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Tuesday, 12 April 2016

What's new for 'birdRS' in PubMed. April 2016, Week 2

Latest Bird Research from Pubmed - birdRS

April 2016 Week 2

PubMed Results

1. Vet World. 2016 Mar;9(3):245-50. doi: 10.14202/vetworld.2016.245-250. Epub 2016 Mar 8. 

Effect of dietary supplementation of garlic, ginger and their combination on feed intake, growth performance and economics in commercial broilers. 
Karangiya VK(1), Savsani HH(1), Patil SS(1), Garg DD(1), Murthy KS(1), Ribadiya NK(1), Vekariya SJ(2). Author information: (1)Department of Animal Nutrition, College of Veterinary Science and Animal House, Jungadh Agricultural University, Junagadh, Gujarat, India. (2)Department of Animal Husbandry and Extension Education, College of Veterinary Science and Animal House, Jungadh Agricultural University, Junagadh, Gujarat, India. 

AIM: The present study was carried out to evaluate the effect of supplementation of garlic, ginger and their combination in the diets of broiler chickens and assessment in terms of feed intake, growth performance and economics of feeding. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 240 1-day-old Cobb-400 broiler chicks were randomly assigned to four dietary treatments each with three replicates of 20 chicks per replicate (n=60). Four experimental diets were formulated in such a way that control diet (T1) contained neither ginger nor garlic. While, birds in group T2 and T3 were fed with diets containing 1% garlic and ginger, respectively. Diet 4 (T4 group) contained a combination of 1% of garlic and ginger. The feeding experiment was carried out for 42 days, and different parameters evaluated includes feed intake, weight gain, feed conversion ratio, gut morphometry, and economics of feeding in terms of return over feed cost (ROFC) and European Performance Efficiency Index. RESULTS: Feed intake of experimental birds in ginger and mixture of garlic and ginger supplemented groups, i.e., T3 and T4 groups have significantly (p<0.05) higher feed intake as compared to control. While, feeding of garlic have non-significant effect on feed intake as compared to other groups. A body weight gain (g/bird) was found to be significantly (p<0.05) higher in garlic (T2 group) and ginger (T3 group) supplemented group as compare to control and garlic and ginger mixture supplemented group (T4 group). Feed conversion ratio was significantly (p<0.05) lower in ginger (T3 group) supplemented group as compare to other groups. Mean villi length, villi width and cryptal depth were significantly (p<0.05) higher in T3 group than rest of all three groups, indicating increased absorptive surface area. ROFC was significantly (p<0.05) lower in T3 and T4 groups as compare to control. However, it was not significantly different between control and T2 group. CONCLUSION: On the basis of the results of the study, it is concluded that supplementation of garlic improves the performance of broilers when added at the rate of 1% of broiler ration and can be a viable alternative to antibiotic growth promoter in the feeding of broiler chicken. PMID: 27057106 [PubMed] 

2. Environ Monit Assess. 2016 May;188(5):274. Epub 2016 Apr 8. 

Trace elements (Cu, Zn, and Hg) and δ(13)C/δ(15)N in seabird subfossils from three islands of the South China Sea and its implications. 
Xu L(1,)(2), Liu X(3), Nie Y(4,)(5). Author information: (1)School of Resources and Environmental Engineering, Hefei University of Technology, Hefei, Anhui, 230009, China. (2)Institute of Polar Environment, School of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, Anhui, 230026, China. (3)Institute of Polar Environment, School of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, Anhui, 230026, China. (4)Institute of Polar Environment, School of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, Anhui, 230026, China. (5)Key Laboratory of Ion Beam Bioengineering, Hefei Institutes of Physical Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Key Laboratory of Environmental Toxicology and Pollution Control Technology Of Anhui Province, Hefei, Anhui, 230031, China. 

Seabird subfossils were collected on three islands of the Xisha Archipelago, South China Sea. Via elemental analysis, we identified that bird guano was a significant source for heavy metals Cu, Zn, and Hg. Cu and Zn levels in these guano samples are comparable to their levels in wildbird feces, but guano Hg was lower than previously reported. Trophic positions significantly impacted transfer efficiency of heavy metals by seabirds. Despite of a common source, trace elements, as well as stable isotopes (i.e., guano δ(13)C and collagen δ(15)N), showed island-specific characteristics. Bird subfossils on larger island had relatively greater metal concentrations and revealed higher trophic positions. Partition of element and isotope levels among the islands suggested that transfer efficacy of seabirds on different islands was different, and bird species were probably unevenly distributed among the islets. Island area is possibly a driving factor for distributions of seabird species. PMID: 27056479 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] 

3. Horm Behav. 2016 Apr 4. pii: S0018-506X(15)30135-5. doi: 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2016.03.006. [Epub ahead of print] 

