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Volume 12, May-1

Animals, Volume 12, Issue 10 (May-2 2022) – 110 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Wildlife dispersal directly influences population expansion patterns, and may have indirect effects on the spread of wildlife diseases. For many species, little is known about dispersal despite its importance to conservation. We documented the natural dispersal processes of an expanding wolf (Canis lupus) population in the Italian Alps to understand the dynamics of the recolonization pattern and identify diseases that might be connected with the process through the use of non-invasive genetic sampling over a 20-year period. By documenting 55 dispersal events, with an average minimum straight dispersal distance of 65.8 km (± 67.7 km), from 7.7 km to 517.2 km, we discussed the potential implications for maintaining the genetic diversity of the population and for wildlife diseases spreading. View this paper
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Article
Dietary Crude Fiber Levels for Optimal Productivity of Male Ross 308 Broiler and Venda Chickens Aged 1 to 42 Days
Animals 2022, 12(10), 1333; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ani12101333 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 438
Abstract
The study determined the effects of dietary crude fiber (CF) levels on the production performance of male Ross 308 broiler and indigenous Venda chickens. There were 360 male Ross 308 broiler and male Venda chickens aged 1–21 for Phase 1 and 196 chickens [...] Read more.
The study determined the effects of dietary crude fiber (CF) levels on the production performance of male Ross 308 broiler and indigenous Venda chickens. There were 360 male Ross 308 broiler and male Venda chickens aged 1–21 for Phase 1 and 196 chickens aged 22–42 days for Phase 2. Chickens were allocated four diets with different levels of CF (3, 4, 5, and 7%) in a completely randomized design. Quadratic regression analyses were used to determine the dietary CF levels for the optimal production responses. In Phase 1, the feed intake, growth, live weight, nitrogen retention, and metabilizable energy (ME) intake of the Ross 308 broiler chickens were improved at dietary CF levels of 3.9, 4.5, 4.5, 3.2, and 3.7%, respectively. In the Venda chickens, feed intake, growth, live weight, nitrogen retention, and ME intake were optimized at 4.4, 4.8, 4.7, 4.1, and 3.3% CF, respectively. In Phase 2, the feed intake, nitrogen retention, and neutral detergent fiber digestibility (NDFD) were enhanced at CF levels of 6.4, 4.4, and 3.7% in the Ross 308 broiler chickens, respectively. Dietary CF levels of 4.5, 5.8, 5.7, 5.1, 3.9, and 4.4% optimized the feed intake, growth rate, live weight, nitrogen retention, NDF, and ADFD, respectively, in Venda chickens. It was concluded that the indigenous Venda chickens coped better with higher dietary CF than the Ross 308 broiler chickens. Full article
Article
Characterization of Longitudinal Testosterone, Cortisol, and Musth in Male Asian Elephants (Elephas maximus), Effects of Aging, and Adrenal Responses to Social Changes and Health Events
Animals 2022, 12(10), 1332; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ani12101332 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 687
Abstract
The conservation of endangered species and sustainability of managed populations requires considerations to ensure the health and welfare of individuals. Male elephants experience a biological phenomenon called “musth”, which is characterized by increased testosterone production, temporal gland secretion and urine dribbling, heightened aggression [...] Read more.
The conservation of endangered species and sustainability of managed populations requires considerations to ensure the health and welfare of individuals. Male elephants experience a biological phenomenon called “musth”, which is characterized by increased testosterone production, temporal gland secretion and urine dribbling, heightened aggression and sexual behavior, and therefore can pose unique challenges for human safety and animal welfare. This study characterized longitudinal (9 to 22 years) patterns of circulating testosterone and cortisol in relation to musth in four adult Asian elephant bulls spanning ages from 12 to 54 years. Age-related effects on musth activity and adrenal responses to social changes and clinical health events were also examined. All bulls exhibited regular annual musth cycles. Circulating cortisol covaried positively with testosterone and musth, highlighting intrinsic patterns that should be considered when evaluating the impact of social, health, and environmental changes on adrenal glucocorticoid activity. Except for an end-of-life cortisol increase in one bull, there was no clear evidence of chronically elevated cortisol secretion outside of musth in any individual. Testosterone decreased with age in sexually mature bulls, whereas age-related changes in cortisol varied across individuals, with the three older bulls showing the greatest rate of change during musth versus inter-musth periods. In contrast to physiological factors, there was no evidence of social factors, such as addition of a new male and death of male herdmates, impacting adrenal glucocorticoid activity in these bulls in the short term. Changes in cortisol were associated with treatment for Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tb) in two bulls, increasing after start of treatment and decreasing with cessation of treatment, but were not clearly associated with activation of disease. This study highlights the importance of longitudinal hormone monitoring to track changes in physiological function and responses to social, health, and environmental change in elephant bulls, which is important for making more informed decisions on how to manage male elephants under varying degrees of human care to ensure welfare and safety. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Elephant Reproduction and Conservation)
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Article
Boar Semen Shipping for Artificial Insemination: Current Status and Analysis of Transport Conditions with a Major Focus on Vibration Emissions
Animals 2022, 12(10), 1331; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ani12101331 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 556
Abstract
In the modern pig reproduction system, artificial insemination (AI) doses are delivered from AI centers to sow farms via logistics vehicles. In this study, six breeding companies in three countries (Brazil, Germany, and the USA) were interviewed about their delivery process. It was [...] Read more.
In the modern pig reproduction system, artificial insemination (AI) doses are delivered from AI centers to sow farms via logistics vehicles. In this study, six breeding companies in three countries (Brazil, Germany, and the USA) were interviewed about their delivery process. It was found that there is currently no comprehensive monitoring system for the delivery of semen. The entire process “shipping of boar semen” was documented using Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN). Although it is not currently known which vibrations occur at all, it is suspected that vibration emissions affect the quality of boar semen. For this reason, a prototype of a measuring system was developed to calculate a displacement index (Di), representing vibration intensities. Vibrations were analyzed in standardized road trials (n = 120) on several road types (A: smooth asphalt pavement, B: rough asphalt pavement, C: cobblestone, and D: dirt road) with different speeds (30, 60, 90, 120, and 150 km/h). A two-way ANOVA showed significant differences in mean Di, depending on road surface and speed as well as an interaction of both factors (p < 0.001). A field study on a reference delivery from a German AI center to several sow farms indicated that 33% of the observed roads are in good quality and generate only a few vibrations (Di ≤ 1), while 40% are of a moderate quality with interrupted surfaces (Di = 1–1.5). However, 25% of the roads show markedly increased vibrations (Di ≥ 1.5), as a consequence of bad conditions on cobblestones or unpaved roads. Overall, more attention should be paid to factors affecting sperm quality during transport. In the future, an Internet of Things (IoT) based solution could enable complete monitoring of the entire transport process in real time, which could influence the courier’s driving behavior based on road conditions in order to maintain the quality of the transported AI doses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modern Technology in Farm Animals’ Reproductive Services)
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Article
Mechanisms Determining Body Size and Shape Difference in Algerian Spur-Thighed Tortoises (Testudo graeca)
Animals 2022, 12(10), 1330; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ani12101330 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 399
Abstract
Using data for the body size and shell shape of Algerian Testudo graeca, we assessed how proximate causes shaped the observed variation in the morphology of adults. All of the studied populations displayed significant sexual size and shape dimorphisms. Relative to body [...] Read more.
