Feature Papers in Animal Science (Closed)

A topical collection in Life (ISSN 2075-1729). This collection belongs to the section "Animal Science".

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Norwegian College of Fishery Science, Faculty of Biosciences, Fisheries and Economics, UiT The Arctic University of Norway, N-9037 Tromsø, Norway
Interests: fish; microbial ecology; lipid nutrition; electron microscopy; gut microbiota
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Topical Collection Information

Dear Colleague,

This Special Issue aims to collect high-quality papers related to all aspects of endotermic and aquatic animals science, including anatomy, behavior, embryo manipulation, feeding, nutrition, physiology, histology, diseases, animal management, health and welfare, genetics and breeding, gut development, functional food, microbial ecology, gut microbiome, next-generation sequencing, and immunology. We encourage researchers from various fields within the journal’s scope to contribute papers highlighting the latest developments in their research field or to invite relevant experts and colleagues to do so.

Original research, editorials, reviews, communications, commentaries, case reports and other types of articles are kindly invited to improve knowledge and practice for animal science.

Prof. Dr. Einar Ringø
Guest Editor

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Life is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

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Keywords

  • fish
  • microbial ecology
  • lipid nutrition
  • electron microscopy
  • gut microbiota
  • proteomics
  • next generation sequencing
  • arthropod parasites
  • protease inhibitors
  • disease vectors
  • cystatin
  • serpin
  • kunitz
  • tick
  • insect
  • vector-host interaction
  • innate immunity
  • shellfish immunology
  • bivalve molluscs
  • transcriptomics
  • diseases
  • hemocytes
  • microscopy
 

Related Special Issue

Published Papers (18 papers)

2024

Jump to: 2023, 2022

15 pages, 2892 KiB  
Article
Fall Treatment with Fumagillin Contributes to an Overwinter Shift in Vairimorpha Species Prevalence in Honey Bee Colonies in Western Canada
by Sarah Biganski, Oleksii Obshta, Ivanna Kozii, Roman Koziy, Michael W. Zabrodski, Midhun S. Jose, Jenna M. Thebeau, Marina C. B. Silva, Muhammad F. Raza, Fatima Masood, Sarah C. Wood and Elemir Simko
Life 2024, 14(3), 373; https://doi.org/10.3390/life14030373 - 12 Mar 2024
Viewed by 896
Abstract
(1) Background: Microsporidiosis (nosemosis) is an intestinal disorder of adult honey bees caused by the microsporidian pathogens Vairimorpha apis and Vairimorpha ceranae. In Canada, fumagillin is an approved antibiotic used to treat this disease. However, the recommended dosage is based on efficacy studies [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Microsporidiosis (nosemosis) is an intestinal disorder of adult honey bees caused by the microsporidian pathogens Vairimorpha apis and Vairimorpha ceranae. In Canada, fumagillin is an approved antibiotic used to treat this disease. However, the recommended dosage is based on efficacy studies for V. apis, the native pathogen in European honey bees. Since the detection of V. ceranae in Apis mellifera, V. ceranae became more prevalent in managed European honey bees and seems to have replaced V. apis due to yet unknown reasons. (2) Methods: This colony study investigated the efficacy of fumagillin administered in the fall to colonies infected with both V. apis and V. ceranae and its effects on the Vairimorpha species’ prevalence overwinter. Spore loads in control and fumagillin-treated colonies were analysed by microscopy; Vairimorpha species prevalence was determined molecularly and infection and treatment effects on colony productivity were assessed. (3) Results: Fall fumagillin treatment was associated with a temporary reduction in spore load, but there was no difference in spore loads between treated and control colonies the following spring. Interestingly, fumagillin-treated colonies had a significantly greater prevalence of V. ceranae relative to V. apis the following spring, suggesting fumagillin is less effective in controlling V. ceranae. Full article
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2023

