Recently, genotype VII of Newcastle disease virus (NDV) has become the most prevalent NDV genotype in Asia. Here the hemagglutinin-neuraminidase (HN) gene of genotype VII NDV strains isolated in Japan was analyzed. Notably, point amino acid substitutions in the HN protein at position 347, which is located on the major linear epitope of the HN protein, were found in two strains. However, by a hemagglutination inhibition assay, major antigenic differences did not exist between the studied strains. Additionally, chickens vaccinated with the B1 strain did not exhibit clinical effects after challenge with variants possessing the substitution at position 347 (E to K), whereas all unvaccinated chickens subjected to this challenge died within 5 days.
The Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae ERH_1440 gene, which encodes CDP-glycerol:poly (glycerophosphate) glycerophosphotransferase, is conserved in serovar 1a strains. The gene is usually missing or truncated in other serovar strains and therefore has been used for PCR detection of serovar 1a strains. We have previously reported a rare case of an E. rhusiopathiae serovar 2 strain possessing an intact ERH_1440. In this study, we analyzed three additional serovar 2 strains with an intact ERH_1440 and developed a new PCR assay for the specific detection and differentiation of serovar 1a strains from these serovar 2 strains. PCR with primers designed based on serovar 1a-specific gene sequences upstream of ERH_1440 showed 100% specificity for four hundred thirty Erysipelothrix strains isolated from extensive origins.
Taylorella equigenitalis causes contagious equine metritis. Here we compared seven nucleic acid amplification tests for T. equigenitalis to select a rapid and reliable diagnostic method. The 95% detection limits of each assay varied greatly: real-time PCR had the lowest detection limit (0.77 fg/reaction); those of some of the conventional PCRs (cPCRs) were >100 fg/reaction. In experimentally infected samples, real-time PCR and semi-nested PCR showed the highest positive numbers (33 out of 42 samples), but two of the cPCRs detected only 2 and 7 positive results. Our results indicate that the use of sensitive molecular assays is important for the efficient detection of T. equigenitalis in clinical samples.
To develop a novel tear substitute (TS) containing sodium hyaluronate (SH) and dodecahydrosqualene (DHS, squalane), we improved the prescription of a previously developed TS containing saline, 0.5% SH and 1% castor oil (CO), which had corneal protective effects against 60-min desiccation in a porcine dry eye model and viscosity of 106.8 mPa·S. Fresh porcine eyes were treated with a TS containing saline, 0.1%, 0.25%, 0.3% or 0.5% SH, and 1% CO or 1%, 2.5% or 5% DHS, and TS-treated eyes were desiccated for up to 180 min. The corneal damage was evaluated by the staining score of methylene blue (MB), absorbance of MB extracted from the cornea, the staining density of lissamine green (LG) and histopathology. The viscosities of the examined TS were also measured. A saline/0.5% SH/1% DHS solution had corneal protective effects for 90 min under desiccation and a viscosity of 110.0 mPa·s. A TS with saline, 0.1%, 0.25% or 0.3% SH and 1% or 2.5% DHS did not have better protective effects than a saline/0.5% SH/1% DHS solution, although a saline/0.3% SH/5% DHS solution exhibited greater corneal protection against 180-min desiccation on MB and LG staining and histopathological examination, and its viscosity was 34.5 mPa·s, which was similar to the 29.5 mPa·s of 0.3% SH. The saline/0.3% SH/5% DHS solution is available as a novel 3-hr long-lasting TS containing mucinomimetic and liquid oil components to treat and relieve dry eye symptoms in animals and humans.
