Next Issue
Volume 13, June-2
Previous Issue
Volume 13, May-2
 
 

Animals, Volume 13, Issue 11 (June-1 2023) – 169 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Equine periodontal disease (EPD) is a painful oral inflammatory syndrome characterized by a multifactorial pathogenesis. Although it is well known that bacterial proliferation and consequent gingivitis are caused by the decomposition process of food residues, in hypsodont species, such as equids, the pathogenetic role and the different bacterial species involved in the progression of EPD must be fully clarified. This study examines the relationship between red complex bacteria (RCB, i.e., Treponema denticola, Tannerella forsythia, and Porphyromonas gingivalis), Fusobacterium nucleatum, Veilonella parvula, Prevotella intermedia, and periodontal disease, and other risk factors. View this paper
  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Reader to open them.
Order results
Result details
Section
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:
14 pages, 4350 KiB  
Article
Potential Application of Muscle Precursor Cells from Male Specific-Pathogen-Free (SPF) Chicken Embryos in In Vitro Agriculture
by Won-Seok Ju, Kangmin Seo, Bo-Ram Lee, Mi-Ryung Park, Min-Gook Lee, Sung-June Byun, Hyeon Yang, Youngim Kim and Sun-A Ock
Animals 2023, 13(11), 1887; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13111887 - 05 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1541
Abstract
This study examined the potential benefits of male specific-pathogen-free (SPF) White Leghorn embryos in cellular agriculture for sustainable and ethical poultry meat production—addressing traditional farming challenges, including disease outbreaks of Salmonella and Avian influenza. We isolated myogenic precursor cells (MPCs) from the thigh [...] Read more.
This study examined the potential benefits of male specific-pathogen-free (SPF) White Leghorn embryos in cellular agriculture for sustainable and ethical poultry meat production—addressing traditional farming challenges, including disease outbreaks of Salmonella and Avian influenza. We isolated myogenic precursor cells (MPCs) from the thigh muscles (Musculus femoris) of 12.5-day-old embryos from 10 SPF White Leghorns that tested negative for Salmonella. We randomly selected MPCs from three males and three females, isolated them using a modified pre-plating (pp) method, and compared their in vitro development. After 1 h (pp1) and 2 h (pp2) of incubation, they were transferred to a new dish to remove fast-adhering cells and cultured (pp3). Isolated MPCs had a 69% positive reaction to Pax7. During proliferation, no differences were observed in PAX7, MYF5, or MYOD expression between the male and female MPCs. However, after five days of differentiation, the expression of late myogenic factors—MYOG and MYF6—significantly increased in all MPCs. Notably, MYOG expression was 1.9 times higher in female than in male MPCs. This impacted MYMK’s expression pattern. Despite this, the myotube fusion index did not differ between the sexes. Muscle cells from male SPF-laying chicken embryos are promising for developing clean animal-cell-derived protein sources via resource recycling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Poultry)
Show Figures

Figure 1

15 pages, 1212 KiB  
Article
Uncovering Patterns in Dairy Cow Behaviour: A Deep Learning Approach with Tri-Axial Accelerometer Data
by Paolo Balasso, Cristian Taccioli, Lorenzo Serva, Luisa Magrin, Igino Andrighetto and Giorgio Marchesini
Animals 2023, 13(11), 1886; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13111886 - 05 Jun 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1793
Abstract
The accurate detection of behavioural changes represents a promising method of detecting the early onset of disease in dairy cows. This study assessed the performance of deep learning (DL) in classifying dairy cows’ behaviour from accelerometry data acquired by single sensors on the [...] Read more.
The accurate detection of behavioural changes represents a promising method of detecting the early onset of disease in dairy cows. This study assessed the performance of deep learning (DL) in classifying dairy cows’ behaviour from accelerometry data acquired by single sensors on the cows’ left flanks and compared the results with those obtained through classical machine learning (ML) from the same raw data. Twelve cows with a tri-axial accelerometer were observed for 136 ± 29 min each to detect five main behaviours: standing still, moving, feeding, ruminating and resting. For each 8 s time interval, 15 metrics were calculated, obtaining a dataset of 211,720 observation units and 15 columns. The entire dataset was randomly split into training (80%) and testing (20%) datasets. The DL accuracy, precision and sensitivity/recall were calculated and compared with the performance of classical ML models. The best predictive model was an 8-layer convolutional neural network (CNN) with an overall accuracy and F1 score equal to 0.96. The precision, sensitivity/recall and F1 score of single behaviours had the following ranges: 0.93–0.99. The CNN outperformed all the classical ML algorithms. The CNN used to monitor the cows’ conditions showed an overall high performance in successfully predicting multiple behaviours using a single accelerometer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modern Technology in Farm Animals’ Reproductive Services)
Show Figures

Figure 1

10 pages, 1127 KiB  
Article
Application of Enzyme-Linked Fluorescence Assay (ELFA) to Obtain In Vivo Matured Dog Oocytes through the Assessment of Progesterone Level
by Seunghoon Lee, Jin-Gu No, Bong-Hwan Choi, Dong-Kyo Kim, Namwoong Hyung, JongJu Park, Mi-Kyoung Choi, Dong-Hyeon Yeom, Juyoung Ji, Dong-Hoon Kim and Jae Gyu Yoo
Animals 2023, 13(11), 1885; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13111885 - 05 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1417
Abstract
Successful dog cloning requires a sufficient number of in vivo matured oocytes as recipient oocytes for reconstructing embryos. The accurate prediction of the ovulation day in estrus bitches is critical for collecting mature oocytes. Traditionally, a specific serum progesterone (P4) range in the [...] Read more.
Successful dog cloning requires a sufficient number of in vivo matured oocytes as recipient oocytes for reconstructing embryos. The accurate prediction of the ovulation day in estrus bitches is critical for collecting mature oocytes. Traditionally, a specific serum progesterone (P4) range in the radioimmunoassay (RIA) system has been used for the prediction of ovulation. In this study, we investigated the use of an enzyme-linked fluorescence assay (ELFA) system for the measurement of P4. Serum samples of estrus bitches were analyzed using both RIA and ELFA, and the measured P4 values of ELFA were sorted into 11 groups based on the standard concentration measured in RIA and compared. In addition, to examine the tendency of changes in the P4 values in each system, the P4 values on ovulation day (from D − 6 to D + 1) in both systems were compared. The ELFA range of 5.0–12.0 ng/mL was derived from the RIA standard range of 4.0–8.0 ng/mL. The rates of acquired matured oocytes in RIA and ELFA were 55.47% and 65.19%, respectively. The ELFA system successfully produced cloned puppies after the transfer of the reconstructed cloned oocytes. Our findings suggest that the ELFA system is suitable for obtaining in vivo matured oocytes for dog cloning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Small Animal Endocrinology and Reproductive Physiology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

