Science.gov

Sample records for ferrets

  1. Ferret nutrition.

    PubMed

    Johnson-Delaney, Cathy A

    2014-09-01

    The domestic ferret (Mustela putorious furo) is a strict carnivore, also referred to as an obligate carnivore. Its dentition and gastrointestinal tract are adapted to a carnivorous diet. Its ancestor, the European polecat (Mustela putorius), feeds on birds and other small vertebrates. Domesticated ferrets have been fed mink feeds, cat foods, and now mostly subsist on commercial ferret diets formulated specifically to meet their needs. PMID:25155665

  2. Mycoplasmosis in Ferrets

    PubMed Central

    Desjardins, Danielle R.; Lim, Ailam; Bolin, Carole; Johnson-Delaney, Cathy A.; Resau, James H.; Garner, Michael M.; Bolin, Steven R.

    2012-01-01

    We report an outbreak of severe respiratory disease associated with a novel Mycoplasma species in ferrets. During 2009–2012, a respiratory disease characterized by nonproductive coughing affected ≈8,000 ferrets, 6–8 weeks of age, which had been imported from a breeding facility in Canada. Almost 95% became ill, but almost none died. Treatments temporarily decreased all clinical signs except cough. Postmortem examinations of euthanized ferrets revealed bronchointerstitial pneumonia with prominent hyperplasia of bronchiole-associated lymphoid tissue. Immunohistochemical analysis with polyclonal antibody against Mycoplasma bovis demonstrated intense staining along the bronchiolar brush border. Bronchoalveolar lavage samples from 12 affected ferrets yielded fast-growing, glucose-fermenting mycoplasmas. Nucleic acid sequence analysis of PCR-derived amplicons from portions of the 16S rDNA and RNA polymerase B genes failed to identify the mycoplasmas but showed that they were most similar to M. molare and M. lagogenitalium. These findings indicate a causal association between the novel Mycoplasma species and the newly recognized pulmonary disease. PMID:23092744

  3. Endocrinopathy and Aging in Ferrets.

    PubMed

    Bakthavatchalu, V; Muthupalani, S; Marini, R P; Fox, J G

    2016-03-01

    Ferrets have become more popular as household pets and as animal models in biomedical research in the past 2 decades. The average life span of ferrets is about 5-11 years with onset of geriatric diseases between 3-4 years including endocrinopathies, neoplasia, gastrointestinal diseases, cardiomyopathy, splenomegaly, renal diseases, dental diseases, and cataract. Endocrinopathies are the most common noninfectious disease affecting middle-aged and older ferrets. Spontaneous neoplasms affecting the endocrine system of ferrets appear to be increasing in prevalence with a preponderance toward proliferative lesions in the adrenal cortex and pancreatic islet cells. Diet, gonadectomy, and genetics may predispose ferrets to an increased incidence of these endocrinopathies. These functional proliferative lesions cause hypersecretion of hormones that alter the physiology and metabolism of the affected ferrets resulting in a wide range of clinical manifestations. However, there is an apparent dearth of information available in the literature about the causal relationship between aging and neoplasia in ferrets. This review provides a comprehensive overview of the anatomy and physiology of endocrine organs, disease incidence, age at diagnosis, clinical signs, pathology, and molecular markers available for diagnosis of various endocrine disorders in ferrets. PMID:26936751

  4. Ferret hepatitis E virus infection induces acute hepatitis and persistent infection in ferrets.

    PubMed

    Li, Tian-Cheng; Yang, Tingting; Yoshizaki, Sayaka; Ami, Yasushi; Suzaki, Yuriko; Ishii, Koji; Kishida, Noriko; Shirakura, Masayuki; Asanuma, Hideki; Takeda, Naokazu; Wakita, Takaji

    2016-02-01

    Ferret hepatitis E virus (HEV), a novel hepatitis E virus, has been identified in ferrets. However, the pathogenicity of ferret HEV remains unclear. In the present study, we compared the HEV RNA-positivity rates and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels of 63 ferrets between before and after import from the US to Japan. We found that the ferret HEV-RNA positivity rates were increased from 12.7% (8/63) to 60.3% (38/63), and ALT elevation was observed in 65.8% (25/38) of the ferret HEV RNA-positive ferrets, indicating that ferret HEV infection is responsible for liver damage. From long term-monitoring of ferret HEV infection we determined that this infection in ferrets exhibits three patterns: sub-clinical infection, acute hepatitis, and persistent infection. The ALT elevation was also observed in ferret HEV-infected ferrets in a primary infection experiment. These results indicate that the ferret HEV infection induced acute hepatitis and persistent infection in ferrets, suggesting that the ferrets are a candidate animal model for immunological as well as pathological studies of hepatitis E. PMID:26790932

  5. Information on black-footed ferret biology collected within the framework of ferret conservation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Biggins, Dean E.

    2012-01-01

    Once feared to be extinct, black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) were rediscovered near Meeteetse, Wyoming, in 1981, resulting in renewed conservation and research efforts for this highly endangered species. A need for information directly useful to recovery has motivated much monitoring of ferrets since that time, but field activities have enabled collection of data relevant to broader biological themes. This special feature is placed in a context of similar books and proceedings devoted to ferret biology and conservation. Articles include general observations on ferrets, modeling of potential impacts of ferrets on prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.), discussions on relationships of ferrets to prairie dog habitats at several spatial scales (from individual burrows to patches of burrow systems) and a general treatise on the status of black-footed ferret recovery.

  6. Genetic characterization of coronaviruses from domestic ferrets, Japan.

    PubMed

    Terada, Yutaka; Minami, Shohei; Noguchi, Keita; Mahmoud, Hassan Y A H; Shimoda, Hiroshi; Mochizuki, Masami; Une, Yumi; Maeda, Ken

    2014-02-01

    We detected ferret coronaviruses in 44 (55.7%) of 79 pet ferrets tested in Japan and classified the viruses into 2 genotypes on the basis of genotype-specific PCR. Our results show that 2 ferret coronaviruses that cause feline infectious peritonitis-like disease and epizootic catarrhal enteritis are enzootic among ferrets in Japan. PMID:24447852

  7. Cystic Renal Disease in the Domestic Ferret

    PubMed Central

    Jackson, Courtnye N; Rogers, Arlin B; Maurer, Kirk J; Lofgren, Jennifer LS; Fox, James G; Marini, Robert P

    2008-01-01

    Cystic renal diseases in domestic ferrets are a common anecdotal finding but have received scant systematic assessment. We performed a 17-y, case-control retrospective analysis of the medical records of 97 ferrets housed at our institution between 1987 and 2004, to determine the prevalence and morphotypes of cystic renal diseases in this species. Histologic sections stained with hematoxylin and eosin, Masson trichrome, or periodic acid–Schiff were evaluated by a comparative pathologist, and statistical analysis of hematologic and serum chemistry values was correlated with morphologic diagnosis. Of the 97 available records, 43 were eliminated due to lack of accompanying tissues. Of the 54 remaining cases, 37 (69% prevalence) had documented renal cysts, and 14 of the 54 ferrets (26%) had primary polycystic disease consisting of either polycystic kidney disease affecting renal tubules or, more commonly, glomerulocystic kidney disease. Secondary polycystic lesions were identified in 11 ferrets (20%), and 12 ferrets (22%) exhibited focal or isolated tubular cysts only as an incidental necropsy finding. Ferrets with secondary renal cysts associated with other developmental anomalies, mesangial glomerulopathy, or end-stage kidney disease had hyperphosphatemia and elevated BUN in comparison with those with primary cystic disease and elevated BUN compared with those without renal lesions. Although reflecting institutional bias, these results implicate primary and secondary cystic renal diseases as highly prevalent and underreported in the domestic ferret. In addition to the clinical implications for ferrets as research subjects and pets, these findings suggest a potential value for ferrets as a model of human cystic renal diseases. PMID:18524174

  8. Systemic Coronaviral Disease in 5 Ferrets.

    PubMed

    Autieri, Christopher R; Miller, Cassandra L; Scott, Kathleen E; Kilgore, Alexandra; Papscoe, Victoria A; Garner, Michael M; Haupt, Jennifer L; Bakthavatchalu, Vasudevan; Muthupalani, Sureshkumar; Fox, James G

    2015-12-01

    The prevalence of reported systemic coronaviral disease in ferrets (Mustela putorius furo), which resembles the dry form of feline infectious peritonitis, has been increasing in the literature since its initial diagnosis and characterization approximately 10 y ago. Here we describe the clinical signs, pathologic findings, and diagnosis by immunohistochemistry using an FIPV3-70 monoclonal antibody of systemic coronaviral disease in 5 ferrets, 2 of which were strictly laboratory-housed; the remaining 3 were referred from veterinary private practices. This case report illustrates the importance of considering FRSCV infection as a differential diagnosis in young, debilitated ferrets with abdominal masses and other supporting clinical signs. PMID:26678368

  9. Systemic Coronaviral Disease in 5 Ferrets

    PubMed Central

    Autieri, Christopher R; Miller, Cassandra L; Scott, Kathleen E; Kilgore, Alexandra; Papscoe, Victoria A; Garner, Michael M; Haupt, Jennifer L; Bakthavatchalu, Vasudevan; Muthupalani, Sureshkumar; Fox, James G

    2015-01-01

    The prevalence of reported systemic coronaviral disease in ferrets (Mustela putorius furo), which resembles the dry form of feline infectious peritonitis, has been increasing in the literature since its initial diagnosis and characterization approximately 10 y ago. Here we describe the clinical signs, pathologic findings, and diagnosis by immunohistochemistry using an FIPV3-70 monoclonal antibody of systemic coronaviral disease in 5 ferrets, 2 of which were strictly laboratory-housed; the remaining 3 were referred from veterinary private practices. This case report illustrates the importance of considering FRSCV infection as a differential diagnosis in young, debilitated ferrets with abdominal masses and other supporting clinical signs. PMID:26678368

  10. Metagenomic Analysis of the Ferret Fecal Viral Flora

    PubMed Central

    Smits, Saskia L.; Raj, V. Stalin; Oduber, Minoushka D.; Schapendonk, Claudia M. E.; Bodewes, Rogier; Provacia, Lisette; Stittelaar, Koert J.; Osterhaus, Albert D. M. E.; Haagmans, Bart L.

    2013-01-01

    Ferrets are widely used as a small animal model for a number of viral infections, including influenza A virus and SARS coronavirus. To further analyze the microbiological status of ferrets, their fecal viral flora was studied using a metagenomics approach. Novel viruses from the families Picorna-, Papilloma-, and Anelloviridae as well as known viruses from the families Astro-, Corona-, Parvo-, and Hepeviridae were identified in different ferret cohorts. Ferret kobu- and hepatitis E virus were mainly present in human household ferrets, whereas coronaviruses were found both in household as well as farm ferrets. Our studies illuminate the viral diversity found in ferrets and provide tools to prescreen for newly identified viruses that potentially could influence disease outcome of experimental virus infections in ferrets. PMID:23977082

  11. Activity in the ferret: oestradiol effects and circadian rhythms

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stockman, E. R.; Albers, H. E.; Baum, M. J.; Wurtman, R. J. (Principal Investigator)

    1985-01-01

    The present study was conducted to determine whether oestradiol increases activity in the European ferret (Mustela furo), whether this effect is sexually dimorphic, and whether a 24-h rhythm is present in the ferret's daily activity. The activity of male and female adult, postpubertally gonadectomized ferrets was monitored while they were maintained singly on a 13:11 light-dark cycle, before and after implantation with oestradiol-17 beta. Gonadectomized male and female ferrets exhibited equal levels of activity, and neither sex exhibited a significant change in activity following oestradiol implantation. None of the ferrets exhibited a strong circadian rhythm, although weak 24-h rhythms and shorter harmonic rhythms were present. Golden hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus), monitored in an identical manner, exhibited strong circadian rhythms. It was concluded that oestradiol administration may not cause an increase in activity in the ferret, and that this species lacks a strong circadian activity rhythm.

  12. First survey of endoparasites in pet ferrets in Italy.

    PubMed

    d'Ovidio, D; Pepe, P; Ianniello, D; Noviello, E; Quinton, Jean-Francois; Cringoli, G; Rinaldi, L

    2014-06-16

    Endoparasites are infrequently reported in ferrets. A cross-sectional survey was conducted to determine the prevalence of intestinal parasites in pet ferrets in southern Italy. Fresh fecal samples were randomly collected from 50 ferrets housed in pet shops or privately owned. All fecal samples were processed using the FLOTAC pellet technique to identify and count helminthic eggs/larvae and protozoan cysts/oocysts. In addition, the samples were analyzed also by the Remel XpectGiardia/Cryptosporidium immunoassay. Intestinal parasites were detected in 15 out of 50 ferrets (30%). Eggs of ancylostomids were found in 28.0% (14/50) of the animals and oocysts of Sarcocystis were detected in one ferret (2.0%). None of the samples was positive for Cryptosporidium or Giardia. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first report of sarcosporidiosis in a pet ferret in Italy. PMID:24768317

  13. Hematology of the Domestic Ferret (Mustela putorius furo).

    PubMed

    Smith, Stephen A; Zimmerman, Kurt; Moore, David M

    2015-09-01

    Pet ferrets are presented to veterinary clinics for routine care and treatment of clinical diseases and female reproductive problems. In addition to obtaining clinical history, additional diagnostic testing may be required, including hematological assessments. This article describes common blood collection methods, including venipuncture sites, volume of blood that can be safely collected, and handling of the blood. Hematological parameters for normal ferrets are provided along with a description of the morphology of ferret leukocytes to assist in performing a differential count. PMID:26297407

  14. Black-footed ferret digging activity in summer

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Eads, David A.; Biggins, Dean E.; Marsh, Dustin; Millspaugh, Joshua J.; Livieri, Travis M.

    2012-01-01

    Black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) excavate soil from prairie dog (Cynomys spp.) burrows, thereby creating characteristic soil deposits at burrow openings. These soil deposits have been observed only rarely in summer. We monitored adult ferrets during June–October of the years 2007 and 2008 on a 452-ha colony of black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) in the Conata Basin, South Dakota. We located and identified ferret excavations during nighttime spotlight surveys for ferrets and daytime sampling of prairie dog burrow openings around locations where ferrets were located via spotlight. We accumulated 48 observations of in-process or recently completed ferret excavations during spotlight surveys (21 in 2007, 27 in 2008) and located 51 diggings during daytime burrow sampling (25 in 2007, 26 in 2008). We located diggings during 5.5% of spotlight observations, most frequently in July–August. These results collectively suggest ferrets may frequently excavate soil in summer, because prairie dogs frequently use soil to plug burrow openings and tunnels in defense against ferrets. Prairie dogs might frequently destroy soil deposits left by ferrets during summer, thereby reducing detection of diggings by biologists.

  15. Reintroduction of the black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Miller, B.; Biggins, D.; Hanebury, L.; Vargas, A.

    1994-01-01

    The black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes) (Figure 27.1) is a small, secretive, nocturnal member of the family Mustelidae (Hall, 1981; Honacki, Kurman and Koeppl, 1982). Ferrets have an obligate dependence on the prairie dog (Cynomys spp.) community, utilizing the prairie dog for food and its burrows for shelter (Campbell et al., 1987).

  16. Cloning and quantification of ferret serum amyloid A.

    PubMed

    Aratani, Hitoshi; Segawa, Takao; Itou, Takuya; Sakai, Takeo

    2013-01-31

    Serum amyloid A (SAA) is used as a biomarker for infections and inflammation in humans and veterinary medicine. We cloned ferret cDNA encoding SAA from the liver of a ferret via reverse transcription PCR (RT-PCR). The sequence of the cDNA clone revealed that ferret SAA has an open reading frame of 387 bp that encodes 129 amino acids. The deduced amino acid sequence of ferret SAA has 96.1, 89.9, 86.0, 83.8, 83.0, 73.8 and 65.3% similarity to the mink, dog, cat, cattle, horse, human and mouse SAA genes, respectively. Compared to human SAA, the deduced ferret SAA amino acid sequence had an insertion of an 8-amino acid fragment between amino acids 88 and 95. Recombinant ferret SAA (rfrSAA) was expressed using an Escherichia coli (E. coli) strain, BL21 Star. Using Western blot analysis, anti-SAA mAb provided with the multispecies SAA ELISA kit reacted with purified rfrSAA. A significant dose-response relationship was observed between the rfrSAA protein and a commercial multispecies SAA ELISA kit. In contrast, rfrSAA was not recognized with the antibodies included in a commercial human SAA ELISA kit. These results suggest that the structure of ferret SAA is antigenically similar to other domestic animal SAAs, and the multispecies ELISA kit allows for the detection and quantification of ferret SAA in vivo. PMID:22972465

  17. Cerebral pyogranuloma associated with systemic coronavirus infection in a ferret.

    PubMed

    Gnirs, K; Quinton, J F; Dally, C; Nicolier, A; Ruel, Y

    2016-01-01

    A 2-year-old male ferret was presented with central nervous system signs. Computed tomography (CT) of the brain revealed a well-defined contrast-enhancing lesion on the rostral forebrain that appeared extraparenchymal. Surgical excision of the mass was performed and the ferret was euthanised during the procedure. Histopathology of the excised mass showed multiple meningeal nodular lesions with infiltrates of epithelioid macrophages, occasionally centred on degenerated neutrophils and surrounded by a broad rim of plasma cells, features consistent with pyogranulomatous meningitis. The histopathological features in this ferret were similar to those in cats with feline infectious peritonitis. Definitive diagnosis was assessed by immunohistochemistry, confirming a ferret systemic coronavirus (FSCV) associated disease. This is the first case of coronavirus granuloma described on CT-scan in the central nervous system of a ferret. PMID:26046449

  18. Crossmodal Integration Improves Sensory Detection Thresholds in the Ferret

    PubMed Central

    Engler, Gerhard; König, Peter; Engel, Andreas K.

    2015-01-01

    During the last two decades ferrets (Mustela putorius) have been established as a highly efficient animal model in different fields in neuroscience. Here we asked whether ferrets integrate sensory information according to the same principles established for other species. Since only few methods and protocols are available for behaving ferrets we developed a head-free, body-restrained approach allowing a standardized stimulation position and the utilization of the ferret’s natural response behavior. We established a behavioral paradigm to test audiovisual integration in the ferret. Animals had to detect a brief auditory and/or visual stimulus presented either left or right from their midline. We first determined detection thresholds for auditory amplitude and visual contrast. In a second step, we combined both modalities and compared psychometric fits and the reaction times between all conditions. We employed Maximum Likelihood Estimation (MLE) to model bimodal psychometric curves and to investigate whether ferrets integrate modalities in an optimal manner. Furthermore, to test for a redundant signal effect we pooled the reaction times of all animals to calculate a race model. We observed that bimodal detection thresholds were reduced and reaction times were faster in the bimodal compared to unimodal conditions. The race model and MLE modeling showed that ferrets integrate modalities in a statistically optimal fashion. Taken together, the data indicate that principles of multisensory integration previously demonstrated in other species also apply to crossmodal processing in the ferret. PMID:25970327

  19. Two unusual tumours in a ferret (Mustela putorius furo).

    PubMed

    Eatwell, K

    2004-09-01

    This case report describes the clinical history, diagnosis and treatment of a ferret with a tumour of the right adrenal gland and insulinomas of the pancreas. Histopathology of both lesions confirmed the diagnoses. Clinical signs of the adrenal gland tumour were a swollen vulva, overgrooming, sexual activity and pruritus. The clinical signs suggesting insulinomas were collapse of the ferret, disorientation and ptyalism. A low blood glucose level assisted the diagnosis of insulinomas. This is believed to be the first reported case of concurrent insulinomas and adrenal gland tumour in a ferret in the United Kingdom. PMID:15460204

  20. Transvenous heartworm extraction in a ferret with caval syndrome.

    PubMed

    Bradbury, Christina; Saunders, Ashley B; Heatley, J J; Gregory, Christopher R; Wilcox, Angela L; Russell, Karen E

    2010-01-01

    A 10-month-old ferret was diagnosed with heartworm disease and caval syndrome. Associated clinical signs included weakness and a green-colored urine, identified as biliverdinuria. Despite the animal's small size, removal of three heartworms via transvenous heartworm extraction was successfully performed. Although at least one female worm remained in the right ventricle, the majority of clinical signs related to the presence of the heartworms resolved. The ferret was subsequently managed medically with corticosteroids and monthly heartworm prevention. This case documents the presence of biliverdinuria associated with caval syndrome and successful transvenous heartworm extraction in a ferret. PMID:20045834

  1. Operating Ferret on a patrol boat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bédard, Jacques

    2006-05-01

    Ferret is an acoustic system that detects, recognizes and localizes the source and direction of small arms fire. The system comprises a small array of microphones and pressure sensors connected to a standard PC-104 computer that analyzes, displays, reports and logs the parameters of a recognized shot. The system operates by detecting and recognizing the ballistic shock waves created by the supersonic bullet, combined with the muzzle blast wave propagating from the weapon. The system was recently installed and tested on a patrol boat operated by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). An electronic compass with tilt compensation and a GPS was incorporated into the system. This allows the system to correct for the motion of the boat and provide the full coordinates of the shooter. The system also updates the azimuth to the shooter in real time as the boat turns. This paper presents the results of our test and evaluation based on a live firing experiment. Ferret is the result of a collaborative effort by Defence R&D Canada and MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates.

  2. Transponders as permanent identification markers for domestic ferrets, black-footed ferrets, and other wildlife

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fagerstone, Kathleen A.; Johns, Brad E.

    1987-01-01

    A 0.05-g transponder implanted subcutaneously was tested to see if it provided a reliable identification method. In laboratory tests 20 domestic ferrets (Mustela putorius furo) received transponders and were monitored for a minimum of 6 months. None showed signs of inflammation, and necropsies conducted at the end of the study showed no scar tissue or transponder migration. Seven of 23 transponders failed during the test because of leakage through the plastic case, and a glass case is now being manufactured that does not have the leakage problem. During mark-recapture studies in September and October 1985, transponders were implanted in 20 black-footed ferrets (M. nigripes), 11 of which were subsequently recaptured and 9 of which were brought into captivity; none showed signs of inflammation. Transponders provide a reliable new method for identifying hard-to-mark wildlife with a unique, permanent number than can be read with the animal in-hand or by remote equipment.

  3. A technique for evaluating black-footed ferret habitat

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Biggins, Dean E.; Miller, Brian J.; Hanebury, Louis R.; Oakleaf, Bob; Farmer, Adrian H.; Crete, Ron; Dood, Arnold

    1993-01-01

    In this paper, we provide a model and step-by-step procedures for rating a prairie dog (Cynomys sp.) complex for the reintroduction of black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes). An important factor in the model is an estimate of the number of black-footed ferret families a prairie dog complex can support for a year; thus, the procedures prescribe how to estimate the size of a prairie dog complex and the density of prairie dogs. Other attributes of the model are qualitative: arrangement of colonies, potential for plague and canine distemper, potential for prairie dog expansion, abundance of predators, future resource conflicts and ownership stability, and public and landowner attitudes about prairie dogs and black-footed ferrets. Because of the qualitative attributes in the model, a team approach is recommended for ranking complexes of prairie dogs for black-footed ferret reintroduction.

  4. The black-footed ferret: on the brink of recovery?

    PubMed

    Santymire, Rachel M; Livieri, Travis M; Branvold-Faber, Heather; Marinari, Paul E

    2014-01-01

    In an attempt to save the species from extinction, the last remaining 18 black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) were trapped up from the wild to initiate a captive breeding program. Nearly 30 years later more than 8,000 black-footed ferrets have been produced in captivity and approximately 4,100 animals have been reintroduced into 20 sites in eight US states (Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Wyoming, South Dakota and Montana), Mexico and Canada. However, full recovery of the species has yet to be achieved, mainly due to limited viable habitat, disease and reduced fecundity. This chapter will highlight the advances in the black-footed ferret recovery program over the last 10 years including: (1) adaptive management techniques employed for the captive population; (2) development of new reintroduction sites and associated challenges facing wild black-footed ferrets; and (3) optimization of assisted reproductive techniques to secure the future of this rare species. PMID:25091909

  5. Complexities in Ferret Influenza Virus Pathogenesis and Transmission Models.

    PubMed

    Belser, Jessica A; Eckert, Alissa M; Tumpey, Terrence M; Maines, Taronna R

    2016-09-01

    Ferrets are widely employed to study the pathogenicity, transmissibility, and tropism of influenza viruses. However, inherent variations in inoculation methods, sampling schemes, and experimental designs are often overlooked when contextualizing or aggregating data between laboratories, leading to potential confusion or misinterpretation of results. Here, we provide a comprehensive overview of parameters to consider when planning an experiment using ferrets, collecting data from the experiment, and placing results in context with previously performed studies. This review offers information that is of particular importance for researchers in the field who rely on ferret data but do not perform the experiments themselves. Furthermore, this review highlights the breadth of experimental designs and techniques currently available to study influenza viruses in this model, underscoring the wide heterogeneity of protocols currently used for ferret studies while demonstrating the wealth of information which can benefit risk assessments of emerging influenza viruses. PMID:27412880

  6. Interface between black-footed ferret research and operational conservation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Biggins, Dean E.; Livieri, Travis M.; Breck, Stewart W.

    2011-01-01

    Questions and problems that emerged during operational conservation of black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) have been addressed by a wide variety of studies. Early results from such studies often were communicated orally during meetings of recovery groups and in written form using memoranda, unpublished reports, and theses. Typically, implementation of results preceded their publication in widely distributed journals. Many of these studies eventually were published in journals, and we briefly summarize the contents of 8 volumes and special features of journals that have been dedicated to the biology of ferrets and issues in ferret recovery. This year marks the 30th anniversary of rediscovery of the black-footed ferret, and the 7 papers of the following Special Feature summarize data collected over nearly that span of time.

  7. Fecal bile acids of black-footed ferrets

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Richardson, Louise; Johnson, M.K.; Clark, T.W.; Schroder, M.H.

    1986-01-01

    Fecal bile acid characteristics have been used to identify scats to species of origin. Fecal bile acids in scats from 20 known black-footed ferrets ( Mustela nigripes ), 7 other known small carnivores, and 72 of unknown origin were analyzed to determine if this procedure could be used as a tool to verify ferret presence in an area. Seventeen ferret scats were suitable for analysis and had a mean fecal bile acid index of 156 ± 9. This was significantly different from mean indices for the other carnivores; however, substantial overlap among confidence intervals occurred for badgers, kit foxes, and especially long-tailed weasels. We conclude this method is not useful for making positive identifications if individual ferret scats and suggest that we may be able to definitively identify individual scats with reasonable confidence by using gas-liquid chromatography.

  8. Structural and functional characterisation of ferret interleukin-2.

    PubMed

    Ren, Bin; McKinstry, William J; Pham, Tam; Newman, Janet; Layton, Daniel S; Bean, Andrew G; Chen, Zhenjun; Laurie, Karen L; Borg, Kathryn; Barr, Ian G; Adams, Timothy E

    2016-02-01

    While the ferret is a valuable animal model for a number of human viral infections, such as influenza, Hendra and Nipah, evaluating the cellular immune response following infection has been hampered by the lack of a number of species-specific immunological reagents. Interleukin 2 (IL-2) is one such key cytokine. Ferret recombinant IL-2 incorporating a C-terminal histidine tag was expressed and purified and the three-dimensional structure solved and refined at 1.89 Å by X-ray crystallography, which represents the highest resolution and first non-human IL-2 structure. While ferret IL-2 displays the classic cytokine fold of the four-helix bundle structure, conformational flexibility was observed at the second helix and its neighbouring region in the bundle, which may result in the disruption of the spatial arrangement of residues involved in receptor binding interactions, implicating subtle differences between ferret and human IL-2 when initiating biological functions. Ferret recombinant IL-2 stimulated the proliferation of ferret lymph node cells and induced the expression of mRNA for IFN-γ and Granzyme A. PMID:26472619

  9. Establishment of serological test to detect antibody against ferret coronavirus

    PubMed Central

    MINAMI, Shohei; TERADA, Yutaka; SHIMODA, Hiroshi; TAKIZAWA, Masaki; ONUMA, Mamoru; OTA, Akihiko; OTA, Yuichi; AKABANE, Yoshihito; TAMUKAI, Kenichi; WATANABE, Keiichiro; NAGANUMA, Yumiko; KANAGAWA, Eiichi; NAKAMURA, Kaneichi; OHASHI, Masanari; TAKAMI, Yoshinori; MIWA, Yasutsugu; TANOUE, Tomoaki; OHWAKI, Masao; OHTA, Jouji; UNE, Yumi; MAEDA, Ken

    2016-01-01

    Since there is no available serological methods to detect antibodies to ferret coronavirus (FRCoV), an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using recombinant partial nucleocapsid (N) proteins of the ferret coronavirus (FRCoV) Yamaguchi-1 strain was developed to establish a serological method for detection of FRCoV infection. Many serum samples collected from ferrets recognized both a.a. 1–179 and a.a. 180–374 of the N protein, but two serum samples did not a.a. 180–374 of the N protein. This different reactivity was also confirmed by immunoblot analysis using the serum from the ferret.Therefore, the a.a. 1–179 of the N protein was used as an ELISA antigen. Serological test was carried out using sera or plasma of ferrets in Japan. Surprisingly, 89% ferrets in Japan had been infected with FRCoV. These results indicated that our established ELISA using a.a. 1–179 of the N protein is useful for detection of antibody to FRCoV for diagnosis and seroepidemiology of FRCoV infection. PMID:26935842

  10. Productive Replication and Evolution of HIV-1 in Ferret Cells

    PubMed Central

    Fadel, Hind J.; Saenz, Dyana T.; Guevara, Rebekah; von Messling, Veronika; Peretz, Mary

    2012-01-01

    A rodent or other small animal model for HIV-1 has not been forthcoming, with the principal obstacles being species-specific restriction mechanisms and deficits in HIV-1 dependency factors. Some Carnivorans may harbor comparatively fewer impediments. For example, in contrast to mice, the domestic cat genome encodes essential nonreceptor HIV-1 dependency factors. All Feliformia species and at least one Caniformia species also lack a major lentiviral restriction mechanism (TRIM5α/TRIMCyp proteins). Here we investigated cells from two species in another carnivore family, the Mustelidae, for permissiveness to the HIV-1 life cycle. Mustela putorius furo (domesticated ferret) primary cells and cell lines did not restrict HIV-1, feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), equine infectious anemia virus (EIAV), or N-tropic murine leukemia virus (MLV) postentry and supported late HIV-1 life cycle steps comparably to human cells. The ferret TRIM5α gene exon 8, which encodes the B30.2 domain, was found to be pseudogenized. Strikingly, ferret (but not mink) cells engineered to express human HIV-1 entry receptors supported productive spreading replication, amplification, and serial passage of wild-type HIV-1. Nevertheless, produced virions had relatively reduced infectivity and the virus accrued G→A hypermutations, consistent with APOBEC3 protein pressure. Ferret cell-passaged HIV-1 also evolved amino acid changes in the capsid cyclophilin A binding loop. We conclude that the genome of this carnivore can provide essential nonreceptor HIV-1 dependency factors and that ferret APOBEC3 proteins with activity against HIV-1 are likely. Even so, unlike in cat cells, HIV-1 can replicate in ferret cells without vif substitution. The virus evolves in this novel nonprimate cell adaptive landscape. We suggest that further characterization of HIV-1 adaptation in ferret cells and delineation of Mustelidae restriction factor repertoires are warranted, with a view to the potential for an HIV-1

  11. Glycomic Characterization of Respiratory Tract Tissues of Ferrets

    PubMed Central

    Jia, Nan; Barclay, Wendy S.; Roberts, Kim; Yen, Hui-Ling; Chan, Renee W. Y.; Lam, Alfred K. Y.; Air, Gillian; Peiris, J. S. Malik; Dell, Anne; Nicholls, John M.; Haslam, Stuart M.

    2014-01-01

    The initial recognition between influenza virus and the host cell is mediated by interactions between the viral surface protein hemagglutinin and sialic acid-terminated glycoconjugates on the host cell surface. The sialic acid residues can be linked to the adjacent monosaccharide by α2–3- or α2–6-type glycosidic bonds. It is this linkage difference that primarily defines the species barrier of the influenza virus infection with α2–3 binding being associated with avian influenza viruses and α2–6 binding being associated with human strains. The ferret has been extensively used as an animal model to study the transmission of influenza. To better understand the validity of this model system, we undertook glycomic characterization of respiratory tissues of ferret, which allows a comparison of potential viral receptors to be made between humans and ferrets. To complement the structural analysis, lectin staining experiments were performed to characterize the regional distributions of glycans along the respiratory tract of ferrets. Finally, the binding between the glycans identified and the hemagglutinins of different strains of influenza viruses was assessed by glycan array experiments. Our data indicated that the respiratory tissues of ferret heterogeneously express both α2–3- and α2–6-linked sialic acids. However, the respiratory tissues of ferret also expressed the Sda epitope (NeuAcα2-3(GalNAcβ1–4)Galβ1–4GlcNAc) and sialylated N,N′-diacetyllactosamine (NeuAcα2–6GalNAcβ1–4GlcNAc), which have not been observed in the human respiratory tract surface epithelium. The presence of the Sda epitope reduces potential binding sites for avian viruses and thus may have implications for the usefulness of the ferret in the study of influenza virus infection. PMID:25135641

  12. Tetralogy of Fallot in a 6-year-old albino ferret (Mustela putorius furo)

    PubMed Central

    Laniesse, Delphine; Hébert, Julie; Larrat, Sylvain; Hélie, Pierre; Pouleur-Larrat, Bénédicte; Belanger, Marie C.

    2014-01-01

    Tetralogy of Fallot associated with bidirectional shunting across a large ventricular septal defect, was found in a 6-year-old ferret. The prognosis associated with tetralogy of Fallot is usually poor. This case is interesting given the advanced age of the ferret. The bidirectional shunting, responsible for an acyanotic disease, may explain the unexpected prolonged survival in this ferret. PMID:24790231

  13. Feral ferrets (Mustela furo) as hosts and sentinels of tuberculosis in New Zealand

    PubMed Central

    Byrom, AE; Caley, P; Paterson, BM; Nugent, G

    2015-01-01

    Abstract The control and eventual eradication of bovine tuberculosis (TB) poses major challenges in New Zealand, given the variety of wildlife species susceptible to TB, many of which are capable of onwards transmission of Mycobacterium bovis infection. Here we discuss the role of feral ferrets (Mustela furo), focussing on potential transmission or risk pathways that have implications for management of TB. Firstly inter-specific transmission to ferrets. Ferrets scavenge potentially infected wildlife, including other ferrets, thus prevalence of TB can be amplified through ferrets feeding on tuberculous carcasses, particularly brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula). Secondly intra-specific transmission between ferrets. The rate of ferret-ferret transmission depends on population density, and in some places ferret densities exceed the estimated threshold for disease persistence. TB can therefore potentially be maintained independently of other sources of infection. Thirdly transmission from ferrets to other wildlife. These include the main wildlife maintenance host, brushtail possums, that will occasionally scavenge potentially tuberculous ferret carcasses. Fourthly transmission from ferrets to livestock. This is considered to occur occasionally, but the actual rate of transmission has never been measured. Fifthly geographical spread. M. bovis-infected ferrets can travel large distances and cause new outbreaks of TB at locations previously free of TB, which may have caused an expansion of TB-endemic areas.Ferrets play a complex role in the TB cycle in New Zealand; they are capable of contracting, amplifying and transmitting M. bovis infection, sometimes resulting in ferret populations with a high prevalence of TB. However, ferret population densities are usually too low to sustain infection independently, and transmission to other wildlife or livestock appears a rarer event than with possums. Nevertheless, management of ferrets remains a key part of the National

  14. Nitric oxide synthase in ferret brain: localization and characterization.

    PubMed Central

    Matsumoto, T.; Mitchell, J. A.; Schmidt, H. H.; Kohlhaas, K. L.; Warner, T. D.; Förstermann, U.; Murad, F.

    1992-01-01

    1. In the present study, we have investigated the distribution of nitric oxide synthase in the ferret brain. Nitric oxide synthase was determined biochemically and immunochemically. 2. In the rat brain, the highest nitric oxide synthase activity has been detected in the cerebellum. However, in the ferret brain, the highest activity was found in the striatum and the lowest in the cerebellum and cerebral cortex. The enzymatic activity was localized predominantly in the cytosolic fractions, it was dependent on NADPH and Ca2+, and inhibited by NG-nitro-L-arginine or NG-methyl-L-arginine. 3. Western blot analysis revealed that all regions of the ferret brain contained a 160 kD protein crossreacting with an antibody to nitric oxide synthase purified from the rat cerebellum, and the levels of relative intensity of staining by the antibody correlated with the distribution of nitric oxide synthase activity. 4. These results indicate that the ferret brain contains a nitric oxide synthase similar to the rat brain, but the distribution of enzymatic activity in the ferret brain differs markedly from the rat brain. Images Figure 1 PMID:1282076

  15. Importance of lunar and temporal conditions for spotlight surveys of adult black-footed ferrets

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Eads, David A.; Jachowski, David S.; Millspaugh, Joshua J.; Biggins, Dean E.

    2012-01-01

    Black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) spend most daylight hours underground in prairie dog (Cynomys) burrows and exhibit aboveground movements primarily at night. Moonlight can influence the activity patterns of ferrets and, consequently, might influence the efficiency of spotlight surveys used by biologists to monitor ferret populations. We related detection of adult ferrets during postbreeding spotlight surveys to lunar and temporal conditions. We most frequently located ferrets during surveys in which the moon breached the horizon. The data suggested intersexual differences in response to moonlight. We located male ferrets most frequently during nights with greater moon illumination, but we did not detect a correlation between moon illumination and spotlight detection of female ferrets. In general, moonlight could facilitate aboveground navigation by ferrets. However, it seems activity under bright moonlight could be costly for female ferrets while they raise young. Detection of ferrets also varied among months. We detected female ferrets most frequently in August–September, when mothers increase hunting efforts to acquire prey for growing offspring (kits). Detection of adult female ferrets declined in October, when kits were likely independent of their mother. We located male ferrets most frequently in September–October, when males might increase activity to monitor female ferrets and male competitors. Consideration of lunar and temporal influences and standardization of postbreeding surveys could enhance site-specific assessment of reintroduction success and across-site assessment of species recoveiy progress. We suggest that postbreeding surveys for ferrets should be enhanced by concentrating efforts in August–September during moonlit nights when the moon is above the horizon.

  16. Hemagglutinin Stalk Immunity Reduces Influenza Virus Replication and Transmission in Ferrets

    PubMed Central

    Nachbagauer, Raffael; Miller, Matthew S.; Hai, Rong; Ryder, Alex B.; Rose, John K.; Palese, Peter; García-Sastre, Adolfo

    2015-01-01

    We assessed whether influenza virus hemagglutinin stalk-based immunity protects ferrets against aerosol-transmitted H1N1 influenza virus infection. Immunization of ferrets by a universal influenza virus vaccine strategy based on viral vectors expressing chimeric hemagglutinin constructs induced stalk-specific antibody responses. Stalk-immunized ferrets were cohoused with H1N1-infected ferrets under conditions that permitted virus transmission. Hemagglutinin stalk-immunized ferrets had lower viral titers and delayed or no virus replication at all following natural exposure to influenza virus. PMID:26719251

  17. Hemagglutinin Stalk Immunity Reduces Influenza Virus Replication and Transmission in Ferrets.

    PubMed

    Nachbagauer, Raffael; Miller, Matthew S; Hai, Rong; Ryder, Alex B; Rose, John K; Palese, Peter; García-Sastre, Adolfo; Krammer, Florian; Albrecht, Randy A

    2016-03-01

    We assessed whether influenza virus hemagglutinin stalk-based immunity protects ferrets against aerosol-transmitted H1N1 influenza virus infection. Immunization of ferrets by a universal influenza virus vaccine strategy based on viral vectors expressing chimeric hemagglutinin constructs induced stalk-specific antibody responses. Stalk-immunized ferrets were cohoused with H1N1-infected ferrets under conditions that permitted virus transmission. Hemagglutinin stalk-immunized ferrets had lower viral titers and delayed or no virus replication at all following natural exposure to influenza virus. PMID:26719251

  18. Flowpath evaluation and reconnaissance by remote field Eddy current testing (FERRET)

    SciTech Connect

    Smoak, A.E.; Zollinger, W.T.

    1993-12-31

    This document describes the design and development of FERRET (Flowpath Evaluation and Reconnaisance by Remote-field Eddy current Testing). FERRET is a system for inspecting the steel pipes which carry cooling water to underground nuclear waste storage tanks. The FERRET system has been tested in a small scale cooling pipe mock-up, an improved full scale mock-up, and in flaw detection experiments. Early prototype designs of FERRET and the FERRET launcher (a device which inserts, moves, and retrieves probes from a piping system) as well as the field-ready design are discussed.

  19. Outcomes of adoption of adult laboratory ferrets after gonadectomy during a veterinary student teaching exercise.

    PubMed

    Harms, Craig A; Stoskopf, Michael K

    2007-07-01

    We surveyed 27 people who had adopted a total of 43 adult domestic ferrets after their use in a series of veterinary student surgery teaching laboratories to assess the success of those adoptions and to determine the rate of occurrence of common maladies of domestic ferrets after adult gonadectomy as compared with the usual practice of early-age gonadectomy. The adoptions took place 1-7 y prior to the survey. The response rate was 48% of adopters, covering 53% of the ferrets. Overall the success of former breeding and instructional ferrets as pets were rated as 91% good or excellent and 4.5% poor. Behavioral issues (for example, nipping, failure to litter train) were noted as the most common problems (36% of ferrets). Adrenal gland disease, insulinoma, or lymphosarcoma occurred in 23% of all ferrets and accounted for 57% of those ferrets that had died prior to the time of the survey. PMID:17645296

  20. Bioelectric characterization of epithelia from neonatal CFTR knockout ferrets.

    PubMed

    Fisher, John T; Tyler, Scott R; Zhang, Yulong; Lee, Ben J; Liu, Xiaoming; Sun, Xingshen; Sui, Hongshu; Liang, Bo; Luo, Meihui; Xie, Weiliang; Yi, Yaling; Zhou, Weihong; Song, Yi; Keiser, Nicholas; Wang, Kai; de Jonge, Hugo R; Engelhardt, John F

    2013-11-01

    Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a life-shortening, recessive, multiorgan genetic disorder caused by the loss of CF transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) chloride channel function found in many types of epithelia. Animal models that recapitulate the human disease phenotype are critical to understanding pathophysiology in CF and developing therapies. CFTR knockout ferrets manifest many of the phenotypes observed in the human disease, including lung infections, pancreatic disease and diabetes, liver disease, malnutrition, and meconium ileus. In the present study, we have characterized abnormalities in the bioelectric properties of the trachea, stomach, intestine, and gallbladder of newborn CF ferrets. Short-circuit current (ISC) analysis of CF and wild-type (WT) tracheas revealed the following similarities and differences: (1) amiloride-sensitive sodium currents were similar between genotypes; (2) responses to 4,4'-diisothiocyano-2,2'-stilbene disulphonic acid were 3.3-fold greater in CF animals, suggesting elevated baseline chloride transport through non-CFTR channels in a subset of CF animals; and (3) a lack of 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine (IBMX)/forskolin-stimulated and N-(2-Naphthalenyl)-((3,5-dibromo-2,4-dihydroxyphenyl)methylene)glycine hydrazide (GlyH-101)-inhibited currents in CF animals due to the lack of CFTR. CFTR mRNA was present throughout all levels of the WT ferret and IBMX/forskolin-inducible ISC was only observed in WT animals. However, despite the lack of CFTR function in the knockout ferret, the luminal pH of the CF ferret gallbladder, stomach, and intestines was not significantly changed relative to WT. The WT stomach and gallbladder exhibited significantly enhanced IBMX/forskolin ISC responses and inhibition by GlyH-101 relative to CF samples. These findings demonstrate that multiple organs affected by disease in the CF ferret have bioelectric abnormalities consistent with the lack of cAMP-mediated chloride transport. PMID:23782101

  1. Bioelectric Characterization of Epithelia from Neonatal CFTR Knockout Ferrets

    PubMed Central

    Fisher, John T.; Tyler, Scott R.; Zhang, Yulong; Lee, Ben J.; Liu, Xiaoming; Sun, Xingshen; Sui, Hongshu; Liang, Bo; Luo, Meihui; Xie, Weiliang; Yi, Yaling; Zhou, Weihong; Song, Yi; Keiser, Nicholas; Wang, Kai; de Jonge, Hugo R.

