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1.  Physiological evaluation of free-ranging moose (Alces alces) immobilized with etorphine-xylazine-acepromazine in Northern Sweden 
Background
Evaluation of physiology during capture and anesthesia of free-ranging wildlife is useful for determining the effect that capture methods have on both ecological research results and animal welfare. This study evaluates capture and anesthesia of moose (Alces alces) with etorphine-xylazine-acepromazine in Northern Sweden.
Methods
Fifteen adult moose aged 3–15 years were darted from a helicopter with a combination of 3.37 mg etorphine, 75 mg xylazine, and 15 mg acepromazine. Paired arterial blood samples were collected 15 minutes apart with the first sample at 15–23 minutes after darting and were analyzed immediately with an i-STAT®1 Portable Clinical Analyzer.
Results
All animals developed hypoxemia (PaO2 <10 kPa) with nine animals having marked hypoxemia (PaO2 5.5-8 kPa). All moose were acidemic (ph<7.35) with nine moose having marked acidemia (pH<7.20). For PaCO2, 14 moose had mild hypercapnia (PaCO2 6-8 kPa) and two had marked hypercapnia (PaCO2>8 kPa). Pulse, respiratory rate, pH and HCO3 increased significantly over time from darting whereas lactate decreased.
Conclusions
The hypoxemia found in this study is a strong indication for investigating alternative drug doses or combinations or treatment with supplemental oxygen.
doi:10.1186/1751-0147-54-77
PMCID: PMC3541067  PMID: 23276208
Alces; Moose; Anesthesia; Etorphine; Xylazine; Immobilization
2.  Effect of propofol on oxidative stress status in erythrocytes from dogs under general anaesthesia 
Background
Alterations of the normal redox balance might be attributed to increase of plasma free-radical concentration and a disruption of the antioxidant defense system. One of the adverse effects of general anaesthetics is the exogen sources of reactive oxygen radicals that are responsible for several diseases. The purposes of the current study were to evaluate the effect of propofol on oxidative stress and to compare the differences between propofol induction only and induction plus continuous infusion on antioxidant status in dogs.
Findings
Beagle dogs were evaluated in the present study. The dogs were assigned randomly to receive three treatments in a crossover model. The three treatments were: group 1 (n = 9), 2% isoflurane; group 2 (n = 9), anaesthesia induced with an intravenous (IV) bolus dose of 6 mg/kg propofol and maintained with 1.5–2% isoflurane; group 3 (n = 9), total IV anaesthesia (induction with 6 mg/kg propofol, infusion with 0.6 mg/kg/min propofol). The results of this study show that dogs exposed to isoflurane had decreased antioxidant enzymes activities, whereas dogs injected with propofol had increased antioxidant enzymes activities.
Conclusions
The results of this study showed that an infusion dose of propofol has antioxidant effects in dogs. These effects may be beneficial to patients in whom free radicals play a role in oxidative stress, such as those with ischemia. Further studies are needed to evaluate whether these antioxidant effects of the anaesthetic are of clinical value.
doi:10.1186/1751-0147-54-76
PMCID: PMC3542034  PMID: 23268830
Anaesthesia; Antioxidant effects; Dogs; Oxidative stress; Propofol
3.  Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii infection in Norwegian dairy goats 
Background
Toxoplasma gondii is a major problem for the sheep industry as it may cause reproduction problems. The importance of T. gondii in Norwegian goat herds is uncertain, but outbreaks of toxoplasmosis in dairy goat farms have been recorded. The aim of this study was to describe the prevalence of T. gondii infection in Norwegian dairy goats by using serology.
Findings
Goat serum originally collected as part of two nationwide surveillance and control programmes between 2002 and 2008 were examined for T. gondii antibodies by using direct agglutination test. In total, 55 of 73 herds (75%) had one or more serologically positive animals, while 377 of 2188 (17%) of the individual samples tested positive for T. gondii antibodies.
Conclusions
This is the first prevalence study of T. gondii infection in Norwegian goats. The results show that Norwegian goat herds are commonly exposed to T. gondii. Nevertheless, the majority of goat herds have a low prevalence of antibody positive animals, which make them vulnerable to infections with T. gondii during the gestation period.
doi:10.1186/1751-0147-54-75
PMCID: PMC3538615  PMID: 23259528
Toxoplasma gondii; Goats; Norway; Prevalence; Serology
4.  Changes in mean scrotal circumference in performance tested Swedish beef bulls over time 
Background
There is a growing interest in beef cattle breeding in Sweden. The majority of the females are bred naturally, which is why it is important to choose healthy fertile bulls to obtain good reproduction and profitability. The breeding soundness evaluation includes measurement of scrotal circumference (SC). Our aim was to analyze if the SC of performance tested beef bulls has changed over the years. In total, 1332 bulls (Angus, Charolais, Hereford and Simmental) from 13 batches (1997-2010) were included in the study. Case book entries from final evaluation of the bulls, 11-13 months old, were compiled and analyzed.
Results
An overall mean SC of 34.7 cm independent of breed and age was found which is above the set minimum level. Only eleven bulls did not reach the minimum level. An increase in SC of 0.06-0.07 cm/year was shown for all breeds. In all (1997-2010), the increase of the average SC (independent of breed and age) was approximately 1 cm. The positive trend was apparent for all breeds but only statistically significant for the Charolais breed.
