Special Issue "Genetics of Animal Health and Disease in Livestock"

A special issue of Animals (ISSN 2076-2615). This special issue belongs to the section "Animal Genetics and Genomics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Bianca Castiglioni
Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Agricultural Biology and Biotechnology, National Research Council of Italy, Lodi, Italy
Interests: dairy microbiome (milk and cheese microbiome); metagenomics and molecular investigation for food quality and safety; development of molecular diagnostic tools (PCR, multiplex PCR, Real-time PCR, Digital PCR) for food safety of animal products

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Livestock diseases adversely affect animal production throughout the world. Although there are some examples of genetic resistance to disease in livestock, disentangling the genetic effects is a compelling task. Indeed, in most cases, animals are not resistant to a disease, but they vary in their susceptibility to the disease agents. Therefore, it is still difficult to demonstrate the potential of the genetic approach and to be able to identify genetic variation that accounts for disease resistance and/or tolerance.

An additional issue is that resistance is measurable only in the presence of the disease-causing pathogen. Moreover, for most livestock, the genes and products of the innate and adaptive immune system are not fully known or functionally annotated. Many immune-related genes exist as multiple copies within an individual animal, and their number, sequence, and regulation are difficult to characterize. The lack of methods to follow specific genes or to functionally measure outputs at a cellular or animal level reduces our ability to fill the knowledge gaps. Many diseases are complex, and their causative pathogens are unknown. Further, the influence of a healthy microbiome on pathogen virulence is only now beginning to be understood.

Nevertheless, the role of genetics in improving animal health will become increasingly important as the focus on tackling antimicrobial drug resistance increases. This research will result in greatly reduced direct and indirect costs associated with animal disease, maintenance of a secure, and safe food supply; improved animal welfare, production efficiency, and resilience to environmental changes; and reductions in antimicrobial use and improved vaccines or other measures that can mitigate or prevent existing, new, and re-emerging infectious pathogens.

Submissions of original research papers and review articles are welcome related to, but not limited to, advances in genetics for monitoring animal health and understanding host–pathogen interactions, in order to improve animal health and sustainability of livestock production.

Dr. Bianca Castiglioni
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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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

  • Health traits
  • Molecular basis of host-pathogen interactions
  • Immune-related genes (genes related to the innate and acquired immunity responses)
  • Prevalence
  • Resistance
  • Susceptibility
  • Immunogenetic diversity
  • Candidate genes
  • Genetic selection

Published Papers (12 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Identification of SNPs Associated with Somatic Cell Score in Candidate Genes in Italian Holstein Friesian Bulls
Animals 2021, 11(2), 366; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11020366 - 01 Feb 2021
Abstract
Mastitis is an infectious disease affecting the mammary gland, leading to inflammatory reactions and to heavy economic losses due to milk production decrease. One possible way to tackle the antimicrobial resistance issue stemming from antimicrobial therapy is to select animals with a genetic [...] Read more.
Mastitis is an infectious disease affecting the mammary gland, leading to inflammatory reactions and to heavy economic losses due to milk production decrease. One possible way to tackle the antimicrobial resistance issue stemming from antimicrobial therapy is to select animals with a genetic resistance to this disease. Therefore, aim of this study was to analyze the genetic variability of the SNPs found in candidate genes related to mastitis resistance in Holstein Friesian bulls. Target regions were amplified, sequenced by Next-Generation Sequencing technology on the Illumina® MiSeq, and then analyzed to find correlation with mastitis related phenotypes in 95 Italian Holstein bulls chosen with the aid of a selective genotyping approach. On a total of 557 detected mutations, 61 showed different genotype distribution in the tails of the deregressed EBVs for SCS and 15 were identified as significantly associated with the phenotype using two different approaches. The significant SNPs were identified in intergenic or intronic regions of six genes, known to be key components in the immune system (namely CXCR1, DCK, NOD2, MBL2, MBL1 and M-SAA3.2). These SNPs could be considered as candidates for a future genetic selection for mastitis resistance, although further studies are required to assess their presence in other dairy cattle breeds and their possible negative correlation with other traits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics of Animal Health and Disease in Livestock)
Open AccessArticle
Heritability of Teat Condition in Italian Holstein Friesian and Its Relationship with Milk Production and Somatic Cell Score
Animals 2020, 10(12), 2271; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10122271 - 02 Dec 2020
Abstract
In spite of the impressive advancements observed on both management and genetic factors, udder health still represents one of most demanding objectives to be attained in the dairy cattle industry. Udder morphology and especially teat condition might represent the first physical barrier to [...] Read more.