Using data for the body size and shell shape of Algerian Testudo graeca, we assessed how proximate causes shaped the observed variation in the morphology of adults. All of the studied populations displayed significant sexual size and shape dimorphisms. Relative to body length, females displayed larger, more voluminous and domed shells than males. We found clear evidence that variation in body size at maturity influenced sexual size dimorphism. Body size at maturity depends on the duration of growth from hatching up to the point of reaching sexual maturity. In the studied populations, sexual maturity, estimated by counting growth lines, was always reached earlier in males than in females (a time difference of 1.4–3.0 years). Similar to sexual size dimorphism, geographic variation in adult body sizes was also influenced by variations in the corresponding sizes at maturity. Remarkably, the population with the largest tortoises had the latest mean maturation time: 9.1 for males and 10.5 for females. Thus, the later completion of maturation was a determinant for a larger size in adulthood. The largest tortoises among the studied populations were measured at the Djelfa locality, where the recorded sizes of males and females reached 186 and 230 mm, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Herpetology)
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Article
Supplementation with Fermented Feedstuff Enhances Orexin Expression and Secretion Associated with Increased Feed Intake and Weight Gain in Weaned Pigs
Animals 2022, 12(10), 1329; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ani12101329 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 381
Abstract
The health status of weaned pigs is crucial for their subsequent growth performance. Supplementation with fermented feedstuff is able to improve the feed intake and growth of weaned pigs; however, the exact mechanism behind this is not clear. Hence, in the present study [...] Read more.
The health status of weaned pigs is crucial for their subsequent growth performance. Supplementation with fermented feedstuff is able to improve the feed intake and growth of weaned pigs; however, the exact mechanism behind this is not clear. Hence, in the present study a total of 320 Duroc × Landrace × Yorkshire weaned pigs were selected and allocated to the following two groups: unfermented diet group (UFD) and fermented diet group (FD). The experimental period lasted 21 days. At the end of the experiment, feces, blood, and gastrointestinal tissue samples (including the stomach, jejunum, and ileum) were collected and used for further analysis. The results of growth performance suggested that the FD group had significantly increased (p < 0.05) average daily feed intake (ADFI) and average daily gain (ADG) during the first week, during the last two weeks, and over the entire three-week period compared with the UFD group. The results of the apparent nutrient digestibility of pigs showed that, compared with the UFD group, the FD group showed increased phosphorus (p < 0.05) and CP (p < 0.1) digestibility. There were no significant differences in the serum biochemical parameters between the UFD and FD groups. Moreover, our results showed that the FD group showed significantly increased gene expression of SGLT1 and PepT1 in the jejunum (p < 0.05). Compared with the UFD group, the FD group showed an increased (p < 0.05) serum orexin level and prepro-orexin (PPOX) expression in the gastric fundus, jejunum, and ileum mucosa and increased IGF-1 and IGFR expression in the jejunum. Collectively, these results indicated that supplementation with fermented feedstuff in the diet effectively enhanced the feed intake and growth of weaned pigs and that this may have been caused by the increased orexin, IGF-1, and IGFR serum levels. Full article
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Article
Pregnancy in Slaughtered Lambs and Sheep—A Cross-Sectional Study in Three Abattoirs in Switzerland
Animals 2022, 12(10), 1328; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ani12101328 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 542
Abstract
The slaughter of pregnant sheep and goats is not restricted in Switzerland. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of pregnant sheep and lambs being slaughtered in Switzerland and to determine the state of gestation and vital signs of the [...] Read more.
The slaughter of pregnant sheep and goats is not restricted in Switzerland. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of pregnant sheep and lambs being slaughtered in Switzerland and to determine the state of gestation and vital signs of the fetuses in order to assess the need to take measures and raise awareness of this issue. The data collection was carried out from March 2021 to February 2022, comprising 115 days in three abattoirs. A total of 18,702 sheep and lambs were included in this cross-sectional study, and 8770 were female (46.9%), 663 of which were pregnant at slaughter (7.6%). The pregnancy rate varied by age category: 404 lambs (6.1%) and 259 sheep (11.9%) were pregnant. The highest pregnancy rate was found in winter (25.7%). Among the 663 pregnancies, more than a quarter were multiple pregnancies (28.2%). A total of 169 animals were in the third trimester of pregnancy (25.5%), where living fetuses were mainly found (81.1%). As it cannot be definitively ruled out that fetuses feel conscious pain, the data from this study underline that, from an ethical point of view, there is a need for action and that measures must be taken to reduce the number of pregnant slaughtered animals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Welfare)
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Article
Genomic Population Structure of the Main Historical Genetic Lines of Spanish Merino Sheep
Animals 2022, 12(10), 1327; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ani12101327 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 424
Abstract
According to historiographical documentation, the Romans first began to select Merino sheep in the Iberian Peninsula during the first century, with the aim of obtaining a breed appreciated for the quality of its wool. This process continued locally during the Middle Ages, when [...] Read more.
According to historiographical documentation, the Romans first began to select Merino sheep in the Iberian Peninsula during the first century, with the aim of obtaining a breed appreciated for the quality of its wool. This process continued locally during the Middle Ages, when Spanish sheep were protected, and their export to foreign countries was banned. It was during the 16th century when individual Merino sheep were allowed to spread around the world to be used to improve the wool quality of local breeds. However, the wool crisis of the 1960s shifted the selection criteria of the Merino breed towards meat production at the expenses of wool. Consequently, individuals that display the genetic and phenotypic characteristics of those sheep originally bred in the kingdom of Spain in the Middle Ages are extremely difficult to find in commercial herds. In this study, we characterized the genetic basis of 403 individuals from the main historical Spanish Merino genetic lines (Granda, Hidalgo, Lopez-Montenegro, Maeso, Donoso and Egea), which were bred in isolation over the last 200 years, using a genomic approach based on genotyping data from the Axiom™ Ovine 50K SNP Genotyping Array. Our analysis included measuring population structure, genomic differentiation indexes, runs of homozygosity (ROH) patterns, and an analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA). The results showed large genetic differences between the historical lines, even though they belong to the same breed. In addition, ROH analysis showed differences due to increased inbreeding among the ancient generations compared with the modern Merino lines, confirming the breed’s ancestral and closed origin. However, our results also showed a high variability and richness within the Spanish historical Merino lines from a genetic viewpoint. This fact, together with their great ability to produce high-quality wool, suggests that ancestral Merino lines from Spain should be considered a valuable genetic population to be maintained as a resource for the improvement of wool-producing sheep breeds all around the world. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Genetics and Genomics)
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Article
Effects of Commercially Available Antioxidant-Enriched Fish- and Chicken-Based Diets on Biochemical Parameters and Blood Fatty Acid Profile of Old Dogs
Animals 2022, 12(10), 1326; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ani12101326 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 534
Abstract
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of two commercially available fish- (FH) and chicken (CH)-based diets and the same diets combined with antioxidant compounds, e.g., FH-AOX and CH-AOX, respectively, on biochemical parameters and blood fatty acid (FA) profile. For [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of two commercially available fish- (FH) and chicken (CH)-based diets and the same diets combined with antioxidant compounds, e.g., FH-AOX and CH-AOX, respectively, on biochemical parameters and blood fatty acid (FA) profile. For this purpose, 28 dogs were allocated to four groups and fed the four diets for six months. Blood samples were taken before starting the experimental period and at the end of the trial. Concerning the biochemical parameters, the animals fed CH-AOX reached the highest values for ALB compared to the animals fed CH or FH-AOX; however, the values were within the reference values for old dogs. Triglycerides and urea were significantly higher in FH compared to the CH diet; however, both FH-AOX and CH-AOX showed a marked decrease in the TRI and urea concentration with respect to FH and CH. Moreover, CH-AOX and FH-AOX increased glucose values, linoleic acid content, and polyunsaturated FA n-3 with respect to FH and CH. On the contrary, arachidonic acid was lower in the CH-AOX and FH-AOX groups. In conclusion, FH led to a better FA profile than that of the CH diet, while CH-AOX and FH-AOX improved the FA profile regardless of the basal diet. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Nutrition)
Article
The COVID-19 Animal Fostering Boom: Ephemera or Chimera?
