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  • A Guide to Designing a Sheep Handling Unit

    Egan, Edward (Teagasc, 2020)
    The purpose of this book 1. How to design an efficient new handling unit. 2. How to improve an existing handling unit. 3. Bring together in one book good handling ideas. 4. Consider different options.
  • Microbiome definition re-visited: old concepts and new challenges

    Berg, Gabriele; Rybakova, Daria; Fischer, Doreen; Cernava, Tomislav; Vergès, Marie-Christine C; Charles, Trevor; Chen, Xiaoyulong; Cocolin, Luca; Eversole, Kellye; Corral, Gema H; et al. (Biomed Central, 2020-06-30)
    Abstract The field of microbiome research has evolved rapidly over the past few decades and has become a topic of great scientific and public interest. As a result of this rapid growth in interest covering different fields, we are lacking a clear commonly agreed definition of the term “microbiome.” Moreover, a consensus on best practices in microbiome research is missing. Recently, a panel of international experts discussed the current gaps in the frame of the European-funded MicrobiomeSupport project. The meeting brought together about 40 leaders from diverse microbiome areas, while more than a hundred experts from all over the world took part in an online survey accompanying the workshop. This article excerpts the outcomes of the workshop and the corresponding online survey embedded in a short historical introduction and future outlook. We propose a definition of microbiome based on the compact, clear, and comprehensive description of the term provided by Whipps et al. in 1988, amended with a set of novel recommendations considering the latest technological developments and research findings. We clearly separate the terms microbiome and microbiota and provide a comprehensive discussion considering the composition of microbiota, the heterogeneity and dynamics of microbiomes in time and space, the stability and resilience of microbial networks, the definition of core microbiomes, and functionally relevant keystone species as well as co-evolutionary principles of microbe-host and inter-species interactions within the microbiome. These broad definitions together with the suggested unifying concepts will help to improve standardization of microbiome studies in the future, and could be the starting point for an integrated assessment of data resulting in a more rapid transfer of knowledge from basic science into practice. Furthermore, microbiome standards are important for solving new challenges associated with anthropogenic-driven changes in the field of planetary health, for which the understanding of microbiomes might play a key role. Video Abstract
  • Anthelmintic resistance among gastrointestinal nematodes of cattle on dairy calf to beef farms in Ireland

    Kelleher, Anne C; Good, Barbara; de Waal, Theo; Keane, Orla M; Teagasc Walsh Fellowship Programme (Biomed Central, 2020-07-01)
    Background The control of gastrointestinal nematodes (GIN) of cattle in pasture-based production systems such as Ireland is highly dependent on the availability of efficacious anthelmintics. There is very little information available on the efficacy of the broad-spectrum anthelmintics against GIN of cattle in Ireland and the aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of anthelmintic resistance on dairy calf to beef farms. Results GIN burden was monitored on thirty-six recruited farms by performing herd level faecal egg counts (FEC) every 2 weeks. Of these, nine farms were lost from the study as calves were treated with an anthelmintic for Dictyocaulus viviparus, two were lost as they treated for GIN, one dropped out of the study and on one the herd FEC did not reach the threshold for carrying out the Faecal Egg Count Reduction Test (FECRT). On the remaining 23 farms, once the herd FEC reached 100 eggs per gram, a FECRT was carried out. Pre and post-treatment larval cultures were also performed to identify the GIN to genus level. The efficacy of fenbendazole, levamisole, ivermectin and moxidectin was evaluated on 15, 11, 16 and 11 farms respectively. Resistance to fenbendazole was identified on 9 farms (60%) with resistance suspected on a further farm. Resistance to levamisole, ivermectin and moxidectin was detected on 2 (18%), 16 (100%) and 8 (73%) farms respectively. The predominant genera detected pre and post-treatment were Cooperia and Ostertagia with both genera detected post-treatment with fenbendazole and ivermectin. Due to the low proportion of Ostertagia spp. pre-treatment, the efficacy of levamisole or moxidectin against this genus could not be reliably established. Conclusions Anthelmintic resistance was widespread on the sampled dairy calf to beef farms in Ireland with resistance to benzimidazole, levamisole, ivermectin and moxidectin detected.
  • Immunoglobulin G from bovine milk primes intestinal epithelial cells for increased colonization of bifidobacteria

