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Tropical Animal Health and Production
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  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Print) 0049-4747 - ISSN (Online) 1573-7438
Published by Springer-Verlag Homepage  [2469 journals]
  • Assessment of hygiene practices and microbial safety of milk supplied by
           smallholder farmers to processors in selected counties in Kenya

    • Abstract: Abstract Smallholder farmers dominate the Kenyan dairy sector producing 95% of the total milk. However, several concerns have been raised on the quality and safety of the milk they produce. This study assessed the hygienic practices and microbial safety of milk supplied by smallholder farmers to processors in Bomet, Nyeri, and Nakuru counties in Kenya. Interviews and direct observations were carried out to assess hygiene and handling practices by farmers and a total of 92 milk samples were collected along four collection channels: direct suppliers, traders, cooperatives with coolers, and cooperatives without coolers. Microbial analysis was done following standard procedures and data analysed using GenStat and SPSS. This study revealed that farmers did not employ good hygienic practices in their routine dairy management. They used plastic containers for milking and milk storage (34.2%); they did not clean sheds (47.9%) and did not set aside cows that suffered from mastitis factors (83.6%), resulting in poor microbial quality of raw milk along the collection channels. The highest mean total viable counts (8.72 log10 cfu/ml) were recorded in Nakuru while Nyeri had the highest mean E. coli counts (4.97 log10 cfu/ml) and Bomet recorded the highest mean counts of 5.13 and 5.78 log10 cfu/ml for Staphylococcus aureus and Listeria monocytogenes respectively. Based on all above-mentioned parameters, the microbial load in most samples from all three counties exceeded the set Kenyan standards. Farmer training, improving road infrastructure, use of instant coolers at cooperatives, and quality-based payment systems are recommended as measures to curb microbial growth.
      PubDate: 2022-06-29
  • Economic analysis of smallholder dairy cattle enterprises in Senegal

    • Abstract: Abstract Smallholder dairy production in Senegal is important to both livelihoods and food and nutrition security. Here, we examine the economic performance of smallholder dairy cattle enterprises in Senegal, using data from longitudinal monitoring of 113 households. The mean (and standard deviation) of the net returns (NR) per cow per annum (pcpa) was 21.7 (202.9) USD, whilst the NR per household herd per annum (phpa) was 106.1 (1740.3) USD. Only about half (52.2%) of the dairy cattle enterprise had a positive NR. The most significant income components were milk sale followed by animal sale, whilst the most significant cost components were animal feed followed by animal purchase. When households were grouped by ranking on NRpcpa, an interesting trend was observed: whilst the mean NRpcpa showed a fairly linear increase from the lowest to highest NR groups, income and cost did not. Income and costs were both higher for the lowest and highest NR groups, in comparison to the intermediate NR groups. The mean NRs of households grouped by the main breed type they kept were not significantly different from each other, due to large variances within the breed groups. However, the mean total income and costs were significantly higher for households mainly keeping improved dairy breeds (Bos taurus or Zebu × Bos taurus crosses) in comparison to those keeping indigenous Zebu or Zebu by Guzerat crosses. This study highlights the highly variable (and often low) profitability of smallholder dairy cattle enterprise in Senegal. Further actions to address this are strongly recommended.
      PubDate: 2022-06-29
  • Effect of Caragana korshinskii Kom. as a partial substitution for sheep
           forage on intake, digestibility, growth, carcass features, and the rumen
           bacterial community

