The clinical features, radiographic findings, treatment, and outcome in 51 draft horses with osteochondritis dessicans (OCD) or subchondral cystic lesions (SC) are reported. Clydesdale and Percheron were the most commonly affected breeds, and affected animals represented only 5% of the hospital population of draft horses. Horses were most frequently affected in the tibiotarsal joints and 73% (24 of 33 cases) of the horses with tibiotarsal effusion were affected bilaterally. Osteochondritis dessicans of the distal intermediate ridge was the most common lesion found in the tibiotarsal joint. The stifle was also frequently affected; 87% (13 of 15 cases) of horses with femoropatellar OCD only were lame, and lesions were most commonly located on the lateral trochlear ridge. Sixteen cases were managed conservatively, 30 received surgery, and 5 were euthanized. Lameness, effusion, or both clinical signs resolved in more than 50% of surgically treated cases, but clinical signs improved in 30% of conservatively-managed cases.
A total of 16 animals, including 12 lame and four normal boars, were used. All lame boars had severe osteochondrotic humeral condyles in which repair cartilage tissues originating from subchondral bone were observed. Quantitative chemical studies of repair cartilage and normal cartilage were carried out using humeral condyles from four selected animals (two lame and two normal boars, respectively). The repair cartilage contained a higher concentration of collagen and lower concentration of proteoglycan than did the normal cartilage, consistent with the light microscopic observation of fibrous and fibrocartilaginous tissues in the repair cartilage. The proportion of proteoglycan extractable with 4M-guanidine hydrochloride was less in the repair cartilage than the normal cartilage. The proportion of proteoglycan that can interact with hyaluronic acid was also less than normal in the repair cartilage.
Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) now has two main genotypes, genotype 1 (European) and genotype 2 (North American). There is a lack of data on the comparison of pathogenicity of the two genotypes in boars. The objectives of the present study were to evaluate the amount of PRRSV present in semen over time and compare the viral distribution and microscopic lesions of type 1 and type 2 PRRSV-infected boars.
Twenty-four 8-month-old PRRSV-naïve Duroc boars were randomly allocated to 3 treatment groups. The boars in groups 1 (n = 9) and 2 (n = 9) were intranasally inoculated with type 1 or type 2 PRRSV, respectively. The boars in groups 1 (n = 6) served as negative controls. Semen and blood samples were collected up to 35 days post-inoculation (dpi), and necropsies were performed on 14, 21, and 35 dpi.
There were no significant differences in the genomic copy number of PRRSV, microscopic testicular lesion score, number of PRRSV-positive germ cells, or number of apoptotic cells between the type 1 and type 2 PRRSV-infected boars throughout the experiment. Histopathological changes were manifested by the desquamation of spermatocytes and the presence of multinucleated giant cells in seminiferous tubules of both type 1 and type 2 PRRSV-infected boars. The distribution of PRRSV-positive cells was focal; the virus was found in single germ cells or small clusters of germ cells, localized to the spermatogonia, spermatocytes, spermatids, and non-sperm cells in type 1 and type 2 PRRSV-infected boars.
The results of this study demonstrated that two genotypes of PRRSV do not have significantly different virulence toward the male reproductive system of pigs.
Boar; Genotype; Male reproductive system; Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus; Semen
Data are lacking in the literature regarding the incidence of osteochondrosis (dissecans) [OC(D)] in relation to lameness evaluation in Dutch Warmblood horses. The objective of this retrospective study was to assess the incidence of radiological abnormalities consistent with osteochondrosis or osteochondrosis dissecans in 1,231 sound Dutch Warmblood (DW) horses presented for pre-purchase examination. Standardised (Dutch) pre-purchase examination protocols were evaluated. The pre-purchase examination included a clinical, lameness and radiological evaluation, performed at a private equine clinic in the Netherlands. Radiographical examination included views of the distal (DIP) and proximal (PIP) interphalangeal, metacarpo- and metatarsophalangeal (MCP/MTP), tarsocrural (TC) and femoropatellar (FP) joints. Radiographical evidence of OC(D) was found in 44.3% of clinically sound DW horses. In this study, 443 horses (36%, n = 1,231) had evidence of OCD and 102 horses (8.3%, n = 1,231) had evidence of OC on pre-purchase radiographs. The results also indicated that the TC joints were significantly more likely to be affected. A considerable number of horses did not demonstrate any lameness, although radiographs revealed OC(D).
