Melissococcus plutonius is a Gram-positive lanceolate coccus that is the causative agent of European foulbrood, an important bacterial disease of honey bee brood. Although this bacterium was originally described in the early 20th century, a culture method for this bacterium was not established until more than 40 years after its discovery due to its fastidious characteristics, including the requirement for high potassium and anaerobic/microaerophilic conditions. These characteristics were considered to be common to the majority of M. plutonius strains isolated worldwide, and M. plutonius was also thought to be genetically homologous or clonal for years. However, non-fastidious variants of this species (designated as atypical M. plutonius) were very recently identified in Japan. Although the morphology of these unusual strains was similar to that of traditionally well-known M. plutonius strains, atypical strains were genetically very different from most of the M. plutonius strains previously isolated and were highly virulent to individual bee larva. These atypical variants were initially considered to be unique to Japan, but were subsequently found worldwide; however, the frequency of isolation varied from country to country. The background of the discovery of atypical M. plutonius in Japan and current knowledge on atypical strains, including their biochemical and culture characteristics, virulence, detection methods, and global distribution, are described in this review. Remaining mysteries related to atypical M. plutonius and directions for future research are also discussed.
The concept of “stem cell pathology” is to establish the role of the stem cells by exploring their contribution to lesion development. The somatic stem cells are present in the body. Malignant fibrous histiocytoma (MFH; recently named “undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma”) includes pluripotential undifferentiated mesenchymal stem cells as a cell element. An antibody (A3) generated by using rat MFH cells as the antigen labels somatic stem cells such as bone marrow stem cells and immature endothelial cells and pericytes, as well as immature epithelial cells in epithelialization. By using A3 and other antibodies recognizing somatic stem cells, it is considered that myofibroblasts appearing in rat fibrotic lesions are developed partly from immature hepatic stellate cells in hepatic fibrosis, immature pancreatic stellate cells in pancreatic fibrosis, pericytes/endothelial cells in neovascularization in injured tissues, as well as via the epithelial-mesenchymal transition. These progenitors may be in the stem cell lineage. In this review, the author introduces the histogenesis of MFH and the characteristics of myofibroblasts appearing in fibrosis, based mainly on the author’s studies.
In the winter of 2010–2011, Japan experienced a large outbreak of infections caused by clade 220.127.116.11 H5N1 high pathogenicity avian influenza viruses (HPAIVs) in wild birds. Interestingly, many tufted ducks (Aythya fuligula), which are migratory diving ducks, succumbed to the infection, whereas only one infection case was reported in migratory dabbling duck species, the major natural hosts of the influenza A virus, during the outbreak. To assess whether the susceptibility of each duck species to HPAIVs was correlated with the number of cases, tufted duck and dabbling duck species (Eurasian wigeon, Mareca penelope; mallard, Anas platyrhynchos; Northern pintail, Anas acuta) were intranasally inoculated with A/Mandarin duck/Miyazaki/22M807-1/2011 (H5N1), an index clade 18.104.22.168 virus previously used for experimental infection studies in various bird species. All ducks observed for 10 days post-inoculation (dpi) mostly shed the virus via the oral route and survived. The tufted ducks shed a higher titer of the virus than the other dabbling duck species, and one of them showed apparent neurological symptoms after 7 dpi, which were accompanied by eye lesions. No clinical symptoms were observed in the dabbling ducks, although systemic infection and viremia were observed in some of them sacrificed at 3 dpi. These results suggest that the susceptibility of clade 22.214.171.124 HPAIVs might differ by duck species.
The efficacy of ClO2 gas, as surface disinfectant at around 1,000 ppb against avian orthoavulaviruses type 1 (AOAV-1), infectious bronchitis virus (IBV), Escherichia coli (EC), and Salmonella Enteritidis (SE) was evaluated at the required level (≥99.9% reduction) on various surfaces. Exposing the surfaces to ClO2 gas for 1 hr reduced AOAV-1, except for rayon sheets which required 3 hr. However, 1 hr of exposure did not effectively reduced IBV titer. In the case of EC, glass plates and plastic carriers needed 1 hr of exposure, while rayon sheets required 2 hr. SE on rayon sheets required 1 hr exposure, but on the other tested surfaces showed inadequate reduction. Overall, ClO2 gas is an effective disinfectant for poultry farms.
