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Animals, Volume 11, Issue 11 (November 2021) – 328 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The Kemp’s ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempii) is an endangered species that inhabits the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) and waters off the eastern coastal United States of America (USA) [1–4] and has rebounded from near extinction due to intensive cooperative conservation efforts [7]. Cases of fibropapillomatosis (FP) and its associated virus (chelonid alphaherpesvirus 5 [ChHV5]) in this species are relatively rare [11,12] but may be increasingly frequent among stranded and nesting Kemp’s ridley turtles [2,32]. This study describes FP in Kemp’s ridley turtles, including affected turtles’ life history characteristics, disease features encountered in recent years, and the epizootiology of ChHV5.View this paper
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10 pages, 529 KiB  
Article
Molecular Survey of Babesia spp. and Anaplasma phagocytophilum in Roe Deer from a Wildlife Rescue Center in Italy
by Alessandra Cafiso, Chiara Bazzocchi, Martina Cavagna, Elena Di Lorenzo, Valentina Serra, Riccardo Rossi and Stefano Comazzi
Animals 2021, 11(11), 3335; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11113335 - 22 Nov 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2270
Abstract
Babesia ssp. and Anaplasma spp. are tick-borne microorganisms representing a possible health risk for domestic and wild animals, as well as humans. Roe deer serve as a suitable reservoir host for some species ascribed to Babesia spp. and Anaplasma phagocytophilum taxa, also due [...] Read more.
Babesia ssp. and Anaplasma spp. are tick-borne microorganisms representing a possible health risk for domestic and wild animals, as well as humans. Roe deer serve as a suitable reservoir host for some species ascribed to Babesia spp. and Anaplasma phagocytophilum taxa, also due to its important role in the maintenance of large populations of Ixodes ricinus, the main tick vector of these pathogens in Europe. Roe deer populations have been recently expanding throughout Europe, namely in Italy. However, the collection of samples from free-ranging wild animals for diagnostic investigations often includes several practical issues. This problem can be overcome using samples provided by wildlife rescue centers making them available for investigations following routine analyses. The presence of Babesia spp. and Anaplasma spp. in blood samples of 43 roe deer rescued by a wildlife rescue center in Emilia-Romagna region (Italy) was molecularly investigated. PCR screening revealed the presence of at least one pathogen in 86.05% of the animals, while co-infection occurred in 18.92% of the tested individuals. Zoonotic Babesia venatorum was found in 6.98% of the samples, while Babesia capreoli and Anaplasma phagocytophilum were detected in 74.42% and in 20.93%, respectively. No hematological signs compatible with clinical anaplasmosis or piroplasmosis, as well as absence of intracellular circulating microorganisms in blood smears, were observed, suggesting asymptomatic infection in the tested animals. These results confirm the usefulness of wild rescued animals as convenient source of biological samples for tick-borne pathogens investigation and the role of roe deer as a key factor in the endemic cycle of Babesia species and A. phagocytophilum. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wildlife Diseases)
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26 pages, 4445 KiB  
Review
Current Advances in Assessment of Dog’s Emotions, Facial Expressions, and Their Use for Clinical Recognition of Pain
by Daniel Mota-Rojas, Míriam Marcet-Rius, Asahi Ogi, Ismael Hernández-Ávalos, Chiara Mariti, Julio Martínez-Burnes, Patricia Mora-Medina, Alejandro Casas, Adriana Domínguez, Brenda Reyes and Angelo Gazzano
Animals 2021, 11(11), 3334; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11113334 - 22 Nov 2021
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 11675
Abstract
Animals’ facial expressions are involuntary responses that serve to communicate the emotions that individuals feel. Due to their close co-existence with humans, broad attention has been given to identifying these expressions in certain species, especially dogs. This review aims to analyze and discuss [...] Read more.
Animals’ facial expressions are involuntary responses that serve to communicate the emotions that individuals feel. Due to their close co-existence with humans, broad attention has been given to identifying these expressions in certain species, especially dogs. This review aims to analyze and discuss the advances in identifying the facial expressions of domestic dogs and their clinical utility in recognizing pain as a method to improve daily practice and, in an accessible and effective way, assess the health outcome of dogs. This study focuses on aspects related to the anatomy and physiology of facial expressions in dogs, their emotions, and evaluations of their eyebrows, eyes, lips, and ear positions as changes that reflect pain or nociception. In this regard, research has found that dogs have anatomical configurations that allow them to generate changes in their expressions that similar canids—wolves, for example—cannot produce. Additionally, dogs can perceive emotions similar to those of their human tutors due to close human-animal interaction. This phenomenon—called “emotional contagion”—is triggered precisely by the dog’s capacity to identify their owners’ gestures and then react by emitting responses with either similar or opposed expressions that correspond to positive or negative stimuli, respectively. In conclusion, facial expressions are essential to maintaining social interaction between dogs and other species, as in their bond with humans. Moreover, this provides valuable information on emotions and the perception of pain, so in dogs, they can serve as valuable elements for recognizing and evaluating pain in clinical settings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomarkers of Stress in Companion Animals)
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19 pages, 2298 KiB  
Article
Behavioural Indicators of Intra- and Inter-Specific Competition: Sheep Co-Grazing with Guanaco in the Patagonian Steppe
by Tomás Fernández, Alex Lancaster, Claudio A. Moraga, Sergio Radic-Schilling, Achaz von Hardenberg and Paulo Corti
Animals 2021, 11(11), 3333; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11113333 - 22 Nov 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2790
Abstract
In extensive livestock production, high densities may inhibit regulation processes, maintaining high levels of intraspecific competition over time. During competition, individuals typically modify their behaviours, particularly feeding and bite rates, which can therefore be used as indicators of competition. Over eight consecutive seasons, [...] Read more.
In extensive livestock production, high densities may inhibit regulation processes, maintaining high levels of intraspecific competition over time. During competition, individuals typically modify their behaviours, particularly feeding and bite rates, which can therefore be used as indicators of competition. Over eight consecutive seasons, we investigated if variation in herd density, food availability, and the presence of a potential competitor, the guanaco (Lama guanicoe), was related with behavioural changes in domestic sheep in Chilean Patagonia. Focal sampling, instantaneous scan sampling, measures of bite and movement rates were used to quantify behavioural changes in domestic sheep. We found that food availability increased time spent feeding, while herd density was associated with an increase in vigilant behaviour and a decrease in bite rate, but only when food availability was low. Guanaco presence appeared to have no impact on sheep behaviour. Our results suggest that the observed behavioural changes in domestic sheep are more likely due to intraspecific competition rather than interspecific competition. Consideration of intraspecific competition where guanaco and sheep co-graze on pastures could allow management strategies to focus on herd density, according to rangeland carrying capacity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Ecology and Conservation)
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12 pages, 5300 KiB  
Article
Evaluating the Effects of Climate Change on Spatial Aggregation of Giant Pandas and Sympatric Species in a Mountainous Landscape
by Naxun Zhao, Ximing Zhang, Guoyu Shan and Xinping Ye
Animals 2021, 11(11), 3332; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11113332 - 22 Nov 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2160
Abstract
Understanding how climate change alters the spatial aggregation of sympatric species is important for biodiversity conservation. Previous studies usually focused on spatial shifting of species but paid little attention to changes in interspecific competitions under climate change. In this study, we evaluated the [...] Read more.