    Morrin, Sinead T; McCarthy, Geoffrey; Kennedy, Deirdre; Marotta, Mariarosaria; Irwin, Jane A; Hickey, Rita M.; Teagasc Walsh Fellowship Programme; 2014058 (SpringerOpen, 2020-06-18)
    Abstract A bovine colostrum fraction (BCF) was recently shown to enhance the adherence of several commensal organisms to intestinal epithelial cells through modulating the epithelial cell surface. In this study, the main components of the BCF were examined to investigate the active component/s responsible for driving the changes in the intestinal cells. The adherence of various bifidobacteria to HT-29 cells was increased when the intestinal cells were pre-incubated with immunoglobulin G (IgG). Modulation of the intestinal cells by IgG was concentration dependent with 16 mg/mL IgG resulting in a 43-fold increase in the adhesion of Bifidobacterium longum NCIMB 8809 to HT-29 cells. Periodate treatment of colostral IgG prior to performing the colonization studies resulted in a reduction in the adhesion of the strain to the intestinal cells demonstrating that the glycans of IgG may be important in modulating the intestinal cells for enhanced commensal adhesion. IgG isolated from mature milk also resulted in significant increases in adhesion of the Bifidobacterium strains tested albeit at reduced levels (3.9-fold). The impact of IgG on the HT-29 cells was also visualised via scanning electron microscopy. This study builds a strong case for the inclusion of IgG ingredients sourced from cow’s milk in functional foods aimed at increasing numbers of health promoting bacteria in the human gut.
  • The effect of breed and diet type on the global transcriptome of hepatic tissue in beef cattle divergent for feed efficiency

    Higgins, Marc G; Kenny, David A.; Fitzsimons, Claire; Blackshields, Gordon; Coyle, Séan; McKenna, Clare; McGee, Mark; Morris, Derek W; Waters, Sinead M.; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; et al. (Biomed Central, 2019-06-26)
    Background Feed efficiency is an important economic and environmental trait in beef production, which can be measured in terms of residual feed intake (RFI). Cattle selected for low-RFI (feed efficient) have similar production levels but decreased feed intake, while also emitting less methane. RFI is difficult and expensive to measure and is not widely adopted in beef production systems. However, development of DNA-based biomarkers for RFI may facilitate its adoption in genomic-assisted breeding programmes. Cattle have been shown to re-rank in terms of RFI across diets and age, while also RFI varies by breed. Therefore, we used RNA-Seq technology to investigate the hepatic transcriptome of RFI-divergent Charolais (CH) and Holstein-Friesian (HF) steers across three dietary phases to identify genes and biological pathways associated with RFI regardless of diet or breed. Results Residual feed intake was measured during a high-concentrate phase, a zero-grazed grass phase and a final high-concentrate phase. In total, 322 and 33 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified across all diets for CH and HF steers, respectively. Three genes, GADD45G, HP and MID1IP1, were differentially expressed in CH when both the high-concentrate zero-grazed grass diet were offered. Two canonical pathways were enriched across all diets for CH steers. These canonical pathways were related to immune function. Conclusions The absence of common differentially expressed genes across all dietary phases and breeds in this study supports previous reports of the re-ranking of animals in terms of RFI when offered differing diets over their lifetime. However, we have identified biological processes such as the immune response and lipid metabolism as potentially associated with RFI divergence emphasising the previously reported roles of these biological processes with respect to RFI.
  • Characterization of the bovine salivary gland transcriptome associated with Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis experimental challenge

    Mallikarjunappa, Sanjay; Adnane, Mounir; Cormican, Paul; Karrow, Niel A; Meade, Kieran G; Teagasc Walsh Fellowship Programme (Biomed Central, 2019-06-13)
    Background Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP), the etiologic agent of Johne’s disease is spread between cattle via the fecal-oral route, yet the functional changes in the salivary gland associated with infection remain uncharacterized. In this study, we hypothesized that experimental challenge with MAP would induce stable changes in gene expression patterns in the salivary gland that may shed light on the mucosal immune response as well as the regional variation in immune capacity of this extensive gland. Holstein-Friesian cattle were euthanized 33 months’ post oral challenge with MAP strain CIT003 and both the parotid and mandibular salivary glands were collected from healthy control (n = 5) and MAP exposed cattle (n = 5) for histopathological and transcriptomic analysis. Results A total of 205, 21, 61, and 135 genes were significantly differentially expressed between control and MAP exposed cattle in dorsal mandibular (M1), ventral mandibular (M2), dorsal parotid (P1) and ventral parotid salivary glands (P2), respectively. Expression profiles varied between the structurally divergent parotid and mandibular gland sections which was also reflected in the enriched biological pathways identified. Changes in gene expression associated with MAP exposure were detected with significantly elevated expression of BoLA DR-ALPHA, BOLA-DRB3 and complement factors in MAP exposed cattle. In contrast, reduced expression of genes such as polymeric immunoglobin receptor (PIGR), TNFSF13, and the antimicrobial genes lactoferrin (LF) and lactoperoxidase (LPO) was detected in MAP exposed animals. Conclusions This first analysis of the transcriptomic profile of salivary glands in cattle adds an important layer to our understanding of salivary gland immune function. Transcriptomic changes associated with MAP exposure have been identified including reduced LF and LPO. These critical antimicrobial and immunoregulatory proteins are known to be secreted into saliva and their downregulation may contribute to disease susceptibility. Future work will focus on the validation of their expression levels in saliva from additional cattle of known infection status as a potential strategy to augment disease diagnosis.
  • Transcriptome sequencing of Festulolium accessions under salt stress

