Now showing items 1-20 of 3547

    • Metagenomic comparison of the faecal and environmental resistome on Irish commercial pig farms with and without zinc oxide and antimicrobial usage

      Ekhlas, Daniel; Cobo Díaz, José F.; Cabrera-Rubio, Raúl; Alexa, Elena; Ortiz Sanjuán, Juan M.; Garcia Manzanilla, Edgar; Crispie, Fiona; Cotter, Paul D.; Leonard, Finola C.; Argüello, Héctor; et al. (Biomed Central, 2023-12-11)
      Abstract Background Antimicrobials and heavy metals such as zinc oxide (ZnO) have been commonly used on Irish commercial pig farms for a 2-week period post-weaning to help prevent infection. In 2022, the prophylactic use of antimicrobials and ZnO was banned within the European Union due to concerns associated with the emergence of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and contamination of the environment with heavy metals. In this study, faecal and environmental samples were taken from piglets during the weaning period from ten commercial farms, of which five farms used antimicrobial or ZnO prophylaxis (AB-ZnO farms) and five which had not used antimicrobials or ZnO for the previous 3 years (AB-ZnO free farms). A total of 50 samples were compared using a metagenomic approach. Results The results of this study showed some significant differences between AB-ZnO and AB-ZnO free farms and suggested positive selection for AMR under antimicrobial and ZnO treatment. Moreover, strong differences between environmental and faecal samples on farms were observed, suggesting that the microbiome and its associated mobile genetic elements may play a key role in the composition of the resistome. Additionally, the age of piglets affected the resistome composition, potentially associated with changes in the microbiome post-weaning. Conclusions Overall, our study showed few differences in the resistome of the pig and its environment when comparing AB-ZnO farms with AB-ZnO free farms. These results suggest that although 3 years of removal of in-feed antimicrobial and ZnO may allow a reduction of AMR prevalence on AB-ZnO farms, more time, repeated sampling and a greater understanding of factors impacting AMR prevalence will be required to ensure significant and persistent change in on-farm AMR.
    • Anti-methanogenic potential of seaweeds and seaweed-derived compounds in ruminant feed: current perspectives, risks and future prospects

      McGurrin, Ailbhe; Maguire, Julie; Tiwari, Brijesh K.; Garcia-Vaquero, Marco; Irish Research Council Enterprise Partnership Scheme Postgraduate Scholarship; BlueBio ERA-NET; EPSPG/2021/154 (Biomed Central, 2023-12-02)
      Abstract With methane emissions from ruminant agriculture contributing 17% of total methane emissions worldwide, there is increasing urgency to develop strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in this sector. One of the proposed strategies is ruminant feed intervention studies focused on the inclusion of anti-methanogenic compounds which are those capable of interacting with the rumen microbiome, reducing the capacity of ruminal microorganisms to produce methane. Recently, seaweeds have been investigated for their ability to reduce methane in ruminants in vitro and in vivo, with the greatest methane abatement reported when using the red seaweed Asparagopsis taxiformis (attributed to the bromoform content of this species). From the literature analysis in this study, levels of up to 99% reduction in ruminant methane emissions have been reported from inclusion of this seaweed in animal feed, although further in vivo and microbiome studies are required to confirm these results as other reports showed no effect on methane emission resulting from the inclusion of seaweed to basal feed. This review explores the current state of research aiming to integrate seaweeds as anti-methanogenic feed additives, as well as examining the specific bioactive compounds within seaweeds that are likely to be related to these effects. The effects of the inclusion of seaweeds on the ruminal microbiome are also reviewed, as well as the future challenges when considering the large-scale inclusion of seaweeds into ruminant diets as anti-methanogenic agents.
    • Potential application of phage vB_EfKS5 to control Enterococcus faecalis and its biofilm in food

      El-Telbany, Mohamed; Lin, Chen-Yu; Abdelaziz, Marwa N.; Maung, Aye T.; El-Shibiny, Ayman; Mohammadi, Tahir N.; Zayda, Mahmoud; Wang, Chen; Zar Chi Lwin, Su; Zhao, Junxin; et al. (Biomed Central, 2023-11-20)
    • Early life exposure of infants to benzylpenicillin and gentamicin is associated with a persistent amplification of the gut resistome