Osteochondrosis; dissecans; lameness; pre-purchase; examination
Modern pigs grow fast but are highly susceptible to degenerative joint abnormalities, including osteochondrosis. Normal and osteochondrotic humeri and femurs were obtained from five normal and ten lame adolescent boars to study cartilage proteoglycans. Histological examination of joints indicated a locally-reduced intensity of proteoglycan staining by safranin-O in lesion areas of cartilage. Cartilage proteoglycans extracted with 4.0 M guanidinium chloride were studied using Sepharose 2B gel chromatography. The proteoglycans from severely osteochondrotic joints were less (P less than 0.05) aggregated and contained a greater (P less than 0.05) proportion of smaller monomers than those from normal joints. Loss or damage of core protein, including its hyaluronic acid-binding regions, may account for the greater proportion of small monomers. The results also indicated that the proportion of hyaluronic acid in the total glycosaminoglycan uronic acid fraction, estimated by Sephadex G-200 chromatography and cellulose acetate electrophoresis, was lower (P less than 0.05) for the extracted proteoglycans than for the residual or the whole cartilage proteoglycans in all joints studied.
Lumbar vertebral columns from 73 boars were examined for pathological changes. While pathological changes were minimal at five months of age, several animals aged seven to 18 months of age had facet asymmetry and large osteophytes surrounding lumbar facets. In the adult group 36% had degeneration of intervertebral discs and 28% had ventrolateral vertebral osteophytes. Lesions characterized by irregular areas of cavitation in the annulus and adjacent vertebral epiphyses were also observed. Of animals submitted for necropsy with a history of clinical lameness. lesions included nonsuppurative polyarthritis, fracture of the sacrum and femoral head, osteochondrosis involving articular cartilage of the distal humerus and distal femur, vertebral osteomyelitis, meningeal abscess and ulnar osteomyelitis.
The use of monoiodoacetate (MIA) for arthrodesis of the proximal interphalangeal joint (PIJ) and the effect of exercise on the degree of fusion were investigated. Eight horses received 3 injections (Weeks 0, 3, 6) of MIA (2 mL; 60 mg/mL) into the right or left front PIJ. Peri-operatively, the horses received phenylbutazone, butorphanol, and abaxial sesamoidean nerve blocks to relieve pain. During the study, the horses were monitored for general health, lameness, and swelling around the injection area. Radiographs were taken biweekly to evaluate bony fusion. Horses were randomly divided into non-exercised and exercised groups. Exercise consisted of 20 minutes of trotting on a treadmill (4 m/s), 3 days per week for 13 weeks. The horses were euthanized at 24 weeks. Slab sections of the PIJ were evaluated grossly and radiographically for bony fusion. Histologic examinations were performed to evaluate articular cartilage. Three horses were excluded from the study after developing soft tissue necrosis around the injection site, septic arthritis, and necrotic tendinitis. The remaining horses remained healthy, developed a grade 1 to 4 lameness with minimal to severe swelling in the PIJ region. All 5 horses showed radiographic evidence of bony fusion, however, no fusion was present when injected joints were examined on postmortem examination. Histologic examination revealed thinning of the cartilage, diffuse necrosis of chondrocytes, with the calcified zone intact. Subjectively, exercise did not influence the degree of cartilage destruction. Based on this study, chemical arthrodesis cannot be advocated in clinical cases because of the high complication rate and lack of bony fusion.
