REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201808.0494.v2
Subject: Social Sciences, Behavior Sciences Keywords: panic disorder; animal experimentation; defensive behavior (Animal); escape behavior (animal)
Online: 22 April 2019 (11:50:13 CEST)
Panic disorder (PD) is characterized by recurrent and uncontrollable panic attacks associated with behavioral changes and/or persistent anxiety due to the attacks. The development of behavioral models in animals is important for the understanding of the psychobiological and behavioral bases of PD. The present article reviews the main models used in the current literature. Biobehavioral assays used in rats and mice include fear conditioning (which presents moderate predictive, face, and construct validities); the elevated T-maze (which presents good predictive validity, but low face and construct validities); electrical stimulation of the periaqueductal gray (which presents good face validity, but moderate construct validity); predator exposure models (which present good predictive and moderate construct validity); and hypercapnia-induced responses (which present moderate construct validity). These three approaches seek coherence with theories on fear as a way to increase its translational potential; thus, while the elevated T-maze is supported by the Deakin/Graeff theory, the mouse defense test battery relies on the concept of defensive distance, and periaqueductal gray stimulation is based on the functional neuroanatomy of fear. Moreover, to higher or lower degree the three models are supported by an “etho-experimental” approach, with careful observation of animal behavior as a way of discriminating different defensive strategies that model different aspects of anxiety, fear, and panic. These assays can be used, in conjunction with independent variables that attempt to simulate the vulnerabilities and stressors which lead to panic attacks, to produce true models of PD. Finally, an alternative/complementary model is proposed that uses zebrafish alarm reaction to study this disorder.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.2130.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Other Keywords: Companion animal; dog; cat; human-animal bond; Social Return on Investment; animal shelter; animal welfare
Online: 30 May 2023 (11:34:44 CEST)
Companion animals play a central role in many families and are especially valued by those who are socially isolated. Crisis situations such as acute hospitalizations, homelessness and natural disasters can make it difficult to preserve the human-animal bond and can result in animals being surrendered or euthanized. Social support programs like the RSPCA NSW Emergency Boarding and Homelessness program support people experiencing crisis situations with emergency pet boarding, access veterinary treatment and individualized case management. This study aimed to estimate the social return on investment (SROI) for this program using standard SROI methodology. In-depth interviews were conducted with 13 program stakeholders and questionnaire responses were received from 29 program clients. Outcomes were quantified for four stakeholder groups: program clients, client’s animals, RSPCA Inspectors, animal pounds and shelters. Clients and their animals experienced the bulk of the benefit from the program, estimated to have a combined value of over $5 million AUD for the 2020-21 financial year. The estimated social return on investment was $8.21 for each $1 invested. The study demonstrates that keeping people together with their companion animals, or ensuring they are reunited as soon as possible, can reduce stressors, and improve outcomes for people and animals.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201912.0242.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Oncology And Oncogenics Keywords: animal-assisted interventions; animal-assisted activities; animal-assisted therapy; oncology; cancer; human-animal bond; quantitative
Online: 19 December 2019 (06:41:38 CET)
Animal-assisted interventions (AAI) use human-animal interactions to positive effect in various contexts including cancer care. This systematic literature review is the first part of a two-part paper series focusing on the research methods and quantitative results of AAI studies in oncology. We find methodological consistency in the use of canines as therapy animals, in the types of high-risk patients excluded from studies, and in the infection precautions taken with therapy animals throughout cancer wards. The investigated patient endpoints are not significantly affected by AAI, with the exceptions of improvements in oxygen consumption, quality of life, depression, mood, and satisfaction with therapy. The AAI field in oncology has progressed significantly since its inception and has great potential to positively impact future patient outcomes. To advance the field, AAI research in oncology should consistently improve the methodological design of studies, report data more completely, and focus on the therapy animal’s well-being.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201912.0243.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Oncology And Oncogenics Keywords: animal-assisted interventions; animal-assisted activities; animal-assisted therapy; oncology; cancer; human-animal bond; mechanisms; theoretical frameworks
Online: 19 December 2019 (06:45:23 CET)
Animal-assisted interventions (AAI) are a unique class of complementary medical treatments that can improve a patient’s quality of life, both physically and psychologically. Part I of this two-paper systematic literature review series focused on the study methods and quantitative results of researchers in this field. We continue this in-depth review here in Part II by discussing the common theories associated with AAI in the context of cancer. Of all the factors at work in human-animal interactions, researchers explicitly cite compatible animal personality, physical touch, physical movement, distraction/entertainment, and increased human interaction as the mechanisms responsible for the positive clinical outcomes observed in AAI. In various combinations, these mechanisms group under broader theoretical frameworks that attempt to fully explain the AAI context as it relates to cancer care. The social support hypothesis and the conception of a human-animal bond are the most referenced overarching frameworks. The cognitive activation theory of stress, the science of unitary human beings, and the self-object hypothesis are also referenced. We briefly consider other relevant theories commonly noted in the human-animal interactions literature that have the potential to clarify aspects of cancer-related AAI. We also discuss the neurobiological transduction mechanisms needed to connect theoretical frameworks and their mechanisms directly to the observed clinical outcomes. To advance the field, researchers should consider overarching theories with testable hypotheses when designing studies, and use consistent terminology when reporting results. This review lays a foundation for progress towards a unified theoretical framework and for effective treatment of the whole cancer patient.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202202.0074.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Behavior Sciences Keywords: animal emotions; animal welfare; sensors; animal-based measures; affective states; emotion modelling
Online: 4 February 2022 (12:20:22 CET)
Emotions or affective states recognition in farm animals is an underexplored research domain. Despite significant advances in the animal welfare research, the animal affective computing through the development and application of devices and platforms that can not only recognize but interpret and process the emotions, are in nascent stage. By capitalizing on the immense potential of biometric sensors, the artificial intelligence enabled big data methods substantially offers advancement of animal welfare standards and meet the urgent need of caretakers to respond effectively to maintain the wellbeing of their animals. Farm animals, numbering over 70 billion worldwide, are increasingly managed in large-scale, intensive farms. With both public awareness and scientific evidence growing that farm animals experience suffering, as well as affective states such as fear, frustration and distress, there is an urgent need to develop efficient and accurate methods for monitoring their welfare. At present, there are no scientifically validated ‘benchmarks’ for quantifying transient emotional (affective) states in farm animals, and no established measures of good welfare, only indicators of poor welfare, such as injury, pain and fear. Conventional approaches to monitoring livestock welfare are time consuming, interrupt farming processes and involve subjective judgments. Biometric sensors data enabled by Artificial Intelligence are an emerging smart solution to unobtrusively monitoring livestock, but their potential for quantifying affective states and groundbreaking solutions in their application are yet to be realized. This review provides innovative methods for collecting big data on farm animal emotions, which can be used to train artificial intelligence models to classify, quantify and predict affective states in individual pigs and cows. Extending this to the group level, social network analysis can be applied to model emotional dynamics and contagion among animals. Finally, ‘digital twins’ of animals capable of simulating and predicting their affective states and be-havior in real time are a near-term possibility.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.1766.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Animal Science, Veterinary Science And Zoology Keywords: animal welfare; photoreceptor; light; circadian; laboratory animal
Online: 26 September 2023 (08:41:01 CEST)
Light enables vision and exerts widespread effects on physiology and behaviour, including regulating circadian rhythms, sleep, hormone synthesis, affective state, and cognitive processes. Appropriate lighting in animal facilities may support welfare and ensure that animals enter experiments in a controlled physiological and behavioural state. Proper consideration of light during experimentation - both when it is explicitly employed as an independent variable and as a general feature of the environment - has the potential to provide more informative experimental designs and more reliable outcomes, contributing to Reduction and Refinement, helping to ensure more ethical animal use, and improving data quality. As such, it is unfortunate that ambient light for animals is typically quantified in units (lux) designed for human observers. We report the consensus views of an expert working group, with expertise spanning mammalian photobiology, neurobiology and animal husbandry and welfare, convened in February 2023 to agree upon metrics for light appropriate for non-human mammals and their application to improve animal welfare and the quality of animal research. We conclude that species-specific versions of the recently standardised a-opic metrology represent the best available approach to quantifying light. We provide methods for measuring these quantities; practical guidance for their implementation in husbandry and experimentation; and quantitative guidance on appropriate light exposure for laboratory mammals.
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Animal Science, Veterinary Science And Zoology Keywords: animal suffering; animal welfare; fires; wild animals
Online: 28 August 2020 (08:50:40 CEST)
Animals living in the wild are exposed to numerous challenges, such as fires, that can lead to animal suffering. The impacts of fire have been studied in different branches of ecology, but studies of its effects on the welfare of individual animals remain scarce. The current review aims to synthesize a sample of relevant aspects regarding fire’s negative effects on wild animals. This review provides a better understanding of how fire compromises animal welfare, providing an example of how to use the knowledge gathered in ecology studies to examine the welfare of wild animals. It can help raise concern for the situation of wild animals as individuals, and to develop the field of welfare biology, by identifying promising future lines of research. The fundamentals of carrying out future work to design protocols for rescuing animals or preventing the harms they can suffer in fires is also explored.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0196.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Animal Science, Veterinary Science And Zoology Keywords: crocodilian; animal welfare; animal-based measure; animal-based indicator; welfare assessment; welfare measure
Online: 10 November 2021 (08:46:54 CET)
Animal-based measures are the measure of choice in animal welfare assessment protocols as they can often be applied completely independently to the housing or production system employed. Although there has been a small body of work on potential animal-based measures for farmed crocodilians [1-3], they have not been studied in the context of an animal welfare assessment protocol. Potential animal-based measures, that could be used to reflect the welfare state of farmed crocodilians, were identified and aligned with the Welfare Quality® principles of good housing, good health, good feeding and appropriate behaviour. A consultation process with a panel of experts was used to evaluate and score the potential measures in terms of validity and feasibility. This resulted in a toolbox of measures being identified for further development and integration into animal welfare assessment on the farm. Animal-based measures related to ‘good feeding’ and ‘good health’ received the highest scores for validity and feasibility by the experts. There was less agreement on the animal-based measures that could be used to reflect ‘appropriate behaviour’. Where no animal-based measures were deemed to reliably reflect a welfare criterion nor be useful as a measure on the farm, additional measures of resources or management were suggested as alternatives. Future work in this area should focus on the reliability of the proposed measures and involve further evaluation of their validity and feasibility as they relate to different species of crocodilian and farming system.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0368.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Animal Science, Veterinary Science And Zoology Keywords: Precision Livestock Farming; Sensors; Animal Ethics; Animal Welfare; Society; Sustainability; Human-animal relationships
Online: 16 July 2021 (11:27:24 CEST)
The demand for animal products is expected to continue to rise, which requires the development of efficient livestock farming systems. Environmental, societal and economic concerns regarding this industry are however accumulating, addressing the large resource demand, pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions and health concerns that the livestock industry is responsible for. Precision livestock farming systems allow the continuous automatic monitoring of various physiological, behavioural and phenotypic parameters of animals in order to increase productivity and animal welfare while controlling and minimizing the environmental impact. There is a high potential for digital farming to be the solution for responsibly and ethically feeding the growing and urbanizing population. However, many problems and concerns are still present in this developing industry and remain relatively unaddressed, starting with the ethical aspects in regard to the animal, including its objectification, human-animal relationships and welfare and ending with the societal implications of this digitalization. Concrete frameworks, inter-disciplinary studies and global legislation need to be put in place in order to ensure the safety and protection of the animals, farmer and society. Here, implications of digital farming for the animals, farmers, society and the planet are critically reviewed with the future outlook of digital farms.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.1279.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Animal Science, Veterinary Science And Zoology Keywords: One welfare; animal welfare; animal shelter; animal hoarding; hoarders; companion animals; seized animals; challenges.
