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Animals, Newborn - Top 30 Publications

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.

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.

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.

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.

High concentration of vitamin E supplementation in sow diet during the last week of gestation and lactation affects the immunological variables and antioxidative parameters in piglets.

An experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of a high concentration of vitamin E supplementation in sow diet during the last week of gestation and lactation on the performance, milk composition, and vital immunological variables and antioxidative parameters in sows and piglets. The experiment started on day 107 of gestation and lasted until the piglets were weaned on day 21 of lactation. 48 sows were divided into two groups and fed either a basal diet with 44 IU/kg of vitamin E or a basal diet supplemented with additional vitamin E, total content of 250 IU/kg. Sow milk and blood samples were obtained on day 0 (farrowing) and on day 21 of lactation. One 21-day-old piglet per litter was selected to collect plasma. Results showed that supplementation of the maternal diet with 250 IU/kg vitamin E improved the average daily gain (ADG) and weaning weight of piglets (P < 0·05), and the concentrations of immunoglobulin G (IgG) and immunoglobulin A (IgA) in sow plasma, colostrum and milk. The concentrations of fat in the colostrum and milk were significantly increased by supplementation with 250 IU/kg of vitamin E (P < 0·05). The level of plasma IgG, IgA, total antioxidant capacity (T-AOC) and catalase (CAT) were all higher (P < 0·05) in piglets from sows that were fed 250 IU/kg of vitamin E than in those from the control group. The high concentration of vitamin E supplementation to the sows enhanced the concentrations of α-tocopherol in the sow milk and plasma as well as piglet plasma (P < 0·05). In conclusion, the addition to the maternal diet of vitamin E at high concentration improved the weight of piglets at weaning, and enhanced humoral immune function and antioxidant activity in sows and piglets.

Invited review: Pre- and postnatal adipose tissue development in farm animals: from stem cells to adipocyte physiology.

Both white and brown adipose tissues are recognized to be differently involved in energy metabolism and are also able to secrete a variety of factors called adipokines that are involved in a wide range of physiological and metabolic functions. Brown adipose tissue is predominant around birth, except in pigs. Irrespective of species, white adipose tissue has a large capacity to expand postnatally and is able to adapt to a variety of factors. The aim of this review is to update the cellular and molecular mechanisms associated with pre- and postnatal adipose tissue development with a special focus on pigs and ruminants. In contrast to other tissues, the embryonic origin of adipose cells remains the subject of debate. Adipose cells arise from the recruitment of specific multipotent stem cells/progenitors named adipose tissue-derived stromal cells. Recent studies have highlighted the existence of a variety of those cells being able to differentiate into white, brown or brown-like/beige adipocytes. After commitment to the adipocyte lineage, progenitors undergo large changes in the expression of many genes involved in cell cycle arrest, lipid accumulation and secretory functions. Early nutrition can affect these processes during fetal and perinatal periods and can also influence or pre-determinate later growth of adipose tissue. How these changes may be related to adipose tissue functional maturity around birth and can influence newborn survival is discussed. Altogether, a better knowledge of fetal and postnatal adipose tissue development is important for various aspects of animal production, including neonatal survival, postnatal growth efficiency and health.

Minimizing cows' stress when calves were early weaned using the two-step method with nose flaps.

Early weaning may be used in beef cattle production to improve reproduction rates in range conditions. However, weaning causes a stress response in cows, which may be especially strong in early weaning management, as the bond between the cow and the calf is still strong. We hypothesized that weaning calves in two steps, with the aid of anti-sucking devices (nose flaps) would reduce the behavioural stress response in the cows separated from their calves 2 months after parturition. We compared the behaviour frequency and weight change in cows that were weaned abruptly, by separation of the calf on day 0 of the study, or in two steps, consisting of the use of anti-sucking nose flaps for 5 days before permanent separation; a third group was not weaned to serve as control. Thirty-six crossbred multiparous Aberdeen Angus×Hereford cows and their calves (n=12/treatment) were managed in three paddocks with similar pasture availability, with four dyads from each treatment per paddock. Cows' behaviour was observed by direct visual instantaneous sampling, at 10 min intervals from days -3 to 11. Weaning the calves in two steps clearly attenuated the behavioural stress response observed in abruptly weaned cows, which included reductions in grazing and lying, and increases in pacing, walking and vocalizing. Our results corroborate those previously shown for cows nursing older calves, and indicate that step weaning can reduce the behavioural stress response of cows at weaning, even when the calf is weaned shortly after birth, when the bond between the cow and calf is still very strong.

