Tag Archives: Swine

It’s not just a grunt: Pigs really do have something to say

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The grunts made by pigs vary depending on the pig’s personality and can convey important information about the welfare of this highly social species, new research has found. Scientists specialising in animal behaviour and welfare devised an experiment to investigate the relationship between personality and the rate of grunting in pigs. They also examined the […]

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* Researchers first to grow living bone that replicates original anatomical structure

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A new technique developed by Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic, the Mikati Foundation Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Columbia Engineering and professor of medical sciences (in Medicine) at Columbia University, repairs large bone defects in the head and face by using lab-grown living bone, tailored to the patient and the defect being treated. This is the first time […]

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Diet lacking in zinc is detrimental to human, animal health

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The trace element zinc has an impact on the essential metabolic functions of most living organisms. New research carried out by the Chair of Animal Nutrition at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has found that even minimal zinc deficiency impairs digestion, albeit without any typical symptoms such as skin problems or fatigue. Hence, short-term […]

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Supervised autonomous in vivo robotic surgery on soft tissues is feasible

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The study, published today in Science Translational Medicine, reports the results of soft tissue surgeries conducted on both inanimate porcine tissue and living pigs using proprietary robotic surgical technology, Smart Tissue Autonomous Robot (STAR), developed at Children’s National. This technology removes the surgeon’s hands from the procedure, instead utilizing the surgeon as supervisor, with soft […]

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* Using precision-genetics in pigs to beat cancer

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Pigs could be a valuable alternative to rodent models of cancer. The numbers are staggering: more than 40 % is the lifetime risk of developing cancer in the U.S., with only 66 % survival-rates 5 years after diagnosis, for all types of cancer. Trends suggest that in 2015, over 1.6 million new cases were diagnosed […]

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* Much longer survival for heart transplants across species

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A new immune-suppressing therapy has led to the longest survival yet for a cross-species heart transplant, according to new research conducted in part by researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UM SOM). The study involved transplanting pig hearts into baboons. The results could lead to increased use of xenotransplantation, the transplantation of […]

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Investigators trace emergence and spread of virulent salmonella strain

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Since it first emerged more than half a century ago, a particular strain of multidrug-resistant Salmonella has spread all over the world. Now researchers have figured out why this strain, Salmonella Typhimuriam DT104, has been so successful. This new knowledge could prove valuable in combating other successful pathogens, according to the authors. The study is […]

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New virus transmission route discovered in pigs

Japanese Encephalitis (JE) virus causes serious inflammation of the brain in people and fertility problems in pigs. Mosquitoes were previously the only known transmission route. However, the virus can also be spread from pig to pig by direct contact, and this could enable it to circulate in pigs during the mosquito-free winter season. The JE […]

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Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus and discovery of a recombinant swine enteric coronavirus, Italy

Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) has been detected sporadically in Italy since the 1990s. We report the phylogenetic relationship of swine enteric coronaviruses collected in Italy during 2007–2014 and identify a drastic shift in PEDV strain variability and a new swine enteric coronavirus generated by recombination of transmissible gastroenteritis virus and PEDV. Porcine epidemic diarrhea […]

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Detection of influenza D virus among swine and cattle, Italy

Recent studies have identified a new genus of the Orthomyxoviridae family. The virus, distantly related to human influenza C virus, has been provisionally designated as influenza D virus. This novel virus was identified for the first time in pigs with influenza-like illness, but subsequent serologic and virologic surveys have suggested cattle as a possible reservoir. […]

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* Gene-edited ‘micropigs’ to be sold as pets at Chinese institute

The pigs are endearing but scientists warn that they may be a distraction from more serious research. Cutting-edge gene-editing techniques have produced an unexpected byproduct — tiny pigs that a leading Chinese genomics institute will soon sell as pets. BGI in Shenzhen, the genomics institute that is famous for a series of high-profile breakthroughs in […]

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* Success combating multi-resistant bacteria in stables

Multi-resistant bacteria represent a major problem not only in hospitals but also in animal husbandry. A study of the University Bonn describes how a farmer successfully eliminated these pathogens entirely from his pig stable. However, the radical hygiene measures taken in this case can only be applied in individual cases. Nevertheless, the work has yielded […]

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Prevalence of hepatitis E virus infection in pigs at the time of slaughter, United Kingdom, 2013

Since 2010, reports of infection with hepatitis E virus (HEV) have increased in England and Wales. Despite mounting evidence regarding the zoonotic potential of porcine HEV, there are limited data on its prevalence in pigs in the United Kingdom. We investigated antibody prevalence, active infection, and virus variation in serum and cecal content samples from […]

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* Super-muscly pigs created by small genetic tweak

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Belgian Blue cattle are hulking animals that provide unusually large amounts of prized, lean cuts of beef, the result of decades of selective breeding. Now, a team of scientists from South Korea and China says that it has created the porcine equivalent using a much faster method. These ‘double-muscled’ pigs are made by disrupting, or […]

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MRSA contamination found in supermarket sausages and minced pork in UK

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A survey carried out earlier this year has found the first evidence of the ‘superbug’ bacteria Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in sausages and minced pork obtained from supermarkets in the UK. However, researchers stress that this does not pose a significant immediate risk to the public. In February, a team of researchers funded primarily by […]

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* Swine farming a risk factor for drug-resistant staph infections, study finds

