An antigen retrieval method for immunohistochemical staining of glucagon-like peptide (GLP)-2-immunoreactive cells was investigated in the chicken small intestine. GLP-2-immunoreactive cells were observed as open-typed endocrine cells in the villous epithelium and crypts on both antigen retrieval agent-treated and untreated preparations. No obvious differences were detected in morphological features of GLP-2-immunoreactive cells between treated and untreated preparations. The frequencies of occurrence of GLP-2-immunoreactive cells, however, were significantly different in treated and untreated preparations: in the proximal and distal regions of jejunum and ileum obtained from untreated preparations, the frequencies of occurrence were 0.5 ± 0.2, 0.7 ± 0.1, 0.9 ± 0.2 and 1.5 ± 0.3, respectively (cell numbers per mucosal area: cells/mm2, mean ± SD), whereas those from treated sections were 14.7 ± 2.3, 19.8 ± 2.3, 23.5 ± 4.7 and 34.6 ± 4.9 cells/mm2, respectively. These data indicate that this antigen retrieval method is able to make immunoreactive GLP-2 available for detection and that GLP-2 may act as one of the common hormones secreted by L cells in the chicken small intestine.
Broiler chicks were reared on either wet litter or dry litter to compare the development of footpad dermatitis (FPD). Broilers reared on wet litter first developed FPD at 14 days of age. Their FPD scores increased sharply after 21 days of age, reaching 2.92 at 42 days. In broilers reared on dry litter, FPD was first observed at 28 days of age, and the FPD score was only 0.70 at 42 days. When 21- or 28-day-old broilers that had been reared on wet litter and had developed FPD were moved to dry litter, the progression of FPD was suppressed or delayed. These results suggest that reducing litter moisture is effective in preventing FPD and suppressing disease progression.
An investigation was carried out to determine the prevalence and infection pattern of duck circovirus (DuCV) in subclinical Pekin ducks on South Korean duck farms. A total of 147 samples collected from 92 duck farms in five provinces were examined from 2011 to 2012. The overall prevalence of DuCV PCR-positive pooled bursa of Fabricius and liver samples was 21.8% (32/147). The prevalence of DuCV PCR-positive samples increased significantly in 3-week-old ducks compared with that in 1-week-old ducks (P<0.05). DuCV in association with Riemerella and Salmonella infections (10.9%; 16/147) occurred at the same level as infection with DuCV alone (10.9%; 16/147). In comparison of the relationship between bacterial diseases (salmonellosis, Riemerella infection) and morbidity in farms with and without DuCV, morbidity was higher in circovirus-positive farms (50%; 16/32) than in circovirus-negative farms (26.1%; 30/115). Our findings provide baseline information on the degree of DuCV infection and distribution and pattern of DuCV in ducks, and it is evident that DuCV can be associated with subclinical diseases and that subclinical infection could be economically important.
Melissococcus plutonius is the causative agent of an important honeybee disease, European foulbrood (EFB). In addition to M. plutonius strains with typical characteristics (typical M. plutonius), we recently reported the presence of atypical M. plutonius, which are phenotypically and genetically distinguished from typical M. plutonius. Because typical and atypical M. plutonius may have different pathogenic mechanisms, differentiation of these two types is very important for diagnosis and more effective control of EFB. In this study, therefore, a duplex PCR assay was developed to detect and differentiate typical and atypical M. plutonius rapidly and easily. On the basis of the results of comparative genomic analyses, we selected Na+/H+ antiporter gene and Fur family transcriptional regulator gene as targets for detection of typical and atypical strains, respectively, by PCR. Under optimized conditions, the duplex PCR system using the designed primers successfully detected and differentiated all typical and atypical M. plutonius strain/isolates tested, while no product was generated from any other bacterial strains/isolates used in this study, including those isolated from healthy honeybee larval guts. Detection limits of the PCR were 50 copies of chromosome/reaction for both types, and it could detect typical and atypical M. plutonius directly from diseased honeybee larvae. Moreover, the duplex PCR diagnosed mixed infections with both M. plutonius types more precisely than standard culture methods. These results indicate that the duplex PCR assay developed in this study is extremely useful for precise diagnosis and epidemiological study of EFB.
Obligate anaerobes are important etiological agents in pneumonia or pleuropneumonia in horses, because they are isolated more commonly from ill horses that have died or been euthanized than from those that survive. We performed bacterial identification and antimicrobial susceptibility testing for obligate anaerobes to establish effective antimicrobial therapy. We used 16S rRNA gene sequencing to identify 58 obligate anaerobes and compared the results with those from a phenotypic identification kit. The identification results of 16S rRNA gene sequencing were more reliable than those of the commercial kit. We concluded that genera Bacteroides and Prevotella—especially B. fragilis and P. heparinolytica—are dominant anaerobes in lower respiratory tract infection in horses; these organisms were susceptible to metronidazole, imipenem and clindamycin.