Jump to: 2024, 2022

14 pages, 895 KiB  
Review
Molecular Aspects of Gall Formation Induced by Mites and Insects
by Alexey G. Desnitskiy, Philipp E. Chetverikov, Larissa A. Ivanova, Igor V. Kuzmin, Sebahat K. Ozman-Sullivan and Sogdiana I. Sukhareva
Life 2023, 13(6), 1347; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13061347 - 8 Jun 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2131
Abstract
Recent publications on gall formation induced on the leaves of dicotyledonous flowering plants by eriophyoid mites (Eriophyoidea) and representatives of four insect orders (Diptera, Hemiptera, Hymenoptera, Lepidoptera) are analyzed. Cellular and molecular level data on the stimuli that induce and sustain the development [...] Read more.
Recent publications on gall formation induced on the leaves of dicotyledonous flowering plants by eriophyoid mites (Eriophyoidea) and representatives of four insect orders (Diptera, Hemiptera, Hymenoptera, Lepidoptera) are analyzed. Cellular and molecular level data on the stimuli that induce and sustain the development of both mite and insect galls, the expression of host plant genes during gallogenesis, and the effects of these galling arthropods on photosynthesis are considered. A hypothesis is proposed for the relationship between the size of galls and the volume of secretions injected by a parasite. Multistep, varying patterns of plant gene expression and accompanying histo-morphological changes in the transformed gall tissues are apparent. The main obstacle to better elucidating the nature of the induction of gallogenesis is the impossibility of collecting a sufficient amount of saliva for analysis, which is especially important in the case of microscopic eriophyoids. The use of modern omics technologies at the organismal level has revealed a spectrum of genetic mechanisms of gall formation at the molecular level but has not yet answered the questions regarding the nature of gall-inducing agents and the features of events occurring in plant cells at the very beginning of gall growth. Full article
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24 pages, 3182 KiB  
Article
Some Aspects of the Physiology of the Nyctotherus velox, a Commensal Ciliated Protozoon Taken from the Hindgut of the Tropical Millipede Archispirostreptus gigas
by Svetlana Kišidayová, Nikola Scholcová, Katarína Mihaliková, Zora Váradyová, Peter Pristaš, Stanislava Weisskopf, Tomáš Chrudimský, Alica Chroňáková, Miloslav Šimek and Vladimír Šustr
Life 2023, 13(5), 1110; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13051110 - 29 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2149
Abstract
In this paper, the growth requirements, fermentation pattern, and hydrolytic enzymatic activities of anaerobic ciliates collected from the hindgut of the African tropical millipede Archispirostreptus gigas are described. Single-cell molecular analysis showed that ciliates from the millipede hindgut could be assigned to the [...] Read more.
In this paper, the growth requirements, fermentation pattern, and hydrolytic enzymatic activities of anaerobic ciliates collected from the hindgut of the African tropical millipede Archispirostreptus gigas are described. Single-cell molecular analysis showed that ciliates from the millipede hindgut could be assigned to the Nyctotherus velox and a new species named N. archispirostreptae n. sp. The ciliate N. velox can grow in vitro with unspecified prokaryotic populations and various plant polysaccharides (rice starch-RS, xylan, crystalline cellulose20-CC, carboxymethylcellulose-CMC, and inulin) or without polysaccharides (NoPOS) in complex reduced medium with soluble supplements (peptone, glucose, and vitamins). Specific catalytic activity (nkat/g of protein) of α amylase of 300, xylanase of 290, carboxymethylcellulase of 190, and inulinase of 170 was present in the crude protein extract of N. velox. The highest in vitro dry matter digestibility was observed in RS and inulin after 96 h of fermentation. The highest methane concentration was observed in xylan and inulin substrates. The highest short-chain fatty acid concentration was observed in RS, inulin, and xylan. In contrast, the highest ammonia concentration was observed in NoPOS, CMC, and CC. The results indicate that starch is the preferred substrate of the N. velox. Hydrolytic enzyme activities of N. velox showed that the ciliates contribute to the fermentation of plant polysaccharides in the gut of millipedes. Full article
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14 pages, 3156 KiB  
Article
Application of Lactobacillus reuteri B1/1 (Limosilactobacillus reuteri) Improves Immunological Profile of the Non-Carcinogenic Porcine-Derived Enterocytes
by Viera Karaffová, Jana Teleky, Maša Pintarič, Tomaž Langerholc, Dagmar Mudroňová, Erik Hudec and Zuzana Ševčíková
Life 2023, 13(5), 1090; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13051090 - 27 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1355
Abstract
In our previous studies, Lactobacillus reuteri B1/1, which was renamed Limosilactobacillus reuteri (L. reuteri), was able to modulate the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and other components of the innate immune response in vitro and in vivo. In this study, we evaluated [...] Read more.