Effects of experimentally manipulated yolk thyroid hormone levels on offspring development in a wild bird species. 
Ruuskanen S(1), Darras VM(2), Visser ME(3), Groothuis TG(4). Author information: (1)Section of Ecology, Department of Biology, University of Turku, Finland; Department of Animal Ecology, Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW), Wageningen, The Netherlands. Electronic address: (2)Laboratory of Comparative Endocrinology, Biology Department, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium. Electronic address: (3)Department of Animal Ecology, Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW), Wageningen, The Netherlands. Electronic address: (4)Groningen Institute of Evolutionary Life Sciences, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands. Electronic address: 

Maternal effects are a crucial mechanism in a wide array of taxa to generate phenotypic variation, thereby affecting offspring development and fitness. Maternally derived thyroid hormones (THs) are known to be essential for offspring development in mammalian and fish models, but have been largely neglected in avian studies, especially in respect to natural variation and an ecological context. We studied, for the first time in a wild species and population, the effects of maternally derived THs on offspring development, behavior, physiology and fitness-related traits by experimental elevation of thyroxine and triiodothyronine in ovo within the physiological range in great tits (Parus major). We found that elevated yolk TH levels had a sex-specific effect on growth, increasing male and decreasing female growth, relative to controls, and this effect was similar throughout the nestling period. Hatching or fledging success, motor coordination behavior, stress reactivity and resting metabolic rate were not affected by the TH treatment. We conclude that natural variation in maternally derived THs may affect some offspring traits in a wild species. As this is the first study on yolk thyroid hormones in a wild species and population, more such studies are needed to investigate its effects on pre-hatching development, and juvenile and adult fitness before generalizations on the importance of maternally derived yolk thyroid hormones can be made. However, this opens a new, interesting avenue for further research in the field of hormone mediated maternal effects. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc. PMID: 27056104 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] 

4. Gen Comp Endocrinol. 2016 Apr 4. pii: S0016-6480(16)30078-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ygcen.2016.04.003. [Epub ahead of print]

Enhanced GABAergic inhibition in the premammillary nucleus of photorefractory turkey hens via GABAA receptor upregulation. 
Kosonsiriluk S(1), Chaiworakul V(1), Mauro LJ(1), El Halawani ME(2). Author information: (1)Department of Animal Science, University of Minnesota, Saint Paul, MN 55108, USA. (2)Department of Animal Science, University of Minnesota, Saint Paul, MN 55108, USA. Electronic address: 

The premammillary nucleus (PMM) of the turkey mediobasal hypothalamus, where dopamine-melatonin (DA-Mel) neurons are localized, is a site for photoreception and photoperiodic time measurement, which is essential for the initiation of avian reproductive seasonality. In addition, this area could also be responsible for the onset and maintenance of photorefractoriness at the end of the breeding season due to the enhanced inhibitory effect of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA). GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system which interferes with the photosexual response in the turkey, a seasonally breeding bird. Here, we further characterized the GABAA receptor subunits in the PMM DA-Mel neurons related to reproductive seasonality and the onset of photorefractoriness. GABAA receptor subunits and GABA synthesis enzymes in the PMM of photosensitive and photorefractory turkey hens were identified using real-time qRT-PCR. The upregulation of GABAA receptor α1-3, β2-3, γ1-3, ρ1-3, δ, and θ mRNA expression were observed in the PMM of photorefractory birds when compared to those of photosensitive ones while there is no change observed in the GABA synthesis enzymes, glutamate decarboxylase 1 and 2. Those upregulated GABAA receptor subunits were further examined using immunohistochemical staining and they appeared to be co-localized within the PMM DA-Mel neurons. The upregulation of GABAA receptor subunits observed in the PMM of photorefractory birds coincides with a lack of responsiveness to a light stimulus provided during the photosensitive phase. This is supported by the absence of c-fos induction and TH upregulation in the PMM and a subsequence inhibition of c-fos and GnRH-I expression in the nucleus commissurae pallii. The augmented GABAA receptor subunits expression may mediate an enhancement of inhibitory GABAergic neurotransmission and the subsequent interference with the photosexual response. This could contribute to the state of photorefractoriness and the termination of breeding activities in the turkey, a temperate zone bird. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Inc. PMID: 27055929 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] 

5. Ambio. 2016 Apr 7. [Epub ahead of print] 

AvianBuffer: An interactive tool for characterising and managing wildlife fear responses. 
Guay PJ(1), van Dongen WF(1), Robinson RW(1), Blumstein DT(2), Weston MA(3). Author information: (1)Applied Ecology Research Group and Institute for Sustainability and Innovation, College of Engineering and Science, Victoria University, Footscray Park Campus, PO Box 14428, Melbourne, VIC, MC 8001, Australia. (2)Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA. (3)Centre for Integrative Ecology, School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science, Engineering and the Built Environment, Deakin University, 221 Burwood Highway, Burwood, VIC, 3125, Australia. 

