Cardiac morphologic and functional changes consistent with cardiomyopathy have been reported in field cases of calves with accidental doxycycline overdosing. The purpose of this study was to evaluate clinically the cardiac effects of an experimentally-induced doxycycline overdosing in healthy calves.
Twelve 2 months-old healthy Belgian Blue calves were studied. Six of them (group 1) received the normal dose (5 mg/kg, BID) and the six others (group 2) received five times the normal dose (25 mg/kg, BID) of oral doxycycline for five consecutive days (D1 to D5). Each calf was clinically examined daily. Measurement of serum AST, CK, Iso-CKs and LDH activities and an echocardiographic examination were performed before (D0) and one day after (D6) the last doxycycline administration. An ECG tracing was recorded at D0, D4, and D6.
In both groups, no clinical, blood, echocardiographic or electrocardiographic changes suggestive of a cardiomyopathy were observed. Only a decreased appetite was observed in the calves of the group 2 between D3 and D6.
This trial failed to reproduce cardiac changes reported in accidental doxycycline-poisoning in calves, suggesting that high doses of doxycycline may not be the only etiologic factor of the cardiomyopathy reported in the field cases.
Interspecific recombinant viruses R1ΔgC and R2ΔgI were isolated after in vitro co-infection with BoHV-1 and BoHV-5, two closely related alphaherpesviruses that infect cattle. The genetic characterization of R1ΔgC and R2ΔgI showed that they are composed of different sections of the parental genomes. The aim of this study was the characterization of the in vivo behavior of these recombinants in the natural host.
Four groups of four 3-month-old calves of both genders were intranasally inoculated with either the recombinant or parental viruses. A control group of two animals was also included. Viral excretion and clinical signs were monitored after infection. Histopathological examination of the central nervous system (CNS) was performed and the establishment of latency in trigeminal ganglia was analyzed by PCR. The humoral response was also evaluated using ELISA tests.
Three out of four animals from the BoHV-5 infected group excreted virus for 4-10 days. Two calves shed R1ΔgC virus for one day. In R2ΔgI and BoHV-1.2ΔgCΔgI groups, infectious virus was isolated only after two or three blind passages. None of the infected animals developed neurological signs, although those infected with BoHV-5 showed histopathological evidence of viral infection. Latent viral DNA was detected in at least one calf from each infected group. Serum and/or mucosal antibodies were detected in all groups.
Both BoHV-1/-5 recombinants and the BoHV-1 parental strain are attenuated in calves, although they are able to replicate in animals at low rates and to establish latent infections.
Primary diseases of the omasum are uncommon in goats, although the omasum may be involved in various gastrointestinal disorders. Examination of the caprine omasum via ultrasonography requires a good understanding of the normal appearance of the organ. However, in contrast to cattle, there is a lack of reference information on this topic in goats. Thus, the goal of the present study was to describe the results of ultrasonography of the omasum in 30 healthy Saanen goats.
Ultrasonography was carried out in standing, non-sedated goats using a 5.0 MHz linear transducer. The location and size of the omasum, thickness of the omasal wall and visualisation of the abomasal laminae, contents and contractions were assessed. The omasum was visible from the 9th intercostal space (ICS) in all the goats, and from the 8th and 10th ICSs in 29 and 24 goats, respectively. The omasum was seen medial to the liver, but only the omasal wall closest to the transducer was visible. The dorsal omasal limit formed a dorsally convex curve running from cranioventral to caudodorsal and was furthest from the dorsal midline in the 6th ICS. The ventral omasal limit formed a ventrally convex curve. The size of the omasum was largest (10.2 ± 3.1 cm) in the 9th ICS and decreased cranially and caudally from this position. Active omasal motility was recorded in 20 goats with 0.3 to 2.0 contractions per minute.
The findings of this study provide reference ranges for the interpretation of the location and size of the omasum in goats with suspected omasal abnormalities. Ultrasonography is an ideal diagnostic tool for evaluation of the omasum, which is not accessible to conventional examination techniques, such as inspection, palpation, percussion and auscultation.