We describe here isolation of genetically atypical serotype 6 Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae in Japan indistinguishable by the multiplex PCR that can discriminate between immunologically cross-reactive serotypes 3, 6 and 8. Nucleotide sequence analysis of capsular export and biosynthesis genes revealed that the atypical isolates have capsular polysaccharide export and synthesis gene sequences that are distinct from those of the serotype 6 reference strain. The atypical strains contain a sequence that is identical with both serotype 3- and 6-specific primers, which causes cross-reactions in multiplex PCR.
Epilepsy is a common neurological disorder with seizures, but diagnostic approaches in veterinary clinics remain limited. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is a body fluid used for diagnosis in veterinary medicine. In this study, we explored canine epilepsy diagnostic biomarkers using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS)-based metabolic profiling of CSF and multivariate data analysis. Profiles for subjects with idiopathic epilepsy differed significantly from those of healthy controls and subjects with symptomatic epilepsy. Among 60 identified metabolites, the levels of 20 differed significantly among the three groups. Glutamic acid was significantly increased in idiopathic epilepsy, and some metabolites including ascorbic acid were changed in both forms of epilepsy. These findings show that metabolic profiles of CSF differ between idiopathic and symptomatic epilepsy and that metabolites including glutamic acid and ascorbic acid in CSF may be useful for diagnosis of canine epilepsy.
Rapid turnover proteins, such as transferrin (Tf), are used as dynamic nutritional assessment proteins in human medicine. However, nutritional status in veterinary medicine is mostly assessed on the basis of classical static factors, such as body weight, body condition score and plasma albumin level. This study evaluated the clinical usefulness of Tf as a nutritional assessment marker by measuring plasma Tf concentrations in malnourished dogs before and after nutritional treatment. Posttreatment plasma Tf concentrations were significantly higher than the pretreatment concentrations, although the albumin concentration did not change significantly. The numbers of dogs that exhibited increases in plasma Tf concentrations were significantly related to weight gain. Furthermore, the survival rates at day 60 after treatment initiation were significantly higher in dogs with plasma Tf concentrations above the reference value (180 mg/dl) after the nutritional treatment than in those with a plasma Tf concentration<180 mg/dl. In conclusion, the plasma Tf concentration is related to nutritional condition and would be a candidate for a novel nutritional assessment marker in dogs.
Topical or oral azole antifungals are commonly used in canine atopic dermatitis (AD), as the lipophilic yeast Malassezia pachydermatis exacerbates canine AD. To examine whether canine AD lesions harbor azole-resistant M. pachydermatis isolates in East Asia, we investigated the in vitro susceptibility of M. pachydermatis isolates to ketoconazole (KTZ) and itraconazole (ITZ) obtained from AD lesions of canines in Japan, Korea and Taiwan. The minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of KTZ and ITZ were measured by the E-test using Sabouraud dextrose agar with 0.5% Tween 40. The MICs of KTZ and ITZ for isolates from canines with AD were significantly higher than the MICs for isolates from healthy canines. Our findings suggested that the clinical isolates from canine AD skin lesions were less susceptible to azoles than those from normal canine skin in East Asia.
We measured bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) and serum canine surfactant protein (cSP)-A concentrations in dogs with chronic cough. There were no significant differences between bronchial and interstitial lung diseases in BALF cSP-A concentrations. However, serum cSP-A concentrations in dogs with the interstitial lung disease as diffuse panbronchiolitis and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis were significantly higher than those in dogs with the bronchial disease as chronic bronchitis. These results suggest that serum cSP-A concentrations may be a useful and noninvasive biomarker to understand the existence of interstitial lung damage in dogs with chronic cough.
In Japan, the import quarantine regulation against rabies has required from 2005 that dogs and cats should be inoculated with the rabies vaccine and that the neutralizing antibody titer should be confirmed to be at least 0.5 international units (IU)/ml. The fluorescent antibody virus neutralization (FAVN) test is used as an international standard method for serological testing for rabies. To achieve proper immunization of dogs and cats at the time of import and export, changes in the neutralizing antibody titer after inoculation of the rabies vaccine should be understood in detail. However, few reports have provided this information. In this study, we aimed to determine evaluated, such changes by using sera from experimental dogs and cats inoculated with the rabies vaccine, and we tested samples using the routine FAVN test. In both dogs and cats, proper, regular vaccination enabled the necessary titer of neutralizing antibodies to be maintained in the long term. However, inappropriate timing of blood sampling after vaccination could result in insufficient detected levels of neutralizing antibodies.