Understanding how climate change alters the spatial aggregation of sympatric species is important for biodiversity conservation. Previous studies usually focused on spatial shifting of species but paid little attention to changes in interspecific competitions under climate change. In this study, we evaluated the potential effects of climate change on the spatial aggregation of giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) and three sympatric competitive species (i.e., black bears (Ursus thibetanus), golden takins (Budorcas taxicolor), and wild boars (Sus scrofa)) in the Qinling Mountains, China. We employed an ensemble species distribution modeling (SDM) approach to map the current spatial distributions of giant pandas and sympatric animals and projected them to future climate scenarios in 2050s and 2070s. We then examined the range overlapping and niche similarities of these species under different climate change scenarios. The results showed that the distribution areas of giant pandas and sympatric species would decrease remarkably under future climate changes. The shifting directions of the overlapping between giant pandas and sympatric species vary under different climate change scenarios. In conclusion, future climate change greatly shapes the spatial overlapping pattern of giant pandas and sympatric species in the Qinling Mountains, while interspecific competition would be intensified under both mild and worst-case climate change scenarios. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Ecology and Conservation)
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13 pages, 9913 KiB  
Article
Core Microbiome of Slovak Holstein Friesian Breeding Bulls’ Semen
by Juraj Medo, Jana Žiarovská, Michal Ďuračka, Eva Tvrdá, Štefan Baňas, Michal Gábor, Matúš Kyseľ and Miroslava Kačániová
Animals 2021, 11(11), 3331; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11113331 - 22 Nov 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2325
Abstract
Bacterial contamination of semen is an important factor connected to the health status of bulls that may significantly affect semen quality for artificial insemination. Moreover, some important bovine diseases may be transmitted through semen. Up to now, only a very limited number of [...] Read more.
Bacterial contamination of semen is an important factor connected to the health status of bulls that may significantly affect semen quality for artificial insemination. Moreover, some important bovine diseases may be transmitted through semen. Up to now, only a very limited number of complex studies describing the semen microbiome of bulls have been published, as many bacteria are hard to cultivate using traditional techniques. The 16S rRNA high-throughput sequencing strategy allows for the reliable identification of bacterial profiles of bovine semen together with the detection of noncultivable bacterial species. Fresh samples from Holstein Friesian breeding bulls (n = 55) were examined for the natural variability in the present bacteria. Semen doses were selected randomly from Slovak Biological Services in Nitra, Slovak Republic. The most predominant phyla within the whole dataset were Firmicutes (31%), Proteobacteria (22%), Fusobacteria (18%), Actinobacteria (13%) and Bacteroidetes (12%). Samples of semen were divided into two separate clusters according to their microbiome compositions using a cording partition around a medoids analysis. Microbiomes of the first cluster (CL1) of samples (n = 20) were based on Actinobacteria (CL1 average = 25%; CL = 28%) and Firmicutes (CL1 = 38%; CL2 = 27%), while the second cluster (CL2; n = 35) contained samples characterized by a high prevalence of Fusobacteria (CL1 = 4%; CL2 = 26%). Some important indicator microbial groups were differentially distributed between the clusters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Sperm Microbiota)
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12 pages, 296 KiB  
Article
Effect of Essential Oil of Thyme (Thymus vulgaris L.) or Increasing Levels of a Commercial Prebiotic (TechnoMOS®) on Growth Performance and Carcass Characteristics of Male Broilers
by Hossein Amouei, Giulia Ferronato, Ali Ahmad Alaw Qotbi, Mehrdad Bouyeh, Peter G. Dunne, Aldo Prandini and Alireza Seidavi
Animals 2021, 11(11), 3330; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11113330 - 22 Nov 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2265
Abstract
To investigate the effect of thyme (Thymus vulgaris L.) essential oil (TEO) or increasing inclusion of a prebiotic (TechnoMOS®) on growth performance and carcass characteristics of Ross 308 broilers, 400 one-day-old male broilers (43.5 g, as mean of body weight) [...] Read more.
To investigate the effect of thyme (Thymus vulgaris L.) essential oil (TEO) or increasing inclusion of a prebiotic (TechnoMOS®) on growth performance and carcass characteristics of Ross 308 broilers, 400 one-day-old male broilers (43.5 g, as mean of body weight) were placed in 20 pens (2.0 × 1.0 m, with a floor area of 0.10 m2 per bird) in groups of 20, and each pen cage was assigned to a specific dietary treatment (four replicates per each one). The dietary treatments included basic diet (no additive; CTR), basic diet including 0.025%, 0.075%, or 0.125% of TechnoMOS® (MOS025, MOS075, and MOS125, respectively), or basic diet including 0.075% thyme extract (TEO075). All dietary treatments were offered from the beginning of the study until the end of the trial. There were no effects of MOS or TEO on carcass characteristics. No significant effects of treatment on weight gain were obtained on a week-by-week basis; however, CTR birds gained less weight during the grower phase and overall compared with MOS birds. The same contrast for feed intake revealed that CTR birds had greater feed intake than MOS birds during both the grower phase and overall (492.18 g and 486.35 g, respectively). In conclusion, treated groups showed an improved feed conversion ratio. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Poultry)
18 pages, 2896 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Topical Oxygen Therapy in Horses Affected with Mycosis of the Guttural Pouch: An Experimental Pilot Study and a Case Series
by Olivier M. Lepage, Paola Di Francesco, Nicolas Moulin, Monika Gangl, Gaëtan Texier, Joffrey Marchi and Jean-Luc Cadoré
Animals 2021, 11(11), 3329; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11113329 - 22 Nov 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2337
Abstract
Background: The management of bleeding originating from the guttural pouch (GP) has a high success rate, but the resolution of the macroscopic inflammatory lesions in the case of mycosis (GPM) is highly variable; the resolution of neurological disorders is inconstant and challenging. Objectives: [...] Read more.
Background: The management of bleeding originating from the guttural pouch (GP) has a high success rate, but the resolution of the macroscopic inflammatory lesions in the case of mycosis (GPM) is highly variable; the resolution of neurological disorders is inconstant and challenging. Objectives: Our aim was to test the feasibility and safety of topical oxygen therapy (TOT) in horses after induction of GPM and in cases with naturally occurring disease. Study design: This study was an in vivo experimental and retrospective two-phase study. Methods: During phase 1, the pilot study, both GPs were inoculated with Aspergillus fumigatus. One GP was randomly assigned to receive one to four TOT 30 min sessions with 100% medical oxygen at 9 L/min. Follow-up endoscopic images were assessed for scoring macroscopic inflammatory lesions of the pharynx and both GPs. In phase 2, the clinical study, TOT was administered for 45 to 60 min at 15 L/min in six horses presenting with GPM. Results: In phase 1, TOT administration was easy to perform in the standing horse with no adverse effects. After more than two administrations, macroscopic inflammatory lesions decreased more quickly in size in the treated GP. In phase 2, horses were treated with TOT only (n = 1) or combined with a transarterial coil embolization (TACE) procedure (n = 5). After TOT and discharge from the hospital, nasal discharge resolved in three horses, and improvement was noted in the fourth one. Between days 2 and 10 after admission, upper respiratory tract endoscopy (URTE) indicated size reduction and alteration in the appearance of all the macroscopic inflammatory lesions. The partial or total recovery of neurological disorders (2/4 laryngeal hemiparesis, 3/5 dysphagia, 1/2 dorsal displacement of the soft palate (DDSP), and 1/1 Horner’s syndrome) was recorded. Main limitations: In phase 1, the small number of horses did not allow for statistically significant conclusions; in phase 2, clinical signs at admission varied between horses, which made comparison difficult. Conclusions: In adult horses, TOT alone or in combination with TACE is feasible and safe with a propensity to reverse the course and the progression of inflammatory lesions without additional local or systemic treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Equine Surgery and Medicine)
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12 pages, 1614 KiB  
Article
Measurements of Chemical Compositions in Corn Stover and Wheat Straw by Near-Infrared Reflectance Spectroscopy
by Tao Guo, Luming Dai, Baipeng Yan, Guisheng Lan, Fadi Li, Fei Li, Faming Pan and Fangbin Wang
Animals 2021, 11(11), 3328; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11113328 - 22 Nov 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2146
Abstract
Rapid, non-destructive methods for determining the biochemical composition of straw are crucial in ruminant diets. In this work, ground samples of corn stover (n = 156) and wheat straw (n = 135) were scanned using near-infrared spectroscopy (instrument NIRS DS2500). Samples [...] Read more.
