Italian Journal of Animal Science

Published by PAGEpress
Online ISSN: 1828-051X
Print ISSN: 1594-4077
Publications
HI test Group A.
HI test Group B.
HI test Group C.
The ability of different vaccine programmes (including the 4/91 vaccine strain) to protect against field infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) strain Italy 02 was investigated using specific pathogen free (SPF) chickens. Protection, as measured by assessing ciliary activity of the tracheal epithelium following challenge, was excellent with all vaccine schedule used in this trial. The data provided by this study also indicates that vaccination programmes induced adequate protection against both challenges at 36 and at 56 days of age.
 
Aim of the study was the evaluation of a innovative I.H.D.H. carcass production sys- tem in order to improve the conditions for mare’s milk production. In the trial were used 18 foals, subdi- vided in three randomized groups of 6 animals each. Every group was slaughtered at a different age: 6 months (artificially suckled), 11 months and 18 months (naturally suckled, following traditional rearing systems). Six months old foals carcasses were characterized by 75.59 % of lean, 12.79 % of fat and 11.64 % of bone. Six months foals carcasses showed the lean end the fact respectively higher (P<0.001) end lower (P<0.001) than 18 months ones (P<0.001), and the bone higher than 11 months foals (P<0.001). Six months hind quarter incidence was 65.00 %, more than found for 18 months carcasses (P<0.001). Moreo- ver, 6 months carcasses showed an first quality cuts incidence higher than 11 months foals (P<0.01).
 
Effects of different slaughter weights (160 vs. 120 kg) on chemical, physical and sensory characteristics of pig loin were investigated. Physical and chemical traits were similar for the two typologies of weight, whereas lower values of moisture (P<0.01) and higher fat content (P<0.05) were found in heavy pork loin; furthermore increased slaughter weight resulted in redder, more yellow and intensive colour (P<0.05). A selected and trained panel carried out difference from control test showing that heavy pig loin scored higher for appearance and taste parameters (P<0.05), but lower for tenderness (P<0.05). Heavy pig loin was redder, more marbling, wetter, sweeter, and saltier and had higher metallic flavour and lower tenderness.
 
Marker tests for FP, MY and PP across BTA14.
Many studies have demonstrated that quantitative trait loci (QTL) can be identified and mapped in commercial dairy cattle populations using genetic markers in daughter and granddaughter designs.The final objective of these studies is to identify genes or markers that can be used in breeding schemes via marker assisted selection (MAS).
 
Numerous studies have found a large number of QTL associated with productive and functional traits in the cattle genome. Several Countries have already established research programs aiming at identification and exploitation of QTLs in dairy cattle (Bovenhuis and Schrooten 2002). However, the published results are not directly exploitable for MAS, as commercial interests limit the information in the literature, and because marker-QTL phase is specific to each family.
 
The aim of the experiment was to investigate the ability of the heavy pig to utilize diets rich in fibre. Eight Landrace xLarge White fattening barrows were fed 3 high fibre (HF) diets (on average 17.8% NDF on DM) and a traditional (C) diet(13.5% NDF) in a Latin Square design. Feeding was restricted. Each of the 4 periods included 21 days adaptation and 7days digestibility/calorimetry. The HF diets included wheat bran (coarse or milled) or beet pulp. In periods 1, 2, 3 and 4the eight pigs weighed, on average, 105, 124, 140 and 158 kg. Fibre digestibility (%) of HF diets increased from period1 to period 4: 56.2, 56.6, 58.8, 62.2 for NDF and 46.0, 47.1, 49.0, 53.4 for ADF. A similar trend was registered for thedigestibility of DM, OM, CP, EE and energy. Comparing the digestibility of diet C with HF diets, independently of the periods,diet C always had significantly higher digestibility (e.g. DM=87.5 vs 84.9%) except for fibre which gave similar coefficients.Methane energy losses increased significantly from period 1 to period 4 for HF diets (0.40 vs 0.59% of the intakeenergy, IE, PRetained energy of diet C (37.1% IE) and of HF diets (35.3%) considered as the average of the four periods, were similar,confirming that the heavy pig can utilize fibre to a good extent. Considering the N balance of treatment HF, passingfrom period 1 to period 4 concomitantly with a lower faecal excretion a significantly greater urinary excretion was recorded:35.7 and 51.9% of intake N in periods 1 and 4, respectively (P(on average 0.98 g/BW0.75). However, expressing the data as % of the intake N, total N excretion increased from period1 (54.6%) to period 4 (68.2%) (Pg/d from period 1 to period 4 (P359, 374 and 394 g/d.
 
A SNPs (Single Nucleotide Polymorphism) based analysis was developed to differentiate four economically important species belonging to the Gadiformes order: Pacific cod Gadus macrocephalus, Atlantic cod Gadus morhua, Haddock Melanogrammus aeglefinus and Ling Molva molva. A 430bp fragment of the 16s rRNA gene was amplified using interspecific conserved primer and sequenced. The sequences were aligned and analyzed for the presence of SNPs; three SNPs (MerSNP1, MerSNP7 and MerSNP9) were identified and selected to allow discrimination between the four species. Aplotypes were TCC, CCC, CAT and CAC for Pacific cod, Atlantic cod, Haddock and Ling respectively. Confirmation of results was achieved by sequencing 16s rRNA gene fragments of 16 G. morhua, 7 G. macrocephalus, 15 M. aeglefinus and 5 M. molva samples collected at different fish catching campaign. Nucleotide sequence of 16s rRNA mitochondial gene has been shown to be a useful tool to allow rapid reliable and fully automatable for discrimination of 4 economically important species in fisheries industry.
 
