal Health and Disease)
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Open AccessArticle
Discrimination of Benign and Malignant Lesions in Canine Mammary Tissue Samples Using Raman Spectroscopy: A Pilot Study
Animals 2020, 10(9), 1652; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10091652 - 14 Sep 2020
Viewed by 699
Abstract
Breast cancer is a health problem that affects individual life quality and the family system. It is the most frequent type of cancer in women, but men are also affected. As an integrative approach, comparative oncology offers an opportunity to learn more about [...] Read more.
Breast cancer is a health problem that affects individual life quality and the family system. It is the most frequent type of cancer in women, but men are also affected. As an integrative approach, comparative oncology offers an opportunity to learn more about natural cancers in different species. Methods based on Raman spectroscopy have shown significant potential in the study of the human breast through the fingerprinting of biological tissue, which provides valuable information that can be used to identify, characterize and discriminate structures in breast tissue, in both healthy and carcinogenic environments. One of the most important applications of Raman spectroscopy in medical diagnosis is the characterization of microcalcifications, which are highly important diagnostic indicators of breast tissue diseases. Raman spectroscopy has been used to analyze the chemical composition of microcalcifications. These occur in benign and malignant lesions in the human breast, and Raman helps to discriminate microcalcifications as type I and type II according to their composition. This paper demonstrates the recent progress in understanding how this vibrational technique can discriminate through the fingerprint regions of lesions in unstained histology sections from canine mammary glands. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomarkers in Animal Health and Disease)
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Open AccessArticle
A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Serum Adiponectin Measurements in the Framework of Dog Obesity
Animals 2020, 10(9), 1650; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10091650 - 14 Sep 2020
Viewed by 503
Abstract
Adiponectin is an abundant plasma protein that is closely related to obesity and obesity-related pathologies. The molecule can be found in three different isoforms, each with different biological activities. Studies on canine obesity have suggested that adiponectin concentrations are decreased in obesity; however, [...] Read more.
Adiponectin is an abundant plasma protein that is closely related to obesity and obesity-related pathologies. The molecule can be found in three different isoforms, each with different biological activities. Studies on canine obesity have suggested that adiponectin concentrations are decreased in obesity; however, no canine meta-analyses have been performed that feature all the required data. The aim of this study is to perform a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies that pertain to total and high molecular weight (HMW) adiponectin in relation to canine obesity. From 20 different studies, a total of 366 dogs with obesity and 349 normal weight dogs are included in the meta-analysis. Client-owned dogs were most represented, accounting for 54.3% of the dogs used, while experimental dogs enrolled in the studies made up the remaining 45.7%. The concentrations of total adiponectin in dogs with obesity were significantly lower compared with normal weight dogs. Additionally, adiponectin concentrations were significantly higher in dogs after a successful weight loss protocol compared to the start of the protocol and were significantly lower in dogs after gaining weight. In conclusion, although caution should be taken due to the relatively low number of studies that exist and the high heterogeneity between them, this meta-analysis indicates that adiponectin is decreased in obese dogs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomarkers in Animal Health and Disease)
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Open AccessArticle
Changes in Salivary Analytes of Horses Due to Circadian Rhythm and Season: A Pilot Study
Animals 2020, 10(9), 1486; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10091486 - 24 Aug 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 574
Abstract
This study aims to evaluate the circadian and circannual variations in a panel of analytes in horse saliva that have been previously described as biomarkers related to stress and disease, in order to interpret them correctly when they are measured in this species. [...] Read more.
