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ItemSmall Non-coding RNA Expression Following Respiratory Syncytial Virus or Measles Virus Infection of Neuronal Cells(Frontiers Media, 2012-09-03) Bakre, Abhijeet A.; Duffy, Catherine; Abdullah, Hani’ah; Cosby, S. Louise; Tripp, Ralph A.Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) or measles virus (MeV) infection modifies host responses through small non-coding RNA (sncRNA) expression. We show that RSV or MeV infection of neuronal cells induces sncRNAs including various microRNAs and transfer RNA fragments (tRFs). We show that these tRFs originate from select tRNAs (GCC and CAC for glycine, CTT and AAC for Valine, and CCC and TTT for Lysine). Some of the tRNAs are rarely used by RSV or MeV as indicated by relative synonymous codon usage indices suggesting selective cleavage of the tRNAs occurs in infected neuronal cells. The data implies that differentially expressed sncRNAs may regulate host gene expression via multiple mechanisms in neuronal cells. ItemGenetic diversity of ruminant Pestivirus strains collected in Northern Ireland between 1999 and 2011 and the role of live ruminant imports(Springer Nature, 2016-06-27) Guelbenzu-Gonzalo, Maria P.; Cooper, Lynsey; Brown, Craig; Leinster, Sam; O’Neill, Ronan; Doyle, Liam; Graham, David A.Background: The genus pestivirus within the family Flaviviridae includes bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVDV) types 1 and 2, border disease virus (BDV) and classical swine fever virus. The two recognised genotypes of BVDV are divided into subtypes based on phylogenetic analysis, namely a-p for BVDV-1 and a-c for BVDV-2. Methods: Three studies were conducted to investigate the phylogenetic diversity of pestiviruses present in Northern Ireland. Firstly, pestiviruses in 152 serum samples that had previously tested positive for BVDV between 1999 and 2008 were genotyped with a RT-PCR assay. Secondly, the genetic heterogeneity of pestiviruses from 91 serum samples collected between 2008 and 2011 was investigated by phylogenetic analysis of a 288 base pair portion of the 5’ untranslated region (UTR). Finally, blood samples from 839 bovine and 4,437 ovine animals imported in 2010 and 2011 were tested for pestiviral RNA. Analysis of animal movement data alongside the phylogenetic analysis of the strains was carried out to identify any links between isolates and animal movement. Results: No BVDV-2 strains were detected. All of the 152 samples in the first study were genotyped as BVDV-1. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that the predominant subtype circulating was BVDV-1a (86 samples out of 91). The remaining five samples clustered close to reference strains in subtype BVDV-1b. Out of the imported animals, 18 bovine samples tested positive and 8 inconclusive (Ct ≥36), while all ovine samples were negative. Eight sequences were obtained and were defined as BVDV-1b. Analysis of movement data between herds failed to find links between herds where BVDV-1b was detected. Conclusion: Given that only BVDV-1a was detected in samples collected between 1968 and 1999, this study suggests that at least one new subtype has been introduced to Northern Ireland between 1999 and 2011 and highlights the potential for importation of cattle to introduce new strains. Keywords: Bovine viral diarrhoea virus, Phylogenetic analysis, 5’untranslated region, Importation ItemRAD sequencing resolves fine-scale population structure in a benthic invertebrate: implications for understanding phenotypic plasticity(Royal Society Publishing, 2017-02-01) Vendrami, David; Telesca, Luca; Weigand, Hannah; Weiss, Martina; Fawcett, Katie; Lehman, Katrin; Clark, M.S.; Leese, Florian; McMinn, Carrie; Moore, Heather M.; Hoffman, Joseph IlThe field of molecular ecology is transitioning from the use of small panels of classical genetic markers such as microsatellites to much larger panels of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) generated by approaches like RAD sequencing. However, few empirical studies have directly compared the ability of these methods to resolve population structure. This could have implications for understanding phenotypic plasticity, as many previous studies of natural populations may have lacked the power to detect genetic differences, especially over micro-geographic scales. We therefore compared the ability of microsatellites and RAD sequencing to resolve fine-scale population structure in a commercially important benthic invertebrate by genotyping great scallops (Pecten maximus) from nine populations around Northern Ireland at 13 microsatellites and 10 539 SNPs. The shells were then subjected to morphometric and colour analysis in order to compare patterns of phenotypic and genetic variation. We found that RAD sequencing was superior at resolving population structure, yielding higher Fst values and support for two distinct genetic clusters, whereas only one cluster could be detected in a Bayesian analysis of the microsatellite dataset. Furthermore, appreciable phenotypic variation was observed in size-independent shell shape and coloration, including among localities that could