Background Conflicting results regarding alterations to sperm DNA methylation in cases of spermatogenesis defects, male infertility and poor developmental outcomes have been reported in humans. Bulls used for artificial insemination represent a relevant model in this field, as the broad dissemination of bull semen considerably alleviates confounding factors and enables the precise assessment of male fertility. This study was therefore designed to assess the potential for sperm DNA methylation to predict bull fertility. Results A unique collection of 100 sperm samples was constituted by pooling 2–5 ejaculates per bull from 100 Montbéliarde bulls of comparable ages, assessed as fertile (n = 57) or subfertile (n = 43) based on non-return rates 56 days after insemination. The DNA methylation profiles of these samples were obtained using reduced representation bisulfite sequencing. After excluding putative sequence polymorphisms, 490 fertility-related differentially methylated cytosines (DMCs) were identified, most of which were hypermethylated in subfertile bulls. Interestingly, 46 genes targeted by DMCs are involved in embryonic and fetal development, sperm function and maturation, or have been related to fertility in genome-wide association studies; five of these were further analyzed by pyrosequencing. In order to evaluate the prognostic value of fertility-related DMCs, the sperm samples were split between training (n = 67) and testing (n = 33) sets. Using a Random Forest approach, a predictive model was built from the methylation values obtained on the training set. The predictive accuracy of this model was 72% on the testing set and 72% on individual ejaculates collected from an independent cohort of 20 bulls. Conclusion This study, conducted on the largest set of bull sperm samples so far examined in epigenetic analyses, demonstrated that the sperm methylome is a valuable source of male fertility biomarkers. The next challenge is to combine these results with other data on the same sperm samples in order to improve the quality of the model and better understand the interplay between DNA methylation and other molecular features in the regulation of fertility. This research may have potential applications in human medicine, where infertility affects the interaction between a male and a female, thus making it difficult to isolate the male factor.
After extensive proliferation during development, the adult skeletal muscle cells remain outside the cell cycle, either as post-mitotic myofibers or as quiescent muscle stem cells (MuSCs). Despite its terminally differentiated state, adult skeletal muscle has a remarkable regeneration potential, driven by MuSCs. Upon injury, MuSC quiescence is reversed to support tissue growth and repair and it is re-established after the completion of muscle regeneration. The distinct cell cycle states and transitions observed in the different myogenic populations are orchestrated by elements of the cell cycle machinery. This consists of i) complexes of cyclins and Cyclin-Dependent Kinases (CDKs) that ensure cell cycle progression and ii) their negative regulators, the Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitors (CDKIs). In this review we discuss the roles of these factors in developmental and adult myogenesis, with a focus on CDKIs that have emerging roles in stem cell functions.
Alternative pig farms, which do not raise animals in closed buildings with slatted and/or concrete floors, have critical points that need particular attention. Internal parasitism is one, as the farming conditions in such structures are more favorable to the development and survival of parasites. The objectives of this study, carried out on 70 alternative farms in continental France, were to (i) estimate the frequency and level of infestation by the main internal parasites on these farms, and (ii) define their typology according to the level of parasitism. For this purpose, fecal samples were taken for coprological analysis from 10 sows, 10 pigs aged 10-12 wk, and 10 pigs at the end of the fattening period. Blood samples were also taken for serological analysis (targeting Ascaris suum and Toxoplasma gondii) from 10 sows and 10 pigs at the end of the fattening period. Of the 70 farms, only 5 had no helminth egg or coccidian oocyst. Coccidia oocysts were observed in 79% of the farms, while eggs of Oesophagostomum spp./Hyostrongylus rubidus, Ascaris suum, and Trichuris suis were found in 47%, 16%, and 36% of the farms, respectively. On each infested farm, an average of 56.8% of sows, 23.8% of grower pigs, and 38.9% of finisher pigs were parasitized. At least 1 Ascaris suum-seropositive finisher pig was found on 91% of the farms, and at least 1 Toxoplasma gondii-seropositive finisher pig or sow on 60% of the farms. Data on housing, animal management, and health management (particularly parasite control) were collected to characterize the typology of farms according to their level of parasitism. The variables defining these farm typologies differed according to the parasites. Access to the outdoors for breeding stock was a characteristic of the farms most heavily infested with helminths or T. gondii. Conversely, the farms with the lowest frequency of coccidia oocyst infestation were characterized by free-range farrowing facilities and also by the presence of slatted floors, mostly plastic in our study, rather than straw bedding in the farrowing rooms. The level of biosecurity concerning the storage of straw for pig bedding was another discriminating factor for parasitism level of helminths and T. gondii. Farms with the highest levels of helminth parasitism were more likely not to practice an all-in-all-out postweaning system and to deworm their grower/finisher pigs less frequently than farms with the lowest levels of helminth parasitism.
