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Boxtel, Netherlands

Van Wagenberg C.P.A.,LEI Wageningen UR | Backus G.B.C.,LEI Wageningen UR | Wisselink H.J.,Central Veterinary Institute of Wageningen UR | van der Vorst J.G.A.J.,Wageningen University | And 2 more authors.
Preventive Veterinary Medicine | Year: 2013

In this paper we analyze the impact of the sensitivity and specificity of a Mycobacterium avium (Ma) test on pig producer incentives to control Ma in finishing pigs. A possible Ma control system which includes a serodiagnostic test and a penalty on finishing pigs in herds detected with Ma infection was modelled. Using a dynamic optimization model and a grid search of deliveries of herds from pig producers to slaughterhouse, optimal control measures for pig producers and optimal penalty values for deliveries with increased Ma risk were identified for different sensitivity and specificity values. Results showed that higher sensitivity and lower specificity induced use of more intense control measures and resulted in higher pig producer costs and lower Ma seroprevalence. The minimal penalty value needed to comply with a threshold for Ma seroprevalence in finishing pigs at slaughter was lower at higher sensitivity and lower specificity. With imperfect specificity a larger sample size decreased pig producer incentives to control Ma seroprevalence, because the higher number of false positives resulted in an increased probability of rejecting a batch of finishing pigs irrespective of whether the pig producer applied control measures. We conclude that test sensitivity and specificity must be considered in incentive system design to induce pig producers to control Ma in finishing pigs with minimum negative effects. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Murani E.,Leibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology | Ponsuksili S.,Leibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology | D'Eath R.B.,Sustainable Livestock Systems | Turner S.P.,Sustainable Livestock Systems | And 7 more authors.
Journal of Molecular Endocrinology | Year: 2011

To gain insight into the adrenal stress response, we analysed differential mRNA expression of genes associated with psychosocial stress in the pig (Sus scrofa domestica). Various levels of psychosocial stress were induced by mixing groups of unfamiliar pigs with different aggressiveness. We selected two experimental groups for comparison, each comprising eight animals, which differed significantly in aggressive behaviour and plasma cortisol levels. To identify differentially expressed genes, we compared the adrenal transcriptome of these two groups of pigs, using the Affymetrix GeneChip porcine Genome Array. Bioinformatic analysis revealed that psychosocial stress induced upregulation of transcripts enriched for functions associated with cholesterol accumulation and downregulation of transcripts enriched for functions associated with cell growth and death. These responses are similar to those induced by ACTH stimulation. Nevertheless, the majority of the differentially expressed genes were so far not described as ACTH responsive. Some, such as GAL and GALP, may have responded to sympathoadrenal stimulation. Several of the differentially expressed transcripts, such as AGT, are associated with processes modulating steroidogenic response of adrenocortical cells to ACTH. One of the most significant findings was upregulation of LOC100039095, comprising a precursor of the microRNA miR-202, pointing to a previously unrecognised layer of regulation of adrenal steroidogenesis by microRNA. Our study, performed under entirely physiological conditions, complements previous studies focusing either on a single adrenal tissue and/or on a single stimulus, and contributes to understanding of the fine-tuning of adrenal stress response. © 2011 Society for Endocrinology.

Mathur P.K.,Institute for Pig Genetics B.V. | ten Napel J.,Animal Breeding and Genomics Center | Bloemhof S.,Institute for Pig Genetics B.V. | Heres L.,Vion Food Group | And 2 more authors.
Meat Science | Year: 2012

A system for sensory evaluation of boar taint was used to evaluate boar taint in fat samples from 6574 entire males. The term "human nose scoring" has been used to describe this system. The samples from each boar were heated with a hot iron and three panelists assigned scores of 0 to 4. The reproducibility of HNS ranged from 0.19 to 0.32 reflecting natural variation in the ability of human beings to detect different odors. The correlations of HNS with androstenone ranged from 0.22 to 0.52, while those with skatole ranged from 0.31 to 0.89, suggesting that skatole is a better predictor of boar taint. Considering (1) the relationship of HNS with the boar taint compounds, (2) the ability of HNS to capture variation not accounted for by the boar taint compounds, (3) low estimation costs and (4) low time requirements, HNS can be used in large scale evaluations of boar taint. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Oster M.,Leibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology | Murani E.,Leibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology | Ponsuksili S.,Leibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology | D'Eath R.B.,Animal and Veterinary science Research Group | And 8 more authors.
Physiology and Behavior | Year: 2014

Psychosocial challenges are known to introduce cellular and humoral adaptations in various tissues and organs, including parts of the sympatho-adrenal-medullary system and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis as well as other peripheral tissue being responsive to cortisol and catecholamines. The liver is of particular interest given its vital roles in maintaining homeostasis and health as well as regulating nutrient utilization and overall metabolism. We aimed to evaluate whether and how response to psychosocial stress is reflected by physiological molecular pathways in liver tissue. A pig mixing experiment was conducted to induce psychosocial stress culminating in skin lesions which reflect the involvement in aggressive behavior and fighting. At 27. weeks of age, animals prone to psychosocially low- and high-stress were assigned to mixing groups. Skin lesions were counted before mixing and after slaughter on the carcass. Individual liver samples (n = 12) were taken. The isolated RNA was hybridized on Affymetrix GeneChip porcine Genome Arrays. Relative changes of mRNA abundances were estimated via variance analyses. Molecular routes related to tRNA charging, urea cycle, acute phase response, galactose utilization, and steroid receptor signaling were found to be increased in psychosocially high-stressed animals, whereas catecholamine degradation and cholesterol biosynthesis were found to be decreased. In particular, psychosocially high-stressed animals show decreased expression of catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) which has been linked to molecular mechanisms regulating aggressiveness and stress response. The expression patterns of high-stressed animals revealed metabolic alterations of key genes related to energy-mobilizing processes at the expense of energy consuming processes. Thus, the coping following psychosocial challenges involves transcriptional alterations in liver tissue which may be summarized with reference to the concept of allostasis, a strategy which is critical for survival. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.

Gilbert M.,University Utrecht | Bos M.E.H.,University Utrecht | Duim B.,University Utrecht | Urlings B.A.P.,Vion Food Group | And 5 more authors.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine | Year: 2012

Objectives: To assess livestock-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (LA-MRSA) carriage among workers in pig slaughterhouses and assess associated risk factors, including occupational exposure to LA-MRSA. Methods: A cross-sectional study in three Dutch pig slaughterhouses was undertaken. Nasal swabs of participants were taken. Nasal swabs and surface wipes, air and glove samples were screened for presence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). MRSA was quantitatively determined on gloves and in air samples by culturing and real-time PCR. Results: 11 of 341 (3.2%) participants were identified as nasal MRSA carriers. MRSA-positive workers were predominantly found at the start of the slaughter process. Major risk factors for carriage were working in the lairage and working in the scalding and dehairing area. Most nasal isolates (73%) belonged to the LA-MRSA clone ST398. MRSA ST398-positive environmental samples were found throughout the slaughter process. A clear decrease was seen along the slaughterline in the number of MRSA-positive samples and in the MRSA amount per sample. Conclusions: This study showed that working in the lairage area or scalding and dehairing area were the major risk factors for MRSA carriage in pig slaughterhouse workers, while the overall prevalence of MRSA carriage is low. Occupational exposure to MRSA decreased along the slaughterline, and the risk of carriage showed a parallel decrease.

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