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Journal: Research in veterinary science


Current therapy of Trypanosoma evansi infections is not effective for the vast majority of animals with relapsing parasitemia and clinical signs. Recently, attention is being focused on the antiparasitic activity of propolis. This study evaluated the susceptibility of T. evansi to propolis extract in vitro and in vivo. A dose-dependent trypanocidal activity of propolis extract was observed in vitro. All trypomastigotes were killed 1 h after incubation with 10 μg mL(-1) of the extract. In vivo, the concentrations of 100, 200, 300 and 400 mg kg(-1) administered orally for 10 consecutive days showed no curative effect, and the rats died from the disease. However, rats treated with the two highest concentrations of propolis extract showed higher longevity than the other groups. Based on these data, we concluded that T. evansi is susceptible to propolis in vitro. Despite the lack of curative efficacy observed in vivo at the concentrations tested, the propolis extract can prolong life in rats infected with the protozoan.

Concepts: Effectiveness, In vitro, Trypanosoma evansi


In humans, the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) gene battery constitutes a set of contaminant-responsive genes, which have been recently shown to be involved in the regulation of several patho-physiological conditions, including tumorigenesis. As the domestic dog represents a valuable animal model in comparative oncology, mRNA levels of cytochromes P450 1A1, 1A2 and 1B1 (CYP1A1, 1A2 and 1B1), AHR, AHR nuclear translocator (ARNT), AHR repressor (AHRR, whose partial sequence was here obtained) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX2) were measured in dog control tissues (liver, skin, mammary gland and bone), in 47 mast cell tumors (MCTs), 32 mammary tumors (MTs), 5 osteosarcoma (OSA) and related surgical margins. Target genes were constitutively expressed in the dog, confirming the available human data. Furthermore, their pattern of expression in tumor biopsies was comparable to that already described in a variety of human cancers; in particular, both AHR and COX2 genes were up-regulated and positively correlated, while CYP1A1 and CYP1A2 mRNAs were generally poorly expressed. This work demonstrated for the first time that target mRNAs are expressed in neoplastic tissues of dogs, thereby increasing the knowledge about dog cancer biology and confirming this species as an useful animal model for comparative studies on human oncology.

Concepts: DNA, Gene expression, Cancer, Oncology, Tumor, Neoplasm, Aryl hydrocarbon receptor nuclear translocator, Aryl hydrocarbon receptor


Paratuberculosis (PTB) is an infectious granulomatous enteritis caused by Mycobacterium avium paratuberculosis (MAP) causing significant economic losses in livestock. However, PTB in free-living and captive wildlife has not been as extensively studied as in livestock. We reviewed the existing literature references on MAP to (i) determine the potential impact of MAP infection in wildlife species; (ii) analyze whether wildlife reservoirs are relevant regarding MAP control in domestic ruminants; (iii) assess the importance of MAP as the cause of potential interferences with tuberculosis diagnosis in wildlife. The mean MAP prevalence reported in wildlife was 2.41% (95% confidence interval 1.76-3.06). Although MAP should be considered an important disease in farmed cervids, its impact on free-ranging species is questionable. MAP reservoirs may exist locally but their significance for PTB control in livestock is quite limited. The most critical aspect derived of MAP infection in wildlife is the interference with tuberculosis diagnosis.

Concepts: Disease, Infectious disease, Causality, Tuberculosis, Crohn's disease, Mycobacterium, Mycobacterium avium complex, Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis


The objective of this study was to establish a simple and rapid immunocytochemical technique that can be used in veterinary diagnostic cytology. Air-dried impression smears were collected from canine tumors. Samples of epithelial tumors, mesenchymal tumors, and malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors and melanomas were used for detection of cytokeratin, vimentin, and S-100 protein, respectively. The labeled streptavidin-biotin system was used in the present study. Optimal fixation was determined using standard immunocytochemical procedures, and acetone fixation was found to be the most effective. Optimal concentrations of primary and secondary antibodies were determined at a preset 5-min incubation. Omission of H2O2 treatment, shortening the time for blocking and labeled-streptavidin incubation, and simplifying washing did not decrease immunopositive intensities or enhance false-positive reactions. The described rapid protocol requires approximately 45 min without the use of any special equipment.

Concepts: Present, Time, Oncology, Action potential, Tumor, Immunohistochemistry, Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor, Nerve sheath tumor


Trypanosoma evansi is the cause of surra in horses, camels and other domestic animals. Following the first outbreak of surra in horses and camels in Israel in 2006, a survey of the prevalence of the parasite in the Israeli horse population was conducted using serology, PCR followed by the reverse dot blot (RDB) technique and blood smear microscopy. In total, 614 horses from 7 regions were sampled. The CATT/T. evansi kit was used for serology for all the horses. Horses from the Arava and Dead Sea region, where the first outbreak occurred, were sampled again one year later and both samples were subjected to serology and the RDB technique. The country wide seroprevalence was 4.6% (28/614). The seroprevalence in the Arava and Dead Sea region was 6.5% (9/139) in the first sampling compared with 4.1% (5/122) in the second, whereas the prevalence of RDB-positivity was 18.7% (26/139) in the first sampling and only 0.8% (1/122) in the second. All horses were asymptomatic except for one horse from the Arava and Dead Sea region that demonstrated clinical signs of surra combined with positive serology and RDB. The results of this study indicated that surra is prevalent in most regions of the country and thus should be considered an important differential diagnosis in horses and other domestic animals in Israel with chronic weight loss, edema or neurological signs.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Medical diagnosis, Israel, Sea, Jordan, West Bank, Dead Sea, Trypanosoma evansi