Precision: Coefficients of Variations (CV) of different replicates of buffalo plasma samples. 
The aim was to evaluate the suitability of two commercial ELISA kits for human serum or plasma, to measure Inhibin-A (In-A) and Estradiol-17-beta (E2) concentrations in buffalo plasma. Blood samples were obtained by jugular venipuncture from buffalo heifers and cows, and plasma samples were stored at – 20°C until assays. Precision of the methods was evaluated by the intra- and inter-assay coefficients of variation (CVs) of buffalo plasma sample replicates, at different concentrations. Accuracy was evaluated calculating the recovery rates of different proportions of the highest standard added to a buffalo plasma sample at low concentration (observed/expected values x 100). Linearity was evaluated by serially diluting one buffalo plasma sample at high concentration with the assay buffer and calculating by regression analysis the parallelism of the resulting line with the standard line. Intra-assay CVs were 11% and 15.1% for In-A and 1.8% and 3.3% for E2. Inter-assay CVs were 13.9% and 7.4% for In-A and E2, respectively. Mean recovery rate was 97.9% and 98.5% for In-A and E2, respectively. Dilution tests gave good parallelism between the lines obtained and the standard lines. It is concluded that the kits tested are suitable and reliable for buffalo plasma samples.
 
Mean plasma concentrations and s.e. of In-A and E2 in the treatment groups.  
Buffalo cows were submitted to three superovulatory treatments. T1 (n = 7): PRID for 10 days (d0-d9) plus decreasing doses of 500 IU FSH/LH (12 h-intervals d7‑d10); T2 (n = 8): PRID for 11 d (d0-d10) plus 2000 IU PMSG at d7; T3 (n = 9): PRID for 11 d plus 2000 IU PMSG at d7 and decreasing doses of 175 IU FSH/LH (12 h-intervals d10‑ d11). Overall plasma inhibin‑A (In-A) concentrations correlated with large follicles (LF, diameter >6mm, R=0.83, P10 mm at d12- 13 (T1=5.0+/-1.4, T2=1.2+/-0.9, T3=8.3+/-2.3). In-A concentrations significantly rised at d11-13 of T1 and T3. In-A seems a good indicator of the follicular development during superovulation in buffalo cows, while E2 is not. Furthermore T3 was followed by better ovarian follicular responses.
 
A precision-fed assay was conducted to determine true metabolisable energy and true amino acid digestibility in Chinese quality protein maize (QPM) compared with normal maize (NM). Thirty adult roosters, kept in individual cages, were made to fast for 48h and then tub-fed 50g QPM or NM per bird and their excreta was colleted for the subsequent 48h. Additional fifteen roosters were made to fast in order to estimate endogenous losses of energy and amino acids (AA) in excreta. Gross energy of the two types of maize were similar; the lysine content in NM and QPM were 0.27% and 0.41% (DM basis), respectively. True metabolisable energy (TME) and true metabolisable energy nitrogen corrected (TMEn) values of QPM and NM were not significantly different (P>0.05). Digestibility of some AA, including lysine and methionine, in QPM were higher than those in NM (P<0.05). The results of this study indicated that the nutritive value of QPM might be higher than that of NM.
 
Measure of cell viability by the MTT assay after exposure to different concentrations of Aflatoxin B1 for 24h, 48h, 72h. Data expressed as % of the unexposed controls (vitality relative to controls assumed as 100%).
Gilthead sea bream (Sparus aurata L.) is one of the most intensively farmed fish spe- cies in the Mediterranean, greatly studied for the relevant economic value, although its sensitivity to Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) has to be investigated, yet. The aim of this study was to perform an in vitro evalua- tion of cytotoxic potential of AFB1 on S. aurata hepatocytes in order to grade the range of AFB1 toxicity, and the boundary between acute and long-term toxicity. Primary monolayer cultures of hepatocytes from S. aurata juveniles were treated with a wide range of concentrations from 5x103 ng/ml to 2x10 2x10-5 ng/ml of AFB1 for a different period of exposure (24, 48, 72 hours). The cytotoxic activity was characterized by MTT reduction assay. After each exposition hepatocytes were examined for morphologic alterations and apoptosis induction. AFB1 exposure significantly reduced cell viability in a dose- and time-depend- ent manner. Dose-response curves obtained after 24, 48 and 72 hrs revealed that prolonged exposure times lead to a significant increase of the toxicpotencyofAFB toxic potency of AFB AFB1. Ourresultsdemonstratethat Our results demonstrate that S. aurata hepatocytes are highly sensitive to AFB1 exposure. Such scientific findings could provide new insights to investigate the real impact of aflatoxin on marine farmed fish.
 
Contribution of the variables on each dimension. 
This study was conducted in Dardanelles between October 2007 and August 2009 when condition index, meat yield, biochemical compositions and environmental parameters of seawater were investigated and the study area was found to have available conditions for cultivation. Investigation of the study area showed a positive correlation in particular among condition index, seasonal variation of temperature, protein, fat and chlorophyll-a; a negative correlation was seen between them and carbohydrate value. It was clear from the two years study that the most ideal period for oyster harvest is April and August especially when condition index was maximum followed by a winter with no oyster yield is available in terms of the related processes involving oyster cultivation.
 
