Publications by authors named "Patricia Harris"

105 Publications

Postprandial insulin responses to various feedstuffs differ in insulin dysregulated horses compared to non-insulin dysregulated controls.

Equine Vet J 2021 May 30. Epub 2021 May 30.

MARS Equestrian Research Fellow, Department of Veterinary Science, M. H. Gluck Equine Research Center, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, 40546, USA.

Background: Controlling postprandial hyperinsulinaemia is important in insulin dysregulated (ID) horses to reduce the risk of laminitis.

Objectives: To evaluate postprandial insulin responses of ID vs. non-insulin dysregulated (NID) horses to feedstuffs varying in non-structural carbohydrate (NSC) and crude protein (CP).

Study Design: Randomised crossover.

Methods: 18 adult mixed-breed horses (13.3 ± 2.2 years; 621 ± 78.8 kg) were individually fed (~1g/kg BW) specific feedstuffs within two crossover studies. 8ID & 8NID were used in Study A and 11ID & 5 NID in Study B. Study A, all horses were randomly fed once: cracked corn (CC: ~74% NSC & ~9% CP), ration balancer with low protein (RB-LP: ~15%NSC & ~17% CP), ration balancer with high protein (RB-HP: ~14% NSC and ~37%CP), and 50:50 mixture of RB-LP:RB-HP (MIX-P). Study B, horses were randomly fed once: CC, RB-HP, steam-flaked corn (SF: ~73% NSC & ~10%CP), oat groats (OG :~64%NSC & ~14% CP), and a low NSC pellet (L-NSC: ~6%NSC & ~12%CP). Blood was collected for insulin determination (RIA) before and 30, 60, 75, 90, 105, 120, 150, 180, 210, and 240 minutes post-feeding in study A and at 60-minutes in study B. Data were analysed via ANOVA for repeat measures post any required transformations.

Results: ID horses had significantly greater insulin responses (AUCi) than NID for all diets in both studies (p<0.001; ID 22,362 ± 10,298 µIU/mL·min & NID 6,145 ± 1,922 µIU/mL·min). No effect of diet on AUCi for NID (p=0.2) but in ID the CC (32,000 ± 13,960 µIU/mL·min) AUCi was higher than RB-LP (p=0.01; 18,977 ± 6,731 µIU/mL·min). ID insulin (T60) was lower for the L-NSC (57.8 ± 18.5 µIU/mL) vs. all other diets (p<0.02; 160.1 ± 91.5 µIU/mL).

Main Limitations: Small numbers of horses; no ponies.

Conclusions: NSC appears to be the main driver of the postprandial insulin response. ID horses respond disproportionately to feeding even small amounts of low/moderate NSC feedstuffs. Data on possible dietary thresholds for postprandial insulin responses cannot be extrapolated from NID horses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/evj.13474DOI Listing
May 2021

COVID-19 impacts equine welfare: Policy implications for laminitis and obesity.

PLoS One 2021 28;16(5):e0252340. Epub 2021 May 28.

Scotland's Rural College, Aberdeen, United Kingdom.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact human health and welfare on a global level. In March 2020, stringent national restrictions were enforced in the UK to protect public health and slow the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Restrictions were likely to have resulted in collateral consequences for the health and welfare of horses and ponies, especially those at risk of obesity and laminitis and this issue warranted more detailed exploration. The current study utilised qualitative methodology to investigate the implications of COVID-19 related policies upon equine management and welfare with a focus on horses and ponies at risk of laminitis and obesity. Twenty-four interviews with five sub-groups of key equestrian welfare stakeholders in the UK were conducted between May and July of 2020 to understand the challenges facing equine welfare in the context of laminitis and obesity susceptible animals. Thematic analysis revealed lockdown-associated factors with the potential to compromise welfare of horses and ponies at risk of obesity and laminitis. These included: disparate information and guidance, difficulties enacting public health measures in yard environments, and horses having reduced exercise during the pandemic. Positive examples of clear and consistent information sharing by farriers were reported to have improved horse owner understanding of routine hoof care during lockdown. Analysis suggested that the recommendations for supporting the management-based needs of horses under reduced supervision were not clearly defined, or were not sufficiently disseminated, across the equine industry. These findings support the development of guidelines specific to the care of horses and ponies at risk of obesity and laminitis through collaborative input from veterinary and welfare experts, to reduce the negative impacts of future lockdown events in the UK.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0252340PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8162578PMC
June 2021

Preface.

Vet Clin North Am Equine Pract 2021 Apr;37(1):xi-xii

Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicinev, Blacksburg, VA, USA. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cveq.2021.01.003DOI Listing
April 2021

Nutritional Considerations When Dealing with an Obese Adult Equine.

Vet Clin North Am Equine Pract 2021 Apr;37(1):111-137

Department of Animal Science, University of Minnesota, 1364 Eckles Avenue, St Paul, MN 55108, USA.

Equine obesity is common, reducing quality of life and requiring dietary energy restriction. Equine obesity is identified using subjective body condition scoring. Considerations are given for life stage and health status when managing obese equines. Every effort should be made to maximize feeding duration, and minimize time spent without feed while meeting all essential nutrient requirements. Limiting total daily dry matter intake to 2% of current bodyweight per day of a low caloric, forage-based diet may result in adequate body weight loss. Weight loss and weight management plans should be monitored for success and potential gastrointestinal, metabolic, and/or behavioral complications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cveq.2020.12.004DOI Listing
April 2021

What Would Be Good for All Veterinarians to Know About Equine Nutrition.

Vet Clin North Am Equine Pract 2021 Apr;37(1):1-20

Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, Phase II Duck Pond Drive, Virginia Tech Mail Code 0442, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA.

Nutrition and management have enabling and supporting roles to play in the health, welfare, and performance of equines. Poor or inappropriate nutrition may therefore impose limits on an animal's ability to perform and adversely affect health and welfare. Understanding the gastrointestinal tract from a nutrition perspective can help to reduce the risk of certain clinical problems. This article outlines key factors with respect to the equine digestive tract and discusses relevant aspects of ration formation. Forage is highlighted, because inappropriate forage provision is one of the key limitations in many horse diets.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cveq.2020.11.001DOI Listing
April 2021

Qualitative Analysis of an Inter-Professional, In-Home, Community Geriatric Educational Training Program.