not be distinguished from one another genetically, providing support for the notion that these traits are phenotypically plastic. Taken together, our results suggest that RAD sequencing is a powerful approach for studying population structure and phenotypic plasticity in natural populations. ItemA Review of the Strain Diversity and Pathogenesis of Chicken Astrovirus(MDPI, 2017-02-10) Smyth, Victoria J.Although a relatively recently emerged virus, identified only in 2004 as a separate species of avian astrovirus, chicken astrovirus (CAstV) has been associated with poor growth of broiler flocks, enteritis and diarrhea and is a candidate pathogen in cases of runting stunting syndrome. More recently CAstV has been implicated in cases of two other diseases of broilers as the sole etiological agent, namely severe kidney disease of young broilers with visceral gout and the “White Chicks” hatchery disease. Examination of the strains of CAstV associated with the two latter diseases reveals they are closely related genetically. This review will discuss the pathogenesis of CAstV in relation to strain diversity and the effects of vertical versus horizontal transmission, virus load, co-infections and age of bird at infection, all factors that may impact upon disease severity. ItemMeta-analyses of the sensitivity and specificity of ante-mortem andpost-mortem diagnostic tests for bovine tuberculosis in the UK andIreland(Elsevier, 2017-03-06) Nuñez-Garcia, Javier; Downs, Sara H.; Parrya, Jessica E.; Abernethy, Darrell A.; Broughan, Jennifer M.; Cameron, Angus R.; Cook, Alasdair J.; de la Rua-Domenech, Ricardo; Goodchild, Anthony V.; Gunn, Jane; More, Simon J.; Rhodes, Shelley; Rolfe, Simon; Sharp, Michael; Upton, Paul A.; Vordermeier, H. Martin; Watson, Eamon; Welsh, Michael; Whelan, Adam O.; Woolliams, John A.; Clifton-Hadley, Richard S.; Greiner, MatthiasBovine Tuberculosis (bTB) in cattle is a global health problem and eradication of the disease requires accu-rate estimates of diagnostic test performance to optimize their efficiency. The objective of this study was,through statistical meta-analyses, to obtain estimates of sensitivity (Se) and specificity (Sp), for 14 differ-ent ante-mortem and post-mortem diagnostic tests for bTB in cattle. Using data from a systematic reviewof the scientific literature (published 1934–2009) diagnostic Se and Sp were estimated using Bayesianlogistic regression models adjusting for confounding factors. Random effect terms were used to accountfor unexplained heterogeneity. Parameters in the models were implemented using Markov Chain MonteCarlo (MCMC), and posterior distributions for the diagnostic parameters with adjustment for covariates(confounding factors) were obtained using the inverse logit function. Estimates for Se and/or Sp of thetuberculin skin tests and the IFN- blood test were compared with estimates published 2010–2015.Median Se for the single intradermal comparative cervical tuberculin skin (SICCT) test (standard inter-pretation) was 0.50 and Bayesian credible intervals (CrI) were wide (95% CrI 0.26, 0.78). Median Sp forthe SICCT test was 1.00 (95% CrI 0.99, 1.00). Estimates for the IFN- blood test Bovine Purified ProteinDerivative (PPD)-Avian PPD and Early Secreted Antigen target 6 and Culture Filtrate Protein 10 (ESAT-6/CFP10) ESAT6/CFP10 were 0.67 (95% CrI 0.49, 0.82) and 0.78 (95% CrI 0.60, 0.90) respectively for Se,and 0.98 (95% CrI 0.96, 0.99) and 0.99 (95% CrI 0.99, 1.00) for Sp. The study provides an overview of theaccuracy of a range of contemporary diagnostic tests for bTB in cattle. Better understanding of diagnostictest performance is essential for the design of effective control strategies and their evaluation. ItemEvaluation of the methodological quality of studies of the performance of diagnostic tests for bovine tuberculosis using QUADAS(Elsevier, 2017-03-22) Downs, Sara H.; More, Simon J.; Goodchild, Anthony V.; Whelan, Adam O.; Abernethy, Darrell A.; Broughan, Jennifer M.; Cameron, Angus; Cook Alasdair J.; de la Rua-Domenech, R. Ricardo; Greiner, Matthias; Gunn, Jane; Nunez-Garcia Javier; Rhodes, Shelley; Rolfe, Simon; Sharp, Michael; Upton, Paul; Watson, Eamon; Welsh, Michael; Woolliams, John A.; Clifton-Hadley, Richard S.; Parry, Jessica E.There has been little assessment of the methodological quality of studies measuring the performance (sensitivity and/or specificity) of diagnostic tests for animal diseases. In a systematic review, 190 studies of tests for bovine tuberculosis (bTB) in cattle (published 1934–2009) were assessed by at least one of 18 reviewers using the QUADAS (Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies) checklist adapted for animal disease tests. VETQUADAS (VQ) included items measuring clarity in reporting (n = 3), internal validity (n = 9) and external validity (n = 2). A similar pattern for compliance was observed in studies of different diagnostic test types. Compliance significantly improved with year of publication for all items measuring clarity in reporting and external validity but only improved in four of the nine items measuring internal validity (p < 0.05). 