A site to transform Pubmed publications into these bibliographic reference formats: ADS, BibTeX, EndNote, ISI used by the Web of Knowledge, RIS, MEDLINE, Microsoft's Word 2007 XML.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Correlation between some arterial and venous blood gas parameters in healthy newborn Martina Franca donkey foals from birth to 96 hours of age.

In neonatology, blood gas analysis is a useful tool in the evaluation of the health of newborns and plays a key role in early detection of critically ill subjects. Because blood gas analysis parameters have not previously been studied in any depth in donkey foals, this study was performed on 16 healthy Martina Franca donkey foals born after an uncomplicated delivery. Arterial and venous blood samples were collected at 5 minutes and at 12, 24, 72, and 96 hours of age. Blood gas analysis was performed by a portable analyzer, measuring arterial and venous total carbon dioxide, carbon dioxide partial pressure (pCO2), oxygen partial pressure (pO2), oxygen saturation (sO2), bicarbonate, base excess (BE), pH, and lactate (LT). Lower blood pH values, pO2 and sO2, and a higher level of lactate were found at birth in comparison with subsequent sampling times. This moderate acidotic profile disappeared at 12 hours, when all the parameters became constant until the end of the study period. As expected, significant differences between arterial and venous blood gas parameters related to the oxygenation, such as pO2 and sO2, and partially carbon dioxide partial pressure were found, whereas total carbon dioxide, pH, BE, and LT were comparable in arterial and venous blood samples. For these latter parameters, the highly significant correlation between arterial and venous findings suggests that venous samples could be an acceptable alternative to the arterial sample for blood gas analysis in newborn donkey foals, when the oxygenation status of the patient is not the first goal of patient analysis.

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.