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Animals, Volume 13, Issue 1 (January-1 2023) – 184 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Laying hens are often synchronous in their behaviours (e.g., movement, dust bathing and laying), which can lead to overcrowding in cage-free systems and provoke flock piling, i.e., dense clustering of hens along walls and in corners, which can result in smothering. Hen crowding can also challenge the expression of some comfort behaviours, such as dust bathing, as affected by the available space on the ground. Precision livestock farming (PLF) techniques can facilitate automated and real-time monitoring of animal behaviour, thus enabling fast actions that benefit the flock. Using a PLF technique based on images, this study aimed to test a machine-learning tool for measuring the number of hens on the ground and identifying the number of dust-bathing hens in an experimental aviary—a complex environment—by comparing the performance of two machine-learning (YOLO, You Only Look Once) models. View this paper
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11 pages, 2073 KiB  
Article
Loci Associated with Negative Heterosis for Viability and Meat Productivity in Interspecific Sheep Hybrids
by Alexander S. Zlobin, Natalia A. Volkova, Natalia A. Zinovieva, Baylar S. Iolchiev, Vugar A. Bagirov, Pavel M. Borodin, Tatiana I. Axenovich and Yakov A. Tsepilov
Animals 2023, 13(1), 184; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13010184 - 3 Jan 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2717
Abstract
Negative heterosis can occur on different economically important traits, but the exact biological mechanisms of this phenomenon are still unknown. The present study focuses on determining the genetic factors associated with negative heterosis in interspecific hybrids between domestic sheep (Ovis aries) [...] Read more.
Negative heterosis can occur on different economically important traits, but the exact biological mechanisms of this phenomenon are still unknown. The present study focuses on determining the genetic factors associated with negative heterosis in interspecific hybrids between domestic sheep (Ovis aries) and argali (Ovis ammon). One locus (rs417431015) associated with viability and two loci (rs413302370, rs402808951) associated with meat productivity were identified. One gene (ARAP2) was prioritized for viability and three for meat productivity (PDE2A, ARAP1, and PCDH15). The loci associated with meat productivity were demonstrated to fit the overdominant inheritance model and could potentially be involved int negative heterosis mechanisms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Genetics and Genomics)
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20 pages, 4000 KiB  
Article
Efficient Development of Gait Classification Models for Five-Gaited Horses Based on Mobile Phone Sensors
by Haraldur B. Davíðsson, Torben Rees, Marta Rut Ólafsdóttir and Hafsteinn Einarsson
Animals 2023, 13(1), 183; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13010183 - 3 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2768
Abstract
Automated gait classification has traditionally been studied using horse-mounted sensors. However, smartphone-based sensors are more accessible, but the performance of gait classification models using data from such sensors has not been widely known or accessible. In this study, we performed horse gait classification [...] Read more.
Automated gait classification has traditionally been studied using horse-mounted sensors. However, smartphone-based sensors are more accessible, but the performance of gait classification models using data from such sensors has not been widely known or accessible. In this study, we performed horse gait classification using deep learning models and data from mobile phone sensors located in the rider’s pocket. We gathered data from 17 horses and 14 riders. The data were gathered simultaneously from movement sensors in a mobile phone located in the rider’s pocket and a gait classification system based on four wearable sensors attached to the horse’s limbs. With this efficient approach to acquire labelled data, we trained a Bi-LSTM model for gait classification. The only input to the model was a 50 Hz signal from the phone’s accelerometer and gyroscope that was rotated to the horse’s frame of reference. We demonstrate that sensor data from mobile phones can be used to classify the five gaits of the Icelandic horse with up to 94.4% accuracy. The result suggests that horse riding activities can be studied at a large scale using mobile phones to gather data on gaits. While our study showed that mobile phone sensors could be effective for gait classification, there are still some limitations that need to be addressed in future research. For example, further studies could explore the effects of different riding styles or equipment on gait classification accuracy or investigate ways to minimize the influence of factors such as phone placement. By addressing these questions, we can continue to improve our understanding of horse gait and its role in horse riding activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Equine Gait Analysis: Translating Science into Practice)
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13 pages, 481 KiB  
Article
Staphylococcus microti Strains Isolated from an Italian Mediterranean Buffalo Herd
by Monica Ambrosio, Francesca Paola Nocera, Francesca Garofalo, Pasquale De Luca, Alex Grinberg and Luisa De Martino
Animals 2023, 13(1), 182; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13010182 - 3 Jan 2023
Viewed by 1880
Abstract
S. microti is a new species among non-aureus staphylococci (NAS) frequently found in bovine milk samples and associated with subclinical mastitis (SCM). The aim of this study was to analyze the presence of S. microti in 200 composite milk samples and 104 milking [...] Read more.
S. microti is a new species among non-aureus staphylococci (NAS) frequently found in bovine milk samples and associated with subclinical mastitis (SCM). The aim of this study was to analyze the presence of S. microti in 200 composite milk samples and 104 milking parlor surface swabs collected at a buffalo farm in Southern Italy to define its presence in milk and a milking parlor environment. The samples were inoculated onto different agar plates, and the isolates were identified by MALDI-TOF MS. The strains identified as S. microti (54/304 samples, 17.8%) were collected, and their purified genomic DNA was subjected to PCR amplification and whole 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Furthermore, their phenotypic resistance profiles were evaluated by a disk diffusion method, and the genotypic characterization of the tetracycline resistance was performed for the tetM and tetK genes by multiplex PCR. Four and forty-seven S. microti isolates from milk samples of lactating animals with subclinical mastitis (SCM) and intramammary infection (IMI), respectively, and three isolates from milking parlor surfaces were recovered. The genomic DNA was purified from the bacterial isolates, and the amplification and sequencing of the 16S gene further supported the proteomic identification as S. microti. No clinical mastitis was detected in the herd during the study period. The antimicrobial susceptibility testing revealed a worrisome 100% resistance to tetracyclines, genotypically mediated by the tetM gene for all strains. This study highlights that S. microti may be commonly isolated from dairy buffalo milk and milking parlor equipment. Its association with SCM or IMI remains to be established. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cattle)
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7 pages, 9665 KiB  
Article
A Retrospective Study of Laparoscopic Cryptorchidectomy in 19 Cats with Intra-Abdominal Testes
by Jesús Villalobos-Gomez, Javier Del-Angel-Caraza, Angelo Tapia-Araya, Fausto Brandao, Carlos Andrés Hernández-López, Franscisco Martínez-Gomariz, Carlos Eduardo Botero-Crespo and Roberto Properzi
Animals 2023, 13(1), 181; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13010181 - 3 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 4749
Abstract
Cryptorchidism is heritable in cats, and due to the pathological risk of testicular torsion, and the development of testicular neoplasia, cryptorchidectomy is the treatment of choice. For the intra-abdominal testes, a laparotomic approach is generally recommended; however, laparoscopic cryptorchidectomy in cats has been [...] Read more.
