Elucidating barriers to gene flow is important for understanding the dynamics of speciation. Here we investigate pre- and post-zygotic mechanisms acting between the two hybridizing species of Atlantic eels: Anguilla anguilla and A. rostrata. Temporally varying hybridization was examined by analyzing 85 species-diagnostic single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs; FST ?0.95) in eel larvae sampled in the spawning region in the Sargasso Sea in 2007 (N=92) and 2014 (N=460). We further investigated whether genotypes at these SNPs were nonrandomly distributed in post-F1 hybrids, indicating selection. Finally, we sequenced the mitochondrial ATP6 and nuclear ATP5c1 genes in 19 hybrids, identified using SNP and restriction site associated DNA (RAD) sequencing data, to test a previously proposed hypothesis of cytonuclear incompatibility leading to adenosine triphosphate (ATP) synthase dysfunction and selection against hybrids. No F1 hybrids but only later backcrosses were observed in the Sargasso Sea in 2007 and 2014. This suggests that interbreeding between the two species only occurs in some years, possibly controlled by environmental conditions at the spawning grounds, or that interbreeding has diminished through time as a result of a declining number of spawners. Moreover, potential selection was found at the nuclear and the cytonuclear levels. Nonetheless, one glass eel individual showed a mismatch, involving an American ATP6 haplotype and European ATP5c1 alleles. This contradicted the presence of cytonuclear incompatibility but may be explained by that (1) cytonuclear incompatibility is incomplete, (2) selection acts at a later life stage or (3) other genes are important for protein function. In total, the study demonstrates the utility of genomic data when examining pre- and post-zyotic barriers in natural hybrids.
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In Norway, no published data on seroprevalence of hepatitis E virus (HEV) in humans and swine exists. Serum samples from blood donors, veterinarians, swine farm workers and swine were analysed by ELISA to estimate the seroprevalence of HEV in Norway and to investigate the association between direct contact with swine and HEV seroprevalence in humans. The seroprevalence of HEV IgG antibodies was 30% (24/79) in farm workers, 13% (21/163) in veterinarians, 14% (162/1200) in blood donors and 90% (137/153) in swine. Our results show a high seroprevalence of HEV in humans and swine in Norway. HEV seroprevalence in farm workers and blood donors increased with age, and veterinarians working with swine were twice as likely to be HEV seropositive compared to other veterinarians. High HEV seroprevalence in farm workers and veterinarians working with swine support previous reports suggesting swine as a reservoir for HEV infections in humans in Europe.
It is intriguing that conspicuous colour morphs of a prey species may be maintained at low frequencies alongside cryptic morphs. Negative frequency-dependent selection by predators using search images ('apostatic selection') is often suggested without rejecting alternative explanations. Using a maximum likelihood approach we fitted predictions from models of genetic drift, migration, constant selection, heterozygote advantage or negative frequency-dependent selection to time-series data of colour frequencies in isolated populations of a marine snail (Littorina saxatilis), re-established with perturbed colour morph frequencies and followed for >20 generations. Snails of conspicuous colours (white, red, banded) are naturally rare in the study area (usually
Improving feed efficiency in dairy cattle could result in more profitable and environmentally sustainable dairy production through lowering feed costs and emissions from dairy farming. In addition, beef production based on dairy herds generates fewer greenhouse gas emissions per unit of meat output than beef production from suckler cow systems. Different scenarios were used to assess the profitability of adding traits, excluded from the current selection index for Finnish Ayrshire, to the breeding goal for combined dairy and beef production systems. The additional breeding goal traits were growth traits (average daily gain of animals in the fattening and rearing periods), carcass traits (fat covering, fleshiness and dressing percentage), mature live weight (LW) of cows and residual feed intake (RFI) traits. A breeding scheme was modeled for Finnish Ayrshire under the current market situation in Finland using the deterministic simulation software ZPLAN+. With the economic values derived for the current production system, the inclusion of growth and carcass traits, while preventing LW increase generated the highest improvement in the discounted profit of the breeding program (3.7%), followed by the scenario where all additional traits were included simultaneously (5.1%). The use of a selection index that included growth and carcass traits excluding LW, increased the profit (0.8%), but reduced the benefits resulted from breeding for beef traits together with LW. A moderate decrease in the profit of the breeding program was obtained when adding only LW to the breeding goal (-3.1%), whereas, adding only RFI traits to the breeding goal resulted in a minor increase in the profit (1.4%). Including beef traits with LW in the breeding goal showed to be the most potential option to improve the profitability of the combined dairy and beef production systems and would also enable a higher rate of self-sufficiency in beef. When considering feed efficiency related traits, the inclusion of LW traits in the breeding goal that includes growth and carcass traits could be more profitable than the inclusion of RFI, because the marginal costs of measuring LW can be expected to be lower than for RFI and it is readily available for selection. In addition, before RFI can be implemented as a breeding objective, the genetic correlations between RFI and other breeding goal traits estimated for the studied population as well as information on the most suitable indicator traits for RFI are needed to assess more carefully the consequences of selecting for RFI.
