June 2019 Research Roundup

A look at some of the latest published research studies coming from the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine this month …


Tumor Growth in Canines with Histiocytic Malignancies

In a new study led by Matthew Breen, a gene linked to rapid tumor growth and metastasis in humans was also detected in dogs with histiocytic malignancies, potentially explaining the disease’s aggression in certain breeds.

 The study, published in Chromosome Research, finds that a key signature of dogs suffering from the condition was up-regulation of matrix metalloproteinase 9, or MMP9. Histiocytic malignancies are a type of cancer classified by the location of the primary tumor, which usually originates on a limb or a single internal organ. 

They are not seen frequently in the general canine population, but disproportionately affect certain breeds, such as Bernese mountain dogs and flat-coated retrievers.

Read the study here.

Tracking Global Movement of Antimicrobial Resistance

Salmonella enterica serovar Kentucky ST198, a growing cause of non-typhoidal infections in humans, has been detected in India and South Asia in research co-authored by Siddhartha Thakur.

 The study is believed to be the first to report ST198’s epidemic clone in the two regions. There have been multiple reports of cases in Europe and North America linked to travel in the Middle East and Asia. 

Researchers used whole genome sequencing to pinpoint the clone ST198 in humans, poultry and goats. The research, published in Microbial Genomics, highlights the role of animals and humans in the circulation of antimicrobial-resistant pathogens.

Read the study here.


Combating Diarrheal Infections in Kittens

Disruption of intestinal microbiota prior to an infection with atypical enteropathogenic E. coli, or aEPEC, increases the susceptibility of healthy kittens to bouts of diarrhea, according to a study co-authored by Jody Gookin, Megan Jacob, Victoria Watson, Stephen Stauffer and Sophia Amirsultan.

The research, published in Veterinary Microbiology, sheds light on aEPEC’s impact on the intestinal function of kittens. aEPEC is significantly associated with diarrheal mortality in kittens. The research also notes that enrichment of intestinal microbiota with bacterial strain Enterococcus hirae promotes barrier function following aEPEC infection. The typical form of enteropathogenic E. Coli, called tEPEC, carries the highest hazard of death in children with diarrhea. 

Read the study here.


Treating Sea Turtles with Fibropapillomatosis

Research co-authored by Mark Papich finds that adding the cancer drug bleomycin to electrochemotherapy has potential to be an effective alternative treatment for sea turtles with a type of debilitating disease. 

The study, published in the Journal of Aquatic Animal Health, tested the protocol, which involved analyzing levels of bleomycin in plasma, on sea turtles with fibropapillomatosis, a complex neoplastic disease characterized by lesions leading to visceral tumors. Three months after the therapy, researchers noted no healing complications or recurrences, with only scar tissue remaining.

Read more here.


Risk Scores for Canine Hemangiosarcoma

The risk of hemangiosarcoma diagnosis in dogs with nontraumatic hemoabdomen could be predicted using a simple risk assessment score, according to research co-authored by Kyle Mathews.

The study looked at 406 dogs with nontraumatic hemoabdomen, or blood accumulation in the abdomen, a common condition in small animal emergency medicine. The researchers’ successful risk score for dogs to develop hemangiosarcoma, cancer of the blood cells, was modeled on four predictors: bodyweight, total plasma protein, platelet count and thoracic radiograph findings. Such a risk score could aid in identifying and treating dogs at lower risk for the diagnosis.

The Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care published the research.

Read the study here.


Woody Breast in Broiler Chickens

A study of broiler chickens finds that severity of wooden breast myopathy correlates with age, growth rate, body weight and the inflammatory disease lymphocytic phlebitis.

Wooden breast myopathy, also known as WBM or woody breast, is a muscle deformity that affects breast texture and decreases meat quality. It is not known how woody breast develops. The research is published in Avian Pathology and co-authored by Luke Borst, Mitsu Suyemoto and Laura Chen.

Read the study here.