Alkaline agents are well-known for their disinfection capacities against pathogens even at the presence of organic materials, but the durability of their bactericidal efficacies under field conditions is unknown. Therefore, within the present study, two alkaline agents, namely bioceramic (BCX) derived from chicken feces and food additive grade Ca(OH)2 (FdCa(OH)2) derived from natural lime stone, were evaluated for the persistence of their bactericidal efficacies in litter, under simulated field conditions. BCX powder mixed at 50% concentration in litter or FdCa(OH)2 powder at 20% concentration in litter lost their bactericidal efficacies at 3 days post exposure of chicks, and thereafter, both mentioned alkaline agents could not inactivate bacteria down to the acceptable level (≥3 log10 CFU/ml reduction).
In June 2015, a highly fatal and acute disease broke out in a duckling farm in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan. The birds exhibited poor growth, reduced movement, lying in a dorsal recumbent position, depression, lethargy, ataxia and opisthotonus, with a high mortality rate of approximately 76%. By performing a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) using primers specific for duck hepatitis A virus type 1 (DHAV-1), we obtained the PCR products of a predicted size. The nucleotide sequences of the PCR products showed a >96% identity with that of the DHAV-1, HB02 strain, which was isolated in China. To our knowledge, this is the first time that the DHAV-1 virus has been isolated since its outbreak in Japan in 1963.
Yersinia pseudotuberculosis (Y. ptb) is a zoonotic pathogenic bacterial species of the family Enterobacteriaceae and causes yersiniosis, an acute intestinal infection in humans and animals. Y. ptb is often implicated in lethal epidemics in zoo animals and reductions in the breeding population, but a valid prevention method has not been established. Therefore, this study aimed to develop a vaccine for yersiniosis control. The immunogenicity of one of the adhesion factors involved in pathogenic mechanisms of Y. ptb, Yersinia adhesin A (YadA), was investigated. BALB/c mice were divided into 3 groups: in group 1, mice received insoluble recombinant YadA (rYadA) produced in genetically engineered Escherichia coli (100 µg/dose); in group 2, mice received inactivated Y. ptb with strong expression of YadA (20 mg/dose);and in group 3, mice received phosphate-buffered saline (0.2 ml/dose). All interventions were administered subcutaneously twice at an interval of 1 week. One week after the second administration, Y. ptb (107 cells/mouse) was inoculated orally. As a result, the survival rate was 100% in group 1, 60% in group 2, and 0% in group 3. The anti-YadA antibody titer increased in a stepwise fashion in groups 1 and 2. The present study results suggest that rYadA shows promise as a protective antigen against yersiniosis. This study concluded that vaccination against Y. ptb may become available as a new method to prevent lethal epidemics in animals.
Hemoplasmas belong to Mycoplasmataceae (Mollicutes: Mycoplasmatales) and are able to infect a broad range of mammalian species. We investigated prevalence of hemotropic mycoplasma species in pig farms in the region of Zhejiang by a PCR scheme using universal primers targeting 16S rRNA and RNase P RNA gene (rnpB). Representative positive samples from different farms were selected for sequencing of 16S rRNA and the 219bp rnpB gene fragments for phylogenetic analysis. Sequencing analysis of PCR products from first samples identified a novel hemoplasma species present in several pig farms in the region with highest nucleotide identity of 92% to Candidatus Mycoplasma turicensis. A duplex PCR assay was then designed for differential detection of the novel hemoplasma from Mycoplasma parvum/M. suis in field samples. Of 324 blood samples from clinically healthy pigs, 26.5% was positive for this novel hemoplasma species and 50% positive for M. suis/M. parvum, indicating that the novel hemotropic mycoplasma species were of considerably high prevalence in Zhejiang province, China.
