Indigenous bacteria in the alimentary tract are exposed to various bactericidal peptides and digestive enzymes, but the viability status and morphological changes of indigenous bacteria are unclear. Therefore, the present study aimed to ultrastructurally clarify the degeneration and viability status of indigenous bacteria in the rat intestine. The majority of indigenous bacteria in the ileal mucous layer possessed intact cytoplasm, but the cytoplasm of a few bacteria contained vacuoles. The vacuoles were more frequently found in bacteria of ileal chyme than in those of ileal mucous layer and were found in a large majority of bacteria in both the mucous layer and chyme throughout the large intestine. In the dividing bacteria of the mucous layer and chyme throughout the intestine, the ratio of area occupied by vacuoles was almost always less than 10%. Lysis or detachment of the cell wall in the indigenous bacteria was more frequently found in the large intestine than in the ileum, whereas bacterial remnants, such as cell walls, were distributed almost evenly throughout the intestine. In an experimental control of long-time-cultured Staphylococcus epidermidis on agar, similar vacuoles were also found, but cell-wall degeneration was never observed. From these findings, indigenous bacteria in the mucous layer were ultrastructurally confirmed to be the source of indigenous bacteria in the chyme. Furthermore, the results suggested that indigenous bacteria were more severely degenerated toward the large intestine and were probably degraded in the intestine.
An avian paramyxovirus (APMV) isolated from goose feces (APMV/Shimane67) was biologically, serologically and genetically characterized. APMV/Shimane67 showed typical paramyxovirus morphology on electron microscopy. On hemagglutination inhibition test, antiserum against APMV/Shimane67 revealed low reactivity with other APMV serotypes and vice versa. The fusion (F) protein gene of APMV/Shimane67 contained 1,638 nucleotides in a single open reading frame encoding a protein of 545 amino acids. The cleavage site of F protein contained a pair of single basic amino acid (VRENR/L). The nucleotide and deduced amino acid sequences of the F gene of APMV/Shimane67 had relatively low identities (42.9–62.7% and 28.9–67.3%, respectively) with those of other APMVs. Phylogenetic analysis showed that APMV/Shimane67 was related to NDV, APMV-9 and APMV-12, but was distinct from those APMV serotypes. These results suggest that APMV/Shimane67 is a new APMV serotype, APMV-13.
Thirty-eight Aerococcus viridans isolates were obtained from milk from 478 cows with clinical mastitis in a farm during the periods between November 2011 and February 2012, and between December 2012 and March 2013. Additional isolates were obtained from processed manure (a mixture of composted manure, straw and hydrated lime) and bedding materials. The processed manure was later used to cover the floor of the stalls in barns as bedding materials. The temperatures recorded in the composted and processed manure were not as high as those generally observed during satisfactory composting. To reveal the association of A. viridans in manure-related products with intramammary infection in cows, isolates were characterized by their DNA fragment patterns as determined by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and antimicrobial susceptibility testing. Isolates obtained from milk, processed manure and bedding materials had identical DNA fragment patterns. Antimicrobial susceptibilities were determined for 29 isolates from milk, processed manure and bedding materials. Of these, 26 (89.7%) were resistant to clindamycin, whereas virtually all the isolates were susceptible to 12 other antimicrobials including cefalosporins that have been used to treat bovine mastitis in Japan. In vitro, three A. viridans isolates from milk and an isolate from processed manure survived for 3 hr in Good’s buffer (pH 9) at high temperature (50°C). The results suggest that the processed manure and bedding materials in this farm were possible sources of A. viridans that caused infection in the cows with mastitis.
Biotite and bentonite are phyllosilicate minerals that were originally used in industrial applications. Several beneficial activities of them have recently been reported, especially regulation of the immune system and antimicrobial effects. Therefore, we investigated the immune-enhancing and bacterial clearance effects of a biotite and bentonite mixture (BBM) on experimental infection of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium) to determine whether the BBM could be used as an alternative antibiotic. We administered 1% or 2% BBM as a feed supplement. We then evaluated the bacterial clearance effects of the BBM against S. Typhimurium. We also evaluated the immune-enhancing effect of the BBM through several immunological experiments that included examination of the lysozyme activity, CD4+/CD8+ T lymphocyte ratio and the T-helper type 1 (Th 1) cytokine profile. The clinical signs of S. Typhimurium and the number of viable bacteria in feces and tissues were significantly decreased in both BBM groups, especially in the 2% BBM group. The BBM also markedly enhanced the lysozyme activity, CD4+/CD8+ T lymphocyte ratio and expression levels of IFN-γ and IL-12 in S. Typhimurium-challenged pigs. Therefore, the BBM could be a good candidate as an alternative antibiotic that improves Th 1-specific immune responses and the bacterial clearance effect.
