ResearchPad - animal-production https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Cattle with increased severity of bovine respiratory disease complex exhibit decreased capacity to protect against histone cytotoxicity<a href="#fn1"><sup>1</sup></a><sup>,</sup><a href="#fn2"><sup>2</sup></a>]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N7152b084-e01b-405c-9312-c1454e02c27d Bovine respiratory disease complex (BRDC) is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in feedlot cattle. Significant inflammation and lesions are often observed in lungs of infected cattle. During acute inflammatory responses, histones contribute to mortality in rodents and humans and serum proteins can protect against histone-induced cytotoxicity. We hypothesized that cattle experiencing chronic or fatal cases of BRDC have reduced ability to protect against cytotoxic effects of histones. Serum samples were collected from 66 bull calves at the time of normal feedlot processing procedures. Animals were retrospectively assigned to groups consisting of calves never treated for BRDC (control [CONT]; n = 10), calves treated with antimicrobials once for BRDC (1T; n = 16), calves treated twice for BRDC (2T; n = 13), calves treated 3 times for BRDC (3T; n = 14), or calves treated 4 times for BRDC (4T; n = 13). Samples were also collected each time animals received antimicrobial treatment; animals within a group were further sorted by calves that recovered and calves that died to test histone cytotoxicity. Bovine kidney cells were cultured in duplicate in 96-well plates and exposed to 0 or 50 μg/mL of total histones for 18 h with 1% serum from each animal. Cell viability was assessed by the addition of resazurin for 6 h followed by fluorescent quantification. Fluorescent values from serum alone were subtracted from values obtained for histone treatment for each animal. Serum from CONT, 1T, and 2T at initial processing all exhibited a similar (P > 0.10) response to histone treatment with fluorescent values of –312 ± 557, –1,059 ± 441, and –975 ± 489, respectively. However, 3T and 4T demonstrated an impaired capacity (P < 0.05) to protect against histones (–2,778 ± 471 and –3,026 ± 489) at initial processing when compared to the other groups. When sorted by mortality within group, calves that were treated twice and recovered (–847 ± 331) demonstrated a greater (P < 0.05) protective capacity than calves that were treated twice and died (–2,264 ± 412), indicating that calves that contract BRDC and ultimately die might have reduced protective capacity against histone cytotoxicity. Results suggest that calves that require multiple treatments for BRDC have reduced ability to protect against cytotoxicity of histones. Understanding the primary mechanism responsible for protecting against histone cytotoxicity could lead to improved identification of animals susceptible to severe cases of BRDC, improved focus and use of available resources, or better treatments for severe cases of BRDC.

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<![CDATA[COMPANION ANIMALS SYMPOSIUM: Microbes and gastrointestinal health of dogs and cats<a href="#fn1"><sup>1</sup></a>]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N7261aab6-5d5a-460a-ab37-cf81579168db Recent molecular studies have revealed complex bacterial, fungal, archaeal, and viral communities in the gastrointestinal tract of dogs and cats. More than 10 bacterial phyla have been identified, with Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, Proteobacteria, Fusobacteria, and Actinobacteria constituting more than 99% of all gut microbiota. Microbes act as a defending barrier against invading pathogens, aid in digestion, provide nutritional support for enterocytes, and play a crucial role in the development of the immune system. Of significance for gastrointestinal health is their ability to ferment dietary substrates into short-chain fatty acids, predominantly to acetate, propionate, and butyrate. However, microbes can have also a detrimental effect on host health. Specific pathogens (e.g., Salmonella, Campylobacter jejuni, and enterotoxigenic Clostridium perfringens) have been implicated in acute and chronic gastrointestinal disease. Compositional changes in the small intestinal microbiota, potentially leading to changes in intestinal permeability and digestive function, have been suggested in canine small intestinal dysbiosis or antibiotic-responsive diarrhea. There is mounting evidence that microbes play an important role in the pathogenesis of canine and feline inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Current theories for the development of IBD favor a combination of environmental factors, the intestinal microbiota, and a genetic susceptibility of the host. Recent studies have revealed a genetic susceptibility for defective bacterial clearance in Boxer dogs with granulomatous colitis. Differential expression of pathogen recognition receptors (i.e., Toll-like receptors) were identified in dogs with chronic enteropathies. Similarly to humans, a microbial dysbiosis has been identified in feline and canine IBD. Commonly observed microbial changes are increased Proteobacteria (i.e., Escherichia coli) with concurrent decreases in Firmicutes, especially a reduced diversity in Clostridium clusters XIVa and IV (i.e., Lachnospiraceae, Ruminococcaceae, Faecalibacterium spp.). This would indicate that these bacterial groups, important short-chain fatty acid producers, may play an important role in promoting intestinal health.

