The spatial relationship between the distribution of indigenous bacteria (IB) and the situation of mucosal lymphatic follicles (LF) is histoplanimetrically studied in the rat alimentary tract. From the oral cavity to the nonglandular part of the stomach, IB adhered to the corneal layer of the most luminal mucosa. In the glandular part of the stomach, IB adhered only to the most luminal mucosa but not in the gastric pits. In the small intestine, IB consistently adhered around the apices of both intestinal villi and the domes, and their amounts decreased toward their basal portions. No IB entered the intestinal crypts. In the large intestine, IB consistently adhered to the most luminal mucosa. Numerous IB were suspended in the intestinal crypts of both the cecum and the proximal colon, whereas there were no IB in the crypts of the distal colon and the rectum. When IB spread over the basal portions of the intestinal villi, IB with the same morphology were detected on the neighboring LF, whereas no bacteria were detected on the neighboring LF, when IB were located in the apical to middle portions of the intestinal villi. This close relationship between the distribution of IB and mucosal LF was also observed in the large intestine. These results suggest that the most luminal mucosae are a fundamental settlement site of IB throughout the alimentary tract and that the hyperproliferation of IB's colonies might be detected by neighboring LF in the rat intestine.
S1 gene sequences for infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) strains of the 4/91 genotype (commonly called 793B) isolated from field outbreaks in Japan were analyzed to ascertain the relationship to 4/91 vaccine strain. Three field isolates (JP/Wakayama/2003, JP/Iwate/2005 and JP/Saitama/2006) from flocks not immunized with a 4/91 type live IBV vaccine and one isolate (JP/Wakayama-2/2004) from a flock immunized with a 4/91 type live vaccine were examined. The amino acid identities among JP/Wakayama/2003, JP/Iwate/2005 and JP/Saitama/2006 were about 98%, whereas the identities to the 4/91 vaccine strain and JP/Wakayama-2/2004 were about 90%. Three of the field isolates, JP/Wakayama/2003, JP/Iwate/2005 and JP/Saitama/2006, were classified into a cluster closely related to French and Spanish isolates, but different from the cluster including the vaccine and JP/Wakayama-2/2004. These results indicate that JP/Wakayama/2003, JP/Iwate/2005 and JP/Saitama/2006 were derived from foreign field isolates, but not from the vaccine strain. On the other hand, the S1 gene of JP/Wakayama-2/2004 revealed high sequence similarity with that of the 4/91 vaccine strain and appeared to be a vaccine-like virus derived from a vaccine. The field isolates of 4/91 genotype IBV could be distinguished from other genotypes by using the BalI and Pst I enzymes in addition to the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) -restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) methods of Mase et al.  using Hae II and EcoR I enzymes. Furthermore, the 4/91 vaccine strain and vaccine-like isolate (JP/Wakayama-2/2004) could be differentiated from the other field isolates by Bgl II digestion. This method, therefore, would assist in identification of field isolates of the 4/91 genotype as outbreaks of IBV in vaccinated flocks.
Staphylococcus hyicus isolates (n=207), including 150 exfolitative toxigenic and 57 non-toxigenic strains, were examined for their susceptibility to 13 antimicrobial agents by using the dehydrated 96-well MIC panel system. The frequency of their resistance to penicillin and ampicillin was 76.8% (159/207), followed by erythromycin (56%, 116/207), trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (28.5%, 59/207), chloramphenicol (24.2%, 50/207), kanamycin (19.8%, 41/207), and doxycycline (1.4%, 3/207). Resistance to chloramphenicol and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole was significantly higher in toxigenic strains than non-toxigenic strains (p<0.01), whereas kanamycin and erythromycin resistance was significantly higher in non-toxigenic strains (p<0.01 and <0.05, respectively). Resistance to two or more antimicrobials was observed in 85.5% (177/207) of total strains, with a significantly higher occurrence in toxigenic strains (89.3%, 134/150 vs. 75.4%, 43/57; p<0.05).