The characterisation and management of deleterious processes affecting wildlife are ideally based on sound scientific information. However, relevant information is often absent, or difficult to access or contextualise for specific management purposes. We describe 'AvianBuffer', an interactive online tool enabling the estimation of distances at which Australian birds respond fearfully to humans. Users can input species assemblages and determine a 'separation distance' above which the assemblage is predicted to not flee humans. They can also nominate the diversity they wish to minimise disturbance to, or a specific separation distance to obtain an estimate of the diversity that will remain undisturbed. The dataset is based upon flight-initiation distances (FIDs) from 251 Australian bird species (n = 9190 FIDs) and a range of human-associated stimuli. The tool will be of interest to a wide audience including conservation managers, pest managers, policy makers, land-use planners, education and public outreach officers, animal welfare proponents and wildlife ecologists. We discuss possible applications of the data, including the construction of buffers, development of codes of conduct, environmental impact assessments and public outreach. This tool will help balance the growing need for biodiversity conservation in areas where humans can experience nature. The online resource will be expanded in future iterations to include an international database of FIDs of both avian and non-avian species. PMID: 27055852 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] 

6. Parasitol Res. 2016 Apr 7. [Epub ahead of print] 

Intestinal and liver flukes of birds of prey (Accipitriformes, Falconiformes, Strigiformes) from Slovakia: uniform or diverse compound? 
Komorová P(1), Sitko J(2), Špakulová M(3), Hurníková Z(4,)(3). Author information: (1)Department of Epizootology and Parasitology, Institute of Parasitology, The University of Veterinary Medicine and Pharmacy in Košice, Komenského 73, 041 81, Košice, Slovakia. (2)Ornitological Station of Commenius Museum in Přerov, Bezručova 10, 750 02, Přerov, Czech Republic. (3)Institute of Parasitology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Hlinkova 3, 040 01, Košice, Slovakia. (4)Department of Epizootology and Parasitology, Institute of Parasitology, The University of Veterinary Medicine and Pharmacy in Košice, Komenského 73, 041 81, Košice, Slovakia. 

During 2012-2014 up to 286 birds of the orders Falconiformes (5 species), Accipitriformes (11 species), and Strigiformes (7 species) were examined for trematodes and this represents the first detailed study in Slovakia. A total of 12 trematode species belonging to the families Diplostomidae, Cyathocotylidae, Strigeidae, and Opisthorchiidae were identified. Rare infections were found in falcons where only two species (40 %) and three of 85 examined birds (3.5 %) were infected with a low range of two to four worms of generalists Strigea falconis or Plagiorchis elegans. Contrary to that, ten accipitriformes species (90.9 %) and 63 of 156 bird individuals (40.4 %) were infected with nine flukes: Conodiplostomum perlatum, Conodiplostomum spathula, Neodiplostomum attenuatum, Neodiplostomum spathoides, Parastrigea flexilis, Strigea falconis, Strigea vandenbrokae, Paracoenogonimus ovatus, and Metorchis bilis. S. falconis and N. attenuatum were the most frequent, occurring in parallel in eight and four bird species, in numbers up to 575 and 224. The intensity of infection with other fluke species was low ranging from one to 13 worms. Three owl (Strigiformes) representatives (42.9 %) were exclusive hosts for Neodiplostomum canaliculatum and Strigea strigis, and the proportion of positive and dissected individual birds was 10:45 (22.2 %). Both trematodes occurred in two or three owl species. In conclusion, apparent dissimilarity of trematode load of three unrelated lines of falcons, eagles, and owls was revealed. The present study extends our knowledge on the composition of the trematode fauna in Slovakia as all species except S. falconis and P. elegans that represent new host and species records in Slovakia. PMID: 27055533 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] 

7. Parazitologiia. 2015 Nov-Dec;49(6):433-43. 

Kuklina MM. 

Relationships between the northern fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis L., 1761) and cestodes Tetrabothrius minor Loennberg, 1893 (Cestoda: Tetrabothriidae) were studied. The results of calculation of the number of tapeworms in different parts (proximal, medial and distal) of bird intestines are represented. Parameters of protein metabolism in the northern fulmar and cestodes T. minor were investigated. Activity of proteases in different parts of northern fulmar intestine and in the strobila of T. minor was determined. Digestion processes occurring on digestive-absorptive surfaces of the intestine of the northern fulmar and of cestodes were studied. Biochemical indices of blood plasma of the northern fulmar were analyzed in relation to the intensity of invasion and the stage parasite maturation. The highest indices of the invasion of the northern fulmar with T. minor were recorded in the proximal part if the intestine. It was shown that the preferred localization of tapeworms in the proximal department of the intestine was determined by abundance of food and high activity of digestive enzymes in this place. Active hydrolysis of proteins in the intestine of the northern fulmar and on tegument surfaces of T. minor occurred mainly during the process of cavernous digestion. To a greater extent, the physiological state of the northern fulmar depended on the intensity of invasion and on the maturation stage of tapeworms. PMID: 27055330 [PubMed - in process] 

8. Parazitologiia. 2015 Nov-Dec;49(6):393-411. 

Galaktionov KV, Atrashkevich GI. 