    2013-01-01

    Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a life-shortening, recessive, multiorgan genetic disorder caused by the loss of CF transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) chloride channel function found in many types of epithelia. Animal models that recapitulate the human disease phenotype are critical to understanding pathophysiology in CF and developing therapies. CFTR knockout ferrets manifest many of the phenotypes observed in the human disease, including lung infections, pancreatic disease and diabetes, liver disease, malnutrition, and meconium ileus. In the present study, we have characterized abnormalities in the bioelectric properties of the trachea, stomach, intestine, and gallbladder of newborn CF ferrets. Short-circuit current (ISC) analysis of CF and wild-type (WT) tracheas revealed the following similarities and differences: (1) amiloride-sensitive sodium currents were similar between genotypes; (2) responses to 4,4′-diisothiocyano-2,2′-stilbene disulphonic acid were 3.3-fold greater in CF animals, suggesting elevated baseline chloride transport through non-CFTR channels in a subset of CF animals; and (3) a lack of 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine (IBMX)/forskolin–stimulated and N-(2-Naphthalenyl)-((3,5-dibromo-2,4-dihydroxyphenyl)methylene)glycine hydrazide (GlyH-101)–inhibited currents in CF animals due to the lack of CFTR. CFTR mRNA was present throughout all levels of the WT ferret and IBMX/forskolin–inducible ISC was only observed in WT animals. However, despite the lack of CFTR function in the knockout ferret, the luminal pH of the CF ferret gallbladder, stomach, and intestines was not significantly changed relative to WT. The WT stomach and gallbladder exhibited significantly enhanced IBMX/forskolin ISC responses and inhibition by GlyH-101 relative to CF samples. These findings demonstrate that multiple organs affected by disease in the CF ferret have bioelectric abnormalities consistent with the lack of cAMP-mediated chloride transport. PMID:23782101

  2. Resource selection by black-footed ferrets in South Dakota and Montana

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jachowski, D.S.; Millspaugh, J.J.; Biggins, D.E.; Livieri, T.M.; Matchett, M.R.; Rittenhouse, C.D.

    2011-01-01

    The black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes), once extinct in the wild, remains one of the most critically endangered mammals in North America despite 18 years of reintroduction attempts. Because black-footed ferrets are specialized predators of prairie dogs (Cynomys sp.), a better understanding of how black-footed ferrets select resources might provide insight into how best to identify and manage reintroduction sites. We monitored ferret resource selection at two reintroduction sites with different densities of prairie dog populations-one that contained a high density of prairie dogs (Conata Basin, South Dakota) and one that was lower (UL Bend, Montana). We evaluated support for hypotheses about ferret resource selection as related to the distribution of active burrows used by black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus), interactions between ferrets, and habitat edge effects. We found support for all three factors within both populations; however, they affected ferret resource selection differently at each site. Ferrets at Conata Basin tended to select areas with high prairie dog burrow density, closer to the colony edge, and that overlapped other ferret ranges. In contrast, ferrets at UL Bend tended not to select areas of high active prairie dog burrow density, avoided areas close to edge habitat, and females avoided areas occupied by other ferrets. The differences observed between the two sites might be best explained by prairie dog densities, which were higher at Conata Basin (119.3 active burrows per ha) than at UL Bend (44.4 active burrows per ha). Given the positive growth of ferret populations at Conata Basin, management that increases the density of prairie dogs might enhance ferret success within natural areas. To achieve long-term recovery of ferrets in the wild, conservationists should increasingly work across and outside natural area boundaries to increase prairie dog populations.

  3. Transient diabetes mellitus in a domestic ferret (Mustela putorius furo)

    PubMed Central

    Duhamelle, Alexis; Langlois, Isabelle; Desmarchelier, Marion

    2015-01-01

    A 3.5-year-old spayed female ferret, fed a diet high in refined sugar, was referred for lethargy, polyuria, polydipsia, and polyphagia. Diabetic ketoacidosis was diagnosed. Treatment included insulin therapy and a low carbohydrate diet. Diabetes mellitus resolved 54 d later, and insulin therapy was discontinued. There has been no recurrence of the diabetes mellitus. PMID:26130836

  4. Mucosal transmission and pathogenesis of chronic wasting disease in ferrets.

    PubMed

    Perrott, Matthew R; Sigurdson, Christina J; Mason, Gary L; Hoover, Edward A

    2013-02-01

    Chronic wasting disease (CWD) of cervids is almost certainly transmitted by mucosal contact with the causative prion, whether by direct (animal-to-animal) or indirect (environmental) means. Yet the sites and mechanisms of prion entry remain to be further understood. This study sought to extend this understanding by demonstrating that ferrets exposed to CWD via several mucosal routes developed infection, CWD prion protein (PrP(CWD)) amplification in lymphoid tissues, neural invasion and florid transmissible spongiform encephalopathy lesions resembling those in native cervid hosts. The ferrets developed extensive PrP(CWD) accumulation in the nervous system, retina and olfactory epithelium, with lesser deposition in tongue, muscle, salivary gland and the vomeronasal organ. PrP(CWD) accumulation in mucosal sites, including upper respiratory tract epithelium, olfactory epithelium and intestinal Peyer's patches, make the shedding of prions by infected ferrets plausible. It was also observed that regionally targeted exposure of the nasopharyngeal mucosa resulted in an increased attack rate when compared with oral exposure. The latter finding suggests that nasal exposure enhances permissiveness to CWD infection. The ferret model has further potential for investigation of portals for initiation of CWD infection. PMID:23100363

  5. Perception and cortical neural coding of harmonic fusion in ferrets

    PubMed Central

    Kalluri, Sridhar; Depireux, Didier A.; Shamma, Shihab A.

    2008-01-01

    This study examined the perception and cortical representation of harmonic complex tones, from the perspective of the spectral fusion evoked by such sounds. Experiment 1 tested whether ferrets spontaneously distinguish harmonic from inharmonic tones. In baseline sessions, ferrets detected a pure tone terminating a sequence of inharmonic tones. After they reached proficiency, a small fraction of the inharmonic tones were replaced with harmonic tones. Some of the animals confused the harmonic tones with the pure tones at twice the false-alarm rate. Experiment 2 sought correlates of harmonic fusion in single neurons of primary auditory cortex and anterior auditory field, by comparing responses to harmonic tones with those to inharmonic tones in the awake alert ferret. The effects of spectro-temporal filtering were accounted for by using the measured spectrotemporal receptive field to predict responses and by seeking correlates of fusion in the predictability of responses. Only 12% of units sampled distinguished harmonic tones from inharmonic tones, a small percentage that is consistent with the relatively weak ability of the ferrets to spontaneously discriminate harmonic tones from inharmonic tones in Experiment 1. PMID:18529189

  6. Black-footed ferrets and Siberian polecats as ecological surrogates and ecological equivalents

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Biggins, D.E.; Hanebury, L.R.; Miller, B.J.; Powell, R.A.

    2011-01-01

    Ecologically equivalent species serve similar functions in different communities, and an ecological surrogate species can be used as a substitute for an equivalent species in a community. Siberian polecats (Mustela eversmanii) and black-footed ferrets (M. nigripes) have long been considered ecological equivalents. Polecats also have been used as investigational surrogates for black-footed ferrets, yet the similarities and differences between the 2 species are poorly understood. We contrasted activity patterns of radiotagged polecats and ferrets released onto ferret habitat. Ferrets tended to be nocturnal and most active after midnight. Polecats were not highly selective for any period of the day or night. Ferrets and polecats moved most during brightly moonlit nights. The diel activity pattern of ferrets was consistent with avoidance of coyotes (Canis latrans) and diurnal birds of prey. Similarly, polecat activity was consistent with avoidance of red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in their natural range. Intraguild predation (including interference competition) is inferred as a selective force influencing behaviors of these mustelines. Examination of our data suggests that black-footed ferrets and Siberian polecats might be ecological equivalents but are not perfect surrogates. Nonetheless, polecats as surrogates for black-footed ferrets have provided critical insight needed, especially related to predation, to improve the success of ferret reintroductions. ?? 2011 American Society of Mammalogists.

  7. Landscape features influence postrelease predation on endangered black-footed ferrets

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Poessel, S.A.; Breck, S.W.; Biggins, D.E.; Livieri, T.M.; Crooks, K.R.; Angeloni, L.

    2011-01-01

    Predation can be a critical factor influencing recovery of endangered species. In most recovery efforts lethal and nonlethal influences of predators are not sufficiently understood to allow prediction of predation risk, despite its importance. We investigated whether landscape features could be used to model predation risk from coyotes (Canis latrans) and great horned owls (Bubo virginianus) on the endangered black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes). We used location data of reintroduced ferrets from 3 sites in South Dakota to determine whether exposure to landscape features typically associated with predators affected survival of ferrets, and whether ferrets considered predation risk when choosing habitat near perches potentially used by owls or near linear features predicted to be used by coyotes. Exposure to areas near likely owl perches reduced ferret survival, but landscape features potentially associated with coyote movements had no appreciable effect on survival. Ferrets were located within 90 m of perches more than expected in 2 study sites that also had higher ferret mortality due to owl predation. Densities of potential coyote travel routes near ferret locations were no different than expected in all 3 sites. Repatriated ferrets might have selected resources based on factors other than predator avoidance. Considering an easily quantified landscape feature (i.e., owl perches) can enhance success of reintroduction efforts for ferrets. Nonetheless, development of predictive models of predation risk and management strategies to mitigate that risk is not necessarily straightforward for more generalist predators such as coyotes. ?? 2011 American Society of Mammalogists.

  8. Molecular analysis of neocortical layer structure in the ferret

    PubMed Central

    Rowell, Joanna J.; Mallik, Atul K.; Dugas-Ford, Jennifer; Ragsdale, Clifton W.

    2010-01-01

    Molecular markers that distinguish specific layers of rodent neocortex are increasingly employed to study cortical development and the physiology of cortical circuits. The extent to which these markers represent general features of neocortical cell type identity across mammals is, however, unknown. To assess the conservation of layer markers more broadly, we isolated orthologs for fifteen layer-enriched genes in the ferret, a carnivore with a large, gyrencephalic brain, and analyzed their patterns of neocortical gene expression. Our major findings are: (1) Many but not all layer markers tested show similar patterns of layer-specific gene expression between mouse and ferret cortex, supporting the view that layer-specific cell type identity is conserved at a molecular level across mammalian superorders; (2) Our panel of deep layer markers (ER81/ETV1, SULF2, PCP4, FEZF2/ZNF312, CACNA1H, KCNN2/SK2, SYT6, FOXP2, CTGF) provides molecular evidence that the specific stratifications of layer 5 and 6 into 5a, 5b, 6a and 6b are also conserved between rodents and carnivores. (3) Variations in layer-specific gene expression are more pronounced across areas of ferret cortex than between homologous areas of mouse and ferret cortex; (4) This variation of area gene expression was clearest with the superficial layer markers studied (SERPINE2, MDGA1, CUX1, UNC5D, RORB/NR1F2, EAG2/KCNH5). Most dramatically, the layer 4 markers RORB and EAG2 disclosed a molecular sublamination to ferret visual cortex and demonstrated a molecular dissociation among the so-called agranular areas of the neocortex. Our findings establish molecular markers as a powerful complement to cytoarchitecture for neocortical layer and cell-type comparisons across mammals. PMID:20575059

  9. Cryptococcus gattii infection in a Spanish pet ferret (Mustela putorius furo) and asymptomatic carriage in ferrets and humans from its environment.

    PubMed

    Morera, Neus; Juan-Sallés, Carles; Torres, Josep M; Andreu, Mariano; Sánchez, Manuel; Zamora, María Ángeles; Colom, M Francisca

    2011-10-01

    A domestic ferret (Mustela putorius furo) was presented with lymphadenopathy and acute bilateral blindness. Cytologic evaluation and biopsy of an affected lymph node revealed pyogranulomatous lymphadenitis with intralesional yeast consistent with Cryptococcus sp. Subsequent studies demonstrated Cryptococcus gattii serotype B VGI/AFLP4 as the causative agent. The ferret was treated with fluconazole and prednisone. After one month of therapy, an improvement of the clinical symptoms was detected although blindness persisted. Seven months after presentation, the disease progressed to a severe neurologic condition, and it was euthanized. Postmortem exam revealed disseminated cryptococcosis with prominent neurologic involvement. Nasal swabs of other ferrets and humans from the same household revealed that two ferrets and two humans to be asymptomatic carriers of the same strain of cryptococcus as the necropsied ferret. These findings stress the importance of veterinary diagnostic work with pets and epidemiological investigations for disease prevention in them and in their owners. PMID:21395475

  10. Effects of experience and cage enrichment on predatory skills of black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Vargas, A.; Anderson, S.H.

    1999-01-01

    We studied ontogeny of predatory skills of growing black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) raised under different captive conditions. To test effects of maturation, experience, and cage enrichment on predatory behavior, we exposed 70 juvenile black-footed ferrets to different numbers of live hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus) throughout development. Both maturation and experience increased the likelihood of a black-footed ferret making a successful kill. Black-footed ferrets exposed to greater environmental complexity (enriched cage, including encouragement of food-searching behaviors) also were more likely to kill than ferrets raised in a deprived environment. Behavioral studies of captive-raised black-footed ferrets can help refine current breeding techniques and ultimately enhance efforts to recover this endangered carnivore.

  11. Movements and survival of black-footed ferrets associated with an experimental translocation in South Dakota

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Biggins, D.E.; Godbey, J.L.; Horton, B.M.; Livieri, T.M.

    2011-01-01

    Black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) apparently were extirpated from all native habitats by 1987, and their repatriation requires a combination of captive breeding, reintroductions, and translocations among sites. Improvements in survival rates of released ferrets have resulted from experience in quasi-natural environments during their rearing. Reestablishment of a self-sustaining wild population by 1999 provided the 1st opportunity to initiate new populations by translocating wild-born individuals. Using radiotelemetry, we compared behaviors and survival of 18 translocated wild-born ferrets and 18 pen-experienced captive-born ferrets after their release into a prairie dog colony not occupied previously by ferrets. Translocated wild-born ferrets moved significantly less and had significantly higher short-term survival rates than their captive-born counterparts. Using markrecapture methods, we also assessed potential impacts to the established donor population of removing 37% of its estimated annual production of kits. Annual survival rates for 30 ferret kits remaining at the donor subcomplex were higher than rates for 54 ferret kits at the control subcomplex (unmanipulated) for males (+82%) and females (+32%). Minimum survival of translocated kits did not differ significantly from survival of those at the control subcomplex. Direct translocation of young, wild-born ferrets from site to site appears to be an efficient method to establish new populations. ?? 2011 American Society of Mammalogists.

  12. Brainstem auditory-evoked response (BAER) in client-owned pet ferrets with normal hearing.

    PubMed

    Piazza, S; Huynh, M; Cauzinille, L

    2014-06-01

    The objective of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of brainstem auditory-evoked response (BAER) testing in pet ferrets in a clinical setting, and to describe a routine method and baseline data for normal hearing ferrets for future investigation of deafness in this species. Twenty-eight clinically normal client-owned ferrets were included. BAER measurements were recorded under general anaesthesia (isoflurane delivered by mask), from subcutaneously placed needle electrodes. A 'click' stimulus applied by insert earphone with an intensity of 90 dB sound pressure level (SPL) was used. The final BAER waveform represents an average of 500 successive responses. Morphology of the waveform was studied; amplitude and latency measures were determined and means were calculated. The BAER waveform of the normal ferret included 4 reproducible waves named I, II, III and V, as previously described in dogs and cats. Measurements of latencies are consistent with previous laboratory research using experimental ferrets. In the present study, a reliable routine protocol for clinical evaluation of the hearing function in the pet ferret was established. This procedure can be easily and safely performed in a clinical setting in ferrets as young as eight weeks of age. The prevalence of congenital deafness in ferrets is currently unknown but may be an important consideration, especially in ferrets with a white coat. BAER test is a useful screening for congenital deafness in this species. PMID:24714054

  13. Neuronal Migration Dynamics in the Developing Ferret Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Gertz, Caitlyn C.

    2015-01-01

    During mammalian neocortical development, newborn excitatory and inhibitory neurons must migrate over long distances to reach their final positions within the cortical plate. In the lissencephalic rodent brain, pyramidal neurons are born in the ventricular and subventricular zones of the pallium and migrate along radial glia fibers to reach the appropriate cortical layer. Although much less is known about neuronal migration in species with a gyrencephalic cortex, retroviral studies in the ferret and primate suggest that, unlike the rodent, pyramidal neurons do not follow strict radial pathways and instead can disperse horizontally. However, the means by which pyramidal neurons laterally disperse remain unknown. In this study, we identified a viral labeling technique for visualizing neuronal migration in the ferret, a gyrencephalic carnivore, and found that migration was predominantly radial at early postnatal ages. In contrast, neurons displayed more tortuous migration routes with a decreased frequency of cortical plate-directed migration at later stages of neurogenesis concomitant with the start of brain folding. This was accompanied by neurons migrating sequentially along several different radial glial fibers, suggesting a mode by which pyramidal neurons may laterally disperse in a folded cortex. These findings provide insight into the migratory behavior of neurons in gyrencephalic species and provide a framework for using nonrodent model systems for studying neuronal migration disorders. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Elucidating neuronal migration dynamics in the gyrencephalic, or folded, cortex is important for understanding neurodevelopmental disorders. Similar to the rodent, we found that neuronal migration was predominantly radial at early postnatal ages in the gyrencephalic ferret cortex. Interestingly, ferret neurons displayed more tortuous migration routes and a decreased frequency of radial migration at later ages coincident with the start of cortical folding

  14. Behavioral Measures of Auditory Streaming in Ferrets (Mustela putorius)

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Ling; Yin, Pingbo; Micheyl, Christophe; Oxenham, Andrew J.; Shamma, Shihab A.

    2015-01-01

    An important aspect of the analysis of auditory “scenes” relates to the perceptual organization of sound sequences into auditory “streams.” In this study, we adapted two auditory perception tasks, used in recent human psychophysical studies, to obtain behavioral measures of auditory streaming in ferrets (Mustela putorius). One task involved the detection of shifts in the frequency of tones within an alternating tone sequence. The other task involved the detection of a stream of regularly repeating target tones embedded within a randomly varying multitone background. In both tasks, performance was measured as a function of various stimulus parameters, which previous psychophysical studies in humans have shown to influence auditory streaming. Ferret performance in the two tasks was found to vary as a function of these parameters in a way that is qualitatively consistent with the human data. These results suggest that auditory streaming occurs in ferrets, and that the two tasks described here may provide a valuable tool in future behavioral and neurophysiological studies of the phenomenon. PMID:20695663

  15. Gastrointestinal Pathology in Juvenile and Adult CFTR-Knockout Ferrets

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Xingshen; Olivier, Alicia K.; Yi, Yaling; Pope, Christopher E.; Hayden, Hillary S.; Liang, Bo; Sui, Hongshu; Zhou, Weihong; Hager, Kyle R.; Zhang, Yulong; Liu, Xiaoming; Yan, Ziying; Fisher, John T.; Keiser, Nicholas W.; Song, Yi; Tyler, Scott R.; Goeken, J. Adam; Kinyon, Joann M.; Radey, Matthew C.; Fligg, Danielle; Wang, Xiaoyan; Xie, Weiliang; Lynch, Thomas J.; Kaminsky, Paul M.; Brittnacher, Mitchell J.; Miller, Samuel I.; Parekh, Kalpaj; Meyerholz, David K.; Hoffman, Lucas R.; Frana, Timothy; Stewart, Zoe A.; Engelhardt, John F.

    2015-01-01

    Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a multiorgan disease caused by loss of a functional cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) chloride channel in many epithelia of the body. Here we report the pathology observed in the gastrointestinal organs of juvenile to adult CFTR-knockout ferrets. CF gastrointestinal manifestations included gastric ulceration, intestinal bacterial overgrowth with villous atrophy, and rectal prolapse. Metagenomic phylogenetic analysis of fecal microbiota by deep sequencing revealed considerable genotype-independent microbial diversity between animals, with the majority of taxa overlapping between CF and non-CF pairs. CF hepatic manifestations were variable, but included steatosis, necrosis, biliary hyperplasia, and biliary fibrosis. Gallbladder cystic mucosal hyperplasia was commonly found in 67% of CF animals. The majority of CF animals (85%) had pancreatic abnormalities, including extensive fibrosis, loss of exocrine pancreas, and islet disorganization. Interestingly, 2 of 13 CF animals retained predominantly normal pancreatic histology (84% to 94%) at time of death. Fecal elastase-1 levels from these CF animals were similar to non-CF controls, whereas all other CF animals evaluated were pancreatic insufficient (<2 μg elastase-1 per gram of feces). These findings suggest that genetic factors likely influence the extent of exocrine pancreas disease in CF ferrets and have implications for the etiology of pancreatic sufficiency in CF patients. In summary, these studies demonstrate that the CF ferret model develops gastrointestinal pathology similar to CF patients. PMID:24637292

  16. Fine-scale habitat use of reintroduced black-footed ferrets on prairie dog colonies in New Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chipault, Jennifer G.; Biggins, Dean E.; Detling, James K.; Long, Dustin H.; Reich, Robin M.

    2012-01-01

    Black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) are among the most endangered animals in North America. Reintroductions of captive-born ferrets onto prairie dog (Cynomys spp.) colonies are crucial to the conservation of the species. In September 2007, captive-born ferrets were released on a black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colony at the Vermejo Park Ranch, New Mexico. Ferret kits experimentally released in areas of comparatively low and high prairie dog burrow densities were located via spotlight surveys. Some maturing ferret kits were subsequently translocated to areas of low and high burrow densities on nearby prairie dog colonies. For 2 months, fine-scale habitat use was quantified by mapping all burrow openings within a 30-m radius of each ferret location. Spatial statistics accounted for autocorrelation in the burrow densities in areas used by ferrets. It was hypothesized that ferrets would select areas of high burrow densities within colonies; however, burrow densities in areas used by ferrets were generally similar to the available burrow densities. Because ferrets used areas with burrow densities similar to densities available at the colony level and because of the potential energetic benefits for ferrets using areas with high burrow densities, releasing ferrets on colonies with high burrow densities might increase reintroduction success.

  17. Rabies Virus Infection in Ferret Badgers (Melogale moschata subaurantiaca) in Taiwan: A Retrospective Study.

    PubMed

    Chang, Jen-Chieh; Tsai, Kuo-Jung; Hsu, Wei-Cheng; Tu, Yang-Chang; Chuang, Wei-Chieh; Chang, Chia-Yi; Chang, Shih-Wei; Lin, Te-En; Fang, Kuo-Yun; Chang, Yung-Fu; Tsai, Hsiang-Jung; Lee, Shu-Hwae

    2015-10-01

    Fifteen ferret badgers (Melogale moschata subaurantiaca), collected 2010-13 and stored frozen, were submitted for rabies diagnosis by direct fluorescent antibody test and reverse transcription PCR. We detected seven positive animal samples, including some from 2010, which indicated that the ferret badger population in Taiwan had been affected by rabies prior to 2010. PMID:26267459

  18. Rhinitis and disseminated disease in a ferret (Mustela putorius futo) naturally infected with Sarcocystis neurona

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Naturally occurring Sarcocystis neurona infection in a ferret (Mustela putorius futo) with rhinitis and disseminated disease are described for the first time. The ferret exhibited severe rhinitis with intra-lesional S. neurona merozoites and schizonts. Diagnosis was confirmed immunohistochemically b...

  19. Transcriptome sequencing and development of an expression microarray platform for the domestic ferret

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The ferret (Mustela putorius furo) represents an attractive animal model for the study of respiratory diseases, including influenza. Despite its importance for biomedical research, the number of reagents for molecular and immunological analysis is restricted. We present here a parallel sequencing effort to produce an extensive EST (expressed sequence tags) dataset derived from a normalized ferret cDNA library made from mRNA from ferret blood, liver, lung, spleen and brain. Results We produced more than 500000 sequence reads that were assembled into 16000 partial ferret genes. These genes were combined with the available ferret sequences in the GenBank to develop a ferret specific microarray platform. Using this array, we detected tissue specific expression patterns which were confirmed by quantitative real time PCR assays. We also present a set of 41 ferret genes with even transcription profiles across the tested tissues, indicating their usefulness as housekeeping genes. Conclusion The tools developed in this study allow for functional genomic analysis and make further development of reagents for the ferret model possible. PMID:20403183

  20. 78 FR 23948 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Black-Footed Ferret Draft Recovery Plan

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-04-23

    ... America wherever prairie dogs occurred. The species was listed as endangered in 1967 (32 FR 4001; March 11... Species Conservation Act of 1969 (35 FR 8491; June 2, 1970). On January 4, 1974, the black-footed ferret was listed under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (39 FR 1171). The ferret's close association...

  1. Morning ambush attacks by black-footed ferrets on emerging prairie dogs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Eads, D.A.; Biggins, D.E.; Jachowski, D.S.; Livieri, T.M.; Millspaugh, J.J.; Forsberg, M.

    2010-01-01

    Black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) often hunt at night, attacking normally diurnal prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) in underground burrow systems. While monitoring black-footed ferrets in South Dakota during morning daylight hours, we observed an adult female ferret ambush a black-tailed prairie dog (C. ludovicianus) emerging from a burrow. On a neighboring colony, we observed a second adult female ferret engaging in similar ambush behaviors on 12 occasions, although prey was not visible. We retrospectively assessed radio-telemetry data on white-tailed prairie dogs (C. leucurus) and a male and a female ferret to evaluate ferret activity in relation to timing of prairie dog emergence. Activity of radio-collared ferrets was high during the hourly period when prairie dogs first emerged and the following 2 hr, relative to later daylight hours. Such behavior is consistent with behaviors observed in South Dakota. Nighttime movements by ferrets might involve hunting but also reconnaissance of prey preparatory to morning ambush attacks.

  2. The draft genome sequence of the ferret (Mustela putorius furo) facilitates study of human respiratory disease.

    PubMed

    Peng, Xinxia; Alföldi, Jessica; Gori, Kevin; Eisfeld, Amie J; Tyler, Scott R; Tisoncik-Go, Jennifer; Brawand, David; Law, G Lynn; Skunca, Nives; Hatta, Masato; Gasper, David J; Kelly, Sara M; Chang, Jean; Thomas, Matthew J; Johnson, Jeremy; Berlin, Aaron M; Lara, Marcia; Russell, Pamela; Swofford, Ross; Turner-Maier, Jason; Young, Sarah; Hourlier, Thibaut; Aken, Bronwen; Searle, Steve; Sun, Xingshen; Yi, Yaling; Suresh, M; Tumpey, Terrence M; Siepel, Adam; Wisely, Samantha M; Dessimoz, Christophe; Kawaoka, Yoshihiro; Birren, Bruce W; Lindblad-Toh, Kerstin; Di Palma, Federica; Engelhardt, John F; Palermo, Robert E; Katze, Michael G

    2014-12-01

    The domestic ferret (Mustela putorius furo) is an important animal model for multiple human respiratory diseases. It is considered the 'gold standard' for modeling human influenza virus infection and transmission. Here we describe the 2.41 Gb draft genome assembly of the domestic ferret, constituting 2.28 Gb of sequence plus gaps. We annotated 19,910 protein-coding genes on this assembly using RNA-seq data from 21 ferret tissues. We characterized the ferret host response to two influenza virus infections by RNA-seq analysis of 42 ferret samples from influenza time-course data and showed distinct signatures in ferret trachea and lung tissues specific to 1918 or 2009 human pandemic influenza virus infections. Using microarray data from 16 ferret samples reflecting cystic fibrosis disease progression, we showed that transcriptional changes in the CFTR-knockout ferret lung reflect pathways of early disease that cannot be readily studied in human infants with cystic fibrosis disease. PMID:25402615

  3. First Case of Systemic Coronavirus Infection in a Domestic Ferret (Mustela putorius furo) in Peru.

    PubMed

    Lescano, J; Quevedo, M; Gonzales-Viera, O; Luna, L; Keel, M K; Gregori, F

    2015-12-01

    A domestic ferret from Lima, Peru, died after ten days of non-specific clinical signs. Based on pathology, immunohistochemistry and molecular analysis, ferret systemic coronavirus (FRSCV)-associated disease was diagnosed for the first time in South America. This report highlights the potential spread of pathogens by the international pet trade. PMID:26301572

  4. Fatal vaccine-induced canine distemper virus infection in black-footed ferrets

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Carpenter, J.W.; Appel, M.J.G.; Erickson, R.C.; Novilla, M.N.

    1976-01-01

    Four black-footed ferrets that were live-trapped in South Dakota and transported to the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center died within 21 days after vaccination with modified live canine distemper virus. Immunofluorescence, European ferret inoculation, virus isolation attempts, and serum-neutralization tests indicated insufficient attenuation of the vaccine for this species.

  5. The draft genome sequence of the ferret (Mustela putorius furo) facilitates study of human respiratory disease

    PubMed Central

    Peng, Xinxia; Alföldi, Jessica; Gori, Kevin; Eisfeld, Amie J.; Tyler, Scott R.; Tisoncik-Go, Jennifer; Brawand, David; Law, G. Lynn; Skunca, Nives; Hatta, Masato; Gasper, David J.; Kelly, Sara M.; Chang, Jean; Thomas, Matthew J.; Johnson, Jeremy; Berlin, Aaron M.; Lara, Marcia; Russell, Pamela; Swofford, Ross; Turner-Maier, Jason; Young, Sarah; Hourlier, Thibaut; Aken, Bronwen; Searle, Steve; Sun, Xingshen; Yi, Yaling; Suresh, M.; Tumpey, Terrence M.; Siepel, Adam; Wisely, Samantha M.; Dessimoz, Christophe; Kawaoka, Yoshihiro; Birren, Bruce W.; Lindblad-Toh, Kerstin; Di Palma, Federica; Engelhardt, John F.; Palermo, Robert E.; Katze, Michael G.

    2014-01-01

    The domestic ferret (Mustela putorius furo) is an important animal model for multiple human respiratory diseases. It is considered the ‘gold standard’ for modeling human influenza virus infection and transmission1–4. Here we describe the 2.41 Gb draft genome assembly of the domestic ferret, constituting 2.28 Gb of sequence plus gaps. We annotate 19,910 protein-coding genes on this assembly using RNA-seq data from 21 ferret tissues. We characterize the ferret host response to two influenza virus infections by RNA-seq analysis of 42 ferret samples from influenza time courses, and show distinct signatures in ferret trachea and lung tissues specific to 1918 or 2009 human pandemic influenza virus infections. Using microarray data from 16 ferret samples reflecting cystic fibrosis (CF) disease progression, we show that transcriptional changes in the CFTR-knockout ferret lung reflect pathways of early disease that cannot be readily studied in human infants with CF disease. PMID:25402615

  6. Issues to consider for preparing ferrets as research subjects in the laboratory.

    PubMed

    Ball, Roberta Scipioni

    2006-01-01

    The domestic or European ferret (Mustela putorius furo) has been domesticated for thousands of years. Ferrets have been used for hunting and fur production, as pets, and as models in biomedical research. Despite the relatively small numbers used in the laboratory, ferrets have some unique applications including study of human influenza and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-associated corona virus. They have served as models for peptic ulcer disease, carotenoid metabolism, cystic fibrosis, and drug emesis screening, among others. Most research ferrets are males, due to estrus-related health problems in females. They may be housed conventionally and are easy to care for when their biology and behavior are understood. Due to the small number of ferret suppliers, animals are often shipped long distances, requiring air transport and intermediate handlers. It is important to minimize shipment stress, especially with weanling and pregnant animals. Additional expertise is required for success with pregnant and whelping ferrets and for rearing of neonates. The animals have specific dietary requirements, and proper nutrition is key. Successful housing requires knowledge of ferret behaviors including social behavior, eating habits, a general inquisitive nature, and a species-typical need to burrow and hide. Regular handling is necessary to maintain well-being. A ferret health care program consists of physical examination, immunization, clinical pathology, and a working knowledge of common ferret diseases. Various research methodologies have been described, from basic procedures such as blood collection to major invasive survival surgery. Ferrets have a distinct niche in biomedical research and are hardy animals that thrive well in the laboratory. PMID:16963814

  7. American badgers selectively excavate burrows in areas used by black-footed ferrets: implications for predator avoidance

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Eads, David A.; Biggins, Dean E.; Livieri, Travis M.; Millspaugh, Joshua J.

    2013-01-01

    We evaluated how American badgers (Taxidea taxus) might exert selective pressure on black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) to develop antipredator defenses. In a colony of black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) in South Dakota, badgers concentrated their activities where burrow openings and prairie dogs were abundant, a selective behavior that was exhibited by ferrets in the same colony. Badgers excavated burrows more often when in areas recently used by a ferret, suggesting that badgers hunt ferrets or steal prey from ferrets, or both. We also conducted an analysis of survival studies for ferrets and Siberian polecats (M. eversmanii) released onto prairie dog colonies. This polecat is the ferret's ecological equivalent but evolved without a digging predator. Badgers accounted for 30.0% of predation on polecats and 5.5% of predation on ferrets. In contrast, both polecats and ferrets have evolutionary experience with canids, providing a plausible explanation for the similar relative impact of coyotes (Canis latrans) on them (65.0% and 67.1% of predation, respectively). We hypothesize that ferrets and badgers coexist because ferrets are superior at exploitation competition and are efficient at avoiding badgers, and badgers are superior at interference competition.

  8. Patterns of surface plugging in a colony of black-tailed prairie dogs occupied by black-footed ferrets

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Eads, David E.; Biggins, Dean E.

    2012-01-01

    Black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) can surface-plug openings to a burrow occupied by a black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes). At a coarse scale, surface plugs are more common in colonies of prairie dogs occupied by ferrets than in colonies without ferrets. However, little is known about spatial and temporal patterns of surface plugging in a colony occupied by ferrets. In a 452-ha colony of black-tailed prairie dogs in South Dakota, we sampled burrow openings for surface plugs and related those data to locations of ferrets observed during spotlight surveys. Of 67,574 burrow openings in the colony between June and September 2007, 3.7% were plugged. In a colony-wide grid of 80 m x 80 m cells, the occurrence of surface plugging (≤1 opening plugged) was greater in cells used by ferrets (93.3% of cells) than in cells not observably used by ferrets (70.6%). Rates of surface plugging (percentages of openings plugged) were significantly higher in cells used by ferrets (median = 3.7%) than in cells without known ferret use (median = 3.2%). Also, numbers of ferret locations in cells correlated positively with numbers of mapped surface plugs in the cells. To investigate surface plugging at finer temporal and spatial scales, we compared rates of surface plugging in 20-m-radius circle-plots centered on ferret locations and in random plots 1–4 days after observing a ferret (Jun–Oct 2007 and 2008). Rates of surface plugging were greater in ferret-plots (median = 12.0%) than in random plots (median = 0%). For prairie dogs and their associates, the implications of surface plugging could be numerous. For instance, ferrets must dig to exit or enter plugged burrows (suggesting energetic costs), and surface plugs might influence microclimates in burrows and consequently influence species that cannot excavate soil (e.g., fleas that transmit the plague bacterium Yersinia pestis).

  9. Patterns of surface burrow plugging in a colony of black-tailed prairie dogs occupied by black-footed ferrets

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Eads, D.A.; Biggins, D.E.

    2012-01-01

    Black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) can surface-plug openings to a burrow occupied by a black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes). At a coarse scale, surface plugs are more common in colonies of prairie dogs occupied by ferrets than in colonies without ferrets. However, little is known about spatial and temporal patterns of surface plugging in a colony occupied by ferrets. In a 452-ha colony of black-tailed prairie dogs in South Dakota, we sampled burrow openings for surface plugs and related those data to locations of ferrets observed during spotlight surveys. Of 67,574 burrow openings in the colony between June and September 2007, 3.7% were plugged. In a colony-wide grid of 80 m × 80 m cells, the occurrence of surface plugging (≥1 opening plugged) was greater in cells used by ferrets (93.3% of cells) than in cells not observably used by ferrets (70.6%). Rates of surface plugging (percentages of openings plugged) were significantly higher in cells used by ferrets (median = 3.7%) than in cells without known ferret use (median = 3.2%). Also, numbers of ferret locations in cells correlated positively with numbers of mapped surface plugs in the cells. To investigate surface plugging at finer temporal and spatial scales, we compared rates of surface plugging in 20-m-radius circle-plots centered on ferret locations and in random plots 1–4 days after observing a ferret (Jun–Oct 2007 and 2008). Rates of surface plugging were greater in ferret-plots (median = 12.0%) than in random plots (median = 0%). For prairie dogs and their associates, the implications of surface plugging could be numerous. For instance, ferrets must dig to exit or enter plugged burrows (suggesting energetic costs), and surface plugs might influence microclimates in burrows and consequently influence species that cannot excavate soil (e.g., fleas that transmit the plague bacterium Yersinia pests).

  10. Mechanism of hypocoagulability in proton-irradiated ferrets

    PubMed Central

    Krigsfeld, Gabriel S.; Savage, Alexandria R.; Sanzari, Jenine K.; Wroe, Andrew J.; Gridley, Daila S.; Kennedy, Ann R.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose To determine the mechanism of proton radiation-induced coagulopathy. Material and methods Ferrets were exposed to either solar particle event (SPE)-like proton radiation at a predetermined dose rate of 0.5 Gray (Gy) per hour (h) for a total dose of 0 or 1 Gy. Blood was collected pre- and post-irradiation for a complete blood cell count or a soluble fibrin concentration analysis, to determine whether coagulation activation had occurred. Tissue was stained with an anti-fibrinogen antibody to confirm the presence of fibrin in blood vessels. Results SPE-like proton radiation exposure resulted in coagulation cascade activation, as determined by increased soluble fibrin concentration in blood from 0.7 – 2.4 at 3 h, and 9.9 soluble fibrin units (p < 0.05) at 24 h post-irradiation and fibrin clots in blood vessels of livers, lungs and kidneys from irradiated ferrets. In combination with this increase in fibrin clots, ferrets had increased prothrombin time and partial thromboplastin time values post-irradiation, which are representative of the extrinsic/intrinsic coagulation pathways. Platelet counts remained at pre-irradiation values over the course of 7 days, indicating that the observed effects were not platelet-related, but instead likely to be due to radiation-induced effects on secondary hemostasis. White blood cell (WBC) counts were reduced in a statistically significant manner from 24 h through the course of the seven-day experiment. Conclusions SPE-like proton radiation results in significant decreases in all WBC counts as well as activates secondary hemostasis; together, these data suggest severe risks to astronaut health from exposure to SPE radiation. PMID:23651328

  11. The role of spectral cues in timbre discrimination by ferrets and humans.

    PubMed

    Town, Stephen M; Atilgan, Huriye; Wood, Katherine C; Bizley, Jennifer K

    2015-05-01

    Timbre distinguishes sounds of equal loudness, pitch, and duration; however, little is known about the neural mechanisms underlying timbre perception. Such understanding requires animal models such as the ferret in which neuronal and behavioral observation can be combined. The current study asked what spectral cues ferrets use to discriminate between synthetic vowels. Ferrets were trained to discriminate vowels differing in the position of the first (F1) and second formants (F2), inter-formant distance, and spectral centroid. In experiment 1, ferrets responded to probe trials containing novel vowels in which the spectral cues of trained vowels were mismatched. Regression models fitted to behavioral responses determined that F2 and spectral centroid were stronger predictors of ferrets' behavior than either F1 or inter-formant distance. Experiment 2 examined responses to single formant vowels and found that individual spectral peaks failed to account for multi-formant vowel perception. Experiment 3 measured responses to unvoiced vowels and showed that ferrets could generalize vowel identity across voicing conditions. Experiment 4 employed the same design as experiment 1 but with human participants. Their responses were also predicted by F2 and spectral centroid. Together these findings further support the ferret as a model for studying the neural processes underlying timbre perception. PMID:25994714

  12. Macroscopic and roentgenographic anatomy of the skull of the ferret (Mustela putorius furo).

    PubMed

    He, T; Friede, H; Kiliaridis, S

    2002-01-01

    Normal macroscopic and roentgenographic features of the skull of the ferret (Mustela putorius furo) were examined and described. Data were based on a sample of 100 (50 male and 50 female) adult ferrets of known body weight and age. The skull was described macroscopically according to six standard views, i.e. dorsal, lateral, ventral, caudal, cranial and midsagittal. The mandible was described separately. The roentgenographic characteristics of the ferret skull were demonstrated only in lateral and dorsoventral projections. Furthermore, the skull length and width as well as the minimum frontal width were measured, and skull indices were derived from relevant measurements. Sexual dimorphism was examined both morphologically and craniometrically. Besides the common features of a carnivore skull, the ferret skull is relatively elongated and flat with a short facial region. The skulls of adult male ferrets are about 17% longer and 22% wider than those of the females. Significant sexual dimorphism also exists regarding certain skull indices. The general features and some dimensional parameters of the adult ferret skull support the contention that the ferret would be an interesting and workable alternative animal model in craniofacial research. PMID:11831741

  13. Mortality of Siberian polecats and black-footed ferrets released onto prairie dog colonies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Biggins, D.E.; Miller, B.J.; Hanebury, L.R.; Powell, R.A.