    • Abstract: Abstract The aim of this study was to verify that Caragana korshinskii Kom. (CK) as a component of sheep forage influences lamb digestibility and rumen fermentation by altering the rumen microbial community. Hence, 12 female Tan sheep were allocated into 2 groups: receiving (CK group) or not (control group) 10% of the diet forage fraction with CK. During the 60-day experiment, growth performance, apparent digestibility, rumen volatile fatty acids (VFAs), and nitrogen balance were measured. Meanwhile, the rumen bacterial community diversity and composition were detected by the 16S rRNA sequence. The results indicated that the apparent digestibility of acid detergent fibre (ADF) tended to be higher (0.05 < P < 0.10), and the feed conversion efficiency was improved (P < 0.05) when CK was offered. Compared to those under alfalfa, the composition and abundance of the rumen microbial community were altered in the CK group, and the phylum Firmicutes, which is involved in promoting fibre digestion, increased in abundance. Moreover, VFAs tended to decrease (0.05 < P < 0.10), and the molar proportion of butyrate declined; similarly, levels of hypoxanthine and xanthine were lower (P < 0.05) in the sheep fed CK and may have been responsible for the decreased abundance of Fibrobacter spp., which are cellulolytic ruminal bacteria associated with VFA production.
      PubDate: 2022-05-20
      DOI: 10.1007/s11250-022-03186-8
  • The impact of milk suckling protocol and schedule on body weight and some
           morphometric measurements of Holstein heifers

    • Abstract: Abstract Having a successful heifer raising operation is not only relevant financially, but also influential for the future of the dairy herds. Milk feeding has a significant role on the health and growth of calves before weaning, in addition to the direct progressive effects on future performance post-weaning. Therefore, the aim of this study was to compare the effects of constants amount of milk (CMS) versus step-up/step-down (SUSD) on calf performance in two different suckling schedules of suckling milk gradually till 9th weeks of calf age, then decreasing it till weaning. For this study, forty Holstein heifers calves utilized between birth and 8 months of age were randomly divided into four groups of 10 calves each. Grouping was performed according to suckling protocol (constant versus variable) and suckling schedule (2 versus 3 times/day). Each calf suckled 600 kg of milk in a suckling period of 120 days. Body weight (BW), in addition to five body measurements: chest girth (CG), height at wither (HW), height at rump (HR), body length (BL), and diagonal length (DL), were recorded weekly. The heaviest BW was observed on SUSD calves suckling twice/day which had also the highest HW at weaning. Similarly, were BW, HW, and CG at 6 months of age. Also, the same group achieved the largest daily BW (0.902 kg/day), BL (0.246 cm), and CG (0.338 cm/day) gains during the pre-weaning phase. However, CMS suckled 3 times/day calves had the largest daily BW gain between birth and 6 or 8 months of age. CMS twice/day calves had the largest daily gain in CG from weaning to 6 months and from weaning to 8 months of age followed by SUSD suckling 3 times/day calves. Also, CMS twice/day calves had the largest daily gain in rump height from birth to 8 months of age compared to other groups. It can be concluded that when equal amounts of milk were fed during the suckling period, suckling protocol affected growth rate before weaning but that effect diminished as calf age increased after weaning.
      PubDate: 2022-05-11
      DOI: 10.1007/s11250-022-03182-y
  • Status of gastrointestinal nematode infections and associated
           epidemiological factors in sheep from Córdoba, Colombia

    • Abstract: Abstract Gastrointestinal nematodes cause serious economic losses in sheep production systems. To determine the prevalence and risk factors associated with these parasites, a study was conducted on 595 sheep in Córdoba, Colombia. Prevalence and parasite burden were determined using the McMaster technique. Larvae were cultured from feces to identify the nematode genera. For the analysis of associated factors and parasite burden, data means, medians, and confidence intervals were compared. A georeferenced data analysis was performed and an epidemiological map was constructed. An overall prevalence of 88.2% was found, with the highest prevalence and parasite burden for Strongylida (83.2%) and Strongyloides (41%) nematodes. The mean parasite burden was 1255 eggs per gram. The gastrointestinal nematode genera identified were Trichostrongylus, Strongyloides, Haemonchus, Oesophagostomum, Bunostomum, and Cooperia. In general, a significant association was found between parasite burden and dewormed animals, anthelmintic used, date of last deworming, and breeds. The FAMACHA® method and body condition showed a significant association with the Strongylida parasite burden. Clusters with higher intensity of gastrointestinal nematode burden and high prevalence were observed in the regions of Bajo Sinú, Sinú Medio, and San Jorge.
      PubDate: 2022-04-26
      DOI: 10.1007/s11250-022-03170-2
  • Effects of micronized bamboo powder on growth performance, serum
           biochemical indexes, cecal chyme microflora and metabolism of broilers
           aged 1–22 days

