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Animal Diseases - Top 30 Publications

Schmallenberg virus infection confirmed in Scotland.

Schmallenberg virus infection in malformed lambsFood chain issues after lead poisoning incidentSuspected ragwort poisoning in heifersEwe abortions due to Salmonella enterica serovar UrbanaCoxiella burnetii detected in aborted lambsThese are among matters discussed in the disease surveillance report for February 2017 from SAC Consulting: Veterinary Services (SAC C VS).

Wildlife: topical issues, recent cases.

This focus article was prepared by Paul Duff, Paul Holmes and Alex Barlow of the APHA Wildlife Expert Group.

Disease surveillance in England and Wales, May 2017.

 Current and emerging issues: potentially toxic blue-green algal blooms Highlights from the scanning surveillance network Update on international disease threats Focus on topical issues and recent cases relating to wildlifeThese are among matters discussed in the Animal and Plant Health Agency's (APHA's) disease surveillance report for May 2017.

sourceR: Classification and source attribution of infectious agents among heterogeneous populations.

Zoonotic diseases are a major cause of morbidity, and productivity losses in both human and animal populations. Identifying the source of food-borne zoonoses (e.g. an animal reservoir or food product) is crucial for the identification and prioritisation of food safety interventions. For many zoonotic diseases it is difficult to attribute human cases to sources of infection because there is little epidemiological information on the cases. However, microbial strain typing allows zoonotic pathogens to be categorised, and the relative frequencies of the strain types among the sources and in human cases allows inference on the likely source of each infection. We introduce sourceR, an R package for quantitative source attribution, aimed at food-borne diseases. It implements a Bayesian model using strain-typed surveillance data from both human cases and source samples, capable of identifying important sources of infection. The model measures the force of infection from each source, allowing for varying survivability, pathogenicity and virulence of pathogen strains, and varying abilities of the sources to act as vehicles of infection. A Bayesian non-parametric (Dirichlet process) approach is used to cluster pathogen strain types by epidemiological behaviour, avoiding model overfitting and allowing detection of strain types associated with potentially high "virulence". sourceR is demonstrated using Campylobacter jejuni isolate data collected in New Zealand between 2005 and 2008. Chicken from a particular poultry supplier was identified as the major source of campylobacteriosis, which is qualitatively similar to results of previous studies using the same dataset. Additionally, the software identifies a cluster of 9 multilocus sequence types with abnormally high 'virulence' in humans. sourceR enables straightforward attribution of cases of zoonotic infection to putative sources of infection. As sourceR develops, we intend it to become an important and flexible resource for food-borne disease attribution studies.

Construction of Lactococcus lactis expressing secreted and anchored Eimeria tenella 3-1E protein and comparison of protective immunity against homologous challenge.

Two novel plasmids pTX8048-SP-Δ3-1E and pTX8048-SP-NAΔ3-1E-CWA were constructed. The plasmids were respectively electrotransformed into L. lactis NZ9000 to generate strain of L. lactis/pTX8048-SP-Δ3-1E in which 3-1E protein was expressed in secretion, and L. lactis/pTX8048-SP-NAΔ3-1E-CWA on which 3-1E protein was covalently anchored to the surface of bacteria cells. The expression of target proteins were examined by Western blot. The live lactococci expressing secreted 3-1E protein, anchored 3-1E protein, and cytoplasmic 3-1E protein was administered orally to chickens respectively, and the protective immunity and efficacy were compared by animal experiment. The results showed oral immunization to chickens with recombinant lactococci expressing anchored 3-1E protein elicited high 3-1E-specific serum IgG, increased high proportion of CD4(+) and CD8α(+) cells in spleen, alleviated average lesion score in cecum, decreased the oocyst output per chicken compared to lactococci expressing cytoplasmic or secreted 3-1E protein. Taken together, these findings indicated the surface anchored Eimeria protein displayed by L. lacits can induce protective immunity and partial protection against homologous infection.

Northern Ireland disease surveillance report, January to March 2017.

 Pneumonia in cattle Malignant catarrhal fever in cattle Tumours in sheep Pneumonia in pigs Histomonosis in chickensThese are among matters discussed in the Northern Ireland animal disease surveillance quarterly report for January to March 2017.