We evaluated the usefulness of polymerase chain reaction for antigen receptor gene rearrangement analysis (PARR) of endoscopic biopsy specimens for diagnosis of canine alimentary lymphoma. Two endoscopic biopsy specimens were obtained from each lesion in 78 dogs with gastrointestinal symptoms. One specimen was histopathologically examined by a pathologist, and the other was analyzed by PARR. All samples were categorized into three groups [lymphoma (n=4), adenocarcinoma (n=5) and enteritis groups (n=69)] based on the histopathological diagnosis. In the lymphoma group, one case was IgH major-positive, and three cases were TCRγ-positive, representing clonal expansion of B- and T-cells, respectively. PARR produced negative results for all cases in the adenocarcinoma group. In the enteritis group, six cases were TCRγ-positive. Two of the six TCRγ-positive enteritis cases were cytologically diagnosed as lymphoma by fine needle aspiration during a laparotomy. In the enteritis group, the survival times were compared between the TCRγ-positive and TCRγ-negative cases. The overall survival time of the TCRγ-positive enteritis cases was significantly shorter than that of the TCRγ-negative enteritis cases according to a log-rank test (p<0.0001). With regard to other factors, such as age, clinical signs and the serum albumin concentration, there were no significant differences between the TCRγ-positive and TCRγ-negative enteritis cases. In conclusion, PARR is capable of detecting alimentary lymphoma and latent alimentary lymphoma, which cannot be histopathologically diagnosed using endoscopic biopsy specimens. Furthermore, a TCRγ-positive result in PARR may imply a poor prognosis.
A fragile histidine triad (FHIT) gene has been studied as a tumor-associated gene in humans. The aberrant FHIT gene and its protein expression have been reported in many types of human cancers. The present study explored the canine FHIT gene structure and its protein expression in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells of healthy dogs by RT-PCR, RACE and immunoblot analysis. The obtained canine FHIT gene contained nine small exons and was located on canine chromosome 20. Furthermore, we identified an alternative splicing form of the FHIT transcript. The deduced amino acid sequence was well conserved between species, and anti-human Fhit antibody could be used to detect the canine Fhit protein. These findings will be useful for future research.
Marek's disease (MD) is a commercially important disease of chickens caused by MD virus (MDV). Although avirulent MDV strains have been used for vaccination to prevent MD outbreaks, the protective mechanism of the vaccine has not been elucidated. In this study, a comprehensive transcriptional analysis using microarray was conducted in MDV-infected chickens with and without vaccination at 7 and 21 days post-infection (dpi). The data suggested that the expression of T cell receptor (TCR) 1-related genes was up-regulated in vaccinated-challenged compared to unvaccinated-challenged chickens during the latent phase of infection. Consistently, this induction was confirmed by quantitative PCR. Flow cytometric analysis revealed that most of TCR1+ cells expressed CD8α chain brightly. The number of this subpopulation was significantly and specifically increased in vaccinated-challenged chickens at 21 dpi compared to unvaccinated-challenged chickens, though it was not the major population in spleen of chickens. The number of CD8αhigh TCR2+ cells, the major subpopulation of chicken CD8αhigh cells, was increased in vaccinated chickens with or without challenge compared to unvaccinated control chickens. These data suggested that both CD8αhigh TCR1+ and CD8αhigh TCR2+ cells could be induced by the vaccination. It is also possible that CD8αhigh TCR1+ cells might be primed by the vaccination and specifically induced by the challenge with virulent strain of MDV during the latent phase of infection. Thus, CD8αhigh TCR1+ cell population is probably one of the key factors involved in the protective mechanism induced by a vaccine strain, CVI988.