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<![CDATA[Production impact of influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 virus infection on fattening pigs in Norway1]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N91594c50-4891-41c0-861a-a69bcd50a847

Abstract

Newly emerged influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 virus infection in Norwegian pigs, although often observed in a subclinical form, can lower the pig's growth performance by reducing feed efficiency in terms of a poorer feed conversion ratio. Infected pigs would consume more feed and require protracted production time to reach market weight. In our observational longitudinal study, growth performance data from 728 control pigs and 193 infected pigs with known viral shedding time points were analyzed using mixed linear regression models to give estimates of the marginal effects of infection. Gaussian curves describing the variability of the estimates at the individual pig level formed the fundamental inputs to our stochastic models. The models were constructed to simulate the summed negative effects of the infection at the batch level of 150 fattening pigs growing from 33 to 100 kg. Other inputs of variability and uncertainty were 1) batch transmission points, 2) pig infection points to reflect the disease transmission dynamics of the virus, and 3) final prevalence of infected pigs in the batch. Monte Carlo random sampling gave 5,000 estimates on the outputs of the marginal effects for each pig. These results were summed up to provide estimates for a batch size of 150 pigs. This figure was adjusted by our final prevalence distribution function, which was also derived from the longitudinal study with 12 cohorts of infected pigs. For a 150-fattening-pig herd randomly selected from the population, the marginal effects of the infection were 1) 835 kg (fifth percentile) to 1,350 kg (95th percentile) increased feed intake and 2) 194 (fifth percentile) to 334 (95th percentile) pig days in excess of expected figures for an uninfected batch. A batch infected during growth phase 3 (81 to 100 kg BW) gave the worst results since the longitudinal study showed that a pig infected during growth phase 3 required more feed and a greater protracted production time compared to younger infected pigs. Sensitivity analysis showed that final prevalence had the greatest impact on the conditional mean and variation of the marginal effects of infections. Batch transmission point was the next most influential factor. Lowering the final prevalence and preventing older fattening pigs from being infected will have the greatest benefit in saving feed cost and reducing delay in getting the pigs to the market.

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<![CDATA[Weaning management of newly received beef calves with or without continuous exposure to a persistently infected bovine viral diarrhea virus pen mate: Effects on health, performance, bovine viral diarrhea virus titers, and peripheral blood leukocytes1]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N1a842814-4173-477d-ad11-2c967cf7e142

ABSTRACT

Exposure to animals persistently infected (PI) with bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) results in immunomodulation of cohorts that may have health and growth consequences; however, effects may differ in low-risk, preconditioned (PC) vs. high-risk, auction market (AM) beef cattle. Our objective was to compare health and performance of PC or AM management systems with (PI) or without (CON) presence of a PI-BVDV pen mate using a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement. Four shipment blocks of crossbred PC steers (n = 236) from 3 ranch-origins were weaned, dewormed, vaccinated, tested for PI-BVDV, and kept on the ranch for ≥42 d. Subsequently, PC steers were transported to a stocker receiving unit (RU), weighed (251 ± 2 kg), blood sampled, stratified by d −1 BW, and assigned randomly to treatment (PCPI or PCCON) with no additional processing. Simultaneously, 4 blocks of crossbred AM calves (n = 292) were assembled from regional auction markets and transported to the RU ± 36 h from PC arrival. The AM calves were weighed (245 ± 1.3 kg), stratified by gender and d −1 BW, processed under the same regimen used for PC steers at their origin ranch except bull calves were castrated, and then assigned randomly to treatment (AMPI or AMCON). Treatment pens (0.45 ha) were arranged spatially such that PI did not have fence-line or water source contact with CON. Calves were fed identically and followed the same antibiotic treatment protocol. Daily BW gain for the entire 42-d receiving trial was greater (P < 0.001) for PC (1.2 kg) compared with AM (0.85 kg). There was an exposure effect (P = 0.002) on ADG from d 28 to 42; CON gained 1.12 kg vs. 0.90 kg BW for PI cohort. Morbidity was markedly greater (P < 0.001) in AM (70%) vs. PC (7%), resulting in (P < 0.001) an antibiotic treatment cost of $20.52 and $2.48/animal, respectively. Treatment with a third antibiotic occurred more often (P = 0.04) for PI cohort, and the percentage of chronically ill cattle was greatest (P = 0.06) for AMPI. Upon arrival, BVDV type 1a, 1b, and 2a titers were greater for PC (treatment × day, P < 0.001), and the percentage seropositive to BVDV type 1a on d 0 was 100% for PC vs. 23% in AM. Platelets increased transiently (P < 0.001) with greater platelets observed in AM (P < 0.001). Results indicate that PC calves gain faster and require fewer antibiotic treatments during the receiving period. Exposure to PI reduced BW gain from d 28 to 42, increased the number of calves treated thrice, and increased chronically ill cattle for AM.