The migratory behavior of wild birds contributes to the geographical spread of ticks and their microorganisms. In this study, we aimed to investigate the dispersal and co-occurrence of Francisella and spotted fever group Rickettsia (SFGR) in ticks infesting birds migrating northward in the African-Western Palaearctic region (AWPR). Birds were trapped with mist nests across the Mediterranean basin during the 2014 and 2015 spring migration. In total, 575 ticks were collected from 244 birds. We screened the ticks for the species Francisella tularensis, the genus Francisella, and SFGR by microfluidic real-time PCR. Confirmatory analyses and metagenomic sequencing were performed on tick samples that putatively tested positive for F. tularensis during initial screenings. Hyalomma rufipes was the most common tick species and had a high prevalence of Francisella, including co-occurrence of Francisella and SFGR. Metagenomic analysis of total DNA extracted from two H. rufipes confirmed the presence of Francisella, Rickettsia, and Midichloria. Average nucleotide identity and phylogenetic inference indicated the highest identity of the metagenome-assembled genomes to a Francisella-like endosymbiont (FLE), Rickettsia aeschlimannii, and Midichloria mitochondrii. The results of this study suggest that (i) FLE- and SFGR-containing ticks are dispersed by northbound migratory birds in the AWPR, (ii) H. rufipes likely is not involved in transmission of F. tularensis in the AWPR, and (iii) a dual endosymbiosis of FLEs and Midichloria may support some of the nutritional requirements of H. rufipes.
Rickettsia helvetica is an emerging pathogen of the Spotted Fever Group Rickettsia (SFGR) causing spotted fever diseases in various European countries. This tick-borne pathogen replicates in tick tissues such as the midgut and salivary gland, but its potential interactions with the vector microbiota is poorly characterized. The vector microbiome plays a pivotal role in tick-pathogen interactions, and some microbiota members facilitate or impede tick-borne pathogen infection. Manipulations of the tick microbiome have led to reduction in pathogen colonization in the tick vector. However, translating these findings into disease control applications requires a thorough characterization of vector microbiota response to different pathogens. In this study, we analyzed and compared the microbiota of Ixodes ricinus ticks attached on humans and collected in Serbia. Ticks were either infected with R. helvetica, or uninfected with major tick-borne pathogens (referred hereafter as ‘pathogen-free’). We used microbial co-occurrence network analysis to determine keystone taxa of each set of samples, and to study the interaction patterns of the microbial communities in response to pathogen infection. The inferred functional profiles of the tick microbiome in R. helvetica-positive and pathogen-free samples were also compared. Our results show that R. helvetica infection reduces significantly the diversity of the microbiota and the connectivity of the co-occurrence network. In addition, using co-occurrence network we identified bacterial taxa (i.e., Enterobacteriaceae, Comamonadaceae, and Bacillus) that were negatively associated with ‘Rickettsia’ in R. helvetica-infected ticks, suggesting competition between R. helvetica and some members of the tick microbiota. The reconstruction of microbial metabolic pathways shows that the presence of R. helvetica might have a major impact on the metabolic functions of the tick microbiome. These results can inform novel interventions for the prevention of R. helvetica, or other SFGR infections in humans.
Mammalian pre-implantation embryos accumulate substantial lipids, which are stored in lipid droplets (LDs). Despite the fundamental roles of lipids in many cellular functions, the significance of building-up LDs for the developing embryo remains unclear. Here we report that the accumulation and mobilization of LDs upon implantation are causal in the morphogenesis of the pluripotent epiblast and generation of the pro-amniotic cavity in mouse embryos, a critical step for all subsequent development. We show that the CIDEA protein, found abundantly in adipocytes, enhances lipid storage in blastocysts and pluripotent stem cells by promoting LD enlargement through fusion. The LD-stored lipids are mobilized into lysosomes at the onset of lumenogenesis, but without CIDEA are prematurely degraded by cytosolic lipases. Loss of lipid storage or inactivation of lipophagy leads to the aberrant formation of multiple cavities within disorganised epithelial structures. Thus, our study reveals an unexpected role for LDs in orchestrating tissue remodelling and uncovers underappreciated facets of lipid metabolism in peri-implantation development. Prior to its implantation into the uterus, the mammalian embryo stores substantial lipids. Here the authors unveil how lipid storage and morphogenesis of pluripotent stem cells are fundamentally connected during peri-implantation development.
