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Concept: Goat


Listeria monocytogenes infection is most commonly recognized in ruminants, including cattle, sheep, and goats; but it is rarely diagnosed in poultry. This report describes an outbreak of L. monocytogenes in a backyard poultry flock. Also, it points out the importance of collaboration between veterinarians and public health departments and the possible implications of zoonotic diseases.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Listeria monocytogenes, Listeria, Listeriosis, Livestock, Goat, Joseph Lister, 1st Baron Lister, Herbivorous animals


This experiment was aimed to determine proper physical traits in the diet for goats by investigating the effects of physically effective neutral detergent fiber (peNDF) content on dry matter intake (DMI), digestibility, and chewing activity in black goats fed with total mixed ration (TMR).

Concepts: Energy, Chemistry, Thermodynamics, Cheese, Goat, Diet of Japan, Capra, Goats


Domestication is an important factor driving changes in animal cognition and behaviour. In particular, the capacity of dogs to communicate in a referential and intentional way with humans is considered a key outcome of how domestication as a companion animal shaped the canid brain. However, the lack of comparison with other domestic animals makes general conclusions about how domestication has affected these important cognitive features difficult. We investigated human-directed behaviour in an ‘unsolvable problem’ task in a domestic, but non-companion species: goats. During the test, goats experienced a forward-facing or an away-facing person. They gazed towards the forward-facing person earlier and for longer and showed more gaze alternations and a lower latency until the first gaze alternation when the person was forward-facing. Our results provide strong evidence for audience-dependent human-directed visual orienting behaviour in a species that was domesticated primarily for production, and show similarities with the referential and intentional communicative behaviour exhibited by domestic companion animals such as dogs and horses. This indicates that domestication has a much broader impact on heterospecific communication than previously believed.

Concepts: Psychology, Cognitive psychology, Communication, Domestication, Dog, Goat, Pet, Guinea pig


Companion animal owners are increasingly concerned about the links between degenerative health conditions, farm animal welfare problems, environmental degradation, fertilizers and herbicides, climate change, and causative factors; such as animal farming and the consumption of animal products. Accordingly, many owners are increasingly interested in vegetarian diets for themselves and their companion animals. However, are vegetarian canine and feline diets nutritious and safe? Four studies assessing the nutritional soundness of these diets were reviewed, and manufacturer responses to the most recent studies are provided. Additional reviewed studies examined the nutritional soundness of commercial meat-based diets and the health status of cats and dogs maintained on vegetarian and meat-based diets. Problems with all of these dietary choices have been documented, including nutritional inadequacies and health problems. However, a significant and growing body of population studies and case reports have indicated that cats and dogs maintained on vegetarian diets may be healthy-including those exercising at the highest levels-and, indeed, may experience a range of health benefits. Such diets must be nutritionally complete and reasonably balanced, however, and owners should regularly monitor urinary acidity and should correct urinary alkalinisation through appropriate dietary additives, if necessary.

Concepts: Protein, Agriculture, Nutrition, Obesity, Meat, Dog, Goat, Pet


Recent advances in the study of the CRISPR/Cas9 system have provided a precise and versatile approach for genome editing in various species. However, the applicability and efficiency of this method in large animal models, such as the goat, have not been extensively studied. Here, by co-injection of one-cell stage embryos with Cas9 mRNA and sgRNAs targeting two functional genes (MSTN and FGF5), we successfully produced gene-modified goats with either one or both genes disrupted. The targeting efficiency of MSTN and FGF5 in cultured primary fibroblasts was as high as 60%, while the efficiency of disrupting MSTN and FGF5 in 98 tested animals was 15% and 21% respectively, and 10% for double gene modifications. The on- and off-target mutations of the target genes in fibroblasts, as well as in somatic tissues and testis of founder and dead animals, were carefully analyzed. The results showed that simultaneous editing of several sites was achieved in large animals, demonstrating that the CRISPR/Cas9 system has the potential to become a robust and efficient gene engineering tool in farm animals, and therefore will be critically important and applicable for breeding.

Concepts: DNA, Protein, Gene, Genetics, Organism, Genome, RNA, Goat


A total of 10,818 domestic ruminants (3913 cattle, 2722 sheep, 3779 goats, 404 dromedaries) slaughtered in various abattoirs in Tunisia between 2003 and 2010 were examined for the presence of Echinococcus granulosus hydatid cysts. The prevalence of cystic echinococcosis (CE) was 16.42% in sheep, 8.56% in cattle, 5.94% in dromedaries and 2.88% in goats. CE prevalence increased with age according to an asymptotic model and there was evidence of variation in infection pressure depending on the region of Tunisia where the animals were slaughtered. Cattle appeared to have the highest infection pressure of the species examined. The mean intensity of hepatic cysts was higher than that of pulmonary cysts in all species. The highest mean intensity of infection with E. granulosus larvae was observed in cattle (18.14) followed by sheep (9.58), goats (2.31) and dromedaries (2.12). The abundance of infection increased in a linear fashion with age in all animal species. Cyst abundance varied with species of animal and district of Tunisia. Cysts from dromedaries were more fertile (44.44%) than those from sheep (30.25%), goats (30.32%) and cattle (0.95%). The viability of the protoscoleces from fertile cysts from cattle (78.45%) was higher than those from sheep (70.71%) and camels (69.57%). The lowest protoscolex viability was recorded for hydatid cysts from goats (20.21%). This epidemiological study confirms the importance of CE in all domestic ruminant species, particularly in sheep, throughout Tunisia and emphasizes the need to interrupt parasite transmission by preventive integrated approaches in a CE control programme.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Mammal, Cyst, Livestock, Ruminant, Goat, Camel, Herbivorous animals


