In a recent paper written by Hilbe et al (BMC vet res, 2009), the nature and specificity of the prion protein deposition in the kidney of feline species affected with feline spongiform encephalopathy (FSE) were clearly considered doubtful. This article was brought to our attention because we published several years ago an immunodetection of abnormal prion protein in the kidney of a cheetah affected with FSE. At this time we were convinced of its specificity but without having all the possibilities to demonstrate it. As previously published by another group, the presence of abnormal prion protein in some renal glomeruli in domestic cats affected with FSE is indeed generally considered as doubtful mainly because of low intensity detected in this organ and because control kidneys from safe animals present also a weak prion immunolabelling. Here we come back on these studies and thought it would be helpful to relay our last data to the readers of BMC Vet res for future reference on this subject.
Here we come back on our material as it is possible to study and demonstrate the specificity of prion immunodetection using the PET-Blot method (Paraffin Embedded Tissue - Blot). It is admitted that this method allows detecting the Proteinase K (PK) resistant form of the abnormal prion protein (PrPres) without any confusion with unspecific immunoreaction. We re-analysed the kidney tissue versus adrenal gland and brain samples from the same cheetah affected with TSE using this PET-Blot method. The PET-Blot analysis revealed specific PrPres detection within the brain, adrenal gland and some glomeruli of the kidney, with a complete identicalness compared to our previous detection using immunohistochemistry. In conclusion, these new data enable us to confirm with assurance the presence of specific abnormal prion protein in the adrenal gland and in the kidney of the cheetah affected with FSE. It also emphasizes the usefulness for the re-examination of any available tissue blocks with the PET-Blot method as a sensitive complementary tool in case of doubtful PrP IHC results.
Infection by Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae and Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae, either alone or together, causes serious respiratory diseases in pigs.
To develop an efficient multi-disease subunit vaccine against these pathogens, we produced a chimeric protein called Ap97, which comprises a deletion derivative of the N-terminal region of the A. pleuropneumoniae ApxIII toxin (ApxN) and the R1 and R2 repeats of M. hyopneumoniae P97 adhesin (P97C), using an E. coli expression system.
The levels of both IgG1 and IgG2a isotypes specific for ApxN and P97C in the sera of Ap97-immunized mice increased, and Ap97 induced the secretion of IL-4 and IFN-γ by mouse splenocytes. Antisera from mice and pigs immunized with Ap97 readily reacted with both native ApxIII and P97 proteins. In addition, immunization with the Ap97 vaccine effectively protected pigs against challenge with both pathogens.
These findings suggest that Ap97 confers immunogenicity, and is an effective vaccine that protects pigs against infection by M. hyopneumoniae and A. pleuropneumoniae.
Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae; ApxIII; Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae; P97; Recombinant chimera; Vaccine
An increased incidence of nasolacrimal duct fistula in the offspring of dam J and three of her sons (bulls A, B and C) prompted a study to investigate the prevalence and clinical manifestation of this anomaly. The dam J, bull B, 255 direct offspring of bulls A, B, and C and eight other direct and indirect offspring of cow J were examined. The periocular region of each animal was examined for unilateral or bilateral nasolacrimal duct fistula and the location, appearance and size of the lesions.
Of 265 cattle examined, 54 had unilateral (n = 24) or bilateral fistula (n = 30). The prevalence of affected offspring differed significantly among the three bulls. The fistulae were located medial to the medial canthus of the eye and were 1 to 10 mm (median, 1 mm) in height and 1 to 12 mm (median, 2 mm) in length. The shape of the opening was circular in 58, oval in 23 and slit-like in three. One other animal had a large opening with an atypical shape and another had an abnormal medial canthus with several fistulous openings. Seventy openings were pigmented and 52 were hairless. The fistulae were clinically significant in 12 animals.
The findings suggest a hereditary cause of nasolacrimal duct fistula in Brown Swiss cattle.
Cattle; Nasolacrimal duct; Nasolacrimal duct fistula; Congenital anomaly
Fascioloides magna is a pathogenic fluke introduced to Europe ca 140 years ago. As it is spreading over the continent, new intermediate and definitive hosts might be involved in transmission of the parasite. In Europe, several studies reported potential new intermediate snail hosts (Radix spp.) for F. magna, and also several cases of fascioloidosis of wild and domestic animals were published. However, the data based on molecular and histological analyses confirming these findings remained unreported. This study aims to refer to unique findings of F. magna in European snails and domestic animals (the first observation in the Czech Republic in the last 30 years) and demonstrate the use of molecular techniques in determination of F. magna.
