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Animals
Journal Prestige (SJR): 0.744
Citation Impact (citeScore): 2
Number of Followers: 14  

  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Online) 2076-2615
Published by MDPI Homepage  [247 journals]
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 323: Condition and Honey Productivity of Honeybee
           Colonies Depending on Type of Supplemental Feed for Overwintering

    • Authors: Antonín Přidal, Jan Musila, Jiří Svoboda
      First page: 323
      Abstract: Harvested honey is usually replaced by an alternative sugar to overwinter honeybee colonies. Supplementation of winter stores with beet or cane sucrose is safe for colonies and does not cause winter mortality. Despite this, there are hypotheses that supplementation of inverted sugars has the potential to give better results in overwintering, spring growth, and honey production of the colonies, because bees are consuming already cleaved feed. Therefore, we compared the condition parameters and honey production in 70 colonies at four apiaries overwintered with stores from sucrose or inverted sugars. No statistically significant differences in dependence on the type of the supplemental feed were found. Inverted sugar was more expensive than sucrose for feeding colonies. Economic efficiency, physiological consequences, and other disadvantages of using invert syrups are discussed.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-17
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030323
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 324: Do Consumers Value Welfare and Environmental
           Attributes in Egg Production Similarly in Fresh Eggs and Prepared
           Meals'

    • Authors: Maurice Doyon, Stéphane Bergeron, Laure Saulais, Marie-Ève Labonté, Véronique Provencher
      First page: 324
      Abstract: Food items are increasingly chosen based on sustainability attributes as the public is becoming increasingly aware of the environmental and animal welfare impacts of production systems, in addition to the traditional consideration for nutrition. Although surveys have been used to investigate the demand for these attributes in unprocessed products, little information exists on how these attributes impact consumer preferences in the case of processed products or prepared meals. This study uses a stated preference survey to examine Quebec (Canada) consumers’ preferences for eggs from four production systems with different impacts on animal welfare and on the environment. We compare the respondents’ choices of fresh eggs and two prepared meals that contain eggs. Furthermore, we examine the shift in choices following information treatments on animal welfare, nutrition, or environmental impact attributes. Results indicate that respondents choose eggs from more sustainable production systems more frequently when included in prepared meals than in their unprocessed form. The provision of information led participants to update prior beliefs and revise their initial choices, especially for animal welfare attributes.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-17
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030324
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 325: miR-202-5p Inhibits Lipid Metabolism and
           Steroidogenesis of Goose Hierarchical Granulosa Cells by Targeting ACSL3

    • Authors: Mingxia Ran, Shenqiang Hu, Qingyuan Ouyang, Hengli Xie, Xi Zhang, Yueyue Lin, Xuejian Li, Jiwei Hu, Liang Li, Hua He, Hehe Liu, Jiwen Wang
      First page: 325
      Abstract: miRNAs are critical for steroidogenesis in granulosa cells (GCs) during ovarian follicular development. We have previously shown that miR-202-5p displays a stage-dependent expression pattern in GCs from goose follicles of different sizes, suggesting that this miRNA could be involved in the regulation of the functions of goose GCs; therefore, in this study, the effects of miR-202-5p on lipid metabolism and steroidogenesis in goose hierarchical follicular GCs (hGCs), as well as its mechanisms of action, were evaluated. Oil Red O staining and analyses of intracellular cholesterol and triglyceride contents showed that the overexpression of miR-202-5p significantly inhibited lipid deposition in hGCs; additionally, miR-202-5p significantly inhibited progesterone secretion in hGCs. A bioinformatics analysis and luciferase reporter assay indicated that Acyl-CoA synthetase long-chain family member 3 (ACSL3), which activates long-chain fatty acids for the synthesis of cellular lipids, is a potential target of miR-202-5p. ACSL3 silencing inhibited lipid deposition and estrogen secretion in hGCs. These data suggest that miR-202-5p exerts inhibitory effects on lipid deposition and steroidogenesis in goose hGCs by targeting the ACSL3 gene.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-17
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030325
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 326: Characterization of the Fecal and
           Mucosa-Associated Microbiota in Dogs with Chronic Inflammatory Enteropathy
           

    • Authors: David Díaz-Regañón, Mercedes García-Sancho, Alejandra Villaescusa, Ángel Sainz, Beatriz Agulla, Mariana Reyes-Prieto, Antonio Rodríguez-Bertos, Fernando Rodríguez-Franco
      First page: 326
      Abstract: Canine chronic inflammatory enteropathy implicates multifactorial pathogenesis where immunological dysregulation and gut microbiota changes have a central role. Most sequencing-based taxonomic studies have been focused on the fecal microbiota. However, the analysis of these samples does not provide complete information regarding the composition of the small intestine affected by this canine disease. Therefore, in this study, we aimed to characterize the intestinal bacterial microbiota in dogs with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) (n = 34) by means of duodenal biopsies and fecal samples collected at the time of the diagnosis and to compare those to a group of healthy dogs (n = 12) using the 16S ribosomal RNA (16S rRNA) gene-targeted sequencing (Illumina MiSeq platform). Our study showed that IBD dogs presented differences in the fecal bacterial communities when compared with healthy dogs, with a lower relative abundance of Prevotellaceae (p = 0.005), Prevotella (p = 0.002), and Prevotellaceae Ga6A1 group (0.006); Erysipelotrichales (p = 0.019), Candidatus Stoquefichus (p < 0.001), Erysipelotrichaceae (p = 0.011), and Allobaculum (p = 0.003); Lachnospiraceae NK4A136 group (p = 0.015), Sellimonas (p = 0.042), Oscillospirales (p = 0.037), Oscillospiraceae UCG–005 (p < 0.001), Faecalibacterium (p = 0.028), and Fournierella (p = 0.034); Acidaminococcales, Acidaminococcaceae, and Phascolarctobacterium (p = 0.001); Aeromonadales (p = 0.026), Succinivibrionaceae (p = 0.037), and Succinivibrio (p = 0.031). On the other hand, a higher relative abundance of Enterococcaceae (Enterococcus; p = 0.003), Streptococcaceae (Streptococcus, p = 0.021), Enterobacterales (p = 0.027), Enterobacteriaceae (p = 0.008), and Escherichia–Shigella (p = 0.011) was detected. Moreover, when evaluating α–diversity, the dogs with IBD showed lower diversity in terms of richness and abundance of species (observed species [p = 0.031] and Shannon index [p = 0.039]). Furthermore, fecal microbiota in dogs with IBD was significantly different from healthy dogs (p = 0.006). However, only a few taxa relative abundance shifts (lower Rubrobacteria, Rubrobacterales, Rubrobacteriaceae, and Rubrobacter [p = 0.002]; Cyanobacteria [p = 0.010], Vampirivibrionia, Obscuribacterales, and Obscuribacteraceae [p = 0.005]; Neisseriaceae [p = 0.004] and Conchiformibius [p = 0.003]) were observed when assessing duodenal-associated microbiota of dogs with IBD. Thus, even if the bowel inflammation mainly affects the small intestine in the IBD-affected dogs of the study, fecal specimens may constitute a better sample due not only to their easy availability but also in terms of searching for bacterial taxa as biomarkers for canine IBD. The use of different diets in the study can also have a partial influence on the microbiota composition. Future studies encompassing multi-omics approaches should evaluate the functionality in both levels to unravel the pathophysiology of canine IBD.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-17
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030326
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 327: Microbiological Quality of Raw Donkey Milk
           from Serbia and Its Antibacterial Properties at Pre-Cooling Temperature

    • Authors: Ljubiša Šarić, Tamara Premović, Bojana Šarić, Ivana Čabarkapa, Olja Todorić, Jelena Miljanić, Jasmina Lazarević, Nedjeljko Karabasil
      First page: 327
      Abstract: The aim of this study was to examine the microbiological quality of raw donkey milk of an indigenous Serbian breed as well as the changes in the microbial populations during storage at 4 °C. In addition, antibacterial activity of donkey milk against E. coli, L. monocytogenes and S. aureus at 15 °C as well as the content of the two main antibacterial proteins lysozyme and lactoferrin were investigated. Microbiological examination of 137 individual milk samples collected over a period of 21 months showed good microbiological quality since foodborne pathogens such as Salmonella spp. and L. monocytogenes were not detected in any of the analyzed samples, while the number of E. coli, Enterobacteriaceae, total coliform bacteria, sulfite-reducing Clostridia and aerobic sporogenic bacteria was below the limit of quantification (<1 cfu mL−1). During the six-days storage at 4 °C, total bacterial counts and the counts of lactic acid bacteria remained at the initial level while pathogenic bacteria were not detected. The strongest antibacterial activity of the tested milk was observed against E. coli, while S. aureus was the least sensitive to milk antibacterial compounds. Although further research is needed to fully elucidate the antibacterial mechanism and synergistic activity of different compounds in donkey milk, the high content lysozyme (2.63 ± 0.03 g L−1) and lactoferrin (15.48 mg L−1) observed in tested milk could contribute to its strong antibacterial activity and extension of the storage period during which it can be safely consumed.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-17
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030327
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 328: Fibre Composition and Maturity of
           Forage-Based Diets Affects the Fluid Balance, Faecal Water-Holding
           Capacity and Microbial Ecosystem in French Trotters

    • Authors: Sara Muhonen, Véronique Julliand
      First page: 328
      Abstract: Racing events challenge the fluid balance of athletic horses. The equine large intestine functions as a fluid reservoir, since the properties of dietary forage fibre affect the digesta water content and the milieu of this ecosystem. This study aimed to investigate the effect of grass maturity and legume forage on the faecal water-holding capacity (WHC) and microbial ecosystem, and the fluid balance and body weight (BW) of French trotters in race training. Six geldings were offered three diets with different fibre compositions: concentrate and late-harvested mature grass haylage (35:65 energy ratio) (CMGH); early-harvested grass haylage and mature grass haylage (80:20) (EGH); and lucerne and mature grass haylage (80:20) (LH), for 24 days in a Latin square design. Body weights were lower and faecal WHC higher when the horses were fed EGH compared to CMGH and LH (485 vs. 492 and 492 kg, p < 0.001; 12.6 vs. 11.1 and 11.4 g H2O/g dry faeces, p = 0.014, respectively). Total water intake and output did not differ between diets, but water excretion via faeces was lower and via urine was greater on EGH compared to CMGH and LH (13.1 vs. 18.8 and 17.6 kg, p = 0.001; 10.5 vs. 7.6 and 7.9 kg, p = 0.032, respectively). Total bacteria concentrations were higher on EGH than CMGH and LH (5.4 × 1011 vs. 2.8 × 1011 and 2.8 × 1011 CFU/mL, p = 0.018, respectively). Concentrations of butyrate were greater, and pH was lower when fed EGH compared to CMGH and LH (3.0 vs. 2.0 and 1.6 mmol/L, p = 0.034; 6.5 vs. 6.9 and 7.2, p = 0.005, respectively). In conclusion, forage harvested at an early stage of maturity could benefit athletic horses’ fluid balance by providing a more available large intestine fluid reservoir without increasing BW.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-17
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030328
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 329: Use of Solar Panels for Shade for Holstein
           Heifers

    • Authors: Ana Flávia P. A. Faria, Alex S. C. Maia, Gustavo A. B. Moura, Vinícius F. C. Fonsêca, Sheila T. Nascimento, Hugo F. M. Milan, Kifle G. Gebremedhin
      First page: 329
      Abstract: Animal Agrivoltaics combines electric energy generation, animal thermal comfort, and sustainable production at the same time. This model of production can foster the sustainable intensification of dairy production in tropical areas where solar irradiance is high and nearly constant throughout the year. In this study, we propose Animal Agrivoltaics as an alternative practice to reduce the heat load and eCH4 emissions from dairy heifers in tropical areas. To attest this hypothesis, (1) the meteorological data and the behavioral and physiological responses of the animals were integrated in order to determine the benefits provided by the shade from the solar panels on the thermoregulation of the dairy heifers, and (2) measurements of the enteric methane emissions were taken to determine the potential of the solar panels to offset the GHG. Seven crossbred Holstein heifers (7/8, Holstein × Gyr) with a mean body weight of 242 kg (SD = 53.5) were evaluated in a paddock shaded with ten modules of solar panels. Miniature temperature loggers were used to record the body surface, skin and vaginal temperatures of the heifers every five minutes. The respiratory rate and the shade-use behavior were also monitored by two observers. These measurements were taken from 08:00 to 17:00 h for 18 consecutive days. After completing the field study, the heifers underwent for assessments of the daily oscillations of eCH4 emission using a flow-through respirometry system. The use of shade by the heifers was progressively increased (p < 0.01) with an increasing level of solar irradiance. Lying and ruminating were more likely (p < 0.01) to occur when the heifers were in the shade, especially when the solar irradiance exceeded 500 W m−2. Between 10:00 and 14:00 h, the heifers benefited from the shade produced by the solar panels, with a reduction of 40% in the radiant heat load. With an increasing intensity of solar irradiance, body surface temperature, skin temperature and respiratory rate of the heifers in the shade were lower (p < 0.01) compared to when they were exposed to the sun. The heifers had a daily methane emission total of 63.5 g per animal−1 or 1.7 kg of CO2-eq. Based on this emission rate and the amount of CO2-eq that was not emitted to the atmosphere due to the electricity generated by solar panels, 4.1 m2 of panels per animal (nominal power = 335 W) would be expected to obtain a net-zero eCH4 emission. Over a period of one year (from September 2018 to August 2019), a set of ten photovoltaic panels used in the study produced 4869.4 kWh of electricity, thereby saving US $970.00 or US $48.00 per m2 of solar panel. Based on the results of this study, it can be concluded that use of Animal Agrivoltaics, in addition to producing electricity, has significant potential benefit in providing better thermal comfort to cattle, as well as offsetting the enteric methane emissions released into the environment. In addition, the system would provide extra income to farmers, as well as a potential source of energy micro-generation.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-17
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030329
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 330: Restoring Activity of Milk Thistle (Silybum
           marianum L.) on Serum Biochemical Parameters, Oxidative Status, Immunity,
           and Performance in Poultry and Other Animal Species, Poisoned by
           Mycotoxins: A Review

    • Authors: Alessandro Guerrini, Doriana Eurosia Angela Tedesco
      First page: 330
      Abstract: Grains are major farm animals’ diet ingredients, and one of the main concerns is when are mycotoxin (MyT) contaminated, compromising animals’ health, performance, and product safety. Among the natural phytocompounds that are being used to prevent MyT damage, silymarin (SIL), an extract from the seed of the milk thistle (MT) is a suitable candidate. This review aims to examine the scientific evidence concerning the anti-MyT toxicity effects of MT/SIL in poultry and livestock. In vitro and in vivo studies (n = 27) showed that MT whole plant, seed, or SIL-standardized extract had positive effects on animal health, performance, and restoring the hepatic activity, with a reduction of organ lesions caused by MyT. Furthermore, showed utility for combating MyT-immunodepression, improving intestinal health, and limiting the excretion of toxins residues in food of animal origin, although in some cases, MT/SIL supplementation does not produce appreciable effects. The use of MT in animal nutrition can be useful since the bioactive compounds, also if present in variable amounts, can help the animals to counteract the effects of MyT. The use of the phytoextract of SIL, due to its cost, can be useful if it reported the specific bioactive compounds, recognize for their pharmacological activities.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-17
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030330
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 331: Diet-Independent Positive Effects of a
           Multi-Species Probiotic on the Growth Performance and Resistance against
           Vibrio parahaemolyticus in White Leg Shrimp

    • Authors: Christina Gruber, Dan Bui-Chau-Truc, Jutta C. Kesselring, Ngoc Diem Nguyen, Benedict Standen, Silvia Wein
      First page: 331
      Abstract: Probiotic feed additives can support the gut health of shrimp and thereby improve performance, production efficiency and disease resistance. Two experiments in white leg shrimp aimed to investigate the effects of a multi-species probiotic feed supplement (AquaStar®, 3 g/kg feed, Biomin GmbH, Getzersdorf, Austria) in feed formulations with different marine meal levels (32% and 15%) on growth performance and resistance against Vibrio parahaemolyticus. Juvenile shrimp were stocked in a recirculating aquaculture tank system at a density of 20 shrimp/46.8 L and were fed diets with and without the probiotic supplementation for 8 weeks. Afterwards, a bath immersion with V. parahaemolyticus was performed and mortality was observed over a period of 14 days. Independent of the diet formulation, probiotic supplementation significantly improved the survival rate of the shrimp and the specific growth rate while decreasing feed consumption and feed conversion ratio when compared to the control (p ≤ 0.042). After the Vibrio immersion challenge, mortality was significantly decreased by 13.33% with probiotic supplementation in the high marine meal diet experiment (p = 0.042) and numerically decreased by 11.67% in the low marine meal diet experiment (p = 0.133). Overall, the results suggest that the beneficial effects of the probiotic can occur independently of the diet formulation.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-17
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030331
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 332: Diet Composition and Using Probiotics or
           Symbiotics Can Modify the Urinary and Faecal Nitrogen Ratio of Broiler
           Chicken’s Excreta and Also the Dynamics of In Vitro Ammonia Emission
           

    • Authors: Nikoletta Such, Ákos Mezőlaki, Mohamed Ali Rawash, Kesete Goitom Tewelde, László Pál, László Wágner, Kornél Schermann, Judit Poór, Károly Dublecz
      First page: 332
      Abstract: The objective of this research was to determine whether diet composition, or adding probiotic or symbiotic feed additives to broiler diets can modify the N composition of the excreta and the dynamics of ammonia volatilization from the manure. A total of 574 one-day-old Ross 308 broiler chickens were fed four different diets. The treatments included a corn and soybean meal-based control diets (C), wheat-based and wheat bran containing diets (W), a multi-strain probiotic treatment (Broilact®; Br), and a symbiotic additive containing Bacillus subtilis, inulin, and Saccharomices cerevisiae (Sy). Feeding the wheat-based diet significantly improved the weight gain and FCR of chickens. Treatment W also significantly increased the dry matter content of the excreta compared with the probiotic and symbiotic treatments. Both Br and Sy tended to decrease the amount of excreted uric acid, which is the main substrate of ammonia. Treatment Sy reduced the urinary N ratio of the excreta in comparison with treatment W. The symbiotic additive resulted in significantly higher ammonia emission in the first two hours. On the other hand, the dynamics of the emission was slow at the beginning and increased steeply after 15 h when the wheat-based diets were fed. Based on our results, the wheat-based diets, containing soluble arabinoxylans, and the symbiotic treatments of broiler diets have an impact on the urinary and faecal nitrogen composition of the excreta, and also on the dynamics of ammonia release from the manure.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-17
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030332
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 333: Presence of Anaplasma spp. and Their
           Associated Antibodies in the Swedish Goat Population

    • Authors: Sara Lysholm, Frida Ådén, Anna Aspán, Ann Högberg, Jonas Johansson Wensman, Anna Omazic
      First page: 333
      Abstract: Anaplasmosis is a tick-borne disease that has a severe impact on livestock production and welfare. The aim of this pilot study was to investigate the presence of Anaplasma spp. and associated antibodies in a subset of the Swedish goat population. In 2020, six goat herds located in different parts of Sweden were visited and whole blood and serum samples were collected. The whole blood samples (n = 40) were analysed for the presence of Anaplasma phagocytophilum, A. ovis and A. capra using quantitative and conventional polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The serum samples (n = 59) were analysed for the presence of antibodies to Anaplasma spp. using a commercial competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and the same analysis was carried out on additional serum samples previously collected in 2018, 2019 and 2020 (n = 166). One goat (2.5%) tested positive for the presence of A. phagocytophilum genetic material, while the seropositivity rate ranged from 20 to 71%, depending on the surveyed year and area. These results indicate widespread exposure to Anaplasma spp. in the Swedish goat population. To inform future risk assessments and control efforts, further research is warranted to determine the prevalence of anaplasmosis and its impact on goat farming in Sweden.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-17
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030333
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 334: Conservation of Major Satellite DNAs in Snake
           Heterochromatin

