ResearchPad - swine https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Molecular epidemiology, genetic diversity and antimicrobial resistance of <i>Staphylococcus aureus</i> isolated from chicken and pig carcasses, and carcass handlers]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14574 The epidemiology of Staphylococcus aureus in food animals, associated products, and their zoonotic potential in Nigeria are poorly understood. This study aimed to provide data on the prevalence, genetic characteristics and antimicrobial resistance of S. aureus isolated from chicken and pig carcasses, and persons in contact with the carcasses at slaughterhouses in Nigeria. Surface swabs were collected randomly from 600 chicken and 600 pig carcasses. Nasal swabs were collected from 45 workers in chicken slaughterhouses and 45 pig slaughterhouse workers. S. aureus isolates were analyzed by spa typing. They were also examined for presence of the Panton-Valentine Leucocidin (PVL) and mecA genes, as well as for antimicrobial resistance phenotype. Overall, 53 S. aureus isolates were recovered (28 from chicken carcasses, 17 from pig carcasses, 5 from chicken carcass handlers and 3 from pig carcass handlers). Among the isolates, 19 (35.8%) were PVL-positive and 12 (22.6%) carried the mecA gene. The 53 isolates belonged to 19 spa types. The Based Upon Repeat Pattern (BURP) algorithm separated the isolates into 2 spa-clonal complexes (spa-CC) and 9 singletons including 2 novel spa types (t18345 and t18346). The clonal complexes (CC) detected were CC1, CC5, CC8, CC15, CC88 and CC152. CC15-related isolates represented by spa type t084 (32.1%) and CC5 represented by spa type t311 (35.3%) predominated among isolates from chicken carcasses/ handlers, and pig carcasses/ handlers, respectively. Multidrug resistance exhibited by all the CC except CC8, was observed among isolates from chicken carcasses (64.3%), pig carcasses (41.2%), handlers of chicken meat (40.0%) and handlers of pork (33.3%). All the CC showed varying degrees of resistance to tetracycline while CC15 and CC5 exhibited the highest resistance to sulphamethoxazole/trimethoprim and erythromycin, respectively. The predominant antimicrobial resistance pattern observed was penicillin-tetracycline-sulphamethoxazole/trimethoprim (PEN-TET-SXT). In conclusion, food animals processed in Enugu State in Southeast Nigeria are potential vehicles for transmission of PVL-positive multiple-drug resistant S. aureus and methicillin-resistant S. aureus from farm to slaughterhouse and potentially to the human population. Public health intervention programs at pre- and post-slaughter stages should be considered in Nigerian slaughterhouses.

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<![CDATA[Risk factors associated to a high Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex seroprevalence in wild boar (Sus scrofa) from a low bovine tuberculosis prevalence area]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nfbbd03ef-7cb8-4d82-b605-16cf8ee0d77e

Animal tuberculosis is a worldwide zoonotic disease caused principally by Mycobacterium bovis, a member of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTC). In southern Iberian Peninsula, wild reservoirs such as the wild boar, among other factors, have prevented the eradication of bovine tuberculosis. However, most of the studies have been focused on south-central Spain, where the prevalence of tuberculosis is high among wild ungulates and cattle herds. In northern regions, where wild boar density and bovine tuberculosis prevalence are lower, fewer studies have been carried out and the role of this species is still under debate. The aim of this study was to describe the temporal and spatial distribution of antibodies against MTC in wild boar from the Basque Country, northern Spain. Sera from 1902 animals were collected between 2010 and 2016. The seroprevalence was determined with an in house enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and the search of risk factors was assessed by Generalized Linear Models. Overall, 17% of wild boars (326/1902; 95%CI, [15.5%–18.9%]) showed antibodies against MTC. Risk factors associated with seropositivity were the year and location of sampling, the number of MTC positive cattle, the distance to positive farms and the percentage of shrub cover. Younger age classes were associated with increased antibody titres among seropositive individuals. The seroprevalence detected was higher than those previously reported in neighbouring regions. Hence, further studies are needed to better understand the role of wild boar in the epidemiology of tuberculosis in low tuberculosis prevalence areas and consequently, its relevance when developing control strategies.

