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Animals, Newborn - Top 30 Publications

Female reproductive success and calf survival in a North Sea coastal bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) population.

Between-female variation in reproductive output provides a strong measure of individual fitness and a quantifiable measure of the health of a population which may be highly informative to management. In the present study, we examined reproductive traits in female bottlenose dolphins from the east coast of Scotland using longitudinal sightings data collected over twenty years. From a total of 102 females identified between 1997 and 2016, 74 mothers produced a collective total of 193 calves. Females gave birth from 6 to 13 years of age with a mean age of 8. Calves were produced during all study months, May to October inclusive, but showed a seasonal birth pulse corresponding to the regional peak in summer water temperatures. Approximately 83% (n = 116) of the calves of established fate were successfully raised to year 2-3. Of the known mortalities, ~45% were first-born calves. Calf survival rates were also lower in multiparous females who had previously lost calves. A mean inter-birth interval (IBI) of 3.80 years (n = 110) and mean fecundity of 0.16 was estimated for the population. Calf loss resulted in shortened IBIs, whilst longer IBIs were observed in females assumed to be approaching reproductive senescence. Maternal age and size, breeding experience, dominance, individual associations, group size and other social factors, were all concluded to influence reproductive success (RS) in this population. Some females are likely more important than others for the future viability of the population. Consequently, a better knowledge of the demographic groups containing those females showing higher reproductive success would be highly desirable for conservation efforts aimed at their protection.

Supplementation with Lactobacillus paracasei or Pediococcus pentosaceus does not prevent diarrhoea in neonatal pigs infected with Escherichia coli F18.

Infectious diarrhoea is a worldwide problem in newborns. Optimal bacterial colonisation may enhance gut maturation and protect against pathogenic bacteria after birth. We hypothesised that lactic acid bacteria (LAB) administration prevents pathogen-induced diarrhoea in formula-fed newborns. Newborn caesarean-delivered, colostrum-deprived term piglets on parenteral nutrition for the first 15 h, were used as models for sensitive newborn infants. A commercially available probiotic strain, Lactobacillus paracasei F19 (LAP, 2·6×108 colony-forming units (CFU)/kg per d) and a novel LAB isolate, Pediococcus pentosaceus (PEP, 1·3×1010 CFU/kg per d), were administered for 5 d with or without inoculation of the porcine pathogen, Escherichia coli F18 (F18, 1010 CFU/d). This resulted in six treatment groups: Controls (n 9), LAP (n 10), PEP (n 10), F18 (n 10), F18-LAP (n 10) and F18-PEP (n 10). The pathogen challenge increased diarrhoea and density of F18 in the intestinal mucosa (P<0·05). LAB supplementation further increased the diarrhoea score, relative to F18 alone (P<0·01). Intestinal structure and permeability were similar among groups, whereas brush border enzymes were affected in variable intestinal regions with decreased activities in most cases after F18 and LAB inoculation. Bacterial density in colon mucosa increased after F18 inoculation (P<0·05) but was unaffected by LAB supplementation. In colon contents, acetic and butyric acids were increased by PEP (P<0·05). The LAB used in this study failed to reduce E. coli-induced diarrhoea in sensitive newborn pigs. In vulnerable newborns there may be a delicate balance among bacterial composition and load, diet and the host. Caution may be required when administering LAB to compromised newborns suffering from enteric infections.

Ultrasonographic assessment of the atlanto-occipital space in healthy Thoroughbred foals and Thoroughbred foals with neonatal maladjustment syndrome.

Ultrasonography of the atlanto-occipital (AO) space may be useful as a non-invasive diagnostic tool in neonatal foals. The aims of the study were establish a range of values for ultrasonographic measurements of the AO space in healthy Thoroughbred foals and to compare these variables in healthy foals with foals diagnosed with neonatal maladjustment syndrome (NMS). Ultrasonography of the AO space was performed on 38 healthy Thoroughbred foals and 28 Thoroughbred foals with NMS≤4days of age. Transverse image spinal cord height (P=0.001), width (P<0.001) and spinal cord cross sectional area (P<0.001), and longitudinal image dorsoventral diameter of the ventral spinal artery, were significantly smaller in foals with NMS than in healthy foals. Ratios of spinal canal to cord width and cross sectional area were significantly smaller in healthy foals than in foals with NMS (P<0.001). Spinal canal variables were not significantly different between groups. Several ultrasonographic measurements of the AO space were significantly different between healthy foals and foals with NMS. Further investigation is warranted to investigate the clinical application of this technique.

Effects of iron supplementation on growth, gut microbiota, metabolomics and cognitive development of rat pups.

Iron deficiency is common during infancy and therefore iron supplementation is recommended. Recent reports suggest that iron supplementation in already iron replete infants may adversely affect growth, cognitive development, and morbidity.

Importance of neonatal immunoglobulin transfer for hippocampal development and behaviour in the newborn pig.

Neurological disorders are among the main clinical problems affecting preterm children and often result in the development of communication and learning disabilities later in life. Several factors are of importance for brain development, however the role of immunoglobulins (passive immunity transfer) has not yet been investigated. Piglets are born agammaglobulinemic, as a result of the lack of transfer of maternal immunoglobulins in utero, thus, they serve as an ideal model to mimic the condition of immunoglobulin deficiency in preterm infants. Thirty six, unsuckled newborn piglets were fed an infant formula or colostrum and supplemented orally or intravenously with either species-specific or foreign immunoglobulin and then compared to both newborn and sow-reared piglets. Two days after the piglets were born behavioural tests (novel recognition and olfactory discrimination of conspecifics scent) were performed, after which the piglets were sacrificed and blood, cerebrospinal fluid and hippocampi samples were collected for analyses. Both parameters of neuronal plasticity (neuronal maturation and synapse-associated proteins) and behavioural test parameters appeared to be improved by the appearance of species-specific porcine immunoglulin in the circulation and cerebrospinal fluid of the piglets. In conclusion, we postulate possible positive clinical effects following intravenous infusion of human immunoglobulin in terms of neuronal plasticity and cognitive function in preterm infants born with low blood immunoglobulin levels.

