Publications by authors named "Jorge A Hernandez"

59 Publications

Associations between surgical start time (regular vs after hours) and morbidity and mortality during hospitalization in dogs and cats.

J Vet Emerg Crit Care (San Antonio) 2021 Sep 30;31(5):629-637. Epub 2021 Jul 30.

Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA.

Objective: To examine the relationship between after-hours (ie, nights and weekends) emergency general surgery and morbidity or mortality in dogs and cats during hospitalization.

Design: Cross-sectional study from September 1, 2013 to May 31, 2017.

Setting: University teaching hospital.

Animals: Four hundred seventy-four dogs and 66 cats that underwent emergency general surgery (gastrointestinal, hepatobiliary, urogenital, soft tissue traumatic injury, splenectomy/excision of bleeding abdominal tumor, surgical revision, and negative exploratory categories) with the emergency surgery service. All patients were required to have complete medical records.

Interventions: None.

Measurements And Main Results: Study animals were grouped as exposed or not exposed to after-hours emergency surgery. They were further classified as either postoperatively dead or suffering morbidity (yes or no). Additional exposure factors (eg, age, sex, American Society of Anesthesiology [ASA] status) were investigated. Multivariable logistic regression was used to identify and quantify any associations with mortality or morbidity. In dogs, exposure to after-hours emergency general surgery was not associated with mortality or morbidity. In dogs, both mortality and morbidity were associated with ASA status. In cats, mortality was not examined because the number of dead cats was small (n = 5). The odds of morbidity were 3.4 times lower (1/0.29) in cats having emergency surgery after hours, compared to cats admitted during regular hours (odds ratio [OR], 0.29; 95% Confidence Interval (CI), 0.09-0.93; P = 0.03). No other investigated exposure factors were associated with morbidity in study cats.

Conclusions: After-hours emergency surgery in dogs was not associated with increased risk of mortality and morbidity at the study facility. Feline patients having emergency surgery during regular hospital hours had a higher risk of morbidity; further investigation of modifiable risk factors is warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/vec.13066DOI Listing
September 2021

Anemia and intestinal parasites in farmers and family members and sheep in two agro-ecological zones in Senegal.

One Health 2021 Dec 29;13:100260. Epub 2021 Apr 29.

University of Florida (UF) College of Veterinary Medicine, Gainesville, FL, USA.

The burden of anemia in Senegal is high, particularly in children and women in rural households. The main objectives of the study reported here were (i) to measure and compare the prevalence of anemia and intestinal parasitic infections in farmers and family members and sheep in two agro-ecological zones in Senegal and (ii) to examine the association between anemia and age or sex in farmers and family members. The study was conducted in Mpal (250 km from Dakar, the capital city) and Diawara (700 km from Dakar, a remote location near the Malian border). , the prevalence of anemia was higher in Diawara (64/86 = 74%), compared to Mpal (13/29 = 45%) ( < 0.01). Using logistic regression, the odds of anemia were 20.3, 5.7, and 3.2 times higher in children 1-4 years old, children 5-12 years-old, and teenagers 13-19 years old, respectively, compared to adults 20-60 years old, after controlling for study site and sex ( < 0.05). In Diawara, the odds of anemia were 2.9 times higher in women, compared to men, after controlling for age ( = 0.06). The prevalence of intestinal parasites ( sp.) was the same (7%) at both locations. , the prevalence of low packed cell volume (PCV) and low body condition was higher in Diawara (48/60 = 60% and 11/60 = 18%, respectively), compared to Mpal (23/46 = 50% and 0/46 = 0%, respectively) ( < 0.05). Clinical anemia was associated ( < 0.01) with low PCV and a positive diagnosis of . the prevalence of anemia was higher in farmers and family members and owned sheep in Diawara. In addition, anemia was more common in children and women, an indication that intra-household food allocation may be regulated in favor of men and older age groups. The consequences of livestock affected with anemia and undernutrition can be significant. High morbidity and mortality in livestock can lead to low household income, inadequate household access to and individual consumption of animal source foods, and subsequent risk of anemia in children and women in rural households in Senegal.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.onehlt.2021.100260DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8296071PMC
December 2021

CHRONIC PANCREATIC DISEASE IN THE LESSER KUDU (): A REPORT OF 16 CASES IN THE UNITED STATES.

J Zoo Wildl Med 2021 Jun;52(2):580-591

Department of Comparative, Diagnostic, and Population Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32610 USA.

A review of archival cases at Northwest ZooPath from 1995-2018 identified 16/96 (17%; eight females, eight males) lesser kudus () with chronic pancreatic disease (CPD) from three institutions, all of which originated from an initial founder stock of 12 animals. Ages at time of death or euthanasia ranged from 2 to 132 mo (average age = 69 mo). All cases had varying degrees of pancreatic acinar cell depletion, ductular hyperplasia, and fibrosis. Serum fructosamine, glucose, insulin, and insulin to glucose ratio collected close to time of death from 13 affected animals were not significantly different from controls ( = 19). Of these analytes, receiver operating characteristic analysis identified fructosamine as the best-performing analyte with an area under the curve 0.671 (95% confidence interval = 0.480-0.828; sensitivity = 58.3%, specificity = 84.2%; cutoff point >352 µmol/L) in the diagnosis of CPD. With a 15% prevalence, there was a positive predictive value of 41% and a negative predictive value of 92%, indicating that the probability of false positives is high, but of false negatives is low. An etiologic agent was not identified by histology ( = 16), transmission electron microscopy ( = 1), or enterovirus PCR ( = 2). Serum zinc and hepatic heavy metal analyses were judged to be within normal limits. Chronic pancreatic disease is considered an important cause of morbidity and mortality in the lesser kudu; serum chemistry analysis warrants further investigation in its use for diagnosis. The etiopathogenesis is not understood, but the absence of obvious causes, the occurrence also in very young animals, and the inbred lineage of lesser kudus in the United States suggest a genetic basis for this disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1638/2020-0186DOI Listing
June 2021

Steatitis in Cold-Stunned Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtles ().

Animals (Basel) 2021 Mar 21;11(3). Epub 2021 Mar 21.

Department of Comparative, Diagnostic, and Population Medicine, University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, Gainesville, FL 32608, USA.

