This study describes the ultrasonographic findings of the rumen in 45 healthy dairy cows.
The cows were scanned on both sides using a 5.0 MHz transducer. The dorsal visible margin of the rumen ran parallel to the lung from cranioventral to caudodorsal. It was furthest from the dorsal midline at the 9th intercostal space (48.3 ± 9.24 cm) and closest at the 12th intercostal space (22.4 ± 3.27 cm). The longitudinal groove, which could be clearly identified at all examination sites because it appeared as a triangular notch, formed the ventral margin of the dorsal sac of the rumen. The dorsal sac of the rumen was largest at the caudal flank (40.3 ± 6.33 cm), where it was adjacent to the abdominal wall. The ventral sac of the rumen extended across the ventral midline into the right hemiabdomen and its ventral margin had a largely horizontal craniocaudal course. The height of the ventral sac of the rumen exceeded that of the dorsal sac at all examination sites; the maximum height was measured at the 12th intercostal space (62.6 ± 9.53 cm). The dorsal gas cap, characterised ultrasonographically by typical reverberation artifacts, was visible in all cows from the 12th intercostal space to the caudal flank. It was largest at the 12th intercostal space (20.5 ± 7.03 cm). The transition from the gas cap to the fibre mat was marked by the abrupt cessation of the reverberation artifacts. It was not possible to differentiate a fibre mat and a ventral fluid phase. The rumen could be imaged from the right side in 21 cows (47%).
Ultrasonography is well suited for the detailed examination of the rumen of cows. The reference values obtained from this study add to the diagnostic tools that are available for the assessment of bovine patients.
Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) is an acquired disorder characterized by the activation of intravascular coagulation and excessive fibrin formation. It always occurs in association with other clinical conditions, including parasitic diseases. DIC has been described as a unusual complication in human and canine visceral leishmaniasis.
DIC was found in a seven-year-old male mongrel dog naturally infected by Leishmania (Leishmania) chagasi. Haemostasis parameters demonstrated changes in primary and secondary haemostasis and fibrinolysis.
DIC is a unusual condition described in canine visceral leishmaniasis and it seems to be associated with several immunological and pathological mechanisms involved in the disease.
Disseminated intravascular coagulation; Dog; Visceral leishmaniasis
Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging is the preferred diagnostic tool to evaluate internal disorders of many joints in humans; however, the usefulness of MR imaging in the context of osteoarthritis, and joint disease in general, has yet to be characterized in veterinary medicine. The objective of this study was to assess the diagnostic accuracy of short-duration 3 Tesla MR imaging for the evaluation of cranial and caudal cruciate ligament, meniscal and cartilage damage, as well as the degree of osteoarthritis, in dogs affected by non-traumatic, naturally-occurring cranial cruciate ligament rupture (CCLR). Diagnoses made from MR images were compared to those made during surgical exploration. Twenty-one client-owned dogs were included in this study, and one experienced evaluator assessed all images.
All cranial cruciate ligaments were correctly identified as ruptured. With one exception, all caudal cruciate ligaments were correctly identified as intact. High sensitivities and specificities were obtained when diagnosing meniscal rupture. MR images revealed additional subclinical lesions in both the cranial and caudal cruciate ligaments and in the menisci. There was a “clear” statistical (kappa) agreement between the MR and the surgical findings for both cartilage damage and degree of osteoarthritis. However, the large 95% confidence intervals indicated that evaluation of cartilage damage and of degree of osteoarthritis is not clinically satisfactory.
The presence of cruciate ligament damage and meniscal tears could be accurately assessed using the MR images obtained with our protocol. However, in the case of meniscal evaluation, occasional misdiagnosis did occur. The presence of cartilage damage and the degree of osteoarthritis could not be properly evaluated.
Dog; Stifle; Cranial cruciate ligament; High-field MRI; Radiography
Helminthiasis is a major limitation to the livestock industry in Africa. Haemonchus contortus is the singular most important helminth responsible for major economic losses in small ruminants. The high cost of anthelmintics to small farmers, resistance to available anthelmintics and residue problems in meat and milk consumed by humans further complicates matters. The use of plants and plant extracts as a possible source of new anthelmintics has received more interest in the last decade. Our aim was not to confirm the traditional use, but rather to determine activity of extracts.
Based on our past experience acetone was used as extractant. Because it is cheaper and more reproducible to evaluate the activity of plant extracts, than doing animal studies, the activity of acetone leaf extracts of thirteen plant species used traditionally in ethnoveterinary medicine in South Africa were determined using the egg hatch assay and the larval development test. Cytotoxicity of these extracts was also evaluated using the MTT cellular assay.
Extracts of three plant species i.e. Heteromorpha trifoliata, Maesa lanceolata and Leucosidea sericea had EC50 values of 0.62 mg/ml, 0.72 mg/ml and 1.08 mg/ml respectively for the egg hatch assay. Clausena anisata; (1.08 mg/ml) and Clerodendrum glabrum; (1.48 mg/ml) extracts were also active. In the larval development assay the H. trifoliata extract was the most effective with an EC50 of 0.64 mg/ml followed by L. sericea (1.27 mg/ml). The activities in the larval development test were generally lower in most plant species than the egg hatch assay. Based on the cytotoxicity results C. anisata was the least toxic with an LC50 of 0.17 mg/ml, while Cyathea dregei was the most toxic plant with an LC50 of 0.003 mg/ml. The C. anisata extract had the best selectivity index with a value of 0.10 and 0.08 for the two assays, followed by H. trifoliata and L. sericea with values of 0.07, 0.07 and 0.05, 0.04. The C. dregei extract had the worst selectivity index with a value of 0.00019 for both assays.