Gerontol Geriatr Med 2021 Jan-Dec;7:2333721421997203. Epub 2021 Mar 4.

Keck School of Medicine of USC, Los Angeles, USA.

This study describes and provides qualitative analysis of an innovative, inter-professional (IP) geriatrics curriculum focused on team-based care with healthy older adults in a home-based community setting. The curriculum consisted of five, four-hour didactic and experiential sessions over one academic year. Dental, medical, occupational therapy, pharmacy, physical therapy, and physician assistant students were placed into teams led by IP faculty from each health professional school. Teams met with a community-dwelling older adult three times. At the program's conclusion, students responded to the reflective question "What is the most important learning experience you expect to take away from the geriatric inter-professional training? A qualitative analysis of student responses revealed four common themes from all five professions aligning with curricular goals: (1) health professional roles/scope of practice, (2) geriatric care and health outcomes, (3) team communication/collaboration, and (4) advocating for one's own profession. As sites for institutional clinical training become scarcer for health professions' trainees, this study offers both a novel, IP, geriatrics curriculum with didactic/experiential learning through community partnerships in a home-based setting and a reflective evaluation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2333721421997203DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7940717PMC
March 2021

Strip-grazing: Reduces pony dry matter intakes and changes in bodyweight and morphometrics.

Equine Vet J 2020 Dec 28. Epub 2020 Dec 28.

WALTHAM Petcare Science Institute, Leicestershire, UK.

Background: Obesity can negatively impact upon equine welfare and bodyweight (BW) of pastured equines is often difficult to manage.

Objectives: To compare the effects of three restricted grazing regimens on changes in pony BW and morphometric measurements.

Study Design: Randomised study.

Methods: Twelve mature ponies were individually grazed in 10m wide, rectangular, electric fenced paddocks. The dry matter (DM) herbage yield of each paddock was determined, and paddock length adjusted on Day 1 to provide 1.5% of individual pony BW as herbage DM daily, for 28 days. There were four ponies per treatment. Treatments were: total paddock area (TA) and strip grazing treatments, SG1 and SG2. SG1 had a 'lead' fence spanning the paddock width being moved a set distance along the paddock length daily to provide 1.5% of pony BW as fresh pasture DM (as determined on Day -1). SG2 also had a 'back fence' 7-12m behind the 'lead' fence which was moved the same distance as the lead fence daily. Calculated dry matter intakes, changes in cresty neck score (CNS), body condition score (BCS) and percentage changes in BW, heart girth (HG), belly girth (BG) and rump width (RW) were compared between treatments.

Results: Mean (±SD) calculated pasture DM intakes (as % BW/d) by TA ponies were 2.33 ± 0.50, being significantly higher (P < 0.05) than 1.82 ± 0.43 (SG1) and 1.59 ± 0.42 (SG2). Mean percentage BW changes were higher (P < 0.05) for TA ponies at 4.82 ± 1.36 vs. 1.16 ± 0.39 (SG1) and 1.54 ± 1.35 (SG2). SG1 and SG2 pony BW changes were not significantly different. TA, but not SG1 or SG2 animals showed significant (P < 0.05) increases in BCS1/9 (+0.94 ± 0.32), CNS1/5 (+0.5 ± 0), RW (+2.11 ± 3.6) and BG (+4.15 ± 2.29). SG1 and SG2 ponies showed significant (P < 0.05) decreases in HG (-0.05 ± 2.12) and BG (-5.53 ± 4.89) respectively.

Main Limitations: Small sample size.

Conclusions: Strip grazing limited pony bodyweight gains and upward changes in morphometric parameters.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/evj.13416DOI Listing
December 2020

Congress2019 poster winners.

Nurs Manage 2020 Oct;51(10):44-50

The following articles represent the first place and runner-up winners from the Nursing Management Congress2019 poster contest. Both posters were presented and recognized at last year's Congress in New Orleans. Congratulations to our winners!
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/01.NUMA.0000698124.02524.b5DOI Listing
October 2020

Form of Vitamin E Supplementation Affects Oxidative and Inflammatory Response in Exercising Horses.

J Equine Vet Sci 2020 08 29;91:103103. Epub 2020 Apr 29.

Department of Animal and Dairy Science, University of Georgia, Athens, GA.

Vitamin E is an essential antioxidant that may benefit athletes by reducing oxidative stress and influencing cytokine expression. Supplements can be derived from natural or manufactured synthetic sources. This study aimed to determine (1) if supplemental vitamin E is beneficial to exercising horses and (2) if there is a benefit of natural versus synthetic vitamin E. After 2 weeks on the control diet (vitamin E-deficient grain and hay), 18 horses were divided into three groups and fed the control diet plus (1) 1000 IU/d synthetic α-tocopherol (SYN-L), (2) 4000 IU/d synthetic α-tocopherol (SYN-H), or (3) 4000 IU/d RRR-α-tocopherol (natural source [NAT]). On day 7, horses began a 6-week training protocol, with standard exercise tests (SETs) performed before and after the 6-week protocol. Venous blood samples were collected on days 0, 7, 29, and 49. Horses fed NAT had higher α-tocopherol (P < .05) at post-SET1 through post-SET2. Plasma thiobarbituric acid-reactive substance levels were lower in NAT versus SYN-L horses after SET2 (P = .02). Serum aspartate aminotransferase was lower after exercise in NAT horses versus SYN-L and SYN-H (P = .02), and less reduction in stride duration was seen after exercise in NAT as compared with SYN-L and SYN-H (P = .02). Gene expression of tumor necrosis factor α was lower in NAT compared with SYN-H (P = .01) but not SYN-L. In conclusion, feeding higher levels of natural vitamin E source resulted in higher serum α-tocopherol levels as well as some improvement in oxidative and inflammatory response and improved functional outcomes in response to an exercise test.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jevs.2020.103103DOI Listing
August 2020

Breaking down Silos to improve the health of older adults: The case for medicare to cover home safety renovations.