17 pages, 1339 KiB  
Article
Camera Trap Methods and Drone Thermal Surveillance Provide Reliable, Comparable Density Estimates of Large, Free-Ranging Ungulates
by Robert W. Baldwin, Jared T. Beaver, Max Messinger, Jeffrey Muday, Matt Windsor, Gregory D. Larsen, Miles R. Silman and T. Michael Anderson
Animals 2023, 13(11), 1884; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13111884 - 05 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1748
Abstract
Camera traps and drone surveys both leverage advancing technologies to study dynamic wildlife populations with little disturbance. Both techniques entail strengths and weaknesses, and common camera trap methods can be confounded by unrealistic assumptions and prerequisite conditions. We compared three methods to estimate [...] Read more.
Camera traps and drone surveys both leverage advancing technologies to study dynamic wildlife populations with little disturbance. Both techniques entail strengths and weaknesses, and common camera trap methods can be confounded by unrealistic assumptions and prerequisite conditions. We compared three methods to estimate the population density of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virgnianus) in a section of Pilot Mountain State Park, NC, USA: (1) camera trapping using mark–resight ratios or (2) N-mixture modeling and (3) aerial thermal videography from a drone platform. All three methods yielded similar density estimates, suggesting that they converged on an accurate estimate. We also included environmental covariates in the N-mixture modeling to explore spatial habitat use, and we fit models for each season to understand temporal changes in population density. Deer occurred in greater densities on warmer, south-facing slopes in the autumn and winter and on cooler north-facing slopes and in areas with flatter terrain in the summer. Seasonal density estimates over two years suggested an annual cycle of higher densities in autumn and winter than in summer, indicating that the region may function as a refuge during the hunting season. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Ecology, Management and Conservation of Vertebrates)
Show Figures

Figure 1

14 pages, 1339 KiB  
Review
How Does Nutrition Affect the Epigenetic Changes in Dairy Cows?
by Ana Lesta, Pablo Jesús Marín-García and Lola Llobat
Animals 2023, 13(11), 1883; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13111883 - 05 Jun 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1808
Abstract
Dairy cows require a balanced diet that provides enough nutrients to support milk production, growth, and reproduction. Inadequate nutrition can lead to metabolic disorders, impaired fertility, and reduced milk yield. Recent studies have shown that nutrition can affect epigenetic modifications in dairy cows, [...] Read more.
Dairy cows require a balanced diet that provides enough nutrients to support milk production, growth, and reproduction. Inadequate nutrition can lead to metabolic disorders, impaired fertility, and reduced milk yield. Recent studies have shown that nutrition can affect epigenetic modifications in dairy cows, which can impact gene expression and affect the cows’ health and productivity. One of the most important epigenetic modifications in dairy cows is DNA methylation, which involves the addition of a methyl group to the DNA molecule. Studies have shown that the methylation status of certain genes in dairy cows can be influenced by dietary factors such as the level of methionine, lysine, choline, and folate in the diet. Other important epigenetic modifications in dairy cows are histone modification and microRNAs as regulators of gene expression. Overall, these findings suggest that nutrition can have a significant impact on the epigenetic regulation of gene expression in dairy cows. By optimizing the diet of dairy cows, it may be possible to improve their health and productivity by promoting beneficial epigenetic modifications. This paper reviews the main nutrients that can cause epigenetic changes in dairy cattle by analyzing the effect of diet on milk production and its composition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cattle)
Show Figures

Figure 1

13 pages, 950 KiB  
Article
Anthelmintic Treatment and the Stability of Parasite Distribution in Ruminants
by Eric R. Morgan, Anne Segonds-Pichon, Hubert Ferté, Patrick Duncan and Jacques Cabaret
Animals 2023, 13(11), 1882; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13111882 - 05 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 999
Abstract
Parasites are generally overdispersed among their hosts, with far-reaching implications for their population dynamics and control. The factors determining parasite overdispersion have long been debated. In particular, stochastic parasite acquisition and individual host variation in density-dependent regulation through acquired host immunity have been [...] Read more.
Parasites are generally overdispersed among their hosts, with far-reaching implications for their population dynamics and control. The factors determining parasite overdispersion have long been debated. In particular, stochastic parasite acquisition and individual host variation in density-dependent regulation through acquired host immunity have been identified as key factors, but their relative roles and possible interactions have seen little empirical exploration in parasite populations. Here, Taylor’s power law is applied to test the hypothesis that periodic parasite removal destabilises the host-parasite relationship and increases variance in parasite burden around the mean. The slope of the power relationship was compared by analysis of covariance among 325 nematode populations in wild and domestic ruminants, exploiting that domestic ruminants are often routinely treated against parasite infections. In Haemonchus spp. and Trichostrongylus axei in domestic livestock, the slope increased with the frequency of anthelmintic treatment, supporting this hypothesis. In Nematodirus spp., against which acquired immunity is known to be strong, the slope was significantly greater in post-mortem worm burden data than in faecal egg counts, while this relationship did not hold for the less immunogenic genus Marshallagia. Considered together, these findings suggest that immunity acting through an exposure-dependent reduction in parasite fecundity stabilises variance in faecal egg counts, reducing overdispersion, and that periodic anthelmintic treatment interferes with this process and increases overdispersion. The results have implications for the diagnosis and control of parasitic infections in domestic animals, which are complicated by overdispersion, and for our understanding of parasite distribution in free-living wildlife. Parasite-host systems, in which treatment and immunity effectively mimic metapopulation processes of patch extinction and density dependence, could also yield general insights into the spatio-temporal stability of animal distributions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Small Ruminants)
Show Figures

Figure 1

15 pages, 1452 KiB  
Article
Genetic Diversity Analysis of the Red Swamp Crayfish Procambarus clarkii in Three Cultured Populations Based on Microsatellite Markers
by Jiaqing Liu, Yunfei Sun, Qianqian Chen, Miaomiao Wang, Qin Li, Wenzong Zhou and Yongxu Cheng
Animals 2023, 13(11), 1881; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13111881 - 05 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1227
Abstract
With the increasing scale of crayfish breeding, the self-propagation and “catch large and keep small” breeding patterns have led to serious degradation of the fry, so the selection and breeding of high-quality fry is very important. Selecting a population with a high genetic [...] Read more.
With the increasing scale of crayfish breeding, the self-propagation and “catch large and keep small” breeding patterns have led to serious degradation of the fry, so the selection and breeding of high-quality fry is very important. Selecting a population with a high genetic diversity as the base population for breeding can greatly improve the breeding efficiency. Fifteen microsatellite loci were used to understand the genetic structure and diversity of three Procambarus clarkii populations in Chongming, Shanghai; Gaoyou, Jiangsu; and Xuancheng, Anhui. The results indicated that the three populations were diverse and the number of alleles, observed heterozygosity, expected heterozygosity, Shannon information index, and polymorphic information content ranged from 4.8 to 6.2, 0.5567 to 0.6257, 0.6166 to 0.7086, 1.1292 to 1.3987, and 0.5446 to 0.6452, respectively. The Xuancheng population had the highest genetic diversity. The genetic differentiation coefficient and gene flow of the three populations were between 0.0553 and 0.1068 and 2.0908 and 4.2708, respectively, and there was extensive genetic exchange between the Chongming and Xuancheng populations. Analyses of molecular variance indicated that the genetic variation was mainly within the population (91.51%) and inter-population genetic variation accounted for 8.49%. The unweighted pair group method with an arithmetic mean clustering map was utilised based on the genetic distance between groups, and the results showed that the Gaoyou group was grouped alone, while the Chongming and Xuancheng groups were clustered together. The structural results indicated that the Chongming and Xuancheng groups had the same origin, although the Xuancheng group possessed a more complex genetic structure. This study indicated that all three populations had a high genetic diversity, with the Xuancheng population exhibiting the highest diversity. The results of the study provide a reference for the selection of base populations in breeding programs and confirm that the Xuancheng population in Anhui has a better genetic background. The selection of the Xuancheng population as one of the base populations for genetic breeding will be more efficient to accumulate superior traits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics and Breeding of Crustaceans)
Show Figures

