Escola Universitaria Vasco da Gama

Coimbra, Portugal

Escola Universitaria Vasco da Gama

Coimbra, Portugal

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PubMed | University of Leipzig, Research Education Innovation, 5AgroSup Dijon, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and 4 more.
Type: | Journal: Animal : an international journal of animal bioscience | Year: 2016

The horse is a non-ruminant herbivore adapted to eating plant-fibre or forage-based diets. Some horses are stabled for most or the majority of the day with limited or no access to fresh pasture and are fed preserved forage typically as hay or haylage and sometimes silage. This raises questions with respect to the quality and suitability of these preserved forages (considering production, nutritional content, digestibility as well as hygiene) and required quantities. Especially for performance horses, forage is often replaced with energy dense feedstuffs which can result in a reduction in the proportion of the diet that is forage based. This may adversely affect the health, welfare, behaviour and even performance of the horse. In the past 20 years a large body of research work has contributed to a better and deeper understanding of equine forage needs and the physiological and behavioural consequences if these are not met. Recent nutrient requirement systems have incorporated some, but not all, of this new knowledge into their recommendations. This review paper amalgamates recommendations based on the latest understanding in forage feeding for horses, defining forage types and preservation methods, hygienic quality, feed intake behaviour, typical nutrient composition, digestion and digestibility as well as health and performance implications. Based on this, consensual applied recommendations for feeding preserved forages are provided.


Vilhena H.,Escola Universitaria Vasco da Gama | Vilhena H.,Animal and Veterinary Research Center | Vilhena H.,Hospital Veterinario Do Baixo Vouga | Granada S.,Escola Universitaria Vasco da Gama | And 6 more authors.
Parasites and Vectors | Year: 2014

Background: Canine leishmaniosis (CanL) due to Leishmania infantum is a global zoonosis endemic in more than 70 countries in Europe, North Africa, Asia and America; however, data on this infection is scarce from southern Africa. The aim of this study was to survey dogs in Luanda, Angola, for Leishmania infection. Findings. One hundred-and-three dogs presented to a veterinary medical centre in Luanda were serologically and molecularly assessed for Leishmania with the direct agglutination test (DAT) and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Two dogs were seropositive, with DAT titres of 800 and ≥6400; the latter was also found to be PCR-positive and confirmed to be infected with L. infantum by DNA sequence analysis. No other dog was found to be PCR-positive. The first dog had been imported from Portugal, but the latter had never left Angola (neither had its parents), strongly suggesting an autochthonous infection. Conclusions: Although other cases of CanL have previously been described in the country, this is the first reported study of canine Leishmania infection at the population level, as well as the first report on the molecular characterization of L. infantum in dogs from Angola. © 2014 Vilhena et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


PubMed | Clinica Casa dos Animais, University of Trás os Montes e Alto Douro, Animal and Veterinary Research Center, Escola Universitaria Vasco da Gama and Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Parasites & vectors | Year: 2016

No molecular data have been available on tick-borne pathogens that infect dogs from Angola. The occurrence of agents from the genera Anaplasma, Babesia, Ehrlichia and Hepatozoon was assessed in 103 domestic dogs from Luanda, by means of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and DNA sequence analysis.Forty-six dogs (44.7%) were positive for at least one pathogen. Twenty-one animals (20.4%) were found infected with Anaplasma platys, 18 (17.5%) with Hepatozoon canis, six (5.8%) with Ehrlichia canis, six (5.8%) with Babesia vogeli, one (1.0%) with Babesia gibsoni and one (1.0%) with an unnamed Babesia sp. The molecular frequency of single infections taken together was 37.9% and that of co-infections with several combinations of two pathogens accounted for 6.8% of the animals.This is the first report of A. platys, B. vogeli, B. gibsoni, E. canis and H. canis infections diagnosed by PCR in domestic dogs from Angola. The present study provides evidence that dogs in Luanda are widely exposed to, and at risk of becoming infected with, tick-borne pathogens. Further investigation is needed, including a larger number of animals, canine populations from other cities and provinces of the country, as well as potential vector ticks, aiming at better characterizing and controlling canine vector-borne diseases in Angola.