The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of pravastatin (PS) on hemodynamic parameters in healthy dogs. Five beagle dogs were repeatedly used in each of the 4 groups. One group was not medicated (control). Dogs in other groups received 0.5, 1.0 or 2.0 mg/kg PS orally q24hr, for 4 weeks. Physical examination, blood biochemical tests, blood pressure measurements and Doppler echocardiography were performed before and 1, 2 and 4 weeks after PS administration in all dogs. PS significantly reduced the left atrial-to-aortic diameter ratio (LA/Ao), early diastolic transmitral flow (E) wave, E/early diastolic mitral annulus motion velocity (Em) ratio, left ventricular (LV) fractional shortening, LV ejection fraction, mid systolic myocardial velocity gradient, stroke volume (SV), cardiac output (CO), right and left ventricular Tei indices and elevated Em and early diastolic myocardial velocity gradient. Heart rate was not significantly altered during PS administration, but mean blood pressure decreased slightly. The hematological and blood biochemical values were within normal limits during PS administration. These results revealed that PS administration increases LV expansion capacity and decreases LV constriction and left atrial pressure. It has been suggested that PS may be effective in improving heart failures with LV diastolic dysfunction or elevated left atrial pressure in dogs.
The cystine transport activity of a lens epithelial cell line originated from a canine mature cataract was investigated. The distinct cystine transport activity was observed, which was inhibited to 28% by extracellular 1 mM glutamate. The cDNA sequences of canine cysteine/glutamate exchanger (xCT) and 4F2hc were determined. The predicted amino acid sequences were 527 and 533 amino acid polypeptides, respectively. The amino acid sequences of canine xCT and 4F2hc showed high similarities (>80%) to those of humans. The expression of xCT in lens epithelial cell line was confirmed by western blot analysis. RT-PCR analysis revealed high level expression only in the brain, and it was below the detectable level in other tissues.
In 2 individual cases of canine mast cell tumors, we identified 2 novel c-KIT mutations in exon 11: a 9-base pair (bp) deletion (c.1663-1671del) and a point mutation (c.1676T>A). The 9-bp deletion mutation caused a loss of 3 amino acids, corresponding to p.Gln555_Lys557del, and the point mutation resulted in the substitution of valine by aspartic acid (p.Val559Asp) in the juxtamembrane domain of the protein. Imatinib mesylate, a therapeutic agent for canine mast cell tumors, was used to treat both tumors. Complete remission was achieved at 33 and 14 days after administration, respectively. However, in both cases, the therapeutic response subsequently tapered with the duration of remission lasting 66 and 255 days, respectively. Although these 2 novel c-KIT mutations in exon 11 were not confirmed to be gain-of-function mutations, a further study may help clarify relevance between mutations identified in this report and responsiveness.
A 10-year-old, intact female Yorkshire terrier had multiple pulmonary nodules on thoracic radiography and ultrasonography with no lesions elsewhere. Computed tomography (CT) and positron emission tomography and computed tomography (PET-CT) using 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) were performed to identify metastasis and undetected primary tumors. On CT examination, pulmonary nodules had a hypoattenuating center with thin peripheral enhancement, suggesting ischemic or necrotizing lesion. In PET-CT at 47 min after intravenous injection of 11.1 MBq/kg of FDG, the maximum standardized uptake value of each pulmonary nodule was about from 3.8 to 6.4. There were no abnormal lesions except for four pulmonary nodules on the CT and PET-CT. Primary lung tumor was tentatively diagnosed, and palliative therapy using 2 mg/kg tramadol and 2.2 mg/kg carprofen twice per day was applied. After the dog’s euthanasia due to deteriorated clinical signs and poor prognosis, undifferentiated pulmonary adenocarcinoma was diagnosed through histopathologic and immunochemistry examination. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study of CT and PET-CT features of canine pulmonary adenocarcinoma. In this case, multiple pulmonary adenocarcinoma could be determined on the basis of FDG PET-CT through screening the obvious distant metastasis and/or lymph node invasions and excluding unknown primary tumors.
