Microsporidia are obligate intracellular mitochrondria-lacking pathogens that rely on host cells to grow and multiply. Microsporidia, currently classified as fungi, are ubiquitous in nature and are found worldwide. They infect a large number of mammals and are recognized as opportunistic infection agents in HIV-AIDS patients. Its importance for veterinary medicine has been unveiled in recent years through the description of clinical and subclinical forms of infection in domestic and wild animals. Domestic and wild birds may be infected by the same human microsporidia, reinforcing their zoonotic potential. Microsporidiosis in fish is prevalent and causes significant economic losses for fish farming. Some species of microsporidia have been propagated in cell cultures, which may provide conditions for the development of diagnostic techniques, understanding of pathogenesis and immune responses and for the discovery of potential therapies. Unfortunately, the cultivation of these parasites is not fully standardized in most research laboratories, especially in the veterinary field. The aim of this review is to relate the most important microsporidia of veterinary interest and demonstrate how these pathogens can be grown and propagated in cell culture for diagnostic purposes or for pathogenesis studies. Cultivation of microsporidia allowed the study of its life cycle, metabolism, pathogenesis and diagnosis, and may also serve as a repository for these pathogens for molecular, biochemical, antigenic and epidemiological studies.
The rabbit, which is widely used as an experimental animal and is also popular as a companion animal, has a flat and elongated spleen with the longitudinal hilus running along its visceral surface. The spleen receives via the hilus an arterial supply that is essential for splenic nutrition and normal functioning. However, the distribution and variation of the arteries to the spleen have not been studied in detail. This study investigated anatomical variations of splenic arterial supply in 33 New Zealand White rabbits with a colored latex injection into arteries. We also examined whether the length of the spleen correlated with the number of the splenic branches of the splenic artery. The splenic artery always arose as the first independent branch of the celiac artery and ran along the splenic hilus to usually provide 6 (range, 3 to 10) splenic branches to the spleen. There was a moderate correlation (R=0.6) between the number of splenic branches and the longitudinal length of the spleen. The splenic branches often arose as a trunk or trunks in common with short gastric arteries. The number of common trunk(s) was usually 1 (range, 0 to 4). The data showed that the pattern and number of arterial branches to the spleen varied according to the individual animal, suggesting that such variations should be considered when performing experimental and veterinary surgical treatments in rabbits.
Mycoplasma bovis has spread widely throughout the world via animal movement and has become an important pathogen of bovine respiratory disease. However, the minimum inhibitory concentrations of antimicrobials for Mycoplasma bovis have not been studied in China. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence and antibiotic resistance of Mycoplasma bovis isolated from young cattle with respiratory infection in China. Mycoplasma bovis was detected in 32/45 bovine respiratory infection outbreaks at beef farms in 8 provinces in China. The isolates were susceptible or had medium sensitivity to ciprofloxacin, enrofloxacin and doxycycline, but were frequently resistant to macrolides (13/32, 41%). An A2058G (Escherichia coli Numbering) mutation located in the rrnA operon in domain V of 23S rRNA was observed in strains that were resistant to macrolides. This single mutations at the rrnA operon in domain V of 23S rRNA may play an important role in the resistance of Mycoplasma bovis strains to macrolides.
The antibacterial potential of organic acids and essential oil components against Brachyspira hyodysenteriae, the causative pathogen of swine dysentery, was evaluated. Minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) of 15 compounds were determined at pH 7.2 and pH 6.0, using a broth microdilution assay. In addition, possible synergism was determined. MIC values for the three tested strains were similar. For organic acids, MIC values at pH 6.0 were lower than at pH 7.2. B. hyodysenteriae was most sensitive to cinnamaldehyde and lauric acid, with MIC values <1.5 mM. Most antibacterial effects of binary combinations were additive, however, for thymol and carvacrol, synergism could be observed. In vitro results demonstrate the antibacterial action of certain essential oil components and organic acids against B. hyodysenteriae.
