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Animals
Journal Prestige (SJR): 0.744
Citation Impact (citeScore): 2
Number of Followers: 13  

  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Online) 2076-2615
Published by MDPI Homepage  [246 journals]
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3318: Effects of Low-Fat Distillers Dried Grains
           with Solubles Supplementation on Growth Performance, Rumen Fermentation,
           Blood Metabolites, and Carcass Characteristics of Kiko Crossbred Wether
           Goats

    • Authors: Khim B. Ale, Jarvis Scott, Chukewueme Okere, Frank W. Abrahamsen, Reshma Gurung, Nar K. Gurung
      First page: 3318
      Abstract: Distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) produced in the US are predominately low fat, as the economics favor separating as much oil as possible for sale as renewable diesel feedstock and also for use in swine and poultry feed. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of feeding different amounts of low-fat DDGS (LF-DDGS) on the growth performance, growth efficiency, rumen fermentation, blood metabolites, and carcass characteristics of Kiko crossbred wether goats. Twenty-four goats, 5–6 months of age, were randomly assigned to one of the four experimental diets (n = 6/diet), 0%, 10%, 20%, and 30% LF-DDGS on an as-fed basis, and fed for 84 days. The data collected were analyzed using an orthogonal contrast test for equally spaced treatments. The average total gains, average daily gains, and gain-to-feed ratios were similar among the treatments (p > 0.05). The rumen acetate, propionate, and butyrate concentrations and the acetate:propionate ratios were similar (p > 0.05) among the treatments. There were no differences (p > 0.05) among the treatments for the dressing percentage, rib eye area, and backfat thickness. The findings suggest that at least up to 30% LF-DDGS can be included in the diets of castrated male goats without affecting the production performance and carcass characteristics.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-11-28
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233318
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3320: The Effect of Anthocyanins from Dioscorea
           alata L. on Antioxidant Properties of Perinatal Hainan Black Goats and Its
           Possible Mechanism in the Mammary Gland

    • Authors: Yuanxin Zhang, Huiyu Shi, Yanhong Yun, Haibo Feng, Xuemei Wang
      First page: 3320
      Abstract: (1) Background: The mammary glands of the perinatal goats are susceptible to reactive oxygen species (ROS) leading to oxidative injury. Although Dioscorea alata L. is rich in anthocyanins with high safety and excellent free-radical-scavenging ability, the effect and mechanism of Dioscorea alata L. anthocyanins (DAC) on the antioxidant capacity of the black Hainan goat has been the subject of few studies to date; (2) Methods: For this reason, feeding experiments were performed by feeding experimental diets, and the pre-protective capacity of DAC on goat mammary epithelial cells was explored on the basis of the established model of H2O2 injury; (3) Results: As well as altering rumen fermentation parameters in perinatal female goats, dietary challenge also improves antioxidant capacity in their blood and milk. thereby enhancing children’s antioxidant capacity and increasing their resistance to oxidative stress. However, we also found that DAC pretreatment was capable of activating both Nrf2 and MAPK/JNK pathways, which results in enhanced antioxidase activity and elimination of ROS; (4) Conclusions: Together, these findings suggest that DAC may have a pre-protective role on perinatal Hainan black goats through the regulation of Nrf2 and MAPK/JNK pathways in GMEC.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-11-28
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233320
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3321: The Influence of Commercial Feed
           Supplemented with Carnobacterium maltaromaticum Environmental Probiotic
           Bacteria on the Rearing Parameters and Microbial Safety of Juvenile
           Rainbow Trout

    • Authors: Iwona Gołaś, Jacek Arkadiusz Potorski
      First page: 3321
      Abstract: The aim of this study was to determine the effect of commercial feed (CF) supplemented with 0.1% of the Carnobacterium maltaromaticum environmental probiotic strain on the rearing parameters, apparent nutrient digestibility, and microbial safety of juvenile rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). The fish were fed CF (control group, CG) and experimental feed (EF) supplemented with 0.1% of C. maltaromaticum (experimental group, EG) for 56 days. The final body weight and total body length of the fish were measured. The growth rate, condition factor, feed conversion ratio, viscerosomatic and hepatosomatic indices, and apparent digestibility coefficients of protein (PAD), lipids (LAD), ash (AAD), and nitrogen-free extract (NFEAD) were calculated. The total viable counts of C. maltaromaticum bacteria, mesophilic bacteria, hemolytic mesophilic bacteria, Pseudomonas fluorescens, Aeromonas hydrophila, Staphylococcus sp., and sulfite-reducing anaerobic spore-forming Clostridium sp. were determined in digestive tract contents and the skin of fish. Feed supplementation with C. maltaromaticum significantly affected most rearing parameters, as well as the PAD, LAD, AAD and NFE values, and bacterial counts. The principal component analysis (PCA) revealed significant positive correlations (p < 0.05) between fish growth rates, PAD and LAD values vs. C. maltaromaticum counts in the EF and in the digestive tract contents of the fish.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-11-28
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233321
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3322: Nutritional and Functional Roles of Phytase
           and Xylanase Enhancing the Intestinal Health and Growth of Nursery Pigs
           and Broiler Chickens

    • Authors: Vitor Hugo C. Moita, Sung Woo Kim
      First page: 3322
      Abstract: This review paper discussed the nutritional and functional roles of phytase and xylanase enhancing the intestinal and growth of nursery pigs and broiler chickens. There are different feed enzymes that are currently supplemented to feeds for nursery pigs and broiler chickens. Phytase and xylanase have been extensively studied showing consistent results especially related to enhancement of nutrient digestibility and growth performance of nursery pigs and broiler chickens. Findings from recent studies raise the hypothesis that phytase and xylanase could play functional roles beyond increasing nutrient digestibility, but also enhancing the intestinal health and positively modulating the intestinal microbiota of nursery pigs and broiler chickens. In conclusion, the supplementation of phytase and xylanase for nursery pigs and broiler chickens reaffirmed the benefits related to enhancement of nutrient digestibility and growth performance, whilst also playing functional roles benefiting the intestinal microbiota and reducing the intestinal oxidative damages. As a result, it could contribute to a reduction in the feed costs by allowing the use of a wider range of feedstuffs without compromising the optimal performance of the animals, as well as the environmental concerns associated with a poor hydrolysis of antinutritional factors present in the diets for swine and poultry.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-11-28
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233322
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3323: Factors Affecting Grazing and Rumination
           Behaviours of Dairy Cows in a Pasture-Based System in New Zealand

    • Authors: Muhammad Wasim Iqbal, Ina Draganova, Patrick C. H. Morel, Stephen T. Morris
      First page: 3323
      Abstract: This study investigated the variation in daily time spent grazing and rumination in spring-calved grazing dairy cows (n = 162) of three breeds, Holstein-Friesian (HFR), Jersey (JE), and KiwiCross (KC) with different breeding worth index, and in different years of lactation (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th). The cows were managed through a rotational grazing system and milked once a day at 05:00 a.m. The cows grazed mainly pasture and received supplementary feeds depending on the season. Automated AfiCollar device continuously monitored and recorded grazing time and rumination time of the individual cows throughout the lactation period for three study years (Year-1, Year-2, Year-3) with 54 cows per year. A general linear mixed model fitted with breed × lactation year with days in milk (DIM), breeding worth (BW) index value, individual cow, season, and feed, and their interactions was performed in SAS. Variance partitioning was used to quantify the effect size of study factors and their interactions. Individual cows, DIM, and BW (except Year-3) had effects on grazing and rumination times throughout the study years. Grazing time and rumination time were different for different seasons due to varying supplementary feeds. Grazing time varied among breeds in Year-2 and Year-3, and among lactation years only in Year-1. Although rumination time differed among breeds in Year-3, it remained the same within different lactation years. Grazing time and rumination time had a negative relationship with each other, and their regression lines varied for different seasons. The total variance explained by the model in grazing time was 36–39%, mainly contributed by the individual cow (12–20%), season (5–12%), supplementary feed (2–6%), breed (1–5%), and lactation year (1–6%). The total variance explained in rumination was 40–41%, mainly contributed by the individual cow (16–24%), season (2–17%), supplementary feed (1–2%), breed (2–8%), and lactation year (~1%). These findings could contribute to improving the measures for feed resource management during different seasons over the lactation period for a mixed herd comprising JE, HFR and KC breeds in different years of lactation.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-11-28
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233323
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3324: Compost Dairy Barn Layout and Management
           Recommendations in Kentucky: A Descriptive Study

    • Authors: Flávio Alves Damasceno, George B. Day, Joseph L. Taraba, Carlos Eduardo Alves Oliveira, Rafaella Resende Andrade, Karen Dal Magro Frigeri, Frederico Márcio Corrêa Vieira, Matteo Barbari, Gianluca Bambi
      First page: 3324
      Abstract: This study was conducted to describe the building layout and dimensions, characterize the bedding material, and observe the management practices in 42 compost-bedded pack (CBP) barns in Kentucky (USA). The average herd size found in the study was 90 cows and the breeds consisted of Jersey (6.8%), Holstein (72.7%), and mixed (20.5%). The average CBP barn dimensions were 49.1 m (length) by 21.9 m (width). Many of these barns had feed alleys and driveways; overshot ridges with frequent orientation from NE to SW; and green sawdust, kiln-dried sawdust, or a mixture of both as the most common bedding materials. The bed-turning process was performed mechanically at depths of less than 0.25 m, and the loading of fresh material was performed every one to five weeks, varying by season, weather conditions, barn size, and cow density. The average bedding moisture content was found to be 59.0% (wet bulb—w.b.) and ranged from 36.2 to 71.8%. Coliforms were not present in barns that had a higher compost temperature, and the E. coli, Bacillus, and Streptococcus counts were higher in the barns that had a lower moisture content. In conclusion, it was observed that heterogeneous management was used among the barns and that the producers were satisfied with the compost barn system.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-11-28
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233324
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3325: First Identification and Phylogenetic
           Analysis of Porcine Circovirus Type 4 in Fur Animals in Hebei, China

    • Authors: Yanjin Wang, Shijie Yan, Yuting Ji, Yujie Yang, Ping Rui, Zengjun Ma, Hua-Ji Qiu, Tao Song
      First page: 3325
      Abstract: A novel circovirus called porcine circovirus type 4 (PCV4) was recently detected in pigs suffering from severe clinical diseases in Hunan province, China. There are few reports on the origin and evolution of PCV4, although some researchers have conducted epidemiological investigations of PCV4 and found that PCV4 is widespread in pigs. Based on the previous study, we detected PCV2 in farmed foxes and raccoon dogs with reproductive failure. To explore whether the PCV4 genome also exists in fur animals, we detected 137 cases admitted from fur animal farms in Hebei China between 2015 and 2020, which were characterized by inappetence, lethargy, depression, abortion, and sterility. The overall infection rate of PCV4 was 23.36% (32/137), including 20.37% (22/108) for raccoon dogs, 18.75% (3/16) for foxes, and 53.85% (7/13) for minks. Finally, five raccoon dog-origin PCV4 strains and one fox-origin PCV4 strain were sequenced in our study, whose nucleotide identities with other representative PCV4 strains varied from 96.5% to 100%. Phylogenetic analysis based on the complete genomes of PCV4 strains indicated a close relationship with those of PCV4 strains identified from pigs. To our knowledge, this is the first study to detect PCV4 in fur animals. Interestingly, we also identified PCV4 in a mixed farm (feeding pigs and raccoon dogs at the same time). In summary, our findings extend the understanding of the molecular epidemiology of PCV4 and provide new evidence for its cross-species transmission.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-11-28
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233325
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3326: Different Traits, Different Evolutionary
           Pathways: Insights from Salamandrina (Amphibia, Caudata)

    • Authors: Claudio Angelini, Francesca Antonucci, Jacopo Aguzzi, Corrado Costa
      First page: 3326
      Abstract: Species delimitation is often based on a single or very few genetic or phenetic traits, something which leads to misinterpretations and often does not provide information about evolutionary processes. Here, we investigated the diversity pattern of multiple phenetic traits of the two extant species of Salamandrina, a genus split only after molecular traits had been studied but the two species of which are phenetically very similar. The phenetic traits we studied are size, external body shape and head colour pattern, in a model comparison framework using non-linear mixed models and unsupervised and supervised clustering. Overall, we found high levels of intra-specific variability for body size and shape, depending on population belonging and habitat, while differences between species were generally lower. The habitat the salamanders dwell in also seems important for colour pattern. Basing on our findings, from the methodological point of view, we suggest (i) to take into account the variability at population level when testing for higher level variability, and (ii) a semi-supervised learning approach to high dimensional data. We also showed that different phenotypic traits of the same organism could result from different evolutionary routes. Local adaptation is likely responsible for body size and shape variability, with selective pressures more similar across species than within them. Head colour pattern also depends on habitat, differently from ventral colour pattern (not studied in this paper) which likely evolved under genetic drift.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-11-28
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233326
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3327: Seroprevalence of Specific Antibodies to
           Toxoplasma gondii, Neospora caninum, and Brucella spp. in Sheep and Goats
           in Egypt

    • Authors: Fereig, Wareth, Abdelbaky, Mazeed, El-Diasty, Abdelkhalek, Mahmoud, Ali, El-tayeb, Alsayeqh, Frey
      First page: 3327
      Abstract: Toxoplasmosis, neosporosis, and brucellosis are devastating diseases causing infectious abortion and, therefore, substantial economic losses in farm animals. Toxoplasmosis and neosporosis are caused by the intracellular protozoan parasites Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) and Neospora caninum (N. caninum), respectively. Brucellosis is a bacterial disease caused by numerous Brucella species in multiple hosts. Toxoplasmosis and brucellosis are also considered foodborne zoonotic diseases. In the current study, specific antibodies to T. gondii and N. caninum, in addition to those to Brucella spp., were detected to gain a better understanding of the epidemiological situation for these three pathogens. Sheep and goat sera from Egypt (n = 360) of animals with and without a history of abortion were tested using commercial ELISAs. Seropositivity rates of 46.1%, 11.9%, and 8.6% for T. gondii, N. caninum, and Brucella spp., respectively, were revealed. Mixed infections with T. gondii and Brucella spp. (4.4%), T. gondii and N. caninum (4.2%), N. caninum and Brucella spp. (1.4%), and even some triple infections (0.6%) have been observed. Animals with a history of abortion had a significantly higher seroprevalence for Brucella spp. infection than those without abortion (12.6%; 28/222 vs. 2.2%; 3/138) (p = 0.0005; Odds ratio = 1.9–21.8), while none of the other pathogens showed a similar effect. This result suggests brucellosis as a possible cause of abortion in the study population. However, the high seroprevalence for T. gondii and N. caninum revealed in our study warrants further investigations.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-11-28
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233327
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3328: Inhibition of GSK3β Promotes
           Proliferation and Suppresses Apoptosis of Porcine Muscle Satellite Cells

    • Authors: Jinryong Park, Hyunwoo Choi, Kwanseob Shim
      First page: 3328
      Abstract: As the global population increases, interest in cultured meat (a new research field) is gradually increasing. The main raw material for the production of cultured meat is muscle stem cells called satellite cells isolated from livestock. However, how to mass proliferate and maintain satellite cells in vitro without genetic manipulation remains unclear. In the present study, we isolated and purified porcine muscle satellite cells (PMSCs) from the femur of a 1-day-old piglet and cultured PMSCs by treating them with an inhibitor (XAV939, Tankyrase (TNKS) inhibitor) or an activator (CHIR99021, glycogen synthase kinase 3 beta (GSK3β) inhibitor) of Wnt signaling. The CHIR group treated with 3 μM CHIR99021 showed a significantly increased proliferation rate of PMSCs compared to the SC group (control), whereas the XAV group treated with 1 μM XAV939 showed a significantly decreased proliferation rate of PMSCs. CHIR99021 also inhibited the differentiation of PMSCs by reducing the expression of MyoD while maintaining the expression of Pax7 and suppressed apoptosis by regulating the expression of apoptosis-related proteins and genes. RNA sequencing was performed to obtain gene expression profiles following inhibition or activation of the Wnt signaling pathway and various signaling mechanisms related to the maintenance of satellite cells were identified. Our results suggest that inhibition of GSK3β could dramatically improve the maintenance and mass proliferation ability of PMSCs in vitro by regulating the expression of myogenic markers and the cell cycle.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-11-28
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233328
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3329: Management of Genetic Variation in the
           Gamete Bank of the Endangered Lake Minnow Eupallasella percnurus, Using
           Genassemblage 2.2 Software

    • Authors: Dariusz Kaczmarczyk, Jacek Wolnicki
      First page: 3329
      Abstract: The management of genetic resources deposited in gene banks requires knowledge of the genetic profiles of the gamete donors and bioinformatics tools to process this information. In this work, we show how to use Genassemblage 2.2 software in managing the genetic variation deposited in a bank of cryopreserved semen. Our demonstration was based on the leuciscid fish species, lake minnow Eupallasella percnurus, which is designated as endangered in Poland. The semen samples (n = 192) were taken from four Polish lake minnow populations and frozen in the gene bank. Fin clips were taken and DNA extracted. Across 13 investigated microsatellite loci, 21–53 alleles were identified in each population and 66 in the entire group of samples. The module “Management of genetic variation in gamete bank” of Genassemblage 2.2 software was used to find the set of samples that will preserve 100% of the detected allelic diversity in the next generation. Our results showed that a small group of 4–19 semen samples was enough to transfer all alleles detected across this set of samples. We, therefore, recommend Genassemblage 2.2 as a convenient tool for the detection of genetic differences between donors, the construction of optimal sets of samples for conservation of genetic variation, and for managing genetic variation deposited in gamete banks. Consequently, it can be used in breeding human-dependent populations and to optimize the use of genetic diversity in samples in the gamete banks. It can be especially useful for conserving populations of species characterized by low genetic variation, such as the lake minnow.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-11-28
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233329
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3330: Physiological Assessment of the Health and
           Welfare of Domestic Cats—An Exploration of Factors Affecting Urinary
           Cortisol and Oxytocin

    • Authors: Takumi Nagasawa, Yuichi Kimura, Koji Masuda, Hidehiko Uchiyama
      First page: 3330
      Abstract: Physiological samples are beneficial in assessing the health and welfare of cats. However, most studies have been conducted in specialized environments, such as shelters or laboratories, and have not focused on cats living in domestic settings. In addition, most studies have assessed physiological stress states in cats based on cortisol, and none have quantified positive indicators, such as oxytocin. Here, we collected urine samples from 49 domestic cats and quantified urinary cortisol, oxytocin, and creatinine using ELISA. To identify factors influencing hormone levels, owners responded to questionnaires regarding their housing environment, individual cat information, and the frequency of daily interactions with their cats. Using principal component analysis, principal component scores for daily interactions were extracted. These results showed that the frequency of tactile and auditory signal-based communication by owners was positively correlated with the mean concentration of oxytocin in the urine. Additionally, this communication was more frequent in younger cats or cats that had experienced a shorter length of cohabitation with the owner. However, no factors associated with urinary cortisol concentration were identified. Our study indicates that interactions and relationships with the owner influence the physiological status of cats and suggests that oxytocin is a valuable parameter for assessing their health and welfare.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-11-28
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233330
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3331: Evolutionary Impacts of Pattern Recognition
           Receptor Genes on Carnivora Complex Habitat Stress Adaptation

    • Authors: Xiaoyang Wu, Jun Chen, Xibao Wang, Yongquan Shang, Qinguo Wei, Honghai Zhang
      First page: 3331
      Abstract: Many mammals develop specific immune responses owing to the changes in their ecological niche and diet that are essential for animal survival. However, pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) serve as the first line of defense in innate immunity and generate immune responses in the host. However, the evolutionary impacts on PRR genes in Carnivora are not well studied. Herein, we explored the evolution of 946 PRR gene sequences in 43 Carnivora species to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of carnivore adaptation to complex habitats. We found that the PRRs were relatively conserved, and different gene families showed different evolutionary patterns. PRRs were highly purified based on their overall roles in Carnivora species but interspersed with positive-selection patterns during evolution. Different niche types may have jointly driven the evolution of PRR genes. In particular, the selection pressure of toll-like receptor (TLR) 10 was relaxed in seven species with pseudogenes, which may have emerged during recent evolutionary events. We speculated that a “functional compensation” mechanism may exist for genes with overlapping functions in the TLR gene family. Additionally, TLR2, TLR4, NLRC5, and DECTIN1 were subject to positive selection in semi-aquatic species, and the adaptive evolution of these genes may have been related to the adaptation to semi-aquatic environments. In summary, our findings offer valuable insights into the molecular and functional evolution of PRR genes, which are important for immune adaptations in Carnivora.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-11-28
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233331
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3332: Gill Oxidative Stress Protection through the
           Use of Phytogenics and Galactomannan Oligosaccharides as Functional
           Additives in Practical Diets for European Sea Bass (Dicentrarchus labrax)
           Juveniles