Hemorrhagic diarrhea in poultry is caused by Eimeria tenella, the most pathogenic avian coccidian parasite, and new approaches to treat the disease are continually being sought. Although eimeripain, a cathepsin B-like cysteine protease from E. tenella, has recently been identified as a novel anticoccidial drug target, its localization during the intracellular development of parasites remains unclear. Here, we demonstrate the expression of eimeripain during asexual and sexual development of E. tenella in vivo. Promature eimeripain was detected only in the early immature second generation of schizonts. In contrast, the mature eimeripain was most strongly detected in the middle-sized immature second generation of schizonts. Both promature and mature eimeripain disappeared depending on the maturation level of second generation of schizonts, but were strongly expressed again in the third generation of schizonts. In the sexual stage, both promature and mature eimeripain were detected in the cytoplasm of micro- and macro-gametocytes and zygotes, but expression became weak in zoites forming oocysts. Collectively, our findings suggest that eimeripain might play a key role in the differentiation of intracellular zoites in the ceca and could be an interesting candidate to develop a novel, effective anti-coccidian drug.
The objective of this study is to investigate the seroprevalence of equine piroplasmosis in China. A total of 1990 sera were collected from clinically healthy horses in various districts located in ten different provinces of China and examined by using indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) with recombinant Theileria equi (T. equi) merozoite antigen 2 (rEMA-2) and Babesia caballi (B. caballi) 48-kDa rhoptry protein (rBc48), respectively. The results showed that 1,018 (51.16%) and 229 (11.51%) samples were positive for B. caballi and T. equi infection, respectively. The number of samples with mixed infection was 152 (7.64%). These results indicated that equine piroplasmosis was widespread in China.
Some individuals manifest psychosomatic symptoms after the death of their pets. A survey was conducted at four public and commercial animal cremation service centers in Japan. In each center, a questionnaire was distributed to 100 individuals (400 in total). The questionnaire consisted of the 28-item version of the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ28), the social readjustment rating scale (SRRS) and a series of questions regarding demographic information and the circumstances of their pet’s death. In total, 82 returned questionnaires were available for analysis. GHQ28 proved the existence of neurotic symptoms in 46 responses (56.1%; 95% confidence interval: 44.7%–67.0%). Analysis of the responses using the GHQ28 subscales with a Likert scoring system demonstrated more somatic dysfunction in females (GHQ-A: P=0.04). Furthermore, significant correlations were identified among the following factors: owner’s age (GHQ-A: ρ=−0.60, P=0.01; GHQ-B: ρ=−0.29, P=0.01; GHQ-C: ρ=−0.32, P<0.01; GHQ-D: ρ=−0.42, P<0.01), SRRS score (GHQ-A: ρ=0.32, P<0.01; GHQ-B: ρ=0.25, P=0.02; GHQ-D: ρ=0.30, P=0.01) and animal’s age (GHQ-D: ρ=−0.26, P=0.02). The death of indoor pets caused deeper depression (GHQ-D: P=0.01) than that of outdoor or visiting pets. The results revealed neurotic symptoms in almost half of the pet owners shortly after their pet’s death.
To understand the effects of silicon (Si) in the urine with respect to the formation of urinary stones, the distribution of Si in urine was observed. Urine samples from cats with urolithiasis (n=10) and healthy cats (n=15) were used. The concentration of Si in the cats with urolithiasis was significantly higher (P<0.001). A significant correlation (P<0.05) was observed between the concentration of Si and those of other elements, such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and iron, only in the urine of the healthy cats. The distribution of elements in the urine differed between the cats with urolithiasis and the healthy cats. The Si concentration and its relationship with other elements were suggested to be useful biomarkers for urolithiasis in cats.
We investigated the cell viability, proliferative capacity and neuronal differentiation potential of canine bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) after cryopreservation. BMSCs were cryopreserved using cryoprotectant solutions with 10% DMSO and 10% FBS (DF group) or without DMSO and FBS (DF-free group); fresh BMSCs were used as a control. The cell viability and proliferative capacity of BMSCs were similar in the DF-free and control groups, while those in the DF group were lower. In all groups, BMSCs differentiated into neuron-like cells that stained positive against neuron markers, and the mRNA expression levels of neuron markers increased after neuronal induction. In conclusion, cryopreservation with DF-free cryoprotectant solution did not diminish the cell viability, proliferative capacity or neuronal differentiation potential of canine BMSCs.
Loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) combined with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (LAMP–ELISA) and with lateral flow dipstick (LAMP–LFD) are rapid, sensitive and specific methods for the visual detection of clinical pathogens. In this study, LAMP–ELISA and LAMP–LFD were developed for the visual detection of canine parvovirus (CPV). For LAMP, a set of four primers (biotin-labeled forward inner primers) was designed to specifically amplify a region of the VP2 gene of CPV. The optimum time and temperature for LAMP were 60 min and 65°C, respectively. The specific capture oligonucleotide probes, biotin-labeled CPV probe for LAMP–ELISA and fluorescein isothiocyanate-labeled CPV probe for LAMP–LFD were also designed for hybridization with LAMP amplicons on streptavidin-coated wells and LFD strips, respectively. For the comparison of detection sensitivity, conventional PCR and LAMP for CPV detection were also performed. The CPV detection limits by PCR, PCR–ELISA, LAMP, LAMP–ELISA and LAMP–LFD were 102, 102, 10−1, 10−1 and 10−1 TCID50/ml, respectively. In tests using artificially contaminated dog fecal samples, the samples with CPV inoculation levels of ≥1 TCID50/ml gave positive results by both LAMP–ELISA and LAMP–LFD. Our data indicated that both LAMP–ELISA and LAMP–LFD are promising as rapid, sensitive and specific methods for an efficient diagnosis of CPV infection.
Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) induces neoplastic and nonneoplastic diseases in cats. The transduction of cellular genes by FeLV is sometimes observed and associated with neoplastic diseases including lymphoma and sarcoma. Here, we report the first natural case of feline Notch2 transduction by FeLV in an infected cat with multicentric lymphoma and hypercalcemia. We cloned recombinant FeLVs harboring Notch2 in the env gene. Notch2 was able to activate expression of a reporter gene, similar to what was previously reported in cats with experimental FeLV-induced thymic lymphoma. Our findings suggest that the transduction of Notch2 strongly correlates with FeLV-induced lymphoma.
In this study, we describe the detection of novel paramyxoviruses from the Eidolon helvum species of fruit bats. We extracted RNA from 312 spleen samples from bats captured in Zambia over a period of 4 years (2008–2011). Semi-nested RT-PCR detected a total of 25 (8%) positive samples for paramyxoviruses which were then directly sequenced and analyzed using phylogenetic analysis. Among the positive samples, seven novel paramyxoviruses were detected. Five viruses were closely related to the genus Henipavirus, while two viruses were related to the unclassified Bat paramyxoviruses from Ghana and Congo Brazzaville. Our study identified novel Henipavirus-related and unrelated viruses using RT-PCR in fruit bats from Kansaka National Park and indicated the presence of similar Bat paramyxoviruses originating from wide geographic areas, suggesting the ability of bats to harbor and transmit viruses. The presence of these viruses in fruit bats might pose a public health risk.
Red-crowned cranes (Grus japonensis) are distributed separately in the east Eurasian Continent (continental population) and in Hokkaido, Japan (island population). The island population is sedentary in eastern Hokkaido and has increased from a very small number of cranes to over 1,300, thus giving rise to the problem of poor genetic diversity. While, Hooded cranes (Grus monacha), which migrate from the east Eurasian Continent and winter mainly in Izumi, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan, are about eight-time larger than the island population of Red-crowned cranes. We collected whole bodies of these two species, found dead or moribund in eastern Hokkaido and in Izumi, and observed skeletons with focus on vertebral formula. Numbers of cervical vertebrae (Cs), thoracic vertebrae (Ts), vertebrae composing the synsacrum (Sa) and free coccygeal vertebrae (free Cos) in 22 Red-crowned cranes were 17 or 18, 9–11, 13 or 14 and 7 or 8, respectively. Total number of vertebrae was 47, 48 or 49, and the vertebral formula was divided into three types including 9 sub-types. Numbers of Cs, Ts, vertebrae composing the Sa and free Cos in 25 Hooded cranes were 17 or 18, 9 or 10, 12–14 and 6–8, respectively. Total number of vertebrae was 46, 47, 48 or 49, and the vertebral formula was divided into four types including 14 sub-types. Our findings clearly showed various numerical vertebral patterns in both crane species; however, these variations in the vertebral formula may be unrelated to the genetic diversity.
The African penguin (Spheniscus demersus) is one of the world’s most endangered seabirds. In Japan, although the number of African penguins in captivity continues to increase, genetic data have not been collected for either wild or captive populations. To reveal genetic diversity and characterization in captive African penguins, we analyzed the nucleotide sequences of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) from a sample of 236 African penguins. Analysis of 433 bp of the control region and 1,140 bp of cytochrome b sequences revealed the existence of two mtDNA clades. Control region haplotypes were much more divergent (d=3.39%) between the two clades than within each clade. The divergence of these clades may reflect differences at the subspecies or geographical population level in African penguins. These findings suggest that at least two distinct maternal lineages exist in the wild populations of the African penguin.