Conclusions
In conclusion, our results indicated an increase in the SC over time, which improves the possibilities to obtain performance tested beef sires in Sweden with the potential for achieving better fertility results.
doi:10.1186/1751-0147-54-74
PMCID: PMC3538610  PMID: 23241352
Andrology; Cattle; Genetics; Testicles; Scrotal circumference; Beef bull
5.  Muscle reorganisation through local injection of stem cells in the diaphragm of mdx mice 
Background
The diaphragm is the major respiratory muscle affected by Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and is responsible for causing 80% of deaths. The use of mechanical forces that act on the body or intermittent pressure on the airways improves the quality of life of patients but does not prevent the progression of respiratory failure. Thus, diseases that require tissue repair, such as DMD, represent a group of pathologies that have great potential for cell therapy. The application of stem cells directly into the diaphragm instead of systemic application can reduce cell migration to other affected areas and increase the chances of muscle reorganisation. The mdx mouse is a suitable animal model for this research because its diaphragmatic phenotype is similar to human DMD. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess the potential cell implantation in the diaphragm muscle after the xenotransplantation of stem cells.
Methods
A total of 9 mice, including 3 control BALB/Cmice, 3 5-month-old mdx mice without stem cell injections and 3 mdx mice injected with stem cells, were used. The animals injected with stem cells underwent laparoscopy so that stem cells from GFP-labelled rabbit olfactory epithelium could be locally injected into the diaphragm muscle. After 8 days, all animals were euthanised, and the diaphragm muscle was dissected and subjected to histological and immunohistochemical analyses.
Results
Both the fresh diaphragm tissue and immunohistochemical analyses showed immunopositive GFP labelling of some of the cells and immunonegativity of myoblast bundles. In the histological analysis, we observed a reduction in the inflammatory infiltrate as well as the presence of a few peripheral nuclei and myoblast bundles.
Conclusion
We were able to implant stem cells into the diaphragm via local injection, which promoted moderate muscle reorganisation. The presence of myoblast bundles cannot be attributed to stem cell incorporation because there was no immunopositive labelling in this structure. It is believed that the formation of the bundles may have been stimulated by cellular signalling mechanisms that have not yet been elucidated.
doi:10.1186/1751-0147-54-73
PMCID: PMC3537552  PMID: 23231953
Muscular dystrophy; Mice; Stem cell; Animal model
6.  The effect of two pre-cryopreservation single layer colloidal centrifugation protocols in combination with different freezing extenders on the fragmentation dynamics of thawed equine sperm DNA 
Background
Variability among stallions in terms of semen cryopreservation quality renders it difficult to arrive at a standardized cryopreservation method. Different extenders and processing techniques (such us colloidal centrifugation) are used in order to optimize post-thaw sperm quality. Sperm chromatin integrity analysis is an effective tool for assessing such quality. The aim of the present study was to compare the effect of two single layer colloidal centrifugation protocols (prior to cryopreservation) in combination with three commercial freezing extenders on the post-thaw chromatin integrity of equine sperm samples at different post-thaw incubation (37°C) times (i.e., their DNA fragmentation dynamics).
Results
Post-thaw DNA fragmentation levels in semen samples subjected to either of the colloidal centrifugation protocols were significantly lower (p<0.05) immediately after thawing and after 4 h of incubation at 37°C compared to samples that underwent standard (control) centrifugation. The use of InraFreeze® extender was associated with significantly less DNA fragmentation than the use of Botu-Crio® extender at 6 h of incubation, and than the use of either Botu-Crio® or Gent® extender at 24 h of incubation (p<0.05).
Conclusions
These results suggest that single layer colloidal centrifugation performed with extended or raw semen prior to cryopreservation reduces DNA fragmentation during the first four hours after thawing. Further studies are needed to determine the influence of freezing extenders on equine sperm DNA fragmentation dynamics.
doi:10.1186/1751-0147-54-72
PMCID: PMC3599590  PMID: 23217215
Colloidal centrifugation; Equine sperm; DNA fragmentation; Cryopreservation; Equipure®
7.  Increases in the completeness of disease records in dairy databases following changes in the criteria determining whether a record counts as correct 
Background
The four Nordic countries: Denmark (DK), Finland (FIN), Norway (NO) and Sweden (SE), all have national databases in which mainly records of treated animals are maintained. Recently, the completeness of locomotor disorder records in these databases has been evaluated using farmers’ recordings as a reference level. The objective of the present study was to see how previous estimates of completeness figures are affected by the criteria determining whether a recording in the database is to be judged correct. These demands included date of diagnosis and disease classification. In contrast with the previous study, a period of time between the date of disease recording in the database and by the farmer was allowed. Further, the calculations were brought to bear on individual locomotor diagnoses instead of a common locomotor disease complex code.
Methods
Randomly selected dairy herds (≥ 15 cows) were invited to participate. During two 2-month periods in 2008 the farmers recorded the diseases they observed on the farm and their recordings constituted a farmer database (FD). These recordings were compared to disease recordings in the National Databases (ND). Earlier calculations of completeness for locomotor complex cases assuming an exact match on date were compared with ±7 day and ±30 day discrepancies calculated in this study.
Results
The farmers in DK, FIN, NO and SE recorded 426, 147, 97 and 193 locomotor disorders, respectively. When a window of ±7 days was allowed there was a relative increase in completeness figures lying in the range of 24–100%. Further increases were minor, or non-existent, when the window was expanded to ±30 days. The same trend was seen for individual diagnoses.