The in vivo diagnosis of glanders relies on the highly sensitive complement fixation test (CFT). Frequently observed false positive results are troublesome for veterinary authorities and cause financial losses to animal owners. Consequently, there is an urgent need to develop a test with high specificity. Hence, a Western blot assay making use of a partly purified lipopolysaccaride (LPS) containing antigen of three Burkholderia mallei strains was developed. The test was validated investigating a comprehensive set of positive and negative sera obtained from horses and mules from endemic and non endemic areas.
The developed Western blot assay showed a markedly higher diagnostic specificity when compared to the prescribed CFT and therefore can be used as a confirmatory test. However, the CFT remains the test of choice for routine testing of glanders due to its high sensitivity, its feasibility using standard laboratory equipment and its worldwide distribution in diagnostic laboratories.
The CFT should be amended by the newly validated Western blot to increase the positive likelihood ratio of glanders serodiagnosis in non endemic areas or areas with low glanders prevalence. Its use for international trade of horses and mules should be implemented by the OIE.
To study the specific antibody response to infection with Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. mycoides Small Colony (MmmSC), the agent of Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia (CBPP), we examined three panels of sera collected during three experimental infection trials in African cattle. The methods used included an in-house complement fixation test (CFT), a commercially available CFT, a competitive antibody ELISA (cELISA) and the immunoblotting test (IBT). In addition, lung tissue samples were examined by culture.
A total of 89% (51/59) of all experimentally infected animals tested positive on at least one of the serological tests throughout the trial. The specific antibody titres to the MmmSC infection became positive first by CFT (6 to 9 days post infection [dpi]), followed by IBT (9 to 13 dpi) and cELISA (13 to 16 dpi). Individual animals were found to display remarkably distinct seroconversion patterns, which allowed their classification into i) early high responders, ii) late high responders, and iii) low responders. In accordance with other studies, none of the present serological tests was capable of detecting all CBPP infected animals.
Comparison of the assays' performance in terms of sensitivity and specificity raises serious questions as to their reliability for identification of infected individuals in the field. In view of these limitations, a combination of CFT and cELISA can markedly improve CBPP diagnosis at single-animal level.
Caseous lymphadenitis (CLA), caused by Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis, is one of the most important diseases of sheep and goats, causing considerable economic losses for herd owners.
We assessed the seroprevalence of infection with C. pseudotuberculosis in 805 sheep from 23 sheep farms that supply slaughterhouses in the state of Minas Gerais; we also analyzed management practices that could be associated with CLA occurrence, used on these and nearby farms that also supplied animals to the slaughterhouse (n = 60). The serum samples for assaying CLA infection were taken at the slaughterhouse. Frequency of infection with C. pseudotuberculosis was estimated at 43.7%, and farm frequency was estimated at 100%. Management practices were analyzed through a questionnaire. All farmers (60/60) had extensive/semi-extensive rearing system; 70.0% (42/60) identified sheep individually; 11.7% (7/60) had periodical technical assistance; 41.7% (25/60) disinfected the facilities; 86.7% (52/60) used barbed wire fences and did not implement adequate CLA control measures; only 11.7% (7/60) of breeders reported vaccination against C. pseudotuberculosis; 13.3% (8/60) took note of animals with clinical signs of CLA; 1.7% (1/60) opened and sanitized abscesses, and isolated the infected animals; 10.0% (6/60) knew the zoonotic potential of this disease and 1.7% (1/60) of the farmers culled animals in case of recurrence of abscesses.
It can be concluded that C. pseudotuberculosis infection is widely spread in sheep flocks in Minas Gerais state in Brazil and that there is a lack of good management measures and vaccination, allowing transmission of this infectious agent throughout the production network.
Caseous lymphadenitis; Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis; sheep; slaughterhouse; Minas Gerais
Culture of M. bovis from diagnostic specimens is the gold standard for bovine tuberculosis diagnostics in the USA. Detection of M. bovis by PCR in tissue homogenates may provide a simple rapid method to complement bacterial culture. A significant impediment to PCR based assays on tissue homogenates is specificity since mycobacteria other than M. bovis may be associated with the tissues.