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<![CDATA[Impact of confinement in vehicle trunks on decomposition and entomological colonization of carcasses]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nffbdbe54-85a9-48b9-9e05-57433aec6303

In order to investigate the impact of confinement in a car trunk on decomposition and insect colonization of carcasses, three freshly killed pig (Sus scrofa domesticus Erxleben) carcasses were placed individually in the trunks of older model cars and deployed in a forested area in the southwestern region of British Columbia, Canada, together with three freshly killed carcasses which were exposed in insect-accessible protective cages in the same forest. Decomposition rate and insect colonization of all carcasses were examined twice a week for four weeks. The exposed carcasses were colonized immediately by Calliphora latifrons Hough and Calliphora vomitoria (L.) followed by Lucilia illustris (Meigen), Phormia regina (Meigen) and Protophormia terraenovae (R.-D.) (Diptera: Calliphoridae). There was a delay of three to six days before the confined carcasses were colonized, first by P. regina, followed by Pr. terraenovae. These species represented the vast majority of blow fly species on the confined carcasses. Despite the delay in colonization, decomposition progressed much more rapidly in two of the confined carcasses in comparison with the exposed carcasses due to the greatly increased temperatures inside the vehicles, with the complete skeletonization of two of the confined carcasses ocurring between nine and 13 days after death. One confined carcass was an anomaly, attracting much fewer insects, supporting fewer larval calliphorids and decomposing much more slowly than other carcasses, despite similarly increased temperatures. It was later discovered that the vehicle in which this carcass was confined had a solid metal fire wall between the passenger area and the trunk, which served to reduce insect access and release of odors. These data may be extremely valuable when analyzing cadavers found inside vehicle trunks.

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<![CDATA[Interspecies Transmission of Reassortant Swine Influenza A Virus Containing Genes from Swine Influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 and A(H1N2) Viruses]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N8149724d-779a-4259-8c9d-f5004f42b93e

Influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 (pH1N1) virus has become established in swine in the United Kingdom and currently co-circulates with previously enzootic swine influenza A virus (IAV) strains, including avian-like H1N1 and human-like H1N2 viruses. During 2010, a swine influenza A reassortant virus, H1N2r, which caused mild clinical disease in pigs in the United Kingdom, was isolated. This reassortant virus has a novel gene constellation, incorporating the internal gene cassette of pH1N1-origin viruses and hemagglutinin and neuraminidase genes of swine IAV H1N2 origin. We investigated the pathogenesis and infection dynamics of the H1N2r isolate in pigs (the natural host) and in ferrets, which represent a human model of infection. Clinical and virologic parameters were mild in both species and both intraspecies and interspecies transmission was observed when initiated from either infected pigs or infected ferrets. This novel reassortant virus has zoonotic and reverse zoonotic potential, but no apparent increased virulence or transmissibility, in comparison to pH1N1 viruses.

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<![CDATA[Implementation of a practical and effective pilot intervention against transmission of Taenia solium by pigs in the Banke district of Nepal]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c7d95d7d5eed0c484734daa

Taenia solium is a zoonotic cestode parasite which causes human neurocysticercosis. Pigs transmit the parasite by acting as the intermediate host. An intervention was implemented to control transmission of T. solium by pigs in Dalit communities of Banke District, Nepal. Every 3 months, pigs were vaccinated with the TSOL18 recombinant vaccine (Cysvax, IIL, India)) and, at the same time, given an oral treatment with 30mg/kg oxfendazole (Paranthic 10% MCI, Morocco). The prevalence of porcine cysticercosis was determined in both an intervention area as well as a similar no intervention control area, among randomly selected, slaughter-age pigs. Post mortem assessments were undertaken both at the start and at the end of the intervention. Participants conducting the post mortem assessments were blinded as to the source of the animals being assessed. At the start of the intervention the prevalence of porcine cysticercosis was 23.6% and 34.5% in the control and intervention areas, respectively. Following the intervention, the prevalence of cysticercosis in pigs from the control area was 16.7% (no significant change), whereas no infection was detected after complete slicing of all muscle tissue and brain in animals from the intervention area (P = 0.004). These findings are discussed in relation to the feasibility and sustainability of T. solium control. The 3-monthly vaccination and drug treatment intervention in pigs used here is suggested as an effective and practical method for reducing T. solium transmission by pigs. The results suggest that applying the intervention over a period of years may ultimately reduce the number of tapeworm carriers and thereby the incidence of NCC.

