Science.gov

Sample records for ferrets

  1. Ferret cardiology.

    PubMed

    Wagner, Robert A

    2009-01-01

    Cardiac disease in pet ferrets is common and includes dilated cardiomyopathy, arrhythmias, and acquired valvular disease. Clinical presentation of cardiac disease in ferrets may be similar to dog or cats, although hind limb weakness may be a prominent feature. Radiography, ECG, and ultrasound are all useful tools in the diagnosis of cardiac disease in ferrets. Therapeutics for cardiac disease in ferrets is based on recommendations for dogs and cats. The prognosis for cardiac disease in ferrets varies from fair to guarded, depending on underlying disease.

  2. 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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Ferret nutrition.

    PubMed

    Bell, J A

    1999-01-01

    The unusually short intestinal tract of ferrets and closely related mustelids lacks a cecum and ileocolic valve. As a result, the transit time of ingesta in these carnivores is very rapid compared with other animals, and their food is inefficiently digested. Although the precise nutritional requirements of ferrets have not been determined by feeding defined diets, information has been compiled from experience feeding commercial and analyzed homemade diets to breeding ferrets, fitch, and mink at all stages of their lives. The requirements of spayed or neutered pet ferrets are met by allowing them constant access to drinking water and a palatable, pelleted, or extruded, 90% dry matter, premium cat or ferret food that, as fed, contains at least 15% fat and 30% high quality, meat source protein, less than 30% carbohydrates, and approximately 4 Kcal of metabolizable energy per gram. Lower density diets with more carbohydrate and less protein are associated with poor reproductive performance and growth and greater susceptibility to infectious and metabolic diseases.

  4. Clinical neurology of ferrets.

    PubMed

    Diaz-Figueroa, Orlando; Smith, Mary O

    2007-09-01

    Neurology represents an important specialty within ferret clinical medicine. Veterinarians should become familiar with the unique anatomic and physiologic differences between ferrets to improve their management of theses cases. In addition, veterinarians should use available diagnostic tests to confirm the presence of neurologic diseases. Recent advances in ferret medicine and veterinary neurology offer new capabilities to investigate and treat neurological disease in ferrets.

  5. Reproductive Medicine in Ferrets.

    PubMed

    Jekl, Vladimir; Hauptman, Karel

    2017-05-01

    In the United States, desexing is performed routinely in ferrets at the age of 6 weeks, therefore reproductive tract diseases are not so common. However, in Europe most ferrets are desexed when they are several months old, or they are kept as intact animals. For this reason, diseases of the reproductive organs and a prolonged estrus are far more frequent in Europe than in the United States. This article summarizes and reviews the anatomy, reproductive physiology, management of reproduction (including surgical and hormonal contraception) and reproductive tract diseases in male and female ferrets. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Pain management in ferrets.

    PubMed

    van Oostrom, Hugo; Schoemaker, Nico J; Uilenreef, Joost J

    2011-01-01

    The growing popularity of ferrets as pets has created the demand for advanced veterinary care for these patients. Pain is associated with a broad range of conditions, including acute or chronic inflammatory disease, neoplasia, and trauma, as well as iatrogenic causes, such as surgery and diagnostic procedures. Effective pain management requires knowledge and skills to assess pain, good understanding of the pathophysiology of pain, and general knowledge of pharmacologic and pharmacodynamic principles. Unfortunately, scientific studies on efficacy, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and safety of analgesic drugs in the ferret are limited. However, basic rules on the treatment of pain and mechanisms of action, safety, and efficacy of analgesic drugs in other species can be adapted and applied to pain management in ferrets. This article aims to make an inventory of what is known on the recognition of pain in ferrets, what analgesic drugs are currently used in ferrets, and how they can be adopted in a patient-orientated pain management plan to provide effective pain relief while reducing and monitoring for unwanted side effects.

  7. Ferret Interneurons Defy Expectations.

    PubMed

    Znamenskiy, Petr; Hofer, Sonja B

    2017-03-08

    Parvalbumin interneurons in the cortex are believed to pool inputs from most surrounding excitatory cells independent of their functional properties. Response properties of interneurons in columnar visual cortex of ferrets, described by Wilson et al. (2017) in this issue of Neuron, challenge this view.

  8. 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

  9. Mycoplasmosis in ferrets.

    PubMed

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

    2012-11-01

    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.

  10. Determination of Ferret Enteric Coronavirus Genome in Laboratory Ferrets.

    PubMed

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

    2017-09-01

    Ferret enteric coronavirus (FRECV) RNA was detected in laboratory ferrets. Analysis of the complete genome sequence of 2 strains, FRCoV4370 and FRCoV063, revealed that FRECV shared 49.9%-68.9% nucleotide sequence identity with known coronaviruses. These results suggest that FRECV might be classified as a new species in the genus Alphacoronavirus.

  11. 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. © The Author(s) 2016.

  12. Endocrinopathy and Aging in Ferrets

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

    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

  13. Ferret hepatitis E virus infection in Japan.

    PubMed

    Li, Tian-Cheng; Yonemitsu, Kenzo; Terada, Yutaka; Takeda, Naokazu; Takaji, Wakita; Maeda, Ken

    2015-01-01

    We examined 85 fecal samples from pet ferrets in 10 animal hospitals in Japan for the detection of ferret hepatitis E virus (HEV) RNA. We found that 6 (7.1%) of the samples were positive for ferret HEV RNA. Phylogenetic analysis based on the partial ORF1 indicated that these ferret HEV strains were clearly separated from the Netherlands strains and were divided into 2 distinct clusters. These results suggest that ferret HEV is genetically diverse, and since ferrets are not indigenous to Japan, ferret HEV has been introduced into Japan through importation.

  14. Adrenal gland disease in ferrets.

    PubMed

    Simone-Freilicher, Elisabeth

    2008-01-01

    Adrenal gland disease in ferrets is unique to this species, with clinical signs and pathophysiology different from those seen in the dog. Its prevalence is increasing; 70% of pet ferrets in the United States were affected in 2003. The exact causes of the adrenal gland changes that lead to the disease are not known. Early oophorohysterectomies and neutering, combined with the artificially prolonged photoperiod experienced by indoor pet ferrets, and a possible genetic component, may be contributing factors. Signs of adrenal gland disease include progressive hair loss, pruritus, lethargy, atrophy, and, in female ferrets, vulvar swelling. An understanding of the signs and physiologic changes is necessary for diagnosis and treatment. A review of anatomy, physiology, and current surgical and medical options is presented.

  15. 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Ferret wellness management and environmental enrichment.

    PubMed

    Harris, Laurel M

    2015-05-01

    The domestic ferret is a commonly kept companion animal. Knowledge of proper husbandry of companion ferrets and their common disease processes by veterinarians assists pet owners in providing the healthiest environment possible. Attentiveness to the environmental needs of pet ferrets results in physically and psychologically healthy animals and a positive, enriched relationship with owners. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Do ferrets perceive relative pitch?

    PubMed

    Yin, Pingbo; Fritz, Jonathan B; Shamma, Shihab A

    2010-03-01

    The existence of relative pitch perception in animals is difficult to demonstrate, since unlike humans, animals often attend to absolute rather than relative properties of sound elements. However, the results of the present study show that ferrets can be trained using relative pitch to discriminate two-tone sequences (rising vs. falling). Three ferrets were trained using a positive-reinforcement paradigm in which sequences of reference (one to five repeats) and target stimuli were presented, and animals were rewarded only when responding correctly to the target. The training procedure consisted of three training phases that successively shaped the ferrets to attend to relative pitch. In Phase-1 training, animals learned the basic task with sequences of invariant tone-pairs and could use absolute pitch information. During Phase-2 training, in order to emphasize relative cues, absolute pitch was varied each trial within a two-octave frequency range. In Phase-3 training, absolute pitch cues were removed, and only relative cue information was available to solve the task. Two ferrets successfully completed training on all three phases and achieved significant discriminative performance over the trained four-octave frequency range. These results suggest that ferrets can be trained to discern the relative pitch relationship of a sequence of tone-pairs independent of frequency.

  18. The forebrain of the ferret.

    PubMed

    Lockard, B I

    1985-06-01

    The basic neuroanatomy of the forebrain, mainly of the telencephalon, of the adult ferret (Mustela furo), is reviewed and illustrated with special references to the features that distinguish this animal from other carnivores. References to the pertinent literature describing similar regions of other carnivores are cited.

  19. Myofasciitis in the domestic ferret.

    PubMed

    Garner, M M; Ramsell, K; Schoemaker, N J; Sidor, I F; Nordhausen, R W; Bolin, S; Evermann, J F; Kiupel, M

    2007-01-01

    Since late 2003, an inflammatory disease of muscle and fascia has been diagnosed in several ferrets at Northwest ZooPath, and this report describes the condition in 17 ferrets. It is a disease of young ferrets, characterized by rapid onset of clinical signs, high fever, neutrophilic leukocytosis, treatment failure, and death (or euthanasia). Gross lesions include atrophy of skeletal muscle; red and white mottling and dilatation of the esophagus; and splenomegaly. Histologically, moderate to severe suppurative to pyogranulomatous inflammation is in the skeletal muscle and the fascia at multiple sites, including esophagus, heart, limbs, body wall, head, and lumbar regions. Myeloid hyperplasia of spleen and/or bone marrow also is a prominent feature. Ultrastructural lesions include mitochondrial swelling, intracellular edema, disruption of myofibrils and Z bands. Bacterial and viral cultures, electron microscopy, immunohistochemistry, and polymerase chain reaction were negative for a variety of infectious agents. The clinical presentation and distribution of lesions suggests that polymyositis in domestic ferrets is likely a distinct entity. The etiopathogenesis if this condition is not known.

  20. Ferret Workflow Anomaly Detection System

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-02-28

    The Ferret workflow anomaly detection system project 2003-2004 has provided validation and anomaly detection in accredited workflows in secure...completed to accomplish a goal. Anomaly detection is the determination that a condition departs from the expected. The baseline behavior from which the

  1. Ferret Oncology: Diseases, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics.

    PubMed

    Schoemaker, Nico J

    2017-01-01

    Neoplastic disease is common in ferrets. Approximately half of all tumors diagnosed in ferrets are located in the endocrine or hemolymphatic system. Many factors may influence the choice of treatment. Medical management of adrenal tumors has a greater disease-free period compared to adrenalectomy. In ferrets with an insulinoma, no difference is seen in the mean survival time of medically and surgically treated patients. Aside from medical and surgical treatment modalities, chemotherapy and radiation therapy have also been described in ferrets in other types of tumors. The outcome of these treatment modalities is not always favorable. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. The ferret model for influenza.