The result of this study indicates which species should be further investigated in depth for isolation of compounds.
Anthelmintic; Ethnoveterinary; Plant species; Haemonchus contortus; In vitro; Toxicity
Active and passive surveillance for avian influenza virus (AIV) and Newcastle disease virus (NDV) is widespread in commercial poultry worldwide, therefore optimization of sample collection and transport would be valuable to achieve the best sensitivity and specificity possible, and to develop the most accurate and efficient testing programs. A H7N2 low pathogenicity (LP) AIV strain was selected and used as an indicator virus because it is present in lower concentrations in swabbings and thus requires greater sensitivity for detection compared to highly pathogenic (HP) AIV. For similar reasons a mesogenic strain of NDV was selected. Using oro-pharyngeal and cloacal swabs collected from chickens experimentally exposed to the viruses we evaluated the effects of numerous aspects of sample collection and transport: 1) swab construction material (flocked nylon, non-flocked Dacron, or urethane foam), 2) transport media (brain heart infusion broth [BHI] or phosphate buffered saline [PBS]), 3) media volume (2 ml or 3.5 ml), 4) transporting the swab wet in the vial or removing the swab prior to transport, or transporting the swab dry with no media, and 5) single swabs versus pooling 5 or 11 swabs per vial.
Using real-time RT-PCR (rRT-PCR), virus isolation (VI) and commercial antigen detection immunoassays for AIV we observed statistically significant differences and consistent trends with some elements of sample collection and transport; media, dry transport and swab construction. Conversely, the number of swabs pooled (1, 5 or 11) and whether the swab was removed prior to transport did not impact virus detection. Similarly, with NDV detection by both VI and rRT-PCR was not affected by the numbers of swabs collected in a single vial (1, 5 or 11).
We observed that flocked and foam swabs were superior to non-flocked swabs, BHI media was better than PBS, and transporting swabs wet was better for virus recovery and detection than transporting them dry. There was no observable difference in detection whether the swab was removed prior to transport or left in the vial. Also, with both AIV and NDV, there was no observed difference in virus detection between pools of 1, 5 or 11 swabs.
Laterality defects are rare in cattle and usually manifest as asplenia or
polysplenia syndrome. These syndromes may be associated with situs ambiguus,
which is a dislocation of some but not all internal organs. The objective of
this report was to describe the clinical and post-mortem findings including
the macroscopic and microscopic anatomy of selected organs in a cow with
polysplenia and situs ambiguus.
A 3.5-year-old Brown Swiss cow was referred to the Department of Farm
Animals, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Zurich, because of poor appetite
and recurrent indigestion. A diagnosis of situs ambiguus was based on the
results of physical examination, ultrasonography, exploratory laparotomy and
post-mortem examination. The latter revealed that the rumen was on the right
side and lacked compartmentalisation. There were two spleens, one on the
left (26.5 x 12.0 cm) and one on the right (20.5 x 5.5 cm), and the omasum
was located craniolateral to the ruminoreticulum on the left. The abomasum
was located on the right, although it had initially been displaced to the
left. The three-lobed liver occupied the left and central cranioventral
aspect of the abdominal cavity (cavum abdominis). Only the right and left
hepatic veins (vena hepatica dextra and sinistra) drained into the thoracic
segment of the caudal vena cava (vena cava caudalis), and histological
changes in the liver were indicative of impaired haemodynamics. The
mesojejunum was not fused with the mesentery of the spiral loop (ansa
spiralis) of the ascending colon (colon ascendens). The latter was folded
and the transverse colon (colon transversum) ran caudal to the cranial
mesenteric artery (arteria mesenteria cranialis). Fibrotic constrictions
were seen in the lumen of the caecum and proximal loop (ansa proximalis) of
the ascending colon. Both kidneys were positioned retroperitoneally in a
lumbar position. The lumbar segment of the caudal vena cava did not descend
to the liver and instead drained into the right azygous vein (vena azygos
Recurrent digestive problems and poor production in this patient may have
been caused by a lack of rumen compartmentalisation, abnormal abomasal
motility, constrictions in the large intestine (intestinum crassum) and
fibrosis of the liver. The abomasum had abnormal motility most likely
because it was anchored inadequately and only at its cranial aspect to the
liver by the lesser omentum (omentum minus) and to the dorsal abdominal wall
and rumen by a short greater omentum (omentum majus).
Pradofloxacin, a newly developed 8-cyano-fluoroquinolone, show enhanced activity against Gram-positive organisms and anaerobes to treat canine and feline bacterial infections. The purpose of this cross-over study was to measure the unbound drug concentration of pradofloxacin in the interstitial fluid (ISF) using ultrafiltration and to compare the kinetics of pradofloxacin in serum, ISF and tissue using enrofloxacin as reference.
After oral administration of enrofloxacin (5 mg/kg) and pradofloxacin (3 mg/kg and 6 mg/kg, respectively), serum collection and ultrafiltration in regular intervals over a period of 24 h were performed, followed by tissue sampling at the end of the third dosing protocol (pradofloxacin 6 mg/kg). Peak concentrations of pradofloxacin (3 mg/kg) were 1.55±0.31 μg/ml in the ISF and 1.85±0.23 μg/ml in serum and for pradofloxacin (6 mg/kg) 2.71±0.81 μg/kg in the ISF and 2.77±0.64 μg/kg in serum; both without a statistical difference between ISF and serum. Comparison between all sampling approaches showed no consistent pattern of statistical differences.
