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1.
Stress ; 25(1): 134-144, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1728770

ABSTRACT

The importance of social interactions has been reported in a variety of animal species. In human and rodent models, social isolation is known to alter social behaviors and change anxiety or depression levels. During the coronavirus pandemic, although people could communicate with each other through other sensory cues, social touch was mostly prohibited under different levels of physical distancing policies. These social restrictions inspired us to explore the necessity of physical contact, which has rarely been investigated in previous studies on mouse social interactions. We first conducted a long-term observation to show that pair-housed mice in a standard laboratory cage spent nearly half the day in direct physical contact with each other. Furthermore, we designed a split-housing condition to demonstrate that even with free access to visual, auditory, and olfactory social signals, the lack of social touch significantly increased anxiety-like behaviors and changed social behaviors. There were correspondingly higher levels of the pro-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-6 in the hippocampus in mice with no access to physical contact. Our study demonstrated the necessity of social touch for the maintenance of mental health in mice and could have important implications for human social interactions.


Subject(s)
Housing, Animal , Touch , Animals , Anxiety/psychology , Behavior, Animal , Male , Mice , Social Behavior , Social Isolation/psychology , Stress, Psychological
2.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(16)2021 Aug 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1662680

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Myocarditis is an inflammatory heart disease caused by viral infections that can lead to heart failure, and occurs more often in men than women. Since animal studies have shown that myocarditis is influenced by sex hormones, we hypothesized that endocrine disruptors, which interfere with natural hormones, may play a role in the progression of the disease. The human population is exposed to the endocrine disruptor bisphenol A (BPA) from plastics, such as water bottles and plastic food containers. METHODS: Male and female adult BALB/c mice were housed in plastic versus glass caging, or exposed to BPA in drinking water versus control water. Myocarditis was induced with coxsackievirus B3 on day 0, and the endpoints were assessed on day 10 post infection. RESULTS: We found that male BALB/c mice that were exposed to plastic caging had increased myocarditis due to complement activation and elevated numbers of macrophages and neutrophils, whereas females had elevated mast cell activation and fibrosis. CONCLUSIONS: These findings show that housing mice in traditional plastic caging increases viral myocarditis in males and females, but using sex-specific immune mechanisms.


Subject(s)
Coxsackievirus Infections/complications , Enterovirus B, Human/pathogenicity , Housing, Animal/statistics & numerical data , Myocarditis/pathology , Plastics/adverse effects , Animals , Coxsackievirus Infections/virology , Female , Male , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Myocarditis/etiology , Myocarditis/virology , Sex Factors
3.
Behav Brain Res ; 417: 113630, 2022 01 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1466066

ABSTRACT

Social isolation gained discussion momentum due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Whereas many studies address the effects of long-term social isolation in post-weaning and adolescence and for periods ranging from 4 to 12 weeks, little is known about the repercussions of adult long-term social isolation in middle age. Thus, our aim was to investigate how long-term social isolation can influence metabolic, behavioural, and central nervous system-related areas in middle-aged mice. Adult male C57Bl/6 mice (4 months-old) were randomly divided into Social (2 cages, n = 5/cage) and Isolated (10 cages, n = 1/cage) housing groups, totalizing 30 weeks of social isolation, which ended concomitantly with the onset of middle age of mice. At the end of the trial, metabolic parameters, short-term memory, anxiety-like behaviour, and physical activity were assessed. Immunohistochemistry in the hippocampus (ΔFosB, BDNF, and 8OHDG) and hypothalamus (ΔFosB) was also performed. The Isolated group showed impaired memory along with a decrease in hippocampal ΔFosB at dentate gyrus and in BDNF at CA3. Food intake was also affected, but the direction depended on how it was measured in the Social group (individually or in the group) with no alteration in ΔFosB at the hypothalamus. Physical activity parameters increased with chronic isolation, but in the light cycle (inactive phase), with some evidence of anxiety-like behaviour. Future studies should better explore the timepoint at which the alterations found begin. In conclusion, long-term social isolation in adult mice contributes to alterations in feeding, physical activity pattern, and anxiety-like behaviour. Moreover, short-term memory deficit was associated with lower levels of hippocampal ΔFosB and BDNF in middle age.


Subject(s)
Anxiety/etiology , COVID-19 , Feeding Behavior , Hippocampus/metabolism , Locomotion , Memory Disorders/etiology , Social Isolation , Age Factors , Animals , Behavior, Animal/physiology , Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor , COVID-19/prevention & control , Disease Models, Animal , Feeding Behavior/physiology , Housing, Animal , Hypothalamus/metabolism , Locomotion/physiology , Male , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-fos/metabolism
5.
Nature ; 583(7818): 834-838, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1387423

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), a novel coronavirus with high nucleotide identity to SARS-CoV and to SARS-related coronaviruses that have been detected in horseshoe bats, has spread across the world and had a global effect on healthcare systems and economies1,2. A suitable small animal model is needed to support the development of vaccines and therapies. Here we report the pathogenesis and transmissibility of SARS-CoV-2 in golden (Syrian) hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus). Immunohistochemistry assay demonstrated the presence of viral antigens in nasal mucosa, bronchial epithelial cells and areas of lung consolidation on days 2 and 5 after inoculation with SARS-CoV-2, followed by rapid viral clearance and pneumocyte hyperplasia at 7 days after inoculation. We also found viral antigens in epithelial cells of the duodenum, and detected viral RNA in faeces. Notably, SARS-CoV-2 was transmitted efficiently from inoculated hamsters to naive hamsters by direct contact and via aerosols. Transmission via fomites in soiled cages was not as efficient. Although viral RNA was continuously detected in the nasal washes of inoculated hamsters for 14 days, the communicable period was short and correlated with the detection of infectious virus but not viral RNA. Inoculated and naturally infected hamsters showed apparent weight loss on days 6-7 post-inoculation or post-contact; all hamsters returned to their original weight within 14 days and developed neutralizing antibodies. Our results suggest that features associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection in golden hamsters resemble those found in humans with mild SARS-CoV-2 infections.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Disease Models, Animal , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Mesocricetus/virology , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Aerosols , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/pathology , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/virology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antigens, Viral/immunology , Antigens, Viral/isolation & purification , Antigens, Viral/metabolism , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Betacoronavirus/metabolism , Bronchi/pathology , Bronchi/virology , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Duodenum/virology , Fomites/virology , Housing, Animal , Kidney/virology , Male , Mesocricetus/immunology , Nasal Mucosa/virology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , RNA, Viral/analysis , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Load , Weight Loss
6.
Viruses ; 13(8)2021 08 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1360823

