Cryptosporidium species infect domestic animals, livestock, and humans. These protozoan parasites are frequently reported as major environmental contaminants in many countries despite their differing climatic, socioeconomic, and demographic factors. This review focuses on the research findings that relate to Cryptosporidium epidemiology, genetic diversity, and associated risk factors relating to animals, contaminated water sources, and humans in Japan. Adequate knowledge of these factors is essential for understanding the economic and public health importance of cryptosporidiosis in Japan so that effective control strategies against it are implemented. Cryptosporidium infections are highly prevalent in animals in Japan. Among the different animal species, cattle infections stand out because of their economic importance and zoonotic potential. Living circumstances in Japan restrain Cryptosporidium transmission between humans, but there is evidence to suggest that animals, especially those in close contact with humans, can be potential sources of human infections. Water sampling studies have provided clues about how environmental contamination with Cryptosporidium oocysts can cause infections in livestock and wild animals. There is some evidence of person-to-person transmission of cryptosporidiosis, but only occasionally and under certain circumstances. By identifying the major role played by animals in Cryptosporidium transmission to people in Japan, we highlight the urgent need for disease control against this pathogen.
Generally, the olfactory organ of vertebrates consists of the olfactory epithelium (OE) and the vomeronasal organ (VNO). The OE contains ciliated olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs), while the VNO contains microvillous ORNs. The ORNs in the OE express odorant receptors (ORs), while those in the VNO express type 1 and type 2 vomeronasal receptors (V1Rs and V2Rs). In turtles, the olfactory organ consists of the upper (UCE) and lower chamber epithelia (LCE). The UCE contains ciliated ORNs, while the LCE contains microvillous ORNs. Here we investigated the distribution of cells expressing vomeronasal receptors in the olfactory organ of turtles. The turtle vomeronasal receptors were encoded by two V1R genes and two V2R genes. Among them, V2R1 and V2R26 were mainly expressed in the LCE, while V1R3 was expressed both in the UCE and LCE. Notably, vomeronasal receptors were expressed by a limited number of ORNs, which was confirmed by the expression of the gene encoding TRPC2, an ion channel involved in the signal transduction of vomeronasal receptors. Furthermore, expression of ORs by the majority of ORNs was suggested by the expression of the gene encoding CNGA2, an ion channel involved in the signal transduction of ORs. Thus, olfaction of turtle seems to be mediated mainly by the ORs rather than the vomeronasal receptors. More importantly, the relationship between the fine structure of ORNs and the expression of olfactory receptors are not conserved among turtles and other vertebrates.
Changes in yak mitochondria by natural selection in a hypoxic environment could be utilized to understand adaptation to low-oxygen conditions. Therefore, the differences in proteome profile of skeletal muscle mitochondria from yak, dzo, and cattle were analyzed by mass spectrometry, which were then classified into 3 groups, comparing between yak and dzo, yak and cattle, and dzo and cattle. 376 unique mitochondrial proteins were identified, including 192, 191, and 281 proteins in the yak-dzo, yak-cattle, and dzo-cattle groups, respectively. NRDP1 and COQ8A were expressed at higher levels in yak and dzo compared to those in cattle, indicating higher endurance capacity of yak and dzo in a low-oxygen environment. Gene Ontology (GO) terms of biological processes were significantly enriched in oxidation-reduction process, and that of molecular functions and cellular component were enriched in oxidoreductase activity and the mitochondrion, respectively. The most significantly affected pathways in Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) analysis were Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and oxidative phosphorylation between the yak-cattle and dzo-cattle groups; while metabolic pathways, citrate cycle, and carbon metabolism were significantly affected pathways in the yak-dzo group. ATP synthases, MTHFD1, MDH2, and SDHB were the most enriched hub proteins in the protein-protein interaction (PPI) network. These results indicated that mammals living at high altitudes could possibly possess better bioenergy metabolism than those living in the plains. The key proteins identified in the present study may be exploited as candidate proteins for understanding and fine-tuning mammalian adaptation to high altitudes.