Despite some technical shortcomings the ultrafiltration approach appears to be the most sensitive sampling technique to estimate pharmacokinetic values of pradofloxacin at the infection site. Pharmacokinetics – Pradofloxacin – Ultrafiltration – Dog – Oral Administration.
In this study, we characterised the microbiota present in the faeces of 15- and 46-week-old egg laying hens before and after tetracycline or streptomycin therapy. In the first experiment, the layers were subjected to 7 days of therapy. In the second experiment, the hens were subjected to two days of therapy, which was repeated for an additional two days after 12 days of antibiotic withdrawal. This enabled us to characterise dynamics of the changes after antibiotic administration and withdrawal, and to identify genera repeatedly resistant to tetracycline and streptomycin.
Real-time PCRs specific for Enterobacteriales, Lactobacillales, Clostridiales and Bifidobacteriales showed that changes in the microbiota in response to antibiotic therapy and antibiotic withdrawal were quite rapid and could be observed within 24 hours after the change in therapy status. Pyrosequencing of PCR amplified V3/V4 variable regions of 16S rRNA genes showed that representatives of the orders Clostridiales, Lactobacillales, Bacteroidales, Bifidobacteriales, Enterobacteriales, Erysipelotrichales, Coriobacteriales, Desulfovibrionales, Burkholderiales, Campylobacterales and Actinomycetales were detected in the faeces of hens prior to the antibiotic therapy. Tetracycline and streptomycin therapies decreased the prevalence of Bifidobacteriales, Bacteroidales, Clostridiales, Desulfovibrionales, Burkholderiales and Campylobacterales in faecal samples in both experiments. On the other hand, Enterobacteriales and Lactobacillales always increased in prevalence in response to both therapies. Within the latter two orders, Escherichia and Enterococcus were the genera prevalence of which increased after all the antibiotic treatments.
The changes in microbiota composition induced by the antibiotic therapy were rapid and quite dramatic and only representatives of the genera Enterococcus and Escherichia increased in response to the therapy with both antibiotics in both experiments.
Chicken; Microbiome; Intestinal tract; Pyrosequencing; Tetracycline; Streptomycin
There is no information on the effects of the breed, gender and age on the cellular content and growth factor (GF) release from equine pure-platelet rich plasma (P-PRP) and pure-platelet rich gel (P-PRG). The objectives of this study were: 1) to compare the cellular composition of P-PRP with whole blood and platelet poor plasma (PPP); 2) to compare the concentration of transforming GF beta 1 (TGF-β1) and platelet derived GF isoform BB (PDGF-BB) between P-PRP treated with non-ionic detergent (P-PRP+NID), P-PRG (activated with calcium gluconate -CG-), PPP+NID, PPP gel (PPG), and plasma and; 3) to evaluate and to correlate the effect of the breed, gender and age on the cellular and GF concentration for each blood component. Forty adult horses, 20 Argentinean Creole Horses (ACH) and, 20 Colombian Creole Horses (CCH) were included. Data were analyzed by parametric (i.e.: t-test, one way ANOVA) and non parametric (Kruskal-Wallis test, Wilcoxon test) tests. Correlation analysis was also performed by using the Spearman and Pearson tests. A p ≤ 0.05 was set as significant for all tests. All the blood components were compared for platelet (PLT), leukocyte (WBC), TGF-β1 and PDGF-BB concentrations. The effect of the breed, gender and age on these variables was analyzed. A P ≤ 0.05 was accepted as significant for all the tests.
PLT counts were 1.8 and 0.6 times higher in P-PRP than in whole blood and PPP, respectively; WBC counts were 0.5 and 0.1 times lower in P-PRP, in comparison with whole blood and PPP, respectively. TGF-β1 and PDGF-BB concentrations were 2.3 and 262 times higher, respectively, in P-PRG than in plasma, and 0.59 and 0.48 times higher, respectively, in P-PRG than in PPG. P-PRG derived from CCH females or young horses presented significantly (P < 0.001) higher PDGF-BB concentrations than P-PRG derived from ACH males or older horses.
Our results indicated that P-PRP obtained by a manual method was affected by intrinsic factors such as the breed, gender and age. Equine practitioners should be aware that cellular and GF release from P-PRP/P-PRG could change according with the intrinsic variables associated with a patient in particular.
Horse; Platelet concentrate; Transforming growth factor beta 1; Platelet derived growth factor isoform BB; Regenerative therapy
Treatment of subclinical mastitis during lactation can have both direct (individual animal level) and indirect (population level) effects. With a few exceptions, prior research has focused on evaluating the direct effects of mastitis treatment, and to date no controlled field trials have been conducted to test whether beneficial indirect effects of lactation treatment strategies targeting subclinical mastitis can be demonstrated on commercial dairy farms. Furthermore, there is limited knowledge on the impact of such interventions on the population dynamics of specific bacterial strains. The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that lactation therapy targeting S. aureus subclinical intramammary infection reduces transmission of S. aureus strains within dairy herds. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and multilocus sequence typing (MLST) were used to determine strain specific infection dynamics in treated and control groups in a split herd trial conducted on 2 commercial dairy farms.
The direct effect of 8 days intramammary lactation therapy with pirlimycin hydrochloride was demonstrated by an increased proportion of cure and a reduction in duration of infection in quarters receiving treatment compared to untreated controls. The indirect effect of lactation therapy was demonstrated by reduction of new S. aureus intramammary infections (IMI) caused by the dominant strain type in both herds. Strain typing of representative isolates taken over the duration of all IMI, including pre- and post-treatment isolates, provided more precise estimates of new infection, cure, and re-infection rates. New S. aureus infections in recovered susceptible quarters and the emergence of a new strain type in one herd influenced incidence measures.