This study examined the difference in dog owning between Japan and the United States, and the effect of these differences on dogs’ behavioral characteristics. Behavioral evaluations of privately-owned dogs were obtained by using online questionnaire. We compared background and demographic information from the two countries and analyzed the effects of these differences on behavioral characteristics in dogs. The results indicated that there was a bias in the dog breeds kept in Japan compared to the United States and that Japanese dogs’ body weight was lower than the US dogs. The main source of dog acquisition was pet stores in Japan and breeders and/or shelters in the United States. Multiple linear regression analysis found that Japanese dogs showed more aggression to household members and higher energy, restlessness and fear of non-social stimuli than US dogs, while US dogs showed more fear of unfamiliar persons, separation-related behavior and excitability. US dogs also showed higher levels of trainability and attachment to owners. The lower dog’s body weight was, the higher the behavioral scores except for trainability were. When dogs that were obtained under 3 months of age were analyzed, the younger the dogs were when their owners obtained them, the higher the scores on some behavioral problem factors were. The higher rates of problem behaviors among Japanese dogs compared with US dogs suggest that the preference for small breed dogs and poor early development environment influenced the behavioral characteristics of dogs.
Contrast enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) is useful to evaluate tissue perfusion in the kidney. In veterinary medicine, sedation or anesthesia may be required in uncooperative or panting patients. The aim of this study was to evaluate and compare the normal kidney perfusion patterns in conscious and anesthetized dogs using CEUS. Eight healthy beagles were used in this study. Scanning was performed in conscious dogs using manual restraint (conscious group), or under general anesthesia using tiletamine-zolazepam and medetomidine (TZM group) or medetomidine (M group). The contrast agent (Sonovue®) was administered as an IV bolus. The peak intensity (PI), time to peak enhancement from injection (TTP0) and the time to peak enhancement from the initial rise (TTPup), upslope, downslope and area under the curve (AUC) were analyzed. Compared to the cortical values in the conscious group, TTP0 was significantly delayed in the TZM group, and upslope, TTP0 and TTPup were significantly different in the M group. The AUCs in the TZM and M groups were not different from those in the conscious group. The upslope of renal medullary perfusion was significantly decreased in the TZM and M groups. TTP0 and TTPup were also significantly delayed in these groups. The AUC of the medulla was significantly decreased in the M group. Therefore, TZM is useful as an anesthetic protocol when performing CEUS, and the obtained data may serve as reference values in the evaluation of renal perfusion using CEUS in dogs under anesthesia.
Inflammatory colorectal polyp (ICRP), common in miniature dachshunds, presents with hematochezia, tenesmus and mucoid feces. Although an 80% response rate has been reported when treated with prednisolone and cyclosporine, effective treatment is needed for the remaining 20% of ICRP dogs. Leflunomide is an immunosuppressive drug reported as effective in several immune-mediated diseases. In the present study, we retrospectively evaluated the efficacy and adverse effects of leflunomide in 15 ICRP dogs that were refractory to treatment with prednisolone and cyclosporine. Treatment efficacy was assessed by endoscopy, clinical symptoms and rectal palpation. Adverse effects were determined by clinical symptoms and blood testing during follow-up. The leflunomide treatment response rate was 93.3%. The median dosage of leflunomide and the median response time were 3 mg/kg (range: 1.7–4.0 mg/kg) and 35 days (range: 20–119 days), respectively. Adverse effects observed included lethargy (3 dogs), anorexia (1 dog), respiratory symptoms (1 dog), leukocytopenia (2 dogs), thrombocytopenia (1 dog), anemia (1 dog) and liver enzyme elevation (8 dogs). Most of the adverse effects improved with symptomatic treatment and leflunomide discontinuation or dosage reduction. In conclusion, leflunomide treatment is effective in ICRP dogs refractory to treatment with prednisolone and cyclosporine. Because several adverse effects were observed, close monitoring is needed during leflunomide treatment follow-up.
