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Lisbon, Portugal

Guerreiro O.,Polytechnic Institute of Beja | Guerra A.R.,Polytechnic Institute of Beja | Ramos P.A.B.,Polytechnic Institute of Beja | Bessa R.J.B.,CIISA | And 2 more authors.
Grass and Forage Science | Year: 2015

Shrubs can provide an important contribution to the fodder resources for small ruminants in Mediterranean areas, but there is limited information on their feed value, including secondary metabolites and their seasonal differences. This study evaluated the effect of seasonal variation in chemical composition, in vitro digestibility and antioxidant activity of the aerial parts of plants of Cistus ladanifer of two age groups [young plants vs. older ones (2-6 years old)]. Aerial parts of C. ladanifer plants of both age groups were characterized by moderate cell-wall content [321-410 g NDF kg-1 dry matter (DM)], high levels of phenolic compounds (55·1-106 g gallic acid equivalents per kg DM) and condensed tannins (CT) (32·1-161 g kg-1 DM), low protein content (55-100 g kg-1 DM) and low digestibility (249-315 g of digestible organic matter per kg DM). During autumn and winter, C. ladanifer showed higher protein levels and lower cell-wall content than in the other seasons. The highest values of phenolic compounds, CT and antioxidant activity were achieved during summer. Young plants showed higher levels of phenolic compounds during spring, summer and winter, and higher CT contents in summer (more than 54 g kg-1 DM) compared to old plants. Aerial parts of C. ladanifer of both age groups may be used as a component of ruminant nutrition, but only as a supplement and associated with other feeding resources to complement its nutritional imbalances. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Source

Fradinho M.J.,CIISA | Barbosa M.,Fundacao Alter Real | Vila-Vicosa M.J.C.,University of Evora | Rosa A.,Qta. da Lagoalva de Cima | And 4 more authors.
EAAP Scientific Series | Year: 2010

In the foal, the relationship between skeletal development and growth rate has been studied. Bone markers as osteocalcin (OC) and bone alkaline phosphatase (BAP) are known to reflect bone metabolism and, in humans and rodents, leptin was also involved in the regulation of bone mass. Quantitative ultrasonography could provide information on bone quality as it reflects mineral density and bone mechanical properties. The main objective of this study was to evaluate the relationship between growth rate and (1) bone biochemical markers; (2) leptin, and (3) ultrasound measurements of the third metacarpal bone in the young Lusitano horse, up to one year of age. Thirty three Lusitano foals from four stud farms were monitored every two months from birth to one year of age. Animals were weighed and blood samples were collected for analysis of BAP, OC and leptin. Measurements of speed of sound (SOS) on the mid section of the right third metacarpal bone (MC III) (dorsal and lateral aspects) were performed. Individual growth curves were adjusted and the derivatives as the instantaneous growth rate (IGR) were calculated for each sampling time. Pearson's correlation coefficients were used to examine the variables relationships. Effects of group and age were evaluated. Positive correlations were found between IGR and plasma leptin (0.26; P<0.001), OC (0.67; P<0.0001) and BAP (0.34; P<0.0001). The negative correlation between IGR and lateral SOS MCIII measurements (-0.47; P<0.0001), confirm its increase with age. Negative correlations were observed between SOS lateral measurements and OC (-0.38; P<0.0001) and BAP (-0.20; P<0.05). A correlation between OC and BAP was also observed (0.21; P<0.01). Differences on OC and BAP were detected between groups. This study suggests that bone markers and SOS measurements could be influenced by different growth rates in the Lusitano foal. Source

Ferreira-Dias G.,CIISA | Costa A.S.,CIISA | Mateus L.,CIISA | Korzekwa A.J.,Institute of Animal Reproduction and Food Research | And 7 more authors.
Domestic Animal Endocrinology | Year: 2011