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<![CDATA[Phylogeographic investigation of 2014 porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) transmission in Taiwan]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c89779dd5eed0c4847d319c

The porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) that emerged and spread throughout Taiwan in 2014 triggered significant concern in the country’s swine industry. Acknowledging the absence of a thorough investigation at the geographic level, we used 2014 outbreak sequence information from the Taiwan government’s open access databases plus GenBank records to analyze PEDV dissemination among Taiwanese pig farms. Genetic sequences, locations, and dates of identified PEDV-positive cases were used to assess spatial, temporal, clustering, GIS, and phylogeographic factors affecting PEDV dissemination. Our conclusion is that S gene sequences from 2014 PEDV-positive clinical samples collected in Taiwan were part of the same Genogroup 2 identified in the US in 2013. According to phylogenetic and phylogeographic data, viral strains collected in different areas were generally independent of each other, with certain clusters identified across different communities. Data from GIS and multiple potential infection factors were used to pinpoint cluster dissemination in areas with large numbers of swine farms in southern Taiwan. The data indicate that the 2014 Taiwan PEDV epidemic resulted from the spread of multiple strains, with strong correlations identified with pig farm numbers and sizes (measured as animal concentrations), feed mill numbers, and the number of slaughterhouses in a specifically defined geographic area.

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<![CDATA[Comparison of the new fully automated extraction platform eMAG to the MagNA PURE 96 and the well-established easyMAG for detection of common human respiratory viruses]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c75ac8ad5eed0c484d089f7

Respiratory viral infections constitute the majority of samples tested in the clinical virology laboratory during the winter season, and are mainly diagnosed using molecular assays, namely real-time PCR (qPCR). Therefore, a high-quality extraction process is critical for successful, reliable and sensitive qPCR results. Here we aimed to evaluate the performance of the newly launched eMAG compared to the fully automated MagNA PURE 96 (Roche, Germany) and to the semi-automated easyMAG (bioMerieux, France) extraction platforms. For this analysis, we assessed and compared the analytic and clinical performance of the three platforms, using 262 archived respiratory samples positive or negative to common viruses regularly examined in our laboratory (influenza A, B, H1N1pdm, Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), human Metapneumovirus (hMPV), parainfluenza-3, adenovirus and negative samples). In addition, quantitated virus controls were used to determine the limit of detection of each extraction method.

In all categories tested, eMAG results were comparable to those of the easyMAG and MagNa PURE 96, highly sensitive for all viruses and over 98% clinical specificity and sensitivity for all viruses tested. Together with its high level of automation, the bioMerieux eMAG is a high-quality extraction platform enabling effective molecular analysis and is mostly suitable for medium-sized laboratories.

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<![CDATA[Effects of increased space allowance on animal welfare, meat and ham quality of heavy pigs slaughtered at 160Kg]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c706779d5eed0c4847c70a2