The pathogenesis of steatitis that infrequently occurs in cold-stunned Kemp's ridley sea turtles (KRT; ) has been undetermined. The objectives of this study were to investigate the clinical ( = 23) and histologic findings ( = 11) in cold-stunned KRT, and to compare plasma concentrations of α-tocopherol (vitamin E), thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS), and the TBARS to vitamin E (T/E) ratio (an assessment of oxidative stress) between cold-stunned KRT with clinically and/or histologically confirmed steatitis ( = 10) and free-ranging KRT ( = 9). None of the cold-stunned turtles had clinically detectable steatitis at admission, and the median number of days to diagnosis of steatitis was 71 (range 33-469). Histologic findings of affected adipose tissue included heterophilic ( = 9) and/or histiocytic ( = 5) steatitis, fat necrosis ( = 7), myonecrosis ( = 2), and intralesional bacteria ( = 6). Cold-stunned KRT had significantly lower plasma vitamin E concentrations (median = 3.5 nmol/g), lower plasma TBARS concentrations (median = 1.6 nmol/g), and higher T/E ratios (median = 0.37), than controls (208.8 nmol/g; 2.1 nmol/g; 0.01, respectively). These results suggest a multifactorial etiology for the development of steatitis in KRT during rehabilitation, including tissue injury, septicemia, and various factors resulting in imbalances of anti-/oxidative status. By highlighting the need to provide more effective vitamin E supplementation, and the need to re-assess specific components of the diet, this study may lead to reduced incidence and improved medical management of steatitis in cold-stunned sea turtles.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ani11030898DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8004043PMC
March 2021

Blood Analyte Changes of Wild-Caught Adult Almaco Jack in Response to Acclimation to Recirculating Aquaculture Systems and Hyposalinity Treatment.

J Aquat Anim Health 2021 06 30;33(2):77-83. Epub 2021 Mar 30.

Tropical Aquaculture Laboratory, Program in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, School of Forest Resources and Conservation, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Ruskin, Florida, 33570, USA.

Despite the utility of blood analyte evaluation as a diagnostic tool to assist in monitoring the health of marine fishes, baseline data are often lacking for many commercially important finfish species. The objective of this study was to compare hematology and plasma chemistry data for adult wild-caught Almaco Jack Seriola rivoliana at time of capture and again following a period of acclimation to a recirculating aquaculture system and hyposalinity treatment. A total of 30 clinically healthy adult fish were caught via hook and line in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, approximately 120 mi offshore from Madeira Beach, Florida. Blood was collected from a subset of these fish (n = 13) immediately after capture and again at 16 weeks postcapture from another subset (n = 12) following a 45-d antiparasitic hyposalinity treatment. A 19% increase in fish body weight was observed during the study period (16 weeks) and no overt health issues or mortality were noted. Compared to fish that were sampled immediately following capture, several significant differences (P < 0.05) were observed. Absolute white blood cells were lower in captive held fish, suggesting biological variation, antigenic stimulation in wild fish, and/or immunosuppression associated with stress in captive held fish. Lower sodium, chloride, and calculated osmolality indicate osmoregulatory adjustments following the hyposalinity treatment by 16 weeks postcapture. Other observed plasma biochemical differences presumptively reflect dietary and/or environmental changes, or physiological variation following acclimation to captive culture conditions. This study reports baseline blood analyte data of wild-caught Almaco Jack and documents hematological and plasma biochemical responses to their new environment as captive broodstock. Baseline hematological and plasma biochemistry data obtained during this study are the first reported for this species.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/aah.10121DOI Listing
June 2021

Observed and expected combined effects of metritis and other postpartum diseases on time to conception and rate of conception failure in first lactation cows in Iran.

Theriogenology 2021 Apr 27;164:36-41. Epub 2021 Jan 27.

College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA. Electronic address:

Previous observational studies have produced strong evidence that metritis alone has an impact on reproductive performance in dairy cows; but few studies have examined the combined effect of metritis and other postpartum diseases on reproduction performance in dairy cows. Information on the combined effects of postpartum diseases on fertility in dairy cows can have practical herd-health management implications. The objective of the study reported here was to examine the observed and expected combined effects of metritis and other postpartum diseases (retained fetal membranes (RFM), clinical hypocalcemia, left displaced abomasum, clinical mastitis, lameness) on time to conception and rate of conception failure in first-lactation cows up to 150 days postpartum. The study was conducted on two commercial dairy herds in Iran. Median number of days to conception was higher in 30 cows affected with metritis and RFM (90 days), compared to 287 healthy cows (57 days), 16 cows affected with RFM alone (60 days) or 44 cows affected with metritis alone (60 days), after controlling for herd and calving month (p < 0.05). In cows affected with metritis and RFM, the rate of conception failure was 3.8 times greater than that of healthy cows, after controlling for study herd and calving month (hazard ratio = 3.8; 95% CI = 2.3, 6.6; p < 0.01); this observed combined effect on conception failure was two times higher than the expected combined effect based on adding or multiplying absolute independent excesses due to metritis or RFM. In addition, we observed an interaction effect between metritis and lameness on conception failure, after controlling for herd, calving month, and RFM; but study results were inconclusive. In this study, the observed combined effect of metritis and RFM on time to conception and rate of conception failure was far in excess, compared to that in cows exposed to metritis or RFM alone. Attending veterinarians or farm managers can consider this information when making breeding and culling decisions on dairy farms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.theriogenology.2021.01.016DOI Listing
April 2021

Seroprevalence of and Risk Factors Associated with Exposure to Brucella Spp. in Dairy Cattle in Three Different Agroecological Zones in Rwanda.

Am J Trop Med Hyg 2021 Jan 25. Epub 2021 Jan 25.

5College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

Livestock production is a key element for poverty alleviation, food security, and economic growth in Rwanda. In 2017, the national average milk production per cow was about 2.5 L per day; in 2020-2021, it is projected to increase to 3.5 L per day if improvement interventions including those designed to reduce the burden of brucellosis in cattle are implemented. The objective of the study reported here was to estimate the seroprevalence of and identify risk factors associated with dairy farms and cattle classified as seropositive to Brucella spp. in three different agroecological zones in Rwanda. Most study farms (40/85 or 47%) had one head of cattle only. Using the Rose Bengal test, the seroprevalence of brucellosis was 28/85 or 33% (95% CI = 24%, 43%) at the farm level and 63/465 or 14% (95% CI = 11%, 17%) at the animal level. Using logistic regression, at the farm level, the presence of seropositive cattle was associated with herd size (2-45 cattle, odds ratio = 21.2; 95% CI = 2.4, 184.5) (46-220 cattle, OR = 288.5; 95% CI = 24.3, 3,423.1) compared with farms with one animal, after controlling for main breed (local breeds, crossbreeds) on the farm. In addition, the odds of testing seropositive were 10.7 (95% CI = 2.3, 49.1) and 149.5 (95% CI = 19.3, 1,158.7) times higher in farms in Nyabihu district and Nyagatare district, respectively, than in farms in Muhanga district, after controlling for main breed on the farm. The odds of seropositivity to Brucella spp. were 2.8 times higher in farms with mostly local breeds, than in those with mostly crossbreeds; but the association was confounded by herd size and geographic location. At the animal level, the odds of seropositivity to Brucella spp. were 2.6 times higher in adult cattle than in young cattle (95% CI = 1.1, 6.3). Finally, we observed a high frequency of adult cattle (86%) and a high seroprevalence of brucellosis in adult cattle (25%) in Nyagatare; an indication that, in the absence of culling and other control measures, Brucella spp. infection pressure can be relatively constant and a steady source of disease transmission in pastoral systems in that district.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4269/ajtmh.20-1426DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8045630PMC
January 2021

Multiple Schwannomas of the Lower Extremity.

