The occurrence of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE, so called mad cow diseases) that was first identified in England in 1986 was considered as being limited to only European countries, including England. However, the outbreak in Asia as well as North America since 2001 has amplified the fear that there isn't any nation in the world that is a safe area. In order to assess the risk of BSE outbreak in each country, the Office International des Epizooties (OIE) and EU have respectively established criteria, where OIE has set 5 levels and EU has set 4 levels. The Scientific Steering Committee (SSC) of the European Commission conducted a Geographical BSE Risk(GBR) assessment for 64 nations, such as the United States, etc., as of April 29, 2003. However, as of July 1, 2005, the duty of GBR assessment is expected to be transferred to a newly established body called EFSA (European Food Safety Authority, located in Parma, Italy). As Korea has not undergone a GBR assessment up to now, this study analyzed the risk of BSE outbreak in Korea by reviewing BSE prevention measures, etc., that have been put in place. This study shall be a barometer for estimating the GBR assessment level of Korea.
A total of 151 strains of Mycoplasma hyorhinis isolated from porcine lung lesions (weaned pigs, n = 71, and finishers, n = 80) were investigated for their in vitro susceptibility to 10 antimicrobial agents. Thirty-one strains (28 from weaned pigs and 3 from finishers) showed resistance to 16-membered macrolide antibiotics and lincomycin. The prevalence of the 16-membered macrolide-resistant M. hyorhinis strain in weaned pigs from Japanese herds has approximately quadrupled in the past 10 years. Several of the 31 strains were examined for mutations in the 23S ribosomal RNA (rRNA). All field strains tested showed a transition of A to G at position 2059 of 23S rRNA-rendered Escherichia coli. On the other hand, individual tylosin- and lincomycin-resistant mutants of M. hyorhinis were selected in vitro from the susceptible type strain BTS7 by 3 to 9 serial passages in subinhibitory concentrations of each antibiotic. The 23S rRNA sequences of both tylosin and lincomycin-resistant mutants were compared with that of the radical BTS7 strain. The BTS7 mutant strain selected by tylosin showed the same transition as the field-isolated strains of A2059G. However, the transition selected in lincomycin showed mutations in domains II and V of 23S rRNA, G2597U, C2611U in domain V, and the addition of an adenine at the pentameric adenine loop in domain II. The strain selected by lincomycin showed an additional point mutation of A2062G selected by tylosin.
We examined nasal swab and lung homogenate samples collected from pigs experimentally and naturally infected with Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae for the detection of M. hyopneumoniae by the nested PCR (nPCR) and culture methods. In the 23 experimentally infected pigs, M. hyopneumoniae was commonly detected in nasal swabs by the nPCR and culture methods at 4 weeks after inoculation, and there was a significant correlation (P<0.01) between the titers of viable organisms in nasal swabs and in lung homogenates in the experimentally inoculated pigs. In the naturally infected pigs, on the other hand, discrepancies in detection were found between nasal swab and lung homogenate samples in 17 of 36 cases, although the presence of gross lung lesions correlated relatively well with the detection of organisms from the samples. Our results indicated that the diagnosis of mycoplasmal pneumonia by nPCR in individual pigs with nasal swabs is reliable under these experimental conditions. At present, nPCR with nasal swabs should only be used for monitoring the disease status at the herd level under field conditions.
Pasteurella multocida, serovar A: 3, selected by pathogenicity in mice from among 10 strains isolated from pneumonic lesions of calves, was adjusted to 107, 108 and 1010 colony-forming units (CFU), and inoculated intratracheally into four calves. All calves showed pyrexia and had lungs with congestion and hepatization. Inoculation with 1010 CFU of bacteria produced respiratory symptoms and abscesses in lungs. This information will aid elucidation of the pathogenicity of P. multocida and the development of vaccines.