To obtain blood biochemical basic data of Japanese Black calves in Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan, blood samples were obtained from 582 clinically healthy calves on 27 farms. Calves were divided into three stages: the suckling stage (between 14 and 90 days of age, n=191), the early growing stage (between 91 and 180 days of age, n=200) and the late growing stage (between 181 and 270 days of age, n=191). The mean concentration of total cholesterol, triglyceride, nonesterified fatty acids, calcium and zinc, and the mean activities of γ-glutamyltransferase and alkaine phospatase in the suckling stage were significantly higher than those in the early and late growing stages (P<0.01). The mean concentration of total protein, albumin and globulin increased gradually with growing. The mean concentration of beta-hydroxybutyrate in the suckling stage was below 150 µmol/l, however, it elevated above 400 µmol/l in the early and late growing stages. The mean concentration of copper concentration was above 70 µg/dl in all stages. The mean concentration of zinc was between 90 and 110 µg/dl in all stages. These results suggest that the blood biochemical values of Japanese Black calves vary with growing stages, and the blood parameters obtained in this study are considered useful as indices for health management of Japanese Black calves.
The fluctuations in the plasma levels of several bone markers were investigated in newborn calves. Experiment 1 monitored the postnatal changes in the plasma levels of tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase isoform 5b (TRAP5b), total alkaline phosphatase (t-ALP) and bone-specific alkaline phosphatase (BAP) in four calves. These markers increased significantly from 9−20 hr after the first colostrum-suckling compared with the values immediately after birth. Experiment 2 evaluated changes in the plasma TRAP5b, t-ALP, BAP and type I collagen cross-linked N-telopeptide (NTx) levels within 2 days post-birth in five calves with successful passive immunization via colostrum (non-deficient group) and five others with poor colostrum intake (deficient group). The non-deficient group had significantly higher plasma levels of the four parameters around 12 hr of life compared with the deficient group. The results suggest that the increase in plasma bone markers in calves in the first day of life is related to the colostrum intake.
The association between breed, gender and age and cardiovascular disorders in the insured dog population in Japan was investigated, using multiple logistic regression analysis and data from 299,555 dogs insured between April 2010 and March 2011. The overall annual prevalence of cardiovascular disorder diagnosis was 2.1%. Using the Miniature Dachshund as the reference breed, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel had the highest odds of cardiovascular disorder with a ratio of 16.2 (95% confidence interval: 14.4–18.2), followed by Maltese, Pomeranian, Chihuahua and Shih Tzu. Male dogs had increased odds of 1.2 (1.1–1.3). The dogs had increased odds of having cardiovascular disorder by 1.5 times as their age increased by one year.
The common marmoset has been increasingly used for research in the biomedical field; however, there is little information available regarding effective methods of anesthesia in this species. This study retrospectively analyzed 2 regimens of anesthesia induction: intramuscular injection of ketamine followed by inhalation of 5% sevoflurane, and intramuscular injection of midazolam, butorphanol and ketamine followed by inhalation of 5% sevoflurane. Anesthetic depth did not reach the surgical anesthesia stage in 7 out of 99 animals receiving the former regimen, whereas there were only 2 such animals out of 273 receiving the latter regimen. The latter regimen, when followed by maintenance anesthesia with 3% sevoflurane inhalation, was successfully used in various nociceptive procedures. These results indicate that the injection of a combination of midazolam, butorphanol and ketamine followed by inhalation of a high concentration of sevoflurane is effective for anesthesia induction in marmosets.