Rapid, non-destructive methods for determining the biochemical composition of straw are crucial in ruminant diets. In this work, ground samples of corn stover (n = 156) and wheat straw (n = 135) were scanned using near-infrared spectroscopy (instrument NIRS DS2500). Samples were divided into two sets, with one set used for calibration (corn stover, n = 126; wheat straw, n = 108) and the remaining set used for validation (corn stover, n = 30; wheat straw, n = 27). Calibration models were developed utilizing modified partial least squares (MPLS) regression with internal cross validation. Concentrations of moisture, crude protein (CP), and neutral detergent fiber (NDF) were successfully predicted in corn stover, and CP and moisture were in wheat straw, but other nutritional components were not predicted accurately when using single-crop samples. All samples were then combined to form new calibration (n = 233) and validation (n = 58) sets comprised of both corn stover and wheat straw. For these combined samples, the CP, NDF, and ADF were predicted successfully; the coefficients of determination for calibration (RSQC) were 0.9625, 0.8349, and 0.8745, with ratios of prediction to deviation (RPD) of 6.872, 2.210, and 2.751, respectively. The acid detergent lignin (ADL) and moisture were classified as moderately useful, with RSQC values of 0.7939 (RPD = 2.259) and 0.8342 (RPD = 1.868), respectively. Although the prediction of hemicellulose was only useful for screening purposes (RSQC = 0.4388, RPD = 1.085), it was concluded that NIRS is a suitable technique to rapidly evaluate the nutritional value of forage crops. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Nutrition)
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16 pages, 2738 KiB  
Article
A Retrospective Study of Clinical and Histopathological Features of 81 Cases of Canine Apocrine Gland Adenocarcinoma of the Anal Sac: Independent Clinical and Histopathological Risk Factors Associated with Outcome
by Hannah Wong, Stephanie Byrne, Roberta Rasotto, Randi Drees, Angela Taylor, Simon L. Priestnall and Chiara Leo
Animals 2021, 11(11), 3327; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11113327 - 22 Nov 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 4377
Abstract
Canine apocrine gland anal sac adenocarcinoma (AGASAC) is a malignant tumour with variable clinical progression. The objective of this study was to use robust multivariate models, based on models employed in human medical oncology, to establish clinical and histopathological risk factors of poor [...] Read more.
Canine apocrine gland anal sac adenocarcinoma (AGASAC) is a malignant tumour with variable clinical progression. The objective of this study was to use robust multivariate models, based on models employed in human medical oncology, to establish clinical and histopathological risk factors of poor survival. Clinical data and imaging of 81 cases with AGASAC were reviewed. Tissue was available for histological review and immunohistochemistry in 49 cases. Tumour and lymph node size were determined using the response evaluation criteria in the solid tumours system (RECIST). Modelling revealed tumour size over 2 cm, lymph node size grouped in three tiers by the two thresholds 1.6 cm and 5 cm, surgical management, and radiotherapy were independent clinical variables associated with survival, irrespective of tumour stage. Tumour size over 1.3 cm and presence of distant metastasis were independent clinical variables associated with the first progression-free interval. The presence of the histopathological variables of tumour necrosis, a solid histological pattern, and vascular invasion in the primary tumour were independent risk factors of poor survival. Based upon these independent risk factors, scoring algorithms to predict survival in AGASAC patients are presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Veterinary Pathology)
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16 pages, 3214 KiB  
Article
Integrated Analysis of lncRNA and mRNA Reveals Novel Insights into Wool Bending in Zhongwei Goat
by Xiaobo Li, Zhanfa Liu, Shaohui Ye, Yue Liu, Qian Chen, Weijun Guan, Yabin Pu, Lin Jiang, Xiaohong He, Yuehui Ma and Qianjun Zhao
Animals 2021, 11(11), 3326; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11113326 - 22 Nov 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2254
Abstract
Chinese Zhongwei goat is a rare and precious fur breed as its lamb fur is a well-known fur product. Wool bending of lamb fur of the Zhongwei goat is its most striking feature. However, the curvature of the wool decreases gradually with growth, [...] Read more.
Chinese Zhongwei goat is a rare and precious fur breed as its lamb fur is a well-known fur product. Wool bending of lamb fur of the Zhongwei goat is its most striking feature. However, the curvature of the wool decreases gradually with growth, which significantly affects its quality and economic value. The mechanism regulating the phenotypic changes of hair bending is still unclear. In the present study, the skin tissues of Zhongwei goats at 45 days (curving wool) and 108 days (slight-curving wool) after birth were taken as the research objects, and the expression profiling of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) and mRNAs were analyzed based on the Ribo Zero RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) method. In total, 46,013 mRNAs and 13,549 lncRNAs were identified, of which 352 were differentially expressed mRNAs and 60 were. lncRNAs. Functional enrichment analysis of the target genes of lncRNAs were mainly enriched in PI3K-Akt, Arachidonic acid metabolic, cAMP, Wnt, and other signaling pathways. The qRT-PCR results of eight selected lncRNAs and target genes were consistent with the sequencing result, which indicated our data were reliable. Through the analysis of the weighted gene co-expression network, 13 co-expression modules were identified. The turquoise module contained a large number of differential expressed lncRNAs, which were mainly enriched in the PI3K-Akt signaling pathway and cAMP signaling pathway. The predicted LOC102172600 and LOC102191729 might affect the development of hair follicles and the curvature of wool by regulating the target genes. Our study provides novel insights into the potential roles of lncRNAs in the regulation of wool bending. In addition, the study offers a theoretical basis for further study of goat wool growth, so as to be a guidance and reference for breeding and improvement in the future. Full article
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11 pages, 435 KiB  
Review
Effects of Temperament on the Reproduction of Beef Cattle
by Alice Poggi Brandão and Reinaldo Fernandes Cooke
Animals 2021, 11(11), 3325; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11113325 - 21 Nov 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 3149
Abstract
Temperament is often defined as the behavioral expression of animals in response to human interaction. Cattle temperament can be evaluated using an association of chute score and exit velocity, with cattle then classified as adequate or excitable temperament. To assess the impacts of [...] Read more.
