The use of Duddingtonia flagrans as a tool for the biological control of gastrointestinal nematodes (GIN) is a promising alternative to anthelmintics. The chlamydospores of D. flagrans are orally dosed and their thick cell wall gives them the capacity to resist digestion and pass through the gastrointestinal tract (GIT). Chlamydospores reaching the faeces are able to germinate and trap nematode larvae. The efficacy of this control method is based on reducing the numbers of infective larvae leaving the faeces. Techniques have recently been developed for quantifying the numbers of chlamydospores in faeces. As the number of non-digested spores could be relevant in the design and optimization of dosing programmes for the control of GIN infective larvae, the aim of the present study was to estimate the loss of D. flagrans chlamydospores during their passage through the ruminant gastrointestinal tract using in vitro and in vivo techniques.
After in vitro rumen digestion, chlamydospore recovery was not different from the quantity originally incubated (undigested spores) (P > 0.05). In vitro rumen+abomasum digestion caused nearly 36% loss of the chlamydospores originally incubated (P < 0.05). Germination of chlamydospores classified as viable was 24.3%. Chlamydospores classified as non-viable did not germinate. Rumen digestion resulted in more spore germination (R1 = 35.7% and R2 = 53.3%) compared to no digestion (time 0 h = 8.7%). Subsequent abomasal digestion reduced germination (R1+A = 25%) or stopped it (R2+A = 0%). In vivo apparent chlamydospore digestibility in sheep showed a loss of 89.7% of the chlamydospores (P < 0.05).
The loss of chlamydospores was evident under in vitro and in vivo conditions. Negligible amounts of spores were lost during the in vitro rumen digestion. However, in vitro rumen+abomasum digestion resulted in a chlamydospore loss of approximately 36%. In vivo passage through the sheep GIT resulted in a total loss of 89.7% of the orally administered spores.
Porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) is a dominant causative agent of postweaning multisystemic wasting syndrome (PMWS), a multifactorial disease complex with putative immunosuppressive characteristics. Little is known about adaptive PCV2-specific immune responses in infected pigs. Therefore, the T and B cell responses following PCV2 infection in 3-week old SPF piglets infected with PCV2 or PCV2 plus porcine parvovirus (PPV) were studied.
All animals were asymptomatically infected. At 7 days post infection (d p.i.), B lymphocyte and T lymphocyte numbers decreased in the dual infected, but not in the single infected piglets. At this time point a transient PCV2 viraemia was noted in the PCV2 infected groups. Antibodies against the infecting virus were detectable at day 24-28 p.i. for anti-PCV2 antibodies and at day 10 p.i. for anti-PPV antibodies, with no apparent influence of PCV2 on the early PPV antibody development. In the animals infected with PPV alone, IFN-γ secreting cells (SC) that were not specific for PCV2 were detected by ELISPOT assay at day 7 p.i. Interestingly, this response was absent in the PCV2/PPV dual infected animals. PCV2-specific IFN-γ SC were observed in the PCV2/PPV infected group at 7 d p.i. and in the PCV2 single infected group at 21 d p.i. A reduction in the numbers of IFN-γ SC was observed following anti-CD4 and anti-CD8 antibody treatment, suggesting roles for both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in the response against PCV2 infection. This was supported by an observed increase in the percentage of IFN-γ positive CD8hi cytotoxic T cells as well as IFN-γ positive CD8-/low helper T cells after PCV2 in vitro re-stimulation.
Infection of weaned SPF piglets with PCV2 alone or combined with PPV does not induce disease and in both cases a relatively slow anti-PCV2 antibody response and weak T lymphocyte responses were found. Knowledge on such immunological characteristics is important for both PCV2 pathogenesis and vaccination.
Recent studies on geographic distribution of Echinococcus multilocularis in Europe show that it has a wider range than previously thought. It is unclear, however, if the wider distribution is due to its recent spreading or to a lack of previous data from the new areas. Italy, previously considered E. multilocularis-free, is now part of these new areas: infected foxes (the main definitive host of the tapeworm) have been observed in a Northern Alpine territory. Thus, more surveys need to be done in other Italian regions in order to monitor the spreading of E. multilocularis. The aim of the present study was to look for this parasite in 283 foxes collected in an Apennine area of Central Italy by different diagnostic methods.
The foxes were heavily parasitized by 11 helminthic genera, but none of the animals was infected by E. multilocularis neither by E. granulosus (harboured adult worms or their DNA). Low specificity was observed in commercially available ELISA kits for the detection of E. multilocularis antigens in the faeces. Molecular diagnostics were sensitive and specific for the detection and identification of tapeworm eggs in faeces, but less sensitive, although specific, to adult tapeworms in the intestinal content.