In our previous studies, Lactobacillus reuteri B1/1, which was renamed Limosilactobacillus reuteri (L. reuteri), was able to modulate the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and other components of the innate immune response in vitro and in vivo. In this study, we evaluated the effect of Lactobacillus reuteri B1/1 in two concentrations (1 × 107 and 1 × 109 CFU) on the metabolic activity, adherence ability and relative gene expression of pro-inflammatory interleukins (IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, IL-18), lumican and olfactomedin 4 produced by non-carcinogenic porcine-derived enterocytes (CLAB). CLAB cells were cultured in a 12-well cell culture plate at a concentration of 4 × 105 cells/well in DMEM medium in a controlled humidified atmosphere for 48 h. A 1 mL volume of each probiotic bacterial suspension was added to the CLAB cells. Plates were incubated for 2 h and 4 h. Our results revealed that L. reuteri B1/1 was able to adhere to CLAB cells in sufficient numbers in both concentrations. In particular, the concentration of 109 L. reuteri B1/1 allowed to modulate the gene expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines, as well as to increase the metabolic activity of the cells. In addition, administration of L. reuteri B1/1 in both concentrations significantly stimulated gene expression for both proteins in the CLAB cell line after 4 h of incubation. Full article
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9 pages, 1229 KiB  
Communication
The Effects of Humic Acids on the Early Developmental Stages of African Cichlids during Artificial Breeding
by Silvia Ondrašovičová, František Zigo, Július Gogoľa, Zuzana Lacková, Zuzana Farkašová, Juliana Arvaiová, Viera Almášiová and Ibrahim F. Rehan
Life 2023, 13(5), 1071; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13051071 - 23 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1336
Abstract
The aim of this study was to compare the effect of humic acid (HA) obtained by extraction from alginate on the incubation of roes and fry development in African cichlids, Labidochormis caeruleus, as well as their influence on the stabilization of the [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to compare the effect of humic acid (HA) obtained by extraction from alginate on the incubation of roes and fry development in African cichlids, Labidochormis caeruleus, as well as their influence on the stabilization of the physicochemical parameters of water in an aquarium during artificial breeding. The roes were obtained by extruding from a female buccal cavity immediately after fertilization. For the experiment, 4 groups of 40 roes were formed in an incubator with an artificial hatchery. Groups 1–3 were exposed to 1%, 5%, and 10% concentrations of HA, respectively. The control group C was not exposed to HA. In all groups, the mortality and size differences of the fry, as well as the temperature, pH, hardness, nitrite, and nitrate levels in the tanks, were determined during a 30-day monitoring period until the resorption of the yolk sac. The results of this study indicated the ability of HA in 5% and 10% concentrations to reduce nitrite and nitrate levels in the aquatic environment, which significantly reduced the mortality of roes and the survivability of the fry. The determination of the morphological measurements of the fry revealed an increased body length in the groups exposed to 5% and 10% HA concentrations compared to the control group by the end of the monitored period. It was also noted that the yolk sac was resorbed two days earlier in the same groups than in the control. Thus, the results showed that HAs are suitable for use in the artificial aquarium incubation of roes and fry development, which are increasingly exposed to adverse environmental factors. The knowledge obtained in this study and its transfer into practice can allow even less experienced aquarists to successfully breed aquarium fish species that could not normally be bred under artificial conditions without the addition of HA. Full article
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20 pages, 22785 KiB  
Article
First Study of Ascaris lumbricoides from the Semiwild Population of the Sumatran Orangutan Pongo abelii in the Context of Morphological Description and Molecular Phylogeny
by Kristína Civáňová Křížová, Mária Seifertová, Vlastimil Baruš, Iveta Hodová, Šárka Mašová, Wisnu Nurcahyo and Ivona Foitová
Life 2023, 13(4), 1016; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13041016 - 14 Apr 2023
Viewed by 3086
Abstract
There is little evidence that the already described and accepted taxa of ascarids (Ascaris lumbricoides, A. suum, and A. ovis) infecting individuals of taxonomically distant groups (hominids, pigs, sheep, goats, and dogs) can be genetically or morphologically distinguished. However, [...] Read more.