Ageing Res Rev 2020 09 10;62:101120. Epub 2020 Jul 10.

California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, College of Business Administration, 3801 West Temple Avenue, Pomona, CA, 91768, United States. Electronic address:

The ageing population is increasing the financial strain on the United States health care system, and society may be underinvesting in the place-based determinants of elderly health. The leading cause of injury for older Americans is falls in the home, resulting in more deaths than any other injury, as well as a significant portion of Medicare spending. While medical interventions have yielded mixed results, home safety renovations have been shown to be a cost-effective strategy to enable senior citizens to "age in place" safely, with the health care savings outweighing the upfront investment. Conservative projections demonstrate that Medicare can undertake this investment in home safety renovations with less than 2 percent of its budget, while breaking down the silos that unnecessarily encircle health and housing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.arr.2020.101120DOI Listing
September 2020

Effect of age and the individual on the gastrointestinal bacteriome of ponies fed a high-starch diet.

PLoS One 2020 8;15(5):e0232689. Epub 2020 May 8.

Scotland's Rural College, Aberdeen, Scotland, United Kingdom.

Bacteria residing in the gastrointestinal tract of mammals are crucial for the digestion of dietary nutrients. Bacterial community composition is modified by age and diet in other species. Although horses are adapted to consuming fibre-based diets, high-energy, often high-starch containing feeds are increasingly used. The current study assessed the impact of age on the faecal bacteriome of ponies transitioning from a hay-based diet to a high-starch diet. Over two years, 23 Welsh Section A pony mares were evaluated (Controls, 5-15 years, n = 6/year, 12 in total; Aged, ≥19 years, n = 6 Year 1; n = 5 Year 2, 11 in total). Across the same 30-week (May to November) period in each year, animals were randomly assigned to a 5-week period of study and were individually fed the same hay to maintenance (2% body mass as daily dry matter intake) for 4-weeks. During the final week, 2g starch per kg body mass (micronized steam-flaked barley) was incorporated into the diet (3-day transition and 5 days at maximum). Faecal samples were collected for 11 days (final 3 days hay and 8 days hay + barley feeding). Bacterial communities were determined using Ion Torrent Sequencing of amplified V1-V2 hypervariable regions of 16S rRNA. Age had a minimal effect on the bacteriome response to diet. The dietary transition increased Candidatus Saccharibacteria and Firmicutes phyla abundance and reduced Fibrobactres abundance. At the genera level, Streptococcus abundance was increased but not consistently across individual animals. Bacterial diversity was reduced during dietary transition in Streptococcus 'responders'. Faecal pH and VFA concentrations were modified by diet but considerable inter-individual variation was present. The current study describes compositional changes in the faecal bacteriome associated with the transition from a fibre-based to a high-starch diet in ponies and emphasises the individual nature of dietary responses, which may reflect functional differences in the bacterial populations present in the hindgut.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0232689PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7209120PMC
August 2020

The equine gastrointestinal microbiome: impacts of weight-loss.

BMC Vet Res 2020 Mar 4;16(1):78. Epub 2020 Mar 4.

Scotland's Rural College, Craibstone Estate, Aberdeen, UK.

Background: Obesity is an important equine welfare issue. Whilst dietary restriction is the most effective weight-loss tool, individual animals range in their weight-loss propensity. Gastrointestinal-derived bacteria play a fundamental role in host-health and have been associated with obesity and weight-loss in other species. This study evaluated the faecal microbiome (next-generation sequencing of 16S rRNA genes) of 15 obese Welsh Mountain pony mares, in the same 11-week period across 2 years (n = 8 Year 1; n = 7 Year 2). Following a 4-week acclimation period (pre-diet phase) during which time individuals were fed the same hay to maintenance (2% body mass (BM) as daily dry matter (DM) intake), animals underwent a 7-week period of dietary restriction (1% BM hay as daily DM intake). Faeces were sampled on the final 3 days of the pre-diet phase and the final 3 days of the dietary restriction phase. Bacterial communities were determined using Next Generation Sequencing of amplified V1-V2 hypervariable regions of bacterial 16S rRNA.

Results: Losses in body mass ranged from 7.11 to 11.59%. Changes in the faecal microbiome composition following weight-loss included a reduction in the relative abundance of Firmicutes and Tenericutes and a reduction in indices of bacterial diversity. Pre-diet diversity was negatively associated with weight-loss. Pre-diet faecal acetate concentration was a strong predictor of subsequent weight-loss and negatively associated with Sphaerochaeta (Spirochaetes phylum) abundance. When animals were divided into 3 groups (high, mid, low) based overall weight loss, pre-diet bacterial community structure was found to have the greatest divergence between the high and low weight-loss groups (R = 0.67, p <  0.01), following PERMANOVA and ANOSIM analysis.

Conclusions: Weight-loss in this group of ponies was associated with lower pre-diet faecal bacterial diversity and greater pre-diet acetate concentration. Overall, these data support a role for the faecal microbiome in weight-loss propensity in ponies and provide a baseline for research evaluating elements of the faecal microbiome in predicting weight-loss success in larger cohorts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12917-020-02295-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7057583PMC
March 2020

Relationships of inflamm-aging with circulating nutrient levels, body composition, age, and pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction in a senior horse population.

Vet Immunol Immunopathol 2020 Mar 26;221:110013. Epub 2020 Jan 26.

Gluck Equine Research Center, Department of Veterinary Science, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, 40546, USA.