Figure 1

10 pages, 784 KiB  
Article
Genome-Wide Association Study Identifies the Crucial Candidate Genes for Teat Number in Crossbred Commercial Pigs
by Lijuan Yang, Xuehua Li, Zhanwei Zhuang, Shenping Zhou, Jie Wu, Cineng Xu, Donglin Ruan, Yibin Qiu, Hua Zhao, Enqin Zheng, Gengyuan Cai, Zhenfang Wu and Jie Yang
Animals 2023, 13(11), 1880; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13111880 - 05 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1142
Abstract
The number of teats is a crucial reproductive trait with significant economic implications on maternal capacity and litter size. Consequently, improving this trait is essential to facilitate genetic selection for increased litter size. In this study, we performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) [...] Read more.
The number of teats is a crucial reproductive trait with significant economic implications on maternal capacity and litter size. Consequently, improving this trait is essential to facilitate genetic selection for increased litter size. In this study, we performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of the number of teats in a three-way crossbred commercial Duroc × (Landrace × Yorkshire) (DLY) pig population comprising 1518 animals genotyped with the 50K BeadChip. Our analysis identified crucial quantitative trait loci (QTL) for the number of teats, containing the ABCD4 and VRTN genes on porcine chromosome 7. Our results establish SNP variants of ABCD4 and VRTN as new molecular markers for improving the number of teats in DLY pigs. Furthermore, the most significant noteworthy single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) (7_97568284) was identified within the ABCD4 gene, exhibiting a significant association with the total teat number traits. This SNP accounted for a substantial proportion of the genetic variance, explaining 6.64% of the observed variation. These findings reveal a novel gene on SSC7 for the number of teats and provide a deeper understanding of the genetic mechanisms underlying reproductive traits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Mechanisms Affecting Important Traits of Pigs)
Show Figures

Figure 1

12 pages, 3951 KiB  
Article
Recombinant Dense Granule Protein (NcGRA4) Is a Novel Serological Marker for Neospora caninum Infection in Goats
by Ruenruetai Udonsom, Aongart Mahittikorn, Apichai Prachasuphap, Kodcharad Jongpitisub, Panadda Dhepakson and Charoonluk Jirapattharasate
Animals 2023, 13(11), 1879; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13111879 - 05 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1163
Abstract
Neospora caninum is widely recognised as one of the most significant causes of abortion in cattle, with infections also occurring in sheep and goats. To prevent and control animal neosporosis, it is crucial to develop sensitive and specific methods for detecting N. caninum [...] Read more.
Neospora caninum is widely recognised as one of the most significant causes of abortion in cattle, with infections also occurring in sheep and goats. To prevent and control animal neosporosis, it is crucial to develop sensitive and specific methods for detecting N. caninum infection. Recently, several recombinant proteins have been utilised in serological assays for the diagnosis of neosporosis. In this study, we used commercial gene synthesis to produce dense granular antigen 4 (NcGRA4) recombinant protein. NcGRA4 plasmids were expressed in the Escherichia coli system and then purified. The purified recombinant protein was analysed using sodium dodecyl sulphate–polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. To evaluate the diagnostic potential of recombinant NcGRA4 protein, we tested 214 serum samples from goat farms via indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (iELISA) and compared the results to those from the indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT). Western blotting analysis revealed a single NcGRA4 band with an expected molecular weight of 32 kDa. The specific IgG against N. caninum was detected in 34.1% and 35% of samples evaluated by NcGRA4 iELISA and IFAT, respectively. The sensitivity and specificity of the NcGRA4 iELISA were 71.6% and 86.3%, respectively, when compared with the results from IFAT. Our results demonstrate that a recombinant protein that can be used to detect animal neosporosis can be produced using a synthetic NcGRA4 gene. Overall, recombinant NcGRA4 shows promise as a sensitive and specific serological marker for identifying target IgG in goat samples. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

18 pages, 1891 KiB  
Article
Genetic Diversity and Population Structure of Bulgarian Autochthonous Sheep Breeds Revealed by Microsatellite Analysis
by Yanka Mihailova, Krasimir Rusanov, Mila Rusanova, Pavlina Vassileva, Ivan Atanassov, Vasil Nikolov and Elena G. Todorovska
Animals 2023, 13(11), 1878; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13111878 - 05 Jun 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1303
Abstract
This study attempts to provide a deeper insight into the current genetic status of 12 Bulgarian autochthonous sheep breeds using microsatellite (SSR) markers. A total of 600 individuals from 50 flocks were analyzed using a panel of 13 SSR markers. In total, 228 [...] Read more.
This study attempts to provide a deeper insight into the current genetic status of 12 Bulgarian autochthonous sheep breeds using microsatellite (SSR) markers. A total of 600 individuals from 50 flocks were analyzed using a panel of 13 SSR markers. In total, 228 alleles were found in the studied microsatellite loci. The mean number of alleles, the effective number of alleles, and the polymorphic information content (PIC) values per locus were 17.54, 5.250, and 0.799, respectively. The expected heterozygosity (He) for all breeds ranged from 0.70 to 0.82. The within-population heterozygote deficit (Fis) varied from −0.03 to 0.1, reflecting significant levels for 10 of the 12 breeds. The average genetic differentiation (Fst) was 0.046, revealing a low discrimination between the breeds. The genetic distance, principal coordinate analysis, and the structure analysis showed that two of the studied breeds—Local Stara Zagora/SZ/ and Local Karnobat/MK/—were the most distinct sheep populations. The Bayesian clustering approach suggested poor breed differentiation for the remaining 10 sheep breeds. The results suggest that proper management strategies and specific breeding policies need to be implemented in Bulgaria to avoid the intermixing of breeds and to reduce the erosion of breed purity observed in some breeds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Genetics and Genomics)
Show Figures

Figure 1

13 pages, 1763 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Yeast Hydrolysate in a Low-Fishmeal Diet for Whiteleg Shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei)
by Ali Hamidoghli, Yein Lee, Soyeon Hwang, Wonsuk Choi, Youn-Hee Choi and Sungchul C. Bai
Animals 2023, 13(11), 1877; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13111877 - 05 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1344
Abstract
An eight-week feeding trial was performed to evaluate the effects of yeast hydrolysate (YH) supplementation in a low-fishmeal diet on the growth, immune responses, intestinal histology and disease resistance of whiteleg shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei). Five experimental diets were produced by supplementing [...] Read more.
An eight-week feeding trial was performed to evaluate the effects of yeast hydrolysate (YH) supplementation in a low-fishmeal diet on the growth, immune responses, intestinal histology and disease resistance of whiteleg shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei). Five experimental diets were produced by supplementing YH at 0 (CON), 0.5 (YH0.5), 1 (YH1), 2 (YH2) and 4 (YH4) % to a basal diet containing 10% fishmeal and compared with a positive control with 25% fishmeal (FM25). Shrimp with an initial average weight of 0.43 ± 0.005 g (mean ± SD) were stocked in 18 tanks and fed the experimental diets (38% protein and 8% lipid) four times a day. Results showed that shrimp fed the FM25 diet exhibited significantly higher final body weight, weight gain, specific growth rate and protein efficiency ratio than those fed CON, YH0.5, YH1 and YH2 diets (p < 0.05). However, there were no significant differences between shrimp fed the YH4 and FM25 diets (p > 0.05). In addition, there were no significant differences in whole-body proximate composition, hemolymph biochemical parameters and non-specific immune responses among treatments. Intestinal villi length and muscular layer thickness of shrimp fed the YH4 and FM25 diets were significantly higher than the other groups. At the end of the bacterial (Vibrio parahaemolyticus) challenge test, shrimp fed YH4 and FM25 diets showed a significantly higher survival rate than those of shrimp fed CON, YH0.5 and YH1 (p < 0.05). These results suggest that supplementing 4% YH in diet containing 10% fishmeal could beneficially influence growth, intestinal morphology and disease resistance of whiteleg shrimp. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutritional Management to Promote Responsible Aquaculture)
Show Figures