The aim of this study was to investigate and compare the antagonistic effects of atipamezole and yohimbine on xylazine-induced diuresis in healthy dogs. Five healthy male beagles were assigned to each of the 8 treatment groups in a randomized design at 1-week intervals in the same dog. One group was not medicated. The dogs in the other groups received 2 mg/kg xylazine intramuscularly (IM) and a treatment of saline (control), 50, 100 or 300 μg/kg of each atipamezole or yohimbine IM 0.5 hr later. Urine and blood samples were collected 11 times over the course of 24 hr. Urine volume, pH, specific gravity and creatinine values; osmolality, electrolyte and arginine vasopressin (AVP) values in both urine and plasma; and plasma atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) concentration were measured. Both atipamezole and yohimbine antagonized xylazine-induced diuresis. The reversal effect of yohimbine was more potent, but not dose-dependent at the tested doses, in contrast with atipamezole. Both atipamezole and yohimbine exhibited similar potency in reversing the decreases in urine specific gravity, osmolality, creatinine, sodium and chloride concentrations and the increase in the plasma potassium concentration induced by xylazine. Both also inhibited xylazine-induced diuresis without significantly altering the hormonal profile in the dogs. A higher dose of atipamezole tended to increase the plasma ANP concentration. This may not be due only to actions mediated by α2-adrenoceptors. Both drugs can be used as antagonistic agents against xylazine-induced diuresis in healthy dogs.
Immune function in cows is closely associated with their physical and hormonal conditions. In order to clarify the relationship between the body condition score (BCS) of lactating dairy cows and the immune response to progesterone (P4) in vitro, we examined whether lower BCS in dairy cows affects the responsiveness of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) to P4 added in to culture medium. Forty-two non-pregnant healthy Holstein dairy cows were examined at 61 to 120 days after calving. The cows were divided into the following two groups; Low BCS group (N=20), which had a BCS of less than 2.25, and a Control group (N=22), which had a BCS over 2.75. PBMCs were stimulated with P4 (1 μg/mL) and/or phytohemagglutinin (PHA), and the levels of cytokine mRNA were analyzed. In the Low BCS group, a significantly lower IFN-γ level was stimulated by PHA only compared with the Control group. The combination of P4 and PHA significant decreased the IFN-γ/IL-4 ratio in the Control group, but this reaction was not found in the Low BCS group. Our data indicated that expression of IFN-γ mRNA was basically lower in the low BCS dairy cows and that addition of P4 did not suppress the cellular immune function in these cows. In this study, we observed that P4 reduced the cellular immune response in the adequate BCS cows, whereas immunosuppression by P4 was not found in the PBMCs of the low BCS cows, which already had a lower level of immune function.
Protease-activated receptor-2 (PAR-2) belongs to a new G protein-coupled receptor subfamily and is activated by serine proteases. PAR-2 has been demonstrated to play an important role in inflammation and immune response in allergic diseases. In this study, we cloned canine PAR-2 cDNA from the canine kidney by RT-PCR. The canine PAR-2 clone contained a full-length open reading frame encoding 397 amino acids that had 84% and 80% homology with human and mouse homologues, respectively. Canine PAR-2 mRNA was detected in the heart, lung, liver, pancreas, stomach, small intestine, colon, kidney, adrenal gland, spleen, thyroid gland, thymus, skeletal muscle, lymph node, fat and skin of three healthy dogs. The expression pattern of PAR-2 mRNA in canine tissues was similar to that in humans. The expression level of PAR-2 mRNA in skin was not different between the atopic dermatitis (AD) and healthy dogs, suggesting that the level of PAR-2 mRNA transcription may not be associated with development of canine AD. The canine PAR-2 cDNA clone obtained in this study will be useful for further investigation of the immunopathogenesis of canine allergic diseases.
The efficacy of a gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) preparation in improving general health condition and growth rate was evaluated in suckling Japanese Black beef calves housed together and fed using an automatic milk feeder. The GABA preparation was administered from 4 to 10 d postpartum until weaning. A significant difference in mean body weight was observed at 3 and 8 weeks after introduction of the GABA preparation. The calves in the GABA group tended to require less medication than those in the control group (3.0 d/calf for BABA; 7.6 d/calf for the control; P=0.06). The health statuses of the 2 groups may be reflected in their blood parameters. GABA may possibly have etiotropic effects in group-housed calves fed using an automatic milk feeder.