Two snails of R. labiata naturally infected with F. magna were found; mature cercariae and daughter rediae were observed. Maturity of cercariae was checked by histological methods, however, their ability to encyst was not confirmed. Co-infection of F. magna and Fasciola hepatica in the liver of two highland cattle bulls was proved. Adult fasciolid flukes producing eggs were found in the liver pseudocysts (F. magna) and the bile ducts (F. hepatica). Identification of intermediate hosts, intramolluscan stages, adult flukes and eggs was performed by sequencing the ITS2 region. Connection of F. magna pseudocysts with the gut (via the bile ducts) was not confirmed by means of histological and coprological examinations.
For the first time, Radix labiata was confirmed as the snail host for F. magna under natural conditions and, together with the finding of F. magna infection in cattle, we can expect further transmission of F. magna from wildlife to livestock in localities shared by these hosts.
Fascioloides magna; Fasciola hepatica; Radix labiata; Galba truncatula; Highland cattle; Molecular determination; ITS2; Histology; Pseudocyst
The inability of current vaccines to provide effective protection against porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) infection is not fully understood. One of the reasons might be the presence of anti-idiotypic antibodies (Ab2s) to the envelope glycoprotein GP5 induced by PRRSV infection since our previous studies demonstrated the presence of auto-Ab2s (aAb2s) in pigs infected with PRRSV. To test this hypothesis, PRRSV negative piglets were injected with a monoclonal Ab2 (Mab2-5G2) and aAb2s that are specific for anti-GP5 antibody, vaccinated with the attenuated PRRSV vaccine CH-1R and then challenged with the highly pathogenic PRRSV HuN4 strain. The animals were evaluated for clinical signs, pathological changes of the thymus and lungs, viremia, levels of serum antibodies and cytokines.
The piglets injected with Mab2-5G2 or aAb2, and who received the attenuated PRRSV vaccine CH-1R before challenge, produced high levels of anti-N antibodies, IL-2 and IL-4, but low levels of neutralizing antibodies. After PRRSV HuN4 challenge, the animals showed obvious clinical signs, including lung lesions, severe thymus atrophy and decreased production of IL-4 and higher level of viremia.
When anti-GP5 Ab2s are present, the use of attenuated PRRSV vaccine CH-1R against HP-PRRSV infection is not recommended. It can result in poor health status with pneumonia and thymus atrophy.
Anti-idiotype; Cytokines; PRRSV; Vaccination
Clostridium difficile is an important bacterial pathogen of humans and a variety of animal species. Birds, especially migratory passerine species, can play a role in the spread of many pathogens, including Clostridium difficile. Barn Swallows (Hirundo rustica) nest in close proximity to human habitats and their biology is closely associated with cattle farming. Therefore, we hypothesized that Barn Swallows can be the reservoir of Clostridium difficile.
Barn Swallows (n = 175) were captured on their autumn migration across Europe to sub-Saharan Africa. Droppings were collected from juvenile (n = 152) and adult birds (n = 23). Overall prevalence of Clostridium difficile was 4% (7/175); 4.6% (7/152) in juvenile birds and 0/23 in adults. Clostridium difficile ribotypes 078, 002 and 014 were identified, which are commonly found in farm animals and humans. Three new Clostridium difficile ribotypes were also identified: SB3, SB159 and SB166, one of which was toxigenic, harbouring genes for toxins A and B.
Results of this study indicate that Barn Swallows might play a role in national and international dissemination of Clostridium difficile and could serve as a source for human and animal infection. Clostridium difficile ribotype 078 was identified, which has been reported as an emerging cause of community-associated Clostridium difficile infection in humans. Based on this and other studies, however, it is more likely that Barn Swallows have a more indicative than perpetuating role in Clostridium difficile epidemiology.
Clostridium difficile infection; Zoonosis; Migrating passerines; Birds; Cattle farming
Haemonchus contortus and Trichostrongylus spp. are reported to be the most prevalent and highly pathogenic parasites in livestock, particularly in small ruminants. However, the routine conventional tool used in Malaysia could not differentiate the species accurately and therefore limiting the understanding of the co-infections between these two genera among livestock in Malaysia. This study is the first attempt to identify the strongylids of veterinary importance in Malaysia (i.e., H. contortus and Trichostrongylus spp.) by amplification and sequencing of the Internal Transcribed Spacer II DNA region.
Overall, 118 (cattle: 11 of 98 or 11.2%; deer: 4 of 70 or 5.7%; goats: 99 of 157 or 63.1%; swine: 4 of 91 or 4.4%) out of the 416 collected fecal samples were microscopy positive with strongylid infection. The PCR and sequencing results demonstrated that 93 samples (1 or 25.0% of deer; 92 or 92.9% of goats) contained H. contortus. In addition, Trichostrongylus colubriformis was observed in 75 (75.8% of 99) of strongylid infected goats and Trichostrongylus axei in 4 (4.0%) of 99 goats and 2 (50.0%) of 4 deer. Based on the molecular results, co-infection of H. contortus and Trichostrongylus spp. (H. contortus + T. colubriformis denoted as HTC; H. contortus + T. axei denoted as HTA) were only found in goats. Specifically, HTC co-infections have higher rate (71 or 45.2% of 157) compared to HTA co-infections (3 or 1.9% of 157).