Temperament is often defined as the behavioral expression of animals in response to human interaction. Cattle temperament can be evaluated using an association of chute score and exit velocity, with cattle then classified as adequate or excitable temperament. To assess the impacts of temperament on various beef systems, these evaluation criteria were associated with productive and reproductive parameters of Bos taurus and B. indicus-influenced cattle. Consistently across studies, excitable cattle had greater plasma cortisol compared to animals with adequate temperament. Studies also reported that excitable beef females have poorer reproductive performance compared to calmer cohorts, including reduced annual pregnancy rates, decreased calving rate, weaning rate, and kg of calf weaned/cow exposed to breeding. Acclimating B. indicus × B. taurus or B. taurus heifers to human handling improved behavioral expression of temperament and hastened puberty attainment. However, similar benefits were not observed when mature cows were acclimated to human handling. Collectively, temperament of beef females measured via behavioral responses upon human handling impacts their reproductive and productive responses independent of breed type, and should be considered for optimal beef cattle production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Update of Reproductive Strategies in Cattle)
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19 pages, 7779 KiB  
Article
Chronic Cholecystitis of Dogs: Clinicopathologic Features and Relationship with Liver
by Ikki Mitsui, Shigeaki Ohtsuki and Kazuyuki Uchida
Animals 2021, 11(11), 3324; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11113324 - 21 Nov 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 5559
Abstract
(1) Background: Chronic cholecystitis of dogs has not been vigorously investigated histopathologically. In addition, the relationship between gallbladder and liver diseases is not known. (2) Methods: We aimed to provide a hallmark for canine chronic cholecystitis using clinical data, histopathology, histochemistry, immunohistochemistry, and [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Chronic cholecystitis of dogs has not been vigorously investigated histopathologically. In addition, the relationship between gallbladder and liver diseases is not known. (2) Methods: We aimed to provide a hallmark for canine chronic cholecystitis using clinical data, histopathology, histochemistry, immunohistochemistry, and statistical analysis. (3) Results: Our investigation of 219 ultrasonographically abnormal surgically resected canine gallbladders revealed 189 cases (86.3%) of mucosal lymphoplasmacytic infiltration (chronic cholecystitis). Sludge, a gravity-dependent or nondependent fine granular hyperechoic material, was more prevalent (105/219, 47.9%) than mucocele (51/219, 23.2%) in this cohort. Mucosal lymphoid follicles were detected in 68/219 cases (31%), suggesting the influence of long-standing antigenic stimulation. Bacteria were histochemically detected in 41/60 (68.3%) of heavily inflamed gallbladders, 18/129 (14%) of lightly inflamed, and 3/18 (16.7%) of uninflamed gallbladders, suggesting a possible relationship between bacteria and chronic cholecystitis. Simultaneous liver biopsies revealed mild or no inflammation, changes consistent with primary portal vein hypoplasia, and mild hepatocellular degeneration. (4) Conclusions: Based on the results of our statistical analysis, we conclude that canine chronic cholecystitis is a long-standing inflammatory process of unknown (but possibly bacterial) etiology and that liver pathology is unlikely the cause of chronic cholecystitis in dogs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gastrointestinal Health of Dogs and Cats)
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8 pages, 564 KiB  
Communication
The Influence of Dietary Gallic Acid on Growth Performance and Plasma Antioxidant Status of High and Low Weaning Weight Piglets
by Xuemei Zhao, Jizhe Wang, Ge Gao, Valentino Bontempo, Chiqing Chen, Martine Schroyen, Xilong Li and Xianren Jiang
Animals 2021, 11(11), 3323; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11113323 - 21 Nov 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1712
Abstract
This study evaluated the effects of dietary gallic acid (GA) on growth performance, diarrhea incidence and plasma antioxidant status of weaned piglets regardless of whether weaning weight was high or low. A total of 120 weaned piglets were randomly allocated to four treatments [...] Read more.
This study evaluated the effects of dietary gallic acid (GA) on growth performance, diarrhea incidence and plasma antioxidant status of weaned piglets regardless of whether weaning weight was high or low. A total of 120 weaned piglets were randomly allocated to four treatments in a 42-day experiment with a 2 × 2 factorial treatment arrangement comparing different weaning weights (high weight (HW) or low weight (LW), 8.49 ± 0.18 kg vs. 5.45 ± 0.13 kg) and dietary treatment (without supplementation (CT) or with supplementation of 400 mg/kg of GA). The results showed that HW piglets exhibited better growth performance and plasma antioxidant capacity. Piglets supplemented with GA had higher body weight (BW) on day 42 and average daily gain (ADG) from day 0 to 42 compared to the control piglets, which is mainly attributed to the specific improvement on BW and ADG of LW piglets by the supplementation of GA. The decreased values of diarrhea incidence were seen in piglets fed GA, more particularly in LW piglets. In addition, dietary GA numerically reduced malondialdehyde (MDA) content in plasma of LW piglets. In conclusion, our study suggests that dietary GA may especially improve the growth and health in LW weaned piglets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pigs)
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11 pages, 583 KiB  
Article
A Matrilineal Study on the Origin and Genetic Relations of the Ecuadorian Pillareño Creole Pig Population through D-Loop Mitochondrial DNA Analysis
by Amado Manuel Canales Vergara, Amparo Martínez Martínez, Juan Vicente Delgado Bermejo, Martina Macri, Pablo Rigoberto Andino Nájera, Nelson Antonio Duchi Duchi and Paula Alexandra Toalombo Vargas
Animals 2021, 11(11), 3322; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11113322 - 20 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2134
Abstract
Domestic pig breeds reached America on the second Columbus trip; from this date, Iberian pig genetic resources were disseminated throughout the continent, forming diverse creole breeds. These Ecuadorian Creole pigs are important for food production but have been genetically eroded since the introduction [...] Read more.
Domestic pig breeds reached America on the second Columbus trip; from this date, Iberian pig genetic resources were disseminated throughout the continent, forming diverse creole breeds. These Ecuadorian Creole pigs are important for food production but have been genetically eroded since the introduction of transboundary breeds. In this study, we sought to characterize this erosion more thoroughly through mitochondrial DNA D-Loop analysis of Ecuadorian Pillareño Creole pigs from seven regions of Ecuador. To allow comparison, we also included in our analysis sequences from wild species, commercial lines, and domestic pigs, which were obtained from the NCBI GenBank database. Creole pigs’ population showed overall moderate Hd values and low π values, and a negative value of Tajima’s D was observed. The greatest differentiation from the Ecuadorian Pillareño Creole pigs was observed between Asian wild and Asian domestic pigs. The haplotype analysis revealed three different phylogenetic clades (A, E I, and E II) and 65 haplotypes. Ecuadorian Creole populations were grouped into nine haplotypes for Clade E I and E II, which have not previously been reported for Creole Pillareño populations. Our analysis indicates that in the establishment of Creole Pillareño pigs, individuals most likely separated from the Asian pig population and appear to be genetically influenced by European and Iberian populations raised in Spain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genomics Applied to Conservation of Farm Animal Genetic Diversity)
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9 pages, 794 KiB  
Article
Management Factors Influence Animal Welfare and the Correlation to Infectious Diseases in Dairy Cows
by Francesca Licitra, Laura Perillo, Francesco Antoci, Giuseppe Piccione, Claudia Giannetto, Rosario Salonia, Elisabetta Giudice, Vincenzo Monteverde and Giuseppe Cascone
Animals 2021, 11(11), 3321; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11113321 - 20 Nov 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2742
Abstract
The present study assessed dairy cow welfare through the application of the Italian National Animal Welfare Reference Center (CReNBA) checklist in 36 dairy farms located in Ragusa (Italy) subjected to two different management conditions, housing with free access to pasture (Group 1, farms [...] Read more.
