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  • Author or Editor: Tadej Malovrh x
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Authors: Gorazd Vengušt, Peter Hostnik, Mojca Cerovšek, Polona Cilenšek and Tadej Malovrh

Serum samples of 746 shot wild boars collected throughout Slovenia during the hunting season of 2005/2006 were examined for the presence of antibodies against rabies virus: 541 samples were collected in areas subjected to yearly antirabies vaccination, and 205 samples were collected in areas where preventive antirabies vaccination was not practised. Using a modified enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), in 209 out of 746 sera (28%) the levels of antibodies against rabies virus were higher than 0.5 IU/ml and deemed positive. A total of 173/541 (32%) and 36/205 (18%) samples were positive in the vaccinated and nonvaccinated areas, respectively. Further analysis of 191 out of the 746 samples using the fluorescent antibody virus neutralisation (FAVN) test revealed the presence of antibodies against rabies virus in 122/191 (64%) samples. This is the first extended research reporting that antibodies against rabies virus that originate from preventive oral vaccination targeting the fox population are present in wild boar.

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Abstract

In this study, feed naturally containing Fusarium mycotoxins was fed to gilts during the perinatal period, and the effects on the thymus were investigated in one-week-old piglets. Twenty gilts were divided into equal control (0.26 mg deoxynivalenol, DON) and experimental (5.08 mg DON, 0.09 mg zearalenone and 21.61 mg fusaric acid per kg of feed) groups. One suckling piglet from each litter (n = 20) was sacrificed at one week of age to obtain thymus samples for further analysis. The cortex to medulla ratio of the thymus was morphometrically analysed using NIS Elements BR (Nikon) software. Paraffin-embedded thymus sections were stained to quantify apoptosis (with terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick-end labelling – TUNEL method), cellular proliferation (Ki-67) and macrophages (MAC 387). The results showed that the thymus cortex (P = 0.023) to medulla (P = 0.023) ratio was significantly lower in the experimental group. The number of apoptotic cells (cortex, P = 0.010, medulla, P = 0.001) and the number of proliferating cells in the thymus cortex (P = 0.001) and medulla (P < 0.001) were significantly higher in the experimental group. Our results indicate that feeding Fusarium mycotoxins to a parent animal during the perinatal period induces significant alterations in the thymus of one-week-old piglets, which indicates an immunosuppressive effect in piglets.

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