To investigate the potential enterotoxicity and antimicrobial resistance of aeromonads from pet turtles as a risk for human infection, one hundred and two Aeromonas spp. were isolated from the feces, skin and rearing environments of pet turtles and identified by biochemical and gyrB sequence analyses. Aeromonas enteropelogenes was the predominant species among the isolates (52.9%) followed by A. hydrophila (32.4%), A. dharkensis (5.9%), A. veronii (4.9%) and A. caviae (3.9%). Their potential enterotoxicities were evaluated by PCR assays for detecting genes encoding cytotoxic enterotoxin (act) and two cytotonic enterotoxins (alt and ast). 75.8% of A. hydrophila isolates exhibited the act+/alt+/ast+ genotype, whereas 94.4% of A. enteropelogenes isolates were determined to be act−/alt−/ast−. In an antimicrobial susceptibility test, most isolates were susceptible to all tested antibiotics except amoxicillin, ampicillin, cephalothin, chloramphenicol and tetracycline. Non-susceptible isolates to penicillins (ampicillin and amoxicillin) and fluoroquinolones (ciprofloxacin and norfloxacin) were frequently observed among the A. enteropelogenes isolates. Few isolates were resistant to imipenem, amikacin, ceftriaxone and cefotaxime. Collectively, these results suggest that pet turtles may pose a public health risk of infection by enterotoxigenic and antimicrobial resistant Aeromonas strains.
Cytotoxic T lymphocyte associated gene-4 (CTLA-4) is a costimulatory molecule, expressed on the surface of activated T cells that negatively regulates T cell activation. In humans, alternative splicing of the CTLA-4 gene generates two major isoforms of mRNA, and a soluble form of CTLA-4 (sCTLA-4) was detected in normal human serum. We describe alternatively spliced mRNA expressed in peripheral blood mononuclear cells obtained from a healthy dog lacking the transmembrane domain coded by exon 3 of the CTLA-4 gene. Immunoprecipitation and western blotting of dog serum revealed a band of approximately 23-kDa, which is consistent with the predicted size, based on the amino acid sequence of the canine sCTLA-4 obtained in this study.
Renal Fanconi syndrome has recently been associated with the ingestion of pet jerky treats from China in mostly small breed dogs in North America, Australia and Europe. We report here about two dogs with Fanconi syndrome following pet jerky treats exposure in Japan. A mixed-breed dog and a French bulldog showed weight loss, polyuria and polydipsia. For years, the owners had been feeding large quantities of pet jerky treats containing chicken prepared in China. Diagnostics revealed glycosuria without hyperglycemia, severe aminoaciduria, and in one case also ketonuria, hypokalemia and metabolic acidosis. A diagnosis of Fanconi syndrome associated with long-term consumption of Chinese pet jerky treats was made. Both dogs recovered fully following withdrawal of the pet jerky treats and supportive care. Fanconi syndrome of dogs in association with the consumption of pet jerky treats of Chinese origin can cause a broad proximal tubular defect with glycosuria and generalized amino aciduria, and should be also considered in Asia. Jerky treats associated Fanconi syndrome can be completely reversible following withdrawal of the treats and supportive care to correct the metabolic abnormalities.
The feline F12 gene was examined to identify a mutation associated with coagulation factor XII (FXII) deficiency in a litter of 6 cats, including 2 cats with severely reduced FXII activity (7.1 and 9.3%, respectively) and 4 cats with moderately reduced FXII activity (range 36.0 to 46.3%). Cats with severely reduced FXII activity were homozygous for a G to C missense mutation in exon 13 of the F12 gene, resulting in an amino acid change (p.G544A). Cats with moderately reduced FXII activity were heterozygous for this mutation. Expression studies revealed reduced secretion of p.G544A mutant FXII protein from transfected HEK293 cells compared with wild type FXII. These results reveal a novel F12 mutation in FXII deficient cats and define the underlying mechanism for low FXII activity in homozygotes.