COVID-19 is a complex disease with short- and long-term respiratory, inflammatory and neurological symptoms that are triggered by the infection with SARS-CoV-2. Invasion of the brain by SARS-CoV-2 has been observed in humans and is postulated to be involved in post-COVID state. Brain infection is particularly pronounced in the K18-hACE2 mouse model of COVID-19. Prevention of brain infection in the acute phase of the disease might thus be of therapeutic relevance to prevent long-lasting symptoms of COVID-19. We previously showed that melatonin or two prescribed structural analogs, agomelatine and ramelteon delay the onset of severe clinical symptoms and improve survival of SARS-CoV-2-infected K18-hACE2 mice. Here, we show that treatment of K18-hACE2 mice with melatonin and two melatonin-derived marketed drugs, agomelatine and ramelteon, prevents SARS-CoV-2 entry in the brain, thereby reducing virus-induced damage of small cerebral vessels, immune cell infiltration and brain inflammation. Molecular modeling analyses complemented by experimental studies in cells showed that SARS-CoV-2 entry in endothelial cells is prevented by melatonin binding to an allosteric-binding site on human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), thus interfering with ACE2 function as an entry receptor for SARS-CoV-2. Our findings open new perspectives for the repurposing of melatonergic drugs and its clinically used analogs in the prevention of brain infection by SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19-related long-term neurological symptoms.
Painful eye conditions are a therapeutic challenge in horses. Subpalpebral lavage (SPL) treatment systems allow topical aqueous medications to be conveniently, safely, and frequently administered to the ocular surface. The aim of this retrospective study was to describe the outcomes and the complications associated with the location of the SPL treatment systems, in the superior or inferior eyelid in horses in a university practice. Clinical records of all horses admitted to the National Veterinary School of Alfort between January 2004 and October 2021, in which a SPL treatment system was used to administer topical ophthalmic medications, were reviewed. Sixty horses were included in the study representing 61 SPL treatment systems. Uneventful outcomes occurred in 53 cases (86.9%) and complications were recorded in 8 cases (13.1%). Seven complications were reported for upper eyelid systems (23.3%) and 1 complication for lower eyelid systems (4.2%). The complication rates were not significantly different between these two locations (p=0.06). The complications identified were iatrogenic corneal ulceration, palpebral abscess, overgrowth of conjunctiva over the footplate and palpebral cellulitis. Median duration of SPL treatment system use was 7.5 days. The easier placement and removal and the lower incidence of complications identified in our study encourage the authors to favor the lower fornix for subpalpebral lavage treatment systems within our equine hospital.
In recent decades, interest in circulating tumour biomarkers is increasing both in human and veterinary oncology. An ideal tumour biomarker would allow early diagnosis of neoplasia, identify it specifically, accurately, establish a prognosis and predict its behaviour, especially regarding different therapeutic solutions. It would also allow to monitor its evolution over time and all this in a non‐invasive and inexpensive way. Actually, no biomarkers meeting all of these criteria have been identified in veterinary medicine, particularly due to a lack of specificity of the main protein tumour biomarkers studied to date. However, a great hope is currently placed in biomarkers grouped under the name of liquid biopsy, which could prove to be effective tools for common clinical use in the near future. This review gives an update on blood cancer biomarkers studied in dogs, such as ions, proteins, nucleic acids and also circulating cells, of which some might become more prominant in the coming years to help improve management of animal care.