    2011-01-01

    Black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) likely were extirpated from the wild in 19851986, and their repatriation depends on captive breeding and reintroduction. Postrelease survival of animals can be affected by behavioral changes induced by captivity. We released neutered Siberian polecats (M. eversmanii), close relatives of ferrets, in 19891990 on black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colonies in Colorado and Wyoming initially to test rearing and reintroduction techniques. Captive-born polecats were reared in cages or cages plus outdoor pens, released from elevated cages or into burrows, and supplementally fed or not fed. We also translocated wild-born polecats from China in 1990 and released captive-born, cage-reared black-footed ferrets in 1991, the 1st such reintroduction of black-footed ferrets. We documented mortality for 55 of 92 radiotagged animals in these studies, mostly due to predation (46 cases). Coyotes (Canis latrans) killed 31 ferrets and polecats. Supplementally fed polecats survived longer than nonprovisioned polecats. With a model based on deaths per distance moved, survival was highest for wild-born polecats, followed by pen-experienced, then cage-reared groups. Indexes of abundance (from spotlight surveys) for several predators were correlated with mortality rates of polecats and ferrets due to those predators. Released black-footed ferrets had lower survival rates than their ancestral population in Wyoming, and lower survival than wild-born and translocated polecats, emphasizing the influence of captivity. Captive-born polecats lost body mass more rapidly postrelease than did captive-born ferrets. Differences in hunting efficiency and prey selection provide further evidence that these polecats and ferrets are not ecological equivalents in the strict sense. ?? 2011 American Society of Mammalogists.

  14. Collateral circulation in ferrets (Mustela putorius) during temporary occlusion of the caudal vena cava.

    PubMed

    Calicchio, Kristina W; Bennett, R Avery; Laraio, Leonard C; Weisse, Chick; Zwingenberger, Allison L; Rosenthal, Karen L; Johnston, Matthew S; Campbell, Vicki L; Solomon, Jeffrey A

    2016-05-01

    OBJECTIVE To determine whether extent of collateral circulation would change during temporary occlusion of the caudal vena cava (CVC) in ferrets (Mustela putorius), a pressure change would occur caudal to the occlusion, and differences would exist between the sexes with respect to those changes. ANIMALS 8 adult ferrets (4 castrated males and 4 spayed females). PROCEDURES Ferrets were anesthetized. A balloon occlusion catheter was introduced through a jugular vein, passed into the CVC by use of fluoroscopy, positioned cranial to the right renal vein, and inflated for 20 minutes. Venography was performed 5 and 15 minutes after occlusion. Pressure in the CVC caudal to the occlusion was measured continuously. A CBC, plasma biochemical analysis, and urinalysis were performed immediately after the procedure and 2 or 3 days later. RESULTS All 8 ferrets survived the procedure; no differences were apparent between the sexes. Vessels providing collateral circulation were identified in all ferrets, indicating blood flow to the paravertebral venous plexus. Complications observed prior to occlusion included atrial and ventricular premature contractions. Complications after occlusion included bradycardia, seizures, and extravasation of contrast medium. Mean baseline CVC pressure was 5.4 cm H2O. During occlusion, 6 ferrets had a moderate increase in CVC pressure (mean, 24.3 cm H2O) and 2 ferrets had a marked increase in CVC pressure to > 55.0 cm H2O. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Caval occlusion for 20 minutes was performed in healthy ferrets with minimal adverse effects noted within the follow-up period and no apparent differences between sexes. The CVC pressure during occlusion may be prognostic in ferrets undergoing surgical ligation of the CVC, which commonly occurs during adrenal tumor resection. PMID:27111022

  15. Cortico‐cortical connectivity within ferret auditory cortex

    PubMed Central

    Bajo, Victoria M.; Nodal, Fernando R.; King, Andrew J.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Despite numerous studies of auditory cortical processing in the ferret (Mustela putorius), very little is known about the connections between the different regions of the auditory cortex that have been characterized cytoarchitectonically and physiologically. We examined the distribution of retrograde and anterograde labeling after injecting tracers into one or more regions of ferret auditory cortex. Injections of different tracers at frequency‐matched locations in the core areas, the primary auditory cortex (A1) and anterior auditory field (AAF), of the same animal revealed the presence of reciprocal connections with overlapping projections to and from discrete regions within the posterior pseudosylvian and suprasylvian fields (PPF and PSF), suggesting that these connections are frequency specific. In contrast, projections from the primary areas to the anterior dorsal field (ADF) on the anterior ectosylvian gyrus were scattered and non‐overlapping, consistent with the non‐tonotopic organization of this field. The relative strength of the projections originating in each of the primary fields differed, with A1 predominantly targeting the posterior bank fields PPF and PSF, which in turn project to the ventral posterior field, whereas AAF projects more heavily to the ADF, which then projects to the anteroventral field and the pseudosylvian sulcal cortex. These findings suggest that parallel anterior and posterior processing networks may exist, although the connections between different areas often overlap and interactions were present at all levels. J. Comp. Neurol. 523:2187–2210, 2015. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:25845831

  16. Glomerulonephritis in a ferret with feline coronavirus infection.

    PubMed

    Fujii, Yuta; Tochitani, Tomoaki; Kouchi, Mami; Matsumoto, Izumi; Yamada, Toru; Funabashi, Hitoshi

    2015-09-01

    A male domestic ferret (Mustela putorius furo), which was purchased from outside of Japan at 13 weeks of age, was euthanized at 18 months of age because of poor health. At autopsy, the liver, spleen, and mesenteric lymph node were enlarged, and white foci were observed on the outer surface of the liver. The outer surface of the mesenteric lymph node was dark red. Histologically, granulomas were observed in the liver, spleen, bone marrow, and lymph nodes, composed mainly of aggregated epithelioid macrophages, some of which were positive to an anti-feline coronavirus (FCoV; Alphacoronavirus 1) antibody in immunohistochemistry. Mesangioproliferative glomerulonephritis was observed, and periodic acid-Schiff-positive deposits were observed along glomerular capillary walls. These deposits stained pale red with periodic acid-methenamine silver stain and red with Masson trichrome stain, and were also observed in the mesangial matrix. In affected glomeruli, glomerular capillary walls and mesangial areas were positive for anti-ferret immunoglobulin G. By electron microscopy, subepithelial and mesangial electron-dense deposits were observed consistent with immune complex deposition. The deposition of immune complexes may have been associated with FCoV infection. PMID:26319601

  17. Cortico-Cortical Connectivity Within Ferret Auditory Cortex.

    PubMed

    Bizley, Jennifer K; Bajo, Victoria M; Nodal, Fernando R; King, Andrew J

    2015-10-15

    Despite numerous studies of auditory cortical processing in the ferret (Mustela putorius), very little is known about the connections between the different regions of the auditory cortex that have been characterized cytoarchitectonically and physiologically. We examined the distribution of retrograde and anterograde labeling after injecting tracers into one or more regions of ferret auditory cortex. Injections of different tracers at frequency-matched locations in the core areas, the primary auditory cortex (A1) and anterior auditory field (AAF), of the same animal revealed the presence of reciprocal connections with overlapping projections to and from discrete regions within the posterior pseudosylvian and suprasylvian fields (PPF and PSF), suggesting that these connections are frequency specific. In contrast, projections from the primary areas to the anterior dorsal field (ADF) on the anterior ectosylvian gyrus were scattered and non-overlapping, consistent with the non-tonotopic organization of this field. The relative strength of the projections originating in each of the primary fields differed, with A1 predominantly targeting the posterior bank fields PPF and PSF, which in turn project to the ventral posterior field, whereas AAF projects more heavily to the ADF, which then projects to the anteroventral field and the pseudosylvian sulcal cortex. These findings suggest that parallel anterior and posterior processing networks may exist, although the connections between different areas often overlap and interactions were present at all levels. PMID:25845831

  18. Influenza vaccination accelerates recovery of ferrets from lymphopenia.

    PubMed

    Music, Nedzad; Reber, Adrian J; Lipatov, Aleksandr S; Kamal, Ram P; Blanchfield, Kristy; Wilson, Jason R; Donis, Ruben O; Katz, Jacqueline M; York, Ian A

    2014-01-01

    Ferrets are a useful animal model for human influenza virus infections, since they closely mimic the pathogenesis of influenza viruses observed in humans. However, a lack of reagents, especially for flow cytometry of immune cell subsets, has limited research in this model. Here we use a panel of primarily species cross-reactive antibodies to identify ferret T cells, cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL), B cells, and granulocytes in peripheral blood. Following infection with seasonal H3N2 or H1N1pdm09 influenza viruses, these cell types showed rapid and dramatic changes in frequency, even though clinically the infections were mild. The loss of B cells and CD4 and CD8 T cells, and the increase in neutrophils, were especially marked 1-2 days after infection, when about 90% of CD8+ T cells disappeared from the peripheral blood. The different virus strains led to different kinetics of leukocyte subset alterations. Vaccination with homologous vaccine reduced clinical symptoms slightly, but led to a much more rapid return to normal leukocyte parameters. Assessment of clinical symptoms may underestimate the effectiveness of influenza vaccine in restoring homeostasis. PMID:24968319

  19. Cervical chordoma in a domestic ferret (Mustela putorius furo) with pulmonary metastasis.

    PubMed

    Frohlich, Jennifer R; Donovan, Taryn A

    2015-09-01

    A 4-year-old, male neutered domestic ferret (Mustela putorius furo) was evaluated for a mass in the left cervical region. The owner elected humane euthanasia, and an autopsy was performed, revealing a neoplasm with infiltration into the left cranial articular fovea of the atlas and cervical vertebrae, with regional compression of the spinal cord. Histologic evaluation was consistent with cervical chordoma. At autopsy, a left cranial lung lobe nodule was observed. Additional sectioning and histologic evaluation revealed multiple foci of metastatic chordoma at this site. A small focus of micrometastasis was also detected in a section from the right lung lobes. Chordoma is the most common musculoskeletal neoplasm of ferrets, arising from remnant fetal notochord. To our knowledge, pulmonary chordoma metastasis has not been previously reported in the ferret. This case demonstrates the potential for visceral metastasis of chordoma in the ferret, as has been reported in other species. PMID:26330397

  20. Evidence for distinct chronic wasting disease (CWD) strains in experimental CWD in ferrets

    PubMed Central

    Perrott, Matthew R.; Sigurdson, Christina J.; Mason, Gary L.

    2012-01-01

    Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is an evolving prion disease of cervids (deer, elk and moose) that has been recognized in North America and Korea. Infection of non-cervid reservoir or transport species in nature is not reported. However, the ferret (Mustela putorius furo) is susceptible to CWD after experimental inoculation. Here, we report that infection of ferrets with either of two ferret CWD isolates by various routes of exposure has revealed biologically distinct strain-like properties distinguished by different clinical progression and survival period. The isolates of ferret CWD were also differentiated by the distribution of the infectious prion protein (PrPCWD) in the brain and periphery, and by the proteinase K sensitivity of PrPCWD. These findings suggest that diversity in prion conformers exists in CWD-infected cervids. PMID:21918005

  1. Gall bladder rupture associated with cholecystitis in a domestic ferret (Mustela putorius).

    PubMed

    Huynh, M; Guillaumot, P; Hernandez, J; Ragetly, G

    2014-09-01

    A six-year-old neutered female albino ferret was presented with an acute episode of lethargy and anorexia. Clinical examination revealed marked cranial abdominal pain. A severe neutrophilic leukocytosis was present. Abdominal ultrasound was consistent with a diffuse peritonitis and severe bile duct inflammation. Cytology of the abdominal effusion revealed bile peritonitis. An exploratory laparotomy was performed and the gall bladder appeared inflamed with multiple perforations. A cholecystectomy was performed. The ferret recovered without complication. Bacteriological culture of the bile and gall bladder yielded a pure growth of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Histopathological analysis of the gall bladder and liver was consistent with a marked cholecystitis and cholangiohepatitis. On the basis of sensitivity testing, the ferret was treated with marbofloxacin for one month. No complications or reoccurrence were seen up to 1 year after the diagnosis. To the author's knowledge, this is the first report of bile peritonitis secondary to gall bladder rupture in a ferret. PMID:25168742

  2. Functional characterization of ferret CCL20 and CCR6 and identification of chemotactic inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Qin, Shulin; Klamar, Cynthia R; Fallert Junecko, Beth A; Craigo, Jodi; Fuller, Deborah H; Reinhart, Todd A

    2013-03-01

    CCL20 is currently the only known chemokine ligand for the receptor CCR6, and is a mucosal chemokine involved in normal and pathological immune responses. Although nucleotide sequence data are available for ccl20 and ccr6 sequences from multiple species, the ferret ccl20 and ccr6 sequences have not been determined. To increase our understanding of immune function in ferret models of infection and vaccination, we have used RT-PCR to obtain the ferret ccl20 and ccr6 cDNA sequences and functionally characterize the encoded proteins. The open reading frames of both genes were highly conserved across species and mostly closely related to canine sequences. For functional analyses, single cell clones expressing ferret CCR6 were generated, a ferret CCL20/mouse IgG(2a) fusion protein (fCCL20-mIgG(2a)) was produced, and fCCL20 was chemically synthesized. Cell clones expressing ferret CCR6 responded chemotactically to fCCL20-mIgG2a fusion protein and synthetic ferret CCL20. Chemotaxis inhibition studies identified the polyphenol epigallocatechin-3-gallate and the murine γ-herpesvirus 68 M3 protein as inhibitors of fCCL20. Surface plasmon resonance studies revealed that EGCG bound directly to fCCL20. These results provide molecular characterization of previously unreported ferret immune gene sequences and for the first time identify a broad-spectrum small molecule inhibitor of CCL20 and reveal CCL20 as a target for the herpesviral M3 protein. PMID:23360828

  3. Pyogranulomatous panophthalmitis with systemic coronavirus disease in a domestic ferret (Mustela putorius furo).

    PubMed

    Lindemann, Dana M; Eshar, David; Schumacher, Loni L; Almes, Kelli M; Rankin, Amy J

    2016-03-01

    A 15-month-old spayed female ferret (Mustela putorius furo) presented for lethargy and weight loss of 2 weeks duration. Upon physical examination, a 2-mm-diameter focal area of opacity was noted in the left cornea. In addition, the ferret was quiet, in poor body condition, and dehydrated. A complete blood count and plasma biochemistry revealed a severe nonregenerative anemia, azotemia, hyperproteinemia, hypoalbuminemia, and mild hyperphosphatemia and hyperchloremia. Urinalysis revealed hyposthenuria. Whole body radiographs showed multifocal thoracic nodular disease, splenomegaly, and renomegaly. Abdominal ultrasonography confirmed bilaterally enlarged kidneys, hypoechoic liver and spleen, and a caudal abdominal hypoechoic mobile nodule. The ferret was humanely euthanized, and a postmortem examination with subsequent histopathology showed multifocal necrotizing pyogranulomas in the lung, spleen, kidneys, mesenteric lymph nodes, and serosa of the duodenum. Pyogranulomatous panophthalmitis was diagnosed in the left eye. The multisystemic granulomatous lesions were suggestive of ferret systemic coronavirus (FRSCV). The presence of coronavirus in the left eye was confirmed by positive immunohistochemistry. Reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) on formalin fixed paraffin embedded tissue from the lung, spleen, and kidney was negative for FRSCV and positive for ferret enteric coronavirus (FRECV). Systemic coronavirus disease in ferrets closely resembles feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) in domestic cats, which can manifest with anterior uveitis, chorioretinitis, optic neuritis, and retinal detachment. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first report of ocular lesions in a ferret with systemic coronavirus disease, suggesting that ferrets presented with similar ocular lesions should also be evaluated for evidence of coronavirus infection. PMID:25918975

  4. Jaundice and bilirubinemia as manifestations of canine distemper in raccoons and ferrets

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kilham, L.; Habermann, R.T.; Herman, C.M.

    1956-01-01

    1) Two strains of distemper virus have been isolated from wild raccoons and one strain from ferrets. 2) All strains isolated have induced bilirubinemia in raccoons and ferrets. Many raccoons with bilirubinemia also had jaundice. 3) Identification of these strains as members of the canine distemper virus complex has been by clinical and pathological findings consistent with this diagnosis as well as by cross-immunity tests.

  5. Protecting Black-Footed Ferrets and Prairie Dogs Against Sylvatic Plague

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rocke, Tonie E.

    2008-01-01

    Scientists at the USGS National Wildlife Health Center (NWHC), in collaboration with colleagues at other federal agencies and the University of Wisconsin, are developing and testing vaccines that can be used to protect black-footed ferrets and prairie dogs against plague. The black-footed ferret is commonly regarded as the most endangered mammal in North America, and sylvatic plague is a major impediment to its recovery. The three prairie dog species (Gunnison's, black-tailed, and white-tailed prairie dogs), upon which the ferret depends for food and whose burrows they use for shelter, have been drastically reduced from historical levels, resulting in the near extinction of the ferret. All three species are considered 'at risk' and have been petitioned for listing as 'threatened' or 'endangered' by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). Additionally, the Utah prairie dog is listed as threatened and the Mexican prairie dog is considered endangered in Mexico. Like the black-footed ferret, all five prairie dog species are highly susceptible to plague and regularly experience outbreaks with devastating losses. Controlling plague outbreaks in prairie dogs and ferrets is a vital concern for ongoing recovery programs and conservation efforts for both species.

  6. Resource selection models are useful in predicting fine-scale distributions of black-footed ferrets in prairie dog colonies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Eads, David A.; Jachowski, David S.; Biggins, Dean E.; Livieri, Travis M.; Matchett, Marc R.; Millspaugh, Joshua J.

    2012-01-01

    Wildlife-habitat relationships are often conceptualized as resource selection functions (RSFs)—models increasingly used to estimate species distributions and prioritize habitat conservation. We evaluated the predictive capabilities of 2 black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes) RSFs developed on a 452-ha colony of black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) in the Conata Basin, South Dakota. We used the RSFs to project the relative probability of occurrence of ferrets throughout an adjacent 227-ha colony. We evaluated performance of the RSFs using ferret space use data collected via postbreeding spotlight surveys June–October 2005–2006. In home ranges and core areas, ferrets selected the predicted "very high" and "high" occurrence categories of both RSFs. Count metrics also suggested selection of these categories; for each model in each year, approximately 81% of ferret locations occurred in areas of very high or high predicted occurrence. These results suggest usefulness of the RSFs in estimating the distribution of ferrets throughout a black-tailed prairie dog colony. The RSFs provide a fine-scale habitat assessment for ferrets that can be used to prioritize releases of ferrets and habitat restoration for prairie dogs and ferrets. A method to quickly inventory the distribution of prairie dog burrow openings would greatly facilitate application of the RSFs.

  7. Diabetes mellitus in a black-footed ferret

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Carpenter, J.W.; Novilla, M.N.

    1977-01-01

    Diabetes mellitus was tentatively diagnosed in a black-footed ferret with polyuria, polydipsia, polyphagia, dehydration, and weight loss. Laboratory findings (marked hyperglycemia (724 mg/100 ml), glycosuria, and ketonuria) and the subsequent favorable response to insulin therapy confirmed the diagnosis. Although lesions were not observed in the pancreas, gross and histologic findings concomitant with diabetes mellitus included arteriosclerosis, with calcification of the aorta and other major vessels; mild necrotizing hepatitis; and mild proliferative glomerulonephritis. A perineal adenocarcinoma, with metastasis to an internal iliac lymph node, was an incidental finding. Special stains demonstrated adequate numbers of beta cell granules in the islets of Langerhans. Thus, the diabetes was apparently due to a lack of release of the synthesized insulin or to diminished effectiveness of the secreted insulin.

  8. Activity of radio-tagged black-footed ferrets

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Biggins, Dean E.; Shroeder, Max H.; Forrest, Steven C.; Richardson, Louise

    1986-01-01

    Activity of two radio-tagged black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) was investigated during October-November 1981 (an adult male monitored for 16 days), and during August-November 1982 (a young female monitored for 101 days). Aboveground activity of the male averaged 2.95 hr/night, 15% of the total time monitored. From 22 September to 5 November, aboveground activity of the female averaged 1.9 hours; 26% of the time she was stationary and 74% of the time she was moving. During August the juvenile female emerged at least once on 93% of the nights. She was least active in November. Both animals were primarily nocturnal (although daylight activity was not uncommon), and timing of nightly activity was similar, peaking from 0100 to 0359.

  9. Enzootic plague reduces black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes) survival in Montana

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Matchett, Marc R.; Biggins, Dean E.; Carlson, Valerie; Powell, Bradford; Rocke, Tonie E.

    2010-01-01

    Black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) require extensive prairie dog colonies (Cynomys spp.) to provide habitat and prey. Epizootic plague kills both prairie dogs and ferrets and is a major factor limiting recovery of the highly endangered ferret. In addition to epizootics, we hypothesized that enzootic plague, that is, presence of disease-causing Yersinia pestis without any noticeable prairie dog die off, may also affect ferret survival. We reduced risk of plague on portions of two ferret reintroduction areas by conducting flea control for 3 years. Beginning in 2004, about half of the ferrets residing on dusted and nondusted colonies were vaccinated against plague with an experimental vaccine (F1-V fusion protein). We evaluated 6-month reencounter rates (percentage of animals observed at the end of an interval that were known alive at the beginning of the interval), an index to survival, for ferrets in four treatment groups involving all combinations of vaccination and flea control. For captive-reared ferrets (115 individuals observed across 156 time intervals), reencounter rates were higher for vaccinates (0.44) than for nonvaccinates (0.23, p = 0.044) on colonies without flea control, but vaccination had no detectable effect on colonies with flea control (vaccinates = 0.41, nonvaccinates = 0.42, p = 0.754). Flea control resulted in higher reencounter rates for nonvaccinates (p = 0.026), but not for vaccinates (p = 0.508). The enhancement of survival due to vaccination or flea control supports the hypothesis that enzootic plague reduces ferret survival, even when there was no noticeable decline in prairie dog abundance. The collective effects of vaccination and flea control compel a conclusion that fleas are required for maintenance, and probably transmission, of plague at enzootic levels. Other studies have demonstrated similar effects of flea control on several species of prairie dogs and, when combined with this study, suggest

  10. Environmental enrichment affects adrenocortical stress responses in the endangered black-footed ferret

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Poessel, S.A.; Biggins, D.E.; Santymire, R.M.; Livieri, T.M.; Crooks, K.R.; Angeloni, L.

    2011-01-01

    Potential stressors of wildlife living in captivity, such as artificial living conditions and frequent human contact, may lead to a higher occurrence of disease and reduced reproductive function. One successful method used by wildlife managers to improve general well-being is the provision of environmental enrichment, which is the practice of providing animals under managed care with environmental stimuli. The black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes) is a highly-endangered carnivore species that was rescued from extinction by removal of the last remaining individuals from the wild to begin an ex situ breeding program. Our goal was to examine the effect of environmental enrichment on adrenocortical activity in ferrets by monitoring fecal glucocorticoid metabolites (FGM). Results demonstrated that enrichment lowered FGM in juvenile male ferrets, while increasing it in adult females; enrichment had no effect on FGM in juvenile females and adult males. These results correspond with our findings that juvenile males interacted more with the enrichment items than did adult females. However, we did not detect an impact of FGM on the incidence of disease or on the ability of ferrets to become reproductive during the following breeding season. We conclude that an environmental enrichment program could benefit captive juvenile male ferrets by reducing adrenocortical activity. ?? 2011 Elsevier Inc.

  11. Reproductive failure in mink and ferrets after intravenous or oral inoculation of Campylobacter jejuni.

    PubMed Central

    Bell, J A; Manning, D D

    1990-01-01

    Four pregnant mink and seven pregnant ferrets, including five with previous exposure and specific antibody, were injected intravenously with 10(8)-10(10) colony-forming units of Campylobacter jejuni. All 11 pregnancies failed 1-16 days after infection, with results ranging from fetal resorption to expulsion of dead or premature living kits. In every case, uterine contents (placenta, uterine fluid and/or kits) were culture-positive for C. jejuni. Three pregnant mink and nine pregnant ferrets, including four with previous exposure and antibody, were fed 10(9)-10(11) C. jejuni. Two of the mink aborted; kits of all three were culture-positive, but those of one female survived. Seven of the nine ferrets aborted, with two having culture-positive uterine contents. None of 28 uninfected ferret control pregnancies ended in abortion. The most prominent histological feature observed was severe placentitis, which appears to be a more likely cause of Campylobacter-induced abortion than direct pathogenic effects on infected kits. These results suggest that infection of mink or ferrets with C. jejuni during pregnancy poses a serious risk of reproductive failure, even for previously exposed females. Images Fig. 1. PMID:2249178

  12. Anatomic and physiological characteristics of the ferret lateral rectus muscle and abducens nucleus.

    PubMed

    Bishop, Keith N; McClung, J Ross; Goldberg, Stephen J; Shall, Mary S

    2007-11-01

    The ferret has become a popular model for physiological and neurodevelopmental research in the visual system. We believed it important, therefore, to study extraocular whole muscle as well as single motor unit physiology in the ferret. Using extracellular stimulation, 62 individual motor units in the ferret abducens nucleus were evaluated for their contractile characteristics. Of these motor units, 56 innervated the lateral rectus (LR) muscle alone, while 6 were split between the LR and retractor bulbi (RB) muscle slips. In addition to individual motor units, the whole LR muscle was evaluated for twitch, tetanic peak force, and fatigue. The abducens nucleus motor units showed a twitch contraction time of 15.4 ms, a mean twitch tension of 30.2 mg, and an average fusion frequency of 154 Hz. Single-unit fatigue index averaged 0.634. Whole muscle twitch contraction time was 16.7 ms with a mean twitch tension of 3.32 g. The average fatigue index of whole muscle was 0.408. The abducens nucleus was examined with horseradish peroxidase conjugated with the subunit B of cholera toxin histochemistry and found to contain an average of 183 motoneurons. Samples of LR were found to contain an average of 4,687 fibers, indicating an LR innervation ratio of 25.6:1. Compared with cat and squirrel monkeys, the ferret LR motor units contract more slowly yet more powerfully. The functional visual requirements of the ferret may explain these fundamental differences. PMID:17717110

  13. Evaluation of a dry powder delivery system for laninamivir in a ferret model of influenza infection.

    PubMed

    Panozzo, Jacqueline; Oh, Ding Yuan; Margo, Kenneth; Morton, David A; Piedrafita, David; Mosse, Jennifer; Hurt, Aeron C

    2015-08-01

    Laninamivir is a long-acting antiviral requiring only a single dose for the treatment of influenza infection, making it an attractive alternative to existing neuraminidase inhibitors that require multiple doses over many days. Like zanamivir, laninamivir is administered to patients by inhalation of dry powder. To date, studies investigating the effectiveness of laninamivir or zanamivir in a ferret model of influenza infection have administered the drug in a solubilised form. To better mimic the delivery action of laninamivir in humans, we assessed the applicability of a Dry Powder Insufflator™ (DPI) as a delivery method for laninamivir octanoate (LO) in ferrets to determine the effectiveness of this drug in reducing influenza A and B virus infections. In vitro characterisation of the DPI showed that both the small particle sized LO (0.7-6.0μm diameter) and the large particle sized lactose carrier (20-100μm diameter) were effectively discharged. However, LO delivered to ferrets via the DPI prior to infection with either A(H1N1)pdm09 or B viruses had a limited effect on nasal inflammation, clinical symptoms and viral shedding compared to placebo. Our preliminary findings indicate the feasibility of administering powder drugs into ferrets, but a better understanding of the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of LO in ferrets following delivery by the DPI is warranted prior to further studies. PMID:26022199

  14. The effect of rearing methods on survival of reintroduced black-footed ferrets

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Biggins, D.E.; Godbey, J.L.; Hanebury, L.R.; Luce, B.; Marinari, P.E.; Matchett, M.R.; Vargas, A.

    1998-01-01

    We estimated minimum survival rates for 282 young-of-year, captive-reared, black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) reintroduced into prairie dog (Cynomys spp.) colonies in Wyoming, Montana, and South Dakota. We used night surveys with spotlights to locate ferrets about 1 month and 9 months postrelease. We modeled minimum survival rates using gender, year, site, and 4 rearing methods. Minimum survival rates were highest (30% for 1 month, 20% for 9 months) for ferrets reared from early ages in outdoor pens with simulated prairie dog habitat; survival was lowest for cage-reared ferrets released without pen experience (11% for 1 month, 2% for 9 months). Rearing method and year influenced 1-month survival in a comparison of 3 levels of pen experience (pen rearing as defined above, transfer of kits from zoos to pen facilities at age 60-90 days, transfer at age >90 days) during releases in 1994-95 in Montana. Higher survival was associated with intensive management of coyotes (Canis latrans) in 1995. Survival was not different (P > 0.05) between sites or sexes, regardless of model. We recommend routine use of outdoor pens for prerelease conditioning of black-footed ferret kits.

  15. Influence of prerelease experience on reintroduced black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Biggins, D.E.; Vargas, A.; Godbey, J.L.; Anderson, S.H.

    1999-01-01

    Captive breeding is increasingly being used to create supplies of endangered animals for release into natural habitats, but rearing strategies vary and debates arise over which methods are most efficient. We assessed postrelease behaviors and survival of three groups of black-footed ferrets, each with different prerelease experience. Eighteen ferret kits ???60 days of age were moved with their dams from cages to 80-m2 outdoor pens with prairie dog burrows. These animals were compared to animals reared in standard cages (n = 72), some of which were given experience killing prairie dogs (n = 32). Ferrets were released onto white-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys leucurus) colonies in Wyoming, USA, in fall, 1992. Radio-tagged cage-reared ferrets made longer nightly moves and dispersed further from release sites than their pen-reared counterparts. The band return rate was 4-fold higher for pen-reared animals than for cage-reared animals during surveys conducted about 1 month after release. We recommend routine use of quasi-natural outdoor pens for prerelease conditioning of black-footed ferrets.

  16. Environmental enrichment affects adrenocortical stress responses in the endangered black-footed ferret.

    PubMed

    Poessel, Sharon A; Biggins, Dean E; Santymire, Rachel M; Livieri, Travis M; Crooks, Kevin R; Angeloni, Lisa

    2011-07-01

    Potential stressors of wildlife living in captivity, such as artificial living conditions and frequent human contact, may lead to a higher occurrence of disease and reduced reproductive function. One successful method used by wildlife managers to improve general well-being is the provision of environmental enrichment, which is the practice of providing animals under managed care with environmental stimuli. The black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes) is a highly-endangered carnivore species that was rescued from extinction by removal of the last remaining individuals from the wild to begin an ex situ breeding program. Our goal was to examine the effect of environmental enrichment on adrenocortical activity in ferrets by monitoring fecal glucocorticoid metabolites (FGM). Results demonstrated that enrichment lowered FGM in juvenile male ferrets, while increasing it in adult females; enrichment had no effect on FGM in juvenile females and adult males. These results correspond with our findings that juvenile males interacted more with the enrichment items than did adult females. However, we did not detect an impact of FGM on the incidence of disease or on the ability of ferrets to become reproductive during the following breeding season. We conclude that an environmental enrichment program could benefit captive juvenile male ferrets by reducing adrenocortical activity. PMID:21549121

  17. Relationship between haemagglutination inhibition titre and immunity to influenza in ferrets.

    PubMed

    Wikramaratna, Paul S; Rambaut, Andrew

    2015-10-01

    Our understanding of the antigenic evolution of the human influenza virus is chiefly derived from experiments in which serum from influenza infected ferrets is tested against panels of virus isolates in the haemagglutination inhibition (HI) assay. The interpretation of these results has been much aided by the development of antigenic mapping techniques, which suppose that the antigenic distance between two different influenza viruses is directly proportional to their fold-difference in titre in this assay. Yet, antigenic distance is not necessarily the same as cross-protection, and high levels of protection have been observed in humans against strains to which they have low HI titres. However, no study has previously addressed the relationship between HI titre and cross-protection in ferrets: the standard animal model. This study fills this gap by analysing published data where pre-challenge HI titres are available for individual ferrets, and post-challenge outcomes have been recorded. Ultimately, this work confirms that it is the absolute, rather than relative, HI titre that determines the extent of immunity and that there is a threshold HI titre beyond which ferrets are completely protected from infection. Nevertheless, this titre is much higher in ferrets than has been suggested for humans. Further, we are consequently able to show that using distance between strains within an antigenic map to predict cross-protection between influenza viruses can be misleading. PMID:26342848

  18. Relationship between haemagglutination inhibition titre and immunity to influenza in ferrets

    PubMed Central

    Wikramaratna, Paul S.; Rambaut, Andrew

    2015-01-01

    Our understanding of the antigenic evolution of the human influenza virus is chiefly derived from experiments in which serum from influenza infected ferrets is tested against panels of virus isolates in the haemagglutination inhibition (HI) assay. The interpretation of these results has been much aided by the development of antigenic mapping techniques, which suppose that the antigenic distance between two different influenza viruses is directly proportional to their fold-difference in titre in this assay. Yet, antigenic distance is not necessarily the same as cross-protection, and high levels of protection have been observed in humans against strains to which they have low HI titres. However, no study has previously addressed the relationship between HI titre and cross-protection in ferrets: the standard animal model. This study fills this gap by analysing published data where pre-challenge HI titres are available for individual ferrets, and post-challenge outcomes have been recorded. Ultimately, this work confirms that it is the absolute, rather than relative, HI titre that determines the extent of immunity and that there is a threshold HI titre beyond which ferrets are completely protected from infection. Nevertheless, this titre is much higher in ferrets than has been suggested for humans. Further, we are consequently able to show that using distance between strains within an antigenic map to predict cross-protection between influenza viruses can be misleading. PMID:26342848

  19. Natural A(H1N1)pdm09 influenza virus infection case in a pet ferret in Taiwan.

    PubMed

    Lin, Hui-Ting; Wang, Ching-Ho; Wu, Wen-Ling; Chi, Chau-Hwa; Wang, Lih Chiann

    2014-11-01

    Ferrets have demonstrated high susceptibility to the influenza virus. This study discusses a natural 2009 pandemic influenza A (H1N1) (A(H1N1)pdm09) virus infection in a pet ferret (Mustela putorius furo) identified in Taiwan in 2013. The ferret was in close contact with family members who had recently experienced an influenza-like illness (ILI). The ferret nasal swab showed positive results for influenza A virus using one-step RT-PCR. The virus was isolated and the phylogenetic analysis indicated that all of the eight segmented genes were closely related to the human A(H1N1)pdm09 virus linage isolated in Taiwan. This study may provide a perspective view on natural influenza A virus transmission from the local human population into pet ferrets. PMID:25597188

  20. Black-footed ferret areas of activity during late summer and fall at Meeteetse, Wyoming

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fagerstone, K.A.; Biggins, D.E.

    2011-01-01

    Radiotelemetry was used during 1983 and 1984 to collect information on short-term areas of activity for black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) near Meeteetse, Wyoming. This population ultimately provided ferrets for the captive-breeding program that bred and released offspring into the wild since 1991. We fitted 5 adult ferrets and 13 juveniles with radiotransmitters and followed their movements during late summer and fall. Adult males had 7-day areas of activity that were >6 times as large as those of adult females. Activity areas of adult males varied little in coverage or location on a weekly basis, but females sequentially shifted their areas. Unlike juvenile females, juvenile males tended to leave their natal colonies. ?? 2011 American Society of Mammalogists.

  1. FATAL GASTRIC DILATION IN TWO ADULT BLACK-FOOTED FERRETS (MUSTELA NIGRIPES).

    PubMed

    Hinton, Jenna D; Aitken-Palmer, Copper; Joyner, Priscilla H; Ware, Lisa; Walsh, Timothy F

    2016-03-01

    Acute gastric dilation resulting in death was identified in two adult black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) housed at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia. Both individuals were adult males (3 and 5 yr) and previously clinically healthy prior to the event. The etiology of gastric dilation in both cases could not be definitively determined, and necropsy revealed severe cardiovascular compromise secondary to bloat. Limited literature is available regarding a syndrome of this type in adult black-footed ferrets. Differential diagnoses considered included gastric dilatation volvulus (GDV), severe gastric distention of unknown origin, and gastric outflow obstruction. Given the severity of this syndrome and the findings in these two cases, acute gastric dilation should be considered in black-footed ferrets presenting with acute abdominal distention, respiratory distress, and cardiovascular compromise. PMID:27010305

  2. Mechanisms of intrinsic tone in ferret vascular smooth muscle.

    PubMed Central

    Pawlowski, J; Morgan, K G

    1992-01-01

    1. Circular strips from ferret aorta were used to investigate the mechanism of the intrinsic basal tone. 2. Determinations of stiffness using small sinusoidal length changes showed an abolition of both stiffness and force with cooling, but the temperature dependence of the change in active stiffness did not parallel that of force. At temperatures below 22 degrees C there appeared to be a relatively large population of attached, non-force-generating cross-bridges, indicating that separate mechanisms are involved in regulating cross-bridge attachment and the force per cross-bridge. 3. Active intrinsic tone was not affected by removal of extracellular Ca2+ or removal of endothelium. 4. Intracellular ionized Ca2+ concentrations ([Ca2+]i) as measured with the photoprotein aequorin, did not significantly change when intrinsic tone was abolished by cooling. 5. Myosin light chain phosphorylation, as measured by 2-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, significantly decreased on cooling, but the temperature dependence of phosphorylation did not parallel that of force. The change in phosphorylation in the absence of a change in [Ca2+]i suggests the presence of a constitutively active Ca(2+)-independent form of myosin light chain kinase. 6. Maximal concentrations of staurosporine inhibited but did not eliminate intrinsic tone. 7. Changes in myosin light chain kinase and protein kinase C activities may explain part but not all of the intrinsic tone. PMID:1593466

  3. Modeling individual differences in ferret external ear transfer functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schnupp, Jan W. H.; Booth, John; King, Andrew J.

    2003-04-01

    Individual variations in head and outer ear size, as well as growth of these structures during development, can markedly alter the values of the binaural and monaural cues which form the basis for auditory localization. This study investigated individual differences in the directional component of the head-related transfer function of both adult and juvenile ferrets. In line with previous studies in humans and cats, intersubject spectral differences were found to be reduced by scaling one of the directional transfer functions on a log-frequency axis. The optimal scale factor correlated most highly with pinna cavity height. Optimal frequency scaling reduced interear spectral difference equally well for adult-juvenile comparisons as for comparisons between pairs of adult ears. This illustrates that the developmental changes in localization cue values should be at least partly predictable on the basis of the expected growth rate of the outer ear structures. Predictions of interaural time differences (ITDs) were also derived from the physical dimensions of the head. ITDs were found to be poorly fitted by the spherical head model, while much better predictions could be derived from a model based on von Mises spherical basis functions. Together, these findings show how more accurate estimates of spatial cue values can be made from knowledge of the dimensions of the head and outer ears, and may facilitate the generation of virtual acoustic space stimuli in the absence of acoustical measurements from individual subjects.

  4. Evaluation of a black-footed ferret resource utilization function model

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Eads, D.A.; Millspaugh, J.J.; Biggins, D.E.; Jachowski, D.S.; Livieri, T.M.

    2011-01-01

    Resource utilization function (RUF) models permit evaluation of potential habitat for endangered species; ideally such models should be evaluated before use in management decision-making. We evaluated the predictive capabilities of a previously developed black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes) RUF. Using the population-level RUF, generated from ferret observations at an adjacent yet distinct colony, we predicted the distribution of ferrets within a black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colony in the Conata Basin, South Dakota, USA. We evaluated model performance, using data collected during post-breeding spotlight surveys (2007-2008) by assessing model agreement via weighted compositional analysis and count-metrics. Compositional analysis of home range use and colony-level availability, and core area use and home range availability, demonstrated ferret selection of the predicted Very high and High occurrence categories in 2007 and 2008. Simple count-metrics corroborated these findings and suggested selection of the Very high category in 2007 and the Very high and High categories in 2008. Collectively, these results suggested that the RUF was useful in predicting occurrence and intensity of space use of ferrets at our study site, the 2 objectives of the RUF. Application of this validated RUF would increase the resolution of habitat evaluations, permitting prediction of the distribution of ferrets within distinct colonies. Additional model evaluation at other sites, on other black-tailed prairie dog colonies of varying resource configuration and size, would increase understanding of influences upon model performance and the general utility of the RUF. ?? 2011 The Wildlife Society.

  5. Histology and immunohistochemistry of severe inflammatory bowel disease versus lymphoma in the ferret (Mustela putorius furo).

    PubMed

    Watson, Megan K; Cazzini, Paola; Mayer, Joerg; Gottdenker, Nicole; Reavill, Drury; Parry, Nicola; Fox, James G; Sakamoto, Kaori

    2016-05-01

    Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a common disorder of ferrets (Mustela putorius furo) that may progress to lymphoma. Although routine histology is used to distinguish between these diseases, misclassifications may occur. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) is commonly used to distinguish between IBD and lymphoma in small animals. The objective of our study was to determine the agreement in the diagnosis reached solely using hematoxylin and eosin (HE)-stained, full-thickness sections versus using a combination of HE and IHC. Enteric sections from 44 ferrets previously diagnosed with IBD or intestinal lymphoma and 3 control ferrets were analyzed by pathologists with expertise in ferrets. A pathologist blinded to the original diagnosis assessed the same HE-stained sections. Analysis was then repeated using HE sections in parallel with sections stained using antibodies against CD3 and CD79a. No significant difference was found between the original HE diagnosis and the HE diagnosis reached by the blinded pathologist (p = 0.91) or between the blinded pathologist's HE versus HE with IHC diagnosis (p = 0.16). In the 2 cases where disagreement was present, IHC was pivotal in reaching a final diagnosis. There was no significant age (p = 0.29) difference between diagnoses; however, significantly more male ferrets were affected with IBD than females (p = 0.004). Immunophenotype of the lymphoma was not correlated with predilection for location in the intestinal wall (p = 0.44). Results suggest that although IHC is not necessary to distinguish IBD from intestinal lymphoma in ferrets, it can be useful a definitive diagnosis in cases of severe IBD. PMID:27026106

  6. Digging behaviors of radio-tagged black-footed ferrets near Meeteetse, Wyoming, 1981-1984

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Biggins, Dean E.; Hanebury, Louis R.; Fagerstone, Kathleen A.