    Teshome, A.; Byrne, Stephen L.; Didion, T.; De Vega, J.; Jensen, C. S; Klaas, M.; Barth, Susanne; European Union; Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions; FP7-KBBE-2011-5-289461; et al. (Biomed Central, 2019-05-31)
    Objectives The objective of this study was to establish transcriptome assemblies of Festulolium hybrids under salt stress, and identify genes regulated across the hybrids in response to salt stress. The development of transcriptome assemblies for Festulolium hybrids and cataloguing of genes regulated under salt stress will facilitate further downstream studies. Results Plants were grown at three salt concentrations (0.5%, 1% and 1.5%) and phenotypic and transcriptomic data was collected. Salt stress was confirmed by progressive loss of green leaves as salt concentration increased from 0 to 1.5%. We generated de-novo transcriptome assemblies for two Festulolium pabulare festucoid genotypes, for a single Festulolium braunii genotype, and a single F. pabulare loloid genotype. We also identified 1555 transcripts that were up regulated and 1264 transcripts that were down regulated in response to salt stress in the Festulolium hybrids. Some of the identified transcripts showed significant sequence similarity with genes known to be regulated during salt and other abiotic stresses.
  • Ear, tail and skin lesions vary according to different production flows in a farrow-to-finish pig farm

    Diana, Alessia; Boyle, Laura; García Manzanilla, Edgar; Leonard, Finola C; Calderón Díaz, Julia A; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; 14/S/832 (Biomed Central, 2019-07-15)
    Background Pig performance and risk of disease are associated with production flow. Given the link between health and welfare, it is likely that animal welfare indicators are also associated with production flow. This study investigated the association between production flow and tail, ear and skin lesions on a farm with a purported ‘all-in/all-out’ policy. This was an observational study whereby pigs were managed according to routine farm practice. A total of 1,016 pigs born within 1 week from the same batch were followed through the production stages and the presence or absence of welfare indicators was recorded at 4, 7, 9, 12, 16 and 24 weeks of age. Three production flows were retrospectively identified: flow 1 = ‘normal’ pigs that advanced through the production stages together ‘on time’, flow 2 = pigs delayed from advancing from the 1st to the 2nd nursery stage by 1 week and flow 3 = pigs delayed from advancing through the production stages by > 1 week. A nested case control design was applied by matching pigs by sow parity, number of born alive and birth weight. Results The presence of ear lesions was 4.5 less likely in pigs in flow 2 and 2.9 times less likely in pigs in flow 3 (P < 0.001) compared to pigs in flow 1. Pigs in flow 3 were 2.2 more likely to have tail and 1.6 times more likely to have ear lesions (P < 0.001) compared to pigs in flow 2. Pigs in flow 2 were less likely to have tail lesions compared with pigs in flow 1 (P < 0.05). Differences between production flows for the risk of skin lesions varied according to age (P < 0.05). Conclusion All production flows were associated with a high risk of lesions which raises concerns for pig welfare. However, risks for ear, tail and skin lesions varied according to each production flow likely due to the specific management practices inherent to each flow. Results from this study could be used to modify existing management practices, thus leading to improvements in animal welfare and possibly performance in intensive pig systems.
  • Association of genetic polymorphisms related to Johne’s disease with estimated breeding values of Holstein sires for milk ELISA test scores