Masticatory myositis (MM) and generalised idiopathic polymyositis (gIPM) are the most common immune‐mediated myositis in dogs. In humans, the diagnosis and classification of myositis have continuously evolved over the past few decades with the combination of histopathological and immunohistochemical evaluation alongside the identification of myositis‐specific autoantibodies (MSAs). In dogs, however, MSAs have only been described in MM and breeds such as Newfoundland and Boxer. We report a case of a dog that presented with sub‐acute pain when chewing and exophthalmos, followed by chronic progressive masticatory muscle atrophy and enophthalmos. Clinical signs and electromyography were primarily consistent with MM, but serological autoantibodies against type 2M myofibres were negative. Creatine kinase activity, histological and immunohistochemical examination of the temporal and triceps brachii muscles and negative infectious disease tests were consistent with gIPM. This atypical case highlights the requirement for multiple muscle biopsies and appeals for extended immunohistochemical studies in canine myositis.
Background Treatment for shoulder joint luxation (SJL) in rabbits is poorly documented. The surgical management of SJL combined with a Salter-Harris type I fracture has not been reported in pet rabbit. Case description A 5-month-old intact female rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) was presented with a non–weight-bearing lameness of the right forelimb. On orthopedic evaluation, swelling and pain were elicited during palpation of the shoulder joint. Radiographs revealed a caudolateral luxation of the shoulder associated with a Salter-Harris type I fracture of the proximal humeral physis. The physeal fracture was repaired with cross-pins, and the shoulder luxation was reduced and stabilized using a modified Campbell encircling prosthetic absorbable suture. The patient recovered uneventfully and exhibited full use of its operated limb as early as 2 weeks after surgery. Conclusions and case relevance On the latest follow-up at 5 months, the functional outcome was excellent. The shoulder joint was stable, the fracture site was completely healed, and no signs of osteoarthritis nor disharmonious growth were visible on radiographs. This case is the first description of the successful surgical treatment of a SJL with a Salter-Harris type I fracture of the proximal humerus in a pet rabbit.
Hereditary ataxias are common among canine breeds with various molecular etiology. We identified a hereditary ataxia in young‐adult Australian Shepherd dogs characterized by uncoordinated movements and spasticity, worsening progressively and leading to inability to walk. Pedigree analysis suggested an autosomal recessive transmission. By whole genome sequencing and variant filtering of an affected dog we identified a PNPLA8:c.1169_1170dupTT variant. This variant, located in PNPLA8 (Patatin Like Phospholipase Domain Containing 8), was predicted to induce a PNPLA8:p.(His391PhefsTer394) frameshift, leading to a premature stop codon in the protein. The truncated protein was predicted to lack the functional patatin catalytic domain of PNPLA8, a calcium‐independent phospholipase. PNPLA8 is known to be essential for maintaining mitochondrial energy production through tailoring mitochondrial membrane lipid metabolism and composition. The Australian Shepherd ataxia shares molecular and clinical features with Weaver syndrome in cattle and the mitochondrial‐related neurodegeneration associated with PNPLA8 loss‐of‐function variants in humans. By genotyping a cohort of 85 control Australian Shepherd dogs sampled in France, we found a 4.7% carrier frequency. The PNPLA8:c.[1169_1170dupTT] allele is easily detectable with a genetic test to avoid at‐risk matings.
Bat sarbecovirus BANAL-236 is highly related to SARS-CoV-2 and infects human cells, albeit lacking the furin cleavage site in its spike protein. To inform on the origin of SARS-CoV-2, we evaluated the clinical, epidemiological and evolutionary consequences of a potential BANAL-236 spillover into humans using animal models. The virus replicates efficiently and pauci-symptomatically in humanized mice and in macaques, where its tropism is enteric, strongly differing from that of SARS-CoV-2. BANAL-236 infection leads to protection against superinfection by a more virulent strain like Wuhan SARS-CoV-2. Yet we found no evidence of antibodies recognizing bat sarbecoviruses in populations highly exposed to bats, indicating that such infections, if they occur, are rare. Six passages in mice or in human intestinal cells, mimicking putative early spillover events, selected adaptive mutations without appearance of a furin cleavage site and not change in virulence. We thus conclude that the hypothesis of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic being preceded by silent circulation in humans of BANAL-236-like strains leading to the acquisition of a furin cleavage site is unlikely. Our studies suggest that a specific search for a furin cleavage site in sarbecoviruses in the wild should be pursued to understand the origin of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemics.