Animals 2022, 12(10), 1325; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ani12101325 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 579
Abstract
There has been discussion in traditional and social media about increases in the numbers of people willing to foster animals in their homes during the pandemic. However, there is a lack of empirical data on whether that increase was a temporary response to [...] Read more.
There has been discussion in traditional and social media about increases in the numbers of people willing to foster animals in their homes during the pandemic. However, there is a lack of empirical data on whether that increase was a temporary response to the stress of COVID-19 or the ability to work from home, if it might have lasting effects, or indeed, whether an increase occurred at all. Using a national survey of over 600 animal shelter/rescue foster volunteers it appears that fostering did increase during the pandemic (x2 = 45.20, p = 0.00), particularly among volunteers working from home, those with higher education, those that were younger and male, and those that did not have their own dog. The study concludes that there was an increase in fostering but that the impact is likely to be ephemeral predicated on the ability to work from home. Organizations may be able to retain foster volunteers through support, particularly emotional support, directed at the human as opposed to focusing solely on the dog. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Welfare)
Article
Comparative Histology of C Thyrocytes in Four Domestic Animal Species: Dog, Pig, Horse, and Cattle
Animals 2022, 12(10), 1324; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ani12101324 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 446
Abstract
The number, morphology, and distribution of C thyrocytes within the thyroid gland vary among species; however, studies in domestic animals are limited. In this study we compared the morphology, distribution pattern, and percentage of C thyrocytes in four domestic species: dogs, pigs, horses, [...] Read more.
The number, morphology, and distribution of C thyrocytes within the thyroid gland vary among species; however, studies in domestic animals are limited. In this study we compared the morphology, distribution pattern, and percentage of C thyrocytes in four domestic species: dogs, pigs, horses, and cattle. Eighty thyroid glands, 20 per species, were examined. C thyrocytes were visualized immunohistochemically with anti-calcitonin rabbit polyclonal antibody alone and combined with the periodic acid Schiff method to simultaneously visualize C thyrocytes with the basement membranes of thyroid follicles. C thyrocyte morphology varied considerably between species, from oval- (dogs) and spindle-shaped (pigs) to polymorphic (cattle and horses). Bovine C thyrocytes demonstrated cytoplasmic protrusion. C thyrocytes were located intrafolliculary (all species), epifollicularly (dogs, horses, cattle), or interfolicularly (cattle). Most porcine and bovine C thyrocytes existed individually whereas canine C thyrocytes usually formed clusters. In horses, they tended to form groups of various shapes and sizes or even rims encompassing whole follicles. In all species, the number of C thyrocyte profiles increased from the periphery to the central area of the thyroid lobe. The mean total fraction of C thyrocytes in the superficial, intermediate, and central areas were as follows: 2.55%, 8.43%, and 12.48% in dogs; 3.81%, 7.66%, and 10.79% in pigs; 1.55%, 7.44%, and 8.87% in horses; and 2.62%, 10.75%, and 12.96% in cattle. No statistical differences in the total number of C thyrocyte profiles were observed among species (8.87% in dogs, 8.58% in cattle, 7.98% in pigs, and 5.83% in horses). Our results indicated that the studied species displayed their own morphological characteristics and distribution pattern of C thyrocytes; however, total numbers of C thyrocyte profiles and their localization within the thyroid lobe are comparable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microscopic Structure Research in Animals)
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Comment
Wombat Roadkill Was Not Reduced by a Virtual Fence. Comment on Stannard et al. Can Virtual Fences Reduce Wombat Road Mortalities? Ecol. Eng. 2021, 172, 106414
Animals 2022, 12(10), 1323; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ani12101323 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 385
Abstract
The roadkill of wildlife is a global problem. Much has been written about deterring wildlife from roads, but, as of yet, there is no empirical support for deterrents based on visual and/or auditory signals. A recent paper entitled ‘Can virtual fences reduce wombat [...] Read more.
The roadkill of wildlife is a global problem. Much has been written about deterring wildlife from roads, but, as of yet, there is no empirical support for deterrents based on visual and/or auditory signals. A recent paper entitled ‘Can virtual fences reduce wombat road mortalities?’reported the results of a roadkill mitigation trial. The authors installed a ‘virtual fence’ system produced by iPTE Traffic Solutions Ltd. (Graz, Austria) and evaluated its effectiveness for reducing roadkills of bare-nosed wombats (Vombatus ursinus) in southern Australia. The authors recorded roadkills in a simple Before-After-Control-Impact design but did not conduct any formal statistical analysis. They also measured three contextual variables (vegetation, wombat burrows, and vehicle velocity) but did not link these to the occurrence of roadkills in space and time. The authors concluded that the iPTE virtual fence system was ‘minimally effective’, yet ‘appears promising’. Our analysis of their data, using standard inferential statistics, showed no effect of the virtual fence on roadkills whatsoever. We conclude that the iPTE system was not effective for mitigating the roadkills of bare-nosed wombats. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Human-Wildlife Conflict and Interaction)
Article
Study on Poultry Pose Estimation Based on Multi-Parts Detection
Animals 2022, 12(10), 1322; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ani12101322 - 22 May 2022
Viewed by 465
Abstract
Poultry pose estimation is a prerequisite for evaluating abnormal behavior and disease prediction in poultry. Accurate pose-estimation enables poultry producers to better manage their poultry. Because chickens are group-fed, how to achieve automatic poultry pose recognition has become a problematic point for accurate [...] Read more.