Cytokines and nitric oxide (NO) are potential mediators of luteal development and maintenance, angiogenesis, and blood flow. The aim of this study was to evaluate (i) the localization and protein expression of endothelial and inducible nitric oxide synthases (eNOS and iNOS) in equine corpora lutea (CL) throughout the luteal phase and (ii) the effect of a nitric oxide donor (spermine NONOate, NONOate) on the production of progesterone (P4) and prostaglandin (PG) E2 and factor(s) that stimulate endothelial cell proliferation using equine luteal explants. Luteal tissue was classified as corpora hemorrhagica (CH; n = 5), midluteal phase CL (mid-CL; n = 5) or late luteal phase CL (late CL; n = 5). Both eNOS and iNOS were localized in large luteal cells and endothelial cells throughout the luteal phase. The expression of eNOS was the lowest in mid-CL (P < 0.05) and the highest in late CL (P < 0.05). However, no change was found for iNOS expression. Luteal explants were cultured with no hormone added or with NONOate (10-5 M), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα; 10 ng/mL; positive control), or equine LH (100 ng/mL; positive control). Conditioned media by luteal tissues were assayed for P4 and PGE2 and for their ability to stimulate proliferation of bovine aortic endothelial cells (BAEC). All treatments stimulated release of P4 in CH, but not in mid-CL. TNFα and NONOate treatments also increased PGE2 levels and BAEC proliferation in CH (P < 0.05). However, in mid-CL, no changes were observed, regardless of the treatments used. These data suggest that NO and TNFα stimulate equine CH secretory functions and the production of angiogenic factor(s). Furthermore, in mares, NO may play a role in CL growth during early luteal development, when vascular development is more intense. © 2011 Elsevier Inc. Source

Alho A.M.,CIISA | Cruz L.,Hospital Veterinario das Laranjeiras | Coelho A.,Hospital Veterinario das Laranjeiras | Martinho F.,Hospital Veterinario das Laranjeiras | And 6 more authors.
Parasitology International | Year: 2016

Onchocerca lupi (Spirurida, Onchocercidae) is an emerging vector-borne helminth that causes nodular lesions associated with acute or chronic ocular disease in dogs and cats. Since its first description in dogs in 1991, this zoonotic filarioid has been increasingly reported in Europe and the United States. An 8-year-old outdoor mixed-breed female dog from the Algarve (southern Portugal) was presented with a history of severe dyspnoea. Cervical and thoracic radiographs revealed a slight reduction in the diameter of the cervical trachea and a moderate increase in radiopacity of the laryngeal soft tissue. An exploratory laryngoscopy was performed, revealing filiform worms associated with stenosis of the thyroid cartilage and a purulent necrotic tissue in the larynx lumen. A single sessile nodule, protruding from the dorsal wall of the laryngeal lumen caused a severe reduction of the glottis and tracheal diameter. Fragments of the worms were morphologically and molecularly identified as O. lupi. Histological examination of the nodule showed a granulomatous reaction with sections of coiled gravid female nematodes. Following laryngoscopy, a tracheostomy tube was inserted to relieve dyspnoea and ivermectin (300 μg/kg, once a week, for 8 weeks) combined with prednisolone was prescribed. The dog showed a complete recovery. Although O. lupi has been isolated in human patients from the spinal cord, this is the first report of an aberrant migration of O. lupi in a dog. The veterinary medical community should pay attention to aberrant location of O. lupi and consider onchocercosis as a differential diagnosis for airway obstruction in dogs. © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. Source

Couto M.,CIISA | Santos A.S.,Escola Universitaria Vasco da Gama | Laborda J.,Associacao para o Estudo e Protecao do Gado Asinino | Novoa M.,Associacao para o Estudo e Protecao do Gado Asinino | And 2 more authors.
Livestock Science | Year: 2016

The Miranda donkey (Equus asinus) has an important role in the maintenance of rural landscape and traditions in inland of Portugal. Breeding and keeping of these animals rely on mountain pasture areas, known for their characteristic botanical diversity. However, their grazing behaviour in these areas has not been described and this knowledge is important to set the best management practices that promote an efficient use of these particular feed resources that could be related with parasitic level of these animals. In this way, this study aimed to assess feeding behaviour, diet selection, and relate the total phenolic and tannin content of ingested plants with the parasite load in a group of Miranda donkeys under free ranging system in natural mountain pastures. For this purpose, eight adult non-pregnant Jennies from the Miranda donkey breed were managed under continuous grazing on a 1.6 ha natural mountain pasture from late May to late July. Body condition score (BCS) and grazing behaviour of the Jennies was assessed in two different occasions. Additionally, the level of gastrointestinal nematode infections of the herd was assessed throughout the study. Results showed that animals spent 75.6% of total observation time in search/prehension activities corresponding to an average of 16 h/day. Jennies showed a preference for herbaceous species, although they were able to incorporate in their diet up to 30% of shrubs, suggesting that they can be used as biological tool for controlling and reducing shrub encroachment in these mountain areas. Parasite level increased from 0% positive samples in June to a maximum of 25% in July. The increase of EPG may be related with the observed decrease in the shrub consumption throughout the observation period. Having in account the presence of phenolic and condensed tannins in shrubs, their potential as natural anti-parasitic compounds and the possibility of taking part in donkey diet, these preliminary results can be of the utmost importance regarding an integrated approach of Miranda donkey parasite control. © 2016 Elsevier B.V. Source

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