    • Authors: Artem Lisachov, Alexander Rumyantsev, Dmitry Prokopov, Malcolm Ferguson-Smith, Vladimir Trifonov
      First page: 334
      Abstract: Repetitive DNA sequences constitute a sizeable portion of animal genomes, and tandemly organized satellite DNAs are a major part of them. They are usually located in constitutive heterochromatin clusters in or near the centromeres or telomeres, and less frequently in the interstitial parts of chromosome arms. They are also frequently accumulated in sex chromosomes. The function of these clusters is to sustain the architecture of the chromosomes and the nucleus, and to regulate chromosome behavior during mitosis and meiosis. The study of satellite DNA diversity is important for understanding sex chromosome evolution, interspecific hybridization, and speciation. In this work, we identified four satellite DNA families in the genomes of two snakes from different families: Daboia russelii (Viperidae) and Pantherophis guttatus (Colubridae) and determine their chromosomal localization. We found that one family is localized in the centromeres of both species, whereas the others form clusters in certain chromosomes or subsets of chromosomes. BLAST with snake genome assemblies showed the conservation of such clusters, as well as a subtle presence of the satellites in the interspersed manner outside the clusters. Overall, our results show high conservation of satellite DNA in snakes and confirm the “library” model of satellite DNA evolution.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-17
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030334
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 335: Effects of Two Different Straw Pellets on Yak
           Growth Performance and Ruminal Microbiota during Cold Season

    • Authors: Xiangyan Wang, Bingang Shi, Zhi Zuo, Youpeng Qi, Shijie Zhao, Xueping Zhang, Lijuan Lan, Yu Shi, Xiu Liu, Shaobin Li, Jiqing Wang, Jiang Hu
      First page: 335
      Abstract: The Tianzhu white yaks (Bos grunniens) live on the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau. During winter, a lack of resources and low nutritional levels seriously affect their growth performance. In this study, we aimed to explore the effect of supplementation straw pellets on the growth performance and ruminal microbiota of yaks. Overall, at 6 (6M, n = 24), 18 (18M, n = 26), 30 (30M, n = 20), 42 (42M, n = 24), and 54 (54M, n = 22) month old Tianzhu white yaks were selected (total n = 116) and divided into the mixed straw + grazing (MSG), corn straw + grazing (CSG), and the grazing control (G) groups according to age and gender. Their growth performance was measured as per different dietary treatments. The rumen microbial community structure and levels of VFAs were analyzed from the 6M, 30M, and 54M male yaks from each group. The supplementary diets led to an increase in the ADG, which was the highest in the MSG group. The MSG group exhibited the highest level of acetate and total VFAs (TVFAs) among the three groups (p < 0.05). In addition, the 16S rRNA sequencing results proved that the microbial composition was dominated by the members of Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes. Christensenellaceae R-7 group was significantly abundant in the CSG and MSG groups compared to the G group (p < 0.05). Principal coordinate analysis (PCoA) revealed that the bacterial community structure of rumen in the MSG and CSG groups was considerably different from that in the G group; 6M samples exhibited different rumen microbial diversity compared with the other samples. Correlation analysis revealed that Christensenellaceae_R-7_group was positively correlated with the levels of acetate, TVFAs, and ADG. These results demonstrated that mixed straw pellets improved the growth performance of yaks, increased the abundance of Christensenellaceae R-7_group involved in cellulose degradation in the rumen, and produced large amounts of VFAs, which were absorbed by yaks, thus increasing their ADG. This study provides new insights into the effects of straw pellet supplementation on the changes in the rumen microbiota and growth performance of yaks.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-17
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030335
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 336: Fatty Acid Profiles in the Gonads of Red King
           Crab (Paralithodes camtschaticus) from the Barents Sea

    • Authors: Alexander G. Dvoretsky, Fatima A. Bichkaeva, Nina F. Baranova, Vladimir G. Dvoretsky
      First page: 336
      Abstract: Red king crab (Paralithodes camtschaticus) is a large shelf species native to the Pacific Ocean. Due to its high commercial value, this species was introduced into the Barents Sea, where it has formed a new population that now supports a stable commercial fishery. Information on fatty acid profiles in different tissues of the Barents Sea P. camtschaticus is scarce. For this reason, the gonads of red king crabs collected at a coastal site in the Barents Sea during the summer were analyzed for fatty acid composition by gas-liquid chromatography. The proportions of total saturated fatty acids, monounsaturated fatty acids, and polyunsaturated fatty acids in the ovaries of P. camtschaticus were 25.9 ± 2.0%, 22.5 ± 2.3%, and 51.6 ± 2.5%, respectively; in the testes, these levels accounted for 35.1 ± 5.7%, 19.1 ± 2.0%, and 45.8 ± 4.5%, respectively. Fatty acid profiles were similar in larger and smaller red king crabs and crabs with old and new shells. Concentrations of fatty acids were higher in ovaries compared to testes, reflecting higher reproductive efforts in female red king crabs. High levels of docosahexaenoic and eicosapentaenoic fatty acids detected in the ovaries of red king crabs from the Barents Sea indicate that these gonads can be a good alternative source for these fatty acids in the human diet and/or for extracting important fatty acids for use in the medical and pharmaceutical industries.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-17
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030336
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 337: Differences in Mortality of Pre-Weaned and
           Post-Weaned Juvenile European Hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus) at Wildlife
           Rehabilitation Centres in the Czech Republic

    • Authors: Gabriela Kadlecova, Sophie Lund Rasmussen, Eva Voslarova, Vladimir Vecerek
      First page: 337
      Abstract: Previous research from several European countries has indicated that the European hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus) is in decline. Wildlife rehabilitation centres contribute toward the protection of debilitated hedgehogs, including the young. Based on data from 27 wildlife rehabilitation centres, the mortality rate and the release rate of juvenile hedgehogs were evaluated depending on whether they were from normally timed litters (admitted from April to September) or from late litters (admitted from October to March). A total of 4388 juvenile European hedgehogs were admitted to wildlife rehabilitation centres in the Czech Republic from 2011 to 2020. The number of post-weaned young from late litters admitted (28%) did not differ from the number of pre-weaned young from late litters (29%). Where the outcome was known, young from late litters had the highest mortality rate (46%) in the year of admission. The release rate was the highest in post-weaned young from normally timed litters (86%). Further research should focus on the definition of optimal care and treatment of the underlying causes for admission of juvenile hedgehogs. The reproductive strategy (the timing of litters) of European hedgehogs under the climatic conditions of the Czech Republic affects the chance of survival of young at wildlife rehabilitation centres and likely also in the wild.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-17
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030337
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 338: Diagnostic Approach to Enteric Disorders in
           Pigs

    • Authors: Andrea Luppi, Giulia D’Annunzio, Camilla Torreggiani, Paolo Martelli
      First page: 338
      Abstract: The diagnosis of enteric disorders in pigs is extremely challenging, at any age. Outbreaks of enteric disease in pigs are frequently multifactorial and multiple microorganisms can co-exist and interact. Furthermore, several pathogens, such as Clostridium perfrigens type A, Rotavirus and Lawsonia intracellularis, may be present in the gut in the absence of clinical signs. Thus, diagnosis must be based on a differential approach in order to develop a tailored control strategy, considering that treatment and control programs for enteric diseases are pathogen-specific. Correct sampling for laboratory analyses is fundamental for the diagnostic work-up of enteric disease in pigs. For example, histology is the diagnostic gold standard for several enteric disorders, and sampling must ensure the collection of representative and optimal intestinal samples. The aim of this paper is to focus on the diagnostic approach, from sampling to the aetiological diagnosis, of enteric disorders in pigs due to different pathogens during the different phases of production.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-18
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030338
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 339: Influence of Hermetia illucens Larvae Meal
           Dietary Inclusion on Growth Performance, Gut Histological Traits and
           Stress Parameters in Sparus aurata

    • Authors: Ambra Rita Di Rosa, Letteria Caccamo, Lidia Pansera, Marianna Oteri, Biagina Chiofalo, Giulia Maricchiolo
      First page: 339
      Abstract: This study provided new data and knowledge on the potential use of Hermetia illucens meal (HIM) as a new sustainable ingredient for Sparus aurata diet. The effect of HIM dietary inclusion on fish growth performance, stress indicators and gut histology was studied. For 131 days, 312 fish were fed a basal diet containing fishmeal as animal protein source, and three diets containing 25%, 35% and 50% HIM as a partial replacement for fishmeal. The main findings indicated that fishmeal can be replaced by HIM up to 110 g/kg of substitution (35% of inclusion in diet) without negative effects on growth performance, stress parameters or histological traits of the posterior gut tract, and with positive effects (p < 0.05) on the histological and morphometric characteristics of the anterior gut tract. At the same time, the results showed that the effect of Hermetia illucens meal at 50% inclusion level caused morphometric and histopathological alterations in the anterior gut tract of seabream. In conclusion, this preliminary study suggested that the dietary inclusion level of HIM35 was the most tolerated by fish showing the best gut morphometric parameters and histological conditions, with fewer signs of inflammation, as well as good nutritional and health status.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-18
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030339
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 340: Expression and Localization of Fas-Associated
           Factor 1 in Testicular Tissues of Different Ages and Ovaries at Different
           Reproductive Cycle Phases of Bos grunniens

    • Authors: Jingyu Wang, Yangyang Pan, Rui Zhang, Gengquan Xu, Rentaodi Wu, Wenlan Zhang, Xiaoshan Wang, Xue Su, Qintuya Si, Sijiu Yu
      First page: 340
      Abstract: Fas-associated factor 1 (FAF1), a member of the Fas family, is involved in biological processes such as apoptosis, inflammation, cell proliferation and proteostasis. This study aimed to explore the biological role of FAF1 in testicular tissue at different ages (juveniles (1 and 2 years old), adults (3, 4, 6, and 7 years old) and old-aged animals (11 years old)) and ovaries during different reproductive cycle phases (follicular, luteal, and pregnancy phases). FAF1 mRNA, relative protein expression and protein expression localization were determined in testes and ovaries using real-time quantification, WB and immunohistochemistry (IHC), respectively. Real-time quantification of testis tissues showed that the relative expression of FAF1 mRNA in testis tissues at 3, 4 and 7 years of age was significantly higher than of those in other ages, and in ovarian tissues was significantly higher in luteal phase ovaries than those in follicular and pregnancy phase ovaries; follicular phase ovaries were the lowest. WB of testis tissues showed that the relative protein expression of FAF1 protein was significantly higher at 11 and 7 years of age; in ovarian tissue, the relative protein expression of FAF1 protein was significantly higher in follicular phase ovaries than in luteal and pregnancy phase ovaries, and lowest in luteal phase ovaries. The relative protein expression of FAF1 at 3, 4 and 7 years of age was the lowest. IHC showed that FAF1 was mainly expressed in spermatozoa, spermatocytes, spermatogonia and supporting cells; in ovarian tissue, FAF1 was expressed in ovarian germ epithelial cells, granulosa cells, cumulus cells and luteal cells. The IHC results showed that FAF1 mRNA and protein were significantly differentially expressed in testes of different ages and ovarian tissues of different reproductive cycle phases, revealing the significance of FAF1 in the regulation of male and female B. grunniens reproductive physiology. Furthermore, our results provide a basis for the further exploration of FAF1 in the reproductive physiology of B. grunniens.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-18
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030340
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 341: Salvianolic Acid B Regulates Oxidative
           Stress, Autophagy and Apoptosis against Cyclophosphamide-Induced Hepatic
           Injury in Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus)

    • Authors: Liping Cao, Guojun Yin, Jinliang Du, Rui Jia, Jiancao Gao, Nailin Shao, Quanjie Li, Haojun Zhu, Yao Zheng, Zhijuan Nie, Weidong Ding, Gangchun Xu
      First page: 341
      Abstract: Salvianolic acid B (Sal B), as one of the main water-soluble components of Salvia miltiorrhizae, has significant pharmacological activities, including antioxidant, free radical elimination and biofilm protection actions. However, the protective effect of Sal B on Nile tilapia and the underlying mechanism are rarely reported. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of Sal B on antioxidant stress, apoptosis and autophagy in Nile tilapia liver. In this experiment, Nile tilapia were fed diets containing sal B (0.25, 0.50 and 0.75 g·kg−1) for 60 days, and then the oxidative hepatic injury of the tilapia was induced via intrapleural injection of 50 g·kg−1 cyclophosphamide (CTX) three times. After the final exposure to CTX, the Nile tilapia were weighed and blood and liver samples were collected for the detection of growth and biochemical indicators, pathological observations and TUNEL detection, as well as the determination of mRNA expression levels. The results showed that after the CTX treatment, the liver was severely damaged, the antioxidant capacity of the Nile tilapia was significantly decreased and the hepatocyte autophagy and apoptosis levels were significantly increased. Meanwhile, dietary Sal B can not only significantly improve the growth performance of tilapia and effectively reduce CTX-induced liver morphological lesions, but can also alleviate CTX-induced hepatocyte autophagy and apoptosis. In addition, Sal B also significantly regulated the expression of genes related to antioxidative stress, autophagy and apoptosis pathways. This suggested that the hepatoprotective effect of Sal B may be achieved through various pathways, including scavenging free radicals and inhibiting hepatocyte apoptosis and autophagy.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-18
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030341
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 342: Production of Genetically Modified Porcine
           Embryos via Lipofection of Zona-Pellucida-Intact Oocytes Using the
           CRISPR/Cas9 System

    • Authors: Celia Piñeiro-Silva, Sergio Navarro-Serna, Ramsés Belda-Pérez, Joaquín Gadea
      First page: 342
      Abstract: The generation of genetically modified pigs has an important impact thanks its applications in basic research, biomedicine, and meat production. Cloning was the first technique used for this production, although easier and cheaper methods were developed, such as the microinjection, electroporation, or lipofection of oocytes and zygotes. In this study, we analyzed the production of genetically modified embryos via lipofection of zona-pellucida-intact oocytes using LipofectamineTM CRISPRMAXTM Cas9 in comparison with the electroporation method. Two factors were evaluated: (i) the increment in the concentration of the lipofectamine–ribonucleoprotein complexes (LRNPC) (5% vs. 10%) and (ii) the concentration of ribonucleoprotein within the complexes (1xRNP vs. 2xRNP). We found that the increment in the concentration of the LRNPC had a detrimental effect on embryo development and a subsequent effect on the number of mutant embryos. The 5% group had a similar mutant blastocyst rate to the electroporation method (5.52% and 6.38%, respectively, p > 0.05). The increment in the concentration of the ribonucleoprotein inside the complexes had no effect on the blastocyst rate and mutation rate, with the mutant blastocyst rate being similar in both the 1xRNP and 2xRNP lipofection groups and the electroporation group (1.75%, 3.60%, and 3.57%, respectively, p > 0.05). Here, we showed that it is possible to produce knock-out embryos via lipofection of zona-pellucida-intact porcine oocytes with similar efficiencies as with electroporation, although more optimization is needed, mainly in terms of the use of more efficient vesicles for encapsulation with different compositions.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-18
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030342
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 343: Behaviours Expressed by Rodeo Calves during
           Different Phases of Roping

    • Authors: Sylvia Dixon, Di Evans, Thinza Vindevoghel, Michael P. Ward, Anne Quain
      First page: 343
      Abstract: There are significant welfare concerns with the use of calves in calf roping (also known as rope-and-tie) events in rodeos. However, little work has been carried out to scientifically assess calves’ behavioural responses to the stressors of these events. This study evaluated video footage of calves (n = 15) during roping events from two rodeos. An ethogram was created to assess behavioural parameters during five phases of a calf roping event: Chase, Lasso, Catch and Restraint, Leg Tie and Release. Six behavioural parameters were observed during each of the five phases: Ear position (Axial or Back Up/Down), Eye White, Leg Movement (Slow/Fast), Tail Position (Rigid/Swish/Relaxed), Vocalisation and Evasive Behaviour. The presence or absence of each behaviour during each phase of roping was documented. Chi-squared analysis found significant (p < 0.001) differences in the proportions of behaviours observed in all five phases of the event. Binary logistic regression was performed, and six behaviours were observed to be significant across all phases: Evasive Behaviour (p < 0.001), Vocalisation (p = 0.002) and Legs Fast (p = 0.016) were more likely to be observed in comparison to Ears Axial, which was used as a reference category. Eye White (p < 0.001), Legs Slow (p < 0.001) and Tail Relaxed (p < 0.001) were less likely to be observed than Ears Axial. This study found that calves exhibit signs of distress in all of the phases of calf roping, including the Release phase.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-19
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030343
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 344: In Vitro Study of the Effect of Ensiling
           Length and Processing on the Nutritive Value of Maize Silages

    • Authors: Ana Gordo, Belén Hernando, Jesús Artajona, Manuel Fondevila
      First page: 344
      Abstract: The effect of the ensiling length (3, 6, or 9 months), and the processing by dehydration (D) or dehydration and pelleting (P) with respect to the fresh silages (F) were studied in vitro on three maize cultivars in three incubation runs to study the effect of these factors on the nutritive value of maize silage. Gas production pattern, in vitro true digestibility (IVTD), methane concentration (6 and 12 h), ammonia, and volatile fatty acid concentration (VFA) at 12 h were measured. The moisture and pH of F averaged 676 g/kg and 4.09, respectively, and were not affected by the ensiling length, but moisture was reduced, and the pH increased in D and P with respect to F (p < 0.05). The ensiling length did not affect the chemical composition, but differences among the processing forms were detected in a higher acid detergent insoluble nitrogen (ADIN) proportion in P than D, and D than F (p < 0.001). Silages opened at 9 months showed the lowest gas production (p < 0.05), and those that opened after 3 months showed the highest IVTD. The effects of processing on nutrient utilisation only manifested on 3 month silages, with the volume of gas production and IVTD being lower in D than F. However, processing tended (p = 0.064) to reduce the methane proportion at 12 h, indicating both a more efficient fermentation and a lower potential of greenhouse gas emissions compared to the fresh silages. Extending the length of ensiling to 9 months reduced the fermentation of maize silage. The processing increased the dry matter and buffered the feed as well as contributed to an increase in fermentation in 3 month silages.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-19
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030344
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 345: Comparison of the Microbiome-Metabolome
           Response to Copper Sulfate and Copper Glycinate in Growing Pigs

    • Authors: Hulong Lei, Qian Du, Naisheng Lu, Xueyuan Jiang, Mingzhou Li, Dong Xia, Keren Long
      First page: 345
      Abstract: This study aims to compare the fecal microbiome-metabolome response to copper sulfate (CuSO4) and copper glycinate (Cu-Gly) in pigs. Twelve Meishan gilts were allocated into the CuSO4 group and the Cu-Gly group (fed on a basal diet supplemented with 60 mg/kg copper from CuSO4 or Cu-Gly) paired in litter and body weight. After a two-week feeding trial, the Cu-Gly group had a higher copper digestibility, blood hemoglobin, and platelet volume and higher levels of plasma iron and insulin-like growth factor-1 than the CuSO4 group. The Cu-Gly treatment increased the abundance of the Lachnospiraceae family and the genera Lachnospiraceae XPB1014, Corprococcus_3, Anaerorhabdus_furcosa_group, Lachnospiraceae_FCS020_group, and Lachnospiraceae_NK4B4_group and decreased the abundance of the Synergistetes phylum and Peptostreptococcaceae family compared to the CuSO4 treatment. Moreover, the Cu-Gly group had a lower concentration of 20-Oxo-leukotriene E4 and higher concentrations of butyric acid, pentanoic acid, isopentanoic acid, coumarin, and Nb-p-Coumaroyl-tryptamine than the CuSO4 group. The abundance of Synergistetes was positively correlated with the fecal copper content and negatively correlated with the fecal butyric acid content. The abundance of the Lachnospiraceae_XPB1014_group genus was positively correlated with the plasma iron level and fecal contents of coumarin and butyric acid. In conclusion, Cu-Gly and CuSO4 could differentially affect fecal microbiota and metabolites, which partially contributes to the intestinal health of pigs in different manners.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-19
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030345
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 346: Impact of Dystocia on Milk Production,
           Somatic Cell Count, Reproduction and Culling in Holstein Dairy Cows

    • Authors: Steven M. Roche, Joseph A. Ross, Crystal Schatz, Kendall Beaugrand, Sjoert Zuidhof, Brenda Ralston, Nick Allan, Merle Olson
      First page: 346
      Abstract: This study investigated the effects of dystocia on milk production, somatic cell count, reproductivity, disease, and milk production. A total of 2159 cows across 21 dairy farms in Alberta, Canada were enrolled in this study. Multivariable models were created to explore associations between outcome variables and calving ease score. In total, 89.5% of calvings were unassisted, 6.1% were an easy pull, and 4.3% were a moderate–hard pull. Cows that had a moderate–hard pull produced 4.01 kg less milk, 0.12 kg less volume of milk fat, and 0.12 kg less milk protein per day than those that had an unassisted calving. No difference was found between calving ease groups with respect to SCC. Cows with a moderate or hard pull produced 510 kg less milk per lactation than unassisted cows. Cows with a moderate to high level of assistance at birth had a higher hazard of being culled over the duration of their lactation. Cows with an easy pull had increased odds of developing a retained placenta. It is evident that assistance at calving, particularly a moderate–hard pull, is associated with significant impacts on future milk production and risk of being culled; therefore, efforts should be made to minimize dystocia and prevent these impacts.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-19
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030346
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 347: Nursing of Pike-Perch (Sander lucioperca) in
           Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS) Provides Growth Advantage in
           Juvenile Growth Phase

