Message Number: FHL8612 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Sukie Crandall
Date: 2009-04-06 23:09:23 UTC
Subject: [ferrethealth] abstracts (some for cousins but at least some of those with possible useful implications)
To: fhl <>


J Am Anim Hosp Assoc. 2009 Mar-Apr;45(2):97-101.
Vestibular syndrome due to a choroid plexus papilloma in a ferret.
van Zeeland Y, Schoemaker N, Passon-Vastenburg M, Kik M.
Utrecht University, The Netherlands.

A 6-year-old, castrated male ferret (Mustela putorius furo) was=20
presented with progressive neurological signs consisting of a right-
sided head tilt and ataxia. Neurological examination revealed=20
hemiparesis and absence of proprioception on the right side,=20
consistent with central vestibular syndrome. Measurement of blood=20
glucose excluded hypoglycemia due to insulinoma. Contrast-enhanced=20
computed tomography revealed the presence of an intracranial mass,=20
consistent with either granuloma or neoplasia. Palliative treatment=20
with prednisolone yielded no improvement. At postmortem examination, a=20
final diagnosis of a choroid plexus papilloma originating from the=20
fourth ventricle was made. This is the first report of such a tumor in=20
a ferret.

PMID: 19258423


J Virol. 2009 Mar 25. [Epub ahead of print]
Intranasal vaccination with 1918 influenza virus-like particles=20
protects mice and ferrets from lethal 1918 and H5N1 influenza virus=20
Perrone LA, Ahmad A, Veguilla V, Lu X, Smith G, Katz JM, Pushko P,=20
Tumpey TM.
Immunology and Pathogenesis Branch, Influenza Division, National=20
Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Collaborating=20
Centers for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and=20
Prevention, Atlanta, GA; Novavax, Inc., Rockville, MD.

Influenza vaccines capable of inducing cross-reactive or heterotypic=20
immunity could be an important first line of prevention against a=20
novel subtype virus. Influenza virus-like particles (VLPs) displaying=20
functional viral proteins are effective vaccines against replication=20
competent homologous virus, but their ability to induce heterotypic=20
immunity has not been adequately tested. To measure VLP vaccine=20
efficacy against a known influenza pandemic virus, recombinant VLPs=20
were generated from structural proteins of the 1918 H1N1 virus.=20
Mucosal versus traditional parenteral administration of H1N1 VLPs were=20
compared for the ability to protect against the reconstructed 1918=20
virus and a highly pathogenic avian H5N1 virus isolated from a fatal=20
human case. Mice that received two intranasal immunizations of H1N1=20
VLPs were largely protected against lethal challenge with both the=20
1918 virus and the H5N1 virus. In contrast, mice that received two=20
intramuscular immunizations of 1918 VLPs were only protected against=20
homologous virus challenge. Mucosal vaccination of mice with 1918 VLPs=20
resulted in the induction of higher levels of cross-reactive IgG and=20
IgA antibodies than those detected by parenteral vaccination.=20
Similarly, ferrets mucosally vaccinated with 1918 VLPs completely=20
survived lethal challenge with the H5N1 virus while only a 50%=20
survival rate was observed in parenterally vaccinated animals. These=20
results suggest a strategy of VLP vaccination against a pandemic virus=20
and one that stimulates heterotypic immunity against an influenza=20
strain with threatening pandemic potential.

PMID: 19321609


Proc Biol Sci. 2009 Mar 4. [Epub ahead of print]
Trade-offs between activity and thermoregulation in a small carnivore,=20
the least weasel Mustela nivalis.
Zub K, Szafranska PA, Konarzewski M, Redman P, Speakman JR.
Mammal Research Institute PAS17-230 Bia=C5=82owieza, Poland.

We studied factors influencing daily energy expenditures (DEE) of male=20
least weasels (Mustela nivalis) using the doubly labelled water=20
technique. The relationship between ambient temperature and DEE formed=20
a triangular pattern, characterized by invariance of the maximum DEE=20
and an inverse relationship between minimum DEE and temperature. A=20
simple energetic model relating the DEE of male weasels to activity=20
time (AT) and ambient temperature predicted that, across seasons, less=20
than 10 per cent of measurements approach the upper bound of observed=20
DEE. Male weasels were able to maintain a relatively constant maximum=20
energy output across varying temperatures by adjusting their AT to=20
changes in temperature. They achieved maximum energy expenditures in=20
winter due to high thermoregulatory costs, and in spring and summer=20
due to high levels of physical activity. This pattern exemplifies a=20
'metabolic niche' of a small mammal having extremely high energy=20
expenditures primarily driven by ambient temperature.