Leg weakness issues are a great concern for the pig breeding industry, especially with regard to animal welfare. Traits associated with leg weakness are partly influenced by the genetic background of the animals but the genetic basis of these traits is not yet fully understood. The aim of this study was to identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) affecting leg weakness in pigs.
Three hundred and ten F2 pigs from a Duroc × Pietrain resource population were genotyped using 82 genetic markers. Front and rear legs and feet scores were based on the standard scoring system. Osteochondrosis lesions were examined histologically at the head and the condylus medialis of the left femur and humerus. Bone mineral density, bone mineral content and bone mineral area were measured in the whole ulna and radius bones using dual energy X-ray absorptiometry. A line-cross model was applied to determine QTL regions associated with leg weakness using the QTL Express software.
Eleven QTL affecting leg weakness were identified on eight autosomes. All QTL reached the 5% chromosome-wide significance level. Three QTL were associated with osteochondrosis on the humerus end, two with the fore feet score and two with the rear leg score. QTL on SSC2 and SSC3 influencing bone mineral content and bone mineral density, respectively, reached the 5% genome-wide significance level.
Our results confirm previous studies and provide information on new QTL associated with leg weakness in pigs. These results contribute towards a better understanding of the genetic background of leg weakness in pigs.
Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) causes a devastating disease in swine. The presence and transmission of PRRSV by boar semen has been demonstrated by using a swine bioassay. In this assay, 4- to 8-week-old pigs were inoculated intraperitoneally with semen from PRRSV-infected boars. Seroconversion of these piglets indicated the presence of PRRSV in semen. Seroconversion in gilts has also been demonstrated following artificial insemination with semen from PRRSV-infected boars. These methods of detecting PRRSV in boar semen are time-consuming, laborious, and expensive. The objective of this study was to develop a reliable and sensitive PCR assay to directly detect PRRSV in boar semen. Primers from open reading frames 1b and 7 of the PRRSV genome were used in nested PCRs. Virus was detected at concentrations as low as 10 infectious virions per ml in PRRSV-spiked semen. Specificity was confirmed by using a nested PCR and a 32P-labeled oligonucleotide probe. The primers did not react with related arteriviruses or other swine viruses. The PCR assay showed good correlation with the swine bioassay, and both methods were superior to virus isolation. To consistently identify PRRSV in boar semen, the cell fraction was separated by centrifugation at 600 x g for 20 min, a lysis buffer without a reducing agent (2-mercaptoethanol) was used, and nondiluted and 1:20-diluted cell fractions were evaluated by PCR. PRRSV was not reliably detected in the seminal plasma fraction of boar semen.
Boar taint is the undesirable smell and taste of pork meat derived from some entire male pigs. The main causes of boar taint are the two compounds androstenone and skatole (3-methyl-indole). The steroid androstenone is a sex pheromone produced in the testis of the boars. Skatole is produced from tryptophan by bacteria in the intestine of the pigs. In many countries pigs are castrated as piglets to avoid boar taint, however, this is undesirable for animal welfare reasons. Genetic variations affecting the level of boar taint have previously been demonstrated in many breeds. In the study presented in this paper, markers and haplotypes, which can be applied to DNA-based selection schemes in order to reduce or eliminate the boar taint problem, are identified.
Approximately 30,000 SNPs segregating in 923 boars from three Danish breeds; Duroc, Landrace, and Yorkshire, were used to conduct genome wide association studies of boar taint compounds. At 46 suggestive quantitative trait loci (QTL), 25 haplotypes and three single markers with effects were identified. Furthermore, 40% of the haplotypes mapped to previously identified regions. Haplotypes were also analysed for effects of slaughter weight and meat content. The most promising haplotype was identified on Sus scrofa chromosome 1. The gain in fixed effect of having this haplotype on level of androstenone in Landrace was identified to be high (1.279 μg/g). In addition, this haplotype explained 16.8% of the phenotypic variation within the trait. The haplotype was identified around the gene CYB5A which is known to have an indirect impact on the amount of androstenone. In addition to CYB5A, the genes SRD5A2, LOC100518755, and CYP21A2 are candidate genes for other haplotypes affecting androstenone, whereas, candidate genes for the indolic compounds were identified to be SULT1A1 and CYP2E1.