    Mallikarjunappa, Sanjay; Schenkel, Flavio S; Brito, Luiz F; Bissonnette, Nathalie; Miglior, Filippo; Chesnais, Jacques; Lohuis, Michael; Meade, Kieran G; Karrow, Niel A; Semex Alliance; et al. (Biomed Central, 2020-05-27)
    Background Johne’s disease (JD) is a chronic intestinal inflammatory disease caused by Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP) infection in ruminants. Since there are currently no effective vaccine or treatment options available to control JD, genetic selection may be an alternative strategy to enhance JD resistance. Numerous Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) have been reported to be associated with MAP infection status based on published genome-wide association and candidate gene studies. The main objective of this study was to validate these SNPs that were previously identified to be associated with JD by testing their effect on Holstein bulls’ estimated breeding values (EBVs) for milk ELISA test scores, an indirect indicator of MAP infection status in cattle. Results Three SNPs, rs41810662, rs41617133 and rs110225854, located on Bos taurus autosomes (BTA) 16, 23 and 26, respectively, were confirmed as significantly associated with Holstein bulls’ EBVs for milk ELISA test score (FDR < 0.01) based on General Quasi Likelihood Scoring analysis (GQLS) analysis. Single-SNP regression analysis identified four SNPs that were associated with sire EBVs (FDR < 0.05). This includes two SNPs that were common with GQLS (rs41810662 and rs41617133), with the other two SNPs being rs110494981 and rs136182707, located on BTA9 and BTA16, respectively. Conclusions The findings of this study validate the association of SNPs with JD MAP infection status and highlight the need to further investigate the genomic regions harboring these SNPs.
  • Concurrent and long-term associations between the endometrial microbiota and endometrial transcriptome in postpartum dairy cows

    Moore, Stephen; Ericsson, Aaron C; Behura, Susanta K; Lamberson, William R; Evans, Timothy J; McCabe, Matthew S; Poock, Scott E; Lucy, Matthew C; European Union; USDA Animal Health Formula Funds; et al. (Biomed Central, 2019-05-22)
    Background Fertility in dairy cows depends on ovarian cyclicity and on uterine involution. Ovarian cyclicity and uterine involution are delayed when there is uterine dysbiosis (overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria). Fertility in dairy cows may involve a mechanism through which the uterine microbiota affects ovarian cyclicity as well as the transcriptome of the endometrium within the involuting uterus. The hypothesis was that the transcriptome of the endometrium in postpartum cows would be associated with the cyclicity status of the cow as well as the microbiota during uterine involution. The endometrium of first lactation dairy cows was sampled at 1, 5, and 9 weeks postpartum. All cows were allowed to return to cyclicity without intervention until week 5 and treated with an ovulation synchronization protocol so that sampling at week 9 was on day 13 of the estrous cycle. The endometrial microbiota was measured by 16S rRNA gene sequencing and principal component analysis. The endometrial transcriptome was measured by mRNA sequencing, differential gene expression analysis, and Ingenuity Pathway Analysis. Results The endometrial microbiota changed from week 1 to week 5 but the week 5 and week 9 microbiota were similar. The endometrial transcriptome differed for cows that were either cycling or not cycling at week 5 and cyclicity status depended in part on the endometrial microbiota. Compared with cows cycling at week 5, there were large changes in the transcriptome of cows that progressed from non-cycling at week 5 to cycling at week 9. There was evidence for concurrent and longer-term associations between the endometrial microbiota and transcriptome. The week 1 endometrial microbiota had the greatest effect on the subsequent endometrial transcriptome and this effect was greatest at week 5 and diminished by week 9. Conclusions The cumulative response of the endometrial transcriptome to the microbiota represented the combination of past microbial exposure and current microbial exposure. The endometrial transcriptome in postpartum cows, therefore, depended on the immediate and longer-term effects of the uterine microbiota that acted directly on the uterus. There may also be an indirect mechanism through which the microbiome affects the transcriptome through the restoration of ovarian cyclicity postpartum.
  • Distinct actions of the fermented beverage kefir on host behaviour, immunity and microbiome gut-brain modules in the mouse

    van de Wouw, Marcel; Walsh, Aaron M.; Crispie, Fiona; van Leuven, Lucas; Lyte, Joshua M; Boehme, Marcus; Clarke, Gerard; Dinan, Timothy G; Cotter, Paul D.; Cryan, John F; et al. (Biomed Central, 2020-05-18)
    Background Mounting evidence suggests a role for the gut microbiota in modulating brain physiology and behaviour, through bi-directional communication, along the gut-brain axis. As such, the gut microbiota represents a potential therapeutic target for influencing centrally mediated events and host behaviour. It is thus notable that the fermented milk beverage kefir has recently been shown to modulate the composition of the gut microbiota in mice. It is unclear whether kefirs have differential effects on microbiota-gut-brain axis and whether they can modulate host behaviour per se. Methods To address this, two distinct kefirs (Fr1 and UK4), or unfermented milk control, were administered to mice that underwent a battery of tests to characterise their behavioural phenotype. In addition, shotgun metagenomic sequencing of ileal, caecal and faecal matter was performed, as was faecal metabolome analysis. Finally, systemic immunity measures and gut serotonin levels were assessed. Statistical analyses were performed by ANOVA followed by Dunnett's post hoc test or Kruskal-Wallis test followed by Mann-Whitney U test. Results Fr1 ameliorated the stress-induced decrease in serotonergic signalling in the colon and reward-seeking behaviour in the saccharin preference test. On the other hand, UK4 decreased repetitive behaviour and ameliorated stress-induced deficits in reward-seeking behaviour. Furthermore, UK4 increased fear-dependent contextual memory, yet decreased milk gavage-induced improvements in long-term spatial learning. In the peripheral immune system, UK4 increased the prevalence of Treg cells and interleukin 10 levels, whereas Fr1 ameliorated the milk gavage stress-induced elevation in neutrophil levels and CXCL1 levels. Analysis of the gut microbiota revealed that both kefirs significantly changed the composition and functional capacity of the host microbiota, where specific bacterial species were changed in a kefir-dependent manner. Furthermore, both kefirs increased the capacity of the gut microbiota to produce GABA, which was linked to an increased prevalence in Lactobacillus reuteri. Conclusions Altogether, these data show that kefir can signal through the microbiota-gut-immune-brain axis and modulate host behaviour. In addition, different kefirs may direct the microbiota toward distinct immunological and behavioural modulatory effects. These results indicate that kefir can positively modulate specific aspects of the microbiota-gut-brain axis and support the broadening of the definition of psychobiotic to include kefir fermented foods. Video abstract.
  • In vitro screening of different Pseudomonas fluorescens isolates to study lytic enzyme production and growth inhibition during antagonism of Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cumini, wilt causing pathogen of cumin