      Patangia, Dhrati V.; Grimaud, Ghjuvan; O’Shea, Carol-Anne; Ryan, C. A.; Dempsey, Eugene; STANTON, CATHERINE; Ross, R. P.; European Union—FP7 (Biomed Central, 2024-02-03)
      Abstract Background Infant gut microbiota is highly malleable, but the long-term longitudinal impact of antibiotic exposure in early life, together with the mode of delivery on infant gut microbiota and resistome, is not extensively studied. Methods Two hundred and eight samples from 45 infants collected from birth until 2 years of age over five time points (week 1, 4, 8, 24, year 2) were analysed. Based on shotgun metagenomics, the gut microbial composition and resistome profile were compared in the early life of infants divided into three groups: vaginal delivery/no-antibiotic in the first 4 days of life, C-section/no-antibiotic in the first 4 days of life, and C-section/antibiotic exposed in first 4 days of life. Gentamycin and benzylpenicillin were the most commonly administered antibiotics during this cohort’s first week of life. Results Newborn gut microbial composition differed in all three groups, with higher diversity and stable composition seen at 2 years of age, compared to week 1. An increase in microbial diversity from week 1 to week 4 only in the C-section/antibiotic-exposed group reflects the effect of antibiotic use in the first 4 days of life, with a gradual increase thereafter. Overall, a relative abundance of Actinobacteria and Bacteroides was significantly higher in vaginal delivery/no-antibiotic while Proteobacteria was higher in C-section/antibiotic-exposed infants. Strains from species belonging to Bifidobacterium and Bacteroidetes were generally persistent colonisers, with Bifidobacterium breve and Bifidobacterium bifidum species being the major persistent colonisers in all three groups. Bacteroides persistence was dominant in the vaginal delivery/no-antibiotic group, with species Bacteroides ovatus and Phocaeicola vulgatus found to be persistent colonisers in the no-antibiotic groups. Most strains carrying antibiotic-resistance genes belonged to phyla Proteobacteria and Firmicutes, with the C-section/antibiotic-exposed group presenting a higher frequency of antibiotic-resistance genes (ARGs). Conclusion These data show that antibiotic exposure has an immediate and persistent effect on the gut microbiome in early life. As such, the two antibiotics used in the study selected for strains (mainly Proteobacteria) which were multiple drug-resistant (MDR), presumably a reflection of their evolutionary lineage of historical exposures—leading to what can be an extensive and diverse resistome. Video Abstract
    • Impact of birth and rearing type, as well as inaccuracy of recording, on pre-weaning lamb phenotypic and genetic merit for live weight1

      McHugh, N.; Pabiou, T.; McDermott, K.; Wall, E.; Berry, D. P. (Oxford University Press (OUP), 2017-04-01)
      The objective of the present study was to quantify the impact of the systematic environmental effects of both birth and rearing type on pre-weaning lamb live weight, and to evaluate the repercussions of inaccurate recording of birth and rearing type on subsequent genetic evaluations. A total of 32,548 birth weight records, 35,770 forty-day weight records and 32,548 records for average daily gain (ADG) between birth and 40-day weight from the Irish national sheep database were used. For each lamb, a new variable, birth-rearing type, reflecting both the birth and rearing type of a lamb was generated by concatenating both parameters. The association between birth-rearing type and birth weight, 40-day weight, and ADG was estimated using linear mixed models. The repercussions of inaccurate recording of birth type were determined by quantifying the impact on sire estimated breeding value (EBV; with an accuracy of ≥ 35%), where one of the lambs born in a selection of twin litter births was assumed to have died at birth but the farmer recorded the birth and rearing type as a singleton. The heaviest mean birth weight was associated with lambs born and subsequently reared as singles (5.47 kg); the lightest mean birth weight was associated with lambs born and reared as triplets (4.10 kg). The association between birth-rearing type and 40-day weight differed by dam parity (P < 0.001). Lambs reared by first parity dams as singles, irrespective of birth type were, on average, heavier at 40-day weighing than lambs reared as multiples, but as parity number increased, single-born lambs reared as twins outperformed triplet-born lambs reared as singles. Irrespective of the trait evaluated, the correlation between sire EBV estimated from the accurately recorded data and sire EBV estimated from the data with recording errors was strong ranging from 0.93 (birth weight) to 0.97 (ADG). The EBV for sires with progeny data manipulated were 0.14 kg, 0.34 kg and 5.56 g/d less for birth weight, 40-day weight and ADG, respectively, compared to their equivalent EBV calculated using accurately recorded data. Results from this study highlight the importance of precise recording of birth-rearing type by producers for the generation of accurate genetic evaluations.
    • Complete Genome Sequence of the Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid-Producing Strain Streptococcus thermophilus APC151

