Genetic polymorphisms in genes related to neurotransmitters or hormones affect personality or behavioral traits in many animal species including humans. In domestic animals, the allele frequency of such genes has been reported to be different among breeds and it may account for breed differences in behavior. In this study, we investigated breed differences in horses in the dopamine receptor D4 gene (DRD4), which has been reported to affect horse personality. We collected samples from seven horse breeds including those native to Japan and Korea, and compared the sequence of the DRD4 exon3 region among these breeds. We found that there were two types of polymorphisms (VNTR and SNPs) in the exon3 region, and some of them seemed to be breed-specific. In addition, we found that the allele frequency of G292A, reported to be associated with horse personality, differed greatly between native Japanese horses and Thoroughbred horses. The frequency of the A allele which is associated with low curiosity and high vigilance, was much lower in native Japanese horses (Hokkaido, 0.03; Taishu, 0.08) than in Thoroughbreds (0.62). This difference may account for breed differences in personality or behavioral traits. Further studies of the function of these polymorphisms and their effect on behavior are indicated.
Equines are minor species in Tanzania's array of domestic livestock. Attempts to use them for transport by early explorers from the mid-nineteenth century usually failed. Donkeys were used extensively as pack animals to complement human porters by both British and German forces in the First World War, but their advantages were often outweighed by slow progress and competition with troops and porters for water, and they died in huge numbers. The British had regular cavalry troops in their campaign and mules found limited use as individual mounts for officers. In modern times, there are very few horses in Tanzania but they find several uses. Exotic safaris are made on horseback, they are used as stock horses on ranches, there is a polo club in northern Tanzania and there are leisure riding activities around the capital city. Official census records for donkeys estimate numbers at under 300,000 with concentrations in the northern pastoral and agropastoral areas where they are used as pack animals with water being the main commodity transported. Elsewhere donkeys are used to a limited extent in transport and traction work. There is little interest in equines by the central and local governments or the general public and the status quo can be expected to continue.
Evaluation of a new chemiluminescent enzyme immunoassay, the PATHFAST assay system (PATHFAST), for measurement of circulating progesterone in mares was performed. Five mares at the mid-luteal stage were administrated a single i.m. injection of prostaglandin F2α analog (PGF2α; cloprostenol 250 μg/ml), and then blood samples were collected from the jugular vein at 0, 15, 30 and 45 min, at one-hour intervals until 24 and at 48 hr via a catheter in the jugular vein. To monitor the physiological changes in circulating progesterone in mares after induced luteolysis, concentrations of progesterone in whole blood and serum samples were measured by PATHFAST. In addition, concentrations of progesterone in serum samples measured by PATHFAST were compared with those measured by radioimmunoassay (RIA) and enzyme immunoassay (EIA). Using PATHFAST, the serum concentrations of progesterone in mares correlated highly with those of whole blood samples (r=0.9672, n=88). The serum concentrations of progesterone as measured by PATHFAST correlated well with RIA (r=0.9654, n=88) and EIA (r=0.9323, n=112). An abrupt decline in circulating progesterone in whole blood samples was observed within 2 hr (50%), followed by a gradual decline until 48 hr later. The results for progesterone in whole blood samples correlated highly with those in serum samples, and the declining pattern paralleled that of the serum samples. These results demonstrated that PATHFAST is useful in the equine clinic as an accurate diagnostic tool for rapid assay of progesterone within 26 min, using unextracted whole blood.
Present study was undertaken to study the prevalence of β-haemolytic streptococci in equine of northern temperate region of Jammu and Kashmir, India. One hundred and forty one samples were collected in duplicate from nasopharyngeal tract of diseased (53) and apparently healthy equine (88) for isolation and direct PCR. A total of 77 isolates of streptococci were recovered from 141 samples with an overall prevalence rate of 54.60%. Out of these 77 isolates, 52 were from diseased and 25 from apparently healthy animals. Of the 77 isolates, 4 were identified as Streptococcus equi subsp. equi, 56 as S.equi subsp. zooepidemicus and 17 as S.dysgalactiae subsp. equisimilis. Thus the overall prevalence of S.equi subsp. equi, S.equi subsp. zooepidemicus and S.dysgalactiae subsp. equisimilis was 2.83, 39.71 and 12.05% respectively. The sensitivity of the PCR for the detection of S.equi species was found higher when attempted from direct swab samples.