Second Edition of Breeding for Disease Resistance in Ruminants

A special issue of Animals (ISSN 2076-2615). This special issue belongs to the section "Animal Genetics and Genomics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 April 2024) | Viewed by 3334

Special Issue Editors

National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (Netherlands), 3721 Bilthoven, The Netherlands
Interests: parasitology; genetic resistance to parasitic diseases; anthelmintic resistance
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
1. CISAS - Center for Research and Development in Agrifood Systems and Sustainability, Escola Superior Agrária, Instituto Politécnico de Viana do Castelo, Rua Escola Industrial e Comercial de Nun’Àlvares, 4900-347 Viana do Castelo, Portugal
2. Veterinary and Animal Research Centre (CECAV), UTAD, Associate Laboratory for Animal and Veterinary Sciences (AL4AnimalS) Quinta de Prados, 5000-801 Vila Real, Portugal
3. EpiUnit – Instituto de Saúde Pública da Universidade do Porto, Laboratory for Integrative and Translational Research in Population Health (ITR), Rua das Taipas, nº 135, 4050-091 Porto, Portugal
Interests: One Health; food safety; health literacy; parasitology; zoonoses
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Infectious diseases represent a significant economic and welfare burden for the ruminant livestock industry worldwide. Treatment costs and production losses may increase due to the impact of climate change on the distribution of disease pathogens and pests. Concerns over the global spread of resistance to antibiotics and anthelmintics and their residues in manure and animal products have encouraged the search for alternative control options. In recent years, there has been increased interest in the selection of ruminants for resistance to diseases. The existence of genetic variation in resistance both within and between breeds has already been demonstrated for several diseases, e.g., in the case of mastitis- and tuberculosis-resistant cattle and resistance to gastrointestinal nematode infections in small ruminants. The selective breeding of animals that are naturally more resistant to diseases is expected to have a lasting and consistent effect and a low risk of resistance breakdown over time. The efficient use of ruminant genetic resources is, therefore, likely to increase farm productivity by reducing treatment needs and costs, while contributing to the sustainability of animal production, as well as the quality and safety of meat products.

Dr. Helga Waap
Prof. Dr. Teresa Letra Mateus
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • ruminants
  • breeding
  • resistance
  • diseases
  • genetic
  • markers