The present study is the first molecular identification of strongylid species among livestock in Malaysia which is essential towards a better knowledge of the epidemiology of gastro-intestinal parasitic infection among livestock in the country. Furthermore, a more comprehensive or nationwide molecular-based study on gastro-intestinal parasites in livestock should be carried out in the future, given that molecular tools could assist in improving diagnosis of veterinary parasitology in Malaysia due to its high sensitivity and accuracy.
Strongylid; Haemonchus contortus; Trichostrongylus; Infection rate; Livestock; Co-infection; Second internal transcribed spacer (ITS2) of ribosomal DNA
The repair of large bone defects is a major orthopedic challenge because autologous bone grafts are not available in large amounts and because harvesting is often associated with donor-site morbidity. Considering that bone marrow stromal cells (BMSC) are responsible for the maintenance of bone turnover throughout life, we investigated bone repair at a site of a critically sized segmental defect in sheep tibia treated with BMSCs loaded onto allografts. The defect was created in the mid-portion of the tibial diaphysis of eight adult sheep, and the sheep were treated with ex-vivo expanded autologous BMSCs isolated from marrow aspirates and loaded onto cortical allografts (n = 4). The treated sheep were compared with control sheep that had been treated with cell-free allografts (n = 4) obtained from donors of the same breed as the receptor sheep.
The healing response was monitored by radiographs monthly and by computed tomography and histology at six, ten, fourteen, and eighteen weeks after surgery. For the cell-loaded allografts, union was established more rapidly at the interface between the host bone and the allograft, and the healing process was more conspicuous. Remodeling of the allograft was complete at 18 weeks in the cell-treated animals. Histologically, the marrow cavity was reestablished, with intertrabecular spaces being filled with adipose marrow and with evidence of focal hematopoiesis.
Allografts cellularized with AOCs (allografts of osteoprogenitor cells) can generate great clinical outcomes to noncellularized allografts to consolidate, reshape, structurally and morphologically reconstruct bone and bone marrow in a relatively short period of time. These features make this strategy very attractive for clinical use in orthopedic bioengineering.
Allografts; Segmental bone defect; Bone marrow stromal cell; Animal model
Anaesthesia is mandatory for disbudding and castrating calves and lambs of any age, in Switzerland. According to the “anaesthesia delegation model” (ADM), anaesthesia for disbudding calves <3 weeks of age and castrating calves and lambs <2 weeks of age may be administered by certified farmers. Experience with this unique model is not available. The aim was to evaluate the experience of the veterinary practitioners with the ADM. The response rate was 42%. The survey consisted of one questionnaire for each procedure. Procedure I was the delegation of anaesthesia for disbudding calves and procedures II and III were anaesthesia for castrating calves and lambs.
Procedure I was performed with local anaesthesia in all farms of 51.8% of the veterinary practices, while this was only 39.3% and 7.6% for procedures II and III (p < 0.001). Anaesthesia for procedure I was administered technically correctly by farmers in at least 66% of the farms of 58.3% of the practitioners, while this was 45.4% and only 23.6% for procedures II and III (p < 0.001). The ADM was assessed as a moderate to very good model to reinforce the legal obligations for procedures I, II, or III by 74.8%, 76.5% and 62.0% of the veterinary practitioners (p < 0.005).
The delegation of anaesthesia to certified farmers may be a promising model to reinforce the obligation to provide local anaesthesia for disbudding and castrating calves, but to a lesser extent for castrating lambs.
We evaluated Swiss slaughterhouse data for integration in a national syndromic surveillance system for the early detection of emerging diseases in production animals. We analysed meat inspection data for cattle, pigs and small ruminants slaughtered between 2007 and 2012 (including emergency slaughters of sick/injured animals); investigating patterns in the number of animals slaughtered and condemned; the reasons invoked for whole carcass condemnations; reporting biases and regional effects.
Whole carcass condemnation rates were fairly uniform (1–2‰) over time and between the different types of production animals. Condemnation rates were much higher and less uniform following emergency slaughters. The number of condemnations peaked in December for both cattle and pigs, a time when individuals of lower quality are sent to slaughter when hay and food are limited and when certain diseases are more prevalent. Each type of production animal was associated with a different profile of condemnation reasons. The most commonly reported one was “severe lesions” for cattle, “abscesses” for pigs and “pronounced weight loss” for small ruminants. These reasons could constitute valuable syndromic indicators as they are unspecific clinical manifestations of a large range of animal diseases (as well as potential indicators of animal welfare). Differences were detected in the rate of carcass condemnation between cantons and between large and small slaughterhouses. A large percentage (>60% for all three animal categories) of slaughterhouses operating never reported a condemnation between 2007 and 2012, a potential indicator of widespread non-reporting bias in our database.