Vieira L.,University of Trás os Montes e Alto Douro | Silvestre-Ferreira A.C.,University of Trás os Montes e Alto Douro | Fontes-Sousa A.P.,Abel Salazar Biomedical Sciences Institute | Balreira A.C.,University of Trás os Montes e Alto Douro | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Helminthology | Year: 2015

Dirofilaria immitis is endemic in Portugal. Several studies have reported the presence of canine heartworm disease, although no previous studies on feline infections have been published. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of D. immitis in cats and dogs from central and northern Portugal. Blood samples from 434 cats were tested for circulating anti-D. immitis and anti-Wolbachia antibodies. Furthermore, 386 dogs were tested for circulating D. immitis antigens. Overall feline seroprevalence was 15%, while canine prevalence was 2.1%. The highest feline seroprevalences of 18.7% and 17.6% were found in Aveiro and Viseu, respectively, while the highest canine prevalences of 8.8% and 6.8% were found in Coimbra and Aveiro, respectively. Cats and dogs showing respiratory signs presented higher prevalences of 24.4% and 17%, respectively, while 50% of cats with gastrointestinal signs were seropositive. The present study confirms the seropositivity of D. immitis in the feline population in central and northern Portugal, and suggests the importance of including heartworm disease in the list of differential diagnoses of cats and dogs showing clinical signs compatible with the disease. © Cambridge University Press 2014.


Payan-Carreira R.,Royal University | Saraiva A.,Royal University | Santos T.,Royal University | Vilhena H.,Escola Universitaria Vasco da Gama | And 4 more authors.
Reproduction in Domestic Animals | Year: 2013

Contents: Uterine neoplasms of epithelial origin are rare in cats and most often are described in older females. Yet, in less than 2 years, four ovariohysterectomy specimens were submitted from different practices to the Laboratory of Histology and Anatomical Pathology, at UTAD (Vila Real, Portugal), that emitted a diagnosis of feline endometrial adenocarcinoma. Untypically, all the females were aged <1 year old at the surgery. Access to the clinical files was requested to document the clinical features of the four cases, including any complementary data available, to construct the present case reports. The clinical situation developed with discrete signs, but vulvar discharge was present in three cases, ranging from bloody to brownish or colourless, and from purulent to mucous. The females were in dioestrus, although the oestrus remained unperceived in most cases. In this study, the four clinical situations are described and discussed on the basis of available literature, highlighting the aspects that may impair an early diagnosis and that may favour the progression of the disease and also that age should not be an excluding criteria when analysing the differential diagnosis list. © 2013 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.


Salvador J.A.R.,University of Coimbra | Pinto R.M.A.,Escola Universitaria Vasco da Gama | Silvestre S.M.,University of Beira Interior
Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology | Year: 2013

The role of steroidal inhibitors of androgen biosynthesis as potential weapons in the treatment of prostatic diseases, such as benign prostatic hyperplasia and prostatic cancer will be reviewed. Two enzymes have been targeted in the development of inhibitors that potentially could be useful in the management of such conditions. 5α-Reductase is primarily of interest in benign prostatic disease, though some role in the chemoprevention of prostatic carcinoma have been considered, whereas the 17α-hydroxylase/17, 20-lyase (CYP17) enzyme is of interest in the treatment of malignant disease. An overview of the main achievements obtained during the past years will be presented, however special focus will be made on steroidal molecules that reached clinical trials or have been commercially launched. Relevant examples of such drugs are finasteride, dutasteride, abiraterone acetate and galeterone (TOK-001, formerly known as VN/124-1). This article is part of a Special Issue entitled "Synthesis and biological testing of steroid derivatives as inhibitors". © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Vilhena H.,Escola Universitaria Vasco da Gama | Vilhena H.,Baixo Vouga Veterinary Hospital | Martinez-Diaz V.L.,Autonomous University of Barcelona | Cardoso L.,University of Trás os Montes e Alto Douro | And 6 more authors.
Parasites and Vectors | Year: 2013