A 5-year-old castrated mongrel dog was brought to our hospital with anorexia and vomiting. Laboratory testing revealed immune-mediated hemolytic anemia (IMHA), and so treatment was initiated with multiple immune-suppressing drugs, achieving partial remission from IMHA. However, cardiac tamponade due to purulent pericarditis was identified as a secondary disease. Culture of pericardial fluid yielded numerous Candida albicans and multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter sp. Pericardiocentesis was performed, and the condition of the dog improved. However, the dog died the next day.
Calcitonin (CT) has been shown to have various functions including osteoclast activity and calcium and phosphorus metabolism in mammals. In the present study, we measured the amounts of CT mRNA in the mouse brain, liver, kidney, heart and testis at various development stages, 14 days post-coitum (dpc), 17-dpc, newborn, 1 week and 8 weeks (adult), using real-time PCR. In the brain and kidney, the amount of CT mRNA decreased with development. In the testis, elevated amounts were observed at 17-dpc and 8 weeks. In the liver, the amount increased from the 14 dpc embryo to newborn stage and then decreased. In the heart, elevated amounts were observed at 17-dpc. Additionally, the CT antisense transcript was determined using a modified RT-PCR and nucleotide sequencing in the present study. Organs with high mRNA expressions were examined for localization of transcripts using in situ hybridization. The CT sense and antisense transcripts in the 14 dpc brain were mainly localized in the mesencephalon. In the pre- and postnatal stages, sense and antisense transcripts were shown to exist rather uniformly in the kidney, heart, liver and testis. In the 17-dpc rib and thyroid lobe and the adult ovary, the sense and antisense transcripts were found to be densely localized.
We previously identified a cDNA from the ixodid tick Haemaphysalis longicornis that encodes leucine aminopeptidase, HlLAP. Functionally, recombinant HlLAP effectively hydrolyzed synthetic amino acid derivatives. Here, we investigated the temporal expression profiles of midgut HlLAP in adult H. longicornis parthenogenetic ticks from the starting of blood feeding until just before the onset of oviposition. Midgut HlLAP transcript expression level was higher during post-engorgement period than that during feeding period. Endogenous HlLAP in the midgut was also observed with higher expression level during post-engorgement period. Histological localization of HlLAP was in the cytosol of midgut epithelial cells, notably the newly differentiated basophilic cells at post-engorgement. Our data suggested that HlLAP was dominantly localized in basophilic cells, where it may play regulatory roles in protein biosynthesis and degradation.
To establish a reliable diagnostic measure for equine Anoplocephala perfoliata infection, the impact of deworming was examined in 12 Thoroughbreds to which bithionol (5-10 mg/kg body weight) was administered and feces were examined by the modified Wisconsin method using sucrose solution. One day after the administration, cestode eggs were detected in previously fecal egg-negative 3 horses and increased in the other 9 horses. The optimum time for post-deworming egg detection was examined in following horses: 17 mares were administered bithionol and 10 mares were used as controls. The fecal egg count was significantly (P<0.01) higher one day after the administration than that on other pre- and post-administration days, while no significant changes occurred in fecal egg count in the controls, demonstrating that one day after bithionol administration is the optimum time for detecting fecal cestode eggs. The diagnostic deworming involving bithionol and fecal examination on the day following administration provides a reliable diagnosis for equine Anoplocephala perfoliata infection.
We recently found a group of 5 boar-hunting dogs infected with Paragonimus westermani. As wild boars are known to be the potential paratenic hosts for this parasite, boar-hunting dogs have obviously a high risk of infection by this parasite. In the present study, therefore, we investigated 20 dogs of another group kept by a hunter in Miyazaki Prefecture, Japan, in order to determine whether paragonimosis is a common problem among boar-hunting dogs. The results showed that P. westermani eggs were present in the feces of 10 out of 20 dogs, while 17 dogs were seropositive on ELISA. Taken together with our previous results, it appears that paragonimosis is a serious problem in boar-hunting dogs. The possible risks of infected dogs acting as a source for maintaining the P. westermani life cycle are also discussed.