Figure 1

12 pages, 910 KiB  
Article
Grape Seed Extract as a Feed Additive Improves the Growth Performance, Ruminal Fermentation and Immunity of Weaned Beef Calves
by Jian Ma, Xue Fan, Wenjie Zhang, Guangxian Zhou, Fuquan Yin, Zhihui Zhao and Shangquan Gan
Animals 2023, 13(11), 1876; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13111876 - 05 Jun 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1365
Abstract
The purpose of this research was to evaluate effects of grape seed extract (Gse) supplementation on the growth performance; ruminal fermentation; nutrient digestibility; and serum biochemical, antioxidative, and immune parameters of weaned beef calves. A total of 30 Simmental crossbred male calves with [...] Read more.
The purpose of this research was to evaluate effects of grape seed extract (Gse) supplementation on the growth performance; ruminal fermentation; nutrient digestibility; and serum biochemical, antioxidative, and immune parameters of weaned beef calves. A total of 30 Simmental crossbred male calves with similar age and body weight were randomly allocated to two groups: a control group with no Gse (CON) and a Gse supplementation group (GSE) (4 g/d Gse per animal). The results show that, compared with the CON group, the average daily gain significantly increased (p = 0.043) in the GSE group. The ruminal contents of microbial protein and butyrate in GSE group were higher (p < 0.05) than those in the CON group. Additionally, calves fed Gse displayed increased (p < 0.05) dry matter and neutral detergent fiber digestibility. Moreover, the serum concentrations of triglyceride, catalase, superoxide dismutase, immunoglobulin G and immunoglobulin M were higher (p < 0.05) in the GSE group than those in the CON group. However, opposite tendencies of non-esterified fatty acid, malondialdehyde, tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin-6 were found between the two groups. Overall, the supplementation of Gse can improve ruminal fermentation, nutrient digestibility, antioxidant ability, and immunity, as well as promoting the healthy growth of weaned cross-breed beef calves. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cattle)
Show Figures

Figure 1

14 pages, 2713 KiB  
Article
Characterization of Chromatin Accessibility in Fetal Bovine Chondrocytes
by Qi Zhang, Qian Li, Yahui Wang, Yapeng Zhang, Ruiqi Peng, Zezhao Wang, Bo Zhu, Lingyang Xu, Xue Gao, Yan Chen, Huijiang Gao, Junwei Hu, Cong Qian, Minghao Ma, Rui Duan, Junya Li and Lupei Zhang
Animals 2023, 13(11), 1875; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13111875 - 05 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1442
Abstract
Despite significant advances of the bovine epigenome investigation, new evidence for the epigenetic basis of fetal cartilage development remains lacking. In this study, the chondrocytes were isolated from long bone tissues of bovine fetuses at 90 days. The Assay for Transposase-Accessible Chromatin with [...] Read more.
Despite significant advances of the bovine epigenome investigation, new evidence for the epigenetic basis of fetal cartilage development remains lacking. In this study, the chondrocytes were isolated from long bone tissues of bovine fetuses at 90 days. The Assay for Transposase-Accessible Chromatin with high throughput sequencing (ATAC-seq) and transcriptome sequencing (RNA-seq) were used to characterize gene expression and chromatin accessibility profile in bovine chondrocytes. A total of 9686 open chromatin regions in bovine fetal chondrocytes were identified and 45% of the peaks were enriched in the promoter regions. Then, all peaks were annotated to the nearest gene for Gene Ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encylopaedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) analysis. Growth and development-related processes such as amide biosynthesis process (GO: 0043604) and translation regulation (GO: 006417) were enriched in the GO analysis. The KEGG analysis enriched endoplasmic reticulum protein processing signal pathway, TGF-β signaling pathway and cell cycle pathway, which are closely related to protein synthesis and processing during cell proliferation. Active transcription factors (TFs) were enriched by ATAC-seq, and were fully verified with gene expression levels obtained by RNA-seq. Among the top50 TFs from footprint analysis, known or potential cartilage development-related transcription factors FOS, FOSL2 and NFY were found. Overall, our data provide a theoretical basis for further determining the regulatory mechanism of cartilage development in bovine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cattle)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

17 pages, 3389 KiB  
Article
Validation of Calcein Violet as a New Marker of Semen Membrane Integrity in Domestic Animals
by Sophie Egyptien, Benjamin Dewals, Fabien Ectors, Flore Brutinel, Jérôme Ponthier and Stéfan Deleuze
Animals 2023, 13(11), 1874; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13111874 - 04 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1638
Abstract
Many fluorochromes routinely used in semen quality analysis emit in the green and red channels, limiting their possible combination for multiple parameter analysis. The use of fluorophores emitting in different light channels broadens the possibilities of combination to expand the range of simultaneously [...] Read more.
Many fluorochromes routinely used in semen quality analysis emit in the green and red channels, limiting their possible combination for multiple parameter analysis. The use of fluorophores emitting in different light channels broadens the possibilities of combination to expand the range of simultaneously evaluated criteria. This is of great interest in cases of small ejaculated volumes, such as those naturally occurring in roosters, small dog breeds and drones (Apis mellifera). The purpose of this experiment is to establish Calcein Violet (CaV), a blue fluorochrome, as a marker of viability and acrosomal integrity in domestic animals in order to free the red and green channels. SYBR®14/Propidium Iodide (PI) was used as reference dye, heat-treated samples as negative controls, serial staining combination for validation and epifluorescence microscopy for observation. Dead spermatozoa marked in red with PI showed no blue fluorescence either from the head or the tail. Live spermatozoa showed a decreasing blue emission from head to tail when single stained with CaV. Unreacted acrosomes showed intense blue fluorescence irrespective of plasma membrane integrity. This needs to be further confirmed for species with small and difficult to observe heads. Establishment of CaV as a marker of membrane integrity by fluorescence microscopy is a decisive first step towards further technical development and use with flow cytometry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Reproduction)
Show Figures

Figure 1

19 pages, 647 KiB  
Article
First Toxicological Analysis of the Pufferfish Sphoeroides pachygaster Collected in Italian Waters (Strait of Sicily): Role of Citizens Science in Monitoring Toxic Marine Species
by Chiara Malloggi, Biagio Rizzo, Alice Giusti, Lisa Guardone, Laura Gasperetti, Sonia Dall’Ara and Andrea Armani
Animals 2023, 13(11), 1873; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13111873 - 04 Jun 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1693
Abstract
Pufferfish (Tetraodontidae) inhabiting the Mediterranean Sea may represent an emerging public health risk due to the possible accumulation of marine neurotoxins such as tetrodotoxin (TTXs) and saxitoxin (STXs) in their tissues. In this study, the presence of pufferfish species in the Strait of [...] Read more.
Pufferfish (Tetraodontidae) inhabiting the Mediterranean Sea may represent an emerging public health risk due to the possible accumulation of marine neurotoxins such as tetrodotoxin (TTXs) and saxitoxin (STXs) in their tissues. In this study, the presence of pufferfish species in the Strait of Sicily (Lampedusa Island, Italy) was investigated using a citizen science (CS) approach, involving local fishermen. Samples (liver, intestine, gonads, muscle, skin) from 20 specimens were sent to the National Reference Laboratory on Marine Biotoxins for TTXs detection using a validated HILIC-MS/MS method on fish tissue. The presence of STXs was also screened in part of the specimens. Overall, 56 specimens identified as Sphoeroides pachygaster (Müller &Troschel, 1848) were collected. Data on their total length, body weight, fishing method and catch area (with relative depth temperature and salinity) were analyzed and compared with the S. pachygaster records reported in literature which were updated to 2022. All the analysed tissues were found to be negative for both TTXs and STXs. CS played an essential role in monitoring potentially toxic marine species in this investigation. Outcomes from this study, which is the first investigating S. pachygaster toxicity in Italian waters, may provide useful data for the proper assessment of this emerging risk. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Aquatic Animals)
Show Figures