107 references, of which 83 had performance data eligible for inclusion in a meta-analysis were reviewed by two reviewers. In these references, agreement between reviewers’ responses was 71% for compliance, 32% for unsure and 29% for non-compliance. Mean compliance with reporting items was 2, 5.2 for internal validity and 1.5 for external validity. The index test result was described in sufficient detail in 80.1% of studies and was interpreted without knowledge of the reference standard test result in only 33.1%. Loss to follow-up was adequately explained in only 31.1% of studies. The prevalence of deficiencies observed may be due to inadequate reporting but may also reflect lack of attention to methodological issues that could bias the results of diagnostic test performance estimates. QUADAS was a useful tool for assessing and comparing the quality of studies measuring the performance of diagnostic tests but might be improved further by including explicit assessment of population sampling strategy. ItemFine-mapping host genetic variation underlying outcomes to Mycobacterium bovis infection in dairy cows(BMC, 2017-06-24) Wilkinson, S.; Bishop, S.C.; Allen, Adrian; McBride, S.H.; Skuce, Robin; Bermingham, M.; Woolliams, J.A.Background: Susceptibility to Mycobacterium bovis infection in cattle is governed in part by host genetics. However, cattle diagnosed as infected with M. bovis display varying signs of pathology. The variation in host response to infection could represent a continuum since time of exposure or distinct outcomes due to differing pathogen handling. The relationships between host genetics and variation in host response and pathological sequelae following M. bovis infection were explored by genotyping 1966 Holstein-Friesian dairy cows at 538,231 SNPs with three distinct phenotypes. These were: single intradermal cervical comparative tuberculin (SICCT) test positives with visible lesions (VLs), SICCT-positives with undetected visible lesions (NVLs) and matched controls SICCT-negative on multiple occasions. Results: Regional heritability mapping identified three loci associated with the NVL phenotype on chromosomes 17, 22 and 23, distinct to the region on chromosome 13 associated with the VL phenotype. The region on chromosome 23 was at genome-wide significance and candidate genes overlapping the mapped window included members of the bovine leukocyte antigen class IIb region, a complex known for its role in immunity and disease resistance. Chromosome heritability analysis attributed variance to six and thirteen chromosomes for the VL and NVL phenotypes, respectively, and four of these chromosomes were found to explain a proportion of the phenotypic variation for both the VL and NVL phenotype. By grouping the M. bovis outcomes (VLs and NVLs) variance was attributed to nine chromosomes. When contrasting the two M. bovis infection outcomes (VLs vs NVLs) nine chromosomes were found to harbour heritable variation. Regardless of the case phenotype under investigation, chromosome heritability did not exceed 8% indicating that the genetic control of bTB resistance consists of variants of small to moderate effect situated across many chromosomes of the bovine genome. Conclusions: These findings suggest the host genetics of M. bovis infection outcomes is governed by distinct and overlapping genetic variants. Thus, variation in the pathology of M. bovis infected cattle may be partly genetically determined and indicative of different host responses or pathogen handling. There may be at least three distinct outcomes following M. bovis exposure in dairy cattle: resistance to infection, infection resulting in pathology or no detectable pathology ItemNewborn traits associated with pre-weaning growth and survival in piglets(Asian-Australasian Association of Animal Production Societies(AAAP), 2017-07-17) Nuntapaitoon, Morakot; Muns, Ramon; Tummaruk, PadetObjective: Piglet pre-weaning mortality is an important variable indicating the efficacy of farrowing management and animal well-being during lactation. The present study determined the association of newborn traits measured soon after birth with piglet pre-weaning mortality and growth. Methods: In total, 805 piglets born from 57 multiparous sows were investigated. Their blood oxygen saturation, blood glucose and rectal temperature at 24 h after birth (RT24h) were monitored. Birth order, sex, skin color, integrity of the umbilical cord, attempts to stand and birth intervention were monitored. Piglets were weighed at day 0, 7, and 21 to evaluate average daily gain (ADG). Results: Piglet pre-weaning mortality for lactation period was 12.6% and cumulative mortality during the first 7 days of age was 8.6%. A higher proportion of piglets with pale skin color died compared to piglets with normal skin color (26.7% vs 7.7%, p<0.001). A higher (p<0.001) proportion of piglets that attempted to stand after 5 min (38.5%) died compared to piglets that attempted to stand within 1 min (6.3%) after birth. Piglet body weight at birth (BWB), blood glucose and the number of piglets born alive (BA) were correlated with ADG (p<0.05). Piglets with BWB <1.30 kg had higher (p<0.001) mortality rate than piglets with BWB≥1.80 