Among many of the pathogens, virus is the main cause of diseases in livestock and poultry. A host infected with the virus triggers a series of innate and adaptive immunity. The realization of innate immune responses involves the participation of a series of protein molecules in host cells, including receptors, signal molecules and antiviral molecules. Post-translational modification of cellular proteins by ubiquitin regulates numerous cellular processes, including innate immune responses. Ubiquitin-mediated control over these processes can be reversed by cellular or viral deubiquitinases (DUBs). DUBs have now been identified in diverse viral lineages, and their characterization is providing valuable insights into virus biology and the role of the ubiquitin system in host antiviral mechanisms. In this review, we briefly introduce the mechanisms of ubiquitination and deubiquitination, present antiviral innate immune response and its regulation by ubiquitin, and summarize the prevalence of DUBs encoded by viruses (Arteriviridae, Asfarviridae, Nairoviridae, Coronaviridae, Herpesviridae, and Picornaviridae) infecting domestic animals and poultry. It is found that these DUBs suppress the innate immune responses mainly by affecting the production of type I interferon (IFN), which causes immune evasion of the viruses and promotes their replication. These findings have important reference significance for understanding the virulence and immune evasion mechanisms of the relevant viruses, and thus for the development of more effective prevention and treatment measures.
Our previous studies demonstrate the therapeutic efficacy against bovine diseases of an anti-bovine programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) chimeric antibody. In humans, PD-1 and PD-L1 antibodies are more effective when combined with an antibody targeting cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen 4 (CTLA-4) and these combination therapies are therefore clinically used. Here we generated an anti-bovine CTLA-4 chimeric antibody (chAb) to enhance the therapeutic efficacy of the PD-L1 antibody. We further analyzed the effects of dual blockade of CTLA-4 and PD-1 pathways on T-cell responses. The established anti-bovine CTLA-4 chAb showed comparable blocking activity on the binding of bovine CTLA-4 to CD80 and CD86 as the anti-bovine CTLA-4 mouse monoclonal antibody. Anti-bovine CTLA-4 chAb also significantly increased IL-2 production from bovine peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). Further, the combination of anti-CTLA-4 chAb with anti-PD-L1 chAb significantly upregulated IL-2 production by PBMCs. These results suggest that the combination of antibodies have higher potential to enhance immune responses against pathogens compared with single administration.
The incidence of copper-associated hepatitis in Labrador retriever in Japan has not been examined. This study examined the genotype frequencies of ATP7B:c.4358G>A, a mutation responsible for copper-associated hepatitis, and ATP7A:c.980C>T, a modifier of this disease, in Labrador retrievers of guide dog associations in Japan. Genetic material was collected by buccal swabs from 253 Labrador retrievers and genotyping was performed for the ATP7B and ATP7A mutations. The gene frequency was 0.107 for ATP7B:c.4358A. For ATP7A:c.980C, the gene frequencies were 0.703 in females and 0.368 in males. In this study, we established genotyping methods for the ATP7B:c.4358G>A and ATP7A:c.980C>T mutations. Based on the genotyping results, the risk of copper-associated hepatitis in the study population was 0.80% in males and 1.05% in females.
The vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)/VEGF receptor 2 (VEGFR2) signaling pathway plays an important role in tumor angiogenesis. VEGFR2 is expressed not only in vascular endothelial cells but also in tumor cells; however, the relationship of VEGF/VEGFR2 expression and tumor proliferation has yet to be elucidated. In addition, since several studies have reported that VEGFR2 inhibitors are more effective against epithelial tumors than mesenchymal tumors, there may be a difference in VEGF/VEGFR2 expression between epithelial and mesenchymal tumors. The purpose of this study was to elucidate differences in VEGF/VEGFR2 expression between epithelial and mesenchymal tumors and the relationship of VEGF/VEGFR2 expression and proliferation in canine tumor cells. We assessed 29 epithelial and 21 mesenchymal canine tumors for microvessel density (MVD), mRNA transcription levels of von Willebrand Factor (vWF) and endoglin, expression of VEGF, VEGFR2, and phosphorylated VEGFR2 (pVEGFR2), and proliferation index (PI) using real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemistry. VEGFR2 expression on vascular endothelial cells, MVD, and mRNA transcription levels of vWF and endoglin were not significantly different between the two groups. However, expression of VEGF, VEGFR2, and pVEGFR2 was higher in epithelial tumors (P<0.01). Moreover, PI correlated with pVEGFR2 expression in only epithelial tumors (P<0.01, Rs=0.543). These results suggest that the activity of VEGF/VEGFR2 signaling in tumor cells is raised in epithelial tumors, and that this signaling pathway may be related to tumor cell proliferation in epithelial tumors.