Pregnant rats were treated with 30 mg/kg of methotrexate (MTX) on gestation day (GD) 16, and fetal brains were examined time-dependently. On GD 20, the appearance of the telencephalon in the MTX group was different from that in the control group, and the major axis of the telencephalon of the MTX group was shortened, compared to that of the control group. In the sagittal section of the telencephalon in the MTX group on GD 20, histopathological findings of deformation and narrowing of the cerebral ventricle, the disturbance of the arrangement of the marginal cell layer of subventricular zone (SVZ) and thickening of telencephalic wall, cortical plate and ventricular zone (VZ)/SVZ were possibly attributable to neuronal migration disorders by MTX. Through all the experimental period, few pyknotic cells or TUNEL-positive cells were observed in the VZ/SVZ of the telencephalic wall and striatum in the control group. On the other hand, in the VZ/SVZ of the telencephalic wall and striatum in the MTX group, pyknotic cells or TUNEL-positive cells were observed on GD 17, and they increased significantly on GD18 and then decreased to the control levels from GD 19 onward. The phospho-Histone H3-positive rate decreased remarkedly in the VZ/SVZ of the telencephalic wall and striatum of the MTX group on GDs 17 and 18, compared to the control group, but they recovered on and after GD 19. These results suggested that there was a high possibility that development of the telencephalon in this period required strong folic acid.
Antigen-presenting cells (APCs) in the uveal tract participate in ocular immunity including immune homeostasis and the pathogenesis of uveitis. In horses, although uveitis is the most common ocular disorder, little is known about ocular immunity, such as the distribution of APCs. In this study, we investigated the distribution of CD163-positive and MHC II-positive cells in the normal equine uveal tract using an immunofluorescence technique. Eleven eyes from 10 Thoroughbred horses aged 1 to 24 years old were used. Indirect immunofluorescence was performed using the primary antibodies CD163, MHC class II (MHC II) and CD20. To demonstrate the site of their greatest distribution, positive cells were manually counted in 3 different parts of the uveal tract (ciliary body, iris and choroid), and their average number was assessed by statistical analysis. The distribution of pleomorphic CD163- and MHC II-expressed cells was detected throughout the equine uveal tract, but no CD20-expressed cells were detected. The statistical analysis demonstrated the distribution of CD163- and MHC II-positive cells focusing on the ciliary body. These results demonstrated that the ciliary body is the largest site of their distribution in the normal equine uveal tract, and the ciliary body is considered to play important roles in uveal and/or ocular immune homeostasis. The data provided in this study will help further understanding of equine ocular immunity in the normal state and might be beneficial for understanding of mechanisms of ocular disorders, such as equine uveitis.
In order to investigate the effects of SKF96365 (SKF), which is a non-selective cationic channel blocker, on K+ channel currents, we recorded currents through ATP sensitive K+ (IKATP), voltage-gated K+ (IKv) and Ca2+ activated K+ channels (IBK) in the absence and presence of SKF in single small intestinal myocytes of mice with patch-clamp techniques. SKF (10 µM) reversibly abolished IKATP that was induced by cromakalim (10 µM), which is a selective ATP sensitive K+ channel opener. These inhibitory effects were induced in a concentration-dependent and voltage-independent manner. The 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) was 0.85 µM, which was obviously lower than that reported for the muscarinic cationic current. In addition, SKF (1 µM ≈ the IC50 value in IKATP suppression) reversibly inhibited the IKv that was induced by repetitive depolarizing pulses from −80 to 20 mV. However, the extent of the inhibitory effects was only ~30%. In contrast, SKF (1 µM) had no significant effects on spontaneous transient IBK and caffeine-induced IBK. These results indicated that SKF inhibited ATP sensitive K+ channels and voltage-gated K+ channels, with the ATP sensitive K+ channels being more sensitive than the voltage-gated K+ channels. These inhibitory effects on K+ channels should be considered when SKF is used as a cationic channel blocker.