Figure 1

15 pages, 1503 KiB  
Article
Hoof Expansion, Deformation, and Surface Strains Vary with Horseshoe Nail Positions
by Vanessa E. Dahl, Ellen R. Singer, Tanya C. Garcia, David A. Hawkins and Susan M. Stover
Animals 2023, 13(11), 1872; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13111872 - 04 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1481
Abstract
Racehorses are susceptible to underrun heel hoof conformation. Racehorses are often shod with nails placed toward the heel. It is unknown if palmar nails restrict or alter hoof deformation in a manner that could promote the development of underrun heel conformation over time [...] Read more.
Racehorses are susceptible to underrun heel hoof conformation. Racehorses are often shod with nails placed toward the heel. It is unknown if palmar nails restrict or alter hoof deformation in a manner that could promote the development of underrun heel conformation over time with repeated loading. To determine how the addition of palmar nails affects heel deformation during limb loading, hoof expansion and hoof wall deformations were quantified using rosette strain gauges and kinematic markers during in the vitro limb loading of cadaveric limbs that simulated midstance for walk, trot, and canter loads. Nail treatments used to attach a horseshoe to the hoof included: toe nails (T), toe and quarter nails (TQ), and toe, quarter, and heel nails (TQH). The effects of nail treatment on heel expansion and hoof wall deformations were assessed using repeated measures analysis of variance (p < 0.05). Nails placed palmar to the quarters of the hoof decreased heel expansion (p < 0.001). Heel nails resulted in the largest changes in hoof wall principal strain directions distally. The application of nails palmar to the hoof quarters alters hoof wall deformation during limb loading. The continued loading of the hoof with palmer nails could alter hoof conformation over time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health, Safety, and Welfare in Horse Racing)
Show Figures

Figure 1

13 pages, 992 KiB  
Article
Measurement of Methane and Ammonia Emissions from Compost-Bedded Pack Systems in Dairy Barns: Tilling Effect and Seasonal Variations
by Esperanza Fuertes, Joaquim Balcells, Jordi Maynegre, Gabriel de la Fuente, Laura Sarri and Ahmad Reza Seradj
Animals 2023, 13(11), 1871; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13111871 - 04 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1283
Abstract
Dairy cattle contribute to environmental harm as a source of polluting gas emissions, mainly of enteric origin, but also from manure management, which varies among housing systems. Compost-bedded pack systems use manure as bedding material, which is composted in situ daily. As current [...] Read more.
Dairy cattle contribute to environmental harm as a source of polluting gas emissions, mainly of enteric origin, but also from manure management, which varies among housing systems. Compost-bedded pack systems use manure as bedding material, which is composted in situ daily. As current literature referring to their impact on NH3 and CH4 emissions is scarce, this study aims to characterize the emissions of these two gases originating from three barns of this system, differentiating between two emission phases: static emission and dynamic emission. In addition, the experiment differentiated emissions between winter and summer. Dynamic emission, corresponding to the time of the day when the bed is being composted, increased over 3 and 60 times the static emission of NH3 and CH4, respectively. In terms of absolute emissions, both gases presented higher emissions during summer (1.86 to 4.08 g NH3 m−2 day−1 and 1.0 to 4.75 g CH4 m−2 day−1 for winter and summer, respectively). In this way, contaminant gases produced during the tilling process of the manure, especially during the warmer periods of the year, need to be taken into account as they work as a significant factor in emissions derived from compost-bedded pack systems. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

18 pages, 5157 KiB  
Article
Transcriptomics in Rare Minnow (Gobiocypris rarus) towards Attenuated and Virulent Grass Carp Reovirus Genotype II Infection
by Jie Ma, Chen Xu, Nan Jiang, Yan Meng, Yong Zhou, Mingyang Xue, Wenzhi Liu, Yiqun Li and Yuding Fan
Animals 2023, 13(11), 1870; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13111870 - 04 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1149
Abstract
Grass carp reovirus genotype Ⅱ (GCRV Ⅱ) causes a variety of fish hemorrhagic disease, which seriously affects the sustainable development of grass carp aquaculture in China. Rare minnow (Gobiocypris rarus) is an ideal model fish to study the pathogenesis of GCRV [...] Read more.
Grass carp reovirus genotype Ⅱ (GCRV Ⅱ) causes a variety of fish hemorrhagic disease, which seriously affects the sustainable development of grass carp aquaculture in China. Rare minnow (Gobiocypris rarus) is an ideal model fish to study the pathogenesis of GCRV Ⅱ. To investigate the involved molecular responses against the GCRV Ⅱ infection, we performed comparative transcriptomic analysis in the spleen and liver of rare minnow injected with virulent strain DY197 and attenuated strain QJ205. Results showed that the virulent DY197 strain induced more differently expressed genes (DEGs) than the attenuated QJ205 strain, and tissue-specific responses were induced. In the spleen, the attenuated and virulent strains induced different DEGs; the attenuated QJ205 infection activated steroid synthesis pathway that involved in membrane formation; however, virulent DY197 infection activated innate immunity and apoptosis related pathways while suppressing cell proliferation and migration related pathways that are important for damage tissue repair, as well as hemorrhage related pathways. In the liver, the attenuated and virulent strains infection induced similar DEGs; both strains infection activated immunity and apoptosis related pathways but suppressed metabolism-related pathways; virulent DY197 infection especially activated protein digestion and absorption-related pathways and suppressed steroid synthesis pathway. To conclude, virulent strain infection especially induced tissue-specific alterations and caused severe suppression of hemorrhage-related pathways in spleen. Our findings will contribute to better understanding of the interactions between host and GCRV II. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aquatic Animal Virus, Disease and Immunity)
Show Figures