Research on the composition and application of immune enhancers in livestock and poultry breeding has been gaining interest in recent years. Poplar bark lipids (PBLs), which are extracted from poplar tree bark, are natural substances known to efficiently enhance the immune response. To understand the chemical makeup of PBLs and their underlying mechanism for enhancing the immune system, we extracted PBLs from poplar bark using petroleum ether and subjected these extracts to chemical analysis. To evaluate PBLs effect on the immune system mice were treated with different doses of PBL via gavage and sacrificed 4 weeks later. PBLs were shown to be rich in vitamin E, unsaturated fatty acids, and other immune-potentiating compounds. Treatment with PBLs increased the spleen index and stimulated spleen and thymus development. In addition, PBLs increased the number of CD3+CD4+ cells in the peripheral blood and the ratio of CD4+/CD8+ cells while decreasing the number of CD3+CD8+ cells. Moreover, PBLs significantly increased IL-4 and IFN-γ levels in mouse serum and TLR4 mRNA and protein expression in the spleen. Taken together these results demonstrate that PBLs exert their immune-potentiating effects by promoting spleen and thymus development, T lymphocyte proliferation and differentiation, and immune factor expression. These immune-potentiating effects may be related to the activation of TLR4. This study provides a theoretical basis for the development of PBLs as an immune adjuvant or feed additive in the future.
The aim of this study was to determine whether serum symmetric dimethylarginine (SDMA) and cystatin C (CysC) levels can be utilized as more accurate markers of early kidney dysfunction in dogs. Forty-one client-owned dogs with chronic kidney disease (CKD), which were clinically stable, and ten beagles as healthy controls were included. All dogs underwent physical examination, systemic blood pressure measurement, complete blood cell count, and plasma biochemistry analyses. Frozen serum was used for SDMA and CysC analyses. Data analysis was performed using Kruskal Wallis, Pearson’s correlation, Bland-Altman plots, and receiver operating characteristic curve. SDMA and CysC levels were significantly higher in patients with CKD at various International Renal Interest Society (IRIS) stages than in the healthy controls. In particular, CysC level was the only biomarker that could indicate the earliest stage of CKD (IRIS stage I). Similar to these results, CysC level showed better sensitivity and specificity compared to the other biomarkers in early CKD dogs.
Transplantation medicine is used for the treatment of severe canine diseases, and the dog leukocyte antigen (DLA) is considered to be important in graft rejection. However, the utility of direct sequencing of both DLA classes I and II has not been assessed thoroughly. Eight healthy beagles with identified DLA genes were divided into two sets of four dogs, each including one donor and three recipients for skin transplantation. The following recipients were selected: one dog with a complete match, one with a haploidentical match, and one with a complete mismatch of the DLA gene with the donor. Full-thickness skin segments were obtained from each donor and transplanted to the recipients. A mixed lymphocyte reaction (MLR) assay was performed and analyzed by flow cytometry. Skin grafts of DLA haploidentical and mismatched pairs were grossly rejected within 14 days, whereas in fully matched DLA pairs, survival was as long as 21 days. Histopathological evaluation also showed moderate to severe lymphocytic infiltration and necrosis in DLA mismatched pairs. As seen in the MLR assay, the stimulation index of DLA mismatched pairs was significantly higher than that of fully matched DLA pairs in both sets (P<0.001). The allogeneic transplantation results suggested that it is possible to prolong transplant engraftment by completely matching the DLA genotype between the donor and recipient. Additionally, the MLR assay may be used as a simplified in vitro method to select donors.