The occurrence of dermatophytes and keratinophilic fungi was investigated by hair-brush technique on the coat of 986 apparently healthy brown hares (Lepus europaeus, Pallas 1778) caught in 9 restocking and capture zones in Central Italy. Overall, 7.5% hair samples gave positive results. Trichophyton terrestre (2.1%), Chrysosporium sp, Chrysosporium keratinophilum, Microsporum gypseum, Trichophyton gloriae and Trichophyton mentagrophytes (0.6% each), Trichophyton erinacei and Scopulariopsis brevicaulis (0.4% each), Chrysosporium asperatum (0.3%), Arthroderma sp and Microsporum canis (0.1% each) were identified in cultures with single isolates, whereas Chrysosporium sp/T. mentagrophytes (0.3%), Chrysosporium sp/T. terrestre and M. gypseum/T. terrestre (0.2% each), Chrysosporium tropicum/T. terrestre, M. canis/T. terrestre and T. ajelloi/T. terrestre (0.1% each) were identified in cultures with mixed isolates. T. erinacei and M. canis have not previously been isolated from hares. M. canis, T. erinacei and T. mentagrophytes were the most clinically important dermatophytes found. Altogether, they were isolated only from 1.5% hair samples. Thus, it is concluded that brown hares may play a limited epidemiological role as carriers of zoonotic dermatophytes. Nevertheless, this should be taken into consideration as many people may be exposed to zoonotic agents from brown hares during hunting and trapping activities.
 
Fourteen Maremmana young bulls fed on pastures supplemented with mixed hay and concentrates, according to an organic method, were slaughtered at 18 and 24 months of age to evaluate in vita and post-mortem performances. At slaughter, carcass yield was determined and carcass evaluation according to EU rules wasmade. Physico-chemical characteristics of Longissimus thoracis (LT) and Caput longum triceps brachii (TB) muscles were determined. No differences for both carcass yield and quality were found between the two age groups. Animals of 24 months of age presented lighter and more yellow meat as well as higher hue angle and drip loss. TB muscle showed lower protein content and higher shear force, moisture, total lipids and ash than LT. The latter presented a higher percentage of C15iso, whereas TB showed higher values of C18:2n6, C20:3n6, C20:4n6, C18:3n3 and C22:5n3. Maremmana animals, irrespective of age, showed a low percentage of saturated fatty acids, good PUFA/SFA ratio and a great amount of unsaturated fatty acids of the n3 and n6 series, as well as a favorable atherogenicity and thrombogenicity indexes.
 
Reported herein are some cases of human dermatitis caused by S. berlesei, a mite coming from seriously infested poultry farms. It appears unable to determine traumatic lesions on human skin, but it causes itch and inflammation also at the level of mucosas. Besides this mite can be found accidentally also on reared fowls’wounds by peak.
 
Aquatic hypoxia is a frequent event and in fish a complex set of physiological and bi- ochemical alterations are employed to cope with this environmental stress. Many of these adjustments depend to a large extent on changes in the expression of genes that encode for physiologically relevant proteins. Genes that are induced by hypoxia appear to share a common mode of transcriptional regula- tion. This induction depends upon activation of a transcription factor, the hypoxia inducible factor-1 (HIF-1), which is a heterodimer composed of two subunits: α ‧ and β. In this study we report first on the molecular cloning and characterization of HIF-1α ‧ in sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax). The full-length sea bass cDNA for HIF-1α was isolated and deposited in the GenBank with accession no. DQ171936. It consists of 3317 base pairs (bp) carrying a single open-read- ing frame that encompasses 2265 bp of the coding region and 1052 bp of the 3’ UTR. We then utilized the real-time PCR technology to monitor dynamic changes in levels of HIF-1α ‧ tran- scripts, in response to acute and chronic hypoxic stress. The number of HIF-1α ‧ mRNA copies were signifi- cantly increased in response to both acute (1.9 mg/L, dissolved oxygen for 4 hours) and chronic (4.3 mg/L, DO for 15 days) hypoxia in sea bass, whereas it remained unchanged in fish exposed to hyperoxic (DO 13.5±1.2 mg/L, 155 % saturation) conditions. This is the first study carried out to investigate the behaviour of HIF-1α gene transcripts during hypoxia in representative of marine hypoxia-sensitive fish species.
 
Effect of catecholamines on LPI.
IL-1α & IL-1β levels in supernatants of lymphocyte culture in response to catecholamines and thermal stress.
In order to study the effect of catecholamines (epinephrine/norepinephrine) and thermal exposure on in vitro buffalo Lymphocyte Proliferation (LP) apparently healthy 2- 2 1/2 years old Murrah buffalo heifers maintained as per the standard feeding and management practices were selected from Institute herd. Jugular blood was collected in the forenoon on the day of experiment and processed for Total Leucocyte Count (TLC) and Differential Leucocyte Count (DLC). Lymphocyte proliferation assays were performed using whole blood and cells were incubated with epinephrine and norepinephrine (1, 1.5,2 ng/ml) at 37oC with 5% CO2. Cells were counted after 72 hrs of incubation and Lymphocyte Proliferation Index (LPI) was calculated. Thermal stress effect on the cultures was observed after exposure at 45oC for 4 hr after 72hrs of incubation. The cells were separated from media and media was used for analysis of IL-1α & 1β by ELISA kit. Lymphocyte proliferation Index decreased in responses to Epinephrine and Norepinephrine (P<0.01). Concentration of epinephrine and norepinephrine (1, 1.5,2 ng /ml) had no distinguishable effect on LPI. IL-1α & IL-1β levels when compared with control in supernatant (exposed to 45°C) were low (P<0.01 and P<0.05, respectively). There was a significant positive correlation between LPI and IL-1α (r=0.80; P<0.01) and between LPI and IL-1β (r=0.78; P<0.05). The study indicated that lymphocyte proliferation in vitro and IL-1α & β levels were affected by catecholamines and thermal exposure. Further the levels of catecholamines had significant (P<0.01) negative effect on LPI indicating that catecholamines levels modulate immunity through IL-1α and IL-1β in buffaloes.
 