      Linares, Daniel M.; Arboleya, Silvia; Ross, R. Paul; Stanton, Catherine; Science Foundation Ireland (SFI); SFI/12/RC/2273 (American Society for Microbiology, 2017-04-27)
      Here is presented the whole-genome sequence of Streptococcus thermophilus APC151, isolated from a marine fish. This bacterium produces gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in high yields and is biotechnologically suitable to produce naturally GABAenriched biofunctional yogurt. Its complete genome comprises 2,097 genes and 1,839,134 nucleotides, with an average GC content of 39.1%.
    • Application of Endophytic Pseudomonas fluorescens and a Bacterial Consortium to Brassica napus Can Increase Plant Height and Biomass under Greenhouse and Field Conditions

      Lally, Richard D.; Galbally, Paul; Moreira, António S.; Spink, John; Ryan, David; Germaine, Kieran J.; Dowling, David N.; Science Foundation Ireland; Institutes of Technology Ireland (IoTI); Institute of Technology Carlow (ITC); et al. (Frontiers Media SA, 2017-12-22)
      Plant associated bacteria with plant growth promotion (PGP) properties have been proposed for use as environmentally friendly biofertilizers for sustainable agriculture; however, analysis of their efficacy in the field is often limited. In this study, greenhouse and field trials were carried out using individual endophytic Pseudomonas fluorescens strains, the well characterized rhizospheric P. fluorescens F113 and an endophytic microbial consortium of 10 different strains. These bacteria had been previously characterized with respect to their PGP properties in vitro and had been shown to harbor a range of traits associated with PGP including siderophore production, 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC) deaminase activity, and inorganic phosphate solubilization. In greenhouse experiments individual strains tagged with gfp and Kmr were applied to Brassica napus as a seed coat and were shown to effectively colonize the rhizosphere and root of B. napus and in addition they demonstrated a significant increase in plant biomass compared with the non-inoculated control. In the field experiment, the bacteria (individual and consortium) were spray inoculated to winter oilseed rape B. napus var. Compass which was grown under standard North Western European agronomic conditions. Analysis of the data provides evidence that the application of the live bacterial biofertilizers can enhance aspects of crop development in B. napus at field scale. The field data demonstrated statistically significant increases in crop height, stem/leaf, and pod biomass, particularly, in the case of the consortium inoculated treatment. However, although seed and oil yield were increased in the field in response to inoculation, these data were not statistically significant under the experimental conditions tested. Future field trials will investigate the effectiveness of the inoculants under different agronomic conditions.
    • The single farm payment and income risk in Irish farms 2005–2013

      Knapp, Edward; Loughrey, Jason (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2017-05-12)
      Agricultural income volatility has become a major hurdle for Irish farmers and policymakers to overcome in their drive to increase investment, production and ultimately income in the sector. This paper studies data from 927 farms in the Teagasc National Farm Survey between 2005 and 2013, the first 9 years of the decoupled subsidy era. The primary income support for European farmers, the single farm payment (SFP), is analysed in the context of its relationship with market income risk, i.e. farm income excluding subsidies. Detrended measures of market income variability are regressed on a large set of control variables. The findings suggest that the amount of SFP received by farmers has a strong and statistically significant relationship with agricultural income volatility.
    • Application of Flow Cytometry to the Detection of Pathogenic Bacteria