Similarly to aged humans, senior horses (≥20 years) exhibit chronic low-grade inflammation systemically, known as inflamm-aging. Inflamm-aging in the senior horse has been characterized by increased circulating inflammatory cytokines as well as increased inflammatory cytokine production by lymphocytes and monocytes in response to a mitogen. Little is currently known regarding underlying causes of inflamm-aging. However, senior horses are also known to present with muscle wasting and often the endocrinopathy pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID). Despite the concurrence of these phenomena, the relationships inflamm-aging may have with measures of body composition and pituitary function in the horse remain unknown. Furthermore, nutrition has been a focus of research in an attempt to promote health span as well as life span in senior horses, with some nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids, having known anti-inflammatory effects. Thus, an exploratory study of a population of n = 42 similarly-managed senior horses was conducted to determine relationships between inflamm-aging and measures of circulating nutrients, body composition, age, and PPID. Serum was collected to determine vitamin, mineral, and fatty acid content. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were also isolated to determine inflammatory cytokine production of interferon-γ (IFN-γ) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) following stimulation with a mitogen, as well as to determine gene expression of interleukin(IL)-1β, IL-6, IL-10, IFN-γ, and TNF-α. Serum IL-6 and C-reactive protein were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Whole blood was collected for hematological and biochemical analysis. Body composition was evaluated via ultrasound and muscle scoring for all 42 horses as well as by deuterium oxide dilution for a subset of n = 10 horses. Pituitary function was evaluated by measuring basal adrenocorticotropin hormone concentrations as well as by thyrotropin releasing hormone stimulation testing (to determine PPID status). Results showed various relationships between inflammatory markers and the other variables measured. Most notably, docosadienoic acid (C22:2n6c), docosapentaenoic acid (C22:5n3c), and folate were positively associated with numerous inflammatory parameters (P ≤ 0.05). Although no relationships were found between inflamm-aging and PPID, being positive for PPID was negatively associated with vitamin B12 (P ≤ 0.01). No relationships between inflammation and body composition were found. Even within this senior horse population, age was associated with multiple parameters, particularly with numerous inflammatory cytokines and fatty acids. In summary, inflamm-aging exhibited relationships with various other parameters examined, particularly with certain fatty acids. This exploratory study provides insights into physiological changes associated with inflamm-aging in the senior horse.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetimm.2020.110013DOI Listing
March 2020

Mapping the bacterial ecology on the phyllosphere of dry and post soaked grass hay for horses.

PLoS One 2020 27;15(1):e0227151. Epub 2020 Jan 27.

NIAB, EMR, East Malling, Kent, United Kingdom.

Soaking hay fodder to reduce dust and soluble carbohydrate (WSC) contents prior to feeding is common practice among horse owners. Soaking can increase bacteria load in hay but no information exists on how this process alters the bacteria profile, which could pose a health risk or digestive challenge, to horses by introducing foreign bacteria into the gastrointestinal tract and so altering the normal profile. The current objectives were to map the bacterial profile of 3 different hays and determine how soaking alters this with the aim of improving best practice when feeding stabled horses. A Perennial Rye grass hay and two meadow s hays were soaked for 0, 1.5, 9 or 16 hours. Pre and post treatment, hays were analysed for WSC and total aerobic bacteria (CFU/g), and differences in bacteria family profiles were determined using ANOVA with significance set at P<0.05. Bacteria were identified via genomic DNA extraction and 16S library preparation (V3 and V4 variable region of 16S rRNA) according to the Illumina protocol. Differences in family operational taxonomic units (OTUs) between individual dry hays and different soaking times were identified via paired t-tests on the DESeq2 normalised data and false discovery rates accounted for using Padj (P<0.05). Mean % WSC losses and actual g/kg lost on DM basis (+/- SE) increased with soaking time being 18% = 30 (10.7), 38% = 72 (43.7), and 42% = 80 (38.8) for 1.5, 9 and 16 hours soak respectively. No relationship existed between WSC leaching and bacteria growth or profile. Grass type influenced bacterial profiles and their responses to soaking, but no differences were seen in richness or Shannon diversity indices. PCA analyses showed clustering of bacteria between meadow hays which differed from the perennial rye grass hay and this difference increased post soaking. Soaking hay pre-feeding causes inconsistent WSC leaching, bacteria growth and alterations in bacterial profiles which are unpredictable but may decrease the hygienic quality of the fodder.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0227151PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6984722PMC
May 2020

Relationships Between Measurements of Body Fat in Thoroughbred Horses.

J Equine Vet Sci 2020 02 27;85:102873. Epub 2019 Nov 27.

Department of Animal and Food Sciences, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY.

Equine obesity is increasing in prevalence, and weight loss diets are frequently recommended for these horses. However, there are also management situations in which horses are deemed to be too thin. To monitor the efficacy of weight change programs, estimates of body fat are often made. There are several systems available to estimate body fat, and there are benefits and challenges to using each method. The objective of this study was to compare four different methods of estimating body fat in Thoroughbred horses. In 14 mature Thoroughbred horses, relationships among body condition score (BCS), morphometric measurements, ultrasonic measures of subcutaneous fat depots, and estimation of total body fat (BF) via measurement of total body water through deuterium oxide dilution were evaluated. Body condition scores ranged from 4.5 to 6.5 on a 9-point scale. Body condition score, heart girth-to-body weight ratio, and BF were all positively correlated with each other (P < .05). Subcutaneous fat depth at the tailhead tended to be positively related to BF when only horses with BCS ≥ 5 were included (P = .0680). These data suggest that BCS remains a simple means of monitoring adiposity in mature horses in moderate condition. Tailhead fat depots may become useful for monitoring changes in body fat in Thoroughbreds with a BCS above 5, although more work with animals of higher adiposity is required and at different times of year.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jevs.2019.102873DOI Listing
February 2020

Factors Affecting the Rate and Measurement of Feed Intake for a Cereal-Based Meal in Horses.

J Equine Vet Sci 2020 01 22;84:102869. Epub 2019 Nov 22.