Poultry pose estimation is a prerequisite for evaluating abnormal behavior and disease prediction in poultry. Accurate pose-estimation enables poultry producers to better manage their poultry. Because chickens are group-fed, how to achieve automatic poultry pose recognition has become a problematic point for accurate monitoring in large-scale farms. To this end, based on computer vision technology, this paper uses a deep neural network (DNN) technique to estimate the posture of a single broiler chicken. This method compared the pose detection results with the Single Shot MultiBox Detector (SSD) algorithm, You Only Look Once (YOLOV3) algorithm, RetinaNet algorithm, and Faster_R-CNN algorithm. Preliminary tests show that the method proposed in this paper achieves a 0.0128 standard deviation of precision and 0.9218 ± 0.0048 of confidence (95%) and a 0.0266 standard deviation of recall and 0.8996 ± 0.0099 of confidence (95%). By successfully estimating the pose of broiler chickens, it is possible to facilitate the detection of abnormal behavior of poultry. Furthermore, the method can be further improved to increase the overall success rate of verification. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Poultry)
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Article
Taxifolin Modulates Transcriptomic Response to Heat Stress in Rainbow Trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss
Animals 2022, 12(10), 1321; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ani12101321 - 22 May 2022
Viewed by 450
Abstract
Taxifolin is a natural flavonoid known for its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antiproliferative effects on animals. In this work, we have studied the effect of this compound on rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss, a major object of aquaculture, under slowly increasing ambient temperature and [...] Read more.
Taxifolin is a natural flavonoid known for its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antiproliferative effects on animals. In this work, we have studied the effect of this compound on rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss, a major object of aquaculture, under slowly increasing ambient temperature and Gyrodactylus flatworm infection. Transcriptomic profiling of liver samples performed by using the Illumina HiSeq 2500 sequencing platform shows that a combined taxifolin/heat treatment, unlike heat treatment alone, downregulates the production of isopentenyl diphosphate, likely affecting the production of cholesterol and other sterols. Taxifolin treatment also modulates multiple apoptosis regulators and affects the expression of HSPs in response to increasing temperature. On the other hand, the expression of antioxidant enzymes in response to heat is not significantly affected by taxifolin. As for the Gyrodactylus infection, the parasite load is not affected by taxifolin treatment, although it was lower in the high-temperature group. Parasite load also did not induce a statistically significant transcriptomic response within the no heat/no taxifolin group. Full article
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Article
Carcass Characteristics, Digestive System Traits of Spent Broiler Breeder and Dual-Purpose Hens
Animals 2022, 12(10), 1320; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ani12101320 - 22 May 2022
Viewed by 401
Abstract
Raising dual-purpose hens for meat is believed to bring more economic benefits to farmers selling products directly to consumers. The aim of the study was to determine the differences between the carcass features and the digestive system of multipurpose hens and spent broiler [...] Read more.
Raising dual-purpose hens for meat is believed to bring more economic benefits to farmers selling products directly to consumers. The aim of the study was to determine the differences between the carcass features and the digestive system of multipurpose hens and spent broiler breeders. In the experiment, 20 carcasses of 70-week-old Rosa 1 dual-purpose hens and 20 carcasses of 62-week-old Ross 308 broiler breeders were used. Measurements of the length of various sections of the intestine and the diameter of individual intestinal segments were made. During the gutting, proventriculus, gizzard, liver, heart, and spleen were separated and then weighed. Dual-purpose hens differed significantly (p < 0.05) from broiler breeders in weight and carcass dimensions. Multipurpose hens were characterized by significantly lower (p < 0.05) percentages of breast muscles, leg muscles, skin with subcutaneous fat, wings, and carcass remainders. Broiler breeders were characterized by significantly longer (p > 0.05) total intestinal length, duodenum, jejunum, ileum, and terminal intestine. Significant differences were confirmed in terms of the diameter of some segments of the intestine. Broiler breeder hens also had a greater mass of internal organs compared to the dual-purpose layer hens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Physiology)
Article
The Impact of Noise Anxiety on Behavior and Welfare of Horses from UK and US Owner’s Perspective
Animals 2022, 12(10), 1319; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ani12101319 - 21 May 2022
Viewed by 799
Abstract
Noise anxiety is an over-reaction to loud noises commonly detected among pets and can greatly impact on their welfare and on their management. When exposed to noisy events, horses can show intense escape attempts, which may cause severe accidents for the horse and [...] Read more.
Noise anxiety is an over-reaction to loud noises commonly detected among pets and can greatly impact on their welfare and on their management. When exposed to noisy events, horses can show intense escape attempts, which may cause severe accidents for the horse and the rider/handler. The aim of the present study was to investigate, through a web survey, UK and US owners’ perception of noise anxiety severity in their horses, their management strategies and perceived efficacy. The questionnaire was shared via social networking and advertised as “What is your horse afraid of?”. Over a total of 1836 questionnaires filled out; 409 owners reported that their horse has shown unusual behavior during a noise event. A two-step cluster analysis identified two groups: very anxious (VA) and slightly anxious (SA). VA horses were reported to have higher frequency of anxiety behaviors; higher frequency of signs of noise reactivity; and their anxiety did not improve with time. The most used management strategies consisted in providing hay throughout the night, turning in/out their horse or moving it to a paddock. A binomial logistic regression identified that horses that have reported injuries during noise events were more likely to be clustered as VA (OR = 0.24, 95% CI: 0.08–0.76); while providing hay throughout the night was more likely to be very effective management strategy in SA horses (OR = 0.41, 95% CI: 0.16–1.01). Our results confirmed that noise anxiety is a growing behavioral problem that can lead to important welfare concerns for horses. New management strategies, including the use of medicinal products, should be considered to reduce behavioral and physiological signs and help horses to cope with noisy events. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Equids)
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Article
Spatial Learning of Individual Cichlid Fish and Its Effect on Group Decision Making
Animals 2022, 12(10), 1318; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ani12101318 - 21 May 2022
Viewed by 404
Abstract
Learning and memory abilities and their roles in group decision-making have important ecological relevance in routine activities such as foraging and anti-predator behaviors in fish species. The aims of the present study were to explore individual spatial learning abilities of juvenile cichlids ( [...] Read more.