    • Authors: Géza Péter, Jovanka Lukić, René Alvestad, Zoltán Horváth, Zoltán Nagy, András Rónyai, Péter Bársony, Uroš Ljubobratović
      First page: 347
      Abstract: This study aimed to estimate the efficacy of two pike-perch juvenile production technologies: exclusive Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS) culture (the RAS group) and pond larviculture with a transfer to the RAS at the 42nd day post-hatch (DPH). Both direct weaning on dry feed (the Pond-D group) and 10-day gradual weaning using bloodworms (the Pond-B group) after transfer to the RAS were evaluated in pond-nursed fry. Their survival and morphometric indices were monitored after the RAS habituation period (first 10 days), after the 18-day post-habituation period and after an additional 30 days of on-grow. Our results indicate a negative allometric growth of the pond-nursed fish during the nursing period, which was slower (p < 0.0001) in comparison to the RAS-nursed fry (16.3 ± 0.4 vs. 17.8 ± 0.7%/day). After transfer, these fish grew faster than the RAS-nursed fry (7.7 ± 0.1, 4.9 ± 0.5 and 6.1 ± 0.6 during habituation, 8.5 ± 0.6, 9.3 ± 0.5 and 6.7 ± 0.1%/day during post-habituation period, in the Pond-B, Pond-D and RAS groups, respectively). However, four weeks afterwards, the RAS-nursed fry were again superior in terms of growth (4.0 ± 0.1, 3.6 ± 0.2 and 4.6 ± 0.2%/day, for the Pond-B, Pond-D and RAS groups, respectively), and this was accompanied by a significantly lower feed conversion ratio in this group. Although the survival of the RAS-nursed fry during the nursing period was lower in comparison to the pond-reared fry (11.3 vs. 67.3%), the RAS seems to provide a long-term growth advantage.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-19
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030347
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 348: Dynamic Changes in the Gut Microbiota and
           Metabolites during the Growth of Hainan Wenchang Chickens

    • Authors: Yingzhi He, Jie Li, Feifan Wang, Wei Na, Zhen Tan
      First page: 348
      Abstract: Gut microbiota and their metabolites play important roles in animal growth by influencing the host’s intake, storage, absorption, and utilization of nutrients. In addition to environmental factors, mainly diet, chicken breed and growth stage also affect changes in the gut microbiota. However, little research has been conducted on the development of gut microbiota and its metabolites in local chickens. In this study, the cecal microbiota and metabolites in different developmental stages of Hainan Wenchang chickens (a native breed of Bantam) were investigated using 16S rRNA sequencing and untargeted metabolomics. With aging, the structure of gut microbiota tended to be more stable. The relative proportions of dominant bacteria phyla Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, and Proteobacteria showed stage changes with the development. With aging, gut microbiota and their metabolites may have structural and functional changes in response to nutrient metabolism and immune requirements in different physiological states. Several microbial and metabolic biomarkers with statistical differences were detected in different development stages. The bacteria that form networks with their significant related metabolites were different in various growth stages, including uncultured_bacterium_f_Ruminococcaceae, Ruminococcaceae_UCG-014, Faecalibacterium, uncultured_bacterium_o_Bacteroidales, and uncultured_bacterium_f_Lachnospiraceae. Partially differential bacteria were significantly correlated with short-chain fatty acids such as butyric acid. These findings may provide new insights into the physiological and molecular mechanisms of developmental changes of local chicken breeds, as well as resources for microbial and metabolic biomarker identification to improve growth efficiency.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-19
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030348
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 349: Modelling Lactation Curves for Dairy Sheep in
           a New Zealand Flock

    • Authors: Ana Carolina Marshall, Nicolas Lopez-Villalobos, Simon M. Loveday, Ashling Ellis, Warren McNabb
      First page: 349
      Abstract: Lactation curves were modelled for dairy sheep in a New Zealand flock, providing information on the lactation yields of milk, fat, protein, and lactose, corrected for 130 days of milking. From 169 ewes, a total of 622 test-day records were obtained during the milk production season of 2021–2022 (from October to January). The flock produced an average of 86.1 kg of milk, 5.1 kg of fat, 4.5 kg of protein, and 4.1 kg of lactose, and moderate to large coefficients of variation were observed (27–31%) for these traits. The lactation persistency of milk, fat, protein, and lactose yields ranged from 52.3 to 72.7%. Analyses of variance for total yield and persistency were performed with an animal model that included the fixed effects of age (parity number), litter size, coat colour, and milking frequency (days in twice-a-day milking) and random residuals. Age and milking frequency were the only factors that significantly affected the yields of milk, fat, protein, and lactose. Age significantly affected the lactation persistency of milk and lactose yields, whereas litter size affected the persistency of protein, and milking frequency affected the persistency of fat. This study on this single flock provides valuable experience for a larger-scale animal breeding programme in New Zealand.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-19
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030349
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 350: Effects of Heat Stress in Dairy Cows Raised
           in the Confined System: A Scientometric Review

    • Authors: Karen Dal’ Magro Frigeri, Kariane Donatti Kachinski, Nédia de Castilhos Ghisi, Matheus Deniz, Flávio Alves Damasceno, Matteo Barbari, Piotr Herbut, Frederico Márcio Corrêa Vieira
      First page: 350
      Abstract: Due to climate change, heat stress is a growing problem for the dairy industry. Based on this, annual economic losses in the dairy sector are verified mainly on a large scale. Despite several publications on thermal stress in lactating dairy cows in confinement systems, there need to be published reviews addressing this issue systematically. Our objective was to scientometrically analyze the effects of heat stress in dairy cows managed in a confinement system. Based on PRISMA guidelines, research articles were identified, screened, and summarized based on inclusion criteria for heat stress in a confinement system. Data was obtained from the Web of Science. A total of 604 scientific articles published between 2000 and April 2022 were considered. Data was then analyzed using Microsoft Excel and CiteSpace. The results pointed to a significant increase in studies on heat stress in lactating cows housed in confinement systems. The main research areas were Agriculture, Dairy Animal Science and Veterinary Sciences. The USA showed the highest concentration of studies (31.12%), followed by China (14.90%). Emerging themes included heat stress and behavior. The most influential journals were the Journal of Dairy Science and the Journal of Animal Science. The top authors were L. H. Baumgard and R. J. Collier. The leading institutions were the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, followed by the State University System of Florida and the University of Florida. The study maps the significant research domains on heat stress of lactating cows in confinement systems, discusses implications and explanations and highlights emerging trends.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-19
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030350
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 351: Role of Dietary Methyl Sulfonyl Methane in
           Poultry

    • Authors: Yoo-Bhin Kim, Kyung-Woo Lee
      First page: 351
      Abstract: Oxidative stress is defined as an imbalance between pro-oxidants and anti-oxidants within biological systems, leading to tissue damage and compromising the health of afflicted animals. The incorporation of dietary anti-oxidants into chicken diets has been a common practice to improve the performance, health, and welfare of the host by protecting against oxidative stress-induced damage. Methyl sulfonyl methane (MSM), a naturally occurring organosulfur compound found in various plant sources, has demonstrated various beneficial biological properties, including anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties in both in vitro and in vivo studies. MSM has been utilized as a dietary supplement for humans for its anti-oxidant, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory properties. It has also been administered to domestic animals, including cattle, pigs, and chickens, owing to its recognized anti-oxidant effect. This review summarizes the biological and physiological functions of dietary MSM in poultry.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-19
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030351
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 352: Acoustic Monitoring of Black-Tufted Marmosets
           in a Tropical Forest Disturbed by Mining Noise

    • Authors: Esther Bittencourt, Angélica da Silva Vasconcellos, Renata S. Sousa-Lima, Robert John Young, Marina Henriques Lage Duarte
      First page: 352
      Abstract: All habitats have noise, but anthropogenic sounds often differ from natural sounds in terms of frequency, duration and intensity, and therefore may disrupt animal vocal communication. This study aimed to investigate whether vocalizations emitted by black-tufted marmosets (Callithrix penicillata) were affected by the noise produced by mining activity. Through passive acoustic monitoring, we compared the noise levels and acoustic parameters of the contact calls of marmosets living in two study areas (with two sampling points within each area)—one near and one far from an opencast mine in Brazil. The near area had higher anthropogenic background noise levels and the marmosets showed greater calling activity compared to the far area. Calls in the near area had significantly lower minimum, maximum and peak frequencies and higher average power density and bandwidth than those in the far area. Our results indicate that the mining noise affected marmoset vocal communication and may be causing the animals to adjust their acoustic communication patterns to increase the efficiency of signal propagation. Given that vocalizations are an important part of social interactions in this species, concerns arise about the potential negative impact of mining noise on marmosets exposed to this human activity.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-19
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030352
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 353: Analysis of Potential Genes and Economic
           Parameters Associated with Growth and Heat Tolerance in Sheep (Ovis aries)
           

    • Authors: Samer Ibrahim, Mona Al-Sharif, Fawzy Younis, Ahmed Ateya, Mohamed Abdo, Liana Fericean
      First page: 353
      Abstract: This study explored the potential genes and economic factors that might be associated with growth and heat tolerance in two sheep breeds. Data on growth performance from the third month to six months of age were obtained based on records. In comparison to Aboudeleik lambs, Barki lambs developed considerably greater starting body weight, final body weight, final body weight gain, daily weight gain, and percentage increase in BW/month. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were found between lambs of the two breeds using PCR-DNA sequencing of CAST, LEP, MYLK4, MEF2B, STAT5A, TRPV1, HSP90AB1, HSPB6, HSF1, ST1P1, and ATP1A1 genes. Lambs from each breed were divided into groups based on detected SNPs in genes related to growth. The least squares means of the differentiated groups revealed a significant correlation of detected SNPs with growth and heat tolerance attributes (p ≤ 0.05). Barki lambs elicited greater total variable costs, total costs, total return, and net return values. The Barki sheep provided the best economic efficiency value when comparing the percentage difference between net profit and economic efficiency. Together with economic considerations, SNPs found may be used as proxies for marker-assisted selection of the best breed of sheep for traits related to growth and heat tolerance.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-19
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030353
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 354: Flehmen, Osteophagia, and Other Behaviors of
           Giraffes (Giraffa giraffa angolensis): Vomeronasal Organ Adaptation

    • Authors: Lynette A. Hart, Benjamin L. Hart
      First page: 354
      Abstract: The size of adult male giraffes (Giraffa giraffa angolensis) far exceeds the size of the females. At the Namutoni waterholes in Etosha National Park, bulls were seen many times each day screening adult females for their pending sexual receptivity by provoking them to urinate; this mainly involved sniffing their genitalia. If the female accedes to the male’s invitation, she widens her hindleg stance, braces her body, and then urinates, usually for at least five seconds. The male places his muzzle and tongue in the urine stream, and then performs flehmen, often raising his head high in the air. Males never investigated urine on the ground. The bilateral papillae on the giraffe’s hard palate connect with the nasopalatine ducts, which enter the bilateral vomeronasal organ (VNO). Unlike many mammals, the giraffe’s VNO lacks a prominent connection to the nasal cavity and its connections to the oral cavity are primarily via the incisive papillae. Most days, some giraffes were observed searching for bones for extended periods, chewing them, and sometimes being troubled by a bone stuck in their mouth. A giraffe killed by lions was frequented for several days by a procession of giraffes investigating the carcass. A very dark-colored bull giraffe emitted loud pulsed growls that drove off most of the surrounding giraffes.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-19
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030354
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 355: Pain in Pets: Beyond Physiology

    • Authors: Roberta Downing, Giorgia Della Rocca
      First page: 355
      Abstract: Animals do not speak a language humans understand, making it easy to believe that they do not experience pain the way humans do. Despite data affirming that companion animals can and do experience pain much as do humans, there remains a gap between companion animal acute pain management knowledge and its execution. Companion animal pain is not simply a physiological issue. Veterinary clinicians can and should embrace the foundational principles of clinical bioethics—respect for autonomy, nonmaleficence, beneficence, and justice—translated from human medicine for the benefit of their patients. By reframing companion animal pain as a bioethical issue, as described in this paper, veterinarians affirm their commitment to closing the gap between what is known and what is done for painful companion animals. This takes pet pain beyond physiology.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-19
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030355
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 356: Utilization of Cooked Cassava and Taro as
           Alternative Feed in Enhancing Pig Production in Ecuadorian Backyard System
           

    • Authors: Alfredo Valverde Lucio, Ana Gonzalez-Martínez, Evangelina Rodero Serrano
      First page: 356
      Abstract: Pork production in Ecuador is of significant economic and nutritional importance. Many of these operations are family- or backyard-based and utilize alternative feed ingredients to reduce production costs. The current study aimed to determine the chemical composition of cooked cassava and taro, and to evaluate their inclusion in the feed of backyard pigs during the growth and fattening phases. A total of 42 castrated pigs from two geographic locations in Ecuador were studied over a period of 100 days, during which their weight and measurements were recorded at three-week intervals. At the end of the experiment, ileum samples were collected from the slaughtered pigs in order to calculate the apparent digestibility of the feed. The crude protein levels of cassava and taro were found to be 3.2% and 2.1%, respectively. The combination of cooked cassava and taro was found to be a suitable replacement for corn, with the best results observed in the group receiving a diet incorporating 21% each of cassava and taro. Analysis of the ileal content also revealed that this group exhibited the highest nitrogen assimilation from the diet.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-19
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030356
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 357: Retrospective Study of T Cell Leukaemia
           (Large Granular Lymphocyte Variant) in Dogs Associated with Suspected
           Immune-Mediated Cytopaenia(s) in the Absence of Peripheral Lymphocytosis

    • Authors: Angelo Capasso, Elizabeth Villers, James Elliott, Nic Ilchyshyn, Ian Hopkins, Ferran Valls Sanchez, Sara Verganti
      First page: 357
      Abstract: Canine chronic large granular lymphocyte (LGL) leukaemia is commonly characterised by moderate to marked lymphocytosis but not neutropaenia. In humans, LGL leukaemia is often associated with autoimmune disorders, including immune-mediated cytopaenias (mainly neutropaenia). This presentation is rare in dogs. The aim of this retrospective study was to describe the clinical characteristics, treatments, and outcomes of dogs with chronic LGL leukaemia with suspected immune-mediated cytopaenia. Six dogs with a median age of 4.5 years (range 2–8 years) were included in the study. The most common presenting signs were pyrexia and lethargy. All dogs had severe neutropaenia (median neutrophil count 0.07 × 109/L), three had thrombocytopaenia (median platelet count 66 × 109/L), and one had anaemia (HCT 0.32 L/L). In all dogs, bone marrow cytology revealed infiltration of granular T lymphocytes; PARR analysis confirmed clonality in four, and bone marrow flow cytometry identified CD3+ CD8+ neoplastic cells in two cases. All patients received systemic chemotherapy, and the cytopaenias resolved after 1–19 weeks. Two dogs were euthanised 133 and 322 days after diagnosis, two were lost to follow-up after 224 and 357 days, and two were alive at 546 and 721 days. A subset of LGL leukaemia in dogs is associated with immune-mediated cytopaenia and has a unique clinical presentation.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-20
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030357
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 358: Human–Animal Bond Generated in a Brief
           Animal-Assisted Therapy Intervention in Adolescents with Mental Health
           Disorders

    • Authors: Maylos Rodrigo-Claverol, Marta Manuel-Canals, Luis Lucio Lobato-Rincón, Natalia Rodriguez-Criado, Maite Roman-Casenave, Elisabet Musull-Dulcet, Esther Rodrigo-Claverol, Josep Pifarré, Yvette Miró-Bernaus
      First page: 358
      Abstract: Background: The human–animal bond is crucial for the proper development of animal-assisted therapy (AAT) sessions. However, in specific cases such as in AAT focused on psychiatric patients who are admitted to acute units, there is only a short period of time available to establish this bond. Objectives: To assess the degree of HAB generated after two AAT sessions in adolescents admitted to acute psychiatry units. Methods: A prospective multicenter cohort study aimed at adolescents aged 13 to 17 years admitted to the acute child and adolescent psychiatry unit of three hospitals. Intervention: Two weekly 1 h group sessions of AAT with therapy dogs. Main outcome: The Center for the Study of Animal Wellness Pet Bonding Scale Survey (CSAWPB). Results: One hundred and fourteen adolescents participated. A positive perception of the dog was generated, achieving a good level of bonding and attachment. Conclusions: The results obtained make it possible to affirm that a short period of time is enough to establish a good HAB between patients and therapy dogs. This study aims to contribute to the study of non-pharmacological interventions as a complement to pharmacological treatments in adolescents with mental health disorders.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-20
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030358
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 359: Transcriptome Profiling of the Liver in
           Nellore Cattle Phenotypically Divergent for RFI in Two Genetic Groups

    • Authors: Marta Serna-García, Larissa Fernanda Simielli Fonseca, Joaquin Javier Panadero Panadero Romero, Julian Carretero Carretero Asuncion, Danielly Beraldo dos Santos dos Santos Silva, Bruna Maria Salatta, Gabriela Bonfá Frezarim, Maria Eugênia Zerlotti Mercadante, Sarah Figueiredo Martins Bonilha, Jesus Aparecido Ferro, Lucia Galvão De De Albuquerque
      First page: 359
      Abstract: The identification and selection of genetically superior animals for residual feed intake (RFI) could enhance productivity and minimize environmental impacts. The aim of this study was to use RNA-seq data to identify the differentially expressed genes (DEGs), known non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs), specific biomarkers and enriched biological processes associated with RFI of the liver in Nellore cattle in two genetic groups. In genetic group 1 (G1), 24 extreme RFI animals (12 low RFI (LRFI) versus 12 high RFI (HRFI)) were selected from a population of 60 Nellore bulls. The RNA-seq of the samples from their liver tissues was performed using an Illumina HiSeq 2000. In genetic group 2 (G2), 20 samples of liver tissue of Nellore bulls divergent for RFI (LRFI, n = 10 versus HRFI, n = 10) were selected from 83 animals. The raw data of the G2 were chosen from the ENA repository. A total of 1811 DEGs were found for the G1 and 2054 for the G2 (p-value ≤ 0.05). We detected 88 common genes in both genetic groups, of which 33 were involved in the immune response and in blocking oxidative stress. In addition, seven (B2M, ADSS, SNX2, TUBA4A, ARHGAP18, MECR, and ABCF3) possible gene biomarkers were identified through a receiver operating characteristic analysis (ROC) considering an AUC > 0.70. The B2M gene was overexpressed in the LRFI group. This gene regulates the lipid metabolism protein turnover and inhibits cell death. We also found non-coding RNAs in both groups. MIR25 was up-regulated and SNORD16 was down-regulated in the LRFI for G1. For G2, up-regulated RNase_MRP and SCARNA10 were found. We highlight MIR25 as being able to act by blocking cytotoxicity and oxidative stress and RMRP as a blocker of mitochondrial damage. The biological pathways associated with RFI of the liver in Nellore cattle in the two genetic groups were for energy metabolism, protein turnover, redox homeostasis and the immune response. The common transcripts, biomarkers and metabolic pathways found in the two genetic groups make this unprecedented work even more relevant, since the results are valid for different herds raised in different ways. The results reinforce the biological importance of these known processes but also reveal new insights into the complexity of the liver tissue transcriptome of Nellore cattle.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-20
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030359
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 360: Full-Fat Black Soldier Fly Larvae Meal in
           Diet for Tambaqui, Colossoma macropomum: Digestibility, Growth Performance
           and Economic Analysis of Feeds