Despite the small sample size, a total of 25 haplotypes and three single markers were identified including genomic regions not previously reported. The haplotypes that were analysed showed large effects on trait level. However, little overlap of QTL between breeds was observed.
Glasser's disease accounted for less than 1% of total swine mortalities in an 11 year retrospective postmortem survey of swine submissions at three provincial government diagnostic laboratories in southern Ontario. However, Glasser's disease was suspected in 17 of 83 boar mortalities at the Record of Production Boar Test Station between 1983 and 1985 and was much more common in specific-pathogen-free (SPF) boars than in conventional boars. The prevalence of the causative organism, Haemophilus parasuis, was determined for 19 SPF herds in Ontario classified as “Excellent” under the Ontario Swine Herd Health Policy. Nasal swabs from two-month-old pigs were cultured on chocolate agar containing 1.5 μg/mL lincomycin, 5 μg/mL bacitracin, and 0.1 μg/mL crystal violet. Three herds were negative for H. parasuis infection; 16 herds contained clinically healthy carrier pigs.
The aim of this report was to describe the clinical signs, diagnostic approach, treatment and outcome in the case of a tiger with a deformity of the paw.
A 1.5-year-old tiger (Panthera tigris) was presented with lameness of the left thoracic limb. A deformity involving the first and second metacarpal bones, and a soft tissue separation between the second and third metacarpal bones of the left front paw were observed. The second digit constantly struck the ground during locomotion. Based on the physical and radiographic evaluations, a diagnosis of ectrodactyly was made. A soft tissue reconstruction of the cleft with excision of both the second digit and distal portion of the second metacarpal bone was performed. Marked improvement of the locomotion was observed after surgical treatment, although the tiger showed a low degree of lameness probably associated with the discrepancy in length between the thoracic limbs.
This report shows a rare deformity in an exotic feline that it is compatible to ectrodactyly. Reconstructive surgery of the cleft resulted in significant improvement of limb function.
Detection of borreliacidal antibodies is an accurate serodiagnostic test for confirmation of Lyme disease in humans. In this study, 13 pathogen-free beagles, 12 to 26 weeks old, were infected with Borrelia burgdorferi by tick challenge. Dogs were monitored for clinical signs and symptoms of Lyme disease along with borreliacidal antibody production against B. burgdorferi sensu stricto isolates 297 and 50772. Ten (77%) dogs developed lameness in one or more legs within 210 days after attachment of Ixodes scapularis ticks. Eight (80%) of the lame animals had concurrent fever of ≥38°C. Spirochetes were also recovered from the skin and joints of 12 (92%) dogs, but rarely from other organs. Borreliacidal antibodies against B. burgdorferi isolate 297 were detected in only four (31%) dogs, and the levels of killing antibodies remained low for the duration of the infection. In contrast, borreliacidal antibodies against B. burgdorferi isolate 50772 were detected in 13 (100%) dogs within 21 days of infection. Furthermore, the borreliacidal antibody levels correlated with the severity of B. burgdorferi infection. Detection of borreliacidal antibodies, especially against B. burgdorferi isolate 50772, is also a reliable serodiagnostic test for detection of Lyme disease in dogs.
Boar taint is a major obstacle when using uncastrated male pigs for swine production. One of the main compounds causing this taint is androstenone, a pheromone produced in porcine testis. Here we use microarrays to study the expression of thousands of genes simultaneously in testis of high and low androstenone boars. The study allows identification of genes and pathways associated with elevated androstenone levels, which is essential for recognising potential molecular markers for breeding purposes.
