Samples from eleven birds (chicken, dove and peacock) with symptoms of fowlpox, caused by the avipoxvirus (APV), were collected in seven different areas of the Windhoek district, Namibia between April and October 2021. A fragment of the 4b core protein and the DNA polymerase gene of APV were amplified by PCR from the DNA of the samples and sequenced. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the viruses present in the chickens all belonged to clade A1 while the viruses in the doves and peacock were from subclade A3.1. This is the first report of subclade A3.1 avipoxvirus in peacock. In addition, all of the samples obtained from chickens were shown by PCR to be positive for the integration of reticuloendotheliosis virus while those from the doves and peacocks were negative. This study is the first characterization of avipoxvirus in Namibia and provides additional information on the presence of avipoxvirus in southern Africa.
The species of the genus Actinobacillus have so far been associated with specific animal hosts, and A. suis sensu stricto, an opportunistic pathogen of swine, is rarely isolated from ruminants. We describe here the isolation of A. suis sensu stricto from a newborn calf that died on a dairy farm in Japan. Identification of the isolate was performed by phenotypic and genotypic characterization, with the latter consisting of nucleotide sequence analyses of the 16S rRNA gene plus three housekeeping genes, rpoB, infB and recN.
Canine transitional cell carcinoma (cTCC) is the most common naturally occurring bladder cancer and accounts for 1–2% of canine tumors. The prognosis is poor due to the high rate of invasiveness and metastasis at diagnosis. Sorafenib is a multi-kinase inhibitor that targets rapidly accelerated fibrosarcoma (RAF), vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR)-1, VEGFR-2, VEGFR-3, platelet-derived growth factor receptor-β (PDGFR-β), and KIT. In previous studies, a somatic mutation of B-rapidly accelerated fibrosarcoma (BRAF) and expressions of VEGFR-2 and PDGFR-β were observed in over 80% of patients with cTCC. Therefore, in this study, we investigated the anti-tumor effects of sorafenib on cTCC. Five cTCC cell lines were used in the in vitro experiments. All five cTCC cell lines expressed VEGFR-2 and PDGFR-β and sorafenib showed growth inhibitory effect on cTCC cell lines. Cell cycle arrest at the G0/G1 phase and subsequent apoptosis were observed following sorafenib treatment. In the in vivo experiments, cTCC (Sora) cells were subcutaneously injected into nude mice. Mice were orally administered with sorafenib (30 mg/kg daily) for 14 days. Sorafenib inhibited tumor growth compared to vehicle control. The necrotic area in the tumor tissues was increased in the sorafenib-treated group. Sorafenib also inhibited angiogenesis in the tumor microenvironment. Thus, sorafenib may be potential therapeutic agent for cTCC via its direct anti-tumor effect and inhibition of angiogenesis.
Interactions between tumor and immune cells within the tumor microenvironment play an important role in tumor progression, and small extracellular vesicles (EVs) derived from these tumor cells have been shown to exert immunomodulatory effects on various immune cells, including macrophages and lymphocytes. Although the immunomodulatory effects of small EVs derived from human cancer cells have been intensively investigated, few studies have investigated the effects of lymphoma-derived small EVs on macrophages in both human and veterinary medicine. Here, we evaluated the effects of canine lymphoma-derived small EVs on canine primary monocytes, which are the major source of macrophages in neoplastic tissues. Comprehensive gene expression analysis of these treated monocytes revealed their distinct activation via the Toll-like receptor (TLR) and NF-κβ signaling pathways. In addition, treatment with lymphoma small EVs increased the secretion of MCP-1, which induces the infiltration and migration of monocytes and lymphocytes in neoplastic and cancer tissues. The results of this study indicate that canine lymphoma small EVs activate monocytes, possibly through the activation of TLR and NF-κβ signaling pathways, and induce monocytes to secrete of MCP-1, which might contribute to immune cell infiltration within the tumor microenvironment.
A two-year-old male domestic cat showed lethargy, tonic-clonic convulsion, and mucosal jaundice. Upon admission, blood examination indicated severe neutropenia and thrombocytopenia, and ultrasonography revealed diffuse splenomegaly with a honeycomb appearance and abdominal lymph nodes enlargement in addition to a decrease in cardiac blood flow indicating a shock condition. Cytology of the spleen showed a cell population composed of immature large lymphoid cells with distinct nucleoli, suggesting lymphoma. The cat received symptomatic treatments but died four hours later. Reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction assay of the spleen sample indicated the presence of severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) virus S gene segment. Clinical features of this case that was diagnose as SFTS were similar to lymphoma. Therefore, pet owners and veterinary workers should be protected against infection of SFTS.