In spite of the impressive advancements observed on both management and genetic factors, udder health still represents one of most demanding objectives to be attained in the dairy cattle industry. Udder morphology and especially teat condition might represent the first physical barrier to pathogens’ access. The objectives of this study were to investigate the genetic component of teat condition and to elucidate its relationship with both milk yield and somatic cell scores in dairy cattle. Moreover, the effect of selection for both milk yield and somatic cell scores on teat condition was also investigated. A multivariate analysis was conducted on 10,776 teat score records and 30,160 production records from 2469 Italian Holstein cows. Three teat scoring traits were defined and included in the analysis. Heritability estimates for the teat score traits were moderate to low, ranging from 0.084 to 0.238. When teat score was based on a four-classes ordinal scoring, its genetic correlation with milk yields and somatic cell score were 0.862 and 0.439, respectively. The scale used to classify teat-end score has an impact on the magnitude of the estimates. Genetic correlations suggest that selection for milk yield could deteriorate teat health, unless more emphasis is given to somatic cell scores. Considering that both at national and international level, the current selection objectives are giving more emphasis to health traits, a further genetic deterioration in teat condition is not expected. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics of Animal Health and Disease in Livestock)
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Open AccessArticle
Genome-Wide DNA Methylation Changes of Perirenal Adipose Tissue in Rabbits Fed a High-Fat Diet
Animals 2020, 10(12), 2213; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10122213 - 26 Nov 2020
Abstract
DNA methylation is an epigenetic mechanism that plays an important role in gene regulation without an altered DNA sequence. Previous studies have demonstrated that diet affects obesity by partially mediating DNA methylation. Our study investigated the genome-wide DNA methylation of perirenal adipose tissue [...] Read more.
DNA methylation is an epigenetic mechanism that plays an important role in gene regulation without an altered DNA sequence. Previous studies have demonstrated that diet affects obesity by partially mediating DNA methylation. Our study investigated the genome-wide DNA methylation of perirenal adipose tissue in rabbits to identify the epigenetic changes of high-fat diet-mediated obesity. Two libraries were constructed pooling DNA of rabbits fed a standard normal diet (SND) and DNA of rabbits fed a high-fat diet (HFD). Differentially methylated regions (DMRs) were identified using the option of the sliding window method, and online software DAVID Bioinformatics Resources 6.7 was used to perform Gene Ontology (GO) terms and KEGG (Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes) pathway enrichment analysis of DMRs-associated genes. A total of 12,230 DMRs were obtained, of which 2305 (1207 up-regulated, 1098 down-regulated) and 601 (368 up-regulated, 233 down-regulated) of identified DMRs were observed in the gene body and promoter regions, respectively. GO analysis revealed that the DMRs-associated genes were involved in developmental process (GO:0032502), cell differentiation (GO:0030154), and lipid binding (GO:0008289), and KEGG pathway enrichment analysis revealed the DMRs-associated genes were enriched in linoleic acid metabolism (KO00591), DNA replication (KO03030), and MAPK signaling pathway (KO04010). Our study further elucidates the possible functions of DMRs-associated genes in rabbit adipogenesis, contributing to the understanding of HFD-mediated obesity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics of Animal Health and Disease in Livestock)
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Open AccessArticle
Influence of Age and Immunostimulation on the Level of Toll-Like Receptor Gene (TLR3, 4, and 7) Expression in Foals
Animals 2020, 10(11), 1966; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10111966 - 26 Oct 2020
Abstract