PMID: 19324766


Environ Monit Assess. 2009 Mar 7. [Epub ahead of print]
Variation of cholinergic biomarkers in brain regions and blood=20
components of captive mink.
Basu N, Scheuhammer A, Rouvinen-Watt K, Grochowina N, Evans D, Chan HM.
Department of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health,=20
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 48109, USA

Studies are increasingly using cholinergic parameters as biomarkers of=20
early neurotoxicity, but few have characterized this system in=20
ecologically relevant model organisms. In the present study, key=20
neurochemicals in the cholinergic pathway were measured and analyzed=20
from discrete parts of brain and blood from captive mink (Mustela=20
vison). Similar to other mammals, the regional distribution of=20
cholinergic parameters in the brain could be ranked from highest to=20
lowest as: basal ganglia > occipital cortex > brain stem > cerebellum=20
(F (3,192) =3D 172.1, p < 0.001). Higher variation in cholinergic=20
parameters was found in the cerebellum (coefficient of variation =3D=20
34.9%), and the least variation was measured in the brain stem=20
(19.7%). Variation was also assessed by calculating the difference=20
between the lowest and highest measures among individual animals:=20
choline acetyltransferase (1.6x fold difference), cholinesterase=20
(2.0x), muscarinic receptor levels (2.4x), acetylcholine (3.7x),=20
nicotinic receptor levels (3.9x), and choline transporter (5.0x). In=20
blood samples, activity and inter-individual variation of=20
cholinesterase was highest in whole blood and lowest in plasma and=20
serum. By using captive mink of a common genetic source, age, gender,=20
and rearing conditions, these data help establish normal levels,=20
ranges, and variations of cholinergic biomarkers among brain regions,=20
blood components, and individual animals. Such information may better=20
enable the utility of cholinergic biomarkers in environmental=20

PMID: 19267210


(European Mink, unlike American Mink can hybridize with European=20
Polecats, and like polecats are under niche pressures due to released=20
or escaped American Mink from the fur trade in Europe.)

Immunogenetics. 2009 Mar 5. [Epub ahead of print]
MHC class II variation in the endangered European mink Mustela=20
lutreola (L. 1761)-consequences for species conservation.
Becker L, Nieberg C, Jahreis K, Peters E.
Department of Ethology, University of Osnabr=C3=BCck, Barbarastrasse 11, =

49076, Osnabr=C3=BCck, Germany.

The polymorphic major histocompatibility complex (MHC) has gained a=20
specific relevance in pathogen resistance and mate choice.=20
Particularly the antigen-binding site (ABS), encoded by exon 2 of the=20
DRB class II gene, exhibits numerous alleles and extensive sequence=20
variations between alleles. A lack of MHC variability has attributed=20
to instances such as bottleneck effects or relaxed selection pressure=20
and has a certain impact on the long-term viability of the species=20
concerned. As a result of seriously decreased population density=20
during the last century, the current population of the endangered=20
European mink (Mustela lutreola, L. 1761) has suffered from geographic=20
isolation. In this study, we amplified a partial sequence of the MHC=20
class II DRB exon 2 (229 bp), assessed the degree of genetic variation=20
and compared the variability with those of other Mustelidae. As a=20
result, nine alleles were detected in 20 investigated individuals,=20
which differ from each other by four to 25 nucleotide substitutions=20
(two to 11 amino acid substitutions). Whilst an equal ratio for=20
synonymous and non-synonymous substitutions was found inside the ABS,=20
synonymous substitutions were significantly higher than non-synonymous=20
substitutions in the non-ABS region. Results might indicate that no=20
positive selection exists within the ex situ population of M.=20
lutreola, at least in the analysed fragment. In addition, phylogenetic=20
analyses support the trans-species model of evolution.

PMID: 19263000


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