Preliminarily, we can say that no E. multilocularis could be found in the study area. These data will enable us to follow temporal changes of the spatial distribution of the parasite in the study area of the Central Apennines. Due to its low specificity the ELISA kit for E. multilocularis coproantigens is not suitable for epidemiological surveys, whereas molecular diagnostics applied to faecal samples give useful results. Finally, absence of E. granulosus in foxes living in the endemic areas studied confirms the thought that this tapeworm prefers a different definitive host.
Biofilm has been shown to be one way for Salmonella to persist in the feed factory environment. Matrix components, such as fimbriae and cellulose, have been suggested to play an important role in the survival of Salmonella in the environment. Multicellular behaviour by Salmonella is often categorized according to colony morphology into rdar (red, dry and rough) expressing curli fimbriae and cellulose, bdar (brown, dry and rough) expressing curli fimbriae and pdar (pink, dry and rough) expressing cellulose.
The aim of the study was to look into the distribution of morphotypes among feed and fish meal factory strains of Salmonella, with emphasis on potential differences between morphotypes with regards to survival in the feed factory environment.
When screening a total of 148 Salmonella ser. Agona, Salmonella ser. Montevideo, Salmonella ser. Senftenberg and Salmonella ser. Typhimurium strains of feed factory, human clinical and reference collection origin, as many as 99% were able to express rough morphology (rdar or bdar). The dominant morphotype was rdar (74%), however as many as 55% of Salmonella ser. Agona and 19% of Salmonella ser. Senftenberg displayed the bdar morphology.
Inconsistency in Calcofluor binding, indicating expression of cellulose, was found among 25% of all the strains tested, however Salmonella ser. Agona showed to be highly consistent in Calcofluor binding (98%).
In biofilm, Salmonella ser. Agona strains with bdar mophology was found to be equally tolerant to disinfection treatment as strains with rdar morphotype. However, rdar morphology appeared to be favourable in long term survival in biofilm in a very dry environment.
Chemical analysis showed no major differences in polysaccharide content between bdar and rdar strains. Our results indicate that cellulose is not a major component of the Salmonella biofilm matrix.
The bdar morphotype is common among Salmonella ser. Agona strains isolated from the factory environment. The rdar and the bdar strains were found to be equally tolerant to disinfectants, while the rdar strain was found to be more tolerant to long-term desiccation and nutrient depletion in biofilm than the bdar strain. Cellulose does not appear to be a major component of the Salmonella biofilm matrix.
In parts of Great Britain and Ireland, Eurasian badgers (Meles meles) constitute a reservoir of Mycobacterium bovis infection and a potential source of infection for cattle. In vitro diagnostic tests for live badgers are an important component of strategies to control TB in this species. Immunological tests have been developed for badgers, although little is known about the influence of the age of the animal on test performance. To address this, we evaluated the performance of three immunological tests for badgers with respect to the age of the animal: the Brock Test and BrockTB STAT-PAK® serological tests and the recently developed interferon-gamma enzyme immunoassay (IFNγ EIA). Data published elsewhere suggested that seropositivity was associated with more progressive forms of TB in the badger. To gain further evidence for this, we used longitudinal data from a well-studied population of badgers to test for an association between the sensitivity of the Brock Test and the duration of TB infection.
Sensitivity of the two serological tests was approximately 54% for both cubs and adults. Sensitivity of the IFNγ EIA was lower in cubs (57%) compared with adults (85%) when a common cut-off value was used to define test positivity. Taking data from the cubs alone, the IFNγ EIA cut-off value could be adjusted to increase the sensitivity to 71% with no loss in specificity. As a general observation, specificity of all tests was higher in cubs, although only significantly so in the case of the Brock Test. Using logistic regression analysis to adjust for age, sensitivity of the Brock Test was significantly lower at first culture positive event (58%), but increased to >80% as infection progressed.
These data suggest that serodiagnosis could be a valuable tool for detecting a higher proportion of badgers with the greatest probability of transmitting infection. The age category of the badger appeared to exert little influence on the performance of the serological tests. Although data were only available for the IFNγ EIA in a small number of cubs, reduced sensitivity of the test in these individuals suggests a lower cut-off may be needed when testing younger animals.
Gastrointestinal nematode (GIN) infection is one of the main constraints to sheep production both in temperate and tropical countries. Economic losses caused by GIN are related to decreased production, treatment costs and even animal death. The present paper was aimed at assessing the anthelmintic efficacy (based on faecal egg count reduction) of moxidectin and ivermectin both admistered per os at dose rate of 0.2 mg/Kg body weight and the benefit of anthelmintic treatments on milk production in a commercial dairy sheep farms in central Italy whose animals were naturally infected by GIN.