Swine hemagglutinating encephalomyelitis virus (HEV) causes encephalomyelitis or vomiting and wasting disease in suckling piglets. Neurotoropism of the virus has been demonstrated in previous in vivo studies. In the present study, we investigated the infectivity and propagation of HEV in comparison with those of pseudorabies virus (PRV), another neurotropic virus, using dorsal root ganglia cells of newborn mice containing nerve cells and non-neuronal cells. HEV infected nerve cells but did not infect non-neuronal cells, whereas PRV infected both cell types. By using cytoskeletal inhibitors, it was suggested that propagation of HEV and PRV within and among nerve cells depended on microtubules and intermediate filaments of nerve cells, indicating that the viruses may be transported between the cell body and axonal terminals of neurons by fast axonal flow.
The relationship between tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α level, body temperature, and pulmonary lesion score was determined in 3-week-old pigs inoculated intranasally with swine influenza virus (SIV) subtype H1N2. The expression of TNF-α was measured in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluids by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and lung tissues by immunohistochemistry. In BAL fluid, TNF-α concentration was maximal at 1 days post-inoculation (dpi), declined markedly by 3 dpi (P<0.05) and steady thereafter. Mean rectal temperatures were above 40°C for the infected groups at 1 dpi and declined markedly by 3 dpi. The body temperatures were correlated with the levels of TNF-α in BAL fluids from pigs experimentally infected with SIV (rs=0.9754, P<0.05). The pulmonary lesion scores were correlated with the means of positive cells by immunohistochemistry for TNF- α (rs=0.9949, P<0.001). The results suggest that the expression of TNF-α protein plays an important role in induction of pulmonary lesion and clinical sign such as fever in SIV infection.
A female Japanese domestic shorthair cat showed gait abnormality at 5 months of age, and head shaking and tremor became apparent from 6 months of age. Serum biochemistry at 13 months of age revealed markedly elevated ALT and ALP. The cat died at 16 months of age. Histopathologic examination revealed prominent cytoplasmic swelling of neurons with accumulation of yellowish pigments. The storage pigments stained positively with periodic acid Schiff reaction, Schmorl method, and Oil red O stain. Ultrastructurally, the neuronal storage consisted of aggregates of dense materials, similar to the granular osmiophilic deposits in infantile ceroid-lipofuscinosis in humans. Hepatocytes were markedly swollen and contained faintly eosinophilic inclusion. To our knowledge this case is the sixth case of feline ceroid-lipofuscinosis, which is characterized by granular osmiophilic dense bodies in the neurons and prominent involvement of hepatocytes.
Lymphoplasmacytoid lymphoma was found in an 8-year-old Holstein cow uninfected with bovine leukemia virus (BLV). The neoplastic tissue was composed of lymphoid and plasmacytoid cells, and intracytoplasmic IgM (λ) was detected in the latter. The diagnosis was based on the presence of small lymphoid cells and the expression of CD5, which were suggestive of a close relationship with chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Areas of immunoblastoid cells were reminiscent of histologic progression into immunoblastic lymphoma. The neoplastic cells at different stages of differentiation were distinct from those of BLV-associated pleomorphic lymphoma.
An 8-year-old, female chipmunk (Tamias sibiricus), which had been kept as a pet, was presented with a chief complaint of the gradually enlarging mammary mass and dysuria. The mammary mass was surgically excised and was histopathologically diagnosed as mammary adenocarcinoma. Despite a general improvement in its condition and reduced dysuria after surgery, the chipmunk died on postoperative day 188. Pathological examination revealed that the mammary tumor had metastasized to both the lungs and the pelvic cavity. The metastatic focus in the pelvic cavity involved the left ureter, with ipsilateral hydronephrosis. Immunohistochemically, the tumor cells were stained positive for cytokeratin (CK) AE1/AE3 and partially positive for CK7, but negative for CK20. This is the first report of a mammary tumor in chipmunks.