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<![CDATA[Mannan oligosaccharide increases serum concentrations of antibodies and inflammatory mediators in weanling pigs experimentally infected with porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus1,2]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N379a7326-8388-476d-9a8b-51247012fa2a

ABSTRACT

Mannan-containing products are capable of modulating immune responses in animals. However, different products may have diverse immunomodulation. The experiment was conducted to examine effects of mannan oligosaccharide (Actigen; ACT) on growth performance and serum concentrations of antibodies and inflammatory mediators in weanling pigs (Sus scrofa) experimentally infected with porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV). A total of 32 PRRSV-negative pigs (3 wk old) were randomly assigned from within blocks to 1 of 4 treatments in a 2 by 2 factorial arrangement [2 types of diet: control (0%) and ACT addition (0.04%); and with and without PRRSV] in a randomized complete block design. Pigs were blocked by initial BW within sex. Ancestry was equalized across treatments. Pigs (8/treatment) were kept individually in each pen. After 2 wk of an 8-wk period of feeding the treatments, pigs received an intranasal inoculation of PRRSV or sham medium at 5 wk of age. Infection by PRRSV decreased ADG, ADFI, and G:F throughout the experiment (P < 0.01). Actigen did not affect ADG (P = 0.450), but decreased (P = 0.047) ADFI from 28 to 42 days postinoculation (DPI). During that time, ACT improved G:F in infected pigs but not in sham controls (interaction, P = 0.009). Dietary ACT did not affect viremia in infected pigs (P > 0.05), but increased PRRSV-specific antibody titer at 35 DPI (P = 0.042). Infection with PRRSV induced the febrile responses of pigs from 3 to 10 DPI (P < 0.001) with return to normal at 14 DPI. During the experimental period, the rectal temperature of pigs was found slightly elevated by ACT (P = 0.045). Infected pigs had greater serum concentrations of IL-1β, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, IL-12, interferon (IFN)-γ, IL-10, and haptoglobin (Hp) than sham controls (P < 0.001). These results indicate that PRRSV stimulated secretion of cytokines involved in innate, T-helper 1, and T-regulatory immune responses. Actigen tended to decrease the serum TNF-α concentration regardless of PRRSV (P = 0.058). The ACT × PRRSV interaction was significant for IL-1β (P = 0.016), IL-12 (P = 0.026), and Hp (P = 0.047), suggesting that infected pigs fed ACT had greater serum concentrations of these mediators than those fed the control. The increases in IL-1β and IL-12 may favorably promote innate and T-cell immune functions in infected pigs fed ACT. Feeding ACT may be useful as ACT is related to increased PRRSV antibody titers and G:F in infected pigs at certain times during infection.

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<![CDATA[BOARD-INVITED REVIEW: Fate and transport of bioaerosols associated with livestock operations and manures]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Ne4f1c7e0-d162-4673-b37c-acb972d9e38a

ABSTRACT

Airborne microorganisms and microbial by-products from intensive livestock and manure management systems are a potential health risk to workers and individuals in nearby communities. This report presents information on zoonotic pathogens in animal wastes and the generation, fate, and transport of bioaerosols associated with animal feeding operations and land applied manures. Though many bioaerosol studies have been conducted at animal production facilities, few have investigated the transport of bioaerosols during the land application of animal manures. As communities in rural areas converge with land application sites, concerns over bioaerosol exposure will certainly increase. Although most studies at animal operations and wastewater spray irrigation sites suggest a decreased risk of bioaerosol exposure with increasing distance from the source, many challenges remain in evaluating the health effects of aerosolized pathogens and allergens in outdoor environments. To improve our ability to understand the off-site transport and diffusion of human and livestock diseases, various dispersion models have been utilized. Most studies investigating the transport of bioaerosols during land application events have used a modified Gaussian plume model. Because of the disparity among collection and analytical techniques utilized in outdoor studies, it is often difficult to evaluate health effects associated with aerosolized pathogens and allergens. Invaluable improvements in assessing the health effects from intensive livestock practices could be made if standardized bioaerosol collection and analytical techniques, as well as the use of specific target microorganisms, were adopted.