    • Abstract: Abstract Adding insoluble fiber to diet of broilers has been reported to improve intestinal health and promote growth performance. Bamboo powder is a cheap raw material with rich insoluble fiber. This study aims to explore the effects of feeding micronized bamboo powder (MBP) on growth performance, serum biochemical indexes, intestinal microflora, and metabolism of broilers. A total of 1440 1-day-old slow-growing Ephedra chickens were randomly divided into three groups considering gender and body weight: (1) Group D: feeding with basal diet without antibiotics; (2) Group E: feeding with basal diet supplemented with 5% rice bran (RB); (3) Group F: feeding with basal diet supplemented with 1% MBP. Each group involved 8 replicates feeding for 22 days, with 60 chickens per replicate. Various indexes were detected. For the growth performance, the weight gain and feed consumption ratio (G: F) of Group F supplemented with MBP is 0.57 ± 0.04, which is significantly higher than that of E group supplemented with RB (0.52 ± 0.01, P < 0.05). For the serum biochemical indexes, the glutathione peroxidase activity in Group F is significantly higher than that of Group D, while the malondialdehyde content is significantly lower than that of Group D and Group E (P < 0.05 for all). The fresh cecal chyme is taken for determination. In Group F, the α diversity index Faith_pd is significantly lower in Group F than that of Group D. The microorganism species in cecal chyme of Group F and Group E are also different. The metabolic pathways of Group F, mainly in fatty acid metabolism, amino acid metabolism and intestinal immune IgA production, were different from those of Group D and Group E. Adding 1% MBP to broiler diet can enhance the anti-oxidant capacity, improve chyme microflora, regulate the metabolism pathways responsible for intestinal fatty acids, amino acids, and immunity.
      PubDate: 2022-04-18
      DOI: 10.1007/s11250-022-03172-0
  • Effects of DGAT1 on milk performance in Sudanese
           Butana × Holstein crossbred cattle

    • Abstract: Abstract The improvement of milk production of indigenous Sudanese cattle such as Bos indicus Butana and its cross with Holstein is a major goal of the Sudanese government to ensure sufficient healthy nutrition in the country. In this study, we investigated the K232A polymorphism of diacylglycerol acyltransferase (DGAT1), a well-known modulator of milk production in other breeds. We determined allele frequencies and the allele effects on milk production. Therefore, 93 purebred Butana and 203 Butana × Holstein crossbred cattle were genotyped using competitive allele-specific PCR assays. Association analysis was performed using a linear mixed model in R. In purebred Butana cattle, the lysine DGAT1 protein variant K232, which is found to be associated with higher fat and protein contents, as well as higher fat yield was highly frequent at 0.929, while its frequency in Butana × Holstein crossbred cattle was 0.394. Significant effects were found on milk yield (P = 7.6 × 10−20), fat yield (P = 2.2 × 10−17), protein yield (P = 2.0 × 10−19) and lactose yield (P = 4.0 × 10−18) in crossbred cattle. As expected, the protein variant K232 was disadvantageous since it was decreasing milk, protein, and lactose yields by 1.741 kg, 0.063 kg and 0.084 kg, respectively. No significant effects were found for milk fat, protein, and lactose contents. The high frequency of the lysine DGAT1 protein variant K232 in Butana cattle could contribute to their high milk fat content in combination with low milk yield. In Butana × Holstein crossbred cattle, the DGAT1 marker can be used for effective selection and thus genetic improvement of milk production.
      PubDate: 2022-03-25
      DOI: 10.1007/s11250-022-03141-7
  • A community-based intervention approach to control disease outbreaks and
           climate-related deaths in communally raised goat kids in the Eastern Cape
           Province, South Africa