    Rathore, Ridhdhi; Vakharia, Dinesh N; Rathore, Dheeraj S; Department of Biochemistry, College of Agriculture, Junagadh Agricultural University (Springer, 2020-05-12)
    Land plants exist in close association with bacterial and fungal microbes, where some associations can be pathogenic and others can be mutualistic/beneficial. One such relation exists between host plant, Cuminum cyminum L. (Cumin) and Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cumini (Foc), the causal pathogen of cumin wilt and Pseudomonas fluorescens (Pf), where Pf acts as a bio-agent for inhibiting Foc and promoting plant growth of cumin. In this study, antagonism by 10 different Pf isolates against Foc was studied under laboratory conditions through percent growth inhibition and biochemical mechanisms. Among these Pf isolates, Pf-5 exhibited the highest in vitro growth inhibition (82.51%). A positive correlation was observed between percent growth inhibition and specific activities of hydrolytic enzymes, chitinase, β-1, 3 glucanase, and protease, where a negative correlation was observed with cell wall degrading enzymes, cellulase and polygalacturonase. To conclude, isolate Pf-5 could be a potential biocontrol agent for Fusarium wilt disease of cumin.
  • Using the Biocheck.UGent™ scoring tool in Irish farrow-to-finish pig farms: assessing biosecurity and its relation to productive performance

    Rodrigues da Costa, Maria; Gasa, Josep; Calderón Díaz, Julia A; Postma, Merel; Dewulf, Jeroen; McCutcheon, Gerard; Manzanilla, Edgar G; Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine; 14/S/832 (Biomed Central, 2019-03-01)
    Background Biosecurity is one of the main factors affecting disease occurrence and antimicrobial use, and it is associated with performance in pig production. However, the importance of specific measures could vary depending on the (national) context. The aim of this study was to describe the biosecurity status in a cohort of Irish pig farms, to investigate which of those biosecurity aspects are more relevant by using the Biocheck.UGent™ scoring system, and to study the impact of such aspects on farm performance. Results External biosecurity score was high compared to most countries due to the characteristics of the Irish pig sector (i.e. purchasing only semen and breeding gilts on farm). The internal biosecurity score was lower and had greater variability among farms than other EU countries. Using multivariable linear regression, the biosecurity practices explained 8, 23, and 16% of variability in piglet mortality, finisher mortality, and average daily gain, respectively. Three clusters of farms were defined based on their biosecurity scores (0 to 100) using principal components and hierarchical clustering analysis. Scores for clusters 1, 2 and 3 were (mean ± SD) 38 ± 7.6, 61 ± 7.0 and 66 ± 9.8 for internal and 73 ± 5.1, 74 ± 5.3 and 86 ± 4.5 for external biosecurity. Cluster 3 had lower piglet mortality (P = 0.022) and higher average daily gain (P = 0.037) when compared to cluster 2. Conclusions Irish farms follow European tendencies with internal biosecurity posing as the biggest liability. Our results suggest that practices related to the environment and region, feed, water and equipment supply, and the management of the different stages, need to be addressed in lower performing farms to improve productive performance. Further studies on the economic impact of these biosecurity practices including complementary data on herd health, gilt rearing, piglet management, vaccination and feeding strategies are needed.
  • Genome-wide association study of endo-parasite phenotypes using imputed whole-genome sequence data in dairy and beef cattle

