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Mihalca A.D.,University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, Cluj-Napoca
Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology | Year: 2013

Rodents comprise more species than any other mammal order. Most rodents are considered keystone species in their ecological communities, hence the survival of many other species in the ecosystem depend on them. From medical point of view, this is particularly important for rodent-dependent pathogens. In the particular case of tick-borne diseases, rodents are important as hosts for vector ticks and as reservoir hosts (Lyme borreliosis, human granulocytic anaplasmosis, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, Tick-borne relapsing fevers, tick-borne rickettsioses, babesiosis). Community and population ecology of rodents was shown to be correlated with disease ecology in the case of many tick-borne diseases. In Eastern Europe, several adult hard-tick species use rodents as their principal hosts: Ixodes apronophorus, I. crenulatus, I. laguri, I. redikorzevi, I. trianguliceps. However, the majority of ticks feeding on rodents are immature stages of ticks which as adults are parasitic on larger mammals. Larvae and nymphs of Ixodes ricinus, the most abundant and medically important tick from Europe, are commonly found on rodents. This is particularly important, as many rodents are synanthropic and, together with other micromammals and birds are often the only available natural hosts for ticks in urban environments. This work reviews the correlated ecology of rodents and I. ricinus.

Patiu A.I.,University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, Cluj-Napoca
Parasites & vectors | Year: 2012

Hyalomma aegyptium is a hard-tick with a typical three-host life cycle. The main hosts are Palearctic tortoises of genus Testudo. However, other hosts can be used by immature ticks for feeding in natural conditions. Given this complex ecology and multiple host use, the circulation of pathogens by H. aegyptium between various hosts can be important from epidemiological point of view. The aim of this study was to evaluate the role of H. aegyptium as natural carrier of four important zoonotic pathogens. From 2008 to 2011, 448 H. aegyptium ticks were collected from 45 Spur-thighed tortoises, Testudo graeca in Romania. DNA was extracted individually from each tick using a commercial kit. DNA was examined for the presence of specific sequences of Borrelia burgdorferi s.l., Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Ehrlichia canis and Coxiella burnetii by PCR, according to previously described protocols. PCR analysis of H. aegyptium revealed the presence of A. phagocytophilum (18.8%), E. canis (14.1%) and C. burnetii (10%). 32.4% of the ticks were infected with at least one pathogen and 9.8% had co-infections. The stages most frequently infected were nymphs (50%) followed by males (33.9%) and females (27%). The number of tortoises which harboured infected ticks was 27/45 examined (60%). From all tested T. graeca, 40% harboured ticks infected with A. phagocytophilum, 46.7% had ticks infected with E. canis and 33.3% had ticks with C. burnetii. This study reports for the first time the presence of A. phagocytophilum and E. canis in H. aegyptium. The presence and relatively high prevalence of three important zoonotic pathogens in H. aegyptium raises the question of their epidemiologic importance in disease ecology. As tortoises are unlikely to be reservoir hosts for A. phagocytophilum and E. canis and both these pathogens are common in H. aegyptium, this is an important indication for (1) a possible increased host-switching behaviour of these ticks to competent reservoir hosts (i.e. hedgehogs) and (2) transstadial transmission. Furthermore, if we consider also the presence of C. burnetii, we conclude that T. graeca and its ticks should be evaluated more seriously when assessing the eco-epidemiology of zoonotic diseases.

Gyorke A.,University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, Cluj-Napoca
Acta veterinaria Scandinavica | Year: 2014

Intensive poultry production systems depend on chemoprophylaxis with anticoccidial drugs to combat infection. A floor-pen study was conducted to evaluate the anticoccidial effect of Artemisia annua and Foeniculum vulgare on Eimeria tenella infection. Five experimental groups were established: negative control (untreated, unchallenged); positive control (untreated, challenged); a group medicated with 125 ppm lasalocid and challenged; a group medicated with A. annua leaf powder at 1.5% in feed and challenged; and a group treated with the mixed oils of A. annua and Foeniculum vulgare in equal parts, 7.5% in water and challenged. The effects of A. annua and oil extract of A. annua + F. vulgare on E. tenella infection were assessed by clinical signs, mortality, fecal oocyst output, faeces, lesion score, weight gain, and feed conversion. Clinical signs were noticed only in three chickens from the lasalocid group, six from the A. annua group, and nine from the A. annua + F. vulgare group, but were present in 19 infected chickens from the positive control group. Bloody diarrhea was registered in only two chickens from A. annua group, but in 17 chickens from the positive control group. Mortality also occurred in the positive control group (7/20). Chickens treated with A. annua had a significant reduction in faecal oocysts (95.6%; P = 0.027) and in lesion score (56.3%; P = 0.005) when compared to the positive control. At the end of experiment, chickens treated with A. annua leaf powder had the highest body weight gain (68.2 g/day), after the negative control group, and the best feed conversion (1.85) among all experimental groups. Our results suggest that A. annua leaf powder (Aa-p), at 1.5% of the daily diet post-infection, can be a valuable alternative for synthetic coccidiostats, such as lasalocid.

Weindorf D.C.,Texas Tech University | Paulette L.,University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, Cluj-Napoca | Man T.,Babes - Bolyai University
Environmental Pollution | Year: 2013

Zlatna, Romania is the site of longtime mining/smelting operations which have resulted in widespread metal pollution of the entire area. Previous studies have documented the contamination using traditional methods involving soil sample collection, digestion, and quantification via inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy or atomic absorption. However, field portable X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (PXRF) can accurately quantify contamination in-situ, in seconds. A PXRF spectrometer was used to scan 69 soil samples in Zlatna across multiple land use types. Each site was georeferenced with data inputted into a geographic information system for high resolution spatial interpolations. These models were laid over contemporary aerial imagery to evaluate the extent of pollution on an individual elemental basis. Pb, As, Co, Cu, and Cd exceeded governmental action limits in >50% of the sites scanned. The use of georeferenced PXRF data offers a powerful new tool for in-situ assessment of contaminated soils. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Parmen V.,University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, Cluj-Napoca
JAMS Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies | Year: 2014

This study investigated the effectiveness of electroacupuncture analgesia (EAA) at local and paravertebral acupoints for a rabbit undergoing an ovariohysterectomy. Twelve clinically healthy New Zealand white rabbits were chosen and divided into two groups: the control group (5 rabbits) and the experimental group (7 rabbits). A neuroleptanalgesic (ketamine + xylazine) was administered to the control group (NLA group); the experimental group received EAA treatment (EAA group). The EAA treatment includes one acupuncture formula for local stimulation at the incision site and systemic stimulation. Results of clinical research have shown postoperative analgesia using EAA treatment to be superior to that using NLA. The average postoperative recovery time was 5.2 times longer in the NLA group than in the EAA group. Because consciousness was maintained, EAA presented an advantage in thermoregulation. Animals administered NLA had prolonged thermal homeostasis because of neurovegetative disconnection. For the EAA group, the operative times were characterized as excellent (28%, p = 0.28) or good (72%, p = 0.72). Local stimulation at the incision site provided excellent analgesia of the abdominal wall (100%). In conclusion, EA can provide general analgesia with a considerable analgesic effect for a rabbit undergoing an ovariohysterectomy, resulting in a short postoperative recovery time. © 2014.

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