Unusually high-pitched neonate distress calls of the open-habitat Mongolian gazelle (Procapra gutturosa) and their anatomical and hormonal predictors.

In neonate ruminants, the acoustic structure of vocalizations may depend on sex, vocal anatomy, hormonal profiles and body mass and on environmental factors. In neonate wild-living Mongolian gazelles Procapra gutturosa, hand-captured during biomedical monitoring in the Daurian steppes at the Russian-Mongolian border, we spectrographically analysed distress calls and measured body mass of 22 individuals (6 males, 16 females). For 20 (5 male, 15 female) of these individuals, serum testosterone levels were also analysed. In addition, we measured relevant dimensions of the vocal apparatus (larynx, vocal folds, vocal tract) in one stillborn male Mongolian gazelle specimen. Neonate distress calls of either sex were high in maximum fundamental frequency (800-900 Hz), but the beginning and minimum fundamental frequencies were significantly lower in males than in females. Body mass was larger in males than in females. The levels of serum testosterone were marginally higher in males. No correlations were found between either body mass or serum testosterone values and any acoustic variable for males and females analysed together or separately. We discuss that the high-frequency calls of neonate Mongolian gazelles are more typical for closed-habitat neonate ruminants, whereas other open-habitat neonate ruminants (goitred gazelle Gazella subgutturosa, saiga antelope Saiga tatarica and reindeer Rangifer tarandus) produce low-frequency (<200 Hz) distress calls. Proximate cause for the high fundamental frequency of distress calls of neonate Mongolian gazelles is their very short, atypical vocal folds (4 mm) compared to the 7-mm vocal folds of neonate goitred gazelles, producing distress calls as low as 120 Hz.

Natural killer T cell sensitization during neonatal respiratory syncytial virus infection induces eosinophilic lung disease in re-infected adult mice.

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a major viral pathogen that causes severe lower respiratory tract infections in infants and the elderly worldwide. Infants with severe RSV bronchiolitis tend to experience more wheezing and asthma in later childhood. Because invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells are associated with the asthma pathology, we investigated whether neonatal iNKT cells are involved in the aggravation of pulmonary diseases following RSV infection in mice. Intranasal exposure to the iNKT cell ligand α-galactosylceramide (α-GC) with RSV primary infection in neonatal mice elicited neither cytokine production (except for a slight increase of IL-5) nor pulmonary eosinophilia, despite the presence of both CD1d+ cells and NKT cells. Interestingly, in adult mice re-infected with RSV, neonatal iNKT cell sensitization by α-GC during RSV primary infection resulted in much higher levels of pulmonary Th2 cytokines and elevated eosinophilia with airway hyperresponsiveness, whereas this was not observed in cd1d knockout mice. In contrast, α-GC priming of adults during RSV re-infection did not induce more severe airway symptoms than RSV re-infection in the absence of α-GC. α-GC co-administration during RSV primary infection facilitated RSV clearance regardless of age, but viral clearance following re-infection was not iNKT cell-dependent. This study clearly demonstrates that RSV-induced immune responses can be altered by iNKT cells, suggesting that neonatal iNKT cell sensitization during RSV primary infection is associated with exacerbation of pulmonary diseases following RSV re-infection in adulthood.

Biomedical research: Premature lambs grown in a bag.

Intraperitoneal Administration of Ethanol as a Means of Euthanasia for Neonatal Mice (Mus musculus).

The humane euthanasia of animals in research is of paramount importance. Neonatal mice frequently respond differently to euthanasia agents when compared with adults. The AVMA's Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals includes intraperitoneal injection of ethanol as "acceptable with conditions," and recent work confirmed that this method is appropriate for euthanizing adult mice, but neonatal mice have not been tested. To explore this method in neonatal mice, mouse pups (C57BL/6 and CD1, 162 total) were injected with 100% ethanol, a pentobarbital-phenytoin combination, or saline at 7, 14, 21, 28, or 35 d of age. Electrocardiograms, respiratory rates, and times to loss of righting reflex and death were recorded. Time to death (TTD) differed significantly between ethanol and pentobarbital-phenytoin at 7, 14, and 21 d and between ethanol groups at 7, 14, and 21 d compared with 35 d. The average TTD (± 1 SD) for ethanol-injected mice were: 7 d, 70.3 ± 39.8 min; 14 d, 51.7 ± 30.5 min; 21 d, 32.3 ± 20.8 min, 28 d, 14.0 ± 15.2; and 35 d, 4.9 ± 1.4. Mean TTD in pentobarbital-phenytoin-injected mice were: 7 d, 2.8 ± 0.4 min; 14 d, 2.9 ± 0.5 min; 21 d, 3.9 ± 1.2 min; 28 d, 3.9 ± 0.7 min; and 35 d, 4.4 ± 0.5. Although TTD did not differ between ethanol and pentobarbital-phenytoin at 28 d of age, the TTD in 3 of 12 mice was longer than 15 min after ethanol administration at this age. Therefore, ethanol should not be used as a method of euthanasia for mice younger than 35 d, because the criteria for humane euthanasia were met only in mice 35 d or older.

Spatial regulation of bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) in postnatal articular and growth plate cartilage.