    • Authors: Driely Kathriny Monteiro dos Santos, Odair Rodrigues de Freitas, Cesar Augusto Oishi, Flávio Augusto Leão da Fonseca, Giuliana Parisi, Ligia Uribe Gonçalves
      First page: 360
      Abstract: Black soldier fly (BSF, Hermetia illucens) larvae is a prominent ingredient in aquafeeds due to its high protein and energy contents. This study evaluated the digestibility of full-fat BSF larvae meal (FF-BSFL) and its inclusion in diets for tambaqui, Colossoma macropomum. The apparent digestibility coefficient of FF-BSFL for protein and energy was around of 88%, corresponding to 33.55% and 21.61 MJ kg−1 of digestible protein and energy, respectively. For the feeding trial, tambaqui juveniles (53.23 ± 1.07 g) were distributed in a completely randomized experimental design (n = 4; 150 L tanks; 10 fish per tank). Fish were fed diets including 0%, 5.25%, 10.50%, and 15.75% FF-BSFL to apparent satiation for 60 days. Fish fed 10.50% FF-BSFL dietary inclusion showed higher weight gain, feed intake, final biomass, and relative growth rate. The 10.50% FF-BSFL diet presented the highest index of economic profitability. Weight gain fitted a third-degree equation and the optimum FF-BSFL inclusion level was estimated at 11.6%. However, FF-BSFL dietary inclusion up to 15.75% did not impair growth fish performance. FF-BSFL seems to be a promising source of protein and energy for omnivorous fish aquafeed.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-20
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030360
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 361: Comparative Analyses Reveal the Genetic
           Mechanism of Ambergris Production in the Sperm Whale Based on the
           Chromosome-Level Genome

    • Authors: Chuang Zhou, Kexin Peng, Yi Liu, Rusong Zhang, Xiaofeng Zheng, Bisong Yue, Chao Du, Yongjie Wu
      First page: 361
      Abstract: Sperm whales are a marine mammal famous for the aromatic substance, the ambergris, produced from its colon. Little is known about the biological processes of ambergris production, and this study aims to investigate the genetic mechanism of ambergris production in the sperm whale based on its chromosome-level genome. Comparative genomics analyses found 1207 expanded gene families and 321 positive selected genes (PSGs) in the sperm whale, and functional enrichment analyses suggested revelatory pathways and terms related to the metabolism of steroids, terpenoids, and aldosterone, as well as microbiota interaction and immune network in the intestine. Furthermore, two sperm-whale-specific missense mutations (Tyr393His and Leu567Val) were detected in the PSG LIPE, which has been reported to play vital roles in lipid and cholesterol metabolism. In total, 46 CYP genes and 22 HSD genes were annotated, and then mapped to sperm whale chromosomes. Furthermore, phylogenetic analysis of CYP genes in six mammals found that CYP2E1, CYP51A and CYP8 subfamilies exhibited relative expansion in the sperm whale. Our results could help understand the genetic mechanism of ambergris production, and further reveal the convergent evolution pattern among animals that produce similar odorants.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-20
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030361
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 362: Comparative Mitogenomic Analysis of Two Snake
           Eels Reveals Irregular Gene Rearrangement and Phylogenetic Implications of
           Ophichthidae

    • Authors: Tianyan Yang, Yuping Liu, Zijun Ning
      First page: 362
      Abstract: The family Ophichthidae has the largest number and the most various species (about 359 valid species) in the order Anguilliformes worldwide. Both morphological and molecular characteristics have been used to assess their taxonomic status. However, due to the ambiguous morphological features, molecular data such as mitochondrial DNA sequences have been implemented for the correct identification and classification of these fishes. In this study, the gene arrangement and structure characteristics of two Ophichthidae mitochondrial genomes were investigated for the first time. The total mitogenome lengths of O. evermanni and O. erabo were 17,759 bp and 17,856 bp, respectively. Comparing with the ancestral mitochondrial gene order, the irregular gene rearrangement happened between ND6 and tRNA-Pro (P) genes with another similar control region emerging between tRNA-Thr (T) and ND6 genes, which could be explained by the tandem duplication and random loss (TDRL) model appropriately. ML phylogenetic tree demonstrated that the family Ophichthidae was monophyletic origin, but genus Ophichthus might be polyphyletic because of the confused cluster relationships among different species.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-20
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030362
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 363: The Effects of Dietary Spirulina platensisis
           on Physiological Responses of Broiler Chickens Exposed to Endotoxin Stress
           

    • Authors: Abdulaziz A. Alaqil, Ahmed O. Abbas
      First page: 363
      Abstract: This study was proposed to highlight the impact of dietary Spirulina platensis (SP) supplementation in alleviating the deterioration effect of Escherichia coli (EC) on the growth performance, redox biomarkers, immune reaction, and hindgut microbial counts and acidosis in broiler chickens. Four hundred Cobb500, one-day-old, broiler chickens were deposited in battery cages (10 chicks per cage). The chicks were distributed into totally randomized 2 × 2 factorial treatments (10 replicate cages per treatment) from the day 22 to the day 42 of age. Birds of two of the groups were fed on a basal diet without SP supplementation (-SP groups), while birds of the other two groups were fed on a basal diet supplemented with 10 g/kg SP (+SP groups). At day 36th of age, birds in one of the -SP and +SP groups were challenged by an intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection with 107 CFU/bird EC (O157:H7 strain) in 0.5 mL sterilized saline (+EC groups), whereas the other non-challenged groups were i.p. injected with 0.5 mL saline only (-EC groups). The current study results indicated that the boilers challenged with EC had a significant (p < 0.05) lower performance, poor antioxidant activity, immunosuppression, and higher numbers of pathogenic bacteria in the intestine when compared with the non-challenged birds. Dietary SP inclusion enhanced (p < 0.05) broiler growth, antioxidant activity, immune response, and intestinal beneficial bacteria and acidosis. Moreover, SP alleviated the reduction in all these parameters after exposure to EC infection. Therefore, diets containing 10 g/kg SP could be used as a promising approach to maximize broilers’ production and support their health, particularly when challenged with EC infection.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-20
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030363
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 364: Reliability and Validity of UNESP-Botucatu
           Cattle Pain Scale and Cow Pain Scale in Bos taurus and Bos indicus Bulls
           to Assess Postoperative Pain of Surgical Orchiectomy

    • Authors: Rubia M. Tomacheuski, Alice R. Oliveira, Pedro H. E. Trindade, Flávia A. Oliveira, César P. Candido, Francisco J. Teixeira Neto, Paulo V. Steagall, Stelio P. L. Luna
      First page: 364
      Abstract: Pain assessment guides decision-making in pain management and improves animal welfare. We aimed to investigate the reliability and validity of the UNESP-Botucatu cattle pain scale (UCAPS) and the cow pain scale (CPS) for postoperative pain assessment in Bos taurus (Angus) and Bos indicus (Nelore) bulls after castration. Methods: Ten Nelore and nine Angus bulls were anaesthetised with xylazine–ketamine–diazepam–isoflurane–flunixin meglumine. Three-minute videos were recorded at -48 h, preoperative, after surgery, after rescue analgesia and at 24 h. Two evaluators assessed 95 randomised videos twice one month apart. Results: There were no significant differences in the pain scores between breeds. Intra and inter-rater reliability varied from good (>0.70) to very good (>0.81) for all scales. The criterion validity showed a strong correlation (0.76–0.78) between the numerical rating scale and VAS versus UCAPS and CPS, and between UCAPS and CPS (0.76). The UCAPS and CPS were responsive; all items and total scores increased after surgery. Both scales were specific (81–85%) and sensitive (82–87%). The cut-off point for rescue analgesia was >4 for UCAPS and >3 for CPS. Conclusions. The UCAPS and CPS are valid and reliable to assess postoperative pain in Bos taurus and Bos indicus bulls.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-20
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030364
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 365: Identification of New Candidate Genes Related
           to Semen Traits in Duroc Pigs through Weighted Single-Step GWAS

    • Authors: Xiaoke Zhang, Qing Lin, Weili Liao, Wenjing Zhang, Tingting Li, Jiaqi Li, Zhe Zhang, Xiang Huang, Hao Zhang
      First page: 365
      Abstract: Semen traits play a key role in the pig industry because boar semen is widely used in purebred and crossbred pigs. The production of high-quality semen is crucial to ensuring a good result in artificial insemination. With the wide application of artificial insemination in the pig industry, more and more attention has been paid to the improvement of semen traits by genetic selection. The purpose of this study was to identify the genetic regions and candidate genes associated with semen traits of Duroc boars. We used weighted single-step GWAS to identify candidate genes associated with sperm motility, sperm progressive motility, sperm abnormality rate and total sperm count in Duroc pigs. In Duroc pigs, the three most important windows for sperm motility—sperm progressive motility, sperm abnormality rate, and total sperm count—explained 12.45%, 9.77%, 15.80%, and 12.15% of the genetic variance, respectively. Some genes that are reported to be associated with spermatogenesis, testicular function and male fertility in mammals have been detected previously. The candidate genes CATSPER1, STRA8, ZSWIM7, TEKT3, UBB, PTBP2, EIF2B2, MLH3, and CCDC70 were associated with semen traits in Duroc pigs. We found a common candidate gene, STRA8, in sperm motility and sperm progressive motility, and common candidate genes ZSWIM7, TEKT3 and UBB in sperm motility and sperm abnormality rate, which confirms the hypothesis of gene pleiotropy. Gene network enrichment analysis showed that STRA8, UBB and CATSPER1 were enriched in the common biological process and participated in male meiosis and spermatogenesis. The SNPs of candidate genes can be given more weight in genome selection to improve the ability of genome prediction. This study provides further insight into the understanding the genetic structure of semen traits in Duroc boars.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-20
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030365
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 366: Genetic Parameters of Serum Total Protein
           Concentration Measured with a Brix Refractometer in Holstein Newborn
           Calves and Fresh Cows

    • Authors: Aikaterini Soufleri, Georgios Banos, Nikolaos Panousis, Alexandros Kougioumtzis, Vangelis Tsiamadis, Georgios Arsenos, Georgios E. Valergakis
      First page: 366
      Abstract: The objective was to estimate the genetic parameters of serum total protein concentration in newborn calves (calfSTP) and post parturient dairy cows (cowSTP). The study included 1,013 calves and 989 cows from 10 dairy farms. Calf blood samples were collected 24–48 h after parturition while cow blood and colostrum samples were collected in the first 24 h after calving. Blood serum total protein and colostrum total solids content were determined using a Brix refractometer. Chemical analysis of colostrum was performed with Milkoscan. Univariate mixed linear models were used to estimate the heritability of calfSTP and cowSTP and their genetic and phenotypic correlations with colostrum traits. The heritability estimates of calfSTP and cowSTP were 0.21 and 0.20 (p < 0.05), respectively. Strong genetic correlations (r > 0.90) were detected between calfSTP and colostrum total solids and protein content (p < 0.05). Corresponding phenotypic correlations were 0.31–0.33 (p < 0.05). No genetic or phenotypic correlations were detected with colostrum fat content while the respective correlations with lactose were negative (−0.82 and −0.19, p < 0.05). No genetic correlations were detected between cowSTP and colostrum traits and only a low negative phenotypic one with lactose was detected. The results confirm that genetic selection aiming to improve the passive transfer of immunity in newborn calves and general fresh cow health would be feasible.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-20
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030366
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 367: Effects of Different Dietary Protein Level on
           Growth Performance, Rumen Fermentation Characteristics and Plasma
           Metabolomics Profile of Growing Yak in the Cold Season

    • Authors: Yanbing Zhu, Guangming Sun, Luosang Dunzhu, Xin Li, Luosang Zhaxi, Suolang Zhaxi, Suolang, Ciyang, Cidan Yangji, Basang Wangdui, Feng Pan, Quanhui Peng
      First page: 367
      Abstract: This experiment was aimed to compare the effects of two diets with different protein content on the growth performance, immune indexes, rumen fermentation characteristics and plasma metabolomics of growing yak in the cold season. A total of 24, 2-year-old healthy yaks with similar body weight (142.9 ± 3.56 kg) were randomly allocated to two isoenergetic diets with different protein content (10 vs 14%) according to a non-paired experimental design, and the protein of the diets was increased by increasing soybean meal, rapeseed meal and cottonseed meal. The growth performance experiment lasted 56 days. Four days before the end of the growth experiment, the digestion trial was conducted, and the rumen fluid and plasma was collected for measurement. The results showed that the average daily feed intake (p < 0.001) and average daily gain (p = 0.006) of yak fed a high-protein diet was significantly greater, while the feed conversion ratio was lower (p = 0.021) than that of yaks fed a low-protein diet. Plasma aspartate aminotransferase (p = 0.002), alanine aminotransferase (p < 0.001), malondialdehyde (p = 0.001), tumor necrosis factor-α (p = 0.032) and interferon-γ (p = 0.017) of the high-protein group were significantly lesser, whereas superoxide dismutase (p = 0.004) and interleukin-2 (p = 0.007) was significantly greater than that of the low-protein group. The rumen microbial crude protein (p < 0.047) and crude protein digestibility (p = 0.015) of yak fed a high-protein diet was significantly greater than that of the low-protein group. The metabolomics results showed that yaks fed a high-protein diet were elevated in protein digestion and absorption, arginine and proline metabolism, tryptophan metabolism, purine metabolism, butanoate metabolism, taste transduction, pyrimidine metabolism, pantothenate and CoA biosynthesis, glutathione metabolism and renin secretion pathways. It is concluded that a high-protein diet in the cold season can promote rumen microbial crude protein synthesis, enhance antioxidant and immune function and promote growth performance of yaks.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-21
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030367
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 368: Transmission of Classical Swine Fever Virus
           in Cohabitating Piglets with Various Immune Statuses Following Attenuated
           Live Vaccine

    • Authors: Chia-Yi Chang, Kuo-Jung Tsai, Ming-Chung Deng, Fun-In Wang, Hsin-Meng Liu, Shu-Hui Tsai, Yang-Chang Tu, Nien-Nong Lin, Yu-Liang Huang
      First page: 368
      Abstract: Classical swine fever (CSF) is a systemic hemorrhagic disease affecting domestic pigs and wild boars. The modified live vaccine (MLV) induces quick and solid protection against CSF virus (CSFV) infection. Maternally derived antibodies (MDAs) via colostrum could interfere with the MLV’s efficacy, leading to incomplete protection against CSFV infection for pigs. This study investigated CSFV transmission among experimental piglets with various post-MLV immune statuses. Nineteen piglets, 18 with MDAs and 1 specific-pathogen-free piglet infected with CSFV that served as the CSFV donor, were cohabited with piglets that had or had not been administered the MLV. Five-sixths of the piglets with MDAs that had been administered one dose of MLV were fully protected from contact transmission from the CSFV donor and did not transmit CSFV to the piglets secondarily exposed through cohabitation. Cell-mediated immunity, represented by the anti-CSFV-specific interferon-γ-secreting cells, was key to viral clearance and recovery. After cohabitation with a CSFV donor, the unvaccinated piglets with low MDA levels exhibited CSFV infection and spread CSFV to other piglets through contact; those with high MDA levels recovered but acted as asymptomatic carriers. In conclusion, MLV still induces solid immunity in commercial herds under MDA interference and blocks CSFV transmission within these herds.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-21
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030368
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 369: The Effect of a Synthetic Scent on Cheetah
           Behaviour

    • Authors: Alexia Tommasi, Andreas G. J. Tredoux, Jacek A. Koziel, Giulia Esposito
      First page: 369
      Abstract: In cheetahs, age at first parturition correlates negatively with reproductive lifespan (asymmetric reproductive aging); therefore, breeding cheetahs at a young age is essential to maximize reproductive performance in this species. However, younger females display a significantly reduced frequency of copulatory behaviour, which negatively affects breeding. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are known to regulate appropriate behavioural responses in various species, including reproductive behaviour; moreover, they have proven to play a role in captive breeding methods in cheetahs, as well as mate choice. Therefore, the objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of a synthetic scent (SS) on the frequency of the five oestrous behaviour(s) (sniff, rub, roll, spray, and meow-chirp) known to be indicative of oestrus in female cheetahs. Based on the results of a previous study from our research group, five VOCs, identified in the marking fluid of male cheetahs, and known to be pheromones involved in reproductive behaviour, were used to create the SS. This was accomplished by mixing benzaldehyde, acetophenone, indole, dimethyl disulphide and phenol with (99.9%) ethanol. Seven female cheetahs were then observed for one oestrus cycle without stimulation (control) and then once again while exposed to the SS (treatment), which was sprayed on foil trays placed around the outside of each enclosure. The occurrence of the five oestrous behaviours was recorded and tallied per day of observations. Although the SS did not have a significant effect on the frequency of oestrous behaviours displayed by the females used in this study, five of the seven (71%) did show an increase in their behaviour with the SS when oestrogen concentrations were at their highest (peak oestrus), including three of the four younger females. The SS also significantly increased the sniffing behaviour in general. Although the results of this study do indicate that VOCs influence cheetahs and their behaviour, firm conclusions cannot be drawn due to the low number of animals used, as well as the significant effect the observation methods had on the results. Nonetheless, this study represents the first of this kind in cheetahs, therefore representing an important step in determining the role of VOCs in aiding breeding in captivity.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-21
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030369
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 370: Energetic Implications of Morphological
           Changes between Fish Larval and Juvenile Stages Using Geometric
           Morphometrics of Body Shape

    • Authors: Lorena Martinez-Leiva, José M. Landeira, Effrosyni Fatira, Javier Díaz-Pérez, Santiago Hernández-León, Javier Roo, Víctor M. Tuset
      First page: 370
      Abstract: The fish body shape is a key factor that influences multiple traits such as swimming, foraging, mating, migrations, and predator avoidance. The present study describes the body morphological changes and the growth trajectories during the transformation from 24 to 54 days post-hatching in the golden grey mullet, Chelon auratus, using geometric morphometric analysis (GMA). The results revealed a decrease in morphological variability (i.e., morphological disparity) with the somatic growth. The main changes affected head size, elongation, and widening of the body. Given that this variability could affect the metabolism, some individuals with different morphologies and in different ontogenetic developmental stages were selected to estimate their potential respiration rate using the Electron Transport System (ETS) analysis. Differences were detected depending on the developmental stage, and being significantly smaller after 54 days post-hatching. Finally, a multivariate linear regression indicated that the specific ETS activity was partially related to the fish length and body shape. Thus, our findings emphasized the relevance of larval morphological variability for understanding the physiological processes that occur during the development.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-21
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030370
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 371: Pregabalin Alleviates Anxiety and Fear in
           Cats during Transportation and Veterinary Visits—A Clinical Field
           Study

    • Authors: Terttu Lamminen, Mira Korpivaara, John Aspegrén, Clara Palestrini, Karen L. Overall
      First page: 371
      Abstract: Cats frequently suffer from anxiety related to travel and veterinary visits. One sequela is avoidance of veterinary visits and lack of adequate veterinary care. The objective of this study was to test clinical efficacy and safety of a novel formulation of a pregabalin 50 mg/mL oral solution for alleviation of anxiety and fear in cats during transport and veterinary visits. A total of 209 client-owned cats were given either a flavored pregabalin oral solution at the dosage of 5 mg/kg (n = 108) or an identical placebo (n = 101) approximately 90 min before placing them into the carrier and transporting them in a car for at least 20 min to a veterinary clinic. The treatment effect using a 5-point numerical rating scale was evaluated during transportation by the owner and during clinical examination by the veterinarian, both blinded to the treatment. In addition, to verify the owner assessment, an external expert blinded to the treatment and owner assessment evaluated the transportation video recordings using the same rating scale as the owner. Pregabalin 5 mg/kg statistically significantly decreased both travel- (p < 0.01) and veterinary-visit- (p < 0.01) related anxiety compared to the placebo. The external expert’s evaluation was in agreement with the owners’ assessment confirming the treatment effect during transportation (p < 0.01). Treatment was well tolerated with only a few cats showing transient slight incoordination and tiredness. The flavored oral solution formulation with a small dosing volume of 0.1 mL/kg was found by the owners to be user-friendly and was well-accepted by the cats. This study demonstrated that a single oral dosage of the novel pregabalin oral solution alleviates anxiety and fear related to transportation and veterinary visits in cats, thus providing practical aid for both owners and veterinarians to enable cat-friendly handling and improving the welfare of cats in situations they often perceive as very stressful.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-21
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030371
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 372: Early Supplementation with Starter Can
           Improve Production Performance of Lambs but this Growth Advantage
           Disappears after 154 Days of Age