Online: 25 July 2023 (13:14:27 CEST)
Animal hoarding is a complex issue that, when discovered, frequently necessitates opening shelter doors to many animals. This is due to hoarders' inability to provide even the most basic welfare standards for their animals, resulting in poor welfare conditions that frequently border on mis-treatment. These people are frequently unaware of their failure to care for their animals, as well as of the harm that they cause to people around them and the environment. They usually don't care for themselves either. The majority of hoarders have difficult histories, and they all need help get-ting back on track. Meanwhile, when the agencies discover the status quo, the animals are usually seized and taken to shelters, where they face a variety of welfare consequences, beginning with confinement in an unknown environment that is associated with additional risks (e.g., infectious diseases, behavioral deterioration, and distress). Furthermore, the targeted shelters are frequently overcrowded and cannot adequately accommodate the large number of animals found in hoard-ers' environments. The One Welfare approach, which is increasingly being used alongside One Health to work at the intersection of human and animal health and welfare, could be adopted to benefit animals while also addressing the poor states of humans. This concept’s depiction of the interconnections between animal welfare, human wellbeing, and the environment can fit with all the components of the animal hoarding phenomenon, including the peculiarities of the hoarding environment as well as those of shelters where animals are often moved. The purpose of this paper is to offer insights into how the One Welfare concept may be critical in tackling all of the interests concerned in these cases and offering solutions.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202211.0280.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Behavior Sciences Keywords: animal welfare; animal training; applied animal behavior; behavior analysis; behavioral engineering; environmental enrichment; zoos
Online: 15 November 2022 (07:20:08 CET)
The field of applied behavior analysis has been directly involved in both research and applications of behavioral principles to improve the lives of captive zoo animals. Thirty years ago, Forthman and Ogden (1992) wrote one of the first papers documenting some of these efforts. Since that time, considerable work has been done using behavioral principles and procedures to guide zoo welfare efforts. The current paper re-examines and updates Forthman and Ogden’s original points, with attention to the five categories they detailed: (1) promotion of species-typical behavior, (2) reintroduction and repatriation of endangered species, (3) animal handling, (4) pest control, and (5) animal performances. In addition, we outline three current and future directions for behavior analytic endeavors: (i) experimental analyses of behavior and the zoo, (ii) applied behavior analysis and the zoo, and (iii) within-subject methodology and the zoo. The goal is to provide a framework that can guide future behavioral research in zoos, as well as create applications based on these empirical evaluations.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201706.0077.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Education Keywords: zoo; mobile zoo; mobile animal exhibits; animal display; mobile live animal programs; negative education
Online: 16 June 2017 (05:32:18 CEST)
This paper assesses whether there is intrinsic positive educational value in travelling animal presentations and exhibits, referred to here as Mobile Live Animal Programs (MLAPs). Given that educational claims serve as the basis for allowing MLAPs to operate in many jurisdictions throughout Canada and the United States, it is essential to examine whether these purported claims are valid. This study takes a twofold approach of examining first, what constitutes an MLAP and how such programs are situated within the larger context of animal observation and tourism, and second, what constitutes both positive and negative education, and how such learning can empirically be measured in these settings. This approach provokes the ethical question of whether or not MLAPs should be allowed to operate given the high price paid not only by the individual animals used, but also to our psychological, emotional, and intellectual relationship with other species when we use non-human animals for our own knowledge, pleasure or comfort. The paper concludes that we must consider that the pervasive problem of negative education, that using displaced captive wild animals as learning tools that highlights human control over them, their objectification and their exploitation, is not justified by the purported positive educational claims of MLAPs.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0738.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Other Keywords: animal representation; animal-based foods; marketing; eggs; hen welfare
Online: 31 July 2020 (08:19:40 CEST)
How a species is represented by marketers of animal-based products both reflects and shapes how consumers think about that animal. By examining the explicit statements, and implicit messages encoded in the imagery on supermarket egg boxes, this paper explores how hens are represented by whole egg retailers. Content analysis reveals two prominent messages purveyed through eggbox graphics, namely those pertaining to hen welfare and human health. The later disenfranchises hens from their products by focusing on the nutritional value of eggs, whereas the former reflects a public concern for the welfare of egg-laying hens. Although claims of improvements in welfare practices are undoubtedly exploited as marketing tools, they serve to raise awareness and drive competitors to adopt similar practices. Welfare claims are a direct response to public concerns about the plight of hens, and may positively influence industry welfare standards. However, idyllic depictions displayed on eggboxes also lull consumers into the belief that those eggs are an ethically sound food choice, regardless of the actual standard of living experienced by the hens.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0326.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: Deepfake; Animal Welfare; Animal Emotions; Artificial Intelligence; Digital Farming; Animal Based Measures; Emotion Modeling; Livestock Health
Online: 14 July 2021 (11:49:38 CEST)
Deepfake technologies are known for the creation of forged celebrity pornography, face and voice swaps, and other fake media content. Despite the negative connotations the technology bears, the underlying machine learning algorithms have a huge potential that could be applied to not just digital media, but also to medicine, biology, affective science, and agriculture, just to name a few. Due to the ability to generate big datasets based on real data distributions, deepfake could also be used to positively impact non-human animals such as livestock. Generated data using Generative Adversarial Networks, one of the algorithms that deepfake is based on, could be used to train models to accurately identify and monitor animal health and emotions. Through data augmentation, using digital twins, and maybe even displaying digital conspecifics where social interactions are enhanced, deepfake technologies have the potential to increase animal health, emotionality, sociality, animal-human and animal-computer interactions and thereby animal welfare, productivity, and sustainability of the farming industry.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0109.v1
Online: 5 August 2020 (05:02:17 CEST)
With the increasing societal expectation that animals are afforded greater protection in emergencies, the legal process from entering a property to rescue a companion animal, through to how to dispose of such animals if they remain unclaimed has not been well examined in New Zealand. It is hypothesised that the legal framework for such response is flawed. In this study, each phase of animal disaster rescue is evaluated against four key statues that may apply in each phase, in that does any statute provide clear end to end provisions with clear legal authority to do so. The study found that all statutes evaluated contained flaws and that the current legal provisions are insufficient to provide clear authority for the sequential process of undertaking rescue of animals during emergencies. A major flaw was discovered in the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002 a key statute, that provided for the seizure of property and animals but omitted a procedure for the disposal of such seized things leaving them all in legal limbo. It is recommended that animal disaster laws are updated to be more animal inclusive. The method also may be applicable to assist evaluating animal disaster management legal frameworks in other countries.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201912.0171.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Law Keywords: animal welfare legislation; animal cruelty; law enforcement; Australia; enforcement gap
Online: 12 December 2019 (10:07:56 CET)
Enforcement of animal welfare statutes are the primary protection given for the maintenance of animal welfare and prevention of cruelty. It is speculated that animal law enforcement in Australia has a number of weakness in the enforcement model. These weaknesses create a gap between the goals of animal law enforcement and the reality of the animal law justice system. This gap is defined as the ‘enforcement gap’. This paper identifies and investigates the causes of this gap. The hypothesized causes discussed are (1) the impact the public can have on reporting animal cruelty, (2) the reliance on charitable organizations as enforcement bodies, (3) the inconsistencies in animal welfare legislation, and (4) the role of the sentencing courts. Thus, the causes of the enforcement gap are multifactorial; derived from all stages of the enforcement process. Further research is needed to investigate the concepts raised in this paper. However, it is likely that a combination of structural change to enforcement agencies, legislative reform and public education is required to reduce the enforcement gap.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.0334.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Pharmacology And Toxicology Keywords: molnupiravir; COVID-19; antiviral efficacy; animal models; animal-to-human extrapolation
Online: 6 September 2023 (05:07:55 CEST)
Molnupiravir, a prodrug known for its broad antiviral activity, demonstrated efficacy in animal models of Covid-19, prompting clinical trials where initial results indicated a significant effect against the disease. However, subsequent clinical studies did not confirm these findings, leading to the rejection of molnupiravir for permanent market authorization in many countries. This report critically assessed 19 studies published in 17 reports that investigated the efficacy of molnupiravir in animal models of Covid-19 with the purpose of determining how well the design of these models informed human studies. We found that the administered doses of molnupiravir in most studies involving animal Covid-19 models were disproportionately higher than the dose rec-ommended for human use. Specifically, when adjusted for body surface area, half of the doses of molnupiravir used in the animal studies were more than twice as high as the human dose. Addi-tionally, the drug was frequently given prophylactically or shortly after SARS-CoV-2 inoculation in these models, in contrast to clinical trials where such timing is not consistently achieved. Furthermore, the recommended five-day treatment duration for humans was exceeded in several animal studies. Collectively, we suggest that these design elements in the reported animal studies contributed to a bias favoring molnupiravir, and thus inflated expectations for its efficacy against Covid-19. Addressing these elements may offer avenues to enhance the clinical efficacy of mol-nupiravir for treatment of Covid-19 that include dose increment, early treatment, and admin-istration by inhalation along with use of molnupiravir in antiviral combination therapy.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.0269.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Tropical Medicine Keywords: Schistosoma mekongi; LAMP; Reservoir Animal; Domestic animal; Lao PDR; Mekong River;
Online: 5 June 2023 (08:25:55 CEST)
The prevalence of Schistosoma mekongi in humans in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) has been relatively well monitored and has decreased due to effective interventions such as preventative chemotherapy with mass drug administration of praziquantel and community awareness programs. However, the prevalence among potential domestic reservoir animals remains broadly unclear, except for a few villages in the endemic area. Therefore, we conducted S. mekongi surveys for the domestic animals that had contact with Mekong River water. We conducted a cross-sectional study of the domestic animals in the seven sentinel villages in the Khong and Mounlapamok Districts of Champasak Province in southern Lao PDR in 2018 by random sampling with a statistically reliable sample size. Stool samples of the five predominant domestic animal species, cattle (n = 160), pig (n = 154), buffalo (n = 149), dog (n = 143), and goat (n = 85), were collected and examined by experienced laboratory technicians using parasitological FECT method and the LAMP technique. The microscopic analysis did not detect any eggs of S. mekongi in the stool samples of any animal species. However, S. mekongi DNA was detected by the LAMP test in dog stool samples (0.7%; 1/143). Other helminth eggs were found during our microscopic analysis. These findings suggested that an intervention for S. mekongi infection should focus solely on human populations. However, periodic surveillance for S. mekongi infection among dogs should be conducted to monitor a possible resurgence of S. mekongi infection in the domestic animal population.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0027.v2
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Animal Science, Veterinary Science And Zoology Keywords: Zoo animal welfare; Five Domains; Validity; Animal-based; Resource-based; Scoring
Online: 22 December 2021 (11:59:32 CET)
Zoos are increasingly putting in place formalized animal welfare assessment programs to allow monitoring of welfare over time, as well as to aid in resource prioritization. These programs tend to rely on assessment tools that incorporate resource-based and observational animal- focused measures since it is rarely feasible to obtain measures of physiology in zoo-housed animals. A range of assessment tools are available which commonly have a basis in the Five Domains framework. A comprehensive review of the literature was conducted to bring together recent studies examining welfare assessment methods in zoo animals. A summary of these methods is provided with advantages and limitations of the approach es presented. We then highlight practical considerations with respect to implementation of these tools into practice, for example scoring schemes, weighting of criteria, and innate animal factors for consideration. It is concluded that would be value in standardizing guidelines for development of welfare assessment tools since zoo accreditation bodies rarely prescribe these. There is also a need to develop taxon or species- specific assessment tools to inform welfare management.
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Ebola virus; rhesus macaque; animal model; FDA Animal Rule; natural history
Online: 5 February 2021 (11:34:20 CET)
Ebola virus (EBOV) is a negative-sense RNA virus that can infect humans and nonhuman primates with severe health consequences. Development of countermeasures requires a thorough understanding of the interaction between host and pathogen, and the course of disease. The goal of this study was to further characterize EBOV disease in a uniformly lethal rhesus macaque model, in order to support development of a well-characterized model following rigorous quality standards. Rhesus macaques were intramuscularly exposed to EBOV and one group was euthanized at predetermined time points to characterize progression of disease. A second group was not scheduled for euthanasia in order to analyze survival, changes in physiology, clinical pathology, terminal pathology, and telemetry kinetics. On day 3, sporadic viremia was observed and pathological evidence was noted in lymph nodes. By day 5, viremia was detected in all EBOV exposed animals and pathological evidence was noted in the liver, spleen, and gastrointestinal tissues. These data support the notion that EBOV infection in rhesus macaques is a rapid systemic disease similar to infection in humans, under a compressed time scale. Biomarkers that correlated with disease progression at the earliest stages of infection were observed thereby identifying potential “trigger--to-treat” for use in therapeutic studies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0078.v1
Online: 4 September 2020 (03:29:10 CEST)
Introduction: The purpose of this study was to assess the effectiveness of animal therapy in alleviation of anxiety in pre-school children.Method: The study was carried out as a quasi-experimental study with pre-test and post-test design and control group. The study population consisted of 33 anxious 5-7years old children (participated in a welfare anxiety screening plan held by Counseling Center, Tehran-Iran) between 2018 and 2019. The participants took part in the study voluntarily.The subjects were randomly divided into experimental and control groups (10 in each group). The experimental group was exposed to 8 sessions of animal therapy. The research instrument was Spence Preschool Anxiety Scale (Parent Form) and the data were analyzed on SPSS 21 software.Results: The results showed that animal therapy had a significant effect on general anxiety score after adjusting for post-test scores (f= 32.49 and p= 0.001) with the effect equal to 0.70. In addition, the effect of animal therapy on anxiety of separation (f= 5.63, p= 0.03), generalized anxiety disorder (f= 8.56, p= 0.01), social phobia (f= 14.58, p= 0.002) and specific anxiety (f= 11.63, p= 0.005) was significant with effects equal to 0.30, 0.40, 0.53, and 0.47, respectively. The results also showed that the effect of animal therapy on obsession was not significant (p>0.05).Conclusion: Therefore, it can be concluded that Animal therapy is effective in alleviating anxiety in children.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201710.0099.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Behavior Sciences Keywords: ethology; anthrozoology; semiotics; animal sanctuaries; captivity; anthropization; animal ethics; non invasive observation
Online: 16 October 2017 (05:42:33 CEST)
The present essay illustrates the methodological and theoretical premises of an emerging research area carrying out both ethological and (bio)ethical implications: the ethology of the freed animal (EFA). Unlike existing ethological fields, EFA focuses neither on non human (NH) animals in natural conditions of freedom in their own environment, nor on NH animals kept in conditions of “captivity”. Rather, EFA consists of a comparative study of NH animals that are released from a condition of more or less abusive captivity and instead relocated in an environment more appropriate to their species-specific and individual characteristics and inclinations. Ideal places for this study are contexts like “Animal sanctuaries” and parks/reserves provided with a camp or station for researchers, where a previously-captive NH animal can be reintroduced in his/her natural habitat. Even though EFA exists already, as a de facto practice of the specialized and/or volunteer personnel running sanctuaries and parks, the field still lacks a recognizable scholarly paradigm, and it is yet to be acknowledged at institutional/academic level. By consequence, one important aim for creating a field like this lies in the establishment of an active interaction between the two parties involved (researchers and sanctuaries/parks operators).
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.1714.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Animal Science, Veterinary Science And Zoology Keywords: Cognitive Computing; Digital Imaging; Sound Vocalization Analysis; Animal Self-awareness; Behavioral Predictions; Micro-expressions; Animal Welfare Enhancement; Human-Animal-Computer Interactions
Online: 26 September 2023 (13:43:02 CEST)
In this paper, we critically examine the burgeoning role of advanced computational methodologies in deciphering the complex tapestry of farm animal behaviors and emotions. Leveraging digital imaging and artificial intelligence, we unearth nuanced behavioral patterns and micro-expressions, offering predictive insights into animal emotional states. Sound vocalization analysis, often overlooked, emerges as a pivotal tool, decoding intricate communicative nuances and emotional undertones. Cognitive tests, including mirror and bias assessments, challenge long-standing perceptions, revealing surprising depths of animal self-awareness and cognitive sophistication. However, the paper also underscores the imperative of integrating these tools with a profound understanding of animal psyche, ensuring technology serves as an enhancer, not a replacement, of traditional observational methods. This research not only highlights the transformative potential of cognitive computing in animal welfare but also calls for a judicious application, ensuring technology augments, not undermines, the intrinsic value of human-animal interactions and understanding.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201710.0150.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Animal Science, Veterinary Science And Zoology Keywords: refinement; mouse welfare; mouse husbandry; mouse aggression; male mice; social organisation; group housing; single housing; animal husbandry; animal welfare; animal management
Online: 24 October 2017 (03:29:02 CEST)
It is widely recommended to group house male laboratory mice because they are ‘social animals’, but male mice do not naturally share territories and aggression can be a serious welfare problem. Even without aggression, not all animals within a group will be in a state of positive welfare. Rather, many male mice may be negatively affected by the stress of repeated social defeat and subordination, raising concerns about welfare and also research validity. However, individual housing may not be an appropriate solution, given the welfare implications associated with no social contact. An essential question is whether it is in the best welfare interests of male mice to be group- or singly-housed. This review explores the likely impacts, positive and negative, of both housing conditions, presents results of a survey of current practice and awareness of mouse behaviour, and includes recommendations for good practice and future research. We conclude that whether group- or single-housing is better (or less worse) in any situation is highly context-dependent according to several factors including strain, age, social position, life experiences, and housing and husbandry protocols. It is important to recognise this and evaluate what is preferable from animal welfare and ethical perspectives in each case.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.0054.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Animal Science, Veterinary Science And Zoology Keywords: animal welfare; applied ethology; animal emotions; farmed animals; play behavior; positive welfare indicator
Online: 1 November 2023 (10:34:33 CET)
We aimed to assess whether play behavior can be used as a welfare indicator for farmed spotted pacas (Cuniculus paca) by examining its association with other positive welfare markers including affiliative behavior and low-amplitude vocalizations. We submitted six groups of spotted pacas (one male/two females per group) (N=18) to an ABA experimental design (A1/A2: without ball; B: with three boomer balls). Play behavior occurred only during phase B (mean=35.5s, SE=6.4). Spotted pacas spent more time in affiliative and exploratory behaviors, while they spent less time engaging in agonistic interactions during phase B than in both control phases (A1 and A2) (P<0.05). Moreover, spotted pacas emitted more low-amplitude bark vocalizations during phase B than during either control phase (P<0.05), which have previously been shown to indicate a positive affective state and low arousal level. Because the expression of play was associated with a decrease in aggression, an increase in affiliative behavior, and an increase in low-amplitude barking, indicating thus a positive state, we suggest that play behavior can be used as a non-invasive indicator of positive welfare in this species.