The recent availability of a genome-wide SNP array for the goat genome dramatically increases the power to investigate aspects of genetic diversity and to conduct genome-wide association studies in this important domestic species. We collected and analysed genotypes from 52 088 SNPs in Boer, Cashmere and Rangeland goats that had both polled and horned individuals. Principal components analysis revealed a clear genetic division between animals for each population, and model-based clustering successfully detected evidence of admixture that matched aspects of their recorded history. For example, shared co-ancestry was detected, suggesting Boer goats have been introgressed into the Rangeland population. Further, allele frequency data successfully tracked the altered genetic profile that has taken place after 40 years of breeding Australian Cashmere goats using the Rangeland animals as the founding population. Genome-wide association mapping of the POLL locus revealed a strong signal on goat chromosome 1. The 769-kb critical interval contained the polled intersex syndrome locus, confirming the genetic basis in non-European animals is the same as identified previously in Saanen goats. Interestingly, analysis of the haplotypes carried by a small set of sex-reversed animals, known to be associated with polledness, revealed some animals carried the wild-type chromosome associated with the presence of horns. This suggests a more complex basis for the relationship between polledness and the intersex condition than initially thought while validating the application of the goat SNP50 BeadChip for fine-mapping traits in goat.

Concepts: Gene, Genetics, Allele, Evolution, Population genetics, Livestock, Goat, Horn


Haemonchus contortus is a highly pathogenic nematode parasite of sheep and goats. This work was conducted to investigate the population and host variations of the parasitic nematode H. contortus of sheep and goats from Malaysia and Yemen. Eight morphological characters were investigated, namely the total body length, cervical papillae, right spicule, left spicule, right barb, left barb, gubernaculum and cuticular ridge (synlophe) pattern. Statistical analysis showed the presence of morphological variation between populations of H. contortus from Malaysia and Yemen, with minor variation in the synlophe pattern of these isolates. Isolates from each country were grouped together in the scatterplots with no host isolation. Body, cervical papillae and spicule lengths were the most important characters that distinguished between populations of the two countries. This variation between Malaysia and Yemen may be attributed to geographical isolation and the possible presence of a different isolate of this worm in each country.

Concepts: Parasites, Statistics, Arthropod, Nematode, Nematodes, Sheep and goats diseases, Goat, Haemonchus contortus


SUMMARY A cross-sectional serological survey was conducted during January to August 2001 to determine the seroprevalence of Leptospira serovars in five species of livestock in Thailand and to identify associations between seropositivity and sex, age, species and geographical locations. Sera from 14188 livestock (9288 cattle, 1376 buffaloes, 1898 pigs, 1110 sheep, 516 goats) from 36 provinces were tested for antibodies against 24 Leptospira serovars with the microscopic agglutination test (MAT) for which the criterion for a positive result was set at a titre of ⩾1:50. A total of 1635 [11·5%, 95% confidence interval (CI) 11·0-12·0] animals were seropositive and the highest prevalence (30·4%, 95% CI 28·2-32·5) of evidence of infection was recorded in the northeast region followed by the central region (22·2%, 95% CI 20-24·6). Seroprevalences recorded for cattle, buffaloes, pigs, sheep and goats were 9·9% (95% CI 9·3-10·5), 30·5% (95% CI 28·1-32·9), 10·8% (95% CI 9·5-12·3), 4·7% (95% CI 3·6-6·1) and 7·9% (95% CI 5·8-10·5), respectively. Buffaloes were 3·1 (95% CI 2·8-3·4) times more likely than cattle to be seropositive. The most commonly detected antibodies were against L. interrogans serovars Ranarum, Sejroe, and Mini in cattle, Mini, Sejroe, and Bratislava in buffaloes, Ranarum, Pomona, and Bratislava in pigs and Mini, Shermani, and Ranarum in sheep and goats. Seroprevalences in cattle and buffaloes trended upwards with increasing age and there was no difference in the risk of seropositivity between males and females.

Concepts: Milk, Sex, Mammal, Serology, Livestock, Leptospira, Goat, Domestic sheep


Two methods for transcervical cannulation of the goat were evaluated during a contraception study in 15 adult female Nigerian dwarf and African pygmy goats. Twenty-four transcervical cannulation procedures were conducted in which seven females underwent the procedure 2-3 times. Initially, a rigid 4-mm stainless steel cannula and external light source were used in 19 procedures to introduce the contraceptive compound into the uterus. Placement of the cannula was directed by feel or depth assessment. Of seven females that were euthanized following this procedure, four evidenced complications including penetration of the cervix with the cannula and cervical damage. A 2-mm custom-made endoscope with a specially designed cannula was then used for the remaining five procedures. No complications were found. A single animal, that underwent the endoscopic procedure twice, was euthanized for study purposes and no abnormal findings of the reproductive tract were reported. The use of an endoscope resulted in better outcomes because the uterus could be visualized after traversing the cervix.

Concepts: Reproduction, Hormonal contraception, Reproductive system, Cervix, Endoscopy, Goat, Colposcopy, Pygmy goat