The aim of this study was to investigate the molecular mechanisms leading to the identification of pathogens by congenital immune receptors in foals up to 60 days of age. The study was conducted on 16 foal Polish Pony Horses (Polish Konik) divided into [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to investigate the molecular mechanisms leading to the identification of pathogens by congenital immune receptors in foals up to 60 days of age. The study was conducted on 16 foal Polish Pony Horses (Polish Konik) divided into two study groups: control (n = 9) and experimental (n = 7). Foals from the experimental group received an intramuscular duplicate injection of 5 mL of Biotropina (Biowet) at 35 and 40 days of age. The RNA isolated from venous blood was used to evaluate the expression of theTLR3, TLR4, and TLR7 genes using RT-PCR. The results of the experiment demonstrated a statistically significant increase in the level of TLR3 gene expression and a decrease in the level ofTLR4 gene expression with foal aging. The level of TLR7 gene expression did not show age dependence. Immunostimulation with Biotropina had a significant impact on the level of the genes’ expression for Toll-like receptors. It increased the level of TLR4 expression and decreased TLR3 expression. Thus, it was concluded that the expression of theTLR3 and TLR4genes in peripheral blood cells is dependent on age. This experiment demonstrated a strong negative correlation between TLR3 and TLR4 gene expression. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics of Animal Health and Disease in Livestock)
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Open AccessArticle
Genetics of Arthrogryposis and Macroglossia in Piemontese Cattle Breed
Animals 2020, 10(10), 1732; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10101732 - 24 Sep 2020
Abstract
Arthrogryposis and macroglossia are congenital pathologies known in several cattle breeds, including Piemontese. As variations in single genes were identified as responsible for arthrogryposis in some breeds, we decided: (i) to test the hypothesis of a similar genetic determinism for arthrogryposis in the [...] Read more.
Arthrogryposis and macroglossia are congenital pathologies known in several cattle breeds, including Piemontese. As variations in single genes were identified as responsible for arthrogryposis in some breeds, we decided: (i) to test the hypothesis of a similar genetic determinism for arthrogryposis in the Piemontese breed by genotyping affected and healthy animals with a high-density chip and applying genome-wide association study (GWAS), FST and canonical discriminant analysis (CDA) procedures, and (ii) to investigate with the same approach the genetic background of macroglossia, for which no genetic studies exist so far. The study included 125 animals (63 healthy, 30 with arthrogryposis, and 32 with macroglossia). Differently from what reported for other breeds, the analysis did not evidence a single strong association with the two pathologies. Rather, 23 significant markers on different chromosomes were found (7 associated to arthrogryposis, 11 to macroglossia, and 5 to both pathologies), suggesting a multifactorial genetic mechanism underlying both diseases in the Piemontese breed. In the 100-kb interval surrounding the significant SNPs, 20 and 26 genes were identified for arthrogryposis and macroglossia, respectively, with 12 genes in common to both diseases. For some genes (NTN3, KCNH1, KCNH2, and KANK3), a possible role in the pathologies can be hypothesized, being involved in processes related to muscular or nervous tissue development. The real involvement of these genes needs to be further investigated and validated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics of Animal Health and Disease in Livestock)
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Open AccessArticle
Insight into the Possible Formation Mechanism of the Intersex Phenotype of Lanzhou Fat-Tailed Sheep Using Whole-Genome Resequencing
Animals 2020, 10(6), 944; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10060944 - 29 May 2020
Abstract
Intersex, also known as hermaphroditism, is a serious hazard to animal husbandry and production. The mechanism of ovine intersex formation is not clear. Therefore, genome-wide resequencing on the only two intersex and two normal Lanzhou fat-tailed (LFT) sheep, an excellent but endangered Chinese [...] Read more.