CONCEPT PAPER | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0057.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Animal Science, Veterinary Science And Zoology Keywords: One Health; zoonosis; animal health
Online: 5 July 2022 (04:36:30 CEST)
Zoonoses are diseases transmitted from (vertebrate) animals to humans. Control and prevention of these diseases require an appropriate way to measure health for prudent and well-balanced decisions in public health. We propose a framework that aims to explore, understand and open up a conversation about the non-monetary value of animals through environmental and normative ethics. As an example of its application, participants can choose what they are willing to give in exchange for curing an animal in hypothetical scenarios selecting a human health condition to suffer, the amount of money, and lifetime as a tradeoff. We believe that considering animals beyond their monetary value in public health decisions will contribute to a more rigorous assessment of the burden of zoonotic diseases, among other health decisions. This method might help us complement the existing metrics in health, adding more comprehensive values for animal and human health for the “One Health” approach.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0343.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Animal Science, Veterinary Science And Zoology Keywords: animal models; adolescence; hippocampal neurogenesis
Online: 27 June 2022 (03:18:28 CEST)
Adolescence represents a critical period for the programming of future adult behaviours. Neurogenesis is particularly active during adolescence, with increased number of granule cells and increased hippocampal volume both in animals and humans. Among the factors which can affect neurogenesis during adolescence, stress is considered a major one. Indeed, adolescence is known to be a particularly stressful period in life, with some adolescents suffering from mood disorders and anxiety. While there is increasing interest on the neurogenic changes occurring during the adolescent period, evidence is sparse. We conducted a systematic review summarising changes in hippocampal neurogenesis, neuroplasticity and hippocampal-dependent cognitive functions and behavioural outcomes in stress-induced adolescent animal models of depression, and investigating long-term stress effects on the same outcomes assessing the same animals in adulthood. Overall, the results show a significant reduction in hippocampal cell proliferation, and a concomitant increase in depressive-like behaviours in adolescent animals exposed to stress challenges, however reduction in the number of surviving neurons was accompanied by no changes in both cognition and behaviour. Studies also observed altered neuroplasticity, including a stress-induced decrease in markers of pre- and post-synaptic plasticity, dendritic spine length and density, and long-term potentiation. These changes in neuroplasticity were accompanied by cognitive impairments and depressive-like behaviours. Overall, some of the negative effects observed during adolescence, especially on cell proliferation, neuroplasticity, cognition and behaviour either persisted or worsened during adulthood. Interestingly, treatment during adolescence with antidepressants, glutamate receptor inhibitors, glucocorticoid antagonists, or a healthy diet consisting of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin A, were able to reverse or prevent these detrimental effects. Future research should aim to investigate the translational impact of these preclinical findings, developing novel tools for the measurement of hippocampal neurogenesis directly in depressed adolescents, and subsequently assessing neurogenic changes in response to stress as well as pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201804.0152.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Immunology And Microbiology Keywords: mycobacterium ulcerans; animal reservoir; transmission
Online: 11 April 2018 (13:54:56 CEST)
Mycobacterium ulcerans is the causative agent of the Buruli ulcer, also known, in Australia, as Daintree ulcer or Bairnsdale ulcer. This destructive skin disease is characterized by extensive and painless necrosis of the skin and soft tissue with the formation of large ulcers, commonly on the leg or arm. To date, 33 countries with tropical, subtropical and temperate climates in Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Western Pacific have reported cases of Buruli Ulcer. The disease is rarely fatal, although it may lead to permanent disability and/ or disfigurement if not treated appropriately or in time. It is the third most common mycobacterial infection in the world after tuberculosis and leprosy. The precise mode of transmission of M. ulcerans is yet to be elucidated. Nevertheless, it is possible that the mode of transmission varies with different geographical areas and epidemiological settings. The knowledge about the possible route of transmission and potential animal reservoir of M. ulcerans is poorly understood and still remains patchy. We conducted a systematic review with selected key words on PubMed and INFORMIT databases to aggregate available published data on animal reservoirs of M. ulcerans. After certain inclusion and exclusion criteria, a total of 17 studies were included in the review. A variety of animals, e.g rodents, shrews, possums (ringtail and brush tail), horses, dogs, alpacas, koalas and Indian flap-shelled turtles have been recorded as being infected with M. ulcerans around the world. The majority of studies included in this review identified animal reservoirs, either aquatic or terrestrial, as predisposing for the emergence and reemergence of M. ulcerans infection. Taken together, the selected studies in this systematic review and discussed so far, it is clear that exotic wildlife, aquatic animals and native mammals play a significant role as reservoirs for M. ulcerans.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201804.0132.v1
Subject: Engineering, Industrial And Manufacturing Engineering Keywords: bio-phosphate; ABC Animal-Bone-Char; 3R pyrolysis; phosphorus recovery; animal by-products; apatite
Online: 10 April 2018 (16:28:11 CEST)
Disrupted nutrient recycling is a significant problem for Europe, while phosphorus and nitrogen are wasted instead of being used for plant nutrition. Mineral phosphate is critical raw material, which contains environmentally hazardous elements such as cadmium and uranium. Therefore, phosphorus recovery from agricultural by-product streams is critically important key priority. Phosphorus recovery from food grade animal bone by-products have been applied researched since 2002 with objective driven evolution progress towards specialized pyrolysis processing technology and animal bone char product (ABC) developments in economical industrial scale. Different animal bone by-products tested under different conditions at 400 kg/h throughput capacity in the continuously operated 3R zero emission autothermal carbonization system. The different material core treatment temperatures (between >300°C and <850°C) were combined with different residence times under industrial productive processing conditions. It has been industrial demonstrated that material core treatment temperature <850°C with 20 minutes residence time is necessary to achieve high quality ABC with useful agronomic value. The output ABC product having concentrated >30% phosphorus pentoxide (P2O5) and specific quality innovative fertilizer for agronomical efficient organic and low input farming applications as functional organic fertilizer, soil improver, growing medium and/or fertilizing product blend with high mineral phosphate fertiliser replacement value.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.0597.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: Genetics and Genomics, Zoology, Animal Genetics
Online: 9 November 2023 (07:21:44 CET)
In China, 65 types of venomous snakes exist, with the Chinese Cobra Naja atra being prominent and a major cause of snakebites in humans. Furthermore, N. atra is a protected animal in some areas, as it has been listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Recently, due to the medical value of snake venoms, venomics has experienced growing research interest. In particular, genomic resources are crucial for understanding the molecular mechanisms of venom production. Here, we report a highly continuous genome assembly of N. atra, based on a snake sample from Huangshan, Anhui, China. The size of this genome is 1.67 Gb, while its repeat content constitutes 37.8% of the genome. A total of 26,432 functional genes were annotated. This data provides an essential resource for studying venom production in N. atra. It may also provide guidance for the protection of this species.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.1797.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Life Sciences Keywords: Genetics and Genomics; Zoology; Animal Genetics
Online: 25 August 2023 (09:35:48 CEST)
The king ratsnake (Elaphe carinata) of the genus Elaphe is a common large non-venomous snake that is widely distributed in Southeast and East Asia, and is an economically important farmed snake species. As a non-venomous snake, the king snake that is predatory on venomous snakes such as cobras and pit vipers. The immune mechanisms of which has been unclear. Despite their economic and research importance, genomic resources which will benefit studies in toxicology, phylogeography and immunogenetics are lacking. In this study, we use single-tube long fragment read (stLFR) sequencing to display the first complete genome of a King ratsnake from Huangshan City, Anhui province in China. The genome size is 1.56GB with a scaffold N50 of 6.53M, the total length of the genome is approximately 621Mb, and the repeat content is 38.90%. Additionally, we predicted 22,339 protein-coding genes, of which 22,065 had functional annotations. Our genome is a potentially useful addition to those currently available for snakes.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0335.v1
Online: 22 July 2022 (09:57:40 CEST)
The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2), etiological agent of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), has spread since December 2019, resulting in massive health and economic crisis worldwide. While efforts to stop the pandemic are crucial, collecting epidemiological data to help manage current and future pandemics will be important. In addition to humans, serological and molecular based studies have demonstrated SARS CoV-2 exposure in several wild, domestic and farmed animals. For examples Shriner and the team showed serologically an exposure of 40% to the white deer living in close proximity to urban centers. Additional reports have also emerged of susceptibility of animal’s species like cats, ferrets, raccoon dogs, cynomolgus macaques, rhesus macaques, white-tailed deer, rabbits, Egyptian fruit bats, and Syrian hamsters to SARS-CoV-2 infection.. It’s worth emphasizing that these reports are based on experimental data mostly derived from Europe, USA, South America and parts of Asia. In limited instances natural infections of SARS-CoV-2 have been reported in pet dogs, cats, tigers, lions, snow leopards, pumas, gorillas at zoos and farmed mink and ferrets. The presence of the virus in animal species and an understanding of whether these are natural or recent human to animal transmissions is important. It’s possible that such transmission could passage the virus or subject the virus to a different immunological pressure thereby helping with the development of viral variants in addition to being a host for future reservoirs of the virus. In Kenya SARS-CoV-2 was first detected on March 12th 2020 from imported human cases of persons who had travelled from the United States. This was followed by detection of imported cases majorly from China, Sweden and United Kingdom. Later infections were confirmed in Nairobi and Mombasa suggesting further cases of disease importations through the major ports of entry. However, no comparable data on animal exposure have hitherto been generated in Kenya. To address this key concern, we focused on three objectives; 1) development of a robust antibody ELISA based on crude SARS-CoV-2 lysate. 2) SARS-CoV-2 serology of domestic animals in Kenya. 3) Corroboration of the crude lysate based seroprevalence data and a commercial ELISA kit based on the Spike receptor binding domain (RBD) antigen. Our sample set included camel sera (both pre- & post outbreak sera), as well as sera from cats and dogs collected at the peak of the pandemic. Our results using the ELISA based on crude SARS-CoV-2 lysate indicated SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in camels (71%, N=145), cats 11% (N=16) and dogs (81%, N=36) with varying titer levels. These findings were comparable to those obtained using the commercial ELISA kit based on the spike RBD antigens. In summary, the data warrants two key conclusions: (i) we have demonstrated that the crude lysate ELISA allows for SARS-CoV-2 antibody detection, and given its potential to offer robust detection could be applied for initial mass screening (ii) although the current study cannot disentangle the relative contributions of antigenic cross-reactivity, pre-pandemic exposure to SARS-CoV-2 or human-animal transmission, it nonetheless demonstrates for the first time the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 like antibodies in domestic and wild animals in Kenya. Our findings set the scene for further research into the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in domestic and wild animals to understand their potential epidemiological implications.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0375.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biology And Biotechnology Keywords: melanin; extraction; isolation; animal; plant; microbes
Online: 27 May 2022 (09:07:30 CEST)
Melanins are phenolic biopolymers synthesised by most of the living organism mainly for photoprotection or surviving in harsh conditions. Melanin is localised in different areas or complexed with different other biomolecules when observed from animals to microbes. This makes the melanin extraction procedure different in animal, plant and microbial tissues. Basically, the alkali-acid extraction is used in most protocols of which slight variations are there depending on the tissue used. This review will try to compile melanin extraction procedures from different cells and tissues ranging from animals to bacteria.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201610.0083.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Pathology And Pathobiology Keywords: stroke; antioxidant; co-drug; animal model
Online: 20 October 2016 (08:46:38 CEST)
Background: Previously, our laboratory has provided evidence that pre-administration of the antioxidant, lipoic acid covalently bonded to various naturally occurring antioxidants, enhanced neuroprotective capacity compared to the administration of lipoic acid on its own. The naturally occurring compound scopoletin, a coumarin derivative, has been shown in various in vitro studies to have both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory mechanism of actions. To date, the effect of scopoletin on neuronal cell death in an in vivo model of ischemia or ischemia-reperfusion has not been investigated. Therefore, the present investigation was designed to determine if scopoletin on its own, or a co-drug consisting of lipoic acid and scopoletin covalent bond, named UPEI-400, would be capable of demonstrating a similar neuroprotective efficacy. Methods: Using a rodent model of stroke in male rats (anesthetized with Inactin®; 100 mg/kg, iv), the middle cerebral artery was permanently occluded for 6 hours (pMCAO), or in separate animals, occluded for 30 min followed by 5.5 hrs of reperfusion (ischemia/reperfusion; I/R). Results: Pre-administration of either scopoletin or UPEI-400 significantly decreased infarct volume in the I/R model (p<0.05), but not in the pMCAO model of stroke. However, UPEI-400 was ~1000 times more potent as compared to scopoletin on its own. The optimal dose of UPEI-400 was then injected during the occlusion and at several time points during reperfusion and significant neuroprotection was observed for up to 150 mins following the start of reperfusion (p<0.05). Conclusion: The data suggest that synthetic combination of scopoletin with lipoic acid (UPEI-400) is a more effective neuroprotectant that either compound on their own. Also, since UPEI-400 was only effective in a model of I/R, it is possible that it may act to enhance neuronal antioxidant capacity and/or upregulate anti-inflammatory pathways to prevent the neuronal cell death.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.0214.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Animal Science, Veterinary Science And Zoology Keywords: Human-Centric AI in Livestock Farming; Sensor Technologies in Animal Welfare; Digital Livestock Farming; Objective Animal Welfare Indicators; AI-Driven Animal Health Monitoring; Farmer-Centric Technology Adoption
Online: 5 September 2023 (09:25:06 CEST)
In the wake of rapid advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) and sensor technologies, a new horizon of possibilities has emerged across diverse sectors. Livestock farming, a domain often sidelined in conventional AI discussions, stands at the cusp of this transformative wave. This paper delves into the profound potential of AI and sensor innovations in reshaping animal welfare in livestock farming, with a pronounced emphasis on a human-centric paradigm. Central to our discourse is the symbiotic interplay between cutting-edge technology and human expertise. While AI and sensor mechanisms offer real-time, comprehensive, and objective insights into animal welfare, it's the farmer's intrinsic knowledge of their livestock and environment that should steer these technological strides. We champion the notion of technology as an enhancer of farmers' innate capabilities, not a substitute. Our manuscript sheds light on: Objective Animal Welfare Indicators: An exhaustive exploration of health, behavioral, and physiological metrics, underscoring AI's prowess in delivering precise, timely, and objective evaluations. Farmer-Centric Approach: A focus on the pivotal role of farmers in the adept adoption and judicious utilization of AI and sensor technologies, coupled with discussions on crafting intuitive, pragmatic, and cost-effective solutions tailored to farmers' distinct needs. Ethical and Social Implications: A discerning scrutiny of the digital metamorphosis in farming, encompassing facets like animal privacy, data safeguarding, responsible AI deployment, and potential technological access disparities. Future Pathways: Advocacy for principled technology design, unambiguous responsible use guidelines, and fair technology access, all echoing the fundamental principles of human-centric computing and analytics. In essence, our paper furnishes pioneering insights at the crossroads of farming, animal welfare, technology, and ethics. It presents a rejuvenated perspective, bridging the chasm between technological advancements and their human beneficiaries, resonating seamlessly with the ethos of the Human-Centric Intelligent Systems journal. This comprehensive analysis thus marks a significant stride in the burgeoning domain of human-centric intelligent systems, especially within the digital livestock farming landscape, fostering a harmonious coexistence of technology, animals, and humans.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202210.0052.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Animal Science, Veterinary Science And Zoology Keywords: animal-assisted interventions; child development; dog bites; dog-borne zoonoses; dog ownership; dog welfare; human-animal interactions