Cryptorchidism is heritable in cats, and due to the pathological risk of testicular torsion, and the development of testicular neoplasia, cryptorchidectomy is the treatment of choice. For the intra-abdominal testes, a laparotomic approach is generally recommended; however, laparoscopic cryptorchidectomy in cats has been documented in a few clinical case reports. The aim of the study was to report the short-term clinical outcomes for 19 cryptorchid cats with intra-abdominal testes that underwent cryptorchidectomy with laparoscopic techniques. Medical records of client-owned sexually intact male cats that underwent laparoscopic cryptorchidectomy in different veterinary hospitals or ambulatory surgical services were reviewed. The procedure was performed in 19 cats. The average time (mean ± standard deviation, SD) for all procedures was 23 ± 6 min (range 15–35 min). The time for laparoscopic removal of a single abdominal testis was 22 ± 6 min, with 30 min for the bilateral abdominal testes. The time until hospital discharge varied depending on the surgeon’s criteria, with a mean of 6 h (range 3–24 hrs). None of the cases analyzed showed any surgical complications. The results of this study suggest that laparoscopic cryptorchidectomy is an appropriate surgical procedure to treat cryptorchid cats with intra-abdominal testes, all with benefits of minimal invasion surgery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Companion Animals Neutering)
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14 pages, 602 KiB  
Article
Genetic Parameters and Genotype × Diet Interaction for Body Weight Performance and Fat in Gilthead Seabream
by Stavroula Oikonomou, Zoi Kazlari, Dimitrios Loukovitis, Arkadios Dimitroglou, Lefteris Kottaras, Konstantinos Tzokas, Dimitrios Barkas, Nikolaos Katribouzas, Leonidas Papaharisis and Dimitrios Chatziplis
Animals 2023, 13(1), 180; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13010180 - 3 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1731
Abstract
There has been thorough research on the genotype by diet interaction and the extent of its impact on the genetic evaluation, using a partly replaced marine animal protein on the gilthead seabream. To do that, 8356 individuals were gathered from two batches and [...] Read more.
There has been thorough research on the genotype by diet interaction and the extent of its impact on the genetic evaluation, using a partly replaced marine animal protein on the gilthead seabream. To do that, 8356 individuals were gathered from two batches and followed different diets: a high-plant-protein diet containing 85% plant proteins and a standard commercial one containing 30% marine animal protein. During the experiment, body weight, growth and fat content were recorded. High heritability estimates were detected for the body weight performance and fat content. A small effect of genotype by diet interaction was detected in all phenotypes (presented as the genetic correlations from 0.95 to 0.97) but a medium-high ranking correlation between the breeding values for each trait was estimated (0.72–0.70). A higher expected response to selection for the body weight performance was detected using the standard commercial rather than the plant-based diet. Based on the findings, the establishment of a plant-based diet breeding strategy can be achieved provided the reduction of the cost of aquafeed is attained, though a lower genetic gain is expected. Full article
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2 pages, 154 KiB  
Editorial
New Year Special Issue, Animals in 2023
by Clive J. C. Phillips
Animals 2023, 13(1), 179; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13010179 - 3 Jan 2023
Viewed by 1459
Abstract
The management of animals on our planet is being scrutinised as never before [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animals in 2023)
11 pages, 283 KiB  
Article
A Trace Mineral Injection before Joining and Lambing Increases Marking Percentages and Lamb Weights on Diverse Farms in Victoria, Australia
by Paula A. Gonzalez-Rivas, Graham R. Lean, Michael Chambers and Jerry Liu
Animals 2023, 13(1), 178; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13010178 - 3 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2724
Abstract
This study was conducted on five commercial farms across Victoria, Australia, between September 2018 and November 2019, where the TM status of ewes was within normal ranges before joining. Mix breed ewes (n = 1484) were randomly allocated to receive either nil treatment [...] Read more.
This study was conducted on five commercial farms across Victoria, Australia, between September 2018 and November 2019, where the TM status of ewes was within normal ranges before joining. Mix breed ewes (n = 1484) were randomly allocated to receive either nil treatment (Control) or two injections of an ITM product containing zinc (40 mg/mL), manganese (10 mg/mL), selenium (3 mg/mL), and copper (10 mg/mL); 0.2 mL per 10 kg BW (Multimin® plus Copper for Sheep, Virbac (Australia) Pty Ltd., Milperra, NSW, Australia) 30 days before the start of joining and 30 days before the start of lambing. Approximately 90 days after joining, pregnancy status and conception rate were determined by ultrasound. The marking rate was determined approximately four weeks after the end of lambing, and lamb weights were determined at weaning (12 weeks after the end of lambing). In all farms, ITM treatment did not affect the conception rate. The average conception rate was 156 ± 11.0% (p > 0.05). The marking rate of ITM ewes was 9% higher than control ewes (95% Confidence Interval 3–21%). Lambs born to ITM ewes were 2.31 kg heavier at weaning than lambs born to control ewes (p < 0.001). Although not significant, ewe mortality across farms was 1.3% lower in the ITM group than in the control group. On average, ewes treated with ITM pre-joining and pre-lambing produced more and heavier lambs that represent an extra AU$ 2338 per 100 ewes net benefit for the producer. These results help to understand strategic TM supplementation for animal health, performance and farm profitability beyond the treatment of clinical deficiencies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Small Ruminants)
14 pages, 2054 KiB  
Article
Highly Effective Frontal Stunning Procedure Using a Pneumatic Penetrating Captive Bolt in Water Buffaloes
by Valeria Molnar-Fernández, Lohendy Muñoz-Vargas, Juan José Romero-Zúñiga and Gustavo Araya-Rodríguez
Animals 2023, 13(1), 177; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13010177 - 3 Jan 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3029
Abstract
An effective frontal stunning procedure in water buffaloes was assessed using a pneumatic penetrating captive bolt (PPCB) with high air pressure. The study contemplated two phases; first, 352 buffaloes and 168 post-mortem heads were evaluated to determine the most effective anatomical site for [...] Read more.
An effective frontal stunning procedure in water buffaloes was assessed using a pneumatic penetrating captive bolt (PPCB) with high air pressure. The study contemplated two phases; first, 352 buffaloes and 168 post-mortem heads were evaluated to determine the most effective anatomical site for stunning. Then, the second phase (n = 182) was used to validate the stunning procedure at the discovered anatomical site in the first phase, which was located 8 cm dorsal above the middle of the forehead on an “X” formed between the eyes and the base of the contralateral horns, and 2 cm lateral, avoiding the midline, where the skull tended to narrow. A total of 95.1% of buffaloes received effective stunning at the first shot with evidence of the presence of collapse, absence of rhythmic breathing, and absence of ocular reflexes (corneal and palpebral). There were no differences in the stunning efficacy by sex, breed, or skull thickness. These findings demonstrated that stunning with a PPCB at pressures of 1379–1516.8 KPa (200–220 pounds per square inch (psi)) in the site reported here produces a highly effective stunning at the first shot in water buffaloes. Full article
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14 pages, 1574 KiB  
Article
Laissez-Faire Stallions? Males’ Fecal Cortisol Metabolite Concentrations Do Not Vary with Increased Female Turnover in Feral Horses (Equus caballus)
by Maggie M. Jones and Cassandra M. V. Nuñez
Animals 2023, 13(1), 176; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13010176 - 3 Jan 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2551
Abstract
Stress responses can be triggered by several physical and social factors, prompting physiological reactions including increases in glucocorticoid concentrations. In a population of feral horses (Equus caballus) on Shackleford Banks, North Carolina, females previously immunized with the immunocontraceptive agent porcine zona [...] Read more.
