Free amino acids in serum were monitored in 7 dairy cows during the last 20 days before parturition and for 90 days after parturition. At calving time, concentrations of Val, Lue, Ile, Trp, Ala, Pro, Tyr, Asn, Asp, and Urn decreased significantly below late-pregnancy levels. They increased significantly after parturition and into early lactation(Type 1). Concentration of Gly and Ser in serum increased from late pregnancy to early lactation(Type 2). At calving time, concentrations of Met, Phe, Lys, Arg, Thr, and Glu in serum decreased below late-pregnancy levels. There was no difference, however, in the early lactation period(Type 3). Concentrations of His and Gln in serum decreased from after parturition to the early lactation period(Type 4). Thus, transition of amino-acid concentrations during the peri-parturient period falls into 4 types. These changes probably result from the intermediary metabolites of gluco-neogenesis, feed intake, and body-tissue metabolism. Measurement of free amino acids in serum may be useful in evaluating cows' peri-parturient nutritional status.
The reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was used to detect genes for the Bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissues from diseased cattle. When an RNA template extracted from FFPE tissues and digested with proteinase K and sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) was used, RT-PCR was from 100 to 1, 000 times more sensitive than when SDS was used alone or when no digestion treatment was performed. Three different primer sets were compared. The Detection rate was highest in the 324 and 326 primers reported on by Vilcek et al. Increasing the number of PCR amplification cycles from 35 to 45 or the conducting of a second PCR improved the sensitivity of RT-PCR utilizing these primer sets. The present results indicate that RT-PCR with 45 PCR amplification cycles utilizing 324 or 326 primers is very useful for detecting BVDV genes in FFPE tissues. For the purposes of RT-PCR, it seems indispensable to prepare the RNA template by digesting FFPE tissues with proteinase K in combination with SDS.
Virus neutralization tests were conducted to clarify Ibaraki virus infection in cattle in Iwate Prefecture. On farm A, located in the central region of the prefecture, in July 1999, 12 of 36 bovine serum samples were positive for the Ibaraki virus antibody; in June 2001, 10 of 49 serum samples were positive. Serum samples from 1, 519 head of cattle on 230 farms throughout Iwate Prefecture were kept for the period between 1999 and 2001. The Ibaraki virus antibody was detected in 10 serum samples from 5 farms in the central part of the prefecture. All of the animals having the antibody were born on or before September 10, 1998. On farm A, 16 of 26 paired sera were seronegative. In both 1999 and 2001, the remaining 10 paired sera were seropositive. The geometric mean antibody titer for 1999 was 45.3;the corresponding titer for 2001 was 7. 1. These results suggest that the cattle may have been infected in July 1999 or earlier. This is the first report of Ibaraki virus infection in the Tohoku District of Japan.
Three imported wild Tengmalm's owls (Aegolius funereus) from Russia were less active and unable to fly after transfer to an outside aviary. Blood-smear examinations revealed mixed infections with avian haematozoons (Haemoproteus sp., Leucocytozoon sp, Trypanosoma sp.). One owl died, but the clinical conditions of the other two improved after treatment with pyrimethamine/sulfadoxine. Although this drug combination was effective against both Haemoproteus and Leucocytozoon infections, the later haematozoon persisted after treatment. Treatment against Trypanosoma infection was ineffective. From the standpoint of wildlife management, haematozoic infections in imported exotic birds should be carefully considered as a source of introduced pathogens.
A 17-year-old Shih Tzu with a history of mitral valve regurgitation was admitted to the hospital because of coughing and habitual lifting of a left front leg. Radiography revealed a solitary, markedly radio-dense nodule in the left cranial lobe of the lung. Total lobectomy of the tumorous left cranial lobe and removal of the hilar lymph nodes were performed. The diagnosis of pulmonary adenocarcinoma was made on the basis of histopathological findings. Metastasis to the regional lymph nodes was confirmed. Combination chemotherapy with carboplatin and vinblastin sulfate was initiated 10 days after surgery. The mild leucopenia observed a week later necessitated delaying second treatment for seven days. Thereafter the rest of the treatment protocol was carried out without complication. Paresis of the hind limb was observed 90 days after surgery. MRI revealed possible tumor metastasis on the 12th thoracic vertebral body. The dog's condition improved temporarily with administration to prednisolone, but later paresis of the hind limb advanced. The dog's condition deteriorated and it died 196 days after surgery. This case suggests that aggressive treatment can enable an old dog with relatively advanced pulmonary adenocarcinoma to live with a reasonable quality of life. It also suggests that combination chemotherapy with carboplatin and vinblastin sulfate is effective against pulmonary adenocarcinoma.