Conclusion
In all four of the Nordic countries a common pattern can be observed: a further increase in completeness occurs when individual locomotor diagnoses recorded by the farmer are permitted to match any locomotor diagnosis recorded in the ND. Completeness increased when both time span and different diagnoses within the locomotor complex were allowed.
doi:10.1186/1751-0147-54-71
PMCID: PMC3538600  PMID: 23206729
Nordic dairy disease databases; Validation; Completeness; Farmer disease recording; Locomotor disorders
8.  Investigation of the presence of human or bovine respiratory syncytial virus in the lungs of mink (Neovison vison) with hemorrhagic pneumonia due to Pseudomonas aeruginosa 
Background
Hemorrhagic pneumonia is a disease of farmed mink (Neovison vison) caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The disease is highly seasonal in Danish mink with outbreaks occurring almost exclusively in the autumn. Human respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) has been shown to augment infection with P. aeruginosa in mice and to promote adhesion of P. aeruginosa to human respiratory cells.
Findings
We tested 50 lung specimens from mink with hemorrhagic pneumonia for bovine RSV by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and for human RSV by a commercial real-time PCR. RSV was not found.
Conclusions
This study indicates that human and bovine RSV is not a major co-factor for development of hemorrhagic pneumonia in Danish mink.
doi:10.1186/1751-0147-54-70
PMCID: PMC3533935  PMID: 23181342
Hemorrhagic pneumonia; Mink; Pseudomonas aeruginosa; Respiratory syncytial virus
9.  Genetic basis of penicillin resistance of S. aureus isolated in bovine mastitis 
Background
The blaZ gene encoding penicillin resistance can be located either chromosomally or on plasmids. The aim of this study was to investigate the genetic relationships and to determine the location of the blaZ gene in S. aureus isolated in bovine mastitis in Finland and Sweden.
Methods
Seventy-eight β-lactamase positive S. aureus isolates from bovine mastitis (34 from Finland and 44 from Sweden) were included in the study. The localization of blaZ gene was determined by Southern blotting. The blaZ genes of the isolates were sequenced and the sequences were translated to beta-lactamase proteins and further grouped as different protein signatures. The isolates and, as control, 33 Swedish and 36 Finnish beta-lactamase negative isolates were typed with pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE).
Results
In 26 out of 34 Finnish isolates (76.5%) and in 25 out of 44 Swedish isolates (56.8%) the blaZ gene was localized on a plasmid. Six different protein signatures were found. One signature was found only in four Swedish isolates, but all other signatures were found both in Finnish and Swedish isolates. The PFGE results revealed a diversity of S. aureus clones. The protein signatures were not clearly associated with certain pulsotypes.
Conclusions
The plasmid location of the blaZ gene was not statistically significantly more common in Finland than in Sweden, and hence does not explain the higher proportion of penicillin-resistant isolates of S. aureus causing bovine mastitis in Finland compared to Sweden.
doi:10.1186/1751-0147-54-69
PMCID: PMC3575348  PMID: 23176642
Mastitis; blaZ; Staphylococcus aureus; Beta-lactamases; Penicillin-resistance Correspondence
10.  Outside enclosure and additional enrichment for dairy goats – a preliminary study 
Background
Dairy goats are commonly housed at a space allowance of 0.7 – 0.8 m2/goat in commercial Norwegian goat herds, which is very low compared to regulations and recommendations in other European countries. One easy and cheap way to increase space allowance is to allow the animals’ access to outdoor area. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of access to an outside enclosure and environmental enrichment for dairy goats kept in slatted floor pens with low space allowance on their activity pattern and social behaviour.
Methods
A group of 82 dairy goats on a commercial Norwegian dairy farm were kept inside during the winter period from October to April. In April the goats were given access to an outside enclosure for 8 hours per day. After having access to the enclosure for another for two days, enrichment (branches) was provided, and after 19 days the enrichment were removed. The goats were observed for 5 hours per day for the two last days before they got access to the outside enclosure, the two days in the enclosure, the two first and the two last days with enrichment and for the following two days without enrichment by two trained observers.
Results
When allowed access to the enclosure, the goats spent nearly 50% of the time outside, and later the time spent outside was reduced to less than 40% (P < 0.0001), but there was no clear effect of enrichment. All the goats appeared to have a regular use of the enclosure. Time spent resting decreased 59.2% to only 25.2% when the goats first got access to the enclosure, but then started to increase again (P < 0.0001). Initially time spent exploring and chewing the branches was 20%, but this was reduced to around 12% in the last part of the ENRICH period (P < 0.0001). Number of aggressive interactions tended to increase when the goats were allowed access to the outdoor enclosure whereas play behaviour was only observed in the outside enclosure (P < 0.05).
Conclusions
In conclusion, the goats preferred to use the outside enclosure when being active, and branches were perceived as an attractive enrichment.
doi:10.1186/1751-0147-54-68
PMCID: PMC3538566  PMID: 23173769
Goat; Outside enclosure; Environmental enrichment
11.  Toxocara cati larva migrans in domestic pigs - detected at slaughterhouse control in Norway 
Routine Trichinella meat inspection at the slaughterhouse detected one larva in a pooled batch of 100 pig samples. The larva was sent to the Norwegian Veterinary Institute (NVI) for species identification.
Morphological examination revealed that the larva was not Trichinella spp. Molecular analysis was performed. PCR and sequencing of 5S/ITS identified the larva as Toxocara cati. A second round of digests was carried out at the meat inspection laboratory, in smaller batches to try to identify the infected animal. No further larvae were detected and it was not possible to identify which of the 100 animals the larva had come from. This is the first time that Toxocara cati has been reported in slaughterhouse pigs in Norway.