The current system offers simultaneous coverage of cattle, pigs and small ruminants for the whole of Switzerland; and traceability of each condemnation to its farm of origin. The number of condemnations was significantly linked to the number of slaughters, meaning that the former should be always be offset by the later in analyses. Because this denominator is only communicated at the end of the month, condemnations may currently only be monitored on a monthly basis. Coupled with the lack of timeliness (30–60 days delay between condemnation and notification), this limits the use of the data for early-detection.
Carcass condemnation; Post-mortem; Meat inspection; Slaughterhouse; Syndromic surveillance; Early detection
A genetic predisposition for certain tumour types has been proven for some dog breeds. Some studies have suggested that this may also be true for the Golden retriever breed. The present study aimed to examine a possible existence of a tumour (type) predisposition in the Dutch population of Golden retrievers by evaluating annual estimated incidence rates compared to incidence rates from previous publications. A second aim was to evaluate whether incidences of various tumours differed as related to the diagnostic method chosen, being either cytology or histology.
Tumours submitted to Utrecht University during the period 1998–2004 diagnosed either by means of cytology (n = 2,529) or histology (n = 2,124), were related to an average annual Dutch kennel club population of 29,304 Golden retrievers.
Combining individual tumours from both the cytological and the histopathological data-set resulted in an annual estimated incidence rate of 2,242 for 100,000 dog-years at risk regarding tumour development in general.
The most common cytological tumor diagnoses were ‘fat, possibly lipoma’ (35%), mast cell tumour (21%) and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (10%). The most commonly diagnosed tumours by histology were mast cell tumour (26%), soft tissue sarcomas (11%) and melanoma (8%). Both the cytological and histopathological data-sets, showed variation; in patient age distribution, age of onset and incidence of various tumours.
Comparing our data with previous reports in non-breed-specified dog populations, the Golden retriever breed shows an increased risk for the development of tumours in general, as well as an increased risk for the development of specific tumour types, including the group of soft tissue sarcomas. Variations in age, location and incidence of various tumours were observed between the two data-sets, indicating a selection bias for diagnostic procedure.
Bovine enterotoxemia is a major cause of mortality in veal calves. Predominantly veal calves of beef cattle breeds are affected and losses due to enterotoxemia may account for up to 20% of total mortality. Clostridium perfringens type A is considered to be the causative agent. Recently, alpha toxin and perfringolysin O have been proposed to play an essential role in the development of disease. However, other potential virulence factors also may play a role in the pathogenesis of bovine enterotoxemia. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether strains originating from bovine enterotoxemia cases were superior in in vitro production of virulence factors (alpha toxin, perfringolysin O, mucinase, collagenase) that are potentially involved in enterotoxemia. To approach this, a collection of strains originating from enterotoxemia cases was compared to bovine strains isolated from healthy animals and to strains isolated from other animal species.
Strains originating from bovine enterotoxemia cases produced variable levels of alpha toxin and perfringolysin O that were not significantly different from levels produced by strains isolated from healthy calves and other animal species. All tested strains exhibited similar mucinolytic activity independent of the isolation source. A high variability in collagenase activity between strains could be observed, and no higher collagenase levels were produced in vitro by strains isolated from enterotoxemia cases.
Bovine enterotoxemia strains do not produce higher levels of alpha toxin, perfringolysin O, mucinase and collagenase, as compared to strains derived from healthy calves and other animal species in vitro.
The editors of BMC Veterinary Research would like to thank all our reviewers who have contributed to the journal in Volume 9 (2012).
Sheeppoxvirus (SPPV) is a member of the Capripoxvirus genus of the Poxviridae family, which causes significant economic losses in Morocco. The resurgence of the sheeppox disease during 2010 was characterized by an emergence of a classical nodular form for the first time in Morocco. However, little is known about the virus strain responsible for nodular form. In this study, thirty three sheep, from the eastern region of Morocco, clinically infected were examined and dead animals were autopsied.
A rapid diagnostic assay for SPPV using different type of clinical samples would be useful for outbreak management. The aim of this work was to isolate the virus strain responsible for nodular form and we identified and compared by phylogenetic analysis the field strain with Moroccan vaccine strain targeting the thymidine kinase (TK) gene and the chemokine analogue receptor of interleukin (IL8) gene. Further, it was important to investigate and validate a real-time PCR using different clinical and post-mortem samples to manage epidemic sheeppox disease.
The nodular form of sheeppox disease observed in Morocco was clinically characterized by fever, depression, lacrimation, diarrhea in lambs and nodule. At necropsy, the most affected organ was the lung. The etiological strain was successfully isolated from lung nodule in a dead lamb and was identified by using real-time PCR that has been tested and validated on different types of clinical and post mortem samples from naturally infected animals. Sequence and phylogenetic analysis of TK and IL8 gene showed that there was a very close relationship between field and vaccine strain. They were clustered within other SPPV strains.
