Veterinary Biosciences - Research Publications
Now showing items 1-12 of 838
Correction: A global genotyping survey of Strongyloides stercoralis and Strongyloides fuelleborni using deep amplicon sequencing.
(Public Library of Science (PLoS), 2021-06)
[This corrects the article DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0007609.].
TroCCAP recommendations for the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of parasitic infections in dogs and cats in the tropics
The Tropical Council for Companion Animal Parasites Ltd. (TroCCAP) is a not-for-profit organisation whose mission is to independently inform, guide and make best-practice recommendations for the diagnosis, treatment and control of companion animal parasites in the tropics and sub-tropics, with the aim of protecting animal and human health. In line with this primary mission, TroCCAP recently developed guidelines for the diagnosis, treatment and control of feline and canine parasites in the tropics. The development of these guidelines required unique and complex considerations to be addressed, often inapplicable to developed nations. Much of the tropics encompass middle-to-low income countries in which poor standards of environmental hygiene and large populations of stray dogs and cats coexist. In these regions, a range of parasites pose a high risk to companion animals, which ultimately may place their owners at risk of acquiring parasitic zoonoses. These considerations led to the development of unique recommendations with regard, for example, to deworming and endoparasite testing intervals for the control of both global and 'region-specific' parasites in the tropics. Moreover, the 'off-' or 'extra'-label use of drugs for the treatment and control of parasitic infections is common practice in many tropical countries and many generic products lack manufacturers' information on efficacy, safety, and quality control. Recommendations and advice concerning the use of such drugs and protocols are also addressed in these guidelines. The formation of these guidelines is an important first step towards improving the education of veterinarians specifically regarding best-practice for the diagnosis, treatment and control of canine and feline parasites in the tropics.
Spatiotemporal and risk analysis of H5 highly pathogenic avian influenza in Vietnam, 2014-2017
The aim of this study was to describe the spatiotemporal distribution of H5 HPAI outbreak reports for the period 2014-2017 and to identify factors associated with H5 HPAI outbreak reports. Throughout the study period, a total of 139 outbreaks of H5 HPAI in poultry were reported, due to either H5N1 (96 outbreaks) or H5N6 (43 outbreaks) subtype viruses. H5N1 HPAI outbreaks occurred in all areas of Vietnam while H5N6 HPAI outbreaks were only reported in the northern and central provinces. We counted the number of H5N1 and H5N6 outbreak report-positive districts per province over the four-year study period and calculated the provincial-level standardized morbidity ratio for H5N1 and H5N6 outbreak reports as the observed number of positive districts divided by the expected number. A mixed-effects, zero-inflated Poisson regression model was developed to identify risk factors for outbreak reports of each H5N1 and H5N6 subtype virus. Spatially correlated and uncorrelated random effects terms were included in this model to identify areas of the country where outbreak reports occurred after known risk factors had been accounted-for. The presence of an outbreak report in a province in the previous 6-12 months increased the provincial level H5N1 outbreak report risk by a factor of 2.42 (95% Bayesian credible interval [CrI] 1.27-4.60) while 1000 bird increases in the density of chickens decreased provincial level H5N6 outbreak report risk by a factor of 0.65 (95% CrI 0.38 to 0.97). We document distinctly different patterns in the spatial and temporal distribution of H5N1 and H5N6 outbreak reports. Most of the variation in H5N1 report risk was accounted-for by the fixed effects included in the zero-inflated Poisson model. In contrast, the amount of unaccounted-for risk in the H5N6 model was substantially greater than the H5N1 model. For H5N6 we recommend that targeted investigations should be carried out in provinces with relatively large spatially correlated random effect terms to identify likely determinants of disease. Similarly, investigations should be carried out in provinces with relatively low spatially correlated random effect terms to identify protective factors for disease and/or reasons for failure to report.
The forecasting of dynamical Ross River virus outbreaks: Victoria, Australia
Ross River virus (RRV) is Australia's most epidemiologically important mosquito-borne disease. During RRV epidemics in the State of Victoria (such as 2010/11 and 2016/17) notifications can account for up to 30% of national RRV notifications. However, little is known about factors which can forecast RRV transmission in Victoria. We aimed to understand factors associated with RRV transmission in epidemiologically important regions of Victoria and establish an early warning forecast system. We developed negative binomial regression models to forecast human RRV notifications across 11 Local Government Areas (LGAs) using climatic, environmental, and oceanographic variables. Data were collected from July 2008 to June 2018. Data from July 2008 to June 2012 were used as a training data set, while July 2012 to June 2018 were used as a testing data set. Evapotranspiration and precipitation were found to be common factors for forecasting RRV notifications across sites. Several site-specific factors were also important in forecasting RRV notifications which varied between LGA. From the 11 LGAs examined, nine experienced an outbreak in 2011/12 of which the models for these sites were a good fit. All 11 LGAs experienced an outbreak in 2016/17, however only six LGAs could predict the outbreak using the same model. We document similarities and differences in factors useful for forecasting RRV notifications across Victoria and demonstrate that readily available and inexpensive climate and environmental data can be used to predict epidemic periods in some areas. Furthermore, we highlight in certain regions the complexity of RRV transmission where additional epidemiological information is needed to accurately predict RRV activity. Our findings have been applied to produce a Ross River virus Outbreak Surveillance System (ROSS) to aid in public health decision making in Victoria.