Epidemiological studies of fish consumption and all-cause mortality have provided inconsistent results.
We examined the dose-response association between fish consumption and mortality from all causes in a large population-based cohort of Swedish men and women.
The study included 72 522 participants (33 973 women and 38 549 men), aged 45-83 years, from the Swedish Mammography Cohort and the Cohort of Swedish Men. Information on fish consumption was obtained through a self-administered questionnaire in 1997. Participants were followed for 17 years (1 January 1998 to 31 December 2014), and data on death and causes of death were ascertained through linkage to the Swedish Cause of Death Register. We used Cox proportional hazard regression to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) of death. Fish consumption was evaluated as a continuous predictor, flexibly modelled with restricted cubic splines to assess potential nonlinear associations.
During follow-up, 16 730 deaths (7168 women and 9562 men) were recorded. The dose-response association between fish consumption and all-cause mortality was U-shaped. Compared with the median fish consumption (women: 25.0; men: 30.5 g day(-1) ), lower levels of consumption were progressively associated with higher mortality risk up to 25% for women [HR 1.25; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.11, 1.40] and 19% for men (HR 1.19; 95% CI: 1.07, 1.32) with no reported consumption. Increasingly higher levels of fish consumption were associated with higher mortality risk only amongst women, with a 39% higher mortality risk amongst women reporting the highest level of fish consumption (80 g day(-1) ; HR 1.39; 95% CI: 1.15, 1.68).
These results indicate a U-shaped association between fish consumption and all-cause mortality, particularly amongst women.
African swine fever (ASF) is a devastating viral disease of swine that is present in both pigs and wild boar in the western part of the Russian Federation and the eastern part of the European Union. It represents a significant threat for the European pig production industry as neither treatment nor vaccine is available. This study analysed the spatial and spatio-temporal distributions of ASF cases that were reported in domestic pigs and wild boar for assessing the likelihood of wild boar-to-domestic pig and farm-to-farm transmission routes in the epidemic that occurred from 2007 to 2014 in the Krasnodar and the Tver regions, two of the most affected areas of the Russian Federation. Results suggest that in both regions, the spatial proximity to an infectious farm was a strong risk factor for infection of a susceptible farm. In the Krasnodar region, the results of the statistical analysis suggest that the epidemics in wild boar and in domestic pigs were independent from each other. In contrast, there seemed to be a dependence between the two epidemics in the Tver region. But because outbreaks in domestic pigs were not statistically significantly clustered around wild boar cases, the joint spatial distribution of wild boar cases and of outbreaks in domestic pigs in the Tver region may be explained by regular spillovers from the domestic pig to the wild boar population. These findings confirm the need to maintain high biosecurity standards on pig farms and justify strict control measures targeted at domestic pig production such as culling of infected herds and local movement restrictions.
To gain information on hair loss amongst curly coated retrievers by questionnaire and to define the clinical and pathological features of hair coat abnormalities in affected dogs in the United Kingdom and Sweden.
Questionnaires were completed by members of the Curly Coated Retriever Clubs. Fourteen dogs (six in the United Kingdom, eight in Sweden) were clinically examined and skin/hair samples collected for microscopy and histopathology. Blood was collected for haematological, biochemical and endocrine assays.
Of 90 dogs surveyed, 39 had current or previous episodes of symmetrical, non-pruritic alopecia and or frizzy coat changes, usually affecting caudal thighs, axillae, dorsum and neck before 18 months of age; 23 dogs had a waxing/waning course. Examined dogs generally matched the pattern described in questionnaires. Hair shaft anomalies comprised occasional distorted anagen bulbs (10 dogs) and transverse fractures (8 dogs). Vertical histopathological sections showed infundibular hyperkeratosis (28 of 30 sections) and low-grade pigment clumping (17 of 30). Subtle telogenisation of hair follicles was unequivocally confirmed by transverse histomorphometric analyses.