Earth, Environmental and Biological Sciences, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland 4001, Australia. Electronic address:

The rapid intake of high-cereal, low-roughage meals may cause gastrointestinal and behavioral disorders. We investigated some of the factors that can affect the rate of intake (ROI) in four separate studies. Study 1 investigated the effect of chaff length and addition rate on the ROI of oats. The ROI decreased as more chaff was added to the diet, attaining significance (P < .05, n = 6) at levels above 15% addition and reaching a plateau at ∼50%. This was independent of stalk length (1.4 cm vs. 4.1 cm). Study 2 showed that meal size (varying from 0.5 to 4 g/kg BW) did not affect the ROI for a cereal-based meal, nor was ROI altered by the addition of 10% molasses (n = 6). Study 3 demonstrated that ROI changed markedly over the course of a meal, commencing at an average rate of 74 g/minute for the first 5 minutes and decreasing to 15.8 g/minute after 30 minutes (n = 6). Study 4 examined the effects of breed, BW, exercise, and gender in 71 horses. In Clydesdales, BW affected ROI (P < .05), and Clydesdales had a faster ROI than Thoroughbreds of similar BW (81.8 ± 6.8 vs. 66.0 ± 3.35 g/minute; P < .05). Exercise level, age, and gender did not impact ROI significantly. The results highlight the effectiveness of feeding chaff to slow ROI and demonstrate the need for a standardized protocol if ROI is to be compared between different studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jevs.2019.102869DOI Listing
January 2020

Physics of animal health: on the mechano-biology of hoof growth and form.

J R Soc Interface 2019 06 26;16(155):20190214. Epub 2019 Jun 26.

1 School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, University of Nottingham , College Road, Sutton Bonington LE12 5RD , UK.

Global inequalities in economic access and agriculture productivity imply that a large number of developing countries rely on working equids for transport/agriculture/mining. Therefore, the understanding of hoof conditions/shape variations affecting equids' ability to work is still a persistent concern. To bridge this gap, using a multi-scale interdisciplinary approach, we provide a bio-physical model predicting the shape of equids' hooves as a function of physical and biological parameters. In particular, we show (i) where the hoof growth stress originates from, (ii) why the hoof growth rate is one order of magnitude higher than the proliferation rate of epithelial cells and (iii) how the soft-to-hard transformation of the epithelium is possible allowing the hoof to fulfil its function as a weight-bearing element. Finally (iv), we demonstrate that the reason for hoof misshaping is linked to the asymmetrical design of equids' feet (shorter quarters/long toe) together with the inability of the biological growth stress to compensate for such an asymmetry. Consequently, the hoof can adopt a dorsal curvature and become 'dished' overtime, which is a function of the animal's mass and the hoof growth rate. This approach allows us to discuss the potential occurrence of this multifaceted pathology in equids.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsif.2019.0214DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6597769PMC
June 2019

Insulin Resistance as a Result of Body Condition Categorized as Thin, Moderate, and Obese in Domesticated U.S. Donkeys (Equus asinus).

J Equine Vet Sci 2019 06 21;77:31-35. Epub 2019 Feb 21.

Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition, Waltham on the Wolds, Leicestershire, UK.

Donkeys are often kept, especially in industrialized countries, as companion animals. Donkeys have greater digestive efficiency and tend to expend less energy than horses or ponies, which contributes to obesity in nonworking donkeys. Obesity in all equine species increases risk of chronic health conditions such as laminitis and insulin resistance. Previous studies in horses and ponies have documented obesity's potential effects on glucose-insulin dynamics with lower insulin sensitivity and higher insulin responses to glucose. However, limited studies on obesity and its health impacts in donkeys exist, so these effects on glucose-insulin dynamics have not been fully studied. Twenty-four donkeys were selected according to initial body condition score (BCS) and divided into three categories with eight donkeys in each: thin, moderate, and obese. A frequently sampled glucose-insulin tolerance test was performed with subsequent MINMOD analysis to determine the effects of BCS on glucose-insulin dynamics. Basal insulin was highest in obese donkeys when compared with moderate and thin donkeys (P = .02 and P = .01, respectively). There was an overall trend across groups for BCS to lower insulin sensitivity (P = .06). No other effect was found. Body condition score seems to affect donkeys in a similar manner to horses and ponies as higher BCS was associated with higher basal insulin and may lower insulin sensitivity. Higher basal insulin concentrations in obese donkeys could negatively influence health and contribute to serious, chronic conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jevs.2019.02.011DOI Listing
June 2019

The Equine Gastrointestinal Microbiome: Impacts of Age and Obesity.

Front Microbiol 2018 7;9:3017. Epub 2018 Dec 7.

Scotland's Rural College, Aberdeen, United Kingdom.

Gastrointestinal microbial communities are increasingly being implicated in host susceptibilities to nutritional/metabolic diseases; such conditions are more prevalent in obese and/or older horses. This controlled study evaluated associations between host-phenotype and the fecal microbiome / metabolome. Thirty-five, Welsh Mountain pony mares were studied across 2 years (Controls, = 6/year, 5-15 years, Body Condition Score (BCS) 4.5-6/9; Obese, = 6/year, 5-15 years, BCS > 7/9; Aged, = 6 Year 1; = 5 Year 2, ≥19 years old). Animals were individually fed the same hay to maintenance (2% body mass as daily dry matter intake) for 2 (aged / obese) or 4 (control), 4-week periods in a randomized study. Outset phenotype was determined (body fat%, markers of insulin sensitivity). Feces were sampled on the final 3 days of hay feeding-periods and communities determined using Next Generation Sequencing of amplified V1-V2 hypervariable regions of bacterial 16S rRNA. Copy numbers for fecal bacteria, protozoa and fungi were similar across groups, whilst bacterial diversity was increased in the obese group. Dominant bacterial phyla in all groups were . Significant differences in the bacterial communities of feces were detected between host-phenotype groups. Relative to controls, abundances of were increased for aged animals and , , and were increased for obese animals. Over 500 bacterial operational taxonomic units (OTUs) differed significantly between host-phenotype groups. No consistent pattern of changes in discriminant OTUs between groups were maintained across groups and between years. The core bacterial populations contained 21 OTUs, 6.7% of recovered sequences. Distance-based Redundancy Analyses separated fecal bacterial communities with respect to markers of obesity and insulin dysregulation, as opposed to age. Host-phenotype had no impact on the apparent digestibility of dietary GE or DM, fecal volatile fatty acid concentrations or the fecal metabolome (FT-IR). The current study demonstrates that host-phenotype has major effects on equine fecal microbial population structure. Changes were predominantly associated with the obese state, confirming an obesity-associated impact in the absence of nutritional differences. Clear biomarkers of animal-phenotype were not identified within either the fecal microbiome or metabolome, suggesting functional redundancy within the gut microbiome and/or metabolome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2018.03017DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6293011PMC
December 2018

Influence of dietary restriction and low-intensity exercise on weight loss and insulin sensitivity in obese equids.