Figure 1

11 pages, 267 KiB  
Article
Psychological Stress Is Associated with Increased Cancer Risk in Dogs
by Isain Zapata, Alexander W. Eyre and Carlos E. Alvarez
Animals 2023, 13(11), 1869; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13111869 - 03 Jun 2023
Viewed by 2903
Abstract
Although there is evidence that psychological stress may be associated with increased cancer risk, the effect of stress on cancer risk is difficult to study, both in humans, due to socioeconomic factors, and in animal models, due to questionable biological relevance. Here, we [...] Read more.
Although there is evidence that psychological stress may be associated with increased cancer risk, the effect of stress on cancer risk is difficult to study, both in humans, due to socioeconomic factors, and in animal models, due to questionable biological relevance. Here, we test whether heritable canine temperament that increases psychological stress is associated with cancer risk. The study data are breed-specific averages of incidences of multiple cancer types and of temperament classes. The latter are derived from a latent class analysis of behavioral questionnaires completed by owners (C-BARQ). We thus classified the dogs according to whether they are calm vs. reactive within and across breeds. Using meta-analysis approaches, we modeled the risk of multiple cancer types in calm vs. reactive dogs. We adjusted for breed averages of body mass and lifespan, which are common confounders that impact cancer. Our study confirms that body size has a significant effect of on risk of multiple types of cancers in dogs and shows for the first time that temperament also has a moderate effect. These findings suggest dog models of heritable psychological stress are suitable for molecular epidemiological and translational studies on its effects on cancer risk. Full article
12 pages, 3705 KiB  
Article
Effects of 3-Hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors on Cholesterol Metabolism in Laying Hens
by Huanbin Wang, Kuntan Wu, Xiaomei Mi, Shahid Ali Rajput and Desheng Qi
Animals 2023, 13(11), 1868; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13111868 - 03 Jun 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1207
Abstract
This study aimed to investigate the effect of HMGCR inhibitors on egg yolk cholesterol content and its biological mechanisms. Four groups of 180-day-old laying hens (n = 8 cages/group, 6 laying hens/cage) were fed a corn/soybean-based diet (control) and the control diet [...] Read more.
This study aimed to investigate the effect of HMGCR inhibitors on egg yolk cholesterol content and its biological mechanisms. Four groups of 180-day-old laying hens (n = 8 cages/group, 6 laying hens/cage) were fed a corn/soybean-based diet (control) and the control diet supplemented with an HMGCR inhibitor at 60, 150, and 300 mg/kg for 4 weeks. The experimental results showed that adding HMGCR inhibitors of 150 mg/kg or more can significantly reduce the cholesterol content in the liver, yolk, serum, and pectoral muscles of laying hens. The RNA-seq results showed that compared with the control group, the addition of HMGCR inhibitors of 150 mg/kg or more to the diet significantly upregulated genes related to cholesterol synthesis in the liver, and the genes involved in steroid synthesis and metabolism, sterol synthesis and metabolism, and cholesterol synthesis and metabolism were all affected by the HMGCR inhibitors. In summary, adding HMGCR inhibitors of 150 mg/kg or more to the diet of hens can significantly reduce the cholesterol content in egg yolk. After the HMGCR inhibitors inhibited the activity of the liver HMGCR, they also altered the expression of genes related to cholesterol synthesis, bile acid synthesis, and cholesterol transport in the liver, and ultimately reduced cholesterol synthesis and cholesterol transport to the egg yolk. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Nutrition)
Show Figures

Figure 1

12 pages, 972 KiB  
Article
Molecular Survey and Genetic Characteristics of Vector-Borne Pathogens in Domestic Dogs from Four Regions of China
by Fangyuan Yin, Chuanjiang Guo, Dong Li, Zhuojia Tian and Facai Li
Animals 2023, 13(11), 1867; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13111867 - 03 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1278
Abstract
Canine vector-borne diseases are widely distributed around the world. They are transmitted by arthropods, and many seriously threaten the health of animals and humans. In China, our knowledge of Ehrlichia, Hepatozoon, and Mycoplasma species circulating in dogs is still poorly understood. [...] Read more.
Canine vector-borne diseases are widely distributed around the world. They are transmitted by arthropods, and many seriously threaten the health of animals and humans. In China, our knowledge of Ehrlichia, Hepatozoon, and Mycoplasma species circulating in dogs is still poorly understood. Therefore, the aim of this study was to understand the prevalence and genetic characteristics of canine Ehrlichia spp., Hepatozoon spp., and Mycoplasma spp. in Chongqing (southwest), Fujian (southeast), Shandong (southeast), and Hubei (central) Provinces of China. Blood samples from healthy pet dogs were processed to detect Ehrlichia, Hepatozoon, and Mycoplasma DNA with PCR. Haplotype and phylogenetic analyses were performed on 18S rRNA sequences. Among 306 dogs, no Ehrlichia spp. or Mycoplasma spp. were detected, whereas one Hepatozoon sp. was detected in 10 (3.27%) of the animals. Only Hepatozoon canis was identified and was endemic to Chongqing (2.46%) and Hubei (8.77%). A haplotype analysis identified eight haplotypes among the H. canis isolates. A phylogenetic analysis showed that the H. canis isolates in this study clustered into four clades, together with isolates from different countries and hosts, forming a large group that was clearly separate from other Hepatozoon species. These findings provided new information on the epidemiological characteristics of canine vector-borne diseases in China and will be helpful in the development of efficient measures to safeguard the health and well-being of companion animals and their owners. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Parasitic Diseases in Canines and Felines and Their Vectors)
Show Figures

Figure 1

20 pages, 349 KiB  
Article
Effects of Amount and Profile of Amino Acids Supply on Lactation Performance, Mammary Gland Metabolism, and Nitrogen Efficiency in Holstein Dairy Cows
by Marina A. C. Danes, Eduardo M. Paula, Claudia Parys, Gleiciele M. Souza, João Pedro A. Rezende, Glen A. Broderick and Michel A. Wattiaux
Animals 2023, 13(11), 1866; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13111866 - 03 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1121
Abstract
To evaluate the effects of amount and profile of amino acid (AA) on milk protein yield (MPY), mammary metabolism, and efficiency of nitrogen use (ENU), ten cows were used in 5 × 5 replicated Latin squares and fed a positive control (16.1% crude [...] Read more.
To evaluate the effects of amount and profile of amino acid (AA) on milk protein yield (MPY), mammary metabolism, and efficiency of nitrogen use (ENU), ten cows were used in 5 × 5 replicated Latin squares and fed a positive control (16.1% crude protein-CP) or two lower CP diets (14.6 and 13.2%) with or without essential AA (EAA) infusion. The EAA solutions provided predicted limiting EAA in each treatment and were continuously infused into the abomasum of the cows. Milk production and MPY were not affected by treatment (mean 35.4 kg/d and 1.03 kg/d, respectively). Efficiency of nitrogen utilization was increased as dietary CP decreased but was not affected by EAA infusion (p < 0.01). Energy-corrected milk production was increased by EAA infusion into 13.2% CP, but not into 14.6% CP diet (p = 0.09), reaching the positive control value. Infusions increased mammary affinity for non-infused EAA (Ile, Phe, Thr, and Trp), allowing the same MPY despite lower arterial concentrations of these AA. Higher arterial concentrations of infused EAA did not increase their mammary uptake and MPY (p = 0.40; p = 0.85). Mammary metabolism did not fully explain changes in N efficiency, suggesting that it might be driven by less extramammary catabolism as AA supply was reduced. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research Advances in Dairy Cow Nutrition)
11 pages, 1158 KiB  
Article
Circadian Variation of Peripheral Blood Cells in Horses Maintained in Different Environmental and Management Conditions
by Francesca Aragona, Francesca Arfuso, Francesco Fazio, Salvatore De Caro, Elisabetta Giudice, Vincenzo Monteverde, Giuseppe Piccione and Claudia Giannetto
Animals 2023, 13(11), 1865; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13111865 - 03 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1004
Abstract
The aim of our study was to analyze circadian rhythm of the hematological profile of horses housed in a loose box and paddock during the different seasons (spring, summer, autumn, and winter). Blood samples were performed every 4 h for 48 consecutive hours. [...] Read more.
The aim of our study was to analyze circadian rhythm of the hematological profile of horses housed in a loose box and paddock during the different seasons (spring, summer, autumn, and winter). Blood samples were performed every 4 h for 48 consecutive hours. Red blood cells (RBCs), hemoglobin (HGB), hematocrit (HCT), white blood cells (WBCs), platelets (PLTs), and leukocyte subpopulations (neutrophils, basophils, eosinophils, lymphocytes, and monocytes) were analyzed, and, at the same time, environmental conditions were recorded. A statistically significant effect of housing conditions (p < 0.0001) was observed on all hematological values except for WBC during winter and for neutrophils (p < 0.0001) during spring and autumn. A statistically significant effect of season (p < 0.0001) was found for RBC, HCT, and PLT and for all leukocyte cells (p < 0.0001) except for basophils. The single Cosinor method revealed a daily rhythm of hematological parameters during spring in both groups, and a daily rhythm for lymphocytes and neutrophils was observed during spring and summer in horses kept in a loose box and during winter in horses housed in a paddock. Our results revealed that the response of the immune system is regulated by circadian physiology. Knowledge of the periodic temporal structure of mammals should be considered when evaluating animals’ adaptation to temporizations imposed by the environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Equids)
Show Figures