    • Authors: Antonio Serradell, Daniel Montero, Álvaro Fernández-Montero, Genciana Terova, Alex Makol, Victoria Valdenegro, Félix Acosta, María Soledad Izquierdo, Silvia Torrecillas
      First page: 3332
      Abstract: The aim of the present study is to evaluate the potential of two functional additives as gill endogenous antioxidant capacity boosters in European sea-bass juveniles fed low-FM/FO diets when challenged against physical and biological stressors. For that purpose, two isoenergetic and isonitrogenous diets with low FM (10%) and FO (6%) contents were supplemented with 5000 ppm plant-derived galactomannan–oligosaccharides (GMOS) or 200 ppm of a mixture of garlic and labiate plant essential oils (PHYTO). A control diet was void from supplementation. Fish were fed the experimental diet for nine weeks and subjected to a confinement stress challenge (C challenge) or a confinement stress challenge combined with an exposure to the pathogen Vibrio anguillarum (CI challenge). Both GMOS and PHYTO diets attenuated fish stress response, inducing lower circulating plasma cortisol and down-regulating nfkβ2 and gr relative gene-expression levels in the gill. This attenuated stress response was associated with a minor energetic metabolism response in relation to the down-regulation of nd5 and coxi gene expression.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-11-28
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233332
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3333: Roles of Ghrelin and Leptin in Body Mass
           Regulation under Food Restriction Based on the AMPK Pathway in the
           Red-Backed Vole, Eothenomys miletus, from Kunming and Dali Regions

    • Authors: Yuting Liu, Ting Jia, Yue Ren, Zhengkun Wang, Wanlong Zhu
      First page: 3333
      Abstract: The phenotype plasticity of animals’ physiological characteristics is an important survival strategy to cope with environmental changes, especially the change in climate factors. Small mammals that inhabit seasonally changing environments often face the stress of food shortage in winter. This study measured and compared the thermogenic characteristics and related physiological indicators in the adenosine-5′-monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) pathway in Eothenomys miletus between Kunming (KM, n = 18) and Dali (DL, n = 18) under food restriction and refeeding. The results showed that food restriction and the region have significant effects on body mass, the resting metabolic rate (RMR), hypothalamic neuropeptide gene expression, ghrelin levels in the stomach and serum, serum leptin level and the activity of AMPK, and malonyl CoA and carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1 (CPT-1) activity. Food restriction reduced the body mass, the gene expression of neuropeptide proopiomelanocortin (POMC), cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcription peptide (CART), and leptin level. However, the ghrelin concentration and AMPK activity increased. After refeeding, there was no difference in these physiological indexes between the food restriction and control groups. Moreover, the physiological indicators also showed regional differences, such as the body mass, POMC and CART gene expression, ghrelin concentration in the stomach and serum, and AMPK activity in DL changed more significantly. All these results showed that food restriction reduces energy metabolism in E. miletus. After refeeding, most of the relevant physiological indicators can return to the control level, indicating that E. miletus has strong phenotypic plasticity. Ghrelin, leptin, and the AMPK pathway play an important role in the energy metabolism of E. miletus under food restriction. Moreover, regional differences in physiological indicators under food restriction may be related to the different temperatures or food resources in different regions.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-11-28
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233333
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3334: Effects of Dietary Quinoa Seeds on Cecal
           Microorganisms and Muscle Fatty Acids of Female Luhua Chickens

    • Authors: Tao Wu, Xiaofan Jiang, Farong Yang, Yuming Wei, Shengguo Zhao, Ting Jiao
      First page: 3334
      Abstract: To study the effects of adding quinoa seed (raw grain) to the diet of the Luhua chicken on the cecal microorganism abundance and fatty acid composition of muscle, 120 49-day-old healthy female dewormed Luhua chickens (body weight 1476.21 ± 101.39 g) were randomly divided into 4 groups, with 3 replicates in each group and 10 chickens in each repetition. The control group (CK group) was fed a basal diet and the experimental groups were fed with 4% (Q4), 8% (Q8), and 12% (Q12) quinoa seed (raw grain) added to the basal diet for 75 days. After 121 days of age, the animals were slaughtered and the 16S rRNA characteristics of cecal flora, as well as composition and content of fatty acids in muscle, were determined and analyzed. The content of unsaturated fatty acids (UFAs), docosahexaenoic acid (C22:6n3; DHA) and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs) in the breast and leg muscles significantly increased in the experimental groups supplemented with quinoa seeds (p < 0.05). However, the content of saturated fatty acids (SAFs) and ratio of n-6/n-3 in breast muscle and leg muscle significantly decreased (p < 0.05). In addition, adding a certain percentage of quinoa seeds in the diet can also affect the community composition and content of microorganisms in the ceca of Luhua chickens. At the phylum level, the Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Synergistetes and Melainabacteria ''in experimental groups (Q4, Q8 and Q12) were significantly lower than those in the CK group (p < 0.05). At the genus level, Desulfovibrio, Synergistes, Olsenella, Parabacteroides, Mailhella, Sutterella and Ruminiclostridiu in group Q4 were significantly lower than those in group CK (p < 0.05) while Faecalibacterium in Q8 group, and Lawsonia and Faecalibacterium in Q12 group were significantly higher than those in the CK group (p < 0.05). Enrichment analysis of the microbial function showed that compared with the CK group, Metabolism and Enzyme Families were significantly enriched in the Q4 group (p < 0.05). Cellular Processes and Signaling were significantly enriched in the Q8 group (p < 0.05). The association analysis of fatty acids with microorganisms showed that the abundance of Faecalibacterium, Lawsonia and Meagmonas was significantly correlated with partial SFAs and UFAs (p < 0.05). In conclusion, adding quinoa seeds to diets significantly increased the content of muscle DHA, UFAs and n-3 PUFAs. The content of SAFs and the n-6/n-3 ratio were significantly reduced. Taken together, quinoa can effectively improve the cecal microbiota structure, inhibit the number of harmful bacteria and increase the number of beneficial bacteria, regulating the intestinal environment and promoting the body health of female Luhua chickens.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-11-28
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233334
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3335: High Prevalence and Genetic Variability of
           Hepatozoon canis in Grey Wolf (Canis lupus L. 1758) Population in Serbia

    • Authors: Milica Kuručki, Snežana Tomanović, Ratko Sukara, Duško Ćirović
      First page: 3335
      Abstract: Wild canids are globally recognised as hosts and reservoirs of a large number of ecto- and endoparasites. Data that reveal the importance of the grey wolf (Canis lupus L.1758) in the spread of hepatozoonosis are very scarce. There are a large number of different potential host species that can be infected by Hepatozoon canis, but the most common are domestic and wild carnivores, such as dogs, jackals, foxes, and wolves. In this study, the epidemiological significance of the grey wolf as a host for the pathogen was analysed for the first time in Serbia, as well as the genetic variability of H. canis. The presence of H. canis in wolf spleens has been demonstrated using molecular methods. A total of 107 wolf spleen samples from 30 localities in Serbia were analysed. The presence of H. canis was confirmed in 62 (57.94%) individuals from 26 out of 30 localities. According to the analysis, the sampled H. canis sequences were found to be characterised by a certain heterogeneity. Based on five mutated nucleotide sites in the sequences, H. canis could be divided into five sequence types, S1 to S5. The five sequence types can potentially circulate in grey wolf populations as well as among other domestic and wild canids. This study is the first confirmation of the presence of H. canis in grey wolf populations in Serbia. Considering that the role of this vector-borne disease is poorly researched in wild carnivores, it is very important to indicate the role of this species in the circulation of this pathogen in natural ecosystems.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-11-29
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233335
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3336: A Label-Free Quantitative Analysis for the
           Search of Proteomic Differences between Goat Breeds

    • Authors: Alessio Di Luca, Andrea Ianni, Francesca Bennato, Michael Henry, Paula Meleady, Giuseppe Martino
      First page: 3336
      Abstract: The intensification and standardization of livestock farming are causing a decline in the number of animal breeds in many species, such as the goat. The availability of more studies on the potentiality of goat breeds could raise awareness of their importance, conservation and productive possibilities. Label-free quantitative analysis was applied in this study to investigate the proteomic differences between the autochthon Teramana and Saanen goats that could be useful for defining peculiar features of these breeds. A total of 2093 proteins were characterized in the muscle exudate proteome of the Teramana and Saanen breeds. A total of 41 proteins clearly separated the two breeds. Eukaryotic initiation factor proteins and aldehyde-dehydrogenase 7 family-member A1 were up-regulated in the autochthon breed and associated with its resilience, whereas catalase was down-regulated and associated with lower muscular mass. This study is the most detailed report of goat muscle proteome. Several differentially regulated proteins between the two breeds were identified, providing insights into functional pathways that define this organism and its biology.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-11-29
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233336
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3337: Does the Implementation of an Animal Welfare
           Programme on a Farm Yield a Demonstrable Improvement in Fattening Pig
           Welfare'

    • Authors: Patrick Schale, Armin O. Schmitt, Sven Dänicke, Jeannette Kluess, Angelika Grümpel-Schlüter, Engel F. Arkenau
      First page: 3337
      Abstract: In the course of social criticism of fattening pig farming, an animal welfare programme called “Initiative Animal Welfare” (ITW) was founded to increase animal welfare in pig farming in Germany. Furthermore, there is a legal obligation to record animal welfare parameters as a self-monitoring measure. The “German Association for Technology and Structures in Agriculture” published a guideline on the applicable animal welfare criteria. This guide formed the basis of this study’s data collection. The aim was to apply the animal welfare parameters on farms by comparing the results between farms participating in ITW with those not participating. A cumulative score was calculated by evaluating the collected data. In addition, the relative risk was calculated in order to estimate the risk of finding a negative expression of a parameter. Our data show that ITW farms did not perform significantly better than the farms without ITW in terms of both the cumulative score and the relative risk. Overall, it must be considered that in both farm variants the occurrence of negative evaluations was very rare and the visited farms thus certainly can be considered to be well-managed farms. Climate parameters were recorded in each compartment and showed no significant differences in most cases.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-11-29
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233337
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3338: Impacts of Rumen Degradable or Undegradable
           Protein Supplementation on Supplement Intake and Performance of Yearling
           Heifers and Cows Grazing Dryland Pastures

    • Authors: Marley K. Manoukian, Timothy DelCurto, Janessa Kluth, T. J. Carlisle, Noah Davis, Makae Nack, Samuel A. Wyffels, Abe Scheaffer, Tom W. Geary, Megan L. Van Emon
      First page: 3338
      Abstract: Angus and Red Angus-based yearling heifers (n = 40) and lactating cows (n = 51) were each used in a complete randomized design and stratified by weight and body condition score to one of two treatments: (1) pressed supplement block containing rumen undegradable protein (RUP) and (2) pressed supplement block containing rumen degradable protein (RDP). Heifer and cow supplement intake displayed (p < 0.01) a treatment × period interaction. The RUP heifers and RDP cows consumed more in Period 2 than Period 1, whereas RDP heifers and RUP cows consumed more in Period 1 than Period 2, respectively. Intake rate demonstrated (p < 0.01) a treatment effect for heifers, with RUP consuming supplement faster than the RDP treatment. Intake rate for cows demonstrated (p < 0.01) a treatment × period interaction with RUP cows in Period 1 having faster intakes than Period 2, and RDP cows having the inverse. Cow intake variation displayed (p < 0.01) a treatment × period interaction with RUP cows having more variation in Period 2, while RDP cows had less variation in intake in Period 2. In conclusion, RDP and RUP impacted intake behavior of cows and heifers but had minimal impacts on performance.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-11-29
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233338
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3339: Multifaceted Interplay among Social
           Dominance, Body Condition, Appetitive and Consummatory Sexual Behaviors,
           and Semen Quality in Dorper Rams during Out-Of-Season and Transition
           Periods

    • Authors: Pablo I. Sifuentes-Lamónt, Cesar A. Meza-Herrera, Francisco G. Véliz-Deras, Alan S. Alvarado-Espino, Ariadna V. Alvarado-Espino, Guadalupe Calderón-Leyva, Oscar Angel-Garcia, Dalia I. Carrillo-Moreno, Viridiana Contreras-Villarreal, Ramón A. Delgado González, Jorge A. Bustamante-Andrade
      First page: 3339
      Abstract: Dorper rams (n = 24) were evaluated during the sexual resting season to determine their social rank (SR), either high (HSR) or low (LSR), under intensive management conditions in northern Mexico (25° N). Aggressive behaviors were quantified during male-to-male interactions, and appetitive and consummatory sexual behaviors during male-to-female interactions. Morphometric, live weight (LW), and body condition score (BCS) were recorded. During the early reproductive season, male-to-female behaviors were newly itemized simultaneously by seminal quality and quantity sampling. Finally, the dependent variables of the hemogram components were also quantified. Neither LW (61.25 ± 2.4 kg) nor morphometric variables differed between SR groups. However, BCS (2.25 vs. 2.66 u), sexual behaviors (i.e., approaches: 59.6 vs. 21.73 n, mating with ejaculation: 77.7 vs. 42.86 %, latency to ejaculation: 16.6 vs. 143.07 s), ejaculate volume (0.57 vs. 0.23 mL), and hemogram components favored the HSR rams (p < 0.05). Moreover, in their first male-to-female interaction, >50% of the LSR rams failed to display any sexual activity. HSR rams displayed a greater number of threatening behaviors, managing to displace LSR rams when exposed to estrus ewes during the male sexual resting season; more sexual behaviors; and an increased seminal volume in a non-live weight-dependent fashion.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-11-29
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233339
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3340: Effects of Differences in Fibre Composition
           and Maturity of Forage-Based Diets on the Fluid Balance, Water-Holding
           Capacity and Viscosity in Equine Caecum and Colon Digesta

    • Authors: Sara Muhonen, Christelle Philippeau, Véronique Julliand
      First page: 3340
      Abstract: Horses are herbivores, and their hindgut functions as a fluid reservoir as forage fibre properties have great impact on the water content of digesta and the milieu in the ecosystem. Our objective was to compare the effect of grass fibre maturity and legume forage on the water-holding capacity (WHC) and viscosity of the equine hindgut and the body weight (BW) and fluid balance of horses. Three diets: concentrate and late harvested grass haylage (35:65 energy ratio) (C); early and late harvested grass haylage (80:20) (G); lucerne and late harvested grass haylage (80:20) (L) were fed to six caecum and colon fistulated horses for 28 days in a Latin-square design. Total water intake and BW were higher when the horses were fed Diet L, but the digesta WHC was higher when fed Diet G. Total water excretion (via faeces + urine) and the difference in total water intake—output was higher when fed Diet L. Viscosity, measured on centrifuged digesta fluid, did not differ between diets, but the individual colon data of one horse were higher. In conclusion, early harvested forage might be beneficial for the fluid balance of athletic horses providing a higher WHC of hindgut digesta without increasing BW. The importance of digesta viscosity in relation to equine diets needs further investigations.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-11-29
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233340
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3341: Anaemia in Sheep Caused by Babesia and
           Theileria Haemoparasites

    • Authors: Sergio Villanueva-Saz, Marta Borobia, Antonio Fernández, Calasanz Jiménez, Andrés Yzuel, María Teresa Verde, María Ángeles Ramo, Luis Figueras, Héctor Ruíz
      First page: 3341
      Abstract: Piroplasmoses in sheep are caused by vector-borne apicomplexan protozoa, Babesia and Theileria. Different species are responsible for the disease; some species are more pathogenic than others and have a worldwide distribution. In this sense, these causative agents can cause anaemia in flocks. In general, these vector-borne diseases infect small ruminants and cause host-mediated pathology. In the case of Babesia species, a combination of different mechanisms is involved: red blood cell lysis due to intracellular parasite multiplication, activation of biogenic amines and the coagulation system with the possibility of disseminated intravascular coagulation. By contrast, less information is available on the different immunopathogenic mechanisms involved in the development of anaemia in sheep with theileriosis. However, the mechanisms of pathogenic action in theileriosis are similar to those studied in babesiosis. Diagnosis is based on compatible clinical signs, laboratory findings, specific diagnostic tests and the presence of the tick vector. Some of these tests detect the causative agent itself, such as direct identification by light microscopy and molecular analysis. In contrast, other tests detect the sheep’s immune response to the organism by serology. Both diseases pose a significant diagnostic challenge for veterinary practitioners around the world. This review presents the most frequent clinical signs, pathogenesis and clinicopathological findings, diagnosis.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-11-29
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233341
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3342: Identification and Characterization of
           Sex-Biased miRNAs in the Golden Pompano (Trachinotus blochii)

    • Authors: Liping Shi, Feibiao Song, Kaixi Zhang, Yue Gu, Jinghan Hu, Junlong Sun, Zhongwei Wang, Li Zhou, Jian Luo
      First page: 3342
      Abstract: The golden pompano (Trachinotus blochii) is a marine fish of considerable commercial importance in China. It shows notable sexual size dimorphism; the growth rate of females is faster than that of males. Therefore, sex-biased research is of great importance in T. blochii breeding. However, there have been few studies on sex differentiation and mechanisms underlying sex determination in T. blochii. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play crucial roles in sex differentiation and determination in animals. However, limited miRNA data are available on fish. In this study, two small RNA libraries prepared from the gonads of T. blochii were constructed and sequenced. The RNA-seq analysis yielded 1366 known and 69 novel miRNAs with 289 significantly differentially expressed miRNAs (p < 0.05). Gene ontology (GO) analysis confirmed that the TFIIA transcription factor complex (GO: 0005672) was the most significantly enriched GO term. The Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) analysis showed that the differentially expressed miRNAs and target genes were mainly related to sex determination and gonadal developmental signaling pathways, specifically the Wnt signaling pathway, MAPK signaling pathway, and steroid biosynthetic pathway. MiRNA-mRNA co-expression network analysis strongly suggested a role for sex-biased miRNAs in sex determination/differentiation and gonadal development. For example, gata4, foxo3, wt1, and sf1 genes were found to be regulated by bta-miR-2898; esr2 and foxo3 by novel_176, and ar by oar-let-7b. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis of selected mRNAs and miRNAs validated the integrated analysis. This study established a set of sex-biased miRNAs that are potential regulatory factors in gonadal development in T. blochii. These results provide new insight into the function of miRNAs in sex differentiation and determination in T. blochii and highlight some key miRNAs for future studies.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-11-29
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233342
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3343: Regional and Seasonal Variability of Mineral
           Patterns in Some Organs of Slaughtered One-Humped Camels [Camelus
           dromedarius] from Saudi Arabia

    • Authors: Mutassim M. Abdelrahman, Ibrahim A. Alhidary, Mohsen M. Alobre, Abdulkareem M. Matar, Abdulrahman S. Alharthi, Bernard Faye, Riyadh S. Aljumaah
      First page: 3343
      Abstract: Camel products are receiving great interest worldwide because of their high functional properties and nutritive values. Therefore, this study was focused on the variation of copper [Cu], zinc [Zn], manganese [Mn], selenium [Se], iron [Fe], iodine [I], and some heavy metals, cobalt [Co], lead [Pb], and cadmium [Cd], in the blood and tissues of slaughtered camels from five regions in Saudi Arabia [SA] during the summer and winter seasons, because environmental factors vary from region to region. Whole blood, meat, liver, rumen fluid, and rumen tissues were collected from the slaughterhouse in each region during the two seasons. Moreover, samples were prepared and analyzed for trace mineral and heavy metal concentrations using ICP-MS. The data were statistically analyzed as part of a complete randomized design and correlation analysis for season and location using SAS. The findings revealed a pattern in the minerals, with Ca being the only mineral that was unrelated to other minerals in the liver. For lead and cadmium, our mean value in liver [0.40 µg/g] was below the limit of the EU standard for cadmium [0.50 µg/g], while in meat and liver, lead contents [1.62 µg/g and 2.57 µg/g, respectively] were above the limit of the EU standard [0.10 and 0.20 µg/g, respectively]. For meat, the significantly highest positive correlations were observed between P and Mg [R2 = 0.928], Fe and Mn [R2 = 0.860], and Co and Mn [R2 = 0.821]. For rumen tissues, P and Mg were highly correlated [R2 = 0.958] as well as Zn and Mg [R2 = 0.857], Zn and P [R2 = 0.836], and Fe and Ca [R2 = 0.802]. As a result, a region and season reflect variations in mineral concentrations in SA during the summer and winter seasons. Further intensive research is needed to investigate the minerals’ biological mechanisms in camels under different environmental conditions.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-11-29
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233343
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3344: Coverage and Representativeness of Passive
           Surveillance Components for Cattle and Swine in The Netherlands