The treatment with moxidectin was highly effective (> 98%) from day 7 until day 75, and effective (90-98%) until day 105. The treatment with ivermectin was highly effective (> 98%) from day 7 until day 14, effective (90-98%) at day 28 and moderately effective (80-89%) on day 45. The milk productions in the treated groups were significantly higher than those of the control group.
In conclusion, the results of the present study demonstrated that moxidectin and ivermectin adminstered per os according to the manufacturer's instructions were both effective and safe anthelmintics in sheep. The total milk production was higher in the treated groups than the control group. Overall, animals treated with moxidectin had a milk production 40.8% higher than control group; whereas animals treated with ivermectin had a milk production 32.2% higher than control group.
Cancer is a major cause of death in domestic animals. Furthermore, many forms of pet neoplasm resemble that of their human counterparts in biologic behaviour, pathologic expression, and recognised risk factors.
In April 2005, a pilot project was activated so as to establish a dog and cat tumour registry living in the Venice and Vicenza provinces (Veneto Region, north-eastern Italy), with the aim of estimating the incidence of spontaneous tumours.
Through a telephone survey, the estimates of canine and feline populations of the catchment area turned out to be of 296,318 (CI +/- 30,201) and 214,683 (CI +/- 21,755) subjects, respectively. During the first three years, overall 2,509 canine and 494 feline cases of neoplasia were diagnosed. In dogs, the estimated annual incidence rate (IR) per 100,000 dogs for all tumours was 282 in all the catchment area, whereas in cats the IR was much lower (IR = 77). Malignant and benign tumours were equally distributed in male and female dogs, whereas cats had a 4.6-fold higher incidence of malignant tumours than benign. In both dogs and cats, purebreds had an almost 2-fold higher incidence of malignant tumours than mixed breeds. Tumour incidence increased with age in both dog and cat populations.
This study has provided estimates of incidence of spontaneous neoplasm in companion animals. Further attempts will be made to increase the accuracy in the population size assessment and to ascertain the real gap with the official regional canine demographic registry. Veterinary practitioners may also benefit from the tumour registry insofar they may obtain data for specific breeds, age groups or geographical areas.
Although the epidemiology of scrapie has been broadly understood for many years, attempts to introduce voluntary or compulsory controls to eradicate the disease have frequently failed. Lack of precision in defining the risk factors on farm has been one of the challenges to designing control strategies. This study attempted to define which parts of the annual flock management cycle represented the greatest risk of infection to naive lambs exposed to the farm environment at different times.
In VRQ/VRQ lambs exposed to infected sheep at pasture or during lambing, and exposed to the buildings in which lambing took place, the attack rate was high and survival times were short. Where exposure was to pasture alone the number of sheep affected in each experimental group was reduced, and survival times were longer and related to length of exposure.
At the flock level, eradication and control strategies for scrapie must take into account the need to decontaminate buildings used for lambing, and to reduce (or prevent) the exposure of lambs to infected sheep, especially in the later stages of incubation, and at lambing. The potential for environmental contamination from pasture should also be considered. Genotype selection may still prove to be the only viable tool to prevent infection from contaminated pasture, reduce environmental contamination and limit direct transmission from sheep to sheep.
Giardia duodenalis is a ubiquitous protozoan parasite that has emerged as a significant opportunistic human pathogen. G. duodenalis may have a deleterious effect on animal growth and performance, therefore its potential as a production limiting organism should not be discounted. We therefore undertook this study to determine management and environmental factors in feedlots that influence the prevalence and environmental load of G. duodenalis cysts in fecal material deposited by feedlot cattle in the central and western United States.
Twenty two feedlots from 7 states were included in the study, and up to 240 fecal samples were collected from pen floors of up to 6 pens per feedlot. Giardia duodenalis cysts were identified and counted using direct immunofluorescent microscopy. The estimated overall point prevalence of G. duodenalis was 19.1%, representing feedlots from a wide range of climates and management systems. Pen-level prevalence varied from 0 to 63.3%, with pen-level shedding estimates ranging from 0 to 261,000 cysts/g feces. Higher environmental temperatures, increased animal density, and increased time in the feedlot were associated with a lower prevalence of G. duodenalis. Removing manure before placing a new group of cattle in a pen was associated with a decreased prevalence of G. duodenalis in fecal pats. Using coccidiostats as a feed additive was associated with a higher prevalence of Giardia.
Management practices could be employed that would limit the probability that feedlot cattle shed G. duodenalis in their feces and therefore potentially limit contamination of their environment.
Castration of male cattle has been shown to elicit inflammatory reactions and acute inflammation is initiated and sustained by the participation of cytokines.
