46 research outputs found

    Cotinine as a Sentinel of Canine Exposure to Tobacco Smoke

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    The adverse health effects of both active and passive tobacco smoke have been well-known in humans for a long time. It is presumable that even pets, which intimately share the owner’s lifestyle, may be exposed to the same risks. This study aimed to detect and quantify cotinine (a metabolite of nicotine) in the serum and hair of dogs using a specific commercial ELISA immunoassay kit. A total of 32 dogs, 16 exposed and 16 unexposed to the owner’s smoke, were enrolled. The cotinine concentration was higher in the exposed than the unexposed group in both matrices (p p p p < 0.01). The exposure intensity, age, and weight of the dogs did not affect cotinine concentrations. A cut-off value of 2.78 ng/mL and 1.13 ng/mL cotinine concentration in serum and fur, respectively, was estimated to distinguish between the exposed and unexposed dogs. Cotinine was confirmed as a valuable marker of passive smoking also in dogs. Although owners do not perceive secondhand smoke as a risk for their dogs, greater awareness should be advisable, especially in pregnant animals

    Association between Mastitis Occurrence in Dairy Cows and Bedding Characteristics of Compost-Bedded Pack Barns

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    Compost-bedded pack barns (CB) are receiving increasing attention as a housing system that can potentially improve the welfare of dairy cows. This study characterized the frequency and profile of pathogens isolated from clinical (CM) and subclinical (SCM) mastitis in dairy cows housed in CB. It evaluated the association between mastitis occurrence and bedding characteristics in CB systems. Over six months, seven dairy herds were visited monthly for milk and bedding sample collections. Milk samples from mastitis cases were submitted to microbiological identification by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight (MALDI-TOF MS). Bedding samples were submitted to physical-chemical (pH, organic matter, moisture, and carbon to nitrogen ratio) and microbiological counting (total bacterial counts, coliforms, streptococci, and staphylococci) analyses. Regression analysis was used to determine the association between mastitis occurrence and CB characteristics. Our results showed that Escherichia coli and environmental streptococci were the most frequently isolated pathogens from CM cases, while Staphylococcus chromogenes and contagious pathogens (Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus agalactiae) were the most commonly isolated from SCM cases. Bedding moisture content was positively associated with the incidence of CM. The bedding carbon to nitrogen ratio was negatively associated with the incidence of SCM, and the bedding total bacteria counts tended to be associated with the incidence of SCM. Bedding counts of coliforms positively associated with the prevalence of SCM. Our results can support decision-makers in the dairy industry seeking strategies for bedding management and mastitis control

    Malattie infettive degli animali

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    Le malattie infettive degli animali rappresentano una parte rilevante della sanità pubblica, sia per motivi sanitari sia economici, e storicamente sono state tra i primi problemi di popolazione a dover essere gestiti. I contenuti del libro, scelti in base ai programmi didattici svolti in diverse Facoltà italiane, comprendono un’ampia serie di argomenti: una parte introduttiva sui concetti di epidemiologia, sorveglianza, diagnosi, profilassi, controllo ed eradicazione delle malattie infettive, per poi passare in rassegna le diverse patologie che colpiscono gli animali da reddito, da compagnia, i lagomorfi e gli esotici. Vengono anche trattati argomenti riguardanti le principali malattie emergenti e le zoonosi. La stesura del volume ha coinvolto un gran numero di docenti, ricercatori (di diverse sedi universitarie) e professionisti, ciascuno con la sua specifica competenza, con l’obiettivo di produrre un testo condiviso. “Malattie infettive degli animali”, volume di agile e facile consultazione, mette a disposizione di studenti, ricercatori e docenti un’opera completa e di indubbia utilità, con lo scopo di fornire gli strumenti teorici e pratici per la sorveglianza, la diagnosi e il controllo delle malattie infettive

    Exploratory study on the sperm ratio in dogs: repeatability over time and some reproductive effects.