Using Molecular Characterization to Support Investigations of Aquatic Facility-Associated Outbreaks of Cryptosporidiosis - Alabama, Arizona, and Ohio, 2016.

Cryptosporidiosis is a nationally notifiable gastrointestinal illness caused by parasitic protozoa of the genus Cryptosporidium, which can cause profuse, watery diarrhea that can last up to 2-3 weeks in immunocompetent patients and can lead to life-threatening wasting and malabsorption in immunocompromised patients. Fecal-oral transmission of Cryptosporidium oocysts, the parasite's infectious life stage, occurs via ingestion of contaminated recreational water, drinking water, or food, or following contact with infected persons or animals, particularly preweaned bovine calves (1). The typical incubation period is 2-10 days. Since 2004, the annual incidence of nationally notified cryptosporidiosis has risen approximately threefold in the United States (1). Cryptosporidium also has emerged as the leading etiology of nationally notified recreational water-associated outbreaks, particularly those associated with aquatic facilities (i.e., physical places that contain one or more aquatic venues [e.g., pools] and support infrastructure) (2). As of February 24, 2017, a total of 13 (54%) of 24 states reporting provisional data detected at least 32 aquatic facility-associated cryptosporidiosis outbreaks in 2016. In comparison, 20 such outbreaks were voluntarily reported to CDC via the National Outbreak Reporting System for 2011, 16 for 2012, 13 for 2013, and 16 for 2014. This report highlights cryptosporidiosis outbreaks associated with aquatic facilities in three states (Alabama, Arizona, and Ohio) in 2016. This report also illustrates the use of CryptoNet, the first U.S. molecularly based surveillance system for a parasitic disease, to further elucidate Cryptosporidium chains of transmission and cryptosporidiosis epidemiology. CryptoNet data can be used to optimize evidence-based prevention strategies. Not swimming when ill with diarrhea is key to preventing and controlling aquatic facility-associated cryptosporidiosis outbreaks (https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/swimming/swimmers/steps-healthy-swimming.html).

Salmonella DIVA vaccine reduces disease, colonization and shedding due to virulent S. Typhimurium infection in swine.

Non-host-adapted Salmonella serovars, including the common human food-borne pathogen Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium), are opportunistic pathogens that can colonize food-producing animals without causing overt disease. Interventions against Salmonella are needed to enhance food safety, protect animal health and allow the differentiation of infected from vaccinated animals (DIVA).

Potentially hazardous Streptococcus suis strains latent in asymptomatic pigs in a major swine production area of Thailand.

Carrier pigs have been considered as the major reservoir of Streptococcus suis and couldbe a significant source of human infection. Therefore, we investigated the prevalence and characteristics of latent S. suis in asymptomatic pigs in the pig-farming area of central Thailand, and compared the data to those previously reported in other regions.

Antibacterial Activity of 7-Epiclusianone and Its Novel Copper Metal Complex on Streptococcus spp. Isolated from Bovine Mastitis and Their Cytotoxicity in MAC-T Cells.

Mastitis is an inflammation of mammary gland parenchyma that adversely affects bovine health and dairy production worldwide despite significant efforts to eradicate it. The aim of this work was to characterize the antimicrobial activity of 7-epiclusianone (7-epi), a compound extracted from the Rheedia brasiliensis fruit, its complex with copper against Streptococcus spp. isolated from bovine mastitis, and to assess their cytotoxicity to bovine mammary alveolar cells (MAC-T). The complex 7-epiclusianone-Cu (7-epi-Cu) was an amorphous green solid with optical activity. Its vibrational spectrum in the infrared region showed absorption bands in the high-frequency region, as well as bands that can be attributed to the unconjugated and conjugated stretching of the free ligand. The complex was anhydrous. One of the tested bacterial strains was not sensitive to the compounds, while the other three had MIC values of 7.8 µg mL(-1) and minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) values between 15.6 and 31.3 µg mL(-1). These two compounds are bacteriostatic, did not cause damage to the cell wall and, at sub-inhibitory concentrations, did not induce bacterial adhesion. The compounds were not cytotoxic. Based on these results, 7-epi and 7-epi-Cu exhibited desirable antimicrobial properties and could potentially be used in bovine mastitis treatment.