Antimicrobial resistance of 60 Salmonella spp. isolates.
Scopo del presente lavoro è stato quello di testare la sensibilità antibiotica di 60 ceppi di Salmonella (S. enteritidis, S. typhimurium, S. gallinarum) isolati da galline ovaiole nel periodo compreso tra il 2000 e il 2003. S. gallinarum mostrava resistenza nei confronti di ciprofloxacina ed enrofloxacina (rispettivamente 15% e 23%), al contrario di S. enteritidis e S. typhimurium che manifestavano una completa sensibilità. Tutti i sierotipi valutati presentavano alte percentuali di resistenza nei confronti di neomicina, gentamicina e ossitetraciclina. Nei confronti dei sulfamidici i ceppi testati presentavano resistenza nulla. Tali risultati suggeriscono un uso più moderato e mirato degli antibiotici negli allevamenti in modo da ridurre la selezione e diffusione di ceppi multiresistenti.
 
This paper aims to show the profitability of buffalo milk production in the Province of Latina (Italy). The study, based on a constant sample of 10 farms, was carried out between 2004 and 2005. It shows the average levels of revenue and production costs, including specific indicators such as returns to labour and family farm income, which are used to define the level of profitability of these enterprises. These results are compared with figures from conventional dairy farming in the same region.
 
Twelve Valle del Belice lactating ewes were divided into three homogeneous groups and fed ad libitum the following diets in a 3x3 Latin square design: sulla hay (HA); sulla hay and Mulberry leaves (M. leaves) (HM); M. leaves (MU). DM intake of MU ewes was lower than that of HM ewes, with an intermediate level for HA ewes. HM ewes showed to prefer M. leaves to hay, but their need to balance the high protein and low NDF contents of M. leaves by eating hay also emerged. Milk yield increased as the dietary content of M. leaves increased In addition, the use of HM and MU diets led to higher milk fat and urea content in comparison with the HA diet. The results confirmed that M. leaves are a suitable fresh feeding source for sheep, and suggested to use them in association with fibre-rich feeds.
 
Fractional extraction and quantitative evaluation of pectins from the total dietary fibre residues of foods.
The dietary fibre of 24 foods was analysed for its proportions of insoluble and soluble (SDF) fractions and for its contentof high methoxyl pectins (HM), low methoxyl pectins (LM) and protopectin. The fractional extraction and quantitativedetermination of pectins were performed on the total dietary fibre residue, following the procedure suggested byRobertson (1979). Total pectin content (TP), calculated as sum of the three fractions, ranged from 2.4 to 49.8 g/kg ofdry matter. The variation coefficient of TP measurements repeated on the same foods were, on average, 2%. Total pectincontent was 49.8 g/kg DM in dried beet pulp and averaged 33.8+_0.3 g/kg DM in fruits and vegetables, 13.2+_8.4 g/kgDM in legumes and tubers and only 2.8+_0.5 g/kg DM in cereals. HM fraction prevailed in apple and pear samples (>40%of TP), while LM and protopectin largely prevailed in legumes and vegetables. A strong variability among foods was foundfor the TP/SDF ratio. In general, within each food category, increasing levels of SDF were associated with decreasing valuesof TP/SDF ratio. Since many foods contain low amounts of pectins, care in the development of calibration curves forspectrophotometric reading is required. Finally, the whole procedure for pectin extraction and quantification on dietaryfibre of food is very complex and time-consuming.
 
Fatty acid composition (mean and standard deviation) of meat.
Nowadays there is an increasing interest towards breeding systems, also for rabbit meat production, that are more mindful of animal welfare through an attenuation of the productive cycles intensity. These particular rearing techniques provide a delaying of the weaning age to reduce young rabbits stress. The present experiment is part of a wider research (Pinna et al., 2004; Marongiu et al., 2004) conducted in a sardinian farm in which rabbits are usually weaned at about 60 days of age. Surely this managerial choice could be considered rather questionable but from a scientific point of view could also represent the occasion to examine the productive performance of rabbits submitted to such a late weaning. The final part of the survey, regarding the carcass composition and the meat chemical-nutritional characteristics, was carried out through the comparison of two groups of rabbits weaned at 28 and at 63 days of age respectively.
 