In the current study, we show for the first time the nodular form of sheeppox in Morocco. We demonstrate a robust real-time PCR-based diagnostic assay to detect the sheeppox virus in multiple sample that can be implemented to efficiently manage the disease outbreak. Our study also offers the prospect for future molecular studies to understand the clinical forms.
Sheeppox; Real-time PCR; Phylogenetic analysis; TK gene; IL8 gene
Multiple myeloma (MM) is an important human and canine cancer for which novel therapies remain necessary. VDC-1101 (formerly GS-9219), a novel double prodrug of the anti-proliferative nucleotide analog 9-(2-phosphonylmethoxyethyl) guanine (PMEG), possesses potent cytotoxic activity in vitro in human lymphoblasts and leukemia cell lines and in vivo in spontaneous canine lymphoma. Given the similarity in lineage between lymphoma and MM, we hypothesized that VDC-1101 would be active against MM.
We evaluated the in vitro antiproliferative effects of VDC-1101 against 3 human MM cell lines, and we performed a phase-II clinical trial in 14 dogs with spontaneous MM. Each dog was treated with a maximum of 6 doses of VDC-1101 monotherapy over 10–15 weeks. Dose-dependent antiproliferative activity was observed in all evaluated cell lines. Major antitumor responses (reduction of serum paraprotein and resolution of hypercalcemia, peripheral cytopenias and bone marrow plasmacytosis) were observed in 9 of 11 evaluable dogs for a median of 172 days, including a durable stringent complete response (>1047 days) in a dog with melphalan-refractory disease. 2 dogs were euthanized due to presumed pulmonary fibrosis; there were no other dose-limiting toxicities encountered.
In conclusion, VDC-1101 has significant anti-tumor activity at well-tolerated doses in spontaneous canine MM.
Dog; Plasma cell; Chemotherapy; Guanine
Dysregulation of apoptosis has been implicated in a range of diseases including tumors, neurodegenerative and autoimmine diseases, as well as allergic asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in humans. Although it has a different pathophysiology, delayed apoptosis of various inflammatory cells may play a pivotal role in the development of recurrent airway obstruction (RAO) in horses. Reduction of inflammatory cell apoptosis or a dysregulation of this process could lead to chronic inflammation and tissue injury. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the rate of apoptosis and necrosis of neutrophils and macrophages in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid obtained from seven horses suffering from RAO (study group) and seven control horses.
We demonstrated that neutrophil/macrophage apoptosis is altered in RAO-affected horses compared with the control group in the BAL fluid. We found a significant difference between the median percentage of early and late apoptosis of neutrophils between the study and control group of horses. Moreover, we found a positive correlation between the rate of apoptosis and the median percentage of macrophages in RAO-affected horses.
The findings suggest that apoptosis dysregulation may play a significant role in the pathogenesis of RAO. However, further studies are needed to clarify the role of altered apoptosis in the course of equine recurrent airway obstruction.
Efforts to educate producers and veterinarians in the United States regarding the management, prevention and control of Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP) infection have increased over recent years. While nationwide awareness about MAP infection is improving, current level of awareness among beef producers and veterinarians is largely unknown. This study compares the perceptions of beef producers and veterinarians on the burden of MAP infection in cow-calf herds and on measures to control new infections. Questionnaires were mailed to 989 US beef producers through state Designated Johne’s Coordinators and to 1080 bovine veterinarians belonging to a US nationwide professional association.
Twenty-two percent (34/155) of producers reported having infected animals in their herds. The mean (minimum, median, maximum) prevalence reported by producers was 0.8% (0, 0, 10). Twenty-seven percent (27/100) of producers had at least one clinical animal during the previous year. Compared to the small herds (<50 head), the mean test-positive percentages and estimated prevalences were higher in medium (50–149) and highest in large (≥150) herds. Seedstock herds had a lower prevalence and these producers were more likely to enroll in Johne’s disease (JD) control programs and test their herds. Veterinarians reported a mean overall animal level prevalence in their client herds of 5% (0, 2, 60). Similarly, 26% (0, 10, 100) of client herds had at least one infected animal. Mean percentage of infected cows within infected herds was 9% (0.01, 5, 80). Producers generally performed activities to control MAP transmission more frequently than perceived by veterinarians. Compared to veterinarians’ opinions, producers were less likely to cull cows with signs consistent with JD (P < 0.01), but more likely to test purchased additions (P < 0.01). Testing recommendations by veterinarians (n = 277) for beef cow-calf herds were bacterial culture of feces (3%), PCR (14%), ELISA (35%) and a combination of these tests (47%). Seventy-nine percent of veterinarians recommended a 12-month interval between testing.