Epidemiological and pathological studies on Helicobacter spp. in feline stomachs in Japan were conducted using genus- and species-specific (H. felis, H. bizzozeronii, H. heilmannii sensu stricto [s.s.] and H. pylori) polymerase chain reactions (PCRs), ureAB gene sequencing and histopathology. PCR results showed that 28 of 56 cats were infected with Helicobacter spp., and H. heilmannii s.s. was the most prevalent species by both PCR (28/28) and ureAB gene sequencing (26/28). Some of the sequences showed high similarities with those from human patients with gastric diseases (99%). There were no significant differences between Helicobacter spp.-positive and -negative cats in the severity of chronic gastritis (P=0.69). This is the first extensive epidemiological study on feline gastric Helicobacter spp. in Japan.
Cynomolgus monkeys are closely related to humans phylogenetically, and this has resulted in their widespread use as a preclinical model. Hematological data with regard to these monkeys are thus important. Although reference values for blood components and sex hormones have been established for cynomolgus monkeys, those for arterial blood gases have not. The arterial blood gases quickly reflect respiratory and circulatory dynamics, and are thus useful for animal management and safe general anesthesia and surgical operations. Furthermore, since O2 is transported by RBC, CBC and blood gases are closely related. The present study aimed to establish reference values for arterial blood gases and CBC in cynomolgus monkeys over a wide age range. Blood gases and CBC of arterial blood, collected from 41 female and 21 male anesthetized monkeys, were measured. Age correlated with RBC, HGB and HCT in the CBC. Values differed significantly between males and females in pCO2, CO2 concentration, MCV and MCH. The pH of blood was equivalent to that of humans and pCO2 was more stable, whereas MCV and MCH were lower than those in humans. Erythrocytes were smaller and less pigmented than in other Macaca species. Several relationships between gender and age, and blood gases and CBC were identified in cynomolgus monkeys. In conclusion, these reference values will be useful as markers for veterinary applications and in the care and maintenance of these animals.
Estrogen receptors α (ESR1) and β (ESR2) play central roles in folliculogenesis and therefore in reproductive biology. In the present study, two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were identified in the ESR1 and ESR2 genes using PCR-single strand conformation polymorphism (PCR-SSCP) and DNA sequencing. One of the identified SNPs, a T1101C transition located within exon 4 of the ESR1 gene, was significantly associated with hen-housed egg production (HHEP) at 30, 43, 57 and 66 weeks of age (P<0.05), and egg weight (EW) at 30 weeks (P<0.05). Another SNP, a G1755A transition leading to a non-synonymous substitution (valine 459-to-isoleucine) located within exon 8 of the ESR2 gene, was also markedly correlated with the HHEP at 30, 43, 57 and 66 weeks of age (P<0.05), and EW at 30 weeks (P<0.05). A greater proportion of the additive variance was explained by the SNPs for most of the associated egg production traits (>1%). Furthermore, the results of the combined genotype-based association analysis supported the finding that the two SNPs were associated with the traits under a study. Taken together, our findings suggest that the two sequence variations in the ESR1 and ESR2 genes may provide promising genetic markers for the early selection and prediction of advantageous phenotypes in chicken breeding.
To develop a noninvasive sample collection method for genotyping, we compared PCR products from samples collected from neonates using five different brands of adhesive tape. Next, the youngest application age to distinguish genotypes was established. The tapes were applied on the backs of rats on postnatal day (PND) 10. DNA extracts from two brands provided clear PCR products that enabled genotype identification. The youngest age for distinguishing genotypes was PND 5; however, the youngest age that provided accurate results was PND 7. Thus, the present method allows for genotyping during the neonatal period without invasive burden and may improve animal welfare by refining.
Transgenic mice expressing the tax gene from human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-I) genome developed T-cell leukemia or histiocytic sarcoma after at least 12 months. The transgenic mice showed low expression of the downstream of tyrosine kinase (DOK) family members, DOK1, DOK2 and DOK3, which were recently reported to be tumor suppressor genes. Mice showed low DOK2 expression at 5–6 months of age, before disease onset. The expression of DOK1 and DOK3 was not significantly reduced at any age tested. These results suggest that downregulation of DOK2 by the expression of the viral tax gene is the first step in the development of T-cell leukemia or histiocytic sarcoma.
