Céad Mile Fáilte go T-Stór (Welcome to T- Stór)

T-Stór is Teagasc’s Open Access Repository, maintained by the Teagasc Library Service. Stór is the Gaelic word for Repository or Store or Warehouse, and T-Stór is an online “store” of Teagasc Research outputs and related documents. T-Stór collects preserves and makes freely available scholarly communication, including peer-reviewed articles, working papers and conference papers created by Teagasc researchers. Where material has already been published it is made available subject to the open-access policies of the original publishers. About Teagasc

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Animal & Grassland Research & Innovation Programme [1158]
Crops, Environment & Land Use Programme [582]
Food Programme [1201]
Rural Economy & Development Programme [272]
Irish Journal of Agricultural & Food Research [317]
Other [298]
  • First reported case in an Irish flock of MCF- like systemic necrotizing vasculitis in sheep associated with ovine herpesvirus 2

    Sheehan, Maresa; Pesavento, Patricia A.; Campion, Francis; Lynch, John; McGettrick, Shane; Toland, Brian; Kennedy, Aideen (2024-05-04)
    Abstract Background Ovine gammaherpesvirus 2 (OvHV-2) is the causative agent of sheep associated malignant catarrhal fever (MCF). As sheep are the adapted host for OvHV-2, it is generally presumed that infection is not associated with disease in this species. However, a recent case review combined in-situ hybridisation, PCR and histopathology and correlated the viral distribution with systemic necrotizing vasculitis and concluded OvHV-2 was the likely agent responsible for sporadic, MCF-like vascular disease in sheep. Case presentation Using similar methods this case study reports on the findings of the first reported cases in an Irish Flock of MCF- like systemic necrotizing vasculitis in sheep associated with OvHV-2. Sheep A, a 16-month-old Texel-cross hogget displayed signs of ill- thrift, Sheep B, a nine-month-old Belclare-cross lamb, was found dead having displayed no obvious symptoms. Both cases occurred on the same farm, however the animals were not related. Lymphohistiocytic vasculitis of various tissues was the predominant histopathological finding in both animals. Conclusion By combining histopathology, PCR and in-situ hybridisation results, MCF- like systemic necrotizing vasculitis associated with OvHV-2 has been diagnosed for the first time in an Irish flock.
  • The detailed analysis of the microbiome and resistome of artisanal blue-veined cheeses provides evidence on sources and patterns of succession linked with quality and safety traits

    Alexa, Elena A.; Cobo-Díaz, José F.; Renes, Erica; O´Callaghan, Tom F.; Kilcawley, Kieran; Mannion, David; Skibinska, Iwona; Ruiz, Lorena; Margolles, Abelardo; Fernández-Gómez, Paula; et al. (2024-04-27)
    Abstract Background Artisanal cheeses usually contain a highly diverse microbial community which can significantly impact their quality and safety. Here, we describe a detailed longitudinal study assessing the impact of ripening in three natural caves on the microbiome and resistome succession across three different producers of Cabrales blue-veined cheese. Results Both the producer and cave in which cheeses were ripened significantly influenced the cheese microbiome. Lactococcus and the former Lactobacillus genus, among other taxa, showed high abundance in cheeses at initial stages of ripening, either coming from the raw material, starter culture used, and/or the environment of processing plants. Along cheese ripening in caves, these taxa were displaced by other bacteria, such as Tetragenococcus, Corynebacterium, Brevibacterium, Yaniella, and Staphylococcus, predominantly originating from cave environments (mainly food contact surfaces), as demonstrated by source-tracking analysis, strain analysis at read level, and the characterization of 613 metagenome-assembled genomes. The high abundance of Tetragenococcus koreensis and Tetragenococcus halophilus detected in cheese has not been found previously in cheese metagenomes. Furthermore, Tetragenococcus showed a high level of horizontal gene transfer with other members of the cheese microbiome, mainly with Lactococcus and Staphylococcus, involving genes related to carbohydrate metabolism functions. The resistome analysis revealed that raw milk and the associated processing environments are a rich reservoir of antimicrobial resistance determinants, mainly associated with resistance to aminoglycosides, tetracyclines, and β-lactam antibiotics and harbored by aerobic gram-negative bacteria of high relevance from a safety point of view, such as Escherichia coli, Salmonella enterica, Acinetobacter, and Klebsiella pneumoniae, and that the displacement of most raw milk-associated taxa by cave-associated taxa during ripening gave rise to a significant decrease in the load of ARGs and, therefore, to a safer end product. Conclusion Overall, the cave environments represented an important source of non-starter microorganisms which may play a relevant role in the quality and safety of the end products. Among them, we have identified novel taxa and taxa not previously regarded as being dominant components of the cheese microbiome (Tetragenococcus spp.), providing very valuable information for the authentication of this protected designation of origin artisanal cheese. Video Abstract
  • Effects of removing in-feed antibiotics and zinc oxide on the taxonomy and functionality of the microbiota in post weaning pigs