Chlamydia-related bacteria of the Chlamydiales order have recently been described as emerging pathogens that cause pneumonia and abortion in animals and humans. We investigated the presence of Chlamydiales using real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) by targeting the 16S rRNA gene of a broad range of Chlamydiales in 827 fecal samples from pet birds kept in individual homes in Japan. Of the 827 samples, 493 (59.6%) tested positive for the Chlamydiales 16S rRNA gene in the real-time PCR assay. We determined the nucleic acid sequences of PCR products from 17 Chlamydiales strains. A homology search and phylogenetic analysis using these sequences confirmed that the detected Chlamydiales included C. pecorum and a broad range of Chlamydia-related bacteria. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to detect a wide range of Chlamydia-related bacteria in birds.
Oxytocin (OXT) is a neuropeptide that regulates memory, emotion, stress response, and behavior in the brain. In our previous study with cattle, we demonstrated the anti-stress effect of intracerebroventricularly administered OXT on the central nervous system. However, it is important to investigate the effects of this peptide after intranasal administration, as it offers convenience and non-invasiveness for practical use. Therefore, this study investigated the effects of intranasal OXT on the behavior and autonomic nervous system of Holstein steers. The experiment followed a within-subjects design, including a total of six steers. Each steer received intranasal administration of either 1 mL of saline (SAL), 100 µg OXT (OXT100), or 200 µg OXT (OXT200). However, due to some issues, the sample size for the OXT200 group was reduced to five. After these treatments, we conducted electrocardiography recordings to analyze heart rate variability (HRV) and also made behavioral observations for 90 min. OXT200 tended to increase the time spent ruminating while lying down (Steel’s multiple comparison test; P=0.053). In contrast, OXT treatment did not affect HRV indices. In conclusion, the current OXT dosage did not significantly affects behavior or the autonomic nervous system. However, the observed tendency to increase rumination may suggest a central effect of OXT.
Immunostimulants and vaccines are the main means for controlling infectious diseases and searching highly effective and low toxic immunestimulants has always been the focus of researchers. The MetchnikowinII (MetII) had been expressed by us and exhibited both antibacterial and antifungal activities, in this study, we evaluated its potential for an adjuvant effect. In chickens, antigen-specific immunoglobulin Gs (IgGs) were increased after MetII adjuvanted vaccination using the Ptfa protein. Compared to group Ptfa + iFA, which was only adjuvanted with incomplete Freund’s adjuvant (iFA), the antibody titers of the group Ptfa + iFA + Met20 μg·mL−1 (PFM20) and Ptfa + iFA + Propolis (PFP) significantly increased (P<0.05). Likewise, Interleukin-2 (IL-2) and Interferon-γ (IFN-γ) cytokines in group Ptfa + iFA + Met20 μg·mL−1 (PFM20) and Ptfa + iFA + Propolis (PFP) were significantly higher than those of the other three experimental groups (P<0.05). The stimulation index (SI) value in chickens of group PFM20 was significantly higher than that of the other four experimental groups (P<0.05). Chickens that received MetII adjuvanted vaccinations benefitted from higher protection rate (88%) when challenged with Pasteurella multocida (P. multocida), which was significantly higher than those of group PF and PFP (P<0.05). These results suggested that the antimicrobial peptide MetII may play an adjuvant role in the immune response in chickens but need a proper usage, because the higher usage of 40 μg·mL−1 and 60 μg·mL−1 resulted poor effect. Whether MetII could be a potential adjuvant or a biomolecule as part of a complex adjuvant for vaccines needs more experimental evidence, the study still provides an examples for understanding vaccine adjuvants.
The mutant allele frequency of the Pyruvate kinase (PK) gene has been investigated mostly in pure breed cats. We investigated the PK mutant gene in stray and animal hoarding mongrel cats in Hokkaido, Japan. We also investigated the kinship of individuals carrying the mutant gene. Genotyping was conducted using the previously reported real-time PCR method. Fourteen microsatellite markers were used to identify the parents and offspring of cats carrying the PK mutant gene, and some kinship such as parent-offspring and siblings was observed. Some stray and animal hoarding cats carried the PK mutation gene and that consanguinity was confirmed among these cats indicated that the PK mutation gene was spread by unregulated interbreeding.