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<![CDATA[Impact of supplemental protein source offered to primiparous heifers during gestation on II. Progeny performance and carcass characteristics]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N0e91311d-cf9e-49d9-a5c9-f0ccc610003b

Abstract

A 3-yr study using primiparous crossbred beef heifers (n = 114) was conducted to determine the effects of protein supplement during late gestation on progeny performance and carcass characteristics. Pregnant heifers were stratified by heifer development system, initial BW, and AI service sire and placed in an individual feeding system. Heifers were offered meadow hay (8 to 11% CP) from early November to mid-February and provided no supplement (CON; n = 37), 0.83 kg/d (DM basis) of a dried distillers grains with solubles–based supplement (HI; n = 39), or 0.83 kg/d (DM basis) of a dried corn gluten feed–based supplement (LO; n = 38). Supplements were designed to be isonitrogenous (28% CP) and isocaloric but to differ in RUP with HI (59% RUP) having greater levels of RUP than LO (34% RUP). After the individual feeding period, heifers were placed in a drylot for calving. All heifers were bred using a fixed-timed AI protocol and pairs were moved to a commercial ranch in the Nebraska Sandhills for summer grazing. Calf weaning BW did not differ (P = 0.14) based on maternal diet. However, feedlot entry BW was greater (P = 0.03) for HI compared with CON calves. Average daily gain during the initial feedlot phase tended (P = 0.10) to be greatest for calves born to CON dams and lowest for calves born to LO dams. However, overall ADG was similar (P = 0.50) for the entire feedlot period. Residual feed intake during the reimplant and total feeding period was improved in calves born to supplemented dams in yr 2 and 3 compared with calves born to CON dams. There was no difference in final BW among treatments (P = 0.71). Hot carcass weight was similar (P = 0.72) among treatments; however, steers had greater (P < 0.01) HCW than heifers. Furthermore, percent empty body fat and 12th rib fat thickness were lowest (P = 0.05 and P = 0.04) for calves born to LO dams. Tenderness measured by Warner-Bratzler shear force was increased (P = 0.03) in longissimus samples from calves from CON dams compared to calves from LO dams. Similarly, crude fat levels tended to be greater (P = 0.07) for calves from CON dams compared with calves from LO dams. Based on these data, providing RUP supplements, similar to those used in this study, to primiparous heifers in late gestation consuming ad libitum grass hay resulted in increased initial feedlot BW for HI compared to CON calves, improved feed efficiency, and altered carcass characteristics in calves born to supplemented compared with CON dams.

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<![CDATA[Consumer attitudes towards production diseases in intensive production systems]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c40f816d5eed0c484387037

Many members of the public and important stakeholders operating at the upper end of the food chain, may be unfamiliar with how food is produced, including within modern animal production systems. The intensification of production is becoming increasingly common in modern farming. However, intensive systems are particularly susceptible to production diseases, with potentially negative consequences for farm animal welfare (FAW). Previous research has demonstrated that the public are concerned about FAW, yet there has been little research into attitudes towards production diseases, and their approval of interventions to reduce these. This research explores the public’s attitudes towards, and preferences for, FAW interventions in five European countries (Finland, Germany, Poland, Spain and the UK). An online survey was conducted for broilers (n = 789), layers (n = 790) and pigs (n = 751). Data were analysed by means of Kruskal-Wallis ANOVA, exploratory factor analysis and structural equation modelling. The results suggest that the public have concerns regarding intensive production systems, in relation to FAW, naturalness and the use of antibiotics. The most preferred interventions were the most “proactive” interventions, namely improved housing and hygiene measures. The least preferred interventions were medicine-based, which raised humane animal care and food safety concerns amongst respondents. The results highlighted the influence of the identified concerns, perceived risks and benefits on attitudes and subsequent behavioural intention, and the importance of supply chain stakeholders addressing these concerns in the subsequent communications with the public.

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<![CDATA[How do Brazilian citizens perceive animal welfare conditions in poultry, beef, and dairy supply chains?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c23f272d5eed0c484046b5a

The aim of this study was to understand the perceptions of Brazilian citizens about the general conditions of animal welfare in the poultry, beef, and dairy supply chains. To reach this aim, an online survey was conducted. The analysis was based on descriptive statistics and three logistic regression models. Results of descriptive statistics showed that citizens in Brazil had mostly negative perceptions about the conditions of animal welfare in the poultry, beef, and dairy supply chains. Results of the logistic regression models showed that citizens with a background in agricultural/veterinary sciences, and citizens who reported a higher level of knowledge about poultry and dairy supply chains were more likely to perceive the general conditions of animal welfare in these two supply chains as being bad. Citizens who reported previous contact with poultry farms were also more likely to perceive the general conditions of animal welfare in the poultry supply chain as being bad. In addition, the perception that farmers are mainly focused on the economic aspect of farming and less on animal welfare, the perception that animals do not have a good quality of life while housed on farms, and the perception that animals are not adequately transported and slaughtered, negatively impact on perceptions about the general conditions of animal welfare in the poultry, beef, and dairy supply chains.