Articular and growth plate cartilage both arise from condensations of mesenchymal cells, but ultimately develop important histological and functional differences. Each is composed of three layers-the superficial, mid and deep zones of articular cartilage and the resting, proliferative and hypertrophic zones of growth plate cartilage. The bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) system plays an important role in cartilage development. A gradient in expression of BMP-related genes has been observed across growth plate cartilage, likely playing a role in zonal differentiation. To investigate the presence of a similar expression gradient in articular cartilage, we used laser capture microdissection (LCM) to separate murine growth plate and articular cartilage from the proximal tibia into their six constituent zones, and used a solution hybridization assay with color-coded probes (nCounter) to quantify mRNAs for 30 different BMP-related genes in each zone. In situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry were then used to confirm spatial expression patterns. Expression gradients for Bmp2 and 6 were observed across growth plate cartilage with highest expression in hypertrophic zone. However, intracellular BMP signaling, assessed by phospho-Smad1/5/8 immunohistochemical staining, appeared to be higher in the proliferative zone and prehypertrophic area than in hypertrophic zone, possibly due to high expression of Smad7, an inhibitory Smad, in the hypertrophic zone. We also found BMP expression gradients across the articular cartilage with BMP agonists primarily expressed in the superficial zone and BMP functional antagonists primarily expressed in the deep zone. Phospho-Smad1/5/8 immunohistochemical staining showed a similar gradient. In combination with previous evidence that BMPs regulate chondrocyte proliferation and differentiation, the current findings suggest that BMP signaling gradients exist across both growth plate and articular cartilage and that these gradients may contribute to the spatial differentiation of chondrocytes in the postnatal endochondral skeleton.

Hypothalamic effects of neonatal diet: reversible and only partially leptin dependent.

Early life diet influences metabolic programming, increasing the risk for long-lasting metabolic ill health. Neonatally overfed rats have an early increase in leptin that is maintained long term and is associated with a corresponding elevation in body weight. However, the immediate and long-term effects of neonatal overfeeding on hypothalamic anorexigenic pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) and orexigenic agouti-related peptide (AgRP)/neuropeptide Y (NPY) circuitry, and if these are directly mediated by leptin, have not yet been examined. Here, we examined the effects of neonatal overfeeding on leptin-mediated development of hypothalamic POMC and AgRP/NPY neurons and whether these effects can be normalised by neonatal leptin antagonism in male Wistar rats. Neonatal overfeeding led to an acute (neonatal) resistance of hypothalamic neurons to exogenous leptin, but this leptin resistance was resolved by adulthood. While there were no effects of neonatal overfeeding on POMC immunoreactivity in neonates or adults, the neonatal overfeeding-induced early increase in arcuate nucleus (ARC) AgRP/NPY fibres was reversed by adulthood so that neonatally overfed adults had reduced NPY immunoreactivity in the ARC compared with controls, with no further differences in AgRP immunoreactivity. Short-term neonatal leptin antagonism did not reverse the excess body weight or hyperleptinaemia in the neonatally overfed, suggesting factors other than leptin may also contribute to the phenotype. Our findings show that changes in the availability of leptin during early life period influence the development of hypothalamic connectivity short term, but this is partly resolved by adulthood indicating an adaptation to the metabolic mal-programming effects of neonatal overfeeding.

Incubation Temperature Alters Temperature-Dependent Oxygen Consumption in Northern Bobwhite Quail Hatchlings (Colinus virginianus).

This study investigated the effect of mismatching incubation and posthatch temperatures in northern bobwhite quail hatchlings. Quail embryos were incubated at 35.5° or 37.5°C. Metabolic rates were then measured in hatchlings acclimated to either the same or the opposite temperature treatment. While hatchlings expressed higher oxygen consumption when posthatch temperature did not match incubation temperature, the effect of mismatching temperatures was significant only when posthatch temperature was higher than incubation temperature. Our data suggest that bobwhite quail hatchlings may express increased metabolism due to mismatches between incubation and posthatch temperatures. More specifically, the nature or direction of the mismatch can determine the magnitude of the metabolic effect. These findings highlight the importance of considering the context of specific conditions experienced throughout ontogeny when observing phenotypic outcomes.

Nramp1 gene expression in different tissues of Meishan piglets from newborn to weaning.

Natural resistance-associated macrophage protein gene 1 (Nramp1) plays an important role in the innate immune response of swine, and is believed to influence disease resistance. In this study, a real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction technique was used to investigate Nramp1 expression in 12 different tissues in newborn and 7-, 14-, 21-, 28-, and 35-day-old Meishan piglets. Results indicated that Nramp1 was expressed to varying degrees in all sample tissues, although expression differed among growth stages. For example, Nramp1 was highly expressed in the spleen, but minimally expressed in heart, liver, and muscle tissues among the various piglet age classes. Overall, Nramp1 expression increased with age, reaching significant levels in 21- and 28-day-old animals. Nramp1 was expressed in all 12 tissues tested; however, expression in spleen, lung, kidney, and thymus tissues was highest among newborns, which is consistent with this gene's role in innate immunity improvement. Before and after weaning, Nramp1 was highly expressed in digestive (stomach) and intestinal (duodenum, jejunum, and ileum) tissues, further indicating a genetic role in both immune regulation to compensate for weaning stress and enhanced development of intestinal immunity.

Short communication: Apparent efficiency of colostral immunoglobulin G absorption in Holstein heifers.

Adequate absorption of bovine colostrum correlates with improved neonatal health. The apparent efficiency of absorption (AEA) of immunoglobulins can be measured using a mathematical equation based on serum and colostral IgG concentration levels, as well as calf body weight and the volume of colostrum being fed. Although commonly measured in research projects, little information is available on the normal AEA across a large group of healthy calves on multiple farms. The purpose of this study was to observe how contributing factors (volume of feeding, birth weight, and time of feeding) can alter AEA and establish a reference range for AEA in healthy calves. Study subjects were 100 Holstein heifer calves from 5 different dairies in North Carolina and Colorado. After a normal calving, the heifer received either 4 or 5.6 L of colostrum within 4 h of birth, an aliquot of the fed colostrum was saved, and a blood sample was collected between 24 and 36 h after birth. Birth weights were measured using the same weight tape on each farm. Radial immunodiffusion assay was performed to obtain IgG concentrations in the colostrum and serum samples. From this data, the AEA was calculated. The AEA ranged from 7.7 to 59.9% with mean of 28.1 ± 9.5% and median of 27.5%. The AEA of 69% of the calves fell between 21 and 40%. The AEA varied widely between calves, even when feeding was standardized. Results suggest that serum IgG concentration may potentially be increased by feeding increased volumes of colostrum or genetic selection, given the wide range of AEA values obtained.