    • Authors: Imke Vredenberg, Gerdien van Schaik, Wim H. M. van der Poel, Arjan Stegeman
      First page: 3344
      Abstract: Common aims of animal health surveillance systems are the timely detection of emerging diseases and health status monitoring. This study aimed to evaluate the coverage and representativeness of passive surveillance components for cattle and swine in the Netherlands from 2015–2019. The passive surveillance components consisted of a telephone helpdesk for veterinary advice and diagnostic and postmortem facilities. Spatial analysis showed heterogeneity (range in RR = 0.26–5.37) of participation across the Netherlands. Generalized linear mixed models showed that distance to the diagnostic facility and farm density were associated with the number of contacts of farmers with the helpdesk and postmortem examination. The contact rate of veterinary practices was associated with their number of clients, ranging in RR from 0.39 to 1.59. We concluded that the evaluation indicated differences in coverage of the passive surveillance components across regions, farms and veterinary practices. Due to the absence of emerging infections in the study period, we were unable to estimate the consequences of the observed differences for the early detection of disease. Nevertheless, regions and veterinary practices with low participation in passive surveillance might be a risk for early detection, and consequently, further understanding of the motivation to participate in passive surveillance components is needed.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-11-29
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233344
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3345: Association between Synonymous SNPs of SOX10
           and Plumage Color and Reproductive Traits of Ducks

    • Authors: Teysar Adi Sarjana, Gongyan Zhang
      First page: 3345
      Abstract: Mutations in the SOX10 gene affect the plumage color of chickens and pigeons. The mutation also causes abnormal pigmentation of the skin and hair color, as well as postnatal growth retardation and reproduction problems in humans and mice. In this study, we investigated the association between the SOX10 gene and plumage color and reproductive traits of ducks using SNPs. We found six novel SNPs from 11 identified SNP sites using direct sequencing for PCR products from three different mixed DNA pools. We found two coding SNPs to be associated with the plumage color of ducks (ZJU1.0 Chr1. g.54065419C>T and g.54070844C>T), and found three coding SNPs associated with the reproductive traits of ducks (g.54065419C>T, g.54070844C>T, and g.54070904C>T), which were age at sexual maturity, body weight at sexual maturity, and the Haugh unit for egg quality traits and egg production in different productive periods. These results also indicated that the T alleles of the three SNPs of the coding region of SOX10 contribute to lower reproductive traits.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-11-29
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233345
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3346: Detection and Identification of Avian
           Reovirus in Young Geese (Anser anser domestica) in Poland

    • Authors: Tomasz Nowak, Adam Kwiecinski, Piotr Kwiecinski, Grzegorz Tomczyk, Karolina Wodz
      First page: 3346
      Abstract: Avian reovirus (ARV) is a cause of infections of broiler and turkey flocks, as well as waterfowl birds. This case report describes a reovirus detection in a fattening goose flock. GRV-infected geese suffer from severe arthritis, tenosynovitis, pericarditis, depressed growth, or runting-stunting syndrome (RSS), malabsorption syndrome, and respiratory and enteric diseases. GRV (goose reovirus) caused pathological lesions in various organs and joints, especially in the liver and spleen. GRV infection causes splenic necrosis, which induces immunosuppression, predisposing geese to infection with other pathogens, which could worsen the disease and lead to death. Our results showed that GRV was detected via RT-PCR and isolated in SPF (Specific Pathogen Free) embryos. This is the first report of the involvement of reovirus in arthritis, and the generalized infection of young geese in Poland, resulting in pathological changes in internal organs and sudden death. This study also provides new information about the GRV, a disease that is little known and underestimated.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-11-29
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233346
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3347: Western Hognose Snakes (Heterodon nasicus)
           Prefer Environmental Enrichment

    • Authors: Gokulan Nagabaskaran, Morgan Skinner, Noam Miller
      First page: 3347
      Abstract: The environmental enrichment needs of snakes are often disregarded. Using preference testing, we aimed to shed light on the enrichment preferences of a popular pet species, the western hognose snake (Heterodon nasicus). Snakes’ enclosures were divided into enriched and standard sides. The enriched half had substrate for burrowing, interactive stimuli, and a large water dish. The standard half had paper towel substrate and a small water dish. Each side also contained a single shelter. We provided belly heat to create a thermal gradient on one side of the cage. Snakes were observed for 6 days, four times daily. We predicted a preference for enriched conditions and, as snakes are ectothermic, a preference for the warmer side. Snakes were additionally given an exploration assay, to explore whether differences in preference for environmental enrichment interact with boldness levels. We found that hognose snakes preferred enrichment, and the strength of this preference increased over time. Preference for enrichment was stronger when the enriched side was cooler. This may be due to the burrowing tendencies of these snakes. We found no relationship between preference and boldness. These findings emphasise the importance of preference testing in establishing research-informed enrichment opportunities for reptiles.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-11-29
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233347
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3348: A Preliminary Study on the Siphon Mechanism
           in Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis)

    • Authors: Marna Suzanne van der Walt, Willem Daffue, Jacqueline Goedhals, Sean van der Merwe, Francois Deacon
      First page: 3348
      Abstract: Adult giraffes reach heights of 4.5 m with a heart-to-head distance of over 2 m, making cranial blood supply challenging. Ultrasound confirmed that the giraffe jugular vein collapses during head movement from ground level to fully erect, negating the possibility of a siphon mechanism in the neck. We showed that a short-length siphon structure over a simulated head-to-heart distance for a giraffe significantly influences flow in a collapsible tube. The siphon structure is determined according to brain case measurements. The short-length siphon structure in a shorter-necked ostrich showed no significant increase in flow. The shorter head-to-heart distance might be the reason for the lack of effect in ostriches. A siphon mechanism situated in the cranium is certainly possible, with a significant effect exerted on the amount of pressure the heart must generate to allow adequate cranial blood perfusion in a long-necked giraffe. The study validated that a cranial-bound siphon structure can operate and will be of significant value for adequate cranial blood perfusion in long-necked species such as giraffes and might also have existed in extinct species of long-necked dinosaurs.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-11-29
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233348
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3349: The Effect of Background Color on Skin Color
           Variation of Juvenile Plectropomus leopardus

    • Authors: Feibiao Song, Liping Shi, Fucheng Yao, Yue Gu, Da Zheng, Weiwei Zhang, Yesong Liang, Kaixi Zhang, Min Yang, Lei Wang, Junlong Sun, Jian Luo
      First page: 3349
      Abstract: Fish skin color is usually strongly affected by the background color of their environment. The study investigated the effects of five different background colors on the skin color of leopard coral groupers (Plectropomus leopardus). More than 450 juveniles were reared in Blue, Red, Black, White, and Transparent background tanks for 56 days. The paraffin section showed that the skin melanin zone of fish in the White group was smaller, whereas the Black and Red groups (especially Black) were nearly the largest. The apparent skin color of P. leopardus was red on the white background, which darkened in response to the other color backgrounds. The Black group revealed the blackest skin color, followed by the transparent group. Moreover, the White group had the highest L*, a*, and b* values. The melanin content and tyrosinase activity in the dorsal and ventral skin of the Black group were significantly higher than those in the other groups (p < 0.05), and the serum α-MSH level was higher in the Black group as well. The carotenoid and lutein contents showed completely different trends among the experimental groups, as carotenoid content was higher in the Red and White groups, while lutein content was higher in the Transparent group. The expression level of scarb1 was highest in the Blue and White groups, followed by the Transparent group, and lowest in the Black group (p < 0.05). The expression trend of scarb1 was similar to the skin color in different backgrounds, indicating that the background color regulated scarb1 expression level through visual center, then influenced the uptake and transport of carotenoids, then influenced the skin color formation of P. leopardus. Moreover, lighter colors inhibited the formation of melanocytes and had a significant effect on carotenoid and lutein contents. Pigment-related genes were involved in the regulation of fish skin color, and they were affected by background color in P. leopardus. These results indicate that a white background is more conducive to maintaining red skin color in juvenile P. leopardus.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-11-29
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233349
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3350: Serological and Molecular Surveillance for
           SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Captive Tigers (Panthera tigris), Thailand

    • Authors: Nareerat Sangkachai, Somjit Chaiwattanarungruengpaisan, Metawee Thongdee, Parut Suksai, Siriporn Tangsudjai, Peerawat Wongluechai, Sarin Suwanpakdee, Witthawat Wiriyarat, Ruangrat Buddhirongawatr, Luxsana Prasittichai, Anurux Skulpong, Pilailuk Akkapaiboon Okada, Pilaipan Puthavathana, Weena Paungpin
      First page: 3350
      Abstract: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an emerging infectious disease caused by SARS-CoV-2. Given the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants, continuous surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 in animals is important. To monitor SARS-CoV-2 infection in wildlife in Thailand, we collected 62 blood samples and nine nasal- and rectal-swab samples from captive tigers (Panthera tigris) in Ratchaburi province in Thailand during 2020–2021. A plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT) was employed to detect SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies. A real-time RT-PCR assay was performed to detect SARS-CoV-2 RNA. Our findings demonstrated that four captive tigers (6.5%, 4/62) had SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies against Wuhan Hu-1 and the Delta variant, while no SARS-CoV-2 RNA genome could be detected in all swab samples. Moreover, a low-level titer of neutralizing antibodies against the Omicron BA.2 subvariant could be found in only one seropositive tiger. The source of SARS-CoV-2 infection in these tigers most likely came from close contact with the infected animals’ caretakers who engaged in activities such as tiger petting and feeding. In summary, we described the first case of natural SARS-CoV-2 infection in captive tigers during the COVID-19 outbreak in Thailand and provided seroepidemiological-based evidence of human-to-animal transmission. Our findings highlight the need for continuous surveillance of COVID-19 among the captive tiger population and emphasize the need to adopt a One Health approach for preventing and controlling outbreaks of COVID-19 zoonotic disease.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-11-29
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233350
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3351: Total Replacement of Fish Meal by the
           Combination of Fish Residue Meal and Soy Protein from Soymilk in the Diet
           of Red Sea Bream (Pagrus major)

    • Authors: Amal Biswas, Yuta Takahashi, Kota Isaka, Fumiaki Takakuwa, Hideki Tanaka, Kenji Takii
      First page: 3351
      Abstract: Three experiments were performed to explore (i) the complete replacement of fish meal (FM) with a combination of fish residue meal (FRM, 65% round discarded fish + 35% byproduct), soy protein concentrate (SPC) from soymilk and corn gluten meal (CGM) in Trial 1 and (ii) the utilization of diets composed of increasing byproducts in FRM in the summer (Trial 2) and winter (Trial 3) seasons. In Trial 1, the ratio of (SPC + CGM):FM in the control diet (C) was 8:2. The FM component from diet C was replaced with FRM (diet, RM20), where the ratio of (SPC + CGM):FRM became 8:2, and this ratio was changed to 6:4, 4:6 and 2:8, and referred to as RM40, RM60 and RM80, respectively. In Trials 2 and 3, the ratios of round discarded fish and byproducts in FRM were adjusted to 65:35 (FRM1), 30:70 (FRM2) and 0:100 (FRM3), and the FRM component from diet RM40 in Trial 1 was replaced with FRM1, FRM2 and FRM3 to formulate diets RM1, RM2 and RM3, respectively. In Trials 1, 2 and 3, rearing periods were 10, 8 and 12 weeks, respectively. In Trials 1 and 3, there were no significant differences in growth parameters, nutrient retention efficiency or plasma constituents among the treatments, irrespective of the inclusion levels of FRM in the diets (p > 0.05). Although there were no significant differences in final mean weight (p > 0.05), daily feeding rate and feed conversion ratio in diet RM3 were significantly higher and lower, respectively, compared to the control group in Trial 2 (p < 0.05). These results suggest that FM can be entirely replaced with FRM, and that the total elimination of round discarded fish from FRM does not affect growth or health status in red sea bream either in summer or winter seasons.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-11-29
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233351
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3352: MicroRNA Expression Variation in Female Dog
           (Canis familiaris) Reproductive Organs with Age and Presence of Uteropathy
           

    • Authors: Eun Pyo Kim, Chae Young Kim, Min Young Heo, Sang Wha Kim, Geon A. Kim
      First page: 3352
      Abstract: While aging is associated with microRNA (miRNA) expression, little is known about its role in the aging of dog reproductive organs. We examined miRNA expression in ovaries, oviducts, and uteri from young and old dogs and dogs with uteropathy to elucidate miRNA’s role in aging. The ovaries, oviducts, and uteri of 18 dogs (Canis familiaris)—young (8.5 ± 1.9 months old), old (78.2 ± 29.0 months old), and those with uteropathy (104.4 ± 15.1 months old)—were collected for miRNA expression examination. Total RNA samples were extracted, reverse-transcribed to cDNA, and real-time PCR analysis was also performed. In ovaries, miR-708 and miR-151 levels were significantly higher in old dogs than in young dogs, and only let-7a, let-7b, let-7c, miR125b, and miR26a were significantly upregulated in dogs with uteropathy. In the oviducts and uteri of old dogs, miR-140, miR-30d, miR-23a, miR-10a, miR-125a, miR-221, and miR-29a were upregulated. Realtime quantitative PCR revealed that targeted mRNA was similarly regulated to miRNA. These results suggest that miRNAs of reproductive organs in dogs may be biological markers for aging and reproductive diseases and could be used for mediating aging.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-11-29
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233352
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3353: Assessment of Genetic Diversity and
           Conservation in South African Indigenous Goat Ecotypes: A Review

    • Authors: Aletta Matshidiso Magoro, Bohani Mtileni, Khanyisile Hadebe, Avhashoni Zwane
      First page: 3353
      Abstract: Goats were amongst the first livestock to be domesticated more than 10,000 years ago for their meat, milk, skin, and fiber. They were introduced to Southern Africa by migrating nations from Central Africa to the south. Due to local adaptation to the different agro-ecological zones and selection, indigenous goats are identified as ecotypes within the indigenous veld goat breed. Their ability to thrive in a resource-limited production system and in challenging environmental conditions makes them valuable animal resources for small-scale and emerging farmers. They play important roles in household agriculture and cultural activities as well as in poverty alleviation. Studies have described the phenotypic and genetic variations in indigenous goats, targeting the major goat-producing regions and the breeds of South Africa. In turn, information is restricted to certain breeds and regions, and the experimental design is often not adequate to inform the conservation status and priorities in changing environments. Advances in genomics technologies have availed more opportunities for the assessment of the biodiversity, demographic histories, and detection regions associated with local adaptation. These technologies are essential for breeding and conservation strategies for sustainable production for food security. This review focuses on the status of indigenous goats in South Africa and the application of genomics technologies for characterization, with emphasis on prioritization for conservation and sustainable utilization.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-11-29
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233353
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3354: Effects of Thermal Manipulation on mRNA
           Regulation of Response Genes Regarding Improvement of Thermotolerance
           Adaptation in Chickens during Embryogenesis

    • Authors: Suriya Kumari Ramiah, Krishnan Nair Balakrishnan, Yashini Subramaniam, Oluwaseun Serah Iyasere, Zulkifli Idrus
      First page: 3354
      Abstract: The phenomenon of increasing heat stress (HS) among animals is of particular significance when it is seen in economically significant industries, such as poultry. Due to the identification of the physiological, molecular, and genetic roots of HS responses in chickens, a substantial number of studies have focused on reducing the effects of HS in poultry through environmental management, dietary manipulation, and genetic alterations. Temperature manipulation (TM) during embryogenesis has been claimed to increase the thermal tolerance and well-being of chickens without affecting their capacity for future growth. There has been little investigation into the vulnerability of the epigenome involving TM during embryogenesis, although the cellular pathways activated by HS have been explored in chickens. Epigenetic changes caused by prenatal TM enhance postnatal temperature adaption and produce physiological memory. This work offers a thorough analysis that explains the cumulative impact of HS response genes, such as genes related to heat shock proteins, antioxidants, and immunological genes, which may aid in the enhanced adaptability of chickens that have undergone thermal manipulation during their embryonic stages.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-11-29
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233354
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3355: Hemiurid Trematodes (Digenea: Hemiuridae)
           from Marine Fishes off the Coast of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with Novel
           Molecular Data

    • Authors: Camila Pantoja, Olena Kudlai
      First page: 3355
      Abstract: Brazil is a tropical country with remarkably diverse marine habitats that harbour a rich diversity of fish. Only a small portion of this fish diversity has been investigated for parasites, and thus the diversity of their trematode parasites remains unexplored. Moreover, only 5 out of 184 known digenean trematode species of marine fish in Brazil have been genetically characterised. The Hemiuridae Looss, 1899 is the second most speciose trematode family in marine fishes from Brazil but, in many ways, it remains a neglected group. Forty-three trematode specimens from nine fish species were collected from the coastal zone off Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Trematodes were found in the stomach of 14 specimens of 9 fish species belonging to 8 families (Carangidae, Clupeidae, Haemulidae, Muraenidae, Percophidae, Pinguipedidae, Trichiuridae, and Triglidae). Trematode specimens were studied using morphological and molecular genetic analyses. A total of eight hemiurid species from four genera, Ectenurus, Lecithochirium, Myosaccium, and Parahemiurus were identified. This paper reports on new host records for four species of hemiurids, adds a new record on the geographical distribution for one species, and provides the first DNA sequence data supplemented with the detailed description of morphology for five species. Phylogenetic analyses supported that the subfamily classifications of the Hemiuridae—based entirely on morphological characters—needs to be reconsidered, taking into account a wider range of information sources.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-11-29
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233355
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3356: One- and Two-Month-Old Dog Puppies Exhibit
           Behavioural Synchronization with Humans Independently of Familiarity

    • Authors: Charlotte Duranton, Cécile Courby-Betremieux, Florence Gaunet
      First page: 3356
      Abstract: Behavioural synchronization is a widespread skill in social species as it helps increase group cohesion among individuals. Such a phenomenon is involved in social interactions between conspecifics as well as between individuals from different species. Most importantly, familiarity and affiliation between interacting partners influence the degree of behavioural synchronization they would exhibit with each other. For example, in human–dog dyads, the more a dog is affiliated with its human partner, the more it behaves in a synchronous way with them. However, little is known about the ontogeny of such a behaviour, especially from an interspecific perspective. The aim of the present study was thus to investigate the existence and modalities of activity synchrony, a type of behavioural synchronization, between humans and puppies. To do so, we observed 29 dog puppies interacting with two different humans (familiar and unfamiliar experimenters). Puppy movements and general activity in relation to the human ones were observed. Results evidenced that puppies did exhibit locomotor synchrony with humans, but familiarity did not affect its degree. It is the first time that activity synchrony with human walk is evidenced in puppies, highly suggesting that dogs’ ability to behave in synchronization with humans seems to be genetically selected through the process of domestication, while the effect of familiarity on it might develop later during the individual ontogeny.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-11-29
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233356
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3357: An Assessment of Starch Content and
           Gelatinization in Traditional and Non-Traditional Dog Food Formulations

    • Authors: Erin Beth Perry, Alyssa Ann Valach, Jesse Marie Fenton, George E. Moore
      First page: 3357
      Abstract: Starch gelatinization in pet food may be affected by moisture, retention time, and ingredients used. Starch gelatinization has been associated with changes in digestibility but is not well studied using non-traditional ingredients in canine diets. The objective of this research was to examine differences in starch content and gelatinization associated with changes in ingredient profile (traditional vs. non-traditional) and nutrient content requirements associated with differing life stages. Traditional diets (n = 10) utilizing protein sources including chicken, chicken by-product meal, meat and bone meal and plant-based ingredients including rice, barley, oats, and corn were examined in comparison with non-traditional diets (n = 10) utilizing protein sources including alligator, buffalo, venison, kangaroo, squid, quail, rabbit, and salmon along with plant-based ingredients including tapioca, chickpeas, lentils, potato, and pumpkin. Total starch and gelatinized starch (as percent of total diet) were measured with variation due to ingredient type assessed using Student’s t-test in SAS 9.4. Significance was set at p < 0.05. Total starch (as a percent of diet) was higher in traditional diets compared to non-traditional diets formulated for maintenance (p < 0.0032) or all life stages (p < 0.0128). However, starch gelatinization as a proportion of total starch was lower in traditional diets formulated for maintenance (p < 0.0165) and all life stages (p < 0.0220). Total starch and gelatinized starch had a strong negative correlation (r = −0.78; p < 0.01) in diets utilizing traditional ingredients. These novel data reveal important differences between starch content and gelatinization and may impact selection of various ingredient types by pet food manufacturers.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-11-30
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233357
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3358: A Comparison of Intra-Articular Blood Cell
           Secretome and Blood Cell Secretome with Triamcinolone Acetonide in Dogs
           with Osteoarthritis: A Crossover Study