kg (19.0% vs 3.3%) and piglets with BWB 1.30 to 1.79 kg (4.0%). Piglet with RT24h <37.0°C had higher (p<0.001) mortality rate (86.2%) than piglets with RT24h >38.5°C (3.9%). Conclusion: Low BWB and low RT24h compromise piglet survival during the lactation period in the tropical conditions. Piglets in the litters with a high BA, low BWB and low blood glucose have reduced ADG. ItemNeedle-free delivery of measles virus vaccine to the lower respiratory tract of non-human primates elicits optimal immunity and protection(Nature Research, 2017-08-01) de Swart, Rik L.; de Vries, Rory D.; Rennick, Linda J.; van Amerongen, Geert; McQuaid, Stephen; Verburgh, R. Joyce; Yuksel, Selma; de Jong, Alwin; Lemon, Ken; Nguyen, D. Tien; Ludlow, Martin; Osterhaus, Albert D.M.E.; Duprex, W. PaulNeedle-free measles virus vaccination by aerosol inhalation has many potential benefits. The current standard route of vaccination is subcutaneous injection, whereas measles virus is an airborne pathogen. However, the target cells that support replication of liveattenuated measles virus vaccines in the respiratory tract are largely unknown. The aims of this study were to assess the in vivo tropism of live-attenuated measles virus and determine whether respiratory measles virus vaccination should target the upper or lower respiratory tract. Four groups of twelve cynomolgus macaques were immunized with 104 TCID50 of recombinant measles virus vaccine strain Edmonston-Zagreb expressing enhanced green fluorescent protein. The vaccine virus was grown in MRC-5 cells and formulated with identical stabilizers and excipients as used in the commercial MVEZ vaccine produced by the Serum Institute of India. Animals were immunized by hypodermic injection, intra-tracheal inoculation, intra-nasal instillation, or aerosol inhalation. In each group six animals were euthanized at early time points post-vaccination, whereas the other six were followed for 14 months to assess immunogenicity and protection from challenge infection with wild-type measles virus. At early time-points, enhanced green fluorescent protein-positive measles virus-infected cells were detected locally in the muscle, nasal tissues, lungs, and draining lymph nodes. Systemic vaccine virus replication and viremia were virtually absent. Infected macrophages, dendritic cells and tissueresident lymphocytes predominated. Exclusive delivery of vaccine virus to the lower respiratory tract resulted in highest immunogenicity and protection. This study sheds light on the tropism of a live-attenuated measles virus vaccine and identifies the alveolar spaces as the optimal site for respiratory delivery of measles virus vaccine. ItemRelative abundance of Mycobacterium bovis molecular types in cattle: a simulation study of potential epidemiological drivers(BMC, 2017-08-22) Trewby, Hannah; Wright, David M.; Skuce, Robin A.; McCormick, Carl; Mallon, Thomas R.; Presho, Eleanor L.; Kao, Rowland R.; Haydon, Daniel T.; Biek, RomanBackground: The patterns of relative species abundance are commonly studied in ecology and epidemiology to provide insights into underlying dynamical processes. Molecular types (MVLA-types) of Mycobacterium bovis, the causal agent of bovine tuberculosis, are now routinely recorded in culture-confirmed bovine tuberculosis cases in Northern Ireland. In this study, we use ecological approaches and simulation modelling to investigate the distribution of relative abundances of MVLA-types and its potential drivers. We explore four biologically plausible hypotheses regarding the processes driving molecular type relative abundances: sampling and speciation; structuring of the pathogen population; historical changes in population size; and transmission heterogeneity (superspreading). Results: Northern Irish herd-level MVLA-type surveillance shows a right-skewed distribution of MVLA-types, with a small number of types present at very high frequencies and the majority of types very rare. We demonstrate that this skew is too extreme to be accounted for by simple neutral ecological processes. Simulation results indicate that the process of MVLA-type speciation and the manner in which the MVLA-typing loci were chosen in Northern Ireland cannot account for the observed skew. Similarly, we find that pathogen population structure, assuming for example a reservoir of infection in a separate host, would drive the relative abundance distribution in the opposite direction to that observed, generating more even abundances of molecular types. However, we find that historical increases in bovine tuberculosis prevalence and/or transmission heterogeneity (superspreading) are both capable of generating the skewed MVLA-type distribution, consistent with findings of previous work examining the distribution of molecular types in human tuberculosis. Conclusion: Although the distribution of MVLA-type abundances does not fit classical neutral predictions, our simulations show that increases in pathogen population size and/or superspreading are consistent with the pattern observed, even in the absence of selective pressures acting on the system. ItemDetection of Tetrodotoxin Shellfish Poisoning (TSP) Toxins