The present study assessed dairy cow welfare through the application of the Italian National Animal Welfare Reference Center (CReNBA) checklist in 36 dairy farms located in Ragusa (Italy) subjected to two different management conditions, housing with free access to pasture (Group 1, farms n = 17) and indoor housing (Group 2, farms n = 19). Five areas of investigation were considered: Area A, “Farm management and personnel”; Area B, “Facilities and equipment”; Area C, “Animal-based measures”; Area D, “Inspection of microclimatic environmental conditions and alarm systems”; and Area E, “Biosecurity”. Blood samples were collected by coccygeal venipuncture from all animals (4081 cows). The specific antibodies against Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis, Chlamydiophila abortus, Neospora caninum, bovine viral diarrhea virus, and the bovine herpesvirus were assessed by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) serological test. Group 1 (access to pasture) showed a lower value of percentage score recorded in Area A (p = 0.02) and E (p = 0.01) than Group 2 (indoor housing). Herpesvirus (Infectious bovine rhinotracheitis - IBR - detection of gB antibodies/IBR-gB) blood concentrations were higher in the cows housed indoor versus those with access to pasture (p = 0.01). Farm management and personnel (score A) was correlated with the level of bovine viral diarrhea virus (τ = 0.3754) and bovine-herpesvirus-specific antibodies (IBR-gB) (τ = 0.4159). “Biosecurity” percentage score showed a significant correlation with Chlamydiophila abortus (τ = −0.4621) in the cows with access to pasture and IBR-gB (τ = 0.3435) in the cows housed fully indoors. Group 2 showed a significantly reduced level of antibodies against Neospora caninum. In conclusion, differences in the welfare assessment score were observed in the “Farm management and personnel” and “Biosecurity” between the two management conditions. It had an effect on the prevalence of herpesvirus, which occurred more in cattle with access to pasture. Therefore, an accurate application of the checklist could be an instrument to prevent and control the spread of infections in farms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal System and Management)
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16 pages, 328 KiB  
Article
The Efficiency of Selected Extenders against Bacterial Contamination of Boar Semen in a Swine Breeding Facility in Western Slovakia
by Eva Tvrdá, Ondřej Bučko, Kristína Rojková, Michal Ďuračka, Simona Kunová, Ján Kováč, Filip Benko and Miroslava Kačániová
Animals 2021, 11(11), 3320; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11113320 - 20 Nov 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2144
Abstract
Bacteriospermia has become a serious factor affecting sperm quality in swine breeding, this is why antibiotics (ATBs) are a critical component of semen extenders. Due to ever-increasing antimicrobial resistance, the aim of this study was to assess the efficiency of selected commercially available [...] Read more.
Bacteriospermia has become a serious factor affecting sperm quality in swine breeding, this is why antibiotics (ATBs) are a critical component of semen extenders. Due to ever-increasing antimicrobial resistance, the aim of this study was to assess the efficiency of selected commercially available semen extenders to prevent a possible bacterial contamination of boar ejaculates. Three Androstar Plus extenders containing different combinations of antibiotics were used to process ejaculates from 30 healthy Duroc breeding boars. Androstar Plus without antibiotics was used as a control. The extended samples were stored at 17 °C for 72 h. Sperm motility, viability, mitochondrial activity, DNA integrity and oxidative profile of each extended sample were assessed following 24 h, 48 h and 72 h. Furthermore, selective media were used to quantify the bacterial load and specific bacterial species were identified with matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry. The results indicate that semen extenders enriched with ATBs ensured a significantly higher preservation of the sperm quality in comparison to the ATB-free control. The total bacterial count was significantly decreased in the extenders supplemented with ATBs (p < 0.001), however gentamycin alone was not effective enough against Gram-positive bacteria, while a few colonies of Enterococcus hirae, Bacillus subtilis and Corynebacterium spp. were present in the samples extended in the presence of a triple combination of ATBs. In conclusion, we may suggest that semen extenders enriched in antibiotics were not able to fully eliminate the bacteria present in the studied samples. Furthermore, selection of suitable antibiotics for semen extension should be accompanied by adequate hygiene standards during the collection and handling of boar ejaculates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Sperm Microbiota)
17 pages, 850 KiB  
Review
An Update on Semen Physiology, Technologies, and Selection Techniques for the Advancement of In Vitro Equine Embryo Production: Section II
by Morgan F. Orsolini, Stuart A. Meyers and Pouya Dini
Animals 2021, 11(11), 3319; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11113319 - 20 Nov 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 5698
Abstract
As the use of assisted reproductive technologies (ART) and in vitro embryo production (IVP) expand in the equine industry, it has become necessary to further our understanding of available semen selection techniques. This segment of our two-section review will focus on the selection [...] Read more.
As the use of assisted reproductive technologies (ART) and in vitro embryo production (IVP) expand in the equine industry, it has become necessary to further our understanding of available semen selection techniques. This segment of our two-section review will focus on the selection of spermatozoa based on quality and sex for equine intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), as well as current and future developments in sperm sorting technologies. Ultimately, novel methods of semen selection will be assessed based on their efficacy in other species and their relevance and future application towards ARTs in the horse. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assisted Reproductive Techniques in Equids)
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9 pages, 2272 KiB  
Article
Effects of Compost-Bedded Pack Barn on Circulating Cortisol and Beta-Endorphins in Dairy Cows: A Case Study
by Rosangela Odore, Ilaria Biasato, Giulia Gardini, Antonio D’Angelo and Claudio Bellino
Animals 2021, 11(11), 3318; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11113318 - 20 Nov 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1644
Abstract
The up-to-date literature suggests that the compost-bedded pack barn housing system is capable of remarkably improving productive and reproductive performance, as well as health status and welfare, in dairy cattle. However, there is currently limited knowledge available on the endocrine and biochemical changes [...] Read more.
The up-to-date literature suggests that the compost-bedded pack barn housing system is capable of remarkably improving productive and reproductive performance, as well as health status and welfare, in dairy cattle. However, there is currently limited knowledge available on the endocrine and biochemical changes in animals housed in such alternative systems. Therefore, this study aimed to measure blood cortisol (COR) and beta-endorphins (BE) in 22 two-year-old primiparae Fleckvieh cows, who were randomly allotted to the following two different housing systems: CB (n = 11) and FB (n = 11). Blood samples were collected at the beginning of the experiment (T0) and every two months thereafter (T1, T2, and T3). The COR and BE were measured through an immunoenzymatic kit. With the only exception being T0, no differences were observed over time between the two groups, neither for COR nor for BE. However, the blood cortisol levels of the CB cows decreased over time, while a T1 peak was identified in the FB group. On the contrary, both the housing systems displayed numerically higher BE at T3 than at the other experimental times. Therefore, the overall data suggest that the compost-bedded pack barn did not significantly affect the studied parameters. Accordingly, cow welfare should be assessed using a wider panel of animal-based indicators. Full article
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25 pages, 607 KiB  
Article
The Utilisation of Tannin Extract as a Dietary Additive in Ruminant Nutrition: A Meta-Analysis
by Yulianri Rizki Yanza, Ainissya Fitri, Bambang Suwignyo, Elfahmi, Nanik Hidayatik, Nur Rochmah Kumalasari, Agung Irawan and Anuraga Jayanegara
Animals 2021, 11(11), 3317; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11113317 - 19 Nov 2021
Cited by 30 | Viewed by 4079
Abstract
The objective of this meta-analysis was to elucidate whether there are general underlying effects of dietary tannin extract supplementation on rumen fermentation, digestibility, methane production, performance, as well as N utilisation in ruminants. A total of 70 papers comprised of 348 dietary treatments [...] Read more.