Seedstock producers who had had JD risk assessments performed on their farms were more supportive of JD control programs and had a correspondingly lower prevalence. It is important to increase educational activities to provide relevant information to veterinarians and producers for better management and control of JD. Educational programs should target larger herds to maximize the impact.
Johne’s disease; Beef cattle; Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis
Cryptosporidiosis in dogs has been reported worldwide, involving both asymptomatic and diarrheic dogs. Large-scale surveys of Cryptosporidium infection in dogs have been performed in some countries using differents diagnostic methods. But, few data are available on the infection rate and molecular characteristics of Cryptosporidium spp. in dogs in China.
In this study, 770 fecal samples from 66 locations in Henan Province were examined. The average Cryptosporidium infection rate was 3.8%, with dogs in kennels having the highest rate of 7.0% (χ2 = 14.82, P < 0.01). The infection rate was 8.0% in dogs younger than 90 days, which was significantly higher than that in the other age groups (1.1–3.8%;χ2 = 18.82, P < 0.01). No association was noted between the infection rate and the sex of the dogs. Twenty-nine Cryptosporidium-positive samples were amplified at the small subunit rRNA (SSU rRNA), 70-kDa heat shock protein (HSP70), and actin loci using PCR. Sequence analysis of these amplicons identified only Cryptosporidium canis, which showed 100% identity with the published sequences of the SSU rRNA, HSP70, and actin genes.
Our results confirm that C. canis is popular in the dog population in China, considering the large number of dogs in China and the close contact between dogs and humans, the role of C. canis in the transmission of human cryptosporidiosis warrants attention.
Infection rate; Dogs; Cryptosporidium canis; SSU rRNA; HSP70; Actin
Validation of a method for the minimally-invasive measurement of physiological stress will help understanding of risk factors that may contribute to stress-associated events including recrudescence of Equid herpesvirus (EHV), which is anecdotally associated with sales consignment of pregnant Thoroughbred mares. In this study we compared two similar groups of late-gestation Thoroughbred broodmares on the same farm: a consigned Sales group (N = 8) and a non-consigned Control group (N = 6). The Sales mares were separated from their paddock companions and grouped prior to their preparation for, transport to, and return from the sales venue. Both groups were monitored by sampling at regular intervals from 5 days prior to until 14 days after the sales date (D0) to measure physiological stress in terms of changes in faecal glucocorticoid metabolite (FGM) concentrations, and for event-related viral recrudescence via daily body temperature measurements and periodic nasal swabs for PCR analysis for EHV-1 and -4 DNA.
In both groups, FGM levels increased post-sales before returning to pre-sales levels. Specifically, FGM concentrations in the Sales mares were significantly higher on D + 3 and D + 10 than on D-4 and D-3 (F = 12.03, P < 0.0001, Post hoc: P = 0.0003 – 0.0008) and in the Control group FGM concentrations were higher on D + 10 than D-4 (F = 5.52, P = 0.004, Post hoc: P = 0.005). Interestingly, mean FGM levels in Control mares were significantly higher at 4 of the 5 sampling points (t = 5.64 – 2.25, p = 0.0001 – 0.044). Only one (Sales) mare showed PCR evidence of EHV-1 shedding.
Using FGM to measure physiological stress was supported by the increases observed in all mares after Sales consignment, including those not consigned to the sale. Monitoring FGM levels therefore represents an appropriate, minimally-invasive method for future studies to assess the contribution of physiological stress to EHV recrudescence in horses transported to sales or equestrian events.
Infectious diarrhea can be caused by bacteria, viruses, or protozoan organisms, or a combination of these. The identification of co-infections in dogs is important to determine the prognosis and to plan strategies for their treatment and prophylaxis. Although many pathogens have been individually detected with real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR), a comprehensive panel of agents that cause diarrhea in privately owned dogs has not yet been established. The objective of this study was to use a real-time PCR diarrhea panel to survey the frequencies of pathogens and co-infections in owned dogs attended in a veterinary hospital with and without diarrhea, as well the frequency in different countries. Feces samples were tested for canine distemper virus, canine coronavirus, canine parvovirus type 2 (CPV-2), Clostridium perfringens alpha toxin (CPA), Cryptosporidium spp., Giardia spp., and Salmonella spp. using molecular techniques.
In total, 104 diarrheic and 43 control dogs that were presented consecutively at a major private veterinary hospital were included in the study. Overall, 71/104 (68.3%) dogs with diarrhea were positive for at least one pathogen: a single infection in 39/71 dogs (54.9%) and co-infections in 32/71 dogs (45.1%), including 21/32 dogs (65.6%) with dual, 5/32 (15.6%) with triple, and 6/32 (18.8%) with quadruple infections. In the control group, 13/43 (30.2%) dogs were positive, all with single infections only. The most prevalent pathogens in the diarrheic dogs were CPA (40/104 dogs, 38.5%), CPV-2 (36/104 dogs, 34.6%), and Giardia spp. (14/104 dogs, 13.5%). CPV-2 was the most prevalent pathogen in the dual co-infections, associated with CPA, Cryptosporidium spp., or Giardia spp. No statistical difference (P = 0.8374) was observed in the duration of diarrhea or the number of deaths (P = 0.5722) in the presence or absence of single or co-infections.