and Causative Factors in Bivalve Molluscs from the UK(MDPI, 2017-08-30) Turner, Andrew D.; Dhanji-Rapkova, Monika; Coates, Lewis; Bickerstaff, Lesley; Milligan, Steve; O'Neill, Alison; Faulkner, Dermot; McEneny, Hugh; Baker-Austin, Craig; Lees, David N.; Algoet, MyriamTetrodotoxins (TTXs) are traditionally associated with the occurrence of tropical Pufferfish Poisoning. In recent years, however, TTXs have been identified in European bivalve mollusc shellfish, resulting in the need to assess prevalence and risk to shellfish consumers. Following the previous identification of TTXs in shellfish from southern England, this study was designed to assess the wider prevalence of TTXs in shellfish from around the coast of the UK. Samples were collected between 2014 and 2016 and subjected to analysis using HILIC-MS/MS. Results showed the continued presence of toxins in shellfish harvested along the coast of southern England, with the maximum concentration of total TTXs reaching 253 µg/kg. TTX accumulation was detected in Pacific oysters (Crassostrea gigas), native oysters (Ostrea edulis) common mussels (Mytilus edulis) and hard clams (Mercenaria mercenaria), but not found in cockles (Cerastoderma edule), razors (Ensis species) or scallops (Pecten maximus). Whilst the highest concentrations were quantified in samples harvested during the warmer summer months, TTXs were still evident during the winter. An assessment of the potential causative factors did not reveal any links with the phytoplankton species Prorocentrum cordatum, instead highlighting a greater level of risk in areas of shallow, estuarine waters with temperatures above 15 °C ItemThe in vitro and ex vivo effect of Auranta 3001 in preventing Cryptosporidium hominis and Cryptosporidium parvum infection(BMC, 2017-08-31) Ch Stratakos, Alexandros; Sima, Filip; Ward, Patrick; Linton, Mark; Kelly, Carmel; Pinkerton, Laurette; Stef, Lavinia; Pet, Ioan; Iancu, Tiberiu; Pircalabioru, Gratiela; Corcionivoschi, NicolaeBackground: Cryptosporidium is a major cause of diarrhea worldwide in both humans and farm animals with no completely effective treatment available at present. In this study, we assessed the inhibitory effect of different concentrations of Auranta 3001 (0.1, 0.5 and 1%), a novel natural feed supplement, on C. hominis and C. parvum invasion of human ileocecal adenocarcinoma (HCT-8), bovine primary cells and C. parvum invasion of HCT-8, bovine primary cells and bovine intestinal biopsies. The effect of the feed supplement on the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-8 and INF-γ, the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10, the expression of CpSUB1 protease gene during infection was also assessed by quantitative PCR (q-PCR). Transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER) was employed to measure the integrity of tight junction dynamics of the culture models. Results: Pre-treatment of intestinal cells or oocysts with the Auranta 3001 significantly reduced the invasiveness of C. hominis and C. parvum against HCT-8 and bovine primary cells in a dose dependent manner. The most pronounced reduction in the invasiveness of both parasites was observed when Auranta 3001 was present during infection. Levels of IL-8 were significantly reduced in both HCT-8 and bovine primary cells, while the levels of INF-γ and IL-10 showed opposite trends in the two cell lines during infection in the presence of Auranta 3001. CpSUB1 gene protease expression, which mediates infection, was significantly reduced suggesting that this enzyme is a possible target of Auranta 3001. Conclusions: Although, C. hominis and C. parvum use different invasion mechanisms to infect cells, the novel feed additive can significantly attenuate the entry of Cryptosporidium in HCT-8 cells, primary bovine cells and bovine intestinal biopsies and thus provide an alternative method to control cryptosporidiosis. ItemControl of Nematodirus spp. infection by sheep flock owners in Northern Ireland(BMC, 2017-10-19) McMahon, Connor; Edgar, Hillary W.J.; Barley, Jason; Hanna, Robert E.B.; Brennan, Gerard P.; Fairweather, IanBackground To address a lack of information on the control of ovine helminth parasites in Northern Ireland (NI), a number of research projects have been undertaken, dealing with gastrointestinal nematodes, tapeworms and liver fluke. This investigation concerns Nematodirus and concentrates on three aspects of disease: farm management strategies for its control, derived from the results of a Questionnaire; the efficacy of treatment used by farmers, as determined by a coprological survey; and the hatching requirements of Nematodirus eggs, that is, whether prolonged chilling is a pre-requisite for hatching. Results A Questionnaire was sent to 252 sheep farmers in NI in March 2012 (covering the years 2009–2012) and replies were received from 228 farmers. Under-dosing, inaccurate calibration of equipment and inappropriate product choice were poor practices identified. Following this survey, the efficacy of treatment of Nematodirus spp. in sheep flocks was evaluated in April and May 2012. Sampling kits were sent to 51 flock owners, all of whom