Neil R Mcewan

Neil R Mcewan
Robert Gordon University | RGU · School of Pharmacy and Life Sciences

Ph.D.

About

187
Publications
30,937
Reads
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3,791
Citations
Additional affiliations
April 2017 - present
Robert Gordon University
Position
  • Lecturer
October 2005 - March 2017
Aberystwyth University
Position
  • Lecturer
February 1998 - September 2005
University of Aberdeen
Position
  • Principal Investigator
Education
June 2006 - June 2008
Aberystwyth University
Field of study
  • Postgraduate Certificate of Teaching in Higher Education
October 1986 - September 1989
University of Stirling
Field of study
  • Biology
October 1982 - June 1986
University of Glasgow
Field of study
  • Genetics

Publications

Publications (187)
Article
Full-text available
This study aimed to investigate the effect of feeding insoluble fiber on the microbiota and metabolites of the caecum and feces of rabbits recovering from epizootic rabbit enteropathy relative to non-infected rabbits. Rabbits that had either recovered from epizootic rabbit enteropathy or ones that had never had epizootic rabbit enteropathy were fed...
Article
Aims: Agar art bridges the gap between science and art using microbes instead of paint. Afterwards, the art can change in response to microbial fluctuation, meaning preservation of the original art is essential. Here, formaldehyde and glutaraldehyde were investigated as preservatives, involving techniques used in healthcare settings to preserve sa...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: This study aimed to investigate the effect of feeding insoluble fibre on the microbiome and metabolites of the caecum and faeces of rabbits recovering from epizootic rabbit enteropathy relative to non-infected animals. Methods: Animals which had either recovered from epizootic rabbit enteropathy, or ones which had never had epizootic ra...
Article
Full-text available
Anaerobic fungi in the gut of domesticated and wild mammalian herbivores play a key role in the host’s ability to utilize plant biomass. Due to their highly effective ability to enzymatically degrade lignocellulose, anaerobic fungi are biotechnologically interesting. Numerous factors have been shown to affect the ability of anaerobic fungi to break...
Article
Full-text available
Epizootic rabbit enteropathy (ERE) affects young rabbits and represents 32% of the enteropathies in rabbit production farms in Mexico. The etiology of this syndrome has not been clarified yet. A metataxonomic and histopathology study of ERE was carried out to compare the gastrointestinal microbiota and histopathological lesions of healthy and posit...
Book
Major advances in analytical techniques and genomics have transformed our understanding of rumen microbiology. This understanding is of critical importance to livestock production since rumen function affects nutritional efficiency, emissions from ruminants (such as methane and nitrous oxide) as well as animal health. This collection reviews what w...
Article
Full-text available
The rumen protozoa, alongside fungi, comprise the eukaryotic portion of the rumen microbiome. Rumen protozoa may account for up to 50% of biomass, yet their role in this ecosystem remains unclear. Early experiments inferred a role in carbohydrate and protein metabolism, but due to their close association with bacteria, definitively attributing thes...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this study was to compare the effect of the presence of protozoa in the rumen of wild roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) on the bacteria composition and digestion rate of the main carbohydrates of forage. The research material involved rumen content and rumen fluid, which were collected in the autumn-winter season, from eight adult males...
Article
Full-text available
The UK and Ireland have many native pony breeds with historical and cultural importance as well as being a source of uncharacterized genetic diversity. However, there is a lack of comprehensive research investigating their genetic diversity and phylogenetic interrelationships. Many studies contain a limited number of pony breeds or small sample siz...
Article
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Gut microbiota have been associated with health, disease and behaviour in several species and are an important link in gut-brain axis communication. Diet plays a key role in affecting the composition of gut microbiota. In horses, high-starch diets alter the hindgut microbiota. High-starch diets are also associated with increased behavioural reactiv...
