7 research outputs found

    Advances in selenium supplementation: From selenium-enriched yeast to potential selenium-enriched insects, and selenium nanoparticles

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    Selenium (Se) is an essential micronutrient that plays an important role in animal and human development and physiological homoeostasis. This review surveys the role of Se in the environment, plants and animal bodies, and discusses data on Se biofortification with different sources of supplementation, from inorganic to organic forms, with special focus on Se-enriched yeast (Se-yeast). Although Se-yeast remains one of the main sources of organic Se, other emerging and innovative sources are reviewed, such as Se-enriched insects and Se-nanoparticles and their potential use in animal nutrition. Se-enriched insects are discussed as an option for supplying Se in organic form to livestock diets. Se-nanoparticles are also discussed, as they represent a more biocompatible and less toxic source of inorganic Se for animal organisms, compared to selenite and selenate. We also provide up to date information on the legal framework in the EU, USA, and Canada of Se that is contained in feed additives. From the scientific evidence available in the literature, it can be concluded that among the inorganic forms, sodium selenite is still one of the main options, whereas Se-yeast remains the primary organic form. However, other potential sources such as Se-enriched insects and Se-nanoparticles are being investigated as they could potentially combine a high bioavailability and reduced Se emissions in the environment

    Characterization of Fat Quality in Cow Milk from Alpine Farms as Influenced by Seasonal Variations of Diets

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    The production systems linked to mountain animal husbandry have had an environmental, social and cultural role in recent years. Zootechnical systems based on feeding strategies, such as pasture grazing and grass-fed strategies, contribute to a significant increase in the relative amounts of favorable fatty acids (FAs) in animal products, indicating their ability to improve the long-term health of consumers. In this study, we compared different feeding strategies in two small mountain farms in the Piedmont Alpine region, Italy. Particularly, during the summer season, the two farms were distinguished by the exclusive employment of Alpine pasture (farm A), assumed as the best way to improve the quality of the FA profile in milk vs. the supply of daily fresh cut mountain grass plus a reduced implementation with hay and concentrates directly in the barn (farm B). The milk fatty acid profile was analyzed using gas chromatography. The results showed the high quality of alpine milk collected in the two farms. Even with some differences, particularly evidenced when comparing the summer diets, the milk FA profiles in farm A and farm B were favorable from a nutritional point of view in both seasons. Milk samples obtained using the exclusive employment of alpine grazing during summer were represented by an FA profile of higher quality (lower saturated FAs, higher branched FAs and monounsaturated FA, favorable n6/n3 ratio). However, milk obtained using the integrated strategy (fresh grass plus concentrates in the barn farm B) resulted in a more homogenous composition during the summer season, with a higher concentration of polyunsaturated FAs. These outcomes suggested that the integrated strategy, even if related to a lower ability in improving milk FA profile, could represent a valid and cost-effective alternative for mountain farmers to obtain an overall superior quality of milk, which was not strictly linked to the grazing practice. The multivariate analysis showed that information contained in the milk FA profile may provide a valuable tool that can distinguish mountain-grass-based diet

    First Evaluation of Infrared Thermography as a Tool for the Monitoring of Udder Health Status in Farms of Dairy Cows

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    The aim of the present study was to test infrared thermography (IRT), under field conditions, as a possible tool for the evaluation of cow udder health status. Thermographic images (n. 310) from different farms (n. 3) were collected and evaluated using a dedicated software application to calculate automatically and in a standardized way, thermographic indices of each udder. Results obtained have confirmed a significant relationship between udder surface skin temperature (USST) and classes of somatic cell count in collected milk samples. Sensitivity and specificity in the classification of udder health were: 78.6% and 77.9%, respectively, considering a level of somatic cell count (SCC) of 200,000 cells/mL as a threshold to classify a subclinical mastitis or 71.4% and 71.6%, respectively when a threshold of 400,000 cells/mL was adopted. Even though the sensitivity and specificity were lower than in other published papers dealing with non-automated analysis of IRT images, they were considered acceptable as a first field application of this new and developing technology. Future research will permit further improvements in the use of IRT, at farm level. Such improvements could be attained through further image processing and enhancement, and the application of indicators developed and tested in the present study with the purpose of developing a monitoring system for the automatic and early detection of mastitis in individual animals on commercial farms

    CEO career horizons and when to go public: the relationship between risk-taking, speed and CEO power

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    Initial public offerings make a noteworthy contribution to both the growth of equity markets and the promotion of entrepreneurial activities. As a strategic issue, the decision on when to go public depends on the firm’s leader, and the personal characteristics of chief executives (CEOs) have been found to affect the results of the initial public offering. This paper investigates whether the speed with which firms go public depends on the CEO’s time to retirement, the so-called career horizon. Hypothesising that CEOs with short career horizons will be more risk-averse and aim to preserve their legacy, we found that CEO career horizon is negatively related to the time the firm takes to start the initial public offering. CEOs with longer career horizons make faster, more risky decisions, such as to go public, because of their risk-taking preferences. We also examined how the extent of CEO power affects this relationship. Our results show that a low level of power is linked to more risky decisions, so that powerful CEOs tend to be associated with taking longer to reach the point of initial public offering

    Risk of Guillain-Barr\ue9 syndrome after 2010-2011 influenza vaccination

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    Influenza vaccination has been implicated in Guillain Barr\ue9 Syndrome (GBS) although the evidence for this link is controversial. A case-control study was conducted between October 2010 and May 2011 in seven Italian Regions to explore the relation between influenza vaccination and GBS. The study included 176 GBS incident cases aged 6518 years from 86 neurological centers. Controls were selected among patients admitted for acute conditions to the Emergency Department of the same hospital as cases. Each control was matched to a case by sex, age, Region and admission date. Two different analyses were conducted: a matched case-control analysis and a self-controlled case series analysis (SCCS). Case-control analysis included 140 cases matched to 308 controls. The adjusted matched odds ratio (OR) for GBS occurrence within 6 weeks after influenza vaccination was 3.8 (95 % CI: 1.3, 10.5). A much stronger association with gastrointestinal infections (OR = 23.8; 95 % CI 7.3, 77.6) and influenza-like illness or upper respiratory tract infections (OR = 11.5; 95 % CI 5.6, 23.5) was highlighted. The SCCS analysis included all 176 GBS cases. Influenza vaccination was associated with GBS, with a relative risk of 2.1 (95 % CI 1.1, 3.9). According to these results the attributable risk in adults ranges from two to five GBS cases per 1,000,000 vaccinations