There is little evidence that the already described and accepted taxa of ascarids (Ascaris lumbricoides, A. suum, and A. ovis) infecting individuals of taxonomically distant groups (hominids, pigs, sheep, goats, and dogs) can be genetically or morphologically distinguished. However, despite described morphological differences, e.g., due to intraspecific variation, these are insufficient for species determination and may indicate differences amongst ascarids because of cross infections, hybrid production, and specific adaptations to hosts. Herein, the results of a molecular and morphological analysis of ascarids parasitising Sumatran orangutans (Pongo abelii Lesson, 1827) in native populations are presented. The research took place in the Bukit Lawang area, Indonesia, in 2009. Throughout the year, fresh faecal samples were collected regularly from 24 orangutans, and all were examined for the presence of nematode adults. Only five adult worms from two orangutan females were found during regular collection. Using the integrative taxonomic approach, the nematodes found were identified as A. lumbricoides. The significance of the find and its rarity is documented by the fact that this is the first confirmed finding of adult ascarids from an original orangutan site (not from a zoo) in more than 130 years (including the long-term study spanning the last 20 years focusing on orangutan parasites and natural antiparasitic drugs). More accurate morphometric parameters and genetic differences for the identification of ascarids were established. These parameters will be helpful for other findings in great apes and will also be suitable for further and precise determination of this parasite. The details distinguishing between male and female specimens are also stated and well defined. A comprehensive evaluation of the situation of Ascaris species parasitising orangutans, including a comparison with previously described orangutan parasite (i.e., A. satyri—species inquirenda), is discussed. Full article
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20 pages, 3936 KiB  
Article
Snow Metrics as Proxy to Assess Sarcoptic Mange in Wild Boar: Preliminary Results in Aosta Valley (Italy)
by Annalisa Viani, Tommaso Orusa, Enrico Borgogno-Mondino and Riccardo Orusa
Life 2023, 13(4), 987; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13040987 - 11 Apr 2023
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 2673
Abstract
The widespread diffusion of the wild boar on the Italian territory and its consistent use for hunting have created the possibility to conduct multiple studies on the pathologies afflicting this ungulate. Nevertheless, in the last two decades, only some pathologies such as classical [...] Read more.
The widespread diffusion of the wild boar on the Italian territory and its consistent use for hunting have created the possibility to conduct multiple studies on the pathologies afflicting this ungulate. Nevertheless, in the last two decades, only some pathologies such as classical and African Swine Fever, Tuberculosis, Brucellosis from Brucella suis have benefited from substantial public funding and the consequent great interest from the scientific world, while less attention was addressed to parasitic diseases including sarcoptic mange. Therefore, to fill this gap, the purpose of this study was to contribute to the knowledge of sarcoptic mange in the wild boar population in Aosta Valley in the Northwest of Italy, including sympatric species as foxes. Due to past field surveys, it has been possible to find a possible role of snow metrics in the spread of this pathogen. Even if there are only empirical evidence and the mechanism remain unknown remote sensing analysis considering snow metrics were performed to provide to veterinarians, foresters, biologists, and ecologists new tools to better understand wield board dynamics and join to ordinary tool an instrument to enhance management and planning strategies. The snow metrics (SM) were derived from USGS NASA Landsat 8 L2A retrieved from Theia CNES platform and processed in Orfeo Toolbox LIS extension package. The relationship between SM and the disease spread was tested per each Aosta Valley municipality obtaining LISA maps for each hunting season. The results have showed that this parasite is present in an endemic form even if with rather low prevalence values, equal to 1.2% in the season hunting season 2013/2014, and equal to 7.5% in the hunting season 2014/2015. Moreover, within simultaneous given values of SM, sarcoptic mange seem to find good conditions for spreading. Full article
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14 pages, 2643 KiB  
Article
A Study of Oribatid Mites as Potential Intermediate Hosts of Anoplocephalid Tapeworms of Tatra chamois and Tatra marmots from the Tatra Mountains, Central Europe, and Report of a New Intermediate Host for Andrya cuniculi, the Parasite of Leporidae
by Alexandra Jászayová, Jana Režnarová, Gabriela Chovancová, Alexei Yu Kostygov, Vyacheslav Yurchenko, Daniela Antolová, Tomasz Zwijacz-Kozica, Alexander Csanády and Zuzana Hurníková
Life 2023, 13(4), 955; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13040955 - 6 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1961
Abstract
Tatra chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra tatrica (Blahout 1972)) and Tatra marmot (Marmota marmota latirostris (Kratochvíl 1961)) are significant endemic subspecies of the subalpine and alpine ranges of the Tatra Mountains in Central Europe. In four studied localities in the range of their [...] Read more.