Diarrheic dogs showed a higher prevalence of pathogen infections than the controls. Whereas the healthy dogs had only single infections, about half the diarrheic dogs had co-infections. Therefore, multiple pathogens should be investigated in dogs presenting with diarrhea. The effects of multiple pathogens on the disease outcomes remain unclear because the rate of death and the duration of diarrhea did not seem to be affected by these factors.
Canine; Co-infection; Diarrhea; Panel; Real-time PCR
Infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) is a pathogenic chicken coronavirus. Currently, vaccination against IBV is only partially protective; therefore, better preventions and treatments are needed. Plants produce antimicrobial secondary compounds, which may be a source for novel anti-viral drugs. Non-cytotoxic, crude ethanol extracts of Rhodiola rosea roots, Nigella sativa seeds, and Sambucus nigra fruit were tested for anti-IBV activity, since these safe, widely used plant tissues contain polyphenol derivatives that inhibit other viruses.
Dose–response cytotoxicity curves on Vero cells using trypan blue staining determined the highest non-cytotoxic concentrations of each plant extract. To screen for IBV inhibition, cells and virus were pretreated with extracts, followed by infection in the presence of extract. Viral cytopathic effect was assessed visually following an additional 24 h incubation with extract. Cells and supernatants were harvested separately and virus titers were quantified by plaque assay. Variations of this screening protocol determined the effects of a number of shortened S. nigra extract treatments. Finally, S. nigra extract-treated virions were visualized by transmission electron microscopy with negative staining.
Virus titers from infected cells treated with R. rosea and N. sativa extracts were not substantially different from infected cells treated with solvent alone. However, treatment with S. nigra extracts reduced virus titers by four orders of magnitude at a multiplicity of infection (MOI) of 1 in a dose-responsive manner. Infection at a low MOI reduced viral titers by six orders of magnitude and pretreatment of virus was necessary, but not sufficient, for full virus inhibition. Electron microscopy of virions treated with S. nigra extract showed compromised envelopes and the presence of membrane vesicles, which suggested a mechanism of action.
These results demonstrate that S. nigra extract can inhibit IBV at an early point in infection, probably by rendering the virus non-infectious. They also suggest that future studies using S. nigra extract to treat or prevent IBV or other coronaviruses are warranted.
Infectious bronchitis virus; Coronavirus; Sambucus nigra; Nigella sativa; Rhodiola rosea
Tracheoesophageal fistula (TEF) in dogs is a rare disease with only few reports in the literature. This report aims to contribute to the current literature on suitable diagnostic methods for TEF and to provide follow-up information after successful surgical treatment.
A seven-month-old intact female Spanish Water Dog was presented for further investigation of recurrent respiratory symptom. Bronchoscopy revealed a small hole-like defect in the tracheal wall at the bifurcation. The finding of the contrast material swallow study under fluoroscopy was indicative of a TEF. To further evaluate the connection between the trachea and esophagus, a computed tomography scan was performed. The TEF was surgically approached by thoracotomy through the right lateral sixth intercostal space. The fistula was identified, double ligated and divided. Histopathology confirmed the process to originate from the esophagus and to be patent. The dog was re-examined two weeks and ten months after surgery, with no evidence of recurring clinical signs.
Contrast material swallow study using fluoroscopy was the most reliable diagnostic method. Bronchoscopy may allow the fistula to be visualized, but due to a small fistular opening it can lead to a false negative result. Surgical correction by ligation and dividing of the fistula suggests a good prognosis for early diagnosed and operated TEF.
Congenital tracheoesophageal fistula; Dog; Bronchoscopy; Fluoroscopy; Computed tomography; Histopathology
This study evaluated tyrosine kinase receptor (TKR) expression and activation in canine pulmonary adenocarcinoma (cpAC) biospecimens. As histological similarities exist between human and cpAC, we hypothesized that cpACs will have increased TKR mRNA and protein expression as well as TKR phosphorylation. The molecular profile of cpAC has not been well characterized making the selection of therapeutic targets that would potentially have relevant biological activity impossible. Therefore, the objectives of this study were to define TKR expression and their phosphorylation state in cpAC as well as to evaluate the tumors for the presence of potential epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase activating mutations in exons 18–21. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) for TKR expression was performed using a tissue microarray (TMA) constructed from twelve canine tumors and companion normal lung samples. Staining intensities of the IHC were quantified by a veterinary pathologist as well as by two different digitalized algorithm image analyses software programs. An antibody array was used to evaluate TKR phosphorylation of the tumor relative to the TKR phosphorylation of normal tissues with the resulting spot intensities quantified using array analysis software. Each EGFR exon PCR product from all of the tumors and non-affected lung tissues were sequenced using sequencing chemistry and the sequencing reactions were run on automated sequencer. Sequence alignments were made to the National Center for Biotechnology Information canine EGFR reference sequence.