Intersex, also known as hermaphroditism, is a serious hazard to animal husbandry and production. The mechanism of ovine intersex formation is not clear. Therefore, genome-wide resequencing on the only two intersex and two normal Lanzhou fat-tailed (LFT) sheep, an excellent but endangered Chinese indigenous sheep breed, was performed. Herein, the deletion of homologous sequences of the goat polled intersex syndrome (PIS) region (8787 bp, 247747059–247755846) on chromosome 1 of the LFT sheep was not the cause of the ovine intersex trait. By detecting the selective sweep regions, we found that the genes related to androgen biosynthesis and follicle stimulating hormone response items, such as steroid 5 alpha-reductase 2 (SRD5A2), steroid 5 alpha-reductase 3 (SRD5A3), and pro-apoptotic WT1 regulator (PAWR), may be involved in the formation of intersex traits. Furthermore, the copy number variations of the four regions, chr9: 71660801–71662800, chr1: 50776001–50778000, chr4: 58119201–58121600, and chr16: 778801–780800, may affect the expression of the zinc finger protein, FOG family member 2 (ZFPM2), LIM homeobox 8 (LHX8), inner mitochondrial membrane peptidase subunit 2 (IMMP2L) and slit guidance ligand 3 (SLIT3) genes, respectively, which contribute to the appearance of intersex traits. These results may supply a theoretical basis for the timely detection and elimination of intersex individuals in sheep, which could accelerate the healthy development of animal husbandry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics of Animal Health and Disease in Livestock)
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Open AccessArticle
RNA Sequencing (RNA-Seq) Based Transcriptome Analysis in Immune Response of Holstein Cattle to Killed Vaccine against Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus Type I
Animals 2020, 10(2), 344; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10020344 - 21 Feb 2020
Cited by 4
Abstract
Immune response of 107 vaccinated Holstein cattle was initially obtained prior to the ELISA test. Five cattle with high and low bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) type I antibody were identified as the final experimental animals. Blood samples from these animals were then [...] Read more.
Immune response of 107 vaccinated Holstein cattle was initially obtained prior to the ELISA test. Five cattle with high and low bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) type I antibody were identified as the final experimental animals. Blood samples from these animals were then utilized to determine significant differentially expressed genes (DEGs) using the RNA-seq transcriptome analysis and enrichment analysis. Our analysis identified 261 DEGs in cattle identified as experimental animals. Functional enrichment analysis in gene ontology (GO) annotations and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathways revealed the DEGs potentially induced by the inactivated BVDV type I vaccine, and might be responsible for the host immune responses. Our findings suggested that inactivated vaccine induced upregulation of genes involved in different GO annotations, including antigen processing and presentation of peptide antigen (via MHC class I), immune response, and positive regulation of interferon-gamma production. The observed downregulation of other genes involved in immune response might be due to inhibition of toll-like receptors (TLRs) by the upregulation of the Bcl-3 gene. Meanwhile, the result of KEGG pathways revealed that the majority of DEGs were upregulated and enriched to different pathways, including cytokine-cytokine receptor interaction, platelet activation, extracellular matrix (ECM) receptor interaction, hematopoietic cell lineage, and ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters. These significant pathways supported our initial findings and are known to play a vital role in shaping adaptive immunity against BVDV type 1. In addition, type 1 diabetes mellitus pathways tended to be significantly enriched. Thus, further studies are needed to investigate the prevalence of type 1 diabetes mellitus in cattle vaccinated with inactivated and live BVDV vaccine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics of Animal Health and Disease in Livestock)
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Open AccessArticle
Embryonic Thermal Manipulation Affects the Antioxidant Response to Post-Hatch Thermal Exposure in Broiler Chickens
Animals 2020, 10(1), 126; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10010126 - 13 Jan 2020
Cited by 6
Abstract
Thermal stress is a major source of oxidative damage in the broiler chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus) due to the latter’s impaired metabolic function. While heat stress has been extensively studied in broilers, the effects of cold stress on broiler physiologic and [...] Read more.