    Twomey, Alan J; Berry, Donagh; Evans, Ross D; Doherty, Michael L; Graham, David A; Purfield, Deirdre C; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; Science Foundation Ireland; 16/RC/3835 (Biomed Central, 2019-04-18)
    Background Quantitative genetic studies suggest the existence of variation at the genome level that affects the ability of cattle to resist to parasitic diseases. The objective of the current study was to identify regions of the bovine genome that are associated with resistance to endo-parasites. Methods Individual cattle records were available for Fasciola hepatica-damaged liver from 18 abattoirs. Deregressed estimated breeding values (EBV) for F. hepatica-damaged liver were generated for genotyped animals with a record for F. hepatica-damaged liver and for genotyped sires with a least one progeny record for F. hepatica-damaged liver; 3702 animals were available. In addition, individual cow records for antibody response to F. hepatica on 6388 genotyped dairy cows, antibody response to Ostertagia ostertagi on 8334 genotyped dairy cows and antibody response to Neospora caninum on 4597 genotyped dairy cows were adjusted for non-genetic effects. Genotypes were imputed to whole-sequence; after edits, 14,190,141 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and 16,603,644 SNPs were available for cattle with deregressed EBV for F. hepatica-damaged liver and cows with an antibody response to a parasitic disease, respectively. Association analyses were undertaken using linear regression on one SNP at a time, in which a genomic relationship matrix accounted for the relationships between animals. Results Genomic regions for F. hepatica-damaged liver were located on Bos taurus autosomes (BTA) 1, 8, 11, 16, 17 and 18; each region included at least one SNP with a p value lower than 10−6. Five SNPs were identified as significant (q value < 0.05) for antibody response to N. caninum and were located on BTA21 or 25. For antibody response to F. hepatica and O. ostertagi, six and nine quantitative trait loci (QTL) regions that included at least one SNP with a p value lower than 10−6 were identified, respectively. Gene set enrichment analysis revealed a significant association between functional annotations related to the olfactory system and QTL that were suggestively associated with endo-parasite phenotypes. Conclusions A number of novel genomic regions were suggestively associated with endo-parasite phenotypes across the bovine genome and two genomic regions on BTA21 and 25 were associated with antibody response to N. caninum.
  • Are some teat disinfectant formulations more effective against specific bacteria isolated on teat skin than others?

    Fitzpatrick, Sarah R; Garvey, Mary; Flynn, Jim; Jordan, Kieran; Gleeson, David E; Dairy Research Ireland; Teagasc Walsh Fellowship Programme; 2016054 (Biomed Central, 2019-04-25)
    The use of pre- and post-milking teat disinfectants can reduce teat bacterial load and aid in the collection of high-quality milk. The objective of this study was to compare the reduction in bacteria populations on teat skin after the application of different commercial teat disinfectant products. Ten teat disinfectant products were applied to the teats of 10 Holstein–Friesian cows. One cow received one teat disinfectant product at each sampling point before cluster application for milking. A composite swab sample was taken of the 4 teats of each cow before and after teat disinfectant application. Swab samples were placed on three different selective agars to enumerate bacterial counts of staphylococcal, streptococcal and coliforms isolates on teat skin. Staphylococcal isolates were the most prominent bacterial group recovered on teat swabs (49%), followed by streptococcal (36%) and coliform (15%) isolates before the application of disinfectant. The average bacterial reductions on teat skin were shown to be 76%, 73% and 60% for staphylococcal, streptococcal and coliform isolates, respectively. All of the teat disinfectant products tested reduced teat bacterial load for all three bacterial groups. Product 4 containing 0.6% w/w diamine was the most effective against bacterial populations of staphylococcal and streptococcal isolates on teat skin with a reduction of 90% and 94%, respectively. Whereas product 10, which contained 0.5% w/w iodine, resulted in the highest reduction in coliforms on teat skin with a reduction of 91%. Results from this study suggest that specific bacterial population loads on teats can be reduced using different teat disinfectant formulations.
  • Removing prophylactic antibiotics from pig feed: how does it affect their performance and health?