Periparturient characteristics of mares and their foals on a New Zealand Thoroughbred stud farm.

To describe selected periparturient variables in a sample of Thoroughbred mares and their foals on a commercial stud farm in New Zealand.

Are all piglets born lightweight alike? Morphological measurements as predictors of postnatal performance.

Birth weight (BiW) of pigs is a commonly used predictor of postnatal performance; however, it has been suggested that morphological measurements may be more reflective of the intrauterine environment and thus better predictors of postnatal growth. The aim of this study was to determine 1) whether morphological measurements, including ponderal index (PI), body mass index (BMI), and abdominal circumference (AC), could be used as predictors of postnatal performance and 2) if so, would they be better predictors than BiW and 3) would the same predictors apply to pigs of different BiW at different stages of their growth? Morphological measurements, BiW, and BW at d 28 and 70 were available for 731 pigs from experiments conducted over a 2-yr period. A series of linear models was used to determine predictors that affected growth performance from birth to d 28 and from d 28 to 70. For both light (LBiW; ≤1.25 kg) and normal BiW pigs (NBiW; 1.60 to 2.00 kg), BiW was not the best predictor of performance ( > 0.05); different variables for the growth periods considered applied to pigs with different BiW. For LBiW pigs BMI ( < 0.001) and AC ( = 0.0202) were the best predictors for d 1 to 28, and AC ( = 0.0317) and PI ( = 0.0450) were the best predictors from d 28 to 70, with pigs with a larger AC and higher PI/BMI more likely to have higher ADG pre- or postweaning. In contrast, the best predictor variables for NBiW pigs were AC ( = 0.0482) for d 1 to 28 and crown-rump length (CRL; = 0.0138) for d 28 to 70. Focusing on LBiW pigs with low ADG, BMI was the best predictor ( < 0.05) of growth for pre and postweaning, whereas for LBiW pigs with high ADG the best predictors were AC ( = 0.00132) from d 1 to 28 and BiW ( = 0.00601) from d 28 to 70, with increasing BMI, AC, and BiW associated with greater ADG. For NBiW pigs with high preweaning ADG, the best predictor consisted solely of AC ( 0.0210), but no morphological predictor variables were significant for NBiW pigs with low preweaning ADG. For d 28 to 70, the best predictor for NBiW pigs with low ADG was CRL ( = 0.0171), but for high ADG no predictor variables were significant. The present study showed that the morphology of piglets is more important than BiW when predicting the postnatal growth of pigs; however, which measurement is the most important depends on both the BiW and stage of growth. For small-sized pigs, these morphological measures may be considered as a decision-making tool by farmers when trying to identify potential poor performers.

Parturition induction in ewes by a progesterone receptor blocker, aglepristone, and subsequent neonatal survival: Preliminary results.

The clinical effects of aglepristone treatment to induce parturition in ewes and their newborns were reported. Three experimental groups were defined: group AG5 (n = 5), group AG10 (n = 5), and group CG (n = 5) in which ewes were injected twice with 5, 10 mg/kg of aglepristone, and saline solution of ewes, respectively. Different parameters associated with parturition in ewes and their newborns were investigated. Serum progesterone, oxytocin, and free and conjugated total estrogens were measured after treatments until parturition. No statistical difference was found from first aglepristone administration to onset of lambing between AG5 and AG10 (23.90 ± 6.20, 40.00 ± 6.71 hours). Parturition induction in two groups shortened the gestational length significantly compared with the control group (P = 0.003). Dystocia was observed in two ewes in group AG10. The placental weight showed statistically significant difference only between the AG10 and CG (P = 0.039), but no difference was observed in the placental expulsion period between the groups. Decrease in food consumption 24 to 36 hours after parturition in all ewes and skin necrosis in an ewe in group AG5 were observed. Progesterone concentration was significantly lower in AG5 than that in ewes in group AG10 and CG (P < 0.05). No difference was observed in concentrations of free total estrogens and oxytocin between groups. The body temperature of lambs was significantly different between AG10 and CG groups both right after (P = 0.011) and 12 hours after parturition (P = 0.014). The lambs in CG had the highest mean birth weight (4.29 ± 0.28 kg), which was significantly different from the induced groups. No significant difference of blood pH and blood gases values between groups was identified both at birth and 12 hours after parturition for lambs. Significant differences could clearly be observed in total protein and blood urea nitrogen and total protein findings 12 hours after parturition (P < 0.05), whereas no difference was found in blood glucose, albumin, inorganic phosphor, triglyceride, or total cholesterol parameters. The results of this study show that the administration of aglepristone to induce parturition can precisely control lambing time without any side effects in either mothers or lambs.