    2012-01-01

    Intensive radio-tracking during August–December enabled us to collect detailed information on digging behaviors of a small sample of black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) occupying colonies of white-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys leucurus). A sample of 33 prairie dogs, also radio-tagged, progressively ceased aboveground activity during late summer and fall, presumably as they descended into burrows to hibernate. Most of the time ferrets spent digging was in November–December when >95% of the radio-tagged prairie dogs were inactive, suggesting that digging was primarily to excavate hibernating prey. Although 43.9% of the burrow openings were estimated to be in large mounds, which are common on colonies of white-tailed prairie dogs, all of a sample of 17 deposits of soil (diggings) made by ferrets were excavated at small mounds or nonmounded openings. The average duration of 23 nocturnal sessions of digging by ferrets was 112.2 minutes. A digging session consisted of multiple bouts of soil movement typically lasting about 5 min, and sessions were separated by pauses above- or belowground lasting several minutes. Bouts of moving soil from a burrow involved round-trips of 12.5–30.3 s to remove an average of 35 cm3 of soil per trip. These digging bouts are energetically costly for ferrets. One female moved 16.8 kg of soil an estimated 3.3 m during bouts having a cumulative duration of 178 minutes, removing a soil plug estimated to be 178 cm long. Increasing evidence suggests that some behaviors of ferrets and prairie dogs are coevolutionary responses between this highly specialized predator and its prairie dog prey.

  7. Minimizing Trauma to the Upper Airway: A Ferret Model of Neonatal Intubation

    PubMed Central

    Kircher, Sara S; Murray, Len E; Juliano, Michael L

    2009-01-01

    Our objective was to determine whether an adult ferret can be intubated as many as 10 times per training session without resulting in trauma to the upper airway. In this program, 8 male ferrets rotated through intubation laboratories, limiting the use of each animal to once every 3 mo. Animals were examined by the veterinary staff after intubations to assess for trauma to upper airway tissue. Each examination was given a trauma grade of 0 for no visible signs of trauma, 1 if erythema of the larynx was present, 2 if visible excoriation of the mucus membranes was present, and 3 if bleeding (frank hemorrhage) was observed. The number of intubation attempts was restricted to 10 per animal per training session. A total of 170 intubations were completed on the ferrets during a 12-mo period. The average number of intubations per laboratory was 8.1 intubations per ferret. In addition, 1.8% of the intubations resulted in erythema (score, 1) after training, and 0.6% of the intubations resulted in excoriation (score, 2). Frank hemorrhage (score, 3) was not noted. The overall percentage of intubations resulting in any trauma during a training session was 0.02%. None of the animals have experienced any major complications to date. This ongoing training program has been used to teach neonatal intubation skills to emergency medicine residents for the past 12 mo. Ensuring the health and safety of the ferrets was paramount. Our results suggest that as many as 10 intubation attempts per session can be performed safely on each ferret without causing excessive trauma. PMID:19930827

  8. Auditory gap-in-noise detection behavior in ferrets and humans.

    PubMed

    Gold, Joshua R; Nodal, Fernando R; Peters, Fabian; King, Andrew J; Bajo, Victoria M

    2015-08-01

    The precise encoding of temporal features of auditory stimuli by the mammalian auditory system is critical to the perception of biologically important sounds, including vocalizations, speech, and music. In this study, auditory gap-detection behavior was evaluated in adult pigmented ferrets (Mustelid putorius furo) using bandpassed stimuli designed to widely sample the ferret's behavioral and physiological audiogram. Animals were tested under positive operant conditioning, with psychometric functions constructed in response to gap-in-noise lengths ranging from 3 to 270 ms. Using a modified version of this gap-detection task, with the same stimulus frequency parameters, we also tested a cohort of normal-hearing human subjects. Gap-detection thresholds were computed from psychometric curves transformed according to signal detection theory, revealing that for both ferrets and humans, detection sensitivity was worse for silent gaps embedded within low-frequency noise compared with high-frequency or broadband stimuli. Additional psychometric function analysis of ferret behavior indicated effects of stimulus spectral content on aspects of behavioral performance related to decision-making processes, with animals displaying improved sensitivity for broadband gap-in-noise detection. Reaction times derived from unconditioned head-orienting data and the time from stimulus onset to reward spout activation varied with the stimulus frequency content and gap length, as well as the approach-to-target choice and reward location. The present study represents a comprehensive evaluation of gap-detection behavior in ferrets, while similarities in performance with our human subjects confirm the use of the ferret as an appropriate model of temporal processing. PMID:26052794

  9. Anatomy and Disorders of the Oral Cavity of Ferrets and Other Exotic Companion Carnivores.

    PubMed

    Johnson-Delaney, Cathy A

    2016-09-01

    Exotic companion carnivores such as ferrets, skunks, fennec foxes, coatimundis, raccoons, and kinkajous presented in clinical practice share similar dental anatomy, function, and diseases. The domestic ferret serves as the representative species for this group with its anatomy, diseases, and conditions described in detail. Dog and cat guidelines for veterinary and home care seem to be relevant and applicable, including dental endodontic procedures. Annual or biannual dental examinations and prophylaxis are recommended. The most common dental and oral problems are tooth wear, plaque and calculus, teeth fractures, gingivitis and periodontitis, tooth loss, abscesses, oral ulceration, tonsillitis, and neoplasia. PMID:27497211

  10. Rhinitis and disseminated disease in a ferret (Mustela putorius furo) naturally infected with Sarcocystis neurona.

    PubMed

    Britton, Ann P; Dubey, J P; Rosenthal, Benjamin M

    2010-04-19

    Naturally occurring Sarcocystis neurona infection in a ferret (Mustela putorius furo) with rhinitis and disseminated disease are described for the first time. The ferret exhibited severe rhinitis with intra-lesional S. neurona merozoites and schizonts. Diagnosis was confirmed immunohistochemically by staining with S. neurona-specific antibodies, and by phylogenetic analyses of conserved and variable portions of nuclear ribosomal DNA. On the basis of intense schizogony in the nasal mucosa, we propose the possibility of an olfactory nerve pathway route of infection for S. neurona meningoencephalitis. PMID:20106599

  11. Nebulized Live-Attenuated Influenza Vaccine Provides Protection in Ferrets at a Reduced Dose

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Jennifer Humberd; Papania, Mark; Knaus, Darin; Brooks, Paula; Haas, Debra L.; Mair, Raydel; Barry, James; Tompkins, S. Mark; Tripp, Ralph A.

    2011-01-01

    Live-attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) is delivered to vaccine recipients using a nasal spray syringe. LAIV delivered by this method is immunogenic at current doses; however, improvements in nasal delivery might allow for significant dose reduction. We investigated LAIV vaccination in ferrets using a high efficiency nebulizer designed for nasal delivery. LAIV nasal aerosol elicited high levels of serum neutralizing antibodies and protected ferrets from homologous virus challenge at conventional (107 TCID50) and significantly reduced (103 TCID50) doses. Aerosol LAIV also provided a significant level of subtype-specific cross protection. These results demonstrate the dose-sparing potential of nebulizer-based nasal aerosol LAIV delivery. PMID:22075083

  12. Vestibular syndrome due to a choroid plexus papilloma in a ferret.

    PubMed

    van Zeeland, Yvonne; Schoemaker, Nico; Passon-Vastenburg, Maartje; Kik, Marja

    2009-01-01

    A 6-year-old, castrated male ferret (Mustela putorius furo) was presented with progressive neurological signs consisting of a right-sided head tilt and ataxia. Neurological examination revealed hemiparesis and absence of proprioception on the right side, consistent with central vestibular syndrome. Measurement of blood glucose excluded hypoglycemia due to insulinoma. Contrast-enhanced computed tomography revealed the presence of an intracranial mass, consistent with either granuloma or neoplasia. Palliative treatment with prednisolone yielded no improvement. At postmortem examination, a final diagnosis of a choroid plexus papilloma originating from the fourth ventricle was made. This is the first report of such a tumor in a ferret. PMID:19258423

  13. Proceedings of the Black-footed Ferret & Prairie Dog Workshop, September 4-6, 1973

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Linder, R.L., (compiler); Hillman, C.N., (compiler)

    1973-01-01

    Both State and Federal agencies have been working with the black-footed ferret and prairie dog during the past few years. Much of the work is not extensive enough for publication in scientific journals and is, therefore, not reported. The objective of this Workshop was to bring workers together for discussion of the current status of the two species. Each of the Conservation Departments in the states and provinces within the former range of the prairie dog and the black-footed ferret was invited to participate. Federal agencies were also invited to report on current programs in progress on public lands.

  14. Production of infectious ferret hepatitis E virus in a human hepatocarcinoma cell line PLC/PRF/5.

    PubMed

    Li, Tian-Cheng; Yoshizaki, Sayaka; Yang, Tingting; Kataoka, Michiyo; Nakamura, Tomofumi; Ami, Yasushi; Yuriko, Suzaki; Takeda, Naokazu; Wakita, Takaji

    2016-02-01

    A strain of ferret hepatitis E virus (HEV), sF4370, isolated from an imported ferret was used to inoculate a human hepatocarcinoma cell line, PLC/PRF/5. The virus genome and capsid protein were detected in the cell culture supernatant. Immunofluorescence microscopy indicated that the capsid protein was located in the cytoplasm. The virus particles were purified from the culture supernatant by sucrose gradient ultracentrifugation. The capsid protein with molecular mass of ∼72 kDa was detected in fractions with density of 1.150-1.162 g/cm(3), and particles of ferret HEV was associated with cell membrane. The virus recovered from the supernatant was serially passaged with PLC/PRF/5 cells and had the ability to infect ferrets by oral inoculation, indicating that the ferret HEV grown in PLC/PRF/5 was infectious. The establishment of ferret HEV cell culture system might be useful to understand the life cycle, mechanism of infection and replication of ferret HEV. PMID:26763355

  15. Black-footed ferrets and recreational shooting influence the attributes of black-tailed prairie dog burrows

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Biggins, Dean E.; Ramakrishnan, Shantini; Goldberg, Amanda R.; Eads, David A.

    2012-01-01

    Black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) plug burrows occupied by black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes), and they also plug burrows to entomb dead prairie dogs. We further evaluated these phenomena by sampling connectivity and plugging of burrow openings on prairie dog colonies occupied by ferrets, colonies where recreational shooting was allowed, and colonies with neither shooting nor ferrets. We counted burrow openings on line surveys and within plots, classified surface plugging, and used an air blower to examine subsurface connectivity. Colonies with ferrets had lower densities of openings, fewer connected openings (suggesting increased subsurface plugging), and more surface plugs compared to colonies with no known ferrets. Colonies with recreational shooting had the lowest densities of burrow openings, and line-survey data suggested colonies with shooting had intermediate rates of surface plugging. The extent of surface and subsurface plugging could have consequences for the prairie dog community by changing air circulation and escape routes of burrow systems and by altering energetic relationships. Burrow plugging might reduce prairie dogs' risk of predation by ferrets while increasing risk of predation by American badgers (Taxidea taxus); however, the complexity of the trade-off is increased if plugging increases the risk of predation on ferrets by badgers. Prairie dogs expend more energy plugging and digging when ferrets or shooting are present, and ferrets increase their energy expenditures when they dig to remove those plugs. Microclimatic differences in plugged burrow systems may play a role in flea ecology and persistence of the flea-borne bacterium that causes plague (Yersinia pestis).

  16. The sparseness of neuronal responses in ferret primary visual cortex.

    PubMed

    Tolhurst, David J; Smyth, Darragh; Thompson, Ian D

    2009-02-25

    Various arguments suggest that neuronal coding of natural sensory stimuli should be sparse (i.e., individual neurons should respond rarely but should respond reliably). We examined sparseness of visual cortical neurons in anesthetized ferret to flashed natural scenes. Response behavior differed widely between neurons. The median firing rate of 4.1 impulses per second was slightly higher than predicted from consideration of metabolic load. Thirteen percent of neurons (12 of 89) responded to <5% of the images, but one-half responded to >25% of images. Multivariate analysis of the range of sparseness values showed that 67% of the variance was accounted for by differing response patterns to moving gratings. Repeat presentation of images showed that response variance for natural images exaggerated sparseness measures; variance was scaled with mean response, but with a lower Fano factor than for the responses to moving gratings. This response variability and the "soft" sparse responses (Rehn and Sommer, 2007) raise the question of what constitutes a reliable neuronal response and imply parallel signaling by multiple neurons. We investigated whether the temporal structure of responses might be reliable enough to give additional information about natural scenes. Poststimulus time histogram shape was similar for "strong" and "weak" stimuli, with no systematic change in first-spike latency with stimulus strength. The variance of first-spike latency for repeat presentations of the same image was greater than the latency variance between images. In general, responses to flashed natural scenes do not seem compatible with a sparse encoding in which neurons fire rarely but reliably. PMID:19244512

  17. Cytological analysis of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid acquired by bronchoscopy in healthy ferrets: A pilot study

    PubMed Central

    Bercier, Marjorie; Langlois, Isabelle; Dunn, Marilyn; Hélie, Pierre; Burns, Patrick; Gara-Boivin, Carolyn

    2016-01-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate the normal cytological evaluation of bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid in healthy adult ferrets (N = 12). These ferrets underwent bronchoscopy and BAL using sterile saline [1.5 mL/kg body weight (BW)]. Percentage of fluid recovered, total leukocyte count, differential leukocyte count, and cell count of the epithelial lining fluid (ELF) were determined. The mean percentage of lavage volume recovered from the right lung and left lung were 67.8 ± 14.9% and 69.7 ± 20.0%, respectively. Gender (P = 0.12) and weight (P = 0.17) did not significantly affect the mean percentage of recovered volume. The mean percentage of recovered volume (P = 0.47) and the mean leukocyte count (P = 0.17) from the right and left lung were not significantly different. Macrophages were the main leukocyte component of the lavages, followed by neutrophils, lymphocytes, and eosinophils. The mean proportion of ELF in BAL fluid was 9.3 ± 3.7% v/v. Bronchoscopy is clinically useful for collecting good quality BAL samples for cytological analysis in ferrets. The leucocyte differential was established, which may help veterinarians to make better clinical decisions when treating respiratory disease. Further studies are required with a larger group in order to establish the healthy reference intervals for BAL values in ferrets. PMID:26733735

  18. Ferrets as sentinels of the presence of pathogenic Cryptococcus species in the Mediterranean environment.

    PubMed

    Morera, Neus; Hagen, Ferry; Juan-Sallés, Carles; Artigas, Carlos; Patricio, Rui; Serra, Juan Ignacio; Colom, Ma Francisca

    2014-08-01

    Cryptococcus gattii is a pathogenic environmental yeast that is considered to be emerging in different areas of the world including the Mediterranean Basin. Exposure to infection might be more likely in animals than in human beings, given their closer relationship with the natural habitat of the yeast, vegetation and soil. Thus, animals, and especially pets, can act as indicators of the presence of this yeast in a determined area. Domestic ferrets (Mustela putorius furo) have become common pets in the past 10-20 years. Their natural behavior of sniffing around and going inside narrow spaces makes them prone to contact with decaying organic matter and soil, the substrate for Cryptococcus species. This study describes two cases of cryptococcosis in ferrets in the Iberian Peninsula and Balearic Islands and documents a relationship of ferret cryptococcosis with environmental isolates in the same locations. Here, we emphasize the importance of how an adequate identification and environmental search of the yeast leads to a better understanding of the epidemiology of cryptococcosis and suggests ferrets may act as sentinels for this fungal disease. PMID:24962111

  19. Using the Ferret as an Animal Model for Investigating Influenza Antiviral Effectiveness

    PubMed Central

    Oh, Ding Y.; Hurt, Aeron C.

    2016-01-01

    The concern of the emergence of a pandemic influenza virus has sparked an increased effort toward the development and testing of novel influenza antivirals. Central to this is the animal model of influenza infection, which has played an important role in understanding treatment effectiveness and the effect of antivirals on host immune responses. Among the different animal models of influenza, ferrets can be considered the most suitable for antiviral studies as they display most of the human-like symptoms following influenza infections, they can be infected with human influenza virus without prior viral adaptation and have the ability to transmit influenza virus efficiently between one another. However, an accurate assessment of the effectiveness of an antiviral treatment in ferrets is dependent on three major experimental considerations encompassing firstly, the volume and titer of virus, and the route of viral inoculation. Secondly, the route and dose of drug administration, and lastly, the different methods used to assess clinical symptoms, viral shedding kinetics and host immune responses in the ferrets. A good understanding of these areas is necessary to achieve data that can accurately inform the human use of influenza antivirals. In this review, we discuss the current progress and the challenges faced in these three major areas when using the ferret model to measure influenza antiviral effectiveness. PMID:26870031

  20. Ferret and Pig Models of Cystic Fibrosis: Prospects and Promise for Gene Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Yan, Ziying; Stewart, Zoe A.; Sinn, Patrick L.; Olsen, John C.; Hu, Jim; McCray, Paul B.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Large animal models of genetic diseases are rapidly becoming integral to biomedical research as technologies to manipulate the mammalian genome improve. The creation of cystic fibrosis (CF) ferrets and pigs is an example of such progress in animal modeling, with the disease phenotypes in the ferret and pig models more reflective of human CF disease than mouse models. The ferret and pig CF models also provide unique opportunities to develop and assess the effectiveness of gene and cell therapies to treat affected organs. In this review, we examine the organ disease phenotypes in these new CF models and the opportunities to test gene therapies at various stages of disease progression in affected organs. We then discuss the progress in developing recombinant replication-defective adenoviral, adeno-associated viral, and lentiviral vectors to target genes to the lung and pancreas in ferrets and pigs, the two most affected organs in CF. Through this review, we hope to convey the potential of these new animal models for developing CF gene and cell therapies. PMID:25675143

  1. Ferrets exclusively synthesize Neu5Ac and express naturally humanized influenza A virus receptors

    PubMed Central

    Ng, Preston S.K.; Böhm, Raphael; Hartley-Tassell, Lauren E.; Steen, Jason A.; Wang, Hui; Lukowski, Samuel W.; Hawthorne, Paula L.; Trezise, Ann E.O.; Coloe, Peter J.; Grimmond, Sean M.; Haselhorst, Thomas; von Itzstein, Mark; Paton, Adrienne W.; Paton, James C.; Jennings, Michael P.

    2014-01-01

    Mammals express the sialic acids N-acetylneuraminic acid (Neu5Ac) and N-glycolylneuraminic acid (Neu5Gc) on cell surfaces, where they act as receptors for pathogens, including influenza A virus (IAV). Neu5Gc is synthesized from Neu5Ac by the enzyme cytidine monophosphate-N-acetylneuraminic acid hydroxylase (CMAH). In humans, this enzyme is inactive and only Neu5Ac is produced. Ferrets are susceptible to human-adapted IAV strains and have been the dominant animal model for IAV studies. Here we show that ferrets, like humans, do not synthesize Neu5Gc. Genomic analysis reveals an ancient, nine-exon deletion in the ferret CMAH gene that is shared by the Pinnipedia and Musteloidia members of the Carnivora. Interactions between two human strains of IAV with the sialyllactose receptor (sialic acid—α2,6Gal) confirm that the type of terminal sialic acid contributes significantly to IAV receptor specificity. Our results indicate that exclusive expression of Neu5Ac contributes to the susceptibility of ferrets to human-adapted IAV strains. PMID:25517696

  2. Pyogranulomatous pleuropneumonia and mediastinitis in ferrets (Mustela putorius furo) associated with Pseudomonas luteola Infection.

    PubMed

    Martínez, J; Martorell, J; Abarca, M L; Olvera, A; Ramis, A; Woods, L; Cheville, N; Juan-Sallés, C; Moya, A; Riera, A; Soto, S

    2012-01-01

    Between 2008 and 2009, three pet ferrets from different sources presented with acute episode of dyspnoea. Cytological examination of pleural exudates revealed severe purulent inflammation with abundant clusters of rod-shaped microorganisms with a clear surrounding halo. Treatment was ineffective and the ferrets died 2-5 days later. Two ferrets were subjected to necropsy examination, which revealed pyothorax, mediastinal lymphadenopathy and multiple white nodules (1-2mm) in the lungs. Microscopical examination showed multifocal necrotizing-pyogranulomatous pleuropneumonia and lymphadenitis with aggregates of encapsulated microorganisms, some of which were positively stained by periodic acid-Schiff and alcian blue. In-situ hybridization for Pneumocystis spp., Ziehl-Neelsen staining and immunohistochemistry for distemper, coronavirus and influenza antigen were negative in all cases. Electron microscopically, the bacteria were 2-3 μm long with a thick electron-lucent capsule. Microbiology from one ferret yielded a pure culture of gram-negative bacteria identified phenotypically as Pseudomonas luteola. This speciation was later confirmed by 16S RNA gene amplification. PMID:21601873

  3. Is the ferret a suitable species for studying perinatal brain injury?

    PubMed

    Empie, Kristen; Rangarajan, Vijayeta; Juul, Sandra E

    2015-10-01

    Complications of prematurity often disrupt normal brain development and/or cause direct damage to the developing brain, resulting in poor neurodevelopmental outcomes. Physiologically relevant animal models of perinatal brain injury can advance our understanding of these influences and thereby provide opportunities to develop therapies and improve long-term outcomes. While there are advantages to currently available small animal models, there are also significant drawbacks that have limited translation of research findings to humans. Large animal models such as newborn pig, sheep and nonhuman primates have complex brain development more similar to humans, but these animals are expensive, and developmental testing of sheep and piglets is limited. Ferrets (Mustela putorius furo) are born lissencephalic and undergo postnatal cortical folding to form complex gyrencephalic brains. This review examines whether ferrets might provide a novel intermediate animal model of neonatal brain disease that has the benefit of a gyrified, altricial brain in a small animal. It summarizes attributes of ferret brain growth and development that make it an appealing animal in which to model perinatal brain injury. We postulate that because of their innate characteristics, ferrets have great potential in neonatal neurodevelopmental studies. PMID:26102988

  4. Is the ferret a suitable species for studying perinatal brain injury?

    PubMed Central

    Empie, Kristen; Rangarajan, Vijayeta; Juul, Sandra E.

    2016-01-01

    Complications of prematurity often disrupt normal brain development and/or cause direct damage to the developing brain, resulting in poor neurodevelopmental outcomes. Physiologically relevant animal models of perinatal brain injury can advance our understanding of these influences and thereby provide opportunities to develop therapies and improve long-term outcomes. While there are advantages to currently available small animal models, there are also significant drawbacks that have limited translation of research findings to humans. Large animal models such as newborn pig, sheep and nonhuman primates have complex brain development more similar to humans, but these animals are expensive, and developmental testing of sheep and piglets is limited. Ferrets (Mustela putorius furo) are born lissencephalic and undergo postnatal cortical folding to form complex gyrencephalic brains. This review examines whether ferrets might provide a novel intermediate animal model of neonatal brain disease that has the benefit of a gyrified, altricial brain in a small animal. It summarizes attributes of ferret brain growth and development that make it an appealing animal in which to model perinatal brain injury. We postulate that because of their innate characteristics, ferrets have great potential in neonatal neurodevelopmental studies. PMID:26102988

  5. Using the Ferret as an Animal Model for Investigating Influenza Antiviral Effectiveness.

    PubMed

    Oh, Ding Y; Hurt, Aeron C

    2016-01-01

    The concern of the emergence of a pandemic influenza virus has sparked an increased effort toward the development and testing of novel influenza antivirals. Central to this is the animal model of influenza infection, which has played an important role in understanding treatment effectiveness and the effect of antivirals on host immune responses. Among the different animal models of influenza, ferrets can be considered the most suitable for antiviral studies as they display most of the human-like symptoms following influenza infections, they can be infected with human influenza virus without prior viral adaptation and have the ability to transmit influenza virus efficiently between one another. However, an accurate assessment of the effectiveness of an antiviral treatment in ferrets is dependent on three major experimental considerations encompassing firstly, the volume and titer of virus, and the route of viral inoculation. Secondly, the route and dose of drug administration, and lastly, the different methods used to assess clinical symptoms, viral shedding kinetics and host immune responses in the ferrets. A good understanding of these areas is necessary to achieve data that can accurately inform the human use of influenza antivirals. In this review, we discuss the current progress and the challenges faced in these three major areas when using the ferret model to measure influenza antiviral effectiveness. PMID:26870031

  6. Partial characterization of a luteal factor that induces implantation in the ferret.

    PubMed

    Mead, R A; Joseph, M M; Neirinckx, S; Berria, M

    1988-05-01

    This study was designed to test the hypothesis that ferret corpora lutea (CL) secrete a compound that acts in conjunction with progesterone to induce blastocyst implantation and to identify the chemical nature of this compound. CL and the residual ovarian tissue, obtained predominantly on the ninth day of pseudopregnancy, were extracted with 0.05 M phosphate-buffered saline. The extracts were injected into pregnant ferrets that had been ovariectomized on Day 6 of pregnancy and had received Silastic implants containing progesterone. Aqueous luteal extracts, but not those of the residual ovarian tissue, induced implantation in test animals. Fractionation of the luteal extracts by passage through a series of filters with molecular weight (MW) cutoffs ranging from 500 to 50,000 consistently revealed that the biologically active fraction was retained on the filter with the highest MW cutoff employed. Moreover, blastocyst implantation failed to occur in ovariectomized, progesterone-treated ferrets after one-half of a luteal preparation (MW greater than 50,000) was incubated with a broad-spectrum protease. These data are consistent with the hypothesis that CL of the ferret secrete a protein during the preimplantation period that is essential for blastocyst implantation. PMID:3401538

  7. Evaluation of MDCK Cell-Derived Influenza H7N9 Vaccine Candidates in Ferrets

    PubMed Central

    Tseng, Yu-Fen; Weng, Tsai-Chuan; Lai, Chia-Chun; Lin, Jun-Yang; Chen, Po-Ling; Wang, Ya-Fang; Chao, Sin-Ru; Chang, Jui-Yuan; Hwang, Yi-Shiuh; Yeh, Chia-Tsui; Yu, Cheng-Ping; Chen, Yee-Chun; Su, Ih-Jen; Lee, Min-Shi

    2015-01-01

    Avian-origin influenza A (H7N9) viruses emerged as human pathogens in China in early 2013 and have killed >100 persons. Influenza vaccines are mainly manufactured using egg-based technology which could not meet the surging demand during influenza pandemics. In this study, we evaluated cell-based influenza H7N9 vaccines in ferrets. An egg-derived influenza H7N9 reassortant vaccine virus was adapted in MDCK cells. Influenza H7N9 whole virus vaccine antigen was manufactured using a microcarrier-based culture system. Immunogenicity and protection of the vaccine candidates with three different formulations (300μg aluminum hydroxide, 1.5μg HA, and 1.5μg HA plus 300μg aluminum hydroxide) were evaluated in ferrets. In ferrets receiving two doses of vaccination, geometric mean titers of hemagglutination (HA) inhibition and neutralizing antibodies were <10 and <40 for the control group (adjuvant only), 17 and 80 for the unadjuvanted (HA only) group, and 190 and 640 for the adjuvanted group (HA plus adjuvant), respectively. After challenge with wild-type influenza H7N9 viruses, virus titers in respiratory tracts of the adjuvanted group were significantly lower than that in the control, and unadjuvanted groups. MDCK cell-derived influenza H7N9 whole virus vaccine candidate is immunogenic and protective in ferrets and clinical development is highly warranted. PMID:25799397

  8. Bilateral cochlear implantation in the ferret: A novel animal model for behavioral studies

    PubMed Central

    Hartley, Douglas E.H.; Vongpaisal, Tara; Xu, Jin; Shepherd, Robert K.; King, Andrew J.; Isaiah, Amal

    2010-01-01

    Bilateral cochlear implantation has recently been introduced with the aim of improving both speech perception in background noise and sound localization. Although evidence suggests that binaural perception is possible with two cochlear implants, results in humans are variable. To explore potential contributing factors to these variable outcomes, we have developed a behavioral animal model of bilateral cochlear implantation in a novel species, the ferret. Although ferrets are ideally suited to psychophysical and physiological assessments of binaural hearing, cochlear implantation has not been previously described in this species. This paper describes the techniques of deafening with aminoglycoside administration, surgical implantation of an intracochlear array and chronic intracochlear electrical stimulation with monitoring for electrode integrity and efficacy of stimulation. Experiments have been presented elsewhere to show that the model can be used to study behavioral and electrophysiological measures of binaural hearing in chronically implanted animals. This paper demonstrates that cochlear implantation and chronic intracochlear electrical stimulation are both safe and effective in ferrets, opening up the possibility of using this model to study potential protective effects of bilateral cochlear implantation on the developing central auditory pathway. Since ferrets can be used to assess psychophysical and physiological aspects of hearing along with the structure of the auditory pathway in the same animals, we anticipate that this model will help develop novel neuroprosthetic therapies for use in humans. PMID:20576507

  9. Ferret and pig models of cystic fibrosis: prospects and promise for gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Yan, Ziying; Stewart, Zoe A; Sinn, Patrick L; Olsen, John C; Hu, Jim; McCray, Paul B; Engelhardt, John F

    2015-03-01

    Large animal models of genetic diseases are rapidly becoming integral to biomedical research as technologies to manipulate the mammalian genome improve. The creation of cystic fibrosis (CF) ferrets and pigs is an example of such progress in animal modeling, with the disease phenotypes in the ferret and pig models more reflective of human CF disease than mouse models. The ferret and pig CF models also provide unique opportunities to develop and assess the effectiveness of gene and cell therapies to treat affected organs. In this review, we examine the organ disease phenotypes in these new CF models and the opportunities to test gene therapies at various stages of disease progression in affected organs. We then discuss the progress in developing recombinant replication-defective adenoviral, adeno-associated viral, and lentiviral vectors to target genes to the lung and pancreas in ferrets and pigs, the two most affected organs in CF. Through this review, we hope to convey the potential of these new animal models for developing CF gene and cell therapies. PMID:25675143

  10. Multidrug-Resistant Proteus mirabilis Isolated From Newly Weaned Infant Rhesus Monkeys and Ferrets

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Wenhai; He, Zhanlong; Huang, Fen

    2015-01-01

    Background: Proteus mirabilis is an important uropathogen that causes complicated Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) and induces diarrhea in infants. Objectives: This study aimed to investigate P. mirabilis infection in newly weaned infant rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) and ferrets (Mustela putorius furo) with diarrhea. Materials and Methods: Stool samples were collected from 74 rhesus monkeys and 12 ferrets with diarrhea. Proteus mirabilis was isolated from the samples through Polymerase Chain Reaction. The isolated P. mirabilis was subjected to antimicrobial susceptibility tests. Results: Seven (7/74, 9.5%) and four (4/12, 30%) P. mirabilis strains were detected in the stool samples collected from the monkeys and ferrets, respectively. Sequence analyses showed that the isolated P. mirabilis was closely related to P. mirabilis strain HI4320, which was isolated from the urine of a patient with a long-term indwelling urinary catheter. In addition, the isolates demonstrated multidrug resistance. Conclusions: Rhesus monkeys and ferrets are susceptible to P. mirabilis, making them useful as animal models for future studies on the mechanism of P. mirabilis-induced UTI and its corresponding treatment. PMID:26301055

  11. The Nature of Exposure Drives Transmission of Nipah Viruses from Malaysia and Bangladesh in Ferrets.

    PubMed

    Clayton, Bronwyn A; Middleton, Deborah; Arkinstall, Rachel; Frazer, Leah; Wang, Lin-Fa; Marsh, Glenn A

    2016-06-01

    Person-to-person transmission is a key feature of human Nipah virus outbreaks in Bangladesh. In contrast, in an outbreak of Nipah virus in Malaysia, people acquired infections from pigs. It is not known whether this important epidemiological difference is driven primarily by differences between NiV Bangladesh (NiV-BD) and Malaysia (NiV-MY) at a virus level, or by environmental or host factors. In a time course study, ferrets were oronasally exposed to equivalent doses of NiV-BD or NiV-MY. More rapid onset of productive infection and higher levels of virus replication in respiratory tract tissues were seen for NiV-BD compared to NiV-MY, corroborating our previous report of increased oral shedding of NiV-BD in ferrets and suggesting a contributory mechanism for increased NiV-BD transmission between people compared to NiV-MY. However, we recognize that transmission occurs within a social and environmental framework that may have an important and differentiating role in NiV transmission rates. With this in mind, ferret-to-ferret transmission of NiV-BD and NiV-MY was assessed under differing viral exposure conditions. Transmission was not identified for either virus when naïve ferrets were cohoused with experimentally-infected animals. In contrast, all naïve ferrets developed acute infection following assisted and direct exposure to oronasal fluid from animals that were shedding either NiV-BD or NiV-MY. Our findings for ferrets indicate that, although NiV-BD may be shed at higher levels than NiV-MY, transmission risk may be equivalently low under exposure conditions provided by cohabitation alone. In contrast, active transfer of infected bodily fluids consistently results in transmission, regardless of the virus strain. These observations suggest that the risk of NiV transmission is underpinned by social and environmental factors, and will have practical implications for managing transmission risk during outbreaks of human disease. PMID:27341030

  12. The Nature of Exposure Drives Transmission of Nipah Viruses from Malaysia and Bangladesh in Ferrets

    PubMed Central

    Clayton, Bronwyn A.; Middleton, Deborah; Arkinstall, Rachel; Frazer, Leah; Wang, Lin-Fa; Marsh, Glenn A.

    2016-01-01

    Person-to-person transmission is a key feature of human Nipah virus outbreaks in Bangladesh. In contrast, in an outbreak of Nipah virus in Malaysia, people acquired infections from pigs. It is not known whether this important epidemiological difference is driven primarily by differences between NiV Bangladesh (NiV-BD) and Malaysia (NiV-MY) at a virus level, or by environmental or host factors. In a time course study, ferrets were oronasally exposed to equivalent doses of NiV-BD or NiV-MY. More rapid onset of productive infection and higher levels of virus replication in respiratory tract tissues were seen for NiV-BD compared to NiV-MY, corroborating our previous report of increased oral shedding of NiV-BD in ferrets and suggesting a contributory mechanism for increased NiV-BD transmission between people compared to NiV-MY. However, we recognize that transmission occurs within a social and environmental framework that may have an important and differentiating role in NiV transmission rates. With this in mind, ferret-to-ferret transmission of NiV-BD and NiV-MY was assessed under differing viral exposure conditions. Transmission was not identified for either virus when naïve ferrets were cohoused with experimentally-infected animals. In contrast, all naïve ferrets developed acute infection following assisted and direct exposure to oronasal fluid from animals that were shedding either NiV-BD or NiV-MY. Our findings for ferrets indicate that, although NiV-BD may be shed at higher levels than NiV-MY, transmission risk may be equivalently low under exposure conditions provided by cohabitation alone. In contrast, active transfer of infected bodily fluids consistently results in transmission, regardless of the virus strain. These observations suggest that the risk of NiV transmission is underpinned by social and environmental factors, and will have practical implications for managing transmission risk during outbreaks of human disease. PMID:27341030

  13. Auditory Gap-in-Noise Detection Behavior in Ferrets and Humans

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    The precise encoding of temporal features of auditory stimuli by the mammalian auditory system is critical to the perception of biologically important sounds, including vocalizations, speech, and music. In this study, auditory gap-detection behavior was evaluated in adult pigmented ferrets (Mustelid putorius furo) using bandpassed stimuli designed to widely sample the ferret’s behavioral and physiological audiogram. Animals were tested under positive operant conditioning, with psychometric functions constructed in response to gap-in-noise lengths ranging from 3 to 270 ms. Using a modified version of this gap-detection task, with the same stimulus frequency parameters, we also tested a cohort of normal-hearing human subjects. Gap-detection thresholds were computed from psychometric curves transformed according to signal detection theory, revealing that for both ferrets and humans, detection sensitivity was worse for silent gaps embedded within low-frequency noise compared with high-frequency or broadband stimuli. Additional psychometric function analysis of ferret behavior indicated effects of stimulus spectral content on aspects of behavioral performance related to decision-making processes, with animals displaying improved sensitivity for broadband gap-in-noise detection. Reaction times derived from unconditioned head-orienting data and the time from stimulus onset to reward spout activation varied with the stimulus frequency content and gap length, as well as the approach-to-target choice and reward location. The present study represents a comprehensive evaluation of gap-detection behavior in ferrets, while similarities in performance with our human subjects confirm the use of the ferret as an appropriate model of temporal processing. PMID:26052794

  14. Lung phenotype of juvenile and adult cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator-knockout ferrets.

    PubMed

    Sun, Xingshen; Olivier, Alicia K; Liang, Bo; Yi, Yaling; Sui, Hongshu; Evans, Turan I A; Zhang, Yulong; Zhou, Weihong; Tyler, Scott R; Fisher, John T; Keiser, Nicholas W; Liu, Xiaoming; Yan, Ziying; Song, Yi; Goeken, J Adam; Kinyon, Joann M; Fligg, Danielle; Wang, Xiaoyan; Xie, Weiliang; Lynch, Thomas J; Kaminsky, Paul M; Stewart, Zoe A; Pope, R Marshall; Frana, Timothy; Meyerholz, David K; Parekh, Kalpaj; Engelhardt, John F

    2014-03-01

    Chronic bacterial lung infections in cystic fibrosis (CF) are caused by defects in the CF transmembrane conductance regulator chloride channel. Previously, we described that newborn CF transmembrane conductance regulator-knockout ferrets rapidly develop lung infections within the first week of life. Here, we report a more slowly progressing lung bacterial colonization phenotype observed in juvenile to adult CF ferrets reared on a layered antibiotic regimen. Even on antibiotics, CF ferrets were still very susceptible to bacterial lung infection. The severity of lung histopathology ranged from mild to severe, and variably included mucus obstruction of the airways and submucosal glands, air trapping, atelectasis, bronchopneumonia, and interstitial pneumonia. In all CF lungs, significant numbers of bacteria were detected and impaired tracheal mucociliary clearance was observed. Although Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, and Enterococcus were observed most frequently in the lungs of CF animals, each animal displayed a predominant bacterial species that accounted for over 50% of the culturable bacteria, with no one bacterial taxon predominating in all animals. Matrix-assisted laser desorption-ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry fingerprinting was used to quantify lung bacteria in 10 CF animals and demonstrated Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, Enterococcus, or Escherichia as the most abundant genera. Interestingly, there was significant overlap in the types of bacteria observed in the lung and intestine of a given CF animal, including bacterial taxa unique to the lung and gut of each CF animal analyzed. These findings demonstrate that CF ferrets develop lung disease during the juvenile and adult stages that is similar to patients with CF, and suggest that enteric bacterial flora may seed the lung of CF ferrets. PMID:24074402

  15. Proceedings of the symposium on the management of prairie dog complexes for the reintroduction of the black-footed ferret

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Oldemeyer, John L., (Edited By); Biggins, Dean E.; Miller, Brian J.; Crete, Ronald

    1993-01-01

    The workshop featured a review of current knowledge in the biology of prairie dogs in the context of managing black-footed ferret habitat. The review addressed two main components. The first consisted of a series of papers on prairie dog habitat and biology. The second component of the workshop was a summary of the participants' discussion about managing prairie dog complexes. This discussion was based on the previously identified papers and profited from the participants' expertise on the ecology of black-footed ferrets and prairie dogs. The report provides current and comprehensive information about management of habitat for prairie dogs and black-footed ferrets and is a useful guide for agencies and individuals that manage black-footed ferrets.

  16. Advanced diagnostic approaches and current medical management of insulinomas and adrenocortical disease in ferrets (Mustela putorius furo).

    PubMed

    Chen, Sue

    2010-09-01

    Endocrine neoplasia is the most common tumor type in domestic ferrets, especially in middle-aged to older ferrets. Islet cell tumors and adrenocortical tumors constitute the major types of endocrine neoplasms. Insulinoma is a tumor that produces and releases excessive amounts of insulin. Evaluation of fasted blood glucose levels provides a quick diagnostic assessment for the detection of insulinomas. Use of glucocorticoids, diazoxide, and diet modification are some of the medical treatment options for insulinomas. Adrenocortical neoplasia in ferrets usually overproduces one or more sex hormones. Sex hormones which can result in progressive alopecia, vulvar swelling in females, and prostagomegaly in males. Abdominal ultrasonography and sex hormone assays can be used to diagnose adrenocortical neoplasms. Drugs such as leuprolide acetate, deslorelin acetate, and the hormone melatonin can be used to treat adrenocortical neoplasms in ferrets when surgery is not an option. PMID:20682429

  17. Comparison of capture-recapture and visual count indices of prairie dog densities in black-footed ferret habitat

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fagerstone, Kathleen A.; Biggins, Dean E.

    1986-01-01

    Black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) are dependent on prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) for food and on their burrows for shelter and rearing young. A stable prairie dog population may therefore be the most important factor determining the survival of ferrets. A rapid method of determining prairie dog density would be useful for assessing prairie dog density in colonies currently occupied by ferrets and for selecting prairie dog colonies in other areas for ferret translocation. This study showed that visual counts can provide a rapid density estimate. Visual counts of white-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys leucurus) were significantly correlated (r = 0.95) with mark-recapture population density estimates on two study areas near Meeteetse, Wyoming. Suggestions are given for use of visual counts.

  18. The comparison of pathology in ferrets infected by H9N2 avian influenza viruses with different genomic features.

    PubMed

    Gao, Rongbao; Bai, Tian; Li, Xiaodan; Xiong, Ying; Huang, Yiwei; Pan, Ming; Zhang, Ye; Bo, Hong; Zou, Shumei; Shu, Yuelong

    2016-01-15

    H9N2 avian influenza virus circulates widely in poultry and has been responsible for sporadic human infections in several regions. Few studies have been conducted on the pathogenicity of H9N2 AIV isolates that have different genomic features. We compared the pathology induced by a novel reassortant H9N2 virus and two currently circulating H9N2 viruses that have different genomic features in ferrets. The results showed that the three viruses can induce infections with various amounts of viral shedding in ferrets. The novel H9N2 induced respiratory infection, but no pathological lesions were observed in lung tissues. The other two viruses induced mild to intermediate pathological lesions in lung tissues, although the clinical signs presented mildly in ferrets. The pathological lesions presented a diversity consistent with viral replication in ferrets. PMID:26638019

  19. Pharmacokinetics and brain penetration of casopitant, a potent and selective neurokinin-1 receptor antagonist, in the ferret.

    PubMed

    Minthorn, Elisabeth; Mencken, Thomas; King, Andrew G; Shu, Art; Rominger, David; Gontarek, Richard R; Han, Chao; Bambal, Ramesh; Davis, Charles B

    2008-09-01

    The pharmacokinetics and brain penetration of the novel neurokinin (NK)-1 receptor antagonist casopitant [1-piperidinecarboxamide, 4-(4-acetyl-1-piperazinyl)-N-((1R)-1-(3,5-bis(trifluoromethyl)phenyl)ethyl)-2-(4-fluoro-2-methylphenyl)-N-methyl-, (2R,4S)-; GW679769] were examined in ferrets. The ferret is known to respond to the full spectrum of agents recognized to induce emesis in humans, and the cisplatin-induced emesis models in the ferret have been used to establish the antiemetic potential of casopitant. Following single i.p. dosing to the ferret, casopitant was rapidly absorbed, with plasma and brain concentrations being approximately equal at 2 h postdose. The predominant radioactive component present in the ferret brain after a single dose of [(14)C]casopitant was parent compound, accounting for approximately 76% of the radioactivity. The major metabolites present in brain tissue following administration of [(14)C]casopitant were hydroxylated casopitant (M1) and the corresponding ketone product of the M1 metabolite (M2), which accounted for approximately 19 and 3% of the radioactivity in the brain extracts, respectively. All three molecules had relatively similar potency against ferret brain cortical NK-1, suggesting that the pharmacologic activity of casopitant in the ferret is largely attributable to parent compound and, to a lesser extent, to its oxidative metabolites. Because casopitant is intended to be administered in combination with ondansetron and because therapeutic synergy has been observed with this combination in the ferret, a drug interaction study was conducted. The additional pharmacodynamic benefit of the combination dose was not because of an alteration in the pharmacokinetics of either agent but is likely the result of the complementary mechanisms of pharmacologic action of the two drugs. PMID:18556439

  20. A Novel Video Tracking Method to Evaluate the Effect of Influenza Infection and Antiviral Treatment on Ferret Activity

    PubMed Central

    Oh, Ding Yuan; Barr, Ian G.; Hurt, Aeron C.