J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 2020 Sep;110(5)

This case study presents a 72-year-old male patient who presented with multiple schwannomas. The patient underwent several soft-tissue mass excisions performed by general surgery and podiatry. The physical examination displayed multiple nodules on the left foot, ankle, and previously in the groin. Magnetic resonance imaging displayed high-T2-weighted signal masses in the left plantar heel and ankle. These masses were excised and, through pathologic analysis, were diagnosed as schwannomas. Immunohistochemistry displayed a mosaic pattern of INI1 expression, a gene associated with tumor suppression. The patient demonstrated findings consistent with multiple schwannomas (eg, schwannomatosis or neurofibromatosis type 2). Because of the patient's medical history, neurofibromatosis type 2 was more probable.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7547/18-192DOI Listing
September 2020

A Transcriptome Analysis: Various Reasons of Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes Caused by Acute Infection.

Front Physiol 2020 19;11:115. Epub 2020 Feb 19.

College of Veterinary Medicine, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou, China.

Background: () is an obligate intracellular parasite, which can affect the pregnancy outcomes in infected females by damaging the uterus, and the intrauterine environment as well as and the hypothalamus resulting in hormonal imbalance. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the parasite-induced poor pregnancy outcomes and the key genes regulating these mechanisms remain unclear. Therefore, this study aimed to analyze the gene expression in the mouse's uterus following experimentally-induced acute infection with RH strain. Three groups of female mice were intraperitoneally injected with tachyzoites as follow; 3 days before pregnancy (FBD6), after pregnancy (FAD6), and after implantation (FID8) as the experimental groups. Another corresponding three groups served as control, were injected with normal saline at the same time. Transcriptome analysis of the total RNA extracted from both infected and non-infected mouse uterus samples was performed using RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq).

Results: The three experimental groups (FBD6, FAD6, and FID8) had a total of 4,561, 2,345, and 2,997 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) compared to the controls. The significantly upregulated and downregulated DEGs were 2,571 and 1,990 genes in FBD6, 1,042 and 1,303 genes in FAD6 and 1,162 and 1,835 genes in FID8 group, respectively. The analysis of GO annotation, and KEGG pathway showed that DEGs were mainly involved in anatomical structure development, transport, cell differentiation, embryo development, hormone biosynthetic process, signal transduction, immune system process, phagosome, pathways in cancer, and cytokine-cytokine receptor interaction pathways.

Conclusion: infection can induce global transcriptomic changes in the uterus that may cause pregnancy hypertension, destruct the intrauterine environment, and hinder the normal development of placenta and embryo. Our results may help to understand the molecular mechanisms of the acute infection, which could promote the development of new therapeutics or prophylactics for toxoplasmosis in pregnancy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2020.00115DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7042390PMC
February 2020

Combined effect of mastitis and parity on pregnancy loss in lactating Holstein cows.

Theriogenology 2020 Feb 9;143:57-63. Epub 2019 Dec 9.

Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, 32611-0910, USA. Electronic address:

The main objective of this study was to examine the combined effect of mastitis and parity on pregnancy loss (PL) in lactating Holstein cows. A secondary objective was to estimate the cost of mastitis including that of PL attributable to mastitis. A total of 1,774 lactation periods from 1,047 Holstein cows with different parities from one dairy farm were included in a matched case-control study. All study cows were diagnosed pregnant by transrectal ultrasonography on day 33 after timed artificial insemination (TAI). Case cows (n = 222 lactations) were those later diagnosed non-pregnant by transrectal palpation on day 47 or 75 after TAI. Control cows (n = 1,552 lactations) were those confirmed pregnant by transrectal palpation on day 75 after TAI. Case cows were matched with eligible controls according to year of calving and calving-to-conception interval (CCI) ± 3 days. Cows with different parities were classified as exposed to subclinical mastitis (somatic cell score (SCS) > 4.5 in at least one Dairy Herd Improvement Association (DHIA) test day) or clinical mastitis (with or without evidence of subclinical mastitis) during two exposure periods: 1-42 days before breeding or 1-75 days during gestation (1 to PL diagnosis day in case cows, or 1-75 day in control cows). Conditional logistic regression was used to model the odds of PL as a function of previous exposure to mastitis in different parities. Cost of PL attributable to mastitis ($/case) among cows with mastitis was estimated based on attributable risk calculated in the epidemiologic analysis. We observed a higher than expected combined effect between exposure to mastitis (subclinical or clinical) before breeding and parity 3 or ≥ 4, and during gestation and parity ≥ 4 on PL. The cost of PL attributable to mastitis was highest ($196/case) in cows in parity ≥ 4 affected with clinical mastitis during gestation. Overall, study results indicate the impact of mastitis on PL is higher in older cows (parity ≥ 3). Dairy farmers and attending veterinarians can consider the combined effect of mastitis and parity when evaluating causes for PL and strategies for optimizing reproductive performance in dairy cows.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.theriogenology.2019.12.002DOI Listing
February 2020

Transcriptomic analysis of reproductive damage in the epididymis of male Kunming mice induced by chronic infection of Toxoplasma gondii PRU strain.

Parasit Vectors 2019 Nov 8;12(1):529. Epub 2019 Nov 8.

College of Veterinary Medicine, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou, 510642, Guangdong, People's Republic of China.

Background: Some researchers have reported that Toxoplasma gondii can cause serious reproductive impairment in male animals. Specifically, T. gondii destroy the quality of sperm in the epididymis, which affects their sexual ability. However, among such studies, none have investigated the male reproductive transcriptome. Therefore, to investigate the relationship between T. gondii and sperm maturation, we infected mice with T. gondii prugniaud (PRU) strain and performed transcriptome sequencing of the epididymis.

Results: Compared with the control group, 431 upregulated and 229 downregulated differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were found (P-value < 0.05, false discovery rate (FDR) < 0.05 and |log2 (fold change)| ≥ 1). According to results of a bioinformatics analysis, Gene Ontology (GO) function is divided into three categories: cellular component, molecular function and biological process. Upon performing GO analysis, we found that some DEGs correlated with an integral part of membrane, protein complex, cell surface, ATP binding, immune system process, signal transduction and metabolic process which are responsible for the epididymal injury. DEGs were mapped to 101 unique KEGG pathways. Pathways such as cytokine-cytokine receptor interaction, glycolysis/gluconeogenesis and apoptosis are closely related to sperm quality. Moreover, Tnfsf10 and spata18 can damage the mitochondria in sperm, which decreases sperm motility and morphology.

Conclusions: We sequenced the reproductive system of male mice chronically infected with T. gondii, which provides a new direction for research into male sterility caused by Toxoplasma infection. This work provides valuable information and a comprehensive database for future studies of the interaction between T. gondii infection and the male reproductive system.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13071-019-3783-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6839085PMC
November 2019

Diagnostic Performance of Clinicopathological Analytes in Infected Rehabilitating Juvenile Northern Elephant Seals ().

Front Vet Sci 2019 25;6:134. Epub 2019 Apr 25.

Department of Comparative, Diagnostic, and Population Medicine, University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, Gainesville, FL, United States.