Molecular detection of Coxiella burnetii in horse sera in Iran.
Coxiella burnetii is a zoonotic bacterium that can infect a wide range of animals including horses. However, its circulation dynamics in and through horses are still unclear. The aim of this study was to evaluate prevalence of C. burnetii and its genomic characteristics in horse sera samples in the North of Iran (Golestan Province). The samples were collected in 2018 and the age, sex, and breed of each animal were recorded. Nested-PCR was used to detect C. burnetii based on the presence of the transposable gene IS1111. The results showed that 7.50 % (P < 0.05; 95 % CI: 0.5 %-0.12 %) of the examined sera samples were positive for C. burnetii. Based on the resuls, prevalence of C. burnetii in the age groupof < Years 1-5 (p-value <0.05, 95 % CI: 1 %-8 %) was less than the age group of >6 years old (p-value <0.05, 95 %, CI: 7 %-19.8 %). In previous studies, it was concluded that the horses' population in Golestan Province should be considered as an important factor in the epidemiology of Q fever and consequently in public health. Further studies should be implemented to evaluate if horses may be relevant indicators of zoonotic risk in urban and suburban endemic areas.
Globetrotting strangles: the unbridled national and international transmission of Streptococcus equi between horses
(MICROBIOLOGY SOC, 2021-03-01)
The equine disease strangles, which is characterized by the formation of abscesses in the lymph nodes of the head and neck, is one of the most frequently diagnosed infectious diseases of horses around the world. The causal agent, Streptococcus equi subspecies equi, establishes a persistent infection in approximately 10 % of animals that recover from the acute disease. Such 'carrier' animals appear healthy and are rarely identified during routine veterinary examinations pre-purchase or transit, but can transmit S. equi to naïve animals initiating new episodes of disease. Here, we report the analysis and visualization of phylogenomic and epidemiological data for 670 isolates of S. equi recovered from 19 different countries using a new core-genome multilocus sequence typing (cgMLST) web bioresource. Genetic relationships among all 670 S. equi isolates were determined at high resolution, revealing national and international transmission events that drive this endemic disease in horse populations throughout the world. Our data argue for the recognition of the international importance of strangles by the Office International des Épizooties to highlight the health, welfare and economic cost of this disease. The Pathogenwatch cgMLST web bioresource described herein is available for tailored genomic analysis of populations of S. equi and its close relative S. equi subspecies zooepidemicus that are recovered from horses and other animals, including humans, throughout the world. This article contains data hosted by Microreact.
Descriptive Comparison of ELISAs for the Detection of Toxoplasma gondii Antibodies in Animals: A Systematic Review
Toxoplasma gondii is the zoonotic parasite responsible for toxoplasmosis in warm-blooded vertebrates. This systematic review compares and evaluates the available knowledge on enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs), their components, and performance in detecting T. gondii antibodies in animals. Four databases were searched for published scientific studies on T. gondii and ELISA, and 57 articles were included. Overall, indirect (95%) and in-house (67%) ELISAs were the most used types of test among the studies examined, but the 'ID Screen® Toxoplasmosis Indirect Multi-species' was common among commercially available tests. Varying diagnostic performance (sensitivity and specificity) and Kappa agreements were observed depending on the type of sample (serum, meat juice, milk), antigen (native, recombinant, chimeric) and antibody-binding reagents used. Combinations of recombinant and chimeric antigens resulted in better performance than native or single recombinant antigens. Protein A/G appeared to be useful in detecting IgG antibodies in a wide range of animal species due to its non-species-specific binding. One study reported cross-reactivity, with Hammondia hammondi and Eimeria spp. This is the first systematic review to descriptively compare ELISAs for the detection of T. gondii antibodies across different animal species.
Cross-Predicting Essential Genes between Two Model Eukaryotic Species Using Machine Learning
Experimental studies of Caenorhabditis elegans and Drosophila melanogaster have contributed substantially to our understanding of molecular and cellular processes in metazoans at large. Since the publication of their genomes, functional genomic investigations have identified genes that are essential or non-essential for survival in each species. Recently, a range of features linked to gene essentiality have been inferred using a machine learning (ML)-based approach, allowing essentiality predictions within a species. Nevertheless, predictions between species are still elusive. Here, we undertake a comprehensive study using ML to discover and validate features of essential genes common to both C. elegans and D. melanogaster. We demonstrate that the cross-species prediction of gene essentiality is possible using a subset of features linked to nucleotide/protein sequences, protein orthology and subcellular localisation, single-cell RNA-seq, and histone methylation markers. Complementary analyses showed that essential genes are enriched for transcription and translation functions and are preferentially located away from heterochromatin regions of C. elegans and D. melanogaster chromosomes. The present work should enable the cross-prediction of essential genes between model and non-model metazoans.