Intestinal lymphangiectasia (IL) is a common complication in dogs. Since nitric oxide (NO) is known to relax the lymphatic vessel, we evaluated inducible NO synthase (iNOS) expression using immunohistochemistry in 13 dogs with lymphoplasmacytic enteritis (LPE) with or without IL. The duodenal iNOS expressing cells were significantly increased in dogs with IL-negative or IL-positive LPE dogs (P=0.025, P=0.007) compared with control dogs. However, there was no significant difference in iNOS expression between IL-positive and IL-negative tissues. Based on these results, there is no clear evidence for the NO overproduction in the pathogenesis of IL in dogs with LPE. Factors other than NO could, thus, contribute to IL in dogs with LPE.
C-C chemokine receptor 7 (CCR7) contributes to cell homing to lymph nodes (LNs). Recent studies reported that CCR7 is also expressed in tumor cells, which correlates with LN metastasis in various cancers. However, the expression of CCR7 in tumor cells is unknown in dogs due to the lack of appropriate antibodies. In the present study, a fusion protein of C-C chemokine ligand 19 (CCL19) was employed as an alternative method to CCR7 antibodies. The fusion CCL19 protein specifically detected CCR7 expressed in canine lymphoma cell lines, which showed active chemotaxis to both canine and mouse ligands. The present study will help further research on the involvement of canine CCR7 in LN metastasis.
A 5-day-old male crossbred beef calf presented with a well-coordinated bilateral hopping gait of the hind limbs. Postmortem CT showed a poorly defined oval-shaped region at the L3–L4 spinal segments, which had high signal intensity on T2 weighted postmortem MRI images. On pathological examination, we identified a large cystic cavity filled with a large amount of cerebrospinal fluid on the cut surface of the spinal region. Histopathological examination revealed that the spinal cord parenchyma was compressed by the cystic structure, and the cystic cavity was lined with a thin layer of discrete ependymal cells, indicating syringohydromyelia. This is the first reported case of a Holstein-Friesian × Japanese Black crossbred calf with solitary syringohydromyelia. Our findings suggest that myelodysplasia with cystic cavities can be suspected by CT, without the need for MRI.
A 13-year-old spayed female Cavalier King Charles Spaniel presented with chronic swelling and pruritus on the palmar aspect of the left forepaw and on the tail. Cutaneous epitheliotropic lymphoma (CEL) was diagnosed by histopathology and immunocytochemistry. Prednisolone was initially used alone as an alternative treatment for CEL. Despite long-term corticosteroid therapy, the patient’s physiological (pruritus) and dermatological signs (alopecia, erythema, erosion, and ulceration with crust) progressed and showed no evidence of improvement. To address the worsening condition of pruritus, lokivetmab was started in combination with prednisolone. Once on lokivetmab, the pruritus steadily improved and was effective in resolving and maintaining remission. Further investigation on the critical role of IL-31 in the pruritus pathway of dogs with CEL is required.
A 5-year-old female cat with nonregenerative anemia and thrombocytopenia was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), since peripheral blood and bone marrow (BM) examination revealed various dysplasias and a blast ratio of 19%. Chemotherapy with azacytidine (AZA; 70–35 mg/m2, 3–5 days, three cycles) and treatment with prednisolone, antibiotics, and vitamin K2, and blood transfusion were performed. On day 106, blast cells and dysplasia had decreased in the BM, and the cat remained alive for at least 1,474 days. This report is the first on feline MDS treated with AZA, suggesting appropriate drug dosage, interval and effective combination should be investigated and the pharmacological and cell biological mechanisms needs to be elucidated in the future.