The objective of this meta-analysis was to elucidate whether there are general underlying effects of dietary tannin extract supplementation on rumen fermentation, digestibility, methane production, performance, as well as N utilisation in ruminants. A total of 70 papers comprised of 348 dietary treatments (from both in vivo and in situ studies) were included in the study. The database was then statistically analysed by the mixed model methodology, in which different experiments were considered as random effects and tannin-related factors were treated as fixed effects. The results revealed that an increased level of tannin extract inclusion in the diet lowered ruminant intake, digestibility, and production performance. Furthermore, the evidence also showed that an increased level of tannin extract decreased animal N utilisation where most of rumen by-pass protein was not absorbed well in the small intestine and directly excreted in the faeces. Due to the type of tannin extract, HT is more favourable to maintain nutrient intake, digestibility, and production performance and to mitigate methane production instead of CT, particularly when supplemented at low (<1%) to moderate (~3%) levels. Full article
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15 pages, 2408 KiB  
Article
Effects of Supplementation with a Quebracho Tannin Product as an Alternative to Antibiotics on Growth Performance, Diarrhea, and Overall Health in Early-Weaned Piglets
by Min Ma, James K. Chambers, Kazuyuki Uchida, Masanori Ikeda, Makiko Watanabe, Yuki Goda, Daisuke Yamanaka, Shin-Ichiro Takahashi, Masayoshi Kuwahara and Junyou Li
Animals 2021, 11(11), 3316; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11113316 - 19 Nov 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2300
Abstract
This study assessed the feasibility of using a vegetable extract, MGM-P (quebracho tannin product), as an alternative to antibiotics for weaned piglets; it investigated MGM-P effects on growth performance, diarrhea, and overall health in early-weaned piglets. In total, 24 piglets were allocated to [...] Read more.
This study assessed the feasibility of using a vegetable extract, MGM-P (quebracho tannin product), as an alternative to antibiotics for weaned piglets; it investigated MGM-P effects on growth performance, diarrhea, and overall health in early-weaned piglets. In total, 24 piglets were allocated to three treatment groups fed basal diets supplemented with 0, 0.2%, or 0.3% MGM-P for 20 days. The addition of 0.3% MGM-P to the diet of early-weaned piglets improved diarrhea incidence, hematological parameters, and intestinal mucosa structure. Furthermore, the addition of 0.2% or 0.3% MGM-P to the diet of early-weaned piglets did not affect their overall health. Importantly, MGM-P had no effects on average daily gain (ADG), average daily feed intake (ADFI), or feed conversion ratio (FCR). Gut morphology analysis showed that treatment with 0.3% MGM-P enhanced the jejunal villus height (p < 0.05) while reducing the ileal crypt depth (p < 0.05) and colon mucosal thickness (p < 0.05). Collectively, the findings suggested that the use of MGM-P as an alternative to dietary antibiotics could improve diarrhea incidence in early-weaned piglets without negative effects on growth performance or overall health. Full article
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12 pages, 267 KiB  
Article
Sweet vs. Salty Former Food Products in Post-Weaning Piglets: Effects on Growth, Apparent Total Tract Digestibility and Blood Metabolites
by Alice Luciano, Marco Tretola, Sharon Mazzoleni, Nicoletta Rovere, Francesca Fumagalli, Luca Ferrari, Marcello Comi, Matteo Ottoboni and Luciano Pinotti
Animals 2021, 11(11), 3315; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11113315 - 19 Nov 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2478
Abstract
Former food products (FFPs) have a great potential to replace conventional feed ingredients. This study aimed to investigate the possibility to partially replace standard ingredients with two different types of FFPs: bakery (FFPs-B) or confectionary (FFPs-C) FFPs and their effects on growth performances, [...] Read more.
Former food products (FFPs) have a great potential to replace conventional feed ingredients. This study aimed to investigate the possibility to partially replace standard ingredients with two different types of FFPs: bakery (FFPs-B) or confectionary (FFPs-C) FFPs and their effects on growth performances, feed digestibility and metabolic status in post-weaning piglets. Thirty-six post-weaning piglets were randomly assigned to three experimental diets (n = 12 per diet) for 42 days: a standard diet (CTR), a diet where 30% of standard ingredients were replaced by confectionary FFPs (FFPs-C) and a diet where 30% of standard ingredients were replaced by bakery FFPs (FFPs-B). Individual body weight and fecal dry matter were measured weekly. Feed intake (FI) was determined daily. Average daily gain (ADG), average daily feed intake (ADFI) and feed conversion ratio (FCR) were calculated. Fecal samples were collected daily for three days/week to determine apparent total tract digestibility of dry matter (ATTD). At day 0, 21 and 42, blood samples were collected from all the piglets. No significant differences (p > 0.05) between groups were found in growth performances and metabolic profile. However, ATTD in FFPs-B group was lower (p < 0.05) compared to the CTR group at the end of the experiment. This study confirmed the possibility to formulate homogeneous diets integrated with 30% of both categories of FFPs. Further investigations are needed to clarify the effects of bakery former food products on the digestibility of the diet. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Nutrition)
21 pages, 9018 KiB  
Article
Emodin Improves Intestinal Health and Immunity through Modulation of Gut Microbiota in Mice Infected by Pathogenic Escherichia coli O1
by Ruijuan Gao, Chunjie Wang, Aricha Han, Yanping Tian, Shunan Ren, Wenting Lv, Aorigele Chen and Jian Zhang
Animals 2021, 11(11), 3314; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11113314 - 19 Nov 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2226
Abstract
The effect of emodin on the intestinal mucosal barrier of a mouse E. coli O1-induced diarrhea model was observed. Following successful establishment of a diarrhea model, the mice were treated with drugs for seven days. Intestinal lesions and the shape and [...] Read more.
The effect of emodin on the intestinal mucosal barrier of a mouse E. coli O1-induced diarrhea model was observed. Following successful establishment of a diarrhea model, the mice were treated with drugs for seven days. Intestinal lesions and the shape and the number of goblet cells were assessed via hematoxylin-eosin and periodic-acid-Schiff staining, while changes in inflammatory factors, ultrastructure of the small intestine, expression of MUC-2, and changes in the intestinal microbiota were analyzed via RT-PCR, electron microscopy, immunofluorescence, and 16S rRNA sequencing. Examination showed that emodin ameliorated pathological damage to the intestines of diarrheic mice. RT-PCR indicated that emodin reduced TNF-α, IL-β, IL-6, MPO, and COX-2 mRNA levels in duodenal tissues and increased the levels of sIgA and MUC-2 and the number of goblet cells. Microbiome analysis revealed that Escherichia coli O1 reduced bacterial richness and altered the distribution pattern of bacterial communities at the phylum and order levels in cecum contents. Notably, pathogenic Clostridiales and Enterobacteriales were significantly increased in diarrheic mice. However, emodin reversed the trend. Thus, emodin protected against intestinal damage induced by E. coli O1 and improved intestinal mucosal barrier function in mice by increasing the abundance of beneficial intestinal microbiota and inhibiting the abundance of harmful bacteria, thereby alleviating diarrhea. Full article
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18 pages, 4476 KiB  
Article
Enhancement of Bioreactor Performance Using Acclimatised Seed Sludge in Anaerobic Treatment of Chicken Slaughterhouse Wastewater: Laboratory Achievement, Energy Recovery, and Its Commercial-Scale Potential
by Tuan Nurfarhana Tuan Mohd Marzuki, Syazwani Idrus, Mohammed Ali Musa, Abdul Malek Abdul Wahab, Nur Syakina Jamali, Hasfalina Che Man and Sabrina Ng Muhamad Ng
Animals 2021, 11(11), 3313; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11113313 - 19 Nov 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2645
Abstract
Lack of good management practice of chicken slaughterhouse wastewater (CSWW) has caused pollution into water bodies. In this study, the potential of seed sludge acclimatised modified synthetic wastewater (MSWW) on bioreactor performance and energy recovery of CSWW treatment was investigated. Two sets of [...] Read more.
