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Maisons-Alfort, France

Chetboul V.,National Veterinary School of Alfort
Veterinary Clinics of North America - Small Animal Practice

Transthoracic echocardiography has become a major imaging tool for the diagnosis and management of canine and feline cardiovascular diseases. During the last decade, more recent advances in ultrasound technology with the introduction of newer imaging modalities, such as tissue Doppler imaging, strain and strain rate imaging, and 2-dimensional speckle tracking echocardiography, have provided new parameters to assess myocardial performance, including regional myocardial velocities and deformation, ventricular twist, and mechanical synchrony. An outline of these 4 recent ultrasound techniques, their impact on the understanding of right and left ventricular function in small animals, and their application in research and clinical settings are given in this article. © 2010 Elsevier Inc. Source

Gaunet F.,CNRS Eco-anthropology and Ethnobiology | Deputte B.L.,National Veterinary School of Alfort
Animal Cognition

In apes, four criteria are set to explore referential and intentional communication: (1) successive visual orienting between a partner and distant targets, (2) the presence of apparent attention-getting behaviours, (3) the requirement of an audience to exhibit the behaviours, and (4) the influence of the direction of attention of an observer on the behaviours. The present study aimed at identifying these criteria in behaviours used by dogs in communicative episodes with their owner when their toy is out of reach, i. e. gaze at a hidden target or at the owner, gaze alternation between a hidden target and the owner, vocalisations and contacts. In this study, an additional variable was analysed: the position of the dog in relation to the location of the target. Dogs witnessed the hiding of a favourite toy, in a place where they could not get access to. We analysed how dogs engaged in communicative deictic behaviours in the presence of their owner; four heights of the target were tested. To control for the motivational effects of the toy on the dogs' behaviour and for the referential nature of the behaviours, observations were staged where only the toy or only the owner was present, for one of the four heights. The results show that gazing at the container and gaze alternation were used as functionally referential and intentional communicative behaviours. Behavioural patterns of dog position, the new variable, fulfilled the operational criteria for functionally referential behaviour and a subset of operational criteria for intentional communication: the dogs used their own position as a local enhancement signal. Finally, our results suggest that the dogs gazed at their owner at optimal locations in the experimental area, with respect to the target height and their owner's (or their own) line of gaze. © 2011 Springer-Verlag. Source

Pavio N.,National Veterinary School of Alfort | Meng X.-J.,State University | Renou C.,Center Hospitalier Of Hyeres
Veterinary Research

Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is responsible for enterically-transmitted acute hepatitis in humans with two distinct epidemiological patterns. In endemic regions, large waterborne epidemics with thousands of people affected have been observed, and, in contrast, in non-endemic regions, sporadic cases have been described. Although contaminated water has been well documented as the source of infection in endemic regions, the modes of transmission in non-endemic regions are much less known. HEV is a single-strand, positive-sense RNA virus which is classified in the Hepeviridae family with at least four known main genotypes (1-4) of mammalian HEV and one avian HEV. HEV is unique among the known hepatitis viruses, in which it has an animal reservoir. In contrast to humans, swine and other mammalian animal species infected by HEV generally remain asymptomatic, whereas chickens infected by avian HEV may develop a disease known as Hepatitis-Splenomegaly syndrome. HEV genotypes 1 and 2 are found exclusively in humans while genotypes 3 and 4 are found both in humans and other mammals. Several lines of evidence indicate that, in some cases involving HEV genotypes 3 and 4, animal to human transmissions occur. Furthermore, individuals with direct contact with animals are at higher risk of HEV infection. Cross-species infections with HEV genotypes 3 and 4 have been demonstrated experimentally. However, not all sources of human infections have been identified thus far and in many cases, the origin of HEV infection in humans remains unknown. © 2010 INRA, EDP Sciences. Source

Augustin J.-C.,National Veterinary School of Alfort
Food Microbiology

Mathematical description of the behavior of bacterial foodborne pathogens and concepts of risk assessment were first applied to spore-forming bacteria and specially to Clostridium botulinum with numerous works dealing with spores heat destruction to ensure the safety of canned foods or with their germination and growth probability in foods. This paper discusses two aspects which appear specific to pathogenic sporeformers in comparison to vegetative microorganisms, that is, firstly, the extreme intra-species biodiversity of spore-forming bacteria and its consequences for risk assessment and, secondly, the modeling of spore germination and outgrowth processes. The intra-species biodiversity of spore-forming bacteria has a great impact on hazard identification, exposure assessment and hazard characterization leading thus to an extremely variable individual poisoning risk for consumers. The germination and outgrowth processes were shown independent at the single cell level and although numerous studies were performed to study the effect of spores treatments and growth conditions on these two events, the mathematical modeling and the prediction of these processes is still challenging today. The difficulties to accurately assess the biodiversity and the germination and outgrowth processes of spore-forming bacteria lead to a substantial uncertainty in risk estimates related to the exposure to these microorganisms. Nevertheless, significant progress have been made these last years improving the relevance of quantitative risk assessments for spore-forming bacteria and decreasing the risk uncertainty. Despites these difficulties, risk assessment still constitutes a valuable tool to justify the implementation of management options. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Vergari C.,National Veterinary School of Alfort
Journal of biomechanical engineering

Measure of the cross-sectional area (CSA) of biological specimens is a primary concern for many biomechanical tests. Different procedures are presented in literature but besides the fact that noncontact techniques are required during mechanical testing, most of these procedures lack accuracy or speed. Moreover, they often require a precise positioning of the specimen, which is not always feasible, and do not enable the measure of the same section during tension. The objective of this study was to design a noncontact, fast, and accurate device capable of acquiring CSA of specimens mounted on a testing machine. A system based on the horizontal linear displacement of two charge-coupled device reflectance laser devices next to the specimen, one for each side, was chosen. The whole measuring block is mounted on a vertical linear guide to allow following the measured zone during sample tension (or compression). The device was validated by measuring the CSA of metallic rods machined with geometrical shapes (circular, hexagonal, semicircular, and triangular) as well as an equine superficial digital flexor tendon (SDFT) in static condition. We also performed measurements during mechanical testing of three SDFTs, obtaining the CSA variations until tendon rupture. The system was revealed to be very fast with acquisition times in the order of 0.1 s and interacquisition time of about 1.5 s. Measurements of the geometrical shapes yielded mean errors lower than 1.4% (n=20 for each shape) while the tendon CSA at rest was 90.29 ± 1.69 mm(2) (n=20). As for the tendons that underwent tension, a mean of 60 measures were performed for each test, which lasted about 2 min until rupture (at 20 mm/min), finding CSA variations linear with stress (R(2)>0.85). The proposed device was revealed to be accurate and repeatable. It is easy to assemble and operate and capable of moving to follow a defined zone on the specimen during testing. The system does not need precise centering of the sample and can perform noncontact measures during mechanical testing; therefore, it can be used to measure variations of the specimen CSA during a tension (or compression) test in order to determine, for instance, the true stress and transverse deformations. Source

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