      Kennedy, Deirdre; Wilkinson, Martin G. (Caister Academic Press, 2015)
      Outbreaks of infections have emphasized the necessity for rapid and economic detection methods for pathogens in samples ranging from those of clinical origin to food products during production and retail storage, and increasingly, in environmental samples. Flow cytometry (FCM) allows the rapid acquisition of multi-parametric data regarding cell populations within fluidised samples. However, the application of FCM to pathogen detection depends on the availability of specific fluorescent probes such as antibodies and RNA probes capable of detecting and isolating pathogens from these diverse samples. A particular issue for FCM methodology is the ability to recover and discriminate bacteria from the sample matrix which may pose a major technical hurdle towards accurate and sensitive analysis. This review article focuses on detection of pathogens using FCM in samples originating from food, water, environmental and clinical sources and outlines the current state of the art and potential future applications.
    • Is TB Testing Associated With Increased Blood Interferon-Gamma Levels?

      Kennedy, Aideen E.; O’Mahony, Jim; Byrne, Noel; MacSharry, John; Sayers, Riona G. (Frontiers Media SA, 2017-10-23)
      The Republic of Ireland reports a relatively low prevalence of Johne’s disease (JD) compared to international counterparts. Postulated reasons for this include a lower average herd size and a grass-based production system. Ireland also engages in high levels of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) testing. As interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) is believed to play a key role in protecting against JD, it is our hypothesis that administration of purified protein derivative (PPD), as part of the bTB test, is associated with a systemic increase in IFN-γ production, which may potentially limit clinical progression of the disease. We studied 265 cows (202 Friesian and 63 “Non-Friesian,” e.g., JerseyX, Norwegian Red) to assess IFN-γ levels and Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP) antibody response before and after the bTB test. As part of the compulsory annual bTB test, avian and bovine PPD were administered at two separate cervical sites. To assess IFN-γ production, blood samples were taken before and 72 h after PPD administration. MAP antibody response was assessed before and 10 days post-PPD administration. A significant increase in MAP antibody response was identified post-bTB compared to pre-bTB response (p < 0.001). Additionally, IFN-γ production significantly increased at the post-bTB time point (p < 0.001) compared to the pre-bTB test readings. This may indicate a beneficial effect of bTB testing in controlling JD.
    • Separation of the effects of denaturation and aggregation on whey-casein protein interactions during the manufacture of a model infant formula

      Joyce, Aoife M.; Brodkorb, André; Kelly, Alan L.; O’Mahony, James A.; Irish Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; 10/RD/ProSurf/TMFRC/723 (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2016-10-10)
      Denaturation and aggregation of whey protein have been extensively studied but there is limited knowledge of their effects on processing properties of infant milk formulae (IMF) systems. In this study, the separate effects of denaturation and aggregation of whey protein on the physicochemical characteristics during processing of a model IMF were examined. Whey protein solutions (8%, w/w, protein) were pre-heated for 2 min at 72 or 85 °C, followed by addition of 2.2 mM calcium (Ca) (H-BCa), or at 85 °C after addition of the same level of Ca (H-ACa), to give pre-treated whey protein for inclusion in three model IMF systems, encoded as H-72-BCa, H-85-BCa and H-85-ACa, respectively. Unheated control samples without (UH-C) and with (UH-C-Ca) added Ca were also prepared. Model IMF systems (5.2%, w/w, protein, 60:40 whey protein:casein ratio, pH 6.8) were then prepared incorporating these pre-treated whey protein ingredients and subjected to lab-scale high-temperature short-time (HTST) heating at 85 °C for 2 min; whey protein denaturation was >81.2% in all samples after HTST. Aggregation of whey protein resulted in a significantly (P < 0.05) higher viscosity in sample H-85-ACa (8.3 mPa.s) compared to UH-C (4.0 mPa.s), and measurement of Ca ion concentration on heating showed that Ca ions enhanced whey protein aggregation, resulting in larger mean protein particle size. The results also suggest that pre-heating of whey protein had a preventative effect on aggregation of protein during HTST of IMF. This study clearly showed that aggregation is more influential than denaturation in determining viscosity development during HTST treatment of IMF, and that such viscosity development can be controlled by altering protein-protein interactions using, for example, pre-heat treatment of whey protein ingredients.
    • Genomic identification, expression profiling, and functional characterization of CatSper channels in the bovine†