The nematode lungworm, (OC), is a significant cause of northern elephant seal (NES; ) mortality at The Marine Mammal Center (TMMC, Sausalito, CA). The current lack of specific antemortem diagnostic tests for pre-patent OC infection in NES makes diagnosis, proper treatment, and assessment of efficacy of medications challenging. Severe inflammation and disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) develop rapidly and are difficult to treat once clinical signs develop. Certain blood inflammatory and hemostasis biomarkers for early diagnosis have recently been investigated. The objective of this study was to investigate the diagnostic performance of complete blood count, serum chemistry, acute phase proteins, protein electrophoresis, and coagulation parameters for diagnosis of OC clinical infection in NES. Samples from NES with OC infection confirmed by gross pathology with blood collected antemortem during clinical disease ( = 9) and NES initially admitted for malnutrition and sampled shortly before release after successful rehabilitation ( = 20) were included in the study. Using Receiver operator characteristic (ROC) curve analysis, the diagnostic performances (area under the curve [AUC]) of albumin (0.994), albumin:globulin ratio (0.983), serum amyloid A (0.972), activated partial thromboplastin time (0.936), total bilirubin (0.975), and gamma-glutamyl transferase (0.939) were high (AUC > 0.9). These results confirm systemic inflammation and DIC, and support previously reported clinical and gross pathological findings in NES infected with OC. In addition to AUC values, this study produced cut-off points, sensitivity, specificity, confidence intervals, and predictive values for analytes with high diagnostic performance. This data will be useful in the diagnosis and clinical management of OC-infected NES and will aid in assessment of treatment efficacy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fvets.2019.00134DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6494923PMC
April 2019

Clinicopathological prognostic indicators of survival and pathological findings in cold-stressed Florida manatees Trichechus manatus latirostris.

Dis Aquat Organ 2019 Jan;132(2):85-97

Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32608, USA.

Cold-stress syndrome (CSS) is a leading natural cause of mortality in free-ranging Florida manatees Trichechus manatus latirostris, but comprehensive investigations into blood analyte derangements and prognostic indicators in CSS are lacking. The objectives of this study were to (1) compare admission blood analyte data of manatees pre and post rehabilitation for CSS to identify clinicopathological derangements, (2) identify blood analyte prognostic indicators for survival, and (3) correlate post-mortem anatomic pathological changes with clinicopathological findings to improve the understanding of CS pathophysiology. CSS manatees admitted to a rehabilitation facility between 2007 and 2017 were included: 59 manatees with data for clinicopathological analysis (7 non-survivors and 49 survivors) and 14 manatees with necropsy data (7 with and 7 without blood analyte data). Main interpretive clinicopathological findings indicated systemic inflammation, bone marrow damage, diuresis, malnutrition, tissue necrosis, fat mobilization, hepatic impairment, acid-base imbalances, and gastrointestinal ulceration. The best diagnostically performing prognostic indicators for survival included platelet concentration, aspartate aminotransferase, calcium, and blood urea nitrogen. The main anatomic pathological findings were cutaneous lesions (n = 14), lipid depletion (n = 12), upper gastrointestinal ulceration and/or hemorrhage (n = 9), and pneumonia (n = 5). Based on the identified blood prognostic indicators interpreted in the context of anatomic pathological findings, multi-organ tissue injury, gastrointestinal ulceration and/or hemorrhage, and hemodynamic and platelet derangements are the presumptive major factors of CSS manatee mortality. These results contribute to the understanding of the complex CSS pathophysiology and offer the use of blood analyte prognostic indicators as a clinically applicable tool for the medical care of manatees during rehabilitation, thereby contributing to increased rehabilitation success and conservation of the Florida manatee.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3354/dao03306DOI Listing
January 2019

Burden of exposure to infectious bursal disease virus, infectious bronchitis virus, Newcastle disease virus, Mycoplasma gallisepticum, and intestinal parasites in introduced broiler chickens on the Galapagos.

PLoS One 2018 24;13(9):e0203658. Epub 2018 Sep 24.

College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, United States of America.

Diseases in introduced broilers can possibly spill over to wild birds on the Galapagos. Knowledge about the current burden of exposure to pathogens in broilers on the Galapagos is very limited. The objective of the study reported here was to measure the burden of exposure to infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV), infectious bronchitis virus (IBV), Newcastle disease virus (NDV), Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG), and intestinal parasites in a sample of broiler chickens on 13 farms on Santa Cruz Island and San Cristobal Island in July 2017. Blood serum samples were tested for detection of antibodies to IBDV, IBV, NDV, and MG by using an IDEXX Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Assay. In addition, fecal samples and pen bedding environmental samples were processed and analyzed for diagnosis of intestinal parasite eggs under a compound light microscope. The frequency of seropositive broilers to IBDV was 74/130 or 56% (95% CI = 48, 65%), to IBV was 27/130 or 20% (14, 28%), and to NDV was 1/130 or 0.7% (0.1, 4%). All broilers tested negative to MG antibodies. Eimeria spp. infection was common in study broilers. Finally, we observed interaction between broiler chickens and wild birds (finches) inside broiler pens, as well as the presence of backyard chickens inside property limits of study farms. This study produced evidence that exposure to IBDV, IBV, and intestinal parasites in broilers on Santa Cruz Island and San Cristobal Island is important. Study results are relevant because (i) they provide new baseline data on the burden of exposure to avian pathogens in broiler farms, (ii) justify the need to verify standard operating procedures in hatcheries that supply (non-vaccinated) day-old chicks to the Galapagos and (iii) to implement enhanced biosecurity standards on broiler chicken farms to mitigate risk of disease transmission between broilers, backyard poultry, and wild birds on the Galapagos.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0203658PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6152864PMC
March 2019

DIAGNOSTIC PERFORMANCE OF INFLAMMATORY MARKERS IN GOPHER TORTOISES ( GOPHERUS POLYPHEMUS).

J Zoo Wildl Med 2018 Sep;49(3):765-769

The lack of sensitive and specific markers of inflammation poses a diagnostic challenge in sick or injured reptile patients. The objective of this study was to investigate the diagnostic performance of blood analytes associated with inflammation in healthy ( n = 24) and sick ( n = 38) gopher tortoises ( Gopherus polyphemus). Receiver operating characteristic analysis identified the following as the best-performing diagnostic tests: erythrocyte sedimentation rate (area under the curve [AUC] = 0.812; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.693, 0.900), absolute mature heterophils (AUC = 0.771; 95% CI = 0.646, 0.869), total leukocytes (AUC = 0.767; 95% CI = 0.642, 0.866), lactate (AUC = 0.766; 95% CI = 0.641, 0.864), and absolute immature heterophils (AUC = 0.755; 95% CI = 0.628, 0.856). These results support the clinical application of additional tools for the diagnosis and monitoring of inflammatory disease in gopher tortoises. Clinicians may consider adding erythrocyte sedimentation rate and lactate to the minimum database for this species.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1638/2017-0211.1DOI Listing
September 2018

Epidemiologic and economic analyses of pregnancy loss attributable to mastitis in primiparous Holstein cows.