The follicular dysplasia of curly coated retriever reported here is similar to that of Irish water spaniels and Chesapeake Bay retrievers but distinct from that of Portuguese water dogs. The genetic basis requires further assessment.
The development of high-throughput sequencing technologies have allowed the possibility to investigate and characterise the entire microbiome of individuals, providing better insight to the complex interaction between different microorganisms. This will help to understand how the microbiome influence the susceptibility of secondary agents and development of disease. We have applied viral metagenomics to investigate the virome of lymph nodes from Swedish pigs suffering from the multifactorial disease postweaning multisystemic wasting syndrome (PMWS) as well as from healthy pigs. The aim is to increase knowledge of potential viruses, apart from porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2), involved in PMWS development as well as to increase knowledge on the virome of healthy individuals. In healthy individuals, a diverse viral flora was seen with several different viruses present simultaneously. The majority of the identified viruses were small linear and circular DNA viruses, such as different circoviruses, anelloviruses and bocaviruses. In the pigs suffering from PMWS, PCV2 sequences were, as expected, detected to a high extent but other viruses were also identified in the background of PCV2. Apart from DNA viruses also RNA viruses were identified, among them were a porcine pestivirus showing high similarity to a recently (in 2015) discovered atypical porcine pestivirus in the US. Majority of the viruses identified in the background of PCV2 in PMWS pigs could also be identified in the healthy pigs. PCV2 sequences were also identified in the healthy pigs but to a much lower extent than in PMWS affected pigs. Although the method used here is not quantitative the very clear difference in amount of PCV2 sequences in PMWS affected pigs and healthy pigs most likely reflect the very strong replication of PCV2 known to be a hallmark of PMWS. Taken together, these findings illustrate that pigs appear to have a considerable viral flora consisting to a large extent of small single-stranded and circular DNA viruses. Future research on these types of viruses will help to better understand the role that these ubiquitous viruses may have on health and disease of pigs. We also demonstrate for the first time, in Europe, the presence of a novel porcine pestivirus.
Cites: Zentralbl Veterinarmed B. 1999 May;46(4):249-6010379235
Ocean acidification is considered as a crucial stressor for marine communities. In this study, we tested the effects of the IPCC RPC6.0 end-of-century acidification scenario on a natural plankton community in the Gullmar Fjord, Sweden, during a long-term mesocosm experiment from a spring bloom to a mid-summer situation. The focus of this study was on microzooplankton and its interactions with phytoplankton and mesozooplankton. The microzooplankton community was dominated by ciliates, especially small Strombidium sp., with the exception of the last days when heterotrophic dinoflagellates increased in abundance. We did not observe any effects of high CO2 on the community composition and diversity of microzooplankton. While ciliate abundance, biomass and growth rate were not affected by elevated CO2, we observed a positive effect of elevated CO2 on dinoflagellate abundances. Additionally, growth rates of dinoflagellates were significantly higher in the high CO2 treatments. Given the higher Chlorophyll a content measured under high CO2, our results point at mainly indirect effects of CO2 on microzooplankton caused by changes in phytoplankton standing stocks, in this case most likely an increase in small-sized phytoplankton of
Populations of rock ptarmigan (Lagopus muta) in Iceland fluctuate in multiannual cycles with peak numbers c. every 10 years. We studied the ptarmigan-parasite community and how parasites relate to ptarmigan age, body condition, and population density. We collected 632 ptarmigan in northeast Iceland in early October from 2006 to 2012; 630 (99.7%) were infected with at least one parasite species, 616 (98%) with ectoparasites, and 536 (85%) with endoparasites. We analysed indices for the combined parasite community (16 species) and known pathogenic parasites, two coccidian protozoans Eimeria muta and Eimeria rjupa, two nematodes Capillaria caudinflata and Trichostrongylus tenuis, one chewing louse Amyrsidea lagopi, and one skin mite Metamicrolichus islandicus. Juveniles overall had more ectoparasites than adults, but endoparasite levels were similar in both groups. Ptarmigan population density was associated with endoparasites, and in particular prevalence of the coccidian parasite Eimeria muta. Annual aggregation level of this eimerid fluctuated inversely with prevalence, with lows at prevalence peak and vice versa. Both prevalence and aggregation of E. muta tracked ptarmigan population density with a 1.5 year time lag. The time lag could be explained by the host specificity of this eimerid, host density dependent shedding of oocysts, and their persistence in the environment from one year to the next. Ptarmigan body condition was negatively associated with E. muta prevalence, an indication of their pathogenicity, and this eimerid was also positively associated with ptarmigan mortality and marginally inversely with fecundity. There were also significant associations between fecundity and chewing louse Amyrsidea lagopi prevalence (negative), excess juvenile mortality and nematode Capillaria caudinflata prevalence (positive), and adult mortality and skin mite Metamicrolichus islandicus prevalence (negative). Though this study is correlational, it provides strong evidence that E. muta through time-lag in prevalence with respect to host population size and by showing significant relations with host body condition, mortality, and fecundity could destabilize ptarmigan population dynamics in Iceland.