    Ortiz Sanjuán, Juan M.; Argüello, Héctor; Cabrera-Rubio, Raúl; Crispie, Fiona; Cotter, Paul D.; Garrido, Juan J.; Ekhlas, Daniel; Burgess, Catherine M.; Manzanilla, Edgar G. (2024-04-16)
    Abstract Background Post weaning diarrhoea (PWD) causes piglet morbidity and mortality at weaning and is a major driver for antimicrobial use worldwide. New regulations in the EU limit the use of in-feed antibiotics (Ab) and therapeutic zinc oxide (ZnO) to prevent PWD. New approaches to control PWD are needed, and understanding the role of the microbiota in this context is key. In this study, shotgun metagenome sequencing was used to describe the taxonomic and functional evolution of the faecal microbiota of the piglet during the first two weeks post weaning within three experimental groups, Ab, ZnO and no medication, on commercial farms using antimicrobials regularly in the post weaning period. Results Diversity was affected by day post weaning (dpw), treatment used and diarrhoea but not by the farm. Microbiota composition evolved towards the dominance of groups of species such as Prevotella spp. at day 14dpw. ZnO inhibited E. coli overgrowth, promoted higher abundance of the family Bacteroidaceae and decreased Megasphaera spp. Animals treated with Ab exhibited inconsistent taxonomic changes across time points, with an overall increase of Limosilactobacillus reuteri and Megasphaera elsdenii. Samples from non-medicated pigs showed virulence-related functions at 7dpw, and specific ETEC-related virulence factors were detected in all samples presenting diarrhoea. Differential microbiota functions of pigs treated with ZnO were related to sulphur and DNA metabolism, as well as mechanisms of antimicrobial and heavy metal resistance, whereas Ab treated animals exhibited functions related to antimicrobial resistance and virulence. Conclusion Ab and particularly ZnO maintained a stable microbiota composition and functionality during the two weeks post weaning, by limiting E. coli overgrowth, and ultimately preventing microbiota dysbiosis. Future approaches to support piglet health should be able to reproduce this stable gut microbiota transition during the post weaning period, in order to maintain optimal gut physiological and productive conditions.
  • An in-depth evaluation of metagenomic classifiers for soil microbiomes

    Edwin, Niranjana R.; Fitzpatrick, Amy H.; Brennan, Fiona; Abram, Florence; O’Sullivan, Orla (2024-03-28)
    Abstract Background Recent endeavours in metagenomics, exemplified by projects such as the human microbiome project and TARA Oceans, have illuminated the complexities of microbial biomes. A robust bioinformatic pipeline and meticulous evaluation of their methodology have contributed to the success of these projects. The soil environment, however, with its unique challenges, requires a specialized methodological exploration to maximize microbial insights. A notable limitation in soil microbiome studies is the dearth of soil-specific reference databases available to classifiers that emulate the complexity of soil communities. There is also a lack of in-vitro mock communities derived from soil strains that can be assessed for taxonomic classification accuracy. Results In this study, we generated a custom in-silico mock community containing microbial genomes commonly observed in the soil microbiome. Using this mock community, we simulated shotgun sequencing data to evaluate the performance of three leading metagenomic classifiers: Kraken2 (supplemented with Bracken, using a custom database derived from GTDB-TK genomes along with its own default database), Kaiju, and MetaPhlAn, utilizing their respective default databases for a robust analysis. Our results highlight the importance of optimizing taxonomic classification parameters, database selection, as well as analysing trimmed reads and contigs. Our study showed that classifiers tailored to the specific taxa present in our samples led to fewer errors compared to broader databases including microbial eukaryotes, protozoa, or human genomes, highlighting the effectiveness of targeted taxonomic classification. Notably, an optimal classifier performance was achieved when applying a relative abundance threshold of 0.001% or 0.005%. The Kraken2 supplemented with bracken, with a custom database demonstrated superior precision, sensitivity, F1 score, and overall sequence classification. Using a custom database, this classifier classified 99% of in-silico reads and 58% of real-world soil shotgun reads, with the latter identifying previously overlooked phyla using a custom database. Conclusion This study underscores the potential advantages of in-silico methodological optimization in metagenomic analyses, especially when deciphering the complexities of soil microbiomes. We demonstrate that the choice of classifier and database significantly impacts microbial taxonomic profiling. Our findings suggest that employing Kraken2 with Bracken, coupled with a custom database of GTDB-TK genomes and fungal genomes at a relative abundance threshold of 0.001% provides optimal accuracy in soil shotgun metagenome analysis.
  • Promiscuous, persistent and problematic: insights into current enterococcal genomics to guide therapeutic strategy

    Hourigan, David; Stefanovic, Ewelina; Hill, Colin; Ross, R. P. (2024-03-28)
    Abstract Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) are major opportunistic pathogens and the causative agents of serious diseases, such as urinary tract infections and endocarditis. VRE strains mainly include species of Enterococcus faecium and E. faecalis which can colonise the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) of patients and, following growth and persistence in the gut, can transfer to blood resulting in systemic dissemination in the body. Advancements in genomics have revealed that hospital-associated VRE strains are characterised by increased numbers of mobile genetic elements, higher numbers of antibiotic resistance genes and often lack active CRISPR-Cas systems. Additionally, comparative genomics have increased our understanding of dissemination routes among patients and healthcare workers. Since the efficiency of currently available antibiotics is rapidly declining, new measures to control infection and dissemination of these persistent pathogens are urgently needed. These approaches include combinatory administration of antibiotics, strengthening colonisation resistance of the gut microbiota to reduce VRE proliferation through commensals or probiotic bacteria, or switching to non-antibiotic bacterial killers, such as bacteriophages or bacteriocins. In this review, we discuss the current knowledge of the genomics of VRE isolates and state-of-the-art therapeutic advances against VRE infections.

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