Tatra chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra tatrica (Blahout 1972)) and Tatra marmot (Marmota marmota latirostris (Kratochvíl 1961)) are significant endemic subspecies of the subalpine and alpine ranges of the Tatra Mountains in Central Europe. In four studied localities in the range of their typical biotopes in Slovakia and Poland, we investigated intestinal parasites of Tatra chamois and Tatra marmots, with an emphasis on anoplocephalid tapeworms. We also studied the occurrence, species diversity, and abundance of oribatid mites as intermediate hosts thereof, and the prevalence of cysticercoid larval stages of anoplocephalid tapeworms in collected oribatids using morphological and molecular methods. Coprological analyses revealed the average positivity of Moniezia spp. in chamois faeces at 23.5% and Ctenotaenia marmotae in marmot samples at 71.1%, with significant differences between the localities under study. Morphological analyses determined the presence of cysticercoids in five oribatid species: Ceratozetes gracilis, Edwardzetes edwardsi, Scheloribates laevigatus, Trichoribates novus, and Tectocepheus velatus sarekensis. This is the first record of T. v. sarekensis as an intermediate host of anoplocephalid tapeworms, as well as the first report of Andrya cuniculi occurrence in the territory of the Tatra Mountains, confirmed also by molecular methods. Full article
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19 pages, 2863 KiB  
Article
Prevalence of Serum Antibody Titers against Core Vaccine Antigens in Italian Dogs
by Paola Dall’Ara, Stefania Lauzi, Jari Zambarbieri, Francesco Servida, Laura Barbieri, Roberto Rosenthal, Lauretta Turin, Elena Scarparo and Joel Filipe
Life 2023, 13(2), 587; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13020587 - 20 Feb 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2731
Abstract
Canine vaccination is the main tool for preventing dangerous and widespread diseases. The strongly recommended (core) dog vaccines are against Canine Parvovirus type 2 (CPV-2), Canine Distemper Virus (CDV), and Canine Adenovirus (CAdV-1), but vaccination protocols should be tailored to dog lifestyles. Vaccination [...] Read more.
Canine vaccination is the main tool for preventing dangerous and widespread diseases. The strongly recommended (core) dog vaccines are against Canine Parvovirus type 2 (CPV-2), Canine Distemper Virus (CDV), and Canine Adenovirus (CAdV-1), but vaccination protocols should be tailored to dog lifestyles. Vaccination guidelines suggest vaccinating adult dogs no more frequently than every 3 years using modified live (attenuated) vaccines (MLV), thus obtaining a long-lasting (sometimes throughout life) specific protection in many but not all animals. The aim of this study was to determine the actual levels of seroprotection against CPV-2, CDV and CAdV-1 in a cohort of Italian dogs by using the in-practice test VacciCheck. A total of 1,027 dogs (951 vaccinated and 76 unvaccinated) were analyzed for Protective Antibody Titers (PATs) against CPV-2, CDV, and CAdV-1. Differences related to sex, age, breed size, health status, and time elapsed since last vaccination were evaluated. Half of the entire canine cohort (50.6%) had PATs for all three viruses (68.5% considering only vaccinated dogs). In particular, 90.8% of dogs were protected against CPV-2, 68.6% against CDV, and 79.8% against CAdV-1. Most dogs remained protected for 3 years after vaccination or longer. Revaccination on a 3-year basis can then be recommended for core MLV vaccines without altering individual’s seroprotection or even herd immunity. Full article
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12 pages, 1281 KiB  
Article
Brodifacoum Levels and Biomarkers in Coastal Fish Species following a Rodent Eradication in an Italian Marine Protected Area: Preliminary Results
by Ilaria Caliani, Agata Di Noi, Carlo Amico, Roberto Berni, Marco Romi, Giampiero Cai, Massimo Guarnieri, Augusto Navone, Giovanna Spano, Gregg R. Howald, Paolo Sposimo and Letizia Marsili
Life 2023, 13(2), 415; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13020415 - 2 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1648
Abstract
Brodifacoum is the most common rodenticide used for the eradication of invasive rodents from islands. It blocks the vitamin K cycle, resulting in hemorrhages in target mammals. Non-target species may be incidentally exposed to brodifacoum, including marine species. A case study conducted on [...] Read more.
Brodifacoum is the most common rodenticide used for the eradication of invasive rodents from islands. It blocks the vitamin K cycle, resulting in hemorrhages in target mammals. Non-target species may be incidentally exposed to brodifacoum, including marine species. A case study conducted on the Italian Marine Protected Area of Tavolara Island was reported after a rodent eradication using the aerial broadcast of a brodifacoum pellet. Brodifacoum presence and effects on non-target marine organisms were investigated. Different fish species were sampled, and a set of analyses was conducted to determine vitamin K and vitamin K epoxide reductase concentrations, prothrombin time, and erythrocytic nuclear abnormalities (ENA) assay. In all the examined organisms, brodifacoum was not detected. The results obtained showed differences in vitamin K and vitamin K epoxide concentrations among the samples studied, with a positive correlation for three species between vitamin K, vitamin K epoxide, and fish weight. The prothrombin time assay showed a good blood clotting capacity in the fish. Higher abnormality values were recorded for four species. The results of this study suggest that it is possible to hypothesize that the sampled fish were not likely to have been exposed to brodifacoum and that consequently there are no negative issues concerning human consumption. Full article