Testicular tissue was collected from 60 boars, 30 with extreme high and 30 with extreme low levels of androstenone, from each of the two breeds Duroc and Norwegian Landrace. The samples were hybridised to porcine arrays containing 26,877 cDNA clones, detecting 563 and 160 genes that were differentially expressed (p < 0.01) in Duroc and Norwegian Landrace, respectively. Of these significantly up- and down-regulated clones, 72 were found to be common for the two breeds, suggesting the possibility of both general and breed specific mechanisms in regulation of, or response to androstenone levels in boars. Ten genes were chosen for verification of expression patterns by quantitative real competitive PCR and real-time PCR. As expected, our results point towards steroid hormone metabolism and biosynthesis as important biological processes for the androstenone levels, but other potential pathways were identified as well. Among these were oxidoreductase activity, ferric iron binding, iron ion binding and electron transport activities. Genes belonging to the cytochrome P450 and hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase families were highly up-regulated, in addition to several genes encoding different families of conjugation enzymes. Furthermore, a number of genes encoding transcription factors were found both up- and down-regulated. The high number of clones belonging to ferric iron and iron ion binding suggests an importance of these genes, and the association between these pathways and androstenone levels is not previously described.
This study contributes to the understanding of the complex genetic system controlling and responding to androstenone levels in pig testis. The identification of new pathways and genes involved in the biosynthesis and metabolism of androstenone is an important first step towards finding molecular markers to reduce boar taint.
Lameness in sows is an emerging disease condition with major effects on animal welfare and economics. Yet the direct impact on reproduction results remains unclear. The present field study investigated the impact of lameness and claw lesions throughout the reproductive cycle on (re)production results of sows. In five farms, a total of 491 group-housed sows were followed up for a period of one reproductive cycle. Sows were assessed for lameness every time they were moved to another area in the farm. Claw lesions were scored at the beginning and at the end of the cycle. Reproduction results included the number of live-born piglets, stillborn piglets, mummified fetuses and crushed piglets, weaning-to-oestrus interval and the presence of sows not showing oestrus post weaning, returning to service and aborting. Sows that left the group were recorded and the reason was noted. A mean prevalence of lameness of 5.9% was found, although it depended on the time in the productive cycle. The highest percentage of lame sows (8.1%) was found when sows were moved from the post-weaning to the gestation stable. No significant associations were found between lameness and reproduction parameters with the exception of the effect on mummified foetuses. Wall cracks, white line lesions, heel lesions and skin lesions did have an effect on farrowing performance. Of all sows, 22% left the group throughout the study, and almost half of these sows were removed from the farm. Lameness was the second most important reason for culling. Sows culled because of lameness were significantly younger compared with sows culled for other reasons (parity: 2.6 ± 1.3 v. 4.0 ± 1.8). In conclusion, the present results indicate that lameness mainly affects farm productivity indirectly through its effect on sow longevity, whereas claw lesions directly affect some reproductive parameters. The high percentage of lame sows in the insemination stable indicate that risk factor studies should not only focus on the gestation stable, but also on housing conditions in the insemination stable.
sow; lameness; reproduction; culling; claw lesions
Boar taint is an unpleasant odor and flavor of the meat and occurs in a high proportion of uncastrated male pigs. Androstenone, a steroid produced in testis and acting as a sex pheromone regulating reproductive function in female pigs, is one of the main compounds responsible for boar taint. The primary goal of the present investigation was to determine the differential gene expression of selected candidate genes related to levels of androstenone in pigs.