A nine-year-old, castrated male mixed-breed dog presented with a three-month history of sneezing and stertorous breathing. Computed tomography revealed a soft tissue mass in the left nasal cavity with lysis of the cribriform plate. The mass was diagnosed as intranasal sarcoma based on histopathological analysis. The tumor cells were immunohistochemically positive for KIT and platelet-derived growth factor receptor α/β and negative for vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 and cyclooxygenase-2. Treatment with toceranib phosphate (TOC) and firocoxib reduced the tumor size, which was defined as partial response (PR). After PR induction, TOC alone mediated survival for 205 days. This case report suggests that the combination of TOC and possibly firocoxib may be a therapeutic option for canine intranasal sarcoma.
A 1-month-old crossbred calf was referred for examination due to marked systolic heart murmurs and poor growth. The heart murmur was most audible on the right side of the cranial thorax. Cardiomegaly was evident on chest radiography, and echocardiography demonstrated aortic regurgitation and decreased fractional shortening. Cardiomegaly, aortic root dilation and cardiac displacement were confirmed by computed tomography. At necropsy, the heart was enlarged, and all three aortic valve leaflets were irregularly shaped. In calves with chronic aortic insufficiency, remodeling displacement of the heart and aorta causes changes in the location and timing of heart murmurs. Therefore, aortic insufficiency cannot be ruled out when a systolic heart murmur can be observed in the right chest wall.
An endogenous retrovirus-derived membrane protein, syncytin (SYN), contributes to placental function via trophoblast fusion. Multinuclear trophoblasts (syncytiotrophoblasts) physically and functionally mediate the interaction between fetal and maternal vessels in various ways. Suncus murinus (suncus) is a small mammalian species with a pregnancy duration of approximately 30 days, 1.5 times longer than mice. However, the molecular basis for the longer pregnancy duration is unknown. In this study, we first isolated two genes that encoded putative SYN proteins expressed in the suncus placenta, which were named syncytin-1-like proteins 1 and 2 (SYN1L1 and SYN1L2). When their expression vectors were introduced into cultured cells, suncus SYN1L2 was found to be active in cell fusion. Moreover, the SYN1L2 protein was homologous to a SYN1-like protein identified in greater mouse-eared bats (bat SYN1L) and was structurally compared with bat SYN1L and other SYN proteins, implying the presence of structural features of the SYN1L2 protein.
Malaria needs new strategies for its control. Plasmodium spp., the causative agent of malaria, is transmitted by mosquitoes. These parasites develop into oocysts and sporozoites in the body of the mosquitoes. A deeper understanding of oocysts that produce the infectious form of the parasite, sporozoites, can facilitate the development of novel countermeasures. However, the isolation of Plasmodium oocysts is challenging as these are formed between midgut epithelial cells and basal lamina after gametocytes enter the mosquito’s body through blood feeding. Further research on oocysts has been impeded by issues related to oocyst isolation. Therefore, in this study, we injected Plasmodium into mosquitoes—an artificial and unique method—and aimed to clarify how oocysts were formed in mosquitoes after Plasmodium injection and whether free oocysts were formed from the mosquito tissue. Plasmodium berghei (ANKA strain) ookinetes cultured in vitro were injected into the thoracic body cavity (hemocoel) of female and male Anopheles stephensi mosquitoes. Oocysts were formed in the body of female and male mosquitoes at 14 days post injection. In addition, oocysts formed as a result of injection developed into sporozoites, which were infectious to mice. These findings suggest that P. berghei can complete its developmental stage in mosquitoes by injection. Some of the oocysts formed were free from mosquito tissue, and it was possible to collect oocysts with minimal contamination of mosquito tissue. These free oocysts can be used for investigating oocyst proteins and metabolism.