Prophylactic use of a standardized botanical extract for the prevention of naturally occurring diarrhea in newborn Holstein calves.

The objectives of this study were to evaluate the prophylactic use of SB-300 (Jaguar Animal Health, San Francisco, CA), a standardized botanical extract isolated from the bark latex of Croton lechleri, on reducing fecal water losses and diarrhea events in Holstein bull calves individually housed under a restricted whole-milk feeding regimen (6 L/d) from 1 to 25 d of life. Fluid therapy administration due to dehydration, average weight gain, and the fecal microbiome were also evaluated. Bull calves used in this study were born from normal parturition, fed 4 L of pooled pasteurized colostrum by esophageal feeder, and moved to a research facility at Cornell University (Ithaca, NY). A double-blinded randomized clinical trial was designed to allocate a total of 40 newborn calves into 1 of 2 treatment groups: calves receiving (twice daily) a solution containing 500 mg of SB-300 added to the whole milk for the first 15 d of life (SB-300, n = 20) or a control group receiving sterile water added to whole milk for the same period (CTR, n = 20). Treatment solutions had a total volume of 10 mL per treatment. Data regarding fecal dry matter were collected to precisely measure water content in fecal samples and to define diarrhea events; the SB-300 group had significantly increased fecal dry matter during the study period. Additionally, significantly fewer events of diarrhea were observed for calves in the SB-300 group (16.9%) compared with calves in the CTR group (46.5%). Dehydration status was evaluated and treated accordingly; calves with moderate dehydration were offered oral electrolytes, and calves with severe dehydration were rescued with intravenous fluid therapy. Calves in the SB-300 group had fewer intravenous fluid therapies administered during the study period (1.6%) compared with the CTR group (3.1%). Overall fluid therapy administered (oral electrolytes plus intravenous fluids) was significantly higher for the CTR group (9.2%) compared with the SB-300 group (6.1%) during the study period. No differences in milk consumption, calf starter intake, or weight gain were observed between treatment groups. A single time increase in Bifidobacterium was observed on d 20 of life for the SB-300 group; otherwise, no differences in fecal microbiome profile were detected between treatment groups. These results suggest that 500 mg of SB-300 added to the milk for 15 d can reduce the incidence of diarrhea and reduce severe dehydration in milk-fed calves.

Effect of oral supplementation with different energy boosters in newborn piglets on pre-weaning mortality, growth and serological levels of IGF-I and IgG.

Oral supplements are commonly used in commercial herds to improve energy status and passive immune acquisition of newborn piglets. However, there is little scientific evidence on the efficacy of oral supplements for piglets. The objective of this experiment was to study the effects of 2 oral supplementation products on piglet pre-weaning mortality and growth. A total of 62 litters (749 piglets) were distributed according to the sow's parity among 3 treatments: 1) CONTROL group, no oral supplementation to piglets; 2) EN group, light piglets (LP: birth BW ≤ 1.35 kg) received 2 doses of 1 mL Lianol Colostro; 3) COLO group, LP received 2 doses of 5 mL ColoBoost. Treatments were administered within 4 h after birth and repeated 8 h after the first dose. Piglets were weighed at d 0, 1, 10, and 21 after birth. Piglet rectal temperature was recorded shortly after birth and at 24 h. Cross-fostering was performed 24 h after birth. Blood samples were obtained from 39 LP at d 5 and 21 to determine IGF-I and IgG levels. Total mortality and LP mortality rate (percentage of LP in the litter that died) were recorded. At d 1, the EN group had a lower total mortality rate (2.1 vs. 7.1 ± 1.4%, = 0.036) and LP mortality rate (4.5 vs. 11.1 ± 2.8%, = 0.047) than the CONTROL group. At d 1, the COLO group tended to have a lower LP mortality rate than the CONTROL group (8.4 vs. 11.1 ± 3.0%, = 0.058). After cross-fostering, the COLO group had a lower LP mortality rate at d 21 than the CONTROL group (6.3 vs. 18.3 ± 2.8%, = 0.043). The total mortality rate and piglet body weight did not differ among groups at d 21. Piglets in the COLO group had a higher IgG level at d 5 than those in the EN group (24.9 vs. 16.3 ± 2.15 mg/mL, = 0.034) and tended to be higher than those in the CONTROL group (24.9 vs. 17.7 ± 2.35 mg/mL, = 0.072). Piglets in the EN group had a higher serum IGF-I concentration than those in the CONTROL group at d 21 (137.6 vs. 100.3 ± 11.15 ng/mL, = 0.030). The results suggested that 2 doses of oral supplementation within 12 h after birth might be effective in increasing small piglet survival and improving their IGF-I or IgG levels during lactation without compromising litter growth.

Effects of neonatal diarrhea and other conditions on subsequent productive and reproductive performance of heifer calves.

Diarrhea is one of the most frequent diseases of neonatal calves in dairy herds. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of neonatal diarrhea and other conditions on subsequent first lactation milk production and reproductive performance of heifer calves up to the first calving. Seven hundred heifer calves (350 with and 350 without the history of diarrhea in first month of life) were monitored from birth until a year after calving. For each heifer, birth season, birth weight, ease of birth and occurrence of diseases from birth to the end of first lactation were recorded as independent variables. Interval from birth to first service, interval from birth to conception, interval from birth to first calving and 305-days milk yield in the first lactation were recorded as dependent variables. Effects of explanatory variables on productive and reproductive indices were evaluated by survival analysis and general linear model. Heifers with the history of diarrhea during the first month of their lives showed lower daily hazard of conception [Hazard ratio: 0.85 (95%CI: 0.73-0.99)] and calving [Hazard ratio: 0.84 (95%CI: 0.72-0.98)] than those of healthy heifers. Subsequent reproductive performance of heifer calves was also associated with birth season and ease of birth. Further, heifer calves born with birth weight of below 35 kg produced an average of 518 and 506 l less milk in their first lactation compared to calves with a birth weight 40-45 (p = 0.013) and greater than 45 kg (P = 0.033), respectively. These findings showed that occurrence of neonatal diarrhea and other neonatal parameters are associated with harmful effects on subsequent production and reproductive performance.