Sixty continental × beef bulls (Mean age 12 ± (s.e.) 0.2 months; Mean weight 341 ± (s.e.) 3.0 kg) were blocked by weight and randomly assigned to one of three treatments (n = 20 animals per treatment): 1) untreated control (Con); 2) banding castration at 0 min (Band); 3) Burdizzo castration at 0 min (Burd). Samples of the testis, epididymis and scrotal skin were collected surgically from 5 animals from each group at 12 h, 24 h, 7 d, and 14 d post-treatment, and analysed using real-time PCR. A repeated measurement analysis (Proc GLM) was performed using SAS. If there was no treatment and time interaction, main effects of treatment by time were tested by ANOVA.
Electrophoresis data showed that by 7 d post-castration RNA isolated from all the testicle samples of the Burd castrated animals, the epididymis and middle scrotum samples from Band castrates were degraded. Transitory effects were observed in the gene expression of IFN-γ, IL-6, IL-8 and TNF-α at 12 h and 24 h post treatment. Burd castrates had greater (P < 0.05) testicular IFN-γ mRNA levels compared with Band and Con animals, but lower (P < 0.05) testicular TNF-α mRNA levels compared with Con animals. Band castrates had greater (P < 0.05) testicular IL-6 mRNA levels than Burd castrates at 12 h post-castration. Burd castrates had greater (P < 0.05) testicular IL-8 mRNA levels than Band and Con animals at 24 h post-castration. In the epididymis, Burd castrates had greater (P < 0.05) IL-6 mRNA (both at 12 h and 24 h post treatment) and IL-8 mRNA (12 h post treatment) levels compared with Band and Con animals; Burd castrates had greater (P = 0.049) IL-10 mRNA levels than Band castrates at 12 h post-castration.
Banding castration caused more inflammatory associated gene expression changes to the epididymis and scrotum than burdizzo. Burdizzo caused more severe acute inflammatory responses, in terms of pro-inflammatory cytokine gene expression, in the testis and epididymis than banding.
The Age-Period-Cohort (APC) analysis is routinely used for time trend analysis of cancer incidence or mortality rates, but in veterinary epidemiology, there are still only a few examples of this application. APC models were recently used to model the French epidemic assuming that the time trend for BSE was mainly due to a cohort effect in relation to the control measures that may have modified the BSE exposure of cohorts over time. We used a categorical APC analysis which did not require any functional form for the effect of the variables, and examined second differences to estimate the variation of the BSE trend. We also reanalysed the French epidemic and performed a simultaneous analysis of Italian data using more appropriate birth cohort categories for comparison.
We used data from the exhaustive surveillance carried out in France and Italy between 2001 and 2007, and comparatively described the trend of the epidemic in both countries. At the end, the shape and irregularities of the trends were discussed in light of the main control measures adopted to control the disease. In Italy a decrease in the epidemic became apparent from 1996, following the application of rendering standards for the processing of specific risk material (SRM). For the French epidemic, the pattern of second differences in the birth cohorts confirmed the beginning of the decrease from 1995, just after the implementation of the meat and bone meal (MBM) ban for all ruminants (1994).
The APC analysis proved to be highly suitable for the study of the trend in BSE epidemics and was helpful in understanding the effects of management and control of the disease. Additionally, such an approach may help in the implementation of changes in BSE regulations.
Histopathological examinations of brains from healthy pigs have revealed localised vacuolar changes, predominantly in the rostral colliculus, that are similar to the neuropil vacuolation featured in the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies and have been described in pigs challenged parenterally with the agent causing bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). Feedstuff containing BSE-contaminated meat and bone meal (MBM) may have been fed to pigs prior to the ban of mammalian MBM in feed of farmed livestock in the United Kingdom in 1996, but there is no evidence of the natural occurrence of a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) in the domestic pig. Furthermore, experimental transmission of BSE to pigs by the oral route has been unsuccessful. A study was conducted to investigate whether the localised vacuolar changes in the porcine brain were associated with a transmissible aetiology and therefore biologically significant. Two groups of ten pigs were inoculated parenterally with vacuolated rostral colliculus from healthy pigs either born before 1996 or born after 1996. Controls included ten pigs similarly inoculated with rostral colliculus from New Zealand-derived pigs and nine pigs inoculated with a bovine BSE brain homogenate.
None of the pigs inoculated with rostral colliculus developed a TSE-like neurological disease up to five years post inoculation when the study was terminated, and disease-associated prion protein, PrPd, was not detected in the brains of these pigs. By contrast, eight of nine BSE-inoculated pigs developed neurological signs, two of which had detectable PrPd by postmortem tests. No significant histopathological changes were detected to account for the clinical signs in the PrPd-negative, BSE-inoculated pigs.