Stress responses can be triggered by several physical and social factors, prompting physiological reactions including increases in glucocorticoid concentrations. In a population of feral horses (Equus caballus) on Shackleford Banks, North Carolina, females previously immunized with the immunocontraceptive agent porcine zona pellucida (PZP) change social groups (bands) more often than unimmunized females, disrupting the social stability within the population. We assessed the effects of increased female group changing behavior (or female turnover) on individual male stress by comparing fecal cortisol metabolite (FCM) concentrations among stallions experiencing varying amounts of female group changing behavior. FCM concentrations did not significantly correlate with female turnover. Similarly, FCM concentrations were not dependent upon the timing of female group changing behavior. These findings suggest that female turnover rate has little influence on physiological measures of stress in associated stallions. That said, Shackleford stallions experiencing increased female turnover do engage in behaviors typically associated with stress (increased vigilance, highly escalated male-male conflicts). Future work should compare FCM concentrations across time within populations and among populations managed under different strategies to better isolate factors influencing stallion stress physiology. Such studies are especially important if we are to determine how changes in female behavior related to immunocontraception impact physiological and behavioral indicators of stress for non-target animals. Finally, our study highlights the importance of considering both physiological and behavioral measures when investigating animal responses to potentially challenging situations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wild and Feral Equids—Biology, Conservation and Management)
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16 pages, 2920 KiB  
Article
Transcriptomic Study on the Lungs of Broilers with Ascites Syndrome
by Dongqing Guo, Jian Zhang, Yufeng Han, Liang Cui, Huimin Wang, Keyao Wang, Peiqi Li, Ruiqiang Deng, Jie Kang and Zhibian Duan
Animals 2023, 13(1), 175; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13010175 - 2 Jan 2023
Viewed by 2407
Abstract
Although broiler ascites syndrome (AS) has been extensively studied, its pathogenesis remains unclear. The lack of cardiopulmonary function in broilers causes relative hypoxia in the body; hence, the lung is the main target organ of AS. However, the transcriptome of AS lung tissue [...] Read more.
Although broiler ascites syndrome (AS) has been extensively studied, its pathogenesis remains unclear. The lack of cardiopulmonary function in broilers causes relative hypoxia in the body; hence, the lung is the main target organ of AS. However, the transcriptome of AS lung tissue in broilers has not been studied. In this study, an AS model was successfully constructed, and lung tissues of three AS broilers and three healthy broilers were obtained for RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) and pathological observation. The results showed that 614 genes were up-regulated and 828 genes were down-regulated in the AS group compared with the normal group. Gene Ontology (GO) functional annotation revealed the following up-regulated genes: FABP4, APLN, EIF2AK4, HMOX1, MMP9, THBS1, TLR4, BCL2; and down-regulated genes: APELA, FGF7, WNT5A, CDK6, IL7, IL7R, APLNR. These genes have attracted much attention in cardiovascular diseases such as pulmonary hypertension. Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) enrichment analysis showed that multiple metabolic processes were enriched, indicating abnormal lung metabolism of AS in broilers. These findings elucidate the potential genes and signal pathways in the lungs of broilers with AS and provide a potential target for studying the pathogenesis and preventing AS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Poultry)
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10 pages, 1750 KiB  
Case Report
Investigation and Management of an Outbreak of Lead Intoxication in an Extensively Managed Beef Herd
by Meghan M. Scrivens, David Frith, Ben Wood, Brian Burren, Andrew J. Doust and Michael R. McGowan
Animals 2023, 13(1), 174; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13010174 - 2 Jan 2023
Viewed by 1479
Abstract
Fifteen hundred 12–15-month-old tropically adapted heifers inadvertently grazed a paddock which had a refuse dump in it containing burnt out vehicle batteries. The cattle grazed this paddock for approximately seven days. Subsequently these cattle were managed as two cohorts (cull and potential replacement [...] Read more.
Fifteen hundred 12–15-month-old tropically adapted heifers inadvertently grazed a paddock which had a refuse dump in it containing burnt out vehicle batteries. The cattle grazed this paddock for approximately seven days. Subsequently these cattle were managed as two cohorts (cull and potential replacement breeding animals). Deaths commenced in the cull heifer group approximately 18 days after initial exposure to the refuse dump during relocation to a feedlot. Mortalities continued for 12 days, with other heifers showing clinical signs of marked central nervous system dysfunction requiring euthanasia. Necropsy of several clinically affected cattle plus blood sampling for lead analysis confirmed a diagnosis of lead intoxication. The crude mortality rate in the cull heifers was 6.6% (n = 685). Following confirmation of the diagnosis most of the potential replacement heifers (second cohort) were also relocated to the feedlot. The estimated crude mortality rate in this cohort was 5.8% (n = 815). All possible lead intoxication deaths occurred within 34 days of initial exposure, and apparently after day 16 at the feedlot no further heifers showed any clinical signs which could be attributed to lead intoxication. Longitudinal monitoring of blood lead concentrations was used to identify cattle suitable for slaughter. Overall, 70% of heifers initially blood sampled (n = 1408) had no detectable lead in their blood, however 16% had markedly elevated blood lead concentrations (> 0.7µmol/L) which persisted, and 2% had above the maximum normal threshold 1.5 years later. These latter cattle were subsequently euthanized, and necropsy revealed that visible pieces of lead were still present in the reticulum of several animals. At no time did any of these heifers with persistently high blood lead concentrations show clinical signs of lead intoxication. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Ruminants Disease Prevention and Control)
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23 pages, 2505 KiB  
Article
Spirulina-enriched Substrate to Rear Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia illucens) Prepupae as Alternative Aquafeed Ingredient for Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) Diets: Possible Effects on Zootechnical Performances, Gut and Liver Health Status, and Fillet Quality
by Stefano Ratti, Matteo Zarantoniello, Giulia Chemello, Miriam Giammarino, Francesco Alessandro Palermo, Paolo Cocci, Gilberto Mosconi, Maria Vittoria Tignani, Giulia Pascon, Gloriana Cardinaletti, Deborah Pacetti, Ancuta Nartea, Giuliana Parisi, Paola Riolo, Alessia Belloni and Ike Olivotto
Animals 2023, 13(1), 173; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13010173 - 2 Jan 2023
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 3288
Abstract
In the present study, an organic substrate (coffee silverskin) enriched with spirulina (Arthrospira platensis; 15% w/w), as a source of lipids and bioactive molecules, was used to rear the black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) prepupae. Three [...] Read more.