    • Abstract: Abstract A community-based intervention project was conducted, from April 2017 to March 2019, on 512 kids born from flocks of 30 purposively selected households located in ten villages within Alice district of the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. The study aimed to examine the effectiveness of combined efforts from the research team and farmers to control disease outbreaks and climate change-related deaths. A systematic dosing and fortnight dipping schedule was part of the intervention efforts made by the research team as well as supplying feed to pregnant and lactating does. Proper housing shelters were constructed and practicing hygiene measures were implemented. Veterinary assistance and medication were availed whenever there was a sick kid. Diseases and climate-related deaths were diagnosed based on clinical signs, laboratory results and relevant necropsy records. The current intervention program resulted to a decline in kid mortality rate (56.17% to 22.38%). Consistent access to veterinary services reduced the prevalence of Infectious diseases in year-2 (6.38%) as opposed to year-1 (14.89%). Climatic factors (11.92 vs 2.89%) became less prevalent due to better housing infrastructure while parasitic-related health problems showed a similar trend (9.79% vs 1.81%) after implementing a systematic dosing plan and fortnight dipping schedule. Death due to mechanical (7.66% vs 3.97%), reproductive (5.53% vs 3.25%) and nutritional (6.38% vs 2.53%)-related health problems also showed a slight decline. Even though the mortality rate was still above 20%, the documented improvement in kids’ survival rate implies that the approach was a moderate success. An in-depth analysis with regard to affordability and effectiveness should be conducted to ensure consistent support.
      PubDate: 2022-03-22
      DOI: 10.1007/s11250-022-03143-5
  • Impacts of dietary supplementation with nano-iron and methionine on
           growth, blood chemistry, liver biomarkers, and tissue histology of
           heat-stressed broiler chickens

    • Abstract: Abstract A 28-day study was done to explore the impact of nano-iron alone or combined with methionine on growth, blood chemistry, liver biomarkers, and tissue histology of heat-stressed chicken. One-day-old Ross 308 chicks were randomly allocated to three groups. Each group was divided into three replicates (13 chicks/replicate). The first group was the control one that was fed a basal diet without supplementation (T0). The second group was fed a basal diet with nano-iron 4 mg kg−1 diet (T1). The third group was fed a basal diet with nano-iron 4 mg kg−1 diet plus methionine 4 g kg−1 diet (T2). The results showed that the birds in the control group had significantly (p < 0.05) higher final weights. Also, a partial relief of heat stress adverse effects was observed on growth by T1 compared to T2. The T2 showed a significantly increased (p < 0.05) free iron (Fe) level and transferrin saturation index. Likewise, T2 significantly (p < 0.05) reduced total iron-binding capacity (TIBC) and transferrin level in comparison with T0 and T1. Also, hepatic impairment and inflammatory response were observed in the T2 group when compared to T0 and T1, besides a bad lipid profile. Further, T2 showed raised levels of Fe and ferritin in their hepatic tissues compared to those T1 and T0. A significant increment of thiobarbituric acid reactive and decrement of reduced glutathione levels in the hepatic tissues of T2 and T1 versus T0 levels were recorded. It is concluded that nano-iron at the level of 4 mg kg−1 in this study is highly absorbed, leading to harmful effects. Further investigations are needed to detect the proper supplemental level.
      PubDate: 2022-03-05
      DOI: 10.1007/s11250-022-03130-w
  • Effect of two formulations of recombinant bovine somatotropin on milk
           production and body condition of cattle under intensive management in Peru

    • Abstract: Abstract The effect of recombinant somatotropin (rbST) application in cattle has been demonstrated in temperate climate but very limited studies are available in tropical regions. The objective of this study was to compare the effect of the application of two different formulations of rbST on the milk yield and body condition of dairy cattle in a commercial herd under intensive production in Peru. We evaluated the application of 500 mg of active rbST in a zinc sesame oil (ZSO-rbST; n = 44) or vitamin E lecithin (VEL-rbST; n = 45) vehicle while control cows (n = 42) did not receive any application. The application of rbST was performed by every 14 days for 12 cycles, for a total of 168 days. The application of rbST increased the milk production of primiparous and multiparous cows by 3 and 3.2 kg/day for the VEL-rbST formulation respectively when compared with control cows (p < 0.01) and no difference in milk production was observed between the ZSO-rbST formulation and the control group (p > 0.05). However, no significant difference on milk production was observed between the rbST formulations evaluated. The effect of rbST per injection cycle indicated differences in milk production and economic return for the 12 cycles between rbST and control in primiparous group, while in multiparous, no differences were found between ZSO-rbST and control (p > 0.05), but differences were observed between VEL-rbST and control in 41% of the cycles (p < 0.05). No differences in body condition were found between the two rbST formulations and the control group during the evaluation. In conclusion, the application of rbST promoted higher milk production of cattle which had a positive impact on the economic income of the farmer.
      PubDate: 2022-02-09
      DOI: 10.1007/s11250-021-03036-z
  • The effect of high temperature and humidity on milk yield in Ankole and
           crossbred cows