The pro-angiogenic growth factor receptor, PDGFRα, had increased cpAC tumor mRNA, protein expression and phosphorylation when compared to the normal lung tissue biospecimens. Similar to human pulmonary adenocarcinoma, significant increases in cpAC tumor mRNA expression and receptor phosphorylation of the anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) tyrosine receptor were present when compared to the corresponding normal lung tissue. The EGFR mRNA, protein expression and phosphorylation were not increased compared to the normal lung and no activating mutations were identified in exons 18–21.
Canine pulmonary adenocarcinoma TKRs are detected at both the mRNA and protein levels and are activated. Further investigation into the contribution of TKR activation in cpAC tumorigenesis is warranted.
Canine; Epidermal growth factor receptor; Lung cancer; Platelet-derived growth factor receptor; Tyrosine kinase receptors
Bovine respiratory syncytial virus (BRSV) is one of the major pathogens involved in the bovine respiratory disease (BRD) complex. The seroprevalence to BRSV in Norwegian cattle herds is high, but its role in epidemics of respiratory disease is unclear. The aims of the study were to investigate the etiological role of BRSV and other respiratory viruses in epidemics of BRD and to perform phylogenetic analysis of Norwegian BRSV strains.
BRSV infection was detected either serologically and/or virologically in 18 (86%) of 21 outbreaks and in most cases as a single viral agent. When serology indicated that bovine coronavirus and/or bovine parainfluenza virus 3 were present, the number of BRSV positive animals in the herd was always higher, supporting the view of BRSV as the main pathogen. Sequencing of the G gene of BRSV positive samples showed that the current circulating Norwegian BRSVs belong to genetic subgroup II, along with other North European isolates. One isolate from an outbreak in Norway in 1976 was also investigated. This strain formed a separate branch in subgroup II, clearly different from the current Scandinavian sequences. The currently circulating BRSV could be divided into two different strains that were present in the same geographical area at the same time. The sequence variations between the two strains were in an antigenic important part of the G protein.
The results demonstrated that BRSV is the most important etiological agent of epidemics of BRD in Norway and that it often acts as the only viral agent. The phylogenetic analysis of the Norwegian strains of BRSV and several previously published isolates supported the theory of geographical and temporal clustering of BRSV.
Bovine respiratory syncytial virus; Real time PCR; Occurrence; Phylogenetic analysis
Coagulase-positive (CoPS) and coagulase-negative (CoNS) staphylococci are normal commensals of the skin and mucosa, but are also opportunist pathogens. Meticillin-resistant (MR) and multidrug-resistant (MDR) isolates are increasing in human and veterinary healthcare. Healthy humans and other animals harbour a variety of staphylococci, including MR-CoPS and MR-CoNS. The main aims of the study were to characterise the population and antimicrobial resistance profiles of staphylococci from healthy non-vet visiting and non-antimicrobial treated Labrador retrievers in the UK.
Nasal and perineal samples were collected from 73 Labrador retrievers; staphylococci isolated and identified using phenotypic and biochemical methods. They were also confirmed by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionisation time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS), PCR of the nuc gene and PCR and sequencing of the tuf gene. Disc diffusion and minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) susceptibility tests were determined for a range of antimicrobials. In total, 102 CoPS (S. pseudintermedius n = 91, S. aureus n = 11) and 334 CoNS isolates were detected from 99% of dogs in this study. In 52% of dogs CoNS only were detected, with both CoNS and CoPS detected in 43% dogs and CoPS only detected in 4% of dogs. Antimicrobial resistance was not common among CoPS, but at least one MDR-CoNS isolate was detected in 34% of dogs. MR-CoNS were detected from 42% of dogs but no MR-CoPS were isolated. S. epidermidis (52% of dogs) was the most common CoNS found followed by S. warneri (30%) and S. equorum (27%), with another 15 CoNS species isolated from ≤ 15% of dogs. S. pseudintermedius and S. aureus were detected in 44% and 8% of dogs respectively.
MR- and MDR-CoPS were rare. However a high prevalence of MR- and MDR-CoNS were found in these dogs, even though they had no prior antimicrobial treatment or admission to veterinary premises. These findings are of concern due to the potential for opportunistic infections, zoonotic transmission and transmission of antimicrobial resistant determinants from these bacteria to coagulase positive staphylococci.
Coagulase-postive staphylococci; Coagulase-negative staphylococci; Meticillin-resistant; Dogs; MALDI-TOF-MS; Tuf gene; Nuc gene; Antimicrobial-susceptibility