Thermal stress is a major source of oxidative damage in the broiler chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus) due to the latter’s impaired metabolic function. While heat stress has been extensively studied in broilers, the effects of cold stress on broiler physiologic and oxidative function are still relatively unknown. The present study aimed to understand how thermal manipulation (TM) might affect a broiler’s oxidative response to post-hatch thermal stress in terms of the mRNA expression of the catalase, NADPH oxidase 4 (NOX4), and superoxide dismutase 2 (SOD2) genes. During embryonic days 10 to 18, TM was carried out by raising the temperature to 39 °C at 65% relative humidity for 18 h/day. To induce heat stress, room temperature was raised from 21 to 35 °C during post-hatch days (PD) 28 to 35, while cold stress was induced during PD 32 to 37 by lowering the room temperature from 21 to 16 °C. At the end of the thermal stress periods, a number of chickens were euthanized to extract hepatic and splenic tissue from the heat-stressed group and cardiac, hepatic, muscular, and splenic tissue from the cold-stressed group. Catalase, NOX4, and SOD2 expression in the heart, liver, and spleen were decreased in TM chickens compared to controls after both cold and heat stress. In contrast, the expression levels of these genes in the breast muscles of the TM group were increased or not affected. Moreover, TM chicks possessed an increased body weight (BW) and decreased cloacal temperature (TC) compared to controls on PD 37. In addition, TM led to increased BW and lower TC after both cold and heat stress. Conclusively, our findings suggest that TM has a significant effect on the oxidative function of thermally stressed broilers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics of Animal Health and Disease in Livestock)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Improvement of Disease Resistance in Livestock: Application of Immunogenomics and CRISPR/Cas9 Technology
Animals 2020, 10(12), 2236; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10122236 - 28 Nov 2020
Abstract
Disease occurrence adversely affects livestock production and animal welfare, and have an impact on both human health and public perception of food–animals production. Combined efforts from farmers, animal scientists, and veterinarians have been continuing to explore the effective disease control approaches for the [...] Read more.
Disease occurrence adversely affects livestock production and animal welfare, and have an impact on both human health and public perception of food–animals production. Combined efforts from farmers, animal scientists, and veterinarians have been continuing to explore the effective disease control approaches for the production of safe animal-originated food. Implementing the immunogenomics, along with genome editing technology, has been considering as the key approach for safe food–animal production through the improvement of the host genetic resistance. Next-generation sequencing, as a cutting-edge technique, enables the production of high throughput transcriptomic and genomic profiles resulted from host-pathogen interactions. Immunogenomics combine the transcriptomic and genomic data that links to host resistance to disease, and predict the potential candidate genes and their genomic locations. Genome editing, which involves insertion, deletion, or modification of one or more genes in the DNA sequence, is advancing rapidly and may be poised to become a commercial reality faster than it has thought. The clustered regulatory interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated protein 9 (Cas9) [CRISPR/Cas9] system has recently emerged as a powerful tool for genome editing in agricultural food production including livestock disease management. CRISPR/Cas9 mediated insertion of NRAMP1 gene for producing tuberculosis resistant cattle, and deletion of CD163 gene for producing porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) resistant pigs are two groundbreaking applications of genome editing in livestock. In this review, we have highlighted the technological advances of livestock immunogenomics and the principles and scopes of application of CRISPR/Cas9-mediated targeted genome editing in animal breeding for disease resistance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics of Animal Health and Disease in Livestock)
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Open AccessReview
Role of the JAK-STAT Pathway in Bovine Mastitis and Milk Production
Animals 2020, 10(11), 2107; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10112107 - 13 Nov 2020
Abstract
The cytokine-activated Janus kinase (JAK)—signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) pathway is a sequence of communications between proteins in a cell, and it is associated with various processes such as cell division, apoptosis, mammary gland development, lactation, anti-inflammation, and immunity. The pathway [...] Read more.