The aim of this study was to verify the ratio between real cheese yield at 28 hours and proteins, after values correction according to the regression analysis. Milk characteristics of subjects characterized by a 28CY/protein ratio lower (Group A; n=212) or higher (Group B; n=108) than 56 were analysed by ANOVA in order to evaluate differences between the following milk characteristics: the lactodinamographic parameters (Formagraph, Foss, DN); the complete physic-chemical composition; fat (F), protein (P), casein, lactose, ash, urea, pH and SH; the somatic cells content (SCC) using (Milkoskan); the total aerobic mesophilic flora (TAMF) by the dilution method. Chemical composition of the curd was also determined (protein, fat and ash; ASPA, 1995). The milk protein content was adjusted for the non proteic N content determined in milk as urea (corrected P); the theoretic cheese yield (ThCY) was obtained by the following formula: cheese yield =milk x[-0.88 + 3.50 x P(%)+1.23 x F(%)] x 100 -1 (Altiero et al., 1989) and the ratio between ThCY/FCY and ThCY/28CY were calculated. Other calculated variables were: FCY/Corrected P, 28CY/Corrected P, CDM/Corrected P. Regression analysis was carried out between real cheese yield at 28 hours/proteins ratio and 28CY vs. all the parameters resulted different between the two groups of buffaloes. Real cheese yield at 28 hours/proteins ratio and 28CY were corrected and ANOVA was repeated on corrected data, in order to verify the modifications of the values. These correction reduced but did not eliminate the differences.
 
A fragile-site map has been preliminarily established in the standard karyotype of river buffalo (Bubalus bubalis, 2n=50) with the aim of unmasking ‘weak’ chromosomal regions in the karyotype of the species. The majority of the breakages took place in the RBA/RBG-negative bands or at the band-interband regions. The most fragile chromosomes were identified as the inactive X, chromosomes 9 and 8, and the active X, with 42, 32, 31 and 30 breakages, respectively. The 400 breakages were distributed in 106 breaksites (BS), with an average intensity of 4 breaks per chromosomal site; (b) the most fragile bands of the river buffalo karyotype were identified as 9q213 with 24 breaks, band 19q21 with 16; inacXq24 with 15; bands 15q23 and 17q21 with 13; band 13q23 with 12, and so on. Preliminary gene mapping analysis revealed that the closest loci to these fragile sites contain genes such as RASA1 and CAST (9q214), NPR3 and C9 (19q19), OarCP09 (15q24), PLP and BTK (Xq24-q25) and EDNRB (13q22), whose mutations are responsible for severe phenotypic malformations and immunodeficiency in humans and mice, and meat quality in pigs. Further cytogenetic and molecular studies are needed to fully exploit the biological significance of the fragile sites in the karyotypes of domestic animals and their relationships with productive and reproductive efficiency.
 
Mean serum inhibin concentrations (ng/ml) between riverine water buffalo (B. bubalis) with a normal karyotype (2n=50) and buffalo hybrids (2n=49)
Ten adult female water buffalo were used in the present study (5 x [2n = 50] and 5 x [2n= 49] hybrids). Ovarian activity was monitored daily by transrectal ultrasonography between two consecutive ovulations. Observed follicular wave numbers were: 1 (n=1), 2 (n=4), and 3 (n=5). The interovulatory interval ranged 17 to 23 days. Differences in mean follicular diameter between follicles of the normal karyotype (2n=50) and buffalo hybrids (2n=49) were found on the second subordinate group of follicles (P0.05), whereas inhibin profiles were significantly higher in the hybrid group (P<0.05). Understanding the biological meaning of the difference in inhibin concentrations in B. bubalis female reproductive performance will require further investigation.
 
The present study reports on the expression and localization of “fragile sites” (FS) on prometaphase chromosomes of two groups of river buffaloes (Bubalus bubalis, 2n=50; Mediterranean Italian breed), reared in two different farms, with the aim to characterize chromosome fragility in this species. Totally, 400 aphidicolin induced breakages were identified and localized on the standardized ideogram of the river buffalo karyotype. Preliminary results can be synthesized as follows: (a) aphidicolin showed a remarkable decondensing effect on chromosome structure, enabling further studies at high resolution level; (b) the chromosomal expression of the breakages was not different in the two groups of animals; (c) the most fragile chromosomes were the inactive-X, chromosomes 9, 8 and active-X, showing 42, 32, 31 and 30 breakages, respectively; (d) the breaks were localized in the RBG-negative bands (corresponding to eterochromatic regions) or at the band-interband regions; (e) the chromosomal distribution of the break sites was not random and only partially related to chromosome length. The study is in progress to determine the relative incidence of the fragile sites at chromosomal band level, in order to construct a ‘fragile-site map’ of river buffalo, which could be utilized for genetic improvement programs of the species.
 
This study was carried out to compare multiplicative age adjustment factors calculated for milk yield for the Mediterranean Italian Buffalo Breed for two different base ages: a mature age base (55 months, parity 2), and a first lactation average age base (34 months, parity 1) using a mixed model procedure. Fixed effects of age-parity classes and random effects of contemporary group, genetic and permanent environmental effects of cows were included in the model. Two data sets were formed: Data Set I consisted of 83,810 lactation records and was used to develop separate multiplicative factors for each base age. Data Set II consisted of 115,242 lactation records and was used to examine the effectiveness of the multiplicative age factors and especially to compare the factors with different base ages. Factors were larger for milk yield adjusted to a mature age than to a first lactation average age. However, age factors followed the same trend and effectively adjusted milk yields for the effect of age at calving for all of the two base ages. The only difference among the two base ages was that the adjusted average milk yields to a first lactation average age base (34 months, parity 1), as expected, were smaller than the adjusted average milk yields to a mature age base (55 months, parity 2).
 