Supplemental feeding of captive neonatal koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus).

Koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus) are cautious animals, making supplemental feeding of neonates challenging because of disturbances to the normal routine. However, supplemental feeding is beneficial in improving juvenile nutrition using less formula than required for hand-rearing, and allowing maternal bonding to continue through suckling. In this study, two neonatal koalas, delivered by the same mother in 2 years, exhibited insufficient growth post-emergence from the pouch; supplemental feeding was therefore initiated. The amount of formula fed was determined according to the product instructions, and offspring weight was monitored. Slower than normal growth was not initially noticed in the first offspring. This caused delayed commencement of supplemental feeding. An attempt was made to counteract this by providing more formula for a longer period; however, this meant No. 1 was unable to eat enough eucalyptus when weaning. Supplemental feeding was started earlier for the second offspring than for the first, and was terminated at weaning; this juvenile showed a healthy body weight increase. Furthermore, it was able to eat eucalyptus leaves at an earlier stage than No. 1. Although No. 1 showed delayed growth, both koalas matured and are still living. This study showed that supplemental feeding is useful for koalas, if the mother will accept human intervention. The key factors for successful supplemental feeding of koalas identified by comparing the two feeding systems observed in this study are that: (1) it should be initiated as soon as insufficient growth is identified; and (2) it should be terminated before weaning age. Zoo Biol. 36:62-65, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Segmental spinal dysgenesis with caudal agenesis in a Holstein calf.

A rare complex dysraphic malformation, comprising segmental spinal dysgenesis with caudal agenesis, was found in a Holstein calf that was unable to stand and was slightly short at the lumbosacral spine with taillessness. The thoracolumbar and sacrococcygeal regions of the midline axial segments showed severe deformities. In the spinal cord, the thoracolumbar region showed severe constriction with myelodysplastic changes, and the sacrococcygeal region showed dorsoventral separation with connection to a neural mass. In the spine, vertebral anomalies according to the degree of the segmentation error were confirmed. The cervical and thoracic segments also showed milder dysraphic changes. These changes suggest a multisegmental causal insult impairing the early embryonic notochord. This represents the first bovine case definitively confirmed morphologically.

Quantifying the effect of lactogenic antibody on porcine epidemic diarrhea virus infection in neonatal piglets.

The contribution of lactogenic antibody to the protection of piglets against porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) was evaluated. Pregnant multiparous sows and their litters were allocated to one of 3 treatment groups: Group 1-6 serum antibody-negative sows and a subset (n=11) of their piglets. Group 2-8 serum antibody-positive sows and their 91 piglets. Piglets were orally inoculated with PEDV at 4 (Group 1) or 2 (Group 2) days of age. Group 3-2 PEDV serum antibody-negative sows and 22 piglets, provided a baseline for piglet survivability and growth rate. Piglets were monitored daily for clinical signs, body weight, and body temperature through day post-inoculation (DPI) 12 (Groups 2 and 3) or 14 (Group 1). Serum and mammary secretions were tested for PEDV IgG, IgA, and virus-neutralizing antibody. Feces were tested by PEDV real-time, reverse transcriptase PCR (rRT-PCR). Piglets on sows without (Group 1) or with (Group 2) anti-PEDV antibody showed significantly different responses to PEDV infection in virus shedding (p<0.05), thermoregulation (p<0.05), growth rate (p<0.05), and survivability (p<0.0001). Specifically, Group 1 piglets shed more virus on DPIs 1 to 5, were hypothermic at all sampling points except DPIs 9, 11, and 12, gained weight more slowly, and exhibited lower survivability than Group 2 piglets. Within Group 2 litters, significant differences were found in virus shedding (p<0.05), and body temperature (p<0.05), but not in piglet survival rate. The number of sows and litters in Group 2 was insufficient to derive the relationship between specific levels of lactogenic antibody (FFN, IgA, and IgG) and the amelioration of clinical effects. However, when combined with previous PEDV literature, it can be concluded that the optimal protection to piglets will be provided by dams able to deliver sufficient lactogenic immunity, both humoral and cellular, to their offspring.

Disbudding goat kids.

The behaviour and welfare of sows and piglets in farrowing crates or lactation pens.

Temporary confinement during parturition and early postpartum may provide an intermediary step preceding loose housing that offers improvement in sow and piglet welfare. Three experiments were conducted to investigate the implications of replacing farrowing crates (FCs) with an alternative housing system from 3 days postpartum until weaning. In each experiment sows farrowed in FCs and were randomly allocated at day 3 of lactation to either a FC or a pen with increased floor space (lactation pen (LP)) until weaning. In experiment 1, piglet growth and sow and piglet skin injuries were recorded for 32 sows and 128 focal piglets in these litters. Behaviour around nursing and piglet behavioural time budgets were also recorded for 24 of these litters (96 focal piglets for time budgets). In experiment 2, measures of skin injury and behavioural time budgets were conducted on 28 sows and 112 focal piglets. The behavioural response of sows to piglet vocalisation (maternal responsiveness test (MRT)) was also assessed. In experiment 3, piglet mortality from day 3 of lactation until weaning was recorded in 672 litters over 12 months. While housing did not affect piglet weight gain in experiment 1, or piglet skin injuries in experiments 1 or 2, sows in both experiments sustained more injuries in LP than FC (experiment 1, 2.9 v. 1.4; experiment 2, 2.5 v. 0.8 lesions/sow; P0.05). Thus, housing sows and litters in LP from day 3 of lactation minimises piglet mortality while improving maternal behaviour in sows and social behaviour in piglets.