Online: 6 October 2022 (08:13:49 CEST)
Our wellbeing is greatly influenced by our childhood and adolescence, and the relationships that we form during those phases of our development. The human-dog bond started thousands of years ago. The higher prevalence of dog ownership around the world, especially in households including children along with the growing number of people studying dogs most likely explain the growing literature focusing on child-dog interactions. We review the potential effects of child-dog interactions on the physical, mental, and social wellbeing of both species. A scoping search of the SCOPUS database found several hundred documents meeting selection criteria. It allowed us to define the numerous ways in which children and dogs can interact, be it neutral (e.g., sharing a common area), positive (e.g., petting), or negative (e.g., biting). Then, we found evidence for an association between interacting with dogs during childhood and an array of health and mental benefits like stress relief and the development of empathy. Walking a dog and playing with one are perfect physical activity opportunities. Additionally, interacting with a dog can help lower stress and may have a role in the development of empathy. Nonetheless, a number of detrimental outcomes have also been identified in both humans and dogs. Children are the most at-risk population regarding dog bites and dog-borne zoonoses, which may lead to a subsequent fear of dogs or even death. Moreover, pet bereavement is generally inevitable when living with a canine companion and should not be trivialized. In terms of dogs, children sometimes take part in caretaking behaviors toward them which include going on walks. They are opportunities for dogs to relieve themselves outside, but also to exercise and socialize. In contrast, a lack of physical activity can lead to the onset of obesity. Dogs may present greater levels of stress when in the presence of children. Finally, the welfare of assistance, therapy, and free-roaming dogs remains underexplored. Overall, the study of the effects, positive as well as negative, on both species still requires further development. We call for more longitudinal studies and hope for cross-cultural research in the future in order to better understand the impact child-dog interactions might have.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0253.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: airborne pathogens; animal production; infectious animal disease; livestock health; mass balance; swine diseases; viral aerosol; virus isolation
Online: 10 February 2021 (11:41:43 CET)
Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) infections cause significant economic losses to swine producers every year. Aerosols containing infectious PRRSV are an important route of transmission, and proper treatment of air could mitigate the airborne spread of the virus within and between barns. Previous bioaerosol studies focused on the microbiology of PRRSV aerosols; thus, the current study addressed the engineering aspects of virus aerosolization and collection. Specific objectives were to (1) build and test a virus aerosolization system, (2) achieve a uniform and repeatable aerosol generation and collection throughout all replicates, (3) identify and minimize sources of variation, (4) verify that the collection system (impingers) performed similarly. The system for virus aerosolization was built and tested (Obj. 1). The uniform airflow distribution was confirmed using a physical tracer (<12% relative standard deviation) for all treatments and sound engineering control of flow rates (Obj. 2). Theoretical uncertainty analyses and mass balance calculations showed <3% loss of air mass flow rate between the inlet and outlet (Obj. 3). A comparison of TCID50 values among impinger fluids showed no statistical difference between any two of the three trials (p-value = 0.148, 0.357, 0.846) (Obj. 4). These results showed that the readiness of the system for research on virus aerosolization and treatment (e.g., by ultraviolet light), as well as its potential use for research on other types of airborne pathogens and their mitigation on a laboratory scale.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.1127.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: tropism; henipavirus; rna virus; vaccine; animal models
Online: 15 August 2023 (11:49:25 CEST)
Henipaviruses are single-stranded RNA viruses that have been shown to be virulent in several species including humans, pigs, horses, and rodents. Isolated nearly 30 years ago, these viruses have been shown to be of particular concern to public health, as at least two members (Nipah and Hendra viruses) are highly virulent, as well as zoonotic, and are thus classified as BSL4 pathogens. Although only 5 members of this genus have been isolated and characterized, metagenomics analysis using animal fluids and tissues has demonstrated the existence of other novel henipaviruses, suggesting a far greater degree of phylogenetic diversity than currently known. Using a variety of molecular biology techniques, it has been shown that these viruses exhibit varying degrees of tropism, on a species, organ/tissue, and cellular level. This review will attempt to provide a general overview of our current understanding of henipaviruses, with particular emphasis on viral tropism.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.0775.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior And Systematics Keywords: Genetics and Genomics; Animal Genetics; Evolutionary Biology
Online: 9 August 2023 (10:51:51 CEST)
The study of the currently known >3,000 species of snakes can provide valuable insights into the evolution of their genomes. Deinagkistrodon acutus, also known as Sharp-nosed Pit Viper, one hundred-pacer viper or five-pacer viper, is a venomous snake with significant economic, medicinal and scientific importance. Widely distributed in southeastern China and South-East Asia, D. acutus has been primarily studied for its venom. Here, we employed next-generation sequencing to assemble and annotate a highly continuous genome of D. acutus. The genome size is 1.46 Gb; its scaffold N50 length is 6.21 Mb, the repeat content is 42.81%, and 24,402 functional genes were annotated. This study helps to further understand and utilize D. acutus and its venom at the genetic level.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.0338.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Animal Science, Veterinary Science And Zoology Keywords: Vitamin E, history, animal nutrition, production, activity
Online: 5 July 2023 (13:21:04 CEST)
Vitamin E is a group of eight compounds divided into two subgroups: four tocopherols (α-, β-, γ-, and δ-) and four tocotrienols (α-, β-, γ-, and δ-). α-Tocopherol is considered the most biologically active form. This review paper summarizes the current knowledge and historical progression of vitamin E research, with particular emphasis on its role in animal nutrition. Early studies in the 1920s identified vitamin E’s role in preventing neonatal mortality in rats. Over the following decades, scientists discovered the compound’s chemical structure and its importance for the immune system, skin health, anti-inflammatory properties, hormonal balance, and other bodily functions. Production of vitamin E products has evolved, starting with isolating the vitamin from natural sources and advancing to synthesizing it with greater efficiency and standardized potency units. Early animal studies focused on reproductive health and growth disorders, but further research demonstrated the importance of vitamin E in preventing encephalomalacia in domestic fowl and muscular dystrophy in rabbits and other animals. Today, vitamin E is commonly used as a feed additive to meet animals’ requirements and assure immune function and overall health. Despite much knowledge on vitamin E’s role in animal nutrition, many questions remain unanswered, and current research aims to determine optimal supplementation levels, interactions with other nutrients, impacts on gene expression, cell signaling and communication, and effects of supranutritional dosages in livestock. Vitamin E has a long and fascinating history in scientific research, with significant advancements in understanding its chemical structure and biological activity. In animal nutrition, vitamin E continues to play an important role in improving animal health, and ongoing research will continue to expand our understanding of its benefits and mechanisms of action.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0474.v1
Subject: Engineering, Telecommunications Keywords: Animal monitoring; IoT; Alarm systems; Satellite communications
Online: 18 April 2023 (03:54:40 CEST)
The use of electronic means to support tasks such as pastoralism is a way of intelligently optimizing that activity. As any autonomous system, it requires human intervention in case of failure, and therefore it needs an autonomous mechanism that draws the attention of the human operator whenever the system or the animals evolve to undesired conditions. The present work progresses an existing alarm system, used in the SheepIT gateway, which can monitor the behavior of animals and equipment, warning human supervisors of the occurrence of unwanted events and the need for intervention. Concretely, given the lack of coverage of Internet access in rural areas, the system was integrated with a satellite interface to guarantee communication and the timely delivery of alarm messages. The paper compares the overall networking performance of the satellite link, against a Wi-Fi laboratorial baseline.
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202210.0111.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Animal Science, Veterinary Science And Zoology Keywords: Animal reservoirs; Leptospirosis; recreational area; rodents; Malaysia
Online: 10 October 2022 (02:56:52 CEST)
Leptospirosis is an important zoonotic disease that is transmitted worldwide through infected small mammals such as rodents. In Malaysia, there is paucity of information on the animal reservoirs that are responsible for leptospirosis transmission, with only few studies focusing on leptospirosis risk in recreational areas. Therefore, in this study, we characterized the species composition and the prevalence of pathogenic Leptospira spp. in non-volant small mammals of Hutan Lipur Sekayu, Terengganu. We performed ten trapping sessions totaling 3,000 trapping efforts between September 2019 and October 2020. Kidney samples from captured individuals were extracted for the PCR detection of pathogenic Leptospira spp. Overall, we captured 45 individuals from 8 species (1.56% successful trapping effort), with 9 individuals testing positive for pathogenic Leptospira, that is 20% (n = 9/45) prevalence rate. Rattus tiomanicus (n = 22) was the most dominant captured species and was found to harbour the highest positive individual with pathogenic Leptospira (44.4%, n = 4/9). Despite the low successful trapping effort in this study, the result shows that the non-volant small mammals of Hutan Lipur Sekayu are capable of maintaining and transmitting pathogenic Leptospira, thus making this recreational area a potential infestation ground for leptospirosis.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0264.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Animal Science, Veterinary Science And Zoology Keywords: choanoflagellates; multicellularity; animal origins; genome editing; electroporation
Online: 15 September 2021 (14:39:19 CEST)
Choanoflagellates, the closest living relatives of animals, have the potential to reveal the genetic and cell biological foundations of complex multicellular development in animals. Here we describe the history of research on the choanoflagellate Salpingoeca rosetta. From its original isolation in 2000 to the establishment of CRISPR-mediated genome editing in 2020, S. rosetta provides an instructive case study in the establishment of a new model organism.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0033.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: Campylobacter; Antimicrobial Resistance; Foodborne Pathogen; Animal Source
Online: 5 May 2021 (11:05:37 CEST)
Campylobacter is one of the major foodborne pathogens of concern in its growing trend of antimicrobial resistance. C. jejuni and C. coli are the major causative agents, with C. jejuni contributing to most of the cases in approximately 90% in the world. Infection is transmitted to humans due to consumption of contaminated food and water. Campylobacteriosis caused by C. jejuni is commonly presented with severe diarrhoea, abdominal pain, fever, headache, nausea, and vomiting with some extreme cases resulting in Guillain–Barré syndrome (GBS) and acute flaccid paralysis. Symptoms are severe in cases of children below 5 years, elderly and individuals who are immunocompromised. The infection is usually sporadic, and self-limiting and thus does not require antibiotics for treatment. Still, the antimicrobial resistance in Campylobacter is a major concern because of the transmission of resistance from animal sources to humans. This review highlights the recent epidemiology, geographical impact, resistance mechanisms, spread of Campylobacter spp. and the strategies to control the transmission of Campylobacter from veterinary sources and its antimicrobial resistance.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202010.0118.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Animal Science, Veterinary Science And Zoology Keywords: FAANG; farmed animal; genomics; genotype-to-phenotype
Online: 6 October 2020 (10:53:17 CEST)
Here we review and describe a set of research priorities to meet present and future challenges posed to farmed animal production that build on progress, successes and resources from the Functional Annotation of ANimal Genomes (FAANG) project.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0376.v1
Subject: Chemistry And Materials Science, Nanotechnology Keywords: fullerene; fish; daphnia; toxicity; aquatic animal; nanomaterial
Online: 17 September 2020 (05:51:49 CEST)
Fullerene molecules are composed of carbon in forms of a hollow sphere, ellipsoid, or tube. Fullerenes have attracted considerable attention in different fields of science since their discovery in 1985. The unique carbon cage structure of fullerene provides immense scope for derivatization, rendering potential for various industrial applications. The prospective applications of fullerenes thus have led to assorted fullerene derivatives. The unique chemical structure also provides ease for fullerene to be synthesized through various kinds of conjugating techniques, where fullerene can be located either on the backbone or the branch chain. Here in this review, we have compiled the toxicity and biosafety aspects of fullerene in aquatic organisms. The frequent use of fullerene is likely to come in contact and interact with the aquatic environment and aquatic organisms. According to the current understanding, waterborne exposure to fullerene-based nanomaterials indeed triggers toxicities at cellular, organic, molecular as well as neurobehavioral levels.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201908.0249.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Cell And Developmental Biology Keywords: Caucasus hot-spot; Georgia; animal biodiversity; bibliometry
Online: 23 August 2019 (11:59:00 CEST)
We evaluated progress towards animal biodiversity research in Georgia, a key area in the Caucasus biodiversity hotspot. By reviewing recently (1990-2018) published articles in all areas of animal diversity research, we unmasked the trends in biodiversity inventory, ecological and biogeographical studies, and conservation issues in Georgia. We concluded that species inventory and biodiversity research in Georgia has significantly increased during the last ten years, however the rate and extent of investigation is far from satisfactory. Major gaps remain in all branches of animal diversity research in Georgia, and consequently existing knowledge is inadequate to address modern challenges related to species and ecosystem conservation. We urge local governmental authorities and international scientific societies to support development of stronger research facilities and cultivate interest in biodiversity inventory and research in Georgia as an important step towards maintaining globally important biodiversity in the Caucasus.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201807.0204.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Behavior Sciences Keywords: Fear; Zebrafish; Alarm substance; Animal model; Serotonin
Online: 11 July 2018 (14:10:24 CEST)
Fear can sometimes paralyze us, and it can sometimes be exciting; for some people, fear is so crippling it can significantly mix up their lifes! We understand a little bit about how the brain acts when we are afraid, mainly by studying the brains of animals. Recently, surprising findings were made using a humble animal, the zebrafish – a small aquarium fish that in the past has helped scientists figure out how our organs develop. Zebrafish are useful because they develop quickly, reproduce richly, and have brains which are similar to ours. They also produce what we call an “alarm substance” that alerts shoalmates when one of them has been injured; when they smell this substance in the water they act as if they are very scared. When this happens, they release serotonin in their brains, a neurotransmitter that acts as a light switch, making them less afraid but more cautious – as if trying to figure out if a predator is there or not. Hopefully, finding more about how the zebrafish brains process this serotonin signal can help scientists develop better treatments for mental disorders that are associated with fear.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201703.0048.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Sociology Keywords: animal welfare; attitudes; chicken; knowledge; consumption; poultry
Online: 8 March 2017 (07:35:54 CET)
Little is known about public knowledge of meat chicken production and how it influences attitudes to birds’ welfare and consumer behaviour. We interviewed 506 members of the public in SE Queensland, Australia, to investigate this. Knowledge was assessed from 15 questions, and low scores were supported by respondents’ self-assessed report of low knowledge levels and agreement that their knowledge was insufficient to form an opinion about which chicken products to purchase. Older respondents and single people without children were most knowledgeable. There was uncertainty about whether chicken welfare was adequate, particularly in those with little knowledge. There was also evidence that lack of empathy towards chickens related to lack of knowledge, since those that thought it very acceptable that some birds are inadequately stunned at slaughter had low knowledge scores. More knowledgeable respondents ate chicken more frequently and were less likely to buy products with accredited labelling. Approximately half of the respondents thought the welfare of the chicken to be more important than the cost. It is concluded that the public’s knowledge has an important connection to their attitudes and consumption of meat chickens. Respondents with little knowledge demonstrated that they had both lack of empathy and intolerance to religious slaughter practices.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.0831.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Animal Science, Veterinary Science And Zoology Keywords: rabbits; animal assisted interventions; AAI; stress; transportation; cortisol