This study aimed to analyze the pharmacokinetics of enrofloxacin (ERFX) and its metabolite ciprofloxacin (CPFX) in plasma, as well as their migration to, and retention in, the epithelial lining fluid (ELF) and alveolar cells within the bronchoalveolar fluid (BALF). Four healthy calves were subcutaneously administered a single dose of ERFX (5 mg/kg). ERFX and CPFX dynamics post-administration were analyzed via a non-compartment model, including the absorption phase. The Cmax of plasma ERFX was 1.6 ± 0.4 µg/ml at 2.3 ± 0.5 hr post-administration and gradually decreased to 0.14 ± 0.03 µg/ml at 24 hr following administration. The mean residence time between 0 and 24 hr (MRT0–24) in plasma was 6.9 ± 1.0 hr. ERFX concentrations in ELF and alveolar cells peaked at 3.0 ± 2.0 hr and 4.0 ± 2.3 hr following administration, respectively, and gradually decreased to 0.9 ± 0.8 µg/ml and 0.8 ± 0.5 µg/ml thereafter. The plasma half-life (t1/2) of ERFX was 6.5 ± 0.7 hr, while that in ELF and alveolar cells was 6.5 ± 3.6 and 7.4 ± 4.3 hr, respectively. The Cmax and the area under the concentration-time curve for 0–24 hr for ERFX were significantly higher in alveolar cells than in plasma (P<0.05). These results suggest that ERFX is distributed at high concentrations in ELF and is retained at high concentrations in alveolar cells after 24 hr in the BALF region; hence, ERFX may be an effective therapeutic agent against pneumonia.
The purpose of this study was to clarify the distribution of marbofloxacin (MBFX) within the bronchoalveolar region of pigs. Four clinically healthy pigs were intramuscularly injected with a single dose of MBFX (2 mg/kg). Samples of plasma and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) were obtained for each pig at 0 (before administration), 3, 8 and 24 hr after administration of MBFX. As a result, the MBFX concentrations in pulmonary epithelial lining fluid (ELF) and in alveolar cells showed a similar pattern of concentrations during the experimental period. The MBFX concentrations both in ELF and alveolar cells were higher than in plasma. These results suggest that intramuscularly injected MBFX was well distributed in the bronchoalveolar region.
Hepatobiliary diseases of animals are frequently diagnosed by a combination of imaging, clinical pathology, and histopathology. A standardized surgical liver biopsy protocol, however, has not been established in veterinary medicine with regard to the selection of lobe and site of the liver to yield the most diagnostic information. To address this matter, we histologically examined 33 livers of autopsied dogs from which tissue samples of 4 different lobes as well as 4 different sites of each lobe were prepared. We measured the hepatic lobular diameter (HLD) as an objective variable to refer to the inter-lobar or inter-site difference among the biopsied samples. A measurement of 2,623 hepatic lobules resulted in 1.042 mm as the average of all the HLD values. Statistical analysis further revealed that the HLD tended to be small in a superficial 2 mm area of the liver parenchyma regardless of biopsy location, thus this area should be evaluated carefully by pathologists. The results also suggest that the HLD values of the quadrate lobe may measure smaller than those in the other lobes. Therefore, one would be able to obtain representative data of the entire liver by taking a sample from any single lobe except for the quadrate lobe. HLD measurements are needed in order to accumulate potentially useful information on the microanatomy and pathophysiology of the liver.
An adult male Hooded Crane was found dead on the Izumi plane. At autopsy, subcutaneous nodules were found around the medial and lateral sides of the left distal tibiotarsus bone. The largest cross-section of the masses revealed a multilobular pattern, with small amounts of viscous mucus. Histopathologically, the nodules were composed of three types of neoplastic cells: chondrocytic cells with abundant lightly basophilic cartilaginous matrices, mesenchymal cells and a small portion of the neoplastic tissue consisted of undifferentiated neoplastic cells exhibiting a high mitotic count and frequent multinucleation. This is the first case of a chondrosarcoma including undifferentiated neoplastic cell proliferation in a wild Hooded Crane.
Alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma (ARMS) is a rare mesenchymal tumor with differentiation toward the skeletal muscle. Although several cases of canine ARMS have been reported in veterinary medicine, only one case of abdominal ARMS has been reported in a cow. A 13-month-old, Japanese black heifer was referred for pus-like nasal discharge. On autopsy, an 11 × 7 × 4.5-cm pedunculated mass closed to the left palatine tonsillar sinus that occupied the laryngopharynx. Histopathological and immunohistochemical analyses indicated that the tumor was a typical ARMS. To the best of our knowledge, this has been the first case of primary pharyngeal ARMS in a Japanese black heifer, which is rare among cows. Nonetheless, its characteristics, including site, age and subtype, are identical to those among humans and dogs.