This study, based on the materials on parasitic infection of marine birds and invertebrates in Frantz Josef Land (FJL) collected in 1991-1993, focussed on the acanthocephalan Polymorphus phippsi. We identified this parasite, confirmed its species status and analysed its circulation and transmission patterns in high Arctic. The causes of its erroneous identification as P. minutus in several studies were also examined. In contrast to P. minutus, the transmission of P. phippsi is realized in marine coastal ecosystems. Its' main intermediate host in the Arctic is the amphipod Gammarus (Lagunogammarus) setosus, commonin coastal. areas of the shelf zone throughout the Arctic basin. P. phippsi population in FJL and the entire European Arctic is on the whole maintained by a single obligate final host, the common eider Somateria mollissima. Prevalence (P) of P. phippsi in this bird reached 100 %, with the maximal infection intensity (IImax) of 1188 and the mean abundance (MA) of 492.1. Other species of birds found to be infected with P. phippsi (Arctic turn, black guillemot, purple sandpiper and several gulls) are facultative and/or eliminative hosts. The most heavily infected birds were Arctic terns (P = 72.7%, IImax = 227, MA = = 47.1), which contained single mature acanthocephalans. For one of the FJL regions, infections flows of P. phippsi through various host categories were calculated. Involvement of birds unrelated to the common eider into the circulation of P. phippsi is facilitated by their feeding character in the Arctic. While coastal crustaceans are abundant, fish food is relatively scarce (polar cod, snailfishes), and so amphipods make up a considerable part of the diet of marine birds in FJL, if not most of it, as for instance in case of Arctic tern. This promotes an easy entry of the larvae of crustaceans-parasitizing helminthes (cestodes and acanthocephalans, including cystacanths P. phippsi) into non-specific hosts and opens broad colonization possibilities. Besides acanthocephalans, the phenomenon of non-specific parasitism has been shown for some cestodes circulating in the Arctic coastal ecosystems. Similar conditions for helminths transmission might have formed in marine coastal refugia during the glacial periods of late Pliocene-Pleistocene. According to the Arctic refugium hypothesis of Hoberg and Adams, this promoted parasitic colonization of phylogenetically distant hosts using similar foraging resources. Thus, present-day transmission patterns of helminthes in high Arctic can be, in a way, considered as a model allowing us to witness various stages of helminthes' speciation by host-switching. PMID: 27055327 [PubMed - in process] 

9. Proc Biol Sci. 2016 Apr 13;283(1828). pii: 20160214. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2016.0214. 

Rates of morphological evolution are heterogeneous in Early Cretaceous birds. 
Wang M(1), Lloyd GT(2). Author information: (1)Key Laboratory of Vertebrate Evolution and Human Origins of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 142 Xizhimenwai Street, Beijing 100044, People's Republic of China (2)Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, Macquarie University, Sydney, New South Wales 2109, Australia 

The Early Cretaceous is a critical interval in the early history of birds. Exceptional fossils indicate that important evolutionary novelties such as a pygostyle and a keeled sternum had already arisen in Early Cretaceous taxa, bridging much of the morphological gap betweenArchaeopteryxand crown birds. However, detailed features of basal bird evolution remain obscure because of both the small sample of fossil taxa previously considered and a lack of quantitative studies assessing rates of morphological evolution. Here we apply a recently available phylogenetic method and associated sensitivity tests to a large data matrix of morphological characters to quantify rates of morphological evolution in Early Cretaceous birds. Our results reveal that although rates were highly heterogeneous between different Early Cretaceous avian lineages, consistent patterns of significantly high or low rates were harder to pinpoint. Nevertheless, evidence for accelerated evolutionary rates is strongest at the point when Ornithuromorpha (the clade comprises all extant birds and descendants from their most recent common ancestors) split from Enantiornithes (a diverse clade that went extinct at the end-Cretaceous), consistent with the hypothesis that this key split opened up new niches and ultimately led to greater diversity for these two dominant clades of Mesozoic birds. © 2016 The Author(s). PMID: 27053742 [PubMed - in process]