Postmortem examination of a meerkat which had been captive for eight years in zoo, revealed multinodular white masses filling the thoracic cavity with systemic metastasis. Microscopically, the neoplastic cells were polygonal to spindle-shaped and had eosinophilic cytoplasm often with variable numbers of small lipid droplets. Immunohistochemically, the neoplastic cells were intensely positive for vimentin and occasionally weakly positive for S-100. Ultrastructurally, several lipid droplets without limiting membranes were observed in the cytoplasm. Based on the findings above, the tumor was diagnosed as a pleomorphic liposarcoma arising from the thoracic cavity. To date, neoplasms have seldom been reported in Herpestidae animals. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first reported case of liposarcoma in a meerkat.
A 5-year-old painted turtle (Chrysemys picta) presented with a 1cm nodular enlargement of the right femorotibial joint. The right leg was amputated, because the nodule continued to grow and motor problems appeared. The cut surface of the nodule was yellowish white, and had a colloidal to chalky gross appearance. Microscopically, a multinodular foreign-body granuloma was observed around the joint capsule. Morphological and histochemical examination showed that the foreign body consisted of calcium pyrophosphate. Histological findings revealed that the articular cartilage was mainly involved in the pathological onset of the disease, and was therefore diagnosed as tophaceous pseudogout. This disease is generic in elderly people, but is rare in animals. Also, there are only three reports in reptiles.
GPR39 is an orphan G protein-coupled receptor that is thought to be involved in gastrointestinal and metabolic function. In this study, we cloned bovine GPR39 cDNA that encoded 462 amino acids showing high sequence homology to other mammalian GPR39 proteins. Real-time PCR showed expression of GPR39 mRNA in the liver, kidney, abomasums, small intestine, colon, rectum and uterus, with the highest level in the abomasums. Significant promoter activity was observed within the -2.3 kb 5'-upstream region of bovine GPR39 gene with human colon carcinoma-derived CACO-2 cells. These findings suggest that GPR39 may have important roles in gastrointestinal and metabolic functions in bovines as in other mammals.
A West Highland White Terrier was brought to our veterinary hospital with the chief complaints of seizures and staggering gait. When cephalic Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was performed, a symmetrical lesion was found in the basal ganglion. Suspecting a metabolic disorder, an abdominal ultrasonography was performed, and a tumor was found in the pancreas. The pancreatic tumor was surgically removed based on suspicion that it had induced the brain damage. The resected tumor was histopathologically diagnosed as an insulinoma. After removal, recurrence of neurological symptoms was not observed. MRI 3 months post-operation showed a reduction in the size of the brain lesion. Consequently, the tumor was thought to have induced the lesion in the basal ganglion, and this was verified by MRI. This case was considered to be extremely rare.
Polarity formation in preimplantation embryos is controversial. To investigate the embryonic-abembryonic axis in the pig, porcine parthenotes were used to prevent the topological change caused by polyspermy as well as to avoid the influences of sperm entry position. For lineage tracing, DiI, a fluorescence dye, was injected into only a blastomere of the 2-cell stage embryos. If the first blastomere to divide was labeled, the embryo was included in the leading group, and while all others were included in the lagging group. In 60.5% of the blastocysts in the lagging group, the progeny of the labeled blastomeres formed the inner cell mass (ICM) and adjacent trophectoderm (TE) hemisphere; 62.1% of the blastocysts in the leading group had progeny of the labeled blastomeres distributed only to the TE (opposite of ICM). The rest of the lagging and leading groups showed random distributions. Unlike murine parthenotes, biased mitochondrial distribution was also found in porcine parthenotes (38.1%). Our findings indicate that the `leading' blastomere of the 2-cell porcine parthenote forms the distal TE (abembryonic) and that the `lagging' blastomere forms the remaining portion of the blastocyst, including the ICM (embryonic). Biased distribution of mitochondria in each 2-cell blastomere may contribute partly to this event.
