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Cortisol, DHEA, and Sexual Steroid Concentrations in Fattening Pigs’ Hair
Cristina Bergamin, Antonella Comin, Mirco Corazzin, Massimo Faustini, Tanja Peric, Annalisa Scollo, Flaviana Gottardo, M. Montillo, Alberto Prandi, 2019, original scientific article

Abstract: The aim of this study was to analyze the feasibility and reliability of using hair as a matrix to determine the dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and sexual steroid concentrations and the cortisol/DHEA ratio in fattening pigs. The results could be also used to plan future research to identify threshold values in order to set up strategies to control the allostatic load and increase the resilience of fattening pigs before slaughter. The study was conducted on 107 commercial crossbred rearing pigs. The hair samples were taken by shaving at the age of 36 weeks, and concentrations of the hormones were measured using a solid-phase microtiter radioimmunoassay. Females had significantly higher cortisol levels (p < 0.01), significantly lower DHEA concentrations (p < 0.05) and significantly higher cortisol/DHEA ratios (p < 0.01) than barrows. Progesterone was significantly higher in gilts than in barrows (p < 0.01). Testosterone and 17β-estradiol were significantly higher in barrows than in gilts (p < 0.05). If future research can produce threshold values for the different markers examined, the evaluation of animals under subclinical stress conditions will be possible.
Found in: osebi
Keywords: fattening pigs, hair, steroid hormones, allostatic load
Published: 12.06.2019; Views: 928; Downloads: 0
.pdf Fulltext (277,52 KB)

Analysis of 19 Minerals and Cortisol in Red Deer Hair in Two Different Areas of the Stelvio National Park: A Preliminary Study
Marta Montillo, Tanja Peric, 2019, original scientific article

Abstract: The aim of the study was to perform an investigation on the concentration of 19 minerals and cortisol in red deer (Cervus elaphus) hair, a matrix that is easy to collect with non-invasive and painless sampling, able to represent an integrative values of long-term substance concentrations, and able to give useful information, also when performed on dead animals, given its extreme stability over time. In the study thirty-five animals were included, coming from two different sides of a valley in the Stelvio National Park, where official water analysis had pointed out elevated concentrations of As in one of the two orographic sides. Hair cortisol concentrations were measured using a RIA(Radio Immuno Assay), while minerals were detected using ICP-MS (Inductively Coupled Plasma- Mass Spectrometry). Results showed a negative relationship between cortisol and some mineral concentrations (Li, Co, As, Cd, Cr and Tl) and significant differences in some mineral concentrations between park areas (Al, Co, Cu, Cd and Ni). As, Cr and cortisol differences approached statistical significance. This preliminary study represents a step forward in the study of wildlife allostatic load and a valid method for applications in wildlife management programs, in environmental studies and in public health programs.
Found in: osebi
Keywords: hair, deer, mineral, cortisol
Published: 27.08.2019; Views: 513; Downloads: 28
.pdf Fulltext (2,10 MB)

17β-Estradiol and testosterone amniotic concentrations in at term born puppies: preliminary results
Jasmine Fusi, Tanja Peric, 2019, published scientific conference contribution abstract

Abstract: The study of fetal sexual steroid hormones production during pregnancy deserve scientific interest in both humans and animals, to better understand the normal sexual development, but also in the recently investigated impact on the future health outcomes (Kuijper et al, 2013). Many studies reported the early production of testosterone by the testes during the fetal stage of development; however, also estrogens were recognized to play a role in developing programming. Because of the scarce knowledge about this topic in the dog, the present study was aimed to assess the 17β-estradiol (E2) and testosterone (T) amniotic concentrations at birth in normal newborn dogs. The study was conducted on 31 normal puppies, 16 males and 15 females, born by 10 healthy bitches belonging to several breeds, submitted to elective Caesarean section at term, with litter-size ranging between 1 to 5. Amniotic fluid from each puppy was collected (Meloni et al, 2014) and immediately stored at - 20 ° C until analysis by RIA. Amniotic E2 concentrations in male and female puppies were 124±66.82 pg/ml and 109±42.15 pg/ml, respectively; while amniotic T concentrations were 124±91.24 pg/ml and 114±71.72 pg/ml, in male and female puppies, respectively, without significant differences between the two genders. These preliminary results showed that both E2 and T were detectable in canine amniotic fluid, but without differences between male and female puppies. The wide standard deviations found deserve further investigations on a larger number of subjects, to identify possible causes, such as the effect played by the bitch. Kuijper EA, Ket JC, Caanen MR, Lambalk CB. Reproductive hormone concentrations in pregnancy and neonates: a systematic review. Reprod Biomed Online 2013; 27:33-63; Meloni T, Comin A, Rota A, Peric T, Contri A, Veronesi MC. IGF-I and NEFA concentrations in fetal fluids of term pregnancy dogs. Theriogenology 2014;8:1307-11.
Found in: osebi
Summary of found: ...27:33-63; Meloni T, Comin A, Rota A, Peric T, Contri A, Veronesi MC. IGF-I and...
Keywords: 17β-Estradiol, testosterone, amniotic fluid, fetal fluid, dog, puppy
Published: 29.08.2019; Views: 588; Downloads: 0
.pdf Fulltext (7,50 MB)