A jejunal nodular mass was identified in an aging rat. Histologically, the boundaries between the lesion and surrounding normal tissue as well as between the inner circular muscle and outer longitudinal muscle were indistinct. The lesion consisted of abundant eosinophilic matrix and cells with a large round to oval nucleus and indistinct cytoplasm. There was no characteristic proliferating pattern, nuclear polymorphism and a low mitotic figure count. Masson’s trichrome stain revealed that the intestinal smooth muscles were replaced by the abundant collagen fiber. Immunohistochemistry revealed that the cells with a large round to oval nucleus were labeled with anti-vimentin antibody and not with anti-α smooth muscle actin antibody, suggesting that these cells were fibroblasts. The mass was diagnosed as jejunal fibroplasia.
This report describes the clinical, macroscopic, histopathological and immunohistochemical features of a spontaneous multicentric extraskeletal sarcoma in an adult male African hedgehog (Atelerix albiventris). It also provides a succinct up-to-date review on neoplasia in this species. On autopsy examination, main gross findings included a moderately demarcated cranial mass and a multilobulated, caudal intra-abdominal mass. The cranial mass had perforated the underlying temporal and occipital bones and had extended into the cranial vault and was compressing the surface of the cerebellum and cerebrum. Histologic, histochemical and immunohistochemical analyses supported a diagnosis of multicentric poorly differentiated spindle cell sarcoma with fibrosarcomatous, storiform and myxoid foci. The high incidence of neoplasia and cross similarities renders the African hedgehog a suitable species for comparative pathology studies.
Hyperoxaluria and oxidative stress are risk factors in calcium oxalate (CaOx) stone formation. Supplement with antioxidant could be effective in prevention of recurrent stone formation. The present study aims to evaluate the protective effects of vitamin E and vitamin C in hyperoxaluric rat. The experiment was performed in rats for 21 days. Rats were divided into 5 groups as follows: control (group 1, n=8), hyperoxaluric rats (group 2, n=8), hyperoxaluric rats with vitamin E supplement (group 3, n=7), hyperoxaluric rats with vitamin C supplement (group 4, n=7) and hyperoxaluric rats with vitamin E and C supplement (group 5, n=7). Hyperoxaluria was induced by feeding hydroxyl L-proline (HLP) 2% w/v dissolved in drinking water. Intraperitoneal 200 mg/kg of vitamin E was given in groups 3 and 5 on days 1, 6, 11 and 16, while 500 mg of vitamin C was injected intravenously in groups 4 and 5 on days 1 and 11. Renal functions and oxidative status were measured. The urinary oxalate excretion was increased in HLP supplement rats, while glomerular filtration rate, proximal water and sodium reabsorption were significantly lower in group 2 compared with a control (P<0.05). Giving antioxidants significantly lower urinary calcium oxalate crystals (P<0.05). Hyperoxaluric rats had higher plasma malondialdehyde (PMDA) and lower urinary total antioxidant status (UTAS), which were alleviated by vitamin E and/or vitamin C supplement. In conclusion, giving combination of vitamin E and vitamin C exerts a protective role against HLP-induced oxalate nephropathy.