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<![CDATA[Molecular Epidemiology of Campylobacter Isolates from Poultry Production Units in Southern Ireland]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9d5ab0ee8fa60b6584d

This study aimed to identify the sources and routes of transmission of Campylobacter in intensively reared poultry farms in the Republic of Ireland. Breeder flocks and their corresponding broilers housed in three growing facilities were screened for the presence of Campylobacter species from November 2006 through September 2007. All breeder flocks tested positive for Campylobacter species (with C. jejuni and C. coli being identified). Similarly, all broiler flocks also tested positive for Campylobacter by the end of the rearing period. Faecal and environmental samples were analyzed at regular intervals throughout the rearing period of each broiler flock. Campylobacter was not detected in the disinfected house, or in one-day old broiler chicks. Campylobacter jejuni was isolated from environmental samples including air, water puddles, adjacent broiler flocks and soil. A representative subset of isolates from each farm was selected for further characterization using flaA-SVR sub-typing and multi-locus sequence typing (MLST) to determine if same-species isolates from different sources were indistinguishable or not. Results obtained suggest that no evidence of vertical transmission existed and that adequate cleaning/disinfection of broiler houses contributed to the prevention of carryover and cross-contamination. Nonetheless, the environment appears to be a potential source of Campylobacter. The population structure of Campylobacter isolates from broiler farms in Southern Ireland was diverse and weakly clonal.

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<![CDATA[MSTN, mTOR and FoxO4 Are Involved in the Enhancement of Breast Muscle Growth by Methionine in Broilers with Lower Hatching Weight]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da06ab0ee8fa60b75e94

Broilers with lower hatching weight (HW) present poorer performance than those with high HW, but there is limited research on the growth regulation of broilers with lower HW. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of dietary methionine (Met) levels on the growth performance and breast muscle yield of broilers with different HW and underlying mechanisms. A total of 192 one-day-old Arbor Acres broiler chicks with different HW (heavy: 48.3±0.1 g, and light: 41.7±0.1 g) were allocated to a 2×2 factorial arrangement with 6 replicates of 8 chicks per replicate cage. Control starter (1–21 d) and finisher (22–42 d) diets were formulated to contain 0.50% and 0.43% Met, respectively. Corresponding values for a high Met treatment were 0.60% and 0.53%. Light chicks had lower body weight gain (BWG) and breast muscle yield than heavy chicks when the broilers were fed the control diets. High Met diets improved BWG, gain to feed ratio and breast muscle yield in light but not heavy chicks. Decreased DNA content and increased RNA/DNA and protein/DNA ratios in breast muscle were induced by high Met diets only in light chicks. MSTN mRNA level was decreased by high Met diets only in light chicks, and this decrease was accompanied by a significant increase in MSTN gene exon 1 methylation. In addition, high Met diets increased mTOR phosphorylation, but decreased FoxO4 phosphorylation in breast muscle of light chicks. In conclusion, the BWG and breast muscle yield of light chicks were improved by increasing dietary Met levels probably through alterations of MSTN transcription and phosphorylation of mTOR and FoxO4.

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<![CDATA[Generation and Characterization of Human Heme Oxygenase-1 Transgenic Pigs]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9d4ab0ee8fa60b651d2

Xenotransplantation using transgenic pigs as an organ source is a promising strategy to overcome shortage of human organ for transplantation. Various genetic modifications have been tried to ameliorate xenograft rejection. In the present study we assessed effect of transgenic expression of human heme oxygenase-1 (hHO-1), an inducible protein capable of cytoprotection by scavenging reactive oxygen species and preventing apoptosis caused by cellular stress during inflammatory processes, in neonatal porcine islet-like cluster cells (NPCCs). Transduction of NPCCs with adenovirus containing hHO-1 gene significantly reduced apoptosis compared with the GFP-expressing adenovirus control after treatment with either hydrogen peroxide or hTNF-α and cycloheximide. These protective effects were diminished by co-treatment of hHO-1 antagonist, Zinc protoporphyrin IX. We also generated transgenic pigs expressing hHO-1 and analyzed expression and function of the transgene. Human HO-1 was expressed in most tissues, including the heart, kidney, lung, pancreas, spleen and skin, however, expression levels and patterns of the hHO-1 gene are not consistent in each organ. We isolate fibroblast from transgenic pigs to analyze protective effect of the hHO-1. As expected, fibroblasts derived from the hHO-1 transgenic pigs were significantly resistant to both hydrogen peroxide damage and hTNF-α and cycloheximide-mediated apoptosis when compared with wild-type fibroblasts. Furthermore, induction of RANTES in response to hTNF-α or LPS was significantly decreased in fibroblasts obtained from the hHO-1 transgenic pigs. These findings suggest that transgenic expression of hHO-1 can protect xenografts when exposed to oxidative stresses, especially from ischemia/reperfusion injury, and/or acute rejection mediated by cytokines. Accordingly, hHO-1 could be an important candidate molecule in a multi-transgenic pig strategy for xenotransplantation.