In vivo performance of rabbits from 35 to 60 days.
Four groups, each consisting of 684 weaned (35 days) hybrid Hyla rabbits were fed ad libitum the same commercial concentrate supplemented, respectively, with antibiotics (AGP group: colistin sulphate 144 mg/kg; tylosin 100m g/kg and oxytetracyclin 1000 mg/kg) or with mannan oligosac- charides (MOS) at 0.5 (group MOS_0.5), 1.0 (group MOS_1.0) and 1.5 g/kg (group MOS_1.5). Up to 60 days, mortality rate was recorded daily. For each group, 64 rabbits were controlled weekly for live weight to calculate daily weight gain (DWG). Feed intake (and, by consequence, feed conversion ratio) was measured, weekly, per group. No differences were observed for live weight during the trial, while DWG showed an alternate trend, in general, significantly lower for AGP group, exclusive of the third week (49- 56 days). Exclusive of the first week of the trial feed intake was higher for AGP than the other groups and the feed conversion ratio was more favourable for MOS groups. Mortality rate was significantly higher (34.2%) in AGP groups. The lowest mortality was recorded in MOS_1.0 group (7.75%).
 
To study the effects of heat shock on adipokines gene expression 3T3-L1 adipocytes were used. Heat shock differently affected gene expression of leptin, adiponectin and acylation stimulating protein (ASP): exposure of cells to temperature higher than 39°C caused upregulation of leptin and downregulation of adiponectin and ASP genes. The present study provides the first evidence about the effects of heat shock on adipokines gene expression. Changes in gene expression of the three adipokines may help to explain the alteration of lipid metabolism and liver functionality occurring in animals exposed to hot conditions.
 
Regression between actual NE intake and predicted intake by equation (1).
Regression between actual PDIN intake and predicted intake by equation (2).
Regression between actual NDF intake and predicted intake by equation (3).
Regression between actual average daily gains (ADG) and NDF concentration in the diet (g/kg DM).
Three equations have been elaborated and proposed to predict the requirements of net energy and protein digestible in the intestine and NDF voluntary intake of growing young Chianina bulls, starting from 400 kg live weight. The animals examined in the present study were 100 young Chianina bulls starting from about 400 kg live weight, at 10 months of age, up to the average slaughter weight of 800 kg at 20 months average age. The diet was based on hay and concentrates. The equation for the prediction of net energy fits quite perfectly to another experimental equation formerly proposed by Giorgetti and is characterised by a very high value of the correlation coefficient for the regression comparison between observed and predicted figures (R2=0.90). The statistical reliance degree of the PDIN prediction equation is lower, but still very good (R2=0.75 between observed and predicted values), but that of the estimate of NDF daily intake resulted very poor (R2=0.26 between observed and predicted values), probably due to the non homogeneity of the intake capacity of the 100 examined animals. The correlation between daily gains and the concentration of NDF in the diet DM results good (R2=0.87), showing that young Chianina bulls take advantage of the diet fibre. Further useful indications on the nutritional and dietary requirements of young Chianina bulls are added to the scarce information currently available.
 
The purpose of the present paper was to examine the morphological aspects, reproductive and productive performance of Apulo-calabrian swine bred in Calabria in order to acquire a descriptive framework as a basis for further intervention phases.
 
Fatty acid composition of Longissimus lumborum (LL) (%). 
Twenty lambs, 10 Suffolk (S) e 10 Bergamasca (B) born from single (SI) and twin type of birth (TW), were employed. Lambs fed the same diet. Chemical-physical analysis were performed on raw Longissimus lumborum (LL). B showed the lowest cooked loss on cooked LL, the highest value of a* and b* on raw meat. As regard fatty acid composition, LL of B showed the highest saturated fatty acids and the lowest value of polyunsaturated acids. Twin subjects showed raw meat with the lowest value of ether extract and with a healthy fatty acid composition.
 
Effect of thermal exposure on induction of Heat Shock protein-70 (HSP70) was assessed in Murrah buffalo heifers after exposure at 450 C for 4 h in a climatic chamber. Physiological cardinal responses were measured pre-exposure, 2 h after exposure and 4 h after exposure and jugular vein blood samples were collected. Rectal temperature (RT) of buffalo heifers increased from 38.16+0.200C to 40+0.240C, pulse rate (PR) from 39+1.00 to 70+4.00 beats/min and respiratory rate (RR) from 18+1.00 to 54+2.00 breath/min after 4 h of exposure at 450C indicating that exposure was stressful. The rise in RT, PR and RR was significant at 2 h (P<0.001) and 4 h exposure (P<0.001). Heat Shock protein-70 (HSP70) and Interleukin 2 (IL-2) was assayed in the plasma of exposed heifers and lymphocyte proliferation assay was performed using whole blood method. HSP70 level in the plasma was found to be 1.42+0.10, 2.25+0.54 and 1.76+0.30 ηg/μg of protein at pre exposure, 2 h exposure and 4 h exposure, respectively. The concentrations of IL-2 and lymphocyte proliferation were highest during the pre exposure period, but HSP70 concentration was lowest prior to the exposure of heifers. No correlation was observed in between HSP70 and IL-2 and a negative correlation was observed in between HSP70 and lymphocyte proliferation. A positive correlation was observed between IL-2 and lymphocyte proliferation. The study indicated that thermal exposure of buffaloes caused induction of HSP70 and declined the immune status of buffalo heifers.
 