Although the infected individual could not be identified, the meat originated from one of six potential farms. A small survey regarding rodent control and cats was sent to each of these farms. Cats had restricted access to food storage areas (two farms reported that cats had access) whilst none of the farms allowed cats into the production housing. Cats were, however, present on all the farms (mostly stray cats of unknown health status). Half of the farms also reported seeing rodents in the pig housing during the previous six months and half reported finding rodents in the feed and straw storage areas. We were unable to narrow down the source of infection – however contamination of food or bedding material, with cat faeces or infected rodents, in addition to the presence of infected rodents in pig housing remain potential routes of infection.
doi:10.1186/1751-0147-54-66
PMCID: PMC3537544  PMID: 23171732
Fattening pigs; Internal transcribed spacer; Larva migrans; Meat inspection; Toxocara cati; Zoonosis; 5S ribosomal DNA
12.  Efficacy of single dose of an inactivated porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) whole-virus vaccine with oil adjuvant in piglets 
Background
Post-weaning multisystemic wasting syndrome (PMWS) associated with PCV2 is one of the most costly diseases currently faced by the swine industry. The development of effective vaccines against PCV2 infection has been accepted as an important strategy in the prophylaxis of PMWS.
Methods
In the present study, a PK-15 cell-adapted formalin-inactivated prototype vaccine candidate was prepared using a strain of PCV2 from China. Inactivation of the virus was accomplished using a standard formalin inactivation protocol. The protective properties of the inactivated PCV2 vaccine were evaluated in piglets. Ten 28-day-old pigs were randomly assigned to two groups, each with five. Group 1 was vaccinated intramuscularly with the inactivated virus preparation; Group 2 received sterile PBS as a placebo. By 28 days post-vaccination (DPV), Groups 1 and 2 were challenged intranasally and intramuscularly with 5 × 107 TCID50 of a virulent PCV2 isolate.
Results
The vaccinated pigs seroconverted to PCV2 and had high levels of serum antibodies to PCV2 at 28 days after vaccination, whereas the control pigs remained seronegative. No significant signs of clinical disease were recorded following the challenge with PCV2, but moderate amounts of PCV2 antigen were detected in most lymphoid organs of the control pigs. PCV2 was detected in two out of the five vaccinated pigs. Furthermore, pathological lesions and viremia were milder in the vaccinated group.
Conclusions
The obtained results indicate that the inactivated PCV2 virus vaccine with an oil adjuvant induce an immunological response in pigs that appears to provide protection from infection with PCV2. The vaccine, therefore, may have the potential to serve as a vaccine aimed to protect pigs from developing PMWS.
doi:10.1186/1751-0147-54-67
PMCID: PMC3539982  PMID: 23171757
Porcine circovirus type 2; Post-weaning multisystemic wasting syndrome; Single-dose immunization; Formalin-inactivated vaccine
13.  Latent class analysis of the diagnostic characteristics of PCR and conventional bacteriological culture in diagnosing intramammary infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus in dairy cows at dry off 
Background
Staphylococcus aureus is one of the most common causes of intramammary infections in dairy cows at dry off. Reliable identification is important for disease management on herd level and for antimicrobial treatment of infected animals. Our objective was to evaluate the test characteristics of PathoProof ™ Mastitis PCR Assay and bacteriological culture (BC) in diagnosing bovine intramammary infections caused by S. aureus at dry off at different PCR cycle threshold (Ct)-value cut-offs.
Methods
Sterile quarter samples and non-sterile composite samples from 140 animals in seven herds were collected in connection with the dairy herd improvement (DHI) milk recording. All quarter samples were analyzed using BC whereas all composite samples were analyzed with PathoProof ™ Mastitis PCR Assay. Latent class analysis was used to estimate test properties for PCR and BC in the absence of a perfect reference test. The population was divided into two geographically divided subpopulations and the Hui-Walter 2-test 2-populations model applied to estimate Se, Sp for the two tests, and prevalence for the two subpopulations.
Results
The Se for PCR increased with increasing Ct-value cut-off, accompanied by a small decrease in Sp. For BC the Se decreased and Sp increased with increasing Ct-value cut-off. Most optimal test estimates for the real-time PCR assay were at a Ct-value cut-off of 37; 0.93 [95% posterior probability interval (PPI) 0.60-0.99] for Se and 0.95 [95% PPI 0.95-0.99] for Sp. At the same Ct-value cut-off, Se and Sp for BC were 0.83 [95% PPI 0.66-0.99] and 0.97 [95% PPI 0.91-0.99] respectively. Depending on the chosen PCR Ct-value cut-off, the prevalence in the subpopulations varied; the prevalence increased with increasing PCR Ct-value cut-offs.