      Johnson, Gillian P.; English, Anne-Marie; Cronin, Sinead; Hoey, David A.; Meade, Kieran G.; Fair, Sean; Irish Research Council; European Research Council (ERC); Science Foundation Ireland ERC Support Grant SFI; GOIPG/2014/1463; et al. (Oxford University Press (OUP), 2017-07-26)
      Cation channels of sperm (CatSper) are sperm-specific calcium channels with identified roles in the regulation of sperm function in humans, mice, and horses. We sought to employ a comparative genomics approach to identify conserved CATSPER genes in the bovine genome, and profile their expression in reproductive tissue. We hypothesized that CATSPER proteins expressed in bull testicular tissue mediates sperm hyperactivation and their rheotactic response in the reproductive tract of the cow. Bioinformatic analysis identified all four known CATSPER genes (CATSPER 1–4) in the bovine genome, and profiling by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction identified site-specific variation in messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) expression for all four genes along the reproductive tract of the bull. Using a novel antibody against CATSPER 1, protein expression was confirmed and localized to the principal piece of bull sperm, in agreement with what has been reported in other species. Subsequent treatment of bull sperm with either the calcium chelator ethylene glycol tetraacetic acid; mibefradil, a specific blocker of CatSper channels in human sperm; or CATSPER1 antibody all significantly inhibited caffeine-induced hyperactivation and the rheotactic response, supporting the concept that the calcium influx occurs via CatSper channels. Taken together, the work here provides novel insights into expression and function of CatSper channels in bull testicular tissue and in the function of ejaculated sperm.
    • Forgotten fungi—the gut mycobiome in human health and disease

      Huseyin, Chloe E.; O’Toole, Paul W.; Cotter, Paul D.; Scanlan, Pauline D.; Science Foundation Ireland (SFI); Science Foundation Ireland-Royal Society University Research Fellowship; SFI/12/RC/2273 (Oxford University Press (OUP), 2017-04-18)
      The human body is home to a complex and diverse microbial ecosystem that plays a central role in host health. This includes a diversity of fungal species that is collectively referred to as our ‘mycobiome’. Although research into the mycobiome is still in its infancy, its potential role in human disease is increasingly recognised. Here we review the existing literature available on the human mycobiota with an emphasis on the gut mycobiome, including how fungi interact with the human host and other microbes. In doing so, we provide a comprehensive critique of the methodologies available to research the human mycobiota as well as highlighting the latest research findings from mycological surveys of different groups of interest including infants, obese and inflammatory bowel disease cohorts. This in turn provides new insights and directions for future studies in this burgeoning research area.
    • Farm-level viability, sustainability and resilience: a focus on cooperative action and values-based supply chains

      Hooks, Teresa; Macken-Walsh, Áine; McCarthy, Olive; Power, Carol; Teagasc’s Walsh Fellowship Scheme (NAIK Research Institute of Agricultural Economics, 2017-12-01)
      This paper presents a critical discussion of the concepts of farm-level viability, sustainability and resilience, which are typically discussed separately in the literature. While farm-level viability frequently focuses on measurable economic factors, sustainability is comparatively more elusive because of its added social, cultural and ecological dimensions. Resilience, in turn, is unambiguous in the sense that it requires particular conditions, but is achieved in dynamic ways. A traditional resilience strategy in agriculture globally is co-operative action, involving farmers working together to enhance their viability and sustainability, often achieving resilience. We draw attention to agricultural development models that are distinctive because they leverage co-operative action in and between family farms in agricultural communities while pursuing integrated viability, sustainability and resilience strategies. We focus on the prospect of such rural development models, particularly a values-based supply chain approach, and identify crucial considerations and future research needs.
    • Enhancing the diversity of breeding invertebrates within field margins of intensively managed grassland: Effects of alternative management practices