Qualitative behaviour assessment in intensively and extensively reared lambs
Raul Bodas, Tanja Peric, 2019, published scientific conference contribution abstract

Abstract: Qualitative behaviour assessment (QBA, from the AWIN welfare assessment protocol for sheep) relies on the ability of humans to integrate perceived details of behaviour into descriptors with emotional connotation that can be scaled and added to other quantitative indicators. The complete AWIN protocol was performed in 14 groups (6 extensive, 2 semi-intensive and 6 intensive rearing system) of 15 young lambs (2 months of age) participating in the EcoLamb project (ERA-Net SusAn funded), which aims to holistically evaluate lamb production sustainability (meat quality, ecological footprint and animal welfare). Data on QBA (items were being scaled from 0 –absence- to 10 -all the animals fully expressed the evaluated item-), familiar approach and fleece quality tests were subjected to descriptive statistics analyses and showed herein. Extensively reared lambs scored higher in descriptors such as aggressive, defensive, physically uncomfortable or apathetic, whereas intensively reared lambs showed higher values in descriptors such as agitated and fearful but also in other as active, sociable, vigorous, subdued, calm, inquisitive and assertive. Semi-intensively reared lambs scored in between. All the animals ruminated to some extent (when observed), the quality of the fleece was always acceptable and no stereotypes were recorded. Minor lameness problems were observed in one extensive farm. Regarding familiar approach, all animals (except in one farm) voluntarily approached to human, despite a flight distance of 2 to 4 m was observed at the beginning. Although animal welfare is a real complex matter to be assessed, do animals from different rearing systems express different degree of positive emotional state?
Found in: osebi
Keywords: welfare, behaviour, lambs, sheep
Published: 16.09.2019; Views: 693; Downloads: 0
.pdf Fulltext (204,59 KB)

Assessment of cortisol and DHEA concentrations in Griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus) feathers to evaluate its allostatic load
Gian Nicola Frongia, Tanja Peric, 2019, original scientific article

Abstract: The use of a non-invasive approach to collect biological samples from natural populations represents a great means of gathering information while avoiding handling animals. Even if corticosterone is the main glucocorticoid investigated in birds, it has been observed a proportional direct link between corticosterone and cortisol concentrations. Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) can be produced by the adrenal cortex and should have prominent antiglucocorticoid properties also in birds. The aim of this study was to verify if there is any difference in the cortisol and DHEA feather concentrations between clinically normal and physiologically compromised Griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus) through the non-invasive approach of collecting moulted feathers without having to pluck them from the bird. The study was carried out using 8 physiologically compromised (PC) Griffons and 9 clinically normal Griffons considered as the control (CTRL) group that were necropsied or from the wildlife rehabilitation centre. Primary and secondary covert feathers were either collected directly from the birds’ cage floors, or, in the case of dead Griffons, they were plucked off the animals. The results, obtained by RIA, revealed that both cortisol (P<0.01) and DHEA (P<0.05) feather concentrations were higher in the PC than in the CTRL group. No difference was observed by comparing the cortisol/DHEA ratio between the two evaluated groups (P=0.15). Pearson’s correlation coefficients showed no correlation between feather hormone concentrations in the PC group (r=0.01, P=0.96) while a positive correlation in the CTRL group (r=0.65, P=0.006) was observed. In conclusion, our study reveals that moulted feathers can be a non-invasive and an interesting tool to evaluate the allostatic load of wild birds and they allowed to better understand the relationship between hormones of the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis and the physiological status of the birds.
Found in: osebi
Keywords: wild birds, raptors, HPA axis, steroids, coverts
Published: 16.09.2019; Views: 667; Downloads: 29
.pdf Fulltext (664,32 KB)

Arthropod biodiversity associated to European sheep grazed pastures
Tanja Peric, Rocio Rosa García, 2019, published scientific conference contribution abstract