The effects of late gestation maternal nutrient restriction with or without protein supplementation on endocrine regulation of newborn and postnatal beef calves.

A study was conducted to evaluate late gestation maternal nutrient restriction (NR) with or without protein supplementation on endocrine regulation in newborn beef calves. This study used multiparous cows (4 and 5 years of age, n = 57) randomly assigned to one of three treatments for the last 100 days of gestation. The control (Con; n = 19) cows were fed to increase body condition score, whereas the NR (n = 19) and NR with protein supplement (NRS, n = 19) cows were fed to lose 1.2 ± 0.2 body condition score units during the last 100 days of gestation. Control cows were allowed ad libitum access to tall fescue/crabgrass paddock and, when grazing became insufficient, ad libitum hay was provided along with 1.3 kg of corn gluten feed 5 days/wk. Tall fescue paddocks were strip grazed to limit forage availability for NR and NRS. The NRS-treated dams were individually penned and fed 0.45 kg of soybean meal 3 days/wk. As forage became limited, the nutrient-restricted paddocks received limited fescue hay. After parturition cow/calf pairs were moved to a common pasture and received ad libitum silage and high-concentrate feed. Maternal NR regardless of supplementation reduced cow plasma glucose and insulin concentrations during late gestation (P < 0.0001 and P = 0.0051, respectively). Calves from NR dams weighed less at birth than Con calves (P = 0.04), whereas NRS calves were intermediate (33.4 ± 1.2, 35.0 ± 1.3, and 37.2 ± 1.3 kg NR, NRS, and Con, respectively). Plasma glucose concentrations of unsuckled calves at birth were reduced (P = 0.037) in NR and NRS calves compared with Con (67.7 ± 6.5 and 60.1 ± 6.9 vs. 83.7 ± 6.1 mg/dL, respectively). At birth, Con and NRS calves had increased (P = 0.0037) plasma leptin concentrations compared with NR calves, whereas calf plasma cortisol concentrations were greater for the nutrient-restricted groups than the Con group (treatment × day P = 0.0135). Plasma IgG concentrations from calves at 5 days of age were similar (P = 0.701) between maternal late gestation treatments. This research reports that late gestation NR reduces postnatal calf birth weight, plasma glucose and leads to reduced plasma leptin. Maternal protein supplementation appears to partially alleviate the effects of late gestation NR on reducing plasma leptin, birth weight, and growth rate from Day 30 of age to weaning.

Lying behaviour and IgG-levels of newborn calves after feeding colostrum via tube and nipple bottle feeding.

Oesophageal tube feeding colostrum is used to ensure sufficient colostrum intake in newborn calves but the impact of tube feeding on animal behaviour is unclear. Therefore the objective of this study was to compare lying behaviour of tube-fed or bottle-fed dairy calves. Calves (n = 37) in 3 groups were offered 3·5 l colostrum 2 h after birth. Calves of the bottle group were fed with a nipple bottle. Calves of the placebo tubing group were tubed for 4 min but no colostrum was given and they were then fed with a nipple bottle. Calves of the tubing group received 3·5 l colostrum via tube feeding. Consumed amount of bottle and placebo tubing calves was recorded. If they refused some of the offered 3·5 l the rest was offered in a second feeding 2 h later. Lying behaviour was measured by data loggers fitted to right hind leg for 3 d. Blood samples were taken 24 h after birth for determination of IgG concentration. The voluntary colostrum intake differed significantly between bottle-fed and placebo tubed calves at first feeding. Considering both colostrum feedings, bottle-fed calves consumed 3·44 ± 0·14 l and placebo tubed calves consumed 3·20 ± 0·38 l colostrum. ImmunoglobulinG intake (255·6 ± 77·5 g IgG), serum IgG concentration 24 h after birth (22·8 ± 6·7 g/l) and total serum protein concentration (6·1 ± 0·6 g/dl) did not differ between groups. None of the calves had a failure of passive transfer. There was no effect of tubing on lying behaviour.