Severe adverse reactions in cats after vaccination were examined from 316 cases reported to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) in Japan during 15-year period from April 2004 to March 2019. We found that 130 (41%) showed anaphylaxis, and 99 (76%) of the 130 cases of anaphylaxis resulted in death. Veterinarians should be well prepared to deal with vaccine-associated anaphylaxis in cats. Bovine serum albumin (BSA) as indicator of purification was detected at high levels in commercially available feline vaccines. BSA might derive from fetal calf serum in culture media. This study provides useful information about anaphylaxis including critical details of the potential clinical signs associated with adverse events to feline vaccination.
To investigate the prevalence of Cryptosporidium spp. and Enterocytozoon bieneusi from large-scale cattle farms in Anhui Province, 955 fecal samples were collected from 16 cattle farms from March to October 2018, which included six dairy farms (526), seven yellow cattle farms (323), and three water buffalo farms (106) in different regions of Anhui Province. PCR was conducted on all fecal samples using the 18S ribosomal RNA of Cryptosporidium spp. and internal transcribed spacer gene of E. bieneusi to detect these two pathogens, and the positive samples were sequenced and analyzed. The results showed that 23 (2.4%) and 40 (4.2%) out of the 955 samples were positive for Cryptosporidium spp. and E. bieneusi, respectively. There were 11 (2.1%), 10 (3.1%), and 2 (1.9%) positive samples of Cryptosporidium spp. and 16 (3.0%), 23 (7.1%), and 1 (0.9%) positive samples of E. bieneusi collected from dairy cattle, yellow cattle, and water buffalo, respectively, and no co-infection was identified in this study. All positive samples of Cryptosporidium spp. were C. andersoni with some variations. Ten E. bieneusi genotypes were obtained, including two known genotypes, J and CHN11, and eight new genotypes, named AHDC1 and AHYC1-7. The genotype CHN11 belonged to zoonotic Group 1, and the other nine genotypes belonged to Group 2, which is mainly documented in ruminants. These results indicated that Cryptosporidium spp. and E. bieneusi infections were present in large-scale cattle farms in Anhui Province. Therefore, attention should be paid to the development of containment strategies of these two pathogens in cattle.
We detected the classical swine fever virus (CSFV) antigen in three boar-pig hybrids (hybrids) and three pigs. All animals were experimentally infected with CSFV strain JPN/27/2019 to optimize diagnostic sampling and risk assessment of virus dissemination. Two hybrids died 17- and 19-days post-inoculation (dpi). The other animals were euthanized at 28 dpi. The detection of CSFV antigen at 28 dpi in epithelial cells of the apocrine sweat and sebaceous glands in the skin, salivary glands, mucosal epithelial cells in the rectum, and epithelial cells in the kidney and urinary bladder, suggests that CSFV persists in these tissues and spreads via sweat, saliva, feces, and urine for at least 4 weeks. These findings reveal that hybrids and pigs represent a high risk of virus dissemination four weeks after infection with CSFV strain JPN/27/2019. Prominent CSFV antigens were also detected in hair follicles of the skin. These results suggest that postmortem sampling of animal skin may be effective for CSF diagnosis and can be used to develop a rapid and easy diagnostic method using hair follicles.
A 179-day-old calf, which was weak and stunted, showed neurological signs and was euthanized. Postmortem examination revealed extensive and severe cloudy area in the meninges, and pleural pneumonia. Gram-positive cocci were isolated from systemic organs. Biochemical and 16S rRNA gene sequence analyses identified the isolate as Streptococcus gallolyticus, and its subspecies was suggested to be gallolyticus (SGG). The isolate was classified as a novel sequence type (ST115) by the multilocus sequence typing scheme for SGG and showed susceptibility to penicillin, ampicillin, amoxicillin, florfenicol, sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim, and chloramphenicol. Histopathologically, suppurative meningoencephalitis and perineuritis were detected. As SGG has been isolated solely from a cow with mastitis in Japan, this is the first SGG infection in a calf with suppurative meningoencephalitis and perineuritis in this country.