The findings in this study suggest that vacuolation in the porcine rostral colliculus is not caused by a transmissible agent and is probably a clinically insignificant change. The presence of neurological signs in pigs inoculated with BSE without detectable PrPd raises the possibility that the BSE agent may produce a prion disease in pigs that remains undetected by the current postmortem tests.
Previous studies suggest that the spatial distribution of classical sheep scrapie in Great Britain is uneven and that certain flock characteristics may be associated with occurrence of the disease. However, the existence of areas of high and low disease-risk may also result from differences in the spatial distribution of environmental characteristics. In this study we explored the spatial pattern of classical scrapie in Great Britain between 2002 and 2005 and investigated the association between disease occurrence and various environmental and farm-related risk factors.
Exploratory spatial analysis: South Wales was found to have a higher density of scrapie-positive farms than the rest of Great Britain. In addition, a small cluster of high-risk farms was identified in the center of this region in which clustering of scrapie-positive farms occurred up to a distance of approximately 40 km.
Spatial modelling: A mixed-effects regression model identified flock-size and soil drainage to be significantly associated with the occurrence of scrapie in England and Wales (area under the curve (AUC) 0.71 ± 0.01, 95% CI 0.68 - 0.74). The predictive risk map based on the estimated association between these factors and disease occurrence showed most of Wales to be at risk of being confirmed positive for scrapie with areas of highest risk in central and south Wales. In England, areas with the highest risk occurred mainly in the north and the midlands.
The observed distribution of scrapie in Great Britain exhibited a definite spatial pattern with south Wales identified as an area of high occurrence. In addition both flock (flock size) and environmental variables (soil drainage) were found to be significantly associated with the occurrence of the disease. However, the model's AUC indicated unexplained variation remaining in the model and the source of this variation may lie in farm-level characteristics rather than spatially-varying ones such as environmental factors.
The internationally mandatory complement fixation test (CFT) for testing of equine sera for the absence of glanders has repeatedly led to discrepant results. Not only do "false positive" sera pose a problem for the diagnostician and the animal health authorities but they can also result in significant financial losses for the animal owners.
Due to the very low prevalence of glanders in the horse population it is of major importance to use tests with a high specificity to overcome unreliable predictive values. We have compared formalin-fixed B. mallei whole cell antigen and a well characterised mouse monoclonal antibody with regard to their specificity and sensitivity for glanders serodiagnosis using CFT, an indirect (i) and a competitive (c) ELISA platform.
Our results show that the CFT is still a very reliable technique in horse populations with very low glanders prevalence. The cELISA has a high sensitivity and specificity comparable to that of the CFT. The cELISA offers the possibility for automatisation, can be applied to non-complement fixing sera and used for various host species.
The CFT is still the method of choice for testing horses for the absence of glanders.
In a cross sectional study of 88 indoor and outdoor English pig farms, the prevalence of foot and limb lesions in 2843 preweaning piglets aged 1–4 weeks from 304 litters was recorded. The environmental risks for the prevalence of lesions and population attributable fractions were calculated. The risks for lesions in piglets were compared with those for limb and body lesions in their mothers. A small number of piglets with each type of lesion were examined post mortem to elucidate the pathology of the clinical lesions observed.
The prevalence of sole bruising, sole erosion, skin abrasion and swollen joints or claws in 2843 piglets was 49.4% (1404), 15.5% (441), 43.6% (1240) and 4.7% (143) respectively. The prevalence of all foot and limb lesions was higher in indoor housed piglets than in outdoor housed piglets. The prevalence of sole bruising (OR 0.3) and skin abrasion (OR 0.6) decreased with each week of age from 1–4 weeks, but there was no significant association between piglet age and the prevalence of sole erosion or swollen joints and claws. There was an increased prevalence of sole bruising (OR 3.0) and swollen joints or claws (OR 3.0) and a decreased prevalence of skin abrasion (OR 0.3, piglets ≤ 1-week old), in piglets housed on slatted floors, compared with those on solid concrete floors with bedding. There was an increased risk of sole erosion associated with piglets housed on partly slatted floors with no bedding (OR 2.4) and partly slatted floors with small amounts of bedding (OR 2.9) compared with piglets housed on solid concrete floors with bedding in all areas of the pen. Post mortem examination of feet with lesions indicated that internal pathological changes were frequently more severe than the degree of external damage suggested.
Piglets housed outdoors had a very low prevalence of foot and limb injuries. Indoors, no one floor type was ideal to minimise all piglet foot and limb injuries and the flooring requirements of sows differed from those of piglets.
Lesions on sows' limbs and bodies are an abnormality that might impact on their welfare. The prevalence of and risks for limb and body lesions on lactating sows on commercial English pig farms were investigated using direct observation of the sows and their housing.