Previously published IS6110 based PCR diagnostic assays, along with one developed in house, were tested against environmental mycobacteria commonly isolated from diagnostic tissues submitted to the National Veterinary Services Laboratory. A real-time PCR assay was developed (IS6110_T) that had increased specificity over other IS6110 based assays. Of the 13 non-tuberculous mycobacteria tested with IS6110_T only M. wolinskyi was positive. Thirty M. bovis infected tissue homogenates and 18 control tissues were used to evaluate the potential for the assay as a diagnostic test. In this small sample, IS6110_T detected 20/30 samples from M. bovis infected animals and 0/18 control tissues.
The IS6110_T assay provides a PCR based assay system that is compatible with current diagnostic protocols for the detection of M. bovis in the USA and compliments current testing strategies.
Peste des petits ruminants is an endemic disease of sheep and goats in Nigeria and vaccination has been the method of control but sporadic outbreaks have been reported. This study was carried out to characterize PPR viruses from outbreaks in 2007 and 2009 from Kaduna and Plateau States.
Of the 33 clinical samples analysed, 51.52% (n = 17) were positive for F protein gene primers (F1/F2). All the samples had a sequence similarity of 98-100% among them and 92-97% with the reference vaccine (Nig 75/1) strain. The deduced amino acid homology ranges between 96.3-99.7%. Phylogenetically all the Nigerian sequences cluster with Nig 75/1 and Nig 76/1 in lineage 1.
PPR is still a problem in Kaduna and Plateau States of Nigeria. The strains involved were genetically closely related to the vaccine strain (Nig 75/1) used in the country. Based on this study, the continued outbreaks in the Country is not due to the efficacy of the vaccine. Therefore, to achieve effective control and possibly eradication of PPR in Nigeria, the current control strategies should be revisited.
The epidemiological situation of ovine chlamydial infections in continental Europe, especially Germany is poorly characterised. Using the German state of Thuringia as a model example, the chlamydial sero- and antigen prevalence was estimated in thirty-two randomly selected sheep flocks with an average abortion rate lower than 1%. Seven vaccinated flocks were reviewed separately.
A wide range of samples from 32 flocks were examined. Assumption of a seroprevalence of 10% (CI 95%) at flock level, revealed that 94% of the tested flocks were serologically positive with ongoing infection (i.e. animals with seroconversion) in nearly half (47%) of the flocks. On the basis of an estimated 25% antigen prevalence (CI 95%), PCR and DNA microarray testing, together with sequencing revealed the presence of chlamydiae in 78% of the flocks. The species most frequently found was Chlamydophila (C.) abortus (50%) followed by C. pecorum (47%) and C. psittaci genotype A (25%). Mixed infections occurred in 25% of the tested flocks. Samples obtained from the vaccinated flocks revealed the presence of C. abortus field samples in 4/7 flocks. C. pecorum was isolated from 2/7 flocks and the presence of seroconversion was determined in 3/7 flocks.
The results imply that chlamydial infections occur frequently in German sheep flocks, even in the absence of elevated abortion rates. The fact that C. pecorum and the potentially zoonotic C. psittaci were found alongside the classical abortifacient agent C. abortus, raise questions about the significance of this reservoir for animal and human health and underline the necessity for regular monitoring. Further studies are needed to identify the possible role of C. psittaci infections in sheep.
There is considerable international research regarding the link between human demographics and pet ownership. In several international studies, pet ownership was associated with household demographics including: the presence of children in the household, urban/rural location, level of education and age/family structure. What is lacking across all these studies, however, is an understanding of how these pets are spatially distributed throughout the regions under study. This paper describes the spatial distribution of pet dog and pet cat owning households on the island of Ireland.
In 2006, there were an estimated 640,620 pet dog owning households and 215,542 pet cat owning households in Ireland. These estimates are derived from logistic regression modelling, based on household composition to determine pet dog ownership and the type of house to determine pet cat ownership. Results are presented using chloropleth maps. There is a higher density of pet dog owning households in the east of Ireland and in the cities than the west of Ireland and rural areas. However, in urban districts there are a lower proportion of households owning pet dogs than in rural districts. There are more households with cats in the urban areas, but the proportion of households with cats is greater in rural areas.