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13 pages, 4647 KiB  
Article
Age-Related Changes in the Clustering of Blood Populations in Cynomolgus Monkeys Depend on Sex and Immune Status
by Dzhina D. Karal-ogly, Alexander N. Shumeev, Viktoria V. Keburiya, Marina V. Mintel and Stanislav A. Rybtsov
Life 2023, 13(2), 316; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13020316 - 23 Jan 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2071
Abstract
Non-anthropoid primates cynomolgus monkeys (Macaca fascicularis), also known as crab-eating macaques, are increasingly used in biomedical and preclinical studies due to their evolutionary proximity to humans, sharing similar diets, infectious and senile diseases. Age-related changes and sexual dimorphism of the immune [...] Read more.
Non-anthropoid primates cynomolgus monkeys (Macaca fascicularis), also known as crab-eating macaques, are increasingly used in biomedical and preclinical studies due to their evolutionary proximity to humans, sharing similar diets, infectious and senile diseases. Age-related changes and sexual dimorphism of the immune system of C. monkeys have not been sufficiently characterized in literature, though age and sex differences affect the course of diseases and sensitivity to medications. Aging in C. monkeys is accompanied by an increase in CD3+CD4+CD8+ (DP-T) cells, plasma B-cells, and a decrease in platelets. Erythromyeloid bias has also been noticed in older animals. There was an increase in eosinophils, haematocrit (HCT) and haemoglobin concentration (HGB). Senile decline in the function of the immune system had sex differences. An increase in the number of monocytes, cytotoxic lymphocytes (CTL) and a decrease in the T-helper population were more pronounced in older females. A significant reduction in the number of B-cells and activated T-cells was detected in males only. A moderate correlation with the regression model of aging was established for DP-T, HCT and HGB. The reduction in the B cells count in males and the increase in CTL level in females are moderately correlated with age. Other blood cell populations did not show significant correlations in the regression models due to their high sample variability. The novel cell population CD3-CD20loCD16/CD56+, presumably NK-cells subset, was revealed. This cell population demonstrated an increase trend with age in both sexes. Population-statistical age norms for different sexes for young and very old macaques were established. The blood population clusters associated with sex and immune status in older animals were also identified. Full article
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15 pages, 2327 KiB  
Article
Immune Responses of the Black Soldier Fly Hermetia illucens (L.) (Diptera: Stratiomyidae) Reared on Catering Waste
by Valentina Candian, Marco Meneguz and Rosemarie Tedeschi
Life 2023, 13(1), 213; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13010213 - 11 Jan 2023
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2885
Abstract
The black soldier fly (BSF), Hermetia illucens L. (Diptera: Stratiomyidae), has a great bioconversion potential and ability to develop on diverse substrates. Although the use of catering waste and food by-products containing meat and fish would reduce the footprint of the insect sector, [...] Read more.
The black soldier fly (BSF), Hermetia illucens L. (Diptera: Stratiomyidae), has a great bioconversion potential and ability to develop on diverse substrates. Although the use of catering waste and food by-products containing meat and fish would reduce the footprint of the insect sector, to date, in Europe, their use is still facing legal obstacles for insects as food and feed. Since a major request from the EU insect sector is to diversify the spectrum of allowed substrates, and considering that variations in diet composition could influence insect immune responses, we evaluated the impact of different catering wastes on BSF prepupae immunity. Insects were reared on five diets: one based on feed for laying hens and four based on catering waste containing (i) fruits and vegetables; (ii) fruits, vegetables and bread; (iii) fruit, vegetables, bread and dairy products; (iv) fruits, vegetables, bread, meat and fish. The gene expression of two antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), one defensin and one cecropin, was assessed. Moreover, the hemolymph inhibitory activity against Escherichia coli DH5α and Micrococcus yunnanensis HI55 was evaluated using diffusion assays in solid media. The up-regulation of both AMPs’ encoding genes was observed in insects fed a bread-added and dairy product-added diet. All hemolymph samples showed inhibitory activity against both bacteria, affecting the colony size and number. The obtained results show how catering waste positively influences the H. illucens immune system. The possibility of modulating AMP expression levels through the diet opens up new perspectives in the management of insect health in mass rearings. Full article
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2022