Evaluating the impact of maternal vitamin D supplementation on sow performance: II. Subsequent growth performance and carcass characteristics of growing pigs.

A of subsample of 448 growing pigs (PIC 327 × 1050) weaned from 52 sows fed varying dietary vitamin D regimens were used in a split-plot design to determine the effects of maternal and nursery dietary vitamin D on growth performance. Sows were previously administered diets containing vitamin D as vitamin D (800, 2,000, or 9,600 IU/kg) or as 25(OH)D (50 µg [or 2,000 IU vitamin D equivalent]/kg from HyD; DSM Nutritional Products, Parsippany, NJ). Once weaned, pigs were allotted to pens on the basis of previous maternal vitamin D treatment, and then pens were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 nursery vitamin D dietary regimens (2,000 IU of vitamin D/kg or 50 µg 25(OH)D/kg). Pigs remained on nursery vitamin D treatments for 35 d, and then they were provided common finishing diets until market (135 kg). Growing pig serum 25(OH)D suggested that maternal dietary vitamin D influenced ( < 0.001 at weaning) serum concentrations early after weaning, but nursery vitamin D regimen had a larger impact ( < 0.001) on d 17 and 35 postweaning. Overall growth performance was not influenced by nursery vitamin D dietary treatments. From d 0 to 35 in the nursery, pigs from sows fed increasing vitamin D had increased (quadratic, < 0.003) ADG and ADFI, but G:F was similar regardless of maternal vitamin D regimen. Also, pigs from sows fed 50 µg/kg of 25(OH)D had increased ( = 0.002) ADG compared with pigs weaned from sows fed 800 IU of vitamin D. Throughout finishing (d 35 postweaning until 135 kg), ADG was increased (quadratic, = 0.005) and G:F was improved (quadratic, = 0.049) with increasing maternal dietary vitamin D. Also, pigs from sows fed 50 µg/kg of 25(OH)D had increased ( = 0.002) ADG compared with pigs weaned from sows fed 800 IU of vitamin D. Carcass data were collected from a subsample population separate from that used for the growth performance portion of the study, and a total of 642 carcasses from progeny of sows fed the varying dietary vitamin D treatments were used. Live BW of pigs at marketing and HCW were heavier ( < 0.030) for pigs from sows previously fed 25(OH)D compared with pigs from sows fed 9,600 IU of vitamin D. Overall, pigs from sows fed 2,000 IU of vitamin D grew faster after weaning compared with pigs from sows fed 800 or 9,600 IU of vitamin D. Pigs from sows fed 25(OH)D hag greater ADG compared with pigs from sows fed 800 IU of vitamin D, and they had increased final BW and HCW compared with pigs from sows fed 9,600 IU of vitamin D.

Evaluating the impact of maternal vitamin D supplementation: I. Sow performance, serum vitamin metabolites, and neonatal muscle characteristics.

In Exp. 1, 56 gestating sows (PIC 1050; 35 d postinsemination) were used in a 30-d trial to determine serum 25(OH)D response to increasing concentrations of dietary vitamin D. Sows were randomly allotted to 1 of 7 dietary D treatments (200, 800, 1,600, 3,200, 6,400, 12,800, or 25,600 IU of added D per kilogram of complete diet) with 8 sows per treatment. Increasing D increased (quadratic; < 0.001) serum 25(OH)D with the response depicted by the prediction equation: serum 25(OH)D, ng/mL = 35.1746 + (0.002353 × dietary D, IU/d) - (0.0000000156 × dietary D, IU/d). In Exp. 2, 112 sows and their litters were used to determine the effects of dietary vitamin D regimen on sow performance, subsequent preweaning pig performance, neonatal bone and muscle characteristics, and serum vitamin metabolites. Sows were allotted to 1 of 4 dietary treatments 3 to 5 d following breeding: 800, 2,000, or 9,600 IU of D per kilogram of the diet or 50 µg of 25(OH)D (2,000 IU of D equivalent from Hy-D, DSM Nutritional Products, Parsippany, NJ) per kilogram of diet. There were 25 to 27 sows per treatment. Increasing dietary D increased (linear, = 0.001) serum 25(OH)D of sows on d 100 of gestation, at farrowing, and at weaning. Increasing D in sow diets increased piglet serum 25(OH)D at birth (linear, = 0.001) and weaning (quadratic, = 0.033). Sows fed 50 µg of 25(OH)D/kg had intermediate ( < 0.004) serum 25(OH)D concentrations on d 100 of gestation, at farrowing, and at weaning compared with sows fed 2,000 IU of D/kg and sows fed 9,600 IU of D/kg. Pigs from sows fed 50 µg of 25(OH)D/kg had greater serum 25(OH)D compared with pigs from sows fed 2,000 IU of D/kg, but at weaning, serum 25(OH)D concentrations were similar. Also, pigs from sows fed 9,600 IU of D/kg had greater ( = 0.011) serum 25(OH)D at birth and weaning compared with pigs from sows fed 50 µg of 25(OH)D/kg. Maternal performance, litter characteristics, neonatal bone ash content, and neonatal muscle fiber characteristics were largely unaffected by the dietary vitamin D treatments. Overall, D and 25(OH)D are both useful at increasing serum 25(OH)D concentrations, but more D (on an equivalent IU basis) is needed to achieve similar serum 25(OH)D responses compared with feeding 25(OH)D. Concentration of maternal vitamin D supplementation in lactation impacted milk transfer of the vitamin more so than the form of the vitamin, as evidence by the weaned pig serum 25(OH)D concentrations.