returned pre- and post-anthelmintic dosing faecal samples to the laboratory for analysis. At the time of treatment, 41 flocks were positive for Nematodirus (as diagnosed by the presence of eggs). Reduced benzimidazole efficacy was detected in 35.7% of flocks tested (n = 28). Although only involving a small number of flocks, reduced efficacy of levamisole treatment was detected in 50%, of avermectins in 33% and of moxidectin in 75% of flocks tested (n = 2, 6 and 4, respectively). In the egg hatch experiment, carried out under “chilled” and “non-chilled” conditions, 43% of the eggs in the “non-chilled” group were able to hatch, compared to 100% in the “chilled” group. Conclusions The identification of inefficient control strategies argues for continued education of stockholders, in order to improve their management programmes. This is particularly important where the practices might impact on the development of anthelmintic resistance, which has been shown to exist on NI farms. The appropriate choice of anthelmintic is a vital part of this plan. The ability of eggs to hatch under non-chilled conditions demonstrates a flexibility in hatching behaviour. This may represent an adaptation to climate change and account for the recent emergence of a second, autumnal peak of infection. ItemIntestinal microbiota profiles associated with low and high residual feed intake in chickens across two geographical locations(Public Library of Science, 2017-11-15) Siegerstetter, Sina-Catherine; Schmitz-Esser, Stephan; Magowan, Elizabeth; Wetzels, Stefanie Urimare; Zebeli, Qendrim; Lawlor, Peadar G.; O'Connell, Niamh E.; Metzler-Zebeli, Barbara U.Intestinal microbe-host interactions can affect the feed efficiency (FE) of chickens. As inconsistent findings for FE-associated bacterial taxa were reported across studies, the present objective was to identify whether bacterial profiles and predicted metabolic functions that were associated with residual feed intake (RFI) and performance traits in female and male chickens were consistent across two different geographical locations. At six weeks of life, the microbiota in ileal, cecal and fecal samples of low (n = 34) and high (n = 35) RFI chickens were investigated by sequencing the V3-5 region of the 16S rRNA gene. Location-associated differences in α-diversity and relative abundances of several phyla and genera were detected. RFI-associated bacterial abundances were found at the phylum and genus level, but differed among the three intestinal sites and between males and females. Correlation analysis confirmed that, of the taxonomically classifiable bacteria, Lactobacillus (5% relative abundance) and two Lactobacillus crispatus-OTUs in feces were indicative for high RFI in females (P < 0.05). In males, Ruminococcus in cecal digesta (3.1% relative abundance) and Dorea in feces (<0.1% relative abundance) were best indicative for low RFI, whereas Acinetobacter in feces (<1.5% relative abundance) related to high RFI (P < 0.05). Predicted metabolic functions in feces of males confirmed compositional relationships as functions related to amino acid, fatty acid and vitamin metabolism correlated with low RFI, whereas an increasing abundance of bacterial signaling and interaction (i.e. cellular antigens) genes correlated with high RFI (P < 0.05). In conclusion, RFI-associated bacterial profiles could be identified across different geographical locations. Results indicated that consortia of low-abundance taxa in the ileum, ceca and feces may play a role for FE in chickens, whereby only bacterial FE-associations found in ileal and cecal digesta may serve as useful targets for dietary strategies. ItemBovine tuberculosis visible lesions in cattle culled during herd breakdowns: the effects of individual characteristics, trade movement and co-infection(Springer, 2017-12) Byrne, Andrew W.; Graham, Jordon; Brown, Craig; Donaghy, Aoibheann; Guelbenzu Gonzalo, Maria; McNair, James; Skuce, Robin A.; Allen, Adrian; McDowell, Stanley W.J.Background: Bovine tuberculosis (bTB), caused by Mycobacterium bovis, remains a significant problem for livestock industries in many countries worldwide including Northern Ireland, where a test and slaughter regime has utilised the Single Intradermal Comparative Cervical Tuberculin (SICCT) test since 1959. We investigated the variation in post-mortem confirmation based on bTB visible lesion (VL) presence during herd breakdowns using two model suites. We investigated animal-level characteristics, while controlling for herd-level factors and clustering. We were interested in potential impacts of concurrent infection, and therefore we assessed whether animals with evidence of liver fluke infection (Fasciola hepatica; post-mortem inspection), M. avium reactors (animals with negative M. bovis-avium (b-a) tuberculin reactions) or Bovine Viral Diarrhoea Virus (BVDV; RT-PCR tested) were associated with bTB confirmation. Results: The dataset included 6242 animals removed during the 14 month study period (2013–2015). bTB-VL presence was significantly increased in animals with greater b-a reaction size at the disclosing SICCT test (e.g. b-a = 5- 9 mm vs. b-a = 0 mm, adjusted