    • Authors: J. C. Alves, Ana Santos, Patrícia Jorge, L. Miguel Carreira
      First page: 3358
      Abstract: Osteoarthritis (OA) is a growing welfare problem for dogs and a challenge to manage for the clinician, and most therapeutic options aim to control pain. In a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled, 2-way, 2-period crossover study, we aimed to evaluate the use of Blood Cell Secretome (BCS) administrated intra-articularly, with or without the combination with triamcinolone, in dogs with bilateral hip OA. BCS is an acellular orthobiologic containing anti-inflammatory and anabolic proteins produced from the patient’s own blood through extended coagulation in a defined environment. Fifteen dogs were initially assigned to a BCS group (BCSG, n = 5), a triamcinolone group (TG, n = 5), or a combination group (BCS+TG, n = 5). All had bilateral hip OA. After a 180-day follow-up, the crossover was performed with BCSG (n = 7) and BCS+TG (n = 7). BCSG received a single intra-articular administration of 3 mL of Blood Cell Secretome, and BCS+TG received BCS plus 0.5 mL of triamcinolone acetonide (40 mg/mL). The volume in BCSG was corrected to 3.5 mL with saline. In all patients, both hips were treated. For treatment follow-up, a copy of the Canine Brief Pain Inventory (divided into pain interference score—PIS and Pain Severity Score—PSS), Liverpool Osteoarthritis in Dogs (LOAD), and Canine Orthopedic Index (COI, divided into function, gait, stiffness, and quality of life) was completed on days 0, 8, 15, 30, 60, 90, 120, 150, and 180. Results were analyzed with the Mann–Whitney U test, effect size, and Kaplan–Meier estimators, followed by the log-rank test. p was set at <0.05. Patients of the sample had a mean age of 9.6 ± 2.9 years and a body weight of 29.2 ± 3.9 kg. Seven hips were classified as severe osteoarthritis, and eight were classified as moderate. No differences were found between groups at T0. Significant differences were observed in PSS scores at +8d, with BCS+TG exhibiting better results. PIS, PSS, LOAD, stiffness, and function scores were also lower in BCS+TG from +15 to +60d. The two groups showed similar improvements from +90 to +120d. Kaplan–Meier estimators showed that dogs in BCS+TG showed clinically-important differences for longer, despite a positive result in BCSG. The intra-articular administration of BCS alone was able to improve the overall condition of OA patients. Its combined use with triamcinolone acetonide lead to a faster and longer-lasting improvement in pain scores.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-11-30
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233358
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3359: Molecular Characterization of Salmonella
           spp. Isolates from Wild Colombian Babilla (Caiman crocodilus fuscus)
           Isolated In Situ

    • Authors: Roy Rodríguez-Hernández, María Paula Herrera-Sánchez, Julián David Ortiz-Muñoz, Cristina Mora-Rivera, Iang Schroniltgen Rondón-Barragán
      First page: 3359
      Abstract: Salmonella enterica is a pathogen capable of colonizing various environments, including the intestinal tract of different animals such as mammals, birds, and reptiles, which can act as carriers. S. enterica infection induces different clinical diseases, gastroenteritis being the most common, which in some cases, can evolve to septicemia and meningitis. Reptiles and amphibians have been reported as a reservoir of Salmonella, and transmission of the pathogen to humans has been documented. This study aimed to determine the presence of virulence genes and characterize the genotypic antibiotic resistance profile in Salmonella strains isolated from Caiman crocodilus fuscus obtained in situ (natural habitat) in Prado, Tolima, Colombia in a previous study and stored in a strain bank in our laboratory. Fifteen Salmonella strains were evaluated through endpoint PCR to determine the presence of resistance genes and virulence genes. The genes blaTEM, strB, and sul1 were detected in all the strains that confer resistance to ampicillin, streptomycin, and sulfamethoxazole, as well as the virulence genes invA, pefA, prgH, spaN, tolC, sipB, sitC, pagC, msgA, spiA, sopB, sifA, lpfA, csgA, hilA, orgA, iroN, avrA, and sivH, indicating the possible role of babilla (Caiman crocodilus fuscus) as a carrier of multidrug-resistant bacteria.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-11-30
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233359
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3360: A Study Evaluating Consumer Motivations,
           Perceptions, and Responses to Direct-to-Consumer Canine Genetic Test
           Results

    • Authors: Nikki E. Bennett, Peter B. Gray
      First page: 3360
      Abstract: Direct-to-consumer genetic services allow companion animal guardians to purchase a DNA test and receive detailed results about their pet’s ancestry, health, and traits results. In collaboration with Wisdom Panel, we present novel findings about consumer motivations, perceptions, and responses to their use of canine genomic services. Wisdom Panel customers were invited to complete an online survey anonymously in which they were asked about their reasons for using a genetic test for their dog, how they perceived the test’s results, and how they responded to the results they received. Participant data revealed most utilized a test that provided more ancestry/breed results (75.9%) as compared to health-related results. The majority of participants perceived the breed test results as accurate (52.0% strongly agree, 27.6% somewhat agree) and the genetic services provided as having great value (49.6% strongly agree, 32.7% somewhat agreed). In responding to their dog’s results, participants indicated they shared the information with family (88.1%) and friends (84.2%). Collectively, our study indicates consumers are more focused on their dog’s ancestry than other test results. Using these findings and previous literature on human direct-to-consumer genetic testing, human–animal dyads, and identity construction, we consider the possibility of “breed options theory” and future areas of research.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-11-30
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233360
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3361: Performance, Egg Quality, and Yolk
           Antioxidant Capacity of the Laying Quail in Response to Dietary Choline
           Levels

    • Authors: Osman Olgun, Esra Tuğçe Gül, Gözde Kılınç, Alpönder Yıldız, Abdullah Çolak, Ainhoa Sarmiento-García
      First page: 3361
      Abstract: The current study determined the ideal dose of choline in the diet of laying quails based on egg development, egg quality, and antioxidant capacity. A total of 120 female quails (244.7 ± 10.38 g) were randomly assigned to 6 experimental groups with 5 replicates of 4 quails each. In the 10-week trial, treatment diets were formed by adding 6 choline chloride−60% concentrations providing 1500 (control), 2000, 2500, 3000, 3500, and 4000 mg/kg of choline. The feed intake of quails was quadratically affected (p < 0.05) by the choline level of the diet, in other developmental parameters, and by egg quality among these treatments. The feed intake was reduced to 2500 and 3000 mg/kg levels of choline in the diet compared to the control group. Free radical scavenging capacity (DPPH) of the yolk increased linearly (p < 0.001) with dietary choline levels. In contrast, the thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) value decreased as dietary choline levels increased, except for 4000 mg/kg levels. Based on the findings of the current study, 1500 mg/kg of dietary choline is adequate to maintain performance parameters and egg quality in laying quails. However, to increase egg antioxidant capacity, in terms of the DPPH value, the dietary choline dose needs to be increased to 3500 mg/kg.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-11-30
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233361
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3362: Fish Oil Replacement by Camelina (Camelina
           sativa L.) Oil in Diets for Juvenile Tench (Tinca tinca L.): Effects on
           Survival, Growth, and Whole-Body Fatty Acid Profile

    • Authors: Teresa García, José M. Carral, María Sáez-Royuela, Jesús D. Celada
      First page: 3362
      Abstract: Tench (Tinca tinca L.) plays a key role in the diversification of inland aquaculture, but its culture is mainly based on extensive culture systems with usually low and unpredictable yields. Rearing procedures under controlled conditions are essential to promote and consolidate tench production, and it is necessary to set up adequate feeding in early growth phases. Fish oil (FO) is currently the main source of lipids in aquafeeds, but considering the stagnation of smaller pelagic fisheries, alternative oils should be addressed. In a ninety-day experiment, the effects of partial and total replacement of FO with camelina oil (CO) on juvenile tench growth performance and whole-body composition were evaluated. Six isonitrogenous and isolipidic diets with different levels of CO were tested: 0% (control), 20%, 40%, 60%, 80%, and 100%. The survival rate was 100%, and no significant differences in growth performance (total length, weight, specific growth rate, feed conversion ratio, and biomass gain) were found. The lipid content in whole-body juveniles was significantly lower when juveniles were fed diets containing 40% and higher levels of CO than those fed the control diet whereas linolenic acid content was significantly higher. No differences in ΣSFA, ΣMUFA, ΣPUFA, Σn − 3, or Σn − 6 whole-body content were found. The nutritional indices ΣPUFA/ΣSFA and Σn − 6/Σn − 3 showed a linear increase trend with dietary CO inclusion whereas the EPA + DHA showed an opposite tendency. Compared to the control diet, EPA + DHA content (g kg−1) was significantly lower in juvenile tench fed a 100% CO diet, and Σn − 6/Σn − 3 was significantly higher in juvenile tench fed 80% and 100% CO diets. Overall, the results indicate that the total replacement of FO with CO in diets is feasible without negative effects on growth performance whereas the nutritional quality of juvenile tench was unaffected with a maximum replacement of 80%.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-11-30
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233362
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3363: Is the IL1RA/IL1B Ratio a Suitable Biomarker
           for Subclinical Endometritis in Dairy Cows'

    • Authors: Anna Maria Kneidl, Christina Deborah Marth, Sandra Kirsch, Frank Weber, Yury Zablotski, Anika Luzia Helfrich, Simone Tamara Schabmeyer, Julia Katharina Schneider, Wolfram Petzl, Holm Zerbe, Marie Margarete Meyerholz-Wohllebe
      First page: 3363
      Abstract: The adequate expression of cytokines is essential for the prevention and healing of bovine endometrial inflammation. This study investigated the intra-uterine concentration of the proinflammatory cytokine interleukin (IL)1B and its antagonist IL1RA in cows with and without subclinical endometritis (SE). Samples were taken from 37 uteri at the abattoir and 26 uteri in vivo. Uterine secretion samples were classified as showing no signs of SE (SEneg; polymorphonuclear neutrophil granulocyte (PMN) < 5%) or showing signs of SE (SEpos; PMN ≥ 5%). Concentrations and ratios for IL1B and IL1RA were measured using a commercial and a newly established AlphaLISA kit, respectively. In both groups, a higher concentration of IL1B was detected in the SEpos group compared with the SEneg group (abattoir: p = 0.027; in vivo p < 0.001). No significant differences were observed in the concentration of IL1RA (p > 0.05). In uterine secretion samples retrieved in vivo, a lower IL1RA/IL1B ratio was detected in the SEpos group compared with the SEneg group (p = 0.002). The results of this study highlight the important role of IL1B and IL1RA during endometritis and the potential of the IL1RA/IL1B ratio as a possible biomarker for SE.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-11-30
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233363
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3364: Rider Variables Affecting the Stirrup
           Directional Force Asymmetry during Simulated Riding Trot

    • Authors: Paolo Baragli, Alberto Alessi, Marco Pagliai, Martina Felici, Asahi Ogi, Lesley Hawson, Angelo Gazzano, Barbara Padalino
      First page: 3364
      Abstract: Riders’ asymmetry may cause back pain in both human and equine athletes. This pilot study aimed at documenting in a simple and quick way asymmetry in riders during a simulation of three different riding positions on wooden horseback using load cells applied on the stirrup leathers and identifying possible associations between riders’ asymmetry and their gender, age, level of riding ability, years of riding experience, riding style, motivation of riding, primary discipline and handedness. After completing an interview to obtain the previously mentioned information, 147 riders performed a standardized test on a saddle fixed on a wooden horseback-shaped model. The riding simulation was split into three phases of 1 min each: (1) sit in the saddle, (2) standing in the stirrups and (3) rising trot. The directional force on the left and the right stirrup leathers was recorded every 0.2 s. A paired t-test was performed on the recorded data to test the difference (i.e., asymmetry) in each phase. In phases 1, 2 and 3, 99.3% (53.4% heavier on the right (R)), 98% (52.8% heavier on the left (L)) and 46.3% (51.5% heavier on the left (L)) of the riders were asymmetrical, respectively. Chi-square tests showed a significant association between riding ability and riding experience, but no significant association between reported handedness and calculated leg-sidedness (p > 0.05). Univariate logistic (1: asymmetry, 0: symmetry) regression analysis was performed only on the phase 3 data. One-hand riders were found twice more likely to be asymmetrical than two-hand riders (Odds Ratio (OR): 2.18, Confidence Interval (CI): 1.1–4.29; p = 0.024). This preliminary study confirmed that the majority of the riders are asymmetrical in load distribution on stirrups and suggested the riding style as a possible risk factor for asymmetry.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-11-30
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233364
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3365: Lysolecithin Improves Broiler Growth
           Performance through Upregulating Growth-Related Genes and Nutrient
           Transporter Genes Expression Independent of Experimental Diet Nutrition
           Level

    • Authors: Zhiming Zhang, Song Zhang, Kangkang Nie, He Zheng, Zheng Luo, In-Ho Kim
      First page: 3365
      Abstract: We investigated the effect and interaction of lysolecithin (LPL) and nutrition level on growth performance, nutrient ileal digestibility, expression of growth-related genes and nutrient transporter genes in broilers. A total of 1280 one day old Ross 308 mixed sex chicks with an average body weight 42.23 ± 2.4 g were randomly allotted into 2 × 2 factorial arrangement (20 replicates per treatment and 16 chickens per replicate) with two types of diet (Normal nutrition treatments starter, grower and finisher diets with ME of 3000 kcal/kg, 3100 kcal/kg and 3200 kcal/kg, respectively, and CP level of 22%, 21%, and 20%, respectively; high nutrition treatments diets with 50 kcal/kg ME and 0.5% CP higher than normal nutrition treatment at each stage). Two levels of LPL supplementation (0 and 500 mg/kg) were also employed. From day 21 to day 35 and full stage of the experiment, the birds fed a high nutrition (HN) diet had a greater body weight gain (BWG) and lower feed conversion ratio (FCR) than those fed a normal nutrition (NN) diet (p < 0.05). Besides, lysolecithin increased BWG significantly (p < 0.05). The birds fed a diet with LPL revealed increasing fat digestibility compared to birds fed the basal diet (p < 0.05). LPL significantly increased the ileal digestibility of amino acids, including Ile, Thr, Phe, His, Arg, Tyr, Glu, Pro, Gly, Ala (p < 0.05). No interaction was found between LPL and nutrition level in BWG, FCR and nutrient digestibility. In HN diet, the genes expression of myogenic differentiation 1 (MYOD1), myogenin (MYOG), cluster of differentiation 36 (CD36), fatty acid-binding protein (FABP1), cationic amino acid transporter 1 (CAT1) and Y + L amino acid transporter 1 (y+, LAT1) were significantly elevated via LPL supplementation (p < 0.05). In NN diet, LPL significantly increased the genes expression of growth hormone (GH), insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1), MYOD1 and y+, LAT1 (p < 0.05). In conclusion, upregulating the nutrients transporter gene and growth-related gene expression of the host, independent of nutrition level changes, may be the action mechanism of lysolecithin on growth promotion in animals.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-11-30
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233365
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3366: Intestinal Ecology Changes in Diarrheic
           Père David’s Deer Revealed by Gut Microbiota and Fecal
           Metabolites Analysis

    • Authors: Junai Zhen, Xueli Yuan, Liping Tao, Huidan Zhang, Yijun Ren, Shengbin Xie, Libo Wang, Hua Shen, Yuqing Chen
      First page: 3366
      Abstract: Diarrhea is one of the most common diseases affecting the health of Père David’s deer (Elaphurus davidianus). It is believed that an imbalanced intestinal ecology contributes to the etiology of the condition. However, little is known about how the intestinal ecology changes in these diarrheic animals. In this study, 16S rRNA gene sequencing and ultra-high performance liquid chromatography combined with tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS) were used to investigate the gut microbiota and fecal metabolites in five Père David’s deer with diarrhea. The results showed that when compared with healthy individuals, considerable changes in the gut microbiome were observed in diarrheic animals, including a significant reduction in microbial diversity and gut microbiota composition alterations. Furthermore, the profiles of numerous fecal metabolites were altered in diarrheic individuals, showing large-scale metabolite dysregulation. Among metabolites, acylcarnitines, lysophosphatidylcholine, bile acids, and oxidized lipids were elevated significantly. Constantly, several metabolic pathways were significantly altered. Interestingly, predicted metabolic pathways based on 16S rRNA gene sequence and differential metabolite analysis showed that lipid metabolism, cofactor, and vitamin metabolism were altered in sick animals, indicating microbiota-host crosstalk in these deer. When combined, the results provide the first comprehensive description of an intestinal microbiome and metabolic imbalance in diarrheic Père David’s deer, which advances our understanding and potential future treatment of diarrheic animals.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-11-30
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233366
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3367: Effectiveness of the Organic Acid-Based
           Antimicrobial Agent to Prevent Bacterial Contamination in Fish Meal

    • Authors: Wattana Pelyuntha, Ananya Yafa, Baramee Charoenwong, Kitiya Vongkamjan
      First page: 3367
      Abstract: Animal feed production is an important step of the food animal production chain in a farm-to-table model. The contamination of raw ingredients with foodborne pathogens in feed production remains as an important safety issue where pathogens may spread into food animals to cause illnesses in humans when affected food animals are consumed. In the present study, we aimed to examine the quality and microbial contamination of fish meal and to investigate the effectiveness of the organic acid-based antimicrobial agent SALTEC 514TM against Salmonella to prevent bacterial contamination in fish meal. Fish meal samples (n = 4) collected from feed mills at different locations were analyzed for protein and total volatile basic nitrogen (TVBN) content to assess their nutritional value and freshness, and its microbiological quality. The protein and TVBN content ranged from 53.2 ± 3.1 to 67.5 ± 2.3 g/100 g and 73.8 ± 4.5 to 100.4 ± 11.2 mg/100 g meal, respectively. Total plate count of the fish meal samples ranged from 2.0 ± 0.3 to 4.5 ± 0.5 log units, whereas suspected foodborne bacteria, Escherichia coli and Salmonella, were not detected in all samples. Fish meal samples were artificially contaminated (day 0) and re-challenged (day 30 and 90) with Salmonella Enteritidis (3 log CFU/g) to test for the effectiveness of SALTEC 514TM, an organic acid-based antimicrobial formulation, in preventing Salmonella contamination and recontamination during storage. SALTEC 514TM, when applied at three different doses, was found to reduce the number of Salmonella in monitored samples after one day of storage. A low dose of 0.5 kg/ton SALTEC 514TM prevented Salmonella recontamination from occurring in fish meal samples stored for 37 days. In medium (1.0 kg/ton) and high doses (3.0 kg/ton), applications of SALTEC 514TM prevented the Salmonella recontamination for a maximum storage duration of 97 days. The application of SALTEC 514TM in fish meal and/or other feed ingredients may prove to be a safe alternative to reduce the microbial load, especially of foodborne-related microorganisms, to contribute to feed and food safety.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-11-30
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233367
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3368: Prevalence of Different Salmonella enterica
           Subspecies and Serotypes in Wild Carnivores in Emilia-Romagna Region,
           Italy

    • Authors: Lorenzo Gambi, Valentina Ravaioli, Rachele Rossini, Vito Tranquillo, Andrea Boscarino, Sara Mattei, Mario D’incau, Giovanni Tosi, Laura Fiorentini, Alessandra Di Donato
      First page: 3368
      Abstract: Salmonella is a pathogen of considerable health concern, given its zoonotic potential, and, in Italy, is the most frequently reported causative agent for foodborne outbreaks. Wild animals and in particular wild carnivores may be carriers of different Salmonella enterica subspecies and serotypes. Given their potential role as reservoirs, surveillance activities are necessary. This study aims to investigate the presence of different Salmonella subspecies and serotypes in wild carnivores in the Emilia-Romagna Region. A total of 718 fox (Vulpes vulpes), 182 badger (Meles meles) and 27 wolf (Canis lupus) carcasses, submitted between 2016–2022, were included for the present work. Gender and age data were collected along with geographical coordinates of carcass’ discovery site. Contents of the large intestine were sampled and cultured according to ISO 6579-1 and both serogroup and serotype identification were performed according to ISO/TR 6579-3:2014. Salmonella was retrieved from 42 foxes (6%), 21 badgers (12%) and 3 wolves (12%), respectively. Isolated Salmonella enterica strains belonged to 4 different subspecies and 25 different serotypes. S. veneziana and S. typhimurium were the most frequent serotypes found (11/67 and 10/67, respectively). In conclusion, zoonotic serotypes were found in all these species of wildlife, thus confirming their potential role in the ecology of Salmonella spp.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-11-30
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233368
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3369: Seasonal Trophic Ecology and Diet Shift in
           the Common Sole Solea solea in the Central Adriatic Sea

    • Authors: Emanuela Fanelli, Elena Principato, Eleonora Monfardini, Zaira Da Ros, Giuseppe Scarcella, Alberto Santojanni, Sabrina Colella
      First page: 3369
      Abstract: The common sole, Solea solea, is one the most important commercial species in Europe and, within the Mediterranean, the Adriatic basin is the most crucial area for its production. Although the species is overexploited in the basin, data on its trophic ecology are fragmentary, even though this is one of the most important features within the Ecosystem Approach to Fishery. Here, we analysed temporal variations in the feeding ecology of the species by using an integrated approach of stomach contents and stable isotope analyses coupled with the analysis of some condition indices such as the gonadosomatic and the hepatosomatic indices. Changes in diet and trophic level across the years in adult females were clearly linked to the different energetic requirements facing reproduction. Temporal changes throughout the year were mainly related to changes in food availability. This study confirms the opportunistic behaviour of this benthophagous species and its role as a mesopredator, opening new perspectives for further investigations on the effects of the overexploitation of this important fishery resource on the marine trophic web.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-11-30
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233369
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3370: Wild Chimpanzee Welfare: A Focus on
           Nutrition, Foraging and Health to Inform Great Ape Welfare in the Wild and
           in Captivity