    • Authors: Jianfeng Xu, Fadi Li, Zhendong Zhang, Chen Zheng, Zhenfeng Shen, Zhiyuan Ma, Jing Wang, Fan Zhang, Jiaqi Wang, Hang Ran, Ying Yun, Ting Liu
      First page: 372
      Abstract: The aim of this experiment was to study the sustained effects of early supplementation with a starter on the performance of lambs during the pre-weaning, post-weaning, and fattening periods. Sixty male Hu lambs (3.59 ± 0.05 kg) were randomly assigned to two (30 lambs per group) treatments. The lambs were fed milk replacer from three days of age. The early supplementation (ES) group was supplemented with a starter ration at seven days of age, the control (CON) group was supplemented at 21 days of age, and lambs in both groups were weaned from milk replacer at 28 days of age. Eight lambs from each group were randomly slaughtered at 98 days of age, and the remaining lambs were fed the same nutrient level of a fattening ration until slaughter at 200 days of age. The results showed that early supplementation with starter significantly improved average daily feed intake (ADFI) and average daily weight gain (ADG) in the pre-weaning period (7–28 days of age), and ADFI and slaughter performance (live weight before slaughter, carcass weight and dressing percentage) in the post-weaning period (29–98 days of age, p < 0.05). In addition, early supplementation with the starter had no significant effect (p > 0.05) on ADFI, ADG, and slaughter performance, but significantly decreased (p < 0.05) the feed-to-gain ratio (F/G) of lambs during the fattening period (99–200 days of age). In addition, early supplementation with starter increased the ratio of rumen and reticulum weight to total stomach weight in lambs (p < 0.05). In conclusion, early supplementation with starter can reduce feed costs and improve the performance of lambs, while the growth advantage produced by early supplementation had initially disappeared by 154 days of age.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-21
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030372
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 373: A Novel Approach in the Development of Larval
           Largemouth Bass Micropterus salmoides Diets Using Largemouth Bass Muscle
           Hydrolysates as the Protein Source

    • Authors: Giovanni S. Molinari, Michal Wojno, Genciana Terova, Macdonald Wick, Hayden Riley, Jeffrey T. Caminiti, Karolina Kwasek
      First page: 373
      Abstract: This study’s objectives were to determine the effect of Largemouth Bass (LMB) muscle hydrolysates obtained using same-species digestive enzymes and the degree of LMB muscle hydrolysis when included in the first feeds of growth performance and survival, skeletal development, intestinal peptide uptake, and muscle-free amino acid composition of larval LMB. LMB muscle was mixed with digestive enzymes from adult LMB, and hydrolyzed for 1.5, 3, and 6 h, respectively. Five diets were produced, the intact diet containing non-hydrolyzed muscle and four diets with 37% muscle hydrolysate inclusion. Those diets were characterized by their level of each hydrolysate (presented as a ratio of 1.5, 3, and 6 Ts hydrolysates): 1:1:1, 1:3:6, 1:3:1, 6:3:1 for diets A, B, C, and D, respectively. To account for gut development, one group of larval LMB was fed a weekly series of diets B, C, and D to provide an increasing molecular weight profile throughout development. This group was compared against others that received either; (1) diets D, C, and B; (2) diet A; or (3) intact diet. The initial inclusion of the hydrolysates significantly improved the total length of the larval LMB; however, neither the hydrolysate inclusion nor the series of dietary molecular weight profiles improved the overall growth of larval LMB. The inclusion of hydrolysates significantly decreased the occurrence of skeletal deformities. The degree of hydrolysis did not have a significant effect on the parameters measured, except for intestinal peptide uptake, which was increased in the group that received the most hydrolyzed diet at the final time of sampling. The lack of overall growth improvement suggests that while the hydrolysates improve the initial growth performance, further research is necessary to determine the optimal molecular weight profile, hydrolysate inclusion level, and physical properties of feeds for larval LMB.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-21
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030373
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 374: Classification Performance of Machine
           Learning Methods for Identifying Resistance, Resilience, and
           Susceptibility to Haemonchus contortus Infections in Sheep

    • Authors: Luara A. Freitas, Rodrigo P. Savegnago, Anderson A. C. Alves, Ricardo L. D. Costa, Danisio P. Munari, Nedenia B. Stafuzza, Guilherme J. M. Rosa, Claudia C. P. Paz
      First page: 374
      Abstract: This study investigated the feasibility of using easy-to-measure phenotypic traits to predict sheep resistant, resilient, and susceptible to gastrointestinal nematodes, compared the classification performance of multinomial logistic regression (MLR), linear discriminant analysis (LDA), random forest (RF), and artificial neural network (ANN) methods, and evaluated the applicability of the best classification model on each farm. The database comprised 3654 records of 1250 Santa Inês sheep from 6 farms. The animals were classified into resistant (2605 records), resilient (939 records), and susceptible (110 records) according to fecal egg count and packed cell volume. A random oversampling method was performed to balance the dataset. The classification methods were fitted using the information of age class, the month of record, farm, sex, Famacha© degree, body weight, and body condition score as predictors, and the resistance, resilience, and susceptibility to gastrointestinal nematodes as the target classes to be predicted considering data from all farms randomly. An additional leave-one-farm-out cross-validation technique was used to assess prediction quality across farms. The MLR and LDA models presented good performances in predicting susceptible and resistant animals. The results suggest that the use of readily available records and easily measurable traits may provide useful information for supporting management decisions at the farm level.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-21
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030374
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 375: Characterization of Myeloperoxidase in the
           Healthy Equine Endometrium

    • Authors: Sonia Parrilla Hernández, Thierry Franck, Carine Munaut, Émilie Feyereisen, Joëlle Piret, Frédéric Farnir, Fabrice Reigner, Philippe Barrière, Stéfan Deleuze
      First page: 375
      Abstract: Myeloperoxidase (MPO), as a marker of neutrophil activation, has been associated with equine endometritis. However, in absence of inflammation, MPO is constantly detected in the uterine lumen of estrous mares. The aim of this study was to characterize MPO in the uterus of mares under physiological conditions as a first step to better understand the role of this enzyme in equine reproduction. Total and active MPO concentrations were determined, by ELISA and SIEFED assay, respectively, in low-volume lavages from mares in estrus (n = 26), diestrus (n = 18) and anestrus (n = 8) in absence of endometritis. Immunohistochemical analysis was performed on 21 endometrial biopsies randomly selected: estrus (n = 11), diestrus (n = 6) and anestrus (n = 4). MPO, although mostly enzymatically inactive, was present in highly variable concentrations in uterine lavages in all studied phases, with elevated concentrations in estrus and anestrus, while in diestrus, concentrations were much lower. Intracytoplasmic immunoexpression of MPO was detected in the endometrial epithelial cells, neutrophils and glandular secretions. Maximal expression was observed during estrus in mid and basal glands with a predominant intracytoplasmic apical reinforcement. In diestrus, immunopositive glands were sporadic. In anestrus, only the luminal epithelium showed residual MPO immunostaining. These results confirm a constant presence of MPO in the uterine lumen of mares in absence of inflammation, probably as part of the uterine mucosal immune system, and suggest that endometrial cells are a source of uterine MPO under physiological cyclic conditions.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-21
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030375
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 376: Bone Healing Process of a Multiple Humeral
           Fracture in a Caretta caretta: Clinical, Surgical, Radiographic and
           Histomorphometric Assessments

    • Authors: Carmela Valastro, Mariasevera Di Comite, Serena Paci, Delia Franchini, Stefano Ciccarelli, Antonio Di Bello
      First page: 376
      Abstract: This study describes the surgical treatment of multiple humeral fractures in a Caretta caretta sea turtle referred by the ‘Centro Faunistico del Parco Regionale Bosco e Paludi di Rauccio’, in the area surrounding the city of Lecce, in southern Italy. Radiographs showed an evident detachment of the distal humeral epiphysis, compatible with a type II Salter-Harris fracture, as well as a transverse fracture of the diaphysis. After the surgical fracture reduction, radiographic follow-up was performed at 2, 4, 12, 16, and 24 months, showing a progressive healing and the formation of poorly mineralized callus tissue. Unfortunately, three months after his release at sea, the turtle was caught dead at a depth of 40 m. Histological and histomorphometric examinations of the surgically treated humerus were carried out on the corpse to collect further information about the bone tissue repair mechanisms in these animals.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-22
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030376
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 377: Inclusion of Camelina sativa Seeds in
           Ewes’ Diet Modifies Rumen Microbiota

    • Authors: Christos Christodoulou, Alexandros Mavrommatis, Dimitris Loukovitis, George Symeon, Vassilios Dotas, Basiliki Kotsampasi, Eleni Tsiplakou
      First page: 377
      Abstract: Supplementing ruminant diets with unconventional feedstuffs (Camelina sativa seeds; CS) rich in bioactive molecules such as polyunsaturated fatty acids, may prove a potential eco-efficient strategy to manipulate rumen microbiome towards efficiency. Forty-eight ewes were divided into four homogenous groups (n = 12) according to their fat-corrected milk yield (6%), body weight, and age, and were fed individually with concentrate, alfalfa hay, and wheat straw. The concentrate of the control group (CON) had no CS inclusion, whereas the treated groups were supplemented with CS at 60 (CS6), 110 (CS11), and 160 (CS16) g·kg−1 of concentrate, respectively. Rumen digesta was collected using an esophageal tube and then liquid and solid particles were separated using cheesecloth layers. An initial bacteriome screening using next-generation sequencing of 16S was followed by specific microbes targeting with a RT-qPCR platform, which unveiled the basic changes of the rumen microbiota under CS supplementation levels. The relative abundances of Archaea and methanogens were significantly reduced in the solid particles of CS11 and CS16. Furthermore, the relative abundance of Protozoa was significantly increased in both rumen fluid and solid particles of the CS6, whereas that of Fungi was significantly reduced in the rumen particle of the CS16. In rumen fluid, the relative abundance of Fibrobacter succinogens and Ruminobacter amylophilus were significantly increased in the CS6 and CS11, respectively. In the solid particles of the CS11, the relative abundance of Ruminococcus flavefaciens was significantly reduced, whereas those of Butyrivibrio proteoclasticus and Ruminobacter amylophilus were significantly increased. Additionally, the relative abundance of Selenomonas ruminantium was significantly increased in both CS11 and CS16. Consequently, the highest CS content in the concentrate reduced the relative abundance of methanogens without inducing radical changes in rumen microorganisms that could impair ruminal fermentation and ewes’ performance.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-22
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030377
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 378: Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals and Their
           Effects in Pet Dogs and Cats: An Overview

    • Authors: Paola Pocar, Valeria Grieco, Lucia Aidos, Vitaliano Borromeo
      First page: 378
      Abstract: Over the past few decades, several pollutants classified as environmental endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) have become a matter of significant public health concern. Companion animals play a major role in human society, and pet ownership is substantially increasing worldwide. These intimate human–pet relationships imply sharing much of the same environment, thus including exposure to similar levels of EDCs in daily routine. Here, we review the current knowledge on the sources and routes of exposure to EDCs in domestic indoor and outdoor environments and discuss whether endocrine disruption is a health concern in pets. We summarize the phenomenon of endocrine disruption, providing examples of EDCs with a known impact on dog and cat health. Then, we propose an overview of the literature on the adverse effects of EDCs in domestic pets, with a special focus on the health of reproductive and thyroid systems. Finally, we explore the potential role of companion animals as unintentional sentinels of environmental exposure to EDCs and the implications for public health risk assessment in a “shared risk” scenario. Overall, this review supports the need for an integrated approach considering humans, animals, and the environment as a whole for a comprehensive assessment of the impact of EDCs on human and animal health.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-22
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030378
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 379: Efficacy and Safety of 4.7 mg Deslorelin
           Acetate Implants as a Neutering Option in Male Cats: A Large-Scale
           Multicentre Randomised Controlled Study

    • Authors: Joana Amaral, Philippe Briantais, Christelle Fontaine, Delphine Rigaut
      First page: 379
      Abstract: This multicenter-controlled, double-masked randomized European study was conduc-ted to confirm both the efficacy and safety of a deslorelin implant in controlling fertility and sexual behavior in a large population of tom cats over a 12-month period. Among the 225 screened individuals, a total of 205 privately owned indoor intact male cats, aged 3 months of age or older, were randomly allocated to a deslorelin implant (n = 154) or to a negative control group (n = 51). After the screening visit performed between day (D)-14 and D-7, six additional visits were sche-duled on D0, D45, D93, D186, D279 and D372. Effects on testosterone, sexual behaviors, penile spines, testicular volume and intact male cat urine odor were assessed at every visit under masked conditions as regards to the treatment group. In addition, phone calls from the investigators to the owners were scheduled on D7 and then on a monthly basis whenever no visit was scheduled. Success was defined as an individual serum testosterone concentration below or equal to 0.10 ng/mL and was 77.9% at D45, 83.1% at D93, 84.4% at D186 and D279, and 61.7% at D372 in the deslorelin group, and 3.9% at D45, 5.9% at D93, 3.9% at D186, 7.8% at D279 and 3.9% at D372 in the negative control group. Testing for superiority was made stepwise from D45 to D372 upwards; the difference in success rates was significant from D45 to D372 (p < 0.001 for each time point). The mean testosterone concentration dropped from baseline in the deslorelin group, remaining below the set threshold of 0.1 ng/mL until D372. From D7 onwards, the mean sum score for sexual behaviors (including vocalization, urine marking, aggression and intact male cat urine odor) was significantly lower at each observation time point in the deslorelin group compared to the control group, where no decrease in scores was observed. The mean percent change to baseline of the testicular volume and the percentage of cats with a decreased visibility and adult appearance of penile spines were significantly lower in the deslorelin group as soon as D45. No relevant safety concerns were reported during the course of the study. The deslorelin implant Suprelorin® 4.7 mg (Virbac, Carros, France) is a safe and effective neutering option, inducing infertility over a 12-month period when administered to intact male cats aged between 3 months of age and 11 years of age. The implants also successfully reduced sexual behaviors (i.e., vocalization, urine marking, aggression), intact male cat urine odor, testicular volume and penile spine score for 1 year (372 ± 5 days).
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-22
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030379
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 380: Appraising the Genetic Makeup of an
           Allochthonous Southern Pike Population: An Opportunity to Predict the
           Evolution of Introgressive Hybridization in Isolated Populations'

    • Authors: Marco Casu, Ilenia Azzena, Fabio Scarpa, Chiara Locci, Alessio Niffoi, Giovanni Battista Delmastro, Paolo Lo Conte, Antonio Varcasia, Stefano Bovero, Alessandro Candiotto, Daria Sanna, Piero Cossu
      First page: 380
      Abstract: Biological invasions are a major threat to the conservation of biodiversity, as invasive species affect native biota through competition, predation, pathogen introduction, habitat alteration, and hybridisation. The present study focuses on a southern pike population, Esox cisalpinus (Teleostei: Esocidae), that has been introduced outside the species’ native range. Using microsatellite markers, this study’s objective was to gather baseline genetic information and assess the presence of hybrids between this species and E. lucius in the introduced population. The resulting estimates of genetic diversity and effective population size are comparable to those observed in the species’ native range. Although different methods yield contrasting and uncertain evidence regarding introgressive hybridization, the presence of late-generation hybrids cannot be completely ruled out. Large numbers of breeders as well as multiple introductions of genetically divergent cohorts and introgressive hybridisation may explain the high genetic diversity of this recently introduced southern pike population. The present study issues a warning that the conservation of southern pike’ introgressive hybridisation between northern and southern pike might be underestimated. The genetic information gathered herein may unravel the origin, number of introduction events, and evolutionary trajectory of the introduced population. This information may help us understand the evolution of introgressive hybridisation in the southern pike’s native areas.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-22
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030380
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 381: Evaluation on the Growth Performance,
           Nutrient Digestibility, Faecal Microbiota, Noxious Gas Emission, and
           Faecal Score on Weaning Pigs Supplement with and without Probiotics
           Complex Supplementation in Different Level of Zinc Oxide

    • Authors: Huan Wang, Shi-Jun Yu, In-Ho Kim
      First page: 381
      Abstract: A total of 200 26-day-old crossbred weaning piglets ((Yorkshire × Landrace) × Duroc; 6.55 ± 0.62 kg) were used in a 6-week experiment to evaluate the effects of adding probiotics complex supplementation (Syner-ZymeF10) with high and low ZnO diets on the performance of weaning pigs in 42 days. Pigs were randomly allotted to a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement and they were supplemented with two concentration level of ZnO with 3000 ppm and 300 ppm and probiotics complex supplementation with 0 and 0.1%. There were ten replicate pens per treatment with five pigs per pen (two gilts and three barrows). Pigs fed diets with 3000 ppm ZnO had a higher BW during the overall period and ADG during d 8–21, d 22–42, and overall period than pigs receiving 300 ppm ZnO diets (p < 0.05), as well as a G: F which tended to increase on d 8–21 and overall period (p < 0.1) and decreased tendency on faecal gas emission of methyl mercaptans and acetic acid concentration (p < 0.1). Dietary probiotics complex supplementation had decreased the E. coli count (p < 0.05) and tended to increase the Lactobacillus count (p < 0.1). Dietary probiotics complex supplementation and different level of ZnO supplementation had no significant effect on the nutrition digestibility and faecal score (p > 0.05). In conclusion, probiotic supplementation reduced the fecal E. coli counts and tended to improve Lactobacillus counts. There were no interactive effects between ZnO and probiotic complex supplementation on all the measured parameters.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-22
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030381
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 382: Optimization of the Equine-Sperm Freeze Test
           in Purebred Spanish Horses by Incorporating Colloidal Centrifugation

    • Authors: Luna Gutiérrez-Cepeda, Francisco Crespo, Juan Carlos Blazquez, Consuelo Serres
      First page: 382
      Abstract: The Purebred Spanish Horse, according to our clinical experience, is characterized by having a high number of stallions that do not meet the international commercial recommendations for equine-sperm cryopreservation. This means that artificial insemination with frozen semen from these stallions is less widespread than in other breeds. In this study, we investigated if the incorporation of single-layer colloidal centrifugation prior to cryopreservation in clinical conditions could increase the number of ejaculates of Purebred Spanish stallions suitable for this processing, observing the influence of centrifugation and freezing extender protocol on post-thawed sperm motility. Using colloidal centrifugation, the percentage of ejaculates available to be frozen was increased from 35% (6/17) to 71% (12/17), doubling the number of samples that could have been subjected to cryopreservation. We only found significant differences in linearity (LIN) and lateral head displacement (ALH) after 5 min of incubation at 37 °C between colloidal and simple centrifugation processing techniques. No significant differences were found between the two different colloidal protocols in any of the variables considered. Colloidal centrifugation allowed us to obtain, from worse fresh-quality ejaculates, thawed sperm doses with similar quality to that of good-quality ejaculates. BotuCrio® produced, in general, higher motility parameters and its characteristics than the other extenders analyzed, with significant differences found in comparison to Inra-Freeze® and Lac-Edta in both total (MOT) and progressive motility (PMOT) when using colloidal centrifugation and only in PMOT when applying simple centrifugation. Colloidal centrifugation optimized the efficiency of cryopreservation, as it allowed us to increase the number of ejaculates of Purebred Spanish Horses suitable to be frozen. Including these semen processing techniques in the freeze test could help to optimize equine-sperm cryopreservation protocols, especially when dealing with individuals or breeds for which initially low sperm quality prevents or limits their inclusion in sperm cryopreservation programs.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-22
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030382
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 383: The Two-Component System CpxRA Affects
           Antibiotic Susceptibility and Biofilm Formation in Avian Pathogenic
           Escherichia coli

    • Authors: Kai Ma, Hui Wang, Zhenfei Lv, Yutong Hu, Hongli Wang, Fang Shu, Chengfeng Zhu, Ting Xue
      First page: 383
      Abstract: Avian pathogenic Escherichia coli (APEC) is one of the common extraintestinal infectious disease pathogens in chickens, geese, and other birds. It can cause a variety of infections, and even the death of poultry, causing enormous economic losses. However, the misuse and abuse of antibiotics in the poultry industry have led to the development of drug resistance in the gut microbes, posing a challenge for the treatment of APEC infections. It has been reported that the CpxRA two-component system has an effect on bacterial drug resistance, but the specific regulatory mechanism remains unclear. In this study, the regulatory mechanism of CpxRA on APEC biofilm formation and EmrKY efflux pump was investigated. The cpxRA knockout strain of E. coli APEC40 was constructed, and the molecular regulatory mechanism of CpxR on biofilms and efflux pump-coding genes were identified by biofilm formation assays, drug susceptibility test, real-time reverse transcription quantitative PCR, and electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA). The results indicated that CpxR can directly bind to the promoter region of emrKY and negatively regulate the sensitivity of bacteria to ofloxacin and erythromycin. These results confirm the important regulatory role of the CpxRA two-component system under antibiotic stress in APEC.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-23
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030383
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 384: Effect of Inoculating Two
           Bacteriocin-Producing Lactiplantibacillus plantarum Strains at Ensiling on
           In Vitro Rumen Fermentation and Methane Emissions of Alfalfa Silage with
           Two Dry Matter Contents