Abstract: We analysed the biodiversity of foliage arthropods in nine sheep grazed pasturelands in five European countries. During the maximum flowering period in 2018, entomofauna was collected in 4-6 areas within each pasture, performing 6 transects/area and 25 sweeps per transect. Multivariate analyses tested the differences in total arthropod community composition among degrees of intensification, bioregions and types of pastures. A total of 51,474 arthropods from 3 classes, 17 orders and 95 taxonomical groups were recorded. Univariate analyses revealed that total arthropod abundance was higher in extensive than in intensive systems (P<0.01). It also differed between bioregions (higher in Alpine than in Continental, P<0.05) and between types of pastures (higher in mountain than in lowland pastures where animals are supplemented, P<0.05). Total taxa richness was not influenced by any of the three factors. However, multivariate analyses indicated that community composition differed among intensive and extensive systems, bioregions and types of pastures (P<0.001). The greatest differences occurred between Alpine and Mediterranean (P<0.001), and Mediterranean and Continental pastures (P<0.05), as well as between lowland seminatural and improved pastures (P<0.05), and seminatural and mountain pastures (P<0.001). These results reveal the complex and varied communities associated to the diverse sheep systems and valorise the role of the more extensive, mountain and natural pastures for the conservation of biodiversity in sheep grazed areas.
Found in: osebi
Keywords: Arthropods, Biodiversity, Sustainability, Management
Published: 25.10.2019; Views: 576; Downloads: 0
.pdf Fulltext (1,17 MB)

Effects of alfaxalone or propofol on giant-breed dog neonates viability during elective caesarean sections
Monica Melandri, Tanja Peric, 2019, original scientific article

Abstract: Attention must be paid to C-section anesthesia effects on mother and offspring. Alfaxalone induction results in improved puppy viability when compared to propofol. The present study aims to evaluate effects of alfaxalone or propofol induction for elective C-section on newborns, expressed as Apgar score and fetal fluids cortisol concentration. Anesthesia was induced with alfaxalone 3 mg/kg iv in 5 bitches (group A), and propofol 4 mg/kg iv in another 5 (group P), maintained with isoflurane. Amniotic and allantoic fluids were collected to determine cortisol concentration. Apgar score, litter size, newborn gender, birth-weight, maternal age, and parity were recorded. ANOVA, U Mann-Whitney test and ANCOVA assessed the effects of drugs on the Apgar score and fetal fluids cortisol. Thirty-six puppies were randomly selected for the study: 16 from group A and 20 from group P. Only the Apgar score significantly differed between groups. ANCOVA confirmed a significantly higher Apgar score in group A underlining the influence of fetal fluids cortisol concentrations, both resulting in covariates. Present results confirm the effect of anesthesia on the Apgar score of newborns, which is significantly higher for alfaxalone than propofol, suggesting the use of fetal fluids cortisol as a covariate. These findings could be a starting point for further investigations when less viable puppies are detected or expected, such as during an emergency C-section. © 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
Found in: osebi
Keywords: Alfaxalone, Apgar score, C-section, Canine neonates, Cortisol, Fetal fluids
Published: 26.11.2019; Views: 451; Downloads: 25
.pdf Fulltext (234,45 KB)

How to react to the necessity of a sustainable animal production? The EcoLamb project.
Petra Makorič, Ario de Marco, Martina Bergant, Tanja Peric, 2019, published scientific conference contribution

Abstract: EcoLamb assesses the sustainability of diverse European sheep production systems focusing on the ecological footprint, animal welfare aspects and nutrition value of lamb meat. The outcomes of these assessments will be used to understand the potential future barriers that limit the innovative capacity and development of the sector and the opportunities that may provide a future market niche against competitive products from other global markets. Farm solutions that incorporate consumer expectations for animal welfare and meat quality will enhance the competitiveness of Europe's lamb meat sector. The project engages trans-national research and industry stakeholders from 6 countries made up of Germany, Italy, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain and Turkey to analyse on 20 case study farms resource-efficient, competitive and low-carbon lamb production models. Direct linkage between animal welfare, meat quality and pharmaceutical use will also be determined using innovative Precision Farming techniques. The project will produce a toolbox of recommendations for productive sheep farm management, supply chain and marketing on how to improve the acceptability of lamb meat by consumers. Thus, the multidisciplinary approach and the multi-actor involvement of the EU sheep sector will assist in re-designing critical aspects to increase society acceptance and the place of lamb meat in future diets and the outcomes of the project will be used by stakeholders to promote changes in farm management, marketing and processing of meat from sheep. Additionally, results will be used by farm consultants, farmer groups and policy officers to re-design consulting approaches and plan new initiatives to make all aspects of the European sheep industry more sustainable.
Found in: osebi
Keywords: Sustainability, animal production, lamb, welfare, quality, meat, EcoLamb
Published: 26.11.2019; Views: 554; Downloads: 0
.pdf Fulltext (7,65 MB)

Short communication
Tanja Peric, A. Comin, M. Corazzin, M. Montillo, A. Cappa, G. Campanile, A. Prandi, 2013, short scientific article

Found in: osebi
Keywords: križanci, dlake, kortizol
Published: 16.06.2016; Views: 1614; Downloads: 13
URL Fulltext (0,00 KB)

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