Background : Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) decreases lung volume below the functional residual capacity and can generate intrathoracic airway closure. Conversely, large insufflations can induce thoracic distension and jeopardize circulation. The capnogram (CO 2 signal) obtained during continuous chest compressions can reflect intrathoracic airway closure and we hypothesized here that it can also indicate thoracic distension. Objectives : to test whether a specific capnogram may identify thoracic distension during CPR and assess its impact on gas exchange and hemodynamics. Methods : 1. In out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients, we identified on capnograms three patterns: intrathoracic airway closure, thoracic distension or regular pattern. An algorithm was designed to identify them automatically.2. To link CO2 patterns with ventilation, we conducted three experiments:i) Reproducing the CO2 patterns in human cadavers. ii) Assessing the influence of tidal volume and respiratory mechanics on thoracic distension using a mechanical lung model. iii) Exploring the impact of thoracic distension patterns on different circulation parameters during CPR on a pig model. Measurements and main results : Clinical data: 202 patients were included. Intrathoracic airway closure was present in 35%, thoracic distension in 22% and regular pattern in 43%. Experiments:i) Higher insufflated volumes reproduced thoracic distension CO 2 patterns in 5 cadavers. ii) In the mechanical lung model, thoracic distension patterns were associated with higher volumes and longer time constants. iii) In six pigs during CPR with various tidal volumes, a CO 2 pattern of thoracic distension, but not tidal volume per se , was associated with a significant decrease in blood pressure and cerebral perfusion. Conclusions : During CPR, intrathoracic airway closure, thoracic distension or regular pattern can be identified by capnogram analysis. A thoracic distension pattern on the capnogram may indicate a negative impact of ventilation on blood pressure and cerebral perfusion during CPR, not predicted by tidal volume per se .
Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) are considered promising candidates for regenerative medicine applications. Their clinical performance post-implantation, however, has been disappointing. This lack of therapeutic efficacy is most likely due to suboptimal formulations of MSC-containing material constructs. Tissue engineers, therefore, have developed strategies addressing/incorporating optimized cell-, micro-environmental-, biochemical, - and biophysical- cues/stimuli to enhance MSC-containing construct performance. Such approaches have had limited success because they overlooked that maintenance of MSC viability after implantation for a sufficient time is necessary for MSCs to develop their regenerative functionalities fully. Following a brief overview of glucose metabolism and regulation in MSCs, the present literature review includes recent pertinent findings that challenge old paradigms and notions. We hereby report that glucose is the primary energy substrate for MSCs, provides precursors for biomass generation, and regulates MSC functions, including proliferation, differentiation, and immunosuppressive properties. More importantly, glucose metabolism is central in controlling in vitro MSC expansion, in vivo MSC viability, and MSC-mediated angiogenesis post-implantation when addressing MSC-based therapies. Meanwhile, in silico models are highlighted for predicting glucose needs of MSCs in specific regenerative medicine settings, which will eventually enable tissue engineers to design viable and potent tissue constructs. This new knowledge should be incorporated into developing novel effective MSC-based therapies.
France has been rabies-free among nonflying mammals since 2001. Despite this status , the rabies virus has been introduced several times through noncommercial pet movements, posing a threat of infection by this 100%-lethal zoonosis among local animal and human populations. To quantify the risk of rabies being introduced through worldwide noncommercial dog and cat movements, we performed a quantitative risk assessment using stochastic scenario tree modeling. The mean annual probability of at least one rabies introduction incident was 0.35 (median: 0.24, 90% prediction interval (PI) [0.04; 0.98]) and the mean annual number of rabies-infected pets introduced through pet movements was 0.96 (median: 0.27, 90% PI [0.04; 3.88]). These results highlight a nonnegligible, even high risk due to the associated consequences of such events. In alternative scenario testing, preventive anti-rabies vaccination proved to be an effective measure since removing the vaccination requirement led to a > 15-fold increase in risk. The serological testing requirement had less of an effect (approxi-mately twofold increase when removed) and the posttest waiting period to ensure that antibodies were not linked to an infection had a negligible effect. Any change in pet owner compliance, especially regarding vaccination, could have a major impact on the risk. This study also shows that reinforced border control staff training could be more effective in reducing risk than more frequent checks. These results provide quantitative data for assessing the probability of the rabies virus entering France, and could help policymakers decrease this risk in rabies-free areas.