    • Authors: Ziqian Li, Fuhou Li, Zohreh Akhavan Kharazian, Xusheng Guo
      First page: 384
      Abstract: The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of inoculating two bacteriocin-producing strains, Lactiplantibacillus plantarum ATCC14917 and LP1-4, at ensiling on the in vitro ruminal fermentation characteristics and methane production of alfalfa silage with two dry matter (DM)contents. Before ensiling, fresh alfalfa was wilted to a moderate DM content (355 g/kg) and a high DM content (428 g/kg). The wilted alfalfa was treated with (1) distilled water (control), (2) commercial strain L. plantarum MTD/1 (MTD/1), (3) bacteriocin-producing L. plantarum ATCC14917 (ATCC14917), and (4) a bacteriocin-like substance producing L. plantarum LP1-4 (LP1-4) at 1 × 105 colony forming units (CFU)/g fresh weight. After 90 d of ensiling, the silages were used for in vitro rumen fermentation. Inoculation with the two bacteriocin-producing strains at ensiling remarkably reduced (p < 0.05) in vitro ruminal CH4 production and enhanced DM digestibility compared with the control group regardless of DM content. For silages with high DM content, inoculation with the bacteriocin-producing strains even increased (p < 0.05) in vitro ruminal total volatile fatty acid production. Therefore, the bacteriocin-producing inoculants have a great potential to mitigate ruminal methane emission but without an adverse effect on rumen fermentation of the inoculated alfalfa silage.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-23
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030384
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 385: A Comparison of Semilandmarking Approaches in
           the Visualisation of Shape Differences

    • Authors: Wuyang Shui, Antonio Profico, Paul O’Higgins
      First page: 385
      Abstract: In landmark-based analyses of size and shape variation and covariation among biological structures, regions lacking clearly identifiable homologous landmarks are commonly described by semilandmarks. Different algorithms may be used to apply semilandmarks, but little is known about the consequences for analytical results. Here, we assess how different approaches and semilandmarking densities affect the estimates and visualisations of mean and allometrically scaled surfaces. The performance of three landmark-driven semilandmarking approaches is assessed using two different surface mesh datasets with different degrees of variation and complexity: adult human head and ape cranial surfaces. Surfaces fitted to estimates of the mean and allometrically scaled landmark and semilandmark configurations arising from GM analyses of these datasets are compared between semilandmarking approaches and different densities, as well as with those from warping to landmarks alone. We find that estimates of surface mesh shape (i.e., after re-semilandmarking and then re-warping) made with varying numbers of semilandmarks are generally consistent, while the warping of surfaces using landmarks alone yields surfaces that can be quite different to those based on semilandmarks, depending on landmark coverage and choice of template surface for warping. The extent to which these differences are important depends on the particular study context and aims.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-23
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030385
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 386: The Intriguing Biogeographic Pattern of the
           Italian Wall Lizard Podarcis siculus (Squamata: Lacertidae) in the Tuscan
           Archipelago Reveals the Existence of a New Ancient Insular Clade

    • Authors: Francesco Gallozzi, Claudia Corti, Riccardo Castiglia, Vasco Avramo, Gabriele Senczuk, Claudia Mattioni, Paolo Colangelo
      First page: 386
      Abstract: The Tuscan Archipelago is one of the most ancient and ecologically heterogeneous island systems in the Mediterranean. The biodiversity of these islands was strongly shaped by the Pliocene and Pleistocene sea regressions and transgression, resulting in different waves of colonization and isolation of species coming from the mainland. The Italian wall lizard, Podarcis siculus, is present on the following islands of the Tuscan Archipelago: Elba, Giglio, Giannutri, Capraia, Montecristo and Cerboli. The species in the area displays a relatively high morphological variability that in the past led to the description of several subspecies. In this study, both the genetic and morphological diversity of P. siculus of the Tuscan Archipelago were investigated. Specifically, the meristic characters and the dorsal pattern were analyzed, while the genetic relationships among these populations were explored with mtDNA and microsatellite nuclear markers to reconstruct the colonization history of the Archipelago. Our results converge in the identification of at least two different waves of colonization in the Archipelago: Elba, and the populations of Cerboli and Montecristo probably originate from historical introductions from mainland Tuscany, while those of Giglio and Capraia are surviving populations of an ancient lineage which colonized the Tuscan Archipelago during the Pliocene and which shares a common ancestry with the P. siculus populations of south-eastern Italy. Giannutri perhaps represents an interesting case of hybridization between the populations from mainland Tuscany and the Giglio-Capraia clade. Based on the high phenotypic and molecular distinctiveness of this ancient clade, these populations should be treated as distinct units deserving conservation and management efforts as well as further investigation to assess their taxonomic status.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-23
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030386
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 387: Localization of Chicken Rab22a in Cells and
           Its Relationship to BF or Ii Molecules and Genes

    • Authors: Fengmei Yu, Muhammad Akmal Raheem, Yang Tan, Muhammad Ajwad Rahim, Lisha Zha, Jun Zhang, Zhiwei Zhu, Zhonghua Li, Fangfang Chen
      First page: 387
      Abstract: Rab22a is an important small GTPase protein the molecule that is involved in intracellular transportation and regulation of proteins. It also plays an important role in antigens uptake, transportation, regulation of endosome morphology, and also regulates the transport of antigens to MHC (Major Histocompatibility Complex) molecules. To investigate the role of Rab22a, the intracellular co-localization of chicken Rab22a (cRab22a) molecule and its relationship to BF and chicken invariant chain (cIi) molecules was studied. A 3D protein structure of Rab22a was constructed by using informatics tools (DNASTAR 4.0 and DNAMAN). Based on the model, the corresponding recombinant eukaryotic plasmids were constructed by point mutations in the protein’s structural domains. HEK 293T cells were co-transfected with plasmids pEGFP-C1-cIi to observe the intracellular co-localization. Secondly, the DC2.4 Mouse Dendritic Cell and Murine RAW 264.7 cells were transfected with recombinant plasmids of pmCherry-cRab22a and pmCherry-mRab22a respectively. Subsequently, the intracellular localization of cRab22a in early and late endosomes was observed with specific antibodies against EEA1 and LAMP1 respectively. For gene expression-based studies, the cRab22a gene was down-regulated and up-regulated in HD11 cells, following the detection of transcription levels of the BFa (MHCIa) and cIi genes by real-time quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR). The interactions of the cRab22a gene with BFa and cIi were detected by co-immunoprecipitation (Co-IP) and Western blot. The results showed that the protein structures of chicken and mouse Rab22a were highly homologous (95.4%), and both localize to the early and late endosomes. Ser41 and Tyr74 are key amino acids in the Switch regions of Rab22a which maintain its intracellular localization. The down-regulation of cRab22a gene expression significantly reduced (p < 0.01) the transcription of BFa (MHCIa) and cIi in HD11 cells. However, when the expression of the cRab22a gene was increased 55 times as compared to control cells, the expression of the BFa (MHCIa) gene was increased 1.7 times compared to the control cells (p < 0.01), while the expression of the cIi gene did not significantly differ from control (p > 0.05). Western blot results showed that cRab22a could not directly bind to BFa and cIi. So, cRab22a can regulate BFa and cIi protein molecules indirectly. It is concluded that cRab22a was localized with cIi in the endosome. The Switch regions of cRab22a are the key domains that affect intracellular localization and colocalization of the cIi molecule.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-23
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030387
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 388: A Cross-Sectional Study of Commercial Ewe
           

    • Authors: Amy L. Bates, Shawn R. McGrath, Maxwell B. Allworth, Susan M. Robertson, Gordon Refshauge
      First page: 388
      Abstract: The management of ewes across southern Australia may vary with breed and can change over time and, as such, a greater understanding of producer management practices and the motivations that influence these practices is required. A cross-sectional study was performed by telephone interview with sheep producers managing Composite, Maternal, Merino or shedding ewe breeds mated in either spring, summer, or autumn. The surveyed producers were a unique subset of southern Australian producers. A large proportion of the surveyed producers followed current best practice guidelines for ewe mating and lambing nutritional management; however, some producers did not align with these targets. Further, some producers did not see the value in attaining the current recommendations. Pregnancy scanning was widely practiced, likely an artefact of the recruitment process; however, a few producers did not utilize this information for nutritional management at lambing time. Finally, most producers were active in their search for new information, seeking information regularly from a wide range of sources and reported making management changes within the last five years. Further work is required to understand why some producers are not adopting best practice where possible and to understand current barriers for adoption. Management guidelines for all sheep breeds are required to best manage sheep across southern Australia.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-23
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030388
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 389: The Thoracic Inlet Heart Size, a New Approach
           to Radiographic Cardiac Measurement

    • Authors: David Marbella Fernández, Verónica García, Alexis José Santana, José Alberto Montoya-Alonso
      First page: 389
      Abstract: In 1995, the Vertebral Heart Size (VHS) method for measuring the cardiac silhouette on thoracic radiographs was published, becoming a quantifiable and objective reference way of assessing the heart size. Since then, many studies have showed that VHS is influenced by breed variations, vertebral malformations, reference points selection, and short and long axes dimensions conversion into vertebral units. The Thoracic Inlet Heart Size (TIHS) normalizes heart size to body size using the thoracic inlet length. The lengths of the long and short axes of the heart of 144 clinically normal dogs were measured on right lateral thoracic radiographs. The sum of both measures was indexed to the thoracic inlet length. For comparison, dogs of the most represented breeds in our hospital were selected to measure their heart size using the TIHS protocol. The mean TIHS value for the population studied was 2.86 ± 0.27, and 90% of dogs had a TIHS value of less than 3.25. There was no difference in TIHS between male and female, and between small and large dogs (p-value < 0.01). There was no difference in the TIHS value between Yorkshire Terrier, Chihuahua, and Labrador retriever breeds, and between each of those three breeds and the general population. The TIHS is a simple, straightforward and accurate way to measure heart size.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-24
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030389
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 390: Is Markerless More or Less' Comparing a
           Smartphone Computer Vision Method for Equine Lameness Assessment to
           Multi-Camera Motion Capture

    • Authors: Felix Järemo Lawin, Anna Byström, Christoffer Roepstorff, Marie Rhodin, Mattias Almlöf, Mudith Silva, Pia Haubro Andersen, Hedvig Kjellström, Elin Hernlund
      First page: 390
      Abstract: Computer vision is a subcategory of artificial intelligence focused on extraction of information from images and video. It provides a compelling new means for objective orthopaedic gait assessment in horses using accessible hardware, such as a smartphone, for markerless motion analysis. This study aimed to explore the lameness assessment capacity of a smartphone single camera (SC) markerless computer vision application by comparing measurements of the vertical motion of the head and pelvis to an optical motion capture multi-camera (MC) system using skin attached reflective markers. Twenty-five horses were recorded with a smartphone (60 Hz) and a 13 camera MC-system (200 Hz) while trotting two times back and forth on a 30 m runway. The smartphone video was processed using artificial neural networks detecting the horse’s direction, action and motion of body segments. After filtering, the vertical displacement curves from the head and pelvis were synchronised between systems using cross-correlation. This rendered 655 and 404 matching stride segmented curves for the head and pelvis respectively. From the stride segmented vertical displacement signals, differences between the two minima (MinDiff) and the two maxima (MaxDiff) respectively per stride were compared between the systems. Trial mean difference between systems was 2.2 mm (range 0.0–8.7 mm) for head and 2.2 mm (range 0.0–6.5 mm) for pelvis. Within-trial standard deviations ranged between 3.1–28.1 mm for MC and between 3.6–26.2 mm for SC. The ease of use and good agreement with MC indicate that the SC application is a promising tool for detecting clinically relevant levels of asymmetry in horses, enabling frequent and convenient gait monitoring over time.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-24
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030390
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 391: Monitoring of the Endangered Cave Salamander
           Speleomantes sarrabusensis

    • Authors: Roberto Cogoni, Milos Di Gregorio, Fabio Cianferoni, Enrico Lunghi
      First page: 391
      Abstract: In this study, we performed the first monitoring activities on one of the most endangered amphibians in Europe, the Sette Fratelli cave salamander Speleomantes sarrabusensis. The data presented here are derived from two monitoring activities aiming to assess the status and abundance of four populations of S. sarrabusensis. With the first monitoring, we surveyed the well-known population occurring within artificial springs during the period 2015–2018, providing monthly data on the number of active individuals. With the second monitoring performed during spring to early summer of 2022, we surveyed four populations at three time points (the one from artificial springs and three from forested areas) and we provided the first estimation of the populations’ abundance. Furthermore, we analyzed for the first time the stomach contents from a population of S. sarrabusensis only occurring in forested environments. With our study, we provided the first information on the abundance of different populations of S. sarrabusensis, representing the starting point for future status assessments for this endangered species.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-24
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030391
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 392: Broadening the Veterinary Consultation: Dog
           Owners Want to Talk about More than Physical Health

    • Authors: Helena Hale, Emily Blackwell, Claire Roberts, Emma Roe, Siobhan Mullan
      First page: 392
      Abstract: Few veterinary professionals use formal quality of life (QOL) assessment tools despite their recommendation from veterinary governing bodies to enable holistic welfare assessments and target welfare improvement strategies. Perceived barriers include resistance from owners, and this study aimed to elucidate understanding of dog owner engagement with conversations and tools relating to QOL. An online survey that investigated owner experience, comfort, and opinions about vet-client discussions on topics connected to canine health and well-being, including QOL, was completed by 410 owners. Almost all owners (95.8%) were reportedly comfortable discussing QOL, yet only 32% reported their vets had addressed it. A high proportion of owners (70.8%) expressed interest in assessment tools, but only 4.4% had experienced one, none of which were QOL tools per se. Semi-structured interviews of a sub-set of four owners provided a more in-depth examination of their experience of a health and well-being assessment tool. Thematic analysis generated three themes: ‘Use of assessment tools supports client-vet relationship and empowers owners’, ‘Owners want to talk about holistic dog care’, and ‘Owner feelings on the wider application of assessment tools’. Overall, our findings suggest that owners want to broaden the veterinary consultation conversation to discuss QOL and are interested in using tools, and therefore veterinary perceptions of owner-related barriers to tool application appear unfounded. Indeed, tool uptake appears to improve the vet-client relationship and boost owner confidence.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-24
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030392
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 393: Solid-State Fermentation of Plant Feedstuff
           Mixture Affected the Physiological Responses of European Seabass
           (Dicentrarchus labrax) Reared at Different Temperatures and Subjected to
           Salinity Oscillation

    • Authors: Diogo Amaral, Diogo Moreira Filipe, Thais Franco Cavalheri, Lúcia Vieira, Rui Pedro Magalhães, Isabel Belo, Helena Peres, Rodrigo O. de A. Ozório
      First page: 393
      Abstract: This study aimed to evaluate the effects of dietary inclusion of plant feedstuff mixture (PFM) pre-treated by solid-state fermentation (SSF) on the physiological responses of European seabass. For that purpose, two diets were formulated to contain: 20% inclusion level of non-fermented plant ingredients mixture (20Mix) and 20Mix fermented by A. niger in SSF conditions (20Mix-SSF). Seabass juveniles (initial body weight: 20.9 ± 3.3 g) were fed the experimental diets, reared at two different temperatures (21 and 26 °C) and subjected to weekly salinity oscillations for six weeks. Growth performance, digestive enzyme activities, humoral immune parameters, and oxidative stress indicators were evaluated. A reduction in weight gain, feed intake, and thermal growth coefficient was observed in fish fed the fermented diet (20Mix-SSF). Salinity oscillation led to an increase in weight gain, feed efficiency, daily growth index, and thermal growth coefficient, regardless of dietary treatment. Higher rearing temperatures also increased daily growth index. No dietary effect was observed on digestive enzymes activities, whereas rearing temperature and salinity oscillation modulated digestive enzyme activities. Oxidative stress responses were significantly affected by experimental diets, temperature, and salinity conditions. Catalase and glutathione peroxidase activities showed an interactive effect. Fish reared at 21 °C showed higher enzymatic activity when fed the 20Mix-SSF. Conversely, fish reared at 26 °C showed higher GPx activity when fed the 20Mix diet. Fish reared at 26 °C showed reduced peroxidase and lysozyme activities, while salinity fluctuation led to increased lysozyme activity and decreased ACH50 activity. ACH50 activity increased in fish fed the 20Mix-SSF. Overall, the dietary inclusion of PFM fermented by A. niger was unable to mitigate the impact of environmental stress on physiological performance in European seabass. In fact, fermented feed caused an inhibition of growth performances and an alteration of some physiological stress indicators.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-24
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030393
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 394: Challenging Future Generations: A Qualitative
           Study of Students’ Attitudes toward the Transition to Animal-Free
           Innovations in Education and Research

    • Authors: Andreoli, Vlasblom, Drost, Meijboom, Salvatori
      First page: 394
      Abstract: In 2016, the Dutch government declared its commitment to phasing out animal experiments by 2025. Although a high number of animal experiments are still performed and the 2025 target will not be met, the commitment remains. Efforts are being made to identify levers that might foster the transition to animal-free science. Education has been found to play a key role in the future of animal-free science and young generations are increasingly seen as key stakeholders. However, their attitudes toward the transition to animal-free innovations have not been investigated. The present article focuses on the values and beliefs held by students, who in 2022, participated in the course ‘Replacing Animal Testing’ (RAT) Challenge, organized by a consortium of Dutch universities. Contextually, students’ motivations to follow the course were investigated. The research was based on a qualitative study, including semi-structured interviews and a literature review. Our analysis of the findings revealed that students feel aligned with the social, ethical, and scientific reasons that support the transition to animal-free innovations. Moreover, the participants identified a series of regulatory, educational, cultural, and political obstacles to the transition that align with those identified in recent literature. From the discussion of these findings, we extrapolated six fundamental challenges that need to be addressed to foster the transition to animal-free science in an acceptable and responsible way.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-24
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030394
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 395: Characterization of Type I and Type III
           Collagen in the Intramuscular Connective Tissue of Wuzhumuqin Sheep

    • Authors: Xige He, Qiong Wu, Wenjun Xue, Rihan Wu, Yajuan Huang, Lu Chen, Yunfei Han, Jindi Wu, Gerelt Borjigin, Rina Sha
      First page: 395
      Abstract: Intramuscular connective tissue (IMCT) collagen is an important factor in meat quality. This study analyzed the characteristics of type I and III collagen in the IMCT of the semitendinosus (SD) and longissimus dorsi (LD) of Wuzhumuqin sheep at different growth stages (6, 9, 12, and 18 months). Utilizing sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), collagen types I and III were successfully isolated and shown to contain an intact triple helix structure. Immunofluorescence revealed that these collagens were located in the endomysium and perimysium. Collagen-related genes were significantly expressed in sheep aged 9 and 12 months. The amino acid content increased with age in type I collagen whereas it decreased in type III collagen. Furthermore, type III collagen contained more hydroxyproline (Hyd) than type I collagen. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) revealed that the thermal stability of collagen increased with age, accompanied by a decrease in solubility. Semitendinosus muscle had more collagen cross-linkages than LD muscle due to the high pyridinoline (Pyr) content in the endomysium. Finally, a correlation analysis highlighted the multiple correlations between characteristics in different types of collagen during sheep growth. In summary, the collagen characteristics in the IMCT of sheep were impacted by collagen type, muscle type, and age. Furthermore, the various correlations between these characteristics may play an important role in the development of IMCT.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-24
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030395
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 396: Cortisol Variations to Estimate the
           

    • Authors: Sergi Olvera-Maneu, Annaïs Carbajal, Paula Serres-Corral, Manel López-Béjar
      First page: 396
      Abstract: In many countries, horses remain involved in traditional equestrian events such as those celebrated in Menorca (Balearic Islands, Spain) every year since at least the 14th century. The present study aimed to evaluate the variations in salivary cortisol concentrations to estimate the physiological stress response in horses at the Menorca patronal festivals. Two different editions (years 2016 and 2018) of the festivals in honor of the Virgin of Grace in Maó (Menorca, Spain) were studied. Nineteen and seventeen Pure Breed Menorca stallions were included in the study, respectively. The stallions were aged between seven and twelve years. During celebrations, samples were collected before the start of the festivals between 8–9 a.m. and during the festivals at 8–9 p.m. On the second day of celebrations, the samples were collected at 8–9 a.m. and 3–4 p.m. Finally, on the day after the festivals, one sample was collected at 8–9 p.m. Additionally, a control group was sampled at 8–9 a.m., 3–4 p.m., and 8–9 p.m. Salivary cortisol concentrations were assessed by using a commercial enzyme immunoassay kit specially validated to quantify salivary cortisol in horses. Salivary cortisol concentrations did not show significant differences between sampling hours in the control group (p > 0.05). All the samples collected during festivals were significantly higher than samples of the control group (p < 0.05). Within the twenty-four hours after the end of the celebrations, cortisol concentrations returned to baseline levels and did not differ significantly from the control group (p > 0.05). Hence, the present study describes that the participation of the horses in these particular acts generate an acute and transitory stress response. Overall, the current work provides a reasonable basis for future research on the stress physiology and well-being of horses participating in traditional celebrations or similar events.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-24
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030396
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 397: Responses of Micropterus salmoides under
           Ammonia Stress and the Effects of a Potential Ammonia Antidote

