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December 2018 Research Roundup

A look at some of the newest published studies coming out of the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine.

  • Research co-authored by John Cullen and Sashi Gadi describes new viruses in three species of highly endangered lemurs in Madagascar.

The study, published in Archives of Virology, identified viral sequence fragments from four novel viruses within the family Flaviviridae collected from 84 wild lemurs. The research results support a proposed model of virus-host co-divergence with frequent cross-species transmission, information vital for conservation and captive management of lemurs, a species that has seen steep population declines in recent decades because of deforestation.

Read the study here.

  • Whole genome sequencing of multiple Salmonella isolates offers valuable insights into the association between human Salmonella and potential environmental/animal reservoirs.

Siddhartha “Sid” Thakur co-authored the study on the foodborne pathogen that is published in BMC Genomics. The study investigates antimicrobial resistance patterns within Salmonella isolates from two adjacent American states. Among other findings, the study shows isolates clustering closely with animal and environmental isolates, suggesting they are both potential sources of antimicrobial resistance and virulence genes between Salmonella serovars.  

Read the study here.

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug ketorolac is well absorbed after a single dose is administered to a species of turtles with traumatic injuries, according to new research.

For the study, published in the Journal of Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, researchers tested the pharmacokinetics of ketorolac after a single intramuscular injection administered to Eastern box turtles, noting its favorable effects and developing a potential dosing regimen. The research is co-authored by Mark Papich, Delta Dise, Greg Lewbart, Chris Masterson and Anthony Cerreta.

Opioids are routinely used to treat turtles with traumatic injuries. Testing analgesic alternatives such as ketorolac is important in light of an opioid shortage in the United States.

Read the study here.

  • Research into a highly fatal disease found in domestic cats has pinpointed three potential antigens for vaccine development.

Cytauxzoonosis is a tick-borne disease infecting feline blood cells that is growing in prevalence. The research, co-authored by Adam Birkenheuer and Megan Schreeg and published in Veterinary Parasitology, assesses three Cytauxzoon felis antigens based on genetic conservation among geographic isolates and expression in the C. felis schizont life stage. Further research is needed in order to fine-tune an effective vaccine for the condition.

Read the study here.

  • Research co-authored by Gustavo Machado outlines transmission characteristics of the bacterium Burkholderia mallei and offers suggestions to help control glanders, the highly infectious disease B. mallei causes.

Horses, donkeys and mules are known natural reservoirs for B. mallei, a re-emerging zoonotic disease. Glanders, which can pass to humans and other mammals, may lead to pulmonary infections or muscle and skin abscesses of the arms, legs, lungs, spleen and liver.

The study published in Transboundary and Emerging Diseases documents a direct relationship between the movement of infected horses and predicted B. mallei outbreaks, shedding light on the dynamics of the bacterium. The study also identifies high-risk farms, which provides guidance for developing surveillance and control strategies.

Read the study here.

  • An analysis of newsletter and website articles provided by the Association of American Equine Practitioners found that 16 of the 17 articles were written above the recommended sixth-grade reading level.

Using readability software, the study evaluates readability levels of materials prepared for veterinarians to download and share with clients. The National Institutes of Health and the American Medical Association have set forth guidelines for such materials to target a sixth-grade reading level.

The research notes that awareness of client literacy and the use of readability analysis software can help veterinarians empower clients with clear, easy-to-read materials related to the health of their animals. April Kedrowicz, Kenneth Royal and Katie Sheats co-authored the study published in the Equine Veterinary Journal.

Read the study here.

  • A study co-authored by Duncan Lascelles investigates gene expression signatures in nervous system tissue from cats with degenerative joint disease, offering possible insight into ways to target and treat chronic pain in animals and humans.

Investigating differences in gene expression between normal and well-defined disease states is one approach to understanding the neurology of pain, and the neurobiology of feline DJD pain is a complete mystery.

The research results, published in the Veterinary Journal, point out increased expression of genes in DJD-affected cats considered to be involved in neuropathic pain. Such studies may lead to pinpointing relevant targets to control chronic pain.

Read the study here.

  • A study co-authored by Ke Cheng and his lab team outlines a new microneedle patch that could deliver therapeutic molecules to damaged tissue in heart attack survivors.

The microneedle patch system is integrated with cardiac stromal cells for therapeutic heart regeneration after an acute myocardial infarction. It creates channels for the release of regenerative properties of stromal cells into injured hearts to promote repair. Earlier approaches to cell-based heart regeneration suffer from poor cell retention, notes the study published in Science Advances.

About 635,000 Americans a year experience a new coronary heart attack, regarded as the first instance of a hospitalized myocardial infarction, and about 36 percent of MI survivors have an increased risk of developing future heart failure.

Read the study here.