    • Abstract: Abstract Tropical regions are characterized by high temperature and humidity across the year. At high values of temperature humidity index (THI), there is a risk of heat stress leading to lower milk yield. The objective of this study was to describe the effect of season and the effect of maximum daily THI on milk yield of that day in purebred Ankole and Ankole-Friesian, Ankole-Jersey and Ankole-Sahiwal crosses in a tropical climate. In total, 53,730 records of daily milk yield from 183 cows in Rwanda were analyzed. The results showed that THI had a negative effect on daily milk yield above a threshold, but the effect was small (− 0.11 kg milk/THI unit at most). Purebred Ankole cows had the lowest daily milk yield and the lowest threshold (THI mean 66), as compared to the crossbreds (THI mean 68–69). Ankole-Friesian had a steeper decline in daily milk yield above the threshold than Ankole. The crossbreds, especially Ankole-Friesian, had higher daily milk yield than purebred Ankole also at very high THI. The results indicate some differences between breed groups in the way of coping with a hot and humid climate and raise questions about dairy cows’ adaptation to such a climate.
      PubDate: 2022-02-03
      DOI: 10.1007/s11250-022-03092-z
  • Training needs assessment of veterinary practitioners in Ethiopia

    • Abstract: Abstract Pastoral and agro-pastoral farming are extensively practised in Ethiopia, and the main livestock kept are cattle, goats, sheep, poultry, and camels. The livestock sector is faced with complex challenges including limited availability of well-trained and skilled animal health professionals. The objective of this study was to identify and prioritise areas for training with the goal of providing evidence to guide strategies to improve the skills, delivery, and governance of veterinary services across Ethiopia. A cross-sectional survey was developed and administered electronically to veterinary professionals in Ethiopia using the Qualtrics platform. Data were collected on select parameters including demographics, diseases of economic significance, diagnosis, disease prevention, biosecurity, disease control, treatment, epidemiology, One Health, disease reporting, and the participants’ opinions about training. The survey data was downloaded in Microsoft Excel and descriptive statistics performed. A total of 234 veterinary professionals completed the survey. Most participants were male (89.7%) and aged between 26 and 35 years (81.2%). Of the total respondents, 56.4% worked in government and 8.5% in private practice. Most participants perceived training on laboratory diagnostic testing, disease prevention, antimicrobial resistance, antibiotic sensitivity testing, basic epidemiology, and clinical procedures, as most beneficial. In addition, most respondents would like to receive training on diseases affecting cattle, poultry, and small ruminants. The findings from this study provide baseline information on priority training areas for veterinary professionals and could potentially contribute to national efforts to develop and implement a continuing professional development programme in the veterinary domain, in view of improving veterinary service delivery.
      PubDate: 2022-01-22
      DOI: 10.1007/s11250-022-03075-0
  • Breeding practices and trait preferences of goat keepers at Lepelle-Nkumpi
           Local Municipality, South Africa: implication for the design of breeding