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<![CDATA[A Novel Porcine Circovirus-Like Agent P1 Is Associated with Wasting Syndromes in Pigs]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db3eab0ee8fa60bd5dc3

A novel porcine pathogen tentatively named P1, which was obtained from the sera of the pigs exhibiting clinical signs of postweaning multisystemic wasting syndrome (PMWS) experimentally caused the classical clinic signs and pathologic lesions of the disease in pigs by direct in vivo injection with P1 DNA plasmids. Twenty colostrum-fed (CF) pigs that were free of PCV2 and P1 at 1 month of age were randomly designated equally to two groups. Group 1 pigs were each injected with 400 µg of the cloned P1 plasmid DNA into the superficial inguinal lymph nodes and Group 2 were injected with same amount of the empty pSK vector DNA and served as controls. Viremias were positively detected in 8 of 10 P1 infected pigs from 14–21 days post-inoculation (dpi). The 8 infected animals showed pallor of skin and diarrhea. Gross lesions in the pigs euthanized on 35 dpi were similarly characterized by encephalemia, haemorrhage of the bladder mucosa, haemorrhage of the superficial inguinal lymph nodes, lung atrophy and haemorrhage. Histopathological lesions were arteriectasis and telangiectasia of the cavitas subarachnoidealis, interstitial pneumonia, mild atrophy of the cardiac muscle cells, histiocytic hyperplasia of the follicles in the tonsils, and haemorrhage of the inguinal lymph nodes. P1 DNA and antigens were confirmed by PCR and immunohistochemistry in the tissues and organs of the infected pigs, including the pancreas, bladders, testicles/ovaries, brains, lungs and liver. There were no obvious clinical signs and pathological lesions in the control pigs. This study demonstrated that P1 infection is one of the important pathologic agents on pig farms.

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<![CDATA[Saccharomyces cerevisiae Modulates Immune Gene Expressions and Inhibits ETEC-Mediated ERK1/2 and p38 Signaling Pathways in Intestinal Epithelial Cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da81ab0ee8fa60b9abdf

Background

Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) infections result in large economic losses in the swine industry worldwide. ETEC infections cause pro-inflammatory responses in intestinal epithelial cells and subsequent diarrhea in pigs, leading to reduced growth rate and mortality. Administration of probiotics as feed additives displayed health benefits against intestinal infections. Saccharomyces cerevisiae (Sc) is non-commensal and non-pathogenic yeast used as probiotic in gastrointestinal diseases. However, the immuno-modulatory effects of Sc in differentiated porcine intestinal epithelial cells exposed to ETEC were not investigated.

Methodology/Principal Findings

We reported that the yeast Sc (strain CNCM I-3856) modulates transcript and protein expressions involved in inflammation, recruitment and activation of immune cells in differentiated porcine intestinal epithelial IPEC-1 cells. We demonstrated that viable Sc inhibits the ETEC-induced expression of pro-inflammatory transcripts (IL-6, IL-8, CCL20, CXCL2, CXCL10) and proteins (IL-6, IL-8). This inhibition was associated to a decrease of ERK1/2 and p38 MAPK phosphorylation, an agglutination of ETEC by Sc and an increase of the anti-inflammatory PPAR-γ nuclear receptor mRNA level. In addition, Sc up-regulates the mRNA levels of both IL-12p35 and CCL25. However, measurement of transepithelial electrical resistance displayed that Sc failed to maintain the barrier integrity in monolayer exposed to ETEC suggesting that Sc does not inhibit ETEC enterotoxin activity.

Conclusions

Sc (strain CNCM I-3856) displays multiple immuno-modulatory effects at the molecular level in IPEC-1 cells suggesting that Sc may influence intestinal inflammatory reaction.

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<![CDATA[Development of Two Murine Antibodies against Neospora caninum Using Phage Display Technology and Application on the Detection of N. caninum]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dad6ab0ee8fa60bb8018

Neosporosis, caused by an intracellular parasite, Neospora caninum, is an infectious disease primarily of cattle and dogs. It occurs worldwide and causes huge damages to dairy farms. In this study, we immunized mice with recombinant surface-associated protein 1 of N. caninum (rNcSAG1) and developed two novel monoclonal antibodies, A10 and H3, against NcSAG1 using phage-display technology. Both clones bound to purified rNcSAG1 and the half maximal inhibitory concentrations of A10 and H3 are 50 and 72 nM of rNcSAG1, respectively. In immunofluorescence assays, both A10 and H3 Fabs bound to N. caninum parasites. Direct detection of N. caninum parasites was developed firstly using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) with A10 and H3. Binding of A10 and H3 antibodies to rNcSAG1 was also inhibited by some certain anti-N. caninum antibodies in the neosporosis-positive cattle sera, suggesting they might bind to the same epitopes of NcSAG1 with those anti-N. caninum antibodies of bovine. These antibodies were demonstrated to have a potential for monitoring the N. caninum parasites in a dairy farm, which may lead to protect livestock from parasite-infection.