The reticulum, rumen, omasum and abomasum were assessed via ultrasonography in 10 healthy female calves before, during and 2 h after feeding hay and grass silage. The evaluations were made using an ultrasound machine with a 5.0 MHz linear transducer. The reticulum could be visualized before feeding in all the calves. Its appearance and pattern of contractions were similar to those in adult cattle, although the amplitude (5.2±1.06 cm) and velocity (3.5±1.42 cm/s) of the first contraction were markedly less than in adult cattle. The position and size of the entire rumen including the dorsal and ventral sacs and the ruminal contents were assessed. Except for its smaller size, the ultrasonographic appearance of the omasum of calves was similar to that of adult cattle. The abomasum was seen to the left and right of the ventral midline before feeding in all calves; it occupied considerably more space on the left than the right. Compared with its appearance before feeding, the ultrasonographic appearance of the rumen, omasum and abomasum did not change during or after feeding. Ultrasonography is an ideal imaging tool for evaluating the reticulum, rumen, omasum and abomasum before, during and after feeding in calves.

Concepts: Medical imaging, Cattle, Medical ultrasonography, Ultrasound


The presence of the leptin receptor (ObR) has already been highlighted in the human major salivary glands and it has been hypothesized that leptin may act by regulating the gland’s growth. No data are reported on domestic animals so, considering the important role that these glands play, not only related to food ingestion and digestion, and the important functional role hypothesized to explain the presence of ObR in humans salivary glands, the aim of the present work was to investigate the presence and the distribution of the leptin receptor in horse parotid and mandibular glands, by immunohistochemical techniques. The presence of ObR was evidenced in parotid and mandibular glands, exclusively localized in duct epithelial cells; their positivity was localized in the cytoplasm and was most evident near its apical portion. Immuno-positivity not only affects the intralobular ducts (intercalated and striated) but also the interlobular ones. Our results indicate that horse major salivary glands, like those of humans, are likely targets of leptin actions, suggesting a functional role of leptin on these glands.

Concepts: Protein, Digestive system, Epithelium, Gland, Glands, Parotid gland, Salivary gland, Submandibular gland


In order to evaluate if the presence of Trypanosoma caninum can lead to a confuse diagnosis of canine visceral leishmaniasis (CVL), we investigated the serological status of dogs infected by T. caninum and assessed the serological cross-reactivity with CVL. A set of 117 serum samples from dogs infected by T. caninum, Leishmania chagasi and not infected dogs (n=39 in each group) was tested using commercial kits–indirect immunofluorescence (IFI-LVC), ELISA (EIE-LVC) and immunochromatographic test (DPP)–and in house tests with T. caninum (IIF-Tc and ELISA-Tc) and L. chagasi antigens (IIF-Lc and ELISA-Lc). IIF-Tc and ELISA-Tc presented sensitivity of 64.1% and 94.9% and specificity of 23.1% and 35.9%, respectively. The sensitivity of the IFI-LVC, EIE-LVC and DPP tests was 100% and the specificity was 70.5%, 68% and 97.5% respectively. The concordance between the tests was considered as satisfactory. The specificities of IFI-LVC, EIE-LVC and DPP were higher when the group Tc was excluded, with significant values for IFI-LVC (χ2=4.36, P-value=0.036), thus suggesting that the infection by T. caninum can confuse the diagnosis of CVL.

Concepts: Immune system, Antibody, Type I and type II errors, Leishmaniasis, Visceral leishmaniasis, Leishmania, Sodium stibogluconate, Canine leishmaniasis


The objective of this study was to compare the postoperative analgesic effects of dexketoprofen, tramadol, and buprenorphine in dogs undergoing ovariohysterectomy. Seventy-five adult female dogs were randomly assigned to receive an intravenous injection (IV) of 1mg/kg of dexketoprofen (D), 0.02mg/kg of buprenorphine (B) or 2mg/kg of tramadol (T). Pain assessment was performed during 48h after ovariohysterectomy using a dynamic interactive visual analogue scale (DIVAS) and Glasgow composite measure pain scale (CMPS-SF). Rescue analgesia was required in 43%, 21%, and 5% of dogs in the B, T, and D groups, respectively, with significant differences between B and D (p=0.010) groups. The DIVAS and CMPS-SF values of the B group were significantly higher than those of the T and D groups. The most common undesirable effect was dysphoria in dexketoprofen group. Tramadol and dexketoprofen provide superior postoperative analgesia compared with buprenorphine in dogs undergoing ovariohysterectomy.

Concepts: Opioid, Pain, Morphine, Analgesic, Buprenorphine, Methadone, Tramadol, Analgesics


The aim of this study was to retrospectively assess the clinical usefulness of plasma atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) concentrations for determining the severity of myxomatous mitral valve disease (MMVD) in dogs. Plasma ANP levels were found to be significantly higher in dogs with MMVD compared to healthy dogs, and plasma ANP levels increased significantly in dogs with progressive heart failure. In dogs with MMVD, stepwise regression analysis revealed that the left atrium/aorta ratio and fractional shortening could be used to predict the plasma ANP concentration. These results indicated that plasma ANP rose with an increase in the volume overload of the left side of the heart. Plasma ANP discriminated cardiomegaly from non-cardiomegaly caused by asymptomatic MMVD. We conclude, therefore, that plasma ANP concentrations may be a clinically useful tool for early diagnosis of asymptomatic MMVD in dogs.

Concepts: Regression analysis, Heart, Atrial fibrillation, Mitral valve, Mitral regurgitation, Mitral valve prolapse, Atrial natriuretic peptide, Stepwise regression