Lack of good management practice of chicken slaughterhouse wastewater (CSWW) has caused pollution into water bodies. In this study, the potential of seed sludge acclimatised modified synthetic wastewater (MSWW) on bioreactor performance and energy recovery of CSWW treatment was investigated. Two sets of upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactors were employed. The seed sludge in UASB 2 was acclimatised with MSWW for 30 days. In UASB 1, no acclimatisation process was undertaken on seed sludge for control purposes. After the acclimatisation process of UASB 2, both reactors were supplied with CSWW under the same condition of organic loading rate (OLR = 0.5 to 6 gCOD/L/d) and mesophilic condition (37 °C). COD removal efficiencies of UASB 2 were >80% all through the steady-state of the OLR applied. Meanwhile, a drastic decrease in overall performance was observed in UASB 1 when the OLR was increased to 3, 4, 5, and 6 gCOD/L/d. Energy recovery from laboratory scale and projected value from commercial-scale bioreactor were 0.056 kWh and 790.49 kWh per day, respectively. Preliminary design of an on-site commercial-scale anaerobic reactor was proposed at a capacity of 60 m3. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advancements in Livestock Waste and Wastewater Management)
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19 pages, 333 KiB  
Review
Cetacean Acoustic Welfare in Wild and Managed-Care Settings: Gaps and Opportunities
by Paige E. Stevens, Heather M. Hill and Jason N. Bruck
Animals 2021, 11(11), 3312; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11113312 - 19 Nov 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 4210
Abstract
Cetaceans are potentially at risk of poor welfare due to the animals’ natural reliance on sound and the persistent nature of anthropogenic noise, especially in the wild. Industrial, commercial, and recreational human activity has expanded across the seas, resulting in a propagation of [...] Read more.
Cetaceans are potentially at risk of poor welfare due to the animals’ natural reliance on sound and the persistent nature of anthropogenic noise, especially in the wild. Industrial, commercial, and recreational human activity has expanded across the seas, resulting in a propagation of sound with varying frequency characteristics. In many countries, current regulations are based on the potential to induce hearing loss; however, a more nuanced approach is needed when shaping regulations, due to other non-hearing loss effects including activation of the stress response, acoustic masking, frequency shifts, alterations in behavior, and decreased foraging. Cetaceans in managed-care settings share the same acoustic characteristics as their wild counterparts, but face different environmental parameters. There have been steps to integrate work on welfare in the wild and in managed-care contexts, and the domain of acoustics offers the opportunity to inform and connect information from both managed-care settings and the wild. Studies of subjects in managed-care give controls not available to wild studies, yet because of the conservation implications, wild studies on welfare impacts of the acoustic environment on cetaceans have largely been the focus, rather than those in captive settings. A deep integration of wild and managed-care-based acoustic welfare research can complement discovery in both domains, as captive studies can provide greater experimental control, while the more comprehensive domain of wild noise studies can help determine the gaps in managed-care based acoustic welfare science. We advocate for a new paradigm in anthropogenic noise research, recognizing the value that both wild and managed-care research plays in illustrating how noise pollution affects welfare including physiology, behavior, and cognition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Zoo and Wild Animals Welfare Assessments)
10 pages, 243 KiB  
Communication
Effects of Dietary Supplementation with 2-Hydroxy-4-(methylthio)-butanoic Acid Isopropyl Ester as a Methionine Supplement on Nitrogen Utilization in Steers
by Yuchao Zhao, Md Sazzadur Rahman, Mengmeng Li and Guangyong Zhao
Animals 2021, 11(11), 3311; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11113311 - 19 Nov 2021
Viewed by 1498
Abstract
The objective of the experiment was to investigate the effects of dietary supplementation with 2-hydroxy-4-(methylthio)-butanoic acid isopropyl ester (HMBi) on the nitrogen (N) metabolism in beef steers. The plasma metabolites analyzed by metabolome profiling were used to clarify the impact mechanism. Three Simmental [...] Read more.
The objective of the experiment was to investigate the effects of dietary supplementation with 2-hydroxy-4-(methylthio)-butanoic acid isopropyl ester (HMBi) on the nitrogen (N) metabolism in beef steers. The plasma metabolites analyzed by metabolome profiling were used to clarify the impact mechanism. Three Simmental steers (body weight, 593 ± 23 kg) were used as experimental animals. Three levels of HMBi (i.e., 0, 12, and 24 g d−1) were added in a basal ration as experimental treatments. The steers and the dietary treatments were randomly allocated in a 3 × 3 Latin square design. The results showed that supplementing HMBi up to 24 g d−1 did not affect the N retention and N retention rate (NRR), and the fecal N/urinary N ratio even though it tended to linearly increase the uric acid N/urinary N ratio in steers. The results of plasma metabolome profiling showed that supplementing HMBi at 24 g d−1 upregulated the plasma concentrations of L-methionine (Met); Met-related metabolites including betaine, Met sulfoxide, and taurine; and L-isoleucine and tyrosine, whereas it downregulated L-serine, glycine, diaminopimelic acid, and other metabolites. The reason for the nonsignificant effect of HMBi on improving the N utilization in steers could be that the steers used in the experiment were in the fattening period. It is suggested to evaluate the effects of the dietary addition of HMBi using growing cattle in further research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ruminant Nutrition)
15 pages, 2007 KiB  
Article
Differential Metabolic and Transcriptional Responses of Gilthead Seabream (Sparus aurata) Administered with Cortisol or Cortisol-BSA
by Jorge Aedo, Daniela Aravena-Canales, Ignacio Ruiz-Jarabo, Ricardo Oyarzún, Alfredo Molina, Gonzalo Martínez-Rodríguez, Juan Antonio Valdés and Juan Miguel Mancera
Animals 2021, 11(11), 3310; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11113310 - 19 Nov 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1975
Abstract
Cortisol is the main glucocorticoid hormone promoting compensatory metabolic responses of stress in teleosts. This hormone acts through genomic and membrane-initiated actions to exert its functions inside the cell. Experimental approaches, using exogenous cortisol administration, confirm the role of this hormone during short [...] Read more.
Cortisol is the main glucocorticoid hormone promoting compensatory metabolic responses of stress in teleosts. This hormone acts through genomic and membrane-initiated actions to exert its functions inside the cell. Experimental approaches, using exogenous cortisol administration, confirm the role of this hormone during short (minutes to hours)- and long-term (days to weeks) responses to stress. The role of membrane-initiated cortisol signaling during long-term responses has been recently explored. In this study, Sparus aurata were intraperitoneally injected with coconut oil alone or coconut oil containing cortisol, cortisol-BSA, or BSA. After 3 days of treatment, plasma, liver, and skeletal muscle were extracted. Plasma cortisol, as well as metabolic indicators in the plasma and tissues collected, and metabolism-related gene expression, were measured. Our results showed that artificially increased plasma cortisol levels in S. aurata enhanced plasma glucose and triacylglycerols values as well as hepatic substrate energy mobilization. Additionally, cortisol stimulated hepatic carbohydrates metabolism, as seen by the increased expression of metabolism-related genes. All of these responses, observed in cortisol-administered fish, were not detected by replicating the same protocol and instead using cortisol-BSA, which exclusively induces membrane-initiated effects. Therefore, we suggest that after three days of cortisol administration, only genomic actions are involved in the metabolic responses in S. aurata. Full article
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15 pages, 3477 KiB  
Article
Staphylococcus-Induced Bacteriospermia In Vitro: Consequences on the Bovine Spermatozoa Quality, Extracellular Calcium and Magnesium Content
by Michal Ďuračka, Kamila Husarčíková, Mikuláš Jančov, Lucia Galovičová, Miroslava Kačániová, Norbert Lukáč and Eva Tvrdá
Animals 2021, 11(11), 3309; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11113309 - 19 Nov 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1757
Abstract
Bacterial contamination of bovine ejaculates intended for artificial insemination may be reflected in a significant economic loss due to unsuccessful fertilization as well as health issues of the recipients. The Staphylococcus genus represents a large part of bacteriocenosis of bovine ejaculates. Therefore, this [...] Read more.