The present study was undertaken to examine whether oral administration of colostrum to mastitic cows reduced inflammation in the udder. Fifty milliliters of a colostrum whey product was administered orally daily for 3 days to cows suffering from mastitis. Milk was collected on day 0 and 7 of colostrum administration. For Experiment 1, milk from 11 udder quarters with high somatic cell counts (SCC) in four cows was used. SCC in milk decreased significantly after colostrum administration, whereas colostrum administration increased sodium and IgA concentrations significantly compared with those before administration. In Experiment 2, cows with clinical mastitis were divided into two groups, with and without colostrum administration, whereas all cows with subclinical mastitis were administered colostrum. Antibiotics were infused into the mammary gland from the first day of colostrum administration for 2–4 days. There was no significant decrease in SCC after colostrum administration in any group. However, udder firmness in both clinical mastitis groups was reduced after administration regardless of colostrum administration. IgA concentration in both clinical mastitis groups was significantly increased after colostrum administration compared to that before administration, although there was no significant difference between them. These results suggest the possibility that oral administration of colostrum attenuates inflammation of the mammary gland. Further studies are required to examine the effect of colostrum more precisely using cows with subclinical and chronic mastitis and longer duration of colostrum administration.
Transcatheter arterial embolization (TAE) and transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE) are standard treatments for advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and particularly for unresectable tumors or liver metastases in humans. However, reports on TACE used in veterinary medicine are few. This study aimed to evaluate the feasibility and safety of drug-eluting bead transarterial chemoembolization (DEB-TACE). We performed DEB-TACE in four clinically normal dogs and pharmacokinetically compared the results against hepatic arterial infusion (HAI) of cisplatin in two dogs. Drug-eluting beads (DEB) loaded with cisplatin were injected through a microcatheter for selective embolization of the left hepatic artery. After embolization, computed tomography (CT) images and histological examination findings were obtained during a 4-week observation period. Serum platinum concentrations were measured to evaluate cisplatin after each procedure. Biochemical analysis was performed during a 12-week observation period. Embolization was successful in all dogs, and there were no clinically apparent abnormalities. Embolization was confirmed up to 4 weeks after DEB-TACE in two of the four dogs and up to 1 week in the other two dogs using postoperative CT images. Cisplatin was not detected in peripheral veins in all dogs after DEB-TACE, but it was detected in trace amounts after HAI. DEB-TACE using cisplatin was safe and well tolerated by normal dogs. DEB-TACE may be useful in terms of determining systemic toxicity and drug concentration within tumors.
The standard procedure to treat oronasal fistula in dogs requires tooth extraction to close the fistula; hence, the subject would lose its tooth. In this study, trafermin was applied to four dog models with oronasal fistula to investigate the periodontal tissue regenerative effects of trafermin in the treatment without tooth extraction. A fistula was created along the palatal side of each upper canine tooth. One of the fistulae was filled with trafermin, whereas that on the contralateral side was left unfilled as a control. The results showed a significant decrease in the non-calcified periodontal tissue volume on the trafermin side after the fourth week. In addition, oronasal fistula closure was visually and histologically confirmed at the eighth week on the trafermin side of all four models.
A 1-year-old domestic shorthair cat was evaluated for a chronic history of back pain, dysuria, and paraplegia. Radiographic and computed tomographic examinations showed circumferential widening of the vertebral canal at T13 and T14. A spinal epidural abscess (SEA) compressing the spinal cord from the level of T11 to L1 was suspected following intravenous contrast administration, and was confirmed by surgical exploration and histopathological analysis. The cat recovered its motor and bladder functions following surgical decompression and antibiotic therapy. SEA is a neurological emergency requiring prompt treatment. However, the present case had a prolonged disease course and pressure atrophy of the vertebrae was strongly suspected. To our knowledge, this imaging finding has not been reported in dogs or cats with SEA.