    PubMed

    Matsuoka, Yumiko; Lamirande, Elaine W; Subbarao, Kanta

    2009-05-01

    A major challenge in influenza research is the selection of an appropriate animal model that accurately reflects the disease and protective immune response to influenza infection in humans. Ferrets are exquisitely susceptible to infection with human influenza viruses and are widely believed to be the ideal small animal model for influenza research. Mice have also been used for influenza vaccine research for decades. Ferrets are used as an animal model for the study of influenza because they are susceptible to human influenza viruses and develop some of the symptoms of influenza that are seen in humans. Although they are not discussed in detail in this unit, hamsters, guinea pigs, and both cotton rats (Sigmodon) and rats (Rattus) have also been used for influenza research.

  3. Somatotopic organization of ferret thalamus

    PubMed Central

    Vázquez-García, Mario; Wallman, Marie-Josée; Timofeev, Igor

    2014-01-01

    The stereotaxic reference marks of ferret skull have large variability and the reference point for stereotaxic experiments in ferret brain is difficult to define. Here, using extracellular single-unit recordings, we studied the somatotopic organization of cutaneous receptive fields in the ventroposterior medial (VPM) and the ventral posterolateral (VPL) nuclei of the ferret thalamus. The mechanical stimulation of the skin was done through air puffs. The skull was positioned according to Horsley-Clarke coordinate system. Most of the neurons responding to face skin stimulation were located +7–+9 mm anterior, 2–3.9 mm lateral and 7–9.6 mm from cortical surface, whereas those responding to body skin stimulation were located +7–+10 mm anterior, 3.3–5.5 mm lateral and 6.7–10 mm from cortical surface. Out of 90 thalamic neurons recorded in this study, 58 responded to the body and the other neurons to the face stimulation. All neurons responded with spikes to stimulus onset, 37% of neurons responded only to stimuli onset and offset and 22% neurons fired tonically throughout stimulating epoch. The whiskers representation was located in the middle of the VPM nucleus, whereas those of the tongue, nose, bridge of the nose, supraorbital areas, upper and lower lips, and lower jaw were surrounding the whiskers representation. Within the VPL nucleus there was a clear topological correspondence from forelimb to hindlimb in the medial-to-lateral direction. Our findings indicate the whiskers representation in VPM or the forelimb-hindlimb representation in the VPL nucleus can be considered as a reliable reference in the ferret thalamus. PMID:25484859

  4. Somatotopic organization of ferret thalamus.

    PubMed

    Vázquez-García, Mario; Wallman, Marie-Josée; Timofeev, Igor

    2014-01-01

    The stereotaxic reference marks of ferret skull have large variability and the reference point for stereotaxic experiments in ferret brain is difficult to define. Here, using extracellular single-unit recordings, we studied the somatotopic organization of cutaneous receptive fields in the ventroposterior medial (VPM) and the ventral posterolateral (VPL) nuclei of the ferret thalamus. The mechanical stimulation of the skin was done through air puffs. The skull was positioned according to Horsley-Clarke coordinate system. Most of the neurons responding to face skin stimulation were located +7-+9 mm anterior, 2-3.9 mm lateral and 7-9.6 mm from cortical surface, whereas those responding to body skin stimulation were located +7-+10 mm anterior, 3.3-5.5 mm lateral and 6.7-10 mm from cortical surface. Out of 90 thalamic neurons recorded in this study, 58 responded to the body and the other neurons to the face stimulation. All neurons responded with spikes to stimulus onset, 37% of neurons responded only to stimuli onset and offset and 22% neurons fired tonically throughout stimulating epoch. The whiskers representation was located in the middle of the VPM nucleus, whereas those of the tongue, nose, bridge of the nose, supraorbital areas, upper and lower lips, and lower jaw were surrounding the whiskers representation. Within the VPL nucleus there was a clear topological correspondence from forelimb to hindlimb in the medial-to-lateral direction. Our findings indicate the whiskers representation in VPM or the forelimb-hindlimb representation in the VPL nucleus can be considered as a reliable reference in the ferret thalamus.

  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.

  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 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

  9. Food intake and struvite crystalluria in ferrets.

    PubMed

    Palmore, W P; Bartos, K D

    1987-01-01

    Four adult, castrated, male ferrets were studied in two similar trials for effects of food intake on variables hypothesized to promote struvite (ammonium, magnesium, phosphate hexahydrate) crystal formation in urine. Struvite crystalluria occurred in three of the four ferrets. Urine pH (UpH) averaged 6.6 for these ferrets. UpH in the ferret without crystalluria was 6.0. By simple linear regression analysis, no relationship was found between the amount of food ingested and the urinary concentration and excretion of magnesium and phosphorous. However, urine osmolality and excretion of both protein and ammonium were correlated to food intake (P less than .05). Ways in which these effects could promote struvite crystal formation are discussed.

  10. The PDS Small Bodies Data Ferret

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sykes, M. V.; Early, R.; Stone, J.; Wendell, M.; Neese, C.; Davis, D. R.; A'Hearn, M. F.; Farnham, T.; Feaga, L.

    2012-05-01

    The NASA Planetary Data System contains a large range of asteroid, comet, and other small bodies data obtained from spacecraft and ground-based facilities. The Small Bodies Data Ferret is a tool for searching and accessing this data.

  11. Metagenomic analysis of the ferret fecal viral flora.

    PubMed

    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.

  12. 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

  13. Get More from Your Data with PyFerret

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burger, E. F.; Smith, K. M.; Manke, A. B.; Hankin, S.; O'Brien, K.

    2015-12-01

    Ferret is an interactive scientific visualization and analysis environment designed to meet the needs of oceanographers and meteorologists analyzing large and complex gridded data sets. PyFerret is a Python module, as well as a stand-alone program, that extends all the Ferret functionality for Python programmers. For users of traditional Ferret, PyFerret can be used as a backward-compatible, "drop-in" replacement for traditional Ferret, but with improved visualization tools, more powerful data analysis, and easier generation of user-defined functions. For Python users, PyFerret permits convenient, powerful, and efficient analyses of large datasets, whether local or remote. Combining Python with Ferret multiplies the strengths of each environment, so that one can more easily access, analyze, and visualize self-describing data.

  14. Complete genome of hepatitis E virus from laboratory ferrets.

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

    The complete genome of hepatitis E virus (HEV) from laboratory ferrets imported from the United States was identified. This virus shared only 82.4%-82.5% nt sequence identities with strains from the Netherlands, which indicated that the ferret HEV genome is genetically diverse. Some laboratory ferrets were contaminated with HEV.

  15. Chimeric antibodies with extended half-life in ferrets

    PubMed Central

    Nesspor, Thomas C; Scallon, Bernard

    2014-01-01

    Background Ferrets have long been used as a disease model for the study of influenza vaccines, but a more recent use has been for the study of human monoclonal antibodies directed against influenza viruses. Published data suggest that human antibodies are cleared unusually quickly from the ferret and that immune responses may be partially responsible. This immunogenicity increases variability within groups and may present an obstacle to long-term studies. Objective Our aim was to identify an antibody design with reduced immunogenicity and longer circulating half-life in ferrets. Methods The constant region coding sequences for ferret immunoglobulin G were cloned, and chimeric human/ferret antibodies were expressed and purified. Some of the chimeric antibodies included substitutions that have been shown to extend the half-life of human IgG antibodies. These chimeric antibodies were tested for binding to recombinant ferret FcRn receptor and then evaluated in pharmacokinetic studies in ferrets. Results A one-residue substitution in the ferret Fc domain, S252Y, was identified that increased binding affinity to the ferret neonatal receptor by 24-fold and extended half-life from 65 ± 27 to 206 ± 28 hours or ∼9 days. Ferrets dosed twice with this surrogate antibody showed no indications of an immune response. Conclusion Expressing the variable region of a candidate human therapeutic antibody with ferret constant regions containing the S252Y substitution can offer long half-life and limit immunogenicity. PMID:25074755

  16. A history of searches for black-footed ferrets

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hanebury, Louis R.; Biggins, Dean E.

    2006-01-01

    Studies of wild populations of black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) in South Dakota in the 1960s, in Wyoming in the 1980s, and of captive-bred ferrets reintroduced to unoccupied habitat in Wyoming, South Dakota, and Montana in the 1990s contributed to our understanding of ferret behavior and improved techniques to find ferret populations. We chronicle the efforts of private, State, and Federal institutions that used these techniques to locate remaining populations of ferrets. During the 1980s, a renewed survey effort and solicitation of new sightings, coupled with a monetary reward program, failed to locate ferrets. We believe that the probability of finding ferrets from noncaptive stock is already small and diminishes with each passing year.

  17. Evidence-Based Advances in Ferret Medicine.

    PubMed

    Huynh, Minh; Chassang, Lucile; Zoller, Graham

    2017-09-01

    This literature review covers approximately 35 years of veterinary medicine. This article develops the current state of knowledge in pet ferret medicine regarding the most common diseases according to evidence-based data and gives insight into further axis of research. Literature review was conducted through identification of keywords (title + ferret) with Web-based database searching. To appreciate the methodological quality and the level of evidence of each article included in the review, full-text versions were reviewed and questions addressed in the articles were formulated. Analysis of the articles' content was performed by the authors, and relevant clinical information was extracted. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Rabies in Ferret Badgers, Southeastern China

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Shoufeng; Tang, Qing; Wu, Xianfu; Liu, Ye; Zhang, Fei; Rupprecht, Charles E.

    2009-01-01

    Ferret badger–associated human rabies cases emerged in China in 1994. We used a retrospective epidemiologic survey, virus isolation, laboratory diagnosis, and nucleotide sequencing to document its reemergence in 2002–2008. Whether the cause is spillover from infected dogs or recent host shift and new reservoir establishment requires further investigation. PMID:19523299

  19. FERRET adjustment code: status/use

    SciTech Connect

    Schmittroth, F.A.

    1982-03-01

    The least-squares data analysis code FERRET is reviewed. Recent enhancements are discussed along with illustrative applications. Particular features noted include the use of differential as well as integral data, and additional user options for assigning and storing covariance matrices.

  20. Habitat preferences and intraspecific competition in black-footed ferrets

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Biggins, Dean E.; Godbey, Jerry L.; Matchett, Marc R.; Livieri, Travis M.

    2006-01-01

    We used radio-telemetry data (28,560 positional fixes) collected on 153 black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) to (1) reexamine the assumed obligate relationship of these ferrets to prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.), (2) investigate habitat preferences of ferrets at a small scale (1 year (P = 0.048). Also, preference was stronger for wild-born young ferrets than for young captive-born ferrets released to augment the wild population (P = 0.040). This additional evidence for competition among ferrets, and for an advantage of prior residency, raises conservation concerns. The energetics-based model commonly used to predict ferret densities at reintroduction sites does not consider competition, which likely leads to overestimation of the densities of ferrets attainable in high-quality habitat. During sequential releases of ferrets, prior residency may handicap success of newcomers, even though the latter may have higher potential fitness. Although the manner of initial colonization of available habitat by blackfooted ferrets, and their subsequent competition for it, was suggestive of an ideal despotic distribution, we did not assess effects of prey density or burrow density on fitness.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Congenital abnormalities of the vertebral column in ferrets.