Spontaneous dwarf rat (SDR) is a primary experimental animal model for the study of pituitary dwarfism with a point mutation in the Gh gene encoding growth hormone (GH). In previous studies, SDR has been reported to be associated with the GH deficiency as well as combined hormone deficiencies, the cause of which is unknown. In this study, we focused on the characteristics of pituitary stem/progenitor cell populations, which are a source of hormone-producing cells, in SDR. Immunofluorescence and quantitative real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) analyses confirmed the defects in GH-producing cells, the decreased number of prolactin- and thyroid-stimulating hormone-producing cells, and the increased number of adrenocorticotropic hormone- and luteinizing hormone-producing cells. Additionally, qRT-PCR analysis showed increased Prop1 (an embryonic stem/progenitor cell marker) expression and decreased S100b (a putative adult stem/progenitor cell marker) expression in SDRs. In the pituitary stem/progenitor cell niche, the marginal cell layer, the proportion of SOX2/PROP1-double positive cells was higher in adult SDRs than in adult Sprague Dawley (SD) rats but that of SOX2/S100β-double positive cells was much lower. Furthermore, the number of SOX2/PROP1-double positive cells in SD rats significantly decreased with growth; however, the decrease was smaller in SDRs. In contrast, the number of SOX2/S100β-double positive cells in SD rats significantly increased with growth; however, they were few in SDRs. Thus, S100β-positive pituitary stem/progenitor cells failed to settle in pituitary dwarfism with the Gh gene mutation, leading to multiple hypopituitarism including GH deficiency.
This study aimed to produce a Theileria-free grazing system for Holstein heifers reared on a dairy farm in the Hita area, Kyushu, Japan. In the grazing area, spreading of T. orientalis infection was confirmed in 2009. To eradicate the T. orientalis infection, four measures were conducted: 1) 7-year deferred grazing; 2) grazing only T. orientalis-uninfected heifers; 3) anemia check by red blood cell parameters at least once per month; and 4) protecting heifers from blood-sucking T. orientalis-infected ticks. Grazing was restarted in 2017 in the same area and continued to 2021. During last 2 years of pasturing (2020–2021) all of the 129 heifers were confirmed to be T. orientalis-free. In summary, it is possible to establish a T. orientalis-free grazing system by conducting appropriate measures.
A two-months-old, male, mixed breed cat presented with epileptic seizures. The cat was diagnosed with drug-resistant epilepsy, and died at 3-years of age. No gross lesion was found at necropsy. Histopathologically, the dentate gyrus granule cell layer of the hippocampus was irregularly arranged. Granule cells were dispersed and ectopic cells were sporadically observed in the molecular layer. The granule cells had an enlarged cytoplasm and swollen nucleus. Immunohistochemistry for NeuN and GFAP confirmed severe neuronal loss and mild gliosis in CA1. Binucleation and ischemic change were observed in the remaining pyramidal cells. This report describes a case of feline temporal lobe epilepsy and hippocampal sclerosis associated with dentate gyrus malformation.
As gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) is expressed in the thymus, its direct action on thymic cells, including thymic involution, has been suggested. Annexin A5 (ANXA5), a biomarker of GnRH, was used to determine whether GnRH affects the thymus of male rats. Immunohistochemistry showed positive reactions for ANXA5 in large medullary epithelial cells at 30 days of age, and the expression continued until 180 days of age. Organ culture of thymus pieces was performed to examine the direct action of a GnRH agonist (GnRHa) on the expression of Anxa5 and Gnrh mRNA. Thymus tissues obtained from male rats (40–60 days old) were cut into small pieces (2–3 mm3) and incubated for 3 hr with the GnRHa. The expression levels of Anxa5 and Gnrh mRNA were augmented by the GnRHa. Immunohistochemistry of these tissue fragments showed that ANXA5 expression was enhanced, especially in medullary epithelial cells. These results revealed that GnRH synthesis in the thymus could affect thymic epithelial cells after puberty.
Polyunsaturated fatty acids, including arachidonic acid (AA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), are converted to hundreds of lipid mediators by cyclooxygenases (COX), lipoxygenases (LOX), and cytochrome P450 (CYP), or through non-enzymatic processes, and they reflect inflammatory states of the body. We comprehensively analyzed lipid metabolites in dog urine using a liquid chromatograph-mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) to describe their metabolic characteristics. We detected 31 AA-derived metabolites, four EPA-derived metabolites, and a DHA-derived metabolite in all urine samples. Among AA-derived metabolites, 15, 5, 3, and 8 were generated by COX, LOX, CYP, and non-enzymatic oxidation respectively. This study will be the first step to use profiles of urinary lipid metabolites for better understanding and diagnosis of canine diseases.