To establish a protocol for a multi-phase computed tomography (CT) of the canine pancreas using the bolus-tracking technique, dynamic scan and multi-phase CT were performed in six normal beagle dogs. The dynamic scan was performed for 60 sec at 1-sec intervals after the injection (4 ml/sec) of a contrast medium, and intervals from aortic enhancement appearance to aortic, pancreatic parenchymal and portal vein peaks were measured. The multi-phase CT with 3 phases was performed three times using a bolus-tracking technique. Scan delays were 0, 15 and 30 in first multi-phase scan; 5, 20 and 35 in second multi-phase scan; and 10, 25 and 40 sec in third multi-phase scan, respectively. Attenuation values and contrast enhancement pattern were analyzed from the aorta, pancreas and portal vein. The intervals from aortic enhancement appearance to aortic, pancreatic parenchymal and portal vein peaks were 3.8 ± 0.7, 8.7 ± 0.9 and 13.3 ± 1.5 sec, respectively. The maximum attenuation values of the aorta, pancreatic parenchyma and portal vein were present at scan sections with no scan delay, a 5-sec delay and a 10-sec delay, respectively. When a multi-phase CT of the canine pancreas is triggered at aortic enhancement appearance using a bolus-tracking technique, the recommended optimal delay times of the arterial and pancreatic parenchymal phases are no scan delay and 5 sec, respectively.
The objectives of this study were to survey clinics’ guidance about recommended fasting duration (FD) prior to lipoprotein analysis, and to characterize lipoprotein cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations in obese and overweight dogs categorized on the basis of the 5-point body condition score (BCS) scale. A dataset was created from lipoprotein analysis medical records of 1,538 dogs from 75 breeds in 354 clinics from 2012 to 2013. A phone survey was conducted to obtain the clinics’ FD. Two-level linear mixed-effects models were applied to the data. Over 50% of the clinics said they recommended fasting for 12 hr or more. Dogs in clinics with FD 12 hr or more had lower chylomicron triglyceride concentrations than those in clinics with FD less than 8 hr (P=0.05). Mean (± SEM) BCS at sampling was 3.7 ± 0.02. Obese and overweight dogs had higher very low density lipoprotein (VLDL) and high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations than ideal dogs (P<0.05), but no such difference was found for low density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations (P≥0.07). Across all BCS, as dog age rose from 0 to 8 years old, HDL cholesterol concentrations decreased by 13.5 mg/dl, whereas VLDL triglyceride concentrations increased by 81.7 mg/dl (P<0.05). In conclusion, FD of 8 hr or less may affect lipoprotein lipid concentrations. Obese and overweight dogs were characterized as having high VLDL and HDL cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) in cats is characterized by concentric left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy and both diastolic and systolic dysfunction. Although impaired cardiac function detected by tissue Doppler imaging (TDI) in cats with HCM was previously reported, reference ranges of TDI in normal cats and cats with HCM have been reported as widely variable. Two-dimensional speckle tracking echocardiography (STE) was useful for assessment of cardiac function in human patients with HCM, but clinical utility was not known in cats. The aim of this study was to assess global and segmental LV myocardial function using STE in cats with HCM whose TDI variables were within the reference range. A total of 35 cats of different breeds were enrolled in this study. The HCM group (n=22) was cats diagnosed as HCM without left atrial enlargement and with normal TDI measurements. HCM cats were further divided into a segmental hypertrophy (S-HCM) group and a diffuse hypertrophy (D-HCM) group. The control group consisted of 13 clinically healthy cats. No cats in any group showed any clinical symptoms. Conventional echocardiography, TDI, and global and segmental STE indices were evaluated and compared between groups. Only the longitudinal strain rate during early diastole was significantly decreased in both HCM groups, even in all segments including those without hypertrophy in S-HCM group. This study suggests that STE parameters are the more sensitive variables compared with conventional TDI parameters to detect early myocardial diastolic dysfunction in cats with HCM.