    PubMed

    Proks, Pavel; Stehlik, Ladislav; Paninarova, Michaela; Irova, Katarina; Hauptman, Karel; Jekl, Vladimir

    2015-01-01

    Vertebral column pathologies requiring surgical intervention have been described in pet ferrets, however little information is available on the normal vertebral formula and congenital variants in this species. The purpose of this retrospective study was to describe vertebral formulas and prevalence of congenital vertebral anomalies in a sample of pet ferrets. Radiographs of 172 pet ferrets (96 males and 76 females) were included in this retrospective study. In 143 ferrets (83.14%), five different formulas of the vertebral column were recorded with normal morphology of vertebrae (rib attachment included) but with a variable number of thoracic (Th), lumbar (L), and sacral (S) vertebrae. The number of cervical (C) vertebrae was constant in all examined animals. Observed vertebral formulas were C7/Th14/L6/S3 (51.74%), C7/Th14/L6/S4 (22.10%), C7/Th14/L7/S3 (6.98%), C7/Th15/L6/S3 (1.74%), and C7/Th15/L6/S4 (0.58%). Formula C7/Th14/L6/S4 was significantly more common in males than in females (P < 0.05). Congenital spinal abnormalities were found in 29 ferrets (16.86%), mostly localized in the thoracolumbar and lumbosacral regions. The cervical region was affected in only one case. Transitional vertebrae represented the most common congenital abnormalities (26 ferrets) in the thoracolumbar (13 ferrets) and lumbosacral regions (10 ferrets) or simultaneously in both regions (three ferrets). Other vertebral anomalies included block (two ferrets) and wedge vertebra (one ferret). Spina bifida was not detected. Findings from the current study indicated that vertebral formulas may vary in ferrets and congenital abnormalities are common. This should be taken into consideration for surgical planning. © 2014 American College of Veterinary Radiology.

  5. Hematology of the domestic ferret (Mustela putorius furo).

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    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.

  6. Flexible Gastrointestinal Endoscopy in Ferrets (Mustela putorius furo).

    PubMed

    Pignon, Charly; Huynh, Minh; Husnik, Roman; Jekl, Vladimir

    2015-09-01

    Gastrointestinal disease is a common complaint in ferrets (Mustela putorius furo). Their relatively simple and short gastrointestinal tract makes them good candidates for flexible endoscopy. However, apart from a few references in biomedical research articles, there is little information on the use of flexible endoscopy in ferrets. This review describes patient preparation, equipment, and select gastrointestinal endoscopy techniques in ferrets, including esophagoscopy, gastroscopy, duodenoscopy, percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy, jejunoileoscopy, colonoscopy, and biopsy. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. 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.

  8. Comparison of SAND-II and FERRET

    SciTech Connect

    Wootan, D.W.; Schmittroth, F.

    1981-01-01

    A comparison was made of the advantages and disadvantages of two codes, SAND-II and FERRET, for determining the neutron flux spectrum and uncertainty from experimental dosimeter measurements as anticipated in the FFTF Reactor Characterization Program. This comparison involved an examination of the methodology and the operational performance of each code. The merits of each code were identified with respect to theoretical basis, directness of method, solution uniqueness, subjective influences, and sensitivity to various input parameters.

  9. Chimeric antibodies with extended half-life in ferrets.

    PubMed

    Nesspor, Thomas C; Scallon, Bernard

    2014-09-01

    Ferrets have long been used as a disease model for the study of influenza vaccines, but a more recent use has been for the study of human monoclonal antibodies directed against influenza viruses. Published data suggest that human antibodies are cleared unusually quickly from the ferret and that immune responses may be partially responsible. This immunogenicity increases variability within groups and may present an obstacle to long-term studies. Our aim was to identify an antibody design with reduced immunogenicity and longer circulating half-life in ferrets. The constant region coding sequences for ferret immunoglobulin G were cloned, and chimeric human/ferret antibodies were expressed and purified. Some of the chimeric antibodies included substitutions that have been shown to extend the half-life of human IgG antibodies. These chimeric antibodies were tested for binding to recombinant ferret FcRn receptor and then evaluated in pharmacokinetic studies in ferrets. A one-residue substitution in the ferret Fc domain, S252Y, was identified that increased binding affinity to the ferret neonatal receptor by 24-fold and extended half-life from 65 ± 27 to 206 ± 28 hours or ~9 days. Ferrets dosed twice with this surrogate antibody showed no indications of an immune response. Expressing the variable region of a candidate human therapeutic antibody with ferret constant regions containing the S252Y substitution can offer long half-life and limit immunogenicity. © 2014 The Authors. Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  10. 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).

  11. THE INFECTION OF FERRETS WITH SWINE INFLUENZA VIRUS

    PubMed Central

    Shope, Richard E.

    1934-01-01

    The experiments described confirm the earlier observation of Smith, Andrewes, and Laidlaw that the swine influenza virus is pathogenic for ferrets when administered intranasally. A disease that is clinically more severe and pathologically more extensive than that described by the above workers is obtained if inoculation with the virus is performed under ether anesthesia. Animals infected in this way show at autopsy an edematous type of pneumonia of lobar distribution which may terminate fatally. The virus maintains its pathogenicity for ferrets when stored in 50 per cent glycerol at refrigerator temperature for as long as 75 days. After serial passage through 16 ferrets the virus is still capable of inducing swine influenza when mixed with H. influenzae suis and administered intranasally to swine. Ferret passage causes no apparent attenuation of the virus for swine. Serum from pigs recovered from swine influenza is capable of neutralizing the ferret-passaged virus for either swine or ferrets. Likewise serum from recovered ferrets neutralizes the swine influenza virus for either ferrets or swine. PMID:19870285

  12. Helicobacter mustelae-associated gastric MALT lymphoma in ferrets.

    PubMed Central

    Erdman, S. E.; Correa, P.; Coleman, L. A.; Schrenzel, M. D.; Li, X.; Fox, J. G.

    1997-01-01

    Gastric lymphoma resembling gastric mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma linked with Helicobacter pylori infection in humans was observed in ferrets infected with H. mustelae. Four ferrets with ante- or postmortem evidence of primary gastric lymphoma were described. Lymphoma was diagnosed in the wall of the lesser curvature of the pyloric antrum, corresponding to the predominant focus of H. mustelae induced gastritis in ferrets. Two ferrets had low-grade small-cell lymphoma and two ferrets had high-grade large-cell lymphoma. Gastric lymphomas demonstrated characteristic lymphoepithelial lesions, and the lymphoid cells were IgG+ in all ferrets. Lymphoma was confirmed by light chain restriction, which contrasted with the 1.2:1 kappa lambda ratio observed in H. mustelae-associated chronic gastritis. H. mustelae infection in ferrets has been used as a model for gastritis, ulcerogenesis, and carcinogenesis. The ferret may provide an attractive model to study pathogenesis and treatment of gastric MALT lymphoma in humans. Images Figure 2 Figure 3 PMID:9212752

  13. 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.

  14. Crossmodal integration improves sensory detection thresholds in the ferret.

    PubMed

    Hollensteiner, Karl J; Pieper, Florian; 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.

  15. 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. © 2015 British Small Animal Veterinary Association.

  16. Monkeys and Rats Are Not Susceptible to Ferret Hepatitis E Virus Infection.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    Ferret hepatitis E virus (HEV), a novel hepatitis E-like virus, has been identified in ferrets in the Netherlands, Japan, and the US. To determine whether ferret HEV transmits to other animals, we inoculated laboratory rats (Wistar), nude rats (Long-Evans-rnu/rnu), and cynomolgus monkeys with ferret HEV (F4351) by intravenous injection. None of the animals demonstrated a positive sign for virus replication, indicating that rats and monkeys are not susceptible to ferret HEV.

  17. Zoonoses of ferrets, hedgehogs, and sugar gliders.

    PubMed

    Pignon, Charly; Mayer, Jörg

    2011-09-01

    With urbanization, people live in close proximity to their pets. People often share their living quarters and furniture, and this proximity carries a new potential for pathogen transmission. In addition to the change in lifestyle with our pets, new exotic pets are being introduced to the pet industry regularly. Often, we are unfamiliar with specific clinical signs of diseases in these new exotic pets or the routes of transmission of pathogens for the particular species. This article reviews zoonoses that occur naturally in ferrets, hedgehogs, and sugar gliders, discussing the occurrence and clinical symptoms of these diseases in humans.

  18. Clinical Profiles Associated with Influenza Disease in the Ferret Model

    PubMed Central

    Stark, Gregory V.; Long, James P.; Ortiz, Diana I.; Gainey, Melicia; Carper, Benjamin A.; Feng, Jingyu; Miller, Stephen M.; Bigger, John E.; Vela, Eric M.

    2013-01-01

    Influenza A viruses continue to pose a threat to human health; thus, various vaccines and prophylaxis continue to be developed. Testing of these products requires various animal models including mice, guinea pigs, and ferrets. However, because ferrets are naturally susceptible to infection with human influenza viruses and because the disease state resembles that of human influenza, these animals have been widely used as a model to study influenza virus pathogenesis. In this report, a statistical analysis was performed to evaluate data involving 269 ferrets infected with seasonal influenza, swine influenza, and highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) from 16 different studies over a five year period. The aim of the analyses was to better qualify the ferret model by identifying relationships among important animal model parameters (endpoints) and variables of interest, which include survival, time-to-death, changes in body temperature and weight, and nasal wash samples containing virus, in addition to significant changes from baseline in selected hematology and clinical chemistry parameters. The results demonstrate that a disease clinical profile, consisting of various changes in the biological parameters tested, is associated with various influenza A infections in ferrets. Additionally, the analysis yielded correlates of protection associated with HPAI disease in ferrets. In all, the results from this study further validate the use of the ferret as a model to study influenza A pathology and to evaluate product efficacy. PMID:23472182

  19. Responses of Siberian ferrets to secondary zinc phosphide poisoning

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hill, E.F.; Carpenter, J.W.

    1982-01-01

    The hazard of operational-type applications of zinc phosphide (Zn3P2) on a species closely related to the black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes), was evaluated by feeding 16 Siberian ferrets (M. eversmanni) rats that had been killed by consumption of 2% zinc phosphide treated bait or by an oral dose of 40, 80, or 160 mg of Zn3P2. All ferrets accepted rats and a single emesis by each of 3 ferrets was the only evidence of acute intoxication. All ferrets learned to avoid eating gastrointestinal tracts of the rats. Subacute zinc phosphide toxicity in the ferrets was indicated by significant decreases (18-48%) in hemoglobin, increases of 35-91 % in serum iron, and elevated levels of serum globulin, cholesterol, and triglycerides. Hemoglobin/iron, urea nitrogen/creatinine, and albumin/globulin ratios also were altered by the treatments. This study demonstrated that Siberian ferrets, or other species with a sensitive emetic reflex, are afforded a degree of protection from acute zinc phosphide poisoning due to its emetic action. The importance of toxicity associated with possible respiratory, liver, and kidney damage indicated by altered blood chemistries is not known.