In the present study, an organic substrate (coffee silverskin) enriched with spirulina (Arthrospira platensis; 15% w/w), as a source of lipids and bioactive molecules, was used to rear the black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) prepupae. Three grossly isonitrogenous, isoproteic, isolipidic and isoenergetic experimental diets for rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) juveniles were then produced: a control diet (HM0) mostly including fish meal and fish oil, and two other test diets named HM3 and HM20, in which 3 or 20% of the marine ingredients were substituted with full fat black soldier fly prepupae meal (HM), respectively. Experimental diets were provided for 6 weeks, and at the end of the trial the physiological responses and marketable traits of the fish were investigated using a multidisciplinary approach. Generally, all test diets were well accepted, and fish growth, gut and liver health status, and marketable characteristics were not impaired by the experimental diets. However, an increased immuno-related gene expression along with a slight reduction of fillet redness and yellowness was evident in fish from the HM20 group. Full article
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16 pages, 1713 KiB  
Article
Effect of Feeding System on Muscle Fiber Composition, Antioxidant Capacity, and Nutritional and Organoleptic Traits of Goat Meat
by Lu Dou, Ye Jin, Huijiao Li, Chang Liu, Zhihao Yang, Xiaoyu Chen, Lina Sun, Lihua Zhao and Lin Su
Animals 2023, 13(1), 172; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13010172 - 2 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2218
Abstract
The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of feeding system on muscle fiber composition, antioxidant capacity, and nutritional and organoleptic traits of goat meat. Goats that grazed on flatland (whole area with about 0% inclination, FG group) and mountain range [...] Read more.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of feeding system on muscle fiber composition, antioxidant capacity, and nutritional and organoleptic traits of goat meat. Goats that grazed on flatland (whole area with about 0% inclination, FG group) and mountain range (whole area with about 40% inclination, MG group) were selected for the analysis. The results showed that grazing on flatland increased oxidized-twitch fiber percentage, the expression of the MyHC IIa gene (p < 0.001), the activity of glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) (p < 0.05), total antioxidant capacity (T-AOC) (p = 0.001), and radical scavenging ability (RSA) (p < 0.05); meanwhile, the MyHC IIb gene expression (p < 0.01) and malondialdehyde (MDA) content (p = 0.001) were decreased. Feeding system affected nutritional and organoleptic traits of goat meat, and grazing on flatland increased protein content, total content of monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA), polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA), pH45min, a* value, and variety of volatile flavor compounds but decreased the content of saturated fatty acid (SFA), shear force, and b* value. In addition, the key flavor substances were screened using relative odor activity value (ROAV), including hexanal, heptanal, (E)-2-octenal, octanal, nonanal, decanal, (E)-2-nonenal, and 1-octen-3-ol. Among them, 1-octen-3-ol and (E)-2-nonenal were the most contributing flavor compounds in the FG and MG groups, respectively, providing distinctive odor to goat meat. Full article
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14 pages, 1847 KiB  
Article
Comparative Proteomic Analysis of Milk-Derived Extracellular Vesicles from Dairy Cows with Clinical and Subclinical Mastitis
by Mengling Wang, Meng Cai, Xiaoyan Zhu, Xuemei Nan, Benhai Xiong and Liang Yang
Animals 2023, 13(1), 171; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13010171 - 1 Jan 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2352
Abstract
Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are membranous vesicles found in biological fluids with essential functions. However, milk-derived EV proteins from clinical mastitis (CM) and subclinical mastitis (SM) cows have yet to be studied in detail. In this study, milk-derived EVs of CM, SM, and Healthy [...] Read more.
Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are membranous vesicles found in biological fluids with essential functions. However, milk-derived EV proteins from clinical mastitis (CM) and subclinical mastitis (SM) cows have yet to be studied in detail. In this study, milk-derived EVs of CM, SM, and Healthy cows were extracted using a combination of acetic acid/ultracentrifugation and density gradient ultracentrifugation and analyzed using a shotgun proteomic by data-independent acquisition mode. A total of 1253 milk exosome proteins were identified and quantified. Differently enriched (DE) proteins were identified as given a Benjamini–Hochberg adjusted p < 0.05 and a fold change of at least 2. There were 53 and 1 DE proteins in milk-derived EVs from CM and SM cows compared with healthy cows. Protein S100-A9, Protein S100-A8, Chitinase-3-like protein 1, Haptoglobin, Integrin beta-2, and Chloride intracellular channel protein 1 were more abundant in the CM group (adjusted p < 0.05). Still, their enrichment in the SM group was not significant as in the Healthy group. The enrichment of DE proteins between CM and Healthy group was consistent with elevated GO (Gene Ontology) processes—defense response, defense response to Gram-positive bacterium, granulocyte chemotaxis also contributed to Reactome pathways—neutrophil degranulation, innate immune system, and antimicrobial peptides in the CM group. These results provide essential information on mastitis-associated proteins in milk-derived EVs and indicate the biological functions of milk-derived EVs proteins require further elucidation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dairy Cattle Mammary Health—Reducing Mammary Disease)
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8 pages, 265 KiB  
Article
Levobupivacaine Combined with Cisatracurium in Peribulbar Anaesthesia in Cats Undergoing Corneal and Lens Surgery
by Giovanna L. Costa, Fabio Leonardi, Claudia Interlandi, Filippo Spadola, Sheila Fisichella, Francesco Macrì, Bernadette Nastasi, Daniele Macrì, Vincenzo Ferrantelli and Simona Di Pietro
Animals 2023, 13(1), 170; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13010170 - 1 Jan 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1388
Abstract
The aims of the study included evaluating the effects of levobupivacaine combined with cisatracurium on akinesia and mydriasis when administered by peribulbar injection, and evaluating if the chosen dose of cisatracurium is enough to avoid the use of systemic neuromuscular blockade in cats. [...] Read more.
The aims of the study included evaluating the effects of levobupivacaine combined with cisatracurium on akinesia and mydriasis when administered by peribulbar injection, and evaluating if the chosen dose of cisatracurium is enough to avoid the use of systemic neuromuscular blockade in cats. The animals were divided into four groups as follows: group L received 1.25 mg kg−1 levobupivacaine administered by peribulbar injection; group LC received the same dose of levobupivacaine combined with 0.01 mg kg−1 of cisatracurium administered by peribulbar injection; group C received 0.01 mg kg−1 of cisatracurium administered by peribulbar injection; group GC received 0.01 mg kg−1 of cisatracurium intravenously. Physiological variables, intraocular pressure, akinesia, and mydriasis were measured before and up to 30 min after peribulbar injection. The onset of akinesia, duration of akinesia, and train of four (TOF) were evaluated. Physiological variables remained in the physiological range in all groups. Effective akinesia and mydriasis were observed in all groups. The (TOF) was 0.9 in all groups. Throughout the study was observed in group LC a shortened onset of akinesia and a prolonging its duration. The peribulbar injection of cisatracurium and levobupivacaine provided effective akinesia and mydriasis, and shortened the onset of akinesia while prolonging its duration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Veterinary Clinical Studies)
7 pages, 201 KiB  
Editorial
Horse Husbandry–Nutrition, Management and Welfare
by Glenys K. Noble
Animals 2023, 13(1), 169; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13010169 - 1 Jan 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3447
Abstract
Nutrition is the foundation of health and welfare, going hand in hand with horse husbandry [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Horse Husbandry-Nutrition, Management and Welfare)
15 pages, 310 KiB  
Article
Microbiological Biodiversity of Regional Cow, Goat and Ewe Milk Cheeses Produced in Poland and Antibiotic Resistance of Lactic Acid Bacteria Isolated from Them
by Beata Nalepa and Lidia Hanna Markiewicz
Animals 2023, 13(1), 168; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13010168 - 31 Dec 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2121
Abstract
(1) Unique sensory values of traditional and regional dairy products made them more and more popular among consumers. Lactic acid bacteria naturally occurring in these products can express antibiotic resistance and be a reservoir of antibiotic resistance genes (ARG) in the environment. The [...] Read more.