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    Mechanisms that regulate sexual chromosome distribution in the canine ejaculate are not quite understood with no data about both its variation over time and the effect on reproductive parameters. With the aim to deepen these aspects, ten purebred male dogs, aged between 1.5 and 8.5 years, underwent digito-digital semen collection every three months throughout one year. A quantitative real-time PCR method was used to measure the sperm-sex ratio. The sperm-sex ratio was slightly female-biased without a significant difference throughout the year, albeit with some individual dynamic fluctuation over time. The total number of spermatozoa (P < 0.05) but not serum testosterone concentration nor the age of the dog was related to the sperm-sex ratio. In particular, dogs with a lower spermatozoa rate showed a greater number of spermatozoa in the ejaculate than dogs with a higher rate. A decreasing trend of X spermatozoa rate was also observed in dogs younger than 5 years of age. Quantitative real-time PCR proved to be an accurate, practical, and reliable method for determining the sperm-sex ratio in dogs. Further studies on a large scale could help to deepen the factors involved in the sperm-sex ratio and consequently in the offspring-sex ratio, opening new frontiers in canine andrology

    Evaluation of a bovine cathelicidin ELISA for detecting mastitis in the dairy buffalo: Comparison with milk somatic cell count and bacteriological culture

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    A recently developed bovine cathelicidin (CATH) ELISA was evaluated in the dairy buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) by testing 618 quarter milk samples from a herd with subclinical mastitis cases. Somatic cell count (SCC) and bacteriological culture (BC) were carried out on the same samples for comparison. Out of 618 quarters, 258 (41.75%) were positive to CATH, 289 (46.76%) had SCC > 200,000 cells/mL, and 457 (73.95%) were positive to BC. The most prevalent microorganism was Staphylococcus aureus (SAU, 35.76% of all quarters), followed by non-aureus staphylococci (NAS, 22.17% of all quarters). Clinical mastitis quarters were only 7 (1.13%). CATH levels were significantly higher in clinical quarters and in high SCC, BC-positive quarters than in healthy, low SCC, BC-negative quarters. The highest median values were observed for SAU and the lowest for NAS. Differences among microorganism classes were generally more significant for SCC than for CATH. Test char acteristics of the CATH ELISA, evaluated by considering as true positives all BC-positive quarters with SCC > 200,000 cells/mL (N = 242), and as true negatives all sterile quarters with SCC < 200,000 cells/mL (N = 44), were as follows: sensitivity 57.85%, specificity 84.09%, positive predictive value 95.24%, negative predictive value 26.62%, accuracy 61.89%. Therefore, the bovine CATH ELISA showed a fair sensitivity and a good specificity in detecting water buffalo mastitis

    Proteomic changes in the milk of water buffaloes (Bubalus bubalis) with subclinical mastitis due to intramammary infection by Staphylococcus aureus and by non-aureus staphylococci

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    Subclinical mastitis by Staphylococcus aureus (SAU) and by non-aureus staphylococci (NAS) is a major issue in the water buffalo. To understand its impact on milk, 6 quarter samples with >3,000,000 cells/ mL (3 SAU-positive and 3 NAS-positive) and 6 culture-negative quarter samples with <50,000 cells/ mL were investigated by shotgun proteomics and label-free quantitation. A total of 1530 proteins were identified, of which 152 were significantly changed. SAU was more impacting, with 162 vs 127 differential proteins and higher abundance changes (P < 0.0005). The 119 increased proteins had mostly structural (n = 43, 28.29%) or innate immune defence functions (n = 39, 25.66%) and included vimentin, cathelicidins, histones, S100 and neutrophil granule proteins, haptoglobin, and lysozyme. The 33 decreased proteins were mainly involved in lipid metabolism (n = 13, 59.10%) and included butyrophilin, xanthine dehydrogenase/oxidase, and lipid biosynthetic enzymes. The same biological processes were significantly affected also upon STRING analysis. Cathelicidins were the most increased family, as confirmed by western immunoblotting, with a stronger reactivity in SAU mastitis. S100A8 and haptoglobin were also validated by western immunoblotting. In conclusion, we generated a detailed buffalo milk protein dataset and defined the changes occurring in SAU and NAS mastitis, with potential for improving detection (ProteomeXchange identifier PXD012355)