THE BIOLOGICAL ACTIVITIES OF HYPERICUM PERFORATUM L.

Mastitis reduces milk yield and alters milk composition. Antibiotics are widely used in the treatment of the disease. However, this widespread use of antibiotics causes both antibiotic residues in milks and antibiotic resistance developed in bacteria. Today's researches are focused on discovering and using new antibiotics against bacteria.

ESTABLISHMENT AND EVALUATION OF ORTHOTOPIC HEPATOCELLULAR CARCINOMA AND DRUG-INDUCED HEPATOCELLULAR CARCINOMA IN MICE WITH SPLEEN-DEFICIENCY SYNDROME IN TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE.

Spleen-deficiency syndrome (SDS) in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) played pivotal roles on the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). This study was performed to establish and evaluate HCC model in mice with SDS in TCM.

ANTHELMINTIC EFFECTS OF DRIED GROUND BANANA PLANT LEAVES (MUSA SPP.) FED TO SHEEP ARTIFICIALLY INFECTED WITH HAEMONCHUS CONTORTUS AND TRICHOSTRONGYLUS COLUBRIFORMIS.

Helminths is a endoparasites that cause the major losses for profitable sheep production in Brazil. The increased development of resistant strains of endoparasites have enforced the search for sustainable alternatives. The aim of this paper was to provide information about endoparasites control with banana leaves in infected sheep as alternative control strategies and see its viability.

Differentially expressed genes during spontaneous lytic switch of Marek's disease virus in lymphoblastoid cell lines determined by global gene expression profiling.

Marek's disease virus (MDV), an alphaherpesvirus of poultry, causes Marek's disease and is characterized by visceral CD4+TCRαβ+ T-cell lymphomas in susceptible hosts. Immortal cell lines harbouring the viral genome have been generated from ex vivo cultures of MD tumours. As readily available sources of large numbers of cells, MDV-transformed lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs) are extremely valuable for studies of virus-host interaction. While the viral genome in most cells is held in a latent state, minor populations of cells display spontaneous reactivation identifiable by the expression of lytic viral genes. Spontaneous reactivation in these cells presents an opportunity to investigate the biological processes involved in the virus reactivation. For detailed characterization of the molecular events associated with reactivation, we used two lymphoblastoid cell lines derived from lymphomas induced by pRB1B-UL47eGFP, a recombinant MDV engineered to express enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) fused with the UL47. We used fluorescence-activated cell sorting to purify the low-frequency EGFP-positive cells with a spontaneously activating viral genome from the majority EGFP-negative cells and analysed their gene expression profiles by RNA-seq using Illumina HiSeq2500. Ingenuity pathway analysis on more than 2000 differentially expressed genes between the lytically infected (EGFP-positive) and latently infected (EGFP-negative) cell populations identified the biological pathways involved in the reactivation. Virus-reactivating cells exhibited differential expression of a significant number of viral genes, with hierarchical differences in expression levels. Downregulation of a number of host genes including those directly involved in T-cell activation, such as CD3, CD28, ICOS and phospholipase C, was also noticed in the LCL undergoing lytic switch.

First field evidence of the evolution from a non-virulent HPR0 to a virulent HPR-deleted infectious salmon anaemia virus.