In addition to demonstrating positive direct effects of lactation therapy, this study provides evidence that treatment of subclinical S. aureus mastitis during lactation can have indirect effects including preventing new IMI and reducing incidence of clinical mastitis within dairy herds. Strain specific transmission parameter estimates for S. aureus MLST clonal complexes 5, 97 and 705 in 2 commercial dairy herds are also reported.
Mastitis; Lactation therapy; Molecular diagnostics; Staphylococcus aureus
Serum samples from 630 milk sheep, in 33 dairy flocks representative of the southern area of the Tuscany region, were tested for the presence of antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii using an indirect immunofluorescence antibody test (IFAT). Questionnaires exploring the management system were completed by the veterinarian in charge of the flocks.
At least one seropositive animal was found in 32 of the 33 flocks tested (97.0%; 95% CI: 84.2%, 99.9%). In the positive flocks, median seroprevalence was 29.4% (interquartile range: 15.9%-46.1%). Overall animal-level seroprevalence, adjusted for sampling weights and test sensitivity and specificity, was 33.3% (95% CI: 24.8%, 42.7%). In a multivariable negative binomial regression model the number of seropositive animals in a flock decreased with increasing flock size (for >400 vs. <300 animals: count ratio (CR) = 0.62; 95% CI: 0.41, 0.95; P = 0.028) and was greater on farms where stray cats had access to animals’ water (CR = 1.54; 95% CI: 1.05, 2.26; P = 0.027).
Small flock size and access of cats to water are potential risk factors for Toxoplasma infection in sheep in the Grosseto district in Tuscany, Italy. Sheep could be an important source of T. gondii infection in humans, since we estimate that between 25% and 43% of sheep in the district were seropositive. Toxoplasmosis is also likely to be an important cause of abortion in sheep in the district. Control and prophylactic measures must be adopted to improve the rearing system and the implementation of health promoting programmes in a joint effort between sheep farmers, farmers’ associations and veterinarians to inform about the means of transmission of the infection and for a better understanding of the disease.
Toxoplasmosis; Sheep; Prevalence; Intra-cluster correlation coefficient; IFAT; Risk factors
Dogs are commonly affected by hyperglycemic conditions. Hyperglycemia compromises the immune response and favors bacterial infections; however, reports on the effects of glucose on neutrophil oxidative metabolism and apoptosis are conflicting in humans and rare in dogs. Considering the many complex factors that affect neutrophil oxidative metabolism in vivo, we investigated in vitro the specific effect of high concentrations of glucose on superoxide production and apoptosis rate in neutrophils from healthy dogs.
The capacity of the neutrophils to reduce tetrazolium nitroblue decreased significantly in the higher concentration of glucose (15.13 ± 9.73% (8 mmol/L) versus 8.93 ± 5.71% (16 mmol/L)). However, there were no changes in tetrazolium nitroblue reduction at different glucose concentrations when the neutrophils were first activated with phorbol myristate acetate. High concentrations of glucose did not affect the viability and apoptosis rate of canine neutrophils either with or without prior camptothecin stimulation. This study provides the first evidence that high concentrations of glucose inhibit the oxidative metabolism of canine neutrophils in vitro in a manner similar to that which occurs in humans, and that the decrease in superoxide production did not increase the apoptosis rate.
A high concentration of glucose reduces the oxidative metabolism of canine neutrophils in vitro. It is likely that glucose at high concentrations rapidly affects membrane receptors responsible for the activation of NADPH oxidase in neutrophils; therefore, the nonspecific immune response can be compromised in dogs with acute and chronic hyperglycemic conditions.
Superoxide; Respiratory burst; Programmed cell death; Leukocyte dysfunction; Hyperglycemia
Steroid Responsive Meningitis-Arteritis (SRMA) is a common cause of inflammation of the canine central nervous system (CNS). To investigate if transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF-β1), interleukin-6 (IL-6) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) are involved in the production of excessive immunoglobulin A (IgA), the induction of acute phase proteins and in the development of a systemic necrotizing vasculitis, characteristic of SRMA, these three signalling proteins were evaluated.
Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and serum samples of dogs during the acute phase of SRMA (SRMA) were tested for IL-6, VEGF and TGF- β1. Results were compared to those of dogs affected with SRMA during treatment (SRMA Th) and during relapse (SRMA R), to dogs with other meningoencephalomyelitides (ME), with miscellaneous non-inflammatory diseases of the CNS (CNS-Mix), with idiopathic epilepsy (IE), with systemic inflammatory diseases (Syst. Infl.) and with healthy dogs (Healthy). Concentrations of IL-6 and VEGF in CSF were significantly elevated in the SRMA group compared to the other disease categories (p < 0.05). The CSF concentrations of TGF-β1 were increased in SRMA group, but statistically significant differences were found only in comparison with Healthy and CNS-Mix groups. No differences were detected in the serum concentrations of TGF-β1 between the different groups. In untreated SRMA patients, a positive correlation (rSpear = 0.3549; P = 0.0337) between concentrations of TGF-β1 and IgA concentration was found in CSF, while concentrations of IL-6 and VEGF in CSF positively correlated with the degree of pleocytosis (rSpear = 0.8323; P < 0.0001 and rSpear = 0.5711; P = 0.0166, respectively).