The difference in spatial distribution of dog ownership is a reflection of a generally higher density of households in the east of Ireland and in major cities. The higher proportion of ownership in the west is understandable given the higher proportion of farmers and rural dwellings in this area. Spatial representation allows us to visualise the impact of human household distribution on the density of both pet dogs and pet cats on the island of Ireland. This information can be used when analysing risk of disease spread, for market research and for instigating veterinary care.
Complete transposition of the great arteries is a congenital cardiac malformation occasionally encountered in cattle and other species. The objective of the present report was to provide a detailed clinical, echocardiographic and post mortem description of a calf presenting with this condition.
A 6-week old male Belgian Blue cross-breed calf was examined for respiratory distress and exercise intolerance. The patient was bright, alert and responsive without any neurologic abnormalities but was exercise intolerant, had marked cyanosis, tachycardia, tachypnea, a pansystolic heart murmur as well as a bilaterally palpable thrill over the heart. Arterial blood gas analysis revealed marked hypoxemia (PaO2 = 23 mmHg, O2sat = 41.1%), mild hypercapnia and compensated respiratory acidosis. Echocardiographic examination revealed a complete transposition of the great arteries in combination with a ventricular septal defect through which blood shunted bidirectionally. Cardiac catheterization confirmed that arterialization of blood of the systemic circulation solely occurred in the right ventricle through blood shunting from the left into the right ventricle. Results of post mortem examination are presented.
Complete transposition of the great arteries is a cyanotic congenital anomaly repeatedly reported in calves that should be considered as differential diagnosis in patients presenting with hypoxemia more severe than commonly encountered with other congenital cyanotic heart conditions. We give a comprehensive summary of the clinical presentation, diagnostic work-up and post mortem examination of a Belgian Blue cross-breed calf with complete transposition of the great arteries
Respiratory diseases account for significant economic losses to the UK pig industry. Lesions indicative of respiratory disease in pig lungs at slaughter e.g. pneumonia and pleuritis are frequently recorded to assess herd health or provide data for epidemiological studies. The BPEX Pig Health Scheme (BPHS) is a monitoring system, which informs producers of gross lesions in their pigs' carcasses at slaughter, enabling farm-level decisions to be made. The aim of the study was to assess whether information provided by the BPHS regarding respiratory lesions was associated with respiratory pathogens in the farm, farm management practices and each other.
BPHS reports were obtained from a subset of 70 pig farms involved in a cross-sectional study conducted in 2008-09 investigating the epidemiology of post-weaning multi-systemic wasting syndrome. The reports were combined with data regarding the presence/absence of several pathogens in the herd and potential farm-level risk factors for respiratory disease. Principal component analysis (PCA) performed on BPHS reports generated three principal components, explaining 71% of the total variance. Enzootic pneumonia score, severe pleurisy and acute pleuropneumonia had the highest loadings for the principal component which explained the largest percentage of the total variance (35%) (BPHS component 1), it was thought that this component identifies farms with acute disease. Using the factor loadings a score for each farm for BPHS component 1 was obtained. As farms' score for BPHS component 1 increased, average carcass weight at slaughter decreased. In addition, farms positive for H1N2 and porcine reproductive and respiratory disease virus (PRRSV) were more likely to have higher levels of severe and mild pleurisy reported by the BPHS, respectively.
The study found statistical associations between levels of pleurisy recorded by BPHS at slaughter and the presence H1N2 and PRRSV in the herd. There is also some evidence that farms which submit pigs with these lesions may have reduced productivity. However, more research is needed to fully validate the scheme.
The aim of this study was to estimate the seroprevalence of Coxiella burnetii in dairy goat farms in the Netherlands and to identify risk factors for farm and goat seropositivity before mandatory vaccination started. We approached 334 eligible farms with more than 100 goats for serum sampling and a farm questionnaire. Per farm, median 21 goats were sampled. A farm was considered positive when at least one goat tested ELISA positive.