Bacterial contamination of bovine ejaculates intended for artificial insemination may be reflected in a significant economic loss due to unsuccessful fertilization as well as health issues of the recipients. The Staphylococcus genus represents a large part of bacteriocenosis of bovine ejaculates. Therefore, this study aims to get a closer look on the effects of Staphylococcus-induced bacteriospermia under in vitro conditions on bovine sperm quality. Prior to inducing bacteriospermia, spermatozoa were separated from each ejaculate using Percoll® Plus gradient medium in order to limit the effects only to the selected bacterial species. Seven Staphylococcus species previously isolated from bovine semen were used for our experiments at a turbidity of 0.5 McFarland (equivalent to 1.5 × 108 colony-forming units per mL). The contaminated semen samples were incubated at 37 °C and at times of 0, 2, and 4 h, motility, mitochondrial membrane potential, reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, sperm DNA fragmentation, and magnesium (Mg) and calcium (Ca) extracellular concentration were analyzed and compared with the control group (uncontaminated). The results showed no significant changes at the initial measurement. However, significant adverse effects were observed after 2 h and 4 h of incubation. Most notably, the presence of S. aureus, S. warneri, S. kloosii, and S. cohnii caused a significantly increased ROS production, leading to sperm DNA fragmentation, changes in the mitochondrial membrane potential, and a decreased sperm motility. Furthermore, the presence of Staphylococcus species led to lower extracellular concentrations of Mg and Ca. In conclusion, the overgrowth of Staphylococcus bacteria in bovine semen may contribute to oxidative stress resulting in sperm DNA fragmentation, altered mitochondrial membrane potential, and diminished sperm motility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Sperm Microbiota)
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14 pages, 2425 KiB  
Article
Causes of Death in Stray Cat Colonies of Milan: A Five-Year Report
by Valeria Grieco, Paola Crepaldi, Chiara Giudice, Paola Roccabianca, Giuseppe Sironi, Eleonora Brambilla, Sonia Magistrelli, Giuliano Ravasio, Federico Granatiero, Anna Invernizzi and Mario Caniatti
Animals 2021, 11(11), 3308; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11113308 - 19 Nov 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 4239
Abstract
The presence of cats in urban environments has a long history. In Italy, stray cats are protected by national and regional laws, and programs of neutering and reintroduction to colonies are ongoing. Colony cats have been widely studied from a behavioral perspective, while [...] Read more.
The presence of cats in urban environments has a long history. In Italy, stray cats are protected by national and regional laws, and programs of neutering and reintroduction to colonies are ongoing. Colony cats have been widely studied from a behavioral perspective, while surveys regarding their causes of death are limited, although they may provide relevant information related to public health and cat welfare. This retrospective study provides pathological descriptions and statistical analyses of the causes of death of 186 cats from 100 colonies in the city of Milan. Inflammatory processes represent the primary cause of death (37.7%) and include common feline infectious diseases such as feline panleukopenia (67.5%), particularly in kittens, and feline infectious peritonitis (32.5%), most common in adult cats. Trauma was found to be a common cause of death of young/adult cats (14%) with a generally good body condition, while severe parasitosis was less represented (2.6%). The death of old cats was statistically associated with organ failure (24.7%), particularly renal failure, and tumors (11.8%). Knowledge of the most common causes of death of colony cats could make an important contribution to the health monitoring of these cats and sanitary control of their habitats and provide information on possible related emerging animal welfare concerns. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Companion Animals)
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22 pages, 727 KiB  
Review
An Update on Zoonotic Cryptosporidium Species and Genotypes in Humans
by Una Ryan, Alireza Zahedi, Yaoyu Feng and Lihua Xiao
Animals 2021, 11(11), 3307; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11113307 - 19 Nov 2021
Cited by 90 | Viewed by 6626
Abstract
The enteric parasite, Cryptosporidium is a major cause of diarrhoeal illness in humans and animals worldwide. No effective therapeutics or vaccines are available and therefore control is dependent on understanding transmission dynamics. The development of molecular detection and typing tools has resulted in [...] Read more.
The enteric parasite, Cryptosporidium is a major cause of diarrhoeal illness in humans and animals worldwide. No effective therapeutics or vaccines are available and therefore control is dependent on understanding transmission dynamics. The development of molecular detection and typing tools has resulted in the identification of a large number of cryptic species and genotypes and facilitated our understanding of their potential for zoonotic transmission. Of the 44 recognised Cryptosporidium species and >120 genotypes, 19 species, and four genotypes have been reported in humans with C. hominis, C. parvum, C. meleagridis, C. canis and C. felis being the most prevalent. The development of typing tools that are still lacking some zoonotic species and genotypes and more extensive molecular epidemiological studies in countries where the potential for transmission is highest are required to further our understanding of this important zoonotic pathogen. Similarly, whole-genome sequencing (WGS) and amplicon next-generation sequencing (NGS) are important for more accurately tracking transmission and understanding the mechanisms behind host specificity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Parasites and Parasitic Diseases)
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13 pages, 450 KiB  
Article
A Case Series Analysis of Dental Extractions’ Outcome in Cats with Chronic Gingivostomatitis Carrying Retroviral Disease
by Marta Silva, Marta Fernandes, Mónica Fialho and Lisa Mestrinho
Animals 2021, 11(11), 3306; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11113306 - 19 Nov 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3464
Abstract
This study aims to evaluate and compare the clinical outcome after dental extractions of cats with FCGS infected with feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and feline leukaemia virus (FeLV). A retrospective case series included cats with diagnosis of FCGS, availability of detailed clinical records, [...] Read more.
This study aims to evaluate and compare the clinical outcome after dental extractions of cats with FCGS infected with feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and feline leukaemia virus (FeLV). A retrospective case series included cats with diagnosis of FCGS, availability of detailed clinical records, full-mouth dental radiographs, and retroviral disease test results. Effectiveness of surgical treatment (EOT) was registered. Three groups were defined: control, FIV and FeLV. In this study, 111 cats were included: 60 controls, 29 FIV- and 22 FeLV-positive cats. When compared with control cases, FeLV-positive cats had significantly less proliferative stomatitis lesions, and they tended to have more lingual ulcers. Concurrently, FeLV-positive cats had significantly less tooth resorptive lesions. No other significant differences in FCGS clinical signs were found between groups. FeLV-positive cats had a significantly worse outcome after dental extractions compared to the other groups. In fact, FeLV-positive cats had 7.5 times more chances of having no improvement after dental extractions. This study concludes that the response to dental extractions in FeLV-positive cats is significantly worse, when comparing to cats that do not carry retroviral disease. Therefore, it is important to acknowledge the effect of FeLV status on the prognosis of these cats. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Companion Animals)
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