10. Oecologia. 2016 Apr 6. [Epub ahead of print] 

Sex and migratory strategy influence corticosterone levels in winter-grown feathers, with positive breeding effects in a migratory pelagic seabird. 
Pérez C(1,)(2), Granadeiro JP(3), Dias MP(4), Catry P(5). Author information: (1)Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre (MARE), ISPA-Instituto Universitário, Rua Jardim do Tabaco 34, 1149-041, Lisbon, Portugal. (2)Department of Ecology and Animal Biology, University of Vigo, 36310, Pontevedra, Spain. (3)CESAM and Departamento de Biologia Animal, Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal. (4)BirdLife International, Wellbrook Court, Girton Road, Cambridge, CB3 0NA, UK. (5)Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre (MARE), ISPA-Instituto Universitário, Rua Jardim do Tabaco 34, 1149-041, Lisbon, Portugal. 

To overcome unpredictable stressful transitory events, animals trigger an allostatic response involving the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal cortex. This hormonal response, which involves the release of glucocorticoids which in turn mediate between the main physiological mechanisms that regulate the energetic demands and resource allocation trade-off with behavioural responses to environmental perturbations and may ultimately lead to variation in fitness. We have used the Cory's shearwater Calonectris borealis, a sexually dimorphic pelagic seabird with a partial migratory strategy, as a model bird species to analyse a number of traits related to the stress response. We investigated whether the activation of a stressful response, mediated by corticosterone, during the wintering period (1) correlated with the previous breeding success, (2) was affected by the migratory behaviour of male birds and (3) had consequences in the fitness of the birds. Corticosterone levels in feathers grown overwinter were analysed in 61 adult birds during three consecutive migratory periods (2009-2012) and in 14 immature birds in the wintering period 2010-2011. Moreover, the levels of corticosterone were analysed in experimental birds which were freed from their reproductive duties and compared with control birds which raised fledglings to the end of the breeding period. The results show that the levels of corticosterone were sex dependent, differed between years and were affected by the migratory strategy performed by the birds. The activation of the stressful response over the wintering period generated residual carry-over effects that positively affected the reproductive output in the subsequent breeding stage, a phenomenon previously undescribed in a long-lived pelagic seabird. Our study provides evidence that the analysis of corticosterone from feathers is a useful tool to evaluate carry-over effects in birds far away from breeding sites, opening new possibilities for future studies in this field. PMID: 27053322 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] 

11. Infect Ecol Epidemiol. 2016 Apr 5;6:31217. doi: 10.3402/iee.v6.31217. eCollection 2016. 

Campylobacter growth rates in four different matrices: broiler caecal material, live birds, Bolton broth, and brain heart infusion broth. 
Battersby T(1,)(2), Walsh D(1), Whyte P(2), Bolton DJ(3). Author information: (1)Teagasc Food Research Centre, Ashtown, Dublin 15, Ireland. (2)UCD School of Veterinary Medicine, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland. (3)Teagasc Food Research Centre, Ashtown, Dublin 15, Ireland; 

BACKGROUND: The objective of this study was to characterise Campylobacter growth in enrichment broths (Bolton broth, brain heart infusion broth), caecal material (in vitro), and in the naturally infected live broilers (in vivo) in terms of mean lag periods and generation times as well as maximum growth rates and population (cell concentration) achieved. METHODS: Bolton and brain heart infusion broths and recovered caecal material were inoculated with 10 poultry strains of Campylobacter (eight Campylobacter jejuni and two Campylobacter coli), incubated under microaerobic conditions, and Campylobacter concentrations determined periodically using the ISO 10272:2006 method. Caeca from 10 flocks, infected at first thinning, were used to characterise Campylobacter growth in the live birds. Mean generation times (G) (early lag to exponential phase) were calculated using the formula: G=t/3.3 logb/B. Mean lag times and µmax were calculated using the Micro Fit(©) Software (Version 1.0, Institute of Food Research). Statistical comparison was performed using GENSTAT ver. 14.1 (VSN International Ltd., Hemel, Hempstead, UK). RESULTS: The mean lag periods in Bolton broth, brain heart infusion broth, caecal material, and in the live bird were estimated to be 6.6, 6.7, 12.6, and 31.3 h, respectively. The corresponding mean generation times were 2.1, 2.2, 3.1, and 6.7 h, respectively; maximum growth rates were 0.7, 0.8, 0.4, and 2 generations h(-1) and the maximum populations obtained in each matrix were 9.6, 9.9, 7.8, and 7.4 log10 CFU/g, respectively. CONCLUSION: This study provides data on the growth of Campylobacter in a range of laboratory media, caecal contents, and in broilers which may be used to develop predictive models and/or inform science-based control strategies such as the maximum time between flock testing and slaughter, logistical slaughter, and single-stage depopulation of broiler units. PMID: 27052025 [PubMed] 