Equine-Assisted Therapy (EAT) is gaining popularity. Ultrasound examination is used to decrease the abortion rate in horses. In this study, to monitor fetal well-being throughout the gestation for EAT, we measured fetal heart rate (FHR), fetal eye orbit (FEO), fetal gonad length (FGL), fetal kidney length (FKL), and the combined thickness of the uterus and placenta (CTUP) by ultrasonography in pony mares. Additionally, we measured the plasma progesterone (P4) and estradiol (E2) concentrations in pregnant horses using enzyme immunoassay. The FGL peaked at week 32 and then decreased to term, and a strong correlation (r=0.72, P<0.001) between the FGL and E2 concentration was observed. A strong correlation with gestational age was detected among the FEO (r=0.96, P<0.001), FKL (r=0.85, P<0.001), and CTUP (r=0.96, P<0.001). The P4 concentration peaked at week 10, decreased to low levels (below 5 ng/ml), and peaked before parturition. In conclusion, this study provides information on fetal growth throughout gestation in pony mares for EAT. In addition, it revealed the relationship between ultrasonographic profile and plasma hormone concentrations during gestation.
Tris(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate (TDCIPP) is widely used as a flame retardant and is known to exhibit anti-androgenic effects in vitro and in vivo. To assess the reproductive toxicity potency of TDCIPP, we investigated the effects of 7 days of TDCIPP oral administration on epididymal sperm motion and concentration in adult male Wistar–Imamichi rats. Thirty-five days after the final administration, sperm parameters were evaluated by computer-assisted sperm analysis. Results showed that sperm swimming progression and vigor and sperm concentration in TDCIPP-treated rats were unexpectedly higher than those in control rats. TDCIPP did not significantly affect the percentage of motile sperms or sperm swimming pattern. These results contribute to the understanding of the biological effects of TDCIPP.
Kabuto Mountain virus (KAMV), the new member of the genus Uukuvirus, was isolated from the tick Haemaphysalis flava in 2018 in Japan. To date, there is no information on KAMV infection in human and animals. Therefore, serological surveillance of the infection among humans and wild mammals was conducted by virus-neutralization (VN) test and indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA). Sera of 24 humans, 59 monkeys, 171 wild boars, 233 Sika deer, 7 bears, and 27 nutria in Yamaguchi Prefecture were analyzed by VN test. The positive ratio of humans, monkeys, wild boars, and Sika deer were 20.8%, 3.4%, 33.9% and 4.7%, respectively. No positive samples were detected in bears and nutria. The correlation coefficients between VN test and IFA in human, monkey, wild boar, and Sika deer sera were 0.5745, 0.7198, 0.9967 and 0.9525, respectively. In addition, KAMV was detected in one pool of Haemaphysalis formosensis ticks in Wakayama Prefecture. These results indicated that KAMV or KAMV-like virus is circulating among many wildlife and ticks, and that this virus incidentally infects humans.
Although verogenic Newcastle disease viruses (NDVs) generally cause subclinical infection in waterfowls such as ducks, NDVs with high virulence in waterfowl have been sporadically reported. We previously reported that the NDV d5a20b strain, which is obtained by serial passaging of the velogenic 9a5b strain in domestic ducks, showed increased virulence in ducks (Hidaka et al., 2021). The d5a20b strain had 11 amino acid substitutions in its P/V, M, F, HN, and L proteins as compared to 9a5b. In the present study, we generated a series of recombinant (r) NDVs with these amino acid substitutions to identify the molecular basis of virulence of NDV in ducks, and evaluated their influences on virulence and in vitro viral properties. Each of the single amino acid substitutions in either the F protein I142M or the M protein Q44R contributed to the enhancement of intracerebral and intranasal pathogenicity in domestic ducks. The cell-cell fusion activity of the virus with F I142M was five times higher than that of the parental r9a5b. The virus with M Q44R rapidly replicated in duck embryo fibroblasts. Additionally, the rM+F+HN strain, which has the same amino acid sequences as d5a20b in M, F, and HN proteins, showed the highest level of virulence and replication efficiency among the generated recombinant viruses, nearly comparable to rd5a20b. These results suggest that multiple factors are involved in the high growth ability of NDV in duck cells, leading to increased virulence in vivo.