    2015-01-01

    Ferrets are the preferred animal model to assess influenza virus infection, virulence and transmission as they display similar clinical symptoms and pathogenesis to those of humans. Measures of disease severity in the ferret include weight loss, temperature rise, sneezing, viral shedding and reduced activity. To date, the only available method for activity measurement has been the assignment of an arbitrary score by a ‘blind’ observer based on pre-defined responsiveness scale. This manual scoring method is subjective and can be prone to bias. In this study, we described a novel video-tracking methodology for determining activity changes in a ferret model of influenza infection. This method eliminates the various limitations of manual scoring, which include the need for a sole ‘blind’ observer and the requirement to recognise the ‘normal’ activity of ferrets in order to assign relative activity scores. In ferrets infected with an A(H1N1)pdm09 virus, video-tracking was more sensitive than manual scoring in detecting ferret activity changes. Using this video-tracking method, oseltamivir treatment was found to ameliorate the effect of influenza infection on activity in ferret. Oseltamivir treatment of animals was associated with an improvement in clinical symptoms, including reduced inflammatory responses in the upper respiratory tract, lower body weight loss and a smaller rise in body temperature, despite there being no significant reduction in viral shedding. In summary, this novel video-tracking is an easy-to-use, objective and sensitive methodology for measuring ferret activity. PMID:25738900

  1. Recombinant F1-V fusion protein protects black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) against virulent Yersinia pestis infection

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rocke, T.E.; Mencher, J.; Smith, S.R.; Friedlander, A.M.; Andrews, G.P.; Baeten, L.A.

    2004-01-01

    Black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) are highly susceptible to sylvatic plague, caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, and this disease has severely hampered efforts to restore ferrets to their historic range. A study was conducted to assess the efficacy of vaccination of black-footed ferrets against plague using a recombinant protein vaccine, designated F1-V, developed by personnel at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases. Seven postreproductive black-footed ferrets were immunized with the vaccine, followed by two booster immunizations on days 23 and 154; three control black-footed ferrets received a placebo. After the second immunization, antibody titers to both F1 and V antigen were found to be significantly higher in vaccinates than controls. On challenge with 7,800 colony-forming units of virulent plague by s.c. injection, the three control animals died within 3 days, but six of seven vaccinates survived with no ill effects. The seventh vaccinate died on day 8. These results indicate that black-footed ferrets can be immunized against plague induced by the s.c. route, similar to fleabite injection.

  2. Ectoparasites in black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) from the largest reintroduced population of the Conata Basin, South Dakota, USA.

    PubMed

    Harris, Nyeema C; Livieri, Travis M; Dunn, Robert R

    2014-04-01

    The black-footed ferret, Mustela nigripes, is an endangered carnivore endemic to the grasslands of North America. We present the first investigation of ectoparasites associated with black-footed ferrets since reintroduction. We sampled more than 200 individuals from one of the largest and most successful reintroduced populations located in the Conata Basin of South Dakota, USA. We compared our findings with ectoparasite assemblages of sympatric carnivores and historic ferret records. We collected more than 1,000 ectoparasites consisting mainly of three flea and tick species, two of which were known historically from South Dakota. Despite our extensive sampling efforts, we did not detect any lice. This is notable because a putative host-specific louse, Neotrichodectes sp., was presumed to have gone extinct when black-footed ferrets were extirpated from the wild. The ectoparasite assemblage on black-footed ferrets comprised only generalist parasites, particularly those found on their prey such as prairie dogs (Cynomys sp.). Oropsylla hirsuta was the most abundant ectoparasite, representing 57% of all ectoparasites detected; a flea vector important in the persistence and transmission of plague. Black-footed ferrets like other endangered species undergo repeated parasite removal and vaccination efforts to facilitate population recovery, which may have unintentionally contributed to their depauperate ectoparasite community. PMID:24499333

  3. Inter‐ and intraspecies transmission of canine influenza virus (H3N2) in dogs, cats, and ferrets

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Hyekwon; Song, Daesub; Moon, Hyoungjoon; Yeom, Minjoo; Park, Seongjun; Hong, Minki; Na, Woonseong; Webby, Richard J.; Webster, Robert G.; Park, Bongkyun; Kim, Jeong‐Ki; Kang, Bokyu

    2012-01-01

    Background  The emergence of zoonotic viruses in domestic animals is a significant public health concern. Canine influenza virus (CIV) H3N2 is a virus that can infect companion animals and is, therefore, a potential public health concern. Objective  This study investigated the inter‐ and intraspecies transmission of CIV among dogs, cats, and ferrets, under laboratory conditions, to determine whether transmission of the virus was possible between as well as within these domestic animal species. Method  The transmission routes for inter‐ and intraspecies transmission were airborne and direct contact, respectively. Transmission was conducted through intranasal infection of dogs followed by exposure to either cats or ferrets and by comingling infected and naïve animals of the same species. Results  The interspecies transmission of CIV H3N2 via airborne was only observed from dogs to cats and not from dogs to ferrets. However, direct intranasal infection of either cats or ferrets with CIV could induce influenza‐like clinical signs, viral shedding, and serological responses. Additionally, naïve cats and ferrets could be infected by CIV via direct contact with infected animals of the same species. Conclusion  Cats appear to be another susceptible host of CIV H3N2, whereas ferrets are not likely natural hosts. The molecular‐based mechanism of interspecies and intraspecies transmission of CIV H3N2 should be further studied. PMID:22616918

  4. Oseltamivir Population Pharmacokinetics in the Ferret: Model Application for Pharmacokinetic/Pharmacodynamic Study Design.

    PubMed

    Reddy, Micaela B; Yang, Kuo-Hsiung; Rao, Gauri; Rayner, Craig R; Nie, Jing; Pamulapati, Chandrasena; Marathe, Bindumadhav M; Forrest, Alan; Govorkova, Elena A

    2015-01-01

    The ferret is a suitable small animal model for preclinical evaluation of efficacy of antiviral drugs against various influenza strains, including highly pathogenic H5N1 viruses. Rigorous pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics (PK/PD) assessment of ferret data has not been conducted, perhaps due to insufficient information on oseltamivir PK. Here, based on PK data from several studies on both uninfected and influenza-infected groups (i.e., with influenza A viruses of H5N1 and H3N2 subtypes and an influenza B virus) and several types of anesthesia we developed a population PK model for the active compound oseltamivir carboxylate (OC) in the ferret. The ferret OC population PK model incorporated delayed first-order input, two-compartment distribution, and first-order elimination to successfully describe OC PK. Influenza infection did not affect model parameters, but anesthesia did. The conclusion that OC PK was not influenced by influenza infection must be viewed with caution because the influenza infections in the studies included here resulted in mild clinical symptoms in terms of temperature, body weight, and activity scores. Monte Carlo simulations were used to determine that administration of a 5.08 mg/kg dose of oseltamivir phosphate to ferret every 12 h for 5 days results in the same median OC area under the plasma concentration-time curve 0-12 h (i.e., 3220 mg h/mL) as that observed in humans during steady state at the approved dose of 75 mg twice daily for 5 days. Modeling indicated that PK variability for OC in the ferret model is high, and can be affected by anesthesia. Therefore, for proper interpretation of PK/PD data, sparse PK sampling to allow the OC PK determination in individual animals is important. Another consideration in appropriate design of PK/PD studies is achieving an influenza infection with pronounced clinical symptoms and efficient virus replication, which will allow adequate evaluation of drug effects. PMID:26460484

  5. Oseltamivir Population Pharmacokinetics in the Ferret: Model Application for Pharmacokinetic/Pharmacodynamic Study Design

    PubMed Central

    Reddy, Micaela B.; Yang, Kuo-Hsiung; Rao, Gauri; Rayner, Craig R.; Nie, Jing; Pamulapati, Chandrasena; Marathe, Bindumadhav M.; Forrest, Alan; Govorkova, Elena A.

    2015-01-01

    The ferret is a suitable small animal model for preclinical evaluation of efficacy of antiviral drugs against various influenza strains, including highly pathogenic H5N1 viruses. Rigorous pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics (PK/PD) assessment of ferret data has not been conducted, perhaps due to insufficient information on oseltamivir PK. Here, based on PK data from several studies on both uninfected and influenza-infected groups (i.e., with influenza A viruses of H5N1 and H3N2 subtypes and an influenza B virus) and several types of anesthesia we developed a population PK model for the active compound oseltamivir carboxylate (OC) in the ferret. The ferret OC population PK model incorporated delayed first-order input, two-compartment distribution, and first-order elimination to successfully describe OC PK. Influenza infection did not affect model parameters, but anesthesia did. The conclusion that OC PK was not influenced by influenza infection must be viewed with caution because the influenza infections in the studies included here resulted in mild clinical symptoms in terms of temperature, body weight, and activity scores. Monte Carlo simulations were used to determine that administration of a 5.08 mg/kg dose of oseltamivir phosphate to ferret every 12 h for 5 days results in the same median OC area under the plasma concentration-time curve 0–12 h (i.e., 3220 mg h/mL) as that observed in humans during steady state at the approved dose of 75 mg twice daily for 5 days. Modeling indicated that PK variability for OC in the ferret model is high, and can be affected by anesthesia. Therefore, for proper interpretation of PK/PD data, sparse PK sampling to allow the OC PK determination in individual animals is important. Another consideration in appropriate design of PK/PD studies is achieving an influenza infection with pronounced clinical symptoms and efficient virus replication, which will allow adequate evaluation of drug effects. PMID:26460484

  6. Thermal Stability and Interaction with Ferret Inflammatory Exudates of Two Clones of Influenza Virus of Differing Virulence for Both Ferrets and Man

    PubMed Central

    Sweet, C.; Bird, R. A.; Toms, G. L.; Woodward, C. G.; Smith, H.

    1977-01-01

    After intranasal inoculation of ferrets with influenza virus the upper respiratory tract infection diminishes during the second day and the onset of this reduction occurs earlier for an attenuated clone (64d) than for a virulent clone (7a) of the recombinant virus A/PR/8/34-A/England/939/69 (H3N2). The relevance of pyrexia and the nasal inflammatory response to this reduction in infection has been investigated. Egg-grown Clone 64d was more thermobile than Clone 7a at normal and pyrexial temperatures when suspended in egg allantoic fluid or phosphate-buffered saline. However, in infected nasal washes, both clones were rapidly inactivated when the washes were incubated at these temperatures. In vitro tests showed that both clones adsorbed to the phagocytes of peritoneal exudates from uninfected ferrets and nasal inflammatory exudates of ferrets infected with both clones. About 90% of the virus was adsorbed after 30 min at 0° or 370° and only 2-14% of this was recovered after treatment with receptor-destroying enzyme followed by freeze-thawing the cells. In contrast, high recoveries (36-112% of that adsorbed) were obtained from red blood cells that were treated similarly. Significant differences were not detected between the clones in either adsorption by or recovery from phagocytes of the different types of exudates. Thus pyrexia and the nasal inflammatory cells probably play a major role in the reduction of nasal tract infection but, while pyrexia may have had some influence, no evidence was obtained to indicate that the cells contributed to the earlier reduction of Clone 64d. PMID:607985

  7. Challenges to reestablishment of free-ranging populations of black-footed ferrets

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Biggins, D.E.; Godbey, J.L.

    2003-01-01

    The black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes) of North America is critically endangered due in part to its extreme specialization on formerly stable and abundant prairie dogs (Cynomys). Its close relative, the Siberian polecat (M. eversmannii) seems to have been subjected to a varying environment that was not conducive to specialization. One source of environmental variation in Asian steppes was plague (caused by Yersina pestis), which was absent from North America. Introduction of plague to North America presents serious challenges to ferret recovery. Partial solutions to other biological and political problems have been found, resulting in improved production in captivity, increased survival post-release, and thriving populations in plague-free South Dakota. ?? 2003 Acade??mie des sciences. Published by E??ditions scientifiques et me??dicales Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.

  8. A case of advanced second-degree atrioventricular block in a ferret secondary to lymphoma

    PubMed Central

    Menicagli, F.; Lanza, A.; Sbrocca, F.; Baldi, A.; Spugnini, E.P.

    2016-01-01

    A female ferret was referred as an emergency for severe respiratory distress symptoms. At presentation, the patient was listlessness, dyspnoeic, and hyper-responsive. The clinical examination evidenced dyspnea with cyanosis, altered cardiac rhythm, and hepatomegaly. Electrocardiography showed an advanced second-degree atrioventricular (AV) block. The liver aspirate was diagnostic for lymphoma. The patient did not respond to supportive therapy and rapidly died. Post-mortem exams confirmed the presence of lymphoma with hepatic involvement. Moreover, a pericardial lymphocytic infiltration and a widespread myocardial nodular localization of lymphoma were evidenced as well. This condition was probably the cause of the cardiac arrhythmia. To the best of our knowledge, ours is the first report of cardiac lymphoma causing heart block in ferrets. PMID:27200273

  9. Comparison of Digital Rectal and Microchip Transponder Thermometry in Ferrets (Mustela putorius furo).

    PubMed

    Maxwell, Branden M; Brunell, Marla K; Olsen, Cara H; Bentzel, David E

    2016-01-01

    Body temperature is a common physiologic parameter measured in both clinical and research settings, with rectal thermometry being implied as the 'gold standard.' However, rectal thermometry usually requires physical or chemical restraint, potentially causing falsely elevated readings due to animal stress. A less stressful method may eliminate this confounding variable. The current study compared 2 types of digital rectal thermometers-a calibrated digital thermometer and a common digital thermometer-with an implantable subcutaneous transponder microchip. Microchips were implanted subcutaneously between the shoulder blades of 16 ferrets (8 male, 8 female), and temperatures were measured twice from the microchip reader and once from each of the rectal thermometers. Results demonstrated the microchip temperature readings had very good to good correlation and agreement to those from both of the rectal thermometers. This study indicates that implantable temperature-sensing microchips are a reliable alternative to rectal thermometry for monitoring body temperature in ferrets. PMID:27177569

  10. The Effects of Gamma and Proton Radiation Exposure on Hematopoietic Cell Counts in the Ferret Model

    PubMed Central

    Sanzari, Jenine K.; Wan, X. Steven; Krigsfeld, Gabriel S.; Wroe, Andrew J.; Gridley, Daila S.; Kennedy, Ann R.

    2014-01-01

    Exposure to total-body radiation induces hematological changes, which can detriment one's immune response to wounds and infection. Here, the decreases in blood cell counts after acute radiation doses of γ-ray or proton radiation exposure, at the doses and dose-rates expected during a solar particle event (SPE), are reported in the ferret model system. Following the exposure to γ-ray or proton radiation, the ferret peripheral total white blood cell (WBC) and lymphocyte counts decreased whereas neutrophil count increased within 3 hours. At 48 hours after irradiation, the WBC, neutrophil, and lymphocyte counts decreased in a dose-dependent manner but were not significantly affected by the radiation type (γ-rays verses protons) or dose rate (0.5 Gy/minute verses 0.5 Gy/hour). The loss of these blood cells could accompany and contribute to the physiological symptoms of the acute radiation syndrome (ARS). PMID:25356435

  11. Exhaled Aerosol Transmission of Pandemic and Seasonal H1N1 Influenza Viruses in the Ferret

    PubMed Central

    Koster, Frederick; Gouveia, Kristine; Zhou, Yue; Lowery, Kristin; Russell, Robert; MacInnes, Heather; Pollock, Zemmie; Layton, R. Colby; Cromwell, Jennifer; Toleno, Denise; Pyle, John; Zubelewicz, Michael; Harrod, Kevin; Sampath, Rangarajan; Hofstadler, Steven; Gao, Peng; Liu, Yushi; Cheng, Yung-Sung

    2012-01-01

    Person-to-person transmission of influenza viruses occurs by contact (direct and fomites) and non-contact (droplet and small particle aerosol) routes, but the quantitative dynamics and relative contributions of these routes are incompletely understood. The transmissibility of influenza strains estimated from secondary attack rates in closed human populations is confounded by large variations in population susceptibilities. An experimental method to phenotype strains for transmissibility in an animal model could provide relative efficiencies of transmission. We developed an experimental method to detect exhaled viral aerosol transmission between unanesthetized infected and susceptible ferrets, measured aerosol particle size and number, and quantified the viral genomic RNA in the exhaled aerosol. During brief 3-hour exposures to exhaled viral aerosols in airflow-controlled chambers, three strains of pandemic 2009 H1N1 strains were frequently transmitted to susceptible ferrets. In contrast one seasonal H1N1 strain was not transmitted in spite of higher levels of viral RNA in the exhaled aerosol. Among three pandemic strains, the two strains causing weight loss and illness in the intranasally infected ‘donor’ ferrets were transmitted less efficiently from the donor than the strain causing no detectable illness, suggesting that the mucosal inflammatory response may attenuate viable exhaled virus. Although exhaled viral RNA remained constant, transmission efficiency diminished from day 1 to day 5 after donor infection. Thus, aerosol transmission between ferrets may be dependent on at least four characteristics of virus-host relationships including the level of exhaled virus, infectious particle size, mucosal inflammation, and viral replication efficiency in susceptible mucosa. PMID:22509254

  12. Influenza A (H10N7) Virus Causes Respiratory Tract Disease in Harbor Seals and Ferrets.

    PubMed

    van den Brand, Judith M A; Wohlsein, Peter; Herfst, Sander; Bodewes, Rogier; Pfankuche, Vanessa M; van de Bildt, Marco W G; Seehusen, Frauke; Puff, Christina; Richard, Mathilde; Siebert, Ursula; Lehnert, Kristina; Bestebroer, Theo; Lexmond, Pascal; Fouchier, Ron A M; Prenger-Berninghoff, Ellen; Herbst, Werner; Koopmans, Marion; Osterhaus, Albert D M E; Kuiken, Thijs; Baumgärtner, Wolfgang

    2016-01-01

    Avian influenza viruses sporadically cross the species barrier to mammals, including humans, in which they may cause epidemic disease. Recently such an epidemic occurred due to the emergence of avian influenza virus of the subtype H10N7 (Seal/H10N7) in harbor seals (Phoca vitulina). This epidemic caused high mortality in seals along the north-west coast of Europe and represented a potential risk for human health. To characterize the spectrum of lesions and to identify the target cells and viral distribution, findings in 16 harbor seals spontaneously infected with Seal/H10N7 are described. The seals had respiratory tract inflammation extending from the nasal cavity to bronchi associated with intralesional virus antigen in respiratory epithelial cells. Virus infection was restricted to the respiratory tract. The fatal outcome of the viral infection in seals was most likely caused by secondary bacterial infections. To investigate the pathogenic potential of H10N7 infection for humans, we inoculated the seal virus intratracheally into six ferrets and performed pathological and virological analyses at 3 and 7 days post inoculation. These experimentally inoculated ferrets displayed mild clinical signs, virus excretion from the pharynx and respiratory tract inflammation extending from bronchi to alveoli that was associated with virus antigen expression exclusively in the respiratory epithelium. Virus was isolated only from the respiratory tract. In conclusion, Seal/H10N7 infection in naturally infected harbor seals and experimentally infected ferrets shows that respiratory epithelial cells are the permissive cells for viral replication. Fatal outcome in seals was caused by secondary bacterial pneumonia similar to that in fatal human cases during influenza pandemics. Productive infection of ferrets indicates that seal/H10N7 may possess a zoonotic potential. This outbreak of LPAI from wild birds to seals demonstrates the risk of such occasions for mammals and thus humans

  13. Assessment of transmission, pathogenesis and adaptation of H2 subtype influenza viruses in ferrets.

    PubMed

    Pappas, Claudia; Yang, Hua; Carney, Paul J; Pearce, Melissa B; Katz, Jacqueline M; Stevens, James; Tumpey, Terrence M

    2015-03-01

    After their disappearance from the human population in 1968, influenza H2 viruses have continued to circulate in the natural avian reservoir. The isolation of this virus subtype from multiple bird species as well as swine highlights the need to better understand the potential of these viruses to spread and cause disease in humans. Here we analyzed the virulence, transmissibility and receptor-binding preference of two avian influenza H2 viruses (H2N2 and H2N3) and compared them to a swine H2N3 (A/swine/Missouri/2124514/2006 [swMO]), and a human H2N2 (A/England/10/1967 [Eng/67]) virus using the ferret model as a mammalian host. Both avian H2 viruses possessed the capacity to spread efficiently between cohoused ferrets, and the swine (swMO) and human (Eng/67) viruses transmitted to naïve ferrets by respiratory droplets. Further characterization of the swMO hemagglutinin (HA) by x-ray crystallography and glycan microarray array identified receptor-specific adaptive mutations. As influenza virus quasispecies dynamics during transmission have not been well characterized, we sequenced nasal washes collected during transmission studies to better understand experimental adaptation of H2 HA. The avian H2 viruses isolated from ferret nasal washes contained mutations in the HA1, including a Gln226Leu substitution, which is a mutation associated with α2,6 sialic acid (human-like) binding preference. These results suggest that the molecular structure of HA in viruses of the H2 subtype continue to have the potential to adapt to a mammalian host and become transmissible, after acquiring additional genetic markers. PMID:25659818

  14. Influenza A (H10N7) Virus Causes Respiratory Tract Disease in Harbor Seals and Ferrets

    PubMed Central

    Herfst, Sander; Bodewes, Rogier; Pfankuche, Vanessa M.; van de Bildt, Marco W. G.; Seehusen, Frauke; Puff, Christina; Richard, Mathilde; Siebert, Ursula; Lehnert, Kristina; Bestebroer, Theo; Lexmond, Pascal; Fouchier, Ron A. M.; Prenger-Berninghoff, Ellen; Herbst, Werner; Koopmans, Marion; Osterhaus, Albert D. M. E.

    2016-01-01

    Avian influenza viruses sporadically cross the species barrier to mammals, including humans, in which they may cause epidemic disease. Recently such an epidemic occurred due to the emergence of avian influenza virus of the subtype H10N7 (Seal/H10N7) in harbor seals (Phoca vitulina). This epidemic caused high mortality in seals along the north-west coast of Europe and represented a potential risk for human health. To characterize the spectrum of lesions and to identify the target cells and viral distribution, findings in 16 harbor seals spontaneously infected with Seal/H10N7 are described. The seals had respiratory tract inflammation extending from the nasal cavity to bronchi associated with intralesional virus antigen in respiratory epithelial cells. Virus infection was restricted to the respiratory tract. The fatal outcome of the viral infection in seals was most likely caused by secondary bacterial infections. To investigate the pathogenic potential of H10N7 infection for humans, we inoculated the seal virus intratracheally into six ferrets and performed pathological and virological analyses at 3 and 7 days post inoculation. These experimentally inoculated ferrets displayed mild clinical signs, virus excretion from the pharynx and respiratory tract inflammation extending from bronchi to alveoli that was associated with virus antigen expression exclusively in the respiratory epithelium. Virus was isolated only from the respiratory tract. In conclusion, Seal/H10N7 infection in naturally infected harbor seals and experimentally infected ferrets shows that respiratory epithelial cells are the permissive cells for viral replication. Fatal outcome in seals was caused by secondary bacterial pneumonia similar to that in fatal human cases during influenza pandemics. Productive infection of ferrets indicates that seal/H10N7 may possess a zoonotic potential. This outbreak of LPAI from wild birds to seals demonstrates the risk of such occasions for mammals and thus humans

  15. Reduced subventricular zone proliferation and white matter damage in juvenile ferrets with kaolin-induced hydrocephalus.

    PubMed

    Di Curzio, Domenico L; Buist, Richard J; Del Bigio, Marc R

    2013-10-01

    Hydrocephalus is a neurological condition characterized by altered cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flow with enlargement of ventricular cavities in the brain. A reliable model of hydrocephalus in gyrencephalic mammals is necessary to test preclinical hypotheses. Our objective was to characterize the behavioral, structural, and histological changes in juvenile ferrets following induction of hydrocephalus. Fourteen-day old ferrets were given an injection of kaolin (aluminum silicate) into the cisterna magna. Two days later and repeated weekly until 56 days of age, magnetic resonance (MR) imaging was used to assess ventricle size. Behavior was examined thrice weekly. Compared to age-matched saline-injected controls, severely hydrocephalic ferrets weighed significantly less, their postures were impaired, and they were hyperactive prior to extreme debilitation. They developed significant ventriculomegaly and displayed white matter destruction. Reactive astroglia and microglia detected by glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and Iba-1 immunostaining were apparent in white matter, cortex, and hippocampus. There was a hydrocephalus-related increase in activated caspase 3 labeling of apoptotic cells (7.0 vs. 15.5%) and a reduction in Ki67 labeling of proliferating cells (23.3 vs. 5.9%) in the subventricular zone (SVZ). Reduced Olig2 immunolabeling suggests a depletion of glial precursors. GFAP content was elevated. Myelin basic protein (MBP) quantitation and myelin biochemical enzyme activity showed early maturational increases. Where white matter was not destroyed, the remaining axons developed myelin similar to the controls. In conclusion, the hydrocephalus-induced periventricular disturbances may involve developmental impairments in cell proliferation and glial precursor cell populations. The ferret should prove useful for testing hypotheses about white matter damage and protection in the immature hydrocephalic brain. PMID:23769908

  16. Replication and Transmission of H9N2 Influenza Viruses in Ferrets: Evaluation of Pandemic Potential

    PubMed Central

    Song, Haichen; Hossain, Md Jaber; Ramirez-Nieto, Gloria; Monne, Isabella; Stevens, James; Cattoli, Giovanni; Capua, Ilaria; Chen, Li-Mei; Donis, Ruben O.; Busch, Julia; Paulson, James C.; Brockwell, Christy; Webby, Richard; Blanco, Jorge; Al-Natour, Mohammad Q.; Perez, Daniel R.

    2008-01-01

    H9N2 avian influenza A viruses are endemic in poultry of many Eurasian countries and have caused repeated human infections in Asia since 1998. To evaluate the potential threat of H9N2 viruses to humans, we investigated the replication and transmission efficiency of H9N2 viruses in the ferret model. Five wild-type (WT) H9N2 viruses, isolated from different avian species from 1988 through 2003, were tested in vivo and found to replicate in ferrets. However these viruses achieved mild peak viral titers in nasal washes when compared to those observed with a human H3N2 virus. Two of these H9N2 viruses transmitted to direct contact ferrets, however no aerosol transmission was detected in the virus displaying the most efficient direct contact transmission. A leucine (Leu) residue at amino acid position 226 in the hemagglutinin (HA) receptor-binding site (RBS), responsible for human virus-like receptor specificity, was found to be important for the transmission of the H9N2 viruses in ferrets. In addition, an H9N2 avian-human reassortant virus, which contains the surface glycoprotein genes from an H9N2 virus and the six internal genes of a human H3N2 virus, showed enhanced replication and efficient transmission to direct contacts. Although no aerosol transmission was observed, the virus replicated in multiple respiratory tissues and induced clinical signs similar to those observed with the parental human H3N2 virus. Our results suggest that the establishment and prevalence of H9N2 viruses in poultry pose a significant threat for humans. PMID:18698430

  17. Metastatic, papillary cystadenocarcinoma of the mammary gland in a black-footed ferret

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Carpenter, J.W.; Davidson, J.P.; Novilla, M.N.; Huang, J.C.M.

    1980-01-01

    A simple, papillary cystic adenocarcinoma of the mammary gland with metastases to the internal iliac and mesenteric lymph nodes, liver, and spleen was observed in a 12 to 13 year old female black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes). Histologically, the tumor was aggressive, and lymphatic invasion was found. Attempts at virus isolation were negative. Other findings were bilateral infarcts in the kidneys, apparently resulting in acute renal shutdown and death, multiple thrombi in the right atrium, aortic arteriosclerosis, and focal interstitial pneumonia.

  18. THE SARS-COV FERRET MODEL IN AN INFECTION-CHALLENGE STUDY

    PubMed Central

    Chu, Yong-Kyu; Ali, Georgia D.; Jia, Fuli; Li, Qianjun; Kelvin, David; Couch, Ronald C.; Harrod, Kevin S.; Hutt, Julie A.; Cameron, Cheryl; Weiss, Susan R.; Jonsson, Colleen B.

    2010-01-01

    Phase I human clinical studies involving therapeutics for emerging and biodefense pathogens with low incidence, such as the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV), requires at a minimum preclinical evaluation of efficacy in two well-characterized and robust animal models. Thus, a ferret SARS-CoV model was evaluated over a period of 58 days following extensive optimization and characterization of the model in order to validate clinical, histopathological, virological and immunological endpoints. Ferrets that were infected intranasally with 103 TCID50 SARS-CoV showed higher body temperature (2–6 d.p.i.), sneezing (5–10 d.p.i.), lesions (5–7 d.p.i.) and decreased WBC/lymphocytes (2–5 d.p.i.). SARS-CoV was detected up to 7 d.p.i. in various tissues and excreta, while neutralizing antibody titers rose at 7 d.p.i. and peaked at 14 d.p.i. At 29 d.p.i., one group was challenged with 103 TCID50 SARS-CoV, and an anamnestic response in neutralizing antibodies was evident with no detectable virus. This study supports the validity of the ferret model for use in evaluating efficacy of potential therapeutics to treat SARS. PMID:18234270

  19. Factors affecting the efficiency of embryo transfer in the domestic ferret (Mustela putorius furo).

    PubMed

    Li, Ziyi; Sun, Xingshen; Chen, Juan; Leno, Gregory H; Engelhardt, John F

    2006-07-15

    Embryo transfer (ET) to recipient females is a foundational strategy for a number of assisted reproductive technologies, including cloning by somatic cell nuclear transfer. In an attempt to develop efficient ET in domestic ferrets, factors affecting development of transferred embryo were investigated. Unilateral and bilateral transfer of zygotes or blastocysts in the oviduct or uterus was evaluated in recipient nulliparous or primiparous females. Developing fetuses were collected from recipient animals 21 days post-copulation and examined. The percentage of fetal formation was different (P<0.05) for unilateral and bilateral transfer of zygotes (71%) in nulliparous females with bilateral transfer (56%) in primiparous recipients. The percentage (90%) of fetal formation in nulliparous recipients following unilateral transfer of blastocysts was higher (P<0.05) than that observed in primiparous recipients with bilateral ET (73%). Notably, the percentage of fetal formation was higher (P<0.05) when blastocyts were transferred as compared to zygotes (90% versus 71%). Transuterine migration of embryos occurred following all unilateral transfers and also in approximately 50% of bilateral transfers with different number of embryos in each uterine horn. These data will help to facilitate the development of assisted reproductive strategies in the ferret and could lead to the use of this species for modeling human disease and for conservation of the endangered Mustelidae species such as black-footed ferret and European mink. PMID:16330092

  20. Spectral timbre perception in ferrets; discrimination of artificial vowels under different listening conditions

    PubMed Central

    Bizley, Jennifer K; Walker, Kerry MM; King, Andrew J; Schnupp, Jan WH

    2013-01-01

    Spectral timbre is an acoustic feature that enables human listeners to determine the identity of a spoken vowel. Despite its importance to sound perception, little is known about the neural representation of sound timbre and few psychophysical studies have investigated timbre discrimination in non-human species. In this study, ferrets were positively conditioned to discriminate artificial vowel sounds in a two-alternative-forced-choice paradigm. Animals quickly learned to discriminate the vowel sound /u/ from /ε/, and were immediately able to generalize across a range of voice pitches. They were further tested in a series of experiments designed to assess how well they could discriminate these vowel sounds under different listening conditions. First, a series of morphed vowels was created by systematically shifting the location of the first and second formant frequencies. Second, the ferrets were tested with single formant stimuli designed to assess which spectral cues they could be using to make their decisions. Finally, vowel discrimination thresholds were derived in the presence of noise maskers presented from either the same or a different spatial location. These data indicate that ferrets show robust vowel discrimination behavior across a range of listening conditions and that this ability shares many similarities with human listeners. PMID:23297909

  1. The precedence effect and its buildup and breakdown in ferrets and humans

    PubMed Central

    Tolnai, Sandra; Litovsky, Ruth Y.; King, Andrew J.

    2014-01-01

    Although many studies have examined the precedence effect (PE), few have tested whether it shows a buildup and breakdown in nonhuman animals comparable to that seen in humans. These processes are thought to reflect the ability of the auditory system to adjust to a listener’s acoustic environment, and their mechanisms are still poorly understood. In this study, ferrets were trained on a two-alternative forced-choice task to discriminate the azimuthal direction of brief sounds. In one experiment, pairs of noise bursts were presented from two loudspeakers at different interstimulus delays (ISDs). Results showed that localization performance changed as a function of ISD in a manner consistent with the PE being operative. A second experiment investigated buildup and breakdown of the PE by measuring the ability of ferrets to discriminate the direction of a click pair following presentation of a conditioning train. Human listeners were also tested using this paradigm. In both species, performance was better when the test clicks and conditioning train had the same ISD but deteriorated following a switch in the direction of the leading and lagging sounds between the conditioning train and test clicks. These results suggest that ferrets, like humans, experience a buildup and breakdown of the PE. PMID:24606278

  2. Prolonged Influenza Virus Shedding and Emergence of Antiviral Resistance in Immunocompromised Patients and Ferrets

    PubMed Central

    van der Vries, Erhard; Stittelaar, Koert J.; van Amerongen, Geert; Veldhuis Kroeze, Edwin J. B.; de Waal, Leon; Fraaij, Pieter L. A.; Meesters, Roland J.; Luider, Theo M.; van der Nagel, Bart; Koch, Birgit; Vulto, Arnold G.; Schutten, Martin; Osterhaus, Albert D. M. E.

    2013-01-01

    Immunocompromised individuals tend to suffer from influenza longer with more serious complications than otherwise healthy patients. Little is known about the impact of prolonged infection and the efficacy of antiviral therapy in these patients. Among all 189 influenza A virus infected immunocompromised patients admitted to ErasmusMC, 71 were hospitalized, since the start of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic. We identified 11 (15%) cases with prolonged 2009 pandemic virus replication (longer than 14 days), despite antiviral therapy. In 5 out of these 11 (45%) cases oseltamivir resistant H275Y viruses emerged. Given the inherent difficulties in studying antiviral efficacy in immunocompromised patients, we have infected immunocompromised ferrets with either wild-type, or oseltamivir-resistant (H275Y) 2009 pandemic virus. All ferrets showed prolonged virus shedding. In wild-type virus infected animals treated with oseltamivir, H275Y resistant variants emerged within a week after infection. Unexpectedly, oseltamivir therapy still proved to be partially protective in animals infected with resistant virus. Immunocompromised ferrets offer an attractive alternative to study efficacy of novel antiviral therapies. PMID:23717200

  3. Visualizing real-time influenza virus infection, transmission and protection in ferrets.

    PubMed

    Karlsson, Erik A; Meliopoulos, Victoria A; Savage, Chandra; Livingston, Brandi; Mehle, Andrew; Schultz-Cherry, Stacey

    2015-01-01

    Influenza transmission efficiency in ferrets is vital for risk-assessment studies. However, the inability to monitor viral infection and transmission dynamics in real time only provides a glimpse into transmissibility. Here we exploit a replication-competent influenza reporter virus to investigate dynamics of infection/transmission in ferrets. Bioluminescent imaging of ferrets infected with A/California/04/2009 H1N1 virus (CA/09) encoding NanoLuc (NLuc) luciferase provides the first real-time snapshot of influenza infection/transmission. Luminescence in the respiratory tract and in less well-characterized extra-pulmonary sites is observed, and imaging identifies infections in animals that would have otherwise been missed by traditional methods. Finally, the reporter virus significantly increases the speed and sensitivity of virological and serological assays. Thus, bioluminescent imaging of influenza infections rapidly determines intra-host dissemination, inter-host transmission and viral load, revealing infection dynamics and pandemic potential of the virus. These results have important implications for antiviral drug susceptibility, vaccine efficacy, transmissibility and pathogenicity studies. PMID:25744559

  4. Visualizing real-time influenza virus infection, transmission and protection in ferrets

    PubMed Central

    Karlsson, Erik A.; Meliopoulos, Victoria A.; Savage, Chandra; Livingston, Brandi; Mehle, Andrew; Schultz-Cherry, Stacey

    2015-01-01

    Influenza transmission efficiency in ferrets is vital for risk-assessment studies. However, the inability to monitor viral infection and transmission dynamics in real time only provides a glimpse into transmissibility. Here we exploit a replication-competent influenza reporter virus to investigate dynamics of infection/transmission in ferrets. Bioluminescent imaging of ferrets infected with A/California/04/2009 H1N1 virus (CA/09) encoding NanoLuc (NLuc) luciferase provides the first real-time snapshot of influenza infection/transmission. Luminescence in the respiratory tract and in less well-characterized extra-pulmonary sites is observed, and imaging identifies infections in animals that would have otherwise been missed by traditional methods. Finally, the reporter virus significantly increases the speed and sensitivity of virological and serological assays. Thus, bioluminescent imaging of influenza infections rapidly determines intra-host dissemination, inter-host transmission and viral load, revealing infection dynamics and pandemic potential of the virus. These results have important implications for antiviral drug susceptibility, vaccine efficacy, transmissibility and pathogenicity studies. PMID:25744559

  5. Use of a GnRH agonist implant as alternative for surgical neutering in pet ferrets.

    PubMed

    van Zeeland, Y R A; Pabon, M; Roest, J; Schoemaker, N J

    2014-07-19

    In the current study, the duration of effectiveness, owner satisfaction and side effects of a gonadotrophin releasing hormone-agonist (deslorelin) implant were investigated during a two-year follow-up study in which 61 male and 69 female entire pet ferrets were given a 4.7 mg deslorelin implant as alternative to surgical neutering. In 27 participating non-oestrous jills, a double-blind placebo controlled study was performed to investigate whether a single low dose of medroxyprogesterone (2 mg orally) four days preceding placement of the implant could prevent oestrus induction. The duration of effectiveness of the implant ranged from 301 days to over 1339 days (mean 1012±38 days), with no sex difference present. Over 90 per cent of owners were pleased with the effects of the implant. Minor local side effects were noted in less than 20 per cent of ferrets, which all resolved within a week without treatment. Oestrus was induced in 77 per cent of jills receiving medroxyprogesterone and 50 per cent of jills receiving the placebo, indicating that administration of a low-dose progestogen cannot prevent postimplant oestrus. Based on the minimum duration of effectiveness, it is advised to place a new implant on a yearly basis to guarantee continuous gonadal suppression, although biannual replacement may be sufficient in the majority of ferrets. PMID:24789851

  6. Adeno-associated virus–targeted disruption of the CFTR gene in cloned ferrets

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Xingshen; Yan, Ziying; Yi, Yaling; Li, Ziyi; Lei, Diana; Rogers, Christopher S.; Chen, Juan; Zhang, Yulong; Welsh, Michael J.; Leno, Gregory H.; Engelhardt, John F.

    2008-01-01

    Somatic cell gene targeting combined with nuclear transfer cloning presents tremendous potential for the creation of new, large-animal models of human diseases. Mouse disease models often fail to reproduce human phenotypes, underscoring the need for the generation and study of alternative disease models. Mice deficient for CFTR have been poor models for cystic fibrosis (CF), lacking many aspects of human CF lung disease. In this study, we describe the production of a CFTR gene–deficient model in the domestic ferret using recombinant adeno-associated virus–mediated gene targeting in fibroblasts, followed by nuclear transfer cloning. As part of this approach, we developed a somatic cell rejuvenation protocol using serial nuclear transfer to produce live CFTR-deficient clones from senescent gene-targeted fibroblasts. We transferred 472 reconstructed embryos into 11 recipient jills and obtained 8 healthy male ferret clones heterozygous for a disruption in exon 10 of the CFTR gene. To our knowledge, this study represents the first description of genetically engineered ferrets and describes an approach that may be of substantial utility in modeling not only CF, but also other genetic diseases. PMID:18324338

  7. Adeno-associated virus-targeted disruption of the CFTR gene in cloned ferrets.

    PubMed

    Sun, Xingshen; Yan, Ziying; Yi, Yaling; Li, Ziyi; Lei, Diana; Rogers, Christopher S; Chen, Juan; Zhang, Yulong; Welsh, Michael J; Leno, Gregory H; Engelhardt, John F

    2008-04-01

    Somatic cell gene targeting combined with nuclear transfer cloning presents tremendous potential for the creation of new, large-animal models of human diseases. Mouse disease models often fail to reproduce human phenotypes, underscoring the need for the generation and study of alternative disease models. Mice deficient for CFTR have been poor models for cystic fibrosis (CF), lacking many aspects of human CF lung disease. In this study, we describe the production of a CFTR gene-deficient model in the domestic ferret using recombinant adeno-associated virus-mediated gene targeting in fibroblasts, followed by nuclear transfer cloning. As part of this approach, we developed a somatic cell rejuvenation protocol using serial nuclear transfer to produce live CFTR-deficient clones from senescent gene-targeted fibroblasts. We transferred 472 reconstructed embryos into 11 recipient jills and obtained 8 healthy male ferret clones heterozygous for a disruption in exon 10 of the CFTR gene. To our knowledge, this study represents the first description of genetically engineered ferrets and describes an approach that may be of substantial utility in modeling not only CF, but also other genetic diseases. PMID:18324338

  8. Implications of black-tailed prairie dog spatial dynamics to black-footed ferrets

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jachowski, D.S.; Millspaugh, J.J.; Biggins, D.E.; Livieri, T.M.; Matchett, M.R.