This study examined the potential pathogenicity of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) in feces of sika deer by PCR binary typing (P-BIT), using 24 selected STEC genes. A total of 31 STEC strains derived from sika deer in 6 prefectures of Japan were O-serotyped and found to be O93 (n=12), O146 (n=5), O176 (n=3), O130 (n=3), O5 (n=2), O7 (n=1), O96 (n=1), O116 (n=1), O141 (n=1), O157 (n=1) and O-untypable (n=1). Of the 31 STEC strains, 13 carried both stx1 and stx2, 5 carried only stx1, and 13 carried one or two variants of stx2. However, no Stx2 production was observed in 3 strains that carried only stx2: the other 28 strains produced the appropriate Stx. P-BIT analysis showed that the 5 O5 strains from two wild deer formed a cluster with human STEC strains, suggesting that the profiles of the presence of the 24 P-BIT genes in the deer strains were significantly similar to those in human strains. All of the other non-O157 STEC strains in this study were classified with strains from food, domestic animals and humans in another cluster. Good sanitary conditions should be used for deer meat processing to avoid STEC contamination, because STEC is prevalent in deer and deer may be a potential source of STEC causing human infections.
The objective of this study was to determine the effect of bovine follicular fluid proteins (bFF) and their differently charged groups as maturation media supplements for in vitro embryo development. bFF was obtained by aspiration from large healthy follicles (4–10 mm in diameter) and was precipitated by 30–50% (NH4)2SO4. The precipitated protein was fractionated into basic and acidic fractions by ion-exchanger columns. In experiment 1, the oocytes were matured in TCM-199 with 1) FBS+hormones (control) and 2) 10% bFF. The oocyte maturation rate, the development to the blastocyst stage rate and blastocyst cell number were not significantly different between the groups. However, the INFα and IGF-2r expression levels in the 10% bFF were higher than in the control (P<0.05). In experiment 2, the specific charge proteins of bFF (basic and acidic) were also used as media supplements in the maturation medium. The basic fraction had higher oocyte maturation rate and blastocyst cell number when compared with addition of acidic fraction (P<0.05). The expression levels for almost all developmentally important genes in the basic fraction were greater than those in the acidic fraction, particularly INFα (P<0.05). Most of the protein in the basic fraction was associated with the immune response and mRNA processing. In conclusion, supplementation of 10% bFF alone in maturation medium can support oocyte maturation and embryo development. The basic fraction in bFF seemed to have effect on oocyte maturation rate and blastocyst cell number.
In September and October 2015, suspected cases of bovine ephemeral fever (BEF) were reported in the mainland region of Kagoshima Prefecture and on Tanegashima Island. The genome of the BEF virus (BEFV) was detected in the diseased cows and the cows that had recovered. The serum obtained from the affected cows contained high titers of BEFV-neutralizing antibody. In total, 18 affected cows were demonstrated to be infected with BEFV during the outbreak. Our findings showed evidence that BEF occurred in mainland Japan after a 23-year absence. Phylogenetic analysis based on the surface glycoprotein (G) gene revealed that BEFVs detected in the affected cows were genetically distinct from previous Japanese BEFVs, but were close to BEFVs circulating in Taiwan and mainland China in recent years. Amino acid substitution in the neutralizing epitope domains of the G protein was limited between the detected viruses and the vaccine strain (YHL isolate), and high titers of the neutralizing antibody against the YHL isolate were induced in the infected cattle during the disease occurrences. Therefore, current BEF vaccines probably elicit protective immunity against the BEFVs detected in 2015, although their effectiveness should be assessed. Since the BEFV vaccination rates are estimated to be low, a BEF outbreak should be considered a possibility in mainland Japan.
Serum samples were collected from 385 wild boars between 2010 and 2013 to examine the seroprevalence of influenza A virus (IAV) in Japan. Antibodies against IAV were identified using a commercial kit in 13 wild boars (3.4%). To identify the serotypes, positive sera were examined by virus-neutralization test using representative serotypes and strains. Three wild boars in Yamaguchi and four in Tochigi showed the highest antibody titers against the pandemic H1N1 2009 virus and classical swine H1N1 virus strains, respectively. These data indicate that wild boars may have close contact with humans and domestic pigs and therefore that there is potential for IAVs to reassort in wild boars as they have been shown to do in pigs.