The putatively non-virulent subtype of infectious salmon anaemia virus (ISAV), ISAV-HPR0, is proposed to act as a progenitor and reservoir for all virulent ISAVs and thus represent a potential risk factor for the emergence of infectious salmon anaemia (ISA) disease. Here, we provide the first evidence of genetic and functional evolution from an ISAV-HPR0 variant (FO/07/12) to a low-virulent ISAV virus (FO/121/14) in a Faroese Atlantic salmon marine farm. The FO/121/14 virus infection was not associated with specific clinical signs of ISA and was confined to a single net-pen, while various ISAV-HPR0 subtypes were found circulating in most epidemiologically linked marine and freshwater farms. Sequence analysis of all eight segments revealed that the FO/121/14 virus was identical, apart from a substitution in the fusion (F) gene (Q266L) and a deletion in the haemagglutinin-esterase (HE) gene, to the FO/07/12 variant from a freshwater farm, which supplied smolts exclusively to the FO/121/14-positive net-pen. An immersion challenge with the FO/121/14 virus induced a systemic infection in Atlantic salmon associated with a low mortality and mild clinical signs confirming its low pathogenicity. Our results demonstrate that mutations in the F protein and deletions in the highly polymorphic region (HPR) of the HE protein represent a minimum requirement for ISAV to gain virulence and to switch cell tropism from a localized epithelial infection to a systemic endotheliotropic infection. This documents that ISAV-HPR0 represents a reservoir and risk factor for the emergence of ISA disease.

Epidemiology of Cryptosporidium in Pediatric Diarrheal Illnesses.

Cryptosporidium spp. is a zoonotic infection, now being recognized as a significant cause of diarrhea in both immunocompetent and immunocompromised hosts. However, there still exist significant knowledge gaps in its estimated global burden, epidemiology, diagnosis and management.

Klebsiella pneumoniae septicaemia in preweaned pigs.

This article has been prepared by Susanna Williamson and colleagues of the APHA Pig Expert Group.

Disease surveillance in England and Wales, April 2017.

▪ Current and emerging issues: update on Schmallenberg virus▪ Highlights from the scanning surveillance network▪ Update on international disease threats▪ Focus on Klebsiella pneumoniae septicaemia in preweaned pigsThese are among matters discussed in the Animal and Plant Health Agency's (APHA's) disease surveillance report for April 2017.

Vanadium(III)-l-cysteine enhances the sensitivity of murine breast adenocarcinoma cells to cyclophosphamide by promoting apoptosis and blocking angiogenesis.

Various epidemiological and preclinical studies have already established the cancer chemopreventive potential of vanadium-based compounds. In addition to its preventive efficacy, studies have also indicated the abilities of vanadium-based compounds to induce cell death selectively toward malignant cells. Therefore, the objective of the present investigation is to improve the therapeutic efficacy and toxicity profile of an alkylating agent, cyclophosphamide, by the concurrent use of an organovanadium complex, vanadium(III)-l-cysteine. In this study, vanadium(III)-l-cysteine (1 mg/kg body weight, per os) was administered alone as well as in combination with cyclophosphamide (25 mg/kg body weight, intraperitoneal) in concomitant and pretreatment schedule in mice bearing breast adenocarcinoma cells. The results showed that the combination treatment significantly decreased the tumor burden and enhanced survivability of tumor-bearing mice through generation of reactive oxygen species in tumor cells. These ultimately led to DNA damage, depolarization of mitochondrial membrane potential, and apoptosis in tumor cells. Further insight into the molecular pathway disclosed that the combination treatment caused upregulation of p53 and Bax and suppression of Bcl-2 followed by the activation of caspase cascade and poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase cleavage. Administration of vanadium(III)-l-cysteine also resulted in significant attenuation of peritoneal vasculature and sprouting of the blood vessels by decreasing the levels of vascular endothelial growth factor A and matrix metalloproteinase 9 in the ascites fluid of tumor-bearing mice. Furthermore, vanadium(III)-l-cysteine significantly attenuated cyclophosphamide-induced hematopoietic, hepatic, and genetic damages and provided additional survival advantages. Hence, this study suggested that vanadium(III)-l-cysteine may offer potential therapeutic benefit in combination with cyclophosphamide by augmenting anticancer efficacy and diminishing toxicity to the host.

Comparing the curative efficacy of topical treatment with thiamphenicol and oxytetracycline on digital dermatitis lesions in dairy cattle.