  20. 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

  1. Clinical profiles associated with influenza disease in the ferret model.

    PubMed

    Stark, Gregory V; Long, James P; Ortiz, Diana I; Gainey, Melicia; Carper, Benjamin A; Feng, Jingyu; Miller, Stephen M; Bigger, John E; Vela, Eric M

    2013-01-01

    Influenza A viruses continue to pose a threat to human health; thus, various vaccines and prophylaxis continue to be developed. Testing of these products requires various animal models including mice, guinea pigs, and ferrets. However, because ferrets are naturally susceptible to infection with human influenza viruses and because the disease state resembles that of human influenza, these animals have been widely used as a model to study influenza virus pathogenesis. In this report, a statistical analysis was performed to evaluate data involving 269 ferrets infected with seasonal influenza, swine influenza, and highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) from 16 different studies over a five year period. The aim of the analyses was to better qualify the ferret model by identifying relationships among important animal model parameters (endpoints) and variables of interest, which include survival, time-to-death, changes in body temperature and weight, and nasal wash samples containing virus, in addition to significant changes from baseline in selected hematology and clinical chemistry parameters. The results demonstrate that a disease clinical profile, consisting of various changes in the biological parameters tested, is associated with various influenza A infections in ferrets. Additionally, the analysis yielded correlates of protection associated with HPAI disease in ferrets. In all, the results from this study further validate the use of the ferret as a model to study influenza A pathology and to evaluate product efficacy.

  2. Cloned ferrets produced by somatic cell nuclear transfer

    PubMed Central

    Li, Ziyi; Sun, Xingshen; Chen, Juan; Liu, Xiaoming; Wisely, Samantha M.; Zhou, Qi; Renard, Jean-Paul; Leno, Gregory H.; Engelhardt, John F.

    2007-01-01

    Somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) offers great potential for developing better animal models of human disease. The domestic ferret (Mustela putorius furo) is an ideal animal model for influenza infections and potentially other human respiratory diseases such as cystic fibrosis, where mouse models have failed to reproduce the human disease phenotype. Here, we report the successful production of live cloned, reproductively competent, ferrets using species-specific SCNT methodologies. Critical to developing a successful SCNT protocol for the ferret was the finding that hormonal treatment, normally used for superovulation, adversely affected the developmental potential of recipient oocytes. The onset of Oct4 expression was delayed and incomplete in parthenogenetically activated oocytes collected from hormone-treated females relative to oocytes collected from females naturally mated with vasectomized males. Stimulation induced by mating and in vitro oocyte maturation produced the optimal oocyte recipient for SCNT. Although nuclear injection and cell fusion produced mid-term fetuses at equivalent rates (~3–4%), only cell fusion gave rise to healthy surviving clones. Single cell fusion rates and the efficiency of SCNT were also enhanced by placing two somatic cells into the perivitelline space. These species-specific modifications facilitated the birth of live, healthy, and fertile cloned ferrets. The development of microsatellite genotyping for domestic ferrets confirmed that ferret clones were genetically derived from their respective somatic cells and unrelated to their surrogate mother. With this technology, it is now feasible to begin generating genetically defined ferrets for studying transmissible and inherited human lung diseases. Cloning of the domestic ferret may also aid in recovery and conservation of the endangered black-footed ferret and European mink. PMID:16584722

  3. Congestive heart failure and other medical facts about ferrets.

    PubMed

    Williams, Lavonn A

    2009-01-01

    Congestive heart failure, the most common form of heart disease in aged ferrets, is only one of the diseases to which ferrets are susceptible. Congestive heart failure is an insidious, progressive disease for which there is no cure. Once the diagnosis is made and the proper medication is determined, the ferret must remain on the medication. The case report included with this article, which was submitted by a pet owner, and the accompanying formula is an example of how a compounding pharmacist can work with the veterinarian to aid in the treatment of a small veterinary patient by preparing specific medications.

  4. 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Development of an anti-ferret CD4 monoclonal antibody for the characterisation of ferret T lymphocytes.

    PubMed

    Layton, Daniel S; Xiao, Xiaowen; Bentley, John D; Lu, Louis; Stewart, Cameron R; Bean, Andrew G D; Adams, Timothy E

    2017-05-01

    The ferret is an established animal model for a number of human respiratory viral infections, such as influenza virus and more recently, Ebola virus. However, a paucity of immunological reagents has hampered the study of cellular immune responses. Here we describe the development and characterisation of a novel monoclonal antibody (mAb) against the ferret CD4 antigen and the characterisation of ferret CD4 T lymphocytes. Recombinant production and purification of the ferret CD4 ectodomain soluble protein allowed hybridoma generation and the generation of a mAb (FeCD4) showing strong binding to ferret CD4 protein and lymphoid cells by flow cytometry. FeCD4 bound to its cognate antigen post-fixation with paraformaldehyde (PFA) which is routinely used to inactivate highly pathogenic viruses. We have also used FeCD4 in conjunction with other immune cell markers to characterise ferret T cells in both primary and secondary lymphoid organs. In summary, we have developed an important reagent for the study of cellular immunological responses in the ferret model of infectious disease. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Behavioural benefits of multisensory processing in ferrets.

    PubMed

    Hammond-Kenny, Amy; Bajo, Victoria M; King, Andrew J; Nodal, Fernando R

    2017-01-01

    Enhanced detection and discrimination, along with faster reaction times, are the most typical behavioural manifestations of the brain's capacity to integrate multisensory signals arising from the same object. In this study, we examined whether multisensory behavioural gains are observable across different components of the localization response that are potentially under the command of distinct brain regions. We measured the ability of ferrets to localize unisensory (auditory or visual) and spatiotemporally coincident auditory-visual stimuli of different durations that were presented from one of seven locations spanning the frontal hemifield. During the localization task, we recorded the head movements made following stimulus presentation, as a metric for assessing the initial orienting response of the ferrets, as well as the subsequent choice of which target location to approach to receive a reward. Head-orienting responses to auditory-visual stimuli were more accurate and faster than those made to visual but not auditory targets, suggesting that these movements were guided principally by sound alone. In contrast, approach-to-target localization responses were more accurate and faster to spatially congruent auditory-visual stimuli throughout the frontal hemifield than to either visual or auditory stimuli alone. Race model inequality analysis of head-orienting reaction times and approach-to-target response times indicates that different processes, probability summation and neural integration, respectively, are likely to be responsible for the effects of multisensory stimulation on these two measures of localization behaviour.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Complexities in Ferret Influenza Virus Pathogenesis and Transmission Models

    PubMed Central

    Eckert, Alissa M.; Tumpey, Terrence M.; Maines, Taronna R.

    2016-01-01

    SUMMARY 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

  12. Circuit-based Localization of Ferret Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Duque, Alvaro

    2010-01-01

    We examined the extent of the ferret prefrontal cortex (PFC) and its reciprocal connections with the mediodorsal nucleus of the thalamus (MD) by anterograde and retrograde labeling in 6- to 14-week-old male ferrets. Our results indicate that in the ferret, as in other species, MD projects heavily to the PFC although it also projects to other cortical and subcortical structures. The MD projection to PFC terminates largely in layer IV with lighter innervation of layers II, III, V, and VI. The cells projecting back to MD are mostly in layer VI. The parvocellular component of MD projects to and receives projections from the more caudal and dorsomedial component of the PFC, whereas the magnocellular portion of MD projects to and receives projections from the more rostral and lateral component of the PFC. With these results we have localized the ferret PFC, defined as a frontal cortical region with heavy reciprocal connections with the MD. PMID:19737780

  13. Insulin glargine treatment of a ferret with diabetes mellitus.

    PubMed

    Hess, Laurie

    2012-12-01

    A 7.5-year-old spayed female ferret was evaluated because of weight loss despite a good appetite. Pancreatic insulinoma had been diagnosed at another animal hospital on the basis of detection of low blood glucose concentration on 1 occasion; however, concurrent determination of blood insulin concentration was not performed. The ferret had been treated SC with methylprednisolone acetate (unknown dosage) every 30 days for 2 years. No follow-up data regarding blood glucose concentration were available. On physical examination, the ferret was thin (weight, 0.619 kg [1.36 lb]) and bruised easily. Serum biochemical analysis revealed hyperglycemia (blood glucose concentration, 855 mg/dL; reference range, 63 to 134 mg/dL). Glucocorticoid injections were discontinued, and the ferret was administered prednisolone (1.13 mg/kg [0.51 mg/lb], q 12 h for 14 days, then 0.56 mg/kg [0.25 mg/lb], q 12 h for 7 days) orally. After prednisolone administration was discontinued, hyperglycemia and weight loss persisted. The ferret was administered insulin glargine (0.5 U) SC; blood glucose concentration was monitored every 2 hours for 24 hours, at which time the value had decreased to nearly within reference range. The owner continued insulin glargine administration at that dose every 12 hours; after 77 days of treatment, the ferret's weight was 0.731 kg (1.61 lb), which was considered normal, and blood glucose concentration was within reference range. Regular SC administration of insulin glargine was successful in the treatment of diabetes mellitus in the ferret of this report and may be effective for other diabetic ferrets.

  14. Characterization of antibodies against ferret immunoglobulins, cytokines and CD markers.

    PubMed

    Martel, Cyril Jean-Marie; Aasted, Bent

    2009-12-15

    Ferret IgG and IgM were purified from normal serum, while ferret IgA was purified from bile. The estimated molecular weights of the immunoglobulin gamma, alpha and mu heavy chains were found to be 54kDa, 69kDa and 83kDa, respectively. For immunological (ELISA) quantification of ferret immunoglobulins, we identified and characterized polyclonal antibodies towards ferret IgG, IgM and IgA. We also identified 22 monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) raised mostly against human CD markers which cross-reacted with ferret leukocytes. These antibodies were originally specific against human CD8, CD9, CD14, CD18, CD25, CD29, CD32, CD44, CD61, CD71, CD79b, CD88, CD104, CD172a and mink CD3. Finally, we identified 4 cross-reacting mAbs with specificities against ferret interferon-gamma, TNF-alpha, interleukin-4 and interleukin-8.

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

    2016-07-01

    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.

  17. 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. Crown Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Characterization of Sudan Ebolavirus infection in ferrets.

    PubMed

    Kroeker, Andrea; He, Shihua; de La Vega, Marc-Antoine; Wong, Gary; Embury-Hyatt, Carissa; Qiu, Xiangguo

    2017-07-11

    Sudan virus (SUDV) outbreaks in Africa are highly lethal; however, the development and testing of novel antivirals and vaccines for this virus has been limited by a lack of suitable animal models. Non-human primates (NHP) remain the gold standard for modeling filovirus disease, but they are not conducive to screening large numbers of experimental compounds and should only be used to test the most promising candidates. Therefore, other smaller animal models are a valuable asset. We have recently developed a guinea-pig adapted SUDV virus that is lethal in guinea pigs. In our current study, we show that ferrets are susceptible to wild-type SUDV, providing a small animal model to directly study clinical isolates, screen experimental anti-SUDV compounds and potentially study viral transmission.