    2008-01-01

    The spatial dynamics of black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colonies affect the utility of these environments for other wildlife, including the endangered black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes). We used location data of active and inactive black-tailed prairie dog burrows to investigate colony structure, spatial distribution, and patch dynamics of two colonies at ferret recovery sites. We used kernel-based utilization distributions (UDs) of active and inactive burrows from two time periods (six and 11 years apart) as the basis for our analysis. Overall, the total extent of our prairie dog colonies changed little over time. However, within colonies, areas with high densities of active and inactive prairie dog burrows formed patches and the distribution of these patches changed in size, shape, and connectivity over time. At the Conata Basin site, high-density active burrow patches increased in total area covered while decreasing in connectivity as they shifted towards the perimeter of the colony over time. At the UL Bend site, we observed a similar but less pronounced shift over a longer period of time. At both sites, while at a large scale it appeared that prairie dogs were simply shifting areas of activity towards the perimeter of colonies and abandoning the center of colonies, we observed a dynamic interaction between areas of active and inactive burrows within colonies over time. Areas that previously contained inactive burrows tended to become active, and vice versa, leading us to hypothesize that there are shifts of activity areas within colonies over time as dictated by forage availability. The spatial dynamics we observed have important implications for techniques to estimate the suitability of ferret habitat and for the management of prairie dog colonies. First, fine-scale techniques for measuring prairie dog colonies that account for their patchy spatial distribution are needed to better assess ferret habitat suitability. Second, the shift of

  9. Fates of visual cortical neurons in the ferret after isochronic and heterochronic transplantation.

    PubMed

    McConnell, S K

    1988-03-01

    In the mammalian cerebral cortex, neurons in a given layer are generated at about the same time in development. These cells also tend to share similar sets of morphological and physiological properties and have projection patterns characteristic of that layer. This correspondence between the birthday and eventual fate of a cortical neuron suggests the possibility that the commitment of a cell to a particular laminar position and set of connections may occur very early on in cortical development. The experiments described here constitute an attempt to manipulate the fates of newly generated cortical neurons upon transplantation. The first set of experiments addressed the normal development of neurons in the primary visual cortex (area 17) of the ferret. Injections of 3H-thymidine into newborn ferrets showed that neurons generated after birth are destined to sit in layer 2/3 of the cortex, whereas neurons born on embryonic day (E) 32 populate primarily layers 5 and 6. Many layer 2/3 neurons in adult ferrets could be retrogradely labeled with HRP from visual cortical areas 18 and 19, while about half of the neurons in layer 6 were found to project to the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN). In the second set of experiments, presumptive layer 2/3 cells were labeled in vivo by injecting ferrets with 3H-thymidine on P1 and P2. Before the cells had a chance to migrate, they were removed from the donor brain, incubated in a fluorescent dye (DAPI or fast blue), and dissociated into a single-cell suspension. The labeled cells were then transplanted into the proliferative zone of a littermate host ferret ("isochronic" transplants). Over the next few weeks, many of these dye-labeled cells underwent changes in their position and morphology that were consistent with a radially directed migration and subsequent differentiation into cortical neurons. The final positions of isochronically transplanted neurons in the host brain were mapped out by using the 3H-thymidine marker after

  10. Combined α-tocopherol and ascorbic acid protects against smoke-induced lung squamous metaplasia in ferrets.

    PubMed

    Kim, Yuri; Chongviriyaphan, Nalinee; Liu, Chun; Russell, Robert M; Wang, Xiang-Dong

    2012-01-01

    Many epidemiological studies show the benefit of fruits and vegetables on reducing risk of lung cancer, the leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Previously, we demonstrated that cigarette smoke exposure (SM)-induced lung lesions in ferrets were prevented by a combination of low dose of β-carotene, α-tocopherol (AT), and ascorbic acid (AA). However, the role of a combination of AT and AA alone in the protective effect on lung carcinogenesis remains to be examined. In the present study, we investigated whether the combined AT (equivalent to ∼100 mg/day in the human) and AA (equivalent to ∼210 mg/day) supplementation prevents against SM (equivalent to 1.5 packs of cigarettes/day) induced lung squamous metaplasia in ferrets. Ferrets were treated for 6 weeks in the following three groups (9 ferrets/group): (i) Control (no SM, no AT+AA), (ii) SM alone, and (iii) SM+AT+AA. Results showed that SM significantly decreased concentrations of retinoic acid, AT, and reduced form of AA, not total AA, retinol and retinyl palmitate, in the lungs of ferrets. Combined AT+AA treatment partially restored the lowered concentrations of AT, reduced AA and retinoic acid in the lungs of SM-exposed ferrets to the levels in the control group. Furthermore, the combined AT+AA supplementation prevented SM-induced squamous metaplasia [0 positive/9 total ferrets (0%) vs. 5/8 (62%); p<0.05] and cyclin D1 expression (p<0.05) in the ferret lungs, in which both were positively correlated with expression of c-Jun expression. Although there were no significant differences in lung microsomal malondialdehyde (MDA) levels among the three groups, we found a positive correlation between MDA levels and cyclin D1, as well as c-Jun expressions in the lungs of ferrets. These data indicate that the combination of antioxidant AT+AA alone exerts protective effects against SM-induced lung lesions through inhibiting cyclin D1 expression and partially restoring retinoic acid levels to normal. PMID

  11. Vaccination of ferrets with a recombinant G glycoprotein subunit vaccine provides protection against Nipah virus disease for over 12 months

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Nipah virus (NiV) is a zoonotic virus belonging to the henipavirus genus in the family Paramyxoviridae. Since NiV was first identified in 1999, outbreaks have continued to occur in humans in Bangladesh and India on an almost annual basis with case fatality rates reported between 40% and 100%. Methods Ferrets were vaccinated with 4, 20 or 100 μg HeVsG formulated with the human use approved adjuvant, CpG, in a prime-boost regime. One half of the ferrets were exposed to NiV at 20 days post boost vaccination and the other at 434 days post vaccination. The presence of virus or viral genome was assessed in ferret fluids and tissues using real-time PCR, virus isolation, histopathology, and immunohistochemistry; serology was also carried out. Non-immunised ferrets were also exposed to virus to confirm the pathogenicity of the inoculum. Results Ferrets exposed to Nipah virus 20 days post vaccination remained clinically healthy. Virus or viral genome was not detected in any tissues or fluids of the vaccinated ferrets; lesions and antigen were not identified on immunohistological examination of tissues; and there was no increase in antibody titre during the observation period, consistent with failure of virus replication. Of the ferrets challenged 434 days post vaccination, all five remained well throughout the study period; viral genome – but not virus - was recovered from nasal secretions of one ferret given 20 μg HeVsG and bronchial lymph nodes of the other. There was no increase in antibody titre during the observation period, consistent with lack of stimulation of a humoral memory response. Conclusions We have previously shown that ferrets vaccinated with 4, 20 or 100 μg HeVsG formulated with CpG adjuvant, which is currently in several human clinical trials, were protected from HeV disease. Here we show, under similar conditions of use, that the vaccine also provides protection against NiV-induced disease. Such protection persists for at least 12 months

  12. Comparison of a ferret model with an inanimate simulator for training novices in techniques for intubating neonates.

    PubMed

    Grayson, J Kevin; Shinn, Antoinette M; Potts, M Vicki; Hatzfeld, Jennifer J; Cline, Jerry M

    2015-05-01

    Simulators for neonatal intubation training have improved, prompting us to compare a state-of-the-art simulator with live ferrets for training novice family-medicine residents in this crucial skill. After a scripted didactic presentation, we used a crossover study design and randomly assigned residents to receive simulator or live ferret training, after which they repeated the procedure by using the opposite method. Participants were asked to report their level of confidence and competence before and after each training session and the usefulness of each training method. In addition, residents were videotaped performing the procedure and evaluated by using a modified global rating scale. The 2 methods did not differ in regard to self-reported confidence, competence, or usefulness of each training procedure. A majority of participants indicated that they preferred using the ferrets over the simulator, with realism cited most frequently as the reason for their choice. Videotape scores for time and motion and flow of the procedure were higher when the simulator was used, but higher for instrument handling when ferrets were intubated. Overall scores were higher for videotaped evaluations with the simulator compared with the ferrets. According to these findings, the simulator appears to provide adequate instruction for the initial training of novice learners in neonatal intubation techniques. PMID:26045454

  13. Comparison of a Ferret Model with an Inanimate Simulator for Training Novices in Techniques for Intubating Neonates

    PubMed Central

    Grayson, J Kevin; Shinn, Antoinette M; Potts, M Vicki; Hatzfeld, Jennifer J; Cline, Jerry M

    2015-01-01

    Simulators for neonatal intubation training have improved, prompting us to compare a state-of-the-art simulator with live ferrets for training novice family-medicine residents in this crucial skill. After a scripted didactic presentation, we used a crossover study design and randomly assigned residents to receive simulator or live ferret training, after which they repeated the procedure by using the opposite method. Participants were asked to report their level of confidence and competence before and after each training session and the usefulness of each training method. In addition, residents were videotaped performing the procedure and evaluated by using a modified global rating scale. The 2 methods did not differ in regard to self-reported confidence, competence, or usefulness of each training procedure. A majority of participants indicated that they preferred using the ferrets over the simulator, with realism cited most frequently as the reason for their choice. Videotape scores for time and motion and flow of the procedure were higher when the simulator was used, but higher for instrument handling when ferrets were intubated. Overall scores were higher for videotaped evaluations with the simulator compared with the ferrets. According to these findings, the simulator appears to provide adequate instruction for the initial training of novice learners in neonatal intubation techniques. PMID:26045454

  14. Neutralizing inhibitors in the airways of naïve ferrets do not play a major role in modulating the virulence of H3 subtype influenza A viruses.

    PubMed

    Job, Emma R; Pizzolla, Angela; Nebl, Thomas; Short, Kirsty R; Deng, Yi-Mo; Carolan, Louise; Laurie, Karen L; Brooks, Andrew G; Reading, Patrick C

    2016-07-01

    Many insights regarding the pathogenesis of human influenza A virus (IAV) infections have come from studies in mice and ferrets. Surfactant protein (SP)-D is the major neutralizing inhibitor of IAV in mouse airway fluids and SP-D-resistant IAV mutants show enhanced virus replication and virulence in mice. Herein, we demonstrate that sialylated glycoproteins, rather than SP-D, represent the major neutralizing inhibitors against H3 subtype viruses in airway fluids from naïve ferrets. Moreover, while resistance to neutralizing inhibitors is a critical factor in modulating virus replication and disease in the mouse model, it does not appear to be so in the ferret model, as H3 mutants resistant to either SP-D or sialylated glycoproteins in ferret airway fluids did not show enhanced virulence in ferrets. These data have important implications for our understanding of pathogenesis and immunity to human IAV infections in these two widely used animal models of infection. PMID:27110707

  15. Neurovirulence of H5N1 Infection in Ferrets Is Mediated by Multifocal Replication in Distinct Permissive Neuronal Cell Regions

    PubMed Central

    Plourde, Jennifer R.; Pyles, John A.; Layton, R. Colby; Vaughan, Sarah E.; Tipper, Jennifer L.; Harrod, Kevin S.

    2012-01-01

    Highly pathogenic avian influenza A (HPAI), subtype H5N1, remains an emergent threat to the human population. While respiratory disease is a hallmark of influenza infection, H5N1 has a high incidence of neurological sequelae in many animal species and sporadically in humans. We elucidate the temporal/spatial infection of H5N1 in the brain of ferrets following a low dose, intranasal infection of two HPAI strains of varying neurovirulence and lethality. A/Vietnam/1203/2004 (VN1203) induced mortality in 100% of infected ferrets while A/Hong Kong/483/1997 (HK483) induced lethality in only 20% of ferrets, with death occurring significantly later following infection. Neurological signs were prominent in VN1203 infection, but not HK483, with seizures observed three days post challenge and torticollis or paresis at later time points. VN1203 and HK483 replication kinetics were similar in primary differentiated ferret nasal turbinate cells, and similar viral titers were measured in the nasal turbinates of infected ferrets. Pulmonary viral titers were not different between strains and pathological findings in the lungs were similar in severity. VN1203 replicated to high titers in the olfactory bulb, cerebral cortex, and brain stem; whereas HK483 was not recovered in these tissues. VN1203 was identified adjacent to and within the olfactory nerve tract, and multifocal infection was observed throughout the frontal cortex and cerebrum. VN1203 was also detected throughout the cerebellum, specifically in Purkinje cells and regions that coordinate voluntary movements. These findings suggest the increased lethality of VN1203 in ferrets is due to increased replication in brain regions important in higher order function and explains the neurological signs observed during H5N1 neurovirulence. PMID:23056366

  16. Relaxation in ferret ventricular myocytes: unusual interplay among calcium transport systems.

    PubMed Central

    Bassani, R A; Bassani, J W; Bers, D M

    1994-01-01

    Transport systems responsible for removing Ca2+ from the myoplasm during relaxation in isolated ferret ventricular myocytes were studied using caffeine-induced contractures. Internal calcium concentration ([Ca2+]i) was measured with the fluorescent calcium indicator indo-1, and the results were compared with our recent detailed characterizations in rabbit and rat myocytes. Relaxation and [Ca2+]i decline during a twitch in ferret myocytes were fast and similar to that in rat myocytes (i.e. half-time, t 1/2 approximately 100-160 ms). During a caffeine-induced contracture (SR Ca2+ accumulation prevented), relaxation was still relatively fast (t 1/2 = 0.57 s) and similar to relaxation in rabbit supported mainly by a strong Na(+)-Ca2+ exchange. When both the SR Ca2+ uptake and Na(+)-Ca2+ exchange are blocked (by caffeine and 0 Na+, 0 Ca2+ solution) relaxation in the ferret myocyte is remarkably fast (approximately 5-fold) compared with rabbit and rat myocytes. The decline of the Cai2+ transient was also fast under these conditions. These values were similar to those in rat under conditions where relaxation is due primarily to Na(+)-Ca2+ exchange. Additional inhibition of either the sarcolemmal Ca(2+)-ATPase or mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake caused only modest slowing of the relaxation of caffeine-induced contracture in 0 Na+, 0 Ca2+ (t 1/2 increased to approximately 3 s). In rabbit myocytes the relaxation t 1/2 is slowed to 20-30 s by these procedures. Even when the systems responsible for slow relaxation in rabbit ventricular myocytes are inhibited (i.e. sarcolemmal Ca(2+)-ATPase and mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake) along with the SR Ca(2+)-ATPase and Na(+)-Ca2+ exchange, relaxation and [Ca2+]i decline in ferret myocytes remain rapid compared with rabbit myocytes. Ca2+ taken up by mitochondria in rabbit myocytes during a caffeine contracture in 0 Na+, 0 Ca2+ solution gradually returns to the SR after caffeine removal, but this component appears to be much smaller in ferret

  17. Quantitative MRI and DTI Abnormalities During the Acute Period Following CCI in the Ferret.

    PubMed

    Hutchinson, Elizabeth B; Schwerin, Susan C; Radomski, Kryslaine L; Irfanoglu, Mustafa O; Juliano, Sharon L; Pierpaoli, Carlo M

    2016-09-01

    During the acute time period following traumatic brain injury (TBI), noninvasive brain imaging tools such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can provide important information about the clinical and pathological features of the injury and may help predict long-term outcomes. In addition to standard imaging approaches, several quantitative MRI techniques including relaxometry and diffusion MRI have been identified as promising reporters of cellular alterations after TBI and may provide greater sensitivity and specificity for identifying brain abnormalities especially in mild TBI. However, for these imaging tools to be useful, it is crucial to define their relationship with the neurophysiological response to brain injury. Recently, a model of controlled cortical impact (CCI) has been developed in the ferret which has many advantages compared with rodent models (e.g., gyrencephalic cortex and high white matter volume). The objective of this study was to evaluate quantitative MRI metrics in the ferret CCI model, including T2 values and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) metrics, during the acute time period. Longitudinal quantitative comparisons of in vivo MRI and DTI metrics were evaluated to identify abnormalities and characterize their spatial patterns in the ferret brain. Ex vivo MRI and DTI maps were then compared with histological staining for glial and neuronal abnormalities. The main findings of this article describe T2, diffusivity, and anisotropy markers of tissue change during the acute time period following mild TBI, and ex vivo analyses suggest that MRI and DTI markers are sensitive to subtle cellular alterations in this model. This was confirmed by comparison with immunohistochemistry, also showing altered markers in regions of MRI and DTI change. PMID:27294688

  18. Quantitative MRI and DTI Abnormalities During the Acute Period Following CCI in the Ferret

    PubMed Central

    Hutchinson, Elizabeth B.; Schwerin, Susan C.; Radomski, Kryslaine L.; Irfanoglu, Mustafa O.; Juliano, Sharon L.; Pierpaoli, Carlo M.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract During the acute time period following traumatic brain injury (TBI), noninvasive brain imaging tools such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can provide important information about the clinical and pathological features of the injury and may help predict long-term outcomes. In addition to standard imaging approaches, several quantitative MRI techniques including relaxometry and diffusion MRI have been identified as promising reporters of cellular alterations after TBI and may provide greater sensitivity and specificity for identifying brain abnormalities especially in mild TBI. However, for these imaging tools to be useful, it is crucial to define their relationship with the neurophysiological response to brain injury. Recently, a model of controlled cortical impact (CCI) has been developed in the ferret which has many advantages compared with rodent models (e.g., gyrencephalic cortex and high white matter volume). The objective of this study was to evaluate quantitative MRI metrics in the ferret CCI model, including T2 values and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) metrics, during the acute time period. Longitudinal quantitative comparisons of in vivo MRI and DTI metrics were evaluated to identify abnormalities and characterize their spatial patterns in the ferret brain. Ex vivo MRI and DTI maps were then compared with histological staining for glial and neuronal abnormalities. The main findings of this article describe T2, diffusivity, and anisotropy markers of tissue change during the acute time period following mild TBI, and ex vivo analyses suggest that MRI and DTI markers are sensitive to subtle cellular alterations in this model. This was confirmed by comparison with immunohistochemistry, also showing altered markers in regions of MRI and DTI change. PMID:27294688

  19. Recombinant Hendra viruses expressing a reporter gene retain pathogenicity in ferrets

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Hendra virus (HeV) is an Australian bat-borne zoonotic paramyxovirus that repeatedly spills-over to horses causing fatal disease. Human cases have all been associated with close contact with infected horses. Methods A full-length antigenome clone of HeV was assembled, a reporter gene (GFP or luciferase) inserted between the P and M genes and transfected to 293T cells to generate infectious reporter gene-encoding recombinant viruses. These viruses were then assessed in vitro for expression of the reporter genes. The GFP expressing recombinant HeV was used to challenge ferrets to assess the virulence and tissue distribution by monitoring GFP expression in infected cells. Results Three recombinant HeV constructs were successfully cloned and rescued; a wild-type virus, a GFP-expressing virus and a firefly luciferase-expressing virus. In vitro characterisation demonstrated expression of the reporter genes, with levels proportional to the initial inoculum levels. Challenge of ferrets with the GFP virus demonstrated maintenance of the fatal phenotype with disease progressing to death consistent with that observed previously with the parental wild-type isolate of HeV. GFP expression could be observed in infected tissues collected from animals at euthanasia. Conclusions Here, we report on the first successful rescue of recombinant HeV, including wild-type virus and viruses expressing two different reporter genes encoded as an additional gene cassette inserted between the P and M genes. We further demonstrate that the GFP virus retained the ability to cause fatal disease in a well-characterized ferret model of henipavirus infection despite the genome being an extra 1290 nucleotides in length. PMID:23521919

  20. Effects of developmental alcohol and valproic acid exposure on play behavior of ferrets.

    PubMed

    Krahe, Thomas E; Filgueiras, Claudio C; Medina, Alexandre E

    2016-08-01

    Exposure to alcohol and valproic acid (VPA) during pregnancy can lead to fetal alcohol spectrum disorders and fetal valproate syndrome, respectively. Altered social behavior is a hallmark of both these conditions and there is ample evidence showing that developmental exposure to alcohol and VPA affect social behavior in rodents. However, results from rodent models are somewhat difficult to translate to humans owing to the substantial differences in brain development, morphology, and connectivity. Since the cortex folding pattern is closely related to its specialization and that social behavior is strongly influenced by cortical structures, here we studied the effects of developmental alcohol and VPA exposure on the play behavior of the ferret, a gyrencephalic animal known for its playful nature. Animals were injected with alcohol (3.5g/kg, i.p.), VPA (200mg/kg, i.p.) or saline (i.p) every other day during the brain growth spurt period, between postnatal days 10 and 30. The play behavior of pairs of the same experimental group was evaluated 3 weeks later. Both treatments induced significant behavioral differences compared to controls. Alcohol and VPA exposed ferrets played less than saline treated ones, but while animals from the alcohol group displayed a delay in start playing with each other, VPA treated ones spent most of the time close to one another without playing. These findings not only extend previous results on the effects of developmental exposure to alcohol and VPA on social behavior, but make the ferret a great model to study the underlying mechanisms of social interaction. PMID:27208641

  1. Pathogenic influenza B virus in the ferret model establishes lower respiratory tract infection

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Stephen S. H.; Banner, David; Paquette, Stephane G.; Leon, Alberto J.; Kelvin, Alyson A.

    2014-01-01

    Influenza B viruses have become increasingly more prominent during influenza seasons. Influenza B infection is typically considered a mild disease and receives less attention than influenza A, but has been causing 20 to 50 % of the total influenza incidence in several regions around the world. Although there is increasing evidence of mid to lower respiratory tract diseases such as bronchitis and pneumonia in influenza B patients, little is known about the pathogenesis of recent influenza B viruses. Here we investigated the clinical and pathological profiles of infection with strains representing the two current co-circulating B lineages (B/Yamagata and B/Victoria) in the ferret model. Specifically, we studied two B/Victoria (B/Brisbane/60/2008 and B/Bolivia/1526/2010) and two B/Yamagata (B/Florida/04/2006 and B/Wisconsin/01/2010) strain infections in ferrets and observed strain-specific but not lineage-specific pathogenicity. We found B/Brisbane/60/2008 caused the most severe clinical illness and B/Brisbane/60/2008 and the B/Yamagata strains instigated pathology in the middle to lower respiratory tract. Importantly, B/Brisbane/60/2008 established efficient lower respiratory tract infection with high viral burden. Our phylogenetic analyses demonstrate profound reassortment among recent influenza B viruses, which indicates the genetic make-up of B/Brisbane/60/2008 differs from the other strains. This may explain the pathogenicity difference post-infection in ferrets. PMID:24989173

  2. Effects of nitrogen dioxide on respiratory tract clearance in the ferret

    SciTech Connect

    Rasmussen, R.E.; Mannix, R.C.; Oldham, M.J.; Phalen, R.F. )

    1994-01-01

    During growth and development, young children are periodically exposed to relatively high concentrations of various air contaminants, including tobacco smoke and environmental pollutants generated by fossil fuel use. The effects of these exposures on respiratory function and lung development are difficult to determine because of interindividual variation and lack of accurate dosimetry. To provide information on the effects of chronic exposure to a common indoor and outdoor pollutant during lung development, a study was performed to assess the effects of exposure to two concentrations of nitrogen dioxide (NO[sub 2]; 0.5 or 10 ppm) on tracer particle clearance from the airways of ferrets exposed during postnatal respiratory tract development. Separate groups of ferrets were exposed nose-only to the test atmospheres or clean air 4 h/d, 5 d/wk, for either 8 or 15 wk. Those animals exposed for 8 wk were subsequently housed in a filtered air environment until the particle clearance measurements commenced at 3 wk prior to the end of the 15-wk exposure protocol. Radiolabeled ([sup 51]Cr) tracer particles were deposited in the respiratory tract of all animals by inhalation, and the clearance rates from the head and thoracic regions were separately monitored for 18 d. No significant effects of the NO[sub 2] exposure on head airways clearance were seen. In contrast, the rates of particle clearance from the thorax of both the 8- and 15-wk groups exposed to 10 ppm NO[sub 2] were significantly reduced, and did not differ from each other. Thoracic clearance was also reduced in animals exposed to 0.5 ppm, but the rate was not significantly different from that of the clean air exposed controls. These results show that NO[sub 2] at moderate concentrations caused highly significant changes in the deep lung of the juvenile ferret, and suggest that impairment of the clearance function may be only slowly recovered after chronic exposure. 35 refs., 1 fig., 1 tab.

  3. The Domestic Ferret (Mustela putorius furo) as a Lethal Infection Model for 3 Species of Ebolavirus.

    PubMed

    Cross, Robert W; Mire, Chad E; Borisevich, Viktoriya; Geisbert, Joan B; Fenton, Karla A; Geisbert, Thomas W

    2016-08-15

    Small-animal models have been developed for several Filoviridae species; however, serial adaptation was required to produce lethal infection. These adapted viruses have sequence changes in several genes, including those that modulate the host immune response. Nonhuman primate models do not require adaptation of filoviruses. Here, we describe lethal models of disease for Bundibugyo, Sudan, and Zaire species of Ebolavirus in the domestic ferret, using wild-type nonadapted viruses. Pathologic features were consistent with disease in primates. Of particular importance, this is the only known small-animal model developed for Bundibugyo and the only uniformly lethal animal model for Bundibugyo. PMID:27354371

  4. The Domestic Ferret (Mustela putorius furo) as a Lethal Infection Model for 3 Species of Ebolavirus

    PubMed Central

    Cross, Robert W.; Mire, Chad E.; Borisevich, Viktoriya; Geisbert, Joan B.; Fenton, Karla A.; Geisbert, Thomas W.

    2016-01-01

    Small-animal models have been developed for several Filoviridae species; however, serial adaptation was required to produce lethal infection. These adapted viruses have sequence changes in several genes, including those that modulate the host immune response. Nonhuman primate models do not require adaptation of filoviruses. Here, we describe lethal models of disease for Bundibugyo, Sudan, and Zaire species of Ebolavirus in the domestic ferret, using wild-type nonadapted viruses. Pathologic features were consistent with disease in primates. Of particular importance, this is the only known small-animal model developed for Bundibugyo and the only uniformly lethal animal model for Bundibugyo. PMID:27354371

  5. Effect of field capture on the measurement of cellular immune responses in wild ferrets (Mustela furo), vectors of bovine tuberculosis in New Zealand.

    PubMed

    Cross, M L; Swale, E; Young, G; Mackintosh, C

    1999-01-01

    Ferrets are recognised as significant wildlife vectors of bovine tuberculosis (Tb) in New Zealand. Disease management strategies, such as the development of a protective wildlife vaccine, could be assisted by the ability to measure pertinent cellular immune responses among wild animals. In the present study, we investigated whether it is possible to measure in vitro lymphocyte reactivity in wild-caught ferrets, and also determined levels of physiological stress in these animals, and we compared these responses to those observed in laboratory-maintained domesticated ferrets. Over a 12-month period, 80 ferrets were live-captured from a Tb-endemic region (Otago, southern New Zealand); cardiac blood was withdrawn on-site, and mononuclear cell cultures were successfully established from 75 of these animals. Lymphocyte transformation (LT) responses to T cell and T/B cell mitogens (Concanavalin A [Con A] and pokeweed mitogen) were measured via uridine incorporation assay. The magnitude of these responses did not differ significantly between animals that had been captured in wire-framed cage traps and those captured using soft-jawed leg-hold traps. Levels of serum cortisol and glucose (as indicators of physiological and oxidative stress, respectively) were highest in animals captured using leg-hold traps. In comparison to domesticated ferrets, wild-caught ferrets had lower overall LT responses to Con A, but significantly higher levels of serum cortisol. Finally, 10/80 animals captured from the wild were severely diseased (Tb+), as evidenced by gross tuberculous lesions at autopsy. Successful mononuclear cell cultures were established from nine of these animals; LT responses to Con A were significantly lower in Tb+ ferrets than in either wild-caught/non-diseased (Tb-) or domesticated ferrets. These results demonstrate that it is possible to measure cellular immune responses from the blood of wild-caught ferrets, but that field capture and disease status may have detrimental

  6. Combined alpha-tocopherol and ascorbic acid protects against smoke-induced lung squamous metaplasia in ferrets

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Many epidemiological studies show the benefit of fruits and vegetables on reducing risk of lung cancer, the leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Previously, we demonstrated that cigarette smoke exposure (SM)-induced lung lesions in ferrets were prevented by a combination of carotene,...

  7. Diabetic ketoacidosis with concurrent pancreatitis, pancreatic β islet cell tumor, and adrenal disease in an obese ferret (Mustela putorius furo).

    PubMed

    Phair, Kristen A; Carpenter, James W; Schermerhorn, Thomas; Ganta, Chanran K; DeBey, Brad M

    2011-07-01

    A 5.5-y-old spayed female ferret (Mustela putorius furo) with a history of adrenal disease, respiratory disease, and chronic obesity was evaluated for progressive lethargy and ataxia, diminished appetite, and possible polyuria and polydipsia. Physical examination revealed obesity, lethargy, tachypnea, dyspnea, a pendulous abdomen, significant weakness and ataxia of the hindlimbs, prolonged skin tenting, and mild tail-tip alopecia. Clinicopathologic analysis revealed severe hyperglycemia, azotemia, an increased anion gap, glucosuria, ketonuria, proteinuria, and hematuria. Abdominal ultrasonography showed hyperechoic hepatomegaly, bilateral adrenomegaly, splenic nodules, mild peritoneal effusion, and thickened and mildly hypoechoic limbs of the pancreas with surrounding hyperechoic mesentery. Fine-needle aspirates of the liver were highly suggestive of hepatic lipidosis. In light of a diagnosis of concurrent diabetic ketoacidosis and pancreatitis, the ferret was treated with fluid therapy, regular and long-acting insulin administration, and pain medication. However, electrolyte derangements, metabolic acidosis, dyspnea, and the clinical appearance of the ferret progressively worsened despite treatment, and euthanasia was elected. Necropsy revealed severe hepatic lipidosis, severe suppurative pancreatitis and vacuolar degeneration of pancreatic islet cells, a pancreatic β islet cell tumor, bilateral adrenal cortical adenomas, and myocardial fibrosis. To our knowledge, this case represents the first report of concurrent diabetes mellitus, pancreatitis, pancreatic β islet cell tumor (insulinoma), and adrenal disease in a domestic ferret. The simultaneous existence of 3 endocrine diseases, pancreatitis, and their associated complications is a unique and clinically challenging situation. PMID:21838985

  8. Diabetic Ketoacidosis with Concurrent Pancreatitis, Pancreatic β Islet Cell Tumor, and Adrenal Disease in an Obese Ferret (Mustela putorius furo)

    PubMed Central

    Phair, Kristen A; Carpenter, James W; Schermerhorn, Thomas; Ganta, Chanran K; DeBey, Brad M

    2011-01-01

    A 5.5-y-old spayed female ferret (Mustela putorius furo) with a history of adrenal disease, respiratory disease, and chronic obesity was evaluated for progressive lethargy and ataxia, diminished appetite, and possible polyuria and polydipsia. Physical examination revealed obesity, lethargy, tachypnea, dyspnea, a pendulous abdomen, significant weakness and ataxia of the hindlimbs, prolonged skin tenting, and mild tail-tip alopecia. Clinicopathologic analysis revealed severe hyperglycemia, azotemia, an increased anion gap, glucosuria, ketonuria, proteinuria, and hematuria. Abdominal ultrasonography showed hyperechoic hepatomegaly, bilateral adrenomegaly, splenic nodules, mild peritoneal effusion, and thickened and mildly hypoechoic limbs of the pancreas with surrounding hyperechoic mesentery. Fine-needle aspirates of the liver were highly suggestive of hepatic lipidosis. In light of a diagnosis of concurrent diabetic ketoacidosis and pancreatitis, the ferret was treated with fluid therapy, regular and long-acting insulin administration, and pain medication. However, electrolyte derangements, metabolic acidosis, dyspnea, and the clinical appearance of the ferret progressively worsened despite treatment, and euthanasia was elected. Necropsy revealed severe hepatic lipidosis, severe suppurative pancreatitis and vacuolar degeneration of pancreatic islet cells, a pancreatic β islet cell tumor, bilateral adrenal cortical adenomas, and myocardial fibrosis. To our knowledge, this case represents the first report of concurrent diabetes mellitus, pancreatitis, pancreatic β islet cell tumor (insulinoma), and adrenal disease in a domestic ferret. The simultaneous existence of 3 endocrine diseases, pancreatitis, and their associated complications is a unique and clinically challenging situation. PMID:21838985

  9. A Neutralizing Human Monoclonal Antibody Protects against Lethal Disease in a New Ferret Model of Acute Nipah Virus Infection

    PubMed Central

    Bossart, Katharine N.; Zhu, Zhongyu; Middleton, Deborah; Klippel, Jessica; Crameri, Gary; Bingham, John; McEachern, Jennifer A.; Green, Diane; Hancock, Timothy J.; Chan, Yee-Peng; Hickey, Andrew C.; Dimitrov, Dimiter S.; Wang, Lin-Fa; Broder, Christopher C.

    2009-01-01

    Nipah virus is a broadly tropic and highly pathogenic zoonotic paramyxovirus in the genus Henipavirus whose natural reservoirs are several species of Pteropus fruit bats. Nipah virus has repeatedly caused outbreaks over the past decade associated with a severe and often fatal disease in humans and animals. Here, a new ferret model of Nipah virus pathogenesis is described where both respiratory and neurological disease are present in infected animals. Severe disease occurs with viral doses as low as 500 TCID50 within 6 to 10 days following infection. The underlying pathology seen in the ferret closely resembles that seen in Nipah virus infected humans, characterized as a widespread multisystemic vasculitis, with virus replicating in highly vascular tissues including lung, spleen and brain, with recoverable virus from a variety of tissues. Using this ferret model a cross-reactive neutralizing human monoclonal antibody, m102.4, targeting the henipavirus G glycoprotein was evaluated in vivo as a potential therapeutic agent. All ferrets that received m102.4 ten hours following a high dose oral-nasal Nipah virus challenge were protected from disease while all controls died. This study is the first successful post-exposure passive antibody therapy for Nipah virus using a human monoclonal antibody. PMID:19888339

  10. The effects of compensated cardiac hypertrophy on dihydropyridine and ryanodine receptors in rat, ferret and guinea-pig hearts.

    PubMed

    Rannou, F; Sainte-Beuve, C; Oliviero, P; Do, E; Trouvé, P; Charlemagne, D

    1995-05-01

    The number of dihydropyridine and ryanodine receptors (DHP-R and RyR) has been measured in control and hypertrophied ventricles from rats, guinea pigs and ferrets to determine whether these two channels contribute to the alterations in excitation-contraction coupling (ECC), and in Ca2+ transient during compensated cardiac hypertrophy. We found that ventricular hypertrophy did not change the density of DHP-R. Mild hypertrophy did not alter the density of RyR in the rat but decreased it in the guinea-pig and in the ferret (30% and 36%, respectively). Severe hypertrophy decreased the density of RyR by 20% in the rat and by 34% in the guinea-pig. Therefore, the decrease is greater in ferret and guinea-pig hearts than in rat heart. We conclude that the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca2+ release channels but not the L-type Ca2+ channels could contribute to the slowing of intracellular Ca2+ movements and to the reduced velocity of shortening of the hypertrophied hearts. We suggest that, in the guinea pig and ferret hearts which express only the beta myosin heavy chain (MHC) isoform, the reduced velocity of shortening during hypertrophy is related to the decrease in RyR density, whereas in the rat, it is regulated primarily via a shift in the MHC isoform, except in severe hypertrophy in which the moderate decrease in RyR would also be involved. PMID:7473781

  11. Diagnosis and successful surgical treatment of an unusual inguinal liposarcoma in a pet ferret (Mustela putorius furo)

    PubMed Central

    Gardhouse, Sara; Eshar, David; Fromstein, Jordan; Smith, Dale A.

    2013-01-01

    A 4 1/2-year-old female spayed ferret (Mustela putorius furo) was presented for a rapidly growing mass in the inguinal region. Following a complete clinical evaluation, the unusual mass was surgically removed and the histopathological diagnosis was an inguinal liposarcoma. No post-operative complications were observed over a 14-month follow-up period. PMID:24155472

  12. Novel markers of gonadectomy-induced adrenocortical neoplasia in the mouse and ferret

    PubMed Central

    Schillebeeckx, Maximiliaan; Pihlajoki, Marjut; Gretzinger, Elisabeth; Yang, Wei; Thol, Franziska; Hiller, Theresa; Löbs, Ann-Kathrin; Röhrig, Theresa; Schrade, Anja; Cochran, Rebecca; Jay, Patrick Y.; Heikinheimo, Markku; Mitra, Robi D.; Wilson, David B.

    2014-01-01

    Gonadectomy (GDX) induces sex steroid-producing adrenocortical tumors in certain mouse strains and in the domestic ferret. Transcriptome analysis and DNA methylation mapping were used to identify novel genetic and epigenetic markers of GDX-induced adrenocortical neoplasia in female DBA/2J mice. Markers were validated using a combination of laser capture microdissection, quantitative RT-PCR, in situ hybridization, and immunohistochemistry. Microarray expression profiling of whole adrenal mRNA from ovariectomized vs. intact mice demonstrated selective upregulation of gonadal-like genes including Spinlw1 and Insl3 in GDX-induced adrenocortical tumors of the mouse. A complementary candidate gene approach identified Foxl2 as another gonadal-like marker expressed in GDX-induced neoplasms of the mouse and ferret. That both “male-specific” (Spinlw1) and “female-specific” (Foxl2) markers were identified is noteworthy and implies that the neoplasms exhibit mixed characteristics of male and female gonadal somatic cells. Genome-wide methylation analysis showed that two genes with hypomethylated promoters, Igfbp6 and Foxs1, are upregulated in GDX-induced adrenocortical neoplasms. These new genetic and epigenetic markers may prove useful for studies of steroidogenic cell development and for diagnostic testing. PMID:25289806

  13. Peripheral Leukocyte Migration in Ferrets in Response to Infection with Seasonal Influenza Virus.

    PubMed

    Music, Nedzad; Reber, Adrian J; Kim, Jin Hyang; York, Ian A

    2016-01-01

    In order to better understand inflammation associated with influenza virus infection, we measured cell trafficking, via flow cytometry, to various tissues in the ferret model following infection with an A(H3N2) human seasonal influenza virus (A/Perth/16/2009). Changes in immune cells were observed in the blood, bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, and spleen, as well as lymph nodes associated with the site of infection or distant from the respiratory system. Nevertheless clinical symptoms were mild, with circulating leukocytes exhibiting rapid, dynamic, and profound changes in response to infection. Each of the biological compartments examined responded differently to influenza infection. Two days after infection, when infected ferrets showed peak fever, a marked, transient lymphopenia and granulocytosis were apparent in all infected animals. Both draining and distal lymph nodes demonstrated significant accumulation of T cells, B cells, and granulocytes at days 2 and 5 post-infection. CD8+ T cells significantly increased in spleen at days 2 and 5 post-infection; CD4+ T cells, B cells and granulocytes significantly increased at day 5. We interpret our findings as showing that lymphocytes exit the peripheral blood and differentially home to lymph nodes and tissues based on cell type and proximity to the site of infection. Monitoring leukocyte homing and trafficking will aid in providing a more detailed view of the inflammatory impact of influenza virus infection. PMID:27315117

  14. Acute and subchronic toxicity of naturally weathered Exxon Valdez crude oil in mallards and ferrets

    SciTech Connect

    Stubblefield, W.A.; Hancock, G.A.; Ford, W.H.; Ringer, R.K.

    1995-11-01

    The toxic properties of naturally weathered Exxon Valdez crude oil (WEVC) were assessed in a battery of acute and subchronic toxicity tests using mallards, Anas platyrhynchos, and European ferrets, Mustela putorius. Adult mallard acute oral toxicity study results indicated no mortalities or signs o toxicity, i.e., no-observed-adverse-effect level (NOAEL) and median lethal dose (LD50) > 5,000 mg/kg. Acute oral feeding and food avoidance tests with ducklings also indicated no toxicity (NOAEL and LC50 > 50,000 mg/kg diet) with no evidence of food avoidance (FAC50 > 20,000 mg/kg diet). No mortalities or toxic signs were noted in a 14-d feeding study with adult birds at dietary concentrations up to 100,000 mg WEVC/kg diet. Among clinical and physiological end points evaluated, the only significant difference noted was an increase in liver: body weight ratios in the 100,000-mg WEVC/kg diet dose group. No differences in clinical chemistry or hematological parameters were noted, and there were no consistent differences in histological evaluations of organ tissues. Daily oral doses of up to 5,000 mg/kg of WEVC over 5 d resulted in minimal effects on ferrets. Increased serum albumin concentrations were observed in the 5,000-mg/kg dose group females and decreased spleen weights were noted in females of all WEVC treatment groups. No other significant observations were noted.

  15. A proposal to conserve black-footed ferrets and the prairie dog ecosystem

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Miller, Brian; Wemmer, Christen; Biggins, Dean; Reading, Richard P.

    1990-01-01

    Prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) have been poisoned throughout this century because of grazing competition with livestock. Recent evidence showed these early claims were exaggerated, but animal control was already entrenched in government policy. As a result, ongoing government subsidized poisoning has reduced prairie dogs to about 2% of their former distribution. The reduction of prairie dogs diminished species diversity in the arid grasslands of North America, including the potential extinction of the black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes). Cost-benefit analysis revealed that poisoning costs more than any grazing benefits accrued. This analysis did not consider the long-term costs of reversing ecosystem degradation, the intangible value of biological diversity as a public benefit, or the depletion of biotic resources as a loss of actual or potential wealth. The government presently finances the poisoning policy and the preservation of endangered species like the black-footed ferret, two apparently conflicting programs. We, therefore, propose an integrated management plan that considers both interests. We propose that federal monies allocated to the poisoning program be converted into a rebate for ranchers who manage livestock while preserving the prairie dog community. This would redirect funds and personnel already allocated to prairie dog eradication to an incentive for ranchers who manage for livestock and wildlife. Livestock interests and grassland biotic diversity would both benefit.

  16. The role of inward Na(+)-Ca2+ exchange current in the ferret ventricular action potential.

    PubMed Central

    Janvier, N C; Harrison, S M; Boyett, M R

    1997-01-01

    1. Inward Na(+)-Ca2+ exchange current (iNaCa) was either blocked in ferret ventricular cells by replacing extracellular Na+ with Li+ or substantially reduced by the almost complete elimination of the Ca2+ transient by buffering intracellular Ca2+ with the acetoxymethyl ester form of BAPTA (BAPTA AM). 2. During square wave voltage clamp pulses to 0 mV, replacing extracellular Na+ with Li+ or buffering intracellular Ca2+ with BAPTA AM resulted in the loss of a transient inward current. This current was increased by the application of isoprenaline (expected to increase the underlying Ca2+ transient) and displayed the voltage-dependent characteristics of inward iNaCa. 3. Replacing extracellular Na+ with Li+ or buffering intracellular Ca2+ caused a significant shortening of the action potential (at -65 mV, 44 +/- 2% with Li+ and 20 +/- 2% with BAPTA AM). The shortening can be explained by changes in iNaCa. 4. The action potential clamp technique was used to measure the BAPTA-sensitive current (putative iNaCa) and the Ca2+ current (ica; measured using nifedipine) during the action potential. Under control conditions, the inward BAPTA-sensitive current makes approximately the same contribution as iCa during much of the action potential plateau. These results suggest an important role for inward iNaCa in the ferret ventricular action potential. PMID:9051574

  17. Early Hearing-Impairment Results in Crossmodal Reorganization of Ferret Core Auditory Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Meredith, M. Alex; Allman, Brian L.