    • Authors: Katie F. Gerstner, Jill D. Pruetz
      First page: 3370
      Abstract: Adequate nutrition is essential for individual well-being, survival and reproductive fitness. Yet, in wild animals, including great apes, scoring nutrition or health comes with many challenges. Here, we have two aims: first, broadly review the scientific literature regarding nutritional data on wild chimpanzee foods to get a better understanding what nutrients foods comprise of, and second, highlight important findings on wild chimpanzee nutrition and welfare pertaining to diet. We discuss variation in macro and micronutrients in food items consumed and their role in chimpanzee health across chimpanzee subspecies from multiple study sites. We found a lack of information pertaining to nutritional consumption rates of daily diets. Second, we call for a fresh, in-depth discussion on wild chimpanzee welfare issues is of foremost importance to inform conservation projects and particularly settings where humans and chimpanzees may interact, because such conversation can reveal how specific or general welfare measures can (a) inform our knowledge of an individual’s, group’s, and population’s welfare, (b) provide additional measures from the study of wild chimpanzee ecology that can guide the welfare of captive chimpanzees, and (c) can enable comparative study of welfare across wild populations. A summary of the current literature on approaches to measuring wild chimpanzee health and welfare status, to our knowledge, has yet to be done.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-11-30
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233370
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3371: Daily Rhythms in the IGF-1 System in the
           Liver of Goldfish and Their Synchronization to Light/Dark Cycle and
           Feeding Time

    • Authors: Aitana Alonso-Gómez, Diego Madera, Ángel Luis Alonso-Gómez, Ana Isabel Valenciano, María Jesús Delgado
      First page: 3371
      Abstract: The relevance of the insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) system in several physiological processes is well-known in vertebrates, although little information about their temporal organization is available. This work aims to investigate the possible rhythmicity of the different components of the IGF-1 system (igf-1, the igf1ra and igf1rb receptors and the paralogs of its binding proteins IGFBP1 and IGFBP2) in the liver of goldfish. In addition, we also study the influence of two environmental cues, the light/dark cycle and feeding time, as zeitgebers. The hepatic igf-1 expression showed a significant daily rhythm with the acrophase prior to feeding time, which seems to be strongly dependent on both zeitgebers. Only igfbp1a-b and igfbp1b-b paralogs exhibited a robust daily rhythm of expression in the liver that persists in fish held under constant darkness or randomly fed. The hepatic expression of the two receptor subtypes did not show daily rhythms in any of the experimental conditions. Altogether these results point to the igf-1, igfbp1a-b, and igfbp1b-b as clock-controlled genes, supporting their role as putative rhythmic outputs of the hepatic oscillator, and highlight the relevance of mealtime as an external cue for the 24-h rhythmic expression of the IGF-1 system in fish.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-11-30
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233371
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3372: Chromosome Evolution of the Liolaemus
           monticola (Liolaemidae) Complex: Chromosomal and Molecular Aspects

    • Authors: Madeleine Lamborot, Carmen Gloria Ossa, Nicolás Aravena-Muñoz, David Véliz, Raúl Araya-Donoso
      First page: 3372
      Abstract: Chromosomal rearrangements can directly influence population differentiation and speciation. The Liolaemus monticola complex in Chile is a unique model consisting of several chromosome races arranged in a latitudinal sequence of increasing karyotype complexity from south to north. Here, we compared chromosomal and mitochondrial cytochrome b data from 15 localities across the northern geographic distribution of L. monticola. We expanded the distribution of the previously described Multiple Fissions race (re-described as MF2), in the Coastal range between the Aconcagua River and the Petorca River, and described a new Multiple Fissions 1 (MF1) race in the Andean range. Both races present centric fissions in pairs 1 and 2, as well as a pericentric inversion in one fission product of pair 2 that changes the NOR position. Additionally, we detected a new chromosomal race north of the Petorca River, the Northern Modified 2 (NM2) race, which is polymorphic for novel centric fissions in pairs 3 and 4. Our results increase the number of chromosomal races in L. monticola to seven, suggesting a complex evolutionary history of chromosomal rearrangements, population isolation by barriers, and hybridization. These results show the relevant role of chromosome mutations in evolution, especially for highly speciose groups such as Liolaemus lizards.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-11-30
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233372
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3373: Populations of NK Cells and Regulatory T
           Cells in the Endometrium of Cycling Mares—A Preliminary Study

    • Authors: Joanna Jaworska, Amanda M. de Mestre, Joanna Wiśniewska, Bettina Wagner, Arkadiusz Nowicki, Ilona Kowalczyk-Zięba, Izabela Wocławek-Potocka
      First page: 3373
      Abstract: Endometrial immune cells are essential to support uterine functions across the estrous cycle and in preparation for pregnancy. It has been acknowledged that changes in phenotype and/or numbers of lymphocytes, such as regulatory T cells (Tregs) and NK cells, might result in lower fertility in women and mice. Little is known about equine endometrial immune cells across the estrous cycle. Here, we compared the populations of endometrial Tregs and NK cells in estrus and diestrus in mares. Endometrial biopsy and blood samples were taken in estrus and diestrus from 11 mares ages 4–12 years. Flow cytometry with anti-CD4, -CD25 and -FOXP3 and anti-NKp46 and -CD3 antibodies was used to determine the populations of Tregs and NK cells, respectively. The concentration of progesterone was measured with chemiluminescence immunoassay. The results were analyzed with paired Student t tests. The mean percentage of endometrial CD4+FOXP3+ Tregs was 13.7 ± 6.2% in diestrus and 14.5 ± 5.9% in estrus, while the mean percentage of endometrial CD4+FOXP3+CD25+ Tregs changed from 3.6 ± 2.1% in diestrus to 2 ± 2% in estrus (p = 0.0947). The mean proportion of CD3−NKp46+ lymphocytes in the endometrium was not significantly different, with 6 ± 1% in estrus and 6.5 ± 1.4% in diestrus. There was a large variation in the percentage of NK cells between mares of 2.1–12.7%. This study showed, for the first time, the presence of CD4+FOXP3+CD25+ Tregs and CD3−NKp46+ NK cells in the endometrium of non-pregnant cycling mares. The percentage of Tregs, and to a greater extent NK cells, showed large fluctuations between mares. Both Tregs and NK cells might be important for the preparation of the endometrium for semen deposition and pregnancy; however, further research is required.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-11-30
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233373
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3374: Too Much of a Good Thing: Rethinking Feed
           Formulation and Feeding Practices for Zinc in Swine Diets to Achieve One
           Health and Environmental Sustainability

    • Authors: Gerald C. Shurson, Pedro E. Urriola, Yuan-Tai Hung
      First page: 3374
      Abstract: The objectives of this review were to summarize current knowledge of Zn in swine nutrition, environmental concerns, potential contribution to antimicrobial resistance, and explore the use of alternative feeding strategies to reduce Zn excretion in manure while capturing improvements in productivity. Zinc is a required nutrient for pigs but is commonly supplemented at concentrations that greatly exceed estimated requirements. Feeding pharmacological concentrations of Zn from ZnO to pigs for 1 to 2 weeks post-weaning reduces post-weaning diarrhea and improves growth performance. Feeding elevated dietary levels of Zn to sows during the last 30 days of gestation can reduce the incidence of low-birth-weight pigs and pre-weaning mortality. Most of the dietary Zn consumed by pigs is not retained in the body and is subsequently excreted in manure, which led several countries to impose regulations restricting dietary Zn concentrations to reduce environmental impacts. Although restricting Zn supplementation in swine diets is a reasonable approach for reducing environmental pollution, it does not allow capturing health and productivity benefits from strategic use of elevated dietary Zn concentrations. Therefore, we propose feeding strategies that allow strategic use of high dietary concentrations of Zn while also reducing Zn excretion in manure compared with current feeding practices.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-11-30
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233374
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3375: Gut Microbiome Studies in Livestock:
           Achievements, Challenges, and Perspectives

    • Authors: Giovanni Forcina, Lucía Pérez-Pardal, Júlio Carvalheira, Albano Beja-Pereira
      First page: 3375
      Abstract: The variety and makeup of the gut microbiome are frequently regarded as the primary determinants of health and production performances in domestic animals. High-throughput DNA/RNA sequencing techniques (NGS) have recently gained popularity and permitted previously unheard-of advancements in the study of gut microbiota, particularly for determining the taxonomic composition of such complex communities. Here, we summarize the existing body of knowledge on livestock gut microbiome, discuss the state-of-the-art in sequencing techniques, and offer predictions for next research. We found that the enormous volumes of available data are biased toward a small number of globally distributed and carefully chosen varieties, while local breeds (or populations) are frequently overlooked despite their demonstrated resistance to harsh environmental circumstances. Furthermore, the bulk of this research has mostly focused on bacteria, whereas other microbial components such as protists, fungi, and viruses have received far less attention. The majority of these data were gathered utilizing traditional metabarcoding techniques that taxonomically identify the gut microbiota by analyzing small portions of their genome (less than 1000 base pairs). However, to extend the coverage of microbial genomes for a more precise and thorough characterization of microbial communities, a variety of increasingly practical and economical shotgun techniques are currently available.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-11-30
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233375
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3376: The Pathology of Fatal Avian Malaria Due to
           Plasmodium elongatum (GRW6) and Plasmodium matutinum (LINN1) Infection in
           New Zealand Kiwi (Apteryx spp.)

    • Authors: Emma Gulliver, Stuart Hunter, Laryssa Howe, Fernanda Castillo-Alcala
      First page: 3376
      Abstract: Avian malaria caused by Plasmodium species is a known cause of mortality in avifauna worldwide, however reports within New Zealand kiwi (Apteryx spp.) are scant. Postmortem reports from kiwi were obtained from the Massey University/Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa School of Veterinary Science Pathology Register from August 2010–August 2020. Gross lesions were described from postmortem reports, and archived H.E.-stained slides used for histological assessment. Nested PCR testing was performed on formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue samples to assess the presence of Plasmodium spp. and Toxoplasma gondii DNA and cases with a PCR-positive result were sequenced to determine the lineage involved. Of 1005 postmortem reports, 23 cases of confirmed or suspected avian malaria were included in this study. The most consistent gross lesions included splenomegaly, hepatomegaly, and interstitial pneumonia with oedema. Histological lesions were characterised by severe interstitial pneumonia, pulmonary oedema, interstitial myocarditis, hepatic sinusoidal congestion and hypercellularity, and splenic macrophage hyperplasia and hyperaemia/congestion with numerous haemosiderophages. Cytoplasmic meronts were consistently found within endothelial cells of a variety of tissues, and within tissue macrophages of the liver, lung and spleen. A diagnosis of avian malaria was confirmed via PCR testing in 13 cases, with sequencing revealing P. matutinum (LINN1) and P. elongatum (GRW6) as the species involved. This is the largest case series describing the pathology of avian malaria as a cause of mortality in endemic New Zealand avifauna.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-12-01
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233376
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3377: Vaccination Strategies in a Potential Use of
           the Vaccine against Bovine Tuberculosis in Infected Herds

    • Authors: Feliciano Milián-Suazo, Sara González-Ruiz, Yesenia Guadalupe Contreras-Magallanes, Susana Lucía Sosa-Gallegos, Isabel Bárcenas-Reyes, Germinal Jorgé Cantó-Alarcón, Elba Rodríguez-Hernández
      First page: 3377
      Abstract: Bovine tuberculosis (bTB) is a disease of cattle that represents a risk to public health and causes severe economic losses to the livestock industry. Recently, one of the strategies recommended for reducing the prevalence of the disease in animals is the use of the BCG vaccine, alone or in combination with proteins. It has been shown that the vaccine elicits a strong immune response, downsizes the number of animals with visible lesions, and reduces the rate of infection as well as the bacillary count. This paper, based on scientific evidence, makes suggestions about some practical vaccination alternatives that can be used in infected herds to reduce bTB prevalence, considering BCG strains, vaccine doses, routes of application, and age of the animals. Our conclusion is that vaccination is a promising alternative to be included in current control programs in underdeveloped countries to reduce the disease burden.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-12-01
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233377
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3378: Role of Bacteriophages for Optimized Health
           and Production of Poultry

    • Authors: Rao Zahid Abbas, Abdullah F Alsayeqh, Amjad Islam Aqib
      First page: 3378
      Abstract: The poultry sector is facing infections from Salmonella, Campylobacter, Listeria and Staphylococcus spp., and Escherichia coli, that have developed multidrug resistance aptitude. Antibiotics cause disturbances in the balance of normal microbiota leading to dysbiosis, immunosuppression, and the development of secondary infections. Bacteriophages have been reported to lower the colonization of Salmonella and Campylobacter in poultry. The specificity of bacteriophages is greater than that of antibiotics and can be used as a cocktail for enhanced antibacterial activity. Specie-specific phages have been prepared, e.g., Staphylophage (used against Staphylococcus bacteria) that specifically eliminate bacterial pathogens. Bacteriophage products, e.g., BacWashTM and Ecolicide PX have been developed as antiseptics and disinfectants for effective biosecurity and biosafety measures. The success of phage therapy is influenced by time to use, the amount used, the delivery mechanism, and combination therapy with other therapeutics. It is a need of time to build a comprehensive understanding of the use of bacteriophages in poultry production. The current review thus focuses on mechanisms of bacteriophages against poultry pathogens, their applications in various therapeutics, impacts on the economy, and current challenges.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-12-01
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233378
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3379: The Effect of Transportation on Puppy
           Welfare from Commercial Breeding Kennels to a Distributor

    • Authors: Aynsley C. Romaniuk, Alessia Diana, Shanis Barnard, Jennifer E. Weller, Uri Baqueiro Espinosa, Sriveny Dangoudoubiyam, Traci Shreyer, Gareth Arnott, Candace Croney
      First page: 3379
      Abstract: Many puppies from commercial breeding kennels (CBKs) are transported by ground from their kennels of origin to a distributor. This experience may elicit fear and stress during a sensitive developmental period, which may in turn negatively impact the puppies’ short- and long-term welfare. This study aimed to measure short-term effects of transportation on puppy welfare metrics. Eight-week-old puppies (n = 383) from 12 CBKs were tested at their kennels (pre-trans) and ~48 h after arriving at a distributor (post-trans). At each location, puppies underwent an isolation test, a stranger-approach test, and a physical health assessment. Behavioral responses to testing were scored from videos. Fecal glucocorticoid metabolites (FGM), fecal secretory immunoglobulin A (sIgA), and presence of intestinal parasites were also analyzed. Linear mixed-effects models identified decreased exploration (p < 0.001), and increased locomotion (p < 0.001) and escape attempts (p = 0.001) during the post-trans isolation test. Increased affiliative behavior (p < 0.001), FGM (p < 0.001) and sIgA (p = 0.014) were also observed post-trans. Findings support good physical health both pre- and post-trans, while behavioral and physiological changes suggest increased puppy distress post-trans. Higher post-transport affiliative behavior may indicate that puppies sought social support as a coping strategy after experiencing transport-related distress. Future studies should explore the efficacy of transportation-related interventions to mitigate puppy distress.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-12-01
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233379
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3380: Mitochondrial DNA and Microsatellite
           Analyses Showed Panmixia between Temporal Samples in Endangered Anguilla
           japonica in the Pearl River Basin (China)

    • Authors: Zaixuan Zhong, Huaping Zhu, Jiajia Fan, Dongmei Ma
      First page: 3380
      Abstract: The Japanese eel (Anguilla japonica) is a commercially important species in East Asia, the abundance of which has rapidly decreased in recent decades. The fishery resource in the Pearl River basin has mainly deteriorated due to overexploitation and habitat degradation. Knowledge on its genetic status is indispensable for resource management. In this study, we explored the temporal genetic structure of A. japonica on the basis of the concatenated sequences of two mitochondrial fragments (mtDNA) and eight microsatellite markers. A total of nine temporal samples (N = 127) were collected during 2019 and 2021 from Jiangmen City, China, which is located in the Pearl River estuary. mtDNA sequence analysis showed a high level of haplotype diversity, and yielded 124 haplotypes with ranging from 9 to 19 in temporal samples. All microsatellite loci were polymorphic among each of the nine temporal samples, with 150 alleles identified across all samples. Pairwise FST values were low and nonsignificant according to both mtDNA and microsatellite markers. STRUCTURE analysis showed that all temporal samples were not clearly differentiated from each other. The yielded outcomes supported a panmictic pattern in different temporal A. japonica samples. Therefore, our results call for the management of A. japonica as a single unit and joint conservation strategy of the species, since overexploitation in any region will decrease its global resource.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-12-01
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233380
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3381: Impacts of the Wild Boar (Sus scrofa) on the
           Livelihood of Rural Communities in Pakistan and Understanding Public
           Attitudes towards Wild Boars

    • Authors: Romaan Hayat Khattak, Liwei Teng, Tahir Mehmood, Shakeel Ahmad, Zhensheng Liu
      First page: 3381
      Abstract: Conservation goals can only be best achieved when there is firm support and cooperation from locals, especially in emerging economies where poor communities often bear most of the cost of human–wildlife conflicts (HWCs). In this study, we explored the economic losses caused by wild boars in two districts, i.e., the Peshawar district and the Nowshera district, in north-western Pakistan. Between May and June 2022, 589 respondents from 53 villages were interviewed. The results revealed that the wild boar was chiefly involved in crop raiding, causing an annual economic loss of USD 12,030 (USD 20.42/household). The highly raided crops included maize (40.24%), followed by wheat (24.95%), vegetables (22.65%), and sugarcane (6.29%). Wild boars were also held accountable for orchard damages. Most people consider the wild boar a common species in the area and want it completely eliminated. We believe that the increasing wild boar population is alarming and should be noticed. The government should collaborate with the local communities to use innovative methods to deter wild boars. Compensation schemes for crop damages should be launched. Moreover, the regular investigation of the wild boar population size and their carrying capacities should be enlisted as integral parts of wildlife management in the area.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-12-01
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233381
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3382: Biosecurity and Lairage Time versus Pork
           Meat Quality Traits in a Farm–Abattoir Continuum

    • Authors: Ivan Nastasijevic, Milica Glisic, Milan Milijasevic, Sasa Jankovic, Radmila Mitrovic, Jelena Babic Milijasevic, Marija Boskovic Cabrol
      First page: 3382
      Abstract: The modern pig production chain is increasingly focused on biosecurity, quality, and safety of meat and is associated with many challenges impacting world meat markets, such as animal disease outbreaks and sanitary restrictions, trade regulations and quality requirements. To overcome such challenges and assure more consistent pork meat quality (and safety), there is a need to develop an effective and reliable monitoring system in a farm–abattoir continuum that can be based on selected biomarkers. This study assessed interrelations of selected stress and inflammation biomarkers (acute phase proteins (APP)) between farm biosecurity score versus pork meat quality traits after two different lairage periods. Briefly, the maximum recorded levels of stress hormones (436.2 and 241.2 ng/mL, for cortisol and Chromogranin A (CgA), respectively) and APP (389.4 and 400.9 μg/mL, Pig Major Acute Proteins (MAP) and Haptoglobin (Hp), respectively) at four commercial farms were within the recommended threshold values. Cortisol and APP were negatively correlated to the internal and total biosecurity scores of farms. The increase of level of both sets of biomarkers was found at bleeding (after transportation and lairage period), but with lower values after long (18–20 h) versus short (1–3 h) lairage lay-over time. In general, negative correlation was confirmed between stress and inflammation biomarkers and carcass/meat quality traits. The farm total biosecurity level significantly affected chilling yield, meat temperature, and a* value. Pig-MAP emerged as a good biomarker with a promising potential for assessment and anticipation of broad aspects in the pork meat chain. It can be used for detection of failures in the pig production system and might be incorporated in certification programs for the pork meat industry.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-12-01
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233382
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3383: The Multiple Influences of Natural Farming
           Environment on the Cultured Population Behavior of Kuruma Prawn, Penaeus
           japonicus