This study aims to evaluate the circadian and circannual variations in a panel of analytes in horse saliva that have been previously described as biomarkers related to stress and disease, in order to interpret them correctly when they are measured in this species. This panel of analytes integrated cortisol, salivary alpha-amylase (sAA), lipase (Lip), total esterase (TEA), butyrylcholinesterase (BChE), adenosine deaminase (ADA), γ-glutamyl transferase (gGT), creatine kinase (CK), urea, total bilirubin, total protein (TP), and phosphorus. These analytes were measured in saliva obtained from a population of five clinically healthy mares from 06:30 to 20:30, every 2 h over two consecutive days in two different photoperiod seasons, winter and spring. The temperature and relative humidity did not change between the two consecutive days sampled in each sampled season, and no thermal discomfort was observed. Changes throughout the course of the day were observed for cortisol, sAA, TEA, BChE, ADA, and CK. However, a circadian pattern was only observed for cortisol, TEA, BChE, ADA, and CK. Moreover, the values obtained for sAA, Lip, and BChE were significantly different between seasons, with different daily rhythms for cortisol, TEA, BChE, and ADA depending on the season. In conclusion, this pilot study indicates that the time of the day and the season influence salivary analytes in horses, showing a rhythmic pattern for cortisol, TEA, BChE, ADA, and CK. These factors should thus be taken into consideration for the interpretation of analytes in horse saliva. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomarkers in Animal Health and Disease)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Tumor Infiltrating Lymphocytes in Pet Rabbit Mammary Carcinomas: A Study with Relevance to Comparative Pathology
Animals 2020, 10(8), 1437; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10081437 - 17 Aug 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 750
Abstract
Tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) serve as prognostic biomarker in human breast cancer. Rabbits have the potential to act as animal model for human breast cancer, and close similarities exist between the rabbit and human immune system. The aim of this study is to [...] Read more.
Tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) serve as prognostic biomarker in human breast cancer. Rabbits have the potential to act as animal model for human breast cancer, and close similarities exist between the rabbit and human immune system. The aim of this study is to characterize TILs in pet rabbit mammary carcinomas and to statistically correlate results with histological and immunohistochemical tumor characteristics. Microscopic evaluation of TILs was performed in hematoxylin and eosin stained sections of 107 rabbit mammary carcinomas according to international guidelines for human breast cancer. Data on histological features of malignancy, estrogen and progesterone receptor status and calponin expression were obtained from the data base. This study revealed a statistical association between stromal TILs in the central tumor (CT) and infiltrative margin. Higher maximal percentages of stromal TILs at the CT were statistically correlated with decreased mitotic count and lower tumor grade. An increased number of calponin positive tumor cells was statistically associated with a lower mitotic count and a higher percentage of stromal TILs. Results suggest that higher percentages of stromal TILs are useful biomarkers that may point toward a favorable prognosis in rabbit mammary carcinomas and support the concept of the use of rabbits for translational research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomarkers in Animal Health and Disease)
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Open AccessArticle
Changes in Serum and Salivary Proteins in Canine Mammary Tumors
Animals 2020, 10(4), 741; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10040741 - 24 Apr 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1065
Abstract
The aim of this study was to evaluate changes in serum and saliva proteomes in canine mammary tumors (CMT) using a high-throughput quantitative proteomic analysis in order to potentially discover possible biomarkers of this disease. Proteomes of paired serum and saliva samples from [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to evaluate changes in serum and saliva proteomes in canine mammary tumors (CMT) using a high-throughput quantitative proteomic analysis in order to potentially discover possible biomarkers of this disease. Proteomes of paired serum and saliva samples from healthy controls (HC group, n = 5) and bitches with CMT (CMT group, n = 5) were analysed using a Tandem Mass Tags-based approach. Twenty-five dogs were used to validate serum albumin as a candidate biomarker in an independent sample set. The proteomic analysis quantified 379 and 730 proteins in serum and saliva, respectively. Of those, 35 proteins in serum and 49 in saliva were differentially represented. The verification of albumin in serum was in concordance with the proteomic data, showing lower levels in CMT when compared to the HC group. Some of the modulated proteins found in the present study such as haptoglobin or S100A4 have been related to CMT or human breast cancer previously, while others such as kallikrein-1 and immunoglobulin gamma-heavy chains A and D are described here for the first time. Our results indicate that saliva and serum proteomes can reflect physiopathological changes that occur in CMT in dogs and can be a potential source of biomarkers of the disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomarkers in Animal Health and Disease)
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