The efficacy of two topically applied antibiotics for the treatment of painful ulcerative stage of bovine digital dermatitis (BDD) lesions was compared in a clinical trial conducted on five dairy farms in the Netherlands during the autumn of 2015. A total of 109 cows with an ulcerative (M2) stage of BDD were randomly appointed a treatment with an antibiotic-based spray. One treatment contained thiamphenicol as active ingredient (TAF). The other treatment had oxytetracycline as active ingredient (ENG). The experimental unit for this study was the hind claw with the presence of an ulcerative BDD lesion. On day 0, claws with ulcerative BDD lesions were trimmed, cleaned, photographed and thereafter treated randomly either with TAF or ENG. Cure was defined as the transition of an ulcerative lesion into a non-painful chronic (M4) or into a healed (M0) stage of BDD at day 28 post-treatment. The cure rate at day 28 of M2 BDD lesions treated with TAF was 89 per cent (95 per cent CI 0.78 to 0.94), and for ENG 75 per cent (95 per cent CI 0.67 to 0.86). So the difference in cure rate was 14 per cent (95 per cent CI 0.00 to 0.27), which was statistically significant. The P value in this experiment is very close to 0.05 indicating that the effect is quite small. If a two-sided test would be used, the small significant effect, in this experiment, will disappear. Overall, the significant better curative effect of TAF on BDD M2 lesions was small, compared with ENG.

Metformin augments doxorubicin cytotoxicity in mammary carcinoma through activation of adenosine monophosphate protein kinase pathway.

Since the incidence of breast cancer increases dramatically all over the world, the search for effective treatment is an urgent need. Metformin has demonstrated anti-tumorigenic effect both in vivo and in vitro in different cancer types. This work was designed to examine on molecular level the mode of action of metformin in mice bearing solid Ehrlich carcinoma and to evaluate the use of metformin in conjunction with doxorubicin as a combined therapy against solid Ehrlich carcinoma. Ehrlich ascites carcinoma cells were inoculated in 60 female mice as a model of breast cancer. The mice were divided into four equal groups: Control tumor, metformin, doxorubicin, and co-treatment. Metformin (15 mg/kg) and doxorubicin (4 mg/kg) were given intraperitoneally (i.p.) for four cycles every 5 days starting on day 12 of inoculation. The anti-tumorigenic effect of metformin was mediated by enhancement of adenosine monophosphate protein kinase activity and elevation of P53 protein as well as the suppression of nuclear factor-kappa B, DNA contents, and cyclin D1 gene expression. Metformin and doxorubicin mono-treatments exhibited opposing action regarding cyclin D1 gene expression, phosphorylated adenosine monophosphate protein kinase, and nuclear factor-kappa B levels. Co-treatment markedly decreased tumor volume, increased survival rate, and improved other parameters compared to doxorubicin group. In parallel, the histopathological findings demonstrated enhanced apoptosis and absence of necrosis in tumor tissue of co-treatment group. Metformin proved chemotherapeutic effect which could be mediated by the activation of adenosine monophosphate protein kinase and related pathways. Combining metformin and doxorubicin, which exhibited different mechanisms of action, produced greater efficacy as anticancer therapeutic regimen.

Changes of cecal microflora in chickens following Eimeria tenella challenge and regulating effect of coated sodium butyrate.

Eimeria tenella, one of the most important parasitic protozoa in the genus Eimeria, is responsible for chicken caecal coccidiosis resulting in huge economic losses to poultry industry. The present study investigated the changes in caecal microflora of E. tenella-infected chickens and the regulating effect of coated sodium butyrate, a potential alternative to antibiotics. Using high-throughput sequencing of 16S rRNA V3-V4 region of bacteria we found significant changes in caecal microflora of E. tenella-infected chickens indicated by an increase of Firmicutes (mainly Ruminococcaceae, Lachnospiraceae and vadin BB60) and Proteobacteria (mainly Enterobacteriaceae) and a decrease of Bacteroidetes (predominantly Bacteroidaceae). Inclusion of coated sodium butyrate in the diet of chickens per se had no significant effect on caecal microflora of normal healthy chickens but significantly prevented the increase in Firmicute abundance and decrease of Bacteroidetes abundance in E. tenella-infected birds. No significant changes to caecal microflora were observed at the phylum level between control and E. tenella-infected birds given coated sodium butyrate. In conclusion, our results show that coated sodium butyrate can balance the disorders of cecal microflora caused by E. tenella; thus, it can be a useful supplement for the control of avian coccidiosis.