Dronedarone is a class III antiarrhythmic that has been used for management of atrial fibrillation in humans, but limited information was found in dogs. The objective of this study was to determine the acute effects of escalating concentrations of dronedarone on electrocardiograms (ECG), hemodynamics and cardiac mechanics in healthy dogs. A total of 7 beagle dogs were anesthetized with isoflurane and instrumented to obtain lead II ECG, pressures at ascending aorta, right atrium, pulmonary artery and left ventricle, and left ventricular pressure-volume relationship. Five dogs were given vehicle and followed by escalating doses of dronedarone (0.5, 1.0 and 2.5 mg/kg, 15 min for each dose), and two dogs were used as a vehicle-treated control. All parameters were measured at 15 min after the end of each dose. The results showed that all parameters in vehicle-treated dogs were unaltered. Dronedarone at 2.5 mg/kg significantly lengthened PQ interval (P<0.01), reduced cardiac output (P<0.01) and increased systemic vascular resistance (P<0.01). Dronedarone produced negative inotropy assessed by significantly lowered end-systolic pressure-volume relationship, preload recruitable stroke work, contractility index and dP/dtmax. It also impaired diastolic function by significantly increased end-diastolic pressure-volume relationship, tau and dP/dtmin. These results suggested that acute effects of dronedarone produced negative dromotropy, inotropy and lusitropy in anesthetized dogs. Care should be taken when given dronedarone to dogs, especially when the patients have impaired cardiac function.
To mimic ischemic heart disease in humans, several animal models have been created, mainly in rodents by surgically ligating their coronary arteries. In the present study, by simply inducing burn injuries on the bullfrog heart, we reproduced abnormal ST segment changes in the electrocardiogram (ECG), mimicking those observed in ischemic heart disease, such as acute myocardial infarction and angina pectoris. The “currents of injury” created by a voltage gradient between the intact and damaged areas of the myocardium, negatively deflected the ECG vector during the diastolic phase, making the ST segment appear elevated during the systolic phase. This frog model of heart injury would be suitable to explain the mechanisms of ST segment changes observed in ischemic heart disease.
The applicability of the recombinant LipL32 for serodiagnosis of leptospiral infection in field rodents was assessed in this study. An immunodominant region of LipL32 was determined by monoclonal antibodies, and then, truncated LipL32 (tLipL32) was designed to contain the region (87–188th amino acid). The tLipL32 was compared between two recombinant expression hosts Escherichia coli and Pichia pastoris in ELISA. With field rat sera, tLipL32 expressed by P. pastoris (tLipL32p) had high antigenicity without background reactions, while tLipL32 expressed by E. coli (tLipL32e) showed high background reactions, which were reduced by pre-adsorption of sera with E. coli. To evaluate tLipL32-ELISA, field rat sera were tentatively divided into a Leptospira infection positive (12 sera) and a negative group (12 sera) based on the results from flaB gene PCR of kidney samples and WB with whole Leptospira cell. Consequently, the sensitivity of tLipL32p-ELISA for field rat sera was 83% . A similar result was obtained from tLipL32e-ELISA with adsorbed sera, (92%). However, sensitivity of tLipL32e-ELISA using sera without an adsorption treatment was 50%. Regardless of the expression host, tLipL32-ELISA had 100% specificity and sensitivity in experimentally infected laboratory rats. These results suggest that recombinant LipL32 expressed by P. pastoris is more applicable for serodiagnosis in field rats due to a lack of background reaction.
Mycotoxins are secondary fungal metabolites that are typically present in grain and feed ingredients used for animal feeds. An analytical method using LC-ESI-MS/MS was developed to quantify nine mycotoxins, consisting of aflatoxin B1 (AFB1), AFB2, AFG1, AFG2, T-2 toxin, deoxynivalenol (DON), nivalenol (NIV), zearalenone (ZEA) and ochratoxin A (OTA) in broiler feeds. In total, 100 samples of broiler feeds were collected from poultry farms in Central Thailand. The survey found that AFB1 and ZEA were the most prevalent mycotoxins in the feed samples at percentages of 93% and 63%, respectively. The limit of detections (LODs) of investigated mycotoxins was 0.20–0.78 ng/g. AFB2, DON, AFG1, NIV and T-2 toxin were also detectable at low contamination levels with percentages of 20%, 9%, 7%, 5% and 1%, respectively, whereas OTA and AFG2 were not detected in any of the feed samples. These results suggest that there is a very low level of risk of the exposure to mycotoxins in feeds obtained from broiler farms in Central Thailand.