      Fritch, Rochelle A.; Sheridan, Helen; Finn, John A.; McCormack, Stephen; Ó hUallacháin, Daire; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; RSF 06 382 (Wiley, 2017-10-19)
      Severe declines in biodiversity have been well documented for many taxonomic groups due to intensification of agricultural practices. Establishment and appropriate management of arable field margins can improve the diversity and abundance of invertebrate groups; however, there is much less research on field margins within grassland systems. Three grassland field margin treatments (fencing off the existing vegetation “fenced”; fencing with rotavation and natural regeneration “rotavated” and; fencing with rotavation and seeding “seeded”) were compared to a grazed control in the adjacent intensively managed pasture. Invertebrates were sampled using emergence traps to investigate species breeding and overwintering within the margins. Using a manipulation experiment, we tested whether the removal of grazing pressure and nutrient inputs would increase the abundance and richness of breeding invertebrates within grassland field margins. We also tested whether field margin establishment treatments, with their different vegetation communities, would change the abundance and richness of breeding invertebrates in the field margins. Exclusion of grazing and nutrient inputs led to increased abundance and richness in nearly all invertebrate groups that we sampled. However, there were more complex effects of field margin establishment treatment on the abundance and richness of invertebrate taxa. Each of the three establishment treatments supported a distinct invertebrate community. The removal of grazing from grassland field margins provided a greater range of overwintering/ breeding habitat for invertebrates. We demonstrate the capacity of field margin establishment to increase the abundance and richness in nearly all invertebrate groups in study plots that were located on previously more depauperate areas of intensively managed grassland. These results from grassland field margins provide evidence to support practical actions that can inform Greening (Pillar 1) and agri-environment measures (Pillar 2) of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Before implementing specific management regimes, the conservation aims of agri-environment measures should be clarified by defining the target species or taxonomic groups.
    • Characterisation of the Wetting Behaviour of Poor Wetting Food Powders and the Influence of Temperature and Film Formation

      Fitzpatrick, John J.; Salmon, Justine; Ji, Junfu; Miao, Song (Hosokawa Powder Technology Foundation, 2017)
      Characterisation of the wettability of five poor wetting food powders was performed using static immersion and contact angle measurements. The effect of temperature (20, 50 and 70 °C) on wettability showed varying effects on the powders. Higher temperatures majorly improved the wettability of chocolate and high fat powders but worsened the wettability of sodium caseinate and milk protein isolate. Rate-limiting regime testing was performed by pouring a fixed mass of powder on to the surface of water in an agitated beaker and visually assessing what was rate-limiting rehydration after 1 minute. The rate limiting regime tended to be floating at lower agitation speeds and dispersed clumps of varying sizes at higher speeds. However, there were major differences observed between the powders. Some of the powders formed strong films at powder/water interfaces, that could act as a barrier to water penetration and wettability. Consequently, force displacement testing was performed on a layer of powder on the water surface to assess the strength of any powder film formed. Some of the powders formed strong films that may in-part explain their poor wetting behaviour and their propensity to form strong clumps that were difficult to disrupt.
    • The creation and evaluation of a model to simulate the probability of conception in seasonal-calving pasture-based dairy heifers

      Fenlon, Caroline; O’Grady, Luke; Butler, Stephen; Doherty, Michael L.; Dunnion, John; Dairy Research Ireland (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2017-11-22)
      Background: Herd fertility in pasture-based dairy farms is a key driver of farm economics. Models for predicting nulliparous reproductive outcomes are rare, but age, genetics, weight, and BCS have been identified as factors influencing heifer conception. The aim of this study was to create a simulation model of heifer conception to service with thorough evaluation. Methods: Artificial Insemination service records from two research herds and ten commercial herds were provided to build and evaluate the models. All were managed as spring-calving pasture-based systems. The factors studied were related to age, genetics, and time of service. The data were split into training and testing sets and bootstrapping was used to train the models. Logistic regression (with and without random effects) and generalised additive modelling were selected as the model-building techniques. Two types of evaluation were used to test the predictive ability of the models: discrimination and calibration. Discrimination, which includes sensitivity, specificity, accuracy and ROC analysis, measures a model’s ability to distinguish between positive and negative outcomes. Calibration measures the accuracy of the predicted probabilities with the Hosmer-Lemeshow goodness-of-fit, calibration plot and calibration error. Results: After data cleaning and the removal of services with missing values, 1396 services remained to train the models and 597 were left for testing. Age, breed, genetic predicted transmitting ability for calving interval, month and year were significant in the multivariate models. The regression models also included an interaction between age and month. Year within herd was a random effect in the mixed regression model. Overall prediction accuracy was between 77.1% and 78.9%. All three models had very high sensitivity, but low specificity. The two regression models were very well-calibrated. The mean absolute calibration errors were all below 4%. Conclusion: Because the models were not adept at identifying unsuccessful services, they are not suggested for use in predicting the outcome of individual heifer services. Instead, they are useful for the comparison of services with different covariate values or as sub-models in whole-farm simulations. The mixed regression model was identified as the best model for prediction, as the random effects can be ignored and the other variables can be easily obtained or simulated.
    • Glycomacropeptide Reduces Intestinal Epithelial Cell Barrier Dysfunction and Adhesion of Entero-Hemorrhagic and Entero-Pathogenic Escherichia coli in Vitro