Intrauterine growth-restricted piglets have similar gastric emptying rates but lower rectal temperatures and altered blood values when compared with normal-weight piglets at birth.

Intrauterine growth-restricted (IUGR) piglets have lower survival rates and are more likely to have empty stomachs 24 h after birth than normal piglets. Although hypoglycemia may result from low colostrum intake per se, it is not known if slow gastric emptying may be an additional risk factor for poor immunization and glucose absorption in IUGR piglets. It is estimated that IUGR piglets consume less colostrum per kilogram BW than normal-weight piglets within the first 24 h, which could be due to a slower gastric emptying rate and a compromised energy metabolism. Therefore, we hypothesized that the gastric emptying rate and blood glucose would be lower in IUGR piglets. We investigated gastric emptying rates in normal and IUGR piglets and blood glucose and rectal temperatures at birth and after 15, 30, 60, and 120 min. In addition, blood parameters relevant for metabolism were studied. Forty-eight piglets (24 normal and 24 IUGR) were classified at birth as either normal or IUGR on the basis of head morphology. Piglets were removed from the sow at birth before suckling, and birth weight was recorded. Pooled porcine colostrum was tube-fed to all piglets at 12 mL/kg BW as soon as possible after birth (t = 0 min). The piglets were randomly allocated to be euthanized at 15, 30, 60, and 120 min (all groups, = 6) after bolus feeding, and the weights of the stomach and its residuals were recorded. There was no difference in gastric emptying rates between normal and IUGR piglets ( = 0.129); however, gastric DM residuals tended to by greater in IUGR piglets than normal piglets ( = 0.085). Overall, IUGR piglets had lower rectal temperatures (36.2°C ± 0.2°C vs. 37.5°C ± 0.2°C; < 0.001) and plasma glucose levels (2.8 ± 0.2 vs. 4.1 ± 0.2 mmol; < 0.001) than normal piglets. Interactions between piglet classification and time were observed in plasma values for NEFA, -3-hydroxybutyrate, albumin, aspartate, and alanine amino transferase, with greater levels in normal piglets at 15 min ( < 0.05) and 30 min for bile acid ( < 0.05) compared to IUGR piglets. In conclusion, the gastric emptying rates between normal and IUGR piglets were similar, but gastric DM residuals tended to be greater in IUGR piglets. Differences were observed in blood values and rectal temperatures, with lower values in IUGR piglets. Therefore, it is likely that factors like hypothermia and possibly reduced metabolic function are more important during the first hours after birth than gastric retention per se.

Intestinal lactose and mineral concentration affect the microbial ecophysiology along the gastrointestinal tract of formula-fed neonatal piglets.

Hyperprolificacy in modern pig breeds has led to increased use of artificial rearing and formula feeding of neonatal piglets, which may change their intestinal bacterial ecophysiology. Here, newborn piglets ( = 8 per group) were fed a bovine milk-based formula (FO) or allowed to suckle their mothers (sow milk [SM]) for 2 wk, and digesta samples from the stomach, jejunum, and colon were subsequently analyzed for enzyme activities, bacterial metabolites, and 16S rRNA transcripts of bacterial groups by quantitative real-time PCR. Jejunal lactase activity was lower and lactose concentration was greater in the jejunum and colon in the FO group compared with the SM group ( < 0.05). In the stomach, FO-fed pigs had a lower copy number of 16S rRNA transcripts for all analyzed bacterial groups ( < 0.05) except for the // group. In the jejunum, 16S rRNA transcripts of lactic acid bacteria and clostridial cluster I were lower ( < 0.05) in FO-fed pigs. In turn, transcript abundance of the group and clostridial cluster I was greater in FO-fed pigs in the colon ( < 0.05). In FO-fed piglets, concentrations of and lactate and total and individual short-chain fatty acids were higher in the colon ( < 0.05). Multivariate redundancy analysis revealed that the concentration of minerals (ash, Ca, Mg, K, Na, Mn, and Zn) were associated with reduced bacterial abundance and activity in the upper gastrointestinal tract, whereas lactose had the most pronounced effect on the colon microbiota. The present study revealed that, apart from lactose, the mineral concentration modifies the microbial communities in the gastrointestinal tract of FO-fed piglets.

Pulmonary Dendritic Cell Subsets Shape the Respiratory Syncytial Virus-Specific CD8+ T Cell Immunodominance Hierarchy in Neonates.

Young infants are generally more susceptible to viral infections and experience more severe disease than do adults. CD8(+) T cells are important for viral clearance, and although often ineffective in neonates they can be protective when adequately stimulated. Using a murine CB6F1/J hybrid model of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection, we previously demonstrated that the CD8(+) T cell immunodominance hierarchy to two RSV-derived epitopes, K(d)M282-90 and D(b)M187-195, was determined by the age at infection. To determine whether age-dependent RSV-specific CD8(+) T cell responses could be modified through enhanced innate signaling, we used TLR4 or TLR9 agonist treatment at the time of infection, which remarkably changed the neonatal codominant response to an adult-like K(d)M282-90 CD8(+) T cell immunodominant response. This shift was associated with an increase in the number of conventional dendritic cells, CD11b(+) and CD103(+) dendritic cells, in the lung-draining lymph node, as well as increased expression of the costimulatory molecule CD86. The magnitude of the K(d)M282-90 CD8(+) T cell response in TLR agonist-treated neonates could be blocked with Abs against CD80 and CD86. These studies demonstrate the age-dependent function of conventional dendritic cells, their role in determining immunodominance hierarchy, and epitope-specific CD8(+) T cell requirements for costimulation, all of which influence the immune response magnitude. The unique impact of TLR agonists on neonatal T cell responses is important to consider for RSV vaccines designed for young infants.

Neonatal Diesel Exhaust Particulate Exposure Does Not Predispose Mice to Adult Cardiac Hypertrophy or Heart Failure.