Although feline idiopathic cystitis (FIC) distresses of many cats, its pathogenesis is unknown and the diagnosis is challenging. Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are metabolized into various lipid mediators. Lipid mediators such as prostaglandins (PGs) modulate inflammation and many of them are excreted into the urine. Thus, the investigation of the urinary lipid profile may reveal pathogenesis and help diagnosis of FIC. We collected urine samples from five FIC cats by spontaneous urination and analyzed 158 types of lipid mediators in urines using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. The urinary levels of PUFAs were higher in FIC compared to those of the healthy group. The excretions of a major inflammatory mediator, PGD2, were less in FIC. Other well-known inflammatory mediators such as PGE2, PGI2, and their metabolites did not show a difference. In contrast, the levels of PGF2α and its 2 metabolites and PGF3α were higher in FIC. These results may provide new insights into the future management of cat FIC.
Angiogenesis plays an important role in the proliferation and metastasis mechanisms of malignant tumors. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), a group of cytokines that contribute to angiogenesis and vasculogenesis. This study aimed to investigate the serum VEGF-A concentrations in dogs with various proliferative diseases. A total of 202 dogs that were histopathologically diagnosed with proliferative diseases were included in the study. Serum VEGF-A concentrations were measured using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Median serum VEGF-A concentrations in dogs were as follows: healthy dogs, 4 pg/ml [0–21 pg/ml]; hepatocellular carcinoma, 30 pg/ml [0–158 pg/ml, P=<0.001]; hepatocellular adenoma, 32 pg/ml [0–49 pg/ml, P=0.003]; hepatic nodular hyperplasia, 18 pg/ml [0–51 pg/ml, P=0.595]; adrenal pheochromocytoma, 32 pg/ml [0–187 pg/ml, P=<0.001]; adrenocortical carcinoma, 32 pg/ml [3–161 pg/ml, P=0.002]; adrenocortical adenoma, 27 pg/ml [0–106 pg/ml, P=0.005]; colorectal adenocarcinoma, 36 pg/ml [0–75 pg/ml, P=0.002]; colorectal adenoma, 43 pg/ml [0–48 pg/ml, P=0.144]; inflammatory colorectal polyps, 37 pg/ml [0–111 pg/ml, P=<0.001]; pulmonary adenocarcinoma, 35 pg/ml [4–107 pg/ml, P=0.002]; pulmonary histiocytic sarcoma, 35 pg/ml [0–131 pg/ml, P=0.016]; and follicular thyroid carcinoma, 35 pg/ml [0–106 pg/ml, P=0.009]. The serum VEGF-A concentrations were significantly higher in dogs with neoplastic lesions compared to healthy dogs, except for colorectal adenoma. High serum VEGF-A concentrations were observed in dogs with proliferative diseases. The present study suggests that angiogenesis-inhibiting therapy, which targets VEGF-A, may be useful for canine neoplastic diseases.
We evaluated the completeness of bony fusion of the atlantoaxial joint (AAJ) through polymethylmethacrylate fixation (PMF) and atlantoaxial plate fixation (APF) using six canine models with dens partial resection. In both groups, the hydroxyapatite content at the AAJ was measured up to 7 months postoperatively using quantitative computed tomography. Histological assessment revealed fibrous fusion in the PMF group. Meanwhile, in the APF group, only one dog achieved fibrous fusion, whereas the remaining three showed bony fusion. To our knowledge, this study was the first to evaluate AAJ fusion histologically after PMF and APF. The present study demonstrates that PMF and APF may stabilize the AAJ without clinical complications. Therefore, PMF and APF are clinically useful fixation methods for atlantoaxial instability.
Foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) causes highly contagious disease of cloven-hoofed animals such as cattle, swine, and sheep. Although FMD vaccine is the traditional way to protect against the disease, the use of FMD vaccines to protect early infection is limited. The alternative strategy of applying antiviral agents is required to control the spread of FMDV in outbreak situations. Fibroblast growth factor 11 (FGF11) is a member of the intracellular FGF. Here, we identified the inhibitory effect of FGF11 on FMDV gene expression through the transcriptional and translational regulation. For the quantitative analysis of FMDV transcription/translation level, we firstly constructed a plasmid reporter system (FMDV five prime untranslated region (5′ UTR) -luci) conjugating luciferase encoding gene with FMDV 5′ UTR region, which is a non-coding region to control FMDV transcription/translation and includes cis-acting replication element (CRE) and internal ribosome entry site (IRES). FGF11 decreased the gene expression of FMDV 5′ UTR-luci reporter in a dose-dependent manner. We further confirmed the inhibitory function of FGF11 on FMDV gene expression a replication in the FMDV-infected pig cells. FGF11 expression inhibited RNA production of FMDV RNA polymerase 3D gene in the FMDV-infected cells. In addition, while FMDV cell infection induced cytopathic effect (CPE) within 24 hr, FGF11 expression dramatically repressed CPE at the basal level. These results indicate that FGF11 inhibits FMDV gene expression and replication in vitro, implicating to provide intervention strategy for FMDV pathogenesis and transmission.