Background: In recent years, several clinical cases and epidemiological studies of feline vector-borne diseases (FVBD) have been reported worldwide. Nonetheless, information on FVBD agents and their prevalence in Portugal is scarce. Methods. Three-hundred and twenty domestic cats presented to 30 veterinary medical centres in the north and centre regions of Portugal were randomly sampled. Blood was assayed by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for genera Anaplasma/Ehrlichia, genus Babesia, Hepatozoon canis, Hepatozoon felis, Leishmania infantum and the genus Rickettsia. Babesia-positive samples were further tested for Babesia canis and Babesia vogeli. Results: Eighty (25.0%) out of the 320 cats were positive to at least one vector-borne agent, including seven (2.2%) cats co-infected with two agents. Two cats (0.6%) were infected with Anaplasma/Ehrlichia spp., four (1.3%) with B. canis, 26 (8.1%) with B. vogeli, 50 (15.6%) with H. felis, one (0.3%) with L. infantum and four (1.3%) with Rickettsia spp. No cat tested positive for H. canis. One cat (0.3%) was co-infected with B. canis and B. vogeli, three (0.9%) with B. vogeli and H. felis, one (0.3%) with H. felis and L. infantum, and two (0.6%) with H. felis and Rickettsia spp. Conclusions: A considerable prevalence of infection with vector-borne pathogens among the domestic feline population of the north and centre of Portugal has been revealed by the present study. Additionally, this is the first detection of B. vogeli in cats from Europe and of H. felis in cats from Portugal. © 2013 Vilhena et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Duarte S.C.,Escola Universitaria Vasco da Gama | Duarte S.C.,University of Coimbra | Almeida A.M.,Escola Universitaria Vasco da Gama | Almeida A.M.,University of Coimbra | And 5 more authors.
Food Control | Year: 2013

From all the currently known mycotoxins, aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) presents the greatest public health and agro-economic significance. Its metabolite, aflatoxin M1 (AFM1) has toxicological properties comparable to those of AFB1, albeit a lower carcinogenic potency.The occurrence of AFM1 in milk marketed in Portugal and the evaluation of the exposure degree to the toxin through its consumption in an average citizen were studied. Estimation of the corresponding concentration of AFB1 in feedstuffs was also aimed.Forty samples representing the totality of the pasteurized and UHT half-skimmed milk brands marketed in the country were surveyed. Determination of AFM1 was carried out by means of a commercial competitive ELISA.Eleven samples (27.5%) featured a contamination above the detection limit (mean 23.4 ± 24.0 ng/L). Two milk samples (5%) both produced in Azores presented AFM1 values that surpassed the legal maximum limit (50 ng/L). A third sample, also from the Azores Islands, presented a very high value of contamination. These results are interesting given that dairy production in Azores is traditionally pasture-based which is considered as low risk system regarding AFs contamination.Adult average dietary exposure to the fungal toxin through milk consumption was estimated at 0.08 ng/kg bw/day, which is inevitably higher for infants, considered the main risk group. The concentration of AFB1 in the feeds consumed by the producing cows was estimated as 1.46 μg/kg.The results call for further studies in an attempt to identify and thus control potential influencing factors in the only region where milk samples contaminated above the legal limit were produced. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.


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.


PubMed | Escola Universitaria Vasco da Gama
Type: Case Reports | Journal: Veterinary parasitology | Year: 2013

Thelazia callipaeda (Spirurida, Thelaziidae) is a nematode that lives in the conjunctival sac of domestic and wild carnivores, rabbits and humans causing mild to severe symptoms (e.g., conjunctivitis, lacrimation, epiphora, blepharospasm, keratitis and even corneal ulceration) in infected animals. This report describes an autochthonous case of thelaziosis in a cat from the central region of Portugal, representing the most occidental record of thelaziosis in Europe. Adult nematodes recovered from alive animal were morphological identified as T. callipaeda. A portion of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 gene (cox 1) from nematode specimens was amplified by PCR. Cox1 sequences of all specimens were identical to T. callipaeda haplotype 1. Additionally to these findings, a recent description of thelaziosis in the northern region of Portugal suggests that T. callipaeda has successfully established in Portugal.

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