    • Authors: Zhenlu Wang, Xingchen Guo, Jiao Tu, Xuan Shi, Lei Gan, Muzi Zhang, Haibo Jiang, Xiaoxue Zhang, Jian Shao
      First page: 397
      Abstract: Ammonia is a common environmental limiting factor in aquaculture. To investigate the effects of ammonia stress and explore the protective effect of N-carbamylglutamate (NCG) on Micropterus salmoides (M. salmoides), tissue sections and parameters related to oxidative stress and the inflammatory response in M. salmoides were carried out during the ammonia stress test and feeding test. The results demonstrated that the LC50 for 24 h, 48 h, 72 h, and 96 h under ammonia stress in M. salmoides were 25.78 mg/L, 24.40 mg/L, 21.90 mg/L, and 19.61 mg/L, respectively. Under ammonia stress, the structures of the tissues were damaged, and the GSH content decreased, while the MDA content increased with the increase in stress time and ammonia concentration. The NO content fluctuated significantly after the ammonia nitrogen stress. In the 15-day feeding test, with the increased NCG addition amount and feeding time, the GSH content increased while the MDA and NO contents decreased gradually in the NCG addition groups (NL group: 150 mg/kg; NM group: 450 mg/kg; NH group: 750 mg/kg) when compared with their control group (CK group: 0 mg/kg). In the ammonia toxicology test after feeding, the damage to each tissue was alleviated in the NL, NM, and NH groups, and the contents of GSH, MDA, and NO in most tissues of the NH group were significantly different from those in the CK group. The results suggested that ammonia stress caused tissue damage in M. salmoides, provoking oxidative stress and inflammatory response. The addition of NCG to the feed enhances the anti-ammonia ability of M. salmoides. Moreover, the gill and liver might be the target organs of ammonia toxicity, and the brain and kidney might be the primary sites where NCG exerts its effects. Our findings could help us to find feasible ways to solve the existing problem of environmental stress in M. salmoides culture.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-24
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030397
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 398: Gross, Histologic and Immunohistochemical
           Characteristics of Keratoacanthomas in Lizards

    • Authors: Solanes, Chiers, Kik, Hellebuyck
      First page: 398
      Abstract: The present study describes the clinical behavior as well as the histopathologic and immunohistochemical characteristics of keratoacanthomas (Kas) in three different saurian species. While Kas presented as two dermal lesions in a bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps), multicentric Kas were observed in three panther chameleons (Furcifer pardalis) and a veiled chameleon (Chamaeleo calyptratus). Macroscopically, Kas presented as dome-shaped skin tumors with a centralized keratinous pearl and a diameter ranging from 0.1–1.5 cm. In all lizards, Kas were predominantly located at the dorsolateral body wall, and KA of the eyelid was additionally observed in three out of four chameleons. Histologically, KAs presented as relatively well-defined, circumscribed epidermal proliferations that consisted of a crateriform lesion containing a central keratinous pearl with minimally infiltrating borders. In all KAs, a consistent immunohistochemical pattern was observed, with the expression of cyclooxygenase-2, E-cadherin, and pan-cytokeratin. A follow-up period of one to two years was established in all lizards. While no recurrence was observed in the panther chameleons, recurrence of a single keratoacanthoma was observed in the bearded dragon after one year, and in the veiled chameleon, multicentric keratoacanthomas reappeared during a follow-up period of two years. We describe KA as a previously unrecognized neoplastic entity in lizards that constitutes a low-grade, non-invasive but rapidly growing skin tumor that may show a multicentric appearance, especially in chameleons. As previously postulated for dermal squamous cell carcinomas (SCC), artificial ultraviolet lighting may play an important role in the oncogenesis of KAs in lizards. Although dermal SCCs in lizards show similar predilection sites and gross pathologic features, our results suggest that KA should be considered as a histologic variant of SCC that represents a rather benign squamous proliferation in comparison to conventional SCCs. Early diagnosis of KA and reliable discrimination from SCCs are essential for the prognosis of this neoplastic entity in lizards.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-24
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030398
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 399: Effects of the In Ovo Administration of
           L-ascorbic Acid on the Performance and Incidence of Corneal Erosion in
           Ross 708 Broilers Subjected to Elevated Levels of Atmospheric Ammonia

    • Authors: Ayoub Mousstaaid, Seyed Abolghasem Fatemi, Katie Elaine Collins Elliott, April Waguespack Levy, William Wadd Miller, Hammad A. Olanrewaju, Joseph L. Purswell, Patrick D. Gerard, Edgar David Peebles
      First page: 399
      Abstract: Effects of the in ovo injection of various levels of L-ascorbic acid (L-AA) on the performance and corneal erosion incidence in Ross 708 broilers exposed to 50 parts per million (ppm) of atmospheric ammonia (NH3) after hatch were determined. A total of 1440 Ross 708 broiler embryos were randomly assigned to 4 treatments: non-injected (control), 0.85% sterile saline-injected (control), or saline containing 12 or 25 mg of L-AA. At hatch, 12 male chicks were randomly assigned to each of 48 battery cages with 12 replicate cages randomly assigned to each treatment group. All birds were exposed to 50 ppm of NH3 for 35 d and the concentration of NH3 in the battery cage house was recorded every 20 s. Mortality was determined daily, and mean body weight (BW), BW gain (BWG), average daily BW gain (ADG), and feed intake, as well as feed conversion ratio (FCR), were determined weekly. From 0 to 35 d of post-hatch age (doa), six birds from each cage were selected and sampled for eye erosion scoring. Incidences of corneal erosion were significantly higher at 21 and 28 doa in comparison to those at 14 and 35 doa, and at 21 doa, birds in the saline-injected group exhibited a higher incidence of corneal erosion compared to all other treatment groups. The in ovo injection of 12 mg of L-AA increased BWG (p = 0.043) and ADG (p = 0.041), and decreased FCR (p = 0.043) from 0 to 28 doa in comparison to saline-injected controls. In conclusion the in ovo administration of 12 mg of L-AA may have the potential to improve the live performance of broilers chronically exposed to high aerial NH3 concentrations, but further study is needed to determine the physiological and immunological factors that may contribute to this improvement.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-24
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030399
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 400: Transcriptome Analysis of Marbled Rockfish
           Sebastiscus marmoratus under Salinity Stress

    • Authors: He, Shou, Han
      First page: 400
      Abstract: The marbled rockfish, Sebastiscus marmoratus, belongs to the euryhaline fish and is an oviparous scleractinian fish. There are few studies on the adaptation mechanism, functional genes, and related pathways of S. marmoratus and salinity. The results showed that a total of 72.1 GB of clean reads were obtained and all clean reads annotated a total of 25,278 Unigenes, of which 2160 were novel genes. Compared to 20‰, 479 and 520 differential genes were obtained for 35‰ and 10‰, respectively. Gene ontology (GO) enrichment analysis revealed significant enrichment in protein binding, ion binding, ATP binding, and catalytic activity. Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) showed that differentially expressed genes significantly expressed under salinity stress were mainly involved in the pathways of the cytochrome P450 metabolism of xenobiotics, tryptophan metabolism, cellular senescence, and calcium signaling pathways. Among them, pik3r6b, cPLA2γ-like, and WSB1 were differentially expressed in all three groups, and they were associated with apoptosis, inflammation, DNA damage, immune regulation, and other physiological processes. Six differentially expressed genes were randomly selected for qRT-PCR validation, and the results showed that the transcriptomic data were of high confidence.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-24
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030400
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 401: Soil Organic Matter and Nutrient Levels in
           Outdoor Runs in Organic Laying Farms

    • Authors: Michele Zoli, Paolo Mantovi, Paolo Ferrari, Lorenzo Ferrari, Valentina Ferrante
      First page: 401
      Abstract: To evaluate the nutrient load due to the grazing of laying hens in outdoor runs, monitoring of soil characteristics was conducted in three Italian organic farms. For each farm, soil samples were taken from three increasing distances from the hen house and two depths, and different chemical parameters were evaluated. The comparison among the results from the different distances shows that N-NO3 and Olsen P are the most affected parameters by hen feces: both present high values with a statistically significant difference in the area close to the poultry house and for the most superficial layer. Even TKN and TOC show significant differences between the concentrations of the first layer (more concentrated) and those of the second layer (less concentrated). In general, the surface soil layer closest to the chicken house is the portion of the outdoor run most affected by chicken droppings and represents the most critical point in terms of potential environmental impact. Therefore, it is necessary to intensify the management of the outdoor run with tools that can facilitate the grazing of animals and with vegetation that can absorb nutrients by limiting leaching and runoff.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-25
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030401
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 402: Effects of an Endocrine Disruptor Triclosan
           on Ruditapes decussatus: Multimarker and Histological Approaches

    • Authors: Amira Added, Noureddine Khalloufi, Abdelhafidh Khazri, Abdel Halim Harrath, Lamjed Mansour, Saber Nahdi, Fehmi Boufahja, Waleed Aldahmash, Abdulwahed Fahad Alrefaei, Mohamed Dellali
      First page: 402
      Abstract: The aim of this work was to study the ecotoxicological effects of an endocrine disruptor triclosan on the clam Ruditapes decussatus. The bivalves were exposed to three concentrations of this biocide (C1 = 100 ng/L, C2 = 200 ng/L and C3 = 500 ng/L) for three and seven days. The impact was assessed at the gills and digestive glands, through activities of an antioxidant defense biomarker (Gluthatione S-Transferase, GST), a damage biomarker (Malondialdehyde, MDA), and a neurotoxicity biomarker (Acetylcholinesterase, AChE). Furthermore, histological traits were approached in different organs to evaluate any possible alteration induced by triclosan. It appears from this study that both gills and digestive glands responded discernibly to triclosan and effects were concentration-dependent. The stressed clams showed a significant increase in their GST and MDA activities in gills and digestive glands compared to controls for both time slots considered. In turn, the AChE activity was clearly inhibited in both organs in a time dependent way. The histological study made it possible to observe several structural pathologies caused by triclosan in the gills and the digestive gland. These alterations consisted mainly of inflammatory reactions, malformations of the lamellae and fusion of the gill filaments, degeneration of the connective tissue, and the erosion of the gill cilia with the appearance of certain severe alterations (cell necrosis and apoptosis), which can thus cause a malfunction of the gills and eventually lead to a reduction in oxygen consumption and a disruption of the osmoregulation for bivalves. Alterations in the digestive gland have also been detected, mainly by epithelial alterations, thinning of the tubules, and alteration of the basal cell membrane which can impair the ability of clams to absorb food. At germinal cells, several damages were observed in the oocytes which probably disturbed the reproductive function and the fertility of the clams. The damages observed in female gonads were caused by the cytolysis of a large number of oocytes through autophagy and necrosis at 200 ng triclosan/L. Moreover, at 500 ng triclosan/L, hemocytic infiltration was observed in acini and apoptotic bodies reflected in the fragmentation of more than 90% of oocytes.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-25
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030402
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 403: Proof-of-Concept Study of an
           Alpha-Fetoprotein-Derived Peptide for the Management of Canine Mammary
           Cancer

    • Authors: James A. Bennett, Ann Hohenhaus, Thomas T. Andersen
      First page: 403
      Abstract: Novel, well-tolerated drugs are needed for the management of canine mammary cancer. Many of these cancers are promoted in their growth by estrogen. Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) is a ubiquitous mammalian protein that has anti-estrogenic properties. AFPep (the anti-estrogenic site of AFP) has been developed into a readily synthesizable drug. AFPep has been shown to have anti-mammary cancer activity in several models of this disease, both in cell culture and in rodents. The purpose of the study reported herein was to determine the tolerability of AFPep in normal and tumor-bearing dogs. AFPep was given to dogs via both parenteral and oral routes in a single application and in repeated daily doses. Full clinical chemistry and hematology values were determined before and after drug administration. Blood levels of the drug were achieved in dogs that had been previously found to be oncostatic in rodents. No changes in clinical chemistry, hematology, and clinical behaviors were found in dogs following drug administration. The data support the further development of AFPep for clinical use against canine mammary cancer.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-25
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030403
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 404: Effect of Dietary Phosphate Deprivation on
           Red Blood Cell Parameters of Periparturient Dairy Cows

    • Authors: Lianne M. van den van den Brink, Imke Cohrs, Lennart Golbeck, Sophia Wächter, Paul Dobbelaar, Erik Teske, Walter Grünberg
      First page: 404
      Abstract: Postparturient hemoglobinuria is a sporadic disease characterized by intravascular hemolysis and hemoglobinuria in early lactating dairy cows. The condition has empirically been associated with phosphorus (P) deficiency or hypophosphatemia; however, the exact etiology remains obscure. This paper summarizes two controlled studies investigating the effect of P deprivation during the transition period. In Study I, 36 late pregnant dairy cows were randomly assigned to either a diet with low, or adequate, P content from four weeks before calving to four weeks after calving. In Study II, 30 late pregnant dairy cows were again assigned to either a diet with low, or adequate, P for the last four weeks before calving only. Pronounced hypophosphatemia developed during periods of restricted P supply. In early lactation, a subtle decline of the red blood cell count occurred independently of the dietary P supply. In Study I, anemia developed in 11 cows on deficient P supply, which was associated with hemoglobinuria in five cases. Neither erythrocyte total P content nor osmotic resistance of erythrocytes were altered by dietary P deprivation. Restricted dietary P supply, particularly in early lactation, may lead to postparturient hemoglobinuria, but more frequently causes clinically inapparent hemolysis and anemia in cows.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-25
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030404
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 405: Evaluation of a Viscoelastic Coagulation
           Monitoring System (VCM Vet®) and Its Correlation with
           Thromboelastometry (ROTEM®) in Diseased and Healthy Dogs

    • Authors: Imke Hennink, Laureen Peters, Geert van Geest, Katja-Nicole Adamik
      First page: 405
      Abstract: Thromboelastometry provides a real-time assessment of global coagulation in whole blood. A novel bed-side viscoelastic coagulation monitor (VCM) has been developed for use in small animals. The aims of the study were to determine inter-device agreement of two VCM devices, to evaluate the correlation between VCM and rotational thromboelastometry as a reference method (ROTEM), and to determine the sensitivity and specificity of VCM to diagnose hypo-, normo-, and hypercoagulability. ROTEM (extrinsic and intrinsic activation) analysis was performed using citrated blood and VCM analysis using native blood. Twenty healthy and forty diseased dogs with and without coagulopathies were enrolled. The VCM inter-device agreement was moderate to strong for most of the parameters, depending on the grading scale. Correlation between VCM and ROTEM was moderate to strong for parameters of clotting time and clot strength. The VCM most likely detects true hypocoagulability and reliably rules out hypocoagulability. The VCM has a high sensitivity in diagnosing normocoagulability, but incorrectly classified dogs with abnormal coagulation as normocoagulable. The VCM was not able to detect hypercoagulability. ROTEM and VCM cannot be used interchangeably.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-25
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13030405
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 306: Effects of Different-Syllable Aggressive
           Calls on Food Intake and Gene Expression in Vespertilio sinensis

    • Authors: Xin Li, Ruizhu Zhou, Lei Feng, Hui Wang, Jiang Feng, Hui Wu
      First page: 306
      Abstract: Social animals enjoy colony benefits but are also exposed to social stress, which affects their physiology in many ways, including alterations to their energy intake, metabolism, and even gene expression. Aggressive calls are defined as calls emitted during aggressive conflicts between individuals of the same species over resources, such as territory, food, or mates. Aggressive calls produced by animals in different aggressive states indicate different levels of competitive intentions. However, whether aggressive calls produced in different aggressive states exert different physiological effects on animals has yet to be determined. Importantly, bats live in clusters and frequently produce aggressive calls of different syllables, thus providing an ideal model for investigating this question. Here, we conducted playback experiments to investigate the effects of two types of aggressive calls representing different competitive intentions on food intake, body mass, corticosterone (CORT) concentration, and gene expression in Vespertilio sinensis. We found that the playback of both aggressive calls resulted in a significant decrease in food intake and body mass, and bats in the tonal-syllable aggressive-calls (tonal calls) playback group exhibited a more significant decrease when compared to the noisy-syllable aggressive-calls (noisy calls) playback group. Surprisingly, the weight and food intake in the white-noise group decreased the most when compared to before playback. Transcriptome results showed that, when compared to the control and white-noise groups, differentially expressed genes (DEGs) involved in energy and metabolism were detected in the noisy-calls playback group, and DEGs involved in immunity and disease were detected in the tonal-calls playback group. These results suggested that the playback of the two types of aggressive calls differentially affected body mass, food intake, and gene expression in bats. Notably, bat responses to external-noise playback (synthetic white noise) were more pronounced than the playback of the two aggressive calls, suggesting that bats have somewhat adapted to internal aggressive calls. Comparative transcriptome analysis suggested that the playback of the two syllabic aggressive calls disrupted the immune system and increased the risk of disease in bats. This study provides new insight into how animals differ in response to different social stressors and anthropogenic noise.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-15
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13020306
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 307: Application of an Adapted Behaviour Change
           Wheel to Assistance Dog Puppy Raising: A Proposed Raiser-Centred Support
           Program

    • Authors: Dac L. Mai, Tiffani Howell, Pree Benton, Pauleen C. Bennett
      First page: 307
      Abstract: Puppy raising (PR) programs recruit volunteer community members (raisers) to raise assistance dog (AD) candidates from puppyhood until the dogs are ready for advanced training. Once qualified, ADs assist human handlers with a disability to live more independently. Unfortunately, about 50% of all puppies do not meet the behavioural standards required for further training after completing a PR program. This increases costs and lengthens the time taken for a handler to obtain an AD. Research has identified several factors that influence raisers’ experiences. It has also shown that raisers’ socialisation and training practices affect perceived puppy behaviour. Drawing on the argument that puppy raiser practices are central to improving overall puppy raising program outcomes, this paper interprets recent findings within the framework provided by the behaviour change wheel—an established behaviour change framework—to suggest a coordinated approach to supporting puppy raisers. The recommendations will allow future research to employ more objective measures and more rigorous experimental designs as the field attempts to corroborate existing findings and develop evidence-based models of practice.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-16
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13020307
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 308: Differential Expression of Innate and
           Adaptive Immune Genes during Acute Physical Exercise in American Quarter
           Horses

    • Authors: Judith Wilson, Marcos De Donato, Brooke Appelbaum, Carly Turner Garcia, Sunday Peters
      First page: 308
      Abstract: Overtraining syndrome (OTS) is the reduction in performance due to excess training and lack of proper recovery, which can lead to a chronic deprivation of energy and reduction in the repair of damage that can accumulate over time. Here, the effect of acute, intense physical exercise on the expression of innate and adaptive immune genes in 12 racing-bred American Quarter Horses, after resting for 3 days and immediately after intense exercise for 1.8 miles were compared. The expression of 84 genes related to innate and adaptive immune responses was analyzed. Significant variation among individuals and between sexes was observed. The analysis showed that five genes were differentially expressed in both females and males, three only in females, and two in males. The upregulated genes were IL13 (male only), CCR4 (female only), TLR6, TLR9 (female only), NFKBIA, CXCR3, and TLR4, while the downregulated genes were IL6 (female only), CD4 (male only), and MYD88. The three main pathways containing genes that were affected by acute, intense physical exercise were Th1 and Th2 cell differentiation, and the NF-kappa B and chemokine signaling pathways, suggesting the activation of the proinflammatory responses as a result of the stress from the acute exercise. Gene expression could be used to assess indications of OTS.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-16
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13020308
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 309: Post-Thaw Quality of Spermatozoa Frozen with
           Three Different Extenders in the Murciano Granadina Goat Breed