Outbreak of toe tip necrosis syndrome in calves.

Toe tip necrosis syndrome in calvesAbortions in embryo recipient gimmers associated with Paecilomyces variotiiAmyloidosis secondary to dosing gun injury in a eweRhinitis and middle ear infection in pigsFungal pneumonia in a duckThese are among matters discussed in the disease surveillance report for January 2017 from SAC Consulting: Veterinary Services (SAC C VS).

Detection of Leishmania infantum DNA in conjunctival swabs of cats by quantitative real-time PCR.

Although some studies have investigated the potential role of cats as a reservoir for Leishmania, their role in the epidemiology of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is still poorly understood. Molecular diagnostic techniques are an important tool in VL diagnosis, and PCR shows high sensitivity and specificity for Leishmania spp. detection. Quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) is a method that permits quantitative analysis of a large number of samples, resulting in more sensitive, accurate, and reproducible measurements of specific DNA present in the sample. This study compared real-time PCR (qPCR) and conventional PCR (cPCR) for detection of Leishmania spp. in blood and conjunctival swab (CS) samples of healthy cats from a non-endemic area in the state of São Paulo, Brazil. Of all CS samples, 1.85% (2/108) were positive for Leishmania spp. by both cPCR as qPCR (kappa index = 1), indicating excellent agreement between the two methods. The DNA from the two CS-cPCR- and CS-qPCR-positive samples was further tested with a PCR test amplifying the Leishmania spp. discriminative rRNA internal transcribed spacer 1 (ITS 1), of which one sample generated a 300-350-bp DNA fragment whose size varies according to the Leishmania species. Following sequencing, the fragment showed 100% similarity to a GenBank L. infantum sequence obtained from a cat in Italy. In conclusion, the association of qPCR and CS proved to be effective for detection of Leishmania in cats. Conjunctival swab samples were shown to be a practical and better alternative to blood samples and may be useful in the diagnosis and studies of feline leishmaniasis.

In vitro and in vivo assessments of Rhodomyrtus tomentosa leaf extract as an alternative anti-streptococcal agent in Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus L.).

Rhodomyrtustomentosa is a Thai medicinal plant that has been attracting attention for its remarkable antibacterial properties against Gram-positive pathogenic bacteria. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the antibacterial properties of R. tomentosa leaf extract against Streptococcus agalactiae and Streptococcus iniae isolated from infected tilapia.

Development of Isothermal Recombinase Polymerase Amplification Assay for Rapid Detection of Porcine Circovirus Type 2.

Porcine circovirus virus type II (PCV2) is the etiology of postweaning multisystemic wasting syndrome (PMWS), porcine dermatitis, nephropathy syndrome (PDNS), and necrotizing pneumonia. Rapid diagnosis tool for detection of PCV2 plays an important role in the disease control and eradication program. Recombinase polymerase amplification (RPA) assays using a real-time fluorescent detection (PCV2 real-time RPA assay) and RPA combined with lateral flow dipstick (PCV2 RPA LFD assay) were developed targeting the PCV2 ORF2 gene. The results showed that the sensitivity of the PCV2 real-time RPA assay was 10(2) copies per reaction within 20 min at 37°C and the PCV2 RPA LFD assay had a detection limit of 10(2) copies per reaction in less than 20 min at 37°C. Both assays were highly specific for PCV2, with no cross-reactions with porcine circovirus virus type 1, foot-and-mouth disease virus, pseudorabies virus, porcine parvovirus, porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus, and classical swine fever virus. Therefore, the RPA assays provide a novel alternative for simple, sensitive, and specific identification of PCV2.

Use of multi-trait and random regression models to identify genetic variation in tolerance to porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus.