(1) Unique sensory values of traditional and regional dairy products made them more and more popular among consumers. Lactic acid bacteria naturally occurring in these products can express antibiotic resistance and be a reservoir of antibiotic resistance genes (ARG) in the environment. The aim of the study was to characterize the microbial diversity of twenty regional cheeses produced from non-pasteurized cow, goat and ewe milk, and investigate the phenotypic and genotypic antibiotic resistance (AR) of lactic acid bacteria isolated from these products. (2) Conventional microbiological methods were applied for the enumeration of lactic acid bacteria (lactobacilli and lactococci) and their isolation, and for the enumeration of Enterococcus, Staphylococcus, Enterobacteriaceae and spores. The disc diffusion method was applied for phenotypic AR. The PCR-based methods were used for strain identification, microbiological diversity of cheeses (PCR-DGGE), and for AR gene detection. (3) Among 79 LAB isolates the most frequent species were L. plantarum (n = 18), Leuc. lactis (n = 17), Lc. lactis (n = 11), Leuc. mesenteroides (n = 9) and L. pentosus (n = 8). Additionally, by using the PCR-DGGE method, DNA of L. casei was found in nine products. Lactobacilli (5.63–8.46 log cfu/g) and lactococci (6.15–8.41 log cfu/g) predominated over Enterococcus (max. 4.89 log cfu/g), Staphylococcus (max. 4.18 log cfu/g), and Enterobacteriaceae (mostly up to 4.88 log cfu/g). Analysis of phenotypic resistance to tetracycline (30 µg), erythromycin (15 µg), and chloramphenicol (30 µg) showed that 29% of LAB isolates were resistant to one antibiotic, 8%—to two, and 12%—to all tested antibiotics. Antibiotic resistance genes (AGR) for tetracycline (tet(M), tet(L), tet(W)), erythromycin (erm(B)) and chloramphenicol (cat-TC) were detected in 30 (38%), 29 (36.7%) and 33 (43.4%) LAB isolates, respectively. Among 31 LAB isolates phenotypically susceptible to all tested antibiotics, only 5 (16%) had no ARGs. (4) The results obtained in our work shed light on the potential threat posed by the widespread presence of ARGs in LAB present in regional cheeses. Full article
19 pages, 2896 KiB  
Article
Dietary Supplementation with a Blend of Hydrolyzable and Condensed Tannins Ameliorates Diet-Induced Intestinal Inflammation in Zebrafish (Danio rerio)
by Roberta Imperatore, Baldassare Fronte, Daniel Scicchitano, Graziella Orso, Maria Marchese, Serena Mero, Rosario Licitra, Elena Coccia, Marco Candela and Marina Paolucci
Animals 2023, 13(1), 167; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13010167 - 31 Dec 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2173
Abstract
The current study evaluated the effects of hydrolyzable and condensed tannins from chestnut and quebracho wood, respectively (TSP, Silvafeed®), on zebrafish with intestinal inflammation induced by a plant-based diet (basal diet). Four experimental diets were prepared as follows: the basal diet [...] Read more.
The current study evaluated the effects of hydrolyzable and condensed tannins from chestnut and quebracho wood, respectively (TSP, Silvafeed®), on zebrafish with intestinal inflammation induced by a plant-based diet (basal diet). Four experimental diets were prepared as follows: the basal diet + 0 TSP, the basal diet + TSP at 0.9 g/kg of feed, the basal diet + TSP at 1.7 g/kg of feed, and the basal diet + TSP at 3.4 g/kg of feed. Eighty-four zebrafish (Danio rerio) were fed for 12 days with the experimental diets. In zebrafish fed the basal diet, intestine integrity appeared to be altered, with damaged intestinal villi, high immunoexpression of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα) and cyclooxygenase 2 (COX2), and high expression of the cox2, interleukin 1 (il-1b), interleukin 8 (cxcl8-l1), and tnfα genes. The tannin treatment partially restored intestinal morphology and downregulated the expression of cytokines. The best activity was detected with 1.7 and 3.4 g/kg of feed. In the guts of all groups, Proteobacteria, Fusobacteria, Firmicutes, and Bacteroidetes were the most represented phyla. The most represented genera were Plesiomonas and Sphingomonas, belonging to the Proteobacteria phylum; Cetobacterium, belonging to the Fusobacteria phylum; and Lactobacillus, belonging to the Firmicutes phylum. No significant differences were detected among groups, except for a slight decrease in the Fusobacteria phylum and slight increases in the Shewanella and Bacteroides genera with TSP. In conclusion, these results suggest that tannins can improve the zebrafish intestinal inflammation caused by a terrestrial-plant-based diet in a dose-dependent manner. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Aquatic Animals)
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13 pages, 2775 KiB  
Article
De Novo Assembly, Characterization and Comparative Transcriptome Analysis of the Mature Gonads in Spinibarbus hollandi
by Chong Han, Wenwei Huang, Suhan Peng, Jiangwei Zhou, Huawei Zhan, Yuying Zhang, Wenjun Li, Jian Gong and Qiang Li
Animals 2023, 13(1), 166; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13010166 - 31 Dec 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1610
Abstract
Spinibarbus hollandi is an important commercial aquaculture species in southeastern China, but with long maturity period and low egg laying amount. However, there has been little study of its gonad development and reproductive regulation, which limits aquaculture production. Here, for the first time, [...] Read more.
Spinibarbus hollandi is an important commercial aquaculture species in southeastern China, but with long maturity period and low egg laying amount. However, there has been little study of its gonad development and reproductive regulation, which limits aquaculture production. Here, for the first time, gonadal transcriptomes of male and female S. hollandi were analyzed. A total of 167,152 unigenes were assembled, with only 48,275 annotated successfully. After comparison, a total of 21,903 differentially expressed genes were identified between male and female gonads, of which 16,395 were upregulated and 5508 were downregulated in the testis. In addition, a large number of differentially expressed genes participating in reproduction, gonad formation and differentiation, and gametogenesis were screened out and the differential expression profiles of partial genes were further validated using quantitative real-time PCR. These results will provide basic information for further research on gonad differentiation and development in S. hollandi. Full article
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14 pages, 3074 KiB  
Article
Prediction of Ammonia Concentration in a Pig House Based on Machine Learning Models and Environmental Parameters
by Siyi Peng, Jiaming Zhu, Zuohua Liu, Bin Hu, Miao Wang and Shihua Pu
Animals 2023, 13(1), 165; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13010165 - 31 Dec 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2189
Abstract
Accurately predicting the air quality in a piggery and taking control measures in advance are important issues for pig farm production and local environmental management. In this experiment, the NH3 concentration in a semi-automatic piggery was studied. First, the random forest algorithm [...] Read more.