Online: 12 October 2023 (20:19:54 CEST)
(1) Background: the popularity of rabbits has increased during the last decades and became the third common companion animals in EU. Their participation in animal assisted interventions (AAI) is growing. It is highly important to ensure the well-being of the animals in AAI. Whereas the needs and the advantages of people involved in AAI are becoming more and more evident, the needs of animals are not clearly determined, it is required not to affect the animals negatively. Those animals who are used for AAI purpose need toneed to be transported regulrarly; (2) Methods: the rabbits stress – caused by transportation – were measured by non-invasive faecaesl cortisol metabolite (FCM) analysis. 18 animals were involved in the study and experienced a 30 minutes transportation every second day duringfor two weeks (total 6 times) while 128 samples were collected; (3) Results: rabbits –could handle the transportation procedure by the first and second time but subsequently the stress hormone metabolites in faeces samples increased significantly regardless of the offered treatments (hay, carrot and apple) during the carriage. (4) Conclusions: those owners who use rabbits for Animal Assisted Intervention purpose need to take into account that transportation itself is a stressful experience for the animals.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.0555.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Animal Science, Veterinary Science And Zoology Keywords: Animal wellbeing; Beef cattle; Good Health; Welfare assessment
Online: 10 October 2023 (12:18:18 CEST)
Pasture-based production systems are predominant in major beef-producing countries, however, these systems lack validated protocols to assess animal welfare under commercial conditions. The objective of this study was to validate an animal welfare protocol for fattening Zebu cattle farms in tropical pasture systems. The initial protocol was developed with the participation of producers, professionals, the general public, and the Colombian health authority, through workshops with a participatory approach and collaborative knowledge management. The validation was carried out in 24 pasture-based commercial Zebu cattle farms in the middle Magdalena region of Colombia. Visits were made with an average duration of 2.5 hours, which included the evaluation of 788 fattening cattle. The protocol evaluated animal-based, resource-based, and livestock management indicators through a questionnaire-guided interview to evaluate cattle handling and health, animal-based measurements, and documentation management. A protocol validation process was carried out by selecting indicators that remained unchanged, adjusting those that were feasible to implement, and eliminating inadequate or unnecessary indicators. The application of the protocol demonstrated that there are valid and feasible measures to include in the evaluation protocols of pasture-based fattening systems. Likewise, the active participation of producers is crucial to achieving a greater commitment to the implementation of this protocol.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.0474.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Animal Science, Veterinary Science And Zoology Keywords: heat stress; THI; dairy cow; cattle; animal response
Online: 10 October 2023 (02:23:54 CEST)
In the dairy cattle sector, the evaluation of the effects induced by heat stress is still one of the most impactful and investigated aspects as it is strongly connected to both sustainability of the production and animal welfare. On the other hand, more recently, the possibility of collecting large dataset made available by the increasing technology diffusion is paving the way for the application of advanced numerical techniques based on machine learning or big data approaches. In this scenario driven by rapid change there could be the risk of dispersing the relevant information represented by the physiological animal component, which should maintain the central role in the development of numerical models and tools. In the light of this, the present literature review aims to consolidate and synthesize existing research on the physiological consequences of heat stress in dairy cattle. The present review provides, in a single document, an overview as complete as possible of the heat stress-induced responses in dairy cattle with the intent of filling the existing research gap for extracting the veterinary knowledge present in the literature and make it available to those who are developing numerical models and tools.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.1194.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Pharmacy Keywords: TLC-SERS; quinolones; residues; aquatic products; animal foods
Online: 16 August 2023 (09:06:08 CEST)
Numerous studies have shown that quinolones residues in the foods exceeding the MRL is harmful to the human health. There are some limitations in the existing methods for the residues, so we developed a new limit test method (TLC-SERS) to rapidly determine following residues: enrofloxacin(A), ciprofloxacin (B), ofloxacin(C), fleroxacin(D), sparfloxacin(E), enoxacin(F), gatifloxacin(G) and nadifloxacin(H). The residues can be preliminarily separated by TLC. Labeling the tested compounds’ position on the thin layer plate by their relative Rf under 254nm ultraviolet, and an appropriate amount of nanometer silver solution should be added to the position. The silver on the plate should be irradiated with 532nm laser to obtain SERS of the compounds. The results showed a significant differences of the 8 quinolones’ SERS; the LOD of the H, A, D, E, C, G, F and B were orderly 9.0, 12.6, 8.0, 19.0, 8.0, 8.4, 9.0 and 12.6 ng/mL, and the RSD≤4.9% for SERS of each quinolones.The limit test results of the 20 samples was consistent with that determined by the UPLC–MS/MS. The above results indicate that the TLC-SERS is specific, sensitive, stable, and accurate, providing a new reference for the rapid limit test of harmful residues in foods.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0496.v1
Subject: Chemistry And Materials Science, Paper, Wood And Textiles Keywords: wool; cashmere; fine animal fibers; analytical methods; identification
Online: 8 May 2023 (09:44:42 CEST)
The identification and quantitative determination of wool and fine animal fibers are of great interest in the textile field because of significant price differences between them and common adulterations in raw and processed textiles. Since animal fibers have remarkable similarities in their chemical and physical characteristics, specific identification methods have been studied and proposed following advances in analytical technologies. The identification methods of wool and fine animal fibers are reviewed in this paper and the results of relevant studies are listed and summarized, starting from classical microscopy methods which are still used today not only in Small to Medium Enterprises but also in large industries, research studies and quality control laboratories. Particular attention has been paid to image analysis, Nir spectroscopy and proteomics which constitute the most promising technologies of quality control in the manufacturing and trading of luxury textiles and can find application in forensic science and archeology.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0665.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; Syrian hamster; animal model; coronavirus
Online: 21 April 2023 (03:31:17 CEST)
The ongoing emergence of SARS-CoV-2 virus variants remains a source of concern because it is accompanied by the potential for increased virulence as well as evasion of immunity. Here we show that, although having an almost identical spike gene sequence as another Omicron variant (BA.5.2.1), a BA.4 isolate lacked all the typical disease characteristics of other isolates seen in the Golden Syrian hamster model despite replicating almost as effectively. Animals infected with BA.4 had similar viral shedding profiles to that seen with BA.5.2.1 (up to day 6 post infection) but they all failed to lose weight or present with any other significant clinical signs. We hypothesize that this lack of detectable signs of disease during infection with BA.4 was due to a small (nine nucleotide) deletion (∆686-694) in the viral genome (ORF1ab) responsible for production of non-structural protein 1 which resulted in the loss of three amino acids (aa 141-143).
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202302.0171.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; Syrian hamster; animal model; coronavirus
Online: 10 February 2023 (01:22:19 CET)
The Golden Syrian hamster (Mesocricetus auratus) is now commonly used in preclinical research for the study of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and the assessment of vaccines, drugs and therapeutics. Here we show that hamsters inoculated via the intranasal route with the same infectious virus dose of prototypical SARS-CoV-2 administered in a different volume present with different clinical signs, weight loss and viral shedding, with a reduced volume resulting in reduced severity of disease similar to that obtained by a 500-fold reduction in challenge dose. The tissue burden of virus and the severity of pulmonary pathology were also significantly affected by different challenge inoculum volumes. These findings suggest that direct comparison between the severity of SARS-CoV-2 variants or studies assessing the efficacy of treatments determined by hamster studies cannot be made unless both the challenge dose and inoculation volume are matched when using the intranasal route. Additionally, analysis of sub-genomic and total genomic RNA PCR data demonstrated no link between sub-genomic and live viral titres and that sub-genomic analyses do not provide any information beyond that provided by more sensitive total genomic PCR.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202210.0012.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Animal Science, Veterinary Science And Zoology Keywords: animal welfare; welfare range; comparative cognition; interspecies comparisons
Online: 3 October 2022 (13:03:23 CEST)
The number of animals bred, raised, and slaughtered each year is on the rise, resulting in increasing impacts to welfare. Farmed animals are also becoming more diverse, ranging from pigs to bees. The diversity and number of species farmed invites questions about how best to allocate currently limited resources towards safeguarding and improving welfare. This is of the utmost concern to animal welfare funders and effective altruism advocates, who are responsible for targeting the areas most likely to cause harm. For example, is tail docking worse for pigs than beak trimming is for chickens in terms of their pain, suffering, and general experience? Or are the welfare impacts equal? Answering these questions requires making an interspecies welfare comparison; a judgment about how good or bad different species fare relative to one another. Here, we outline and discuss an empirically-based methodology that aims to improve our ability to make interspecies welfare comparisons by investigating welfare range, which refers to how good or bad animals can fare. We begin our proposal with a theory of welfare. We operationalize that theory of welfare by identifying metrics that are defensible proxies for measuring welfare, including cognitive, affective, behavioral, and neuro-biological measures. We assign differential weights to those proxies that reflect their evidential value for the determinants of welfare, such as the “Delphi'' structured deliberation method with a panel of experts. Then we review the evidence and score its quality to ascertain whether a particular taxa may possess the proxies in question to construct a taxa-level welfare range profile. Finally, we use a Monte Carlo simulation to generate an overall estimate of comparative welfare range relative to our hypothetical index species - humans. Interspecies welfare comparisons will help facilitate empirically informed decision-making to streamline the allocation of resources and to ultimately better prioritize and improve animal welfare.
SHORT NOTE | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0048.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Anatomy And Physiology Keywords: craniofacial; laboratory animal; mental foramen; mental nerve; polecat
Online: 3 June 2022 (11:18:03 CEST)
In order to analyse asymmetries between hemimandibles, a sample of 24 mandibles from ferrets was studied by means of geometric morphometric methods, using a set of 3 landmarks and 14 semilandmarks, on the lateral aspect. Results showed that both size and shape played a significative role in mandibular asymmetry. For shape, there appeared significative fluctuating and directional asymmetries, with an especially high level for this latter. Landmarks corresponding to muscular attachments showed greater landmark asymmetry. This it is supported the hypothesis of a chewing side preference, e.g., a mastication-related driver for mandibular shape asymmetry.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0425.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: Goat; Sheep; Small Ruminants; Animal Models; Regenerative Medicine.
Online: 21 January 2021 (15:01:17 CET)
Medical and translational scientific research requires the use of animal models as an initial approach to the study of new therapies and treatments, but when the objective is an exploration of translational potentialities, classical models fail to adequately mimic problems in humans. Among the larger animal models that have been explored more intensely in recent decades, small ruminants, namely sheep and goats, have emerged as excellent options. The main advantages associated to the use of these animals in research works are related to their anatomy and dimensions very similar to those of humans in most physiological systems, in addition to their low maintenance and feeding costs, tendency to be docile, long life expectancies and few ethical complications raised in society. The most obvious disadvantages are the significant differences in some systems such as the gastrointestinal, and the reduced amount of data that limits the comparison between works and the validation of the characterization essays. Despite everything, recently these species have been increasingly used as animal models for diseases in different systems, and the results obtained open doors for their more frequent and advantageous use in the future. The purpose of this review is to summarize the general principles related to the use of small ruminants as animal models, with focus on regenerative medicine, to group the most relevant works and results published recently and to highlight the potentials for the near future in medical research.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0192.v2
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Veterinary Medicine Keywords: animal; COVID-19; intermediate host; SARS-COV-2
Online: 16 May 2020 (18:06:34 CEST)
A novel coronavirus has been reported as the causative pathogen of the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak Wuhan city, China in December 2019. Due to the rapid spreading of COVID-19 worldwide, it has been announced as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO). Hospitalized patients in Wuhan are associated with the Huanan seafood wholesale market where live animals, such as poultry, bats, snakes, frogs, rabbits, marmots, and hedgehogs are sold in that market which suggests a possible zoonotic infection. Therefore, it is essential to identify the potential animal reservoir, and the possibility of infection for other animal species. This short review aims to provide an overview on the relation between severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus‐2 (SARS‐CoV‐2) infection and animals.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.1432.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: animal welfare; 3Rs; neuroscience research; neurological disorders; transgenic models
Online: 23 November 2023 (02:31:16 CET)
Since alternative methods (AAs), such as in vitro cultures, organs in silico, or mathematical methods, are not fully able to reproduce the complexity of the human organism, particularly neu-ral processes, and brain structures, animal experimentation remains the only way in which re-search can obtain the necessary knowledge to suggest drug therapies or targeted therapeutic in-terventions. Particularly in neuroscience, transgenic animals allow us to model neurological dis-eases, study the relationship between the brain and behavior, and decipher the function of genes involved in pathological conditions. However, it should never be forgotten that animals are "sen-tient beings" capable of feeling pleasure and pain (Art. 13 of the 2007 Lisbon Treaty). For this rea-son, it is crucial to prioritize the welfare of animals involved in testing by considering their phys-ical, psychological, adaptive, and relational well-being. This is where the concept of a Culture of Care comes in, where the responsibility of care extends beyond the veterinary aspects to include everything that can safeguard the welfare of animals before, during, and after experimentation. This chapter explains the advantages of using the animal model while practicing the culture of care in neuroscience, as both animals and research outcomes benefit from this approach.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.1616.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Animal Science, Veterinary Science And Zoology Keywords: wastewater surveillance; livestock; zoonotic pathogens; one health; animal epidemiology
Online: 25 September 2023 (04:58:41 CEST)
Wastewater surveillance, initially conceived in the early 20th century during typhoid fever outbreaks, has evolved into a powerful tool for monitoring public health-relevant analytes. Recent applications in tracking SARS-CoV-2 infection highlight its potential. Beyond humans, it can be extended to livestock populations due to the increasing demand for livestock products. Livestock intensification poses risks of zoonotic disease emergence. Wastewater surveillance offers non-invasive, cost-effective means to detect potential outbreaks. This approach aligns with the "One Health" paradigm, emphasizing the interconnectedness of human, animal, and ecosystem health. By monitoring viruses in livestock wastewater, early detection, prevention, and control strategies can be employed, safeguarding both animal and human health, economic stability, and international trade. This integrated One Health approach enhances collaboration and a comprehensive understanding of disease dynamics, supporting proactive measures in the Anthropocene era where animal and human diseases are on the rise.