Many studies suggest significant genetic variation in the resistance of cattle and humans to infection with Mycobacterium bovis, the causative agent of zoonotic tuberculosis. The inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS which is encoded by the NOS2 gene) plays a key role in the immunological control of a broad spectrum of infectious agents. This study aimed to investigate the influence of genetic variations in the promoter of the NOS2 gene on bovine tuberculosis (bTB) susceptibility. In this study, the NOS2 genes of 74 bTB-infected Holstein cows and 90 healthy controls were genotyped using PCR followed by nucleotide sequencing. Polymorphisms at rs207692718, rs109279434, rs209895548, rs385993919, rs433717754, rs383366213, rs466730386, rs715225976, rs525673647, rs720757654 and g.19958101T>G in the promoter region of the NOS2 gene were detected. The g.19958101T>G SNP produced two different conformation patterns (TT and TG) and the TG genotype was over-represented in the bTB group (20.27%) compared with the control group (2.22%). The TG genotype frequency of the g.19958101T>G variant was significantly higher in bTB cattle than in healthy controls (OR, 11.19; 95% CI, 2.47–50.73; P=0.0002). The G allele of the g.19958101T>G polymorphism was more frequent in bTB group when compared to control group (10.14% versus 1.11%). Furthermore, the G allele was a risk factor for bTB susceptibility (OR, 10.04; 95% CI, 2.26–44.65; P=0.0002). In conclusion, the g.19958101T>G polymorphism of the NOS2 gene may contribute to the susceptibility of Holstein cattle to bTB.
Vomeronasal 1 receptors (V1R) are a family of receptors for intraspecies chemosignals, including pheromones, and are expressed in the olfactory epithelium (OE) and vomeronasal organ (VO). Even in the well-studied rodents, it is unclear which members of the V1R family cause sexual polymorphisms, as there are numerous genes and it is difficult to quantify their expressions individually. Bovine species carry only 34 V1R homologs, and the OE and VOs are large enough to sample. Here, V1R expression was quantified in the OE and VOs of individual bovines. Based on the 34 gene sequences, we obtained a molecular dendrogram consisting of four clusters and six independent branches. Semi-quantitative RT-PCR was used to obtain gene expression profiles in the VOs and OE of 5 Japanese Black bulls, 5 steers, 7 estrous heifers and 6 early luteal-phase heifers. Ten genes showed significant between-group differences, and 22 showed high expression in VOs than in OE. The bulls showed higher expression of one gene more in OE and another in VOs (both P<0.05) than did steers; both genes belonged to the first cluster. No genes were expressed more abundantly in steers than in bulls. The estrous heifers showed higher expression of a gene of the second cluster in OE, and a gene of the third cluster in VOs (both P<0.05) than did early luteal-phase heifers. These results suggest V1R expression exhibits sexual polymorphisms in cattle.
Somatic cell nuclear transfer is a useful tool to maintain genetic information of animals. The Gyeongju Donggyeong dog is a breed registered as natural monument in Korea. The unique feature of the Donggyeong dog is its tail, as the Donggyeong dog can be classified as either short tailed or tailless. The aim of this study was to preserve the Donggyeong dog’s unique feature by cloning. Fibroblasts were obtained from a short-tailed Donggyeong dog. In vivo matured oocytes were enucleated, microinjected with a donor cell and fused electrically. Reconstructed embryos were transferred to six recipient dogs. One surrogate became pregnant, and one short-tailed Donggyeong dog was delivered. This study demonstrated that the phenotype of the Donggyeong dog could be conserved by somatic cell nuclear transfer.