    • Authors: Wenzhi Cheng, Heqian Zhang, Panpan Wang, Yiming Wei, Chuanxi Chen, Yiling Hou, Xiaojie Deng, Siqi Li, Shengyao Sun, Qisi Cai, Yong Mao, Xiangrong Liu
      First page: 3383
      Abstract: Recent years have witnessed a tremendous development in shrimp farming around the world, which, however, has raised a variety of issues, possibly due to a lack of knowledge of shrimp behavior in farms. This study focused on the relationship between shrimp behavior and the various factors of natural farming environment through situ surveys, as distinguished from the majority of laboratory studies on shrimp behavior. In the survey, the behaviors of kuruma prawn (Penaeus japonicus) were investigated in the groups of swimming in the water, crawling on the sand, resting on the sand, and hiding in the sand, followed by the quantification of the sex ratio, water quality, density, and light intensity. The results showed the average proportions of resting, hiding, crawling, and swimming activities of 69.87%, 20.85%, 8.24%, and 1.04%, respectively, of P. japonicus. The behavior of hiding, resting, and crawling is significantly affected by the sex ratio of the shrimp (p < 0.05). The proportions of hiding behavior exhibited a negative connection with density and a positive connection with light intensity, while the proportions of resting behavior showed the opposite according to both Pearson correlation analysis and multiple linear regression analysis. The light intensity was the only factor that significantly influenced the swimming behavior, in which the probability of the swimming behavior was reduced from 48% to 5% when light intensity varied from 0 to 10 lx, as determined by the generalized linear model. It could be speculated that P. japonicus prefers a tranquil environment. Female shrimp might exhibit less aggression and more adventure compared to male shrimp. The findings suggested light intensity, followed by density, as the most crucial element influencing the behavior of P. japonicus in the culture environment. These findings will contribute to the comprehension of the behavior of P. japonicus and provide a novel perspective for the formulation of its culture management strategy.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-12-01
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233383
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3384: Bacteriuria in Cystocentesis Samples from
           Cats in the United Kingdom: Prevalence, Bacterial Isolates, and
           Antimicrobial Susceptibilities

    • Authors: D’Août, Taylor, Gelendi, Atkinson, Defauw
      First page: 3384
      Abstract: Bacterial urinary tract infections (UTIs) have historically been reported to be uncommon in cats; however, recent studies showed a higher prevalence. Bacterial UTIs are one of the most common reasons for the use of antimicrobial drugs in veterinary medicine. Our aim was to investigate the prevalence of positive cultures in urine samples submitted to a UK laboratory for testing, as well as prevalence of bacterial species and their antimicrobial susceptibility to commonly used antibiotics. This was a retrospective analysis of positive cultures from feline urine samples collected by cystocentesis submitted over 14 months (January 2018–February 2019). A total of 2712 samples were reviewed, of which 425 documented a positive culture (15.7%) with a total of 444 bacterial isolates. E. coli (43.7%), other Enterobacterales (26.4%), Enterococcus species (14.9%) and Staphylococcus species (9.2%) were the most commonly isolated bacteria. E. coli most commonly showed resistance to cephalexin (20.7%) and amoxicillin (16.7%). Resistance was most commonly seen against amoxicillin (64.1%) and cephalexin (52.2%) in Enterobacterales. Enterococcus species most commonly showed resistance to trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (94.3%). Staphylococcus species most commonly showed resistance to amoxicillin (20%). This study showed significant resistance of bacteria found in feline urine samples in the UK to frequently used antibiotics.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-12-01
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233384
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3385: Review of the Foundational Knowledge
           Required for Assessing Horse Welfare

    • Authors: Andrea M. Harvey, Daniel Ramp, David J. Mellor
      First page: 3385
      Abstract: A detailed understanding of what is usual for a species under optimal conditions is critical for identifying and interpreting different features of body function that have known impacts on animal welfare and its assessment. When applying the Five Domains Model to assess animal welfare, the key starting point is therefore to acquire extensive species-specific knowledge relevant to each of the four physical/functional Domains of the Model. These Domains, 1 to 4, address areas where objective information is evaluated and collated. They are: (1) Nutrition; (2) Physical environment; (3) Health; and (4) Behavioural interactions. It is on the basis of this detailed knowledge that cautious inferences can then be made about welfare-relevant mental experiences animals may have, aligned with Domain 5, Mental State. However, this review is focused entirely on the first four Domains in order to provide a novel holistic framework to collate the multidisciplinary knowledge of horses required for undertaking comprehensive welfare assessments. Thus, inferring the potential mental experiences aligned with Domain 5, the final step in model-based welfare assessments, is not considered here. Finally, providing extensive information on free-roaming horses enables a better understanding of the impacts of human interventions on the welfare of horses in both free-roaming and domestic situations.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-12-01
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233385
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3386: The Phylogenetic Relationships of the Family
           Sciaenidae Based on Genome-Wide Data Analysis

    • Authors: Xiaolu Han, Shihuai Jin, Zhiqiang Han, Tianxiang Gao
      First page: 3386
      Abstract: Uncertainty and controversy exist in the phylogenetic status of the Sciaenidae family because of the limited genetic data availability. In this study, a data set of 69,098 bp, covering 309 shared orthologous genes, was extracted from 18 genomes and 5 transcriptomes of 12 species belonging to the Sciaenidae family and used for phylogenetic analysis. The maximum likelihood (ML) and Bayesian approach (BA) methods were used to reconstruct the phylogenetic trees. The resolved ML and BA trees showed similar topology, thus revealing two major evolutionary lineages within the Sciaenidae family, namely, Western Atlantic (WA) and Eastern Atlantic–Indo–West Pacific (EIP). The WA group included four species belonging to four genera: Cynoscion nebulosus, Equetus punctatus, Sciaenops ocellatus, and Micropogonias undulatus. Meanwhile, the EIP group formed one monophyletic clade, harboring eight species (Argyrosomus regius, A. japonicus, Pennahia anea, Nibea albiflora, Miichthys miiuy, Collichthys lucidus, Larimichthys polyactis, and L. crocea) from six genera. Our results indicated that the Western Atlantic (WA) group was more ancient in the studied species, while the Eastern Atlantic–Indo–West Pacific (EIP) group was a younger group. Within the studied species, the genera Collichthys and Larmichthys were the youngest lineages, and we do not suggest that Collichthys and Larmichthys should be considered as one genus. However, the origin of the Sciaenidae family and problems concerning the basal genus were not resolved because of the lack of genomes. Therefore, further sampling and sequencing efforts are needed.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-12-01
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233386
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3387: Effects of Tomato Paste By-Product Extract
           on Growth Performance and Blood Parameters in Common Carp (Cyprinus
           carpio)

    • Authors: Osman Sabri Kesbiç, Ümit Acar, Mohamed Shaban Hassaan, Sevdan Yılmaz, Maria Cristina Guerrera, Francesco Fazio
      First page: 3387
      Abstract: This research examined different growth performances and blood parameters of common carp (Cyprinus carpio) consuming diets supplemented with tomato paste by-product extract (TPE). Five diets with different concentrations of TPEs, 0% (TPE0) 0.5% (TPE0.5), 1% (TPE1), 2% (TPE2), and 5% (TPE5) were supplied to 300 common carp (8.38 ± 0.18 g) (60 fish per group) each day during the 60-day feeding trial. The relative and specific growth rates of fish-fed supplemental diets increased significantly, while the feed conversion ratio significantly decreased (p < 0.05). TPE considerably increased the erythrocyte count (RBC), hemoglobin content (Hb), and hematocrit (Hct) (p < 0.05), according to hematological analyses of blood samples collected after the feeding experiment. The blood biochemical findings indicate that using 1% or more extracts considerably reduced the serum glucose, cholesterol, and triglyceride ratios while significantly increasing the total protein, albumin, and globulin ratios in common carp (p < 0.05). Based on the findings of the study, it was concluded that the 2% extract generated from tomato paste by-products in common carp diets could be utilized as a growth-promoting product without any negative effects on blood parameters linked to feeding in carp.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-12-01
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233387
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3388: Molecular and Structural Evolution of
           Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus

    • Authors: Baicheng Huang, Guoqian Gu, Yunjing Zhang, Zhenzhen Chen, Kegong Tian
      First page: 3388
      Abstract: To analyze the evolutionary characteristics of the highly contagious porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) at the molecular and structural levels, we analyzed the complete genomes of 647 strains retrieved from the GenBank database. The results showed that the spike (S) gene exhibited larger dS (synonymous substitutions per synonymous site) values than other PEDV genes. In the selective pressure analysis, eight amino acid (aa) sites of the S protein showed strong signals of positive selection, and seven of them were located on the surface of the S protein (S1 domain), suggesting a high selection pressure of S protein. Topologically, the S gene is more representative of the evolutionary relationship at the genome-wide level than are other genes. Structurally, the evolutionary pattern is highly S1 domain-related. The haplotype networks of the S gene showed that the strains are obviously clustered geographically in the lineages corresponding to genotypes GI and GII. The alignment analysis on representative strains of the main haplotypes revealed three distinguishable nucleic acid sites among those strains, suggesting a putative evolutionary mechanism in PEDV. These findings provide several new fundamental insights into the evolution of PEDV and guidance for developing effective prevention countermeasures against PEDV.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-12-01
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233388
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3389: Brown Seaweed (Padina australis) Extract can
           Promote Performance, Innate Immune Responses, Digestive Enzyme Activities,
           Intestinal Gene Expression and Resistance against Aeromonas hydrophila in
           Common Carp (Cyprinus carpio)

    • Authors: Najmeh Sheikhzadeh, Ehsan Ahmadifar, Mehdi Soltani, Hossein Tayefi-Nasrabadi, Shalaleh Mousavi, Mohammed A. E. Naiel
      First page: 3389
      Abstract: Eight-week oral administration of Padina australis ethyl acetate extract at 100, 200, and 400 mg/kg diets was assessed on the growth performance, tight junction proteins, intestinal immunity, and disease resistance to Aeromonas hydrophila in common carp (Cyprinus carpio). A total of 300 healthy common carp weighing around 14.8 ± 0.03 g were randomly assigned into four equal groups within 12 glass aquariums, each in three replicates (25 fish/tank), for the feeding trial experiment. The first group served as the control group and was fed an un-supplemented diet, whilst the other three groups were offered diets containing graded amounts of Padina australis ethyl acetate extract at 100, 200, and 400 mg/kg, respectively. The growth indices, including final weight, length, weight gain rate, specific growth rate, and feed conversion ratio, were meaningfully improved in fish fed with the algae at 200 and 400 mg/kg compared to the control fish (p < 0.05). Similarly, digestive enzyme activities and serum immune parameters were significantly higher in all treatments, especially 200 and 400 mg/kg fed groups, compared to the control (p < 0.05). In parallel, significant upregulation of genes related to integrity and the immune system was shown in the intestine of these treatment groups compared to control fish (p < 0.05). When fish were challenged with A. hydrophila, the cumulative survival percentages were 53.3% (p = 0.215), 70.0 % (p = 0.009), and 76.7% (p = 0.002) in fish fed 100, 200, and 400 mg/kg diets, respectively, compared to 36.7% survival in control fish (p = 0.134). These data show that the eight-week dietary administration of P. australis extract to common carp can enhance growth performance, digestive enzyme activity, immune response, and disease resistance to A. hydrophila infection.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-12-02
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233389
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3390: Monitoring Behaviors of Broiler Chickens at
           Different Ages with Deep Learning

    • Authors: Yangyang Guo, Samuel E. Aggrey, Peng Wang, Adelumola Oladeinde, Lilong Chai
      First page: 3390
      Abstract: Animal behavior monitoring allows the gathering of animal health information and living habits and is an important technical means in precision animal farming. To quickly and accurately identify the behavior of broilers at different days, we adopted different deep learning behavior recognition models. Firstly, the top-view images of broilers at 2, 9, 16 and 23 days were obtained. In each stage, 300 images of each of the four broilers behaviors (i.e., feeding, drinking, standing, and resting) were segmented, totaling 4800 images. After image augmentation processing, 10,200 images were generated for each day including 8000 training sets, 2000 validation sets, and 200 testing sets. Finally, the performance of different convolutional neural network models (CNN) in broiler behavior recognition at different days was analyzed. The results show that the overall performance of the DenseNet-264 network was the best, with the accuracy rates of 88.5%, 97%, 94.5%, and 90% when birds were 2, 9, 16 and 23 days old, respectively. In addition, the efficient channel attention was introduced into the DenseNet-264 network (ECA-DenseNet-264), and the results (accuracy rates: 85%, 95%, 92%, 89.5%) confirmed that the DenseNet-264 network was still the best overall. The research results demonstrate that it is feasible to apply deep learning technology to monitor the behavior of broilers at different days.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-12-02
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233390
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3391: Impact of Procedures and Human-Animal
           Interactions during Transport and Slaughter on Animal Welfare of Pigs: A
           Systematic Literature Review

    • Authors: Rudi Isbrandt, Mechthild Wiegard, Diana Meemken, Nina Langkabel
      First page: 3391
      Abstract: Animal welfare is a high social and political priority and is enshrined in European and national legislation. This systematic literature review (funded by the German Ministry of Food and Agriculture; grant no. 2817806A18) was conducted to find animal and management-based indicators that could be influenced by changes in pig handling and management procedures on the day of slaughter and, therefore, will directly result in improved animal welfare. For this systematic literature review, following the PRISMA guidelines, we conducted a structured literature search using the databases PubMed®, Web of ScienceTM, and LIVIVO with set search terms and their combinations in German and English. Only peer-reviewed original articles from European countries from 2009 until 2022 that dealt with welfare during transport and/or slaughter of fattening pigs and offered potential measurable indicators on the basis of the animal or management, and either directly or indirectly recommended handling practices were included. We used the literature management system EndNoteTM, and after duplicate removal, a total of 1099 records were found for further analysis. After analysis and discussion in the review team, which consisted of three experts in total, 105 articles underwent full-text screening. Finally, 39 articles were included in the results for this systematic literature review. According to this systematic literature review, the following procedures have a positive impact on the animal welfare of pigs on the day of slaughter. Calm—rather than rough—handling of pigs was the most influential factor. This can be achieved by using animal-friendly driving aids. Loud noise should be avoided in general or reduced as far as possible. Transport time is not always influenceable, but shorter transport duration with stocking density as stated by the European regulations as a maximum will reduce stress in pigs. Our review showed that there are differing scientific results about lairage duration, although this should be set in relation to prior stress and transport time. Knowledge of good stunning parameters, such as gas concentration, exposure time to the gas, recommended amperage, and current flow duration is essential. If electrical stunning is performed, the correct attachment of electrodes is crucial. The control of stunning effectiveness is extremely important to avoid suffering and pain, with the proviso that it is assessed on the basis of multiple parameters. The corneal reflex, regular gasping, and the up-righting reflex could be assessed together. Certificates of competence and continuing educational programmes for the personnel form the basis of animal-friendly handling and a stressless slaughter routine. It can be assumed that the results of this systematic literature review reflect the state of current research of pig welfare during transport and slaughter in the European Union, even though it must be assumed that not all relevant points were covered by the review, which can be seen as a limitation at the same time because important non-European or older publications could not be included.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-12-02
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233391
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3392: Association of Mastitis and Farm Management
           with Contamination of Antibiotics in Bulk Tank Milk in Southwest, China

    • Authors: Tingrui Zhang, Sukolrat Boonyayatra, Guoyi Niu
      First page: 3392
      Abstract: Bovine mastitis could reduce the milk production and the quality of the bulk tank milk (BTM). Antibiotic treatments through intramammary or parenteral methods are being widely used in dairy farms. A cross-sectional study to investigate for general farm management and pre-test the questionnaire was performed in Southwestern Yunnan province, China. A total of 134 dairy farms were included. Milking cows of each farm were determined for the presence of clinical (CM) and sub-clinical (SCM) mastitis using the California Mastitis Test (CMT). Rates of CM and SCM in studied farms ranged from 2–11%, and 24–69%, respectively. The incidence of antibiotic residues in BTM of all farms was very high (32%, 44/134). All antibiotic contaminated samples were from smallholder dairy farms. Factors significantly associated with the presence of antibiotic contamination included farm region, antibiotics usage, persons performing mastitis treatment, and rates of CM. Rates of CM were significantly associated with the farm region, cleanliness of udders before milking, and the number of milking cows. Our results emphasize that the risk factors of dairy farm management should be paid attention, which can reduce mastitis prevalence and antibiotic contamination in BTM in Southwestern China.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-12-02
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233392
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3393: Estrus Synchronization of Replacement Gilts
           Using Estradiol Cipionate and PGF2α and Its Effects on Reproductive
           Outcomes

    • Authors: Diego Feitosa Leal, Carlos Henrique Cabral Viana, Glen William Almond, Matheus Saliba Monteiro, Cesar Augusto Pospissil Garbossa, Rafaella Fernandes Carnevale, Bruno Bracco Donatelli Muro, André Pegoraro Poor, Guilherme Pugliesi, Marcílio Nichi, Tatiane Terumi Negrão Watanabe, Mariana Groke Marques
      First page: 3393
      Abstract: In this study, we evaluated the effectiveness of using estrogen-induced prolonged luteal function followed by prostaglandin F2 alpha (PGF2α) treatment to synchronize estrus in gilts. On day12 of the estrus cycle (D0 = first day of standing estrus), 52 gilts were assigned at random to two experimental groups: non-treated gilts (CON, n = 22), serving as controls, and prolonged luteal function group (CYP, n = 30), receiving a single treatment with 10 mg of estradiol cypionate intramuscularly Starting on day 12, blood samples were collected for estradiol and progesterone assays. Estrus detection started on day 17. Gilts from the CON group were inseminated at the onset of natural estrus. On day 28 CYP gilts were treated with PGF2α to induce luteolysis and inseminated at the onset of estrus. Gilts were slaughtered 5 d after the last insemination. A single treatment with estradiol cypionate prolonged luteal function in 90% of treated gilts. The duration of the estrous cycle was longer (p < 0.0001) for CYP gilts compared to CON gilts. CYP gilts showed synchronized estrus 3.96 ± 0.19 d after induction of luteolysis. The conception rate was similar (p = 0.10) for CON and CYP gilts. No difference was observed in the embryo recovery rate (p = 0.18) and total number of embryos per female (p = 0.06). The percentage of unfertilized oocytes, fragmented embryos and viable embryos was similar among females from CON and CYP groups (p > 0.05). The treatment of gilts with a single application of 10 mg of estradiol cypionate on day 12 of the estrous cycle was effective in prolonging luteal function and treatment with PGF2α resulted in synchronized estrus. Additionally, the synchronization protocol had no deleterious effect on fertility and embryonic development.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-12-02
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233393
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3394: Polysaccharide of Atractylodes macrocephala
           Koidz Alleviates Cyclophosphamide-Induced Thymus Ferroptosis in Gosling

    • Authors: Xiangying Zhou, Nan Cao, Danning Xu, Yunbo Tian, Xu Shen, Danli Jiang, Yunmao Huang, Wanyan Li, Bingxin Li
      First page: 3394
      Abstract: The present study aimed to explore the mechanism by which PAMK alleviates cyclophosphamide (CTX)-induced ferroptosis in thymocytes. One-day-old goslings were divided into four groups (10 goslings/group). The CON and CTX groups were fed a basic diet. The PAMK and CTX + PAMK groups were fed the basic diet mixed with PAMK (400 mg/kg). Moreover, the CTX and CTX + PAMK groups were given a daily injection of 40 mg/kg BW of CTX (at 19, 20, and 21 days of age). On the other hand, the CON and PAMK groups were given 0.5 mL of sterilized saline into the leg muscle (at 19, 20, and 21 days of age). The goslings were fed for 28 days. The ferroptosis pathway was enriched in transcriptome sequencing. Compared to the CON group, the thymus in the CTX group underwent injury, and the mitochondria of thymocytes showed features of ferroptosis. PAMK treatment alleviated ferroptosis in thymocytes and thymus injury, and CTX-induced elevated levels of oxidative stress and iron content restored GPX4 protein expression (p < 0.05) and inhibited the CTX-induced activation of the ferroptosis pathway (p < 0.05). Conclusively, PAMK could reduce thymus injury by alleviating CTX-induced thymocyte ferroptosis in gosling to alleviate the immunosuppression caused by CTX in the organism.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-12-02
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233394
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3395: Thermal Stress Induces Metabolic Responses
           in Juvenile Qingtian Paddy Field Carp Cyprinus carpio var qingtianensis