    • Abstract: Abstract Identification of breeding practices and trait preferences by livestock keepers for the selection of breeding animals to be parents of the next generations is the crucial step to the successful implementation of community-based breeding program (CBBPs). The study aimed to detect breeding practices and trait preferences by farmers at Lepelle-Nkumpi Local Municipality, South Africa to determine their relevance in establishing a CBBP. A well-structured questionnaire was designed and administered to 183 randomly selected goat keepers from four villages. Chi-square statistics were used to compare categorical variables among villages. Socio-economic factors and reasons for keeping goats were not significantly different (P > 0.05) between the four villages. Methods of controlling mating, reasons for not controlling mating, keeping breeding bucks, source of breeding bucks, reasons for culling, and culling methods were significantly different (P < 0.05) among villages. The most common trait preferences of goat keepers among the surveyed villages were twinning ability, mothering ability, and body size in breeding does, while in breeding bucks were mating ability, growth rate, and body size. The results from this study are useful for designing CBBPs for goat production in the communal areas of Lepelle-Nkumpi Local Municipality.
      PubDate: 2022-01-19
      DOI: 10.1007/s11250-022-03078-x
  • Typology and characteristics of indigenous goats and production systems in
           different agro-ecological zones of Tanzania

    • Abstract: Abstract Tanzania has a goat population of about 24.8 million most of which belong to the Small East African breed distributed in almost all agro-ecological zones. The different goat populations and the production system in which they are raised are not well characterized depriving animal breeders useful information in designing and running improvement and conservation programs. Therefore, the study was conducted in all agro-ecological zones in Tanzania to characterize the indigenous goats and the production system in which they are raised. Data on animals were collected from 688 randomly selected adult female goats and for production system description; 220 households were interviewed. Analysis of variance and discriminant analysis were used on quantitative data, while frequency analysis was used on qualitative data. Income generation and meat production were the primary goat rearing objectives. More than 55% of respondents grazed their animals freely in communal lands where natural pasture was the chief feed resource. Mating was mainly uncontrolled with apron and castration being used by goat keepers as mating control methods. Common diseases were contagious caprine pleural pneumonia and helminthiasis. Feed shortage, prevalence of diseases, and water scarcity were the major goat production constraints. There were morphological variations between and within these goat populations, and based on quantitative data, the goats were categorized into two groups. High twinning was observed in Ujiji and Lindi goats and low for Sukuma. The dominant coat color was plain white in Pare, Gogo, Maasai, and Tanga. Other coat color patterns were mixed black and white for Sukuma, reddish-brown for Lindi, black and reddish-brown for Ujiji, and white and reddish-brown for Pwani and Maasai. High within population variation is observed which is important as it can be used as a basis for genetic improvement through selection.
      PubDate: 2022-01-19
      DOI: 10.1007/s11250-022-03074-1
  • Validation of somatic cell score-associated SNPs from Holstein cattle in
           Sudanese Butana and Butana × Holstein crossbred cattle

    • Abstract: Abstract The Bos indicus zebu cattle Butana is the most commonly used indigenous dairy cattle breed in Sudan. In the last years, high-yielding Holstein dairy cattle were introgressed into Butana cattle to improve their milk yield and simultaneously keep their good adaption to extreme environmental conditions. With the focus on the improvement of milk production, other problems arose such as an increased susceptibility to mastitis. Thus, genetic selection for mastitis resistance should be considered to maintain healthy and productive cows. In this study, we tested 10 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) which had been associated with somatic cell score (SCS) in Holstein cattle for association with SCS in 37 purebred Butana and 203 Butana × Holstein crossbred cattle from Sudan. Animals were genotyped by competitive allele-specific PCR assays and association analysis was performed using a linear mixed model. All 10 SNPs were segregating in the crossbred Butana × Holstein populations, but only 8 SNPs in Sudanese purebred Butana cattle. The SNP on chromosome 13 was suggestively associated with SCS in the Butana × Holstein crossbred population (rs109441194, 13:79,365,467, PBF = 0.054) and the SNP on chromosome 19 was significantly associated with SCS in both populations (rs41257403, 19:50,027,458, Butana: PBF = 0.003, Butana × Holstein: PBF = 6.2 × 10−16). The minor allele of both SNPs showed an increase in SCS. Therefore, selection against the disadvantageous minor allele could be used for genetic improvement of mastitis resistance in the studied populations. However, investigations in a bigger population and across the whole genome are needed to identify additional genomic loci.
      PubDate: 2022-01-12
      DOI: 10.1007/s11250-022-03048-3
  • A study of the phosphorylation proteomic skin characteristics of Tan sheep
           during the newborn and er-mao stages