Conclusion
Neither BC nor real-time PCR is a perfect test in detecting IMI in dairy cows at dry off. The changes in sensitivity and prevalence at different Ct-value cut-offs for both PCR and BC may indicate a change in the underlying disease definition. At low PCR Ct-value cut-offs the underlying disease definition may be a truly/heavily infected cow, whereas at higher PCR Ct-value cut-offs the disease definition may be a S. aureus positive cow.
doi:10.1186/1751-0147-54-65
PMCID: PMC3537602  PMID: 23164432
Staphylococcus aureus; PCR; Latent class analysis; Sensitivity; Specificity; Mastitis; Bacteriological culture
14.  Extraintestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli in poultry meat products on the Finnish retail market 
Background
Extraintestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli bacteria (ExPEC) exist as commensals in the human intestines and can infect extraintestinal sites and cause septicemia. The transfer of ExPEC from poultry to humans and the role of poultry meat as a source of ExPEC in human disease have been discussed previously. The aim of the present study was to provide insight into the properties of ExPEC in poultry meat products on the Finnish retail market with special attention to their prevalence, virulence and phylogenetic profiles. Furthermore, the isolates were screened for possible ESBL producers and their resistance to nalidixic acid and ciprofloxacin was tested.
Methods
The presence of ExPEC in 219 marinated and non-marinated raw poultry meat products from retail shops has been analyzed. One E. coli strain per product was analyzed further for phylogenetic groups and possession of ten virulence genes associated with ExPEC bacteria (kpsMT K1, ibeA, astA, iss, irp2, papC, iucD, tsh, vat and cva/cv) using PCR methods. The E. coli strains were also screened phenotypically for the production of extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) and the susceptibility of 48 potential ExPEC isolates for nalidixic acid and ciprofloxacin was tested.
Results
E. coli was isolated from 207 (94.5%) of 219 poultry meat products. The most common phylogenetic groups were D (50.7%), A (37.7%), and B2 (7.7%). Based on virulence factor gene PCR, 23.2% of the strains were classified as ExPEC. Two ExPEC strains (1%) belonged to [O1] B2 svg+ (specific for virulent subgroup) group, which has been implicated in multiple forms of ExPEC disease. None of the ExPEC strains was resistant to ciprofloxacin or cephalosporins. One isolate (2.1%) showed resistance to nalidixic acid.
Conclusions
Potential ExPEC bacteria were found in 22% of marinated and non-marinated poultry meat products on the Finnish retail market and 0.9% were contaminated with E. coli [O1] B2 svg+ group. Marinades did not have an effect on the survival of ExPEC as strains from marinated and non-marinated meat products were equally often classified as ExPEC. Poultry meat products on the Finnish retail market may have zoonotic potential.
doi:10.1186/1751-0147-54-64
PMCID: PMC3542027  PMID: 23158013
Extraintestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli; ExPEC; Poultry meat; Retail market; Antibiotic resistance
15.  Antibody response in vaccinated pregnant mares to recent G3BP[12] and G14P[12] equine rotaviruses 
Background
Both the G3P[12] and the G14P[12] type of equine group A rotavirus (RVA) have recently become predominant in many countries, including Japan. G3 types are classified further into G3A and G3B. The G3A viruses have been circulating in Europe, Australia, and Argentina, and the G3B viruses have been circulating in Japan. However, only an inactivated vaccine containing a single G3BP[12] strain is commercially available in Japan. To assess the efficacy of the current vaccine against recently circulating equine RVA strains, we examined antibody responses in pregnant mares to recent G3BP[12] and G14P[12] strains by virus neutralization test.
Findings
After vaccination in five pregnant mares, the geometric mean serum titers of virus-neutralizing antibody to recent G3BP[12] strains increased 5.3- to 7.0-fold and were similar to that against homologous vaccine strain. Moreover, antibody titers to recent G14P[12] strains were also increased 3.0- to 3.5-fold.
Conclusions
These results suggest that inoculation of mares with the current vaccine should provide foals with virus-neutralizing antibodies against not only the G3BP[12] but also the G14P[12] RVA strain via the colostrum.
doi:10.1186/1751-0147-54-63
PMCID: PMC3523035  PMID: 23130609
Equine rotavirus; Vaccine; G3BP[12]; G14P[12]
16.  The association between farmers’ participation in herd health programmes and their behaviour concerning treatment of mild clinical mastitis 
Background
In Denmark, it has recently become mandatory for all dairy farmers with more than 100 cows to sign up for a herd health programme. Three herd health programmes are available. These differ in a number of aspects, including the frequency of veterinary visits and the farmer’s access to prescription drugs. The objective of this study was to investigate whether dairy farmers’ behavioural intentions, i.e. to call a veterinarian or start medical treatment on the day that they detect a cow with mild clinical mastitis (MCM), are different depending on the type of herd health programme.
Methods
A questionnaire survey based on the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) was conducted. TPB proposes that a person’s behavioural intention is strongly correlated with his or her actual behaviour. Three behavioural factors determine the behavioural intention: attitude, subjective norm and perceived behavioural control. Each of these factors is decided by a set of beliefs, each of which in turn is weighted by an evaluation: 1) the expected outcomes of performing the behaviour, 2) what a person believes that others think of the behaviour, and 3) the person’s perceived power to influence the behaviour.
A set of statements about the treatment of MCM based on interviews with 38 dairy farmers were identified initially. The statements were rephrased as questions and the resulting questionnaire was distributed to 400 randomly selected Danish dairy farmers who use the two most restrictive herd health programmes, either Core or Module1, and to all 669 farmers with the least restrictive herd health programme, Module2. The association between intention and the herd health programme was modelled using logistic regression.
Results
The farmers with the Module2 herd health programme had a significantly higher behavioural intention to perform the behaviour, when compared to farmers with a more restrictive herd health programme (OR = 2.1, p < 0.0001).