J Dairy Sci 2018 Nov 23;101(11):10142-10150. Epub 2018 Aug 23.

Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville 32611-0910. Electronic address:

The main objective of the study reported here was to examine the association between pregnancy loss (PL) and previous exposure to clinical or subclinical mastitis before breeding or during gestation in primiparous Holstein cows. A secondary objective was to estimate the cost of clinical mastitis during gestation, including that of PL attributable to mastitis in study cows. A total of 687 primiparous Holstein cows from 1 dairy farm were included in a matched case-control study. Study cows were declared pregnant via ultrasound on d 33 after timed artificial insemination (TAI). Case cows (n = 78) were those diagnosed as nonpregnant by rectal palpation on d 47 or 75 after TAI. Control cows were those confirmed as pregnant by rectal palpation on d 47 and 75 after TAI. Case cows were matched with eligible controls according to year of calving and calving-to-conception interval ±3 d. Cows were assigned to 1 of 3 groups: (1) cows not affected with clinical or subclinical mastitis; (2) cows affected with subclinical mastitis (Dairy Herd Improvement Association somatic cell score >4.5); and (3) cows affected with clinical mastitis during 2 exposure periods, 1 to 42 d before breeding or during gestation (1 to PL diagnosis day for case cows, and 1 to 75 d for control cows). Conditional logistic regression was used to model the odds of PL as a function of previous exposure to mastitis in study cows. Mastitis before breeding was not associated with PL. The odds of PL were 2.21 times greater in cows affected with clinical mastitis during gestation (95% confidence interval = 1.01, 4.83), compared with cows without mastitis, after controlling for breeding type and lameness. The cost of clinical mastitis during gestation was $149, which includes the cost ($27) of PL attributable to mastitis. In conclusion, this study provides evidence that clinical mastitis during gestation can cause PL in primiparous dairy cows leading to economic losses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3168/jds.2018-14619DOI Listing
November 2018

Dog overpopulation and diagnosis of intestinal parasites on Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos 2016.

Prev Vet Med 2018 Sep 27;157:99-104. Epub 2018 Jun 27.

College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 32610-0136, USA; College of Public Health and Health Professions, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 32610-0136, USA; Center for Latin American Studies, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 32610-0136, USA. Electronic address:

Dog overpopulation and diseases are hazards to native island species and humans on the Galapagos. The main objective of the study reported here was to estimate the observed human:dog ratio on Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos in September 2016. In addition, dog demographic data were used to model the expected annual dog population growth in the next 10 years. A secondary objective was to measure the burden of dogs infected with intestinal parasites. The observed human:dog ratio was 964:202 (or 4.77:1), which extrapolates to 3290 dogs; an increase of 31% in the dog population on Santa Cruz from 2014 to 2016. Study results show that current spay-neuter efforts (about 300 dogs per year; 60% females, 40% males) are not enough to keep the population stable (i.e., current baseline of 3290 dogs). The frequency of dogs infected with Ancylostoma spp., an intestinal parasite in dogs that can cause cutaneous larval migrans in humans, was 18/44 or 41% (95% CI = 27%, 55%). These results provide the most complete assessment of the dog overpopulation on the Galapagos to date.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.prevetmed.2018.06.003DOI Listing
September 2018

ACUTE-PHASE RESPONSES IN HEALTHY, MALNOURISHED, AND OTOSTRONGYLUS-INFECTED JUVENILE NORTHERN ELEPHANT SEALS (MIROUNGA ANGUSTIROSTRIS).

J Zoo Wildl Med 2017 09;48(3):767-775

Acute-phase proteins (APPs) are utilized to detect early inflammation in many domestic and nondomestic species, but variability exists between species and inflammatory diseases as to which APPs are most useful. Stranded juvenile northern elephant seals (NESs; Mirounga angustirostris) undergoing rehabilitation at the Marine Mammal Center experience high mortality rates due to severe arteritis caused by the lungworm, Otostrongylus circumlitis (OC), and there are currently no effective antemortem diagnostic tools for this disease. To characterize patterns of the acute-phase response in the NES, two APPs-serum amyloid A (SAA) and C-reactive protein (CRP)-were measured, and serum protein electrophoresis was performed to measure albumin and globulin fractions in 81 serum samples from 58 NESs in four different health states: healthy, malnourished, preclinical for OC infection, or clinical for OC infection. Compared to healthy NESs (median, 11.2 mg/L), SAA concentrations were significantly increased in malnourished (33.9 mg/L), preclinical (247 mg/L), and clinical OC-infected NESs (328 mg/L) (P < 0.05). CRP concentrations were increased only in clinical OC-infected NESs (median, 53.9 mg/L) and were below detectable limits in the other three groups (<0.01 mg/L). These results show that SAA and CRP are positive APPs in NESs with OC infection, and that SAA may serve as the major APP for this species. Albumin : globulin ratios were significantly increased in malnourished NESs (median, 1.26) and decreased in clinical OC-infected NESs (0.53). As a result, albumin is a negative APP in the NES, similar to other mammalian species. APP monitoring can be helpful in detecting and monitoring inflammation in rehabilitating juvenile NESs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1638/2016-0267.1DOI Listing
September 2017

Evidence that mastitis can cause pregnancy loss in dairy cows: A systematic review of observational studies.

J Dairy Sci 2017 Oct 2;100(10):8322-8329. Epub 2017 Aug 2.

Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville 32611-0910. Electronic address:

The objective of this study was to conduct a systematic review to identify and assess evidence and knowledge gaps in published observational studies that have investigated the relationship between mastitis and pregnancy loss (PL) in dairy cows. PubMed and ScienceDirect were used to search pertinent peer-reviewed research reports of interest. Screening of research reports was conducted at 3 levels: titles, abstracts, and full-text articles. The search identified 651 records for initial screening. The final screening process identified 8 qualified articles for review after removing 10 duplicate records, 582 titles, 31 abstracts, and 20 full-text articles. Two studies produced strong epidemiologic evidence indicating that (1) exposure to clinical mastitis during early gestation (first 45 d of gestation) is associated with subsequent PL during the following 90 d; and (2) subclinical mastitis 1 to 30 d before artificial insemination (AI) is associated with subsequent PL at 35 to 41 d of gestation. An additional study showed that exposure to clinical mastitis during early lactation in combination with low body condition can increase the risk of PL in dairy cows; however, the interaction effect between clinical mastitis and low body condition on PL was considered weak. Four other studies produced inconclusive evidence indicating that mastitis is a predisposing factor for PL in dairy cows, as the exposure risk period for mastitis overlapped with the follow-up period for diagnosis of PL in dairy cows. Finally, one study failed to identify a relationship between mastitis and PL in dairy cows. Further research is needed to (1) support the hypothesis that mastitis in combination with low body condition score (or other exposure factors) can increase the risk of PL, (2) compare the effect of clinical versus subclinical mastitis on PL, (3) compare the effect of mastitis before breeding and during gestation on PL, and (4) compare the effect of mastitis on PL in dairy cows during different lactations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3168/jds.2017-12711DOI Listing
October 2017

iTRAQ-based differential proteomic analysis in Mongolian gerbil brains chronically infected with Toxoplasma gondii.