Three-dimensional (3D) ultrasonography has been shown to be an accurate and appropriate tool for measurement of gallbladder volume in humans. Therefore, we applied this novel technique for the first time to study fasting and postprandial gallbladder volume in 10 healthy dogs and compared the results with those of 2-dimensional (2D) ultrasonography. Fasting gallbladder volumes determined by 3D ultrasonography were significantly higher than corresponding volumes determined by 2D ultrasonography (P<0.01). Additionally, gallbladder volumes were significantly decreased in the postprandial state compared with the fasting state using 3D ultrasonography (P<0.001), but 2D ultrasonography showed no significant difference (P=0.189). The Gallbladder contraction index was higher in 3D ultrasonography than 2D ultrasonography; however, it did not reach statistical significance (P=0.25). In conclusion, 3D ultrasonography was able to measure gallbladder volume in healthy dogs in this study. It is suggested that 3D ultrasonography can be used to accurately estimate gallbladder volume and contractility.
Feline upper respiratory tract infection due to Aspergillus spp. is considered an emerging disease, with the number of reported cases continuing to rise. In this study, we report the first case of feline sinonasal aspergillosis caused by Aspergillus fischeri in Japan. The patient presented after 2 months of progressive facial deformity around the nose and nasal discharge. The isolate from this case was susceptible to itraconazole (ITZ), voriconazole and micafungin, but was resistant to amphotericine B. However, the infected cat died approximately 1 month after referral, despite treatment for 12 days ITZ administered orally at 10 mg/kg.
Dynamic left ventricular outflow tract obstruction (DLVOTO) is a common condition in cats and humans. In this case report, a dog is described with DLVOTO secondary to severe intra-abdominal hemorrhage caused by a hemangiosarcoma. The dog was a 9-year-old, 35.7-kg, spayed female German Shepard dog that presented with a history of tachypnea and collapse. A Levine II/VI systolic murmur was present at the heart base. Abdominal ultrasonography revealed a splenic mass and a large amount of ascites. Echocardiography showed a reduced left ventricular diameter and an increased aortic velocity caused by systolic anterior motion (SAM) of the mitral valve apparatus. The heart murmur and the SAM were resolved after treatment including a splenectomy and a blood transfusion.
To elucidate the mechanisms of DNA repair pathway is critical for developing next-generation radiotherapies and chemotherapeutic drugs for cancer. Ionizing radiation and many chemotherapeutic drugs kill tumor cells mainly by inducing DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). The classical nonhomologous DNA-end joining (NHEJ) (C-NHEJ) pathway repairs a predominant fraction of DSBs in mammalian cells. The C-NHEJ pathway appears to start with the binding of Ku (heterodimer of Ku70 and Ku80) to DNA break ends. Therefore, recruitment of Ku to DSB sites might play a critical role in regulating NHEJ activity. Indeed, human Ku70 and Ku80 localize in the nuclei and accumulate at microirradiated DSB sites. However, the localization and regulation mechanisms of Ku70 and Ku80 homologues in animal models, such as mice and other species, have not been elucidated in detail, particularly in cells immediately after microirradiation. Here, we show that EYFP-tagged mouse Ku70 localizes in the interphase nuclei of mouse fibroblasts and epithelial cells. Furthermore, our findings indicate that EYFP-mouse Ku70 accumulates with its heterodimeric partner Ku80 immediately at laser-microirradiated DSB sites. We also confirmed that the structure of Ku70 nuclear localization signal (NLS) is highly conserved among various rodent species, such as the mouse, rat, degu and ground squirrel, supporting the idea that NLS is important for the regulation of rodent Ku70 function. Collectively, these results suggest that the mechanisms of regulating the localization and accumulation of Ku70 at DSBs might be well conserved between the mouse and human species.
The renal biopsy tissue from a 9-month-old, male Pyrenean Mountain dog with renal disorder and severe proteinuria was examined. Ultrastructural examination revealed multilaminar splitting and fragmentation of the glomerular basement membrane (GBM) and diffuse podocyte foot process effacement. Immunofluorescent staining for α(IV) chains revealed presence of α5(IV) and complete absence of α3(IV) and α4(IV) chains in the GBM. Immunohistochemistry also revealed decreased and altered expression of nephrin and podocin in the glomeruli compared with normal canine glomeruli. These results suggested that the glomerular disease of the present case might be consistent with canine hereditary nephropathy resembling human Alport syndrome caused by genetic defect of type IV collagen, and indicated possible contribution of podocyte injury to severe proteinuria in this case.