12. Vet World. 2016 Feb;9(2):207-10. doi: 10.14202/vetworld.2016.207-210. Epub 2016 Feb 27. 

Evaluation of Emblica officinalis fruit powder as a growth promoter in commercial broiler chickens. 
Patel AP(1), Bhagwat SR(1), Pawar MM(1), Prajapati KB(2), Chauhan HD(3), Makwana RB(3). Author information: (1)Department of Animal Nutrition, College of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry, Sardarkrushinagar Dantiwada Agricultural University, Banaskantha, Gujarat, India. (2)Livestock Research Station, Sardarkrushinagar Dantiwada Agricultural University, Banaskantha, Gujarat, India. (3)Department of Livestock Production and Management, College of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry, Sardarkrushinagar Dantiwada Agricultural University, Banaskantha, Gujarat, India. 

AIM: The present study was conducted to evaluate the dietary addition of Emblica officinalis (Amla) fruit powder as a growth promoter in commercial broiler chickens. MATERIALS AND METHODS: An experiment was conducted on 135 commercial broiler chicks (Ven-Cobb 400 strain) divided into three groups with three replicates of 15 chicks each. Three treatment groups were as follows - T1: Basal diet as per BIS standards; T2: Basal diet supplemented with 0.4% of E. officinalis fruit powder; and T3: Basal diet supplemented with 0.8% of E. officinalis fruit powder. RESULTS: The average body weights at the end of the 6(th) week were significantly higher (p<0.05) in groups T2 and T3 compared to group T1. Feed intake, feed conversion ratio and feed cost per kg live weight production were similar among the treatment groups. The net profit per bird was the highest in group T2 (Rs. 19.22/bird) followed by group T3 (Rs. 17.86/bird) and the lowest in group T1 (Rs. 14.61/bird). CONCLUSION: Based on the results of the present study, it was concluded that dietary addition of E. officinalis (Amla) fruit powder had a positive effect on growth performance and net profit per bird in commercial broiler chickens. PMCID: PMC4819374 PMID: 27051210 [PubMed] 

13. Vet World. 2016 Feb;9(2):192-8. doi: 10.14202/vetworld.2015.192-198. Epub 2016 Feb 20. 

Effect of feeding different levels of Azolla pinnata on blood biochemicals, hematology and immunocompetence traits of Chabro chicken. 
Mishra DB(1), Roy D(1), Kumar V(1), Bhattacharyya A(2), Kumar M(1), Kushwaha R(1), Vaswani S(1). Author information: (1)Department of Animal Nutrition, College of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry, U.P. Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Pashu Chikitsa Vigyan Vishwavidyalaya Evam Go Anusandhan Sansthan, Mathura - 281001, Uttar Pradesh, India. (2)Department of Poultry Science, College of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry, U.P. Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Pashu Chikitsa Vigyan Vishwavidyalaya Evam Go Anusandhan Sansthan, Mathura - 281001, Uttar Pradesh, India. 

AIM: The present study was conducted to see the effect of feeding different levels of Azolla meal on blood biochemicals, hematology and immunocompetence traits of Chabro chicken. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The study was conducted on 160 Chabro chicks, which were randomly divided into four treatment groups each with four replicates of 10 birds. The first treatment (T1) served as a control in which basal diets was offered without Azolla supplementation while in T2, T3, and T4 groups, basal diet was replaced with Azolla meal at 5%, 7.5%, and 10% levels, respectively. A feeding trial was conducted upto 8 weeks. At the last week of trial, blood samples were collected randomly from one bird of each replicate and plasma was separated to estimate certain biochemical parameters, some blood metabolites, minerals and enzymes like alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase (AST). Hematological parameters such as hemoglobin, packed cell volume, total leukocytes count and differential leukocytes count were estimated in fresh blood just after collection. The humoral immune response was measured against sheep red blood cells,and cell-mediated immune response was measured against phyto hemagglutinin lectin from Phaseolus vulgaris (PHA-P). RESULTS: The study showed that hematological profile of the Chabro bird was not affected by any treatment except heterophil and lymphocyte which was found higher in T2 and T3 groups and eosinophil was found higher in a T3 group than control. Blood glucose, creatinine, cholesterol, total protein, albumin, uric acid, and triglycerides were found similar in all the groups and within the normal values for broiler chicken. Liver enzymes and macro mineral content in blood were found similar in all the treatment groups and within normal physiological range. Although AST was found higher in 10% replacement group than control, the value was within normal range for broiler chicken. Although antibody titer was found similar in all the experimental groups in the present study, cell-mediate immune response (response to PHA-P) was found higher in 5%, 7.5%, and 10% replacement groups than control(p<0.05). CONCLUSION: Similar blood biochemical parameters and higher cell-mediated immune response in Azolla replacement group indicated immune-modulatory effect of Azolla meal without any toxicity. PMCID: PMC4819371 PMID: 27051207 [PubMed] 