  19. Radio telemetry for black-footed ferret research and monitoring

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Biggins, Dean E.; Godbey, Jerry L.; Miller, Brian J.; Hanebury, Louis R.

    2006-01-01

    By 1973, radio telemetry was regarded as an important potential tool for studying the elusive, nocturnal, and semifossorial black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes), but fears of using invasive techniques on this highly endangered mammal caused delays. We began radio collaring ferrets in 1981. Use of radio telemetry on ferrets proved to be both challenging and rewarding. We document two decades of development and use that led to the present radio-tagging techniques and methods for radio tracking. The 7-g radio collar commonly used after 1992 was smaller and lighter, relative to mass and size of subjects, than collars used in studies of other Mustela. Other important developments were a Teflon® coating to shed mud, a highly flexible stainless steel cable for whip antennas, and a nondurable wool collar. Although collar-caused neck abrasions have continued to occur sporadically, a retrospective assessment of minimum survival rates for 724 reintroduced ferrets (392 radio tagged), using data from spotlight surveys, failed to detect negative effects of radio-collars. In a South Dakota study, ferrets that were found to have hair loss or neck abrasions when collars were removed did not exhibit movements significantly different from those of radio-tagged ferrets with no evidence of neck problems. Prototype transmitters designed for surgical implantation had insufficient power output for effective use on ferrets. Early attempts at tracking radio-tagged ferrets by following the signal on foot quickly gave way to following movements by triangulation, which does not disturb the subjects. The most effective tracking stations were camper trailers fitted with rotatable, 11-element, dual-beam Yagi antennas on 6-m masts. We used radio telemetry to produce 83,275 lines of data (44,191 indications of status and 39,084 positional fixes via triangulation) for 340 radio-collared ferrets during the reintroduction program. Tracking by hand and from aircraft augmented triangulation, allowing

  20. 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.

  1. Productive replication and evolution of HIV-1 in ferret cells.

    PubMed

    Fadel, Hind J; Saenz, Dyana T; Guevara, Rebekah; von Messling, Veronika; Peretz, Mary; Poeschla, Eric M

    2012-02-01

    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

  2. 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

  3. Suspected primary hypoparathyroidism in a domestic ferret (Mustela putorius furo).

    PubMed

    de Matos, Ricardo E; Connolly, Maren J; Starkey, Simon R; Morrisey, James K

    2014-08-15

    A 4-year-old castrated male domestic ferret (Mustela putorius furo) was examined because of a 3-week history of intermittent seizures, signs of depression, hypocalcemia, and hyperphosphatemia. Plasma biochemical analysis confirmed hyperphosphatemia (17.7 mg/dL) and low concentrations of total (4.3 mg/dL) and ionized (0.49 mmol/L) calcium. Serum parathyroid hormone concentration (2.30 pmol/L) was low or in the low part of the reference interval. Calcium gluconate was administered (2.0 mg/kg/h [0.9 mg/lb/h], IV), followed by a transition to administration of calcium carbonate (53 mg/kg [24.1 mg/lb], PO, q 12 h) and dihydrotachysterol (0.02 mg/kg/d [0.009 mg/lb/d], PO). Attitude of the ferret improved and seizures ceased as blood calcium concentrations increased. The ferret was reexamined because of seizures approximately 1 year after oral maintenance administration of dihydrotachysterol and calcium was initiated. The ferret responded well to emergency and long-term treatment but then was lost to follow-up monitoring. The ferret died approximately 2 years after the initial evaluation and treatment. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy was diagnosed during necropsy, but the parathyroid glands could not be identified. To the authors' knowledge, primary hypoparathyroidism has not previously been reported in a ferret. The condition should be considered for ferrets with hypocalcemia and hyperphosphatemia without azotemia. Treatment with dihydrotachysterol and oral supplementation of calcium appeared to be a viable option for long-term management.

  4. 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

  5. Spatial optimization of prairie dog colonies for black-footed ferret recovery

    Treesearch

    Michael Bevers; John G. Hof; Daniel W. Uresk; Gregory L. Schenbeck

    1997-01-01

    A discrete-time reaction-diffusion model for black-footed ferret release, population growth, and dispersal is combined with ferret carrying capacity constraints based on prairie dog population management decisions to form a spatial optimization model. Spatial arrangement of active prairie dog colonies within a ferret reintroduction area is optimized over time for...

  6. 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

  7. Diagnosis and successful treatment of Cryptococcus neoformans variety grubii in a domestic ferret

    PubMed Central

    Hanley, Christopher S.; MacWilliams, Peter; Giles, Steve; Paré, Jean

    2006-01-01

    A domestic ferret was presented for episodic regurgitation. Cytologic examination and culture of an enlarged submandibular lymph node revealed Cryptococcus neoformans variety grubii (serotype A). The ferret was successfully treated with itraconazole. This is the first documented case of Cryptococcus neoformans variety grubii in a ferret in the United States. PMID:17078253

  8. 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

    ... Fish and Wildlife Service Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Black-Footed Ferret Draft... draft recovery plan for the black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes). This species is federally listed as... available by request from the National Black-Footed Ferret Conservation Center, U.S. Fish and Wildlife...

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-01

    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.

  10. FERRET: An Expert System for Identifying Teaching Strategies for Students with Learning Disabilities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Steele, John W.; Raab, Marcee M.

    1995-01-01

    Describes FERRET, an expert system that was developed to help identify teaching strategies for students with learning disabilities. Expert systems are explained; applications of FERRET are discussed, including classroom help and teacher education; and the present and future potential of FERRET is considered. (LRW)

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

    Byrom, A E; Caley, P; Paterson, B M; Nugent, G

    2015-06-01

    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 Pest

  13. Outbreak of canine distemper in domestic ferrets (Mustela putorius furo).

    PubMed

    Perpiñán, D; Ramis, A; Tomás, A; Carpintero, E; Bargalló, F

    2008-08-23

    In 2006 an outbreak of canine distemper affected 14 young domestic ferrets in Barcelona, Spain. Their clinical signs included a reduced appetite, lethargy, dyspnoea, coughing, sneezing, mucopurulent ocular and nasal discharges, facial and perineal dermatitis, diarrhoea, splenomegaly and fever. Late in the course of the disease, general desquamation and pruritus, and hyperkeratotic/crusting dermatitis of the lips, eyes, nose, footpads, and perineal area were observed. None of the ferrets developed neurological signs. Non-regenerative anaemia and high serum concentrations of alpha- and beta-globulins were the most common laboratory findings. Most of the animals died or were euthanased because of respiratory complications. Postmortem there were no signs of lung collapse. Distemper was diagnosed by direct immunofluorescence of conjunctival swabs or pcr of several organs, and histology revealed the characteristic eosinophilic intracytoplasmic and intranuclear inclusion bodies of canine distemper virus in several organs. The minimum incubation periods calculated for six of the ferrets were 11 to 56 days, and in 13 of the ferrets the signs of disease lasted 14 to 34 days. Inclusion bodies compatible with infection by herpesvirus were found in the lungs of one of the ferrets.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  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. Detection of novel ferret coronaviruses and evidence of recombination among ferret coronaviruses.

    PubMed

    Minami, Shohei; Kuroda, Yudai; Terada, Yutaka; Yonemitsu, Kenzo; Van Nguyen, Dung; Kuwata, Ryusei; Shimoda, Hiroshi; Takano, Ai; Maeda, Ken

    2016-12-01

    In an epidemiological study of ferret coronaviruses (FRCoVs), novel FRCoV strains (Saitama-1 and Aichi-1) were detected by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and nucleotide sequence analysis of partial RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) genes. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that these strains belonged to different clusters from other FRCoV strains. Next, the nucleotide sequence of the 3'-terminal region of Saitama-1 (8271 bases) strain was determined and compared with those of the other FRCoVs, indicating that the Saitama-1 strain differed from the previously reported MSU-1 and MSU-2 strains in the regions encoding spike (S) protein, nucleocapsid, and open reading frame 7b. Furthermore, the results of SimPlot analysis indicated that FRCoV (MSU-2 strain) emerged via a recombination event of S protein between the MSU-1 and Saitama-1 strains. This mechanism is similar to that responsible for the emergence of type II feline coronavirus. This information will be useful for understanding the pathogenesis of FRCoV in ferrets.

  18. Postrelease movements and survival of adult and young black-footed ferrets

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Biggins, Dean E.; Godbey, Jerry L.; Livieri, Travis M.; Matchett, Marc R.; Bibles, Brent D.

    2006-01-01

    A successful captive breeding program for highly endangered black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) has resulted in surplus animals that have been released at multiple sites since 1991. Because reproductive output of captive ferrets declines after several years, many adult ferrets must be removed from captive breeding facilities annually to keep total production high. Adults are routinely released, with young-of-the-year, on prairie dog (Cynomys spp.) colonies. We evaluated postrelease movements and survival rates for 94 radio-tagged young and adult ferrets. Radio-tagged adult ferrets made longer movements than young ferrets during the night of release and had significantly lower survival rates for the first 14 days. Coyotes (Canis latrans) caused the largest number of ferret losses. A larger data set of 623 ferrets represented adults and young that were individually marked with passive integrated transponders but were not radio tagged. Minimum survival rates, calculated primarily from ferrets detected during spotlight searches and identified with tag readers, again were significantly lower for adults than for young ferrets at 30 days postrelease (10.1 percent and 45.5 percent survival, respectively) and at 150 days postrelease (5.7 percent and 25.9 percent). Assessment of known survival time by using linear modeling demonstrated a significant interaction between age and sex, with greater disparity between adults and kits for females than for males. Postrelease survival of adult ferrets might be increased if animals were given earlier and longer exposure to the quasinatural environments of preconditioning pens. 

  19. Correlation between age at neutering and age at onset of hyperadrenocorticism in ferrets.

    PubMed

    Shoemaker, N J; Schuurmans, M; Moorman, H; Lumeij, J T

    2000-01-15

    To determine prevalence of hyperadrenocorticism in ferrets in The Netherlands and evaluate age, sex, and age at neutering in affected ferrets. Prevalence survey and retrospective study. 50 ferrets with hyperadrenocorticism and 1,267 ferrets without hyperadrenocorticism. A questionnaire was sent to 1,400 members of a ferret-owners organization in The Netherlands; 492 (35%) owners returned the questionnaire, providing usable data on 1,274 ferrets. Seven of these ferrets developed hyperadrenocorticism during the survey period; medical records for these ferrets and 43 ferrets with confirmed hyperadrenocorticism were reviewed. Hyperadrenocorticism was confirmed by histologic examination of an excised adrenal gland (92% of ferrets) or clinical improvement after excision. Prevalence of hyperadrenocorticism in the survey population was 0.55%. Sex was not associated with prevalence of disease. Median time interval between neutering and diagnosis of hyperadrenocorticism was 3.5 years. A significant linear correlation between age at neutering and age at time of diagnosis was detected. Age at neutering may be associated with age at development of hyperadrenocorticism in ferrets.