Figure 1

12 pages, 1502 KiB  
Article
Occurrence and Molecular Characteristics of Microsporidia in Captive Red Pandas (Ailurus fulgens) in China
by Jinpeng Yang, Yangyang Zeng, Caiwu Li, Songrui Liu, Wanyu Meng, Wenqing Zhang, Ming He, Liqin Wang, Zhili Zuo, Chanjuan Yue, Desheng Li and Guangneng Peng
Animals 2023, 13(11), 1864; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13111864 - 03 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1095
Abstract
Enterocytozoon bieneusi and Encephalitozoon spp. are microsporidian pathogens with zoonotic potential that pose significant public health concerns. To ascertain the occurrence and genotypes of E. bieneusi and Encephalitozoon spp., we used nested PCR to amplify the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) gene and DNA [...] Read more.
Enterocytozoon bieneusi and Encephalitozoon spp. are microsporidian pathogens with zoonotic potential that pose significant public health concerns. To ascertain the occurrence and genotypes of E. bieneusi and Encephalitozoon spp., we used nested PCR to amplify the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) gene and DNA sequencing to analyze 198 fecal samples from red pandas from 6 zoos in China. The total rate of microsporidial infection was 15.7% (31/198), with 12.1% (24/198), 1.0% (2/198), 2.0% (4/198) and 1.0% (2/198) for infection rate of E. bieneusi, Encephalitozoon cuniculi, Encephalitozoon intestinalis and Encephalitozoon hellem, respectively. One red panda was detected positive for a mixed infection (E. bieneusi and E. intestinalis). Red pandas living in semi-free conditions are more likely to be infected with microsporidia (χ2 = 6.212, df = 1, p < 0.05). Three known (SC02, D, and PL2) and one novel (SCR1) genotypes of E. bieneusi were found. Three genotypes of E. bieneusi (SC02, D, SCR1) were grouped into group 1 with public health importance, while genotype PL2 formed a separate clade associated with group 2. These findings suggest that red pandas may serve as a host reservoir for zoonotic microsporidia, potentially allowing transmission from red pandas to humans and other animals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Wildlife)
Show Figures

Figure 1

24 pages, 2178 KiB  
Article
“It’s Like Living with a Sassy Teenager!”: A Mixed-Methods Analysis of Owners’ Comments about Dogs between the Ages of 12 Weeks and 2 Years
by Sara C. Owczarczak-Garstecka, Rosa E. P. Da Costa, Naomi D. Harvey, Kassandra Giragosian, Rachel H. Kinsman, Rachel A. Casey, Séverine Tasker and Jane K. Murray
Animals 2023, 13(11), 1863; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13111863 - 03 Jun 2023
Viewed by 2726
Abstract
Owners’ understanding of dog behaviour influences dog welfare. This study aimed to investigate owners’ experiences of living with dogs and perceptions of dog behaviour/behaviour change. Data from an ongoing UK/ROI longitudinal study of dogs were used. Open-ended survey data (n = 3577 [...] Read more.
Owners’ understanding of dog behaviour influences dog welfare. This study aimed to investigate owners’ experiences of living with dogs and perceptions of dog behaviour/behaviour change. Data from an ongoing UK/ROI longitudinal study of dogs were used. Open-ended survey data (n = 3577 comments, n = 1808 dogs) when dogs were 12/16 weeks (data combined), 6, 12, 18 and 24 months were analysed to cover the dog’s puppyhood/adolescence. To evaluate the usefulness of open-ended survey questions, both quantitative textual and qualitative thematic analyses were employed. Textual analysis identified an overall positive sentiment at all timepoints; the proportion of positive: negative sentiments increased with the dog’s age. Words related to ‘love’ were the most frequent descriptors at all but the first timepoint, when ‘bite’ was the most frequent descriptor. Qualitative analysis helped to identify that owners attribute dog behaviour to ‘Dog’s biology’, ‘Personality/deliberate action’ and ‘External influences’. Analysis of open-ended survey responses helped to identify changes in perception over time. When dogs were young, owners described problematic behaviours as ‘mischievous’, unintentional and context-specific. Similar behaviours shown by older dogs were seen as ‘deliberate’. Both positive and negative experiences of dog ownership were identified. However, as not all respondents answered open-ended questions, the generalisability of our findings is limited. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on the Human–Pet Relationship)
Show Figures

Figure 1

14 pages, 1394 KiB  
Article
Effects of Environmental Enrichment on the Behavior of Octopus vulgaris in a Recirculating Aquaculture System
by Antonio Casalini, Laura Gentile, Pietro Emmanuele, Riccardo Brusa, Alberto Elmi, Albamaria Parmeggiani, Livio Galosi, Alessandra Roncarati and Oliviero Mordenti
Animals 2023, 13(11), 1862; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13111862 - 02 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1858
Abstract
Octopus vulgaris is a commercially valuable species. It is overexploited in the natural environment and is considered to be an innovative species for aquaculture. However, large-scale farming is generally designed only based on economic requirements, disregarding any form of enrichment that induces the [...] Read more.
Octopus vulgaris is a commercially valuable species. It is overexploited in the natural environment and is considered to be an innovative species for aquaculture. However, large-scale farming is generally designed only based on economic requirements, disregarding any form of enrichment that induces the natural behavior of aquatic species. Although many studies have shown the influence of environmental enrichment on terrestrial vertebrates, fish, and cephalopod mollusks, information on the effect of environmental enrichment on the body patterns of O. vulgaris is limited. Therefore, in this study, we assessed how different environmental conditions (Basic vs. Enriched) affect sub-adults of O. vulgaris kept in recirculation systems, through qualitative–quantitative studies of the main body patterns and their potential application in the commercial production of this species. The results indicated that octopuses kept in the enriched environment showed several body patterns and gained a significantly higher weight than those kept in the basic environment. The body patterns displayed by the individuals kept in the basic environment were similar to those exhibited under situations of hostility and inter/intra-specific conflict. Hence, the environment of octopuses needs to be enriched, especially for the large-scale production of this species. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