14. Vet World. 2016 Feb;9(2):123-7. doi: 10.14202/vetworld.2016.123-127. Epub 2016 Feb 8. 

Isolation and characterization of Shiga toxigenic Escherichia coli of animal and bird origin by multiplex polymerase chain reaction. 
Neher S(1), Hazarika AK(1), Barkalita LM(2), Borah P(2), Bora DP(1), Sharma RK(1). Author information: (1)Department of Veterinary Microbiology, College of Veterinary Science, Assam Agricultural University, Guwahati, Assam, India. (2)Department of Animal Biotechnology, College of Veterinary Science, Assam Agricultural University, Guwahati, Assam, India. 

AIM: The purpose of this study was to determine the virulence genes and serotype of Shiga toxin producing Escherichia coli (STEC) strains isolated from animals and birds. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 226 different samples viz., fecal, intestinal content, rectal swab and heart blood were collected from different clinically affected/healthy animals and birds and were streaked on McConkeys' lactose agar and eosin methylene blue agar for isolation of E. coli, confirmed by staining characteristics and biochemical tests. By polymerase chain reaction (PCR) all the E. coli isolates were screened for certain virulence genes, viz., Shiga toxin 1 (stx1), stx2 and eae and enterohemolytic (Ehly) phenotype was observed in washed sheep blood agar plate. All the isolated E. coli strains were forwarded to the National Salmonella and Escherichia Centre, Central Research Institute, Kasauli (Himachal Pradesh) for serotyping. RESULTS: Out of 226 samples 138 yielded E. coli. All the isolates were screened for molecular detection of different virulent genes, viz. stx1, stx2 and eae, based on which 36 (26.08%) were identified as STEC. Among those STEC isolates, 15 (41.67%), 14 (38.89%), 1 (2.78%) exhibited eae, stx2, stx1 alone, respectively, whereas 4 (11.11%) and 2 (5.56%) carried both stx1 and stx2, stx2 and eae, respectively. Among the STEC isolates 22 were belonged to 15 different sero-groups, viz., O2, O20, O22, O25, O43, O60, O69, O90, O91, O95, O106, O118, O130, O162 and O170 and others were untypable. Ehly phenotype was observed in 10 (27.78%) the STEC isolates. CONCLUSION: The present study concluded that STEC could be isolated from both clinically affected as well as healthy animals and birds. Regular monitoring of more samples from animal and bird origin is important to identify natural reservoir of STEC to prevent zoonotic infection. PMCID: PMC4819360 PMID: 27051196 [PubMed] 

15. PLoS One. 2016 Apr 6;11(4):e0150822. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0150822. eCollection 2016. 

Complexity, Predictability and Time Homogeneity of Syntax in the Songs of Cassin's Vireo (Vireo cassinii). 
Hedley RW(1). Author information: (1)Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, United States of America. 

Many species of animals deliver vocalizations in sequences presumed to be governed by internal rules, though the nature and complexity of these syntactical rules have been investigated in relatively few species. Here I present an investigation into the song syntax of fourteen male Cassin's Vireos (Vireo cassinii), a species whose song sequences are highly temporally structured. I compare their song sequences to three candidate models of varying levels of complexity-zero-order, first-order and second-order Markov models-and employ novel methods to interpolate between these three models. A variety of analyses, including sequence simulations, Fisher's exact tests, and model likelihood analyses, showed that the songs of this species are too complex to be described by a zero-order or first-order Markov model. The model that best fit the data was intermediate in complexity between a first- and second-order model, though I also present evidence that some transition probabilities are conditioned on up to three preceding phrases. In addition, sequences were shown to be predictable with more than 54% accuracy overall, and predictability was positively correlated with the rate of song delivery. An assessment of the time homogeneity of syntax showed that transition probabilities between phrase types are largely stable over time, but that there was some evidence for modest changes in syntax within and between breeding seasons, a finding that I interpret to represent changes in breeding stage and social context rather than irreversible, secular shifts in syntax over time. These findings constitute a valuable addition to our understanding of bird song syntax in free-living birds, and will contribute to future attempts to understand the evolutionary importance of bird song syntax in avian communication. PMID: 27050537 [PubMed - in process] 

16. Electromagn Biol Med. 2016 Apr 6:0. [Epub ahead of print] 

Magnetic correlates in electromagnetic consciousness. 
Liboff AR(1). Author information: (1)a Department of Physics , Oakland University , Rochester , MI , USA. 