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Animal Science, Veterinary Science And Zoology Keywords: escalation of commitment; sunk cost; Alzheimer Disease; animal models
Online: 11 September 2023 (12:39:50 CEST)
Escalation of commitment explains the choice for investing in an option for which great investments have previously been made even though better choices became available. The last 25 years of producing innumerous versions of Alzheimer Disease animal models with virtually no predictive validity should have exposed the fact that using animals for studying AD is clearly a failing course of action and as such should have been abandoned long ago, giving room to other alternatives to flourish. In this assay, I explore the idea that the investment in new animal models for studying Alzheimer (AD) represents a classic case of escalation of commitment, and sunk cost dilemma, in the biomedical research.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.0957.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Life Sciences Keywords: adolescent idiopathic scoliosis; animal model; zebrafish; cilia; cerebrospinal fluid
Online: 14 July 2023 (09:04:41 CEST)
Idiopathic scoliosis (IS) is an unexplained dysplasia of the spine that can occur at any age, with idiopathic scoliosis making up the largest proportion of the total population worldwide, approximately 2-3%. Scoliosis is not just a cosmetic defect, but the development of the spinal deformity can lead to cardiovascular and respiratory lesions, often resulting in serious health problems. Treatment of the condition usually involves major surgery, which is both a physical and financial burden for patients. In order to clarify the aetiology of IS and provide a theoretical basis for new diagnostic and treatment methods IS, it is important to use different animal models for experiments. Zebrafish is an emerging model animal with a short reproductive cycle, minimal breeding expenses, and other beneficial traits including in vitro fertilisation, in vitro development, and embryo transparency. As a result, genetic alteration and observation are simpler than with traditional model animals. This study examines the history of animal models for IS research, focuses on the benefits and drawbacks of zebrafish as an IS model and the advances it provides to IS research, and anticipates zebrafish application prospects in IS research.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.0275.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Agricultural Science And Agronomy Keywords: Crop residues; animal feed; drought; Secale cereale L.; Fertilization
Online: 5 July 2023 (08:45:52 CEST)
The rye (Secale cereale L.) crop shows a high potential to collaborate in the sustainability of high Andean livestock because it supports the agroclimatic conditions and acid soils in the Peruvian Andes. The production of green forage, hay, and grain of the rye crop in acid soils was studied with the use of different levels of phosphorus and potassium fertilization in four local rye ecotypes (CBI-001, CSM-001, CJS-001, and CCE-001). The green forage yield (FV) ranged from 32.35 to 53.62 t ha-1, dry matter from 6.05 to 8.56 t ha-1, and hay from 7.0 to 10.36 t ha-1; nutritional levels ranged from 9.02 % to 13.56 % protein and 6.50 to 7.75 % ash levels, mainly with differences between ecotypes (p<0.05). No differences existed between fertilization levels for the number of stems per plant, and flowering stems per plant, and grains per ear (p>0.05). Also, CBI-001 and CCE-001 were superior with 1868.4 and 1797.8 kg ha-1 of grain, respectively (p=0.0072); the use of 60 kg ha of Nitrogen, 120 kg ha-1 of P2O5 and 80 kg ha-1 of K2O gave higher grain and residue yields. The high nutritional value and yield of the rye ecotypes studied in acid soil conditions and without irrigation can be an alternative for livestock feeding and grain production in the rainy season in the Andes as a dual-purpose crop.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.1736.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Other Keywords: animal models; exosomes; skin regeneration; wound healing; systematic review.
Online: 26 June 2023 (04:55:12 CEST)
Exosomes have shown promising potential as a therapeutic approach for wound healing. Nevertheless, the translation from experimental studies to commercially available treatments is still lacking. To assess the current state of research in this field, a systematic review was performed to examine the methodological heterogeneity among studies conducted over the past five years. Additionally, the review analyzed the suitability of animal models used and their relevance to human medicine. A PubMed search was performed for english-language, full-text available papers published from 2018 to June 2023, focusing on exosomes derived from mammalian sources and their application in wound healing, particularly those involving in vivo assays. Out of 531 results, 148 papers were selected for analysis. The findings revealed significant variability in terms of cell sources and types, biomaterials, and administration routes under investigation, indicating the need for further research in this field. Additionally, a comparative examination encompassing diverse cellular origins, types, administration pathways, or biomaterials is imperative. Furthermore, the predominance of rodent-based animal models raises concerns, as there have been limited advancements towards more complex in vivo models and scale-up assays. These constraints underscore the substantial efforts that remain necessary before attaining commercially viable and extensively applicable therapeutic approaches using exosomes.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202302.0159.v2
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Animal Science, Veterinary Science And Zoology Keywords: Trypanosomiasis; Tsetse fly; Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense; Human; Animal; Ethiopia
Online: 15 March 2023 (08:00:04 CET)
Background: Sleeping Sickness, Human African Trypanosomiasis (HAT) is a vector- borne disease caused by Trypanosoma brucei (T.b). Sleeping sickness in Ethiopia was reported in 1967 for the first time. Recently in Southern parts of Ethiopia, in August 2022, five (5) cases of sleeping sickness (T. b. rhodesiense) were confirmed. Following this outbreak, the current investigation was aimed to identify the entomological and epidemiological drivers for the reemergence of HAT outbreak and recommend appropriate interventions. Methods: A cross sectional study design with descriptive data analysis was used. Tsetse fly collection and blood samples from cattle animals were taken. NGU and bio-conical traps were used to determine the distribution (density and abundance) of the vector. About 10μl of blood was collected from the marginal ear vein of 301 cattle animals using the heparinized microhematocrit capillary. The parasite detection was carried out through vector dissection under binocular stereo-microscope (magnification of 60X) and microscopic examination from serum of Animals using the Buffy coat method. Results: A total of 329 tsetse flies were captured and identified to Glosina (G.) pallidipes 259 (60.4%) and Glossina fuscipes 70 (16.3%). 188 (51.1%) of tsetse flies were collected from Dembagofa with 94 apparent density. Among all captured Tsetse flies, 39 (11.8%) of Tsetse were fed with high female apparent density in each ecological variation: wood land (51), Bush land (20) and grassland (11). Overall, the apparent density of tsetse fly was high in Wood land (93): G. pallidipes (76.5) and Bush land (36.5). Among all examined cattles for the presence of parasite, 9 cattles were detected positive with an overall prevalence of 3%. T. congolense 6 (2%) and T. vivax 1 (0.3%) with 2 (0.7%) suspected brucei. The parasite prevalence Trypanosoma was 4 (4.6%) in poor body condition (Bcs) cattle. The animals in the age range 5 - 9 years were infected high with 7 (5.3%) prevalence. Conclusion: The current study revealed that there are high-risk factors that predispose the community to Human African Trypanosomiasis (HAT) due to the presence of two different species of Tsetse flies and many animal reservoirs. The transmissions of Human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) are related to environmental, Vector, and human factors. Further geographically expanded investigation should be conducted throughout the country.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202302.0351.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Dermatology Keywords: liver fibrosis; liver cirrhosis; bile duct ligation; animal model
Online: 21 February 2023 (04:21:07 CET)
Liver fibrosis is based on complex interactions between extracellular matrix-producing hepatic stellate cells and is defined as excessive matrix deposition and an abundance of infiltrating cells in the liver. Studying these processes requires in vitro and in vivo experimental work on animals. In fibrosis research, experimental work in rodents is currently the gold standard for confirming a proposed disease-associated mechanism. Bile duct ligation (BDL) induces obstructive jaundice resulting in cholestasis. BDL is useful for preclinical research studies of liver injury due to extrahepatic cholestasis such as apoptosis and fibrosis. Here we provide a stepwise surgical approach to resect the common bile duct and monitor in situ hepatic metabolism by microdialysis.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0143.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Animal Science, Veterinary Science And Zoology Keywords: Anthropozoology; social network; human-animal bond; herd synchronization; biologging
Online: 8 December 2022 (03:23:14 CET)
Herdsmen use different techniques, as per varying geographies and cultures, to keep the cohesion within herds and avoid animals getting lost or predated. However, there is no study on the social behaviour of yaks and on herdsmen management practices. Therefore, this ethology study was initiated by ethnographic inquiries. In Manang, the success of the shepherd is dictated by his personal attribute of “Khula man” or open-heartedness. This attribute refers to good intentions and emotions such as empathy that allows the shepherd to focus more on others than on ownself. This cultural method of assessing the skills required to become a successful and knowledgable shepherd guided us to study the effect of cultural values on the herd’s social behavior. We collected data from two herds living at the same settlement (Yak kharka, 4,100 m altitude, Nepal) by equipping them with loggers. One of the herdsman used the tether rope while other did not. Moreover, the Thaku herd had a more proactive shepherd than the Phurba one. In each herd, 17 animals were equipped with one actigraph wgt3x-BT to measure activity using accelerometer and spatial associations using proximity recorder. One of the herds was equipped with GPS (N=11) as well. Using GPS locations and activity, we showed that the two herds were cohesive and synchronised their activities but the herd with the tether rope was more cohesive. The shepherds also have personal knowledge of the social relationships of their herds and use these relationships to keep the group cohesive and to well manage cattle.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0405.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Food Science And Technology Keywords: caffeine; attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; impulsivity; ADHD; animal models
Online: 24 December 2021 (11:34:52 CET)
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity. Neurobiologically, ADHD impairments arise from abnormalities in different circuits involving the prefrontal cortex. In face of high rates of diagnosis, alternative/complementary pharmacological therapeutic approaches for ADHD are needed. Although the number of publications that study the potential effects of caf-feine consumption on ADHD treatment have been accumulating over the last years, and caffeine has recently been used in ADHD research in the context of animal models, an updated evi-dence-based systematic review on the effects of caffeine on ADHD-like symptoms in animal stud-ies is missing. To provide insight and value at the preclinical level, a systematic review based on PRISMA guidelines was performed for all publications available up to September 1, 2021. Caffeine treatment increases attention, improves learning, memory and olfactory discrimination, without altering blood pressure and body weight. These results are supported at the neuronal level. Nonetheless, the implication of caffeine in modulating ADHD-like symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity is contradictory, raising discrepancies that require further clarification. Our results strengthen the hypothesis that caffeine cognitive effects found in animal models could be trans-lated to human ADHD, particularly during adolescence.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0231.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; magnetic resonance imaging; animal model; amyloid-beta
Online: 15 October 2021 (15:06:55 CEST)
Amyloid-beta plays an important role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease. Aberrant amyloid-beta and tau accumulation induce neuroinflammation, cerebrovascular alterations, synaptic deficits, functional deficits, and neurodegeneration, leading to cognitive impairment. Animal models recapitulating the amyloid-beta pathology such as transgenic, knock-in mouse and rat models have facilitated the understanding of disease mechanisms and development of therapeutics targeting at amyloid-beta. There is a rapid advance in high-field MR in small animals. Versatile high-field magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) sequences such as diffusion tensor imaging, arterial spin labelling, resting-state functional MRI, anatomical MRI, MR spectroscopy as well as contrast agents have been developed for the applications in animal models. These tools have enabled high-resolution in vivo structural, functional, and molecular readouts with a whole brain field-of-view. MRI have been utilized to visualize non-invasively the amyloid-beta deposits, synaptic deficits, regional brain atrophy, impairment in white matter integrity, functional connectivity, cerebrovascular and glymphatic system in animal models of amyloidosis. Many of the readouts are translational in clinical MRI in the brain of patients with Alzheimer’s disease. In this review, we summarize the recent advance of using MRI for visualizing the pathophysiology in amyloidosis animal model. We discuss the outstanding challenges in brain imaging using MRI in small animal and propose future outlook in visualizing amyloid-beta-related alterations in brain of animal models.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0573.v1
Subject: Engineering, Automotive Engineering Keywords: fluorescence microscopy; fluorescence emission, malignant tumor, diagnosis, animal experiment
Online: 21 April 2021 (11:47:14 CEST)
A surgical microscope is large in size, which makes it impossible to be portable. The distance between the surgical microscope and the observation tissue is 15–30 cm, and the adjustment range of the right and left of the camera is a maximum of 30°. Therefore, the surgical microscope is generated attenuation (above 58%) of irradiation optical source owing to the long working distance. Moreover, the observation of tissue is affected because of dazzling by ambient light as the optical source power is strong (55 to 160 mW/cm2). Further, observation blind spot phenomena will occur due to the limitations in adjusting the right and left of the camera. Therefore, it is difficult to clearly observe the tumor. In this study, a compact pen-type probe with a portable surgical microscope is presented. The proposed surgical microscope comprises a small and portable pen-type probe that can adjust the working distance between the probe and the observed tissue. In addition, it allows the adjustment of the viewing angle and fluorescence brightness. The proposed probe has no blind spots or optical density loss.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0557.v1
Subject: Engineering, Automotive Engineering Keywords: fluorescence microscopy; fluorescence emission; malignant tumor; diagnosis; animal experiment
Online: 21 April 2021 (08:30:11 CEST)
A surgical microscope is large in size, making portability impossible. The distance between the surgical microscope and the observation tissue is 15 to 30 cm, while the maximum adjustment range of the camera to the right and left is 30°. Therefore, surgical microscopes cause attenuation (above 58%) of the irradiation optical source owing to the long working distance. Moreover, the observation of tissue was dazzled with ambient light because the optical power source was strong (50 to 160 mW/cm2). Owing to the limited ability to adjust the camera to the right and left, a blind spot occurs with a surgical microscope. Therefore, it is difficult to clearly observe a tumor. In this study, a compact pen-type probe with a portable surgical microscope is proposed. The pen-type probe is small with a portable shape, and is capable of adjusting the working distance between itself and the observed tissue. It is also possible to adjust the viewing angle and fluorescence brightness. The proposed pen-type probe has no blind spots or optical density loss.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0109.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Anatomy And Physiology Keywords: Leptin, Animal Communication, Electric Fish, Singing Mice, Metabolism, Energetics
Online: 5 April 2021 (12:11:15 CEST)
Animal communication signals are regulated by multiple hormonal axes that ensure appropriate signal targeting, timing, and information content. The regulatory roles of steroid hormones and many peptide hormones are well understood and documented across a wide range of vertebrate taxa. Two recent studies have reported a novel function for leptin, a peptide hormone central to energy balance regulation: regulating communication signals of weakly electric fish and singing mice. With only limited evidence available at this time, a key question is just how widespread leptinergic regulation of communication signals is within and across taxa. A second important question is what features of communication signals are subject to leptinergic regulation. Here we consider the functional significance of leptinergic regulation of animal communication signals in the context of both direct and indirect signal metabolic costs. Direct costs arise from metabolic investment in signal production, while indirect costs arise from the predation and social conflict consequences of the signal’s information content. We propose a preliminary conceptual framework for predicting which species will exhibit leptinergic regulation of their communication signals and which signal features leptin will regulate. This framework suggests a number of directly testable predictions within and across taxa. Accounting for additional factors such as life history and reproductive strategies will likely require modification or elaboration of this model.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0555.v1
Subject: Chemistry And Materials Science, Analytical Chemistry Keywords: Fungal chitosan; animal chitosan; wine clarification; dissolving acid comparison.