Conclusion
Danish dairy farmers who participate in Module2 herd health programme had a higher intention to treat cases of MCM, compared to farmers who participate in a more restrictive herd health programme in which the veterinarian initiates treatments.
doi:10.1186/1751-0147-54-62
PMCID: PMC3537572  PMID: 23122271
Farmer behaviour; Theory of Planned Behaviour; Mild clinical mastitis; Herd health programme
17.  Prevalence and risk factors for the development of diabetes mellitus in Swedish cats 
Background
The prevalence and risk factors for the development of feline diabetes mellitus (FDM) in Swedish cats have not previously been reported. The objective of the present pilot study was to indicate prevalence and possible risk factors for FDM in Swedish cats. Twenty diabetic cats from the database at the University Animal Hospital in Uppsala participated in the study, and these were matched with 20 healthy controls on sex and age. A mail-and-telephone questionnaire focusing on diet, activity and obesity was used.
Results
The prevalence of FDM during the years 2000–2004 based on the results of the hospital records in the present study was 21 per 10,000 cats. The diabetic cats were on average 9 years old when the disease signs were discovered (median, min-max 2–15). Among FDM cases, it was more common to be male (n=17 males vs n=3 females; P≤0.05). Ten out of twenty owners to cases (50%) reported their cats to be obese at the time of the diagnosis (median 9 years, min-max 2–15), as compared to five out of twenty (25%) controls at the same age. The median BW at the time for diagnosis was 5.5 kg (min-max 2.0-9.0) for cases, and 5.0 kg (min-max 3.0-8.0 kg) for controls, respectively. Despite that both cases and controls had the same median age at the time of the study (13 years, min-max 3–18), a significantly higher number of controls were alive at that age (n=16 controls vs 8 cases; P≤0.05). A significantly higher proportion of cases that were obese at the time of the FDM diagnosis were dead at the time of the study compared to the proportion of controls that were obese at a similar age (P≤0.05).
The diets given at the time for diagnosis for cases compared to diet of the controls at a similar time were mainly commercial foods, and controls consumed a higher proportion of dry foods compared to cases (medians 79 vs 44% of DM intake/d, respectively; P≤0.05). Cases were less active compared to the controls (2.3 and 3.2 h/d, respectively; P≤0.05).
Conclusions
The results indicate that the proportions of dry foods in the diet, to perform low activity and to be obese could be identified as preliminary risk factors for FDM in Swedish cats, and should be taken into account in preventive measures as well as in the design of future epidemiological studies in this population.
doi:10.1186/1751-0147-54-61
PMCID: PMC3537597  PMID: 23114390
Cat; Diabetes; Diet; Activity; Obesity
18.  Pampas deer (Ozotoceros bezoarticus) courtship and mating behavior 
Background
Pampas deer, Ozotoceros bezoarticus (Linnaeus 1758), is a South American grazing deer categorized as "near threatened". However, knowledge about pampas deer behavior including courtship and mating is scarce and incomplete. The aim of this study was to characterize the courtship and mating behavior of the pampas deer (Ozotoceros bezoarticus), an endangered species from South America.
Methods
We performed focal observations of 5 males allocated at the Estación de Cría de Fauna Autóctona Cerro Pan de Azúcar, Uruguay, 4 times a day from 5 to 20 minutes each time on a daily basis from February to May. During that period we recorded all courtship and mating behaviors, as well as quantified the frequency of the specific behaviors shown. As mating were rarely observed, we recorded that behavior when it was observed in the context of other studies performed in the same population during the following 2 years.
Results
During the observation period we recorded 928 courtships and 5 mating periods. In addition, we recorded 10 more matings performed during other studies, totaling 15. The duration of each mating calculated from the 15 recordings was 3.9 ± 0.4 s, and the total period of female receptivity (from first to last mating acceptance) was 8.2 ± 1.1 min. Main observed courtship behaviors in males were “chase” and “ostentation”, while the most observed close to mating were “chinning”, “raised head” and “anogenital sniffing”. The most observed behaviors in females during the mating period were “vulva exhibition” and “move away”.
Conclusion
This is the first detailed report in pampas deer mating behavior. Estrus lasted only 8 min accepting only 3 short copulations per estrus. However, female behavior during courtship can be characterized as highly proceptive.
doi:10.1186/1751-0147-54-60
PMCID: PMC3502430  PMID: 23062236
Cervid; Reproductive behavior; Sexual ethogram; Proceptivity; Ruminant
19.  The stress signalling pathway nuclear factor E2-related factor 2 is activated in the liver of sows during lactation 
Background
It has recently been shown that the lactation-induced inflammatory state in the liver of dairy cows is accompanied by activation of the nuclear factor E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) pathway, which regulates the expression of antioxidant and cytoprotective genes and thereby protects tissues from inflammatory mediators and reactive oxygen species (ROS). The present study aimed to study whether the Nrf2 pathway is activated also in the liver of lactating sows.
Findings
Transcript levels of known Nrf2 target genes, UGT1A1 (encoding glucuronosyltransferase 1 family, polypeptide A1), HO-1 (encoding heme oxygenase 1), NQO1 (encoding NAD(P)H dehydrogenase, quinone 1), GPX1 (encoding glutathione peroxidase), PRDX6 (encoding peroxiredoxin 6), TXNRD1 (encoding thioredoxin reductase 1), and SOD (encoding superoxide dismutase), in the liver are significantly elevated (between 1.7 and 3.1 fold) in lactating sows compared to non-lactating sows. The inflammatory state in the liver was evidenced by the finding that transcript levels of genes encoding acute phase proteins, namely haptoglobin (HP), fibrinogen γ (FGG), complement factor B (CFB), C-reactive protein (CRP) and lipopolysaccharide-binding protein (LBP), were significantly higher (2 to 8.7 fold) in lactating compared to non-lactating sows.