In total, 2,828 goat serum samples from 123 farms were available. Farm prevalence was 43.1% (95%CI: 34.3%-51.8%). Overall goat seroprevalence was 21.4% (95%CI: 19.9%-22.9%) and among the 53 positive farms 46.6% (95%CI: 43.8%-49.3%). Multivariable logistic regression analysis included 96 farms and showed that farm location within 8 kilometres proximity from a bulk milk PCR positive farm, location in a municipality with high cattle density (≥ 100 cattle per square kilometre), controlling nuisance animals through covering airspaces, presence of cats or dogs in the goat stable, straw imported from abroad or unknown origin and a herd size above 800 goats were independent risk factors associated with Q fever on farm level. At animal level almost identical risk factors were found, with use of windbreak curtain and artificial insemination as additional risk factors.
In 2009-2010, the seroprevalence in dairy goats in the Netherlands increased on animal and farm level compared to a previous study in 2008. Risk factors suggest spread from relatively closely located bulk milk-infected small ruminant farms, next to introduction and spread from companion animals, imported straw and use of artificial insemination. In-depth studies investigating the role of artificial insemination and bedding material are needed, while simultaneously general biosecurity measures should be updated, such as avoiding companion animals and vermin entering the stables, next to advice on farm stable constructions on how to prevent introduction and minimize airborne transmission from affected dairy goat farms to prevent further spread to the near environment.
Coxiella burnetii; small ruminants; seroprevalence; risk factors; zoonosis; goat
Reporter genes are often used as a selectable marker for generation of recombinant viruses in order to investigate the mechanism of pathogenesis and to obtain candidate vaccine viruses. Routine selection of the recombinant parapoxvirus is time-consuming and labor intensive. Therefore, developing a novel method for selection is critical.
In this study, we developed a rapid method to generate recombinant Orf viruses (ORFV) based on the enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) reporter gene as a selectable marker. The coding sequence of EGFP gene was amplified from pEGFP-N1 vector and subcloned into the pZIPPY-neo/gus plasmid under the control of the early-late vaccinia virus (VACV) VV7.5 promoter and flanked by two multiple cloning sites (MCS) to generate a novel transfer vector pSPV-EGFP. Using the pSPV-EGFP, two recombination cassettes pSPV-113LF-EGFP-113RF and pSPV-116LF-EGFP-116RF were constructed by cloning the flanking regions of the ORFV113 and ORFV116 and inserted into two MCS flanking the EGFP gene. Using this novel system, two single gene deletion mutants OV-IA82Δ113 and OV-IA82Δ116 were successfully generated.
This approach shortens the time needed to generate recombinant ORFVs (rORFVs). Thus, the pSPV-EGFP vector provides a direct, fast, and convenient way to manipulate the recombinant viruses, indicating that it is highly suited for its designed purpose.
The use of bovine in vitro embryo production (IVP) increases the reproductive potential of genetically superior cows, enabling a larger scale of embryo production when compared with other biotechnologies. However, deleterious effects such as abnormal fetal growth, longer gestation period, increased birth weight, abortion, preterm birth and higher rates of neonatal mortality have been attributed to IVP. The aim of this study was to compare the influence of in vitro embryo production and artificial insemination (AI) on gestation length, complications with birth, birth weight, method of feeding colostrum, passive transfer of immunity, morbidity-mortality, and performance in Brahman calves.
Whilst gestation length and birth weight were significantly increased in IVP-derived calves, no difference in weaning weight was observed between groups. The passive transfer of immunity (PT), was assessed in IVP (n = 80) and AI (n = 20) groups 24 hours after birth by determination of gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) and gammaglobulin activity as well as by quantification of the concentration of total protein in serum. No differences in passive transfer or incidences of dystocia and diseases at weaning were observed between groups. Birth weight, method of feeding colostrum and dystocia were not correlated with PT in either group.
In this study, in vitro embryo production did not affect the health status, development, or passive transfer of immunity in Brahman calves.
Malignant catarrhal fever (MCF) is a fatal herpesvirus infection, affecting various wild and domestic ruminants all over the world. Water buffaloes were reported to be particularly susceptible for the ovine herpesvirus-2 (OvHV-2) causing the sheep-associated form of MCF (SA-MCF). This report describes the first case of possibly caprine-associated malignant catarrhal fever symptoms in a domestic water buffalo in Switzerland.