An 8-year-and-9-month-old male, lop-eared rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) presented with gradual enlargement of the left eye to 4 × 4 × 4 cm and exophthalmos. The animal died 3 months later, and necropsy was performed. On gross pathology, the intraocular tissue was effaced and occluded by a hard, light-gray mass. Histologically, the mass comprised spindle-shaped to angular cells arranged in interlacing bundles with abundant production of osteoid, bone and cartilage, consistent with osteosarcoma. Limited cases of intraocular neoplasm have been reported in pet rabbits. To the best of our knowledge, this represents the first pathologic documentation of intraocular osteosarcoma in a rabbit.
We previously reported a novel diagnostic method using follicle-sinus complexes (FSCs) in the muzzle skin for postmortem diagnosis of rabies in dogs. However, whether this method works in other animal species remains unclear. Here, FSCs were collected from a wolf, a red fox, 2 bats, and a cat, and examined for the presence of viral antigen, viral mRNA, and viral particles. Viral antigen and viral mRNA were confirmed in Merkel cells (MCs) in FSCs of all species. Electron microscopy performed using only samples from wolf and cat confirmed viral particles in MCs of FSCs. These results suggested that this novel diagnostic method using FSCs might be useful for detection of rabies not only in domestic but also wild animals.
This study describes the clinical presentation of ruminal and reticular foreign body syndrome (RRFBS), and evaluates the effect of mineral deficiency on its occurrence in dromedary camels. Thirty dromedary camels were divided into two groups. Group 1 (control) included 10 apparently healthy she-camels. Group 2 consisted of twenty dromedary camels diagnosed with RRFBS on the basis of clinical, ultrasonographic, hematological, and biochemical examinations. Clinical findings showed decreased appetite and milk yield, tympany, and gradual body weight loss. Ultrasonographic examinations revealed the presence of hyperechoic material with variable degrees of shadowing. Hematological evaluation showed a significant (P<0.05) decrease of the total erythrocyte and lymphocyte count and a significant increase of neutrophils in the camels with RRFBS compared to the controls. Biochemical tests showed a significant elevation in the activity of serum aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT), creatine kinase (CK), glucose, creatinine, and blood urea nitrogen and a significant decrease of sodium, chloride, potassium, cobalt, iron, and selenium in the camels with RRFBS compared to the controls. Rumenotomy was performed on the 20 camels as a surgical intervention for treating the RRFBS. By the 6th month postoperatively, all surgically treated camels had completely recovered except for one with tympany and slight swelling in situ. In conclusion, trace element deficiency might play an important role in the occurrence of foreign body ingestion syndrome in dromedary camels. Moreover, clinical, ultrasonographic, hematological, and biochemical examinations are considered as tools assisting in the accurate diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment stratagem for RRFBS in camels.
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a common renal disease in dogs and cats. Renal fibrosis is a main pathologic process leading of CKD progression. Renal biopsy is the gold standard for renal fibrosis assessment. However, it is not routinely performed in clinic due to its invasiveness. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the use of ultrasonographic strain elastography (SE), which is a non-invasive method for renal tissue stiffness determination and its association with renal function. Renal strain ratios and renal function were evaluated in 13 CKD dogs (CKDD), 38 healthy dogs (HD), 17 CKD cats (CKDC) and 26 healthy cats (HC). There were significantly lower renal cortical strain ratios than medullary strain ratios in all groups (HD; P<0.01, HC; P<0.01, CKDD and CKDC; P<0.05) and significantly lower cortical and medullary strain ratios in both CKDD and CKDC than in healthy control animals of both species (P<0.0001). In dogs, the renal cortical and medullary strain ratios significantly negatively correlated with plasma creatinine (P<0.05), blood urea nitrogen (BUN; P<0.05; P<0.01, respectively), and symmetric dimethylarginine (SDMA; P<0.01). In cats, similar correlations were found for plasma creatinine (P<0.001), BUN (P<0.05; P<0.001, respectively) and SDMA (P<0.05). SE might be a promising imaging diagnostic tool for renal-elasticity evaluation, also correlating with renal functional impairment in canine and feline CKD.