Clinically, many chemotherapeutics and ionizing radiation (IR) have been applied for the treatment of various types of human and animal malignancies. These treatments kill tumor cells by causing DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). Core factors of classical nonhomologous DNA-end joining (C-NHEJ) play a vital role in DSB repair. Thus, it is indispensable to clarify the mechanisms of C-NHEJ in order to develop next-generation chemotherapeutics for cancer. The XRCC4-like factor (XLF; also called Cernunnos or NHEJ1) is the lastly identified core NHEJ factor. The localization of core NHEJ factors might play a critical role in regulating NHEJ activity. The localization and function of XLF have not been elucidated in animal species other than mice and humans. Domestic cattle (Bos taurus) are the most common and vital domestic animals in many countries. Here, we show that the localization of cattle XLF changes dynamically during the cell cycle. Furthermore, EYFP-cattle XLF accumulates quickly at microirradiated sites and colocalizes with the DSB marker γH2AX. Moreover, nuclear localization and accumulation of cattle XLF at DSB sites are dependent on 12 amino acids (288–299) of the C-terminal region of XLF (XLF CTR). Furthermore, basic amino acids on the XLF CTR are highly conserved among domestic animals including cattle, goat and horses, suggesting that the CTR is essential for the function of XLF in domestic animals. These findings might be useful to develop the molecular-targeting therapeutic drug taking XLF as a target molecule for human and domestic animals.
The effect of the antitumor drug, methotrexate (MTX), which is applied to brain tumors, is restricted by the blood-brain barrier (BBB), which is composed of P-glycoprotein (P-gp) and multidrug resistance associated protein (MRP). We, therefore, studied if a potent P-gp and MRP modulator, cyclosporin A (CysA), can modulate the MTX concentration in the rat brain. If it can, which route is more effective, intravenous or intrathecal? We intravenously or intrathecally administered MTX to rats with or without CysA. After 6 hr, brains and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) were sampled, and their MTX concentrations were compared. Each MTX concentration was determined by high-performance liquid chromatography with UV detection. CysA had no significant affect on the MTX concentration in the brain or CSF when MTX was intravenously injected. In contrast, when MTX was intrathecally administered, CysA had a larger effect on the MTX concentration in the brain than in the CSF. This indicates CysA potentiated the brain MTX concentration when MTX was intrathecally administered. It is suggested that CysA did not potentiate the distribution of MTX from blood into the brain, but instead potentiated the distribution of MTX from CSF into the brain. Since chemicals in CSF generally diffuse into the brain easily, CysA probably inhibited the excretion of MTX from the brain. This could be caused by inhibition of P-gp or MRP at the BBB. Therefore, CysA can be a useful tool to achieve an appropriate MTX concentration in brain.
Mycobacteriosis in swine is a common zoonosis found in abattoirs during meat inspections, and the veterinary authority is expected to inform the producer for corrective actions when an outbreak is detected. The expected value of the number of condemned carcasses due to mycobacteriosis therefore would be a useful threshold to detect an outbreak, and the present study aims to develop such an expected value through time series modeling. The model was developed using eight years of inspection data (2003 to 2010) obtained at 2 abattoirs of the Higashi-Mokoto Meat Inspection Center, Japan. The resulting model was validated by comparing the predicted time-dependent values for the subsequent 2 years with the actual data for 2 years between 2011 and 2012. For the modeling, at first, periodicities were checked using Fast Fourier Transformation, and the ensemble average profiles for weekly periodicities were calculated. An Auto-Regressive Integrated Moving Average (ARIMA) model was fitted to the residual of the ensemble average on the basis of minimum Akaike’s information criterion (AIC). The sum of the ARIMA model and the weekly ensemble average was regarded as the time-dependent expected value. During 2011 and 2012, the number of whole or partial condemned carcasses exceeded the 95% confidence interval of the predicted values 20 times. All of these events were associated with the slaughtering of pigs from three producers with the highest rate of condemnation due to mycobacteriosis.
To evaluate the fate of deoxynivalenol (DON) in broilers, DON was administered either intravenously or orally to broilers at a dose of 1 mg/kg BW. Concentrations of DON in plasma were measurable up to 4 hr and 2 hr after intravenous and oral administration, respectively. Following intravenous administration, the values for the elimination half-life, the volume of distribution and the clearance were 1.25 ± 0.25 hr, 7.55 ± 2.03 l/kg and 4.16 ± 0.42 l/hr/kg, respectively. The oral bioavailability was 15.46 ± 4.02%. DON was detectable in all tissues examined after oral administration. These results suggest that DON is able to penetrate into the various tissues in broilers, though poorly absorbed from their gastrointestinal tract.