    • Authors: Yuhan Jiang, Xiangbing Cheng, Junjie Lu, Guanhong Xu, Qigen Liu, Jiamin Sun
      First page: 3395
      Abstract: Extreme fluctuations in water temperature lead to significant economic losses for the aquaculture industry. Cyprinus carpio var qingtianensis (locally called Qingtian paddy field carp), is a local variety commonly found in Zhejiang province, China. Unlike traditional aquaculture environments, the water temperature range between day and night in the rice field environment is much larger, and the high temperature in summer may exceed the growth threshold of fish because there is no manual intervention; therefore, the study of how the Qingtian paddy field carp (PF carp) adapts to high-temperature conditions can shed light how the species adapt to the rice field environment. To investigate the molecular mechanisms of this fish under thermal stress, the liver metabolomics of Qiangtian paddy field carp (PF carp) were analyzed. In this study, metabolomics was used to examine the metabolic reaction of PF carp (102 days old, 104.69 ± 3.08 g in weight, 14.65 ± 0.46 cm in length) at water temperatures of 28 °C (control group, CG), 34 °C (experimental group (EG) 34), and 38 °C (EG38). The results show that 175 expression profile metabolites (DEMs), including 115 upregulated and 60 downregulated metabolites, were found in the CG vs. EG34. A total of 354 DEMs were inspected in CG vs. EG38, with 85 metabolites downregulated and 269 metabolites upregulated. According to the pathway enrichment study, various pathways were altered by thermal stress, including those of lipid, amino-acid, and carbohydrate metabolism. Our study presents a potential metabolic profile for PF carp under thermal stress. It also demonstrates how the host responds to thermal stress on a metabolic and molecular level.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-12-02
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233395
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3396: Developing Strategies to Help Bee Colony
           Resilience in Changing Environments

    • Authors: Isabelle Dequenne, Jean-Michel Philippart de Foy, Patrice D. Cani
      First page: 3396
      Abstract: Climate change, loss of plant biodiversity, burdens caused by new pathogens, predators, and toxins due to human disturbance and activity are significant causes of the loss of bee colonies and wild bees. The aim of this review is to highlight some possible strategies that could help develop bee resilience in facing their changing environments. Scientists underline the importance of the links between nutrition, microbiota, and immune and neuroendocrine stress resistance of bees. Nutrition with special care for plant-derived molecules may play a major role in bee colony health. Studies have highlighted the importance of pollen, essential oils, plant resins, and leaves or fungi as sources of fundamental nutrients for the development and longevity of a honeybee colony. The microbiota is also considered as a key factor in bee physiology and a cornerstone between nutrition, metabolism, growth, health, and pathogen resistance. Another stressor is the varroa mite parasite. This parasite is a major concern for beekeepers and needs specific strategies to reduce its severe impact on honeybees. Here we discuss how helping bees to thrive, especially through changing environments, is of great concern for beekeepers and scientists.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-12-02
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233396
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3397: Integrated Transcriptome Analysis Reveals
           the Crucial mRNAs and miRNAs Related to Fecundity in the Hypothalamus of
           Yunshang Black Goats during the Luteal Phase

    • Authors: Miaoceng Han, Chen Liang, Yufang Liu, Xiaoyun He, Mingxing Chu
      First page: 3397
      Abstract: A normal estrus cycle is essential for the breeding of goats, and the luteal phase accounts for most of the estrus cycle. The corpus luteum (CL) formed during the luteal phase is a transient endocrine gland that is crucial for the reproductive cycle and pregnancy maintenance, and is controlled by many regulatory factors. However, the molecular mechanism of the hypothalamus effect on the reproductive performance of different litter sizes during the luteal phase of goats has not been elucidated. In this study, RNA-sequencing was used to analyze the mRNA and miRNA expression profiles of the hypothalamic tissues with the high-fecundity goats during the luteal phase (LP-HF) and low-fecundity goats during the luteal phase (LP-LF). The RNA-seq results found that there were 1963 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) (890 up-regulated and 1073 down-regulated). The miRNA-seq identified 57 differentially expressed miRNAs (DEMs), including 11 up-regulated and 46 down-regulated, of which 199 DEGs were predicted to be potential target genes of DEMs. Meanwhile, the functional enrichment analysis identified several mRNA-miRNA pairs involved in the regulation of the hypothalamic activity, such as the common target gene MEA1 of novel-miR-972, novel-miR-125 and novel-miR-403, which can play a certain role as a related gene of the reproductive development in the hypothalamic–pituitary–gonadal (HPG) axis and its regulated network, by regulating the androgen secretion. While another target gene ADIPOR2 of the novel-miR-403, is distributed in the hypothalamus and affects the reproductive system through a central role on the HPG axis and a peripheral role in the gonadal tissue. An annotation analysis of the DE miRNA-mRNA pairs identified targets related to biological processes, such as anion binding (GO:0043168) and small molecule binding (GO: 0036094). Subsequently, the KEGG(Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes) pathways were performed to analyze the miRNA-mRNA pairs with negatively correlated miRNAs. We found that the GnRH signaling pathway (ko04912), the estrogen signaling pathway (ko04915), the Fc gamma R-mediated phagocytosis (ko04666), and the IL-17 signaling pathway (ko04657), etc., were directly and indirectly associated with the reproductive process. These targeting interactions may be closely related to the reproductive performance of goats. The results of this study provide a reference for further research on the molecular regulation mechanism for the high fertility in goats.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-12-02
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233397
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3398: Multi-Omics Analysis of Transcriptomic and
           Metabolomics Profiles Reveal the Molecular Regulatory Network of Marbling
           in Early Castrated Holstein Steers

    • Authors: Fang Sun, Minyu Piao, Xinyue Zhang, Siqi Zhang, Ziheng Wei, Li Liu, Ye Bu, Shanshan Xu, Xiaochuan Zhao, Xiangren Meng, Mengmeng Yue
      First page: 3398
      Abstract: The intramuscular fat (IMF), or so-called marbling, is known as potential determinant of the high quality beef in China, Korea, and Japan. Of the methods that affect IMF content in cattle, castration is markedly regarded as an effective and economical way to improve the deposition of IMF but with little attention to its multi-omics in early-castrated cattle. The aim of this study was to investigate the liver transcriptome and metabolome of early-castrated Holstein cattle and conduct a comprehensive analysis of two omics associated with the IMF deposition using transcriptomics and untargeted metabolomics under different treatments: non−castrated and slaughtered at 16 months of age (GL16), castrated at birth and slaughtered at 16 months of age (YL16), and castrated at birth and slaughtered at 26 months of age (YL26). The untargeted metabolome was analyzed using ultrahigh-performance liquid chromatography coupled with quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry. The transcriptome of the hepatic genes was analyzed to identify marbling-related genes. Using untargeted metabolomics, the main altered metabolic pathways in the liver of cattle, including those for lipid and amino acid metabolism, were detected in the YL16 group relative to the GL16 and YL26 groups. Significant increases in the presence of betaine, alanine, and glycerol 3-phosphate were observed in the YL16 group (p < 0.05), which might have contributed to the improved beef-marbling production. Compared to the GL16 and YL26 groups, significant increases in the presence of glutathione, acetylcarnitine, and riboflavin but decreases in diethanolamine and 2-hydroxyglutarate were identified in YL16 group (p < 0.05), which might have been beneficial to the beef’s enhanced functional quality. The gene expressions of GLI1 and NUF2 were downregulated and that of CYP3A4 was upregulated in the YL16 group; these results were strongly correlated with the alanine, betaine, and leucine, respectively, in the liver of the cattle. In conclusion, implementation of early castration modified the hepatic metabolites and the related biological pathways by regulating the relevant gene expressions, which could represent a better rearing method for production of high marbled and healthier beef products.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-12-02
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233398
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3399: Effect of Sow Body Weight at First Service
           on Body Status and Performance during First Parity and Lifetime

    • Authors: María José Carrión-López, Juan Orengo, Josefa Madrid, Antonio Vargas, Silvia Martínez-Miró
      First page: 3399
      Abstract: In this retrospective study, we aimed to assess the effect of body weight (BW) at first service on body status development and sow performance during first parity and lifetime efficiency. A total of 360 DanBred gilts were used, which we categorized into three groups according to their BW: (1) Small sows (<135 kg BW; n = 108); (2) Medium sows (135–150 kg BW; n = 155); (3) Large sows (>150 kg BW; n = 63). We studied the gilts from first insemination to first weaning, and then monitored until culling. Sow body status, litter size and weight, farrowing rate, weaning-to-conception interval, lifetime performance, and hormones linked to metabolism were recorded. Sows in the Small group had the lowest body weight, backfat thickness, and loin depth during gestation. Moreover, they had the smallest number of total piglets born and longest weaning-to-conception interval at first parity. The Small sows also had, on average, one less piglet born during their productive life, and they tended to have a higher culling rate over three parities. For immunoglobulins, insulin, cortisol, and IGF-I levels, no differences were found. In conclusion, achieving optimal body weight at first service is essential for maximizing the sow’s lifetime performance.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-12-02
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233399
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3400: In Vitro Rumen Fermentation and Post-Ruminal
           Digestibility of Sorghum–Soybean Forage as Affected by Ensiling
           Length, Storage Temperature, and Its Interactions with Crude Protein
           Levels

    • Authors: Temitope Alex Aloba, Uta Dickhoefer, Joaquin Castro-Montoya
      First page: 3400
      Abstract: The study aimed to evaluate the effects of ensiling length, storage temperature, and its interaction with crude protein (CP) levels in sorghum–soybean forage mixtures on in vitro rumen fermentation and post-ruminal digestibility of nutrients. The dietary treatments consisted of fresh forages (d 0) and silages of sorghum and soybean stored indoors or outdoors for 75 and 180 d with additional ingredients to make two dietary CP levels, 90 and 130 g/kg dry matter (DM) and a forage-to-concentrate ratio of 80 to 20. An in vitro procedure was conducted using the ANKOM RF technique to study rumen fermentation. The dietary treatments were incubated in duplicate for 8 and 24 h in three runs. After each incubation time, in vitro rumen fermentation parameters were measured, and the protozoa population was counted using a microscope. Post-ruminal digestibility was determined using the pepsin and pancreatic solubility procedure. Cumulative gas production (GP) increased quadratically with ensiling length (8 h, p < 0.01; 24 h, p = 0.02), and the GP differed between CP levels at both incubation times (p < 0.01). However, total short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) concentrations in rumen inoculum increased quadratically with ensiling length (p < 0.01; for both incubation times), and interaction between ensiling length and CP levels was observed in proportions of acetate and propionate after 24 h of incubation (p < 0.01; for both incubation times). Similarly, an interaction between ensiling length and CP levels was found in the proportion of valerate after 24 h of incubation (p < 0.01). There was a quadratic response to ensiling length in the NH4–N concentration after 8 h (p < 0.01) and 24 h (p < 0.05), and the CP level also differed (p < 0.01) at both incubation times. The ciliate protozoa count after 24 h was higher in low CP diets than in high CP diets (p = 0.04). The amount of CP in the undegraded substrate at both incubation times differed between CP levels (p < 0.01; for both incubation times). An interaction effect between ensiling length and storage temperature after 8 h (p = 0.02) and 24 h (p < 0.01) was observed for intestinal CP digestibility. The effect of CP levels on intestinal CP digestibility differed after 8 h (p < 0.01) and 24 h (p < 0.01). In conclusion, increasing ensiling length beyond 75 d reduced CP digestibility, and additional CP inclusion did not ameliorate this.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-12-02
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233400
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3401: Evaluation of Prolonged Endometrial
           Inflammation Associated with the Periparturient Metabolic State in Dairy
           Cows

    • Authors: Rena Sato, Saku Koyama, Miya Yasukawa, Takuma Inoue, Tomochika Matsumura, Asuka Kanazawa, Yukari Nozue, Yuriko Wada, Itaru Yoshimura, Yujiro Hagita, Hisashi Mizutani, Tsuyoshi Tajima, Tadaharu Ajito, Ryotaro Miura
      First page: 3401
      Abstract: The objectives of this study were to assess the sequential dynamics of the endometrial polymorphonuclear cells (PMN) after calving by endometrial cytology, and clarify the factors that cause prolonged endometrial inflammation in lactating dairy cows. A total of 33 lactating Holstein dairy cows were used from −4 to 8 wk relative to calving (0 wk: the calving week). Endometrial samples were obtained sequentially from 2 to 8 wk. Body condition score and backfat thickness were obtained weekly from −4 to 8 wk. Blood samples collected from −4 to 8 wk were analyzed for indicators of energy status, hepatic function, systemic inflammation, and calcium. Blood amino acids were measured at 2 wk. Daily milk production was determined between 5 and 65 d postpartum. Based on the sequential cytological analysis, the endometrial inflammation threshold was set at ≥5.0% PMN, and the median wk of PMN% lower than 5.0% was 4.5 wk in this study; therefore, we classified the cows into the early group (cows with endometrial inflammation converged within 4 wk: n = 17) and the late group (cows with endometrial inflammation converged at or after 5 wk: n = 16). There were no differences in daily milk production, energy status, hepatic function, blood calcium concentration, and systemic inflammatory response. The late group had lower body condition scores and backfat thickness during the experimental period, and a higher blood concentration of 3-methyl histidine, indicating muscle breakdown, was observed in the late group at 2 wk. Our findings indicated that the lack of body fat reservation during the peripartum period and the increased muscle breakdown after calving were risk factors for prolonged endometrial inflammation.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-12-02
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233401
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3402: Effect of miR-143-3p from Extracellular
           Vesicles of Porcine Uterine Luminal Fluid on Porcine Trophoblast Cells

    • Authors: Yue Ding, Qun Hu, Jianyu Gan, Xupeng Zang, Ting Gu, Zhenfang Wu, Gengyuan Cai, Linjun Hong
      First page: 3402
      Abstract: Extracellular vesicles (EVs) in uterine luminal fluid (ULF) can reportedly affect the proliferation and migration function of porcine trophoblast cells (PTr2 cells) by mediating the maternal–fetal exchange of information. miR-143-3p is considered a crucial miRNA in early pregnancy in mammals; however, little is currently known about how it regulates the function of PTr2 cells. This study aimed to investigate the effects of ssc-miR-143-3p in ULF-EVs on the function of PTr2 cells during porcine embryo implantation. The uptake of ULF-EVs by PTr2 cells was confirmed, which significantly increased the expression of ssc-miR-143-3p. Ssc-miR-143-3p was found to facilitate the proliferation and migration of PTr2 cells in the CCK-8, EdU and wound-closure assays, while the opposite findings were observed after the knockdown of ssc-miR-143-3p. Bioinformatics analysis and the luciferase reporter assay showed that glycerol-3 phosphate dehydrogenase 2 (GDP2) was directly targeted by miR-143-3p. Inhibition of miR-143-3p was validated in mice to inhibit embryo implantation. In summary, ssc-miR-143-3p in ULF-EVs affects the proliferation and migration of PTr2 cells by mediating GPD2, thereby affecting embryo implantation.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-12-02
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233402
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3403: Mitochondrial DNA of Sardinian and
           North-West Italian Populations Revealed a New Piece in the Mosaic of
           Phylogeography and Phylogeny of Salariopsis fluviatilis (Blenniidae)

    • Authors: Ilenia Azzena, Fabio Scarpa, Chiara Locci, Piero Cossu, Alessio Niffoi, Flavio Orrù, Stefano Bovero, Giuseppe Sotgiu, Daria Sanna, Marco Casu
      First page: 3403
      Abstract: The genus Salariopsis (Blenniidae) comprises freshwater blenny fish that inhabits Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea, and north-east Atlantic areas. Three species were formally described to date: Salariopsis fluviatilis. S. economidisi, and S. atlantica. In this study, 103 individuals were collected from different Italian regions (Sardinia, Liguria, Piedmont, Lombardy) and analyzed using the mtDNA Control Region and the ribosomal 16s gene. We aimed (i) to depict the phylogeographic patterns of S. fluviatilis in northern Italy and Sardinia and (ii) to compare the genetic structure of Italian samples with those from other Mediterranean regions. Results obtained showed the presence of a well-supported genetic structuring among Italian S. fluviatilis populations, shedding new light on the phylogeographic patterns of northern Italian populations of S. fluviatilis sensu stricto across the Ligurian Alpine ridge and the Sardinia Island-mainland dispersal patterns. Furthermore, our species delimitation analysis was consistent in supporting results of previous research about the presence of genetic differentiation among S. fluviatilis, evidencing: (i) a large group of S. fluviatilis sensu stricto that includes two sub-groups (Occidental and Oriental), (ii) one group comprising populations from the Middle East of a taxonomic entity corresponding to Salariopsis cf. fluviatilis, and (iii) one group of Iberian individuals from the Guadiana River.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-12-02
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233403
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3404: Analysis of Gut Microbial Communities and
           Resistance Genes in Pigs and Chickens in Central China

    • Authors: Yapei Rui, Gang Qiu
      First page: 3404
      Abstract: Background: Basic data concerning the gut microbiota of the main animal husbandry breeds (pigs and chickens) are scarce in China. The dynamics of gut microbiota (pigs and chickens) in China and antibiotic resistance genes carried by microorganisms in the natural environment are unknown. Methods: Free range and factory-farmed Gushi chickens and Huainan pigs were divided into eight groups. Faecal samples were collected from each group, and the metagenomic sequencing method was used to detect each group of samples. Results: The resistance genes showed the following trend, from high to low relative abundance: tetW was the highest, followed by tetW/N/W, then lnuA; and others from high to low were mdtB, lnuC, ANT6-la, ErmB, mdtC, ErmQ, tetBP, vatE, evgS, acrB, cpxA, mefA, Escherichia coli-ampC, tetL, yojl, AcrF and mdtA. All groups administered enrofloxacin and oregano oil did not develop a drug-resistant phenotype during the 5-day treatment period, as grouped in this trial. In 2022, after Announcement No. 194 of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs in China, the antimicrobial resistance (AMR) trend declined, but it did not fundamentally change, presumably due to the impact of environmental pollution caused by the long-term use of antimicrobials.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-12-02
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233404
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3405: Diffusion Tensor Imaging in Syringomyelia
           Secondary to Chiari Malformation in Cavalier King Charles Spaniel—A
           Preliminary Study

    • Authors: Marcin Adam Wrzosek, Aleksandra Ewa Banasik, Karolina Owsińska-Schmidt, Anna Zimny
      First page: 3405
      Abstract: Syringomyelia secondary to Chiari-like malformation (so-called CM-SM syndrome) is a common disorder in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels (CKCS) that is diagnosed using standard structural MRI, though imaging findings often do not correlate with the severity of clinical symptoms. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) is a technique that defines subtle microstructural changes in the course of many brain and spinal cord diseases, that are not visible on standard MRI. The aim of the study was to identify the correlation between the presence of clinical symptoms and DTI parameters, such as apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) and fractional anisotropy (FA) within the spinal cord in the course of CM-SM. Study subjects included 18 dogs, CKCS with MRI-confirmed SM (SM group), and 12 CKCS dogs without SM (non-SM group). The SM group was divided into SM-symptomatic group (n = 8) and SM-asymptomatic group, n = 10). All dogs underwent same clinical and neurological assessment followed by MRI examination. All MRI studies were performed on a 1.5T MRI scanner. The MRI spine protocol included: transverse and sagittal T2-weighted images followed by DTI performed in the sagittal plane. The measurements of FA and ADC values were performed manually using the region of interest (ROI) method at the level of three intervertebral discs between C1 and C4. Notable differences in age and body weight were found. No significant differences in FA and ADC values between the SM and non-SM groups were found, but between non-SM, SM-asymptomatic and SM-symptomatic groups significant differences were found in ADC values in all three ROIs and in FA values in ROI-1 and ROI-3. SM-symptomatic dogs compared to non-SM, showed decreased FA value in ROI-1 and ROI-3 also increased ADC value in ROI-1, ROI-2 and ROI-3. SM-symptomatic dogs compared to SM-asymptomatic showed also decreased FA value in ROI-1 and ROI-3, and also increased ADC value in ROI-1, ROI-2 and ROI-3. The results suggest that the values of DTI parameters correlate with the severity of clinical symptoms in the course of CM-SM in animals. The use of DTI evaluation of CM-SM patients carries a potential value as a clinically relevant protocol for an objective assessment of the spinal cord.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-12-02
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233405
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3406: Effects of the SLC38A2–mTOR Pathway
           Involved in Regulating the Different Compositions of Dietary Essential
           Amino Acids–Lysine and Methionine on Growth and Muscle Quality in
           Rabbits

    • Authors: Bin Zhang, Boyuan Ning, Xiaoyang Chen, Chenyang Li, Mengqi Liu, Zhengkai Yue, Lei Liu, Fuchang Li
      First page: 3406
      Abstract: In recent years, ensuring food security has been an important challenge for the world. It is important to make good use of China’s domestic local feed resources to provide safe, stable, efficient, and high–quality rabbit meat products for China and the world. Lysine and methionine are the two most limiting essential amino acids in the rabbit diet. However, little is known about the rational composition of lysine and methionine in rabbit diets and the mechanisms that affect growth and development. Accordingly, in this study, we sought to address this knowledge gap by examining the effects of different compositions of lysine and methionine in rabbit diets. Subsequently, the growth status, nitrogen metabolism, blood biochemical indexes, muscle development, muscle quality, and the growth of satellite cells were evaluated in the animals. The results showed that diets containing 0.80% Lys and 0.40% Met improved average daily weight gain, feed conversion, nitrogen use efficiency, and muscle quality in the rabbits (p < 0.05). Additionally, it altered the amino acid transport potential in muscle by upregulating the expression of the SLC7A10 gene (p < 0.05). Meanwhile, the cell viability and the rate of division and migration of SCs in the 0.80% Lys/0.40 % Met composition group were increased (p < 0.05). SLC38A2 and P–mTOR protein expression was upregulated in the 0.80% lysine/0.40% methionine composition group (p < 0.05). In conclusion, 0.80% Lys/0.40% Met was the most suitable lysine and methionine composition in all tested diets. SLC38A2 acted as an amino acid sensor upstream of mTOR and was involved in the 0.80% Lys/0.40% Met regulation of muscle growth and development, thus implicating the mTOR signaling pathway in these processes.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-12-03
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233406
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3407: Effects of Protein-Chelated Zinc Combined
           with Mannan-Rich Fraction to Replace High-Dose Zinc Oxide on Growth
           Performance, Nutrient Digestibility, and Intestinal Health in Weaned
           Piglets