  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.

  1. Mycobacteriosis in a domestic ferret (Mustela putorius furo).

    PubMed

    Nakata, Makoto; Miwa, Yasutsugu; Tsuboi, Masaya; Uchida, Kazuyuki

    2014-05-01

    A 4-year-old spayed female ferret presented with a 2-month history of anorexia, vomiting and occasional diarrhea. Abdominal ultrasonography revealed thickening of the gastric wall and enlarged abdominal lymph nodes. Biopsy samples from the thickened gastric wall, enlarged abdominal lymph nodes and liver were taken during an exploratory laparotomy. Based on the histopathological examination, mycobacterium infection was diagnosed. The bacterial species could not be identified by additional diagnostic tests of feces, including fecal smear, culture and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The ferret was treated with prednisolone and multiple antimicrobials, including rifampicin, azithromycin and enrofloxacin, but did not improve with treatment and died 220 days after the first presentation.

  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. 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

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

    PubMed

    Duhamelle, Alexis; Langlois, Isabelle; Desmarchelier, Marion

    2015-07-01

    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.

  5. A Ferret-based gastrointestinal image retrieval system.

    PubMed

    Bedrick, Steven; Kalpathy-Cramer, Jayashree

    2007-10-11

    We developed a web-based interface for image retrieval and cluster analysis system. The system handles search queries using Ferret, a port to the Ruby language of the Apache Lucene indexing and searching system. The system uses de-identified endoscopic images from the Clinical Outcomes Research Initiative data repository, and is designed for use by students and researchers.

  6. Tethered-restraint system for blood collection from ferrets

    SciTech Connect

    Jackson, R.K.; Kieffer, V.A.; Sauber, J.S.; King, G.L.

    1988-10-01

    The laboratory ferret, Mustela putorius furo, recently has come into prominence as a laboratory animal for use in biomedical research. This laboratory has adopted the use of this species because the ferret's emetic response to radiation occurs at a lower dose and has a more rapid onset than that of dogs. One approach for determining the physiological basis of this response is to measure serum levels of various circulating substances before and after irradiation. However, blood collection from the ferret can be difficult because the lack of easily accessible veins and seasonal accumulation of subcutaneous body fat. This report describes a method of tethered-restraint for the ferret in which an in-dwelling venous jugular catheter is implanted for withdrawing blood samples. No interference with the animal's normal activities occurs during the sampling procedure. Each animal is conditioned to the tethered-restraint prior to surgical placement of the catheter. The technique provides a minimally stressful method of restraint. A similar tethering system has been used successfully on several other animal species, such as non-human primates and rats.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    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 (PrPCWD) amplification in lymphoid tissues, neural invasion and florid transmissible spongiform encephalopathy lesions resembling those in native cervid hosts. The ferrets developed extensive PrPCWD accumulation in the nervous system, retina and olfactory epithelium, with lesser deposition in tongue, muscle, salivary gland and the vomeronasal organ. PrPCWD 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. FLEAS OF BLACK-FOOTED FERRETS (MUSTELA NIGRIPES) AND THEIR POTENTIAL ROLE IN THE MOVEMENT OF PLAGUE.

    PubMed

    Mize, Erica L; Grassel, Shaun M; Britten, Hugh B

    2017-07-01

    Sylvatic plague is one of the major impediments to the recovery of the black-footed ferret ( Mustela nigripes ) because it decimates their primary prey species, prairie dogs ( Cynomys spp.), and directly causes mortality in ferrets. Fleas are the primary vector of Yersinia pestis , the causative agent of sylvatic plague. The goal of this research was to better understand the flea fauna of ferrets and the factors that might influence flea abundance on ferrets. Fleas from ferrets were tested for Y. pestis in a post hoc assessment to investigate the plausibility that some ferrets could act as incidental transporter hosts of fleas infected with Y. pestis . Fleas were collected from ferrets captured on the Lower Brule Indian Reservation in central South Dakota, US from 2009 to 2012. A total of 528 fleas collected from 67 individual ferrets were identified and tested for the presence of Y. pestis with a nested PCR assay. The predominant flea recovered from ferrets was Oropsylla hirsuta , a species that comprises 70-100% of the fleas recovered from prairie dogs and their burrows in the study area. Yersinia pestis was detected at low levels in fleas collected from ferrets with prevalence ranging from 0% to 2.9%; male ferrets harbored significantly more fleas than female ferrets. Six of 67 ferrets vaccinated against plague carried fleas that tested positive for Y. pestis , which suggests ferrets vaccinated against plague could inadvertently act as incidental transporter hosts of Y. pestis -positive fleas.

  11. Coronavirus Infection in Ferrets: Antigen Distribution and Inflammatory Response.

    PubMed

    Doria-Torra, G; Vidaña, B; Ramis, A; Amarilla, S P; Martínez, J

    2016-11-01

    Multisystemic granulomatous lesions are the most common finding in ferrets infected by ferret systemic coronavirus (FRSCV). To characterize the inflammatory response developed against this virus, lesions from 4 naturally infected ferrets were examined. Lesions were classified into the 4 known types of granulomas (granulomas without necrosis [G], granulomas with necrosis [G-N], granulomas with neutrophils [G-NL], and diffuse granulomatous inflammation [DG]). The cellular composition of the lesions was characterized on the basis of cellular morphology and immunohistochemistry using markers for T and B-lymphocytes, plasma cells, macrophages, and neutrophils. The extent and distribution of viral antigen expression was also assessed. In G lesions, macrophages were mainly located in the center of the granuloma, with a moderate number of T-lymphocytes scattered among the macrophages, plasma cells, and B-lymphocytes. G-N lesions exhibited a necrotic center surrounded by abundant macrophages, some T-lymphocytes, plasma cells, and a few B-lymphocytes. In G-NL lesions, there was a central area dominated by neutrophils with low numbers of macrophages, plasma cells, and lymphocytes. DG presented similar cell proportions, but distributed evenly throughout the lesions. FRSCV was expressed in G, G-NL, G-N, and DG, with decreasing numbers of immunoreactive cells. This study reveals the important role of macrophages in the inflammatory response of ferrets against the virus and the variable proportions of leukocytes among different types of lesions, indicating their variable age. The results also confirm the similarities of the disease in ferrets to feline infectious peritonitis.

  12. 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

  13. Behavioral sensitivity to broadband binaural localization cues in the ferret.

    PubMed

    Keating, Peter; Nodal, Fernando R; Gananandan, Kohilan; Schulz, Andreas L; King, Andrew J

    2013-08-01

    Although the ferret has become an important model species for studying both fundamental and clinical aspects of spatial hearing, previous behavioral work has focused on studies of sound localization and spatial release from masking in the free field. This makes it difficult to tease apart the role played by different spatial cues. In humans and other species, interaural time differences (ITDs) and interaural level differences (ILDs) play a critical role in sound localization in the azimuthal plane and also facilitate sound source separation in noisy environments. In this study, we used a range of broadband noise stimuli presented via customized earphones to measure ITD and ILD sensitivity in the ferret. Our behavioral data show that ferrets are extremely sensitive to changes in either binaural cue, with levels of performance approximating that found in humans. The measured thresholds were relatively stable despite extensive and prolonged (>16 weeks) testing on ITD and ILD tasks with broadband stimuli. For both cues, sensitivity was reduced at shorter durations. In addition, subtle effects of changing the stimulus envelope were observed on ITD, but not ILD, thresholds. Sensitivity to these cues also differed in other ways. Whereas ILD sensitivity was unaffected by changes in average binaural level or interaural correlation, the same manipulations produced much larger effects on ITD sensitivity, with thresholds declining when either of these parameters was reduced. The binaural sensitivity measured in this study can largely account for the ability of ferrets to localize broadband stimuli in the azimuthal plane. Our results are also broadly consistent with data from humans and confirm the ferret as an excellent experimental model for studying spatial hearing.

  14. Pruritus in rabbits, rodents, and ferrets.

    PubMed

    Timm, K I

    1988-09-01

    This article attempts to cover the more specific pruritic problems encountered in rabbits, rodents, and ferrets. There are certainly other causes of pruritus in these animals. Dermatophytes in guinea pigs are not reported to be pruritic, but because they are pruritic in other species, they should be considered in a differential diagnosis. A cryptococcal dermatitis in a guinea pig that was pruritic has been reported. Although mites were not seen on scraping, the animal was treated for sarcoptid mites and apparently the pruritus lessened. Because the cryptococcis was still present, it is questionable whether it was causing the pruritus. Pruritic ulcerative dermatitis over the back and shoulders has been seen in some lines of rats. Staphylococcus aureus was cultured from many of the lesions. Clipping the toenails on the feet helped lessen the severity of the lesions. Syphacia spp. have been reported in rats, gerbils, and hamsters and should be considered if there is perineal pruritus. MOBS, or "move over buddy syndrome," is seen especially in mice and may be seen in hamsters, gerbils, and rats that are overcrowded or stressed. The lesions are actually bite wounds that have been inflicted around the tail base and the perineum and on the tail, but these wounds can be mistaken for self-inflicted trauma from pruritus. All of the recommended treatments are extralabel, and clients should be informed of this. I have observed a guinea pig become lethargic and anorexic after only one application of a flea powder approved for use in cats. Brushing most of the powder off and offering dandelion greens to stimulate appetite helped. The second dusting was done with the same flea powder diluted with baby powder. Whenever these animals are dipped, it is important to let them dry in a warm, draft-free area. Again, it is important to be aware that the ratio of surface area to body weight is much higher in these small animals than in the species routinely seen in veterinary practice

  15. 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.

  16. Chemotactic properties and absence of the formyl peptide receptor in ferret (Mustela putorius furo) neutrophils.

    PubMed

    Nakata, Makoto; Otsubo, Kouji; Kikuchi, Tomoko; Itou, Takuya; Sakai, Takeo

    2010-02-01

    This study describes a chemotaxis assay of ferret polymorphonuclear cells (PMNs). The optimal conditions for this chemotaxis assay were investigated for three chemoattractants: zymosan activated serum (ZAS), recombinant human interleukin-8 (rhIL-8) and N-formyl-Met-Leu- Phe (fMLF). In this study, ferret polymorphonuclear cells (PMNs) reacted to ZAS and rhIL-8, but not fMLF. The optimal concentration of ZAS and rhIL-8 were 5% and 100 ng/ml, respectively. The optimal incubation time of each reagent was 60 min. Due to the lack of response shown from fMLF, the existence of formyl peptide receptors (FPR) on ferret PMNs was investigated by evaluating FPR binding using flow cytometry. The receptor was not detected, implying that ferret neutrophils may lack FPR. This study confirms the fundamental experimental conditions for ferret PMNs chemotaxis and elucidates new findings concerning FPR in ferret neutrophils.