Foamy viruses have been isolated from various mammals and show long-term co-speciation with their hosts. However, the frequent inter-species transmission of feline foamy viruses (FFVs) from domestic cats to wild cats across genera has been reported. Because infectious molecular clones of FFVs derived from wild cats have not been available, whether there are specific characteristics enabling FFVs to adapt to the new host species is still unknown. Here, we obtained the complete genome sequences of two FFV isolates (strains NV138 and SV201) from leopard cats (Prionailurus bengalensis) in Vietnam and constructed an infectious molecular clone, named pLC960, from strain NV138. The growth kinetics of the virus derived from pLC960 were comparable to those of other FFVs derived from domestic cats. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that these two FFVs from leopard cats are clustered in the same clade as FFVs from domestic cats in Vietnam. Comparisons of the amino acid sequences of Env and Bet proteins showed more than 97% identity among samples and no specific amino acid substitutions between FFVs from domestic cats and ones from leopard cats. These results indicate the absence of genetic constraint of FFVs for interspecies transmission from domestic cats to leopard cats.
In this study, a total of nine chicken samples obtained from two broiler flocks in Oita and Tottori prefectures in 2020 were examined for Chicken anemia virus (CAV) infection. The samples were collected from clinically suspected flocks and diseased chickens. The CAV genome was detected in all nine samples tested by real-time PCR. Phylogenetic analyses and sequence comparisons of the full-length VP1 gene sequences indicated that all the Japanese CAV strains obtained in this study formed a similar cluster of genotype III and shared high nucleotide (99.62–100%) identity. The current Japanese CAV strains were closely related to Chinese CAV strains but not related to vaccine strains. One positive selection site of VP1 was detected among the Japanese CAV strains.
Northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus) have a distinct life history pattern comprising annual terrestrial breeding and oceanic migration, and the physiological changes associated with these patterns are of particular interest for understanding their environmental adaptations. However, owing to their oceanic distribution, limited information is available on the reproductive physiology of wild individuals during the immature stage and the winter migration period. This study aimed to determine the relationships among the seasonal hormone profiles, body growth, age, and pregnancy using monthly serum samples collected over 3–5 years from two male and two female captive individuals during pubescence and sexual maturation. Small increases in the serum testosterone signaled puberty in males aged 3 and 4 years. Thereafter, males showed considerable increases in testosterone during breeding seasons, indicating sexual maturity. Immature female serum progesterone was maintained at low levels, but after pubescence, females showed an increase in serum progesterone in August, the month next to the peak of delivery, followed by a decrease. In non-pregnant females, progesterone did not increase significantly until the next breeding season, but in pregnant females, they increased again from February to March and then gradually decreased. Immature males increased body mass constantly and reached puberty when their body mass exceeded 20 kg, and they showed seasonal weight fluctuations after puberty. These results provide fundamental information for determining sexual maturity and pregnancy in this species based on sex steroid hormones and body mass measurements.
The plains zebra (Equus quagga) is a zebra species commonly kept in zoos around the world. However, they are not tame like their domestic relatives and are difficult to immobilize. We immobilized 30 captive plains zebra with a combination of etorphine hydrochloride (2–4 mg), acepromazine (8 mg), and xylazine hydrochloride (30 or 50 mg) to perform physical examination and blood sample collection for disease diagnostics. Physiological parameters including heart rate, respiratory rate, body temperature, and hemoglobin oxygen saturation were recorded. All zebras exhibited satisfactory anesthesia and fully recovered without re-narcotization. The results suggest that etorphine hydrochloride-acepromazine-xylazine hydrochloride combination for plains zebra immobilization is a safe and sufficient regimen for short procedures such as wellness examinations and sample collection.