Serum alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activities were measured during dry and lactational periods to investigate the influence of lactation on serum ALP activity in cows. Higher levels of serum ALP activity were seen in lactational periods than in dry periods. The serum activities of bone-specific ALP (BALP), liver ALP (LALP), tartrate resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) and aspartate aminotransferase also increased in lactational periods. ALP activities in the bone extract and in whey were decreased at similar rates by the addition of lectin. Moreover, since the ALP band in whey was observed to have the same migration in polyacrylamide gel (PAG) disk electrophoresis as that of the bone extract, analysis of ALP isoenzymes by lectin affinity or PAG disk electrophoresis could not distinguish ALP originating from the mammary gland from that of bone. In this study, it was clear that the increased level of serum ALP activity was due to increases of BALP and LALP in lactational periods. However, the extent of the influence of ALP originating from the mammary glands on serum ALP activity was unknown. Judging from changes of BALP and TRAP activities in the serum and the correlation between the both, it was guessed that ALP originating from the mammary glands influenced serum ALP activity.
Two canine nm-23 cDNAs, designated as nm23-C1 and -C2, were isolated and characterized. Both have a putative open reading frame consisting of 459-bp encoding 152 amino acids and are highly similar to human, mouse and rat homologues. To understand the potential role of nm23-C1 and -C2 in the development of mammary gland tumors (MGT), we analyzed the mRNA expression in 14 MGT samples by RT-PCR. The samples were divided into categories according to their histopathology (benign/malignant) and metastasis. No significant difference in the mRNA expression levels of either nm23-C1 or -C2 were observed between the benign and malignant groups or the metastatic and non-metastatic groups. These results suggest that nm23-C1 and -C2 are not related to the establishment of malignancy and metastatic lesions in canine MGT cases.
Raccoons (Procyon lotor), which have recently become feral in Japan, were examined for the presence of Babesia microti-like parasites. Out of 372 raccoons captured in the west-central part of Hokkaido, 24 animals with splenomegaly were selected and tested by nested PCR targeting the babesial 18S rRNA gene. B. microti-like parasites were detected in two of the 24 individuals, and their DNA sequences were identical to that of the B. microti-like parasite reported from raccoons in the United States, suggesting that the parasites were probably imported into Japan and that the life cycle of the parasite has already been established in the country. The potential risk of this B. microti-like parasite spreading among dogs and foxes in Japan will need to be carefully monitored, as parasitization by phylogenetically very close parasites has been reported from such animals.
Twenty-four kinds of water extracts derived from 22 plants that are traditionally used for the treatment of malaria on Java Island, Indonesia, were screened for their antibabesial and antimalarial activities. Among the extracts, 8 extracts displayed strong antimalarial activity, with an inhibition range from 89.6 to 100%, and 15 showed strong antibabesial activity, with an inhibition range from 84.2 to 98.1%. The extracts of Achillea millefolium, Baeckea frutenscens, Brucea javanica, Curcuma xanthorrhiza, Strychnos lucida and Swietenia macrophylla showed both strong antibabesial and antimalarial activities. The antimalarial activities paralleled the antibabesial activities, but the converse was not true.
We determined the contribution of the Rho family of low molecular GTP-binding proteins to phorbol ester-induced contraction in swine pulmonary artery smooth muscle. In Ca2+-free medium containing 1 mM EGTA, 12-deoxyphorbol 13-isobutyrate (DPB, 1 μM), a protein kinase C (PKC) activator, elicited sustained contractions, which were not inhibited by treatment with verapamil, a voltage-dependent Ca2+ channel antagonist, and Y27632, a Rho-associated kinase inhibitor. Immunoblot analysis showed three PKC isoforms (α, ε, and ζ) and two Rho GTPases (RhoA and Cdc42) in both cytosolic and the membrane fractions from quiescent strips. DPB (1 μM) significantly induced PKCα and ε to translocate from the cytosolic to the membrane fraction in Ca2+-free medium. DPB also elicited the translocation of Cdc42, but not RhoA to the membrane fraction. Similarly, in the experiment for measurement of Rho GTPase activity by pull-down assay, DPB (1 μM) significantly increased the activity of Cdc42 in Ca2+-free medium. Norepinephrine (NE, 10 μM) stimulated the redistribution of RhoA from the cytosolic to the membrane fraction in swine pulmonary artery smooth muscle. In contrast, NE did not alter the subcellular distributions of Cdc42 and the PKC isoforms. These results indicate that phorbol ester evokes PKC-mediated Ca2+-independent contraction via a Rho GTPase pathway, especially Cdc42, in smooth muscle from swine pulmonary arteries.
Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), which had previously occurred only in the U.S.A. and Canada, broke out in a farm at Chungbuk, Korea from imported Canadian deer (Aug. 8, 2001). CWD distribution, through surveillance and epidemiologic investigations, was reported for 93 deer (43 from the CWD originating farm and 50 imported with the CWD originating farm's deer) out of 144 deer (72 from the CWD originating farm and 72 imported with the CWD originating farm's deer) that were breeding at 30 different farms. On Oct. 4 and Oct. 8, 2001, additional cases of CWD were investigated. As a result of slaughtering cohabitating deer, it was verified that other imported deer from Canada were also infected with CWD. Since it was thought that this might cause horizontal transmission, 93 deer imported from Canada in 1997 and 130 cohabitating Korean deer were slaughtered and examined. There were no infected Korean deer, but CWD re-occurred on Nov. 20, 2004 and is still under investigation.
An estuarine neritid gastropod, Clithon corona, maintained in UV-irradiated recirculating artificial seawater with a salinity of 15 per mil () was found to retain thermostable direct hemolysin (TDH)-producing Vibrio parahaemolyticus in the gut at significantly higher levels than TDH-non-producing one for at least 14 days. Another estuarine neritid gastropod, C. sowerbianus, was not able to support the preferential survival of TDH-producing organisms. This evidence suggests that, if TDH-producing vibrios are brought to estuaries inhabited by C. corona, repeated ingestion of V. parahaemolyticus by this gastropod could lead to accumulation of TDH-producing vibrios in the estuaries.
Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) selectively degrade the extracellular matrix, and they have been reported to play an important role in tumor invasion, metastasis and angiogenesis. These enzymes are closely related to tumor malignancy and patient survival time. Recently, reversion-inducing cysteine-rich protein with Kazal motifs (RECK) gene was identified as an endogenous membrane-anchored MMP inhibitor. The down-regulation of RECK has been implicated in tumor progression. In this study, the expression levels of the RECK messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) in various spontaneously developed canine tumors were investigated by using quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), and the correlation between RECK and clinicopathological factors, as well as MMP-9 expression were analyzed. The median age of 36 dogs investigated in this study was 9 years old (range, 1-15 years old). Quantitative RT-PCR could detect low levels of expression of RECK mRNA in the tumor samples. The expression levels of RECK mRNA in some tumor tissue samples were significantly lower than those in normal tissue samples. No significant associations of RECK with clinicopathological factors were observed. Using the Mann-Whitney U test, the expression level of the MMP-9 mRNA was observed to be significantly correlated to RECK expression (p<0.05).
To evaluate the clinical usefulness of tissue and serum gelatinase activity as a prognostic marker of canine tumors, tissue samples from 60 tumors and corresponding serum samples from the same animals were collected at the time of biopsy and surgery. On the basis of histopathology and clinical aggressiveness of metastasis and recurrence (MR), the cases were divided into 6 categories: non-inflammatory (Inf(-)) and inflammatory (Inf(+)) benign, and the Inf(-) MR(-), Inf(-) MR(+), Inf(+) MR(-), and Inf(+) MR(+) malignant. Gelatinase activity was determined semi-quantitatively using gelatin zymogram with a gelatinase standard from cultured canine peripheral blood mononuclear cells stimulated with lipopolysaccharide. No significant difference in gelatinase activities in tissue extracts was evident between the benign and malignant tumors. Inf(+) benign tumors, as well as Inf(-) MR(+), Inf(+) MR(-) and Inf(+) MR(+) malignant tumors, showed significantly higher tissue gelatinase activity than Inf(-) benign. The tissue activity in Inf(-) MR(-) malignant was significantly lower than in Inf(+) MR(-) and Inf(+) MR(+) malignant. The serum activity was significantly higher in the malignant cases than in the control and the benign. Inf(-) MR(+), Inf(+) MR(-) and Inf(+) MR(+) malignant tumors induced significantly higher gelatinase activity in serum than Inf(-) benign tumors. Gelatinase activity in serum was positively correlated with that in tumor extracts. Increased gelatinase in tumor tissue and serum may be correlated with inflammation as well as tumor aggressiveness, and thus should be used in combination with histopathology for predicting tumor metastasis or recurrence.