Live weight trend for the two breeds.  
Slaughter data.
The objective of the present study was to compare in vita performance and carcass characteristics of Bergamasca and Suffolk lambs of 90 days of age. Bergamasca (15) and Suffolk (15) male lambs, originated from single and twin births equally represented, were weighed twice a month. Lambs were slaughtered to evaluate post-mortem characteristics and EUROP conformation score. Suffolk and Bergamasca lambs of 90 days of age produced carcasses with good quality; Suffolk had more compact carcasses than Bergamasca lambs whereas they showed higher percentage of intermuscular fat deposit. The results suggested that the two breeds raised with the forage-based feeding system could produce carcasses of good quality.
 
Drone spermatozoa anomalies visualised by interferential contrast microscopy and by epifluorescence microscopy (bottom-right) (x1250). a) with coiled tail; b) with frayed tail; c) with double-ended tail; d) non-viable (arrow indicate DNA damaged-fluorescent nuclear region). 
Variability in the percentage of dead spermatozoa from different drones of the same colony (dotted line: mean= 32.8±4.06 s.e.). 
Differences over time in the quality of semen present in the honey bee (Apis mellifera ligustica) queen spermatheca werestudied. An increase in the non-vital spermatozoa was shown to be evident (P>0.05) between the 12th and 24th month.The study of semen viability demonstrated that the passage of the semen to the spermatheca is due to sperm motility.In the queen inseminated with non-viable spermatozoa, no semen was detected in the spermatheca. Queens inseminatedtwice with a Hyes solution/semen mixture (1:1) stored as many spermatozoa in their spermatheca as those inseminatedonce with the classic technique. Queen replacement, oviposition and other functional characteristics were similarto those observed in the classic insemination procedure.
 
Effect of mulberry leaf meal on egg yolk colour.
A 12-week feeding experiment was conducted to study the effects of inclusion of 0 (control; Diet A), 10% (Diet B), 15% (Diet C) and 20% (Diet D) of mulberry leaf meal (Morus alba) in the diet on production performance and egg quality of laying hens. Feeding mulberry leaf meal (MLM) reduced (P<0.05) the feed intake, egg production, egg weight and egg mass. However, feed conversion ratio was not affected (P>0.05). Shell weight and yolk weight were decreased (P<0.01), but shell thickness and albumen weight were not affected (P>0.05). Haugh units increased (P<0.001) as the level of MLM increased. Also, feeding MLM improved (P<0.001) the yolk color when compared with control. The results indicated the possibility of including up to 10% of mulberry leaf meal in diets of egg laying hens without adversely affecting the performance and egg quality.
 
The prevalence and morphometrical characteristics of Linguatula serrata (L. serrata) nymphs in mesenteric lymph nodes (MLNs), livers and lungs of 366 Iranian water buffaloes were investigated. The infestation rate increased with age (P<0.01), but no significant difference was observed between males and females (P>0.1). In this study, 7.65% of animals had L. serrata nymphs with infection rates of 5.73% for MLNs, 1.63% for livers and 0.27% for lungs. Greyish-white coloured nymphs measured 3.5 to 4.5 mm in length, 82 to 84 mm in body segments, 44 to 46 mm in transversely striated spines and 4 mm in oral hooks. The results indicated a high rate of infestation of lymph nodes in buffaloes in Iran. Due to consumption of raw or under-cooked liver and visceral organs of buffaloes by local people, the importance of a thorough inspection at slaughter-time seems imperative.
 
Bacteria and viruses can cause abortion in buffaloes. This review describes the abortigenic infectious agents found in Mediterranean buffalo cows and the microbiological methods used for their diagnosis. The abortigenic agents are: Brucella spp., Arcanobacterium pyogenes, Chlamydophila spp., Coxiella burnetii, Bacillus licheniformis, E.coli, Leptospira spp., Bubaline Herpes Virus-1 (BuHV-1), Bovine Viral Diarrhoea Virus.
 
The objective of this study was to determine if B. abortus rough mutant strain RB51 is eliminated in Buffalo milk. Five milk buffaloes were inoculated with the triple of the recommended calfhood dose (3.0 – 10.2 x 1010 cfu/ml) of B. abortus RB51 strain by subcutaneous route in the right axillary region. Milk samples were taken aseptically on a daily basis for the first 30 days and weekly for the second and third months. The samples were inoculated on Brucella Medium Base (BMB) (Oxoid) and Rifampin Brucellae Medium (RBM) and incubated under 10% CO2 at 37°C for 10 days. The suspicious colonies were recultured in BMB and RBM. PCR analysis was also performed on milk samples. There were no isolations of bacteria with characteristics of Brucella from any of the milk samples collected during 90 days of the study. However Brucella RB51 DNA was detected on day 2 and 3 post vaccination in one buffalo cow and on day 21 post vaccination in another buffalo cow. It was concluded that the strain used at this dose wasn’t eliminated by milk in Buffaloes inoculated during lactation, however PCR positive results underline the necessity of milk pasteurization in order to minimize food-chain exposure.
 