Background: We have previously reported that in utero and early life exposure to diesel exhaust particulates predisposes mice to adult heart failure, and that in utero exposure alone is sufficient to confer this predisposition. This follow up study addresses whether neonatal exposure alone can also confer this predisposition. Methods: Newborn male C57BL/6 mice were exposed to diesel exhaust (DE) particulates immediately after birth until weaning at 21 days of age, whereupon they were transferred to filtered air (FA) conditions. At the age of 12 weeks, transverse aortic constriction (TAC) was performed followed by weekly echocardiography for three weeks. After the last echocardiogram, mice were euthanized for organ harvest, gravimetry and histology. Results: Neonatal exposure to DE particulates did not increase susceptibility to cardiac hypertrophy or heart failure after TAC when compared to FA exposed controls (ventricular weight/body weight ratio 7.505 vs. 7.517 mg/g, p = Not Significant (NS)). The left ventricular ejection fraction after TAC was similar between groups at one week, two weeks, and three weeks after procedure. Histological analysis showed no difference in the degree of cardiac hypertrophy or fibrosis. Conclusions: Neonatal exposure to DE particulates does not predispose mice to TAC-induced cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure in adulthood, in contrast to previously published results showing susceptibility due to in utero exposure.

Effect of concentrate supplementation during the dry period on colostrum quality and effect of colostrum feeding regimen on passive transfer of immunity, calf health, and performance.

The objectives were to evaluate the effect of (1) supplementing concentrates to multiparous Holstein cows during the dry period on colostral and milk immunoglobulin G (IgG) concentration; and (2) feeding calves colostrum at either 5 or 10% of their body weight (BW) on passive transfer of immunity, health, and performance. Holstein multiparous cows (n=37) were assigned to 1 of 2 nutritional treatments during an 8-wk dry period: (1) offered ad libitum grass silage only (GS) or (2) offered ad libitum access to the same grass silage plus concentrate [total mixed ration in a 75:25 dry matter (DM) ratio], providing a mean concentrate DM intake of 3.0kg/cow per day (GSC). Both treatment groups were offered identical levels of mineral and vitamin supplementation. Calves from these cows were weighed immediately after birth and fed either 5% (5BW) or 10% (10BW) of their BW in colostrum from their own dams within 2.5h of birth. Calves in the 10BW group received their second feed of colostrum from first-milking colostrum. Concentrate supplementation during the dry period had no effect on colostral IgG concentration, first-milking IgG yield, or fat, protein, and lactose contents. However, cows in GSC produced a greater mean milk yield over the first 8 milkings compared with cows in the GS group. Concentrate supplementation had no effect on calf BW or BW gain, serum IgG, or apparent efficiency of absorption (AEA) at 24h after birth. However, offspring from the GSC group had fewer cases of enteritis during the first 56d of life compared with offspring from the GS group. Calves in the 10BW group had greater mean serum IgG concentration for the first 3d following birth; however, at 24h after birth, we observed no treatment effect on AEA. The rate of enteritis was greater for calves in the 5BW treatment compared with 10BW. The colostrum-feeding regimen had no effect on BW gain or on the incidence of pneumonia among calf treatment groups. In conclusion, concentrate supplementation regimens offered during the dry period had a positive effect on colostrum yield, and offspring from the GSC group had a reduced rate of enteritis. Feeding 10% of BW of colostrum versus 5% of BW resulted in a greater serum IgG concentration for the first 3d postpartum, and 10BW calves had a reduced rate of enteritis. Overall, to achieve successful passive transfer, decrease the rate of enteritis, and increase efficiency in the dairy calf, we recommend that dairy calves be fed 10% of their BW in colostrum as soon as possible after birth.

The influence of 3 different navel dips on calf health, growth performance, and umbilical infection assessed by clinical and ultrasonographic examination.

The objectives were to investigate the effect of 3 navel dips on (1) umbilical infection, (2) health events (pneumonia, diarrhea, and arthritis), and (3) average daily gain (ADG) in newborn dairy calves. A secondary aim was to compare the agreement of standardized ultrasonographic examination with clinical examination for the diagnosis of umbilical infection. In a randomized block design, newborn calves were assigned by birth order to 3 treatment groups: Navel Guard (NG; SCG-Solutions Inc., McDonough, GA), 7% iodine tincture (SI), and 2% chlorhexidine gluconate (CH). Treatment consisted of a single dip administration of the umbilicus immediately after removal of the newborn from the calving pen with 1 of the 3 navel dips. Weekly clinical examinations were carried out during the first 4wk of life with special attention being paid to the umbilicus, joints, respiratory tract, and fecal consistency, and included ultrasonographic evaluation of the umbilical structures. Body weight was assessed by using a girth tape at first and last evaluation. Multivariable logistic regression demonstrated no statistical differences in umbilical infection or health events. Multivariable linear regression analysis showed statistical differences in ADG (least squares means ± standard errors) between groups, with 494±29, 571±29, and 516±29g/d in groups NG, SI, and CH, respectively. Overall mortality during the study period was 9.5% (n=40). Postmortem examination identified diarrhea (80%) as the main disorder with 19, 4, and 9 calves in groups NG, SI, and CH, respectively. Kappa values yielded fair [0.30 (95% CI: -0.03-0.63)], good [0.61 (95% CI 0.46-0.75)], moderate [0.53 (95% CI 0.31-0.74)], and moderate [0.49 (95% CI 0.19-0.79)] agreement for detection of omphalitis between clinical and ultrasonographic evaluation in wk 1, 2, 3, and 4, respectively. Agreement was very good for detection of omphaloplebitis, with kappa values (95% CI) of 0.91 (0.80-1.00), 0.87 (0.75-0.98), and 0.90 (0.76-1.00) in wk 2, 3, and 4, respectively, when omphalophlebitis was diagnosed. We detected no difference in the effectiveness of the 3 treatments in the prevention of umbilical infection, pneumonia, diarrhea, or arthritis.