The hepatitis B virus (Hepadnaviridae) induces chronic hepatitis and hepatic cancer in humans. A novel domestic cat hepadnavirus (DCH) was recently identified in several countries, however, the DCH infection status of cats in Japan is unknown. Therefore, we investigated the DCH infection rate of 139 cat samples collected in Japan. We identified one positive blood sample (0.78%) from a 17-year-old female cat with chronically elevated alanine aminotransferase. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that the DCH strain identified in this study is genetically different from strains in other countries. Further investigations are required to elucidate the evolution of DCH and the impact of DCH infection on hepatic diseases in domestic cats.
To strengthen farm biosecurity, wildlife behaviors around livestock environments require significant attention. Livestock feed is considered one of essential factors that attract wildlife to the livestock environment. We experimentally studied wildlife response to cattle, swine, and chicken concentrated feeds in the forests surrounding poultry farms. In 14 feeding sites, four feed conditions were established: without feed (control); cattle feed; chicken feed; and swine feed. Wildlife behaviors at each feed point were monitored using infrared cameras. In 3,175 videos, 10 mammals were photographed on 10 or more occasions. Wildlife more frequently appeared at the points with feed than without feed. In addition, the number of videos that captured foraging or interest behaviors was largest for swine feed, followed by chicken feed, then cattle feed. There was a large difference among wildlife in their response to livestock feeds, although each species did not have a strong preference for a specific feed. Livestock feeds invite frequent visits by high and moderate response groups, especially omnivores and carnivores with omnivorous tendencies. Therefore, to protect against such wildlife intrusion, leftover feed and feed storage must be properly managed. This study also suggests that livestock feeds may not cause intrusions by rare response group species; hence, if their intrusions occur, they may be due to factors other than livestock feed. The study situation can partly reflect actual feed-stealing situations. The results will contribute to consider the properly management to protect livestock environments from wildlife intrusions.
Irregular triangular cartilage or bone fragments are sometimes found in the fibrous triangle of the heart. Ossa cordis and/or cartilago cordis has been demonstrated in various terrestrial animal species. Regarding marine mammals, sperm whales lack heart bones, and there have been no studies on bones or cartilage in pinniped hearts. Therefore, we examined the ossa cordis and/or cartilago cordis of the Steller sea lion. Eleven Steller sea lion hearts were examined morphologically and histologically. Before dissection, some hearts were imaged by CT to confirm the presence of ossa cordis or cartilago cordis. As a result, ossa cordis-like fragments were confirmed in four adults and one pup. All of the fragments were found at the right fiber triangle, and one adult had ossified tissue, including adipose tissue in the bone marrow cavity. The ossa cordis probably support the aorta because they surround the aorta as in other terrestrial animals. Steller sea lions can dive to a few hundred meters, but they need to rest on land frequently. Hence, their ossa cordis help maintain heart function during the tachycardia that occurs upon repeated surfacing and movements on land after diving in water.
This study aimed to determine the incidence of leptospirosis and melioidosis in long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis) in Thailand. Serum samples from 223 monkeys were subjected to the Lepto Latex Test and indirect hemagglutination (IHA) test to detect antibodies against Leptospira spp. and Burkholderia pseudomallei. The microagglutination test (MAT) was used to identify serovars of Leptospira spp. Conventional PCR for the LipL32 gene of L. interogans and the BPSS0120 and btfc-orf18 genes of B. pseudomallei was used for molecular detection. The overall seroprevalence of leptospirosis and melioidosis was 2.69% (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.99–5.76%) and 14.35% (95% CI: 10.03–19.65%), respectively. Six samples that showed positive MAT results were also positive for IHA. The serovars of Leptospira were Ranarum (5/6), Shermani (6/6), and both (5/6). Conventional PCR for the LipL32 gene of Leptospira spp. was positive in 10.31% of the samples (95% CI: 5.56–13.51%). However, there were no positive results for BPSS0120 and btfc-orf18 in B. pseudomallei. Active infection was detected only for leptospirosis; however, it can be assumed that pathogen exposure occurred in this group of animals because immunity could be detected. The routes of infection and elimination pathways of both bacteria remain unclear, and the mechanism of protection in non-human primates needs to be elucidated in further studies. Moreover, this health issue should be considered to prevent human infections in monkeys and their environment.