This study investigated associations of a single-mating occurrence (SMO) with farrowing rate and pigs born alive (PBA) in first-serviced and reserviced female pigs (females), and identified the factors associated with SMO. The data included 111,334 service and 91,233 farrowing records on 117 farms. A mating was defined as any one insemination (mating) of a female during estrus. Mixed-effects models were used to investigate reproductive performance and factors associated with SMO. In the first-service group, single-mated females had a lower farrowing rate and fewer PBA than multiple-mated females (P<0.05). In the reservice group, single-mated females also had a lower farrowing rate than multiple-mated females (P<0.05), but had PBA similar to multiple-mated females. SMO in first-service and reservice groups were 4.1 and 6.0%, respectively. Gilts were 1.030 times more likely to be mated a single time than sows (P<0.05). Gilts with age at first mating 150-224 and ≥ 262 days were 1.010-1.016 times more likely to be mated a single time than those with age at first mating 225-260 days (P<0.05). Sows with weaning-to-first-mating interval ≥ 7 days were 1.024-1.030 times more likely to be mated a single time than those with weaning-to-first-mating interval ≤ 6 days (P<0.05). Factors associated with a higher SMO were a reservice occurrence, being gilts, low or high ages of gilts at first mating, and prolonged weaning-to-first-mating interval.
The objective of this study was to investigate associations of the number of matings and services with reproductive performance in high-performing and ordinary herds. The data included 113,265 service and 92,248 farrowing records in 117 herds. A service included single or more matings of a female pig (female) during a 10-day estrus period. Two herd groups were built on the basis of the upper 25th percentile of pigs weaned per mated female per year: high-performing (≥ 22.8 pigs) and ordinary herds. Mixed-effects models were used to analyze reproductive performance. Relative frequencies (%) of single, double and triple or more matings were 3.4, 27.4, and 69.2% in high-performing herds, respectively, and were 4.6, 59.3 and 36.1% in ordinary herds, respectively. Percentages of reserviced females in high-performing and ordinary herds were 7.3 and 13.0%, respectively. Triple or more-mated (TM) gilts had 3.5% higher farrowing rates than double-mated (DM) gilts (P<0.01), but similar pigs born alive (PBA) to DM gilts in the first service group in both the herd groups. In the first service group, TM sows had 0.8% higher farrowing rates and 0.2 more PBA than DM sows in high-performing herds (P<0.01). In the reservice group, TM gilts and TM sows had farrowing rate similar to DM gilts and DM sows in high-performing herds. In conclusion, performing triple matings was a better practice for first-serviced females than performing double matings. Double matings may be sufficient for reserviced females.
A cross-sectional survey of a convenient sample of domestic cats from Costa Rica's greater metropolitan area was carried out to determine the prevalence of antibodies against feline herpesvirus type 1 (FHV-1), feline parvovirus (FPV), feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and antigens of feline leukemia virus (FeLV). Blood samples were collected from at least 96 cats from June 1998 to December 2001; data related to the individual cats and household variables were obtained using a questionnaire. Antibodies against FHV-1 were found in 71.9% of the cats sampled, but only 25.0% of them had a history of previous vaccination. The prevalence of FPV was 92.8%, and all positive cats showed protective antibodies titres; however, only 16.5% of them were previously vaccinated. Antigens of FeLV were detected in 16.7% of the sampled cats; 11 (64.7%) of the 17 positive cats were older than 1 year at the time of testing. No differences were found between the percentage of seropositive males and females. Antibodies against FIV were detected in 8.8% of the samples tested; 8 (88.8%) of the seropositive cats were older than 1 year of age, and a greater proportion of seropositive males (66.6%) was found.