Conclusions
The results of the present study indicate that the Nrf2 pathway in the liver of sows is activated during lactation. The activation of Nrf2 pathway during lactation in sows might be interpreted as a physiologic means to counteract the inflammatory process and to protect the liver against damage induced by inflammatory signals and ROS.
doi:10.1186/1751-0147-54-59
PMCID: PMC3502514  PMID: 23039904
Sow; Liver; Lactation; Inflammation; Nrf2 pathway; Acute phase proteins
20.  Association between average daily gain, faecal dry matter content and concentration of Lawsonia intracellularis in faeces 
Background
The objective of this study was to investigate the association between average daily gain and the number of Lawsonia intracellularis bacteria in faeces of growing pigs with different levels of diarrhoea.
Methods
A longitudinal field study (n = 150 pigs) was performed in a Danish herd from day 29 to 47 post weaning. Every third day all pigs were weighed, subjected to a clinical examination and faecal samples were obtained. Faecal samples were subjected to dry matter determination and absolute quantification by PCR for L. intracellularis and porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2). Association between average daily gain, faecal dry matter content, numbers of L. intracellularis bacteria and PCV2 genome copies in faeces was investigated in a multilevel mixed-effects linear model.
Results
Increasing numbers of L. intracellularis log10 bacteria/g faeces were significantly associated with decreasing average daily gain (P < 0.001). The association was decreasing with increasing faecal dry matter content (P < 0.01). The number of PCV2 log10 copies/g faeces was not significantly associated with average daily gain of the pigs (P > 0.5).
Conclusion
The results suggest a potential application of a PCR quantifying L. intracellularis in growing pigs. Faecal dry matter content must be taken into consideration in interpretation of such test results.
doi:10.1186/1751-0147-54-58
PMCID: PMC3533900  PMID: 23013807
Lawsonia intracellularis; Porcine circovirus type 2; Quantitative PCR; Pig
21.  Equine Multinodular Pulmonary Fibrosis in association with asinine herpesvirus type 5 and equine herpesvirus type 5: a case report 
A standardbred gelding with a history of 10 days pyrexia and lethargy was referred to the Equine Hospital at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala, Sweden.
The horse had tachypnea with increased respiratory effort and was in thin body condition. Laboratory findings included leukocytosis, hyperfibrinogenemia and hypoxemia. Thoracic radiographs showed signs of pneumonia with a multifocal nodular pattern, which in combination with lung biopsy findings indicated Equine Multinodular Pulmonary Fibrosis (EMPF). EMPF is a recently described disease in adult horses with clinical signs of fever, weight loss and respiratory problems. The pathological findings include loss of functional pulmonary parenchyma due to extensive nodular interstitial fibrosis which has been related to infection with the equine herpesvirus type 5 (EHV-5). In this case, lung biopsy and tracheal wash samples tested positive for both asinine herpesvirus type 5 (AHV-5) and EHV-5 using PCR assays. The horse failed to respond to treatment and was euthanized for humane reasons. Postmortem examination confirmed the diagnosis of EMPF. This case suggests that not only EHV-5 alone should be considered in association with the development of this disease.
doi:10.1186/1751-0147-54-57
PMCID: PMC3511884  PMID: 23009194
Horse; Equine Multinodular Pulmonary Fibrosis; AHV-5; EHV-5; Lung
22.  Applicability of major histocompatibility complex DRB1 alleles as markers to detect vertebrate hybridization: a case study from Iberian ibex × domestic goat in southern Spain 
Background
Hybridization between closely related wild and domestic species is of great concern because it can alter the evolutionary integrity of the affected populations. The high allelic variability of Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) loci usually excludes them from being used in studies to detect hybridization events. However, if a) the parental species don’t share alleles, and b) one of the parental species possesses an exceptionally low number of alleles (to facilitate analysis), then even MHC loci have the potential to detect hybrids.
Results
By genotyping the exon2 of the MHC class II DRB1 locus, we were able to detect hybridization between domestic goats (Capra hircus) and free-ranging Iberian ibex (Capra pyrenaica hispanica) by molecular means.
Conclusions
This is the first documentation of a Capra pyrenaica × Capra hircus hybridization, which presented us the opportunity to test the applicability of MHC loci as new, simple, cost-effective, and time-saving approach to detect hybridization between wild species and their domesticated relatives, thus adding value to MHC genes role in animal conservation and management.
doi:10.1186/1751-0147-54-56
PMCID: PMC3511808  PMID: 23006678
Hybridization; MHC alleles; Capra pyrenaica; Capra hircus; Wildlife conservation
23.  Enantiospecific ketoprofen concentrations in plasma after oral and intramuscular administration in growing pigs 
Background
Ketoprofen is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug which has been widely used for domestic animals. Orally administered racemic ketoprofen has been reported to be absorbed well in pigs, and bioavailability was almost complete. The objectives of this study were to analyze R- and S-ketoprofen concentrations in plasma after oral (PO) and intra muscular (IM) routes of administration, and to assess the relative bioavailability of racemic ketoprofen for both enantiomers between those routes of administration in growing pigs.