Our results suggest that these three signalling proteins are biomarkers of disease activity in SRMA. VEGF might play an important role in the development of a systemic arteritis. TGF-β1 is considered to be involved in the excessive IgA production, while IL-6 in the pleocytosis. The combined intrathecal increase of TGF-β1 and IL-6 detected in SRMA could possibly force CD4 progenitors to differentiate towards the newly described Th17 lymphocyte subset and enhance the autoimmune response.
Steroid responsive meningitis-arteritis (SRMA); Interleukin-6 (IL-6); Transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF-β1); Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF); Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF); Dog; Central nervous system (CNS)
Having considered how bioavailable aluminium (Al) may affect ecological systems and animals living there, especially cattle, and in search for a preventive dietary treatment against Al toxicity, we aimed to test the protective role of fenugreek seeds against chronic liver injury induced by aluminum chloride (AlCl3) in Wistar rats.
Five months of AlCl3 oral exposure (500 mg/kg bw i.g for one month then 1600 ppm via drinking water) caused liver atrophy, an inhibition of aspartate transaminase (AST), alanine transaminase (ALT) and glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT), an enhancement of both lipid peroxidation and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activity and an increase of total protein level in liver. Moreover, histopathological and histochemical examinations revealed moderate alterations in the hepatic parenchyma in addition to a disrupted iron metabolism. Co-administration of fenugreek seed powder (FSP) at 5% in pellet diet during two months succeeded to antagonize the harmful effects of AlCl3 by restoring all tested parameters.
This study highlighted the hepatotoxicity of AlCl3 through biochemical and histological parameters in one hand and the hepatoprotective role of fenugreek seeds on the other hand. Thus this work could be a pilot study which will encourage farmers to use fenugreek seeds as a detoxifying diet supplement for domestic animals.
AlCl3; Liver; Trigonella foenum-graecum; Lipid peroxidation; Histopathology; Iron metabolism
Anaesthesia in rabbits is associated with a high mortality rate, compared to that in cats and dogs. Total intravenous anaesthesia (TIVA) with drugs that provide cardiovascular stability and are rapidly metabolised could be of benefit for use in rabbits. The aim was to evaluate cardiorespiratory effects of TIVA with sufentanil-midazolam in eight New Zealand White rabbits. Subcutaneous premedication with medetomidine (0.1 mg/kg BW) was followed by IV administration of a mixture of 2.5 μg/mL sufentanil and 0.45 mg/mL midazolam at a rate of 0.3 mL/kg BW/h for anaesthetic induction. Additionally, intravenous boluses of 0.1 mL of the mixture were administered every 20 s until the righting reflex was lost. Following endotracheal intubation, anaesthesia was maintained for 60 min with an infusion rate adjusted to supress the pedal withdrawal reflex. Air and oxygen (1:2) were delivered at 3 L/min. Physiological variables were recorded before induction and at predefined time points during and after anaesthesia.
Righting and pedal withdrawal reflexes were lost within 3 and 5 min, respectively. Doses of sufentanil and midazolam were 0.48 μg/kg BW and 0.09 mg/kg BW for induction, and 0.72 μg/kg BW/h and 0.13 mg/kg BW/h for maintenance. Apnoea occurred in two rabbits. Induction of anaesthesia caused a significant increase in heart rate, cardiac output and arterial CO2 partial pressure and a decrease in mean arterial pressure, respiratory rate and pH. Mean time from stopping the infusion to endotracheal extubation was 5 min, and to return of the righting reflex 7 min. Anaesthesia was characterized by induction and recovery without excitation, with muscle relaxation, and absence of the pedal withdrawal reflex.
TIVA with sufentanil-midazolam provided smooth induction and recovery of anaesthesia in rabbits but with marked hypotension and respiratory depression, requiring mechanical ventilation. Further evaluation is needed to establish if the protocol is useful for rabbits undergoing surgery.
Opioid; Benzodiazepine; Alpha-2-agonist; TIVA; Rabbit; Sufentanil; Midazolam; Respiratory depression; Hypotension
Betanodaviruses are the causative agents of Viral Encephalopathy and Retinopathy (VER). To date, more than 50 species have proved to be susceptible and among them, those found in genus Epinephelus are highly represented. Clinical disease outbreaks are generally characterized by typical nervous signs and significant mortalities mainly associated with aquaculture activities, although some concerns for the impact of this infection in wild fish have been raised. In this study, the authors present the first documented report describing an outbreak of VER in wild species in the Mediterranean basin.
In late summer - early winter 2011 (September-December), significant mortalities affecting wild Dusky grouper (Epinephelus marginatus), Golden grouper (Epinephelus costae) and European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) were reported in the municipality of Santa Maria di Leuca (Northern Ionian Sea, Italy). The affected fish showed an abnormal swimming behavior and swollen abdomens. During this epizootic, five moribund fish showing clear neurological signs were captured and underwent laboratory investigations. Analytical results confirmed the diagnosis of VER in all the specimens. Genetic characterization classified all betanodavirus isolates as belonging to the RGNNV genotype, revealing a close genetic relationship with viral sequences obtained from diseased farmed fish reared in the same area in previous years.
The close relationship of the viral sequences between the isolates collected in wild affected fish and those isolated during clinical disease outbreaks in farmed fish in the same area in previous years suggests a persistent circulation of betanodaviruses and transmission between wild and farmed stocks. Further investigations are necessary to assess the risk of viral transmission between wild and farmed fish populations, particularly in marine protected areas where endangered species are present.
Viral Encephalopathy and Retinopathy; Betanodavirus; Neurological signs; Wild fish; Epinephelus spp.