      Feeney, Shane; Ryan, Joseph; Kilcoyne, Michelle; Joshi, Lokesh; Hickey, Rita; Teagasc Walsh Fellowship; Department of Agriculture and Food, Ireland; 10/RD/NUIG/707 (Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2017-10-27)
      In recent years, the potential of glycosylated food components to positively influence health has received considerable attention. Milk is a rich source of biologically active glycoconjugates which are associated with antimicrobial, immunomodulatory, anti-adhesion, anti-inflammatory and prebiotic properties. Glycomacropeptide (GMP) is the C-terminal portion of kappa-casein that is released from whey during cheese-making by the action of chymosin. Many of the biological properties associated with GMP, such as anti-adhesion, have been linked with the carbohydrate portion of the protein. In this study, we investigated the ability of GMP to inhibit the adhesion of a variety of pathogenic Escherichia coli strains to HT-29 and Caco-2 intestinal cell lines, given the importance of E. coli in causing bacterial gastroenteritis. GMP significantly reduced pathogen adhesion, albeit with a high degree of species specificity toward enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC) strains O125:H32 and O111:H2 and enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) strain 12900 O157:H7. The anti-adhesive effect resulted from the interaction of GMP with the E. coli cells and was also dependent on GMP concentration. Pre-incubation of intestinal Caco-2 cells with GMP reduced pathogen translocation as represented by a decrease in transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER). Thus, GMP is an effective in-vitro inhibitor of adhesion and epithelial injury caused by E. coli and may have potential as a biofunctional ingredient in foods to improve gastrointestinal health.
    • Boarfish (Capros aper): review of a new capture fishery and its valorization potential

      Egerton, Sian; Culloty, Sarah; Whooley, Jason; STANTON, CATHERINE; Ross, R. Paul; Irish Research Council (IRC); Biomarine Ingredients Ireland Ltd. via the IRC Enterprise Partnership Scheme (Oxford University Press (OUP), 2017-04-18)
      The world’s fish stocks, although renewable, are a finite resource. European capture fisheries have remained stagnant in terms of volume for many years. To remain profitable, fishers are looking for new opportunities to diversify, reduce costs, and maximize profits. The targeted fishing of boarfish (Capros aper) in Europe is an excellent example of such adaptation. Using this fishery as a case study, we highlight how established fisheries are adapting to changes faced by the industry. We begin by compiling the knowledge to date on the taxonomy, biology, and ecology of the understudied boarfish and go on to provide a comprehensive overview of its expansion as a targeted fishery in Europe, examining the range of valorization options currently being investigated.
    • Metagenome-based surveillance and diagnostic approaches to studying the microbial ecology of food production and processing environments

      Doyle, Conor J.; O'Toole, Paul W.; Cotter, Paul D.; Teagasc Walsh Fellowship; internal Teagasc funding; 2013030; RMIS6364 (Wiley, 2017-09-14)
      Metagenomic-based analyses have the potential to revolutionize our understanding of the microbiology of food production and processing environments. By adopting such approaches, it will be possible to more accurately determine sources of microbial contamination, identify critical control points for such contaminants, and select practices that optimize quality and safety. This mini-review will discuss the merits of adopting metagenostic-based approaches, highlight novel insights that they have provided to date and consider how they could be further implemented.