Cites: Am Nat. 2012 Mar;179(3):E70-9622322229
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Cites: Int J Parasitol. 2005 Apr 1;35(4):367-7315777913
Remote polar and deepwater fish faunas are under pressure from ongoing climate change and increasing fishing effort. However, these fish communities are difficult to monitor for logistic and financial reasons. Currently, monitoring of marine fishes largely relies on invasive techniques such as bottom trawling, and on official reporting of global catches, which can be unreliable. Thus, there is need for alternative and non-invasive techniques for qualitative and quantitative oceanic fish surveys. Here we report environmental DNA (eDNA) metabarcoding of seawater samples from continental slope depths in Southwest Greenland. We collected seawater samples at depths of 188-918 m and compared seawater eDNA to catch data from trawling. We used Illumina sequencing of PCR products to demonstrate that eDNA reads show equivalence to fishing catch data obtained from trawling. Twenty-six families were found with both trawling and eDNA, while three families were found only with eDNA and two families were found only with trawling. Key commercial fish species for Greenland were the most abundant species in both eDNA reads and biomass catch, and interpolation of eDNA abundances between sampling sites showed good correspondence with catch sizes. Environmental DNA sequence reads from the fish assemblages correlated with biomass and abundance data obtained from trawling. Interestingly, the Greenland shark (Somniosus microcephalus) showed high abundance of eDNA reads despite only a single specimen being caught, demonstrating the relevance of the eDNA approach for large species that can probably avoid bottom trawls in most cases. Quantitative detection of marine fish using eDNA remains to be tested further to ascertain whether this technique is able to yield credible results for routine application in fisheries. Nevertheless, our study demonstrates that eDNA reads can be used as a qualitative and quantitative proxy for marine fish assemblages in deepwater oceanic habitats. This relates directly to applied fisheries as well as to monitoring effects of ongoing climate change on marine biodiversity-especially in polar ecosystems.
Cites: R Soc Open Sci. 2015 Jul 22;2(7):15008826587265
Cites: Environ Sci Technol. 2014;48(3):1819-2724422450
Babesia microti is a genetically diverse group of protozoan parasites whose life cycle is associated with both small mammals and Ixodes spp. ticks. In this study, the prevalence of different B. microti genetic groups in ticks and small rodents in an area with Ixodes persulcatus and Ixodes trianguliceps occurring in sympatry was examined. A total of 541 small mammals were captured during eight sampling periods between 2013 and 2015 at a site in the Omsk region of Russia and tested for the presence of B. microti using nested PCR with subsequent sequencing of positive samples. B. microti DNA was found in 31.6?% of examined samples, and prevalence rates ranged from 5.3 to 61.6?% in different sampling periods. The sequenced B. microti samples belonged to two genetic groups: enzootic B. microti 'Munich' type and zoonotic B. microti 'US' type. B. microti 'Munich' type was more common across all sampling periods, with greater than 80?% prevalence in infected animals. Despite the high B. microti 'Munich'-type prevalence in voles, B. microti was not found in any of 394 adult I. persulcatus ticks collected by flagging or in the 84 I. persulcatus or 20 I. trianguliceps ticks taken from voles and molted under laboratory conditions. It was demonstrated that B. microti 'Munich'-type DNA can be detected in the blood of naturally infected voles for at least 20?weeks after capture. Thus, the high prevalence of B. microti 'Munich' type in small mammals may be explained by the prolonged persistence of B. microti in the blood of wild voles.