Accurate diagnosis is pertinent to any disease control programme. If Eastern Africa is to work towards control of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) using the Progressive Control Pathway for FMD (PCP-FMD) as a tool, then the capacity of national reference laboratories (NRLs) mandated to diagnose FMD should match this task. This study assessed the laboratory capacity of 14 NRLs of the Eastern Africa Region Laboratory Network member countries using a semi-structured questionnaire and retrospective data from the World Reference Laboratory for FMD annual reports and Genbank® through National Centre for Biotechnology Information for the period 2006–2010.
The questionnaire response rate was 13/14 (93%). Twelve out of the 13 countries/regions had experienced at least one outbreak in the relevant five year period. Only two countries (Ethiopia and Kenya) had laboratories at biosecurity level 3 and only three (Ethiopia, Kenya and Sudan) had identified FMD virus serotypes for all reported outbreaks. Based on their own country/region assessment, 12/13 of these countries /regions were below stage 3 of the PCP-FMD. Quarantine (77%) and vaccination (54%) were the major FMD control strategies employed. The majority (12/13) of the NRLs used serological techniques to diagnose FMD, seven used antigen ELISA and three of these (25%) also used molecular techniques which were the tests most frequently requested from collaborating laboratories by the majority (69%) of the NRLs. Only 4/13 (31%) participated in proficiency testing for FMD. Four (31%) laboratories had no quality management systems (QMS) in place and where QMS existed it was still deficient, thus, none of the laboratories had achieved accreditation for FMD diagnosis.
This study indicates that FMD diagnostic capacity in Eastern Africa is still inadequate and largely depends on antigen and antibody ELISAs techniques undertaken by the NRLs. Hence, for the region to progress on the PCP-FMD, there is need to: implement regional control measures, improve the serological diagnostic test performance and laboratory capacity of the NRLs (including training of personnel as well as upgrading of equipment and methods, especially strengthening the molecular diagnostic capacity), and to establish a regional reference laboratory to enforce QMS and characterization of FMD virus containing samples.
Bovine neonatal pancytopenia (BNP) is a disease syndrome in newborn calves of up to four weeks of age, first observed in southern Germany in 2006. By now, cases have been reported in several countries around the globe. Many affected calves die within days due to multiple haemorrhages, thrombocytopenia, leukocytopenia and bone marrow depletion. A certain vaccine directed against Bovine Virus Diarrhoea Virus (BVDV) was recently shown to be associated with BNP pathogenesis. Immunized cows develop alloantibodies that are transferred to newborn calves via colostrum intake. In order to further elucidate BNP pathogenesis, the purpose of this study was to characterize and compare the protein composition of the associated vaccine to another vaccine directed against BVDV not related to BNP and the cell surface proteome of MDBK (Madin-Darby Bovine Kidney) cells, the cell line used for production of the associated vaccine.
By SDS-PAGE and mass spectrometry, we were able to detect several coagulation-related and immune modulatory proteins, as well as cellular and serum derived molecules being shared between the associated vaccine and MDBK cells. Furthermore, the number of proteins identified in the BNP related vaccine was almost as high as the number of surface proteins detected on MDBK cells and exceeded the amount of proteins identified in the non-BNP related vaccine over 3.5 fold. The great amount of shared cellular and serum derived proteins confirm that the BNP associated vaccine contained many molecules originating from MDBK cells and vaccine production.
The respective vaccine was not purified enough to prevent the development of alloantibodies. To narrow down possible candidate proteins, those most likely to represent a trigger for BNP pathogenesis are presented in this study, giving a fundament for further analysis in future research.
The Maedi-Visna (MV) lentivirus causes two slowly progressive eventually fatal diseases of sheep, Maedi, a progressive interstitial pneumonia, and Visna, a progressive demyelinating disease of the central nervous system. Other lentiviruses also cause fatal slow infections in their natural hosts, e.g. the HIV virus in humans. Results of experimental vaccination against any lentivirus where vaccinees are challenged by natural routes, may therefore be of general interest. From 1991–1998 experiments with formalin-inactivated whole Maedi-Visna virus vaccine were carried out in the Department of Microbiology at the University of Iceland. Western Blot tests showed good immune response to all major proteins of the virus. When aluminium hydroxide was added to the vaccine all vaccinees developed neutralizing antibodies to the vaccine strain at titers 1/8 – 1/256. After housing 5 twin pairs, one twin in each pair vaccinated, the other unvaccinated, with infected sheep for 4 years, all the unvaccinated twins became infected, but only 2 of their vaccinated siblings as confirmed by virus cultivation experiments on tissues from their lungs spleens lymph nodes and choroid plexuses.
One twin in each of 40 female twin pairs, born into a Maedi-Visna-infected sheep flock and kept under natural farming conditions in Cyprus, was vaccinated at birth, 3 weeks and 3 months, with formalin-inactivated whole Maedi-Visna lentivirus vaccine adjuvanted with aluminium hydroxide. 17 mothers of the twins were seronegative, 13 seroconverting and 10 had old infection. Of 17 vaccinees born to seronegative mothers 9 were uninfected at 28 months, but only 2 of their unvaccinated siblings. Of 13 unvaccinated twins born to seroconverting mothers, 12 caught infection during their first 10 weeks, but only 4 of their vaccinated siblings. Vaccination had no effects on 10 vaccinees born to mothers with long-standing Maedi-Visna infections and broad andibody response at birth of their lambs.
Compared with their unvaccinated siblings, natural infection was delayed in significant number of vaccinated twins born by seronegative and seroconverting mothers and vaccinated at birth, 3 weeks and 3 months with formalin inactivated whole MV vaccine adjuvanted with aluminium hydroxide. Maternal antibodies interfered with vaccination so early in life if the mother had old infection.