Defining colloid osmotic pressure and the relationship between blood proteins and colloid osmotic pressure in dairy cows and calves.

To establish the reference interval for colloid osmotic pressure (COP) in neonatal and adult cattle and to investigate associations between COP and total protein, albumin, or globulin in the two populations sampled.

Comparison of diagnostic tests for determining the prevalence of failure of passive transfer in New Zealand dairy calves.

To evaluate the level of agreement of three indirect testing methods with concentrations of IgG in serum, and to determine their test characteristics for diagnosing failure of passive transfer (FPT), in dairy calves in New Zealand.

Prevalence of failure of passive transfer of maternal antibodies in dairy calves in the Manawatu region of New Zealand.

To determine the prevalence of failure of passive transfer (FPT) of maternal antibodies, to identify management factors associated with FPT, and to determine the relationship between interval from the start of calving and calf management practices on concentrations of total protein in the serum of calves, from a sample of spring-calving dairy herds in the Manawatu region of New Zealand.

Shaping cattle behavior.

Fond memories of veterinary mentors.

Limited effects of preterm birth and the first enteral nutrition on cerebellum morphology and gene expression in piglets.

Preterm pigs show many signs of immaturity that are characteristic of preterm infants. In preterm infants, the cerebellum grows particularly rapid and hypoplasia and cellular lesions are associated with motor dysfunction and cognitive deficits. We hypothesized that functional brain delays observed in preterm pigs would be paralleled by both structural and molecular differences in the cerebellum relative to term born piglets. Cerebella were collected from term (n = 56) and preterm (90% gestation, n = 112) pigs at 0, 5, and 26 days after birth for stereological volume estimations, large-scale qPCR gene expression analyses (selected neurodevelopmental genes) and western blot protein expression analysis (Sonic Hedgehog pathway). Memory and learning was tested using a T-maze, documenting that preterm pigs showed delayed learning. Preterm pigs also showed reduced volume of both white and gray matter at all three ages but the proportion of white matter increased postnatally, relative to term pigs. Early initiation of enteral nutrition had limited structural or molecular effects. The Sonic Hedgehog pathway was unaffected by preterm birth. Few differences in expression of the selected genes were found, except consistently higher mRNA levels of Midkine, p75, and Neurotrophic factor 3 in the preterm cerebellum postnatally, probably reflecting an adaptive response to preterm birth. Pig cerebellar development appears more affected by postconceptional age than by environmental factors at birth or postnatally. Compensatory mechanisms following preterm birth may include faster white matter growth and increased expression of selected genes for neurotrophic factors and regulation of angiogenesis. While the pig cerebellum is immature in 90% gestation preterm pigs, it appears relatively mature and resilient toward environmental factors.

Observations of newborn blue sharks Prionace glauca in shallow inshore waters of the north-east Atlantic Ocean.

The anomalous presence of numerous blue shark Prionace glauca neonates and juveniles in shallow inshore waters of Galicia, north-west Spain, during the summers of 2014 and 2015 is reported. Changes in oceanographic conditions, high recruitment events or changes in the pupping area are discussed as possible causes of this unusual behaviour.

Early neonatal lamb mortality: postmortem findings.