A 7-year-old intact female golden Retriever was referred for evaluation of an intraorbital mass of the left eye. Based on ophthalmoscopy, ultrasonography and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the tentative diagnosis was made as an intraocular neoplasia, especially choroidal melanoma. The orbital exenteration of the affected eye was performed. The mass was histologically diagnosed as malignant choroidal melanoma. No signs of recurrence and metastasis were detected by thoracic radiographs, blood examinations and MR images, and the dog was clinically healthy for 23 months after operation.
A nine-year-old, male, mongrel dog was unsteady after falling down a set of stairs. The dog exhibited a mildly abnormal gait 2 days after injury, and was not able to stand, with spasticity of the right limbs, 4 days after injury. MR imaging revealed a clearly demarcated mass on the top of the left lateral ventricle that showed mild hyperintensity on T1-weighted images and hyperintensity on T2-weighted images. The authors diagnosed the dog as having a traumatic intracerebral hematoma. This type of case, in which the clinical signs deteriorated due to edema associated with hematoma, is extremely rare.
The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of season, temperature, humidity, age of the boar, and semen collection interval on sperm morphology in Duroc boars in Thailand, kept either in a conventional open air system (CONV) or in an evaporative cooling system (EVAP). In total, 1176 ejaculates from 110 sexually mature boars in six CONV herds and five EVAP herds were morphologically examined during a one-year period. Analysis of variance was applied to the data. Minor differences in the sperm morphology traits analyzed were found between the housing systems. There was a significant seasonal effect (two-month periods) on the percentage of morphologically normal spermatozoa (normal1), morphologically normal spermatozoa including spermatozoa with distal cytoplasmic droplets (normal2), proximal cytoplasmic droplets (prox), and sperm head abnormalities (P≤0.001). Temperature had a significant effect on normal1 in the CONV system (P≤0.01) and in the EVAP system (P≤0.05), and on normal2 (P≤0.05) and prox (P≤0.001) in both systems. Humidity had a significant effect on prox (P≤0.05) in the EVAP system. The results also indicate that the sperm morphology traits were mildly affected by the housing systems investigated. A seasonal variation in sperm morphology was found, and high temperatures and high humidity had negative effects on sperm morphology.
Dystocia or stillbirth accompanied by Large Offspring Syndrome (LOS) occurs rather frequently in Holstein nuclear transferred calves. In regard to prophylaxes, nuclear transferred Holstein fetuses were monitored with ultrasonography during the final stage of gestation. Fetal weight was estimated weekly based on the fetal metacarpal width using ultrasonography. Fourteen Holstein cows pregnant with Holstein nuclear transferred fetuses were the subjects of this experiment. The fetal weight was estimated by measuring the fetal metacarpal width during the last month of gestation according to the expected date of parturition. Measurements were performed on a weekly basis. The ultrasound-estimated metacarpal width and body weight of 13 of the fetuses in the last week of gestation (30.2 ± 2.2 mm, 50.0 ± 4.7 kg) were similar to the actual measurement immediately after birth (30.0 ± 2.1 mm, 51.2 ± 5.5 kg). These results indicate that ultrasonographic monitoring within a week of parturition to is accurate for estimating fetal weight. Prediction of LOS with ultrasonography contributes to reliable a diagnostic method that minimizes syndrome-related gyneco-obstetric complications at parturition with the aid of appropriate treatments.