  17. 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.

  18. Mapping influenza transmission in the ferret model to transmission in humans.

    PubMed

    Buhnerkempe, Michael G; Gostic, Katelyn; Park, Miran; Ahsan, Prianna; Belser, Jessica A; Lloyd-Smith, James O

    2015-09-02

    The controversy surrounding 'gain-of-function' experiments on high-consequence avian influenza viruses has highlighted the role of ferret transmission experiments in studying the transmission potential of novel influenza strains. However, the mapping between influenza transmission in ferrets and in humans is unsubstantiated. We address this gap by compiling and analyzing 240 estimates of influenza transmission in ferrets and humans. We demonstrate that estimates of ferret secondary attack rate (SAR) explain 66% of the variation in human SAR estimates at the subtype level. Further analysis shows that ferret transmission experiments have potential to identify influenza viruses of concern for epidemic spread in humans, though small sample sizes and biological uncertainties prevent definitive classification of human transmissibility. Thus, ferret transmission experiments provide valid predictions of pandemic potential of novel influenza strains, though results should continue to be corroborated by targeted virological and epidemiological research.

  19. [The first report of a disseminated idiopathic myofasciitis in a ferret (Mustela putorius furo) from Germany].

    PubMed

    Müller, Kerstin; Dietert, Kristina; Kershaw, Olivia

    2015-01-01

    A 1.5 year old neutered male pet ferret (Mustela putorius furo) was presented with a sudden onset of severe weakness. The ferret was kept with three healthy mates, was vaccinated against distemper regularly and was never ill before presentation. Clinically, the ferret was depressed, had a hyperthermia of 40.3 degrees C, tachypnea and ocular as well as nasal discharge. Blood work revealed a mild neutropenia, blood chemistry a hyperglycemia, hyperbilirubinemia, hypoproteinemia, hypoalbuminemia, hypocalcemia and hyponatremia. Despite intensive therapy including fluid replacement, antibiosis, analgesia and antipyretics, the overall condition of the ferret deteriorated and the animal was euthanized two days later. Necropsy revealed a pyogranulomatous myositis, fasciitis and steatitis of the long hyoid muscles, the esophagus and intestine. Lesions were consistent with the disseminated idiopathic myositis of ferrets. This is the first reported case of this disease in a ferret originated in Germany.

  20. Mapping influenza transmission in the ferret model to transmission in humans

    PubMed Central

    Buhnerkempe, Michael G; Gostic, Katelyn; Park, Miran; Ahsan, Prianna; Belser, Jessica A; Lloyd-Smith, James O

    2015-01-01

    The controversy surrounding 'gain-of-function' experiments on high-consequence avian influenza viruses has highlighted the role of ferret transmission experiments in studying the transmission potential of novel influenza strains. However, the mapping between influenza transmission in ferrets and in humans is unsubstantiated. We address this gap by compiling and analyzing 240 estimates of influenza transmission in ferrets and humans. We demonstrate that estimates of ferret secondary attack rate (SAR) explain 66% of the variation in human SAR estimates at the subtype level. Further analysis shows that ferret transmission experiments have potential to identify influenza viruses of concern for epidemic spread in humans, though small sample sizes and biological uncertainties prevent definitive classification of human transmissibility. Thus, ferret transmission experiments provide valid predictions of pandemic potential of novel influenza strains, though results should continue to be corroborated by targeted virological and epidemiological research. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.07969.001 PMID:26329460

  1. Enzootic Plague Reduces Black-Footed Ferret (Mustela nigripes) Survival in Montana

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-01-01

    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...and probably trans- mission, of plague at enzootic levels. Other studies have demonstrated similar effects of flea control on several species of...2006a). Plague is a major obstacle to recovery of endangered ferrets, and epizootics have an easily noticed and dramatic effect, especially on black

  2. Neuronal Migration Dynamics in the Developing Ferret Cortex.

    PubMed

    Gertz, Caitlyn C; Kriegstein, Arnold R

    2015-10-21

    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. 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. We found that ferret

  3. 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.

  4. The role of cellular susceptibility in the declining severity of respiratory influenza of ferrets with age.

    PubMed Central

    Coates, D. M.; Husseini, R. H.; Collie, M. H.; Sweet, C.; Smith, H.

    1984-01-01

    A comparison was made, both in vivo and in organ culture, between newborn (1-day-old) and suckling (15-day-old) ferrets of lower respiratory tract tissue infected with a virulent strain (clone 7a) of influenza virus. Newborn ferrets were killed by influenza virus following intranasal inoculation but suckling ferrets were almost as resistant as adult ferrets. In newborn ferrets there was a rapid, severe and progressive infection of lung tissue with infection of alveolar cells as well as those of bronchial and bronchiolar epithelium (assessed by monitoring virus infectivity and by fluorescent antibody staining). In suckling ferrets, as previously shown for adult animals, the lung infection was less severe, less persistent and confined to the epithelium of bronchi with only a small bronchiolar involvement and even less alveolar cell infection. These differences observed in vivo were repeated in organ cultures obtained from various areas of the lung. i.e. alveolar and airway epithelial cells of newborn ferrets exhibited a greater susceptibility than those of older ferrets. Thus, it appears that one factor determining the greater susceptibility of the lower respiratory tract of newborn ferrets is a greater inherent susceptibility of alveolar and airway epithelial cells to infection with influenza virus. Other factors may also be involved and have yet to be investigated. Images Fig. 2 PMID:6365145

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

    PubMed

    Piazza, S; Huynh, M; Cauzinille, L

    2014-06-07

    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. British Veterinary Association.

  6. Quantifying insulin sensitivity and entero-insular responsiveness to hyper- and hypoglycemia in ferrets.

    PubMed

    Sui, Hongshu; Yi, Yaling; Yao, Jianrong; Liang, Bo; Sun, Xingshen; Hu, Shanming; Uc, Aliye; Nelson, Deborah J; Ode, Katie Larson; Philipson, Louis H; Engelhardt, John F; Norris, Andrew W

    2014-01-01

    Ferrets are an important emerging model of cystic fibrosis related diabetes. However, there is little documented experience in the use of advanced techniques to quantify aspects of diabetes pathophysiology in the ferret. Glycemic clamps are the gold standard technique to assess both insulin sensitivity and insulin secretion in humans and animal models of diabetes. We therefore sought to develop techniques for glycemic clamps in ferrets. To assess insulin sensitivity, we performed euglycemic hyperinsulinemic clamps in 5-6 week old ferrets in the anesthetized and conscious states. To assess insulin secretion, we performed hyperglycemic clamps in conscious ferrets. To evaluate responsiveness of ferret islet and entero-insular hormones to low glucose, a portion of the hyperglycemic clamps were followed by a hypoglycemic clamp. The euglycemic hyperinsulinemic clamps demonstrated insulin responsiveness in ferrets similar to that previously observed in humans and rats. The anesthetic isoflurane induced marked insulin resistance, whereas lipid emulsion induced mild insulin resistance. In conscious ferrets, glucose appearance was largely suppressed at 4 mU/kg/min insulin infusion, whereas glucose disposal was progressively increased at 4 and 20 mU/kg/min insulin. Hyperglycemic clamp induced first phase insulin secretion. Hypoglycemia induced a rapid diminishment of insulin, as well as a rise in glucagon and pancreatic polypeptide levels. The incretins GLP-1 and GIP were affected minimally by hyperglycemic and hypoglycemic clamp. These techniques will prove useful in better defining the pathophysiology in ferrets with cystic fibrosis related diabetes.

  7. Using Python Packages in 6D (Py)Ferret: EOF Analysis, OPeNDAP Sequence Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, K. M.; Manke, A.; Hankin, S. C.

    2012-12-01

    PyFerret was designed to provide the easy methods of access, analysis, and display of data found in the Ferret under the simple yet powerful Python scripting/programming language. This has enabled PyFerret to take advantage of a large and expanding collection of third-party scientific Python modules. Furthermore, ensemble and forecast axes have been added to Ferret and PyFerret for creating and working with collections of related data in Ferret's delayed-evaluation and minimal-data-access mode of operation. These axes simplify processing and visualization of these collections of related data. As one example, an empirical orthogonal function (EOF) analysis Python module was developed, taking advantage of the linear algebra module and other standard functionality in NumPy for efficient numerical array processing. This EOF analysis module is used in a Ferret function to provide an ensemble of levels of data explained by each EOF and Time Amplitude Function (TAF) product. Another example makes use of the PyDAP Python module to provide OPeNDAP sequence data for use in Ferret with minimal data access characteristic of Ferret.

  8. Quantifying Insulin Sensitivity and Entero-Insular Responsiveness to Hyper- and Hypoglycemia in Ferrets

    PubMed Central

    Sui, Hongshu; Yi, Yaling; Yao, Jianrong; Liang, Bo; Sun, Xingshen; Hu, Shanming; Uc, Aliye; Nelson, Deborah J.; Ode, Katie Larson; Philipson, Louis H.; Engelhardt, John F.; Norris, Andrew W.

    2014-01-01

    Ferrets are an important emerging model of cystic fibrosis related diabetes. However, there is little documented experience in the use of advanced techniques to quantify aspects of diabetes pathophysiology in the ferret. Glycemic clamps are the gold standard technique to assess both insulin sensitivity and insulin secretion in humans and animal models of diabetes. We therefore sought to develop techniques for glycemic clamps in ferrets. To assess insulin sensitivity, we performed euglycemic hyperinsulinemic clamps in 5–6 week old ferrets in the anesthetized and conscious states. To assess insulin secretion, we performed hyperglycemic clamps in conscious ferrets. To evaluate responsiveness of ferret islet and entero-insular hormones to low glucose, a portion of the hyperglycemic clamps were followed by a hypoglycemic clamp. The euglycemic hyperinsulinemic clamps demonstrated insulin responsiveness in ferrets similar to that previously observed in humans and rats. The anesthetic isoflurane induced marked insulin resistance, whereas lipid emulsion induced mild insulin resistance. In conscious ferrets, glucose appearance was largely suppressed at 4 mU/kg/min insulin infusion, whereas glucose disposal was progressively increased at 4 and 20 mU/kg/min insulin. Hyperglycemic clamp induced first phase insulin secretion. Hypoglycemia induced a rapid diminishment of insulin, as well as a rise in glucagon and pancreatic polypeptide levels. The incretins GLP-1 and GIP were affected minimally by hyperglycemic and hypoglycemic clamp. These techniques will prove useful in better defining the pathophysiology in ferrets with cystic fibrosis related diabetes. PMID:24594704

  9. Does predator management enhance survival of reintroduced black-footed ferrets?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Breck, Stewart W.; Biggins, Dean E.; Livieri, Travis M.; Matchett, Marc R.; Kopcso, Valerie

    2006-01-01

    Predation on black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) is a potential problem at reintroduction sites, causing up to 95 percent of the documented mortality of ferrets. Strategies to reduce mortality due to predation can focus on preconditioning ferrets prior to reintroduction and/or managing predators of ferrets. Biologists have tried three general strategies to control predators at reintroduction sites: (1) selective removal of individual predators, (2) nonselective removal of coyotes (Canis latrans), and (3) electric fences to exclude coyotes from release sites. We conducted a post hoc review of data from releases during 1994–2003 at 11 sites in South Dakota and Montana to address whether or not predator management has benefited reintroduced black-footed ferrets. Limited evidence indicates that (1) individual great horned owls (Bubo virginianus) can cause significant ferret mortality and that identifying and removing these individuals can be beneficial, (2) lethal control of coyotes may have inverse effects on ferret survival, and (3) electric fencing does not enhance short- or long-term survival of reintroduced ferrets. The data are confounded by a variety of factors, making conclusions tenuous. Well designed studies are needed to properly address the effectiveness of predator management for enhancing ferret survival.