    • Abstract: Abstract In this experiment, in order to study the formation mechanism of the lamb fur of Tan sheep, skin samples were collected from Tan sheep at the newborn and er-mao stages. Then, the phosphorylated proteomes of the skin samples of Tan sheep at the two different stages were compared and analyzed using a TMT labeled quantitative phosphorylation proteomic technique. A total of 2806 phosphorylated proteins were identified, including 8184 phosphorylation sites. The results of this study’s quantitative analysis showed that when compared with the skin samples at the er-mao stage, the phosphorylation levels of 171 sites had been upregulated in the skin samples at newborn stage. Meanwhile, 125 sites had been downregulated at the same stage. As shown by the results of the functional enrichment analysis of the differentially phosphorylated proteins, they had been mainly enriched in the cysteine and methionine metabolism. In addition, the phosphorylation levels of KAP4.7 and KAP13.1 had also varied during the different skin stages. These results indicated that the cysteine metabolism pathways, as well as the phosphorylation modifications of the keratin associated proteins in the skin, played important roles in the formation of the er-mao stage fur of the Tan sheep. Therefore, the findings of this study provided a new angle for interpreting the formation mechanism of er-mao stage fur properties.
      PubDate: 2021-12-29
      DOI: 10.1007/s11250-021-02899-6
  • Use of pooled serum samples to assess herd disease status using
           commercially available ELISAs

    • Abstract: Abstract Pooled samples are used in veterinary and human medicine as a cost-effective approach to monitor disease prevalence. Nonetheless, there is limited information on the effect of pooling on test performance, and research is required to determine the appropriate number of samples which can be pooled. Therefore, this study aimed to evaluate the use of pooled serum samples as a herd-level surveillance tool for infectious production-limiting diseases: bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD), infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (IBR), enzootic bovine leukosis (EBL) and Neospora caninum (NC), by investigating the maximum number of samples one can pool to identify one positive animal, using commercial antibody-detection ELISAs. Four positive field standards (PFS), one for each disease, were prepared by pooling highly positive herd-level samples diagnosed using commercially available ELISA tests. These PFS were used to simulate 18 pooled samples ranging from undiluted PFS to a dilution representing 1 positive in 1,000 animals using phosphate-buffered saline as diluent. A 1:10 dilution of the PFS resulted in positive results for IBR, BVD and EBL. Moreover, for IBR and BVD, results were still positive at 1:100 and 1:30 dilutions, respectively. However, for NC, a lower dilution (8:10) was required for a seropositive result. This study indicates that, at herd-level, the use of pooled serum is a useful strategy for monitoring infectious diseases (BVD, IBR and EBL) but not NC, using readily available diagnostic assays.
      PubDate: 2021-10-09
      DOI: 10.1007/s11250-021-02939-1
  • Apparent digestibility and nutritional composition of Leucaena
           leucocephala (Lam) leaf meal incorporated in the diets of Black Australorp
           and Potchefstroom Koekoek chicken breeds

    • Abstract: Abstract The objective of the study was to determine the apparent digestibility and nutrient composition of Leucaena leucocephala leaf meal (LLM) inclusion in Black Australorp and Potchefstroom Koekoek diets. Tender and mature leaves were separately harvested from 10 individual trees and stored separately for chemical analyses. The leaves were air-dried in a well-ventilated laboratory to constant weight and milled to pass through a 1-mm sieve. A mixture of tender and mature leaves was also collected to produce a bulk leaf meal. The four iso-nitrogenous dietary treatments were 0 (control), 2.5, 5.0 and 7.5% of LLM, respectively. The apparent digestibility of two chicken breeds was also evaluated. The dry matter (DM), neutral detergent fibre (NDF), ether extract (EE), cellulose and hemicellulose of the samples did not differ between tender and mature leaves. Tender leaves had higher (P < 0.05) calcium, potassium, magnesium and sodium concentration than mature leaves. Crude protein and mimosine content were significantly (P < 0.05) higher in tender than in mature leaves. The inclusion levels of L. leucocephala leaf meal affect (P < 0.05) acid detergent fibre (ADF), neutral detergent fibre (NDF) and crude protein (CP) digestibility. Crude protein digestibility decreases as the inclusion levels of L. leucocephala increase. Both tender and mature L. leucocephala leaves have a potential nutritional value that can be used in feedstuff and can be used as a protein supplement for Black Australorp and Potchefstroom Koekoek chicken breeds.
      PubDate: 2021-09-20
      DOI: 10.1007/s11250-021-02922-w
  • Seroprevalence of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus on
           swine farms in a tropical country of the Middle Americas: the case of
           Costa Rica