The prevalence of lesions on the limbs and body were 93% (260/279) and 20% (57/288) respectively. The prevalence of limb and body lesions was significantly lower in outdoor-housed sows compared with indoor-housed sows. Indoor-housed sows had an increased risk of wounds (OR 6.8), calluses (OR 8.8) and capped hock (OR 3.8) on their limbs when housed on fully slatted floors compared with solid concrete floors. In addition, there was an increased risk of bursitis (OR 2.7), capped hock (OR 2.3) and shoulder lesions (OR 4.8) in sows that were unwilling to rise to their feet. There was a decreased risk of shoulder lesions (OR 0.3) and lesions elsewhere on the body (OR 0.2) in sows with more than 20 cm between their tail and the back of the crate compared with sows with less than 10 cm.
The sample of outdoor housed sows in this study had the lowest prevalence of limb and body lesions. In lactating sows housed indoors there was a general trend for an increased risk of limb and body lesions in sows housed on slatted floors compared with those housed on solid concrete floors with bedding. Sows that were less responsive to human presence and sows that had the least space to move within their crates had an additional increased risk of lesions.
Several cases of myopathies have been observed in the horse Norman Cob breed. Muscle histology examinations revealed that some families suffer from a polysaccharide storage myopathy (PSSM). It is assumed that a gene expression signature related to PSSM should be observed at the transcriptional level because the glycogen storage disease could also be linked to other dysfunctions in gene regulation. Thus, the functional genomic approach could be conducted in order to provide new knowledge about the metabolic disorders related to PSSM. We propose exploring the PSSM muscle fiber metabolic disorders by measuring gene expression in relationship with the histological phenotype.
Genotypying analysis of GYS1 mutation revealed 2 homozygous (AA) and 5 heterozygous (GA) PSSM horses. In the PSSM muscles, histological data revealed PAS positive amylase resistant abnormal polysaccharides, inflammation, necrosis, and lipomatosis and active regeneration of fibers. Ultrastructural evaluation revealed a decrease of mitochondrial number and structural disorders. Extensive accumulation of an abnormal polysaccharide displaced and partially replaced mitochondria and myofibrils. The severity of the disease was higher in the two homozygous PSSM horses.
Gene expression analysis revealed 129 genes significantly modulated (p < 0.05). The following genes were up-regulated over 2 fold: IL18, CTSS, LUM, CD44, FN1, GST01. The most down-regulated genes were the following: mitochondrial tRNA, SLC2A2, PRKCα, VEGFα. Data mining analysis showed that protein synthesis, apoptosis, cellular movement, growth and proliferation were the main cellular functions significantly associated with the modulated genes (p < 0.05). Several up-regulated genes, especially IL18, revealed a severe muscular inflammation in PSSM muscles. The up-regulation of glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK3β) under its active form could be responsible for glycogen synthase (GYS1) inhibition and hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF1α) destabilization.
The main disorders observed in PSSM muscles could be related to mitochondrial dysfunctions, glycogenesis inhibition and the chronic hypoxia of the PSSM muscles.
The laboratory mouse is commonly used as a sophisticated model in biomedical research. However, experiments requiring major surgery frequently lead to serious postoperative complications and death, particularly if genetically modified mice with anatomical and physiological abnormalities undergo extensive interventions such as transmitter implantation. Telemetric transmitters are used to study cardiovascular physiology and diseases. Telemetry yields reliable and accurate measurement of blood pressure in the free-roaming, unanaesthetized and unstressed mouse, but data recording is hampered substantially if measurements are made in an exercising mouse. Thus, we aimed to optimize transmitter implantation to improve telemetric signal recording in exercising mice as well as to establish a postoperative care regimen that promotes convalescence and survival of mice after major surgery in general.
We report an optimized telemetric transmitter implantation technique (fixation of the transmitter body on the back of the mouse with stainless steel wires) for subsequent measurement of arterial blood pressure during maximal exercise on a treadmill. This technique was used on normal (wildtype) mice and on transgenic mice with anatomical and physiological abnormalities due to constitutive overexpression of recombinant human erythropoietin. To promote convalescence of the animals after surgery, we established a regimen for postoperative intensive care: pain treatment (flunixine 5 mg/kg bodyweight, subcutaneously, twice per day) and fluid therapy (600 μl, subcutaneously, twice per day) were administrated for 7 days. In addition, warmth and free access to high energy liquid in a drinking bottle were provided for 14 days following transmitter implantation. This regimen led to a substantial decrease in overall morbidity and mortality. The refined postoperative care and surgical technique were particularly successful in genetically modified mice with severely compromised physiological capacities.
Recovery and survival rates of mice after major surgery were significantly improved by careful management of postoperative intensive care regimens including key supportive measures such as pain relief, administration of fluids, and warmth. Furthermore, fixation of the blood pressure transmitter provided constant reliable telemetric recordings in exercising mice.