Accurately predicting the air quality in a piggery and taking control measures in advance are important issues for pig farm production and local environmental management. In this experiment, the NH3 concentration in a semi-automatic piggery was studied. First, the random forest algorithm (RF) and Pearson correlation analysis were combined to analyze the environmental parameters, and nine input schemes for the model feature parameters were identified. Three kinds of deep learning and three kinds of conventional machine learning algorithms were applied to the prediction of NH3 in the piggery. Through comparative experiments, appropriate environmental parameters (CO2, H2O, P, and outdoor temperature) and superior algorithms (LSTM and RNN) were selected. On this basis, the PSO algorithm was used to optimize the hyperparameters of the algorithms, and their prediction performance was also evaluated. The results showed that the R2 values of PSO-LSTM and PSO-RNN were 0.9487 and 0.9458, respectively. These models had good accuracy when predicting NH3 concentration in the piggery 0.5 h, 1 h, 1.5 h, and 2 h in advance. This study can provide a reference for the prediction of air concentrations in pig house environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal System and Management)
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14 pages, 742 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Haemostasis in Dogs Affected by Resectable Malignancy
by Barbara Bruno, Cristiana Maurella, Paola Gianella, Giulio Mengozzi, Erica Ferraris and Antonio Borrelli
Animals 2023, 13(1), 164; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13010164 - 31 Dec 2022
Viewed by 1431
Abstract
Dogs with neoplasm are at risk of thrombosis, yet there is no information on the haemostatic alterations that may result from the surgeries performed to remove neoplastic masses. The aim of this study was to observe the characteristics of haemostasis in dogs undergoing [...] Read more.
Dogs with neoplasm are at risk of thrombosis, yet there is no information on the haemostatic alterations that may result from the surgeries performed to remove neoplastic masses. The aim of this study was to observe the characteristics of haemostasis in dogs undergoing surgery to remove a malignancy by means of rotational thromboelastometry and thrombin generation. Haemostasis was assessed immediately before surgery (T0), 24 h after surgery (T1), and two weeks after surgery (T2). Statistically significant differences were found between the thromboelastometric parameters at T0 vs. T1, with increases observed in MCF, the α angle, and G parameters in the ex-TEM and in-TEM profiles. In the thromboelastometric analysis performed after surgery differences were identified between T1 and T2, with a decrease observed in parameters such as CFT, MCF, the α angle, and G. Between T0 and T2, only a significant decrease in CT was detected in the fib-TEM profile. No differences were found in the comparison among the results obtained via thrombin generation. In dogs with resectable malignancies, the surgeries performed to remove cancer affected coagulation, causing a tendency towards hypercoagulability. The interference with coagulation was transient, and 2 weeks after surgery, the thromboelatometric results returned to those obtained before surgery (T0). Full article
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15 pages, 311 KiB  
Article
Effects of Hermetia illucens Larvae Meal and Astaxanthin as Feed Additives on Health and Production Indices in Weaned Pigs
by Kinga Szczepanik, Iwona Furgał-Dierżuk, Łukasz Gala and Małgorzata Świątkiewicz
Animals 2023, 13(1), 163; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13010163 - 31 Dec 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1857
Abstract
Weaning is a critical period in farming, and therefore, searching for health-promoting feed additives of natural origin is necessary. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of full-fat H. illucens larvae meal (HI) and astaxanthin (AST) supplementation on the growth performance and health [...] Read more.
Weaning is a critical period in farming, and therefore, searching for health-promoting feed additives of natural origin is necessary. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of full-fat H. illucens larvae meal (HI) and astaxanthin (AST) supplementation on the growth performance and health status of weaned pigs. The experiment was carried out on 48 pigs (8.7 kg) divided into six groups: I—control; II—2.5% HI; III—5% HI; IV—2.5% HI and AST; V—5% HI and AST; VI—AST. The experiment lasted from the 35th to 70th day of age, and animals were fed ad libitum. The results obtained indicate that HI meal and astaxanthin had no effect on feed intake and utilization, weight gain, or organ weight. Additionally, blood parameters remained within the norms. It seems that astaxanthin supports the inhibition of oxidative stress, which became apparent in the case of some red blood cell parameters. The 2.5% HI and AST supplementation can reduce the susceptibility of pork fat to oxidation (lower adipose tissue TBARS). However, 5% HI in feed was not beneficial because of the adverse changes in some red cell indices, and it should be combined with the antioxidant AST to improve these indices. Full article
20 pages, 379 KiB  
Review
Microplastic Interactions and Possible Combined Biological Effects in Antarctic Marine Ecosystems
by Roberto Bargagli and Emilia Rota
Animals 2023, 13(1), 162; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13010162 - 31 Dec 2022
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3346
Abstract
Antarctica and the Southern Ocean are the most remote regions on Earth, and their quite pristine environmental conditions are increasingly threatened by local scientific, tourism and fishing activities and long-range transport of persistent anthropogenic contaminants from lower latitudes. Plastic debris has become one [...] Read more.
Antarctica and the Southern Ocean are the most remote regions on Earth, and their quite pristine environmental conditions are increasingly threatened by local scientific, tourism and fishing activities and long-range transport of persistent anthropogenic contaminants from lower latitudes. Plastic debris has become one of the most pervasive and ubiquitous synthetic wastes in the global environment, and even at some coastal Antarctic sites it is the most common and enduring evidence of past and recent human activities. Despite the growing scientific interest in the occurrence of microplastics (MPs) in the Antarctic environment, the lack of standardized methodologies for the collection, analysis and assessment of sample contamination in the field and in the lab does not allow us to establish their bioavailability and potential impact. Overall, most of the Southern Ocean appears to be little-affected by plastic contamination, with the exception of some coastal marine ecosystems impacted by wastewater from scientific stations and tourist vessels or by local fishing activities. Microplastics have been detected in sediments, benthic organisms, Antarctic krill and fish, but there is no clear evidence of their transfer to seabirds and marine mammals. Therefore, we suggest directing future research towards standardization of methodologies, focusing attention on nanoplastics (which probably represent the greatest biological risks) and considering the interactions of MPs with macro- and microalgae (especially sea-ice algae) and the formation of epiplastic communities. In coastal ecosystems directly impacted by human activities, the combined exposure to paint chips, metals, persistent organic pollutants (POPs), contaminants of emerging interest (CEI) and pathogenic microorganisms represents a potential danger for marine organisms. Moreover, the Southern Ocean is very sensitive to water acidification and has shown a remarkable decrease in sea-ice formation in recent years. These climate-related stresses could reduce the resilience of Antarctic marine organisms, increasing the impact of anthropogenic contaminants and pathogenic microorganisms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Effects of Microplastics on Marine Biota)
17 pages, 10986 KiB  
Article
Equine Stomach Development in the Foetal Period of Prenatal Life—An Immunohistochemical Study
by Dominik Poradowski and Aleksander Chrószcz
Animals 2023, 13(1), 161; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13010161 - 31 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1578
Abstract
The study consisted of the immunohistochemical analysis of fundic and pyloric mucosa in the equine stomach between the 4th and 11th month of gestation. The accessible material was classified into three age groups using the CRL method. The adult reference group was used [...] Read more.