Jump to: 2024, 2023

20 pages, 1473 KiB  
Article
Spatial and Temporal Adaptations of Lowland Tapirs (Tapirus terrestris) to Environmental and Anthropogenic Impacts
by Kathrin Burs, Lydia Möcklinghoff, Marinez Isaac Marques and Karl-L. Schuchmann
Life 2023, 13(1), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13010066 - 25 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1998
Abstract
The Pantanal is one of the most conserved wetland ecosystems in Brazil and a hotspot for biodiversity. Over the last decades intensification of human activities has become a major threat to the stability of the unique landscape. To establish effective conservation actions, it [...] Read more.
The Pantanal is one of the most conserved wetland ecosystems in Brazil and a hotspot for biodiversity. Over the last decades intensification of human activities has become a major threat to the stability of the unique landscape. To establish effective conservation actions, it is essential to understand how species respond to anthropogenic and environmental regional factors. Here, data from two multiannual camera trap studies, one in the northern Pantanal and one in the southern Pantanal, were used to investigate the effects of habitat characteristics, seasons, and human interactions on the spatial and temporal patterns of lowland tapirs (Tapirus terrestris). Between 2010 and 2017, camera traps were repeatedly placed in consistent grids covering protected areas and areas with cattle-ranching and tourism. Data were analyzed using generalized linear mixed models and circular statistics. Activity patterns were similar and predominantly nocturnal in both areas, but tapirs indicated avoidance toward settlements and cattle and indicated habitat preferences only in the northern study area with less anthropogenic activities. The present study suggests that both environmental and anthropogenic factors can affect the species’ spatial and temporal behavior, but tapirs show varying responses across regions and gradients of disturbance. The results indicate that adapting avoidance strategies might be more likely and effective in areas with low human pressure and sufficient protected areas as alternatives. Full article
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7 pages, 2793 KiB  
Communication
Vitamin C Levels in Different Organs of Bat Species from Different Food Groups
by Diego Antonio Mena Canata, Mara Silveira Benfato, Francielly Dias Pereira, María João Ramos Pereira and Pabulo Henrique Rampelotto
Life 2022, 12(12), 2121; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12122121 - 15 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1362
Abstract
Unlike most animals, most bats cannot synthesize vitamin C endogenously. Consequently, this vitamin must be obtained from the diet. Among the bat species, there are several food groups, such as frugivorous, nectarivorous, insectivorous, and hematophagous. In this work, we measured and compared vitamin [...] Read more.
Unlike most animals, most bats cannot synthesize vitamin C endogenously. Consequently, this vitamin must be obtained from the diet. Among the bat species, there are several food groups, such as frugivorous, nectarivorous, insectivorous, and hematophagous. In this work, we measured and compared vitamin C levels in different organs of four species of bats, all collected in southern Brazil. When analyzing and comparing the levels of vitamin C in the four bat species, (regardless of the organ), no significant differences were observed. However, when analyzing and comparing the levels of vitamin C in the four organs (regardless of the species), significant differences were observed, with the highest concentrations in the heart, followed by the liver and brain, while the lowest concentration was measured in the kidneys. Additional differences in the levels of Vitamin C were only observed when each organ was analyzed according to the species/diet. These results indicate a high degree of metabolic homeostasis in bats despite the marked difference in the type of diet. Full article
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9 pages, 1049 KiB  
Article
Synergistic Effect of Polysaccharides from Chamomile Tea with Nitazoxanide Increases Treatment Efficacy against Giardia intestinalis
by Bruna Sabatke, Pedro Felipe P. Chaves, Lucimara M. C. Cordeiro and Marcel I. Ramirez
Life 2022, 12(12), 2091; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12122091 - 13 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2436
Abstract
Giardia intestinalis (syn. G. lamblia, G. duodenalis) is a protozoa parasite that produces one of the most frequent waterborne causes of diarrhea worldwide. This protozoan infects most mammals, including humans, and colonizes the small intestine, adhering to intestinal cells. The mechanism by [...] Read more.
Giardia intestinalis (syn. G. lamblia, G. duodenalis) is a protozoa parasite that produces one of the most frequent waterborne causes of diarrhea worldwide. This protozoan infects most mammals, including humans, and colonizes the small intestine, adhering to intestinal cells. The mechanism by which G. intestinalis causes diarrhea is multifactorial, causing intestinal malabsorption. The treatment of giardiasis uses chemotherapeutic drugs such as nitroimidazoles, furazolidone, paromomycin, and benzimidazole compounds. However, they are toxic, refractory, and may generate resistance. To increase efficacy, a current treatment strategy is to combine these drugs with other compounds, such as polysaccharides. Several studies have shown that polysaccharides have gastroprotective effects. Polysaccharides are high-molecular weight polymers, and they differ in structure and functions, being widely extracted from vegetables and fruits. In the present study, we show that polysaccharides found in chamomile tea (called MRW), in contact with antiparasitic agents, potentially inhibit the adhesion of parasites to intestinal cells. Moreover, at 500 µg/mL, they act synergistically with nitazoxanide (NTZ), increasing its effectiveness and decreasing the drug dose needed for giardiasis treatment. Full article
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22 pages, 2735 KiB  
Article
Tff3 Deficiency Protects against Hepatic Fat Accumulation after Prolonged High-Fat Diet
by Kate Šešelja, Iva Bazina, Milka Vrecl, Jessica Welss, Martin Schicht, Martina Mihalj, Vjekoslav Kopačin, Friedrich Paulsen, Tatjana Pirman and Mirela Baus Lončar
Life 2022, 12(8), 1288; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12081288 - 22 Aug 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2203
Abstract
Trefoil factor 3 (Tff3) protein is a small secretory protein expressed on various mucosal surfaces and is involved in proper mucosal function and recovery via various mechanisms, including immune response. However, Tff3 is also found in the bloodstream and in various other tissues, [...] Read more.