Methods
Eleven pigs received racemic ketoprofen at dose rates of 4 mg/kg PO and 3 mg/kg IM in a randomized, crossover design with a 6-day washout period. Enantiomers were separated on a chiral column and their concentrations were determined by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Pharmacokinetic parameters were calculated and relative bioavailability (Frel) was determined for S and R –ketoprofen.
Results
S-ketoprofen was the predominant enantiomer in pig plasma after administration of the racemic mixture via both routes. The mean (± SD) maximum S-ketoprofen concentration in plasma (7.42 mg/L ± 2.35 in PO and 7.32 mg/L ± 0.75 in IM) was more than twice as high as that of R-ketoprofen (2.55 mg/L ± 0.99 in PO and 3.23 mg/L ± 0.70 in IM), and the terminal half-life was three times longer for S-ketoprofen (3.40 h ± 0.91 in PO and 2.89 h ± 0.85 in IM) than R-ketoprofen (1.1 h ± 0.90 in PO and 0.75 h ± 0.48 in IM). The mean (± SD) relative bioavailability (PO compared to IM) was 83 ± 20% and 63 ± 23% for S-ketoprofen and R-ketoprofen, respectively.
Conclusions
Although some minor differences were detected in the ketoprofen enantiomer concentrations in plasma after PO and IM administration, they are probably not relevant in clinical use. Thus, the pharmacological effects of racemic ketoprofen should be comparable after intramuscular and oral routes of administration in growing pigs.
doi:10.1186/1751-0147-54-55
PMCID: PMC3509396  PMID: 22998765
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug; Swine; Enantiomer; Chirality; Pharmacokinetics
24.  A quantitative screening method to detect rater-introduced bias in clinical ratings 
Background
We suggest a ‘screening test’ to examine large data files with clinical ratings for the occurrence of rater-introduced bias prior to using the data for quantitative analyses. The test is based on a statistical model in which a well-standardized interval-scale outcome (for example, milk yield) is related to clinical ratings (for example, body condition scores) obtained from multiple contexts (for example, dairy herds).
Findings
84,968 calvings from 279 herds, with subsequent body condition scores performed by 117 veterinarians within the first 21 days postpartum were analyzed with a multilevel random coefficient regression model. The model included an independent variable, where body condition score was centered within veterinarian. This is a so-called comparison effect to describe possible rater-introduced bias in the body condition scores. A highly significant comparison effect was found for second and older parities, indicating occurrence of possible rater-introduced bias in this large multi-herd data file.
Conclusions
A within-group centering technique (the comparison effect) appeared to be useful for discriminating between biased and unbiased clinical scores. In some cases, this test for bias should prevent further analysis of the data and divert the focus of study to the calibration of raters or alternative study designs.
doi:10.1186/1751-0147-54-53
PMCID: PMC3511805  PMID: 22998736
Bias; Diagnostic test; Large data files; Standardization of ratings; Body condition scores
25.  Antimicrobial susceptibility of porcine Brachyspira hyodysenteriae and Brachyspira pilosicoli isolated in Sweden between 1990 and 2010 
Background
The anaerobic spirochetes Brachyspira hyodysenteriae and Brachyspira pilosicoli cause diarrheal diseases in pigs. Their fastidious nature has hampered standardization of methods for antimicrobial susceptibility testing. For monitoring of antimicrobial susceptibility wild type cutoff values are needed to define where the wild type distribution of MICs ends and no approved cutoffs are available for Brachyspira spp. In this study antimicrobial susceptibility data for both species (in total 906 isolates) were compiled and analyzed and wild type cut off values for B. hyodysenteriae proposed.
Methods
The MICs of tiamulin, valnemulin, tylosin, tylvalosin, doxycycline and lincomycin were determined by broth dilution in brain heart infusion broth supplemented with 10% fetal calf serum.
Results
The compiled MICs from the broth dilution tests of the B. hyodysenteriae type strain, B78T (ATCC® 27164T), showed that the method yields reproducible results. In an international perspective the frequencies of isolates with decreased antimicrobial susceptibility were low among both B. hyodysenteriae and B. pilosicoli. However, in B. pilosicoli a constant level of 10-15% isolates with tiamulin MICs >4 μg/ml was detected between 2002 and 2010 and in B. hyodysenteriae a gradual increase in tiamulin MICs was seen between 1990 and 2003 although this increase has ceased during the last years. The wild type cutoff values proposed for B. hyodysenteriae are: tiamulin >0.25 μg/ml, valnemulin >0.125 μg/ml, tylosin >16 μg/ml, tylvalosin >1 μg/ml, lincomycin >1 μg/ml and doxycycline >0.5 μg/ml.
Conclusions
The broth dilution method used in this study has over the years generated tightly grouped MIC populations for the field isolates and reproducible results for the control strain B78T and is therefore a suitable antimicrobial susceptibility test method for monitoring of Brachyspira spp. Here we propose wild type cutoff values for six antimicrobial agents for B. hyodysenteriae tested by broth dilution based on MIC distributions and the current knowledge on mechanisms of resistance in this species. There are few studies on antimicrobial resistance mechanisms and MIC distributions in B. pilosicoli but to some extent the cutoff values proposed for B. hyodysenteriae may be applicable also for monitoring of antimicrobial susceptibility in B. pilosicoli.
doi:10.1186/1751-0147-54-54
PMCID: PMC3526423  PMID: 22998753
Brachyspira hyodysenteriae; Swine dysentery; Brachyspira pilosicoli; Porcine intestinal spirochetosis; Antimicrobial susceptibility

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