The study consisted of the immunohistochemical analysis of fundic and pyloric mucosa in the equine stomach between the 4th and 11th month of gestation. The accessible material was classified into three age groups using the CRL method. The adult reference group was used to define potential differences between foetal and adult populations of gastric APUD cells. The samples were preserved, prepared, and stained according to the standard protocols. The immunohistochemical reaction was assessed using the semi-quantitative IRS method. The results were documented and statistically analysed. The most significant increase was seen in gastrin (G) cell activity. The activity of other endocrine cells (cholecystokinin (I) cells, somatostatin (D) cells, and somatotropin receptor (SR) cells) was less dynamic. This study proved that the development of APUD cells within the stomach mucosa undergoes quantitative and qualitative changes during stomach development. Our results correspond with the findings described in the accessible literature and prove a strong correlation between morphological changes in the stomach wall and the organ development, growth, and maturation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Equids)
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14 pages, 2567 KiB  
Article
Inulin and Chinese Gallotannin Affect Meat Quality and Lipid Metabolism on Hu Sheep
by Zhaohua He, Long Cheng, Shaobin Li, Qiaoling Liu, Xue Liang, Jiang Hu, Jiqing Wang, Xiu Liu and Fangfang Zhao
Animals 2023, 13(1), 160; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13010160 - 31 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1470
Abstract
The aim of this study was to investigate the impacts of inulin and Chinese gallotannin on the meat fatty acids and urinary metabolites in sheep. Twenty-four healthy (25.80 ± 3.85 kg) weaned Hu lambs of approximately 4.5 months old were equally divided into [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to investigate the impacts of inulin and Chinese gallotannin on the meat fatty acids and urinary metabolites in sheep. Twenty-four healthy (25.80 ± 3.85 kg) weaned Hu lambs of approximately 4.5 months old were equally divided into four groups: control group (basal diet), treatment group I (basal diet + 0.1% inulin), treatment group II (basal diet + 0.1% inulin + 2% Chinese gallotannin), and treatment group III (basal diet + 0.1% inulin + 2% Chinese gallotannin + 4% PEG). The contents of myristic acid (C14:0) and palmitic acid (C16:0) were found to be lower in treatment group II than in the control group (p < 0.05). Moreover, the palmitoleic acid (C16:1) content in treatment group II was notably higher than that in the control group (p < 0.05), while the elaidic acid (C18:1n9t) content in treatment group II was higher than that in other groups (p < 0.05). Besides, the linoleic acid (C18:2n6c) content was higher in the treatment II and control groups than in the treatment I and III groups. Furthermore, compared with the control group, both 4-pyridoxic acid and creatinine in treatment groups I and II were upregulated (p < 0.05), while other metabolites, such as nicotinuric acid, l-threonine, palmitic acid, and oleic acid, were drastically downregulated (p < 0.05). These differential metabolites were found to be mainly involved in nicotinate and nicotinamide metabolism (ko00760), vitamin B6 metabolism (ko00750), and the fatty acid biosynthesis pathway (ko00061). It is concluded that the combination of inulin and Chinese gallotannin in the diet could improve the energy and lipid metabolism of sheep, which may improve both mutton quality and production performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Small Ruminants)
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36 pages, 2239 KiB  
Review
Nipah Virus Disease: Epidemiological, Clinical, Diagnostic and Legislative Aspects of This Unpredictable Emerging Zoonosis
by Luigi Bruno, Maria Anna Nappo, Luca Ferrari, Rosanna Di Lecce, Chiara Guarnieri, Anna Maria Cantoni and Attilio Corradi
Animals 2023, 13(1), 159; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13010159 - 31 Dec 2022
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 10023
Abstract
Nipah virus (NiV) infection is a viral disease caused by a Henipavirus, belonging to the Paramyxoviridae family, responsible for a zoonosis. The course of the disease can be very serious and lead to death. NiV natural hosts are fruit bats (also known as [...] Read more.
Nipah virus (NiV) infection is a viral disease caused by a Henipavirus, belonging to the Paramyxoviridae family, responsible for a zoonosis. The course of the disease can be very serious and lead to death. NiV natural hosts are fruit bats (also known as megabats) belonging to the Pteropodidae family, especially those of the Pteropus genus. Natural infection in domestic animals has been described in farming pigs, horses, domestic and feral dogs and cats. Natural NiV transmission is possible intra-species (pig-to-pig, human-to-human) and inter-species (flying bat-to-human, pig-to-human, horse-to-human). The infection can be spread by humans or animals in different ways. It is peculiar how the viral transmission modes among different hosts also change depending on the geographical area for different reasons, including different breeding methods, eating habits and the recently identified genetic traits/molecular features of main virus proteins related to virulence. Outbreaks have been described in Malaysia, Singapore, Bangladesh, India and the Philippines with, in some cases, severe respiratory and neurological disease and high mortality in both humans and pigs. Diagnosis can be made using different methods including serological, molecular, virological and immunohistochemical methods. The cornerstones for control of the disease are biosecurity (via the correct management of reservoir and intermediate/amplifying hosts) and potential vaccines which are still under development. However, the evaluation of the potential influence of climate and anthropogenic changes on the NiV reservoir bats and their habitat as well as on disease spread and inter-specific infections is of great importance. Bats, as natural reservoirs of the virus, are responsible for the viral spread and, therefore, for the outbreaks of the disease in humans and animals. Due to the worldwide distribution of bats, potential new reports and spillovers are not to be dismissed in the future. Full article
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16 pages, 1236 KiB  
Article
The Thyroid Hormone and Immunoglobulin Concentrations in Blood Serum and Thyroid Gland Morphology in Young Hens Fed with Different Diets, Sources, and Levels of Iodine Supply
by Maja Słupczyńska, Dorota Jamroz, Janusz Orda, Andrzej Wiliczkiewicz, Piotr Kuropka and Barbara Król
Animals 2023, 13(1), 158; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13010158 - 31 Dec 2022
Viewed by 2371
Abstract
The aim of this study was to examine the influence of the level (1, 3, and 5 mg I/kg) and source of iodine (KI, Ca(IO3)2, and KIO3) on thyroid hormone and immunoglobulin concentrations in the blood serum [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to examine the influence of the level (1, 3, and 5 mg I/kg) and source of iodine (KI, Ca(IO3)2, and KIO3) on thyroid hormone and immunoglobulin concentrations in the blood serum of laying hens alongside a histological picture of the thyroid. In the first, birds were fed grain–soybean meal mixtures, and in the second, two kinds of diets based on corn–soybean or corn–soybean–rapeseed meal were applied. In the experiments, we determined the levels of the blood serum thyroid hormones fT3 and fT4, as well as the morphological structure of the thyroid gland. In the second experiment, the concentration of immunoglobulins in blood serum was assayed. In both experiments, no influence of iodine source on thyroid hormone concentration was observed. However, increasing the iodine level in the full mixture and adding rapeseed meal in both experiments caused an increase in fT3 concentration. Increasing I-addition in both experiments led to a decrease in thyroid gland follicle diameter. Rapeseed meal inclusion (at a level of 10%) to the complete hen mixture led to an increase in thyroid gland follicle diameter. Applying KIO3 as an iodine source in both experiments caused a decrease in the thyroid gland height of follicle epithelial cells. Immunoglobulin concentrations in the serum were not affected by experimental factors. The results suggest that the methodologies of studies on the bioavailability of minerals and the corresponding analytical methods require unification. The lack of such standardization makes it impossible to engage in a satisfactory discussion of the results and exchange experiences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Role of Trace Element in Animal Health and Metabolic)