A host can adopt two response strategies to infection: resistance (reduce pathogen load) and tolerance (minimize impact of infection on performance). Both strategies may be under genetic control and could thus be targeted for genetic improvement. Although there is evidence that supports a genetic basis for resistance to porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS), it is not known whether pigs also differ genetically in tolerance. We determined to what extent pigs that have been shown to vary genetically in resistance to PRRS also exhibit genetic variation in tolerance. Multi-trait linear mixed models and random regression sire models were fitted to PRRS Host Genetics Consortium data from 1320 weaned pigs (offspring of 54 sires) that were experimentally infected with a virulent strain of PRRS virus to obtain genetic parameter estimates for resistance and tolerance. Resistance was defined as the inverse of within-host viral load (VL) from 0 to 21 (VL21) or 0 to 42 (VL42) days post-infection and tolerance as the slope of the reaction-norm of average daily gain (ADG21, ADG42) on VL21 or VL42.

Scientometrics of zoonoses transmitted by the giant African snail Achatina fulica Bowdich, 1822.

The dissemination of the giant African snail Achatina fulica in several countries has triggered a great number of studies on the mollusk, including those on zoonoses related to health in humans. The current research is a scientific survey on articles published in four databases, namely, PubMed, Bireme, Scielo and Lilacs. Results indicate that Brazil has a prominent position in international scientific production on this subject, with focus on Angiostrongylus cantonensis occurrences.

Impact of body condition on influenza A virus infection dynamics in mallards following a secondary exposure.

Migratory waterfowl are often viewed as vehicles for the global spread of influenza A viruses (IAVs), with mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) implicated as particularly important reservoir hosts. The physical demands and energetic costs of migration have been shown to influence birds' body condition; poorer body condition may suppress immune function and affect the course of IAV infection. Our study evaluated the impact of body condition on immune function and viral shedding dynamics in mallards naturally exposed to an H9 IAV, and then secondarily exposed to an H4N6 IAV. Mallards were divided into three treatment groups of 10 birds per group, with each bird's body condition manipulated as a function of body weight by restricting food availability to achieve either a -10%, -20%, or control body weight class. We found that mallards exhibit moderate heterosubtypic immunity against an H4N6 IAV infection after an infection from an H9 IAV, and that body condition did not have an impact on shedding dynamics in response to a secondary exposure. Furthermore, body condition did not affect aspects of the innate and adaptive immune system, including the acute phase protein haptoglobin, heterophil/lymphocyte ratios, and antibody production. Contrary to recently proposed hypotheses and some experimental evidence, our data do not support relationships between body condition, infection and immunocompetence following a second exposure to IAV in mallards. Consequently, while annual migration may be a driver in the maintenance and spread of IAVs, the energetic demands of migration may not affect susceptibility in mallards.

Molecular characterization of Cryptosporidium and Giardia from the Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii).

The Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) is a carnivorous marsupial found only in the wild in Tasmania, Australia. Tasmanian devils are classified as endangered and are currently threatened by devil facial tumour disease, a lethal transmissible cancer that has decimated the wild population in Tasmania. To prevent extinction of Tasmanian devils, conservation management was implemented in 2003 under the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program. This study aimed to assess if conservation management was altering the interactions between Tasmanian devils and their parasites. Molecular tools were used to investigate the prevalence and diversity of two protozoan parasites, Cryptosporidium and Giardia, in Tasmanian devils. A comparison of parasite prevalence between wild and captive Tasmanian devils showed that both Cryptosporidium and Giardia were significantly more prevalent in wild devils (p < 0.05); Cryptosporidium was identified in 37.9% of wild devils but only 10.7% of captive devils, while Giardia was identified in 24.1% of wild devils but only 0.82% of captive devils. Molecular analysis identified the presence of novel genotypes of both Cryptosporidium and Giardia. The novel Cryptosporidium genotype was 98.1% similar at the 18S rDNA to Cryptosporidium varanii (syn. C. saurophilum) with additional samples identified as C. fayeri, C. muris, and C. galli. Two novel Giardia genotypes, TD genotype 1 and TD genotype 2, were similar to G. duodenalis from dogs (94.4%) and a Giardia assemblage A isolate from humans (86.9%). Giardia duodenalis BIV, a zoonotic genotype of Giardia, was also identified in a single captive Tasmanian devil. These findings suggest that conservation management may be altering host-parasite interactions in the Tasmanian devil, and the presence of G. duodenalis BIV in a captive devil points to possible human-devil parasite transmission.