J Proteomics 2017 05 18;160:74-83. Epub 2017 Mar 18.

College of Veterinary Medicine, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou, Guangdong Province 510642, PR China; Key Laboratory of Comprehensive Prevention and Control for Severe Clinical Animal Diseases of Guangdong Province, South China Agricultural University, 510642, PR China; Key Laboratory of Zoonosis Prevention and Control of Guangdong Province, 510642, PR China. Electronic address:

The aim of our study was to detect differentially regulated proteins and specific signaling pathways in Mongolian gerbil brains during chronic Toxoplasma gondii (T.gondii) PRU strain infection. We use a iTRAQ-based strategy to detecte 4935 proteins, out of which 110 proteins were differentially expressed (>/=2.0-fold, p value <0.05) when the brain of gerbils infected with T.gondii was compared to control brain tissues. We confirmed the authenticity and the accuracy of iTRAQ results through quantitative real-time PCR and western blot (WB), which was consistent with mass spectrometry analysis. Pathway analysis and GO (Gene Ontology) annotations indicated the deregulation of several pathways related to immune response, metabolism and neurological processes, like neuronal growth and neurotransmitter transport. Through the iTRAQ-based strategy, we obtained a comparative proteome profile of brain tissues from Mongolian gerbils with chronic infection of T.gondii. Several differentially expressed proteins involved in neurological pathways, like Parvalbumin, Drebrin or Synaptotagmin, can be further investigated to enhance our understanding of central nervous system (CNS) injury caused by T.gondii.

Biological Significance: T.gondii can infect almost all nucleated cells with a preference for the CNS, which can induce Toxoplasma encephalitis (TE). However, the pathogenesis and mechanisms between the parasite and host associated with TE are largely unexplored. Around 30% of the world population is considered to have latent infection with T.gondii and >90% patients died of TE, while the proportion of secondary paralysis is also high. Patients of TE may have highly varied neurological symptoms with both focal and diffuse neurological lesions, while mental symptoms and behavior disorders are frequently accompanied, like the Alzheimer's disease (AD). We present a comparative proteomics analysis to explore the differences of protein expression caused by chronic T.gondii infection. The results of this analysis can be helpful for identifying key proteins involved in the pathogenesis of TE. In addition, the study can contribute to a better understanding of molecular mechanisms underlying the host-parasite relationship in chronic infection of T.gondii and facilitate further development of new therapies for TE.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jprot.2017.03.012DOI Listing
May 2017

Retrospective Evaluation of Whole Body Computed Tomography for Tumor Staging in Dogs with Primary Appendicular Osteosarcoma.

Vet Surg 2017 Jan 1;46(1):75-80. Epub 2016 Dec 1.

Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

Objective: To evaluate whole body computed tomography (CT) for staging canine appendicular osteosarcoma.

Study Design: Retrospective case series.

Animals: Client-owned dogs diagnosed with appendicular osteosarcoma (n=39).

Methods: Medical records for client-owned dogs diagnosed with appendicular osteosarcoma from August 2008 to July 2014 were reviewed. Dogs were included if they had a confirmed diagnosis of appendicular osteosarcoma and were staged using whole body CT. Data collected included signalment, body weight, primary tumor location, serum alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity, findings on 3-view thoracic radiographs, cytologic or histologic results, and findings on CT.

Results: Thirty-nine dogs (median age 8.5 years; median body weight 37 kg) had osteosarcoma of the distal radius (n=17), proximal humerus (11) and other sites. Serum ALP activity was elevated in 14 dogs. Bone metastasis was not detected in any dog on whole body CT. Pulmonary metastasis was considered definitive on CT based on board certified radiologist assessment in 2/39 dogs (5%). Two additional dogs (2/39, 5%) had soft tissue masses diagnosed on CT, consistent with concurrent, non-metastatic malignancies.

Conclusion: Bone metastases were not identified in any dog with whole body CT. Thoracic and abdominal CT detected lung lesions and concurrent neoplasia in dogs with primary appendicular osteosarcoma. Whole body CT may be a useful adjunct to other screening tests for disseminated malignancy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/vsu.12579DOI Listing
January 2017

Lower Extremity Stiffness Changes after Concussion in Collegiate Football Players.

Med Sci Sports Exerc 2017 01;49(1):167-172

1Department of Physical Therapy, College of Public Health and Health Professions, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL; 2Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, College of Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL; 3Department of Community Health and Family Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL; 4Department of Athletics, University of Texas, Austin, TX; 5Department of Large Animal and Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville FL; 6Department of Anesthesiology, College of Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL; and 7TRIA Orthopaedic Center, Bloomington, MN.

Purpose: Recent research indicates that a concussion increases the risk of musculoskeletal injury. Neuromuscular changes after concussion might contribute to the increased risk of injury. Many studies have examined gait postconcussion, but few studies have examined more demanding tasks. This study compared changes in stiffness across the lower extremity, a measure of neuromuscular function, during a jump-landing task in athletes with a concussion (CONC) to uninjured athletes (UNINJ).

Methods: Division I football players (13 CONC and 26 UNINJ) were tested pre- and postseason. A motion capture system recorded subjects jumping on one limb from a 25.4-cm step onto a force plate. Hip, knee, and ankle joint stiffness were calculated from initial contact to peak joint flexion using the regression line slopes of the joint moment versus the joint angle plots. Leg stiffness was (peak vertical ground reaction force [PVGRF]/lower extremity vertical displacement) from initial contact to peak vertical ground reaction force. All stiffness values were normalized to body weight. Values from both limbs were averaged. General linear models compared group (CONC, UNINJ) differences in the changes of pre- and postseason stiffness values.

Results: Average time from concussion to postseason testing was 49.9 d. The CONC group showed an increase in hip stiffness (P = 0.03), a decrease in knee (P = 0.03) and leg stiffness (P = 0.03), but no change in ankle stiffness (P = 0.65) from pre- to postseason.

Conclusion: Lower extremity stiffness is altered after concussion, which could contribute to an increased risk of lower extremity injury. These data provide further evidence of altered neuromuscular function after concussion.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1249/MSS.0000000000001067DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5161586PMC
January 2017

CORRELATION OF ARTICULAR CARTILAGE THICKNESS MEASUREMENTS MADE WITH MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING, MAGNETIC RESONANCE ARTHROGRAPHY, AND COMPUTED TOMOGRAPHIC ARTHROGRAPHY WITH GROSS ARTICULAR CARTILAGE THICKNESS IN THE EQUINE METACARPOPHALANGEAL JOINT.

Vet Radiol Ultrasound 2016 Sep 1;57(5):515-25. Epub 2016 Aug 1.

Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, 100126, Gainesville, FL.