Learning and memory abilities and their roles in group decision-making have important ecological relevance in routine activities such as foraging and anti-predator behaviors in fish species. The aims of the present study were to explore individual spatial learning abilities of juvenile cichlids (Chindongo demasoni) in a foraging context, and to explore the influence of heterogeneity of memory information among group members on group performance in a six-arm radiation maze. In the context of an association between landmarks and food, learning ability was evaluated by the speed and accuracy of reaching the arm with food during seven days of reinforcement, and memory retention was tested at intervals of 2, 5, 8 and 11 days of detraining. Then, the speed and accuracy of an eight-member group with different proportions of memory-trained fish were measured. Both speed and accuracy of individual fish improved significantly and linearly in the first five days of training and leveled off between five and seven days, with values 60% shorter (in speed) and 50% higher (in accuracy) compared to those of the first day. Neither speed nor accuracy showed any decrease after 11 days of detraining, suggesting memory retention of the spatial task. When measured in a group, the speed and accuracy of the majority of the group (more than half) in reaching the arm with food changed linearly with an increasing ratio of trained members. This shows that cichlids can acquire associative learning information through a training process, and group behavior of cichlids seems not likely be determined by a minority of group members under a foraging context. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Behavioral Ecology of Aquatic Animals)
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Article
Selection of Forage Resources by Juvenile Goats in a Cafeteria Trial: Effect of Browsing Experience, Nutrient and Secondary Compound Content
Animals 2022, 12(10), 1317; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ani12101317 - 21 May 2022
Viewed by 511
Abstract
We evaluated the effect of browsing experience, nutritional quality and secondary compounds of forage resources, and the interaction between these factors on the selection and intake of goats in a cafeteria trial. Twelve juvenile Criollo goats from 7 to 9 months of age, [...] Read more.
We evaluated the effect of browsing experience, nutritional quality and secondary compounds of forage resources, and the interaction between these factors on the selection and intake of goats in a cafeteria trial. Twelve juvenile Criollo goats from 7 to 9 months of age, weighing 22 ± 3 kg, were divided into two groups: (a) browser goats group (n = 6, BG), and (b) naïve goats group (n = 6, NG), formed according to their previous browsing experience (with and without, respectively). Animals were housed in individual pens. The cafeteria experiment lasted 21 days considering pen adaptation, foliage adaptation, and measurements, which included the selection index (SI) of experimental forage resources (Chesson’s alpha) and their dry matter intake (DMI/Kg0.75), using a multiple Latin square design. Furthermore, correlation and regression analyses were used to assess the relationship between the aforementioned factors. The NG did not show any selection pattern, while the BG selected Piscidia piscipula and Senegalia gaumeri (p = 0.0002). The BG consumed smaller amounts of secondary compounds compared to NG (p = 0.0001). In the BG, the flavonoids affected negatively their selection (R2 = 97.51, p = 0.0001), while the DMI was affected by in vitro DM digestibility and flavonoids (R2 = 99.85; p = 0.0001). For the NG, the crude protein and organic matter contents were associated with DMI, but none had a significant relationship with SI. The BG selected and consumed forages with suitable nutritional quality avoiding those with high content of secondary compounds such as flavonoids. Conversely, NG did not show a clear pattern for their selection or intake. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Sustainable Animal Nutrition and Feeding)
Article
Delay of Feed Post-Hatch Causes Changes in Expression of Immune-Related Genes and Their Correlation with Components of Gut Microbiota, but Does Not Affect Protein Expression
Animals 2022, 12(10), 1316; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ani12101316 - 21 May 2022
Viewed by 401
Abstract
Because the delay of feed post-hatch (PH) has been associated with negative growth parameters, the aim of the current study was to determine the effect of delayed access to feed in broiler chicks on the expression of immune-related genes and select proteins. In [...] Read more.
Because the delay of feed post-hatch (PH) has been associated with negative growth parameters, the aim of the current study was to determine the effect of delayed access to feed in broiler chicks on the expression of immune-related genes and select proteins. In addition, an analysis of the correlation between gene expression and components of the gut microbiota was carried out. Ross 708 eggs were incubated and hatched, and hatchlings were divided into FED and NONFED groups. The NONFED birds did not have access to feed until 48 h PH, while FED birds were given feed immediately PH. The ileum from both groups (n = 6 per group) was sampled at embryonic day 19 (e19) and day 0 (wet chicks), and 4, 24, 48, 72, 96, 144, 192, 240, 288, and 336 h PH. Quantitative PCR (qPCR) was carried out to measure the expression of avian interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-4, IL-6, IL-8, IL-18, transforming growth factor (TGF-β), toll-like receptor (TLR)2, TLR4, interferon (IFN), IFN-γ, and avian β-defensins (AvBD) I, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10. Protein expression of IL-10, IL-1β, IL-8, and IL-18 were measured using ELISAs. A correlation analysis was carried out to determine whether any significant association existed between immune gene expression and components of the ileal luminal and mucosal microbiota. Expression of several immune-related genes (TGF-β, TLR4, IFN-γ, IL-1β, IL-4, IL-6, and AvBDs 8 and 9) were significantly affected by the interaction between feed status and age. The effects were transient and occurred between 48 and 96 h PH. The rest of the genes and four proteins were significantly affected by age, with a decrease in expression noted over time. Correlation analysis indicated that stronger correlations exist among gene expression and microbiota in NONFED birds. The data presented here indicates that delay in feed PH can affect genes encoding components of the immune system. Additionally, the correlation analysis between immune gene expression and microbiota components indicates that a delay in feed has a significant effect on the interaction between the immune system and the microbiota. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Nutrition)
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Article
Live Yeast Supplementation in Gestating and Lactating Primiparous Sows Improves Immune Response in Dams and Their Progeny
Animals 2022, 12(10), 1315; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ani12101315 - 20 May 2022
Viewed by 403
Abstract
The present study determined the effects of live yeast (LY) supplementation during middle–late gestation and the lactation period in primiparous sows on reproductive parameters, lactation performance, and immunity, and also explores the carryover effects in their offspring. On day (d) 60 of gestation, [...] Read more.
The present study determined the effects of live yeast (LY) supplementation during middle–late gestation and the lactation period in primiparous sows on reproductive parameters, lactation performance, and immunity, and also explores the carryover effects in their offspring. On day (d) 60 of gestation, 16 crossbred primiparous sows were randomly assigned to two dietary treatments (with or without supplementation of 425 mg/kg of live yeast; LYT and CT, respectively) homogeneous for body weight (BW) and backfat thickness. Experimental diets were applied from day 60 of gestation to the end of lactation. At weaning, 60 piglets with an average BW of each treatment were selected based on their source litter and assigned to two groups corresponding to the original treatments received by their mothers. Each group had five replicates of six piglets each and was fed a basal diet for 42 days. The results showed that LY supplementation significantly increased the serum IgA and IgG concentrations of sows at farrowing and weaning stages, and of piglets on day 14 and 28 post weaning. No significant differences were found in reproductive and lactation performance, while minor effects were observed on antioxidant capacity. In conclusion, live yeast addition during middle–late gestation and the whole lactation period resulted in enhanced immunity of primiparous sows and their offspring, therefore, improving maternal and progeny health. Full article
Article
Impact of Dog’s Age and Breed on Dog Owner’s Physical Activity: A German Longitudinal Study
Animals 2022, 12(10), 1314; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ani12101314 - 20 May 2022
Viewed by 589
Abstract
Dog ownership contributes positively to physical activity (PA). The impact of different dog breeds and age on PA is less investigated in longitudinal studies. This study aimed to evaluate PA changes in dog owners as their dogs’ ages increased and to explore whether [...] Read more.