J Vet Intern Med 2019 Jan 5;33(1):280-286. Epub 2018 Dec 5.

Melbourne Veterinary School, Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences, The University of Melbourne, Werribee, Victoria, Australia.

Background: The importance of including exercise with dietary modification for the management of obese equids is not clearly understood.

Objectives: To evaluate the effect of a practical low-intensity exercise regimen, in addition to dietary restriction, on indices of insulin sensitivity (SI) and plasma adipokine concentrations in obese equids.

Animals: Twenty-four obese (body condition score [BCS] ≥ 7/9) horses and ponies.

Methods: Over a 12-week period, animals received either dietary restriction only (DIET) or dietary restriction plus low-intensity exercise (DIET+EX). All animals were provided with a restricted ration of grass hay at 1.25% body weight (BW) on a dry matter basis, providing 82.5% estimated digestible energy requirements. The DIET+EX group undertook low-intensity exercise 5 days per week on an automated horse walker. Before and after weight loss, total body fat mass (TBFM) was determined, indices of SI were calculated using minimal model analysis of a frequently sampled IV glucose tolerance test, and adipokines plus inflammatory biomarkers were measured using validated assays.

Results: Decreases in BCS, BW, and TBFM were similar between groups (all P > .05). After weight loss, animals in both groups had decreased basal insulin and leptin concentrations, and increased adiponectin concentrations (all P < .001). Furthermore, animals in the DIET+EX group had significantly improved SI and decreased serum amyloid A concentrations relative to animals in the DIET group (both P = .01).

Conclusions And Clinical Importance: Regular low-intensity exercise provided additional health benefits compared with dietary restriction alone in this population of obese equids.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jvim.15374DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6335535PMC
January 2019

The effect of insulin on equine lamellar basal epithelial cells mediated by the insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor.

PeerJ 2018 29;6:e5945. Epub 2018 Nov 29.

Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.

Background: In horses and ponies, insulin dysregulation leading to hyperinsulinemia may be associated with increased risk of laminitis, and prolonged infusion of insulin can induce the condition. It is unclear whether insulin may have a direct or indirect effect on the lamellar tissues. Insulin is structurally related to insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1), and can bind the IGF-1 receptor, albeit at a lower affinity than IGF-1.

Methods: Immunohistochemistry was performed on formalin-fixed lamellar tissue sections from six normal horses, euthanised for non-research purposes, using an anti-IGF-1 receptor antibody. In further studies, lamellar epithelial cells were obtained by collagenase digestion from the hooves of 18 normal horses, also euthanised for non-research purposes, and incubated for 48 h in the presence of insulin (0-2,000 m IU/ml). The increase in cell numbers was determined using a cell proliferation assay, and compared to the effect of zero insulin using one-way ANOVA.

Results: Immunohistochemistry demonstrated IGF-1 receptors on lamellar epidermal epithelial cells. With cultured cells, insulin caused a concentration-dependent increase in cell proliferation compared to untreated cells (maximal effect 63.3 ± 12.8% more cells after 48 h with 1,000 m IU/ml insulin; < 0.01). Co-incubation with a blocking antibody against the IGF-1 receptor significantly inhibited the proliferative effect of insulin ( < 0.01).

Discussion: These results demonstrate that IGF-1 receptors are present on lamellar epithelial cells. At high physiological concentrations, insulin may activate these cells, by a mechanism involving IGF-1 receptors, resulting in a proliferative effect. This mechanism could help to explain the link between hyperinsulinemia and laminitis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7717/peerj.5945DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6275117PMC
November 2018

Update in Hospital Palliative Care: Symptom Management, Communication, Caregiver Outcomes, and Moral Distress.

J Hosp Med 2018 06 20;13(6):419-423. Epub 2017 Dec 20.

Division of Hospital Medicine, Loyola University Medical Center, Maywood, Illinois, USA.

Background: Updated knowledge of the palliative care (PC) literature is needed to maintain competency and best address the PC needs of hospitalized patients. We critiqued the recent PC literature with the highest potential to impact hospital practice.

Methods: We reviewed articles published between January 2016 and December 2016, which were identified through a handsearch of leading journals and a MEDLINE search. The final 9 articles selected were determined by consensus based on scientific rigor, relevance to hospital medicine, and impact on practice.

Results: Key findings include the following: scheduled antipsychotics were inferior to a placebo for nonterminal delirium; a low-dose morphine was superior to a weak opioid for moderate cancer pain; methadone as a coanalgesic improved high-intensity cancer pain; many hospitalized patients on comfort care still receive antimicrobials; video decision aids improved the rates of advance care planning (ACP) and hospice use and decreased costs; standardized, PC-led intervention did not improve psychological outcomes in families of patients with a chronic critical illness; caregivers of patients surviving a prolonged critical illness experienced high and persistent rates of depression; people with non-normative sexuality or gender faced additional stressors with partner loss; and physician trainees experienced significant moral distress with futile treatments.

Conclusions: Recent research provides important guidance for clinicians caring for hospitalized patients with serious illnesses, including symptom management, ACP, moral distress, and outcomes of critical illness.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.12788/jhm.2895DOI Listing
June 2018

Water Cultures Are More Sensitive Than Swab Cultures for the Detection of Environmental Legionella.

Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2018 01 27;39(1):108-110. Epub 2017 Nov 27.

1Infectious Diseases Section,Veterans Affairs Pittsburgh Healthcare System,Pittsburgh,Pennsylvania.