Sixty barrows (Body Weight–BW- range: 23.9–160 kg) were allotted to two experimental groups (6 pens of 5 pigs each): the control group was kept at a space allowance of 1m2/head; the second group was kept at 1.3m2/head. Behaviour, growth parameters, carcass and meat quality were assessed, as well as fat and cured ham quality. Results showed that pigs raised at 1.3m2/head spent more time laying (particularly in lateral recumbency, P<0.01 and P<0.001, respectively) compared to pigs kept at lower space allowance. They also reduced the aimless exploration of the slatted pen floor (P<0.001) and increased overall expression of other, mainly active, behaviors (e.g., drinking, walking and standing, P<0.01). Pigs raised at 1.3m2/head showed higher final BW (P = 0.02), more favourable Average Daily Gain (ADG) and gain-to-Feed ratio (G:F) both during the last period of the trial (P<0.05 for both parameters) and over the entire trial (P = 0.01 for both parameters). No significant difference was observed between groups for carcass traits and the main meat quality attributes. Subcutaneous fat from green hams had higher α-linolenic acid content (P<0.01) in the group reared at greater space allowance. Green hams from this group lost less weight at trimming (P<0.01) and the resulting cured hams received better sensory evaluations (P<0.05). No difference was observed in fatty acid composition and unsaturation levels of the subcutaneous fat from cured hams. Our data suggest that heavy pigs intended for Parma ham would benefit from the adoption of higher individual floor space allowances, both in terms of animal welfare (increased possibility to rest) and of productive parameters, without having any detrimental effect on the suitability of the thighs for dry-curing or on the quality of the final product.

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<![CDATA[Functional analysis finds differences on the muscle transcriptome of pigs fed an n-3 PUFA-enriched diet with or without antioxidant supplementations]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c76fe15d5eed0c484e5b456

Supplementing pig diets with n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA) may produce meat products with an increased n-3 fatty acid content, and the combined antioxidants addition could prevent lipid oxidation in the feed. However, to date, the effects of these bioactive compounds at the molecular level in porcine skeletal muscle are mostly unknown. This study aimed to analyse changes in the Longissimus thoracis transcriptome of 35 pigs fed three diets supplemented with: linseed (L); linseed, vitamin E and Selenium (LES) or linseed and plant-derived polyphenols (LPE). Pigs were reared from 80.8 ± 5.6 kg to 151.8 ± 9.9 kg. After slaughter, RNA-Seq was performed and 1182 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were submitted to functional analysis. The L vs LES comparison did not show differences, while L vs LPE showed 1102 DEGs and LES vs LPE 80 DEGs. LPE compared to the other groups showed the highest number of up-regulated genes involved in preserving muscle metabolism and structure. Results enlighten that the combined supplementation of bioactive lipids (n-3 PUFA from linseed) with plant extracts as a source of polyphenols increases, compared to the only addition of linseed, the expression of genes involved in mRNA metabolic processes and transcriptional regulation, glucose uptake and, finally, in supporting muscle development and physiology. These results improve the knowledge of the biological effect of bioactive compounds in Longissimus thoracis muscle, and sustain the growing interest over their use in pig production.

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<![CDATA[Does picture background matter? Peopleʼs evaluation of pigs in different farm settings]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6c75c8d5eed0c4843d0185

Pictures of farm animals and their husbandry systems are frequently presented in the media and are mostly connected to discussions surrounding farm animal welfare. How such pictures are perceived by the broader public is not fully understood thus far. It is presumable that the animalsʼ expressions and body languages as well as their depicted environment or husbandry systems affect public perception. Therefore, the aim of this study is to test how the evaluation of a picture showing a farmed pig is influenced by portrayed attributes, as well as participants’ perceptions of pigs’ abilities in general, and if connection to agriculture has an influence. In an online survey, 1,019 German residents were shown four modified pictures of a pig in a pen. The pictures varied with regards to facial expression and body language of the pig (ʽhappyʼ versus ʽunhappyʼ pig) and the barn setting (straw versus slatted floor pen). Respondents were asked to evaluate both the pen and the welfare of the pig. Two Linear Mixed Models were calculated to analyze effects on pig and pen evaluation. For the pictures, the pen had the largest influence on both pig and pen evaluation, followed by the pigʼs appearance and participants’ beliefs in pigs’ mental and emotional abilities, as well as their connection to agriculture. The welfare of both the ʽhappyʼ and the ʽunhappyʼ pig was assessed to be higher in the straw setting compared to the slatted floor setting in our study, and even the ʽunhappy pigʼ on straw was perceived more positively than the ʽhappy pigʼ on slatted floor. The straw pen was evaluated as being better than the slatted floor pen on the pictures we presented but the pens also differed in level of dirt on the walls (more dirt in the slatted floor pen), which might have influenced the results. Nevertheless, the results suggest that enduring aspects of pictures such as the husbandry system influence perceptions more than a momentary body expression of the pig, at least in the settings tested herein.