Osteoarthritis of the metacarpophalangeal joint is common cause of lameness in equine athletes, and is hallmarked by articular cartilage damage. An accurate, noninvasive method for measuring cartilage thickness would be beneficial to screen for cartilage injury and allow for prompt initiation of interventional therapy. The objective of this methods comparison study was to compare computed tomographic arthrography (CTA), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and magnetic resonance arthrography (MRA) measurements of articular cartilage thickness with gross measurements in the metacarpophalangeal joint of Thoroughbred horses. Fourteen cadaveric, equine thoracic limbs were included. Limbs were excluded from the study if pathology of the metacarpophalangeal articular cartilage was observed with any imaging modality. Articular cartilage thickness was measured in nine regions of the third metacarpal bone and proximal phalanx on sagittal plane MRI sequences. After intra-articular contrast administration, the measurements were repeated on sagittal plane MRA and sagittal CTA reformations. In an effort to increase cartilage conspicuity, the volume of intra-articular contrast was increased from 14.5 ml, to maximal distention for the second set of seven limbs. Mean and standard deviation values were calculated, and linear regression analysis was used to determine correlations between gross and imaging measurements of cartilage thickness. This study failed to identify one imaging test that consistently yielded measurements correlating with gross cartilage thickness. Even with the use of intra-articular contrast, cartilage surfaces were difficult to differentiate in regions where the cartilage surfaces of the proximal phalanx and third metacarpal bone were in close contact with each other.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/vru.12390DOI Listing
September 2016

MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING SCORING OF AN EXPERIMENTAL MODEL OF POST-TRAUMATIC OSTEOARTHRITIS IN THE EQUINE CARPUS.

Vet Radiol Ultrasound 2016 Sep 19;57(5):502-14. Epub 2016 May 19.

Department of Statistics, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL, 32816.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is the most sensitive imaging modality to detect the early changes of osteoarthritis. Currently, there is no quantifiable method to tract these pathological changes over time in the horse. The objective of this experimental study was to characterize the progression of MRI changes in an equine model of post-traumatic osteoarthritis using a semiquantitative scoring system for whole-organ evaluation of the middle carpal joint. On day 0, an osteochondral fragment was created in one middle carpal joint (OCI) and the contralateral joint (CON) was sham-operated in 10 horses. On day 14, study horses resumed exercise on a high-speed treadmill until the completion of the study (day 98). High-field MRI examinations were performed on days 0 (preosteochondral fragmentation), 14, and 98 and scored by three blinded observers using consensus agreement. Images were scored based on 15 independent articular features, and scores were compared between and within-groups. On days 14 and 98, OCI joints had significantly (P ≤ 0.05) higher whole-organ median scores (29.0 and 31.5, respectively), compared to CON joints (21.5 and 20.0, respectively). On day 14, OCI joints showed significant increases in high-signal bone lesion scores, and osteochondral fragment number and size. On day 98, high-signal bone lesion, low-signal bone lesion, osteophyte formation, cartilage signal abnormality, subchondral bone irregularity, joint effusion, and synovial thickening scores were significantly increased in OCI joints. Study results suggest that the MRI whole-organ scoring system reported here may be used to identify onset and progression of pathological changes following osteochondral injury.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/vru.12369DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5016209PMC
September 2016

Dog overpopulation and burden of exposure to canine distemper virus and other pathogens on Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos.

Prev Vet Med 2016 Jan 8;123:128-137. Epub 2015 Dec 8.

College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610-0136, USA. Electronic address:

Dog overpopulation and diseases are hazards to native island species and humans on the Galapagos. Vaccination and importation of dogs are prohibited on the Galapagos. Risk management of these hazards requires the use of science-based risk assessment and risk communication. The objectives of the study reported here were (i) to estimate the human:dog ratio and (ii) the prevalence of and identify exposure factors associated with positive antibody titers to canine distemper virus (CDV) and other pathogens, as well as infection with intestinal parasites in owned dogs on Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos in September 2014. The observed human:dog ratio was 6.148:1 which extrapolates to 2503 dogs (two times more than a recent dog count conducted by Galapagos Biosecurity Agency in March 2014). The proportion of spayed female dogs (50%) was higher, compared to neutered male dogs (30%) (p=0.04). Prevalence of dogs with positive antibody titers to CDV was 36% (95% CI=26, 46%), to canine parvovirus was 89% (95% CI=82, 95%), and to canine adenovirus was 40% (95% CI=30, 51%). The frequency of seropositive dogs to CDV was lower in urban dogs (26%), compared to rural dogs (53%) (p<0.05). A positive interaction effect between rural residence and spay/neuter status on seropositivity to CDV was observed, which we discuss in this report. Because vaccination is prohibited, the dog population on Santa Cruz is susceptible to an outbreak of CDV (particularly among urban dogs) with potential spill over to marine mammals. Dog's age (1-2 or 3-14 years old, compared to younger dogs), and residence (rural, urban) were associated with positive antibody titers to parvovirus, adenovirus, Ehrlichia spp., or Anaplasma spp., as well as infection with Ancylostoma spp., an intestinal parasite in dogs that can be transmitted to humans, particularly children. These results provide the most comprehensive assessment of dog overpopulation and exposure to CDV and other pathogens on the Galapagos to date.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.prevetmed.2015.11.016DOI Listing
January 2016

Development and validation of a competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for the measurement of total plasma immunoglobulins in healthy loggerhead sea (Caretta caretta) and green turtles (Chelonia mydas).

J Vet Diagn Invest 2016 Jan 23;28(1):5-11. Epub 2015 Dec 23.

Departments of Small Animal Clinical Sciences (Kaplan, Jacobson, Hernandez), University of Florida, Gainesville, FLLarge Animal Clinical Sciences (Stacy, Le-Bert, Nollens, Hernandez), University of Florida, Gainesville, FLCollege of Veterinary Medicine, and the Hybridoma Core Laboratory, Interdisciplinary Center for Biotechnology Research (Green, Bootorabi), University of Florida, Gainesville, FLArchie Carr Center for Sea Turtle Research and Department of Biology (Bolten), University of Florida, Gainesville, FLNational Marine Mammal Foundation, San Diego, CA (Le-Bert)SeaWorld San Diego, San Diego, CA (Nollens)Centre for Fish and Wildlife Health, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland (Origgi).

The quantification of circulating plasma immunoglobulins represents a valuable diagnostic tool in human and veterinary immunology, although its application is very limited in reptile medicine to date. The objectives of our study were the development and standardization of a competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (cELISA) for the measurement of total plasma immunoglobulins (Igs; both IgM and IgY) in loggerhead sea turtles (LST; Caretta caretta; n = 254) and green turtles (GT; Chelonia mydas; n = 111), the establishment of reference intervals for Ig for both species, and the examination of associations between Ig and total protein (TP), condition index, and water temperature. The cELISA for Ig was successfully developed and optimized. Reference intervals for Ig were 0.38-0.94 g/dL in LST (median: 0.59 g/dL; range: 0.16-2.15 g/dL) and 0.40-0.85 g/dL in GT (median: 0.58 g/dL; range: 0.18-1.80 g/dL). In LST, there were positive linear relationships of Ig with TP, and TP with Ig and condition index, and a negative relationship of Ig with condition index. The positive linear relationships of Ig with TP, and TP with Ig were also identified in GT. These positive associations of Ig and TP were expected, as Ig represents fractions of TP, and TP reportedly increases with straight carapace length and weight. The negative association of Ig with condition index may indicate potential biological variations. The cELISA and reference intervals for total Ig of LST and GT presented herein have the potential to be useful as a diagnostic and research tool for sea turtle immunology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1040638715617804DOI Listing
January 2016

In vitro evaluation of bursting pressure and intestinal luminal area of three jejunostomy tube placement techniques in dogs.