Trefoil factor 3 (Tff3) protein is a small secretory protein expressed on various mucosal surfaces and is involved in proper mucosal function and recovery via various mechanisms, including immune response. However, Tff3 is also found in the bloodstream and in various other tissues, including the liver. Its complete attenuation was observed as the most prominent event in the early phase of diabetes in the polygenic Tally Ho mouse model of diabesity. Since then, its role in metabolic processes has emerged. To elucidate the complex role of Tff3, we used a new Tff3-deficient mouse model without additional metabolically relevant mutations (Tff3-/-/C57BL/6NCrl) and exposed it to a high-fat diet (HFD) for a prolonged period (8 months). The effect was observed in male and female mice compared to wild-type (WT) counter groups (n = 10 animals per group). We monitored the animals’ general metabolic parameters, liver morphology, ultrastructure and molecular genes in relevant lipid and inflammatory pathways. Tff3-deficient male mice had reduced body weight and better glucose utilization after 17 weeks of HFD, but longer HFD exposure (32 weeks) resulted in no such change. We found a strong reduction in lipid accumulation in male Tff3-/-/C57BL/6NCrl mice and a less prominent reduction in female mice. This was associated with downregulated peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (Pparγ) and upregulated interleukin-6 (Il-6) gene expression, although protein level difference did not reach statistical significance due to higher individual variations. Tff3-/-/C57Bl6N mice of both sex had reduced liver steatosis, without major fatty acid content perturbations. Our research shows that Tff3 protein is clearly involved in complex metabolic pathways. Tff3 deficiency in C57Bl6N genetic background caused reduced lipid accumulation in the liver; further research is needed to elucidate its precise role in metabolism-related events. Full article
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20 pages, 1691 KiB  
Article
Recombinant Mitochondrial Genomes Reveal Recent Interspecific Hybridization between Invasive Salangid Fishes
by Evgeniy S. Balakirev
Life 2022, 12(5), 661; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12050661 - 29 Apr 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2122
Abstract
The interspecific recombination of the mitochondrial (mt) genome, if not an experimental artifact, may result from interbreeding of species with broken reproductive barriers, which, in turn, is a frequent consequence of human activities including species translocations, habitat modifications, and climate change. This issue, [...] Read more.
The interspecific recombination of the mitochondrial (mt) genome, if not an experimental artifact, may result from interbreeding of species with broken reproductive barriers, which, in turn, is a frequent consequence of human activities including species translocations, habitat modifications, and climate change. This issue, however, has not been addressed for Protosalanx chinensis and other commercially important and, simultaneously, invasive salangid fishes that were the product of successful aquaculture in China. To assess the probability of interspecific hybridization, we analyzed the patterns of diversity and recombination in the complete mitochondrial (mt) genomes of these fishes using the GenBank resources. A sliding window analysis revealed a non-uniform distribution of the intraspecific differences in P. chinensis with four highly pronounced peaks of divergence centered at the COI, ND4L-ND4, and ND5 genes, and also at the control region. The corresponding divergent regions in P. chinensis show a high sequence similarity (99–100%) to the related salangid fishes, Neosalanx tangkahkeii and N. anderssoni. This observation suggests that the divergent regions of P. chinensis may represent a recombinant mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) containing mt genome fragments belonging to different salangid species. Indeed, four, highly significant (pairwise homoplasy index test, P < 0.00001) signals of recombination have been revealed at coordinates closely corresponding to the divergent regions. The recombinant fragments are, however, not fixed, and different mt genomes of P. chinensis are mosaic, containing different numbers of recombinant events. These facts, along with the high similarity or full identity of the recombinant fragments between the donor and the recipient sequences, indicate a recent interspecific hybridization between P. chinensis and two Neosalanx species. Alternative hypotheses, including taxonomical misidentifications, sequence misalignments, DNA contamination, and/or artificial PCR recombinants, are not supported by the data. The recombinant fragments revealed in our study represent diagnostic genetic markers for the identification and distinguishing of hybrids, which can be used to control the invasive dynamics of hybrid salangid fishes. Full article
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12 pages, 1902 KiB  
Review
P62/SQSTM1 beyond Autophagy: Physiological Role and Therapeutic Applications in Laboratory and Domestic Animals
by Maria Giovanna Sabbieti, Andrea Marchegiani, Albert A. Sufianov, Vladimir L. Gabai, Alexander Shneider and Dimitrios Agas
Life 2022, 12(4), 539; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12040539 - 6 Apr 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3244
Abstract
Inflammation is the preceding condition for the development of mild and severe pathological conditions, including various forms of osteopenia, cancer, metabolic syndromes, neurological disorders, atherosclerosis, cardiovascular, lung diseases, etc., in human and animals. The inflammatory status is induced by multifarious intracellular signaling cascades, [...] Read more.
Inflammation is the preceding condition for the development of mild and severe pathological conditions, including various forms of osteopenia, cancer, metabolic syndromes, neurological disorders, atherosclerosis, cardiovascular, lung diseases, etc., in human and animals. The inflammatory status is induced by multifarious intracellular signaling cascades, where cytokines, chemokines, arachidonic acid metabolites, adhesion molecules, immune cells and other components foster a “slow burn” at a local or systemic level. Assuming that countering inflammation limits the development of inflammation-based diseases, a series of new side-effects-free therapies was assessed in experimental and domestic animals. Within the targets of the drug candidates for quenching inflammation, an archetypal autophagic gear, the p62/sqstm1 protein, has currently earned attention from researchers. Intracellular p62 has been recently coined as a multi-task tool associated with autophagy, bone remodeling, bone marrow integrity, cancer progression, and the maintenance of systemic homeostasis. Accordingly, p62 can act as an effective suppressor of inflamm-aging, reducing oxidative stress and proinflammatory signals. Such an operational schedule renders this protein an effective watchdog for degenerative diseases and cancer development in laboratory and pet animals. This review summarizes the current findings concerning p62 activities as a molecular hub for cell and tissues metabolism and in a variety of inflammatory diseases and other pathological conditions. It also specifically addresses the applications of exogenous p62 (DNA plasmid) as an anti-inflammatory and homeostatic regulator in the treatment of osteoporosis, metabolic syndrome, age-related macular degeneration and cancer in animals, and the possible application of p62 plasmid in other inflammation-associated diseases. Full article
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