Eurytrema spp. are pancreatic flukes belonging to the Dicrocoeliidae family. They are the cause of neglected diseases in Vietnam and are responsible for economic losses in ruminant production, particularly in water buffaloes and cattle. Eurytrema spp. have been widely reported in several Asian countries. Recently, morphological and molecular analyses to discriminate Eurytrema spp. have been conducted in Brazil, China, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Indonesia; however, similar analyses have not been performed in Vietnam. In the present study, we identified Eurytrema flukes collected from water buffaloes and cattle in northern Vietnam based on their morphology. Morphometric analyses were conducted on 15 samples each of Eurytrema cladorchis and Eurytrema coelomaticum. Representative samples from both species were selected for molecular analyses, and the nucleotide sequences of the 18S ribosomal RNA (18S rRNA) gene and internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) were determined. Phylogenetic analyses based on 18S rRNA sequences revealed that E. cladorchis from Vietnam belongs to the same clade as that from Bangladesh. Similarly, E. coelomaticum isolates from Vietnam and China belonged to the same clade. Both clades were isolated from E. pancreaticum. This is the first study to describe the coexistence of E. cladorchis and E. coelomaticum in Vietnam and the first report of the ITS2 nucleotide sequence for E. coelomaticum, which can be used for molecular species discrimination.
Melanoma is a highly aggressive and metastatic cancer occurring in both humans and dogs. Canine melanoma accounts for a significant proportion of neoplastic diseases in dogs, and despite standard treatments, overall survival rates remain low. Protein phosphatase 6 (PP6), an evolutionarily conserved serine/threonine protein phosphatase, regulates various biological processes. Additionally, the loss of PP6 function reportedly leads to the development of melanoma in humans. However, there are no reports regarding the role of PP6 in canine cancer cells. We, therefore, conducted a study investigating the role of PP6 in canine melanoma by using four canine melanoma cell lines: CMec1, CMM, KMeC and LMeC. PP6 knockdown increased phosphorylation levels of mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase 1/2 (MEK1/2) and extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) but not Akt. Furthermore, PP6 knockdown decreased sensitivity to trametinib, a MEK inhibitor, but did not alter sensitivity to Akt inhibitor. These findings suggest that PP6 may function as a tumor suppressor in canine melanoma and modulate the response to trametinib treatment. Understanding the role of PP6 in canine melanoma could lead to the development of more effective treatment strategies for this aggressive disease.
This study examined the safety and productivity data analysis of a beef cattle farm with Japanese black cattle over a 4-year period following the implementation of a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) system in 2018. The critical control point was “the selection of shipping cows” and no deviations from critical limits were observed, indicating the beef were safe. In addition, cattle treated for bovine respiratory disease (BRD) less than 6 months after the introduction of cattle decreased, while the average Beef Marbling Standard and quality of meat (i.e., grades A5, B5, A4, and B4) in beef carcass trade standard scores increased. These results suggest that the HACCP system had a positive effect on the health and meat quality of the cattle.
Cadmium is a major environmental pollutant and a highly toxic metal. It was aimed to determine the effects of pomegranate peel extract (PPE), N-acetylcysteine (NAC) alone and along with Ornipural on cadmium-induced toxicity. Forty-six Wistar Albino male rats were divided into 6 groups and the groups were formed into healthy control, Cadmium group (5 mg/kg/day, oral), Cadmium + Pomegranate peel extract (500 mg/kg, oral), Cadmium + N-acetylcysteine (100 mg/kg, oral), Cadmium + Pomegranate peel extract (500 mg/kg, oral) + Ornipural (1 mL/kg, subcutaneous) and Cadmium + N-acetylcysteine (100 mg/kg, oral) + Ornipural (1 mL/kg, subcutaneous). Cadmium accumulated heavily in both liver and kidney tissue. The administration of N-acetylcysteine and pomegranate peel extract alone reduced cadmium levels in both tissues. N-acetylcysteine treatment prevented the increase in ALT and MDA levels by cadmium damage. N-acetylcysteine + Ornipural treatment inhibited the increase in liver 8-OHdG level in the liver. N-acetylcysteine and N-acetylcysteine + Ornipural treatments prevented the reduced serum MMP2 level. N-acetylcysteine and Pomegranate peel extract + Ornipural treatments significantly reduced the increased liver iNOS level in the liver. In conclusion, NAC therapy may be a successful treatment option for cadmium toxicity. However, further research is needed on the effects of PPE and Ornipural combinations for the treatment of cadmium toxicity. In future studies, various doses of these treatment options (with chelators) should be investigated for cadmium toxicity.