Am J Vet Res 2015 May;76(5):467-74

Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610., Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695.

Objective: To compare pursestring, Witzel (seromuscular inversion), and seromuscular incision jejunostomy tube placement techniques in vitro.

Sample: Jejunal specimens from 10 dogs.

Procedures: Jejunal segments (50 cm) were harvested immediately prior to euthanasia from 10 mixed-breed dogs Specimens were harvested with the orad and aborad ends clamped and stored in saline (0.9% NaCl) solution-soaked towels during instrumentation. Three jejunostomy tubes were placed via 3 techniques (pursestring, Witzel, and seromuscular incision), and 2 double lumen central venous catheters were placed at each intestinal end for luminal filling and leak testing. Intestinal luminal area was measured ultrasonographically with specimens suspended in a warm undyed saline solution bath with the intestinal lumen filled with dyed saline solution (intraluminal pressure, 6 mm Hg). Leak testing was performed by means of infusion of dyed saline solution (4 mL/min) until each jejunostomy site failed. Intestinal luminal area and leakage pressure were compared between the 3 tube placement techniques.

Results: The Witzel and seromuscular incision techniques decreased the intestinal luminal area measured at the tube insertion site, albeit nonsignificantly. For the seromuscular incision technique, a significant decrease in intestinal luminal area at the intraluminal site of measurement was found. For 2/30 specimens (1/10 pursestring and 1/10 seromuscular incision), failure occurred at pressures within the range of previously reported peak peristaltic pressure for dogs. Failure occurred at supraphysiologic peristaltic pressures for the remaining 28 specimens, including all 10 specimens for the Witzel technique.

Conclusions And Clinical Relevance: In this in vitro study, all specimens for the Witzel technique withstood physiologic peristaltic pressures during leak testing. Both tunneling techniques (Witzel and seromuscular incision) created a decrease in intestinal luminal area. Further investigation, including in vivo testing, is indicated to evaluate the clinical relevance of these findings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2460/ajvr.76.5.467DOI Listing
May 2015

Protective efficacy of recombinant canine adenovirus type-2 expressing TgROP18 (CAV-2-ROP18) against acute and chronic Toxoplasma gondii infection in mice.

BMC Infect Dis 2015 Mar 4;15:114. Epub 2015 Mar 4.

College of Veterinary Medicine, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, 510642, PR China.

Background: The use of recombinant viral vectors expressing T. gondii antigens is a safe and efficient approach to induce immune responses against the parasite, as well as a valuable tool for vaccine development. We have previously prolonged the survival time of mice challenged with the RH strain of T. gondii by immunizing the mice with a eukaryotic vector expressing the protein ROP18 of T. gondii. We are now looking for ways to improve this vaccination strategy and enhance protection.

Methods: In this study, we constructed and characterized a novel recombinant canine adenovirus type 2 expressing ROP18 (CAV-2-ROP18) of T. gondii by cytopathic effect (CPE) and indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA) following transfection into MDCK cells. Intramuscular immunization of Kunming mice with CAV-2-ROP18 was carried out to evaluate humoral and cellular immune responses.

Results: The vaccination of experimental mice with CAV-2-ROP18 elicited antibody production against ROP18, including high levels of a mixed IgG1/IgG2a and significant production of IFN-γ or IL-2, and displayed a significant bias towards a helper T cell type 1 (Th1) profile. Furthermore, the presence of T. gondii-specific IFN-γ-production and TNF-α-production T cells was elicited in both CD4+ and CD8+ T cell compartments. Significantly higher survival rates (40%) occurred in the experimental group, and a reduction in brain cyst burden was detected in vaccinated mice.

Conclusion: These results demonstrate the potential use of a CAV vector harboring the ROP18 gene in the development of a vaccine against acute and chronic toxoplasmosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12879-015-0815-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4397727PMC
March 2015

Analysis of operating costs for producing biodiesel from palm oil at pilot-scale in Colombia.

Bioresour Technol 2015 29;188:117-23. Epub 2015 Jan 29.

Department of Molecular Biosciences and Bioengineering (MBBE), University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, 1955 East-West Road, Agricultural Science Building 218, Honolulu, HI 96822, United States. Electronic address:

The present study aims to evaluate the operating costs of biodiesel production using palm oil in a pilot-scale plant with a capacity of 20,000 L/day (850 L/batch). The production plant uses crude palm oil as a feedstock, and methanol in a molar ratio of 1:10. The process incorporated acid esterification, basic transesterification, and dry washing with absorbent powder. Production costs considered in the analysis were feedstock, supplies, labor, electricity, quality and maintenance; amounting to $3.75/gal ($0.99/L) for 2013. Feedstocks required for biodiesel production were among the highest costs, namely 72.6% of total production cost. Process efficiency to convert fatty acids to biodiesel was over 99% and generated a profit of $1.08/gal (i.e., >22% of the total income). According to sensitivity analyses, it is more economically viable for biodiesel production processes to use crude palm oil as a feedstock and take advantage of the byproducts such as glycerine and fertilizers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2015.01.071DOI Listing
February 2016

Associations between 'valentine' heart shape, atrial enlargement and cardiomyopathy in cats.

J Feline Med Surg 2015 Jun 21;17(6):447-52. Epub 2014 Aug 21.

Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA.

'Valentine' heart shape is a common qualifier used in veterinary radiology to describe a cardiac silhouette with focal enlargement at the level of the base of the heart in feline patients. Anecdotally, this sign has been thought to be related to biatrial enlargement and also to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). However, to our knowledge, there has been no study performed to assess the association between cardiac chamber enlargement and cardiac disease with the 'valentine'-shaped heart. The aim of this study was to verify the association between the 'valentine' heart shape observed in ventrodorsal thoracic radiographs and the presence of singular or combined cardiac chamber enlargement, and also the presence and type of cardiomyopathy (CM) in cats. A search of the database of the Small Animal Veterinary Hospital of the University of Florida for cats with a radiology report of thoracic radiographs that contained the words 'valentine' and 'biatrial', and echocardiography performed within 1 week, was undertaken; 41 cases met the inclusion criteria. Eighty-two percent of the cats of the study sample had some form of CM. The 'valentine' heart shape was associated with biatrial enlargement in 41% of the patients in our study sample that had some form of CM and just 8% of cases diagnosed with HCM, suggesting that the 'valentine' heart shape has a low association with HCM or biatrial enlargement; however, it should be considered a sign of feline CM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1098612X14546339DOI Listing
June 2015
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