Pentosan polysulfate (PPS) is a semi-synthetic sulfated polysaccharide compound which has been shown the benefits on therapeutic treatment for osteoarthritis (OA) and has been proposed as a disease modifying osteoarthritis drugs (DMOADs). This study investigated the effects of PPS on cell proliferation, particularly in cell cycle modulation and phenotype promotion of canine articular chondrocytes (AC). Canine AC were treated with PPS (0–80 µg/ml) for 24, 48 and 72 hr. The effect of PPS on cell viability, cell proliferation and cell cycle distribution were analyzed by MTT assay, DNA quantification and flow cytometry. Chondrocyte phenotype was analyzed by quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) and glycosaminoglycan (GAG) quantification. PPS significantly reduced AC proliferation through cell cycle modulation particularly by maintaining a significantly higher proportion of chondrocytes in the G1 phase and a significantly lower proportion in the S phase of the cell cycle in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. While the proportion of chondrocytes in G1 phase corresponded with the significant downregulation of cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) 1 and 4. Furthermore, the study confirms that PPS promotes a chondrogenic phenotype of AC through significant upregulation of collagen type II (Col2A1) mRNA and GAG synthesis. The effect of PPS on the inhibition of chondrocyte proliferation while promoting a chondrocyte phenotype could be beneficial in the early stages of OA treatment, which transient increase in proliferative activity of chondrocytes with subsequent phenotypic shift and less productive in an essential component of extracellular matrix (ECM) is observed.
The aims of this study were to compare the effects of an intramuscular human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) administration on corpus luteum (CL) development, plasma progesterone (P4) and estradiol (E2) concentration in ipsilateral (first-wave dominant follicle [W1DF] in the same ovary as the CL) and contralateral (W1DF and CL in opposite ovaries) cattle. Cross-bred beef heifers (Holstein × Japanese black, n=83) with synchronized ovulation were randomly assigned to either treatment with 1,500 IU hCG or no treatment on day 5 post-ovulation and were subdivided into ipsilateral (hCG treatment, n=21; no treatment, n=23) or contralateral (hCG treatment, n=17; no treatment, n=17) groups. Five heifers were excluded from the study, as they presented with double ovulation in response to hCG treatment. The effects of hCG treatment, location (ipsilateral and contralateral), and the number of days post-ovulation (days 5, 7, and 14) were analyzed using three-way ANOVA. hCG treatment significantly increased CL diameter on day 7 and plasma P4 concentration on days 7 and 14 in the contralateral group, but not the ipsilateral group. In contrast, hCG treatment decreased plasma E2 concentration on days 7 and 14 in both groups. In summary, our results indicate that the hCG treatment more significantly promoted CL development and increased plasma P4 concentration in the contralateral than in the ipsilateral group.
Cow fertility decreases with age, but the hypothalamic pathomechanisms are not understood. Anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) stimulates gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons via AMH receptor type 2 (AMHR2), and most GnRH neurons in the preoptic area (POA), arcuate nucleus (ARC), and median eminence (ME) express AMH and AMHR2. Therefore, we hypothesized that both protein amounts would differ in the anterior hypothalamus (containing the POA) and posterior hypothalamus (containing the ARC and ME) between young post-pubertal heifers and old cows. Western blot analysis showed lower (P<0.05) expressions of AMH and AMHR2 in the posterior hypothalamus, but not in the anterior hypothalamus, of old Japanese Black cows compared to young heifers. Therefore, AMH and AMHR2 were decreased in the posterior hypothalami of old cows.
Birds of a number of species have died as a result of lead (Pb) poisoning, including many Steller’s sea eagles (Haliaeetus pelagicus) and white-tailed sea eagles (Haliaeetus albicilla) in Hokkaido, the northernmost island of Japan. To address this issue, the use of any type of Pb ammunition for hunting of large animals was prohibited in Hokkaido in 2004. However, Pb poisoning is still being reported in this area, and there are few regulations regarding the use of Pb ammunition in other parts of Japan, where it has been reported that eagles and water birds have been exposed to Pb. This study was performed to accurately determine the current level of Pb exposure of birds found dead in the field or dead in the wild bird centers in Japan (June 2015–May 2018) and to identify the sources of Pb. Pb exposure was found to still be occurring in raptors and water birds in various parts of Japan. Twenty-six point five % and 5.9% of the recorded deaths of Steller’s sea eagles and white-tailed sea eagles, respectively, were found to have been poisoned by Pb. In addition, Pb isotope ratio analysis showed that both Pb rifle bullets and Pb shot pellets cause Pb exposure in birds, and these endangered eagles are also exposed to Pb in Hokkaido due to the illegal use of Pb ammunition. Changing to Pb-free ammunition, such as copper (Cu) rifle bullets, steel shot pellets, or bismuth shot pellets, will be essential for the conservation of avian species in Japan.
Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is one of the most highly contagious animal diseases. In an effort to overcome the drawbacks of the currently used inactivated foot-and-mouth disease virus vaccine, a novel recombinant protein carrying foot-and-mouth disease virus VP1 GH loop epitope linked to vesicular stomatitis virus glycoprotein was expressed in a baculovirus system. Its antigenicity was confirmed with ELISA using monoclonal antibody against foot-and-mouth disease virus. Twice immunizations one month apart in field pigs resulted in a significant antibody increase compared to the glutathione S-transferase carrier containing the same epitope and the commercial vaccine. To my knowledge, this is the first report that the recombinant protein vaccine was superior to the current vaccine. Although further studies are required to examine their immunogenicity in a large number of animals, this study sheds light on the development of a novel recombinant protein vaccine that could be easily produced in a general laboratory as an alternative to the current FMD vaccine, which requires a biosafety level 3 containment facility for vaccine production.
Dabieshan tick virus (DBV) belongs to Phlebovirus and its pathogenicity to human and animals is unknown. To investigate the presence of Dabieshan tick virus in Zhoushan, 353 ticks were collected from May 2018 to October 2019. The detection result showed that the average prevalence rate among these samples was 30.3% (107 positives out of 353 samples), which means DBVs are widely distributed in tick populations in Zhoushan of China. In a phylogenetic analysis based on the nucleotide sequences of the L and S segments of the virus (ZS-DBS-2018 tick virus) in the study, it clustered with Dabieshan tick virus (KM817666.1, KM817733.1) with a 97.1% and 99.6% nucleotide identity, respectively. Further studies involving virus isolation are required to characterize Dabieshan tick virus and to expand the geographical distribution of the sampled ticks.
Avian paramyxoviruses 1 has the ability to edit its P gene to generate three amino-coterminal proteins (P, V and W), but its kinetic change is unclear. In this study, next-generation sequencing (NGS) was used to analyze the P-gene editing of Newcastle disease virus (NDV). Transcriptome analysis of chicken embryonic tissues and bursa of fabricius showed the P-gene editing frequencies were 45.46–52.70%. To investigate the rules of P-gene editing along time, the ratio of PVW was determined by PCR based deep sequencing at multiple time points in cells infected with velogenic and lentogenic strain respectively. The results confirmed similar editing frequencies with transcriptome data and the PVW ratios were stable along time among different NDVs, but had a greater V-gene transcript on velogenic strain infection (P<0.001), which were different from previous reports. Also, it was shown that the number of inserted G residues in P-derived transcripts was not limited to +9G, and +10G transcripts were identified. These results confirmed the NDV P-gene editing frequencies and provided a novel point of view on NDV P-gene editing with NDV virulence.
The American bullfrog Rana (Aquarana) catesbeiana has been reported to show significant sexual dimorphism based on the size ratio between the tympanic membrane and the eye. In males the tympanic membrane is much larger than the eye, but not in females. The ratio has been used as a convenient criterion to discriminate sexes (sexing) in the American bullfrog, though its reliability is unknown. In this study, we examined 86 adult American bullfrogs to clarify whether the tympanic membrane long diameter/eye long diameter (Dtm/De) ratio is a reliable index to discriminate sexes in this species. In addition, we examined the growth of this sexually dimorphic trait. Results indicated that there is a significant difference but there is a small overlap in this ratio Dtm/De between sexes. The allometric comparisons showed the sexual dimorphism of the Dtm/De ratio was increased during growth and the dimorphism is attributable to the difference in the growth rate of the tympanic membrane (Dtm). Therefore, sex determination of American bullfrogs cannot be wholly reliably achieved by the Dtm/De ratio alone; other external morphological features are required in addition.