We examine the hypothesis that consciousness is a manifestation of the electromagnetic field, finding supportive factors not previously considered. It is not likely that traditional electrophysiological signaling modes can be readily transmitted throughout the brain to properly enable this field because of electric field screening arising from the ubiquitous distribution of high dielectric lipid membranes, a problem that vanishes for low-frequency magnetic fields. Many reports over the last few decades have provided evidence that living tissue is robustly sensitive to ultrasmall (1-100 nT) ELF magnetic fields overlapping the γ-frequency range often associated with awareness. An example taken from animal behavior (coherent bird flocking) lends support to the possibility of a disembodied electromagnetic consciousness. In contrast to quantum consciousness hypotheses, the present approach is open to experimental trial. PMID: 27049696 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] 

17. Parasitol Res. 2016 Apr 6. [Epub ahead of print] 

Tick infestation in birds and prevalence of pathogens in ticks collected from different places in Germany. 
Klaus C(1), Gethmann J(2), Hoffmann B(3), Ziegler U(4), Heller M(5), Beer M(3). Author information: (1)Friedrich-Loeffler-Institute, Institute of Bacterial Infections and Zoonoses, Naumburger Str. 96a, D-07743, Jena, Germany. (2)Friedrich-Loeffler-Institute, Institute of Epidemiology, Greifswald, Insel Riems, Germany. (3)Friedrich-Loeffler-Institute, Institute of Diagnostic Virology, Greifswald, Insel Riems, Germany. (4)Friedrich-Loeffler-Institute, Institute of Novel and Emerging Diseases, Greifswald, Insel Riems, Germany. (5)Friedrich-Loeffler-Institute, Institute of Molecular Pathogenesis, Jena, Germany. 

The importance of ticks and tick-borne pathogens for human and animal health has been increasing over the past decades. For their transportation and dissemination, birds may play a more important role than wingless hosts. In this study, tick infestation of birds in Germany was examined. Eight hundred ninety-two captured birds were infested with ticks and belonged to 48 different species, of which blackbirds (Turdus merula) and song thrushes (Turdus philomelos) were most strongly infested. Ground feeders were more strongly infested than non-ground feeders, sedentary birds more strongly than migratory birds, and short-distance migratory birds more strongly than long-distance migratory birds. Mean tick infestation per bird ranged between 2 (long-distance migratory bird) and 4.7 (sedentary bird), in some single cases up to 55 ticks per bird were found. With the exception of three nymphs of Haemaphysalis spp., all ticks belonged to Ixodes spp., the most frequently detected tick species was Ixodes ricinus. Birds were mostly infested by nymphs (65.1 %), followed by larvae (32.96 %). Additionally, ticks collected from birds were examined for several pathogens: Tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) and Sindbisvirus with real-time RT-PCR, Flaviviruses, Simbuviruses and Lyssaviruses with broad-range standard RT-PCR-assays, and Borrelia spp. with a Pan-Borrelia real-time PCR. Interestingly, no viral pathogens could be detected, but Borrelia spp. positive ticks were collected from 76 birds. Borrelia (B.) garinii, B. valaisiaina, B. burgdorferi s.s. and B. afzelii were determined. The screening of ticks and birds for viral pathogens with broad range PCR-assays was tested and the use as an "early warning system" is discussed. PMID: 27048511 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] 

18. Biol Lett. 2016 Apr;12(4). pii: 20160087. doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2016.0087. 

Long-term consequences of high incubation temperature in a wild bird population. 
Nord A(1), Nilsson JÅ(2). Author information: (1)Department of Biology, Section for Evolutionary Ecology, Lund University, Ecology Building, 223 62 Lund, Sweden (2)Department of Biology, Section for Evolutionary Ecology, Lund University, Ecology Building, 223 62 Lund, Sweden. 

Because incubation by birds is energetically costly, parents frequently trade off investment in incubation against self-maintenance. This can be manifested by a reduction in incubation temperature, which comes at high somatic costs for nestlings. The extent to which these costs constrain fitness is poorly understood. We incubated wild blue tit clutches at three biologically relevant temperatures and subsequently recorded winter survival and survival to the breeding season. Fledglings from the coldest treatment (35.0°C) survived less well than other fledglings, but the proportion of winter and breeding survivors did not differ significantly between treatments. However, survival probability in both seasons increased with body mass at fledging in birds from low and mid incubation temperatures, but decreased with fledging body mass in the high-temperature treatment. Mid-temperature nestlings were heavier as adults, weighing 7% more than low- and high-temperature survivors. Thus, high incubation temperature can be beneficial in the short term, but costs of accelerated embryonic development may equal those of protracted development in the long term. Such hidden consequences of faster development could maintain natural selection for average incubation temperature. © 2016 The Author(s). PMID: 27048468 [PubMed - in process]

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