Water cultures were significantly more sensitive than concurrently collected swab cultures (n=2,147 each) in detecting Legionella pneumophila within a Veterans Affairs healthcare system. Sensitivity for water versus swab cultures was 90% versus 30% overall, 83% versus 48% during a nosocomial Legionnaires' disease outbreak, and 93% versus 22% post outbreak. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2018;39:108-110.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/ice.2017.235DOI Listing
January 2018

Changes in the Total Fecal Bacterial Population in Individual Horses Maintained on a Restricted Diet Over 6 Weeks.

Front Microbiol 2017 11;8:1502. Epub 2017 Aug 11.

Institute of Biological Environmental and Rural Sciences, Aberystwyth UniversityAberystwyth, United Kingdom.

Twelve mature (aged 5-16 years) horses and ponies of mixed breed and type were fed restricted (1.25% BM Dry matter) quantities of one of two fiber based diets formulated to be iso-caloric. Diet 1 comprised of 0.8% body mass (BM) of chaff based complete feed plus 0.45% BM low energy grass hay (the same hay used for both diets). Diet 2 comprised 0.1% BM of a nutrient balancer plus 1.15% BM grass hay. Fecal samples were collected at week 10 and week 16. DNA was extracted and the V1-V2 regions of 16SrDNA were 454-pyrosequenced to investigate the bacterial microbiome of the horse. The two most abundant phyla found in both diets and sampling periods were the and There was a clear reduction in with a concordant increase in over time. There was a limited degree of stability within the bacterial community of the hindgut of horses, with 65% of bacteria retained, over a 6 week period whilst on a uniform diet. The presence of a core community defined by being present in all samples (each animal/diet combination) included in the study and being present at 0.1% relative abundance (or greater) was identified. In total 65 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were identified that fit the definition of core making up 21-28% of the total sequences recovered. As with total population the most abundant phyla were the followed by the , however there was no obvious shift in phyla due to period. Indeed, when the relative abundance of OTUs was examined across diets and periods there was no significant effect of diet or period alone or in combination on the relative abundance of the core OTUs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2017.01502DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5554519PMC
August 2017

Comparison and validation of ELISA assays for plasma insulin-like growth factor-1 in the horse.

Open Vet J 2017 31;7(1):75-80. Epub 2017 Mar 31.

Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences, The University of Melbourne, Werribee, Victoria, Australia.

Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) plays several important physiological roles, and IGF-related pathways have been implicated in developmental osteochondral disease and endocrinopathic laminitis. This factor is also a downstream marker of growth hormone activity and its peptide mimetics. Unfortunately, previously used assays for measuring equine IGF-1 (radioimmunoassays and ELISAs) are no longer commercially available, and many of the kits on the market give poor results when used on horse samples. The aim of the present study was to compare three different ELISA assays (two human and one horse-specific). Plasma samples from six Standardbreds, six ponies and six Andalusians were used. The human IGF-1 ELISA kit from Immunodiagnostic Systems (IDS) proved to be the most accurate and precise of the three kits; the other two assays gave apparently much lower concentrations, with poor recovery of spiked recombinant human IGF-1 and unacceptably poor intra-assay coefficients of variation (CV). The IDS assay gave an intra-assay CV of 3.59 % and inter-assay CV of 7.31%. Mean percentage recovery of spiked IGF-1 was 88.82%, and linearity and dilutional parallelism were satisfied. The IGF-1 plasma concentrations were 123.21 ±8.24 ng/mL for Standardbreds, 124.95 ±3.69 ng/mL for Andalusians and 174.26 ±1.94 ng/mL for ponies. Therefore of the three assays assessed, the IGF-1 ELISA manufactured by IDS was the most suitable for use with equine plasma samples and may have many useful applications in several different research areas. However, caution should be used when comparing equine studies where different analytical techniques and assays may have been used to measure this growth factor.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/ovj.v7i1.12DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5443403PMC
March 2017

Patient characteristics associated with false arrhythmia alarms in intensive care.

Ther Clin Risk Manag 2017 19;13:499-513. Epub 2017 Apr 19.

Department of Physiological Nursing, School of Nursing, University of California, San Francisco, CA.

Introduction: A high rate of false arrhythmia alarms in the intensive care unit (ICU) leads to alarm fatigue, the condition of desensitization and potentially inappropriate silencing of alarms due to frequent invalid and nonactionable alarms, often referred to as false alarms.

Objective: The aim of this study was to identify patient characteristics, such as gender, age, body mass index, and diagnosis associated with frequent false arrhythmia alarms in the ICU.

Methods: This descriptive, observational study prospectively enrolled patients who were consecutively admitted to one of five adult ICUs (77 beds) at an urban medical center over a period of 31 days in 2013. All monitor alarms and continuous waveforms were stored on a secure server. Nurse scientists with expertise in cardiac monitoring used a standardized protocol to annotate six clinically important types of arrhythmia alarms (asystole, pause, ventricular fibrillation, ventricular tachycardia, accelerated ventricular rhythm, and ventricular bradycardia) as true or false. Total monitoring time for each patient was measured, and the number of false alarms per hour was calculated for these six alarm types. Medical records were examined to acquire data on patient characteristics.

Results: A total of 461 unique patients (mean age =60±17 years) were enrolled, generating a total of 2,558,760 alarms, including all levels of arrhythmia, parameter, and technical alarms. There were 48,404 hours of patient monitoring time, and an average overall alarm rate of 52 alarms/hour. Investigators annotated 12,671 arrhythmia alarms; 11,345 (89.5%) were determined to be false. Two hundred and fifty patients (54%) generated at least one of the six annotated alarm types. Two patients generated 6,940 arrhythmia alarms (55%). The number of false alarms per monitored hour for patients' annotated arrhythmia alarms ranged from 0.0 to 7.7, and the duration of these false alarms per hour ranged from 0.0 to 158.8 seconds. Patient characteristics were compared in relation to 1) the number and 2) the duration of false arrhythmia alarms per 24-hour period, using nonparametric statistics to minimize the influence of outliers. Among the significant associations were the following: age ≥60 years (=0.013; =0.034), confused mental status (<0.001 for both comparisons), cardiovascular diagnoses (<0.001 for both comparisons), electrocardiographic (ECG) features, such as wide ECG waveforms that correspond to ventricular depolarization known as QRS complex due to bundle branch block (BBB) (=0.003; =0.004) or ventricular paced rhythm (=0.002 for both comparisons), respiratory diagnoses (=0.004 for both comparisons), and support with mechanical ventilation, including those with primary diagnoses other than respiratory ones (<0.001 for both comparisons).