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Swine farmers are more likely to carry multidrug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus or “staph”) than people without current swine exposure, according to a study conducted by a team of researchers from the University of Iowa, Kent State University, and the National Cancer Institute. The study, published online in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, is the […]

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Dose-response relationship between antimicrobial drugs and livestock-associated MRSA in pig farming

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The farming community can be a vehicle for introduction of livestock-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (LA-MRSA) in hospitals. During 2011–2013, an 18-month longitudinal study aimed at reducing the prevalence of LA-MRSA was conducted on 36 pig farms in the Netherlands. Evaluations every 6 months showed a slight decrease in MRSA prevalence in animals and a stable […]

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Dose-response relationship between antimicrobial drugs and livestock-associated MRSA in pig farming

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The farming community can be a vehicle for introduction of livestock-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (LA-MRSA) in hospitals. During 2011–2013, an 18-month longitudinal study aimed at reducing the prevalence of LA-MRSA was conducted on 36 pig farms in the Netherlands. Evaluations every 6 months showed a slight decrease in MRSA prevalence in animals and a stable […]

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Pig-borne disease most likely jumped into humans when rearing practices changed

Almost every pig carries harmless strains of the S. suis bacterium — such strains are known as ‘commensal’ strains. However, a more virulent group of strains of the bacteria also exist, which cause disease in pigs worldwide and are a major driver of antibiotic use for prevention. Increasingly, this group of strains is also implicated […]

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* An inside look at the first pig biobank

Boar 1339 was genetically engineered to have diabetes; its body parts, now in the Munich MIDY-PIG Biobank in Germany, are freely available to researchers. First out is a kidney: its dark red fades to beige as it is washed of its blood. The pancreas, harder to find amid the tangle of inner organs, is rushed […]

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Comparison of porcine epidemic diarrhea viruses from Germany and the United States, 2014

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Since 2013, highly virulent porcine epidemic diarrhea virus has caused considerable economic losses in the United States. To determine the relation of US strains to those recently causing disease in Germany, we compared genomes and found that the strain from Germany is closely related to variants in the United States. Porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) is […]

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New drug-delivery capsule may replace injections

Given a choice, most patients would prefer to take a drug orally instead of getting an injection. Unfortunately, many drugs, especially those made from large proteins, cannot be given as a pill because they get broken down in the stomach before they can be absorbed. To help overcome that obstacle, researchers at MIT and Massachusetts […]

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* Iberian pig genome remains unchanged after five centuries

A team of Spanish researchers have obtained the first partial genome sequence of an ancient pig. Extracted from a sixteenth century pig found at the site of the Montsoriu Castle in Girona, the data obtained indicates that this ancient pig is closely related to today’s Iberian pig. Researchers also discard the hypothesis that Asian pigs […]

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* Piglet health: A better understanding of the immune response to intestinal parasites

Parasitologists from the University of Veterinary Medicine of Vienna are closer to understanding the disease process behind porcine neonatal coccidiosis. The disease affects piglets during the first days of their life and can cause heavy diarrhea in the animals. The parasite Cystoisospora suis damages the intestinal mucosa to such a degree that it threatens the […]

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* Swine-to-Human Transmission of Influenza A(H3N2) Virus at Agricultural Fairs, Ohio, USA, 2012

Agricultural fairs provide an opportunity for bidirectional transmission of influenza A viruses. We sought to determine influenza A virus activity among swine at fairs in the United States. As part of an ongoing active influenza A virus surveillance project, nasal swab samples were collected from exhibition swine at 40 selected Ohio agricultural fairs during 2012. […]

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* It does not always need to be antibiotics: healthy pig breeding

Scientists found a way to reduce the application of antibiotics in pig breeding by using antimicrobial peptides. The results of the study have just been published in the scientific online-journal PLOS ONE. Researchers investigated the application of antimicrobial peptides (AMP) as substitutes for antibiotics in liquid sperm preservation. Firstly they were able to show that […]

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Gene therapy creates biological pacemaker

Gene therapy could soon join the electronic pacemaker as a treatment for a weak heart. By inserting a specific gene into heart-muscle cells, researchers can restore a normal heart rate in pigs — at least temporarily. Electronic pacemakers restore regular function to slowing and arhythmic hearts by using electricity to stimulate their beating — a […]

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Genetic variation among African Swine fever genotype II viruses, Eastern and Central Europe

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African swine fever virus (ASFV) was first reported in eastern Europe/Eurasia in 2007. Continued spread of ASFV has placed central European countries at risk, and in 2014, ASFV was detected in Lithuania and Poland. Sequencing showed the isolates are identical to a 2013 ASFV from Belarus but differ from ASFV isolated in Georgia in 2007. […]

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Human stem cells successfully transplanted, grown in pigs

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One of the biggest challenges for medical researchers studying the effectiveness of stem cell therapies is that transplants or grafts of cells are often rejected by the hosts. This rejection can render experiments useless, making research into potentially life-saving treatments a long and difficult process. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri have shown that […]

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Pathology of US porcine epidemic diarrhea virus strain PC21A in gnotobiotic pigs

To understand the progression of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus infection, we inoculated gnotobiotic pigs with a newly emerged US strain, PC21A, of the virus. At 24–48 hours postinoculation, the pigs exhibited severe diarrhea and vomiting, fecal shedding, viremia, and severe atrophic enteritis. These findings confirm that strain PC21A is highly enteropathogenic. A highly contagious coronavirus […]

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