Dog ownership contributes positively to physical activity (PA). The impact of different dog breeds and age on PA is less investigated in longitudinal studies. This study aimed to evaluate PA changes in dog owners as their dogs’ ages increased and to explore whether there are differences in PA between owners of different breeds over a three-year period. Owners of different dog breeds were categorized into nine groups according to the perceived energy level and size of the breed. PA was monitored using an online questionnaire for three consecutive years. Linear mixed models (LMM) showed a small, but significant decrease in total PA, leisure time walking, dog-related PA and dog walking over three years. No decreases were found if only participants who attended at all time points were included. In all LMM analyses, a significant relationship between the dog breed and the outcomes of PA were shown. At baseline, dog owners performed different types of activities depending on their dog breed. In conclusion, owners of different dog breeds differ in their types of PA. The study emphasizes that age, size and energy level of the dog does not per se have an impact on dog owners PA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dog–Human Relationships: Behavior, Physiology, and Wellbeing)
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Article
Influence of a Polyherbal Choline Source in Dogs: Body Weight Changes, Blood Metabolites, and Gene Expression
Animals 2022, 12(10), 1313; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ani12101313 - 20 May 2022
Viewed by 434
Abstract
Choline chloride is used to provide choline in dog foods; however, in other domestic species, it has been replaced with a polyherbal containing phosphatidylcholine. A polyherbal containing Achyrantes aspera, Trachyspermum ammi, Citrullus colocynthis, Andrographis paniculata, and Azadirachta indica was [...] Read more.
Choline chloride is used to provide choline in dog foods; however, in other domestic species, it has been replaced with a polyherbal containing phosphatidylcholine. A polyherbal containing Achyrantes aspera, Trachyspermum ammi, Citrullus colocynthis, Andrographis paniculata, and Azadirachta indica was evaluated in adult dogs through body weight changes, subcutaneous fat thickness, blood metabolites, and gene expression. Forty dogs (4.6 ± 1.6 years old) who were individually housed in concrete kennels were randomly assigned to the following treatments: unsupplemented diet (377 mg choline/kg), choline chloride (3850 mg/kg equivalent to 2000 mg choline/kg diet), and polyherbal (200, 400, and 800 mg/kg) for 60 days. Blood samples were collected on day 59 for biochemistry, biometry, and gene expression analysis through microarray assays. Intake, final body weight, and weight changes were similar for the two choline sources. Feed intake variation among dogs (p = 0.01) and dorsal fat (p = 0.03) showed a quadratic response to herbal choline. Dogs that received the polyherbal diet had reduced blood cholesterol levels (Quadratic, p = 0.02). The gene ontology analysis indicated that 15 biological processes were modified (p ≤ 0.05) with implications for preventing cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, cancer prevention, inflammatory and immune response, and behavior and cognitive process. According to these results that were observed in a 60 day trial, the polyherbal form could replace choline chloride in dog diets at a concentration of 400 mg/kg. Full article
Article
Neonatal Piglet Temperature Changes: Effect of Intraperitoneal Warm Saline Injection
Animals 2022, 12(10), 1312; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ani12101312 - 20 May 2022
Viewed by 384
Abstract
Piglets are poor at thermoregulation immediately following birth and take up to 24 h to recover from their initial temperature drop. The present study aimed to determine if providing piglets with a 15 mL intraperitoneal injection of warm (45 °C) saline at birth [...] Read more.
Piglets are poor at thermoregulation immediately following birth and take up to 24 h to recover from their initial temperature drop. The present study aimed to determine if providing piglets with a 15 mL intraperitoneal injection of warm (45 °C) saline at birth would improve their internal temperature recovery to 24 h of age, and how the treatment interacted with birth weight (BWC = 1; ≤0.80 kg, BWC = 2; 0.81 kg to 1.10 kg, and BWC = 3; >1.10 kg), rectal temperature at 1.5 h (RC = 1; ≤32.0 °C, RC = 2; 32.10 °C to 35.0 °C, and RC = 3; ≥35.10 °C), and colostrum intake (CI = 1; <200 g and CI = 2, ≥200 g) to affect preweaning survival. Treated BWC1 piglets had improved rectal temperatures from 2 to 24 h. BWC3 piglets who consumed insufficient colostrum also had improved rectal temperature between 1 and 24 h post-birth. Colostrum intake was improved with saline injection in BWC2 piglets of RC1 and RC3 (p < 0.001) and BWC3-RC3 piglets (p < 0.001). Treated BWC1 improved survival to 20 d (p < 0.001). Irrespective of BWC, piglets from all RC had greater survival when injected with saline. The greatest difference was for piglets in RC1, likely due to all BWC1 piglets falling within this category. The results suggest that an intraperitoneal injection of warmed saline is an effective way to improve piglet temperature recovery to 24 h, colostrum intake, and survival in low-birth-weight piglets. These findings will be helpful for producers who have large numbers of low-birth-weight piglets born and are able to provide individual care. Full article
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Article
The Cryopreserved Sperm Traits of Various Ram Breeds: Towards Biodiversity Conservation
Animals 2022, 12(10), 1311; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ani12101311 - 20 May 2022
Viewed by 372
Abstract
The aim of our research was to compare three Slovak sheep breeds in the quality parameters of cryopreserved sperm. The ejaculates of Slovak Dairy (SD), Native Wallachian (NW), and Improved Wallachian (IW) sheep rams (n = 12) were collected by electro-ejaculation. Heterospermic samples [...] Read more.
The aim of our research was to compare three Slovak sheep breeds in the quality parameters of cryopreserved sperm. The ejaculates of Slovak Dairy (SD), Native Wallachian (NW), and Improved Wallachian (IW) sheep rams (n = 12) were collected by electro-ejaculation. Heterospermic samples were created from suitable ejaculates, separately for each breed (at least 90% of total and 80% of progressive motility). Samples were equilibrated in a Triladyl® diluent and frozen by automated freezing. Sperm samples were subjected to the motility, morphology, (CASA), viability and apoptosis (DRAQ7/Yo-Pro-1), fertilizing capability (penetration/fertilization test (P/F) in vitro) and acrosomal status (transmission electron microscopy) assays before freezing and after thawing. It was found that there were no significant differences (p < 0.05) between the evaluated breeds in motility, viability, apoptosis, morphological properties, and fertilizing ability of cryopreserved sperm. Significant differences occurred in acrosomal status. Our results demonstrate that the use of the selected cryopreservation protocol is suitable for at least three different sheep breeds, which can greatly benefit the biodiversity protection and simplifies the creation of an animal genetic resources gene bank. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Further Approaches on Sperm Cryopreservation)
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Article
NDM-5-Producing Escherichia coli Co-Harboring mcr-1 Gene in Companion Animals in China
Animals 2022, 12(10), 1310; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ani12101310 - 20 May 2022
Viewed by 396
Abstract
Carbapenem and colistin are important antibiotics for the treatment of infections caused by multidrug-resistant Gram-negative pathogens. Here, we isolated the blaNDM-5-harboring Escherichia coli in companion animals in healthy or diseased companion animals from veterinary clinics in six cities in China from [...] Read more.
