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  • Author or Editor: Maja Zdelar-Tuk x
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Authors: Natalija Filipović, Zvonko Stojević, Maja Zdelar-Tuk and Vesna Kušec

The first weeks of lactation in dairy cows are characterised by elevated bone resorption. The connection between lactation and bone metabolism is still much discussed. In this work, changes in the concentration of plasma parathyroid hormone-related peptide (PTHrP) and markers of bone metabolism were studied in Holstein cows and heifers in the dry period and early lactation to determine the role of PTHrP in the relationship between the rate of bone remodelling and the onset of lactation in dairy cows. Blood samples were taken 14 days before calving (‘D-14’, n = 23) and then on day 10 (‘D+10’, n = 21) and day 30 after calving (‘D+30’, n = 23). Using enzyme immunoassay (EIA), the concentrations of PTHrP, parathyroid hormone (PTH), carboxyterminal cross-linked telopeptide of type I collagen (CTX) and oestradiol and the activity of bone specific alkaline phosphatase (BSALP) were determined. The results showed a statistically significant increase in plasma PTHrP (p < 0.005) and CTX (p < 0.0001) in cows on ‘D+10’ as compared to ‘D-14’ and CTX on ‘D+30’ as compared to ‘D-14’ (p < 0.0001). Significant negative correlations were found between the concentrations of PTHrP and oestradiol (r = −0.29, p < 0.05) and those of CTX and oestradiol (r = −0.54, p < 0.0001). In nonpregnant heifers (n = 6), the concentration of CTX and the activity of BSALP were significantly higher (p < 0.0001) than in dry cows. The observed increments of PTHrP and bone resorption after parturition reveal adaptations of bone metabolism to lactation in dairy cows.

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Authors: Sanja Duvnjak, Ivana Račić, Silvio Špičić, Maja Zdelar-Tuk, Irena Reil and Željko Cvetnić

The most recent data on the incidence of brucellosis in Southeast Europe prove the persistence of this zoonosis in the area, regardless of constant efforts at controlling it as one of the most dangerous zoonoses. Forty-three Brucella melitensis strains were collected from cattle, sheep, goats and humans from Croatia as well as Bosnia and Herzegovina between 2009 and 2015. The strains were identified and genotyped in order to determine their epidemiological background. Standard biotyping methods and Bruce-ladder were used to identify the strains. Genotyping was done using multilocus variable number tandem repeats analysis (MLVA) on 16 and multilocus sequence typing analysis (MLST) on nine loci. Results were compared to each other and to internationally available data. Twenty- five novel genotypes and two sequence types were identified. All tested strains, apart from vaccine and reference strains, showed very close phylogenetic and geographic relationships. The genotyping results indicate the endemicity of brucellosis in this region. MLST showed no variation, confirming the stability of housekeeping genes. The results confirm already established routes of disease spread in this area, showing that a more detailed and vigorous control of this zoonosis is necessary.

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Authors: Suzana Milinković-Tur, Z. Stojević, Jasna Piršljin, Maja Zdelar-Tuk, Nina Poljičak-Milas, Blanka Ljubić and Bojana Gradinski-Vrbanac

The effect of fasting and refeeding on total antioxidant status (TAS), glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) activity and concentration of some non-enzymatic antioxidant compounds was studied in cockerels and pullets. Blood was collected before and after 48-h fasting and 24 h after refeeding. In cockerels, fasting resulted in a significant decrease of TAS and uric acid concentration. After refeeding, the concentration of TAS remained significantly lower as compared to the control level. At the same time, blood plasma level of total lipids increased in comparison to the control and post-fasting values. In pullets, fasting resulted in a significant decrease of whole blood haemolysate GSH-Px activity and blood plasma concentrations of albumin and uric acid. Simultaneously, a significant increase in total lipids and cholesterol was obtained. In pullets, refeeding resulted in a further decrease of TAS to undetectable values, a significant decrease of blood plasma cholesterol, and a significant increase of GSH-Px in the whole blood haemolysate and in blood plasma uric acid content. The results indicate that fasting has a negative impact on the antioxidant defence system of the blood, which leads to a reduced resistance to oxidative stress in both cockerels and pullets. However, pullets seem to be more susceptible to fasting-provoked oxidative stress than cockerels.

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