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11 pages, 718 KiB  
Article
Variability in Enteric Methane Emissions among Dairy Cows during Lactation
by Ali Hardan, Philip C. Garnsworthy and Matt J. Bell
Animals 2023, 13(1), 157; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13010157 - 31 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1862
Abstract
The aim of this study was to investigate variability in enteric CH4 emission rate and emissions per unit of milk across lactations among dairy cows on commercial farms in the UK. A total of 105,701 CH4 spot measurements were obtained from [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to investigate variability in enteric CH4 emission rate and emissions per unit of milk across lactations among dairy cows on commercial farms in the UK. A total of 105,701 CH4 spot measurements were obtained from 2206 mostly Holstein-Friesian cows on 18 dairy farms using robotic milking stations. Eleven farms fed a partial mixed ration (PMR) and 7 farms fed a PMR with grazing. Methane concentrations (ppm) were measured using an infrared CH4 analyser at 1s intervals in breath samples taken during milking. Signal processing was used to detect CH4 eructation peaks, with maximum peak amplitude being used to derive CH4 emission rate (g/min) during each milking. A multiple-experiment meta-analysis model was used to assess effects of farm, week of lactation, parity, diet, and dry matter intake (DMI) on average CH4 emissions (expressed in g/min and g/kg milk) per individual cow. Estimated mean enteric CH4 emissions across the 18 farms was 0.38 (s.e. 0.01) g/min, ranging from 0.2 to 0.6 g/min, and 25.6 (s.e. 0.5) g/kg milk, ranging from 15 to 42 g/kg milk. Estimated dry matter intake was positively correlated with emission rate, which was higher in grazing cows, and negatively correlated with emissions per kg milk and was most significant in PMR-fed cows. Mean CH4 emission rate increased over the first 9 weeks of lactation and then was steady until week 70. Older cows were associated with lower emissions per minute and per kg milk. Rank correlation for CH4 emissions among weeks of lactation was generally high. We conclude that CH4 emissions appear to change across and within lactations, but ranking of a herd remains consistent, which is useful for obtaining CH4 spot measurements. Full article
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9 pages, 876 KiB  
Article
The Spritztube: A New Device for the Extraglottic Intubation of Rabbits
by Carlotta Lambertini, Annamaria Grandis, Margherita De Silva, Ilaria Anna Cassano, Stefano Checcacci Carboni and Noemi Romagnoli
Animals 2023, 13(1), 156; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13010156 - 31 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1964
Abstract
The Spritztube (ST) is an extraglottic airway device developed for humans. The aim of the study was to design an ST for rabbits and to evaluate its feasibility. The study was divided into two phases. Phase I: anatomical study on 12 rabbit cadavers [...] Read more.
The Spritztube (ST) is an extraglottic airway device developed for humans. The aim of the study was to design an ST for rabbits and to evaluate its feasibility. The study was divided into two phases. Phase I: anatomical study on 12 rabbit cadavers to design 2 STs (8 and 10 Ch, external diameter) for rabbits. Phase II: fourteen privately owned rabbits were anaesthetised, and intubation was attempted using a ST. Tube size, the method for confirming the correct positioning, the number of attempts, the time needed for the correct positioning of the ST and complications were recorded. The ST placement was feasible in all rabbits. The positioning of the ST was completed in 2.1 ± 1 attempts in 43 ± 21.4 s. A correct placement was confirmed by the visualisation of the proximal cuff at visual inspection of the oral cavity (14/14), by the detection of the airflow (9/14 rabbits) and by the visualisation of a capnographic wave (14/14 rabbits). Only one rabbit developed respiratory distress after the ST placement. The results of the present study allowed designing a ST specific for rabbits which was used a supraglottic airway device for the maintenance of isoflurane anaesthesia in spontaneously breathing rabbits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Veterinary Clinical Studies)
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34 pages, 10056 KiB  
Article
Is the Lesser Khingan Suitable for the Amur Tiger Restoration? Perspectives with the Current State of the Habitat and Prey Base
by Anna Yachmennikova, Shibing Zhu, Ivan Kotlov, Robert Sandlersky, Qu Yi and Viatcheslav Rozhnov
Animals 2023, 13(1), 155; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13010155 - 30 Dec 2022
Viewed by 2506
Abstract
The Amur tiger (Panthera tigris) has a status of being endangered on the world’s IUCN red list. The northwestern part of its range is situated in Russia and China, where tigers were exterminated by humans in the 1950–1970s. To restore tiger [...] Read more.
The Amur tiger (Panthera tigris) has a status of being endangered on the world’s IUCN red list. The northwestern part of its range is situated in Russia and China, where tigers were exterminated by humans in the 1950–1970s. To restore tiger population within a historical range, an estimation of the habitat suitability is firstly needed. The Lesser Khingan mountains (Heilongjiang) was analyzed. Habitat types were mapped by satellite images analysis and field proven. The potential habitats of the main tiger’s prey species (wild boar (Sus scrofa), roe deer (Capreolus pygargus), and red deer (Cervus elaphus xanthopygus) were also assessed. Maximum entropy and linear discriminant analysis methods were applied and compared for species distribution modeling (SDM). Species distribution maps were used to design an ecological network. The fragmentation of habitat patches was evaluated by spatial ecological metrics. The habitat patches with the best metrics were assigned as cores for the ecological network, which were connected by calculated corridors. The least cost distance method (based on distance to roads and settlements) was used. The recovery of the Amur tiger in habitats of China’s Lesser Khingan is shown to be possible. Types of habitats were calculated as natural corridors for moving tigers. They are mainly located at the forests’ edges and characterized with various canopy structures and high variability in the tree species composition. Three potential transboundary corridors are described: (a) foothills and low mountains of the northern Lesser Khingan; (b) connection between the southeast Lesser Khingan and the western part of the Wandashan mountain system; and (c) corridor within foothills and low mountains of the eastern part of Lesser Khingan. It is recommended to establish protected areas for the important tiger core habitats, and the main optimal ways for their migrations are described during the current investigation. Moreover, it is necessary to implement habitat recovery activities for key areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animals in 2023)
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