Carbapenem and colistin are important antibiotics for the treatment of infections caused by multidrug-resistant Gram-negative pathogens. Here, we isolated the blaNDM-5-harboring Escherichia coli in companion animals in healthy or diseased companion animals from veterinary clinics in six cities in China from July to November 2016. A total of 129 rectal swabs of healthy or diseased dogs and cats were collected from veterinary clinics in six different cities in China, and the isolates were subjected to carbapenem and colistin susceptibility testing. Resistance genes were confirmed using PCR. Conjugation experiments were conducted to determine the transferability of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) in the strains. The isolated rate of blaNDM-5-harboring E. coli strains was 3.88% (five strains). These five strains were multidrug resistant to at least three antibiotics and corresponded to four sequence types including ST101. The blaNDM-5 gene was located on 46 kb IncX3 plasmids in these five strains, and the genetic contexts were shared and were nearly identical to the K. pneumoniae plasmid pNDM5-IncX3 from China. In addition, one strain (CQ6-1) co-harbored blaNDM-5-encoding-IncX3 plasmid along with a mcr-1-encoding-IncX4 plasmid, and their corresponding genetic environments were identical to the blaNDM-5-IncX3 and mcr-1-IncX4 hybrid plasmid reported previously from the same area and from the same clinic. The results indicated that the similar genetic contexts were shared between these isolates from companion animals, and the IncX3-type plasmids played a key role in the spread of blaNDM-5 among these bacteria. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Genetics and Genomics)
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Article
Effects of Dietary Supplementation with Glycerol Monolaurate (GML) or the Combination of GML and Tributyrin on Growth Performance and Rumen Microbiome of Weaned Lambs
Animals 2022, 12(10), 1309; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ani12101309 - 20 May 2022
Viewed by 419
Abstract
Our objective was to evaluate the effects of dietary supplementation with glycerol monolaurate (GML) or the combination (Solider, SOL) of GML and tributyrin (TB) on the growth performance and rumen microbiome of weaned lambs. Thirty-six male Hu lambs (11.46 ± 0.88 kg BW [...] Read more.
Our objective was to evaluate the effects of dietary supplementation with glycerol monolaurate (GML) or the combination (Solider, SOL) of GML and tributyrin (TB) on the growth performance and rumen microbiome of weaned lambs. Thirty-six male Hu lambs (11.46 ± 0.88 kg BW and 40 ± 5 days of age) were divided into three treatment groups: (1) CON: basal diet, (2) GML: basal diet supplemented with GML at 1.84 g/kg DM, and (3) SOL: basal diet supplemented with SOL at 3 g/kg DM. GML increased the final BW (p = 0.04) and ADG (p = 0.02) compared with CON. There were no significant differences in the DMI (p > 0.10) among the three treatment groups. GML and SOL tended to decrease the dry matter intake/average daily gain (p = 0.07) compared with CON. GML tended to increase the apparent digestibility of CP (p = 0.08) compared with CON. SOL increased the apparent digestibility of NDF (p = 0.04) compared with CON. The Chao1 and Shannon indexes of SOL were both significantly higher than those of the other groups (p = 0.01). LefSE analysis showed that Bifidobacteriaceae of the Bifidobacteriales was enriched in the GML group. In addition, compared with GML, SOL reduced the relative abundance of Actinobacteria (p < 0.01) and increased the relative abundance of Verrucomicrobia (p = 0.05), and GML reduced the relative abundance of Ruminococcus (p = 0.03). Our results indicated that dietary supplementation with GML or SOL improved growth performance and feed conversion, and changed the rumen microbiome of weaned lambs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Small Ruminants)
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Article
Adverse Effects of Single Neutrophil Extracellular Trap-Derived Components on Bovine Sperm Function
Animals 2022, 12(10), 1308; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ani12101308 - 20 May 2022
Viewed by 699
Abstract
Neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) play a key role in fertilisation by eliminating microorganisms and entrapping spermatozoa in the female reproductive tract (FRT). The deleterious effects of NETs on spermatozoa have been previously described; however, individual exposure to NET-derived components in bull spermatozoa has [...] Read more.
Neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) play a key role in fertilisation by eliminating microorganisms and entrapping spermatozoa in the female reproductive tract (FRT). The deleterious effects of NETs on spermatozoa have been previously described; however, individual exposure to NET-derived components in bull spermatozoa has not been explored. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of the main NET-derived proteins, histone 2A (H2A), neutrophil elastase (ELA), myeloperoxidase (MPO), pentraxin 3 (PTX), cathepsin G (Cat-G), and cathelicidin LL37 (LL-37), at concentrations of 1, 10, and 30 μg/mL, on sperm parameters. Sperm were selected and incubated with different NET-derived proteins for 4 h. Membrane and acrosome integrity, lipoperoxidation, and membrane phospholipid disorders were also evaluated. Bovine polymorphonuclear neutrophil (PMN)/sperm co-cultures were evaluated by scanning electron microscopy and immunofluorescence. All NET-derived proteins/enzymes resulted in a reduction in membrane integrity, acrosome integrity, and lipoperoxidation at a concentration of 30 μg/mL. Bovine PMN/sperm co-cultures showed marked NET formation in the second hour. In conclusion, all NET-derived proteins/enzymes exerted cytotoxic effects on bull sperm, and this effect should be considered in future investigations on the uterine microenvironment and the advancement of spermatozoa in the FRT. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Challenges in Livestock Reproductive Technologies)
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Article
Ameliorative Effects of Anti-Clostridial Egg Yolk Antibodies (IgYs) in Experimentally-Induced Avian Necrotic Enteritis
Animals 2022, 12(10), 1307; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ani12101307 - 20 May 2022
Viewed by 427
Abstract
The present study was planned to evaluate the ameliorative effects of egg yolk antibodies (EYAs) in broiler chicken. For this purpose, 80-day-old broiler chickens were divided into four groups (A–D), where group A was kept as negative control. Experimental infection with C. perfringens [...] Read more.