The aim of this study was to estimate total carotenoids, β-carotene and retinol concentrations in the livers and muscles of some ungulates (cattle, buffalo, sheep, goats and horses) in comparison with the Wistar rats as a control. Cattle and horses had the highest contents of total carotenoids and β-carotene. Unexpectedly, sheep was the highest accumulator of retinol with a mean concentration of 203 ± 23.34 µg/g, while the least accumulator was buffalo, having a mean value of 58.28 ± 13.77 µg/g. Livers had higher contents of the examined phytochemicals than muscles. Consumption of these tissues may provide human with some needs from these important phytochemicals, though ingestion of livers, especially that of the sheep, is not advisable for the pregnant women.
Avian bornaviruses (ABVs) were recently discovered as the causative agents of proventricular dilatation disease (PDD). Although molecular epidemiological studies revealed that ABVs exist in Japan, no Japanese isolate has been reported thus far. In this study, we isolated four strains of Psittaciform 1 bornavirus from psittacine birds affected by PDD using QT6 quail cells. To our knowledge, this is the first report to isolate ABVs in Japan and to show that QT6 cells are available for ABV isolation. These isolates and QT6 cells would be powerful tools for elucidating the fundamental biology and pathogenicity of ABVs.
To increase the sensitivity of an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for equine herpesvirus type 4 (EHV-4) that uses a 12-mer peptide of glycoprotein G (gG4-12-mer: MKNNPIYSEGSL) , we used a longer peptide consisting of a 24-mer repeat sequence (gG4-24-mer: MKNNPIYSEGSLMLNVQHDDSIHT) as an antigen. Sera of horses experimentally infected with EHV-4 reacted much more strongly to the gG4-24-mer peptide than to the gG4-12-mer peptide. We used peptide ELISAs to test paired sera from horses naturally infected with EHV-4 (n=40). gG4-24-mer ELISA detected 37 positive samples (92.5%), whereas gG4-12-mer ELISA detected only 28 (70.0%). gG4-24-mer ELISA was much more sensitive than gG4-12-mer ELISA.
During surveillance for bovine diarrhea of unknown causes in Japanese black cattle in Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan, we found two types of novel kobu-like viruses in fecal samples of calves. Sequence analyses revealed that they had L protein and 2A protein with H-box/NC sequence motif, which are present in kobuviruses. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that they were related to kobuviruses; however, they clustered apart from other kobuviruses. In the prevalence study of two types of novel kobu-like viruses, 16.9% and 10.4% prevalence of these viruses were observed in the feces of diarrheal calves in this area.
This study compared the reproductive and growth performances of pigs before and after depopulation and restocking after a foot-and-mouth disease outbreak in Japan. Data for the time period before and after depopulation and restocking were obtained from three farrow-to-finish farms. As a result of depopulation and restocking, hygiene levels were improved, and common infectious diseases, such as porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome and Aujeszky’s disease, remained undetected on the farms. Compared with before depopulation, reproductive and growth performances improved after depopulation; the number of total pigs born was higher, the postweaning mortality rate was lower, and the age at slaughter was lower (P<0.05). In summary, depopulation and restocking improved the reproductive and growth performances of pigs.
We collected rectal swabs from dogs in Japan during 2011 to 2014, and canine coronavirus (CCoV) nucleocapsid gene was detected by RT-PCR. The relationship between CCoV infection and the manifestation of diarrhea symptoms was investigated, and a correlation was noted (df=1, χ2=8.90, P<0.005). The types of CCoV detected in samples from CCoV-infected dogs were CCoV-I in 88.9% and CCoV-II in 7.4%, respectively. We retrospectively investigated the seroprevalence of CCoV-I in dogs in Japan during 1998 to 2006. The sera were tested with a neutralizing antibody test. In the absence of CCoV-I laboratory strain, we used feline coronavirus (FCoV)-I that shares high sequence homology in the S protein with CCoV-I. 77.7% of the sera were positive for neutralizing anti-FCoV-I antibodies.