In this study, the effects of different levels of aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) on the growth performance, carcass traits, organ index, blood biochemistry, and antioxidant capacity of yellow-feathered broilers were investigated to provide a reference for the application of AFB1-containing feed ingredients. In this test, yellow-feathered broilers were chosen as the research objects and divided into five treatment groups, with seven replicates in each group and 75 broilers in each replicate. The AFB1 concentration in the diets of groups 1 to 5 were 1.5 μg/kg, 15 μg/kg, 30 μg/kg, 45 μg/kg, and 60 μg/kg, respectively. The results showed that when dietary AFB1 levels were greater than 45 μg/kg, the feed conversion ratios of broilers of 1–21, 22–42, and 43–63 days of age increased (P<0.05). When dietary AFB1 levels were 30 μg/kg, liver glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activity was decreased (P<0.05), and serum transaminase (AST) activity was increased (P<0.05). Overall, dietary AFB1 levels had negative effects on growth performance, antioxidant capacity, blood biochemistry, and liver metabolism in yellow-feathered broilers. Based on using growth performance as the effect index, AFB1 levels in the diets of yellow-feathered broilers should not exceed 45 μg/kg. Based on using antioxidant capacity, liver function, and blood biochemistry as effect indexes, AFB1 levels in the diets of yellow-feathered broilers should not exceed 30 μg/kg.
Neonicotinoid pesticides (NNs) transfer rapidly from mother to offspring, which exhibit neurobehavioral effects. However, no studies have investigated NNs’ transgenerational effects. We exposed F0 generation mice (mothers) to a no-observed-adverse-effect level (NOAEL) of clothianidin (CLO) during gestation and lactation, and examined the adult neurobehavioral effects of three generations of offspring (F1, F2, F3). F1 had lower birth weight, decreased locomotor activity, and increased anxiety-like behavior. In F2, body weight was affected, and there was a decreasing trend in locomotor activity and an increasing trend in anxiety-like behavior. In F3, locomotor activity tended to increase. Thus, even when only the mothers were exposed, the effects of CLOs were still observed in F1, F2, and F3 but the effects became smaller.
Full genome sequencing of two bovine rotavirus A (RVA) strains isolated in Japan in 2019 revealed two genotype constellations; one had a constellation of G8-P-I2-R2-C2-M2-A3-N2-T9-E2-H3. Thereupon, genotype T9 carried by RVA/Bovine-tc/JPN/AH1041/2022/G8P, constitutes a rare NSP3 genotype, and only two unusual Japanese bovine RVA strains have thus far been reported to carry this genotype. The other RVA/Bovine-tc/JPN/AH1207/2022/G6P strain possessed a constellation of G6-P-I2-R2-C2-M2-A3-N2-T6-E2-H3. Phylogenetic analyses indicate that the majority of gene segments were most closely related to Japanese bovine RVAs, suggesting that both strains might have derived through multiple reassortment events from RVA strains circulating within Japanese cattle. The emergence of RVA strains in Japan and their reassortment with locally circulating atypical RVAs could have implications for current vaccination strategies.
Wildlife in urban areas have the potential to disseminate antimicrobial-resistant bacteria (ARB) across a wider environment. Using antimicrobial-supplemented agar plates, we isolated extended-spectrum β-lactamase-producing Escherichia coli (EEC) and quinolone-resistant E. coli (QREC) from 144, 23, and 30 deer feces from Nara Park (NP), rural area neighboring NP (RA), and Mt. Odaigahara (MO), respectively. In NP and RA, the prevalence of EEC was 24.3 and 4.3%, respectively; that of QREC was 11.1 and 17.4%, respectively. Neither EEC nor QREC were detected in MO. The pulsotypes of EEC and QREC isolates differed between NP and RA. Our study suggests that deer of the Nara Prefecture are potential carriers of ARB, but long-distance dissemination is unlikely due to limited deer movement.
A 25-year-old female California sea lion (Zalophus californianus) reared in an aquarium died following a history of anorexia, lethargy, abnormal protrusion of the skin, and oral respiration. At necropsy, multiple yellowish-white nodules with diameters of 0.1–0.5 cm were disseminated in the thoracic cavity and lungs. Histopathologically, the nodules were continuous with normal mesothelium and were characterized by the proliferation of spindle-shaped to polygonal neoplastic cells with prominent atypia. The neoplastic cells exhibited diffuse, strong staining for vimentin and partial, weak to moderate staining for cytokeratin AE1/AE3. Based on these findings, the lesions were diagnosed as pleural mesothelioma. This study reports the first case of pleural mesothelioma in California sea lion.