An investigation of stillbirth and early neonatal lamb mortality was conducted in sheep flocks in Norway. Knowledge of actual causes of death are important to aid the interpretation of results obtained during studies assessing the risk factors for lamb mortality, and when tailoring preventive measures at the flock, ewe and individual lamb level. This paper reports on the postmortem findings in 270 liveborn lambs that died during the first 5 days after birth. The lambs were from 17 flocks in six counties. A total of 27% died within 3 h after birth, 41% within 24 h and 80% within 2 days. Most lambs (62%) were from triplet or higher order litters. In 81% of twin and larger litters, only one lamb died. The most frequently identified cause of neonatal death was infectious disease (n=97, 36%); 48% (n=47) of these died from septicaemia, 25% (n=24) from pneumonia, 22% (n=21) from gastrointestinal infections and 5% (n=5) from other infections. Escherichia coli accounted for 65% of the septicaemic cases, and were the most common causal agent obtained from all cases of infection (41%). In total, 14% of neonatal deaths resulted from infection by this bacterium. Traumatic lesions were the primary cause of death in 20% (n=53) of the lambs. A total of 46% of these died within 3 h after birth and 66% within 24 h. Severe congenital malformations were found in 10% (n=27) of the lambs, whereas starvation with no concurrent lesions was the cause of death in 6% (n=17). In 16% (n=43) of the lambs, no specific cause of death was identified, lambs from triplet and higher order litters being overrepresented among these cases. In this study, the main causes of neonatal lamb mortality were infection and traumatic lesions. Most neonatal deaths occurred shortly after birth, suggesting that events related to lambing and the immediate post-lambing period are critical for lamb survival.

Protective efficacy by various doses of Salmonella ghost vaccine candidate carrying enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli fimbrial antigen against neonatal piglet colibacillosis.

Humoral immune responses and protective efficacy by various doses of Salmonella ghost cells carrying enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) fimbrial antigens for protection against piglet colibacillosis were studied. All groups were orally primed and boosted at 11 and 14 wk of pregnancy, respectively. Group A sows were inoculated with phosphate-buffered saline (PBS), and groups B, C, and D sows were immunized with 2 × 10(9), 2 × 10(10), and 2 × 10(11) ghost cells, respectively. Serum immunoglobulin (Ig) G, and colostrum IgG and IgA levels of groups C and D sows were significantly higher than those of group A sows. In addition, serum IgG and IgA levels in group C and D piglets were significantly increased compared to those of group A piglets. After challenge with wild-type ETEC, diarrhea and mortality were not observed in group C and D piglets, while diarrhea was observed in 88.9% and 58.8% of groups A and B piglets, respectively, and 16.7% mortality was observed in group A piglets. These findings indicate that oral immunization of sows with 2 × 10(10) or 10(11) ghost cells can effectively protect their offspring from colibacillosis.

Colostrum in neonatal calves: the key to survival, health and performance.

Involuntary reduction in vigour of calves born from sexed semen.

The objective of this study was to compare the reproductive traits of heifers and the development characteristics of their calves following artificial insemination (AI) with sexed and non-sexed semen. The analysed characteristics included conception rate, gestation length, calf birth weight, calf vigour, stillbirth rate, and twinning rate. Data of 530 calves produced with sexed and 1,163 calves produced with non-sexed semen were analysed. The General Linear Model (GLM) was applied to assess the influence of semen type, farm, season of insemination, the calf's sex and the inseminating sire on gestation length and calf birth weight. With the exception of gestation length (P > 0.05), all other traits studied were significantly (P < 0.01) influenced by the type of semen. The conception rate was 55% for conventional and 44% for sexed semen, and the average gestation length was 274.6 and 274.9 days, respectively. The mean calf birth weight was 37.47 kg for non-sexed and 36.75 kg for sexed semen. The stillbirth rate was 6.19% for conventional and 7.54% for sexed semen, while the twinning rate was 3.78% for conventional and 1.13% for sexed semen. The calves produced with non-sexed and sexed semen differed significantly in viability (P < 0.001), the latter having a lower calf vigour score. The use of conventional semen did not affect the ratio of female and male calves (52.7:47.3%; P > 0.05); however, artificial insemination with X-sorted sexed semen significantly altered the sex ratio of calves (85.1:14.9%, P < 0.01). The results obtained in this investigation are in agreement with the majority of studies which compared the fertility traits, sex ratio and calf characteristics depending on the application of artificial insemination with sexed or conventional semen.

Stress response and cardiac activity of term and preterm calves in the perinatal period.