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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19 pages, 2983 KiB  
Article
Pulmonary and Gastrointestinal Parasitic Infections in Small Ruminant Autochthonous Breeds from Centre Region of Portugal—A Cross Sectional Study
by Maria Aires Pereira, Maria João Vila-Viçosa, Catarina Coelho, Carla Santos, Fernando Esteves, Rita Cruz, Liliana Gomes, Diogo Henriques, Helena Vala, Carmen Nóbrega, Ana Cristina Mega, Carolina de Melo, Madalena Malva, Joana Braguez and Teresa Letra Mateus
Animals 2024, 14(8), 1241; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani14081241 - 21 Apr 2024
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Abstract
The production of small ruminant autochthonous breeds in the Centre region of Portugal is practiced in a semi-extensive husbandry system, exposing animals to parasitic infections. The main objective of this study was to estimate the prevalence of lungworm infection and identify risk factors. [...] Read more.
The production of small ruminant autochthonous breeds in the Centre region of Portugal is practiced in a semi-extensive husbandry system, exposing animals to parasitic infections. The main objective of this study was to estimate the prevalence of lungworm infection and identify risk factors. Fecal samples of 203 goats and 208 sheep from 30 herds were collected per rectum and subjected to the modified Baermann test. The overall prevalence of infection was 57.7%, significantly higher in goats (95.6%) than in sheep (20.7%) (p < 0.001). According to the binary logistic regression model, sheep dewormed with albendazole, mebendazole plus closantel, or ivermectin plus clorsulon presented a risk of Protostrongylidae infection 29.702, 7.426, or 8.720 times higher, respectively, than those dewormed with eprinomectin. Additionally, the presence of gastrointestinal parasites was investigated in 307 fecal samples using Mini-FLOTAC®. The overall prevalence of infection was 86.3%, also significantly higher in goats (93.2%) than in sheep (79.9%) (p < 0.001). Strongyle-type eggs were the most frequently identified, both in sheep (69.8%) and goats (87.8%), followed by Eimeria oocysts (40.3% in sheep and 68.9% in goats). Considering the high prevalence and the burden of lungworm parasitic infection, it is urgent to determine its economic impact and the repercussions in animal health in the Centre region of Portugal to establish appropriate therapeutic guidelines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Second Edition of Breeding for Disease Resistance in Ruminants)
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19 pages, 1148 KiB  
Article
Risk of Sperm Disorders and Impaired Fertility in Frozen–Thawed Bull Semen: A Genome-Wide Association Study
by Natalia V. Dementieva, Artem P. Dysin, Yuri S. Shcherbakov, Elena V. Nikitkina, Artem A. Musidray, Anna V. Petrova, Olga V. Mitrofanova, Kirill V. Plemyashov, Anastasiia I. Azovtseva, Darren K. Griffin and Michael N. Romanov
Animals 2024, 14(2), 251; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani14020251 - 13 Jan 2024
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Abstract
Cryopreservation is a widely used method of semen conservation in animal breeding programs. This process, however, can have a detrimental effect on sperm quality, especially in terms of its morphology. The resultant sperm disorders raise the risk of reduced sperm fertilizing ability, which [...] Read more.
Cryopreservation is a widely used method of semen conservation in animal breeding programs. This process, however, can have a detrimental effect on sperm quality, especially in terms of its morphology. The resultant sperm disorders raise the risk of reduced sperm fertilizing ability, which poses a serious threat to the long-term efficacy of livestock reproduction and breeding. Understanding the genetic factors underlying these effects is critical for maintaining sperm quality during cryopreservation, and for animal fertility in general. In this regard, we performed a genome-wide association study to identify genomic regions associated with various cryopreservation sperm abnormalities in Holstein cattle, using single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers via a high-density genotyping assay. Our analysis revealed a significant association of specific SNPs and candidate genes with absence of acrosomes, damaged cell necks and tails, as well as wrinkled acrosomes and decreased motility of cryopreserved sperm. As a result, we identified candidate genes such as POU6F2, LPCAT4, DPYD, SLC39A12 and CACNB2, as well as microRNAs (bta-mir-137 and bta-mir-2420) that may play a critical role in sperm morphology and disorders. These findings provide crucial information on the molecular mechanisms underlying acrosome integrity, motility, head abnormalities and damaged cell necks and tails of sperm after cryopreservation. Further studies with larger sample sizes, genome-wide coverage and functional validation are needed to explore causal variants in more detail, thereby elucidating the mechanisms mediating these effects. Overall, our results contribute to the understanding of genetic architecture in cryopreserved semen quality and disorders in bulls, laying the foundation for improved animal reproduction and breeding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Second Edition of Breeding for Disease Resistance in Ruminants)
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Review

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15 pages, 320 KiB  
Review
Genetic Parameter Estimation and Selection for Resistance to Gastrointestinal Nematode Parasites in Sheep—A Review
by Samla Marques Freire Cunha, Olivia Willoughby, Flavio Schenkel and Ángela Cánovas
Animals 2024, 14(4), 613; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani14040613 - 14 Feb 2024
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Abstract
Gastrointestinal nematodes (GINs) are a major problem affecting sheep production systems worldwide. The flocks infected with GINs can undergo significant economic losses due to a decrease in productivity, the animals’ deaths, and the costs associated with treatments. The over-reliance on anthelmintics in the [...] Read more.
Gastrointestinal nematodes (GINs) are a major problem affecting sheep production systems worldwide. The flocks infected with GINs can undergo significant economic losses due to a decrease in productivity, the animals’ deaths, and the costs associated with treatments. The over-reliance on anthelmintics in the past years to eliminate GINs has resulted in the development of resistance against the available commercial anthelmintics. Genetically resistant animals can be used in mating systems to improve the overall flock resistance. This review aimed to summarize the estimated genetic parameters for resistance traits and genetic gains through the use of genetic/genomic selection for resistance to GINs in sheep. Heritability estimates from the literature ranged from 0.00 to 0.46 for fecal egg counts, 0.12 to 0.37 for packed cell volume/hematocrit, 0.07 to 0.26 for FAffa MAlan CHArt (FAMACHA©), from 0.10 to 0.37 for blood parameters, and 0.19 for Immunoglobulin A. Genetic correlations between traits measuring resistance to GINs and production traits ranged from negative to positive values in the literature. Genetic gains are possible when genetic/genomic selection for GIN resistance is applied. Therefore, genetic/genomic selection can be used to improve flocks’ resistance to GINs as a sustainable approach in sheep production systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Second Edition of Breeding for Disease Resistance in Ruminants)
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