Plesiomonas shigelloides is a causal agent of gastroenteritis, sepsis and meningitis in humans. We examined the prevalence of P. shigelloides among great cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo hanedae) in Japan and the antimicrobial susceptibility of isolates. P. shigelloides was isolated from 33 (47.8%) of 69 fecal samples from great cormorants in 2014. All 33 isolates were subjected to antimicrobial susceptibility testing using broth microdilution methods, which showed resistance to ampicillin (31 isolates, 93.9%), tetracycline (two isolates, 6.1%) and trimethoprim (one isolate, 3.0%). The high prevalence of P. shigelloides in the great cormorants implicates the possible microbiological risk to public health.
A 10-month-old Japanese black heifer was diagnosed as having an intra-abdominal cyst using computed tomography (CT). Through a posterior ventral midline incision, the cyst was removed, and the heifer completely recovered after the surgery. CT scans enabled detection of the intra-abdominal cyst and measurements of the diameter of the cyst before the surgery.
The objective of the present study was to investigate the prevalence of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) virus detection in aborted fetuses (n=32), mummified fetuses (n=30) and stillborn piglets (n=27) from 10 swine herds in Thailand using quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). Pooled organs and umbilical cord from each fetus/piglet were homogenized and subjected to RNA extraction and cDNA synthesis. The qPCR was carried out on the ORF7 of the PRRS viral genome using fluorogenic probes for amplified product detection. The results revealed that 67.4% (60/89) of the specimens contained PRRS virus. The virus was found in 65.6% (21/32) of aborted fetuses, 63.3% (19/30) of mummified fetuses and 74.1% (20/27) of stillborn piglets (P=0.664). Genotype 1, genotype 2 and mixed genotypes of PRRS virus were detected in 19.1% (17/89), 25.8% (23/89) and 22.5% (20/89) of the specimens, respectively (P=0.316). PRRS virus antigen was retrieved from both non-PRRS-vaccinated herds (68.2%, 45/66) and PRRS-vaccinated herds (65.2%, 15/23) (P=0.794). These findings indicated that these specimens are important sources of the PRRS viral load and the viral shedding within the herd. Thus, intensive care on the routine management of dead fetuses and stillborn piglets in PRRS virus-positive herds should be emphasized.
The objective of the present study was to determine the number of ovulations in culled Landrace × Yorkshire (LY) crossbred gilts in the tropics associated with age, body weight and growth rate. The genital organs from 316 gilts were examined for gross abnormalities, and those with normal cyclic ovaries (n=155, 307 ± 4.1 days of age, 148 ± 1.6 kg body weight) were included in the analyses. Number of ovulations was defined by a count of the corpora lutea (CL) from both ovaries. On average, the number of ovulations in LY gilts was 15.9 ± 0.3 (range 4 to 27). The number of ovulations correlated with the body weight (r=0.31, P<0.001) and growth rate (r=0.20, P=0.015) of the gilts, but not with their age (P>0.05). Gilts with a body weight of 141 to 150 kg (17.0 CL, n=31) ovulated more than those with a body weight ≤130 kg (14.1 CL, P=0.014, n=23). In conclusion, both the body weight and growth rate of the gilts were significantly correlated with the number of ovulations. The maximum number of ovulations was found in gilts at a body weight of above 141 kg.
Orf virus (ORFV), a member of parapoxvirus, is an enveloped virus with genome of double-stranded DNA. ORFV causes contagious pustular dermatitis or contagious ecthyma in sheep and goats worldwide. In general, detection of viral DNA and observing ORFV virion in tissues of afflicted animals are two methods commonly used for diagnosis of orf infection; however, isolation of the ORFV in cell culture using virus-containing tissue as inoculum is known to be difficult. In this work, the ORFV (Hoping strain) isolated in central Taiwan was successfully grown in cell culture. We further examined the biochemical characteristic of our isolate, including viral genotyping, viral mRNA and protein expression. By electron microscopy, one unique form of viral particle from ORFV infected cellular lysate was demonstrated in the negative-stained field. Moreover, immunomodulating and anti-influenza virus properties of this ORFV were investigated. ORFV stimulated human monocytes (THP-1) secreting proinflammatory cytokines IL-8 and TNF-α. And, pre-treatment of ORFV-infected cell medium prevents A549 cells from subsequent type A influenza virus (IAV) infection. Similarly, mice infected with ORFV via both intramuscular and subcutaneous routes at two days prior to IAV infection significantly decreased the replication of IAV. In summary, the results of a current study indicated our Hoping strain harbors the immune modulator property; with such a bio-adjuvanticity, we further proved that pre-exposure of ORFV protects animals from subsequent IAV infection.