This study tested the hypothesis of gestational age affecting fetal cardiac activity and the stress response at birth. Heart rate (HR), heart rate variability variables, SD of the beat-to-beat interval and root mean square of successive beat-to-beat differences, and postnatal salivary cortisol concentration were studied in calves born at term (Term, n = 7, gestation length 286.3 ± 2.1 days) or after induction of parturition (Preterm, n = 7, gestation length 279.6 ± 0.2 days). Observation periods covered the last month of gestation (phase A), the last hours before birth including the first stage of labor (phase B), and the neonatal period (phase C). Fetal HR decreased in phase A (P < 0.001) and did not differ between groups. During phase B, HR increased (P < 0.05) and was higher in Preterm than in Term calves in phases B (P < 0.05) and C (P < 0.01). In Term calves, heart rate variability increased from Day 6 until birth (P < 0.05). At birth, SD of the beat-to-beat interval was higher in Term than in Preterm calves (P < 0.01). On Day 1 after birth (phase C), HR accelerations were more frequent in Term than Preterm calves (P < 0.01), whereas decelerations were more frequent in Preterm calves (P < 0.05). Cortisol concentration increased postnatally (P < 0.001) and was correlated with gestation length (r ≥ 0.68, P < 0.01). Because of a certain degree of immaturity, the ability to cope with the stress of birth may be impaired in calves born 1 week before term.

Relationship between selected perinatal paratuberculosis management interventions and passive transfer of immunity in dairy calves.

The objective of this cohort study was to assess the relationship between perinatal calf management practices relevant to the control of paratuberculosis and passive transfer of immunoglobulin in calves born in an endemically infected Irish dairy herd. Data from 176 calves were used to assess the effect of time spent in the calving area, individual versus non-designated calving and colostrum pasteurisation on serum total protein, zinc sulphate turbidity, globulin and γ-glutamyltransferase. In addition, the effects of colostrum quality, volume of colostrum fed, method of colostrum administration and calving season on passive transfer were quantified. Serum samples were collected as part of routine herd health monitoring from calves aged between one and seven days. Multivariate linear and logistic regression models were used to assess the effect of each variable on the test result and failure of passive transfer as determined using a cut-off point for each diagnostic test. Colostrum pasteurisation and calving area were not significantly associated with passive transfer, whereas increased time spent in the calving pen was consistently associated with a detrimental effect. In addition, a strong seasonal effect was apparent, which appeared to be unrelated to colostrum quality and calf management. The authors are unaware of published studies documenting such a significant seasonal effect on passive transfer.

Neonatal Mortality, Vesicular Lesions and Lameness Associated with Senecavirus A in a U.S. Sow Farm.

A 300-sow farrow-to-finish swine operation in the United States experienced a sudden and severe increase in mortality in neonatal piglets with high morbidity followed by vesicular lesions on the snout and feet of adult females and males. Affected live piglets were submitted for diagnostic investigation. Samples tested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) negative for foot-and-mouth disease virus, porcine delta coronavirus, porcine epidemic diarrhoea virus, porcine rotavirus types A, B and C, transmissible gastroenteritis virus, and porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus. Senecavirus A (SV-A) formerly known as Seneca Valley virus was detected by real-time reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) from serum, skin and faeces of piglets and from serum and faeces of sows. SV-A was isolated in cell culture from piglet samples. SV-A VP1 gene region sequencing from piglet tissues was also successful. A biosecurity and disease entry evaluation was conducted and identified potential biosecurity risks factors for the entry of new pathogens into the operation. This is the first case report in the United States associating SV-A with a clinical course of severe but transient neonatal morbidity and mortality followed by vesicular lesions in breeding stock animals. Veterinarians and animal caretakers must remain vigilant for vesicular foreign animal diseases and report suspicious clinical signs and lesions to state animal health authorities for diagnostic testing and further investigation.

Maternal IgG and IgA Antibodies Dampen Mucosal T Helper Cell Responses in Early Life.

To maintain a symbiotic relationship between the host and its resident intestinal microbiota, appropriate mucosal T cell responses to commensal antigens must be established. Mice acquire both IgG and IgA maternally; the former has primarily been implicated in passive immunity to pathogens while the latter mediates host-commensal mutualism. Here, we report the surprising observation that mice generate T cell-independent and largely Toll-like receptor (TLR)-dependent IgG2b and IgG3 antibody responses against their gut microbiota. We demonstrate that maternal acquisition of these antibodies dampens mucosal T follicular helper responses and subsequent germinal center B cell responses following birth. This work reveals a feedback loop whereby T cell-independent, TLR-dependent antibodies limit mucosal adaptive immune responses to newly acquired commensal antigens and uncovers a broader function for maternal IgG.