Altogether 2560 boars from the Norwegian Landrace and Duroc populations were included in this study. Testicle samples from the 192 boars with most extreme high or low levels of androstenone in fat were used for RNA extraction, and 15 candidate genes were selected and analyzed by real-competitive PCR analysis. The genes Cytochrome P450 c17 (CYP17A1), Steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (STAR), Aldo-keto reductase family 1 member C4 (AKR1C4), Short-chain dehydrogenase/reductase family member 4 (DHRS4), Ferritin light polypeptide (FTL), Sulfotransferase family 2A, dehydroepiandrosterone-preferring member 1 (SULT2A1), Cytochrome P450 subfamily XIA polypeptide 1 (CYP11A1), Cytochrome b5 (CYB5A), and 17-beta-Hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase IV (HSD17B4) were all found to be significantly (P < 0.05) up-regulated in high androstenone boars in both Duroc and Landrace. Furthermore, Cytochrome P450 c19A2 (CYP19A2) was down-regulated and progesterone receptor membrane component 1 (PGRMC1) was up-regulated in high-androstenone Duroc boars only, while CYP21 was significantly down-regulated (2.5) in high-androstenone Landrace only. The genes Nuclear Receptor co-activator 4 (NCOA4), Sphingomyrlin phosphodiesterase 1 (SMPD1) and 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (HSD3B) were not significantly differentially expressed in any breeds. Additionally, association studies were performed for the genes with one or more detected SNPs. Association between SNP and androstenone level was observed in CYB5A only, suggesting cis-regulation of the differential transcription in this gene.
A large pig material of highly extreme androstenone levels is investigated. The current study contributes to the knowledge about which genes that is differentially expressed regard to the levels of androstenone in pigs. Results in this paper suggest that several genes are important in the regulation of androstenone level in boars and warrant further evaluation of the above mentioned candidate genes, including analyses in different breeds, identification of causal mutations and possible gene interactions.
The dissection of complex traits of economic importance to the pig industry requires the availability of a significant number of genetic markers, such as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). This study was conducted to discover several hundreds of thousands of porcine SNPs using next generation sequencing technologies and use these SNPs, as well as others from different public sources, to design a high-density SNP genotyping assay.
A total of 19 reduced representation libraries derived from four swine breeds (Duroc, Landrace, Large White, Pietrain) and a Wild Boar population and three restriction enzymes (AluI, HaeIII and MspI) were sequenced using Illumina's Genome Analyzer (GA). The SNP discovery effort resulted in the de novo identification of over 372K SNPs. More than 549K SNPs were used to design the Illumina Porcine 60K+SNP iSelect Beadchip, now commercially available as the PorcineSNP60. A total of 64,232 SNPs were included on the Beadchip. Results from genotyping the 158 individuals used for sequencing showed a high overall SNP call rate (97.5%). Of the 62,621 loci that could be reliably scored, 58,994 were polymorphic yielding a SNP conversion success rate of 94%. The average minor allele frequency (MAF) for all scorable SNPs was 0.274.
Overall, the results of this study indicate the utility of using next generation sequencing technologies to identify large numbers of reliable SNPs. In addition, the validation of the PorcineSNP60 Beadchip demonstrated that the assay is an excellent tool that will likely be used in a variety of future studies in pigs.
A 2-year-old gelding was referred for evaluation of severe right forelimb lameness. The horse was grade 4/5 lame on the right forelimb. Clinical, laboratory, and radiographic findings were consistent with septic arthritis and osteomyelitis. Due to poor prognosis the owner elected euthanasia. Histopathology confirmed chronic arthritis and osteomyelitis with intralesional yeast (Candida species).
In many countries, male piglets are castrated shortly after birth because a proportion of un-castrated male pigs produce meat with an unpleasant flavour and odour. Main compounds of boar taint are androstenone and skatole. The aim of this high-density genome-wide association study was to identify single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with androstenone levels in a commercial sire line of pigs. The identification of major genetic effects causing boar taint would accelerate the reduction of boar taint through breeding to finally eliminate the need for castration.