    • Authors: Sonia Galián, Begoña Peinado, Laura Almela, Ángel Poto, Salvador Ruiz
      First page: 309
      Abstract: Artificial insemination (AI) with frozen semen in goats still presents serious difficulties, especially in certain goat breeds, in spite of technological progress. The aim of this work is the in vitro study of seminal extenders adapted from those used on other species to evaluate the response of goat sperm to several homeostatic conditions in order to achieve optimal post-thaw semen quality. Three different extenders based on different activity principles were used: (1) extender according to the methodology proposed for pigs, (2) skimmed-milk-based extender according to the methodology proposed for goats in France, and (3) a new egg-yolk-based extender replacing membrane-protective surfactants with sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) and named by our team as extender “IMIDA”. The freezing guidelines were those proposed for the freezing of porcine semen. The results obtained show that the egg-yolk-based extenders have good parameters of sperm motility at thawing, studied objectively using the computer-assisted sperm analysis (CASA) system and also subjectively. In particular, in the sperm resistance test after five hours, the thawed sperm containing SDS in their composition showed an optimal average on every evaluated parameter. The new IMIDA extender provided the highest sperm quality averages, so it could be a good extender to use in cryopreservation of semen in the caprine species.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-16
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13020309
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 310: Time Farms Stay Naïve for Porcine
           Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome

    • Authors: Mariana Kikuti, Catalina Picasso-Risso, Claudio Marcello Melini, Cesar A. Corzo
      First page: 310
      Abstract: Background: Hesitation on eliminating Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome virus (PRRSV) from breeding herds exists since it is difficult to predict how long the herd will remain virus-free. We aimed to estimate the time that breeding herds remained virus-free (naïve) after PRRSV elimination was achieved. Methods: Production systems voluntarily shared their breeding herds’ health status weekly between July 2009 and October 2021. PRRSV incidence rate and the total number of days a breeding herd remained virus-free were estimated. Results: A total of 221 (17%) herds reached the naïve status 273 times. The median time sites remained in this status was approximately two years. The overall PRRS incidence rate after sites achieved a naïve status was 23.43 PRRS outbreaks per 100 farm years. Conclusion: Estimates obtained here provide insights on how frequently and for how long sites remain naïve, which contribute to informing management practices for PRRS control.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-16
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13020310
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 311: A Case of Bovine Eosinophilic Myositis (BEM)
           

    • Authors: Filippo Maria Dini, Monica Caffara, Joana G. P. Jacinto, Cinzia Benazzi, Arcangelo Gentile, Roberta Galuppi
      First page: 311
      Abstract: Bovine eosinophilic myositis (BEM) is a specific inflammatory myopathy, often associated with Sarcocystis spp., with multifocal gray-green lesions leading to carcass condemnation with considerable economic losses. Here is described a peculiar case of BEM that occurred in an adult (16 month) cattle, born in France, bred, and slaughtered in Italy at the end of 2021. On inspection, muscles showed the typical multifocal gray-green lesions that were sampled for, cytological, histological, and molecular investigations, while meat juice was subjected to IFAT for Toxoplasma IgG. Genomic DNA was extracted from lesions, portions of healthy muscle and from meat juice pellet and analyzed by PCR targeting 18S rDNA, COI mtDNA and B1 genes, and sequenced. The cytology showed inflammatory cells mostly referable to eosinophils; at histology, protozoan cysts and severe granulomatous myositis were observed. A BEM lesion and meat juice pellet subjected to PCR showed, concurrently, sequences referable both to S. hominis and T. gondii. Meat juice IFAT resulted negative for T. gondii IgG. Our findings highlight the first detection of T. gondii DNA in association with S. hominis in a BEM case, suggesting a multiple parasite infection associated with this pathology, although the actual role of T. gondii infection in the pathophysiology of the diseases should be clarified.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-16
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13020311
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 312: Detection and Genomic Characterization of
           Bovine Rhinitis Virus in China

    • Authors: Yuxing Zhou, Xi Chen, Cheng Tang, Hua Yue
      First page: 312
      Abstract: Bovine rhinitis virus (BRV) is an etiological agent of bovine respiratory disease complex (BRDC) and can be divided into two genotypes—bovine rhinitis A virus (BRAV) and bovine rhinitis B virus (BRBV). However, knowledge about the prevalence and molecular information of BRV in China is still limited. In this study, 163 deep nasal swabs collected from bovines with BRDC syndrome on 16 farms across nine provinces of China were tested for BRAV and BRBV by a duplex real-time RT-PCR assay. The results showed that 28.22% (46/163) of the samples were BRV-positive, and the positive rates were 22.09% (36/163) for BRAV and 9.2% (15/163) for BRBV. The co-circulation of both BRV genotypes was observed on two farms. Furthermore, five near-complete BRV genomes, including three BRAVs and two BRBVs, were obtained. The phylogenetic analysis showed that the three obtained BRAVs were phylogenetically independent, while the two BRBVs exhibited significant genetic heterogeneity. Recombination analysis revealed that three BRAVs and one BRBV strain obtained in this study were recombinants. The present study confirmed the presence and prevalence of BRAV in China, and it found that both types of BRV are circulating in beef cattle, which contributes to a better understanding of the prevalence and molecular characteristics of BRV.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-16
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13020312
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 313: Morphostructural Differences between the
           Historical Genetic Lines of the Spanish Merino Sheep

    • Authors: Antonio Granero, Gabriel Anaya, María J. Alcalde
      First page: 313
      Abstract: The Merino breed, which originates from Spain, is the most emblematic livestock breed in the world, since it is the first with a worldwide extension and has had an important impact on the genetic origin of several of the main current sheep populations. For this reason, it is of vital importance to typify the historical genetic lines of the original Spanish Merino breed and thereby ensure the conservation of its variability. In the present study, we used 337 purebred animals (males and females) registered in the Genealogical Book of the Native Merino Breed. All the animals were descendants of herds from six ancestral genetic lines (Maesso, Egea, Granda, López-Montenegro, Hidalgo, and Donoso). Significant differences were found in all the morphometric traits and indexes between the different genetic lines. Using discriminant analysis, 84% of the animals were classified correctly into their historical genetic lines. Furthermore, the distances between the lines, calculated by a cluster test, showed that Hidalgo, Maesso, and Donoso had the most clearly defined lines, while the Granda, López-Montenegro, and Egea lines were more similar to each other. All this demonstrates the rich genetic variability existing in the genuine gene pool of the Merino sheep breed.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-16
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13020313
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 314: A Preliminary Report of Plastic Ingestion by
           Hawksbill and Green Turtles in the Saudi Arabian Red Sea

    • Authors: Lyndsey K. Tanabe, Jesse E. M. Cochran, Royale S. Hardenstine, Kirsty Scott, Michael L. Berumen
      First page: 314
      Abstract: (1) Background: Plastic pollution is a major environmental concern confronting marine animals. Sea turtles are considered a bio-indicator of plastic pollution, but there is little information regarding plastic ingestion by turtles in the Red Sea. With large-scale development projects being built along the Saudi Arabian coast, it is important to have a baseline for plastic ingestion before construction is complete. (2) Methods: Ten deceased sea turtles (four hawksbill and six green turtles) were collected along the Saudi Arabian coastline. Necropsies were conducted, and the entire gastrointestinal tracts were extracted and the contents were passed through a 1 mm mesh sieve. (3) Results: We found that 40% of the turtles in this study had ingested plastics. Thread-like plastics were the most common plastic category, and multi-colored was the most prevalent color category. (4) Conclusions: Monitoring of the plastic ingestion by marine megafauna should be conducted as a long-term assessment of the developments’ impacts. Additionally, conservation efforts should be focused on removing plastics (namely ghost nests and fishing lines) from the reefs and reducing the amount of plastic entering the sea.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-16
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13020314
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 315: Cytotoxicity and Antimicrobial Resistance of
           Salmonella enterica Subspecies Isolated from Raised Reptiles in Beijing,
           China

    • Authors: Dingka Song, Xuebai He, Yiming Chi, Zhao Zhang, Jing Shuai, Hui Wang, Qiuming Li, Mengze Du
      First page: 315
      Abstract: Background: Reptiles are asymptomatic carriers of Salmonella spp. Reptile-associated Salmonella infections have been noticed as a significant contributor to overall human salmonellosis. However, it remains unclear regarding the prevalence of reptile-associated Salmonella in China. Methods: Fecal and gastrointestinal mucosal samples were taken from 104 snakes, 21 lizards, and 52 chelonians and cultured on selective medium. The positive clones were validated and annotated by biochemical screening and multiplex PCR verification. In addition, the antibiotic resistance of identified Salmonella isolates was detected and followed by cytotoxic activity detection on human colon cells via co-culturation. Results: The overall prevalence of Salmonella in reptiles was 25.99%, with rates of 30.77%, 47.62%, and 7.69% in snakes, lizards, and chelonians, respectively. Further, all isolates showed variable drug-resistant activity to 18 antibiotics, of which 14 strains (30.43%) were resistant to more than eight kinds of antibiotics. More than half of isolated Salmonella strains were more toxic to host cells than the standard strain, SL1344. Whole genome sequencing (WGS) results showed that all lizard-associated strains belong to 4 serovar types, and 7 of them fall into the highly pathogenic serovars “Carmel” and “Pomona.” Conclusions: Our results highlight the potential threat of zoonotic salmonellosis from captive reptiles in the Beijing area of China.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-16
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13020315
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 316: SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Captive Hippos
           (Hippopotamus amphibius), Belgium

    • Authors: Francis Vercammen, Brigitte Cay, Sophie Gryseels, Nadège Balmelle, Léa Joffrin, Koenraad Van Hoorde, Bavo Verhaegen, Elisabeth Mathijs, Rianne Van Vredendaal, Tanmay Dharmadhikari, Koen Chiers, Tim J. S. Van Olmen, Gianfilippo Agliani, Judith M. A. Van den Brand, Herwig Leirs
      First page: 316
      Abstract: Two adult female hippos in Zoo Antwerp who were naturally infected with SARS-CoV-2 showed nasal discharge for a few days. Virus was detected by immunocytochemistry and PCR in nasal swab samples and by PCR in faeces and pool water. Serology was also positive. No treatment was necessary.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-16
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13020316
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 317: Heat Shock Protein Response to Stress in
           Poultry: A Review

    • Authors: Krishnan Nair Balakrishnan, Suriya Kumari Ramiah, Idrus Zulkifli
      First page: 317
      Abstract: Compared to other animal species, production has dramatically increased in the poultry sector. However, in intensive production systems, poultry are subjected to stress conditions that may compromise their well-being. Much like other living organisms, poultry respond to various stressors by synthesising a group of evolutionarily conserved polypeptides named heat shock proteins (HSPs) to maintain homeostasis. These proteins, as chaperones, play a pivotal role in protecting animals against stress by re-establishing normal protein conformation and, thus, cellular homeostasis. In the last few decades, many advances have been made in ascertaining the HSP response to thermal and non-thermal stressors in poultry. The present review focuses on what is currently known about the HSP response to thermal and non-thermal stressors in poultry and discusses the factors that modulate its induction and regulatory mechanisms. The development of practical strategies to alleviate the detrimental effects of environmental stresses on poultry will benefit from detailed studies that describe the mechanisms of stress resilience and enhance our understanding of the nature of heat shock signalling proteins and gene expression.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-16
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13020317
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 318: Comparative Analysis of the Potential for
           Germ Cell (GC) Differentiation of Bovine Peripheral Blood
           Derived-Mesenchymal Stem Cells (PB-MSC) and Spermatogonial Stem Cells
           (SSC) in Co-Culture System with Sertoli Cells (SC)

    • Authors: Moisés N. Segunda, Carlos Díaz, Cristian G. Torres, Víctor H. Parraguez, Mónica De los Reyes, Oscar A. Peralta
      First page: 318
      Abstract: Although spermatogonial stem cells (SSC) constitute primary candidates for in vitro germ cell (GC) derivation, they are scarce and difficult to maintain in an undifferentiated state. Alternatively, mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) are also candidates for GC derivation due to their simplicity for culture and multipotential for transdifferentiation. The aim of the present study was to compare the GC differentiation potentials of bull peripheral blood-derived MSC (PB-MSC) and SSC using an in vitro 3D co-culture system with Sertoli cells (SC). Samples of PB-MSC or SSC co-cultures with SC were collected on days 0, 7, 14 and 21 and analyzed for pluripotency, GC and mesenchymal marker expression. Co-culture of PB-MSC+SC resulted in down-regulation of NANOG and up-regulation of OCT4 at day 7. In comparison, co-culture of SSC+SC resulted in consistent expression of NANOG, OCT4 and SOX2 at day 14. During co-culture, SSC+SC increased the expression of DAZL, PIWIL2, FRAGILIS and STELLA and activated the expression of STRA8, whereas co-culture of PB-MSC+SC only increased the expression of DAZL and PIWIL2. Thus, co-culture of bull PB-MSC+SC and SSC+SC in 3D SACS results in differential expression of pluripotency and GC markers, where bull SSC display a more robust GC differentiation profile compared to PB-MSC.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-16
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13020318
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 319: Analysis of Promoter Methylation of the
           Bovine FOXO1 Gene and Its Effect on Proliferation and Differentiation of
           Myoblasts

    • Authors: Pengfei Shi, Yong Ruan, Wenjiao Liu, Jinkui Sun, Jiali Xu, Houqiang Xu
      First page: 319
      Abstract: This study aimed to explore the regulatory role of FOXO1 promoter methylation on its transcriptional level and unravel the effect of FOXO1 on the proliferation and differentiation of bovine myoblasts. Bisulfite sequencing polymerase chain reaction (BSP) and real-time quantitative PCR were performed to determine the methylation status and transcript levels of the FOXO1 promoter region at different growth stages. BSP results showed that the methylation level in the calf bovine (CB) group was significantly higher than that in the adult bovine (AB) group (p < 0.05). On the other hand, qRT-PCR results indicated that the mRNA expression level in the AB group was significantly higher than that in the CB group (p < 0.05), suggesting a significant decrease in gene expression at high levels of DNA methylation. CCK-8 and flow cytometry were applied to determine the effect of silencing the FOXO1 gene on the proliferation of bovine myoblasts. Furthermore, qRT-PCR and Western blot were conducted to analyze the expression of genes associated with the proliferation and differentiation of bovine myoblasts. Results from CCK-8 revealed that the short hairpin FOXO1 (shFOXO1) group significantly promoted the proliferation of myoblasts compared to the short-hairpin negative control (shNC) group (p < 0.05). Flow cytometry results showed a significant decrease in the number of the G1 phase cells (p < 0.05) and a significant increase in the number of the S phase cells (p < 0.05) in the shFOXO1 group compared to the shNC group. In addition, the expression of key genes for myoblast proliferation (CDK2, PCNA, and CCND1) and differentiation (MYOG, MYOD, and MYHC) was significantly increased at both mRNA and protein levels (p < 0.05). In summary, this study has demonstrated that FOXO1 transcription is regulated by methylation in the promoter region and that silencing FOXO1 promotes the proliferation and differentiation of bovine myoblasts. Overall, our findings lay the foundation for further studies on the regulatory role of epigenetics in the development of bovine myoblasts.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-16
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13020319
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 320: The Biological Characteristics and
           Differential Expression Patterns of TSSK1B Gene in Yak and Its Infertile
           Hybrid Offspring

    • Authors: Yanjin Zhu, Bangting Pan, Xixi Fei, Yulei Hu, Manzhen Yang, Hailing Yu, Jian Li, Xianrong Xiong
      First page: 320
      Abstract: This study aimed to investigate the spatially and temporally expressed patterns and biological characteristics of TSSK1B in male yaks and explore the potential correlation between TSSK1B and male sterility of the yak hybrid offspring (termed cattle–yak). First, the coding sequence (CDS) of TSSK1B was cloned by RT-PCR, and bioinformatics analysis was conducted with relevant software. Quantitative real-time PCR (RT-qPCR) was employed to detect the expression profile of TSSK1B in various tissues of male adult yaks, the spatiotemporal expression of TSSK1B in different stages of yak testes, and the differential expression of TSSK1B between yak and cattle–yak testes. The cellular localization of TSSK1B was determined by immunohistochemistry (IHC). Furthermore, the methylation status of the TSSK1B promoter region was analyzed by bisulfite-sequencing PCR (BSP). The results showed that TSSK1B was 1235 bp long, including 1104 bp of the CDS region, which encoded 367 amino acids. It was a conserved gene sharing the highest homology with Bos mutus (99.67%). In addition, the bioinformatics analysis revealed that TSSK1B was an unstable hydrophilic protein mainly containing the alpha helix of 34.06% and a random coil of 44.41%, with a transmembrane structure of 29 amino acids long. The RT-qPCR results demonstrated that TSSK1B was specifically expressed in yak testes compared with that in other tissues and especially highly expressed in adult yak testes. On the contrary, TSSK1B was hardly expressed in the testis of adult cattle–yak. IHC confirmed that TSSK1B protein was more strongly expressed in the testes of adult yaks than in their fetal and juvenile counterparts. Interestingly, nearly no expression was observed in the testes of cattle–yak compared with the corresponding testes of yak. Bisulfite-sequencing PCR (BSP) revealed that the methylated CpG sites in the TSSK1B promoter region of cattle–yak was significantly higher than that in the yak. Taken together, this study revealed that TSSK1B was specifically expressed in yak testes and highly expressed upon sexual maturity. Moreover, the rare expression in cattle–yak may be related to the hypermethylation of the promoter region, thereby providing a basis for further studies on the regulatory mechanism of TSSK1B in male cattle–yak sterility.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-16
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13020320
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 321: Natural Multi-Enriched Eggs with n-3
           Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids, Selenium, Vitamin E, and Lutein

    • Authors: Zlata Kralik, Gordana Kralik, Manuela Košević, Olivera Galović, Mirela Samardžić
      First page: 321
      Abstract: The research investigates the possibilities of enriching eggs with n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, selenium, vitamin E, and lutein. The research was carried out on 100 TETRA SL laying hens divided into two groups (C and E). Hens in treatment C (control group) were fed a standard feeding mixture that contained 5% soybean oil, 0.32 mg/kg organic selenium, 25.20 mg/kg vitamin E, and 20.5 mg/kg lutein (Marigold flower extract). Hens in treatment E (experimental group) were fed a mixture in which soybean oil was replaced by 1.5% fish oil + 1.5% rapeseed oil + 2.0% linseed oil. The content of other nutricines amounted to 0.47 mg/kg organic selenium, 125.2 mg/kg vitamin E, and 120.5 mg/kg lutein. Portions of total n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in enriched eggs were significantly increased when compared to conventional eggs (480.65: 204.58 mg/100 g; p < 0.001). The content of selenium, vitamin E, and lutein was significantly higher (p < 0.001) in enriched eggs than in conventional eggs. The content of selenium in egg albumen was increased by 1.81 times, and in the yolk, it was increased by 1.18 times. At the same time, the content of vitamin E was 2.74 times higher, and lutein was 8.94 times higher in enriched eggs than in conventional eggs.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-16
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13020321
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2023)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 13, Pages 322: Head Shape Heritability in the Hungarian
           Meadow Viper Vipera ursinii rakosiensis

    • Authors: Duarte Oliveira, Bálint Halpern, Fernando Martínez-Freiría, Antigoni Kaliontzopoulou
      First page: 322
      Abstract: Understanding heritability patterns in functionally relevant traits is a cornerstone for evaluating their evolutionary potential and their role in local adaptation. In this study, we investigated patterns of heritability in the head shape of the Hungarian meadow viper (Vipera ursinii rakosiensis). To this end, we used geometric morphometric data from 12 families composed of 8 mothers, 6 fathers and 221 offspring, bred in captivity at the Hungarian Meadow Viper Conservation Centre (Hungary). We separately evaluated maternal and paternal contributions to the offspring phenotype, in addition to additive genetic effects, all determined using a mixed animal model. Our results indicate a strong genetic and maternal contribution to head shape variations. In contrast, the paternal effects—which are rarely evaluated in wild-ranging species—as well as residual environmental variance, were minimal. Overall, our results indicate a high evolutionary potential for head shape in the Hungarian meadow viper, which suggests a strong contribution of this ecologically important trait in shaping the ability of this endangered species to adapt to changing conditions and/or habitats. Furthermore, our results suggest that maternal phenotypes should be carefully considered when designing captive breeding parental pairs for reinforcing the adaptive capacity of threatened populations, whereas the paternal phenotypes seem less relevant.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2023-01-16
      DOI: 10.3390/ani13020322
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2023)
       
 
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