Although based on very limited M and L segment sequences, Artybash virus (ARTV) was proposed previously as a unique hantavirus harbored by the Laxmann's shrew (Sorex caecutiens). To verify this conjecture, lung tissues from 68 Laxmann's shrews, captured during 2006 to 2014 in eastern Siberia, Russia, and Hokkaido, Japan, were analyzed for ARTV RNA using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). ARTV RNA was detected in six Laxmann's shrews. Pairwise alignment and comparison of partial- and full-length S, M, and L segment sequences from these Laxmann's shrews, as well as phylogenetic analyses, using maximum likelihood and Bayesian methods indicated that ARTV was distinct from other soricine shrew-borne hantaviruses and representative hantaviruses harbored by rodents, moles, and bats. Taxonomic identity of the ARTV-infected Laxmann's shrews was confirmed by full-length cytochrome b mitochondrial DNA sequence analysis. Our data indicate that the hantavirus previously known as Amga virus (MGAV) represents genetic variants of ARTV. Thus, the previously proposed designation of ARTV/MGAV should be replaced by ARTV.
Mosquito-borne viruses have a widespread distribution across the globe and are known to pose serious threats to human and animal health. The maintenance and dissemination of these viruses in nature are driven through horizontal and vertical transmission. In the temperate climate of northern Sweden, there is a dearth of knowledge on whether mosquito-borne viruses that occur are transmitted transovarially. To gain a better understanding of mosquito-borne virus circulation and maintenance, mosquito larvae were sampled in northern Sweden during the first and second year after a large outbreak of Ockelbo disease in 2013 caused by Sindbis virus (SINV).
A total of 3123 larvae were sampled during the summers of 2014 and 2015 at multiple sites in northern Sweden. The larvae were homogenized and screened for viruses using RT-PCR and sequencing. Species identification of selected larvae was performed by genetic barcoding targeting the cytochrome C oxidase subunit I gene.
SINV RNA was detected in mosquito larvae of three different species, Ochlerotatus (Oc.) communis, Oc. punctor, and Oc. diantaeus. Inkoo virus (INKV) RNA was detected in Oc. communis larvae. This finding suggested that these mosquitoes could support transovarial transmission of SINV and INKV. Detection of virus in mosquito larva may serve as an early warning for emerging arboviral diseases and add information to epidemiological investigations before, during, and after outbreaks. Furthermore, our results demonstrated the relevance of genetic barcoding as an attractive and effective method for mosquito larva typing. However, further mosquito transmission studies are needed to ascertain the possible role of different mosquito species and developmental stages in the transmission cycle of arboviruses.
Cites: Am J Trop Med Hyg. 1989 Sep;41(3):355-632572178
Objectives Currently, patients with persistent moderate-to-severe house dust mite (HDM) allergic rhinitis despite use of symptom-relieving medication can be offered subcutaneously administered allergy immunotherapy (SQ SCIT; Alutard SQ) as standard care of treatment in Denmark. Recently, a HDM sublingually administered allergy immunotherapy tablet (SQ SLIT-tablet; ACARIZAX) has been developed for at-home treatment. The purpose of this analysis is to compare the costs related to treatment and administration of SQ SLIT-tablet and SQ SCIT. Methods Assuming equal efficacy between ther SQ SLIT-tablet and SQ SCIT, the cost-minimization analysis was the most appropriate for the comparison. According to guidelines and Summary of Product Characteristics, the treatment duration of SQ SLIT-tablet is 3 years and 3-5 years for SQ SCIT. The courses of treatment vary among patients and, therefore, the costs of treatment have been calculated for an average patient with HDM respiratory allergic disease (RAD) receiving either SQ SLIT-tablet or SQ SCIT. All costs associated with allergy immunotherapy were collected, i.e., cost of medication, administration and treatment setting, and discounted according to Danish guidelines. Comprehensive univariate sensitivity analyses were carried out. Results The treatment costs for an average patient with HDM RAD are €3094 for SQ SLIT-tablet and €3799 for SQ SCIT; however, when adding indirect costs to the calculations the total costs of the treatments are €3697 and €6717 for SQ SLIT-tablet and SQ SCIT, respectively. Therefore, if 2500 patients with HDM RAD were treated with SQ SLIT-tablet instead of SQ SCIT, it would elicit a saving to the healthcare system of ~€1.8 million. The conclusion was robust to any changes in the sensitivity analysis. Conclusion With regards to the cost of treating Danish patients with HDM RAD, it is clearly cost-saving to treat patients with SQ SLIT-tablet compared to SQ SCIT.