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<![CDATA[Serial Non-Invasive Measurements of Dermal Carotenoid Concentrations in Dairy Cows following Recovery from Abomasal Displacement]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da26ab0ee8fa60b80be2

Maintaining the health of farm animals forms the basis for a sustainable and profitable production of food from animal origin. Recently, the effects of carotenoids on the oxidative status as well as on reproductive and immune functions in cattle have been demonstrated. The present study aimed at investigating dermal carotenoid levels in cattle recovering from abomasal displacement. For this purpose, serial in vivo measurements were undertaken using a miniaturized scanner system that relies on reflection spectroscopy (Opsolution GmbH, Kassel, Germany). In a first trial, repeated measurements of dermal carotenoid concentrations were performed on the udder skin of healthy non-lactating cattle (n = 6) for one month in weekly intervals. In a second trial, in vivo dermal carotenoid concentrations were determined in intervals in 23 cows following surgical treatment of abomasal displacement. The results show that dermal carotenoid concentrations, determined on a weekly basis over a period of one month, showed variations of up to 18% in the healthy individuals kept under constant conditions with respect to housing and nutrition. Repeated measurements during the recovery period following surgical treatment of abomasal displacement resulted in an increase in dermal carotenoid concentrations in 18 of 20 animals with a favourable outcome when compared with results obtained within 12 hours following surgery. The mean increase in dermal carotenoid concentrations in subsequent measurements was 53±44%, whereas levels decreased (mean 31±27%) in cattle with a fatal outcome.

These results indicate potential applications for reflection spectroscopy for non-invasive early detection of changes in the dermal carotenoid concentrations as a reflection of the antioxidant status in an animal.

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<![CDATA[Selection Signature Analysis Implicates the PC1/PCSK1 Region for Chicken Abdominal Fat Content]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db21ab0ee8fa60bcf689

We conducted a selection signature analysis using the chicken 60k SNP chip in two chicken lines that had been divergently selected for abdominal fat content (AFC) for 11 generations. The selection signature analysis used multiple signals of selection, including long-range allele frequency differences between the lean and fat lines, long-range heterozygosity changes, linkage disequilibrium, haplotype frequencies, and extended haplotype homozygosity. Multiple signals of selection identified ten signatures on chromosomes 1, 2, 4, 5, 11, 15, 20, 26 and Z. The 0.73 Mb PC1/PCSK1 region of the Z chromosome at 55.43-56.16 Mb was the most heavily selected region. This region had 26 SNP markers and seven genes, Mar-03, SLC12A2, FBN2, ERAP1, CAST, PC1/PCSK1 and ELL2, where PC1/PCSK1 are the chicken/human names for the same gene. The lean and fat lines had two main haplotypes with completely opposite SNP alleles for the 26 SNP markers and were virtually line-specific, and had a recombinant haplotype with nearly equal frequency (0.193 and 0.196) in both lines. Other haplotypes in this region had negligible frequencies. Nine other regions with selection signatures were PAH-IGF1, TRPC4, GJD4-CCNY, NDST4, NOVA1, GALNT9, the ESRP2-GALR1 region with five genes, the SYCP2-CADH4 with six genes, and the TULP1-KIF21B with 14 genes. Genome-wide association analysis showed that nearly all regions with evidence of selection signature had SNP effects with genome-wide significance (P<10–6) on abdominal fat weight and percentage. The results of this study provide specific gene targets for the control of chicken AFC and a potential model of AFC in human obesity.

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<![CDATA[Bacterial Diversity Dynamics Associated with Different Diets and Different Primer Pairs in the Rumen of Kankrej Cattle]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da35ab0ee8fa60b85fa4