The present study was planned to evaluate the ameliorative effects of egg yolk antibodies (EYAs) in broiler chicken. For this purpose, 80-day-old broiler chickens were divided into four groups (A–D), where group A was kept as negative control. Experimental infection with C. perfringens (1 × 108 cfu/mL) was induced via oral route on days 17, 18 and 19 of the experiment in groups B, C and D. Groups C and D were passively immunized by anti-clostridial IgYs @ 1 mL per bird via oral and oral and intramuscular (I/M) routes respectively, on days 21 to 24, and on days 22 and 24 of the experiment, respectively. Two necropsies were performed (the first on day 26th and the second on day 35th). Birds in group B showed behavioral signs e.g., laziness, depression and diarrhea, gross post-mortem lesions e.g., increase in the relative weights (RW), due to acute swelling and congestion of liver and kidneys and ballooning and hemorrhages of jejunum and microscopic lesions e.g., congestion and necrosis in liver and kidneys’ parenchyma and disrupted epithelium with fewer goblet cells in jejunum, compared to the group A. Birds in groups C and D, showed significant improvements in clinical and behavioral signs, RW of liver, kidneys and jejunum, swelling, congestion and mononuclear cells’ infiltration in liver and kidneys and damages in the jejunal-wall, compared to group B. The most significant changes were found in birds of group C. Our study revealed ameliorative effects of EYAs on certain biological parameters however, further studies would be needed to justify a safer production and a reliable application of EYAs in NE outbreaks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Avian Disease Pathogenesis)
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Article
Trichomonosis in Austrian Songbirds—Geographic Distribution, Pathological Lesions and Genetic Characterization over Nine Years
Animals 2022, 12(10), 1306; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ani12101306 - 19 May 2022
Viewed by 569
Abstract
In the early summer of 2012, sudden mass mortality among songbirds, particularly in greenfinches (Chloris chloris, syn: Carduelis chloris) was observed in Austria, which was caused by the protozoan parasite Trichomonas gallinae. This pathogen induced fibrinonecrotic ingluvitis and/or esophagitis, [...] Read more.
In the early summer of 2012, sudden mass mortality among songbirds, particularly in greenfinches (Chloris chloris, syn: Carduelis chloris) was observed in Austria, which was caused by the protozoan parasite Trichomonas gallinae. This pathogen induced fibrinonecrotic ingluvitis and/or esophagitis, leading to impairment of food intake and ultimately death due to starvation. The pathogen was successfully detected within the lesions by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and chromogenic in situ hybridization. The epizootic resulted in a significant decline in the Austrian greenfinch population. Continuing passive surveillance in the subsequent years (2013–2020) revealed that the condition occurred each year and was present in the entire country. Genetic characterization of the pathogen showed the presence of an identical strain irrespective of geographical location, bird species, and year. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Wildlife)
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Article
Constraint-Based, Score-Based and Hybrid Algorithms to Construct Bayesian Gene Networks in the Bovine Transcriptome
Animals 2022, 12(10), 1305; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ani12101305 - 19 May 2022
Viewed by 455
Abstract
Bayesian gene networks are powerful for modelling causal relationships and incorporating prior knowledge for making inferences about relationships. We used three algorithms to construct Bayesian gene networks around genes expressed in the bovine uterus and compared the efficacies of the algorithms. Dataset GSE33030 [...] Read more.
Bayesian gene networks are powerful for modelling causal relationships and incorporating prior knowledge for making inferences about relationships. We used three algorithms to construct Bayesian gene networks around genes expressed in the bovine uterus and compared the efficacies of the algorithms. Dataset GSE33030 from the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) repository was analyzed using different algorithms for hub gene expression due to the effect of progesterone on bovine endometrial tissue following conception. Six different algorithms (grow-shrink, max-min parent children, tabu search, hill-climbing, max-min hill-climbing and restricted maximum) were compared in three higher categories, including constraint-based, score-based and hybrid algorithms. Gene network parameters were estimated using the bnlearn bundle, which is a Bayesian network structure learning toolbox implemented in R. The results obtained indicated the tabu search algorithm identified the highest degree between genes (390), Markov blankets (25.64), neighborhood sizes (8.76) and branching factors (4.38). The results showed that the highest number of shared hub genes (e.g., proline dehydrogenase 1 (PRODH), Sam-pointed domain containing Ets transcription factor (SPDEF), monocyte-to-macrophage differentiation associated 2 (MMD2), semaphorin 3E (SEMA3E), solute carrier family 27 member 6 (SLC27A6) and actin gamma 2 (ACTG2)) was seen between the hybrid and the constraint-based algorithms, and these genes could be recommended as central to the GSE33030 data series. Functional annotation of the hub genes in uterine tissue during progesterone treatment in the pregnancy period showed that the predicted hub genes were involved in extracellular pathways, lipid and protein metabolism, protein structure and post-translational processes. The identified hub genes obtained by the score-based algorithms had a role in 2-arachidonoylglycerol and enzyme modulation. In conclusion, different algorithms and subsequent topological parameters were used to identify hub genes to better illuminate pathways acting in response to progesterone treatment in the bovine uterus, which should help with our understanding of gene regulatory networks in complex trait expression. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Advances in Cattle Breeding, Genetics and Genomics)
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Article
Cellular Prion Protein Expression in the Brain Tissue from Brucella ceti-Infected Striped Dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba)
Animals 2022, 12(10), 1304; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ani12101304 - 19 May 2022
Viewed by 539
Abstract
Brucella ceti, a zoonotic pathogen of major concern to cetacean health and conservation, is responsible for severe meningo-encephalitic/myelitic lesions in striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba), often leading to their stranding and death. This study investigated, for the first time, the cellular [...] Read more.
Brucella ceti, a zoonotic pathogen of major concern to cetacean health and conservation, is responsible for severe meningo-encephalitic/myelitic lesions in striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba), often leading to their stranding and death. This study investigated, for the first time, the cellular prion protein (PrPc) expression in the brain tissue from B. ceti-infected, neurobrucellosis-affected striped dolphins. Seven B. ceti-infected, neurobrucellosis-affected striped dolphins, found stranded along the Italian coastline (6) and in the Canary Islands (1), were investigated, along with five B. ceti-uninfected striped dolphins from the coast of Italy, carrying no brain lesions, which served as negative controls. Western Blot (WB) and immunohistochemistry (IHC) with an anti-PrP murine monoclonal antibody were carried out on the brain parenchyma of these dolphins. While PrPc IHC yielded inconclusive results, a clear-cut PrPc expression of different intensity was found by means of WB analyses in the brain tissue of all the seven herein investigated, B. ceti-infected and neurobrucellosis-affected cetacean specimens, with two dolphins stranded along the Italian coastline and one dolphin beached in Canary Islands also exhibiting a statistically significant increase in cerebral PrPc expression as compared to the five Brucella spp.-negative control specimens. The significantly increased PrPc expression found in three out of seven B. ceti-infected, neurobrucellosis-affected striped dolphins does not allow us to draw any firm conclusion(s) about the putative role of PrPc as a host cell receptor for B. ceti. Should this be the case, an upregulation of PrPc mRNA in the brain tissue of neurobrucellosis-affected striped dolphins could be hypothesized during the different stages of B. ceti infection, as previously shown in murine bone marrow cells challenged with Escherichia coli. Noteworthy, the inflammatory infiltrates seen in the brain and in the cervico-thoracic spinal cord segments from the herein investigated, B. ceti-infected and neurobrucellosis-affected striped dolphins were densely populated by macrophage/histiocyte cells, often harboring Brucella spp. antigen in their cytoplasm, similarly to what was reported in macrophages from mice experimentally challenged with B. abortus. Notwithstanding the above, much more work is needed in order to properly assess the role of PrPc, if any, as a host cell receptor for B. ceti in striped dolphins. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Frontiers in Marine Mammal Health and Immunity)
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