To understand how the latest dominant bovine leukemia virus (BLV) strains were introduced and spread in the Miyazaki prefecture, we collected blood samples from 3 geographic areas (north, central and south) and carried out sequence analysis of the BLV env gene. Two genotypes, genotype I, and III, were identified and the majority of the strains belonged to genotype I (71/74). To clarify a route of BLV introduction, we divided the strains into 20 subgenotypes based on their nucleotide sequences and performed phylogenetic analysis. Our study indicated that common BLV strains were comparatively evenly distributed even in the area, where the farmers have not introduced cattle from other areas and the cattle have limited exposure to BLV infection in grazing fields.
In this study, the virucidal effect of a novel electrically charged disinfectant CAC-717 was investigated. CAC-717 is produced by applying an electric field to mineral water containing calcium hydrogen carbonate to generate mesoscopic crystals. Virus titration analysis showed a >3 log reduction of influenza A viruses after treatment with CAC-717 for 1 min in room temperature, while infectivity was undetectable after 15 min treatment. Adding bovine serum albumin to CAC-717 solution did not affect the disinfectant effect. Although CAC-717 is an alkaline solution (pH=12.39), upon contact with human tissue, its pH becomes almost physiological (pH 8.84) after accelerated electric discharge, which enables its use against influenza viruses. Therefore, CAC-717 may be used as a preventative measure against influenza A viruses and for biosecurity in the environment.
The objectives of the present study were to observe the temporal pattern of avian influenza virus (AIV) introduction into Japan and to determine which migratory birds play an important role in introducing AIV. In total, 19,407 fecal samples from migratory birds were collected at 52 sites between October 2008 and May 2015. Total nucleic acids extracted from the fecal samples were subjected to reverse transcription loop–mediated isothermal amplification to detect viral RNA. Species identification of host migratory birds was conducted by DNA barcoding for positive fecal samples. The total number of positive samples was 352 (prevalence, 1.8%). The highest prevalence was observed in autumn migration, and a decrease in prevalence was observed. During autumn migration, central to southern Japan showed a prevalence higher than the overall prevalence. Thus, the main AIV entry routes may involve crossing the Sea of Japan and entry through the Korean Peninsula. Species identification was successful in 221 of the 352 positive samples. Two major species sequences were identified: the Mallard/Eastern Spot-billed duck group (115 samples; 52.0%) and the Northern pintail (61 samples; 27.6%). To gain a better understanding of the ecology of AIV in Japan and the introduction pattern of highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses, information regarding AIV prevalence by species, the prevalence of hatch-year migratory birds, migration patterns and viral subtypes in fecal samples using egg inoculation and molecular-based methods in combination is required.
The aim of this study was to objectively assess stress of kangaroos affected by lumpy jaw disease (LJD) using plasma and hair cortisol concentrations. The plasma and hair samples were collected from kangaroos with LJD and healthy controls. Collected hair samples were extracted with methanol after washing with isopropanol, following which they were processed with the cortisol enzyme immunoassay kit. The plasma cortisol concentration of LJD animals tended to be higher than that of the control. Ventral hair cortisol, but not dorsal hair, of LJD animals was significantly higher than that of the control. In conclusion, stress in kangaroos infected with LJD could be assessed by measuring ventral hair cortisol.
Habitats of two closely related Japanese field mice, Apodemus argenteus and A. speciosus, broadly overlap in many Japanese forests. A. argenteus being more arboreal and A. speciosus being more terrestrial, it is thought that such ecological segregation allows their sympatric distribution. Comparing these two congeners, whether ecological difference is reflected in postcranial development was examined. Although overall ossification sequences were virtually identical, development of the caudal vertebrae was remarkably earlier in A. argenteus. One of the clearest morphological differences between the two species is the relative length of the tail, which is arguably related to the degree of arboreality. I suggest that accelerated ossification of the caudal vertebrae found in A. argenteus is related to its elongation of the tail.