    • Authors: Gang Zhang, Jinbiao Zhao, Gang Lin, Yuhan Guo, Defa Li, Yi Wu
      First page: 3407
      Abstract: A total of 168 weaned piglets (average initial body weight of 7.70 ± 0.75 kg) were used in a 4-week feeding trial to investigate the effects of dietary supplementation with protein-chelated zinc (Zn-Pro) alone or combined with a mannan-rich fraction (MRF) to replace high-dose zinc oxide (ZnO) for weaned piglets. The dietary treatments included a basal diet as control (CON), a ZnO diet (basal diet + 1600 mg Zn/kg from ZnO), a Zn-Pro diet (basal diet + 60 mg Zn/kg from Zn-Pro), and a MRF plus Zn-Pro diet (MRP, basal diet + 800 mg/kg MRF + 60 mg Zn/kg from Zn-Pro). The average daily gain of piglets in the MRP group was higher (p ≤ 0.05) than that in CON and Zn-Pro groups during d 15–28 and d 1–28 of experiment. The apparent total tract digestibility of dry matter, organic matter, and crude protein in the MRP group was higher (p ≤ 0.05) than that in the CON group. The serum insulin-like growth factor-1 level in the MRP group was markedly higher (p ≤ 0.05) than that of piglets in the other three treatment groups. Piglets fed the Zn-Pro and ZnO diets had greater (p ≤ 0.05) acetic acid in cecal digesta than those fed the CON diet, while the MRP diet had higher (p ≤ 0.05) cecal propionate concentration than those that were fed the CON diet on d 28 of experiment. Moreover, the villus height of ileum in the MRP group tended to be greater than the CON group (p = 0.09). Compared with the CON and MRP groups, the relative abundance of Lactobacillaceae (p = 0.08) and Lachnospiraceae (p = 0.09) in the Zn-Pro group showed an increasing trend. The relative abundance of Prevotellaceae in the Zn-Pro group was significantly lower (p ≤ 0.05) than that in the MRP group. In conclusion, the combined addition of MRF and Zn-Pro acted as a suitable alternative to ZnO to beneficially support the growth performance and intestinal health of weaned piglets, as well as contribute to a lower diarrhea rate and environmental pollution from fecal zinc excretion.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-12-02
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233407
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3408: Description of Light Environment in Broiler
           Breeder Houses with Different Light Sources—And How It Differs from
           Natural Forest Light

    • Authors: Guro Vasdal, Kathe Elise Kittelsen, Fernanda Tahamtani, Dan-E. Nilsson
      First page: 3408
      Abstract: Light is a key factor in poultry production; however, there is still a lack of knowledge as to describing the light quality, how to measure the light environment as perceived by birds, and how artificial light compares with the light in the natural forest habitats of their wild ancestors. The aim of this study was to describe the light environment in broiler breeder houses with three different light sources, using two different methods of light assessment. We also aimed to compare an artificial light environment with the light in a range of relevant natural forest habitats. A total of 9 commercial broiler breeder houses with one of three different light sources—Lumilux 830 CFL (n = 3), Biolux 965 CFL (n = 3) or LED Evolys with UVA (n = 3) were visited. Assessments of the light environment in the breeder houses were conducted using both a spectrometer and the environmental light field (ELF) method. ELF measurements from three forest types in south India (Kerala) were also included. We found that most aspects of the light environment were similar between the nine breeder houses and were not dependent on the type of light sources. The only clear difference related to the light source was the spectral balance, wherein 830 CFL had the most red-dominated light, 965 CFL had the most blue-dominated light and Evolys was intermediate but with more UV than the latter two. Plumage color had minimal effect on the light environment. Both the spectrometer and the ELF method provided valuable information. The spectrometer gave detailed values about certain aspects of the light environment, while the ELF described the light more in line with human and avian visual perception. We also found that the light environment in the investigated broiler breeder houses differs dramatically in all measured aspects from the natural light habitats of wild junglefowl, suggesting improvement possibilities in artificial lighting systems.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-12-03
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233408
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3409: Concentration of Macroelements and Trace
           Elements in Farmed Fallow Deer Antlers Depending on Age

    • Authors: Katarzyna Tajchman, Aleksandra Ukalska-Jaruga, Francisco Ceacero, Monika Pecio, Żaneta Steiner-Bogdaszewska
      First page: 3409
      Abstract: The mineral content of the antlers reflects the nutritional status and specific stage of bone growth in cervid males. Therefore, this research aimed to analyze the concentration of Ca, P, Mg, K, Na, Li, V, Cr, Mn, Co, Cu, Zn, Se and Mo in three characteristic antler positions selected based on the observation of fights between males. These were compared between farmed fallow deer (Dama dama) of different ages. The mineral compositions of tissues were analyzed using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. The highest mean concentrations of macroelements (except K) were recorded in the youngest animals aged 2 or 3 years in the proximal position of the antlers. With age and distance from the skull, Ca, P, Mg and Na contents decreased, while K increased. Higher mean concentrations of most trace elements (Cr, Mn, Co, Cu, Zn) were recorded in 3-year-old animals in antler distal positions. With an increase in the age, body mass and antler mass of fallow deer, the concentration of Ca, P, Mg, K, Mn, Cu and Zn decreased (−0.414 ≤ R ≤ −0.737, p < 0.05) in the studied tissue, whereas Li increased (0.470 ≤ R ≤ 0.681, p < 0.05). The obtained results confirm that the antlers’ chemical composition changes with age, also changing the Ca:P ratio.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-12-03
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233409
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3410: Evaluation of a Novel Infrared Thermography
           Projection to Assess Udder Health in Primigravid Dairy Heifers

    • Authors: Patrícia B. A. Simões, Lorenzo Viora, Pieter T. Pepler, Timothy Geraghty, Dominic J. McCafferty, Ruth N. Zadoks
      First page: 3410
      Abstract: Heifer mastitis in early lactation impacts negatively on animal welfare, milk production and longevity. A major challenge for the prevention and control of mastitis in dairy heifers is to establish when intramammary infection occurs because pre-partum secretum sampling is risky. We evaluated a ventrodorsal projection to capture thermal images of the entire udder of primigravid and compared results against caudocranial projection, which is used in lactating cattle. Based on the analysis of 119 heifers and images taken at 2 months and 2 weeks pre-partum, a very strong positive correlation (r = 0.91 and r = 0.96, respectively) was shown between caudocranial and ventrodorsal projections of hind quarters. Quarter maximum gradient temperatures were consistently greater on ventrodorsal projection than on caudocranial projection, and less variable than minimum gradient temperatures. The collection of ventrodorsal images is a simple one-step method involving the imaging of the entire udder in a manner safe for both the cattle and handlers. Together, these results demonstrate that a single projection can be used to scan the entire udder of primigravid dairy heifers in commercial farm conditions, with the potential to implement this as a routine method for the early detection of intramammary infection based on udder surface temperature.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-12-03
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233410
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3411: Subcutaneous Ticks in Wild Carnivores: Any
           Host-Related Differences'

    • Authors: Barbara Moroni, Fabrizio Coenda, Aitor Garcia-Vozmediano, Arturo Nicoletti, Paola Pregel, Alessandra Mina, Laura Tomassone, Luca Rossi, Frine Eleonora Scaglione
      First page: 3411
      Abstract: Ticks under the skin have been shown in different canid species such as red fox, domestic dog, and raccoon dog. Despite being increasingly reported in Europe in the last decade, the biological mechanisms associated to subcutaneous ticks (SCT), as well as the predisposing factors, are not yet clear. The main goal of this study was to investigate the presence of SCT in wild carnivores in Northwestern Italy. Sixty-three wild carnivores were examined, and SCT were submitted to histological examination or stored in ethanol for morphological and molecular identification. A portion of the cox1 gene and 16S rDNA were amplified, and positive PCR products were sequenced. Fifty-one small brown-coloured nodules of about 2 × 3 mm containing ticks in different decomposition stages were observed in 11 out of 30 foxes. Seven ticks were classified as Ixodes ricinus, while 14 ticks were determined only at the genus level (Ixodes spp.), and in two ticks no morphological key was applicable due to the advanced degradation status. By PCR, the rDNA fragment of six ticks (26.1%, 95% CI: 12.6–46.5%) was amplified, and BLAST analysis revealed a 99–100% nucleotide similarity to I. ricinus. At the histological examination, the inflammatory response varied from a mild to a moderate mixed infiltrate, primarily composed by neutrophils and lymphocytes. The results of this study confirm foxes as the main wild reservoir for SCT. The absence of SCT in other carnivores (badgers and martens) is in accordance with other studies. Ixodes ricinus is the most frequently reported tick species, corroborating the idea that longirostral ticks might be more frequently associated to SC embedment than brevirostral ticks.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-12-04
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233411
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3412: Fish Community Structure and Biomass
           Particle-Size Spectrum in the Upper Reaches of the Jinsha River (China)

    • Authors: Taiming Yan, Jiayang He, Deying Yang, Zhijun Ma, Hongjun Chen, Qian Zhang, Faqiang Deng, Lijuan Ye, Yong Pu, Mingwang Zhang, Song Yang, Shiyong Yang, Ziting Tang, Zhi He
      First page: 3412
      Abstract: To understand the characteristics of the fish community structure and biomass particle-size spectrum in the upper reaches of the Jinsha River, fish and environmental surveys were conducted in 21 segments of the upper reaches of the Jinsha River in September 2019 and June 2020. A total of 4062 fish belonging to 2 orders, 5 families, 18 genera, and 28 species were collected. Among them, Cyprinidae fish were the most abundant (14 species), accounting for 50.00%. The Shannon index and Pielou evenness index values varied from 0.402–1.770 and 0.254–0.680, respectively. The dominant species of fish were Triplophysa stenura, Schizothorax wangchiachii, and Schizopygopsis malacanthus. Redundancy analysis (RDA) was used to analyse the relationship between the fish community and environmental factors. Velocity, altitude, and dissolved oxygen were the main influencing factors of fish community structure differences in the upper reaches of the Jinsha River. The abundance/biomass curves showed that the fish communities in the upper reaches of the Jinsha River were moderately or severely disturbed. The standardized biomass particle-size spectrum of fish showed that the degree of disturbance of fish in tributaries was much lower than that in the main stream. Compared with the historical data, the fish community structure in the Jinsha River has changed significantly, with the number of exotic species increasing, and the individual fish showing miniaturization and younger ages. It is suggested that habitat conservation strategies be adopted in the upper tributaries of the Jinsha River to provide a reference for the restoration of fishery resources and the conservation of fish diversity in the Yangtze River.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-12-04
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233412
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3413: The Modulatory Effects of Lacticaseibacillus
           paracasei Strain NSMJ56 on Gut Immunity and Microbiome in Early-Age
           Broiler Chickens

    • Authors: Sang Seok Joo, June Hyeok Yoon, Ji Young Jung, Sung Yong Joo, Su Hyun An, Byeong Cheol Ban, Changsu Kong, Myunghoo Kim
      First page: 3413
      Abstract: Gut health has been attracting attention in the livestock industry as several studies suggest that it is a crucial factor for growth performance and general health status in domestic animals, including broiler chickens. Previously, antibiotics were widely used to improve livestock growth, but their use is now prohibited due to serious problems related to antibiotic resistance. Thus, finding new feed additives to replace antibiotics is drawing attention. Probiotics are representative feed additives and many beneficial effects on broiler chickens have been reported. However, many probiotic studies are focused on productivity only, and there are insufficient studies related to the gut environment, especially gut immunity and gut microbiome. In this study, we conducted an animal experiment using Lacticaseibacillus paracasei NSMJ56 to determine whether it has beneficial effects on gut immunity and microbiome. To evaluate the effects of NSMJ56 supplementation, newly hatched Ross 308 broiler chickens were fed an NSMJ56-containing diet for 10 days, and growth performance, antioxidant indicators, gut morphology, gut immunity-related parameters, and gut microbiome were analyzed. Flow cytometry analysis results revealed that NSMJ56 treatment increased CD4+ T cells and decreased CD8+ T cells in small intestine lamina propria and decreased IL1b and IL10 gene expression in small intestine tissue. In the microbiome analysis, NSMJ56 treatment increased the alpha diversity indices and led to three enriched genera: Massilimicrobiota, Anaerotignum, and Coprococcus. This study suggests that NSMJ56 supplementation has regulatory effects on gut immunity and microbiome in early-age broiler chickens.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-12-04
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233413
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3414: Bayesian Decision Analysis: An Underutilized
           Tool in Veterinary Medicine

    • Authors: Charles O. Cummings, Mark A. Mitchell, Sean M. Perry, Nicholas Fleissner, Jörg Mayer, Angela M. Lennox, Cathy A. Johnson-Delaney
      First page: 3414
      Abstract: Bayesian inference and decision analysis can be used to identify the most probable differential diagnosis and use those probabilities to identify the best choice of diagnostic or treatment among several alternatives. In this retrospective case analysis, we surveyed three experts on the prior probability of several differential diagnoses, given the signalment and history of a ferret presenting for lethargy and anorexia, and the conditional probability of different clinical findings (physical, bloodwork, imaging, etc.), given a diagnosis. Using these data and utility estimates provided by other clinicians, we constructed a decision tree to retrospectively identify the optimal treatment choice between exploratory laparotomy and medical management. We identified medical management as the optimal choice, in contrast to the original clinical team which performed an exploratory laparotomy. We discuss the potential cognitive biases of the original clinical team. We also discuss the strengths, e.g., shared decision making, and limitations of a Bayesian decision analysis in the veterinary clinic. Bayesian decision analysis can be a useful tool for retrospective case analysis and prospective decision making, especially for deciding on invasive interventions or end-of-life care. The dissimilarity of expert-derived probability estimates makes Bayesian decision analysis somewhat challenging to apply, particularly in wide-ranging specialties like zoological medicine.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-12-04
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233414
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3415: Characterization of ddx4 and dnd Homologs in
           Snakeskin Gourami (Trichopodus pectoralis) and Their Expression Levels
           during Larval Development and in Gonads of Males and Females

    • Authors: Chatsirin Nakharuthai, Somkiat Sreebun, Apinat Kabpha, Tran Vinh Phuong, Surintorn Boonanuntanasarn
      First page: 3415
      Abstract: The purpose of this study was to clone and characterize ddx4 and dnd1 homologs in snakeskin gourami (Trichopodus pectoralis) and to determine their expression levels during larval development and in the gonads of males and females. Both cDNAs contained predicted regions that shared consensus motifs with the ddx4 family in teleosts and the dnd family in vertebrates. Phylogenetic tree construction analysis confirmed that these two genes were clustered in the families of teleosts. Both ddx4 and dnd1 mRNAs were detectable only in the gonads, particularly in germ cells. These two genes were expressed during early larval development. The expression of ddx4 was high during early larval development and decreased with increasing developmental age, whereas dnd1 expression increased with developmental age. In adult fish, the expression levels of both genes were higher in the ovary than in the testis. Overall, these findings provide valuable molecular information on ddx4 and dnd, and can be applied in future reproductive biological studies relating to sex dimorphism in snakeskin gourami.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-12-04
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233415
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3416: Perceptions of Farm Animal Sentience and
           Suffering: Evidence from the BRIC Countries and the United States

    • Authors: Fernando Mata, Bastian Jaeger, Ivo Domingues
      First page: 3416
      Abstract: In this study, we examined how beliefs about farm animal sentience and their suffering vary across culture and demographic characteristics. A total of N = 5027) questionnaires were administered in Brazil, Russia, India, China, and the USA. Brazilians showed higher and Chinese lower levels of perceived animal sentience. In Russia and India, the perception of suffering and sentience increases with age, with similar levels to those observed in the USA. In all the countries, more people agreed than disagreed that animals are sentient. Men in India show higher levels of agreement with the relation between eating meat and animal suffering, followed by women in Brazil and China. Lower levels of agreement are observed in Americans and Chinese. Women show higher levels of compassion than men. In Russia, there is a slightly higher level of agreement between men and in the USA younger men agree more. Young American men show higher levels of agreement, while in India and China age has the opposite effect. For fair trading competition, it is important to standardize procedures and respect the demand for both animal protein and its ethical production. Overall, our results showed that perceptions of farm animal sentience and suffering vary substantially across countries and demographic groups. These differences could have important consequences for the perceived ethicality of meat production and consumption, and for global trade in animal products.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-12-04
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233416
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3417: ProAKAP4 Concentration Is Related to Sperm
           Motility and Motile Sperm Subpopulations in Frozen–Thawed Horse
           Semen

    • Authors: Marta Dordas-Perpinyà, Ivan Yanez-Ortiz, Nicolas Sergeant, Vincent Mevel, Jean-François Bruyas, Jaime Catalán, Maryse Delehedde, Lamia Briand-Amirat, Jordi Miró
      First page: 3417
      Abstract: ProAKAP4 is the precursor of AKAP4 (A-kinase Anchor protein 4), the main structural protein of the fibrous sheath of sperm. The amount of proAKAP4 reflects the ability of spermatozoa to maintain the flagellum activity and functionality up to the site of fertilization and is positively correlated with progressive motility in several mammalian species. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between proAKAP4 concentration with horse sperm motility descriptors and spermatic motile subpopulations. For this purpose, a total of 48 ejaculates from 13 different stallions were analyzed. Spermatic motility descriptors were obtained by the CASA system, and four motile subpopulations (SP) with specific motility patterns were statistically identified. ProAKAP4 concentrations were evaluated by ELISA. The relationship between motility descriptors of sperm subpopulations and proAKAP4 concentrations was evaluated. Following a hierarchical cluster statistical analysis, ejaculates were divided into two groups according to their proAKAP4 concentrations, either having low proAKAP4 concentrations (5.06–35.61 ng/10M spz; n = 23) or high (39.92–82.23 ng/10M spz; n = 25) proAKAP4 concentrations (p < 0.001). ProAKAP4 concentrations were positively correlated (p < 0.05) with total and progressive motility, as well as with parameters of velocity. ProAKAP4 amount also showed a negative correlation (p < 0.05) with sperm motile subpopulation number 3, which was the subpopulation with the lowest velocity parameters. In conclusion, proAKAP4 concentration in stallion semen positively reflects sperm progressive motility with the functional velocity kinematic descriptors. Concentrations of proAKAP4 higher than 37.77 ng/10M spz were correlated with a very good quality frozen/thawed stallion semen.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-12-04
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233417
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 3418: Effects of Glutamine on Rumen Digestive
           Enzymes and the Barrier Function of the Ruminal Epithelium in Hu Lambs Fed
           a High-Concentrate Finishing Diet

    • Authors: Qiujue Wu, Zhongying Xing, Jiahui Liao, Longlong Zhu, Rongkai Zhang, Saiqiao Wang, Cong Wang, Yan Ma, Yuqin Wang
      First page: 3418
      Abstract: The present experiment aimed to research the effects of glutamine (Gln) on the digestive and barrier function of the ruminal epithelium in Hu lambs fed a high-concentrate finishing diet containing some soybean meal and cottonseed meal. Thirty healthy 3-month-old male Hu lambs were randomly divided into three treatments. Lambs were fed a high-concentrate diet and supplemented with 0, 0.5, and 1% Gln on diet for 60 days. The experimental results show that the Gln treatment group had lower pepsin and cellulase enzyme activity, propionate acid concentration, and IL-6, TNF-α, claudin-1, and ZO-1 mRNA expression in the ruminal epithelium (p < 0.05); as well as increases in lipase enzyme activity, the ratio of propionic acid to acetic acid, the IL-10 content in the plasma, and the mRNA expression of IL-2 and IL-10 in the ruminal epithelium, in contrast to the CON (control group) treatment (p < 0.05). Taken together, the findings of this present study support the addition of Gln to improve digestive enzyme activity, the ruminal epithelium’s barrier, and fermentation and immune function by supplying energy to the mononuclear cells, improving the ruminal epithelium’s morphology and integrity, and mediating the mRNA expression of tight junction proteins (TJs) and cytokines.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-12-05
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12233418
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 23 (2022)
       
 
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