The biodiversity and the biogeography are still poorly understood for freshwater invertebrates. The crustacean Chydorus sphaericus-brevilabris complex (Cladocera: Chydoridae) is composed of species that are important components of Holarctic freshwater food webs. Recent morphological and genetic study of the complex has indicated a substantial species diversity in the northern hemisphere. However, we know little of the geographic boundaries of these novel lineages. Moreover, a large section of the Palearctic remains unexamined at the genetic level. Here we attempt to address the biodiversity knowledge gap for the Chydorus sphaericus group in the central Palearctic and assess its diversity and biogeographic boundaries. We sequenced nuclear (ITS-2) and mitochondrial (COI) gene regions of Chydorus specimens across the Palearctic and compared them with already available Holarctic sequences. We detected six main clades in the C. sphaericus group in the Palearctic, of which two of the groups are novel. Three of the more divergent clades are geographically widespread. The central portion of Eurasia (the Yenisey River basin) appears to be a narrow zone of secondary contact for phylogroups that expanded from European and Beringian refugia. As such, the previously unsampled central Palearctic represents an important region for understanding the evolutionary consequences of Pleistocene climatic oscillations on the Chydorus sphaericus group.
Tidewater glaciers are glaciers that terminate in, and calve icebergs into, the ocean. In addition to the influence that tidewater glaciers have on physical and chemical oceanography, floating icebergs serve as habitat for marine animals such as harbor seals (Phoca vitulina richardii). The availability and spatial distribution of glacier ice in the fjords is likely a key environmental variable that influences the abundance and distribution of selected marine mammals; however, the amount of ice and the fine-scale characteristics of ice in fjords have not been systematically quantified. Given the predicted changes in glacier habitat, there is a need for the development of methods that could be broadly applied to quantify changes in available ice habitat in tidewater glacier fjords. We present a case study to describe a novel method that uses object-based image analysis (OBIA) to classify floating glacier ice in a tidewater glacier fjord from high-resolution aerial digital imagery. Our objectives were to (i) develop workflows and rule sets to classify high spatial resolution airborne imagery of floating glacier ice; (ii) quantify the amount and fine-scale characteristics of floating glacier ice; (iii) and develop processes for automating the object-based analysis of floating glacier ice for large number of images from a representative survey day during June 2007 in Johns Hopkins Inlet (JHI), a tidewater glacier fjord in Glacier Bay National Park, southeastern Alaska. On 18 June 2007, JHI was comprised of brash ice ([Formula: see text] = 45.2%, SD = 41.5%), water ([Formula: see text] = 52.7%, SD = 42.3%), and icebergs ([Formula: see text] = 2.1%, SD = 1.4%). Average iceberg size per scene was 5.7 m2 (SD = 2.6 m2). We estimate the total area (± uncertainty) of iceberg habitat in the fjord to be 455,400 ± 123,000 m2. The method works well for classifying icebergs across scenes (classification accuracy of 75.6%); the largest classification errors occur in areas with densely-packed ice, low contrast between neighboring ice cover, or dark or sediment-covered ice, where icebergs may be misclassified as brash ice about 20% of the time. OBIA is a powerful image classification tool, and the method we present could be adapted and applied to other ice habitats, such as sea ice, to assess changes in ice characteristics and availability.