    • Abstract: Abstract Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) causes significant economic losses to the swine industry worldwide. Little is known regarding the epidemiology of this infection in tropical countries. To address this problem in Costa Rica, a seroepidemiological study was carried out in two phases. In the first phase, a pilot study was conducted in nine farms with the clinical diagnosis of PRRSV. In total, 265 pig serum samples were collected from animals ranging in age from 1 to 15 weeks of age. This study aimed to establish the duration of maternal immunity in piglets, to identify the period of viremia, and to determine when seroconversion occurs. In the second phase, a cross-sectional serology study was performed on a representative sample of the Costa Rican national herds in the second phase. The twenty-five selected farms represent all provinces and were classified according to herd size (100 to 2000 sows). In each farm, pigs aged 8, 10, and 12 weeks were sampled, as well as gilts based on the pilot study. In total 1281 pigs were sampled across all 25 farms. The aim of the cross-sectional study was to quantify the seroprevalence of PRRSV in Costa Rican pig farms and to describe its geographical distribution in this tropical country. The prevalence of positive farms was 44% (11/25), and these farms were located in six of the seven provinces of Costa Rica. Overall, 58% (344/596) of the pigs were seropositive to PRRSV. The age of the pigs and the ecozone where farms were located were significantly related with PRRSV seroprevalence in animals and herds, respectively.
      PubDate: 2021-08-18
      DOI: 10.1007/s11250-021-02799-9
  • Complete genome analysis of African swine fever virus responsible for
           outbreaks in domestic pigs in 2018 in Burundi and 2019 in Malawi

    • Abstract: Abstract Several African swine fever (ASF) outbreaks in domestic pigs have been reported in Burundi and Malawi and whole-genome sequences of circulating outbreak viruses in these countries are limited. In the present study, complete genome sequences of ASF viruses (ASFV) that caused the 2018 outbreak in Burundi (BUR/18/Rutana) and the 2019 outbreak in Malawi (MAL/19/Karonga) were produced using Illumina next-generation sequencing (NGS) platform and compared with other previously described ASFV complete genomes. The complete nucleotide sequences of BUR/18/Rutana and MAL/19/Karonga were 176,564 and 183,325 base pairs long with GC content of 38.62 and 38.48%, respectively. The MAL/19/Karonga virus had a total of 186 open reading frames (ORFs) while the BUR/18/Rutana strain had 151 ORFs. After comparative genomic analysis, the MAL/19/Karonga virus showed greater than 99% nucleotide identity with other complete nucleotides sequences of p72 genotype II viruses previously described in Tanzania, Europe and Asia including the Georgia 2007/1 isolate. The Burundian ASFV BUR/18/Rutana exhibited 98.95 to 99.34% nucleotide identity with genotype X ASFV previously described in Kenya and in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The serotyping results classified the BUR/18/Rutana and MAL/19/Karonga ASFV strains in serogroups 7 and 8, respectively. The results of this study provide insight into the genetic structure and antigenic diversity of ASFV strains circulating in Burundi and Malawi. This is important in order to understand the transmission dynamics and genetic evolution of ASFV in eastern Africa, with an ultimate goal of designing an efficient risk management strategy against ASF transboundary spread.
      PubDate: 2021-08-17
      DOI: 10.1007/s11250-021-02877-y
School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences
Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK
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