AFB1 and AFM1 (ppt) and Retinol palmitate (ppb) pattern after treatment bolus drenching.
The objective of this experiment was to monitor plasma levels of aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) aflatoxin B2 (AFB2), aflatoxin G1 (AFG1), aflatoxin G2 (AFG2) and aflatoxin M1 (AFM1) in lactating dairy cows fed afltaoxin contaminated corn. Seven lactating Holstein cows were given a bolus of a naturally contaminated corn meal assuring an intake of 4.9mg AFB1, 1.01 mg AFB2, 10.63 mg AFG1 and 0.89 mg AFG2. Vitamin A, at 1,000,000 IU, was also added as a biomarker of intestinal absorption. Blood samples were collected at 0, 15, 30, 60, 120, 180, 270 and 360 min after bolus. Plasma was analyzed by HPLC for AFB1, AFB2, AFG1, AFG2 and AFM1 concentrations. Within the considered time points, the peak plasma AFB1 concentration was obtained as soon as 15 minutes from drenching. The plasma AFM1 concentration was considerable as early as the first collection (15 minutes) and peaked at 270 minutes indicating both a rapid absorption of AFB1 through the rumen wall and metabolization into AFM1 in liver. The plasma palmitate level suggests the intestinal contribution to the aflatoxin plasma level after 120 min.
 
Fatty acids (weight %) and proximate composition of the experimental diets.
Fatty acids composition of faeces (weight %).
The objective of the present study was to investigate the fatty acid absorption capabilities of brown trout (Salmo trut- ta) fed commercial extruded diets. Five commercial extruded pellets, different only in the lipid sources used for fat coat- ing, were tested on juvenile brown trout for 45 days. The trout were reared in fresh water at 14.6 ± 0.4° C and 7.7 ± 0.3 mg/l, temperature and dissolved oxygen, respectively. The tested lipid sources were fish oil, canola oil, oleine oil, swine fat and poultry fat. After the adaptation period faeces were collected by gently stripping from anaesthetized fish. Fatty acid analysis was performed on experimental diets and on collected faeces to evaluate the relative absorption capabilities of the trout digestive system with respect to each detected fatty acid. The use of the relative absorption efficiency (rAE) was opted to evaluate the intrinsic capability of each fatty acid to be absorbed. Brown trout showed a specific preferential order of absorption of the fatty acids, preferring shorter over longer chain fatty acids and prefer- ring the more unsaturated to the more saturated fatty acids. The fatty acid that showed the best relative absorbability was the C18:4n-3 (rAE = 5.14 ± 0.72), which has a fairly short carbon chain, but at the same time a high unsatura- tion level, followed by the C18:3n-3 (rAE = 3.38 ± 0.30). The fatty acid that showed the worst relative absorbability (rAE = 0.21 ± 0.02) was C24:1n-9.
 
Aflatoxin M1 (AFM1) concentration (means±SD) in milk of lactating dairy cows (n=4) at different hours from cotton wad vaginal implant with aflatoxins.
The objective of the experiment was to monitor plasma levels of aflatoxin B1 (AFB1), B2 (AFB2), G1 (AFG1), G2 (AFG2) and M1 (AFM1) in lactating dairy cows fed a single oral bolus with aflatoxin naturally contaminated corn meal (Trial 1). The possible aflatoxins (AFs) absorption through mucous membranes was also investigated using the vaginal mucosa (Trial 2). In trial 1, seven lactating Holstein dairy cows were given a single oral bolus of a naturally contaminated corn meal assuring an intake of 4.89 mg AFB1, 1.01 mg AFB2, 10.63 mg AFG1 and 0.89 mg AFG2. Blood samples were collected at 0 and 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 minutes after treatment. In trial 2 an aflatoxin dosage similar to that of trial 1 was provided through vaginal implant to eight lactating Holstein dairy cows. Blood samples were collected at 0 and 15, 30, 60, 180, 360 minutes after treatment. Individual milk samples of six milkings, one before and five after treatment, were also collected. Plasma and milk samples were analysed by HPLC for AFB1, AFB2, AFG1, AFG2 and AFM1 contents. In trial 1 AFB1 in plasma peaked (33.6 ng/L) as soon as 20 minutes after treatment. The plasma AFM1 was already detectable at 5 minutes (10.4 ng/L) and peaked at 25 minutes (136.3 ng/L). In trial 2 only AFB1 and AFM1 were detectable in plasma, starting from the first sampling time (15 minutes), with values of 10.7 and 0.5 ng/L, respectively. The AFB1 peaked at 30 minutes (23.9 ng/L). The AFB1 excreted in milk as AFM1 had the highest concentration (203.0 ng/L) in the first milking after treatment and decreased close to the starting values after 36 hours from treatment. The prompt appearance of studied aflatoxins, and their metabolites, in plasma suggests absorption might also take place in mouth or oesophageal mucous membranes, before the rumen compartment. Results support the hypothesis that the cytochrome P450 oxidative system, which is present in these tissues and in leukocytes, could be involved in the conversion of the AFB1 in AFM1. The absorption of AFB1 through the vaginal mucosa confirms the passive diffusion as a probable mechanism for AFB1 absorption.
 
Top-cited authors
Cesare Castellini
  • Università degli Studi di Perugia
Antonella Dalle Zotte
  • University of Padova
Fabio Napolitano
  • Università degli Studi della Basilicata
Masoero Francesco
  • Catholic University of the Sacred Heart
Laura Gasco
  • Università degli Studi di Torino