Southeast Asia is a region of high biodiversity, containing species of plants and animals that are yet to be discovered. In this region, bats of the subfamily Kerivoulinae are widespread and diverse with six species recorded in Vietnam. However, the taxonomy of the Kerivoulinae in Asia is complicated. In our study, we used diagnostic characters and multivariate analysis to determine morphological differences between the genera Kerivoula and Phoniscus. We showed that the two genera are distinguishable by the size of second upper incisors, the shape of skull, nasal sinus, canines, second upper and lower premolars. In addition, the two genera can be osteometrically separated by measurements of the braincase height, interorbital width and shape of anterior palatal emargination. Our data clearly revealed the morphological variations in the skull shape of Kerivoula hardwickii in Vietnam. This suggests a possible separation into three morphotypes, representing cryptic species supported by statistical differences with wide variation in skull shape, size and teeth. These results demonstrated Kerivoula hardwickii can be separated three subspecies, and the result will serve as the basis for the future assessment and classification of this group in Southeast Asia.
In turtles, the epithelia lining the upper and lower chambers of the nasal cavity project axons to the ventral and dorsal parts of the olfactory bulbs, respectively. In a semi-aquatic soft-shelled turtle, Pelodiscus sinensis, more than 1,000 odorant receptor genes have been found, but it is not known where they are expressed. In this study, we aimed to clarify the distribution of cells expressing these genes in the olfactory organs of soft-shelled turtles. Immunoreactions for the Gαolf, the α subunit of G protein coupled to the odorant receptors, were detected on the surface of epithelia lining both the upper and lower chambers of the nasal cavity. The receptor cells in the epithelium of both chambers possessed cilia on the tip of their dendrites, whereas microvillous, non-ciliated, receptor cells were not found. These data suggest that the odorant receptor genes are expressed by the ciliated receptor cells in the upper and lower chamber epithelia. Precise location of the vomeronasal epithelium is not known at present.
Preservation of indigenous gastrointestinal microbiota is deemed to be critical for successful captive breeding of endangered wild animals, yet its biology is poorly understood. Here, we investigated cecal bacterial communities in wild Japanese rock ptarmigans (Lagopus muta japonica) and compared them with those in Svalbard rock ptarmigans (L. m. hyperborea) in captivity. Ultra-deep sequencing of 16S rRNA gene indicated that the community structure of cecal microbiota in wild rock ptarmigans was remarkably different from that in captive Svalbard rock ptarmigans. Fundamental differences between bacterial communities in the two groups of birds were detected at the phylum level. Firmicutes, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes and Synergistetes were the major phyla detected in wild Japanese rock ptarmigans, whereas Firmicutes alone occupied more than 80% of abundance in captive Svalbard rock ptarmigans. Furthermore, unclassified genera of Coriobacteriaceae, Synergistaceae, Bacteroidaceae, Actinomycetaceae, Veillonellaceae and Clostridiales were the major taxa detected in wild individuals, whereas in zoo-reared birds, major genera were Ruminococcus, Blautia, Faecalibacterium and Akkermansia. Zoo-reared birds seemed to lack almost all rock ptarmigan-specific bacteria in their intestine, which may explain the relatively high rate of pathogenic infections affecting them. We show evidence that preservation and reconstitution of indigenous cecal microflora are critical for successful ex situ conservation and future re-introduction plan for the Japanese rock ptarmigan.
Two captive Keel-billed toucans and a Chestnut-mandibled toucan in another zoological garden died suddenly without any pre-existing symptoms, and three months later, a Japanese squirrel died of diarrhea. All these animals showed necrotic enteritis and multifocal necrosis in the liver and spleen with Gram negative bacilli. The bacilli showed strong positive immunolabeling for Yersinia pseudotuberculosis O4 in the Keel-billed toucans, Y. pseudotuberculosis O2 in the Chestnut-mandibled toucan and Y. pseudotuberculosis O1 in the Japanese squirrel, while Y. pseudotuberculosis 4b, 2b and 1b were respectively isolated from the lesions. To our knowledge, this might be the first reported case of fatal yersiniosis in a Japanese squirrel in the world as well as in toucans in Japan.