Tick-borne pathogens (TBPs) include a wide range of bacteria, parasites and viruses that cause a large spectrum of animal, human and zoonotic tick-borne diseases (TBDs). The object of this review was to establish an inventory and an analysis of TBPs found in domestic animals in the countries of the Mediterranean Basin. This geographic area occupies a central position between several continents and is an area of movement for animals, humans and pathogens of interest and their vectors, which is important in terms of animal and human health. In this systematic review, we included a total of 271 publications produced between 2000–2021 concerning TBPs in domestic animals. Among this literature, we found a total of 90 pathogen species (known as TBPs) reported in the 20 countries of the area; these were detected in tick species from domestic animals and were also directly detected in domestic animals. In all, 31 tick species were recorded and 12 domestic animal species, the latter comprising nine livestock and three pet species. More than 50% of the publications were from Western Europe. Island data were extracted and assessed, as islands of the Mediterranean Basin were represented in 16% of the publications and 77.8% of the TBPs reported. Our results show the importance of islands in the monitoring of TBPs, despite the low percentage of publications.
Background: Breeding a mare until she is not fertile or even until her death is common in equine industry but the fertility decreases as the mare age increases. Embryo loss due to reduced embryo quality is partly accountable for this observation. Here, the efect of mare’s age on blastocysts’ gene expression was explored. Day 8 post-ovulation embryos were collected from multiparous young (YM, 6-year-old, N =5) and older (OM, >10-year-old, N =6) nonnursing Saddlebred mares, inseminated with the semen of one stallion. Pure or inner cell mass (ICM) enriched trophoblast, obtained by embryo bisection, were RNA sequenced. Deconvolution algorithm was used to discriminate gene expression in the ICM from that in the trophoblast. Diferential expression was analyzed with embryo sex and diameter as cofactors. Functional annotation and classifcation of diferentially expressed genes and gene set enrichment analysis were also performed. Results: Maternal aging did not afect embryo recovery rate, embryo diameter nor total RNA quantity. In both compartments, the expression of genes involved in mitochondria and protein metabolism were disturbed by maternal age, although more genes were afected in the ICM. Mitosis, signaling and adhesion pathways and embryo development were decreased in the ICM of embryos from old mares. In trophoblast, ion movement pathways were afected. Conclusions: This is the frst study showing that maternal age afects gene expression in the equine blastocyst, demonstrating signifcant efects as early as 10 years of age. These perturbations may afect further embryo development and contribute to decreased fertility due to aging.
OBJECTIVE To assess the prevalence of bronchial wall thickening (BWT) and collapse in brachycephalic dogs with and without brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS) and in nonbrachycephalic dogs. ANIMALS 85 dogs with no history of lower respiratory tract disease that underwent CT of the thorax. PROCEDURES Electronical medical records for March 2011 through August 2019 were reviewed to identify brachycephalic dogs with BOAS (BOAS group) and brachycephalic dogs without BOAS (BDWB group) that did not have any evidence of lower respiratory tract disease and had undergone thoracic CT. A population of nonbrachycephalic dogs of similar weight (control dogs) was also retrospectively recruited. RESULTS BWT was identified in 28 of 30 (93.3%; 95% CI, 80.3% to 98.6%) dogs in the BOAS group, 15 of 26 (57.7%; 95% CI, 38.7% to 75.0%) dogs in the BDWB group, and 10 of 28 (35.7%; 95% CI, 20.1% to 54.2%) control dogs. On multivariable analysis, only brachycephalic conformation ( P < 0.01) and body weight ( P = 0.02) were significantly associated with the presence of BWT. Bronchial collapse was identified in 17 of 30 (56.7%; 95% CI, 39.0% to 73.1%) dogs in the BOAS group, 17 of 26 (65.4%; 95% CI, 46.3% to 81.3%) dogs in the BDWB group, and 3 of 28 (10.7%; 95% CI, 3.1% to 25.9%) control dogs. On multivariable analysis, only brachycephalic conformation was significantly ( P < 0.01) associated with the presence of bronchial collapse. CLINICAL RELEVANCE A relationship between brachycephalic conformation and body weight with BWT was established, with heavier dogs having thicker bronchial walls. However, further studies are required to investigate the cause. Bronchial collapse was also more common in dogs with brachycephalic conformation, which is in agreement with the previously published literature.
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