18 pages, 6443 KiB  
Article
Dead Laying Hens Detection Using TIR-NIR-Depth Images and Deep Learning on a Commercial Farm
by Sheng Luo, Yiming Ma, Feng Jiang, Hongying Wang, Qin Tong and Liangju Wang
Animals 2023, 13(11), 1861; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13111861 - 02 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1603
Abstract
In large-scale laying hen farming, timely detection of dead chickens helps prevent cross-infection, disease transmission, and economic loss. Dead chicken detection is still performed manually and is one of the major labor costs on commercial farms. This study proposed a new method for [...] Read more.
In large-scale laying hen farming, timely detection of dead chickens helps prevent cross-infection, disease transmission, and economic loss. Dead chicken detection is still performed manually and is one of the major labor costs on commercial farms. This study proposed a new method for dead chicken detection using multi-source images and deep learning and evaluated the detection performance with different source images. We first introduced a pixel-level image registration method that used depth information to project the near-infrared (NIR) and depth image into the coordinate of the thermal infrared (TIR) image, resulting in registered images. Then, the registered single-source (TIR, NIR, depth), dual-source (TIR-NIR, TIR-depth, NIR-depth), and multi-source (TIR-NIR-depth) images were separately used to train dead chicken detecting models with object detection networks, including YOLOv8n, Deformable DETR, Cascade R-CNN, and TOOD. The results showed that, at an IoU (Intersection over Union) threshold of 0.5, the performance of these models was not entirely the same. Among them, the model using the NIR-depth image and Deformable DETR achieved the best performance, with an average precision (AP) of 99.7% (IoU = 0.5) and a recall of 99.0% (IoU = 0.5). While the IoU threshold increased, we found the following: The model with the NIR image achieved the best performance among models with single-source images, with an AP of 74.4% (IoU = 0.5:0.95) in Deformable DETR. The performance with dual-source images was higher than that with single-source images. The model with the TIR-NIR or NIR-depth image outperformed the model with the TIR-depth image, achieving an AP of 76.3% (IoU = 0.5:0.95) and 75.9% (IoU = 0.5:0.95) in Deformable DETR, respectively. The model with the multi-source image also achieved higher performance than that with single-source images. However, there was no significant improvement compared to the model with the TIR-NIR or NIR-depth image, and the AP of the model with multi-source image was 76.7% (IoU = 0.5:0.95) in Deformable DETR. By analyzing the detection performance with different source images, this study provided a reference for selecting and using multi-source images for detecting dead laying hens on commercial farms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Poultry)
Show Figures

Figure 1

15 pages, 1094 KiB  
Review
Artificial Intelligence for Automatic Monitoring of Respiratory Health Conditions in Smart Swine Farming
by Eddiemar B. Lagua, Hong-Seok Mun, Keiven Mark B. Ampode, Veasna Chem, Young-Hwa Kim and Chul-Ju Yang
Animals 2023, 13(11), 1860; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13111860 - 02 Jun 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2024
Abstract
Porcine respiratory disease complex is an economically important disease in the swine industry. Early detection of the disease is crucial for immediate response to the disease at the farm level to prevent and minimize the potential damage that it may cause. In this [...] Read more.
Porcine respiratory disease complex is an economically important disease in the swine industry. Early detection of the disease is crucial for immediate response to the disease at the farm level to prevent and minimize the potential damage that it may cause. In this paper, recent studies on the application of artificial intelligence (AI) in the early detection and monitoring of respiratory disease in swine have been reviewed. Most of the studies used coughing sounds as a feature of respiratory disease. The performance of different models and the methodologies used for cough recognition using AI were reviewed and compared. An AI technology available in the market was also reviewed. The device uses audio technology that can monitor and evaluate the herd’s respiratory health status through cough-sound recognition and quantification. The device also has temperature and humidity sensors to monitor environmental conditions. It has an alarm system based on variations in coughing patterns and abrupt temperature changes. However, some limitations of the existing technology were identified. Substantial effort must be exerted to surmount the limitations to have a smarter AI technology for monitoring respiratory health status in swine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal System and Management)
Show Figures

Figure 1

8 pages, 2273 KiB  
Case Report
Genomic Characterization of Canis Familiaris Papillomavirus Type 25, a Novel Papillomavirus Associated with a Viral Plaque from the Pinna of a Dog
by John S. Munday, Kristene Gedye, Matthew A. Knox, Lynne Robinson and Xiaoxiao Lin
Animals 2023, 13(11), 1859; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13111859 - 02 Jun 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 935
Abstract
A 14-year-old West Highland White terrier dog developed multiple raised plaques that were confined to the concave surface of the right pinna. Histology allowed a diagnosis of viral plaque, although the lesions contained some unusual microscopic features. A papillomaviral (PV) DNA sequence was [...] Read more.
A 14-year-old West Highland White terrier dog developed multiple raised plaques that were confined to the concave surface of the right pinna. Histology allowed a diagnosis of viral plaque, although the lesions contained some unusual microscopic features. A papillomaviral (PV) DNA sequence was amplified from the plaque using consensus PCR primers. The amplified sequence was used as a template to design ‘outward facing’ PCR primers, which allowed amplification of the complete PV DNA sequence. The sequence was 7778 bp and was predicted to code for five early genes and two late genes. The ORF L1 showed the highest (83.9%) similarity to CPV15, and phylogenetic analysis revealed the novel PV clustered with the species 3 ChiPVs. The novel PV was designated as canine papillomavirus (CPV) type 25. As CPV25 was not previously detected in a canine viral plaque, this PV type may be a rare cause of skin disease in dogs. However, as plaques that remain confined to the pinna were not previously reported in dogs, it is possible that CPV25 could be more common in plaques from this area of skin. The findings from this case expand the number of PV types that cause disease in dogs. Evidence from this case suggests that, compared to the other canine ChiPV types, infection by CPV25 results in viral plaques in atypical locations with unusual histological features. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Companion Animals)
Show Figures

Figure 1

13 pages, 484 KiB  
Article
Effect of Pelagic Sargassum on In Vitro Dry Matter and Organic Matter Degradation, Gas Production, and Protozoa Population
by Luis Alberto Canul-Ku, José Roberto Sanginés-García, Edgar Aguilar Urquizo, Jorge Rodolfo Canul-Solís, Ingrid Abril Valdivieso-Pérez, Einar Vargas-Bello-Pérez, Isabel Molina-Botero, Jacobo Arango and Ángel Trinidad Piñeiro-Vázquez
Animals 2023, 13(11), 1858; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13111858 - 02 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1547
Abstract
This study determined the effect of pelagic Sargassum on in vitro dry matter and organic matter degradation, total gas production (TGP), and protozoa population. The treatments were different levels of Sargassum inclusion on a basal substrate (Stargrass hay; Cynodon nlemfuensis) as follows: [...] Read more.
This study determined the effect of pelagic Sargassum on in vitro dry matter and organic matter degradation, total gas production (TGP), and protozoa population. The treatments were different levels of Sargassum inclusion on a basal substrate (Stargrass hay; Cynodon nlemfuensis) as follows: T0 (control treatment based on Stargrass hay), T10 (90% Stargrass hay + 10% Sargassum), T20 (80% Stargrass hay + 20% Sargassum), and T30 (70% Stargrass hay + 30% Sargassum). Ruminal fermentation kinetics and protozoa population were determined during 72 h of in vitro incubations. Compared to control, dry matter degradability at 48 and 72 h and organic matter degradability at 24 and 48 h were higher in Sargassum treatments. TGP was lower with T20 at 48 h. The total population of protozoa and the concentration of Entodinium spp. were lower at T20 at 48 h and T30 at 72 h. Cl, S, Ca, K, and Zn (103, 5.97, 88.73, 285.70 g/kg, and 15,900 mg/kg) were high in Sargassum, reaching twice or even nine times higher than the contents in Stargrass (11.37, 1.60, 43.53, 87.73 g/kg, and 866.67 mg/kg). Overall, up to 30% pelagic Sargassum could be included in hay-based substrates from tropical grasses without negative effects on in vitro dry matter and organic matter degradability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Algae in Animal Nutrition)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Previous Issue
Next Issue
Back to TopTop