The ruminal microbiome in herbivores plays a dominant role in the digestion of lignocellulose and has potential to improve animal productivity. Kankrej cattle, a popular native breed of the Indian subcontinent, were used to investigate the effect of different dietary treatments on the bacterial diversity in ruminal fractions using different primer pairs. Two groups of four cows were assigned to two primary diets of either dry or green forages. Each group was fed one of three dietary treatments for six weeks each. Dietary treatments were; K1 (50% dry/green roughage: 50% concentrate), K2 (75% dry/green roughage: 25% concentrate) and K3 (100% dry/green roughage). Rumen samples were collected using stomach tube at the end of each dietary period and separated into solid and liquid fractions. The DNA was extracted and amplified for V1–V3, V4–V5 and V6–V8 hypervariable regions using P1, P2 and P3 primer pairs, sequenced on a 454 Roche platform and analyzed using QIIME. Community compositions and the abundance of most bacterial lineages were driven by interactions between primer pair, dietary treatment and fraction. The most abundant bacterial phyla identified were Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes however, the abundance of these phyla varied between different primer pairs; in each primer pair the abundance was dependent on the dietary treatment and fraction. The abundance of Bacteroidetes in cattle receiving K1 treatment indicate their diverse functional capabilities in the digestion of both carbohydrate and protein while the predominance of Firmicutes in the K2 and K3 treatments signifies their metabolic role in fibre digestion. It is apparent that both liquid and solid fractions had distinct bacterial community patterns (P<0.001) congruent to changes in the dietary treatments. It can be concluded that the P1 primer pair flanking the V1–V3 hyper-variable region provided greater species richness and diversity of bacterial populations in the rumen of Kankrej cattle.

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<![CDATA[Benefits of a Ball and Chain: Simple Environmental Enrichments Improve Welfare and Reproductive Success in Farmed American Mink (Neovison vison)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9dbab0ee8fa60b678eb

Can simple enrichments enhance caged mink welfare? Pilot data from 756 sub-adults spanning three colour-types (strains) identified potentially practical enrichments, and suggested beneficial effects on temperament and fur-chewing. Our main experiment started with 2032 Black mink on three farms: from each of 508 families, one juvenile male-female pair was enriched (E) with two balls and a hanging plastic chain or length of hose, while a second pair was left as a non-enriched (NE) control. At 8 months, more than half the subjects were killed for pelts, and 302 new females were recruited (half enriched: ‘late E’). Several signs of improved welfare or productivity emerged. Access to enrichment increased play in juveniles. E mink were calmer (less aggressive in temperament tests; quieter when handled; less fearful, if male), and less likely to fur-chew, although other stereotypic behaviours were not reduced. On one farm, E females had lower cortisol (inferred from faecal metabolites). E males tended to copulate for longer. E females also weaned more offspring: about 10% more juveniles per E female, primarily caused by reduced rates of barrenness (‘late E’ females also giving birth to bigger litters on one farm), effects that our data cautiously suggest were partly mediated by reduced inactivity and changes in temperament. Pelt quality seemed unaffected, but E animals had cleaner cages. In a subsidiary side-study using 368 mink of a second colour-type (‘Demis’), similar temperament effects emerged, and while E did not reduce fur-chewing or improve reproductive success in this colour-type, E animals were judged to have better pelts. Overall, simple enrichments were thus beneficial. These findings should encourage welfare improvements on fur farms (which house 60-70 million mink p.a.) and in breeding centres where endangered mustelids (e.g. black-footed ferrets) often reproduce poorly. They should also stimulate future research into more effective practical enrichments.

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<![CDATA[Gestational Heat Stress Alters Postnatal Offspring Body Composition Indices and Metabolic Parameters in Pigs]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9eeab0ee8fa60b6d813

The study objectives were to test the hypothesis that heat stress (HS) during gestational development alters postnatal growth, body composition, and biological response to HS conditions in pigs. To investigate this, 14 first parity crossbred gilts were exposed to one of four environmental treatments (TNTN, TNHS, HSTN, or HSHS) during gestation. TNTN and HSHS dams were exposed to thermal neutral (TN, cyclical 18–22°C) or HS conditions (cyclical 28–34°C) during the entire gestation, respectively. Dams assigned to HSTN and TNHS treatments were heat-stressed for the first or second half of gestation, respectively. Postnatal offspring were exposed to one of two thermal environments for an acute (24 h) or chronic (five weeks) duration in either constant TN (21°C) or HS (35°C) environment. Exposure to chronic HS during their growth phase resulted in decreased longissimus dorsi cross-sectional area (LDA) in offspring from HSHS and HSTN treated dams whereas LDA was larger in offspring from dams in TNTN and TNHS conditions. Irrespective of HS during prepubertal postnatal growth, pigs from dams that experienced HS during the first half of gestation (HSHS and HSTN) had increased (13.9%) subcutaneous fat thickness compared to pigs from dams exposed to TN conditions during the first half of gestation. This metabolic repartitioning towards increased fat deposition in pigs from dams heat-stressed during the first half of gestation was accompanied by elevated blood insulin concentrations (33%; P = 0.01). Together, these results demonstrate HS during the first half of gestation altered metabolic and body composition parameters during future development and in biological responses to a subsequent HS challenge.

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