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1.  Preliminary study on factors influencing rabbit doe reproductive efficiency: Effect of parity, day of mating, and suckling on ovarian status and estrogen levels at day 6 of pregnancy 
The rabbit corpus luteum becomes an estradiol-dependent tissue by day 6 of gestation, and adequate estrogen is critical to avoid pregnancy failure. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of parity (primiparous or multiparous), day of mating (11 or 21 d postpartum), and suckling status (suckling or nonsuckling) on various reproductive traits in hybrid rabbit does (n = 96). Ovarian structures on day 6 after coitus were evaluated by means of ultrasonography. Blood samples were collected that day, and the serum was analyzed for estradiol-17β by radioimmunoassay (RIA). Parity and suckling had significant effects on mating rate (P < 0.01 and P < 0.05, respectively). More does accepted the male on day 11 than on day 21 (P < 0.05). Ovulation frequency was significantly affected by parity (P < 0.05), day of mating (P < 0.01), and suckling (P < 0.01). Fewer ovarian large follicles and lower estradiol-17β levels were detected in suckling compared with nonsuckling rabbits (P < 0.01). Since estrogen concentrations are commonly used to assess follicular growth and steroidogenic capacity, the lower hormonal levels in the suckling rabbits may reveal poorer ovarian activity, which could result in reduced reproductive efficiency. Our observations confirm the existence of a partial antagonism between lactation and reproduction in rabbits. Further research is needed to elucidate these phenomena, including when artificial insemination is done. Ultrasonography could represent a noninvasive and reliable method for studying several reproductive functions and dysfunctions in rabbits.
PMCID: PMC3605928  PMID: 24082404
2.  FTIR nanobiosensors for Escherichia coli detection 
Infections due to enterohaemorrhagic E. coli (Escherichia coli) have a low incidence but can have severe and sometimes fatal health consequences, and thus represent some of the most serious diseases due to the contamination of water and food. New, fast and simple devices that monitor these pathogens are necessary to improve the safety of our food supply chain. In this work we report on mesoporous titania thin-film substrates as sensors to detect E. coli O157:H7. Titania films treated with APTES ((3-aminopropyl)triethoxysilane) and GA (glutaraldehyde) were functionalized with specific antibodies and the absorption properties monitored. The film-based biosensors showed a detection limit for E. coli of 1 × 102 CFU/mL, constituting a simple and selective method for the effective screening of water samples.
PMCID: PMC3458592  PMID: 23019542
biosensors; E. coli; FTIR spectroscopy; foodborne pathogens; nanomaterials

Results 1-2 (2)