Online: 24 February 2021 (16:38:23 CET)
Chitosan is a chitin-derived fiber, extracted from the shellfish shells, a by-product of fish industry, or from fungi grown in bioreactors. In oenology, it is used for the control of Brettanomyces spp., for the prevention of ferric, copper and protein casse and for clarification. The International Organisation of Vine and Wine established the exclusive utilization of fungal chitosan to avoid the eventuality of allergic reactions. This work focuses on the differences between two chitosan categories, fungal and animal chitosan, characterizing several samples in terms of chitin content and degree of deacety-lation. In addition, different acids were used to dissolve chitosans, and their effect on viscosity and on the efficacy in wine clarification were observed. Results demonstrated that, even if fungal and animal chitosans shared similar chemical properties (deacetylation degree and chitin content), they showed different viscosity depending on the acid used to dissolve them. A significant difference was discovered on their fining properties, as animal chitosans showed a faster and greater sedimentation compared to the fungal, independently from the acid used for their dissolution. This suggests that physic-chemical differences in the molecular structure occur between the two chitosan categories and that this affect significantly their technologic (oenological) properties.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0487.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Psychology Keywords: Memory reconsolidation; Animal models; Alcohol addiction; Nicotine; relapse; tobacco
Online: 22 February 2021 (15:29:50 CET)
Alcohol and nicotine are widely-abused legal substances worldwide. Relapse to alcohol or tobacco seeking and consumption after abstinence is a major clinical challenge, and is often evoked by cue-induced craving. Therefore, disruption of the memory for the cue-drug association is expected to suppress relapse. Memories have been postulated to become labile shortly after their retrieval, during a “memory reconsolidation” process. Interference with the reconsolidation of drug-associated memories has been suggested as a possible strategy to reduce or even prevent cue-induced craving and relapse. Here, we surveyed the growing body of studies in animal models and in humans assessing the effectiveness of pharmacological or behavioral manipulations in reducing relapse by interfering with the reconsolidation of alcohol and nicotine/tobacco memories. Our review points to the potential of targeting the reconsolidation of these memories as a strategy to suppress relapse to alcohol drinking and tobacco smoking. However, we discuss several critical limitations and boundary conditions, which should be considered to improve the consistency and replicability in the field, and for development of an efficient reconsolidation-based relapse prevention therapy.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0417.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biology And Biotechnology Keywords: adaptation physiology; sensors; precision livestock farming; wearable animal sensors
Online: 19 July 2020 (18:27:52 CEST)
Despite recent scientific advancements, there is a gap in the use of technology to measure signals, behaviors, and processes of adaptation physiology of farm animals. Sensors present exciting opportunities for sustained, real-time, non-intrusive measurement of farm animal behavioral, mental, and physiological parameters with the integration of nanotechnology and instrumentation. This paper critically reviews the sensing technology and sensor data-based models used to explore biological systems such as animal behavior, energy metabolism, epidemiology, immunity, health, and animal reproduction. The use of sensor technology to assess physiological parameters can provide tremendous benefits and tools to overcome and minimize production losses while making positive contributions to animal welfare. Of course, sensor technology is not free from challenges; these devices are at times highly sensitive and prone to damage from dirt, dust, sunlight, colour, fur, feathers, and environmental forces. Rural farmers unfamiliar with the technologies must be convinced and taught to use sensor-based technologies in farming and livestock management. While there is no doubt that demand will grow for non-invasive sensor-based technologies that require minimum contact with animals and can provide remote access to data, their true success lies in the acceptance of these technologies by the livestock industry.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0092.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Animal Science, Veterinary Science And Zoology Keywords: Bacterial resistance; Animal venom; Purification; Antibacterial and antibiofilm activity
Online: 6 July 2020 (04:00:43 CEST)
Introduction: Bacterial resistance is a worldwide public health problem, requiring new therapeutic options. An alternative approach to this problem is the use of animal toxins, such as phospholipases (PLA2) isolated from snake venom, which have important biological activities. Bothrops erythromelas is one of the snake species in the Northeast of Brazil that attracts great medical-scientific interest. Here we aimed to purify and characterize a PLA2 from B. erythromelas, searching for heterologous activities against bacterial biofilm. Methods: Venom extraction and quantification were followed by RP-HPLC in C18 column, MALDI-ToF mass spectrometry and sequencing by Edman degradation. All experiments were monitored by specific activity using 4-nitro-3 (octanoyloxy) benzoic acid (4N3OBA) substrate. In addition, hemolytic tests and anti-bacterial tests including action against Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Acinetobacter baumannii, were carried out. Moreover, tests of antibiofilm action against A. baumannii were also performed. Results: PLA2, after one purification step, presented 31 N-terminal amino acid residues, and molecular weight of 13656.4 Da with enzymatic activity confirmed in 0.06 µM concentration. Antibacterial activity against S. aureus (IC50 = 30.2 µM) and antibiofilm activity against A. baumannii (IC50 = 1.1 µM) were observed. Conclusions: This is the first time that PLA2 purified from B. erythromelas venom has appeared as an alternative candidate in studies of new antibacterial medicines.
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; companion animal; cross-infection
Online: 14 May 2020 (11:54:31 CEST)
Since the COVID-19 caused by SARS-CoV-2 break out in Wuhan China from Dec. 2019, it has spread to hundreds of countries up to now. Scientists from all over the world have paid tremendous efforts to research and try to control the disease. Previous studies suggested that some of the wild animals could be intermediate hosts between humans and origination of SARS-CoV-2, and some companion animals of humans can be infected by SARS-CoV-2, which raised our curiosity about cross-infection of SARS-CoV-2 between animals and humans. Thus, we select some kinds of animals that might have contact with humans to estimate the susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 in different animals by evolutionary analysis of their receptors for SARS-CoV-2. The results show that some companion animals of the Felidae family like the cat has a higher infection possibility while the species of the Rodent family like the rat and mouse having close contact with humans show an opposite result, which consist with recent animal experiments and researches. These should raise concerns about cross-infection between human and companion animals or animals to have close contact with humans which might grow into depositaries of the virus after control of SARS-CoV-2 spreading and cause second or more infection wave after social reopening. Another side of our results stands by the opinion that bioinformatic analysis can be consistent with practical experiments in some respects so that we can prevent unnecessary sacrifice of laboratory animals in future experiments.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0204.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Pathology And Pathobiology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; animal models; anti-virals
Online: 12 May 2020 (05:45:58 CEST)
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of CoV disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a highly pathogenic and transmissible CoV that is presently plaguing the global human population and economy. No proven effective anti-viral therapy or vaccine currently exist, and supportive care remains to be the cornerstone treatment. Through previous lessons learned from SARS-CoV-1 and MERS-CoV studies, scientific groups worldwide have rapidly expanded the knowledge pertaining to SARS-CoV-2 virology that included in vitro and in vivo models for testing of anti-viral therapies, and randomized clinical trials. In the present narrative, we review SARS-CoV-2 virology, clinical features, pathophysiology, and animal models with a specific focus on anti-viral and adjunctive therapies currently being tested or require testing in animal models and randomized clinical trials.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201911.0286.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: diversity; conservation; animal genetic resources; indigenous pigs; southern Africa
Online: 24 November 2019 (14:47:39 CET)
Pig genetic resources in Africa originate from different regions. Genetic analysis has shown a strong phylogeographic pattern with the pigs on the eastern parts showing a high frequency of alleles from the Far East while the ones on the western parts show a strong European influence. This highlights the influence of trade routes on the genetic legacy of African pigs. They have, however, since adapted to the local environments to produce unique populations with unique attributes. Most of the pigs are now reared in resource-constrained smallholdings under free-range conditions. They are largely owned by women who spread ownership of the resource through kinship networks. Very little work has been done to characterize, conserve and sustainably utilize pig genetic resources in Southern Africa. The risk status of the breeds together with population numbers, distribution and other attributes are largely unknown. This paper proposes several strategies for the sustainable utilization of the pig genetic resources: a market-driven in situ conservation program and two complementary ex situ strategies. In addition, the possibility of community-based breed improvement programs is discussed.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201804.0146.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior And Systematics Keywords: species richness; latitudinal gradients; water-energy; habitat; animal richness
Online: 11 April 2018 (11:24:46 CEST)
Species data of 249 National Nature Reserves in China was used to identify potential underlying drivers of latitudinal gradients in plant diversity. We used generalized linear models (GLMs) to assess the correlations between predictor and response variables. We also used SAM (Spatial Analysis in Macroecology) to eliminate autocorrelation along each of the 249 studied locations. We used the Akaike information criterion (AICc; Montoya et al. 2007) to select the independent variables were those included in the best models from different combinations of climate, habitat and animal variables. Variance partitioning was used to decompose the variation in plant richness across different taxonomic levels among the three groups of predictors. We found that: Total plant species, gymnosperms, angiosperms and ferns showed significant latitudinal trends in richness (p < 0.001). Water-energy and habitat variables generally explained more variation in richness across different plant groups than did animal richness. Annual precipitation was selected as the best water-energy variable across different taxonomic plants groups, soil PH and elevation range were selected as the best habitat variables across different taxonomic plant groups. The independent effects of habitatvariables were higher than that of water-energy and animal variables across different taxonomic plants groups. Water-energy, habitat heterogeneity, and animal variables explain 48.8% of the variation in total species richness, 28.2% in gymnosperm richness, 44.2% in angiosperm richness, and 38.9% in fern richness.Plants showed significant latitudinal trends in richness (p < 0.001). Water-energy and habitat variables generally explained more variation in richness across different taxonomic plants groups than did animal variables. The independent effects of habitat variables were higher than those of water-energy and animal variables across different taxonomic plants groups.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201803.0223.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Dietetics And Nutrition Keywords: animal protein; plant protein; elderly; obesity; glomerular filtration rate
Online: 27 March 2018 (11:23:20 CEST)
Controversy exists on whether animal and plant proteins influence obesity differently. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the association between total, animal, and plant protein intake with the obesity index and renal function in Korean adults. Study participants included Korean adults aged 60 years or older from the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in 2013-2014. Height, weight, and waist circumference (WC) were measured and the body mass index (BMI) was calculated. One-day 24-hour recall data were used to estimate the daily total, animal, and plant protein intake. Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) was calculated by using the Modification of Diet in Renal Disease (MDRD) equation. General linear modellings were used to assess the relationships between protein intake, BMI and WC. The mean age was 69.2 ± 0.2 years, 44.2% were male. The total daily protein intake was 1.1 ± 0.02 g/kg/d and 0.9 ± 0.02 g/kg/d for males and females, respectively. Only one third of protein intake was from animal sources. In males, BMI (p < 0.001, p = 0.016, p < 0.001 respectively) and WC (p < 0.001, p = 0.010, p < 0.001, respectively) decreased as daily intake of plant protein (g/kg/d), animal protein (g/kg/d) and total protein (g/kg/d) increased. Similar associations were shown in Korean female. GFR was not associated with protein intake regardless of protein source in both sexes. In Korean adults aged 60 years or older, the protein intake was associated with a favorable obesity index without decrease in renal function. The effect was similar in both male and females, with both animal and plant proteins.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.0672.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior And Systematics Keywords: wildlife survey; urban ecosystems; animal welfare; computer vision; automatic counting
Online: 10 November 2023 (07:29:00 CET)
The overpopulation of feral pigeons in Hong Kong has significantly disrupted the urban ecosystem, highlighting the urgent need for effective strategies to control their population. In general, control measures should be implemented and re-evaluated periodically following accurate estimations of feral pigeon population in the concerned regions, which, however, is very difficult in urban envi-ronments due to the concealment and mobility of pigeons within complex building structures. With the advances in deep learning, computer vision can be a promising tool for pigeon monitoring and population estimation but has not been well investigated so far. Therefore, we propose an improved deep learning model based on Mask-RCNN (Swin-Mask R-CNN) for feral pigeon detection using computer vision techniques. Specifically, our model consists of a Swin transformer network (STN) as the backbone, a feature pyramid network (FPN) as the neck, and three decoupled detection heads. The STN is utilized to extract deep feature information of feral pigeons through local and cross-window attention mechanisms. The FPN is employed to fuse multi-scale features and enhance the multi-scale learning ability. Heads in the three branches are responsible for classification, pre-dicting best bounding boxes, and segmentation of feral pigeons, respectively. During the prediction phase, a Slicing Aided Hyper Inference (SAHI) tool is employed to zoom in on the feature infor-mation of small feral pigeon targets, and the segmentation head is frozen to expedite inference of large images. Experiments were conducted on feral pigeon dataset to evaluate model performance. The results reveal that our model is well-suited for detecting small targets in high-resolution images and achieves excellent recognition performance for feral pigeons with a mAP (mean average pre-cision) and an AP50 (average precision at 50% intersection over union) of 0.74 and 0.93, respectively. For small target feral pigeons, AP50 in small scale (AP50s) improved by 10% as compared to the Mask R-CNN (AP50s of 0.75), demonstrating its potential for dynamic pigeon detection and population estimation in the future.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.0715.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: lectin; carbohydrate; marine animal; toxin; pore-forming protein; innate immunity
Online: 9 June 2023 (12:12:43 CEST)
Glycans play important roles as recognition molecules on cell surfaces in living organisms due to their remarkable structural diversity. Carbohydrates exist in numerous isomeric forms and can adopt diverse structures through various branching patterns. Despite their relatively small molecular weights, they exhibit extensive structural diversity. On the other hand, lectins, also known as carbohydrate-binding proteins, not only recognize and bind to the diverse structures of glycans but also induce various biological reactions based on structural differences. Initially discovered as hemagglutinins in plant seeds, lectins have been found to play significant roles in cell recognition processes in higher vertebrates. However, our understanding of lectins in marine animals, particularly marine invertebrates, remains limited. Recent studies have revealed that marine animals possess novel lectins with unique structures and glycan recognition mechanisms not observed in known lectins. Of particular interest is their role as pattern recognition receptors in the innate immune system, where they recognize glycan structures of pathogens. Furthermore, lectins serve as toxins for self-defense against foreign enemies. Recent discoveries have identified various pore-forming proteins containing lectin domains in fish venoms and skins. These proteins utilize lectin domains to bind target cells, triggering oligomerization and pore formation in the cell membrane. These findings have spurred research into the new functions of lectins and lectin domains. In this review, we present recent findings on the diverse structures and functions of lectins in marine animals.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1816.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Animal Science, Veterinary Science And Zoology Keywords: Animal models; NHPs; rodents; marmoset; sequence similarity; SNPs; human diseases
Online: 26 May 2023 (02:29:32 CEST)
The suitability of an animal model to study human diseases heavily relies on the similarity between the two species at the genetic, epigenetic, gene expression and metabolic levels. However, consistent data from different animal models at each level to evaluate this suitability is lacking. With the availability of genome sequences for many mammalian species it is now possible to compare animal models based on the genomic similarities. Here, we compare the coding sequences (CDS) of five mammalian models that include rhesus macaque, marmoset, pig, mouse and rat with those from human. We identified 10,316 conserved CDS across the five organisms and human based on the sequence similarity. Mapping the human disease-associated single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from these conserved CDS in each species has identified species-specific association with various human diseases. While associations for a disease such as colon cancer were prevalent in multiple model species, pig showed the highest number (117 diseases) of model-specific human disease associations. Based on the percentage of disease-associated SNP-containing genes, marmoset models are well suited to study many human ailments including behavioral and gastrointestinal diseases. Comparison of gene expression levels of the conserved CDS from colon, heart, kidney, lung, skeletal muscle, and spleen tissues in these models showed correlations with human expression levels in a tissue-specific manner. In the gastrointestinal tissues (colon, spleen), the pig showed the highest correlation while mouse displayed a better correlation in the heart and kidney. This study demonstrated genomic as well as tissue-specific expression-based similarity evaluation of five animal models against human that could help investigators select a suitable animal model to study their targeted disease.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0682.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Economics Keywords: pig; animal disease; African swine fever; risk assessment; policy recommendations
Online: 10 May 2023 (04:12:16 CEST)
Strengthening the analysis and risk assessment of the pig epidemic will help to better prevent and mitigate epidemic risks and promote high-quality development of the pig industry. Based on the systematic grasp of the situation of live pig epidemics, a risk assessment index system was constructed, and the spatial and temporal variation characteristics of the risk of pig epidemics in China were explored by the entropy method. In recent years, the overall trend in pig epidemics in time first increased and then decreased, and in space, the trend in the acceleration of the spread across the country continued to weaken. China still faces challenges, such as many types and a wide range of diseases, large total livestock breeding and weak epidemic prevention and control capacity, and a large risk of introduction of foreign animal epidemics. The spatial and temporal variation in the pig epidemic risk was obvious; there was one high-risk area, two higher-risk areas and 10 medium-risk areas in recent years, and the epidemic risk was highest in Beijing, Hainan, Liaoning, Tibet and Zhejiang. However, there were significant differences in the regional distribution of the risk of pig epidemics in different years. To further build a secure “defense system” for the high-quality development of the pig industry, it is recommended to improve the monitoring and early warning system of pig epidemic risk, perfect the pig epidemic prevention and control system, and strengthen the regional collaboration mechanism of epidemic prevention and control.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.1031.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Computer Vision And Graphics Keywords: deep learning; convolutional neural networks; livestock; pose estimation; animal behavior
Online: 27 April 2023 (04:19:46 CEST)
Automatic and real-time pose estimation is important in monitoring animal behavior, health and welfare. In this paper, we utilized pose estimation for monitoring farrowing process to prevent piglet mortality and preserve the health and welfare of sow. State-of-the-art Deep Learning (DL) methods have lately been used for animal pose estimation. The aim of this paper was to probe the generalization ability of five common DL networks (ResNet50, ResNet101, MobileNet, EfficientNet and DLCRNet) for sow and piglet pose estimation. These architectures predict body parts of several piglets and the sow directly from input video sequences. Real farrowing data from a commercial farm was used for training and validation of the proposed networks. The experimental results demonstrated that MobileNet was able to detect seven body parts of the sow with median test error of 0.61 pixels.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0697.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: viral vectors; gene therapy; animal models; clinical trials; drug approval
Online: 21 April 2023 (08:55:15 CEST)
Gene therapy has seen major progress in recent years. Viral vectors have made a significant contribution through efficient engineering for improved delivery and safety. A large variety of indications such as cancer, cardiovascular, metabolic, hematological, neurological, muscular, ophthalmological, infectious diseases, and immunodeficiency have been targeted. Viral vectors based on adenoviruses, adeno-associated viruses, herpes simplex viruses, retroviruses including lentiviruses, alphaviruses, flaviviruses, measles viruses, rhabdoviruses, Newcastle disease virus, poxviruses, picornaviruses, reoviruses, and polyomaviruses have been used. Proof-of-concept has been demonstrated for different indications in animal models. Therapeutic efficacy has also been achieved in clinical trials. Several viral vector-based drugs have been approved for the treatment of cancer, and hematological, metabolic, and neurological diseases. Moreover, viral vector-based vaccines have been approved against COVID-19 and Ebola virus disease.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0500.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Veterinary Medicine Keywords: Abdominal wall; Transversus abdominis plane block; Comparative anatomy; Animal models
Online: 26 November 2021 (10:47:30 CET)
With the increased use of simulation based training using animal models for the education of surgical and anaesthetic techniques, an increased understanding of the anatomy of such models and how they compare to humans is required. The transversus abdominis plane block is a regional anaesthetic technique that requires an understanding of the abdominal wall anatomy along with proficient ultrasound use. The current review aims to compare the anatomy of the abdominal wall across species, particularly focussing on the pertinent differences within the class of mammals, and secondarily, it aims to address the implications of these differences for simulation based training of the transversus abdominis plane block. To achieve this, the PubMed, Web of Science and Google Scholar databases were searched for relevant literature. The mammalian abdominal wall differs in its musculature, vasculature or innervation from that of amphibians, birds or reptiles, however, among species of mammals, the structure of the abdominal wall follows a similar framework. Particular differences among mammals include the additional muscular layer of the panniculus carnosus found in most mammals other than humans, the variable arterial origins and dominant vascular supply of the abdominal wall and the number of thoracolumbar nerves innervating the abdominal wall. When using animal models for simulation based training, the pig is recommended for the transversus abdominis plane block given its closely homologous abdominal wall structure, availability and larger comparative size.