In dogs in the western world neoplasia constitutes the most frequently diagnosed cause of death. Although there appear to be similarities between canine and human cancers, rather little is known about the cytogenetic and molecular alterations in canine tumours. Different dog breeds are susceptible to different types of cancer, but the genetic basis of the great majority of these predispositions has yet to be discovered. In some retriever breeds there is a high incidence of soft tissue sarcomas and we have previously reported alterations of chromosomes 11 and 30 in two poorly differentiated fibrosarcomas. Here we extend our observations and present a case report on detail rearrangements on chromosome 11 as well as genetic variations in a tumour suppressor gene in normal dogs.
BAC hybridisations on metaphases of two fibrosarcomas showed complex rearrangements on chromosome 11, and loss of parts of this chromosome. Microsatellite markers on a paired tumour and blood DNA pointed to loss of heterozygosity on chromosome 11 in the CDKN2B-CDKN2A tumour suppressor gene cluster region. PCR and sequencing revealed the homozygous loss of coding sequences for these genes, except for exon 1β of CDKN2A, which codes for the N-terminus of p14ARF. For CDKN2B exon 1, two alleles were observed in DNA from blood; one of them identical to the sequence in the dog reference genome and containing 4 copies of a 12 bp repeat found only in the canine gene amongst all species so far sequenced; the other allele was shorter due to a missing copy of the repeat. Sequencing of this exon in 141 dogs from 18 different breeds revealed a polymorphic region involving a GGC triplet repeat and a GGGGACGGCGGC repeat. Seven alleles were recorded and sixteen of the eighteen breeds showed heterozygosity.
Complex chromosome rearrangements were observed on chromosome 11 in two Labrador retriever fibrosarcomas. The chromosome alterations were reflected in the loss of sequences corresponding to two tumour suppressor genes involved in cell-cycle progression. Sequencing of CDKN2B across many different breeds revealed a widespread polymorphism within the first exon of the gene, immediately before the ankyrin coding sequences.
The cause of the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) epidemic in the United Kingdom (UK) was the inclusion of contaminated meat and bone meal in the protein rations fed to cattle. Those rations were not restricted to cattle but were also fed to other livestock including farmed and free living deer. Although there are no reported cases to date of natural BSE in European deer, BSE has been shown to be naturally or experimentally transmissible to a wide range of different ungulate species. Moreover, several species of North America's cervids are highly susceptible to chronic wasting disease (CWD), a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) that has become endemic. Should BSE infection have been introduced into the UK deer population, the CWD precedent could suggest that there is a danger for spread and maintenance of the disease in both free living and captive UK deer populations. This study compares the immunohistochemical and biochemical characteristics of BSE and CWD in experimentally-infected European red deer (Cervus elpahus elaphus).
After intracerebral or alimentary challenge, BSE in red deer more closely resembled natural infection in cattle rather than experimental BSE in small ruminants, due to the lack of accumulation of abnormal PrP in lymphoid tissues. In this respect it was different from CWD, and although the neuropathological features of both diseases were similar, BSE could be clearly differentiated from CWD by immunohistochemical and Western blotting methods currently in routine use.
Red deer are susceptible to both BSE and CWD infection, but the resulting disease phenotypes are distinct and clearly distinguishable.
To study the ability of tepoxalin, a dual inhibitor of cyclooxygenase (COX) and lipoxygenase (LOX) and its active metabolite to reduce the catabolic response of cartilage to cytokine stimulation in an in vitro model of canine osteoarthritis (OA).
Grossly normal cartilage was collected post-mortem from seven dogs that had no evidence of joint disease. Cartilage explants were cultured in media containing the recombinant canine interleukin-1β (IL-1β) at 100 ng/ml and recombinant human oncostatin-M (OSM) at 50 ng/ml. The effects of tepoxalin and its metabolite were studied at three concentrations (1 × 10-5, 1 × 10-6 and 1 × 10-7 M). Total glycosaminoglycan (GAG) and collagen (hydroxyproline) release from cartilage explants were used as outcome measures of proteoglycan and collagen depletion respectively. PGE2 and LTB4 assays were performed to study the effects of the drug on COX and LOX activity.
Treatment with IL-1β and OSM significantly upregulated both collagen (p = 0.004) and proteoglycan (p = 0.001) release from the explants. Tepoxalin at 10-5 M and 10-6 M caused a decrease in collagen release from the explants (p = 0.047 and p = 0.075). Drug treatment showed no effect on GAG release. PGE2 concentration in culture media at day 7 was significantly increased by IL-1β and OSM and treatment with both tepoxalin and its metabolite showed a trend towards dose-dependent reduction of PGE2 production. LTB4 concentrations were too low to be quantified. Cytotoxicity assays suggested that neither tepoxalin nor its metabolite had a toxic effect on the cartilage chondrocytes at the concentrations and used in this study.