Horizontal transmission is recognized as a major infection route for bovine leukemia virus (BLV), and cattle with high viral loads are considered to be a major infectious source in a herd. However, a correlation between viral loads and the risk of infection has been insufficient to use as a foundation for BLV control strategies. In this report, we examined the epidemiology of BLV infection and the infectious source in a local area. In 2013–2014, BLV infection was investigated in 1,823 cattle from 117 farms in two adjacent districts, Miyazaki, Japan. Seropositive samples for BLV were detected with 88 cattle and in 14 farms. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that 94% of the isolates clustered into genotype I and the remaining isolate into genotype III. Among genotype I, genetically distinct strains were spread at each farm, and cattle infected with less than 3 copies/100 cells did not transmit BLV to other cattle for more than thirty months. This is the first report of concrete data of viral load in relation to viral horizontal transmission under the field condition. The data facilitate farmers and veterinarians understanding the status of BLV infected cattle. This research contributes to BLV infection control and the development of effective BLV eradication programs.
Newcastle disease virus (NDV) causes a highly contagious viral disease in poultry and wild birds, and it can cause significant economic loss worldwide. Eight viral strains were isolated by inoculating embryonated chicken eggs from the Poyang Lake region of China with swab samples. All eight of the NDV isolates were identified as class I genotype 3 strains, but they diverged notablely from class II viruses. Further analysis revealed that all eight NDV isolates were lentogenic strains containing the 112ERQER↓L117 motif at the F protein cleavage site. The strains were highly identical and were more species specific (chicken and waterfowl) than site specific (Nanchang and Duchang regions). The close phylogenetic proximity of these isolates indicates that viral transmission may happen between poultry and wild birds. Our study demonstrates that lentogenic class I NDVs exist in clinically healthy wild waterfowl and poultry within the Poyang Lake region. Active surveillance of these viruses to determine their evolution and origin is one of the most realistic strategies for preventing and controlling NDV outbreaks.
Metagenomic approach using next-generation DNA sequencing has facilitated the detection of many pathogenic viruses from fecal samples. However, in many cases, majority of the detected sequences originate from the host genome and bacterial flora in the gut. Here, to improve efficiency of the detection of double-stranded (ds) RNA viruses from samples, we evaluated the applicability of S1 nuclease on deep sequencing. Treating total RNA with S1 nuclease resulted in 1.5–28.4- and 10.1–208.9-fold increases in sequence reads of group A rotavirus in fecal and viral culture samples, respectively. Moreover, increasing coverage of mapping to reference sequences allowed for sufficient genotyping using analytical software. These results suggest that library construction using S1 nuclease is useful for deep sequencing in the detection of dsRNA viruses.
The transmission risk of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in Japan was evaluated using a mathematical FMD transmission model. The distance-based transmission rate between farms, which was parameterized using the FMD epidemic data in 2010 in Japan, was used to calculate the local-level reproduction numbers—expected numbers of secondary infections caused by one infected farm—for all cattle and pig farms in the country, which were then visualized as a risk map. The risk map demonstrated the spatial heterogeneity of transmission risk in the country and identified risk areas with higher possibility of disease spread. This result suggests that, particularly in high-risk areas, it is important to prepare for the smooth and efficient implementation of control measures against FMD outbreaks.
Clarification of the trunk structure in Urodela is important in understanding the locomotive evolution of basal tetrapods. The components of the muscular trunk wall among Urodela using different modes of locomotion were compared. Since the whole trunk may be used for swimming and the effect of limbs may be small in the more aquatic species, they showed smaller differences in the trunk muscles among anterior, middle and posterior sections of the trunk. By contrast, in the more terrestrial species, the dorsal and abdominal muscles are larger in the middle section than those in the anterior and posterior sections. High compressive stresses occur in the supporting limbs and their insertion at the trunk on the ventral side, and spread from the forelimbs along the back to the supporting hindlimbs on the dorsal side. Tensile stresses occur in the middle ventral part. The components of the trunk muscles among the three sections may reflect differences in stresses occurring in the trunk of the more terrestrial species. The findings also suggest that in the middle section, larger dorsal muscles for stiffening the back to maintain posture and larger abdominal muscles are responsible for balancing the body weight while it is supported by the limbs in the more terrestrial species.