The buffalo cow presented with persistent fever, dyspnoea, nasal bleeding and haematuria. Despite symptomatic therapy, the buffalo died and was submitted to post mortem examination. Major findings were an abomasal ulceration, a mild haemorrhagic cystitis and multifocal haemorrhages on the epicardium and on serosal and mucosal surfaces. Eyes and oral cavity were not affected. Histopathology revealed a mild to moderate lymphohistiocytic vasculitis limited to the brain and the urinary bladder. Although these findings are typical for MCF, OvHV-2 DNA was not detected in peripheral blood lymphocytes or in paraffin-embedded brain, using an OvHV-2 specific real time PCR. With the aid of a panherpesvirus PCR, a caprine herpesvirus-2 (CpHV-2) sequence could be amplified from both samples.
To our knowledge, this is the first report of malignant catarrhal fever in the subfamily Bovinae, where the presence of CpHV-2 could be demonstrated. The etiological context has yet to be evaluated.
Studies conducted on Mycobacterium spp. isolated from human patients indicate that sequencing of a 711 bp portion of the rpoB gene can be useful in assigning a species identity, particularly for members of the Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC). Given that MAC are important pathogens in livestock, companion animals, and zoo/exotic animals, we were interested in evaluating the use of rpoB sequencing for identification of Mycobacterium isolates of veterinary origin.
A total of 386 isolates, collected over 2008 - June 2011 from 378 animals (amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals) underwent PCR and sequencing of a ~ 711 bp portion of the rpoB gene; 310 isolates (80%) were identified to the species level based on similarity at ≥ 98% with a reference sequence. The remaining 76 isolates (20%) displayed < 98% similarity with reference sequences and were assigned to a clade based on their location in a neighbor-joining tree containing reference sequences. For a subset of 236 isolates that received both 16S rRNA and rpoB sequencing, 167 (70%) displayed a similar species/clade assignation for both sequencing methods. For the remaining 69 isolates, species/clade identities were different with each sequencing method. Mycobacterium avium subsp. hominissuis was the species most frequently isolated from specimens from pigs, cervids, companion animals, cattle, and exotic/zoo animals.
rpoB sequencing proved useful in identifying Mycobacterium isolates of veterinary origin to clade, species, or subspecies levels, particularly for assemblages (such as the MAC) where 16S rRNA sequencing alone is not adequate to demarcate these taxa. rpoB sequencing can represent a cost-effective identification tool suitable for routine use in the veterinary diagnostic laboratory.
We consider the potential for infection to spread in a farm population from the primary outbreak farm via livestock movements prior to disease detection. We analyse how this depends on the time of the year infection occurs, the species transmitting, the length of infectious period on the primary outbreak farm, location of the primary outbreak, and whether a livestock market becomes involved. We consider short infectious periods of 1 week, 2 weeks and 4 weeks, characteristic of acute contagious livestock diseases. The analysis is based on farms in Scotland from 1 January 2003 to 31 July 2007.
The proportion of primary outbreaks from which an acute contagious disease would spread via movement of livestock is generally low, but exhibits distinct annual cyclicity with peaks in May and August. The distance that livestock are moved varies similarly: at the time of the year when the potential for spread via movements is highest, the geographical spread via movements is largest. The seasonal patterns for cattle differ from those for sheep whilst there is no obvious seasonality for pigs. When spread via movements does occur, there is a high risk of infection reaching a livestock market; infection of markets can amplify disease spread. The proportion of primary outbreaks that would spread infection via livestock movements varies significantly between geographical regions.
In this paper we introduce a set-up for analysis of movement data that allows for a generalized assessment of the risk associated with infection spreading from a primary outbreak farm via livestock movements, applying this to Scotland, we assess how this risk depends upon the time of the year, species transmitting, location of the farm and other factors.
livestock movement; seasonality; cyclicity; spread of infection; primary outbreak
Classical scrapie is a naturally occurring transmissible spongiform encephalopathy of sheep and goats characterized by cellular accumulation of abnormal isoforms of prion protein (PrPSc) in the central nervous system and the follicles of peripheral lymphoid tissues. Previous studies have shown that the whole blood and buffy coat blood fraction of scrapie infected sheep harbor prion infectivity. Although PrPSc has been detected in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), plasma, and more recently within a subpopulation of B lymphocytes, the infectivity status of these cells and plasma in sheep remains unknown. Therefore, the objective of this study was to determine whether circulating PBMCs, B lymphocytes and platelets from classical scrapie infected sheep harbor prion infectivity using a sheep bioassay.