    Staphylococcus aureus Isolates from Bovine Mastitis in Eight Countries: Genotypes, Detection of Genes Encoding Different Toxins and Other Virulence Genes

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    Staphylococcus aureus is recognized worldwide as one of the major agents of dairy cow intra-mammary infections. This microorganism can express a wide spectrum of pathogenic factors used to attach, colonize, invade and infect the host. The present study evaluated 120 isolates from eight different countries that were genotyped by RS-PCR and investigated for 26 different virulence factors to increase the knowledge on the circulating genetic lineages among the cow population with mastitis. New genotypes were observed for South African strains while for all the other countries new variants of existing genotypes were detected. For each country, a specific genotypic pattern was found. Among the virulence factors, fmtB, cna, clfA and leucocidins genes were the most frequent. The sea and sei genes were present in seven out of eight countries; seh showed high frequency in South American countries (Brazil, Colombia, Argentina), while sel was harboured especially in one Mediterranean country (Tunisia). The etb, seb and see genes were not detected in any of the isolates, while only two isolates were MRSA (Germany and Italy) confirming the low diffusion of methicillin resistance microorganism among bovine mastitis isolates. This work demonstrated the wide variety of S. aureus genotypes found in dairy cattle worldwide. This condition suggests that considering the region of interest might help to formulate strategies for reducing the infection spreading

    What we have lost: Mastitis resistance in Holstein Friesians and in a local cattle breed

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    In Holstein Friesian dairy cows, selective pressure for increased milk production has led to a higher propensity to disease, including mastitis, when compared to less selected and lower producing dairy breeds. The biology underpinning the higher resistance to disease of such \ue2\u80\u9clocal breeds\ue2\u80\u9d is not fully understood. With the aim of investigating the factors associated to this phenomenon, we applied a multidisciplinary approach to compare innate immune response patterns, metabolic parameters, milk protein profiles and the milk microbiota in Holstein Friesian and Rendena cows reared in the same farm and under the same management conditions. Quarter milk samples and blood plasma were collected from all cows at dry-off, 1 day after calving, 7\ue2\u80\u9310 days after calving and 30 days after calving. Quarter milk samples were subjected to bacteriological culture, characterization of the milk microbiota by 16S metagenomics, milk protein profiling by electrophoresis and densitometry, somatic cell counting, measurement of the inflammation marker cathelicidin and assessment of different innate immune-related mediators such as lysozyme, CD45, IL-1\uce\ub2, TNF-\uce\ub1, PTX3, IL-1R8. In parallel, the main inflammometabolic parameters were measured in blood plasma samples. Despite having relatively few animals (6 moderate-yielding Holstein Friesian and 4 low-yielding Rendena) some important differences were apparent. Holstein Friesian cows showed a more severe fat mobilization and systemic inflammatory response postpartum in comparison with Rendena cows, which had a greater postpartum muscle mass and an increased amino acid mobilization compared to Holstein Friesians. Upon bacteriological analysis, contagious bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus agalactiae were absent, but significant differences were seen in the general composition of the milk microbiota of the two breeds. Concerning the milk protein abundance profile, pronounced differences were seen in colostrum, with significantly higher amounts of immunoglobulins and other immune-related proteins in Rendena. Added to this, the expression of innate immune related genes such as PTX-3, IL-1\uce\ub2, TNF-\uce\ub1, and KRT5 expression in milk epithelial and leukocyte cell components, respectively, was lower in Holstein Friesian colostrum compared with Rendena. In conclusion, several differences were observed in the two breeds, in spite of the same farming conditions. The observations reported in this work present numerous pointers to the factors that may provide autochthonous, more rustic breeds with a higher resistance to disease

    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
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