    Diana, Alessia; Boyle, Laura; Leonard, Finola C; Carroll, Ciaran; Sheehan, Eugene; Murphy, Declan; Manzanilla, Edgar G; Teagasc Walsh Fellowship Programme (Biomed Central, 2019-02-26)
    Background Antibiotics (AB) are an important tool to tackle infectious disease in pig farms; however some research indicates that their frequent mis/over-use may contribute to the development of antibiotic resistance and the WHO has declared that this issue should be addressed. Little is known about the long term consequences of withdrawing prophylactic AB from pig feed; hence we aimed to assess its effects on performance and health of pigs from weaning to slaughter. Six batches of 140 pigs each were monitored on a commercial farm through the weaner and finisher stages to slaughter. In-feed antibiotics were not added to the feed for half of the pigs (NOI) and were added in the other half (ABI) within each batch for the whole weaner stage. Individual pigs in both treatments were treated with parenteral administrations if and when detected as ill or lame. Productive performance, parenteral treatments and mortality were recorded on farm and the presence of respiratory disease was recorded at slaughter. Pen was considered the experimental unit. Results ABI pigs showed higher growth (P = 0.018) and feed intake (P = 0.048) than NOI pigs in the first weaner stage but feed efficiency was not affected (NOI = 1.48 vs. ABI = 1.52). Despite an initial reduction in performance, NOI pigs had similar performance in finisher stage (ADG: NOI = 865.4 vs. ABI = 882.2) and minimal effects on health compared to ABI pigs. No difference between treatments was found at the abattoir for the percentage of pigs affected by pneumonia, pleurisy, pleuropneumonia and abscesses (P > 0.05). Mortality rate was not affected by treatment during the weaner stage (P = 0.806) although it tended to be slightly higher in NOI than ABI pigs during the finisher stage (P = 0.099). Parenteral treatments were more frequent in NOI pigs during the weaner stage (P <  0.001) while no difference was recorded during the finisher stage (P = 0.406). Conclusions These data suggest that the removal of prophylactic in-feed antibiotics is possible with only minor reductions in productive performance and health which can be addressed by improved husbandry and use of parenteral antibiotics.
  • Moderate-intensity aerobic and resistance exercise is safe and favorably influences body composition in patients with quiescent Inflammatory Bowel Disease: a randomized controlled cross-over trial

    Cronin, Owen; Barton, Wiley; Moran, Carthage; Sheehan, Donal; Whiston, Ronan; Nugent, Helena; McCarthy, Yvonne; Molloy, Catherine B; O’Sullivan, Orla; Cotter, Paul D.; et al. (2019-02-12)
    Background Overweight and metabolic problems now add to the burden of illness in patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease. We aimed to determine if a program of aerobic and resistance exercise could safely achieve body composition changes in patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Methods A randomized, cross-over trial of eight weeks combined aerobic and resistance training on body composition assessed by Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry was performed. Patients in clinical remission and physically inactive with a mean age of 25 ± 6.5 years and Body Mass Index of 28.9 ± 3.8 were recruited from a dedicated Inflammatory Bowel Disease clinic. Serum cytokines were quantified, and microbiota assessed using metagenomic sequencing. Results Improved physical fitness was demonstrated in the exercise group by increases in median estimated VO2max (Baseline: 43.41mls/kg/min; post-intervention: 46.01mls/kg/min; p = 0.03). Improvement in body composition was achieved by the intervention group (n = 13) with a median decrease of 2.1% body fat compared with a non-exercising group (n = 7) (0.1% increase; p = 0.022). Lean tissue mass increased by a median of 1.59 kg and fat mass decreased by a median of 1.52 kg in the exercising group. No patients experienced a deterioration in disease activity scores during the exercise intervention. No clinically significant alterations in the α- and β-diversity of gut microbiota and associated metabolic pathways were evident. Conclusions Moderate-intensity combined aerobic and resistance training is safe in physically unfit patients with quiescent Inflammatory Bowel Disease and can quickly achieve favourable body compositional changes without adverse effects. Trial registration The study was registered at ClinicalTrials.gov; Trial number: NCT02463916 .
  • Concordance rate between copy number variants detected using either high- or medium-density single nucleotide polymorphism genotype panels and the potential of imputing copy number variants from flanking high density single nucleotide polymorphism haplotypes in cattle