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<![CDATA[Balancing selection at a premature stop mutation in the myostatin gene underlies a recessive leg weakness syndrome in pigs]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5b52bfd5eed0c4842bcf6f

Balancing selection provides a plausible explanation for the maintenance of deleterious alleles at moderate frequency in livestock, including lethal recessives exhibiting heterozygous advantage in carriers. In the current study, a leg weakness syndrome causing mortality of piglets in a commercial line showed monogenic recessive inheritance, and a region on chromosome 15 associated with the syndrome was identified by homozygosity mapping. Whole genome resequencing of cases and controls identified a mutation causing a premature stop codon within exon 3 of the porcine Myostatin (MSTN) gene, similar to those causing a double-muscling phenotype observed in several mammalian species. The MSTN mutation was in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium in the population at birth, but significantly distorted amongst animals still in the herd at 110 kg, due to an absence of homozygous mutant genotypes. In heterozygous form, the MSTN mutation was associated with a major increase in muscle depth and decrease in fat depth, suggesting that the deleterious allele was maintained at moderate frequency due to heterozygous advantage (allele frequency, q = 0.22). Knockout of the porcine MSTN by gene editing has previously been linked to problems of low piglet survival and lameness. This MSTN mutation is an example of putative balancing selection in livestock, providing a plausible explanation for the lack of disrupting MSTN mutations in pigs despite many generations of selection for lean growth.

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<![CDATA[A PRRSV GP5-Mosaic vaccine: Protection of pigs from challenge and ex vivo detection of IFNγ responses against several genotype 2 strains]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5ca28ad5eed0c48441e5c0

Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV), is a highly mutable RNA virus that affects swine worldwide and its control is very challenging due to its formidable heterogeneity in the field. In the present study, DNA vaccines constructed with PRRSV GP5-Mosaic sequences were complexed to cationic liposomes and administered to experimental pigs by intradermal and intramuscular injection, followed by three boosters 14, 28 and 42 days later. The GP5-Mosaic vaccine thus formulated was immunogenic and induced protection from challenge in vaccinated pigs comparable to that induced by a wild type (VR2332) GP5 DNA vaccine (GP5-WT). Periodic sampling of blood and testing of vaccine-induced responses followed. Interferon-γ (IFN-γ) mRNA expression by virus-stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of GP5-Mosaic-vaccinated pigs was significantly higher compared to pigs vaccinated with either GP5-WT or empty vector at 21, 35 and 48 days after vaccination. Cross-reactive cellular responses were also demonstrated in GP5-Mosaic vaccinated pigs after stimulation of PBMCs with divergent strains of PRRSV. Thus, significantly higher levels of IFN-γ mRNA were detected when PBMCs from GP5-Mosaic-vaccinated pigs were stimulated by four Genotype 2 strains (VR2332, NADC9, NADC30 and SDSU73), which have at least 10% difference in GP5 amino acid sequences, while such responses were recorded only upon VR2332 stimulation in GP5-WT-vaccinated pigs. In addition, the levels of virus-specific neutralizing antibodies were higher in GP5-Mosaic or GP5-WT vaccinated pigs than those in vector-control pigs. The experimental pigs vaccinated with either the GP5-Mosaic vaccine or the GP5-WT vaccine were partially protected from challenge with VR2332, as measured by significantly lower viral loads in sera and tissues and lower lung lesion scores than the vector control group. These data demonstrate that the GP5-Mosaic vaccine can induce cross-reactive cellular responses to diverse strains, neutralizing antibodies, and protection in pigs.