Serial rectal mucosal biopsy and immunohistochemistry were used to detect preclinical infection in lambs transfused with whole blood or blood cell fractions from preclinical or clinical scrapie infected sheep. PrPSc immunolabeling was detected in antemortem rectal and postmortem lymphoid tissues from recipient lambs receiving PBMCs (15/15), CD72+ B lymphocytes (3/3), CD21+ B lymphocytes (3/3) or platelet-rich plasma (2/3) fractions. As expected, whole blood (11/13) and buffy coat (5/5) recipients showed positive PrPSc labeling in lymphoid follicles. However, at 549 days post-transfusion, PrPSc was not detected in rectal or other lymphoid tissues in three sheep receiving platelet-poor plasma fraction.
Prion infectivity was detected in circulating PBMCs, CD72+ pan B lymphocytes, the CD21+ subpopulation of B lymphocytes and platelet-rich plasma of classical scrapie infected sheep using a sheep bioassay. Combining platelets with B lymphocytes might enhance PrPSc detection levels in blood samples.
Current estimates of the UK dog population vary, contain potential sources of bias and are based on expensive, large scale, public surveys. Here, we evaluate the potential of a variety of sources for estimation and monitoring of the companion dog population in the UK and associated demographic information. The sources considered were: a public survey; veterinary practices; pet insurance companies; micro-chip records; Kennel Club registrations; and the Pet Travel Scheme. The public survey and subpopulation estimates from veterinary practices, pet insurance companies and Kennel Club registrations, were combined to generate distinct estimates of the UK owned dog population using a Bayesian approach.
We estimated there are 9.4 (95% CI: 8.1-11.5) million companion dogs in the UK according to the public survey alone, which is similar to other recent estimates. The population was judged to be over-estimated by combining the public and veterinary surveys (16.4, 95% CI: 12.5-21.5 million) and under-estimated by combining the public survey and insured dog numbers (4.8, 95% CI: 3.6-6.9 million). An estimate based on combining the public survey and Kennel Club registered dogs was 7.1 (95% CI: 4.5-12.9) million. Based on Bayesian estimations, 77 (95% CI: 62-92)% of the UK dog population were registered at a veterinary practice; 42 (95% CI: 29-55)% of dogs were insured; and 29 (95% CI: 17-43)% of dogs were Kennel Club registered. Breed demographics suggested the Labrador was consistently the most popular breed registered in micro-chip records, with the Kennel Club and with J. Sainsbury's PLC pet insurance. A comparison of the demographics between these sources suggested that popular working breeds were under-represented and certain toy, utility and miniature breeds were over- represented in the Kennel Club registrations. Density maps were produced from micro-chip records based on the geographical distribution of dogs.
A list containing the breed of each insured dog was provided by J. Sainsbury's PLC pet insurance without any accompanying information about the dog or owner.
Thermal imagers have been used in a number of disciplines to record animal surface temperatures and as a result detect temperature distributions and abnormalities requiring a particular course of action. Some work, with animals infected with foot-and-mouth disease virus, has suggested that the technique might be used to identify animals in the early stages of disease. In this study, images of 19 healthy cattle have been taken over an extended period to determine hoof and especially coronary band temperatures (a common site for the development of FMD lesions) and eye temperatures (as a surrogate for core body temperature) and to examine how these vary with time and ambient conditions.
The results showed that under UK conditions an animal's hoof temperature varied from 10°C to 36°C and was primarily influenced by the ambient temperature and the animal's activity immediately prior to measurement. Eye temperatures were not affected by ambient temperature and are a useful indicator of core body temperature.
Given the variation in temperature of the hooves of normal animals under various environmental conditions the use of a single threshold hoof temperature will be at best a modest predictive indicator of early FMD, even if ambient temperature is factored into the evaluation.