Article
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Differences in the rumen bacterial community have been previously reported for Soay sheep housed under different day length conditions. This study extends this previous investigation to other organs of the digestive tract, as well as the analysis of ciliated protozoa and anaerobic fungi. The detectable concentrations of ciliated protozoa and anaero...
Article
Full-text available
The role of marine lipids as modulators of ruminal biohydrogenation of dietary unsaturated fatty acids may be explained by the effects of their n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) on the bacterial community. However, the impact of individual PUFA has barely been examined, and it is uncertain which bacteria are truly involved in biohydrogenation....
Article
Full-text available
Next-generation sequencing of DNA from nematode eggs has been utilised to give the first account of the equine ‘nemabiome’. In all equine faecal samples investigated, multiple species of Strongylidae were detected, ranging from 7.5 (SEM 0.79) with 99+% identity to sequences in the NCBI database to 13.3 (SEM 0.80) with 90+% identity. This range is t...
Conference Paper
Previous research has shown that naive ponies displayed increased reactivity when fed a high-starch diet. There were also differences in faecal microbial community structure related to diet. The aim of this study was to evaluate regional microbial community composition of the hindgut of naive ponies when fed a high-starch or high-fibre diet.
Article
Full-text available
The rumen is a complex ecosystem composed of anaerobic bacteria, protozoa, fungi, methanogenic archaea and phages. These microbes interact closely to breakdown plant material that cannot be digested by humans, whilst providing metabolic energy to the host and, in the case of archaea, producing methane. Consequently, ruminants produce meat and milk,...
Article
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Height is an important characteristic in the equine industry although little is known about its genetic control in native British breeds of ponies. This study aimed to map QTL data with the withers height in 4 pony breeds native to the British Isles, including 2 different sections within Welsh Cobs. In this study, a genome-wide analysis approach us...
Article
Full-text available
The allele for black coat colour is dominant relative to the allele for lilac in Jacob sheep and is affected by a single gene locus. The percentage of this colouration, as opposed to white fleece, across the body has a heritability value of 0.255. The mode of inheritance for horn number in these animals is less clear, with neither the trait for 2 h...
Article
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Using historic lactation records for Ayrshire cattle, we report a gradual increase in the production of milk, butter fat and protein levels across four decades. This was generally at the extent of attaining a level of increase per decade which was similar to the increase seen between animals during their first and second lactations in the previous...
Article
Full-text available
Three variants of the multidrug-resistant plasmid pLUH01 were assembled by deep sequencing from nasopharyngeal swabs. All have a 21-bp deletion in the RS14515 hypothetical gene. Variants 1 through 3 have 2, 6, and 3 nucleotide substitutions, respectively, compared to the pLUH01 reference genome. We named the new plasmid variants pLUH01/Lancaster/20...
Article
Full-text available
Anthelmintics are used as anti-worming agents. Although known to affect their target organisms, nothing has been published regarding their effect on other digestive tract organisms or on metabolites produced by them. The current work investigated effects of fenbendazole, a benzimidazole anthelmintic, on bacteria and ciliates in the equine digestive...
Article
Full-text available
Based on complete bacterial genome sequence data, we demonstrate a correlation between bacterial chromosome length and the G+C content of the genome, with longer genomes having higher G+C contents. The correlation value decreases at shorter genome sizes, where there is a wider spread of G+C values. However, although significant (P<0.001), the corre...
Article
Hoof lameness is considered to be a major health issue in sheep, and can impact on both animal welfare and production of livestock. However the causes, although generally assumed to have a microbiological basis, are poorly understood. The work presented here investigated the pedome (the bacterial community of the foot) of sheep which were seen to h...
Article
Full-text available
Historic data (from 2005 to 2011) were collected and analysed from four flocks of pedigree Texel sheep in Ceredigion, West Wales and were used to investigate a range of factors associated with death due to laryngeal chondritis (n=82) relative to all animals (n=2826) removed from the flocks, either due to death from other causes or as part of routin...