Lentivirus; Maedi-Visna; Vaccine-trial; Challenge by natural infection
Osteosarcoma (OS) affects over 8000 dogs/year in the United States. The disease usually arises in the appendicular skeleton and metastasizes to the lung. Dogs with localized appendicular disease benefit from limb amputation and chemotherapy but most die within 6–12 months despite these treatments. Taurolidine, a derivative of taurine, has anti-tumor and anti-angiogenic effects against a variety of cancers. The following in vitro studies tested taurolidine as a candidate for adjuvant therapy for canine OS. Tests for p53 protein status and caspase activity were used to elucidate mechanisms of taurolidine-induced cell death.
Taurolidine was cytotoxic to osteosarcoma cells and increased the toxicity of doxorubicin and carboplatin in vitro. Apoptosis was greatly induced in cells exposed to 125 μM taurolidine and less so in cells exposed to 250 μM taurolidine. Taurolidine cytotoxicity appeared caspase-dependent in one cell line; with apparent mutant p53 protein. This cell line was the most sensitive to single agent taurolidine treatment and had a taurolidine-dependent reduction in accumulated p53 protein suggesting taurolidine’s effects may depend on the functional status of p53 in canine OS.
Taurolidine’s cytotoxic effect appears dependent on cell specific factors which may be explained, in part, by the functional status of p53. Taurolidine initiates apoptosis in canine OS cells and this occurs to a greater extent at lower concentrations. Mechanisms of cell death induced by higher concentrations were not elucidated here. Taurolidine combined with doxorubicin or carboplatin can increase the toxicity of these chemotherapy drugs and warrants further investigation in dogs with osteosarcoma.
Taurolidine; Osteosarcoma; In vitro; Apoptosis; Doxorubicin; Carboplatin
Swine influenza (SI) is an acute respiratory disease caused by swine influenza virus (SIV). Swine influenza is generally characterized by acute onset of fever and respiratory symptoms. The most frequent complications of influenza are secondary bacterial pneumonia. The objective of this work was to study the acute phase proteins (APP) responses after coinfection of piglets with H1N1 swine influenza virus (SwH1N1) and Pasteurella multocida (Pm) in order to identify whether the individual APP response correlate with disease severity and whether APP could be used as markers of the health status of coinfected pigs.
In all coinfected pigs clinical sings, including fever, coughing and dyspnea, were seen. Viral shedding was observed from 2 to 7 dpi. The mean level of antibodies against Pm dermonecrotoxin in infected piglets increase significantly from 7 dpi. Anti-SwH1N1 antibodies in the serum were detected from 7 dpi. The concentration of C-reactive protein (CRP) increased significantly at 1 dpi as compared to control pigs, and remained significantly higher to 3 dpi. Level of serum amyloid A (SAA) was significantly higher from 2 to 3 dpi. Haptoglobin (Hp) was significantly elevated from 3 dpi to the end of study, while pig major acute phase protein (Pig-MAP) from 3 to 7 dpi. The concentrations of CRP, Hp and SAA significantly increased before specific antibodies were detected. Positive correlations were found between serum concentration of Hp and SAA and lung scores, and between clinical score and concentrations of Pig-MAP and SAA.
The results of current study confirmed that monitoring of APP may revealed ongoing infection, and in this way may be useful in selecting clinically healthy pigs (i.e. before integration into an uninfected herd). Present results corroborated our previous findings that SAA could be a potentially useful indicator in experimental infection studies (e.g. vaccine efficiency investigations) or as a marker for disease severity, because of correlation observed between its concentration in serum and disease severity (lung scores, clinical scores).
Acute phase proteins; Experimental coinfection; Swine influenza; Pasteurella multocida
Dogslife is the first large-scale internet-based longitudinal study of canine health. The study has been designed to examine how environmental and genetic factors influence the health and development of a birth cohort of UK-based pedigree Labrador Retrievers.
In the first 12 months of the study 1,407 Kennel Club (KC) registered eligible dogs were recruited, at a mean age of 119 days of age (SD 69 days, range 3 days – 504 days). Recruitment rates varied depending upon the study team’s ability to contact owners. Where owners authorised the provision of contact details 8.4% of dogs were recruited compared to 1.3% where no direct contact was possible. The proportion of dogs recruited was higher for owners who transferred the registration of their puppy from the breeder to themselves with the KC, and for owners who were sent an e-mail or postcard requesting participation in the project. Compliance with monthly updates was highly variable. For the 280 dogs that were aged 400 days or more on the 30th June 2011, we estimated between 39% and 45% of owners were still actively involved in the project. Initial evaluation suggests that the cohort is representative of the general population of the KC registered Labrador Retrievers eligible to enrol with the project. Clinical signs of illnesses were reported in 44.3% of Labrador Retrievers registered with Dogslife (median age of first illness 138 days), although only 44.1% of these resulted in a veterinary presentation (median age 316 days).
The web-based platform has enabled the recruitment of a representative population of KC registered Labrador Retrievers, providing the first large-scale longitudinal population-based study of dog health. The use of multiple different methods (e-mail, post and telephone) of contact with dog owners was essential to maximise recruitment and retention of the cohort.
Lead, a serious threat for raptors, can hamper the success of their conservation. This study reports on experience with accidental lead intoxication and responses to chelation therapy in captive Cinereous (Aegypius monachus) and Egyptian (Neophron percnopterus) Vultures.