Angiostoma norvegicum n. sp. (Angiostomatidae) is described from the oesophagus, crop and the buccal mass of five species of slugs of the family Arionidae, Arion vulgaris (Moquin-Tandon), Arion ater (L.), Arion fasciatus (Nilsson), Arion fuscus (Müller) and Arion rufus/Arion ater hybrid), collected throughout Norway. Angiostoma norvegicum n. sp. was found parasitising arionids at seven of the 30 sample sites examined (23.3%), and 9.9% of all Arion spp. were infected with this nematode. The new species is characterised by its large size (4.0-8.6 mm long) and in having: lateral alae; 6 + 6 papillae at the cephalic end; a large circular mouth aperture; a spacious stoma; a pharyngeal basal bulb without valvular apparatus; an excretory pore near the base of bulb; a distal part of posterior ovary always outstretched; an anterior ovary distally nearly always outstretched; a vulva situated anterior to mid-body; long, nearly straight spicules and a small gubernaculum; three circumcloacal papillae and caudal genital papillae (GP) arranged in a pattern 1+2/3+3 with GP 5 and GP 8 opened on dorsal side of narrow bursa not reaching tail tip; short conical tails in both sexes with tips supplied by 4 short, unequal denticles. Morphologically, A. norvegicum n. sp. is similar to Angiostoma limacis Dujardin, 1845, which diagnostic characteristics are given based on examination of specimens from Norway and the UK. Conversely, the phylogenetic analyses based on D2D3 large subunit (LSU) rRNA gene sequences performed in the present study did not support the morphological affinity of these two species. Phylogenetic analyses demonstrated that although Angiostoma spp. cluster together, A. norvegicum n. sp. forms a tight monophyletic clade with the milacid nematode parasites Angiostoma margaretae Ross, Malan & Ivanova, 2011 and Angiostoma milacis Ivanova & Wilson, 2009.
Staphylococcus aureus is a well-known colonizer and cause of infection among animals and it has been described from numerous domestic and wild animal species. The aim of the present study was to investigate the molecular epidemiology of S. aureus in a convenience sample of European wildlife and to review what previously has been observed in the subject field. 124 S. aureus isolates were collected from wildlife in Germany, Austria and Sweden; they were characterized by DNA microarray hybridization and, for isolates with novel hybridization patterns, by multilocus sequence typing (MLST). The isolates were assigned to 29 clonal complexes and singleton sequence types (CC1, CC5, CC6, CC7, CC8, CC9, CC12, CC15, CC22, CC25, CC30, CC49, CC59, CC88, CC97, CC130, CC133, CC398, ST425, CC599, CC692, CC707, ST890, CC1956, ST2425, CC2671, ST2691, CC2767 and ST2963), some of which (ST2425, ST2691, ST2963) were not described previously. Resistance rates in wildlife strains were rather low and mecA-MRSA isolates were rare (n = 6). mecC-MRSA (n = 8) were identified from a fox, a fallow deer, hares and hedgehogs. The common cattle-associated lineages CC479 and CC705 were not detected in wildlife in the present study while, in contrast, a third common cattle lineage, CC97, was found to be common among cervids. No Staphylococcus argenteus or Staphylococcus schweitzeri-like isolates were found. Systematic studies are required to monitor the possible transmission of human- and livestock-associated S. aureus/MRSA to wildlife and vice versa as well as the possible transmission, by unprotected contact to animals. The prevalence of S. aureus/MRSA in wildlife as well as its population structures in different wildlife host species warrants further investigation.
Haemaphysalis concinna is the second most common tick species attaching to birds in Hungary. Recently, Babesia genotypes, found in Siberia and the Far East, have been detected in this tick species collected from the vegetation in Hungary and Slovakia. The aim of this study was to molecularly investigate if these piroplasms also occur in H. concinna carried by migratory birds, which might explain their occurrence in the western Palaearctic. During a 2-year period, 321 H. concinna larvae and nymphs were collected from 121 passerine birds (of 19 species) in Hungary. These were molecularly investigated for the presence of piroplasm DNA with PCR and sequencing. The prevalence of PCR positive ticks was 15.9% (51 out of 321). Piroplasm PCR positivity of H. concinna ticks was significantly more frequent during the summer and autumn compared to spring, suggesting that migratory birds arriving in Hungary from the north or north east are the most important in the dispersal of H. concinna-associated piroplasms. Three genotypes, i.e. Babesia sp. "Irk-Hc133", "Irk-Hc130" (originally found in Irkutsk, Siberia) and "Kh-Hc222" (originally found in Khabarovsk, Far East) were detected. Phylogenetically all these belonged to the group formed by Babesia spp. of ruminants. Four bird species, which had 14-60% prevalence of PCR positive ticks, are known to be associated with northeast to southwest autumn migration. In conclusion, the presence of Central and East Asian Babesia genotypes in Central Europe are most likely related to bird species with known eastern migratory habit and/or phylogenetically substantiated connections between their eastern and western Eurasian populations.