The cytokine-activated Janus kinase (JAK)—signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) pathway is a sequence of communications between proteins in a cell, and it is associated with various processes such as cell division, apoptosis, mammary gland development, lactation, anti-inflammation, and immunity. The pathway is involved in transferring information from receptors on the cell surface to the cell nucleus, resulting in the regulation of genes through transcription. The Janus kinase 2 (JAK2), signal transducer and activator of transcription A and B (STAT5 A & B), STAT1, and cytokine signaling suppressor 3 (SOCS3) are the key members of the JAK-STAT pathway. Interestingly, prolactin (Prl) also uses the JAK-STAT pathway to regulate milk production traits in dairy cattle. The activation of JAK2 and STATs genes has a critical role in milk production and mastitis resistance. The upregulation of SOCS3 in bovine mammary epithelial cells inhibits the activation of JAK2 and STATs genes, which promotes mastitis development and reduces the lactational performance of dairy cattle. In the current review, we highlight the recent development in the knowledge of JAK-STAT, which will enhance our ability to devise therapeutic strategies for bovine mastitis control. Furthermore, the review also explores the role of the JAK-STAT pathway in the regulation of milk production in dairy cattle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics of Animal Health and Disease in Livestock)
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Open AccessReview
Overview of Research Development on the Role of NF-κB Signaling in Mastitis
Animals 2020, 10(9), 1625; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10091625 - 10 Sep 2020
Abstract
Mastitis is the inflammation of the mammary gland. Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus are the most common bacteria responsible for mastitis. When mammary epithelial cells are infected by microorganisms, this activates an inflammatory response. The bacterial infection is recognized by innate pattern recognition [...] Read more.
Mastitis is the inflammation of the mammary gland. Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus are the most common bacteria responsible for mastitis. When mammary epithelial cells are infected by microorganisms, this activates an inflammatory response. The bacterial infection is recognized by innate pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) in the mammary epithelial cells, with the help of Toll-like receptors (TLRs). Upon activation by lipopolysaccharides, a virulent agent of bacteria, the TLRs further trigger nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) signaling to accelerate its pathogenesis. The NF-κB has an essential role in many biological processes, such as cell survival, immune response, inflammation and development. Therefore, the NF-κB signaling triggered by the TLRs then regulates the transcriptional expression of specific inflammatory mediators to initiate inflammation of the mammary epithelial cells. Thus, any aberrant regulation of NF-κB signaling may lead to many inflammatory diseases, including mastitis. Hence, the inhibiting of NF-κB signaling has potential therapeutic applications in mastitis control strategies. In this review, we highlighted the regulation and function of NF-κB signaling in mastitis. Furthermore, the role of NF-κB signaling for therapeutic purposes in mastitis control has been explored in the current review. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics of Animal Health and Disease in Livestock)
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Open AccessReview
The Role of Innate Immune Response and Microbiome in Resilience of Dairy Cattle to Disease: The Mastitis Model
Animals 2020, 10(8), 1397; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10081397 - 11 Aug 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
Animal health is affected by many factors such as metabolic stress, the immune system, and epidemiological features that interconnect. The immune system has evolved along with the phylogenetic evolution as a highly refined sensing and response system, poised to react against diverse infectious [...] Read more.
Animal health is affected by many factors such as metabolic stress, the immune system, and epidemiological features that interconnect. The immune system has evolved along with the phylogenetic evolution as a highly refined sensing and response system, poised to react against diverse infectious and non-infectious stressors for better survival and adaptation. It is now known that high genetic merit for milk yield is correlated with a defective control of the inflammatory response, underlying the occurrence of several production diseases. This is evident in the mastitis model where high-yielding dairy cows show high disease prevalence of the mammary gland with reduced effectiveness of the innate immune system and poor control over the inflammatory response to microbial agents. There is growing evidence of epigenetic effects on innate immunity genes underlying the response to common microbial agents. The aforementioned agents, along with other non-infectious stressors, can give rise to abnormal activation of the innate immune system, underlying serious disease conditions, and affecting milk yield. Furthermore, the microbiome also plays a role in shaping immune functions and disease resistance as a whole. Accordingly, proper modulation of the microbiome can be pivotal to successful disease control strategies. These strategies can benefit from a fundamental re-appraisal of native cattle breeds as models of disease resistance based on successful coping of both infectious and non-infectious stressors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics of Animal Health and Disease in Livestock)
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