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: 30 June 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Bianca Castiglioni
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Agricultural Biology and Biotechnology – Italian National Research Council (CNR), via Einstein snc, 26900 Lodi, Italy
Interests: genomics; transcriptomics; metagenomics and microbiome; next-generation sequencing; animal health; bacterial infections; milk and dairy production

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

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

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 1600 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 (2 papers)

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Research

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
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)
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
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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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Genetics, environment and disease resistance in livestock

Authors: Massimo Amadori; Paola Cremonesi; Trevisi Erminio; Paolo Moroni; Federica Riva; M. Filippa Addis; Valerio Bronzo; Bianca Castiglioni

 

Title:  Heritability of teat condition in Italian Holstein Friesian and its relationship with somatic cell score

Authors: Francesco Tiezzi; Stefania Chessa; Mario Luini; Stefano Biffani

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