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<![CDATA[Genome constellations of 24 porcine rotavirus group A strains circulating on commercial Thai swine farms between 2011 and 2016]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5217dbd5eed0c484794705

Rotavirus A (RVA) infection is a major cause of diarrhea-related illness in young children. RVA is also one of the most common enteric viruses detected on pig farms and contributes to substantial morbidity and mortality in piglets. Long-term multi-site surveillance of RVA on Thai swine farms to determine the diversity of RVA strains in circulation is currently lacking. In this study, we characterized the 11 segments of the RVA genome from 24 Thai porcine RVA strains circulating between 2011 and 2016. We identified G9 (15/24) and P[13] (12/24) as the dominant genotypes. The dominant G and P combinations were G9P[13] (n = 6), G9P[23] (n = 6), G3P[13] (n = 5), G9P[19] (n = 3), G4P[6] (n = 2), G4P[19] (n = 1), and G5P[13] (n = 1). Genome constellation of the Thai strains showed the predominance of Wa-like genotype (Gx-P[x]-I1/I5-R1-C1-M1-A8-N1-T1/T7-E1/E9-H1) with evidence of reassortment between the porcine and human RVA strains (e.g., G4-P[6]-I1-R1-C1-M1-A8-N1-T1-E1-H1 and G9-P[19]-I5-R1-C1-M1-A8-N1-T7-E9-H1). To assess the potential effectiveness of rotavirus vaccination, the Thai RVA strains were compared to the RVA strains represented in the swine rotavirus vaccine, which showed residue variations in the antigenic epitope on VP7 and shared amino acid identity below 90% for G4 and G5 strain. Several previous studies suggested these variations might effect on virus neutralization specificity and vaccine efficacy. Our study illustrates the importance of RVA surveillance beyond the G/P genotyping on commercial swine farms, which is crucial for controlling viral transmission.

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<![CDATA[Estimating the association between being seropositive for cysticercosis and the prevalence of epilepsy and severe chronic headaches in 60 villages of rural Burkina Faso]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c536bf0d5eed0c484a495b9

Background

Individuals diagnosed with neurocysticercosis often present with epilepsy and sometimes with progressively worsening severe chronic headaches (WSCH). While cross-sectional associations between seropositivity to cysticercal antigens and epilepsy have been reported, few large scale studies have been conducted in West Africa and none have measured the association between seropositivity to cysticercal antigens and headaches. This study aimed at filling these knowledge gaps by estimating the strength of the cross-sectional association between seropositivity to cysticercal antigens and the prevalence of epilepsy and WSCH in 60 villages of Burkina Faso, West Africa.

Methodology/Principal findings

Baseline data from a cluster randomized controlled trial collected from January 2011 to February 2012 in 60 villages across three provinces in Burkina Faso were used. Between 78 and 80 individuals were screened for epilepsy and WSCH in each village, and those screened positive were confirmed by a physician. Seventy-five percent of all participants were asked to provide a blood sample to test for Taenia solium cysticercus circulating antigens. Hierarchical multivariable logistic models were used to measure the association between seropositivity to cysticercal antigens and epilepsy (lifetime and active) as well as WSCH. Among 3696 individuals who provided a blood sample, 145 were found to have epilepsy only, 140 WSCH only and 19 both. There were positive associations between seropositivity to cysticercal antigens and active epilepsy (prevalence odds ratio (POR): 2.40 (95%CI: 1.15–5.00)) and WSCH (POR: 2.59 (1.34–4.99)).

Conclusions/Significance

Our study is the first to demonstrate a cross-sectional association between seropositivity to cysticercal antigens and WSCH in a large community-based study conducted in West Africa. The measured cross-sectional association had a strength similar to the ones previously observed between seropositivity to cysticercal antigens and lifetime or active epilepsy. As a result, preventing new cysticercosis cases in communities may reduce the prevalence of these two important neurological disorders.