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; animal models; vaccines; future prospects
Online: 2 August 2021 (13:15:48 CEST)
The worldwide pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has become an unprecedented challenge to global public health. With the intensification of the COVID-19 epidemic, the development of vaccines and therapeutic drugs against the etiological agent severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) are also widespread. To prove the effectiveness and safety of these preventive vaccines and therapeutic drugs, available animal models that faithfully recapitulate clinical hallmarks of COVID-19 are urgently needed. Currently, animal models including mice, golden hamsters, ferrets, nonhuman primates and other susceptible animals have been involved in the study of COVID-19. 92 vaccine candidates have entered clinical trials after the primary evaluation in animal models, of which inactivated vaccines, subunit vaccines, virus-vectored vaccines and mRNA vaccines are promising vaccine candidates. In this review, we summarize the landscape of animal models and advanced vaccines with efficacy range from about 50% to more than 95%. In addition, we point out future directions for animal models and vaccine development, aiming at providing valuable information and accelerating the breakthroughs confronting SARS-CoV-2.
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Anatomy And Physiology Keywords: Food; feeding; diets; macro-micronutrients; feeding behavior; pellet-animal performances
Online: 8 February 2021 (14:10:19 CET)
A number of studies have investigated different crustacean food stuffs, feeding methods, 18 and feeding behavior, but little attention has been given to the interaction between these aspects in 19 crustaceans. The aim of the present review is to update knowledge, and examine challenges and 20 opportunities in the development of formulated diets, as pelleted feed, which is vital for developing 21 better quality of seed or broodstock in hatcheries, and adaptation of hatchery product to the aqua- 22 culture environment, and production systems.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0620.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Agricultural Science And Agronomy Keywords: Digital twin; Precision Livestock Farming; digitosome; Digital cohort; animal farming
Online: 29 January 2021 (12:48:12 CET)
Digital twin technology is already improving efficiencies and reducing costs across multiple industries and sectors. As the earliest adopters, space technology and manufacturing sectors have made the most sophisticated gains with automobile and natural resource extraction industries following close behind with recent investments in digital twin technology. The application of digital twins within the livestock farming sector is the next frontier. The possibilities that this technology may fuel are nearly endless as digital twins can be used to improve large-scale precision livestock farming practices, machinery and equipment usage, and the health and well-being of a wide variety of farm animals. Currently, many pioneers of digital twins in livestock farming are already applying sophisticated AI technology to monitor both animals and environment around the clock, which leads to a better understanding of animal behavior and distress, disease control and prevention, and smarter business decisions for the farmer. Mental and emotional states of animals can be monitored using recognition technology that examines facial features such as ear postures and eye white regions. Used with modeling, simulation and augmented reality technologies, digital twins can help farmers build more energy-efficient housing structures, predict heat cycles for breeding, discourage negative behaviors of livestock, and potentially much more. As with all disruptive technological advances, the implementation of digital twin technology will demand a thorough cost and benefit analysis by individual farms. Digital twin application will need to overcome challenges and accept limitations that arise. However, regardless of these issues, the potential of digital twins promises to revolutionize livestock farming in the future.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0101.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: animal welfare assessment; beef cow systems; semi-arid rangelands; Namibia
Online: 4 December 2020 (11:11:53 CET)
A proposed animal welfare assessment protocol for semi-arid rangeland-based cow-calf systems in Namibia combined 40 measures from a protocol developed for beef cattle in New Zealand with additional Namibia-specific measures. Preliminary validation of the protocol had been undertaken with five herds in one semi-commercial village. The aim of the current study was to apply this protocol and compare animal welfare across three cow-calf production systems in Namibia. A total of 2529 beef cows were evaluated during pregnancy testing in the yards of 17 commercial, 20 semi-commercial and 18 communal (total: 55) herds followed by an assessment of farm resources and a questionnaire-guided interview. Non-parametric tests were used to evaluate the difference in the welfare scores between the production systems. The results indicated a discrepancy of animal welfare between the three farm types, with a marked separation of commercial farms from semi-commercial, and communal village farms in the least. The differences in these production systems was mainly driven by economic gains through access to better beef export market for commercial farms and semi-commercial villages, as well as by the differences in the available grazing land, facility designs/quality and traditional customs in the village systems. The results indicate an advantage of commercialisation over communalisation.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0233.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Agricultural Science And Agronomy Keywords: lignocellulosic substrate; pre-treatment; microalgae/cyanobacteria; biogas; problems; animal feed
Online: 10 August 2020 (03:46:14 CEST)
Modern day civilization is dependent on energy generation by fossil fuels. But the major drawback of using fossil fuels is environmental pollution. Microalgae are potential candidate for production of various products of interest, such as proteins, mini food, pigments and triglycerides that can be converted into biofuels. Lignocellulosic feedstocks are the most abundantly available raw material of plants that can serve as a promising feedstock for cultivating bacteria, fungi, yeasts and microalgae to produce biofuels and other value-added products. Owing to the abundant availability of these low/no cost substrates, can be utilized as feedstocks for cultivating microalgae to generate biogas/biodiesel. Likewise, there is much room to exploit defatted algal biomass to be used as animal/fish feed and oil producing/accumulating genes knowledge in future to produce high and good quality biodiesel and biogas.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201903.0255.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Geography, Planning And Development Keywords: dog theft; pet theft; dogs; pets, crime; animal geography; GIS
Online: 28 March 2019 (06:40:57 CET)
Dogs are considered property under UK law, while current discourses of pet ownership place canine companions as part of an extended family. This means sentences for those who steal dogs are not reflective of a dogs’ sentience and agency, rather reflecting the same charges for those who steal a laptop or wallet. This is particularly problematic as dog theft is currently on the rise in England and Wales and led to public calls to change the law. Recognizing that a more robust analysis of dog theft crime statistics is required, we gathered dog theft data for 2015, 2016 and 2017 from 37 of 44 police forces through FOI requests. This paper uses this data to examine how dog theft crime statistics are constructed; assesses the strengths and weaknesses of this data; and categorizes, maps and measures dog theft changes temporally per police force in England and Wales. Our findings reveal there has been an increase in dog theft crimes, 1,294 in 2015, 1,525 in 2016 (+17.85%), and 1,678 in 2017 (+10.03%); and a decrease in court charges related to dog theft crimes, 62 (4.7%) in 2015, 48 (3.14%) in 2016, 37 (2.2%) in 2017. There were police force inconsistencies in recording dog theft crime which meant some data was unusable or could not be accessed or analysed. There is a need for a qualitative study to understand dog theft crime in different areas, and standardised approach to recording the theft of a dog by all forces across England and Wales.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201804.0356.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Surgery Keywords: animal model; chronic tympanic membrane perforation; mitomycin C; myringotomy; dexamethasone
Online: 27 April 2018 (08:36:00 CEST)
Background. A rat model of chronic tympanic membrane perforation was developed to be used in the search of new materials for the sealing of these perforations. Methods. A longitudinal study was carried out in rats subjected to incisional myringotomy followed by the application of mitomycin C alone or with dexamethasone. Rats were checked at days 3, 7, 10, 14 and weekly thereafter until perforation closure, for up to 6 months. Results. The addition of dexamethasone is a key component in order to obtain a chronic opening. Myringotomies treated with saline had a mean healing time of 8.5 days. At 8 weeks, 70.5% of these remained perforated and at 6 months this number fell to 21.4%. Conclusion. This technique is able to maintain more than 70% of tympanic membrane perforations patent for at least 8 weeks. This rat model is adequate for its use in preclinical or translational research.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.1695.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Oncology And Oncogenics Keywords: hepatocellular carcinoma; EGFR/PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling; animal models; Targeted Therapy
Online: 26 July 2023 (10:07:16 CEST)
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) poses a significant global health concern, with its incidence steadily increasing. The development of HCC is a multifaceted, multi-step process involving alterations in various signaling cascades. In recent years, significant progress has been made in understanding the molecular signaling pathways that play central roles in hepatocarcinogenesis. In particular, the EGFR/PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling pathway in HCC has garnered renewed attention from both basic and clinical researchers. Preclinical studies in vitro and in vivo have shown the effectiveness of targeting the key components of this signaling pathway in human HCC cells. Thus, targeting these signaling pathways with small molecule inhibitors holds promise as a potential therapeutic option for patients with HCC. In this review, we will explore recent advancements in understanding the role of the EGFR/PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling pathway in HCC and assess the effectiveness of targeting this signaling cascade as a potential strategy for HCC therapy based on preclinical studies
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.0626.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Veterinary Medicine Keywords: Animal wound; Anti-biofilm forming; Antimicrobial activities; Skin microflora; Titanium dioxide
Online: 11 July 2023 (03:08:32 CEST)
The use of metal oxide nanoparticles as an alternative antimicrobial agent has gained attention due to the increasing problem of antibiotic resistance. Understanding its properties and potential benefits can contribute to the development of more effective and sustainable treatments in veterinary medicine. The aim of this study was to characterize TiO2-NP formulations and evaluate their antibacterial and wound healing abilities. The diameters and zeta potentials were determined using the Zetasizer in conjunction with dynamic light scattering. The agar-well diffusion method, time-kill kinetic assay and crystal violet assay were used to evaluate their antimicrobial activities. Wound healing assays were conducted both in-vitro and in-vivo. The study demonstrated that TiO2-NP formulations exhibit significant antimicrobial properties against various bacterial strains such as S. aureus and E. coli. No measurable E. coli growth was observed within a 15-mins period following exposure to TiO2-NP formulations. The TiO2-NP formation can improve wound healing by enhancing cell migration and collagen formation in both in-vitro and in-vivo conditions. In summary, our study suggests that TiO2-NP has the potential for use as an antimicrobial agent for animal wound treatment due to its ability to suppress bacterial growth and biofilm formation, as well as to enhance wound healing.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.0526.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: colorimetric; dual ratiometric; biosensor; enzymatic; acetylcholinesterase; plant and animal derived-food
Online: 10 July 2023 (11:12:40 CEST)
Pesticides are chemical products are used to protect crops to prevent or eliminate undesirable organisms. Pesticides can contaminate continental waters, air, soil and food products. The presence of pesticide residues must therefore be monitored in water and food using sensitive, reliable and broad-spectrum analytical methods, as there is a huge variety of pesticides. Biosensors are one of the screening methods with great potential for detecting residues below the maximum residue limits. The different sensing principles of enzymatic biosensors for pesticide analysis will be described. This review highlights the great potential of colorimetric, enzymatic biosensors for detecting pesticide residues in water and food. Moreover the development of dual colorimetric and fluorimetric sensors during the past years is presented. These methods are most often based on the enzyme acetylcholinesterase, whose activity is inhibited by pesticides. The different approaches used in the development of these biosensors will be detailed, based on different chemical substrates, fluorophores and nanomaterials. The advantages and disadvantages of each approach will be discussed. Finally, the development prospects for improving these biosensors will be presented.