Article
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Nasopharyngeal swabs were taken from volunteers attending a general medical practice and a general hospital in Lancaster, UK, and at Lancaster University, in the winter of 2014–2015. 51 swabs were selected based on high RNA yield and allocated to deep sequencing pools as follows: patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; asthmatics; adul...
Article
Full-text available
Forage availability for wild rodents varies with season. In turn, the composition of food can affect morphometric parameters of the digestive tract. This study was performed in Eurasian beavers (Castor fiber) whose population was close to extinction in most Eurasian countries, but has now increased. Due to the previous low number of studies, inform...
Article
Full-text available
The genome sequence of human papillomavirus type 20 (HPV-20; family Papillomaviridae , genus Betapapillomavirus , species Betapapillomavirus 1 , type 20) was assembled by deep sequencing from nasopharyngeal swabs. The assembled genome is 0.37% divergent over its full length from the single complete genome of HPV-20 in GenBank (U31778). We named the...
Article
Full-text available
Scientific Reports 7 : Article number: 46578 10.1038/srep46578 ; published online: 13 April 2017 ; updated: 26 May 2017 The original version of this Article incorrectly included the following text in the Methods section: “Statistical analyses on volunteers and ELISAs, BAM files and reference genomes for genome assemblies, genome fragments too short...
Article
Full-text available
The genome of human papillomavirus type 23 (HPV-23; family Papillomaviridae , genus Betapapillomavirus , species Betapapillomavirus 2 , type 23) was assembled by deep sequencing from nasopharyngeal swabs. The assembled genome is 2.7% divergent over its full length from the single complete genome of HPV-23 in GenBank (accession no. U31781). We named...
Article
Full-text available
Influenza C is not included in the annual seasonal influenza vaccine, and has historically been regarded as a minor respiratory pathogen. However, recent work has highlighted its potential role as a cause of pneumonia in infants. We performed nasopharyngeal or nasal swabbing and/or serum sampling (n = 148) in Lancaster, UK, over the winter of 2014–...
Article
Full-text available
The genome of human rhinovirus A22 (HRV-A22) was assembled by deep sequencing RNA samples from nasopharyngeal swabs. The assembled genome is 8.7% divergent from the HRV-A22 reference strain over its full length, and it is only the second full-length genome sequence for HRV-A22. The new strain is designated strain HRV-A22/Lancaster/2015.
Article
Full-text available
This study aimed to determine the microbial composition of faeces from two groups of caecotrophagic animals; rabbits and guinea pigs. In addition the study aimed to determine the community present in the different organs in the rabbit. DNA was extracted from seven of the organs in wild rabbits (n = 5) and from faecal samples from domesticated rabbi...
Article
Full-text available
This work is the first investigation to compare craniometrical parameters between different breeds of sheep. Nine breeds or cross-breeds of sheep were studied, with all measurements being carried out on live animals at times of routine animal husbandry. Although a number of the variables were not significantly different between breeds, examples of...
Preprint
Full-text available
Influenza C is not included in the annual seasonal influenza vaccine, and has historically been regarded as a minor respiratory pathogen. However, recent work has highlighted its potential role as a cause of pneumonia in infants. We performed nasopharyngeal or nasal swabbing and/or serum sampling (n=148) in Lancaster, UK, over the winter of 2014-20...
Article
This study aimed to quantify the engulfed starch and reserve α-glucans (glycogen) in the cells of the ciliates Eudiplodinium maggii, as well the α-glucans in defaunated and selectively faunated sheep. The content of starch inside the cell of ciliates varied from 21 to 183 mg/g protozoal DM relative to the rumen fauna composition whereas, the glycog...
Article
Full-text available
The present study uses in vitro analytical techniques to investigate the effect of activated charcoal on the microbial community of the equine hindgut and the metabolites they produce. Incubations were performed in Wheaton bottles using a 50 ml incubation of a high-energy feed or a low-energy feed, plus bottles with no added food source, together w...