Odds ratio (aOR): 14.57; p < 0.001). M. avium reactor animals (b-a < 0) were also significantly more likely to disclose VL than non-reactor animals (b-a = 0; aOR: 2.29; p = 0.023). Animals had a greater probability of exhibiting lesions with the increasing number of herds it had resided within (movement; logherds: aOR: 2.27–2.42; p < 0.001), if it had an inconclusive penultimate test result (aOR: 2.84–3.89; p < 0.001), and with increasing time between tests (log-time; aOR: 1.23; p = 0.003). Animals were less likely to have VL if they were a dairy breed (aOR: 0.79; p = 0.015) or in an older age-class (e.g. age-quartile 2 vs. 4; aOR: 0.65; p < 0.001). Liver fluke or BVDV variables were not retained in either multivariable model as they were non-significantly associated with bTB-VL status (p > 0.1). Conclusions: Our results suggest that neither co-infection of liver fluke nor BVDV had a significant effect on the presence of VLs in this high-risk cohort. M. avium tuberculin reactors had a significantly increased risk of disclosing with a bTB lesion, which could be related to the impact of co-infection with M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP) affecting the performance of the SICCT however further research in this area is required. Movements, test history, breed and age were important factors influencing confirmation in high-risk animals. ItemMeasles vaccination: Threat from related veterinary viruses and need for continued vaccination post measles eradication(Taylor & Francis, 2017-12-14) Cosby, S. Louise; Weir, LeanneMeasles virus (MV) is the only human virus within the morbillivirus genus of the Paramyxoviridae. The veterinary members are canine distemper virus (CDV), peste des petits ruminants virus (PPRV), Rinderpest Virus (RPV) as well as the marine morbilliviruses phocine distemper virus (PDV), dolphin morbillivirus (DMV) and porpoise morbillivirus (PMV). Morbilliviruses have a severe impact on humans and animal species. They confer diseases which have contributed to morbidity and mortality of the population on a global scale. There is substantial evidence from both natural and experimental infections that morbilliviruses can readily cross species barriers. Of most concern with regard to zoonosis is the more recently reported fatal infection of primates in Japan and China with strains of CDV which have adapted to this host. The close genetic relationship, shared cell entry receptors and similar pathogenesis between the morbilliviruses highlights the potential consequences of complete withdrawal of MV vaccination after eradication. Therefore, it would be prudent to continue the current MV vaccination. Ultimately development of novel, safe vaccines which have higher efficacy against the veterinary morbilliviruses is a priority. These would to protect the human population long term against the threat of zoonosis by these veterinary viruses. ItemPrevalence of Bovine Viral Diarrhoea Virus (BVDV), Bovine Herpes Virus 1 (BHV 1), Leptospirosis and Neosporosis, and associated risk factors in 161 Irish beef herds(Springer Nature (BMC), 2018-01-06) Barrett, Damien; Parr, Mervyn; Fagan, John; Johnson, Alan; Tratalos, Jamie; Lively, Francis; Diskin, Michael; Kenny, DavidBackground: There are limited data available, in Ireland or elsewhere, to determine the extent of exposure to various endemic diseases among beef cows and factors associated with exposure to causative pathogens. The objectives of this study were to determine the herd and within herd prevalence of Bovine Viral Diarrhoea Virus (BVDV), Bovine Herpes Virus 1 (BHV-1), Leptospirosis and Neosporosis in a large scale study of commercial beef herds on the island of Ireland, and to examine herd level factors associated with exposure to these pathogens in these herds. Results: The average number of cows tested per herd was 35.5 (median 30). Herd level seroprevalence to Bovine Herpesvirus-1(BHV-1), Bovine Viral-Diarrhoea Virus (BVDV), Leptospirosis and Neosporosis was 90%, 100%, 91% and 67%, respectively, while the mean within herd prevalence for the these pathogens was 40%, 77.7%, 65.7% and 5.7%, respectively. The study confirms that the level of seroconversion for the four pathogens of interest increases with herd size. There was also evidence that exposure to one pathogen may increase the risk of exposure to another pathogen. Conclusions: Herd level seroprevalences were in excess of 90% for BVDV, BHV-1 and Leptosporosis. Larger herds were subject to increased exposure to disease pathogens. This study suggests that exposure to several pathogens may be associated with the further exposure to other pathogens. ItemEffect of passive transfer status on response to a glycoprotein E (gE)-negative bovine herpesvirus type 1 (BoHV-1) and bovine respiratory syncytial virus (BRSV) vaccine and weaning stress in pre-weaned dairy calves(Taylor & Francis, 2018-01-09) Dunn, Amanda; Welsh, Michael; Gordon, Alan Wesley; Arguello, Anastasio; Morrison, Steven J.; Earley, BernadetteThe study objectives were to: 1) examine how calves of divergent immune status respond to BRSV vaccination at 3 weeks of age; 2) trace glycoprotein E negative BoHV-1 antibodies