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<![CDATA[Molecular epidemiology of Blastocystis isolated from animals in the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c57e692d5eed0c484ef37b2

The enteric protist Blastocystis is one of the most frequently reported parasites infecting both humans and many other animal hosts worldwide. A remarkable genetic diversity has been observed in the species, with 17 different subtypes (STs) on a molecular phylogeny based on small subunit RNA genes (SSU rDNA). Nonetheless, information regarding its distribution, diversity and zoonotic potential remains still scarce, especially in groups other than primates. In Brazil, only a few surveys limited to human isolates have so far been conducted on Blastocystis STs. The aim of this study is to determine the occurrence of Blastocystis subtypes in non-human vertebrate and invertebrate animal groups in different areas of the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. A total of 334 stool samples were collected from animals representing 28 different genera. Blastocystis cultivated samples were subtyped using nuclear small subunit ribosomal DNA (SSU rDNA) sequencing. Phylogenetic analyses and BLAST searches revealed six subtypes: ST5 (28.8%), ST2 (21.1%), ST1 and ST8 (19.2%), ST3 (7.7%) and ST4 (3.8%). Our findings indicate a considerable overlap between STs in humans and other animals. This highlights the importance of investigating a range of hosts for Blastocystis to understand the eco-epidemiological aspects of the parasite and its host specificity.

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<![CDATA[Mutant prevention and minimum inhibitory concentration drug values for enrofloxacin, ceftiofur, florfenicol, tilmicosin and tulathromycin tested against swine pathogens Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae, Pasteurella multocida and Streptococcus suis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c40f7b8d5eed0c48438671f

Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae, Pasteurella multocida and Streptococcus suis are prevalent bacterial causes of swine infections. Morbidity, mortality and positively impacting the financial burden of infection occurs with appropriate antimicrobial therapy. Increasing antimicrobial resistance complicates drug therapy and resistance prevention is now a necessity to optimize therapy and prolong drug life. Mutant bacterial cells are said to arise spontaneously in bacterial densities of 107−109 or greater colony forming units/ml. Antibiotic drug concentration inhibiting growth of the least susceptible cell in these high density populations has been termed the mutant prevention concentration (MPC). In this study MPC and minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values of ceftiofur, enrofloxacin, florfenicol, tilmicosin and tulathromycin were determined against the swine pathogens A. pleuropneumoniae, P.multocida and S. suis. The following MIC90/MPC90 values (mg/L) for 67 A. pleuropneumoniae and 73 P. multocida strains respectively were as follows: A. pleuropneumoniae 0.031/0.5, ≤0.016/0.5, 0.5/2, 4/32, 2/32; P. multocida 0.004/0.25, 0.016/0.125, 0.5/0.5, 8/16, 0.5/1. For 33 S. suis strains, MIC90 values (mg/L) respectively were as follows: 1, 0.25, 4, ≥8 and ≥8. A total of 16 S. suis strains with MIC values of 0.063–0.5 mg/L to ceftiofur and 0.25–0.5 mg/L to enrofloxacin were tested by MPC; MPC values respectively were 0.5 and 1 mg/L respectively. MPC concentrations provide a dosing target which may serve to reduce amplification of bacterial subpopulations with reduced antimicrobial susceptibility. Drug potency based on MIC90 values was ceftiofur > enrofloxacin >florfenicol = tulathromycin > tilmicosin; based on MPC90 values was enrofloxacin > ceftiofur > tulathromycin > florfenicol ≥ tilmicosin.

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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[Effect of ZFN-edited myostatin loss-of-function mutation on gut microbiota in Meishan pigs]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c478c68d5eed0c484bd2230

Intestine contains the body's second largest genetic information, so a relatively stable microbiota ecosystems and interactions between intestinal micro-organisms play a pivotal role in the normal growth and development in animals. The establishment of intestinal microflora is affected by a variety of factors such as species, environmental factors, developmental stage, organizational structure and physiological characteristics of various parts of the digestive tract. Gene editing technology such as ZFN has recently been used as a new approach to replace the traditional transgenic technology and to make genetic modifications in animals. However, it is not known if genetic modification by gene editing technology will have any impact on gut microbiota. In this study, by sequencing 16S rRNA collected from rectum, we investigated the effects of ZFN-mediated myostatin (MSTN) loss-of-function mutation (MSTN-/-) on gut microbiota in Meishan pigs. Our results showed that the fecal microbial composition is very similar between MSTN-/- Meishan pigs and wild type Meishan pigs. Although significant differences in certain individual strains were observed, all the dominant microorganism species are basically the same between MSTN-/- and wild type pigs. However, these differences do not adversely affect MSTN-/- Meishan pigs. Thus, it is concluded that ZFN-mediated MSTN loss-of-function mutation did not have any adverse effect on the gut microbiota in Meishan pigs.