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic raised concerns that companion animals might be infected with, and could become a reservoir of, SARS-CoV-2. As cats are popular pets and susceptible to Coronavirus, we investigated the seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in shelter cats housed in Dutch animal shelters during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this large-scale cross-sectional study, serum samples of shelter cats were collected during the second wave of human COVID-19 infections in The Netherlands. Seroprevalence was determined by using an indirect protein-based ELISA validated for cats, and a Virus Neutralization Test (VNT) as confirmation. To screen for feline SARS-CoV-2 shedding, oropharyngeal and rectal swabs of cats positive for ELISA and/or VNT were analyzed using PCR tests. In 28 Dutch animal shelters, 240 shelter cats were convenience sampled. Two of these cats (0.8%; CI 95%: 0.1-3.0%) were seropositive, as evidenced by the presence of SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies. The seropositive animals tested PCR negative for SARS-CoV-2. Based on the results of this study, it is unlikely that shelter cats could be a reservoir of SARS-CoV-2 or pose a (significant) risk to public health.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/veterinary , Cat Diseases/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/veterinary , COVID-19 Serological Testing/veterinary , Cat Diseases/immunology , Cats , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Housing, Animal , Humans , Male , Netherlands/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Virus Shedding
7.
J Am Assoc Lab Anim Sci ; 60(4): 431-441, 2021 07 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1335550

ABSTRACT

Reuse of disposable personal protective equipment is traditionally discouraged, yet in times of heightened medical applications such as the SARS CoV-2 pandemic, it can be difficult to obtain. In this article we examine the reuse of disposable gowns with respect to still providing personnel protection. XR7, a fluorescent powder, was used to track contamination of gowns after manipulation of rodent cages. Mouse cages were treated with XR7 prior to manipulations. Disposable gowns were labeled for single person use and hung in common procedure spaces within the vivarium between usages. A simulated rack change of 140 cages was completed using XR7-treated cages. One individual changed all cages with a break occurring after the first 70 cages, requiring the gown to be removed and reused once. To simulate research activities, 5 individuals accessed 3 XR7-treated cages daily for 5 d. Each mouse in the XR7-treated cages was manipulated at least once before returning cages to the housing room. Disposable gowns were reused 5 times per individual. Gowns, gloves, clothing, bare arms, and hands were scanned for fluorescence before and after removing PPE. Fluorescence was localized to gloves and gown sleeves in closest contact with animals and caging. No fluorescence was detected on underlying clothing, or bare arms and hands after removing PPE. Fluorescence was not detected in procedure spaces where gowns were hung. The lack of fluorescence on personnel or surfaces indicate that gowns can be reused 1 time for routine husbandry tasks and up to 5 times for research personnel. A method for decontamination of used gowns using Vaporized Hydrogen Peroxide (VHP) was also validated for use in areas where animals are considered high risk such as quarantine, or for fragile immunocompromised rodent colonies.


Subject(s)
Animals, Laboratory , Disposable Equipment , Pandemics , Protective Clothing , Animal Technicians , Animals , Health Personnel , Housing, Animal , Humans , Mice , Pandemics/prevention & control , Personal Protective Equipment
10.
Poult Sci ; 99(7): 3501-3510, 2020 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-831303

ABSTRACT

Two experimental trials on commercial broiler (Ross-308) were conducted to evaluate the carryover effect of artificial insemination (AI) in parent flock (PF) kept in cages (C), and on floor (F) in comparison to natural mating (NM) in floored PF. A total of 900 broiler chicks were obtained from 38-week-old PF (peak production), representing C, F, and NM evenly during first trial, whereas in second trial, similar number of chicks were obtained from same PF during postpeak phase (55 wk of age). Subsequent effects of AI and NM in PF were evaluated by bacteriology, posthatch mortality, growth performance, immune response, and carcass traits on experimental birds (broiler). Chicks being produced through NM exhibited significantly (P ≤ 0.05) improved growth performance (feed conversion ratio, weight gain, European efficiency factor) along with the least (P ≤ 0.05) posthatch mortality and prevalence of Escherichia coli, Salmonella Pullorum, and Mycoplasma gallisepticum. Moreover, the experimental chicks obtained from floored PF subjected to AI particularly during postpeak phase expressed the highest (P ≤ 0.05) contamination of the said pathogens along with posthatch mortality. However, immune response against New Castle disease and infectious bronchitis vaccines and slaughtering parameters remained nonsignificant (P > 0.05) among the 3 treatments under both trials. It is concluded that the best growth performance along with the least depletion and microbial load of concerned pathogens were being pertained by the experimental birds representing NM.


Subject(s)
Animal Husbandry/methods , Breeding , Chickens/physiology , Insemination, Artificial/veterinary , Animals , Chickens/growth & development , Chickens/immunology , Housing, Animal
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