With the increased use of ploidy manipulation in aquaculture and fisheries management this investigation aimed to determine whether triploidy influences culturable intestinal microbiota composition and bacterial drug resistance in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). The results could provide answers to some of the physiological differences observed between triploid and diploid fish, especially in terms of fish health.
No ploidy effect was observed in the bacterial species isolated, however, triploids were found to contain a significant increase in total gut microbiota levels, with increases in Pseudomonas spp., Pectobacterium carotovorum, Psychrobacter spp., Bacillus spp., and Vibrio spp., (12, 42, 9, 10, and 11% more bacteria in triploids than diploids, respectively), whereas a decrease in Carnobacterium spp., within triploids compared to diploids was close to significant (8% more bacteria in diploids). With the exception of gentamicin, where no bacterial resistance was observed, bacterial isolates originating from triploid hosts displayed increased resistance to antibacterials, three of which were significant (tetracycline, trimethoprim, and sulphonamide).
Results indicate that triploidy influences both the community and drug resistance of culturable intestinal microbiota in juvenile salmon. These results demonstrate differences that are likely to contribute to the health of triploid fish and have important ramifications on the use of antibacterial drugs within aquaculture.
Marek's disease virus (MDV) is an economically important oncogenic herpesvirus of poultry. Since the 1960s, increasingly virulent strains have caused continued poultry industry production losses worldwide. To understand the mechanisms of this virulence evolution and to evaluate the epidemiological consequences of putative control strategies, it is imperative to understand how virulence is defined and how this correlates with host mortality and infectiousness during MDV infection. We present a mathematical approach to quantify key epidemiological parameters. Host lifespan, virus latent periods and host viral shedding rates were estimated for unvaccinated and vaccinated birds, infected with one of three MDV strains. The strains had previously been pathotyped to assign virulence scores according to pathogenicity of strains in hosts.
Our analyses show that strains of higher virulence have a higher viral shedding rate, and more rapidly kill hosts. Vaccination enhances host life expectancy but does not significantly reduce the shedding rate of the virus. While the primary latent period of the virus does not vary with challenge strain nor vaccine treatment of host, the time until the maximum viral shedding rate is increased with vaccination.
Our approach provides the tools necessary for a formal analysis of the evolution of virulence in MDV, and potentially simpler and cheaper approaches to comparing the virulence of MDV strains.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence of MRSA in herds of fattening pigs in different regions of Germany, and to determine factors associated with the occurrence of this pathogen. For this purpose pooled dust samples were collected, and a questionnaire covered information regarding herd characteristics and management practices. Samples were pre-enriched in high-salt medium followed by selective enrichment containing cefoxitin/aztreonam, and culturing. Presumptive colonies were confirmed by multiplex-PCR targeting nuc-, mecA- and 16S rRNA-genes. Isolates were spa- and SCCmec-, and in selected cases, multilocus sequence-typed. Susceptibilities to 13 antimicrobials were determined by broth microdilution. Statistical analysis was carried out using backward stepwise logistic regression to calculate odds ratios with the MRSA test result as the outcome and herd characteristics as categorical covariates.
Overall, 152 of 290 (52%) fattening pig farms tested positive for MRSA. The prevalence in the east, north- and south-west of Germany ranged from 39 to 59%.
t011 (66%) and t034 (23%) were the most commonly identified spa-types, and 85% of isolates carried SCCmec Type V. Identified spa-types were all associated with clonal complex CC398. Susceptibility testing revealed that all isolates were resistant to tetracycline. High resistance rates were also found for sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim (40%), and quinupristin/dalfopristin (32%). In addition, 83% of strains displayed multidrug resistant (> 3 substance classes) phenotypes.
Logistic regression revealed herd size (large farms OR: 5.4; CI: 2.7-11.2; p < 0.05), and production type (wean-to-finish OR: 4.0; CI: 1.6-10.4; p < 0.05) as risk factors associated with a positive MRSA finding in fattening pig operations.
MRSA CC398 is widely distributed among herds of fattening pigs in Germany. Farm management plays a crucial role in the dissemination of MRSA with herd size, and production type representing potential major indicators.