The Illumina Porcine 60K+SNP Beadchip was genotyped on 987 pigs divergent for androstenone concentration from a commercial Duroc-based sire line. The association analysis with 47,897 SNPs revealed that androstenone levels in fat tissue were significantly affected by 37 SNPs on pig chromosomes SSC1 and SSC6. Among them, the 5 most significant SNPs explained together 13.7% of the genetic variance in androstenone. On SSC6, a larger region of 10 Mb was shown to be associated with androstenone covering several candidate genes potentially involved in the synthesis and metabolism of androgens. Besides known candidate genes, such as cytochrome P450 A19 (CYP2A19), sulfotransferases SULT2A1, and SULT2B1, also new members of the cytochrome P450 CYP2 gene subfamilies and of the hydroxysteroid-dehydrogenases (HSD17B14) were found. In addition, the gene encoding the ß-chain of the luteinizing hormone (LHB) which induces steroid synthesis in the Leydig cells of the testis at onset of puberty maps to this area on SSC6. Interestingly, the gene encoding the α-chain of LH is also located in one of the highly significant areas on SSC1.
This study reveals several areas of the genome at high resolution responsible for variation of androstenone levels in intact boars. Major genetic factors on SSC1 and SSC6 showing moderate to large effects on androstenone concentration were identified in this commercial breeding line of pigs. Known and new candidate genes cluster especially on SSC6. For one of the most significant SNP variants, the difference in the proportion of animals surpassing the threshold of consumer acceptance between the two homozygous genotypes was as much as 15.6%.
This study was aimed at identifying genomic regions controlling feeding behavior in Danish Duroc boars and its potential implications for eating behavior in humans. Data regarding individual daily feed intake (DFI), total daily time spent in feeder (TPD), number of daily visits to feeder (NVD), average duration of each visit (TPV), mean feed intake per visit (FPV) and mean feed intake rate (FR) were available for 1130 boars. All boars were genotyped using the Illumina Porcine SNP60 BeadChip. The association analyses were performed using the GenABEL package in the R program. Sixteen SNPs were found to have moderate genome-wide significance (p<5E-05) and 76 SNPs had suggestive (p<5E-04) association with feeding behavior traits. MSI2 gene on chromosome (SSC) 14 was very strongly associated with NVD. Thirty-six SNPs were located in genome regions where QTLs have previously been reported for behavior and/or feed intake traits in pigs. The regions: 64–65 Mb on SSC 1, 124–130 Mb on SSC 8, 63–68 Mb on SSC 11, 32–39 Mb and 59–60 Mb on SSC 12 harbored several signifcant SNPs. Synapse genes (GABRR2, PPP1R9B, SYT1, GABRR1, CADPS2, DLGAP2 and GOPC), dephosphorylation genes (PPM1E, DAPP1, PTPN18, PTPRZ1, PTPN4, MTMR4 and RNGTT) and positive regulation of peptide secretion genes (GHRH, NNAT and TCF7L2) were highly significantly associated with feeding behavior traits. This is the first GWAS to identify genetic variants and biological mechanisms for eating behavior in pigs and these results are important for genetic improvement of pig feed efficiency. We have also conducted pig-human comparative gene mapping to reveal key genomic regions and/or genes on the human genome that may influence eating behavior in human beings and consequently affect the development of obesity and metabolic syndrome. This is the first translational genomics study of its kind to report potential candidate genes for eating behavior in humans.
Boar taint is the unpleasant odour and flavour of the meat of uncastrated male pigs that is primarily caused by high levels of androstenone and skatole in adipose tissue. Androstenone is a steroid and its levels are mainly genetically determined. Studies on androstenone metabolism have, however, focused on a limited number of genes. Identification of additional genes influencing levels of androstenone may facilitate implementation of marker assisted breeding practices. In this study, microarrays were used to identify differentially expressed genes and pathways related to androstenone metabolism in the liver from boars with extreme levels of androstenone in adipose tissue.