from vaccinated dams to calf sera and to investigate how passive transfer affects response to live BoHV-1 vaccine at 6 weeks of age; 3) explore the impact of passive transfer status on blood metabolites around weaning. Thirty seven Holstein cows and their calves were included in the study. All cows were immunised with a commercial marker vaccine against BoHV-1(gE-) administered intra-muscularly at 4 month prior to the start of calving. Calves were assigned to 1 of 2 colostrum treatment groups: 1) 5% of BW in colostrum fed at birth, or 2) 10% of BW in colostrum fed at birth. Calves were also immunised at 3 weeks of age with a respiratory commercial vaccine, and a booster administered 4 weeks later. Calves were also immunised against BoHV-1 at 6 weeks of age, using one dose of a live commercial vaccine. The results demonstrated that level of passive immunity had no effect on immune response to vaccination and the importance of feeding colostrum from vaccinated BoHV-1 gE- dams to provide calves with passive protection against IBRV. ItemAn analysis of effects of heterozygosity in dairy cattle for bovine tuberculosis resistance(Wiley, 2018-01-24) Tsairidou, S.; Allen, Adrian; Pong-Wong, R.; McBride, S.H.; Wright, D.M.; Matika, O.; Pooley, C.M.; McDowell, Stanley W.J.; Glass, E.J.; Skuce, Robin A.; Bishop, S.C.; Woolliams, J.A.Genetic selection of cattle more resistant to bovine tuberculosis (bTB) may offer a complementary control strategy. Hypothesising underlying non-additive genetic variation, we present an approach using genome-wide high density markers to identify genomic loci with dominance effects on bTB resistance and to test previously published regions with heterozygote advantage in bTB. Our data comprised 1151 Holstein–Friesian cows from Northern Ireland, confirmed bTB cases and controls, genotyped with the 700K Illumina BeadChip. Genome-wide markers were tested for associations between heterozygosity and bTB status using marker-based relationships. Results were tested for robustness against genetic structure, and the genotypic frequencies of a significant locus were tested for departures from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. Genomic regions identified in our study and in previous publications were tested for dominance effects. Genotypic effects were estimated through ASReml mixed models. A SNP (rs43032684) on chromosome 6 was significant at the chromosome-wide level, explaining 1.7% of the phenotypic variance. In the controls, there were fewer heterozygotes for rs43032684 (P < 0.01) with the genotypic values suggesting that heterozygosity confers a heterozygote disadvantage. The region surrounding rs43032684 had a significant dominance effect (P < 0.01). SNP rs43032684 resides within a pseudogene with a parental gene involved in macrophage response to infection and within a copy-number-variation region previously associated with nematode resistance. No dominance effect was found for the region on chromosome 11, as indicated by a previous candidate region bTB study. These findings require further validation with large-scale data. ItemVariation in the Early Host-Pathogen Interaction of Bovine Macrophages with Divergent Mycobacterium bovis Strains in the United Kingdom(American Society for Microbiology, 2018-02-20) Jensen, Kirsty; Gallagher, Iain J.; Johnston, Nicholas; Welsh, Michael; Skuce, Robin A.; Williams, John L.; Glass, Elizabeth J. GlassBovine tuberculosis has been an escalating animal health issue in the United Kingdom since the 1980s, even though control policies have been in place for over 60 years. The importance of the genetics of the etiological agent, Mycobacterium bovis, in the reemergence of the disease has been largely overlooked. We compared the interaction between bovine monocyte-derived macrophages (bMDM) and two M. bovis strains, AF2122/97 and G18, representing distinct genotypes currently circulating in the United Kingdom. These M. bovis strains exhibited differences in survival and growth in bMDM. Although uptake was similar, the number of viable intracellular AF2122/97 organisms increased rapidly, while G18 growth was constrained for the first 24 h. AF2122/97 infection induced a greater transcriptional response by bMDM than G18 infection with respect to the number of differentially expressed genes and the fold changes measured. AF2122/97 infection induced more bMDM cell death, with characteristics of necrosis and apoptosis, more inflammasome activation, and a greater type I interferon response than G18. In conclusion, the two investigated M. bovis strains interact in significantly different ways with the host macrophage. In contrast to the relatively silent infection by G18, AF2122/97 induces greater signaling to attract other immune cells and induces host cell death, which may promote secondary infections of naive macrophages. These differences may affect early events in the host-pathogen interaction, including granuloma development, which could in turn alter the progression of the disease. Therefore, the potential involvement of M. bovis genotypes in the reemergence of bovine tuberculosis in the United Kingdom warrants further investigation.