Soil contamination by lead-based paint sanded off the steel aviary resulted in poisoning of eight Cinereous and two Egyptian Vultures. A male Egyptian Vulture developed signs of apathy, polydipsia, polyuria, regurgitation, and stupor, and died on the next day. Liver, kidney and blood lead concentrations were 12.2, 8.16 and 2.66 μg/g, respectively. Laboratory analyses confirmed severe liver and kidney damage and anaemia. Blood Pb levels of Pb-exposed Cinereous Vultures were 1.571 ± 0.510 μg/g shortly after intoxication, decreased to 0.530 ± 0.165 μg/g without any therapy in a month and to 0.254 ± 0.097 μg/g one month after CaNa2EDTA administration. Eight months later, blood lead levels decreased to close to the background of the control group. Blood parameters of healthy Pb-non-exposed Cinereous Vultures were compared with those of the exposed group prior to and after chelation therapy. Iron levels in the lead-exposed pre-treatment birds significantly decreased after chelation. Haematocrit levels in Pb-exposed birds were significantly lower than those of the controls and improved one month after chelation. Creatine kinase was higher in pre-treatment birds than in the controls but normalised after therapy. Alkaline phosphatase increased after chelation. A marked increase in the level of lipid peroxidation measured as thiobarbituric acid reactive species was demonstrated in birds both prior to and after chelation. The ferric reducing antioxidant power was significantly lower in pre-treatment vultures and returned to normal following chelation therapy. Blood metallothionein levels in lead-exposed birds were higher than in controls. Reduced glutathione dropped after CaNa2EDTA therapy, while oxidised glutathione was significantly lower in both pre- and post-treatment birds. A chick in an egg produced by a Cinereous Vulture female two months after lead toxicosis died on day 40 of artificial incubation. Lead concentrations in foetal tissues were consistent with levels causing avian mortality.
The reported blood parameters and reproduction impairment in captive birds may have implications for professionals dealing with lead exposure in wild birds.
Aegypius monachus; Neophron percnopterus; Plumbism; Haematology; Biochemistry; Oxidative stress; Reproduction impairment; Treatment
The objectives were to determine and assess the reliability of criteria for identification of aortic valve prolapse (AVP) using echocardiography in the horse.
Opinion of equine cardiologists indicated that a long-axis view of the aortic valve (AoV) was most commonly used for identification of AVP (46%; n=13). There was consensus that AVP could be mimicked by ultrasound probe malignment. This was confirmed in 7 healthy horses, where the appearance of AVP could be induced by malalignment. In a study of a further 8 healthy horses (5 with AVP) examined daily for 5 days, by two echocardiographers standardized imaging guidelines gave good to excellent agreement for the assessment of AVP (kappa>0.80) and good agreement between days and observers (kappa >0.6). The technique allowed for assessment of the degree of prolapse and measurement of the prolapse distance that provided excellent agreement between echocardiographers, days and observers (kappa/ICC>0.8). Assessments made using real-time zoomed images provided similar measurements to the standard views (ICC=0.9), with agreement for the identification of AVP (kappa>0.8).
Short axis views of the AoV were used for identification of AVP by fewer respondents (23%), however provided less agreement for the identification of AVP (kappa>0.6) and only adequate agreement with observations made in long axis (kappa>0.5), with AVP being identified more often in short axis (92%) compared to long axis (76%).
Orthogonal views were used by 31% of respondents to identify the presence of AVP, and 85% to identify cusp. Its identification on both views on 4 days was used to categorise horses as having AVP, providing a positive predictive value of 79% and negative predictive value of 18%. Only the non-coronary cusp (NCC) of the AoV was observed to prolapse in these studies. Prolapse of the NCC was confirmed during the optimisation study using four-dimensional echocardiography, which concurred with the findings of two-dimensional echocardiography.
This study has demonstrated reliable diagnostic criteria for the identification and assessment of AVP that can be used for longitudinal research studies to better define the prevalence and natural history of this condition.
Cardiology; Equine; Echocardiography; Repeatability; Reproducibility
Massive industrial production of engineered nanoparticles poses questions about health risks to living beings. In order to understand the underlying mechanisms, we studied the effects of TiO2 and ZnO agglomerated engineered nanoparticles (EPs) on erythrocytes, platelet-rich plasma and on suspensions of giant unilamelar phospholipid vesicles.
Washed erythrocytes, platelet-rich plasma and suspensions of giant unilamelar phospholipid vesicles were incubated with samples of EPs. These samples were observed by different microscopic techniques. We found that TiO2 and ZnO EPs adhered to the membrane of washed human and canine erythrocytes. TiO2 and ZnO EPs induced coalescence of human erythrocytes. Addition of TiO2 and ZnO EPs to platelet-rich plasma caused activation of human platelets after 24 hours and 3 hours, respectively, while in canine erythrocytes, activation of platelets due to ZnO EPs occurred already after 1 hour. To assess the effect of EPs on a representative sample of giant unilamelar phospholipid vesicles, analysis of the recorded populations was improved by applying the principles of statistical physics. TiO2 EPs did not induce any notable effect on giant unilamelar phospholipid vesicles within 50 minutes of incubation, while ZnO EPs induced a decrease in the number of giant unilamelar phospholipid vesicles that was statistically significant (p < 0,001) already after 20 minutes of incubation.
These results indicate that TiO2 and ZnO EPs cause erythrocyte aggregation and could be potentially prothrombogenic, while ZnO could also cause membrane rupture.
Engineered nanoparticles; Erythrocyte shape; Platelet activation; Thrombosis; Cancer; Dog; Phospholipid vesicles; Biological membrane; Titanium; Zinc oxide