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<![CDATA[Molecular typing of Streptococcus suis strains isolated from diseased and healthy pigs between 1996-2016]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6059f1d5eed0c4847cc4d8

Streptococcus suis is an economically important pathogen of pigs as well as a zoonotic cause of human disease. Serotyping is used for further characterization of isolates; some serotypes seem to be more virulent and more widely spread than others. This study characterizes a collection of German field isolates of Streptococcus suis from pigs dating from 1996 to 2016 with respect to capsular genes (cps) specific for individual serotypes and pathotype by multiplex PCR and relates results to the clinical background of these isolates. The most prominent finding was the reduction in prevalence of serotype-2/serotype-1/2 among invasive isolates during this sampling period, which might be attributed to widely implemented autogenous vaccination programs in swine against serotype 2 in Germany. In diseased pigs (systemically ill; respiratory disease) isolates of serotype-1/serotype-14, serotype-2/serotype-1/2, serotype 3 to 5 and 7 to 9 were most frequent while in carrier isolates a greater variety of cps types was found. Serotype-1/serotype-14 seemed to be preferentially located in joints, serotype 4 and serotype 3 in the central nervous system, respectively. The virulence associated extracellular protein factor was almost exclusively associated with invasive serotype-1/serotype-14 and serotype-2/serotype-1/2 isolates. In contrast, lung isolates of serotype-2/serotype-1/2 mainly harbored the gene for muramidase-released protein. Serotype 4 and serotype 9 isolates from clinically diseased pigs most frequently carried the muramidase-released protein gene and the suilysin gene. When examined by transmission electron microscopy all but one of the isolates which were non-typable by molecular and serological methods showed various amounts of capsular material indicating potentially new serotypes among these isolates. Given the variety of cps types/serotypes detected in pigs, not only veterinarians but also medical doctors should consider other serotypes than just serotype 2 when investigating potential human cases of Streptococcus suis infection.

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<![CDATA[Mycoplasma hyorhinis and Mycoplasma hyosynoviae dual detection patterns in dams and piglets]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c37b7aed5eed0c484490916

Mycoplasma hyorhinis and M. hyosynoviae are agents associated with arthritis in pigs. This study investigated the tonsillar detection patterns of M. hyorhinis and M. hyosynoviae in a swine population with a history of lameness. The plausibility of dual PCR detection of these agents in dams at one and three weeks post-farrowing and their offspring at the same time was determined. The association between M. hyorhinis and M. hyosynoviae detection in piglets and potential development of lameness in wean-to-finish stages was evaluated by correlating individual piglet lameness scores and PCR detection in tonsils. Approximately 40% of dams were detected positive for M. hyorhinis and M. hyosynoviae at both one and three weeks post-farrowing. In first parity dams, M. hyorhinis was detected in higher proportions (57.1% and 73.7%) at both weeks of sampling compared to multi-parity dams. A lower proportion of first parity dams (37.5%) were detected positive at week one with M. hyosynoviae and an increase in this proportion to 50% was identified in week three. Only 8.3% of piglets were detected positive for M. hyorhinis in week one compared to week three (50%; p<0.05). The detection of M. hyosynoviae was minimal in piglets at both weeks of sampling (0% and 0.9%). Lameness was scored in pigs 5–22 weeks of age, with the highest score observed at week 5. The correlation between PCR detection and lameness scores revealed that the relative risk of developing lameness post-weaning was significantly associated with detection of M. hyorhinis in piglets at three weeks of age (r = 0.44; p<0.05).The detection pattern of M. hyorhinis and M. hyosynoviae in dams did not reflect the detection pattern in piglets. Results of this study suggest that positive detection of M. hyorhinis in piglets pre-weaning could act as a predictor for lameness development at later production stages.

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