    2012-01-01

    Numerous investigations of cortical crossmodal plasticity, most often in congenital or early-deaf subjects, have indicated that secondary auditory cortical areas reorganize to exhibit visual responsiveness while the core auditory regions are largely spared. However, a recent study of adult-deafened ferrets demonstrated that core auditory cortex was reorganized by the somatosensory modality. Because adult animals have matured beyond their critical period of sensory development and plasticity, it was not known if adult-deafening and early-deafening would generate the same crossmodal results. The present study used young, ototoxically-lesioned ferrets (n = 3) that, after maturation (avg. = 173 days old), showed significant hearing deficits (avg. threshold = 72 dB SPL). Recordings from single-units (n = 132) in core auditory cortex showed that 72% were activated by somatosensory stimulation (compared to 1% in hearing controls). In addition, tracer injection into early hearing-impaired core auditory cortex labeled essentially the same auditory cortical and thalamic projection sources as seen for injections in the hearing controls, indicating that the functional reorganization was not the result of new or latent projections to the cortex. These data, along with similar observations from adult-deafened and adult hearing-impaired animals, support the recently proposed brainstem theory for crossmodal plasticity induced by hearing loss. PMID:22888454

  18. Dorso-Lateral Frontal Cortex of the Ferret Encodes Perceptual Difficulty during Visual Discrimination

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Zhe Charles; Yu, Chunxiu; Sellers, Kristin K.; Fröhlich, Flavio

    2016-01-01

    Visual discrimination requires sensory processing followed by a perceptual decision. Despite a growing understanding of visual areas in this behavior, it is unclear what role top-down signals from prefrontal cortex play, in particular as a function of perceptual difficulty. To address this gap, we investigated how neurons in dorso-lateral frontal cortex (dl-FC) of freely-moving ferrets encode task variables in a two-alternative forced choice visual discrimination task with high- and low-contrast visual input. About two-thirds of all recorded neurons in dl-FC were modulated by at least one of the two task variables, task difficulty and target location. More neurons in dl-FC preferred the hard trials; no such preference bias was found for target location. In individual neurons, this preference for specific task types was limited to brief epochs. Finally, optogenetic stimulation confirmed the functional role of the activity in dl-FC before target touch; suppression of activity in pyramidal neurons with the ArchT silencing opsin resulted in a decrease in reaction time to touch the target but not to retrieve reward. In conclusion, dl-FC activity is differentially recruited for high perceptual difficulty in the freely-moving ferret and the resulting signal may provide top-down behavioral inhibition. PMID:27025995

  19. A proposal to conserve black-footed ferrets and the prairie dog ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, Brian; Wemmer, Christen; Biggins, Dean; Reading, Richard

    1990-11-01

    Prairie dogs ( Cynomys spp.) have been poisoned throughout this century because of grazing competition with livestock. Recent evidence showed these early claims were exaggerated, but animal control was already entrenched in government policy. As a result, ongoing government subsidized poisoning has reduced prairie dogs to about 2% of their former distribution. The reduction of prairie dogs diminished species diversity in the arid grasslands of North America, including the potential extinction of the black-footed ferret ( Mustela nigripes). Cost-benefit analysis revealed that poisoning costs more than any grazing benefits accrued. This analysis did not consider the long-term costs of reversing ecosystem degradation, the intangible value of biological diversity as a public benefit, or the depletion of biotic resources as a loss of actual or potential wealth. The government presently finances the poisoning policy and the preservation of endangered species like the black-footed ferret, two apparently conflicting programs. We, therefore, propose an integrated management plan that considers both interests. We propose that federal monies allocated to the poisoning program be converted into a rebate for ranchers who manage livestock while preserving the prairie dog community. This would redirect funds and personnel already allocated to prairie dog eradication to an incentive for ranchers who manage for livestock and wildlife. Livestock interests and grassland biotic diversity would both benefit.

  20. Peripheral Leukocyte Migration in Ferrets in Response to Infection with Seasonal Influenza Virus

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Jin Hyang; York, Ian A.

    2016-01-01

    In order to better understand inflammation associated with influenza virus infection, we measured cell trafficking, via flow cytometry, to various tissues in the ferret model following infection with an A(H3N2) human seasonal influenza virus (A/Perth/16/2009). Changes in immune cells were observed in the blood, bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, and spleen, as well as lymph nodes associated with the site of infection or distant from the respiratory system. Nevertheless clinical symptoms were mild, with circulating leukocytes exhibiting rapid, dynamic, and profound changes in response to infection. Each of the biological compartments examined responded differently to influenza infection. Two days after infection, when infected ferrets showed peak fever, a marked, transient lymphopenia and granulocytosis were apparent in all infected animals. Both draining and distal lymph nodes demonstrated significant accumulation of T cells, B cells, and granulocytes at days 2 and 5 post-infection. CD8+ T cells significantly increased in spleen at days 2 and 5 post-infection; CD4+ T cells, B cells and granulocytes significantly increased at day 5. We interpret our findings as showing that lymphocytes exit the peripheral blood and differentially home to lymph nodes and tissues based on cell type and proximity to the site of infection. Monitoring leukocyte homing and trafficking will aid in providing a more detailed view of the inflammatory impact of influenza virus infection. PMID:27315117

  1. Sequential Infection in Ferrets with Antigenically Distinct Seasonal H1N1 Influenza Viruses Boosts Hemagglutinin Stalk-Specific Antibodies

    PubMed Central

    Kirchenbaum, Greg A.; Carter, Donald M.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Broadly reactive antibodies targeting the conserved hemagglutinin (HA) stalk region are elicited following sequential infection or vaccination with influenza viruses belonging to divergent subtypes and/or expressing antigenically distinct HA globular head domains. Here, we demonstrate, through the use of novel chimeric HA proteins and competitive binding assays, that sequential infection of ferrets with antigenically distinct seasonal H1N1 (sH1N1) influenza virus isolates induced an HA stalk-specific antibody response. Additionally, stalk-specific antibody titers were boosted following sequential infection with antigenically distinct sH1N1 isolates in spite of preexisting, cross-reactive, HA-specific antibody titers. Despite a decline in stalk-specific serum antibody titers, sequential sH1N1 influenza virus-infected ferrets were protected from challenge with a novel H1N1 influenza virus (A/California/07/2009), and these ferrets poorly transmitted the virus to naive contacts. Collectively, these findings indicate that HA stalk-specific antibodies are commonly elicited in ferrets following sequential infection with antigenically distinct sH1N1 influenza virus isolates lacking HA receptor-binding site cross-reactivity and can protect ferrets against a pathogenic novel H1N1 virus. IMPORTANCE The influenza virus hemagglutinin (HA) is a major target of the humoral immune response following infection and/or seasonal vaccination. While antibodies targeting the receptor-binding pocket of HA possess strong neutralization capacities, these antibodies are largely strain specific and do not confer protection against antigenic drift variant or novel HA subtype-expressing viruses. In contrast, antibodies targeting the conserved stalk region of HA exhibit broader reactivity among viruses within and among influenza virus subtypes. Here, we show that sequential infection of ferrets with antigenically distinct seasonal H1N1 influenza viruses boosts the antibody responses

  2. Transmission of H7N9 Influenza Viruses with a Polymorphism at PB2 Residue 627 in Chickens and Ferrets

    PubMed Central

    Luk, Geraldine S. M.; Leung, Connie Y. H.; Sia, Sin Fun; Choy, Ka-Tim; Zhou, Jie; Ho, Candy C. K.; Cheung, Peter P. H.; Lee, Elaine F.; Wai, Chris K. L.; Li, Pamela C. H.; Ip, Sin-Ming; Poon, Leo L. M.; Lindsley, William G.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Poultry exposure is a major risk factor for human H7N9 zoonotic infections, for which the mode of transmission remains unclear. We studied the transmission of genetically related poultry and human H7N9 influenza viruses differing by four amino acids, including the host determinant PB2 residue 627. A/Silkie chicken/HK/1772/2014 (SCk1772) and A/HK/3263/14 (HK3263) replicated to comparable titers in chickens, with superior oropharyngeal over cloacal shedding; both viruses transmitted efficiently among chickens via direct contact but inefficiently via the airborne route. Interspecies transmission via the airborne route was observed for ferrets exposed to the SCk1772- or HK3263-infected chickens, while low numbers of copies of influenza viral genome were detected in the air, predominantly at particle sizes larger than 4 μm. In ferrets, the human isolate HK3263 replicated to higher titers and transmitted more efficiently via direct contact than SCk1772. We monitored “intrahost” and “interhost” adaptive changes at PB2 residue 627 during infection and transmission of the Sck1772 that carried E627 and HK3263 that carried V/K/E polymorphism at 60%, 20%, and 20%, respectively. For SCk1772, positive selection for K627 over E627 was observed in ferrets during the chicken-to-ferret or ferret-to-ferret transmission. For HK3263 that contained V/K/E polymorphism, mixed V627 and E627 genotypes were transmitted among chickens while either V627 or K627 was transmitted to ferrets with a narrow transmission bottleneck. Overall, our results suggest direct contact as the main mode for H7N9 transmission and identify the PB2-V627 genotype with uncompromised fitness and transmissibility in both avian and mammalian species. IMPORTANCE We studied the modes of H7N9 transmission, as this information is crucial for developing effective control measures for prevention. Using chicken (SCk1772) and human (HK3263) H7N9 isolates that differed by four amino acids, including the host

  3. Vaccination against canine distemper virus infection in infant ferrets with and without maternal antibody protection, using recombinant attenuated poxvirus vaccines.

    PubMed

    Welter, J; Taylor, J; Tartaglia, J; Paoletti, E; Stephensen, C B

    2000-07-01

    Canine distemper virus (CDV) infection of ferrets is clinically and immunologically similar to measles, making this a useful model for the human disease. The model was used to determine if parenteral or mucosal immunization of infant ferrets at 3 and 6 weeks of age with attenuated vaccinia virus (NYVAC) or canarypox virus (ALVAC) vaccine strains expressing the CDV hemagglutinin (H) and fusion (F) protein genes (NYVAC-HF and ALVAC-HF) would induce serum neutralizing antibody and protect against challenge infection at 12 weeks of age. Ferrets without maternal antibody that were vaccinated parenterally with NYVAC-HF (n = 5) or ALVAC-HF (n = 4) developed significant neutralizing titers (log(10) inverse mean titer +/- standard deviation of 2.30 +/- 0.12 and 2.20 +/- 0.34, respectively) by the day of challenge, and all survived with no clinical or virologic evidence of infection. Ferrets without maternal antibody that were vaccinated intranasally (i.n.) developed lower neutralizing titers, with NYVAC-HF producing higher titers at challenge (1.11 +/- 0.57 versus 0.40 +/- 0.37, P = 0.02) and a better survival rate (6/7 versus 0/5, P = 0.008) than ALVAC-HF. Ferrets with maternal antibody that were vaccinated parenterally with NYVAC-HF (n = 7) and ALVAC-HF (n = 7) developed significantly higher antibody titers (1.64 +/- 0. 54 and 1.28 +/- 0.40, respectively) than did ferrets immunized with an attenuated CDV vaccine (0.46 +/- 0.59; n = 7) or the recombinant vectors expressing rabies glycoprotein (RG) (0.19 +/- 0.32; n = 8, P = 7 x 10(-6)). The NYVAC vaccine also protected against weight loss, and both the NYVAC and attenuated CDV vaccines protected against the development of some clinical signs of infection, although survival in each of the three vaccine groups was low (one of seven) and not significantly different from the RG controls (none of eight). Combined i.n.-parenteral immunization of ferrets with maternal antibody using NYVAC-HF (n = 9) produced higher titers (1

  4. Vaccination against Canine Distemper Virus Infection in Infant Ferrets with and without Maternal Antibody Protection, Using Recombinant Attenuated Poxvirus Vaccines

    PubMed Central

    Welter, Janet; Taylor, Jill; Tartaglia, James; Paoletti, Enzo; Stephensen, Charles B.

    2000-01-01

    Canine distemper virus (CDV) infection of ferrets is clinically and immunologically similar to measles, making this a useful model for the human disease. The model was used to determine if parenteral or mucosal immunization of infant ferrets at 3 and 6 weeks of age with attenuated vaccinia virus (NYVAC) or canarypox virus (ALVAC) vaccine strains expressing the CDV hemagglutinin (H) and fusion (F) protein genes (NYVAC-HF and ALVAC-HF) would induce serum neutralizing antibody and protect against challenge infection at 12 weeks of age. Ferrets without maternal antibody that were vaccinated parenterally with NYVAC-HF (n = 5) or ALVAC-HF (n = 4) developed significant neutralizing titers (log10 inverse mean titer ± standard deviation of 2.30 ± 0.12 and 2.20 ± 0.34, respectively) by the day of challenge, and all survived with no clinical or virologic evidence of infection. Ferrets without maternal antibody that were vaccinated intranasally (i.n.) developed lower neutralizing titers, with NYVAC-HF producing higher titers at challenge (1.11 ± 0.57 versus 0.40 ± 0.37, P = 0.02) and a better survival rate (6/7 versus 0/5, P = 0.008) than ALVAC-HF. Ferrets with maternal antibody that were vaccinated parenterally with NYVAC-HF (n = 7) and ALVAC-HF (n = 7) developed significantly higher antibody titers (1.64 ± 0.54 and 1.28 ± 0.40, respectively) than did ferrets immunized with an attenuated CDV vaccine (0.46 ± 0.59; n = 7) or the recombinant vectors expressing rabies glycoprotein (RG) (0.19 ± 0.32; n = 8, P = 7 × 10−6). The NYVAC vaccine also protected against weight loss, and both the NYVAC and attenuated CDV vaccines protected against the development of some clinical signs of infection, although survival in each of the three vaccine groups was low (one of seven) and not significantly different from the RG controls (none of eight). Combined i.n.-parenteral immunization of ferrets with maternal antibody using NYVAC-HF (n = 9) produced higher titers (1.63 ± 0

  5. Effect of dietary vitamin E and prey supplementation on semen quality in male black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes).

    PubMed

    Santymire, Rachel M; Lavin, Shana R; Branvold-Faber, Heather; Kreeger, Julie; Marinari, Paul

    2015-07-15

    Over the recent years, the captive population of the endangered black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes; ferret) has experienced a decline in normal sperm (NS) morphology (from 50% to 16%), which may be linked to inbreeding depression or it may have been a dietary change. We examined the role of dietary vitamin E, selenium (SE), and vitamin A on serum levels of vitamin E, SE, and vitamin A and semen quality. Ferrets (n = 55 males) were randomly assigned to one of five diet treatments (n = 11 per treatment): (1) horsemeat diet (control); (2) horsemeat diet + vitamin E (400 IU/kg Dry Matter) daily; (3) horsemeat diet + whole prey; (4) horsemeat diet + vitamin E daily + whole prey; and (5) beef diet. Both blood (prediet and postdiet change) and diets were analyzed for vitamin E, vitamin A, and SE concentrations. Electroejaculates were collected monthly and evaluated for sperm concentration, sperm motility index (includes percent motile and forward progression), and percent NS. Results reveal that the beef and horsemeat diets had comparable (P = 0.05) vitamin E and SE concentrations and all diets met most nutrient requirements for small carnivores; however, the horsemeat diet was excessive in vitamin A and the beef diet was deficient in vitamin A. Vitamin E supplementation increased (χ1(2)=25.83; P < 0.001) serum vitamin E. Ferrets fed the beef diet or prey had improved (H4 = 15.596; P = 0.004) sperm motility index than the horsemeat control group, and ferrets fed the horsemeat diet supplemented with vitamin E had the lowest (H4 = 18.408; P = 0.001) NS. In conclusion, the high levels of vitamin A in the horsemeat diet could compete with vitamin E as evidence by serum levels, which may reduce reproductive success in this endangered species. PMID:25890779

  6. Intranasal H5N1 vaccines, adjuvanted with chitosan derivatives, protect ferrets against highly pathogenic influenza intranasal and intratracheal challenge.

    PubMed

    Mann, Alex J; Noulin, Nicolas; Catchpole, Andrew; Stittelaar, Koert J; de Waal, Leon; Veldhuis Kroeze, Edwin J B; Hinchcliffe, Michael; Smith, Alan; Montomoli, Emanuele; Piccirella, Simona; Osterhaus, Albert D M E; Knight, Alastair; Oxford, John S; Lapini, Giulia; Cox, Rebecca; Lambkin-Williams, Rob

    2014-01-01

    We investigated the protective efficacy of two intranasal chitosan (CSN and TM-CSN) adjuvanted H5N1 Influenza vaccines against highly pathogenic avian Influenza (HPAI) intratracheal and intranasal challenge in a ferret model. Six groups of 6 ferrets were intranasally vaccinated twice, 21 days apart, with either placebo, antigen alone, CSN adjuvanted antigen, or TM-CSN adjuvanted antigen. Homologous and intra-subtypic antibody cross-reacting responses were assessed. Ferrets were inoculated intratracheally (all treatments) or intranasally (CSN adjuvanted and placebo treatments only) with clade 1 HPAI A/Vietnam/1194/2004 (H5N1) virus 28 days after the second vaccination and subsequently monitored for morbidity and mortality outcomes. Clinical signs were assessed and nasal as well as throat swabs were taken daily for virology. Samples of lung tissue, nasal turbinates, brain, and olfactory bulb were analysed for the presence of virus and examined for histolopathological findings. In contrast to animals vaccinated with antigen alone, the CSN and TM-CSN adjuvanted vaccines induced high levels of antibodies, protected ferrets from death, reduced viral replication and abrogated disease after intratracheal challenge, and in the case of CSN after intranasal challenge. In particular, the TM-CSN adjuvanted vaccine was highly effective at eliciting protective immunity from intratracheal challenge; serologically, protective titres were demonstrable after one vaccination. The 2-dose schedule with TM-CSN vaccine also induced cross-reactive antibodies to clade 2.1 and 2.2 H5N1 viruses. Furthermore ferrets immunised with TM-CSN had no detectable virus in the respiratory tract or brain, whereas there were signs of virus in the throat and lungs, albeit at significantly reduced levels, in CSN vaccinated animals. This study demonstrated for the first time that CSN and in particular TM-CSN adjuvanted intranasal vaccines have the potential to protect against significant mortality and

  7. Histopathologic features and post-surgical sequelae of 57 cutaneous neoplasms in ferrets (Mustela putorius furo L.).

    PubMed

    Parker, G A; Picut, C A

    1993-11-01

    The study of the signalment, histomorphologic features, and post-surgical clinical progress of 57 cutaneous neoplasms in 55 domestic ferrets (Mustela putorius furo L.) was based on diagnostic pathologic accessions (1987-1992) from 142 ferrets. Mean age of the group was 4.3 years; 31/54 (57%) were female and 23/54 (43%) were male. Thirty-three (58%) of the cutaneous neoplasms were basal cell tumors. The mean age of ferrets with basal cell tumor was 5.2 years, and 23/33 (70%) were female. Histologically, the basal cell tumors were composed of well-differentiated basaloid epithelial cells with various degrees of squamous and sebaceous differentiation, similar to those seen in basal cell neoplasms of dogs. Nine of the 57 (16%) cutaneous neoplasms were mastocytomas. The mean age of ferrets with mastocytoma was 4.1 years; four were male, four were female, and the sex of one was unrecorded. Histologically, the mastocytomas were composed of well-differentiated mast cells with few eosinophils, similar to cutaneous mastocytomas of domestic cats. The mast cells had a small number of metachromatic cytoplasmic granules, and in six of eight neoplasms the granules had an affinity for conjugated avidin-peroxidase. Six of the cutaneous neoplasms (11%) were fibromas. The mean age of ferrets with fibroma was 2.7 years; 5 (83%) were male. Two cutaneous hemangiomas (4%) were in females, which were 4 and 5 years of age. There was one each hemangiosarcoma, cutaneous polyp, anal gland adenocarcinoma, lymphosarcoma of the prepuce and inguinal lymph node, and adenocarcinoma of the prepuce. PMID:8116142

  8. Behavioral responses of predator-naïve dwarf hamsters (Phodopus campbelli) to odor cues of the European ferret fed with different prey species.

    PubMed

    Apfelbach, Raimund; Soini, Helena A; Vasilieva, Nina Y; Novotny, Milos V

    2015-07-01

    Many mammalian predators are able to identify their prey by odors and, vice versa, numerous prey species recognize predator odors as well. The present paper reports on the behavioral responses of predator-naïve dwarf hamsters (Phodopus campbelli) towards the urine odors of carnivorous ferrets, which were raised on either a chicken, mouse or hamster diet. Chemical composition from ferret urines of the different diet groups was analyzed, while quantitative differences in urinary volatile constituents were observed through capillary gas chromatography–mass spectrometry. In a Y-maze arrangement, hamsters were offered several two-choice odor discrimination tasks and their behavior was quantified. Hamsters were easily able to discriminate the urine odor of ferrets fed with mice against ferrets fed with hamsters. This is probably the first report indicating that a prey species can distinguish urine odors of even an unknown predator species that has been fed different prey species. The analytical data complemented behavioral assays. PMID:26066723

  9. Induction of pulmonary neoplasia in the smoke-exposed ferret by 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK): a model for human lung cancer.

    PubMed

    Kim, Yuri; Liu, Xiaolong S; Liu, Chun; Smith, Donald E; Russell, Robert M; Wang, Xiang-Dong

    2006-03-28

    Research into dietary chemoprevention against lung carcinogenesis has been limited by the lack of appropriate animal models that closely mimic smoking-related human lung cancer. Ferrets (Mustela putorius furo) have been used to study the biologic activities of carotenoids against smoke-induced lung lesions, but this model has yet to be thoroughly established and validated. To determine the appropriateness of the ferret as a model for human lung cancer, we have performed a 6-month in vivo study in ferrets exposed to both tobacco smoke and a carcinogen (4-(N-methyl-N-nitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone, NNK) found in cigarette smoke. Results showed that six out 12 ferrets exposed to both NNK injection and cigarette smoke developed grossly identifiable lung tumors whereas none of nine ferrets from the sham treatment group developed any lung lesions. The histopathological types of these tumors (squamous cell carcinoma, adenosquamous carcinoma and adenocarcinoma) in ferret lungs are very similar to those in humans. In addition, 10 out of 12 ferrets exposed to both NNK and cigarette smoke developed preneoplastic lesions (squamous metaplasia, dysplasia, and atypical adenomatous hyperplasia) with complex growth patterns whereas the sham group did not show any of these lesions. Furthermore, the expression of proliferating cellular nuclear antigen increased markedly in both gross tumors and preneoplastic lesions in the lungs. In summary, the development of both preneoplastic lesions and gross lung tumors in ferrets provides an excellent and unique model for studying lung cancer chemoprevention with agents such as carotenoids, and for studying the molecular mechanism of carcinogenesis in the earlier stages of smoke-related lung cancer. PMID:15894421

  10. Evaluation of Three Live Attenuated H2 Pandemic Influenza Vaccine Candidates in Mice and Ferrets

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Grace L.; Lamirande, Elaine W.; Cheng, Xing; Torres-Velez, Fernando; Orandle, Marlene; Jin, Hong; Kemble, George

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT H2 influenza viruses have not circulated in humans since 1968, and therefore a significant portion of the population would be susceptible to infection should H2 influenza viruses reemerge. H2 influenza viruses continue to circulate in avian reservoirs worldwide, and these reservoirs are a potential source from which these viruses could emerge. Three reassortant cold-adapted (ca) H2 pandemic influenza vaccine candidates with hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) genes derived from the wild-type A/Japan/305/1957 (H2N2) (Jap/57), A/mallard/6750/1978 (H2N2) (mal/78), or A/swine/MO/4296424/2006 (H2N3) (sw/06) viruses and the internal protein gene segments from the A/Ann Arbor/6/60 ca virus were generated by plasmid-based reverse genetics (Jap/57 ca, mal/78 ca, and sw/06 ca, respectively). The vaccine candidates exhibited the in vitro phenotypes of temperature sensitivity and cold adaptation and were restricted in replication in the respiratory tract of ferrets. In mice and ferrets, the vaccines elicited neutralizing antibodies and conferred protection against homologous wild-type virus challenge. Of the three candidates, the sw/06 ca vaccine elicited cross-reactive antibodies and provided significant protection against the greatest number of heterologous viruses. These observations suggest that the sw/06 ca vaccine should be further evaluated in a clinical trial as an H2 pandemic influenza vaccine candidate. IMPORTANCE Influenza pandemics arise when novel influenza viruses are introduced into a population with little prior immunity to the new virus and often result in higher rates of illness and death than annual seasonal influenza epidemics. An influenza H2 subtype virus caused a pandemic in 1957, and H2 viruses circulated in humans till 1968. H2 influenza viruses continue to circulate in birds, and the development of an H2 influenza vaccine candidate is therefore considered a priority in preparing for future pandemics. However, we cannot predict whether a

  11. Canine distemper virus (CDV) infection of ferrets as a model for testing Morbillivirus vaccine strategies: NYVAC- and ALVAC-based CDV recombinants protect against symptomatic infection.

    PubMed

    Stephensen, C B; Welter, J; Thaker, S R; Taylor, J; Tartaglia, J; Paoletti, E

    1997-02-01

    Canine distemper virus (CDV) infection of ferrets causes an acute systemic disease involving multiple organ systems, including the respiratory tract, lymphoid system, and central nervous system (CNS). We have tested candidate CDV vaccines incorporating the fusion (F) and hemagglutinin (HA) proteins in the highly attenuated NYVAC strain of vaccinia virus and in the ALVAC strain of canarypox virus, which does not productively replicate in mammalian hosts. Juvenile ferrets were vaccinated twice with these constructs, or with an attenuated live-virus vaccine, while controls received saline or the NYVAC and ALVAC vectors expressing rabies virus glycoprotein. Control animals did not develop neutralizing antibody and succumbed to distemper after developing fever, weight loss, leukocytopenia, decreased activity, conjunctivitis, an erythematous rash typical of distemper, CNS signs, and viremia in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (as measured by reverse transcription-PCR). All three CDV vaccines elicited neutralizing titers of at least 1:96. All vaccinated ferrets survived, and none developed viremia. Both recombinant vaccines also protected against the development of symptomatic distemper. However, ferrets receiving the live-virus vaccine lost weight, became lymphocytopenic, and developed the erythematous rash typical of CDV. These data show that ferrets are an excellent model for evaluating the ability of CDV vaccines to protect against symptomatic infection. Because the pathogenesis and clinical course of CDV infection of ferrets is quite similar to that of other Morbillivirus infections, including measles, this model will be useful in testing new candidate Morbillivirus vaccines. PMID:8995676

  12. Canine distemper virus (CDV) infection of ferrets as a model for testing Morbillivirus vaccine strategies: NYVAC- and ALVAC-based CDV recombinants protect against symptomatic infection.

    PubMed Central

    Stephensen, C B; Welter, J; Thaker, S R; Taylor, J; Tartaglia, J; Paoletti, E

    1997-01-01

    Canine distemper virus (CDV) infection of ferrets causes an acute systemic disease involving multiple organ systems, including the respiratory tract, lymphoid system, and central nervous system (CNS). We have tested candidate CDV vaccines incorporating the fusion (F) and hemagglutinin (HA) proteins in the highly attenuated NYVAC strain of vaccinia virus and in the ALVAC strain of canarypox virus, which does not productively replicate in mammalian hosts. Juvenile ferrets were vaccinated twice with these constructs, or with an attenuated live-virus vaccine, while controls received saline or the NYVAC and ALVAC vectors expressing rabies virus glycoprotein. Control animals did not develop neutralizing antibody and succumbed to distemper after developing fever, weight loss, leukocytopenia, decreased activity, conjunctivitis, an erythematous rash typical of distemper, CNS signs, and viremia in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (as measured by reverse transcription-PCR). All three CDV vaccines elicited neutralizing titers of at least 1:96. All vaccinated ferrets survived, and none developed viremia. Both recombinant vaccines also protected against the development of symptomatic distemper. However, ferrets receiving the live-virus vaccine lost weight, became lymphocytopenic, and developed the erythematous rash typical of CDV. These data show that ferrets are an excellent model for evaluating the ability of CDV vaccines to protect against symptomatic infection. Because the pathogenesis and clinical course of CDV infection of ferrets is quite similar to that of other Morbillivirus infections, including measles, this model will be useful in testing new candidate Morbillivirus vaccines. PMID:8995676

  13. Oseltamivir inhibits influenza virus replication and transmission following ocular-only aerosol inoculation of ferrets.

    PubMed

    Belser, Jessica A; Maines, Taronna R; Creager, Hannah M; Katz, Jacqueline M; Tumpey, Terrence M

    2015-10-01

    Ocular exposure to influenza virus represents an alternate route of virus entry capable of establishing a respiratory infection in mammals, but the effectiveness of currently available antiviral treatments to limit virus replication within ocular tissue or inhibit virus spread from ocular sites to the respiratory tract is poorly understood. Using an inoculation method that delivers an aerosol inoculum exclusively to the ocular surface, we demonstrate that oral oseltamivir administration following ocular-only aerosol inoculation with multiple avian and human influenza viruses protected ferrets from a fatal and systemic infection, reduced clinical signs and symptoms of illness, and decreased virus transmissibility to susceptible contacts when a respiratory infection was initiated. The presence of oseltamivir further inhibited influenza virus replication in primary human corneal epithelial cells. These findings provide critical experimental evidence supporting the use of neuraminidase inhibitors during outbreaks of influenza virus resulting in ocular disease or following ocular exposure. PMID:26142497

  14. Transmission of Aerosolized Seasonal H1N1 Influenza A to Ferrets

    PubMed Central

    MacInnes, Heather; Zhou, Yue; Gouveia, Kristine; Cromwell, Jenna; Lowery, Kristin; Layton, R. Colby; Zubelewicz, Michael; Sampath, Rangarajan; Hofstadler, Steven; Liu, Yushi; Cheng, Yung-Sung; Koster, Frederick

    2011-01-01

    Influenza virus is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, yet little quantitative understanding of transmission is available to guide evidence-based public health practice. Recent studies of influenza non-contact transmission between ferrets and guinea pigs have provided insights into the relative transmission efficiencies of pandemic and seasonal strains, but the infecting dose and subsequent contagion has not been quantified for most strains. In order to measure the aerosol infectious dose for 50% (aID50) of seronegative ferrets, seasonal influenza virus was nebulized into an exposure chamber with controlled airflow limiting inhalation to airborne particles less than 5 µm diameter. Airborne virus was collected by liquid impinger and Teflon filters during nebulization of varying doses of aerosolized virus. Since culturable virus was accurately captured on filters only up to 20 minutes, airborne viral RNA collected during 1-hour exposures was quantified by two assays, a high-throughput RT-PCR/mass spectrometry assay detecting 6 genome segments (Ibis T5000™ Biosensor system) and a standard real time RT-qPCR assay. Using the more sensitive T5000 assay, the aID50 for A/New Caledonia/20/99 (H1N1) was approximately 4 infectious virus particles under the exposure conditions used. Although seroconversion and sustained levels of viral RNA in upper airway secretions suggested established mucosal infection, viral cultures were almost always negative. Thus after inhalation, this seasonal H1N1 virus may replicate less efficiently than H3N2 virus after mucosal deposition and exhibit less contagion after aerosol exposure. PMID:21949718

  15. Effects of ozone on the cholinergic secretory responsiveness of ferret tracheal glands

    SciTech Connect

    McBride, R.K.; Oberdoerster, G.; Marin, M.G. )

    1991-06-01

    Oxidant air pollutants exacerbate several pulmonary diseases. Inhalation of ozone has been shown to induce airway smooth muscle hyperresponsiveness. Oxidant injury could also affect airway secretory mechanisms. The authors postulated that oxidant exposure would alter the glycoconjugate secretory function of airway submucosal glands. To test this hypothesis they examined the effects of in vivo ozone exposure on the in vitro secretory responsiveness of ferret tracheal glands. Ferrets were exposed to 1 ppm ozone, 24 hr/day for 3 or 7 days. Following exposure, glandular explants, denuded of surface epithelial cells, were prepared and incubated in medium containing 3H-glucosamine for 18 hr. Basal secretion of labeled glycoconjugates was significantly increased 31% following 3 days of ozone exposure (P less than or equal to 0.05) and remained elevated 11% after 7 days of exposure compared to the air-exposed group. After 3 or 7 days of exposure to ozone, tracheal gland responsiveness to carbachol was increased as indicated by significantly lower EC50 values (log molar concentration) of -6.43 {plus minus} 0.04 (n = 6) and -6.50 {plus minus} 0.11 (n = 5), respectively; compared to -6.20 {plus minus} 0.08 (n = 6) for the air-exposed group. There was no difference in carbachol EC50 values for air and 7-day ozone-exposed animals treated with dexamethasone. Dexamethasone did not attenuate the ozone-induced increase in basal secretion. Tracheal gland responsiveness to {alpha}- or {beta}-adrenergic agonists was not changed by oxidant exposure. These experiments suggest that oxidant injury not only increases basal secretion of respiratory glycoconjugates but also increases tracheal gland sensitivity to a cholinergic agonist.

  16. Different effects of salmeterol, formoterol and salbutamol on cholinergic responses in the ferret trachea.

    PubMed Central

    Bergendal, A; Lindén, A; Lötvall, J; Skoogh, B E; Löfdahl, C G

    1995-01-01

    1. In the present study, the inhibitory effects of the selective beta 2-adrenoceptor agonists, salmeterol, formoterol and salbutamol, have been investigated on contractions of ferret trachea induced both by endogenous and exogenous acetylcholine. The aim of the study was to evaluate quantitative and/or qualitative differences in response which may indicate both pre- and post-junctional sites of action. The non-selective beta-antagonist, sotalol, was used to estimate beta-adrenoceptor involvement. 2. Isometric tension was measured in ferret isolated tracheal strips. The inhibitory effects of the drugs were studied on tonic contractions induced by pre-junctional activation with electrical field stimulation (EFS) (2 Hz, 700 mA) or post-junctional activation with exogenous acetylcholine (ACh) (0.5 microM, about EC80), giving a similar degree of smooth muscle response. 3. Concentration-response experiments were performed with formoterol (0.3 nM-0.3 microM) and salmeterol and salbutamol (10 nM-10 microM). The experiments ended with the addition of sotalol (10 microM). 4. All three beta-agonists inhibited the contractions in a concentration-dependent manner. Salbutamol, formoterol and salmeterol inhibited the EFS-induced contractions by 66(8)%, 105(5)% and 103(8)% (mean(s.e. mean)) respectively. ACh-induced contractions were inhibited by 37(6)%, 72(11)% and 33(8)%. Theophylline (10 nM-3 mM) inhibited the contractions to the same degree. 5. beta-Adrenoceptor blockade by sotalol significantly antagonized the inhibitory effects of salbutamol and formoterol on both EFS- and ACh-induced contractions. The effect of salmeterol on ACh-induced contraction was also significantly antagonized, whereas the inhibition of EFS-induced contraction was virtually unaffected.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:7606351

  17. Bilateral disruption of conditioned responses after unilateral blockade of cerebellar output in the decerebrate ferret.

    PubMed Central

    Ivarsson, M; Svensson, P; Hesslow, G

    1997-01-01

    1. Lesions of the cerebellar cortex can abolish classically conditioned eyeblink responses, but some recovery with retraining has been observed. It has been suggested that the recovered responses are generated by the intact contralateral cerebellar hemisphere. In order to investigate this suggestion, bilaterally acquired conditioned responses were studied after the unilateral blockade of cerebellar output. 2. Decerebrate ferrets were trained with ipsilateral electrical forelimb stimulation (300 ms, 50 Hz, 1 mA) as the conditioned stimulus and bilaterally applied peri-orbital stimulation (40 ms, 50 Hz, 3 mA) as the unconditioned stimulus. The conditioned and unconditioned eyeblink responses were monitored by EMG recordings from the orbicularis oculi muscle. The output from one cerebellar hemisphere was blocked either by injecting small amounts of lignocaine (lidocaine; 0.5-1.0 microliter) into the brachium conjunctivum, or by a restricted mechanical lesion of the brainstem rostral to the cerebellum. 3. As described by previous investigators, the unilateral blockade of cerebellar output abolished ipsilateral conditioned responses. 4. More importantly, such blockade also abolished or strongly depressed contralateral conditioned responses. When mechanical lesions of the brachium conjunctivum were made, contralateral responses, in contrast to ipsilateral responses, recovered within 1-2.5 h. 5. When the unconditioned stimulus was removed on one side, causing extinction of conditioned responses on this side, conditioned responses were temporarily depressed on the trained side as well. 6. Unilateral interruption of cerebellar output had no clear effect on contralateral unconditioned reflex responses. 7. The results demonstrate that one cerebellar hemisphere in ferrets exerts a marked control of contralateral conditioned eyeblink responses, probably via premotor neurones involved specifically in conditioned, and not in unconditioned, responses. PMID:9234206

  18. Factors released from endocardium of the ferret and pig modulate myocardial contraction.

    PubMed Central

    Smith, J A; Shah, A M; Lewis, M J

    1991-01-01

    1. In isolated heart muscle preparations, selective removal of the endocardium results in a characteristic and unusual negative inotropic effect. Possible mechanisms for this effect were investigated in this study. 2. In endocardium-intact preparations of ferret papillary muscle, 8-bromo-cyclic GMP, sodium nitroprusside, atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) and substance P each induced changes in contractile behaviour similar to selective endocardial removal, and each significantly elevated myocardial cyclic GMP levels. Substance P failed to elevate myocardial cyclic GMP levels following removal of endocardium or in the presence of haemoglobin, suggesting that it may act by releasing endothelium-derived relaxing factor (EDRF) from endocardium. However, there was no change in myocardial cyclic GMP levels following endocardium removal alone. 3. In cascade bioassay experiments, it was confirmed that porcine cultured endocardial cells released an unstable humoral agent whose effects on an endothelium-denuded pig coronary artery were indistinguishable from EDRF. 4. The negative inotropic effects of endocardium removal were reversed in bioassay experiments where an endocardium-denuded papillary muscle was exposed to the effluent from a column of porcine cultured endocardial cells on microcarrier beads. This demonstrates for the first time the release of a 'contraction prolonging factor' from endocardium, the tonic release of which would explain the negative inotropic effect of endocardium removal. 5. It is concluded that elevation of ferret papillary muscle cyclic GMP (as for example with EDRF) produces changes in contractile performance similar to those induced by endocardium removal. We also demonstrate that superfused porcine cultured endocardial cells release a humoral agent (provisionally named 'endocardin') which causes reversal of the changes in mechanical properties seen after endocardial removal. PMID:1716674

  19. Mucociliary clearance and submucosal gland secretion in the ex vivo ferret trachea.

    PubMed

    Jeong, Jin Hyeok; Joo, Nam Soo; Hwang, Peter H; Wine, Jeffrey J

    2014-07-01

    In many species submucosal glands are an important source of tracheal mucus, but the extent to which mucociliary clearance (MCC) depends on gland secretion is unknown. To explore this relationship, we measured basal and agonist-stimulated MCC velocities in ex vivo tracheas from adult ferrets and compared the velocities with previously measured rates of ferret glandular mucus secretion (Cho HJ, Joo NS, Wine JJ. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol 299: L124-L136, 2010). Stimulated MCC velocities (mm/min, means ± SE for 10- to 35-min period poststimulation) were as follows: 1 μM carbachol: 19.1 ± 3.3 > 10 μM phenylephrine: 15.3 ± 2.4 ≈ 10 μM isoproterenol: 15.0 ± 1.9 ≈ 10 μM forskolin: 14.6 ± 3.1 > 1 μM vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP): 10.2 ± 2.2 > basal (t15): 1.8 ± 0.3; n = 5-10 for each condition. Synergistic stimulation of MCC was observed between low concentrations of carbachol (100 nM) and isoproterenol (300 nM). Bumetanide inhibited carbachol-stimulated MCC by ~70% and abolished the increase in MCC stimulated by forskolin + VIP, whereas HCO3 (-)-free solutions did not significantly inhibit MCC to either intracellular Ca(2+) concentration or intracellular cAMP concentration ([cAMP]i)-elevating agonists. Stimulation and inhibition of MCC and gland secretion differed in several respects: most importantly, elevating [cAMP]i increased MCC much more effectively than expected from its effects on gland secretion, and bumetanide almost completely inhibited [cAMP]i-stimulated MCC while it had a smaller effect on gland secretion. We conclude that changes in glandular fluid secretion are complexly related to MCC and discuss possible reasons for this. PMID:24793168

  20. Early Indicators of Disease in Ferrets Infected with a High Dose of Avian Influenza H5N1

    PubMed Central

    Long, James P.; Vela, Eric M.; Stark, Gregory V.; Jones, Kelly J.; Miller, Stephen T.; Bigger, John E.

    2012-01-01

    Avian influenza viruses are widespread in birds, contagious in humans, and are categorized as low pathogenicity avian influenza or highly pathogenic avian influenza. Ferrets are susceptible to infection with avian and human influenza A and B viruses and have been widely used as a model to study pathogenicity and vaccine efficacy. In this report, the natural history of the H5N1 influenza virus A/Vietnam/1203/04 influenza infection in ferrets was examined to determine clinical and laboratory parameters that may indicate (1) the onset of disease and (2) survival. In all, twenty of 24 animals infected with 7 × 105 TCID50 of A/Vietnam/1203/04 succumbed. A statistical analysis identified a combination of parameters including weight loss, nasal wash TCID50, eosinophils, and liver enzymes such as alanine amino transferase that might possibly serve as indicators of both disease onset and challenge survival. PMID:23240077

  1. Age-dependent changes in sperm production, semen quality, and testicular volume in the black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes).