Liver tissue samples from 58 boars of the two breeds Duroc and Norwegian Landrace, 29 with extreme high and 29 with extreme low levels of androstenone, were selected from more than 2500 individuals. The samples were hybridised to porcine cDNA microarrays and the 1% most significant differentially expressed genes were considered significant. Among the differentially expressed genes were metabolic phase I related genes belonging to the cytochrome P450 family and the flavin-containing monooxygenase FMO1. Additionally, phase II conjugation genes including UDP-glucuronosyltransferases UGT1A5, UGT2A1 and UGT2B15, sulfotransferase STE, N-acetyltransferase NAT12 and glutathione S-transferase were identified. Phase I and phase II metabolic reactions increase the water solubility of steroids and play a key role in their elimination. Differential expression was also found for genes encoding 17beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenases (HSD17B2, HSD17B4, HSD17B11 and HSD17B13) and plasma proteins alpha-1-acid glycoprotein (AGP) and orosomucoid (ORM1). 17beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenases and plasma proteins regulate the availability of steroids by controlling the amount of active steroids accessible to receptors and available for metabolism. Differences in the expression of FMO1, NAT12, HSD17B2 and HSD17B13 were verified by quantitative real competitive PCR.
A number of genes and pathways related to metabolism of androstenone in liver were identified, including new candidate genes involved in phase I oxidation metabolism, phase II conjugation metabolism, and regulation of steroid availability. The study is a first step towards a deeper understanding of enzymes and regulators involved in pathways of androstenone metabolism and may ultimately lead to the discovery of markers to reduce boar taint.
Deficient mineral supplementation on a feedlot farm resulted in severe clinical manifestations in fattening bulls. Animals mistakenly received only 60–70% of the recommended calcium intake, while simultaneously receiving twice the amount of phosphorus recommended. Thus, the dietary Ca/P ratio was severely distorted. After approximately six months on such a diet, four fattening bulls were euthanized because of severe lameness and 15% of other animals on the farm were having clinical leg problems. Veterinary consultation revealed the mistake in mineral supplementation.
Fattening bulls were divided into three groups depending on the time of their arrival to the farm. This enabled the effect of mineral imbalance at different growth phases to be examined. After slaughtering, the bones of both front and hind limbs were macroscopically evaluated.
Over 80% of the animals with a calcium-deficient diet had at least one severe osteoarthritic lesion. The economic impact of the calcium deficiency was statistically significant.
Calcium deficiency with distorted Ca/P ratio yielded a severe outbreak of osteoarthritis in fattening bulls. Calcium deficiency caused a more serious lesions in age group 5–12 months than age group 12–18 months. Besides causing obvious economic losses osteoarthritis is also a welfare issue for feedlot animals.
An 8-week-old, male Labrador retriever presented for acute onset of left hind limb lameness. This rapidly progressed to juvenile cellulitis, characterized by dermatitis of the face, otitis externa, regional lymphadenopathy, lethargy, and depression. The puppy made a full recovery on glucocorticoid therapy.
This retrospective study investigated the factors associated with a poor outcome (death by euthanasia or from other causes) in horses treated for laminitis at a tertiary care hospital. Cases (n = 247) were defined as patients with laminitis that were euthanized or that died of other causes during hospitalization. Controls (n = 344) were patients with laminitis that survived to be discharged from the hospital. In the final multivariate analysis, the factors significantly associated with an increased risk for death and their respective odds ratios (OR) were as follows: Thoroughbred (OR = 1.57); racehorse (OR = 1.76); treatment with flunixin meglumine (OR = 1.76); vascular pathology (OR = 2.12); distal displacement of the third phalanx (OR = 2.68); pneumonia (OR = 2.87); and lameness of Obel grade II (OR = 2.99), grade III (OR = 9.63), or grade IV (OR = 20.48). The use of glue-on shoes significantly reduced the risk for death (OR = 0.36).
A case of unilateral front leg lameness with bone changes in the pedal bone suggestive of osteodystrophia fibrosa cystica is reported in an eight year old crossbred gelding. The changes were diagnosed at postmortem examination. The known possible causes are briefly reviewed.