This study provides evidence that tepoxalin exerts inhibition of COX and can reduce in vitro collagen loss from canine cartilage explants at a concentration of 10-5 M. We can conclude that, in this model, tepoxalin can partially inhibit the development of cartilage degeneration when it is available locally to the tissue.
Previous studies have provided some evidence of a possible association between cancer and metallothioneins. Whether this relates to an exposure to carcinogenic metals remains unclear.
In order to examine the association between the expression of metallothioneins and bladder tumors, and to compare the levels of arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead and nickel in animals with bladder tumors and animals without bladder tumors, 37 cases of bovine bladder tumors and 17 controls were collected. The detection and quantification of metallothioneins in bladder tissue of both cases and controls was performed by immunohistochemistry. And the quantification of metals in tissue and hair was assessed by inductively coupled plasma – mass spectrometry.
Increased expression of metallothioneins was associated with bladder tumors when compared with non-tumoral bladder tissue (OR = 9.3, 95% CI: 1.0 – 480). The concentrations of cadmium, chromium, lead and nickel in hair of cases were significantly higher than those of controls. However, as for the concentration of metals in bladder tissue, the differences were not significant.
Though the sample size was small, the present study shows an association between bladder tumors and metallothioneins. Moreover, it shows that concentrations of metals such as cadmium, chromium, lead and nickel in hair may be used as a biomarker of exposure.
This paper explores the spatial distribution of sampling within the active surveillance of sheep scrapie in Great Britain. We investigated the geographic distribution of the birth holdings of sheep sampled for scrapie during 2002 – 2005, including samples taken in abattoir surveys (c. 83,100) and from sheep that died in the field ("fallen stock", c. 14,600). We mapped the birth holdings by county and calculated the sampling rate, defined as the proportion of the holdings in each county sampled by the surveys. The Moran index was used to estimate the global spatial autocorrelation across Great Britain. The contributions of each county to the global Moran index were analysed by a local indicator of spatial autocorrelation (LISA).
The sampling rate differed among counties in both surveys, which affected the distribution of detected cases of scrapie. Within each survey, the county sampling rates in different years were positively correlated during 2002–2005, with the abattoir survey being more strongly autocorrelated through time than the fallen stock survey. In the abattoir survey, spatial indices indicated that sampling rates in neighbouring counties tended to be similar, with few significant contrasts. Sampling rates were strongly correlated with sheep density, being highest in Wales, Southwest England and Northern England. This relationship with sheep density accounted for over 80% of the variation in sampling rate among counties. In the fallen stock survey, sampling rates in neighbouring counties tended to be different, with more statistically significant contrasts. The fallen stock survey also included a larger proportion of holdings providing many samples.
Sampling will continue to be uneven unless action is taken to make it more uniform, if more uniform sampling becomes a target. Alternatively, analyses of scrapie occurrence in these datasets can take account of the distribution of sampling. Combining the surveys only partially reduces uneven sampling. Adjusting the distribution of sampling between abattoirs to reduce the bias in favour of regions with high sheep densities could probably achieve more even sampling. However, any adjustment of sampling should take account of the current understanding of the distribution of scrapie cases, which will be improved by further analysis of this dataset.
Control of brucellosis in livestock, wildlife and humans depends on the reliability of the methods used for detection and identification of bacteria. In the present study, we describe the evaluation of the recently established real-time PCR assay based on the Brucella-specific insertion sequence IS711 with blood samples from 199 wild boars (first group of animals) and tissue samples from 53 wild boars (second group of animals) collected in Switzerland. Results from IS711 real-time PCR were compared to those obtained by bacterial isolation, Rose Bengal Test (RBT), competitive ELISA (c-ELISA) and indirect ELISA (i-ELISA).
In the first group of animals, IS711 real-time PCR detected infection in 11.1% (16/144) of wild boars that were serologically negative. Serological tests showed different sensitivities [RBT 15.6%, c-ELISA 7.5% and i-ELISA 5.5%] and only 2% of blood samples were positive with all three tests, which makes interpretation of the serological results very difficult. Regarding the second group of animals, the IS711 real-time PCR detected infection in 26% of animals, while Brucella spp. could be isolated from tissues of only 9.4% of the animals.
The results presented here indicate that IS711 real-time PCR assay is a specific and sensitive tool for detection of Brucella spp. infections in wild boars. For this reason, we propose the employment of IS711 real-time PCR as a complementary tool in brucellosis screening programs and for confirmation of diagnosis in doubtful cases.