Conclusion: Patients likely to trigger a higher number of false arrhythmia alarms may be those with older age, confusion, cardiovascular diagnoses, and ECG features that indicate BBB or ventricular pacing, respiratory diagnoses, and mechanical ventilatory support. Algorithm improvements could focus on better noise reduction (eg, motion artifact with confused state) and distinguishing BBB and paced rhythms from ventricular arrhythmias. Increasing awareness of patient conditions that apparently trigger a higher rate of false arrhythmia alarms may be useful for reducing unnecessary noise and improving alarm management.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/TCRM.S126191DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5403122PMC
April 2017

Exogenous lactobacilli mitigate microbial changes associated with grain fermentation (corn, oats, and wheat) by equine fecal microflora ex vivo.

PLoS One 2017 30;12(3):e0174059. Epub 2017 Mar 30.

Department of Animal and Food Sciences, University of Kentucky, Lexington KY, United States of America.

Cereal grains are often included in equine diets. When starch intake exceeds foregut digestion starch will reach the hindgut, impacting microbial ecology. Probiotics (e.g., lactobacilli) are reported to mitigate GI dysbioses in other species. This study was conducted to determine the effect of exogenous lactobacilli on pH and the growth of amylolytic and lactate-utilizing bacteria. Feces were collected from 3 mature geldings fed grass hay with access to pasture. Fecal microbes were harvested by differential centrifugation, washed, and re-suspended in anaerobic media containing ground corn, wheat, or oats at 1.6% (w/v) starch and one of five treatments: Control (substrate only), L. acidophilus, L. buchneri, L. reuteri, or an equal mixture of all three (107 cells/mL, final concentration). After 24 h of incubation (37°C, 160 rpm), samples were collected for pH and enumerations of total amylolytics, Group D Gram-positive cocci (GPC; Enterococci, Streptococci), lactobacilli, and lactate-utilizing bacteria. Enumeration data were log transformed prior to ANOVA (SAS, v. 9.3). Lactobacilli inhibited pH decline in corn and wheat fermentations (P < 0.0001). Specifically, addition of either L. reuteri or L. acidophilus was most effective at mitigating pH decline with both corn and wheat fermentation, in which the greatest acidification occurred (P < 0.05). Exogenous lactobacilli decreased amylolytics, while increasing lactate-utilizers in corn and wheat fermentations (P < 0.0001). In oat fermentations, L. acidophilus and L. reuteri inhibited pH decline and increased lactate-utilizers while decreasing amylolytics (P < 0.0001). For all substrates, L. reuteri additions (regardless of viability) had the lowest number of GPC and the highest number of lactobacilli and lactate-utilizers (P < 0.05). There were no additive effects when lactobacilli were mixed. Exogenous lactobacilli decreased the initial (first 8 h) rate of starch catalysis when wheat was the substrate, but did not decrease total (24 h) starch utilization in any case. These results indicate that exogenous lactobacilli can impact the microbial community and pH of cereal grain fermentations by equine fecal microflora ex vivo. Additionally, dead (autoclaved) exogenous lactobacilli had similar effects as live lactobacilli on fermentation. This latter result indicates that the mechanism by which lactobacilli impact other amylolytic bacteria is not simple resource competition.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0174059PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5373581PMC
August 2017

Review: Palliative care improves quality of life and symptom burden but does not affect mortality at 1 to 3 months.

Ann Intern Med 2017 03;166(6):JC31

University of California Los AngelesLos Angeles, California, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.7326/ACPJC-2017-166-6-031DOI Listing
March 2017

EQUIFAT: A novel scoring system for the semi-quantitative evaluation of regional adipose tissues in Equidae.

PLoS One 2017 15;12(3):e0173753. Epub 2017 Mar 15.

University of Surrey, School of Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Guilford, United Kingdom.

Anatomically distinct adipose tissues represent variable risks to metabolic health in man and some other mammals. Quantitative-imaging of internal adipose depots is problematic in large animals and associations between regional adiposity and health are poorly understood. This study aimed to develop and test a semi-quantitative system (EQUIFAT) which could be applied to regional adipose tissues. Anatomically-defined, photographic images of adipose depots (omental, mesenteric, epicardial, rump) were collected from 38 animals immediately post-mortem. Images were ranked and depot-specific descriptors were developed (1 = no fat visible; 5 = excessive fat present). Nuchal-crest and ventro-abdominal-retroperitoneal adipose depot depths (cm) were transformed to categorical 5 point scores. The repeatability and reliability of EQUIFAT was independently tested by 24 observers. When half scores were permitted, inter-observer agreement was substantial (average κw: mesenteric, 0.79; omental, 0.79; rump 0.61) or moderate (average κw; epicardial, 0.60). Intra-observer repeatability was tested by 8 observers on 2 occasions. Kappa analysis indicated perfect (omental and mesenteric) and substantial agreement (epicardial and rump) between attempts. A further 207 animals were evaluated ante-mortem (age, height, breed-type, gender, body condition score [BCS]) and again immediately post-mortem (EQUIFAT scores, carcass weight). Multivariable, random effect linear regression models were fitted (breed as random effect; BCS as outcome variable). Only height, carcass weight, omental and retroperitoneal EQUIFAT scores remained as explanatory variables in the final model. The EQUIFAT scores developed here demonstrate clear functional differences between regional adipose depots and future studies could be directed towards describing associations between adiposity and disease risk in surgical and post-mortem situations.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0173753PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5351866PMC
September 2017