    Rafter, Pierce; Gormley, Isobel C; Parnell, Andrew C; Kearney, John F; Berry, Donagh; Science Foundation Ireland; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; 14/IA/2576; 16/RC/3835 (Biomed Central, 2020-03-04)
    Background The trading of individual animal genotype information often involves only the exchange of the called genotypes and not necessarily the additional information required to effectively call structural variants. The main aim here was to determine if it is possible to impute copy number variants (CNVs) using the flanking single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) haplotype structure in cattle. While this objective was achieved using high-density genotype panels (i.e., 713,162 SNPs), a secondary objective investigated the concordance of CNVs called with this high-density genotype panel compared to CNVs called from a medium-density panel (i.e., 45,677 SNPs in the present study). This is the first study to compare CNVs called from high-density and medium-density SNP genotypes from the same animals. High (and medium-density) genotypes were available on 991 Holstein-Friesian, 1015 Charolais, and 1394 Limousin bulls. The concordance between CNVs called from the medium-density and high-density genotypes were calculated separately for each animal. A subset of CNVs which were called from the high-density genotypes was selected for imputation. Imputation was carried out separately for each breed using a set of high-density SNPs flanking the midpoint of each CNV. A CNV was deemed to be imputed correctly when the called copy number matched the imputed copy number. Results For 97.0% of CNVs called from the high-density genotypes, the corresponding genomic position on the medium-density of the animal did not contain a called CNV. The average accuracy of imputation for CNV deletions was 0.281, with a standard deviation of 0.286. The average accuracy of imputation of the CNV normal state, i.e. the absence of a CNV, was 0.982 with a standard deviation of 0.022. Two CNV duplications were imputed in the Charolais, a single CNV duplication in the Limousins, and a single CNV duplication in the Holstein-Friesians; in all cases the CNV duplications were incorrectly imputed. Conclusion The vast majority of CNVs called from the high-density genotypes were not detected using the medium-density genotypes. Furthermore, CNVs cannot be accurately predicted from flanking SNP haplotypes, at least based on the imputation algorithms routinely used in cattle, and using the SNPs currently available on the high-density genotype panel.
  • Lactobacillus mucosae DPC 6426 as a bile-modifying and immunomodulatory microbe

    Ryan, Paul M; Stolte, Ellen H; London, Lis E E; Wells, Jerry M; Long, Sarah L; Joyce, Susan A; Gahan, Cormac G M; Fitzgerald, Gerald F; Ross, R Paul; Caplice, Noel M; et al. (Biomed Central, 2019-02-08)
    Background Lactobacillus mucosae DPC 6426 has previously demonstrated potentially cardio-protective properties, in the form of dyslipidaemia and hypercholesterolemia correction in an apolipoprotein-E deficient mouse model. This study aims to characterise the manner in which this microbe may modulate host bile pool composition and immune response, in the context of cardiovascular disease. Lactobacillus mucosae DPC 6426 was assessed for bile salt hydrolase activity and specificity. The microbe was compared against several other enteric strains of the same species, as well as a confirmed bile salt hydrolase-active strain, Lactobacillus reuteri APC 2587. Results Quantitative bile salt hydrolase assays revealed that enzymatic extracts from Lactobacillus reuteri APC 2587 and Lactobacillus mucosae DPC 6426 demonstrate the greatest activity in vitro. Bile acid profiling of porcine and murine bile following incubation with Lactobacillus mucosae DPC 6426 confirmed a preference for hydrolysis of glyco-conjugated bile acids. In addition, the purified exopolysaccharide and secretome of Lactobacillus mucosae DPC 6426 were investigated for immunomodulatory capabilities using RAW264.7 macrophages. Gene expression data revealed that both fractions stimulated increases in interleukin-6 and interleukin-10 gene transcription in the murine macrophages, while the entire secretome was necessary to increase CD206 transcription. Moreover, the exopolysaccharide elicited a dose-dependent increase in nitric oxide and interleukin-10 production from RAW264.7 macrophages, concurrent with increased tumour necrosis factor-α secretion at all doses. Conclusions This study indicates that Lactobacillus mucosae DPC 6426 modulates both bile pool composition and immune system tone in a manner which may contribute significantly to the previously identified cardio-protective phenotype.
  • Comparative analysis of Lactobacillus gasseri from Chinese subjects reveals a new species-level taxa

    Zhou, Xingya; Yang, Bo; STANTON, CATHERINE; Ross, R Paul; Zhao, Jianxin; Zhang, Hao; Chen, Wei; National Natural Science Foundation of China; Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities; National Firs-Class Discipline Program of Food Science and Technology; et al. (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2020-02-03)
    Background Lactobacillus gasseri as a probiotic has history of safe consumption is prevalent in infants and adults gut microbiota to maintain gut homeostasis. Results In this study, to explore the genomic diversity and mine potential probiotic characteristics of L. gasseri, 92 strains of L. gasseri were isolated from Chinese human feces and identified based on 16 s rDNA sequencing, after draft genomes sequencing, further average nucleotide identity (ANI) value and phylogenetic analysis reclassified them as L. paragasseri (n = 79) and L. gasseri (n = 13), respectively. Their pan/core-genomes were determined, revealing that L. paragasseri had an open pan-genome. Comparative analysis was carried out to identify genetic features, and the results indicated that 39 strains of L. paragasseri harboured Type II-A CRISPR-Cas system while 12 strains of L. gasseri contained Type I-E and II-A CRISPR-Cas systems. Bacteriocin operons and the number of carbohydrate-active enzymes were significantly different between the two species. Conclusions This is the first time to study pan/core-genome of L. gasseri and L. paragasseri, and compare their genetic diversity, and all the results provided better understating on genetics of the two species.

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