    PubMed

    Wolf, K N; Wildt, D E; Vargas, A; Marinari, P E; Kreeger, J S; Ottinger, M A; Howard, J G

    2000-07-01

    The black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes), which was extirpated from its native North American prairie habitat during the 1980s, is being reintroduced to the wild because of a successful captive-breeding program. To enhance propagation, the reproductive biology of this endangered species is being studied intensively. The typical life span of the black-footed ferret is approximately 7 yr. Female fecundity declines after 3 yr of age, but the influence of age on male reproduction is unknown. In this study, testis volume, seminal traits, sperm morphology, and serum testosterone were compared in 116 males from 1 to 7 yr of age living in captivity. Results demonstrated that testes volume during the peak breeding season was similar (P > 0.05) among males 1 to 5 yr of age, reduced (P < 0.05) among males 6 yr of age, and further reduced (P < 0.05) among males 7 yr of age. Motile sperm/ejaculate was similar in males 1 to 6 yr of age but diminished (P < 0.05) in those 7 yr of age. Males at 6 and 7 yr of age produced fewer (P < 0.05) structurally normal sperm than younger counterparts; however, serum testosterone concentrations were not reduced (P > 0.05) in older males. Histological comparison of testicular/epididymal tissue from 5- and 7-yr-old black-footed ferrets confirmed that the interval between these two ages may represent a transitional period to reproductive senescence. In summary, functional reproductive capacity of male black-footed ferrets exceeds that of females by at least 2 yr. Testes and seminal quality are indistinguishable among males 1 to 5 yr of age, with progressive reproductive aging occurring thereafter. PMID:10859258

  2. Behavioural sensitivity to binaural spatial cues in ferrets: evidence for plasticity in the duplex theory of sound localization

    PubMed Central

    Keating, Peter; Nodal, Fernando R; King, Andrew J

    2014-01-01

    For over a century, the duplex theory has guided our understanding of human sound localization in the horizontal plane. According to this theory, the auditory system uses interaural time differences (ITDs) and interaural level differences (ILDs) to localize low-frequency and high-frequency sounds, respectively. Whilst this theory successfully accounts for the localization of tones by humans, some species show very different behaviour. Ferrets are widely used for studying both clinical and fundamental aspects of spatial hearing, but it is not known whether the duplex theory applies to this species or, if so, to what extent the frequency range over which each binaural cue is used depends on acoustical or neurophysiological factors. To address these issues, we trained ferrets to lateralize tones presented over earphones and found that the frequency dependence of ITD and ILD sensitivity broadly paralleled that observed in humans. Compared with humans, however, the transition between ITD and ILD sensitivity was shifted toward higher frequencies. We found that the frequency dependence of ITD sensitivity in ferrets can partially be accounted for by acoustical factors, although neurophysiological mechanisms are also likely to be involved. Moreover, we show that binaural cue sensitivity can be shaped by experience, as training ferrets on a 1-kHz ILD task resulted in significant improvements in thresholds that were specific to the trained cue and frequency. Our results provide new insights into the factors limiting the use of different sound localization cues and highlight the importance of sensory experience in shaping the underlying neural mechanisms. PMID:24256073

  3. The central localization of the vagus nerve in the ferret (Mustela putorius furo) and the mink (Mustela vison).

    PubMed

    Ranson, R N; Butler, P J; Taylor, E W

    1993-05-01

    The location of vagal preganglionic neurones (VPN) has been determined in nine ferrets (Mustela putorius furo) and seven mink (M. vison) using neuronal tract-tracing techniques employing horseradish peroxidase (HRP) and wheat-germ agglutinin conjugated HRP (WGA-HRP) mixtures injected into the nodose ganglion of the vagus nerve. Labelled VPN were located ipsilaterally in the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus (DmnX), nucleus ambiguus (nA), and reticular formation (rf) of the medulla oblongata. In four of the ferrets, labelled VPN were also identified in the nucleus dorsomedialis (ndm) and the nucleus of the spinal accessory nerve (nspa). In a single mink a few labelled cells were observed in the ndm but no labelled VPN were found in the nspa. Labelling of afferent components of the vagus nerve was seen in two ferrets and two mink with the best labelling obtained following an injection of an HRP/WGA-HRP mixture into the nodose ganglion. Labelled afferents were observed to cross the ipsilateral spinal trigeminal tract (SpV) before entering the tractus solitarius (TS) in regions separate from the motor axons which exit the medulla in separate fasicles. Sensory terminal fields were identified bilaterally in the nucleus of the tractus solitarius (nTS) in both species and bilaterally in the area postrema (ap) of the ferret; however, the contralateral labelling was sparse in comparison to the densely labelled ipsilateral nTS/ap. Maximal terminal labelling was seen in regions just rostral and caudal to obex in both species. PMID:7686926

  4. Clinical and pathologic features of an adenomatous polyp of the colon in a domestic ferret (Mustela putorius furo)

    PubMed Central

    Castillo-Alcala, Fernanda; Mans, Christoph; Bos, Alexandra Squires; Taylor, W. Michael; Smith, Dale A.

    2010-01-01

    A 6-year-old castrated male domestic ferret (Mustela putorius furo) with a 4-week history of intermittent diarrhea and straining during defecation had an intraluminal mass in the descending colon identified by abdominal ultrasound. The histopathological diagnosis of the resected mass was an adenomatous polyp of the colon. No post-operative complications were identified over a 32-month follow-up period. PMID:21286327

  5. Evidence for Radiation-Induced Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation as a Major Cause of Radiation-Induced Death in Ferrets

    SciTech Connect

    Krigsfeld, Gabriel S.; Savage, Alexandria R.; Billings, Paul C.; Lin, Liyong; Kennedy, Ann R.

    2014-03-15

    Purpose: The studies reported here were performed as part of a program in space radiation biology in which proton radiation like that present in solar particle events, as well as conventional gamma radiation, were being evaluated in terms of the ability to affect hemostasis. Methods and Materials: Ferrets were exposed to 0 to 2 Gy of whole-body proton or gamma radiation and monitored for 30 days. Blood was analyzed for blood cell counts, platelet clumping, thromboelastometry, and fibrin clot formation. Results: The lethal dose of radiation to 50% of the population (LD{sub 50}) of the ferrets was established at ∼1.5 Gy, with 100% mortality at 2 Gy. Hypocoagulability was present as early as day 7 postirradiation, with animals unable to generate a stable clot and exhibiting signs of platelet aggregation, thrombocytopenia, and fibrin clots in blood vessels of organs. Platelet counts were at normal levels during the early time points postirradiation when coagulopathies were present and becoming progressively more severe; platelet counts were greatly reduced at the time of the white blood cell nadir of 13 days. Conclusions: Data presented here provide evidence that death at the LD{sub 50} in ferrets is most likely due to disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC). These data question the current hypothesis that death at relatively low doses of radiation is due solely to the cell-killing effects of hematopoietic cells. The recognition that radiation-induced DIC is the most likely mechanism of death in ferrets raises the question of whether DIC is a contributing mechanism to radiation-induced death at relatively low doses in large mammals.

  6. Sexual dimorphism of sulcal morphology of the ferret cerebrum revealed by MRI-based sulcal surface morphometry

    PubMed Central

    Sawada, Kazuhiko; Horiuchi-Hirose, Miwa; Saito, Shigeyoshi; Aoki, Ichio

    2015-01-01

    The present study quantitatively assessed sexual dimorphism of cortical convolution and sulcal morphology in young adult ferrets by MRI-based sulcal surface morphometry. Ex vivo T1-weighted (short TR/TE) MRI of the ferret cerebrum was acquired with high spatial resolution at 7-tesla. The degree of cortical convolution, evaluated quantitatively based on 3D MRI data by sulcation index (SI), was significantly greater in males (0.553 ± 0.036) than in females (0.502 ± 0.043) (p < 0.001). The rostrocaudal distribution of the cortical convolution revealed a greater convolution in the frontal region of the cortex in males than in females and by a posterior extension of the convolution in the temporo-parieto-occipital region of males. Although the cerebral width in the frontal region was not different between sexes, the rhinal fissure and rostral region of splenial sulcus were more infolded in males than in females. On the contrary, the cerebral width was greater in males in the temporo-parieto-occipital region, and male-prominent posterior extension of infolding was noted in the lateral sulcus, caudal suprasylvian sulcus, pesudosylvian sulcus, hippocampal sulcus, and the caudal region of splenial sulcus. Notably, the caudal descending region of lateral sulcus was clearly infolded in males, but obscured in females. The present results suggest a region-related sexual dimorphism of the sulcal infolding, which is reflected by local cortical expansion in the ferret cerebrum. In particular, male-favored sulcal infolding with expansion of the temporo-parieto-occipital neocortex may be relevant to the human cerebral cortex regarding visuo-spatial and emotion processing, which are known to differ between sexes. The present results will provide fundamental information assessing sex-related changes in the regional sulcal infolding, when ferrets with experimentally-induced gyrification abnormality will be used as models for male-prevalent or male-earlier-onset neurodevelopmental

  7. Evidence for Radiation-Induced Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation as a Major Cause of Radiation-Induced Death in Ferrets

    PubMed Central

    Krigsfeld, Gabriel S.; Savage, Alexandria R.; Billings, Paul C.; Lin, Liyong; Kennedy, Ann R.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose/Objectives(s) The studies reported here were performed as part of a program in space radiation biology in which proton radiation like that present in solar particle events (SPEs), as well as conventional gamma radiation, were being evaluated in terms of the ability to affect hemostasis. Methods and Materials Ferrets were exposed to 0 – 2 Gray (Gy) of whole body proton or gamma radiation and monitored for 30 days. Blood was analyzed for blood cell counts, platelet clumping, thromboelastometry, and fibrin clot formation. Results The lethal dose of radiation to 50% of the population, known as the LD50, of ferrets was established at ~ 1.5 Gy, with 100% mortality at 2 Gy. Hypocoagulability was present as early as day 7 post-irradiation, with animals unable to generate a stable clot and exhibiting signs of platelet aggregation, thrombocytopenia, and fibrin clots in blood vessels of organs. Platelet counts were at normal levels during the early times post-irradiation when coagulopathies were present and progressively becoming more severe; platelet counts were greatly reduced at the time of the white blood cell nadir of 13 days. Conclusions The data presented here provide evidence that death at the LD50 in ferrets is most likely due to disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC). These data question the current hypothesis that death at relatively low doses of radiation is solely due to the cell killing effects of hematopoietic cells. The recognition that radiation-induced DIC is the most likely mechanism of death in ferrets raises the question of whether DIC is a contributing mechanism to radiation induced death at relatively low doses in large mammals. PMID:24495588

  8. Cellular immune response in the presence of protective antibody levels correlates with protection against 1918 influenza in ferrets.

    PubMed

    Pillet, Stéphane; Kobasa, Darwyn; Meunier, Isabelle; Gray, Michael; Laddy, Dominick; Weiner, David B; von Messling, Veronika; Kobinger, Gary P

    2011-09-01

    The identification of immune correlates of protection against highly pathogenic human-adapted influenza is instrumental in the development of the next generation of vaccines. Towards this, ferrets received either one dose of a conventionally produced vaccine, two inoculations of a hemagglutinin (HA)-expressing DNA vaccine, or a prime-boost regimen of the DNA vaccine followed by injection of a HA-expressing adenoviral vector. In addition to the antibody response, ferret-specific interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) ELISpot and flow cytometry assays were developed to follow the cellular immune response. Animals that received the conventional vaccine mounted a humoral response, while the DNA vaccinated groups also developed IFN-γ producing T cells. Upon challenge with the matched highly pathogenic A/South Carolina/1/18 H1N1 influenza A virus, the conventionally vaccinated group developed moderate to severe signs of disease, whereas the DNA vaccinated animals experienced mild disease. In the presence of an antibody response within the protective range, the extent of the T cell response correlated more accurately with reduced morbidity in vaccinated ferrets. PMID:21211587

  9. A Road Map for 21st Century Genetic Restoration: Gene Pool Enrichment of the Black-Footed Ferret.

    PubMed

    Wisely, Samantha M; Ryder, Oliver A; Santymire, Rachel M; Engelhardt, John F; Novak, Ben J

    2015-01-01

    Interspecies somatic cell nuclear transfer (iSCNT) could benefit recovery programs of critically endangered species but must be weighed with the risks of failure. To weigh the risks and benefits, a decision-making process that evaluates progress is needed. Experiments that evaluate the efficiency and efficacy of blastocyst, fetal, and post-parturition development are necessary to determine the success or failure or species-specific iSCNT programs. Here, we use the black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes) as a case study for evaluating this emerging biomedical technology as a tool for genetic restoration. The black-footed ferret has depleted genetic variation yet genome resource banks contain genetic material of individuals not currently represented in the extant lineage. Thus, genetic restoration of the species is in theory possible and could help reduce the persistent erosion of genetic diversity from drift. Extensive genetic, genomic, and reproductive science tools have previously been developed in black-footed ferrets and would aid in the process of developing an iSCNT protocol for this species. Nonetheless, developing reproductive cloning will require years of experiments and a coordinated effort among recovery partners. The information gained from a well-planned research effort with the goal of genetic restoration via reproductive cloning could establish a 21st century model for evaluating and implementing conservation breeding that would be applicable to other genetically impoverished species. PMID:26304983

  10. Ferrets as a Novel Animal Model for Studying Human Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections in Immunocompetent and Immunocompromised Hosts.

    PubMed

    Stittelaar, Koert J; de Waal, Leon; van Amerongen, Geert; Veldhuis Kroeze, Edwin J B; Fraaij, Pieter L A; van Baalen, Carel A; van Kampen, Jeroen J A; van der Vries, Erhard; Osterhaus, Albert D M E; de Swart, Rik L

    2016-01-01

    Human respiratory syncytial virus (HRSV) is an important cause of severe respiratory tract disease in immunocompromised patients. Animal models are indispensable for evaluating novel intervention strategies in this complex patient population. To complement existing models in rodents and non-human primates, we have evaluated the potential benefits of an HRSV infection model in ferrets (Mustela putorius furo). Nine- to 12-month-old HRSV-seronegative immunocompetent or immunocompromised ferrets were infected with a low-passage wild-type strain of HRSV subgroup A (10⁵ TCID50) administered by intra-tracheal or intra-nasal inoculation. Immune suppression was achieved by bi-daily oral administration of tacrolimus, mycophenolate mofetil, and prednisolone. Throat and nose swabs were collected daily and animals were euthanized four, seven, or 21 days post-infection (DPI). Virus loads were determined by quantitative virus culture and qPCR. We observed efficient HRSV replication in both the upper and lower respiratory tract. In immunocompromised ferrets, virus loads reached higher levels and showed delayed clearance as compared to those in immunocompetent animals. Histopathological evaluation of animals euthanized 4 DPI demonstrated that the virus replicated in the respiratory epithelial cells of the trachea, bronchi, and bronchioles. These animal models can contribute to an assessment of the efficacy and safety of novel HRSV intervention strategies. PMID:27314379

  11. S-phase duration is the main target of cell cycle regulation in neural progenitors of developing ferret neocortex.

    PubMed

    Turrero García, Miguel; Chang, YoonJeung; Arai, Yoko; Huttner, Wieland B

    2016-02-15

    The evolutionary expansion of the neocortex primarily reflects increases in abundance and proliferative capacity of cortical progenitors and in the length of the neurogenic period during development. Cell cycle parameters of neocortical progenitors are an important determinant of cortical development. The ferret (Mustela putorius furo), a gyrencephalic mammal, has gained increasing importance as a model for studying corticogenesis. Here, we have studied the abundance, proliferation, and cell cycle parameters of different neural progenitor types, defined by their differential expression of the transcription factors Pax6 and Tbr2, in the various germinal zones of developing ferret neocortex. We focused our analyses on postnatal day 1, a late stage of cortical neurogenesis when upper-layer neurons are produced. Based on cumulative 5-ethynyl-2'-deoxyuridine (EdU) labeling as well as Ki67 and proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) immunofluorescence, we determined the duration of the various cell cycle phases of the different neocortical progenitor subpopulations. Ferret neocortical progenitors were found to exhibit longer cell cycles than those of rodents and little variation in the duration of G1 among distinct progenitor types, also in contrast to rodents. Remarkably, the main difference in cell cycle parameters among the various progenitor types was the duration of S-phase, which became shorter as progenitors progressively changed transcription factor expression from patterns characteristic of self-renewal to those of neuron production. Hence, S-phase duration emerges as major target of cell cycle regulation in cortical progenitors of this gyrencephalic mammal. PMID:25963823

  12. Environmental Conditions Affect Exhalation of H3N2 Seasonal and Variant Influenza Viruses and Respiratory Droplet Transmission in Ferrets

    PubMed Central

    Gustin, Kortney M.; Belser, Jessica A.; Veguilla, Vic; Zeng, Hui; Katz, Jacqueline M.; Tumpey, Terrence M.; Maines, Taronna R.

    2015-01-01

    The seasonality of influenza virus infections in temperate climates and the role of environmental conditions like temperature and humidity in the transmission of influenza virus through the air are not well understood. Using ferrets housed at four different environmental conditions, we evaluated the respiratory droplet transmission of two influenza viruses (a seasonal H3N2 virus and an H3N2 variant virus, the etiologic virus of a swine to human summertime infection) and concurrently characterized the aerosol shedding profiles of infected animals. Comparisons were made among the different temperature and humidity conditions and between the two viruses to determine if the H3N2 variant virus exhibited enhanced capabilities that may have contributed to the infections occurring in the summer. We report here that although increased levels of H3N2 variant virus were found in ferret nasal wash and exhaled aerosol samples compared to the seasonal H3N2 virus, enhanced respiratory droplet transmission was not observed under any of the environmental settings. However, overall environmental conditions were shown to modulate the frequency of influenza virus transmission through the air. Transmission occurred most frequently at 23°C/30%RH, while the levels of infectious virus in aerosols exhaled by infected ferrets agree with these results. Improving our understanding of how environmental conditions affect influenza virus infectivity and transmission may reveal ways to better protect the public against influenza virus infections. PMID:25969995

  13. PATHOLOGY AND MOLECULAR DETECTION OF RABIES VIRUS IN FERRET BADGERS ASSOCIATED WITH A RABIES OUTBREAK IN TAIWAN.

    PubMed

    Chiou, Hue-Ying; Jeng, Chian-Ren; Wang, Hurng-Yi; Inoue, Satoshi; Chan, Fang-Tse; Liao, Jiunn-Wang; Chiou, Ming-Tang; Pang, Victor Fei

    2016-01-01

    Until Rabies virus (RABV) infection in Taiwan ferret badgers (TWFB; Melogale moschata subaurantiaca) was diagnosed in mid-June 2013, Taiwan had been considered rabies free for >50 yr. Although rabies has also been reported in ferret badgers in China, the pathologic changes and distribution of viral antigens of ferret badger-associated rabies have not been described. We performed a comprehensive pathologic study and molecular detection of rabies virus in three necropsied rabid TWFBs and evaluated archival paraffin-embedded tissue blocks of six other TWFBs necropsied during 2004 and 2012. As in other RABV-infected species, the characteristic pathologic changes in TWFBs were nonsuppurative meningoencephalomyelitis, ganglionitis, and the formation of typical intracytoplasmic Negri bodies, with the brain stem most affected. There was also variable spongiform degeneration, primarily in the perikaryon of neurons and neuropil, in the cerebral cortex, thalamus, and brain stem. In nonnervous system tissues, representative lesions included adrenal necrosis and lymphocytic interstitial sialadenitis. Immunohistochemical staining and fluorescent antibody test demonstrated viral antigens in the perikaryon of the neurons and axonal or dendritic processes throughout the nervous tissue and in the macrophages in various tissues. Similar to raccoons (Procyon lotor) and skunks (Mephitidae), the nervous tissue of rabid TWFBs displayed widely dispersed lesions, RABV antigens, and large numbers of Negri bodies. We traced the earliest rabid TWFB case back to 2004. PMID:26560756

  14. Ferrets as a Novel Animal Model for Studying Human Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections in Immunocompetent and Immunocompromised Hosts

    PubMed Central

    Stittelaar, Koert J.; de Waal, Leon; van Amerongen, Geert; Veldhuis Kroeze, Edwin J.B.; Fraaij, Pieter L.A.; van Baalen, Carel A.; van Kampen, Jeroen J.A.; van der Vries, Erhard; Osterhaus, Albert D.M.E.; de Swart, Rik L.

    2016-01-01

    Human respiratory syncytial virus (HRSV) is an important cause of severe respiratory tract disease in immunocompromised patients. Animal models are indispensable for evaluating novel intervention strategies in this complex patient population. To complement existing models in rodents and non-human primates, we have evaluated the potential benefits of an HRSV infection model in ferrets (Mustela putorius furo). Nine- to 12-month-old HRSV-seronegative immunocompetent or immunocompromised ferrets were infected with a low-passage wild-type strain of HRSV subgroup A (105 TCID50) administered by intra-tracheal or intra-nasal inoculation. Immune suppression was achieved by bi-daily oral administration of tacrolimus, mycophenolate mofetil, and prednisolone. Throat and nose swabs were collected daily and animals were euthanized four, seven, or 21 days post-infection (DPI). Virus loads were determined by quantitative virus culture and qPCR. We observed efficient HRSV replication in both the upper and lower respiratory tract. In immunocompromised ferrets, virus loads reached higher levels and showed delayed clearance as compared to those in immunocompetent animals. Histopathological evaluation of animals euthanized 4 DPI demonstrated that the virus replicated in the respiratory epithelial cells of the trachea, bronchi, and bronchioles. These animal models can contribute to an assessment of the efficacy and safety of novel HRSV intervention strategies. PMID:27314379

  15. A Road Map for 21st Century Genetic Restoration: Gene Pool Enrichment of the Black-Footed Ferret

    PubMed Central

    Ryder, Oliver A.; Santymire, Rachel M.; Engelhardt, John F.; Novak, Ben J.

    2015-01-01

    Interspecies somatic cell nuclear transfer (iSCNT) could benefit recovery programs of critically endangered species but must be weighed with the risks of failure. To weigh the risks and benefits, a decision-making process that evaluates progress is needed. Experiments that evaluate the efficiency and efficacy of blastocyst, fetal, and post-parturition development are necessary to determine the success or failure or species-specific iSCNT programs. Here, we use the black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes) as a case study for evaluating this emerging biomedical technology as a tool for genetic restoration. The black-footed ferret has depleted genetic variation yet genome resource banks contain genetic material of individuals not currently represented in the extant lineage. Thus, genetic restoration of the species is in theory possible and could help reduce the persistent erosion of genetic diversity from drift. Extensive genetic, genomic, and reproductive science tools have previously been developed in black-footed ferrets and would aid in the process of developing an iSCNT protocol for this species. Nonetheless, developing reproductive cloning will require years of experiments and a coordinated effort among recovery partners. The information gained from a well-planned research effort with the goal of genetic restoration via reproductive cloning could establish a 21st century model for evaluating and implementing conservation breeding that would be applicable to other genetically impoverished species. PMID:26304983

  16. Disruption of neuroendocrine stress responses to acute ferret odor by medial, but not central amygdala lesions in rats

    PubMed Central

    Masini, Cher V.; Sasse, Sarah K.; Garcia, Robert J.; Nyhuis, Tara J.; Day, Heidi E.W.; Campeau, Serge

    2009-01-01

    Investigations of the neural pathways associated with responses to predators have implicated the medial amygdala (MeA) as an important region involved in defensive behaviors. To our knowledge, however, the involvement of the MeA in neuroendocrine responses to predator odor exposure has not been investigated. Therefore, the present study examined the effects of MeA disruption in rats exposed to ferret or control odor on hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis activation. Bilateral lesions of the MeA were made in Sprague- Dawley rats with the neurotoxin ibotenic acid (10 µg/µl; 0.3 µl /side). As a control for regional specificity, additional groups of rats were given lesions in the central amygdala (CeA). One week after recovery, the rats were exposed to ferret or strawberry control towels in small cages to examine HPA axis responses as determined by plasma corticosterone and adrenocorticotropin hormone (ACTH) levels. Rats with complete bilateral MeA but not CeA lesions displayed significantly less corticosterone and ACTH release compared to sham-operated control rats only in the ferret odor conditions. These results suggest that the MeA is an important structure involved in the HPA axis responses to predator odors, in support of previous studies investigating behavioral responses under similar conditions. PMID:19615352

  17. Safety, immunogencity, and efficacy of a cold-adapted A/Ann Arbor/6/60 (H2N2) vaccine in mice and ferrets

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, Grace L.; Lamirande, Elaine W.; Jin Hong; Kemble, George; Subbarao, Kanta

    2010-03-01

    We studied the attenuation, immunogenicity and efficacy of the cold-adapted A/Ann Arbor/6/60 (AA ca) (H2N2) virus in mice and ferrets to evaluate its use in the event of an H2 influenza pandemic. The AA ca virus was restricted in replication in the respiratory tract of mice and ferrets. In mice, 2 doses of vaccine elicited a > 4-fold rise in hemagglutination-inhibition (HAI) titer and resulted in complete inhibition of viral replication following lethal homologous wild-type virus challenge. In ferrets, a single dose of the vaccine elicited a > 4-fold rise in HAI titer and conferred complete protection against homologous wild-type virus challenge in the upper respiratory tract. In both mice and ferrets, the AA ca virus provided significant protection from challenge with heterologous H2 virus challenge in the respiratory tract. The AA ca vaccine is safe, immunogenic, and efficacious against homologous and heterologous challenge in mice and ferrets, supporting the evaluation of this vaccine in clinical trials.

  18. Vaccination with F1-V fusion protein protects black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) against plague upon oral challenge with Yersinia pestis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rocke, T.E.; Smith, S.; Marinari, P.; Kreeger, J.; Enama, J.T.; Powell, B.S.

    2008-01-01

    Previous studies have established that vaccination of black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) with F1-V fusion protein by subcutaneous (SC) injection protects the animals against plague upon injection of the bacterium Yersinia pestis. This study demonstrates that the F1-V antigen can also protect ferrets against plague contracted via ingestion of a Y. pestis-infected mouse, a probable route for natural infection. Eight black-footed ferret kits were vaccinated with F1-V protein by SC injection at approximately 60 days-of-age. A booster vaccination was administered 3 mo later via SC injection. Four additional ferret kits received placebos. The animals were challenged 6 wk after the boost by feeding each one a Y. pestis-infected mouse. All eight vaccinates survived challenge, while the four controls succumbed to plague within 3 days after exposure. To determine the duration of antibody postvaccination, 18 additional black-footed ferret kits were vaccinated and boosted with F1-V by SC injection at 60 and 120 days-of-age. High titers to both F1 and V (mean reciprocal titers of 18,552 and 99,862, respectively) were found in all vaccinates up to 2 yr postvaccination, whereas seven control animals remained antibody negative throughout the same time period. ?? Wildlife Disease Association 2008.

  19. Ferrets develop fatal influenza after inhaling small particle aerosols of highly pathogenic avian influenza virus A/Vietnam/1203/2004 (H5N1)

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background There is limited knowledge about the potential routes for H5N1 influenza virus transmission to and between humans, and it is not clear whether humans can be infected through inhalation of aerosolized H5N1 virus particles. Ferrets are often used as a animal model for humans in influenza pathogenicity and transmissibility studies. In this manuscript, a nose-only bioaerosol inhalation exposure system that was recently developed and validated was used in an inhalation exposure study of aerosolized A/Vietnam/1203/2004 (H5N1) virus in ferrets. The clinical spectrum of influenza resulting from exposure to A/Vietnam/1203/2004 (H5N1) through intranasal verses inhalation routes was analyzed. Results Ferrets were successfully infected through intranasal instillation or through inhalation of small particle aerosols with four different doses of Influenza virus A/Vietnam/1203/2004 (H5N1). The animals developed severe influenza encephalomyelitis following intranasal or inhalation exposure to 101, 102, 103, or 104 infectious virus particles per ferret. Conclusions Aerosolized Influenza virus A/Vietnam/1203/2004 (H5N1) is highly infectious and lethal in ferrets. Clinical signs appeared earlier in animals infected through inhalation of aerosolized virus compared to those infected through intranasal instillation. PMID:20843329

  20. Postentry Processing of Recombinant Adeno-Associated Virus Type 1 and Transduction of the Ferret Lung Are Altered by a Factor in Airway Secretions

    PubMed Central

    Yan, Ziying; Sun, Xingshen; Evans, Idil A.; Tyler, Scott R.; Song, Yi; Liu, Xiaoming; Sui, Hongshu

    2013-01-01

    Abstract We recently created a cystic fibrosis ferret model that acquires neonatal lung infection. To develop lung gene therapies for this model, we evaluated recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV)-mediated gene transfer to the neonatal ferret lung. Unlike in vitro ferret airway epithelial (FAE) cells, in vivo infection of the ferret lung with rAAV1 required proteasome inhibitors to achieve efficient airway transduction. We hypothesized that differences in transduction between these two systems were because of an in vivo secreted factor that alter the transduction biology of rAAV1. Indeed, treatment of rAAV1 with ferret airway secretory fluid (ASF) strongly inhibited rAAV1, but not rAAV2, transduction of primary FAE and HeLa cells. Properties of the ASF inhibitory factor included a strong affinity for the AAV1 capsid, heat-stability, negative charge, and sensitivity to endoproteinase Glu-C. ASF-treated rAAV1 dramatically inhibited apical transduction of FAE ALI cultures (512-fold), while only reducing viral entry by 55-fold, suggesting that postentry processing of virus was influenced by the inhibitor factor. Proteasome inhibitors rescued transduction in the presence of ASF (∼1600-fold) without effecting virus internalization, while proteasome inhibitors only enhanced transduction 45-fold in the absence of ASF. These findings demonstrate that a factor in lung secretions can influence intracellular processing of rAAV1 in a proteasome-dependent fashion. PMID:23948055

  1. Airborne Transmission of Highly Pathogenic H7N1 Influenza Virus in Ferrets

    PubMed Central

    Finch, Courtney; Shao, Hongxia; Angel, Matthew; Chen, Hongjun; Capua, Ilaria; Cattoli, Giovanni; Monne, Isabella

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Avian H7 influenza viruses are recognized as potential pandemic viruses, as personnel often become infected during poultry outbreaks. H7 infections in humans typically cause mild conjunctivitis; however, the H7N9 outbreak in the spring of 2013 has resulted in severe respiratory disease. To date, no H7 viruses have acquired the ability for sustained transmission among humans. Airborne transmission is considered a requirement for the emergence of pandemic influenza, and advanced knowledge of the molecular changes or signature required for transmission would allow early identification of pandemic vaccine seed stocks, screening and stockpiling of antiviral compounds, and eradication efforts focused on flocks harboring threatening viruses. Thus, we sought to determine if a highly pathogenic influenza A H7N1 (A/H7N1) virus with no history of human infection could become capable of airborne transmission among ferrets. We show that after 10 serial passages, A/H7N1 developed the ability to be transmitted to cohoused and airborne contact ferrets. Four amino acid mutations (PB2 T81I, NP V284M, and M1 R95K and Q211K) in the internal genes and a minimal amino acid mutation (K/R313R) in the stalk region of the hemagglutinin protein were associated with airborne transmission. Furthermore, transmission was not associated with loss of virulence. These findings highlight the importance of the internal genes in host adaptation and suggest that natural isolates carrying these mutations be further evaluated. Our results demonstrate that a highly pathogenic avian H7 virus can become capable of airborne transmission in a mammalian host, and they support ongoing surveillance and pandemic H7 vaccine development. IMPORTANCE The major findings of this report are that a highly pathogenic strain of H7N1 avian influenza virus can be adapted to become capable of airborne transmission in mammals without mutations altering receptor specificity. Changes in receptor specificity have been

  2. Single-unit Analysis of Somatosensory Processing in Core Auditory Cortex of Hearing Ferrets

    PubMed Central

    Meredith, M. Alex; Allman, Brian L.

    2014-01-01

    The recent findings in several species that primary auditory cortex processes non-auditory information have largely overlooked the possibility for somatosensory effects. Therefore, the present investigation examined the core auditory cortices (anterior – AAF, and primary auditory-- A1, fields) for tactile responsivity. Multiple single-unit recordings from anesthetized ferret cortex yielded histologically verified neurons (n=311) tested with electronically controlled auditory, visual and tactile stimuli and their combinations. Of the auditory neurons tested, a small proportion (17%) was influenced by visual cues, but a somewhat larger number (23%) was affected by tactile stimulation. Tactile effects rarely occurred alone and spiking responses were observed in bimodal auditory-tactile neurons. However, the broadest tactile effect that was observed, which occurred in all neuron types, was that of suppression of the response to a concurrent auditory cue. The presence of tactile effects in core auditory cortices was supported by a substantial anatomical projection from the rostral suprasylvian sulcal somatosensory area. Collectively, these results demonstrate that crossmodal effects in auditory cortex are not exclusively visual and that somatosensation plays a significant role in modulation of acoustic processing and indicate that crossmodal plasticity following deafness may unmask these existing non-auditory functions. PMID:25728185

  3. The effects of proton radiation on the prothrombin and partial thromboplastin times of irradiated ferrets

    PubMed Central

    Krigsfeld, Gabriel S.; Sanzari, Jenine K.; Kennedy, Ann R.

    2013-01-01

    Purpose To determine whether proton radiation affects coagulation. Material and methods Ferrets were exposed to solar particle event-like proton radiation at doses of 0, 25, 100, or 200 centigray (cGy), and dose rates of 50 cGy/minute (high dose rate or HDR) or 50 cGy/hour (low dose rate or LDR). Plasma was isolated from blood collected prior to radiation exposure and at 3–7 h post-radiation. Prothrombin time (PT) assays and activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT) assays were performed as were mixing studies to determine the coagulation factors involved. Results HDR and LDR exposure led to statistically significant increases in PT values. It was determined that the HDR-induced increase in PT was due to Factor VII, while Factors II, V, and VII contributed to the LDR-induced increase in PT values. Only acute LDR exposure caused an increase in aPTT values, which remained elevated for 48 h post-irradiation (which was the latest time assayed in these studies). Mixing studies revealed that Factor IX contributed to the increased aPTT values. A majority of the animals exposed at the LDR had an International Normalized Ratio approaching or surpassing 2.0. Conclusions PT/aPTT assays resulted in increased clotting times due to different coagulation factors, indicating potential radiation-induced coagulopathy. PMID:22221163

  4. Injectable Hyaluronic Acid-Dextran Hydrogels and Effects of Implantation in Ferret Vocal Fold

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Ying; Kobler, James B.; Heaton, James T.; Jia, Xinqiao; Zeitels, Steven M.; Langer, Robert

    2014-01-01

    Injectable hydrogels may potentially be used for augmentation/regeneration of the lamina propria of vocal fold tissue. In this study, hyaluronic acid (HA) and dextran were chemically modified and subsequently crosslinked via formation of hydrazone bonds in phosphate buffer. Swelling ratios, degradation, and compressive moduli of the resulting hydrogels were investigated. It was found that the properties of HA-dextran hydrogels were variable and the trend of variation could be correlated with the hydrogel composition. The biocompatibility of three injectable HA-dextran hydrogels with different crosslinking density was assessed in the vocal fold region using a ferret model. It was found that HA-dextran hydrogels implanted for three weeks stimulated mild foreign-body reactions. Distinct tissue-material interactions were also observed for hydrogels made from different formulations: the hydrogel 7with the lowest crosslinking density was completely degraded in vivo; while material residues were visible for other types of hydrogel injections, with or without cell penetration into the implantation depending on the hydrogel composition. The in vivo results suggest that the HA-dextran hydrogel matrices can be further developed for applications of vocal fold tissue restoration. PMID:20151459

  5. Development of contralateral and ipsilateral frequency representations in ferret primary auditory cortex.

    PubMed

    Mrsic-Flogel, Thomas D; Versnel, Huib; King, Andrew J

    2006-02-01

    Little is known about the maturation of functional maps in the primary auditory cortex (A1) after the onset of sensory experience. We used intrinsic signal imaging to examine the development of the tonotopic organization of ferret A1 with respect to contralateral and ipsilateral tone stimulation. Sound-evoked responses were recorded as early as postnatal day (P) 33, a few days after hearing onset. From P36 onwards, pure tone stimuli evoked restricted, tonotopically organized patches of activity. There was an age-dependent increase in the cortical area representing each octave, with a disproportionate expansion of cortical territory representing frequencies > 4 kHz after P60. Similar tonotopic maps were observed following stimulation of the contralateral and ipsilateral ears. During the first few weeks following hearing onset, no differences were found in the area of cortical activation or in the magnitude of the optical responses evoked by stimulation of each ear. In older animals, however, contralateral stimuli evoked stronger responses and activated a larger A1 area than ipsilateral stimuli. Our findings indicate that neither the tonotopic organization nor the representation of inputs from each ear reach maturity until approximately 1 month after hearing onset. These results have important implications for cortical signal processing in juvenile animals. PMID:16487158

  6. Modeling host responses in ferrets during A/California/07/2009 influenza infection

    PubMed Central

    Rowe, Thomas; León, Alberto J.; Crevar, Corey J.; Carter, Donald M.; Xu, Luoling; Ran, Longsi; Fang, Yuan; Cameron, Cheryl M.; Cameron, Mark J.; Banner, David; Ng, Derek CK; Ran, Ran; Weirback, Heather K.; Wiley, Clayton A.; Kelvin, David J.; Ross, Ted M.

    2010-01-01

    Immune responses during infection with pandemic H1N1 2009 influenza A virus (2009-H1N1) are still poorly understood. Using an experimental infection model in ferrets, we examined the pathological features and characterized the host immune responses by using microarray analysis, during infection with 2009-H1N1 A/California/07/2009 and seasonal A/Brisbane/59/2007. Chemokines CCL2, CCL8, CXCL7 and CXCL10 along with the majority of interferon-stimulated genes were expressed early, correlated to lung pathology, and abruptly decreased expression on day 7 following infection of A/California/07/2009. Interestingly, the drop in innate immune gene expression was replaced by a significant increase of the adaptive immune genes for granzymes and immunoglobulins. Serum anti-influenza antibodies were first observed on day 7, commensurate with the viral clearance. We propose that lung pathology in humans occurs during the innate phase of host immunity and a delay or failure to switch to the adaptive phase may contribute to morbidity and mortality during severe 2009-H1N1 infections. PMID:20334888

  7. Intranasal Antibody Gene Transfer in Mice and Ferrets Elicits Broad Protection Against Pandemic Influenza

    PubMed Central

    Limberis, Maria P.; Adam, Virginie S.; Wong, Gary; Gren, Jason; Kobasa, Darwyn; Ross, Ted M.; Kobinger, Gary P.; Tretiakova, Anna; Wilson, James M.

    2015-01-01

    The emergence of a new influenza pandemic remains a threat that could result in a substantial loss of life and economic disruption worldwide. Advances in human antibody isolation have led to the discovery of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) that have broad neutralizing activity against various influenza strains, although their direct use for prophylaxis is impractical. To overcome this limitation, our approach is to deliver antibody via adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors to the site of initial infection, which, for respiratory viruses such as influenza, is the nasopharyngeal mucosa. AAV vectors based on serotype 9 were engineered to express a modified version of the previously isolated broadly neutralizing mAb to influenza A, FI6. We demonstrate that intranasal delivery of AAV9.FI6 into mice afforded complete protection and log reductions in viral load to 100 LD50 (median lethal dose) of three clinical isolates of H5N1 and two clinical isolates of H1N1, all of which have been associated with historic human pandemics (including H1N1 1918). Similarly, complete protection was achieved in ferrets challenged with lethal doses of H5N1 and H1N1. This approach serves as a platform for the prevention of natural or deliberate respiratory diseases for which a protective antibody is available. PMID:23720583

  8. Eyedrop Vaccination Induced Systemic and Mucosal Immunity against Influenza Virus in Ferrets

    PubMed Central

    Song, Min-Suk; Han, Soo Jung; Park, Tae Kwann; Choi, Kyoung Sub; Choi, Young-Ki; Seo, Kyoung Yul

    2016-01-01

    We investigated eyedrop vaccination (EDV) in pre-clinical development for immunological protection against influenza and for potential side effects involving ocular inflammation and the central nervous system (CNS). Live attenuated influenza EDV, CA07 (H1N1), PZ-4 (H1N2) and Uruguay (H3N2), induced both systemic and mucosal virus-specific antibody responses in ferrets. In addition, EDV resulted in a clinically significant protection against viral challenge, and suppression of viral replication in nasal secretion and lung tissue. Regarding safety, we found that administered EDV flow through the tear duct to reach the base of nasal cavity, and thus do not contact the olfactory bulb. All analyses for potential adverse effects due to EDV, including histological and functional examinations, did not reveal significant side effects. On the basis of these findings, we propose that EDV as effective, while being a safe administration route with minimum local side effects, CNS invasion, or visual function disturbance. PMID:27333331

  9. The cholinergic basal forebrain in the ferret and its inputs to the auditory cortex

    PubMed Central

    Bajo, Victoria M; Leach, Nicholas D; Cordery, Patricia M; Nodal, Fernando R; King, Andrew J

    2014-01-01

    Cholinergic inputs to the auditory cortex can modulate sensory processing and regulate stimulus-specific plasticity according to the behavioural state of the subject. In order to understand how acetylcholine achieves this, it is essential to elucidate the circuitry by which cholinergic inputs influence the cortex. In this study, we described the distribution of cholinergic neurons in the basal forebrain and their inputs to the auditory cortex of the ferret, a species used increasingly in studies of auditory learning and plasticity. Cholinergic neurons in the basal forebrain, visualized by choline acetyltransferase and p75 neurotrophin receptor immunocytochemistry, were distributed through the medial septum, diagonal band of Broca, and nucleus basalis magnocellularis. Epipial tracer deposits and injections of the immunotoxin ME20.4-SAP (monoclonal antibody specific for the p75 neurotrophin receptor conjugated to saporin) in the auditory cortex showed that cholinergic inputs originate almost exclusively in the ipsilateral nucleus basalis. Moreover, tracer injections in the nucleus basalis revealed a pattern of labelled fibres and terminal fields that resembled acetylcholinesterase fibre staining in the auditory cortex, with the heaviest labelling in layers II/III and in the infragranular layers. Labelled fibres with small en-passant varicosities and simple terminal swellings were observed throughout all auditory cortical regions. The widespread distribution of cholinergic inputs from the nucleus basalis to both primary and higher level areas of the auditory cortex suggests that acetylcholine is likely to be involved in modulating many aspects of auditory processing. PMID:24945075

  10. Injectable hyaluronic acid-dextran hydrogels and effects of implantation in ferret vocal fold.

    PubMed

    Luo, Ying; Kobler, James B; Heaton, James T; Jia, Xinqiao; Zeitels, Steven M; Langer, Robert

    2010-05-01

    Injectable hydrogels may potentially be used for augmentation/regeneration of the lamina propria of vocal fold tissue. In this study, hyaluronic acid (HA) and dextran were chemically modified and subsequently crosslinked via formation of hydrazone bonds in phosphate buffer. Swelling ratios, degradation, and compressive moduli of the resulting hydrogels were investigated. It was found that the properties of HA-dextran hydrogels were variable and the trend of variation could be correlated with the hydrogel composition. The biocompatibility of three injectable HA-dextran hydrogels with different crosslinking density was assessed in the vocal fold region using a ferret model. It was found that HA-dextran hydrogels implanted for three weeks stimulated mild foreign-body reactions. Distinct tissue-material interactions were also observed for hydrogels made from different formulations: the hydrogel with the lowest crosslinking density was completely degraded in vivo; while material residues were visible for other types of hydrogel injections, with or without cell penetration into the implantation depending on the hydrogel composition. The in vivo results suggest that the HA-dextran hydrogel matrices can be further developed for applications of vocal fold tissue restoration. PMID:20151459