Ex situ conservation of Japanese rock ptarmigans began in 2015 with the aim of reintroducing artificially raised birds into their original habitat. However, the current raising method in captivity seems insufficient in terms of the survivability of artificially raised birds in natural conditions. Feeding management is one potential reason for such insufficiency. In this study, we performed a comprehensive analysis of the hydrophilic metabolites by LC-MS/MS for the cecal feces of Japanese rock ptarmigans under in situ and ex situ conservation to reveal their gut chemical environment. We also analyzed the developmental processes of cecal microbiomes both in situ semi-wild and ex situ captive individuals. Metabolites of nucleic acid were rich in the in situ individuals, and free amino acids were rich in the ex situ individuals. The differences in the microbiome composition between in situ and ex situ individuals were also pronounced; major genera of in situ individuals were not detected or few in ex situ individuals. The alpha diversity of the cecal microbiome of semi-wild chicks at 1 week of age was almost the same as that of their hens, while it was very low in captive individuals. Sub-therapeutic use of oxytetracycline, a diet rich in protein and energy, and isolation from adult birds are considered to be causes for these great differences in gut chemical and microbiological environment between in situ and ex situ individuals.
It is important to provide a baseline of fungal composition in the captive wildlife environment to better understand their role in overall wildlife health. The objectives were to identify species of fungi existing within wildlife animal enclosures and their environment at the National Wildlife Rescue Centre (NWRC) and the National Zoo, Malaysia and to describe their medical and veterinary importance. Samples of air, wall or floor swab, enrichment swab and soil were taken from the animal enclosures, exercise yard and enrichments at NWRC and National Zoo respectively. All samples including those pre-treated samples were plated onto Sabouraud’s Dextrose Agar (SDA). Numerous fungi were grown on all sampling SDA plates regardless by either single or multiple growth. Samples of air in both NWRC and National Zoo had the highest growth of Penicillium spp. with a prevalence of 31.2% and 83.7% respectively. Samples of swab from the wall, floor and enrichments were predominantly by Candida spp. (42.6%) in NWRC and Penicillium spp. (41.6%) in the National Zoo. Prevalence of multiple fungi isolated from the soil samples in NWRC were 57.9% and yeast species was the most common in National Zoo with a prevalence of 88.9%. Overall, 29 and 8 isolates were found in both samples from the NWRC and National Zoo with a predominant species of potential zoonotic fungi have been identified in both premises. The expected fungus Aspergillus spp. was not isolated in all samples in NWRC. Prevalent fungal species found in this study are known to cause disease in animals and humans as primary pathogen and also as opportunistic pathogens that may also cause infection. Thus, health safety precautions should be considered particularly in dealing with conservation of endangered wildlife species, along with personnel and public involvements.
Few studies have evaluated immunosuppression due to lead accumulation below the overt toxicity threshold. If low levels of lead accumulation cause immunosuppression in birds, those birds could become more susceptible to pathogens. We aimed to determine if low levels of lead accumulation lead to immunosuppression in Black-headed gulls (Chroicocephalus ridibundus). Gulls were captured in Tokyo-bay and Mikawa-bay from January to April 2019. Their blood samples were analyzed for eight items. The data were analyzed to evaluate the correlation between lead concentrations and the variables from each bay. Lead was positively correlated with the percentage of heterophils and heterophil and lymphocyte ratio and negatively with lymphocytes. Thus, low lead accumulation levels may induce changes in percentage of the heterophils and lymphocyte.
Investigating the cause of animal death is helpful to understand the reasons behind the interactions and conflicts between humans and animals. To further develop the cause of death investigation, we report a case of a Chinese spot-billed duck (Anas zonorhyncha) which hatched from a rescued duck and died 10 days after release. We inspected the duck’s cause of death using an interview of concerned people, external body examination, necropsy, and genetic examinations. Based on the fractures, the main cause of death was determined to be a traffic accident. Furthermore, molecular tests helped to detect raccoon DNA in the visible bite wounds. This case shows that molecular biological method is one of the methods of clarify the animals’ cause of death.