Article
Full-text available
Aims: This work aims to determine the factors which play a role in establishing the microbial population throughout the digestive tract in ruminants and is necessary to enhance our understanding of microbial establishment and activity. Methods and results: This study used Terminal Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (TRFLP) to investigate t...
Article
Full-text available
This paper describes cultivation methods for ciliates from the digestive tract of horses. Members of three different genera were successfully grown in vitro for short periods of time. However only cells belonging to the genus Blepharocorys, which resides in the horse's large intestine were maintained for longer periods. This Blepharocorys culture w...
Article
Full-text available
First described in 1843, Rumen protozoa with their striking appearance were assumed to be important for the welfare of their host. However, despite contributing up to 50% of the bio-mass in the rumen, the role of protozoa in rumen microbial ecosystem remains unclear. Phylogenetic analysis of 18S rDNA libraries generated from the rumen of cattle, sh...
Article
Full-text available
This work investigated the microbial content of nodules from alders to determine how many ribotypes of Frankia were present and which, if any, other bacteria existed within nodes from the nodules. The bacterial content of alder nodules was investigated by 454 se-quencing of 16S rDNA genes. Over half of the sequences were from a single ribotype of F...
Article
Full-text available
Most species exist as subdivided ex situ daughter population(s) derived from a single original group of individuals. Such subdivision occurs for many reasons both natural and manmade. Traditional British and Irish pony breeds were introduced to North America (U.S.A. and Canada) within the last 150 years, and subsequently equivalent breed societies...
Article
Full-text available
This study investigated the genetic relationship between 6 populations of Welsh Mountain sheep: 5 phenotypic breed-types within the Welsh Mountain (WM) sheep breed, which have each been bred in specific geographic areas of Wales, and the Black Welsh Mountain sheep breed. Based on DNA analysis using 8 microsatellite markers, observed heterozygosity...
Article
CANINE hip dysplasia (CHD) arises from incorrect coxofemoral joint development in dogs. CHD has been described in many dog breeds, but is generally considered a problem associated with larger breeds, suggesting CHD may have a genetic basis. This has resulted in several investigations into breed-specific studies (Wood and others, 2000, Lewis and oth...
Article
Full-text available
cA method is described which allows isolation of macro‐ nuclear DNA from the rumen ciliate Entodinium cauda‐ tum. Ciliate cells were enriched from the total microbial population in the rumen of sheep with a single ciliate species present by sedimentation and size filtration. Cil‐ iates were then lysed by homogenisation and the mac‐ ronuclear compon...
Book
Full-text available
In order to understand the within and between herd diversity in the Upland Hill ponies of Wales and their relationships to their pedigree relatives and other native pony breeds a preliminary examination of a small sample of animals from a group of upland herds was carried out between 2014 and 2015. Samples of DNA were obtained from 16 herds of Wels...
Article
The evolution of sophisticated differentiations of the gastro-intestinal tract enabled herbivorous mammals to digest dietary cellulose and hemicellulose with the aid of a complex anaerobic microbiota. Distinctive symbiotic ciliates, which are unique to this habitat, are the largest representatives of this microbial community. Analyses of a total of...
Article
Developing novel strategies to increase the content of bioactive unsaturated fatty acids (FA) in ruminant-derived products requires a deeper understanding of rumen biohydrogenation and bacteria involved in this process. Although high-throughput pyrosequencing may allow for a great coverage of bacterial diversity, it has hardly been used to investig...
Article
Full-text available
This study investigated the effectiveness of the proprietary laser methane detector (LMD) in enteric methane monitoring from individual dairy cows and sheep. Three experiments were carried out. First, the relationship between LMD and indirect open-circuit respiration calorimetric chamber measurements was tested. Sensitivity and specificity for cows...
Article
Full-text available
The horse, as a hindgut fermenter, is reliant on its intestinal bacterial population for efficient diet utilisation. However, sudden disturbance of this population can result in severe colic or laminitis, both of which may require euthanasia. This study therefore aimed to determine the temporal stability of the bacterial population of faecal sample...