A Putative Lipid-Associating Motif in the West Nile Virus NS4A Protein Is Required for Efficient Virus Replication
(FRONTIERS MEDIA SA, 2021-05-12)
Flavivirus replication is intimately associated with re-organized cellular membranes. These virus-induced changes in membrane architecture form three distinct membranous "organelles" that have specific functions during the flavivirus life cycle. One of these structures is the replication complex in which the flaviviral RNA is replicated to produce progeny genomes. We have previously observed that this process is strictly dependent on cellular cholesterol. In this study we have identified a putative cholesterol recognition/interaction amino acid consensus (CRAC) motif within the West Nile virus strain Kunjin virus (WNVKUN) NS4A protein. Site-directed mutagenesis of this motif within a WNVKUN infectious clone severely attenuated virus replication and the capacity of the mutant viruses to form the replication complex. Replication of the mutant viruses also displayed reduced co-localization with cellular markers recruited to replication sites during wild-type virus replication. In addition, we observed that the mutant viruses were significantly impaired in their ability to remodel cytoplasmic membranes. However, after extensive analysis we are unable to conclusively reveal a role for the CRAC motif in direct cholesterol binding to NS4A, suggesting additional complex lipid-protein and protein-protein interactions. We believe this study highlights the crucial role for this region within NS4A protein in recruitment of cellular and viral proteins to specialized subdomains on membrane platforms to promote efficient virus replication.
A 25-year retrospective study of Chlamydia psittaci in association with equine reproductive loss in Australia
(MICROBIOLOGY SOC, 2021-01-01)
Introduction. Chlamydia psittaci is primarily a pathogen of birds but can also cause disease in other species. Equine reproductive loss caused by C. psittaci has recently been identified in Australia where cases of human disease were also reported in individuals exposed to foetal membranes from an ill neonatal foal in New South Wales.Hypothesis/Gap Statement. The prevalence of C. psittaci in association with equine reproductive over time and in different regions of Australia is not known.Aim. This study was conducted to detect C. psittaci in equine abortion cases in Australia using archived samples spanning 25 years.Methodology. We tested for C. psittaci in 600 equine abortion cases reported in Australia between 1994 to 2019 using a Chlamydiaceae real-time quantitative PCR assay targeting the 16S rRNA gene followed by high-resolution melt curve analysis. Genotyping and phylogenetic analysis was performed on positive samples.Results. The overall prevalence of C. psittaci in material from equine abortion cases was 6.5 %. C. psittaci-positive cases were detected in most years that were represented in this study and occurred in Victoria (prevalence of 7.6 %), New South Wales (prevalence of 3.9 %) and South Australia (prevalence of 15.4 %). Genotyping and phylogenetic analysis showed that the C. psittaci detected in the equine abortion cases clustered with the parrot-associated 6BC clade (genotype A/ST24), indicating that infection of horses may be due to spillover from native Australian parrots.Conclusion. This work suggests that C. psittaci has been a signiﬁcant agent of equine abortion in Australia for several decades and underscores the importance of taking appropriate protective measures to avoid infection when handling equine aborted material.
Comparative genomics revealed adaptive admixture in Cryptosporidium hominis in Africa
(MICROBIOLOGY SOC, 2021-01-01)
Cryptosporidiosis is a major cause of diarrhoeal illness among African children, and is associated with childhood mortality, malnutrition, cognitive development and growth retardation. Cryptosporidium hominis is the dominant pathogen in Africa, and genotyping at the glycoprotein 60 (gp60) gene has revealed a complex distribution of different subtypes across this continent. However, a comprehensive exploration of the metapopulation structure and evolution based on whole-genome data has yet to be performed. Here, we sequenced and analysed the genomes of 26 C. hominis isolates, representing different gp60 subtypes, collected at rural sites in Gabon, Ghana, Madagascar and Tanzania. Phylogenetic and cluster analyses based on single-nucleotide polymorphisms showed that isolates predominantly clustered by their country of origin, irrespective of their gp60 subtype. We found a significant isolation-by-distance signature that shows the importance of local transmission, but we also detected evidence of hybridization between isolates of different geographical regions. We identified 37 outlier genes with exceptionally high nucleotide diversity, and this group is significantly enriched for genes encoding extracellular proteins and signal peptides. Furthermore, these genes are found more often than expected in recombinant regions, and they show a distinct signature of positive or balancing selection. We conclude that: (1) the metapopulation structure of C. hominis can only be accurately captured by whole-genome analyses; (2) local anthroponotic transmission underpins the spread of this pathogen in Africa; (3) hybridization occurs between distinct geographical lineages; and (4) genetic introgression provides novel substrate for positive or balancing selection in genes involved in host-parasite coevolution.