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Michel F.,University Research Animal Resources | Gabbard J.,University of Georgia | Tompkins S.M.,University of Georgia | Hogan R.J.,University Research Animal Resources | Hogan R.J.,University of Georgia
Viral Immunology | Year: 2010

Confirmed reports of large domesticated cats becoming infected with highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 virus have raised questions about both the risk of infection for these animals, and their potential as vector or reservoir hosts in an influenza pandemic. With this in mind, we examined the immunogenicity of the hemagglutinin (HA) of H5N1 strain A/Vietnam/1203/04 using several different vaccination strategies. Data from ELISA assays showed that vaccination with a single dose of recombinant H5 HA protein induces a robust antibody response against both whole inactivated virus and recombinant HA antigen. Moreover, a single dose of the recombinant H5 HA protein induced hemagglutination inhibition titers ≥40, which is indicative of protective immunization. Cats receiving the IND H5N1 vaccine required two doses before similar H5 HA-specific antibody titers were observed, and despite boosting, these animals had HIA titers that were lower than or equivalent to those in the group receiving one injection of recombinant protein. In contrast, cats vaccinated with plasmid DNA encoding HA failed to develop HA-specific antibody responses above those seen in cohorts receiving an unrelated control plasmid. The results of this study indicate that recombinant H5 HA protein-based vaccines can rapidly induce high serum antibody titers, and may be more effective than either inactivated influenza virus or DNA vaccines in cats. © Copyright 2010, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc..

Salyards G.W.,University Research Animal Resources | Salyards G.W.,University of California at Davis | Blas-Machado U.,University of Georgia | Mishra S.,University of Georgia | And 4 more authors.
Comparative Medicine | Year: 2013

Spontaneous neoplasms in Mongolian gerbils have an incidence of 20% to 26.8%, but osteosarcomas occur at a much lower rate. Here we report a 1-y-old Mongolian gerbil with a spontaneous osteosarcoma at the level of the proximal tibia, with metastases to the pectoral muscles and lungs. Grossly, the tibial mass obliterated the tibia and adjacent muscles, and an axillary mass with a bloody, cavitary center expanded the pectoral muscles. Microscopically, the tibial mass was an infiltrative, osteoblastic mesenchymal neoplasm, and the axillary mass was an anaplastic mesenchymal neoplasm with hemorrhage. The lung contained multiple metastatic foci. Immunohistochemistry for osteonectin was strongly positive in the tibial, axillary, and pulmonary metastases. Although osteosarcoma is the most common primary malignant bone neoplasm that occurs spontaneously in all laboratory and domestic animal species and humans, it arises less frequently than does other neoplasms. The current case of spontaneous osteoblastic osteosarcoma of the proximal tibia and metastases to the pectoral muscles and lung in a Mongolian gerbil is similar in presentation, histology, and predilection site of both osteoblastic and telangiectatic osteosarcomas in humans. In addition, this case is an unusual manifestation of osteosarcoma in the appendicular skeleton of a Mongolian gerbil. Copyright 2013 by the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science.

Swennes A.G.,University Research Animal Resources | Swennes A.G.,University of Georgia | Swennes A.G.,Massachusetts Institute of Technology | Alworth L.C.,University Research Animal Resources | And 7 more authors.
Journal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science | Year: 2011

Routine laboratory procedures can be stressful for laboratory animals. We wanted to determine whether human handling of adult rabbits could induce a degree of habituation, reducing stress and facilitating research-related manipulation. To this end, adult New Zealand white rabbits were handled either frequently or minimally. After being handled over 3 wk, these rabbits were evaluated by novel personnel and compared with minimally handled controls. Evaluators subjectively scored the rabbits for their relative compliance or resistance to being scruff ed and removed from their cages, being transported to a treatment room, and their behavior at all stages of the exercise. Upon evaluation, handled rabbits scored significantly more compliant than nontreated controls. During evaluation, behaviors that the rabbits displayed when they were approached in their cages and while being handled outside their cages were recorded and compared between study groups. Handled rabbits displayed behavior consistent with a reduction in human-directed fear. This study illustrates the potential for handling to improve compliance in laboratory procedures and reduce fear-related behavior in laboratory rabbits. Such handling could be used to improve rabbit welfare through the reduction of stress and exposure to novel stimuli. Copyright 2011 by the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science.

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