  10. The ferret as a model for inner ear research.

    PubMed

    Rarey, K E

    1985-06-01

    Viral infections have long been suspected to be causative agents in a number of inner ear dysfunctions. With few exceptions, the virus has not been demonstrated as the direct agent leading to hearing loss and/or vertigo. Selective inner ear changes have been observed recently in sensory and nonsensory epithelial cells in the ferret model for Reye's syndrome after intranasal inoculation with influenza B combined with aspirin administration and the creation of an arginine deficiency. Such findings suggest that these agents act synergistically on the inner ear, particularly on cells that are metabolically active, and that the ferret may now be a useful model to examine the role of certain upper respiratory tract viruses implicated in inner ear disorders, singly and in combination with other agents that may cause metabolic alterations.

  11. Characterization of self-assembled virus-like particles of ferret hepatitis E virus generated by recombinant baculoviruses.

    PubMed

    Yang, Tingting; Kataoka, Michiyo; Ami, Yasushi; Suzaki, Yuriko; Kishida, Noriko; Shirakura, Masayuki; Imai, Masaki; Asanuma, Hideki; Takeda, Naokazu; Wakita, Takaji; Li, Tian-Cheng

    2013-12-01

    Ferret hepatitis E virus (HEV), a novel hepatitis E-like virus, has been identified in ferrets in The Netherlands. Due to the lack of a cell-culture system for ferret HEV, the antigenicity, pathogenicity and epidemiology of this virus have remained unclear. In the present study, we used a recombinant baculovirus expression system to express the 112-N-terminus and 47-C-terminus-amino-acid-truncated ferret HEV ORF2 protein in insect Tn5 cells, and found that a large amount of a 53 kDa protein (F-p53) was expressed and efficiently released into the supernatant. Electron microscopic analysis revealed that F-p53 was self-assembled into virus-like particles (ferret HEV-LPs). These ferret HEV-LPs were estimated to be 24 nm in diameter, which is similar to the size of G1, G3, G4 and rat HEV-LPs derived from both the N-terminus- and C-terminus-truncated constructs. Antigenic analysis demonstrated that ferret HEV-LPs were cross-reactive with G1, G3, G4 and rat HEVs, and rat HEV and ferret HEV showed a stronger cross-reactivity to each other than either did to human HEV genotypes. However, the antibody against ferret HEV-LPs does not neutralize G3 HEV, suggesting that the serotypes of these two HEVs are different. An ELISA for detection of anti-ferret HEV IgG and IgM antibodies was established using ferret HEV-LPs as antigen, and this assay system will be useful for monitoring ferret HEV infection in ferrets as well as other animals. In addition, analysis of ferret HEV RNA detected in ferret sera collected from a breeding colony in the USA revealed the genetic diversity of ferret HEV.

  12. Reproductive features and faecal progesterone metabolite profile in female ferrets.

    PubMed

    Proháczik, A; Kulcsár, M; Glávits, R; Driancourt, M A; Huszenicza, G Y

    2011-02-01

    Elevated post-partum progesterone metabolite (P(4) -met) levels have been recently postulated to occur in lactating lynxes. The aims of this study were to monitor reproductive features in female ferrets, changes in the faecal P(4) -met concentrations throughout the breeding season and ovarian activity in post-partum lactating and non-lactating (NL) female ferrets. Our results indicate that coinciding with the results described in the lynx, elevated faecal P4-met concentrations occur in lactating ferrets, furthermore, that the duration of elevated secretion of P(4) seems to be dependent on the duration of lactation (P4-met at delivery, n=47: <500 ng/g; 5-7 days after delivery, during lactation, n=47: ≥ 500-800 ng/g; in females weaned at delivery, n=4: baseline levels). Three days after ovariohysterectomy of lactating females, P(4) -met concentrations decreased to baseline levels. In lactating females, the ovarian stroma is more active than that in NL ones implicating that the ovary is at least in part responsible for the elevated P4-met concentrations. Ovaries of lactating females contained many luteinized cells either as luteinized granulose cells in the wall of late pre-antral/early antral follicles or as corpus luteum (CL)-like structures. Early resumption of the entire ovarian activity (developed follicles and oestrus) occurs in NL post-partum females, while final follicular development is blocked (follicles stalls at antral stage) in the lactating ones (however, occasionally lactational oestrus may occur). We suppose that the elevated faecal P4-met during lactation together with suckling and other hormonal effects may contribute to prevention of early returning to oestrus in nursing female ferrets. © 2010 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  13. Immune system cells in healthy ferrets: an immunohistochemical study.

    PubMed

    Vidaña, B; Majó, N; Pérez, M; Montoya, M; Martorell, J; Martínez, J

    2014-07-01

    The ferret has emerged as an excellent animal model to characterize several physiologic and pathologic conditions. The distribution and characterization of different types of immune system cells were studied in healthy ferret tissues. Eight primary antibodies were tested for immunohistochemistry in formalin-fixed tissues: anti-CD3, anti-CD79α, anti-CD20, anti-HLA-DR, anti-lysozyme, anti-CD163, anti-SWC3, and anti-Mac387. The anti-CD3 antibody labeled T cells mainly in interfollicular and paracortical areas of lymph nodes, cortex and thymic medulla, and periarteriolar lymphoid sheaths in the spleen. The anti-CD79α and anti-CD20 antibodies immunolabeled B cells located in lymphoid follicles at lymph nodes, spleen, and Peyer patches. The CD79α and CD20 antibodies also labeled cells with nonlymphoid morphology in atypical B-cell locations. The anti-HLA-DR antibody labeled macrophages, some populations of B and T lymphocytes, and different populations of dendritic cells in lymph nodes, Peyer patches, spleen, and thymus. The anti-lysozyme antibody immunolabeled macrophages in the liver, lymph nodes, spleen, and thymus. The Mac-387, CD163, and SWC3 antibodies did not show any positive reaction in formalin-fixed or frozen tissues. To elucidate the origin of the uncommon CD79α/CD20 positive cells, a double immunohistochemistry was carried out using the anti-HLA-DR + the anti-CD79α, the anti-HLA-DR + the anti-CD20, and the anti-lysozyme + the anti-CD79α antibodies. Double labeling was mainly observed when the anti-HLA-DR + the anti-CD79α antibodies were combined. The immunohistologic characterization and distribution of these immune system cells in healthy ferret tissues should be of value in future comparative studies of diseases in ferrets. © The Author(s) 2013.

  14. Isolation, Characterization, and Functional Analysis of Ferret Lymphatic Endothelial Cells

    PubMed Central

    Berendam, Stella J.; Fallert-Junecko, Beth A.; Murphy-Corb, Michael A.; Fuller, Deborah H.; Reinhart, Todd A.

    2014-01-01

    The lymphatic endothelium (LE) serves as a conduit for transport of immune cells and soluble antigens from peripheral tissues to draining lymph nodes (LNs), contributing to development of host immune responses and possibly dissemination of microbes. Lymphatic endothelial cells (LECs) are major constituents of the lymphatic endothelium. These specialized cells could play important roles in initiation of host innate immune responses through sensing of pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) by pattern recognition receptors (PRRs), including toll-like receptors (TLRs). LECs secrete pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines to create local inflammatory conditions for recruitment of naïve antigen presenting cells (APCs) such as dendritic cells (DCs) to sites of infection and/or vaccine administration. In this study, we examined the innate immune potential of primary LEC populations derived from multiple tissues of an animal model for human infectious diseases -- the ferret. We generated a total of six primary LEC populations from lung, tracheal, and mesenteric LN tissues from three different ferrets. Standard RT-PCR characterization of these primary LECs showed that they varied in their expression of LEC markers. The ferret LECs were examined for their ability to respond to poly I:C (TLR3 and RIG-1 ligand) and other known TLR ligands as measured by production of proinflammatory cytokine (IFNα, IL6, IL10, Mx1, and TNFα) and chemokine (CCL5, CCL20, and CXCL10) mRNAs using real time RT-PCR. Poly I:C exposure induced robust proinflammatory responses by all of the primary ferret LECs. Chemotaxis was performed to determine the functional activity of CCL20 produced by the primary lung LECs and showed that the LEC-derived CCL20 was abundant and functional. Taken together, our results continue to reveal the innate immune potential of primary LECs during pathogen-host interactions and expand our understanding of the roles of LECs might play in health and disease in

  15. Postbreeding resource selection by adult black-footed ferrets in the Conata Basin, South Dakota

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

    We investigated postbreeding resource selection by adult black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) on a 452-ha black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colony in the Conata Basin of South Dakota during 20072008. We used resource selection functions (RSFs) to evaluate relationships between numbers of ferret locations and numbers of prairie dog burrow openings (total or active), distances to colony edges, and connectivity of patches of burrow openings. In both years ferrets selected areas near edges of the prairie dog colony where active burrow openings were abundant. In the interior of the colony ferrets selected areas with low abundance of active burrow openings. At times, prairie dog productivity (i.e., pup abundance) might be greatest at colony edges often characterized by grasses; ferrets are likely to select areas where refuge and vulnerable prey are abundant. Ferrets could have used interior areas with few active burrow openings as corridors between edge areas with many active burrow openings. Also, in areas with few active burrow openings ferrets spend more time aboveground during movements and, thus, are likely to be more easily detected. These results complement previous studies demonstrating importance of refuge and prey in fine-scale resource selection by ferrets and provide insight into factors that might influence edge effects on ferret space use. Conservation and restoration of colonies with areas with high densities of burrow openings and prairie dogs, and corridors between such areas, are needed for continued recovery of the black-footed ferret. RSFs could complement coarse-scale habitat evaluations by providing finer-scale assessments of habitat for the black-footed ferret. ?? 2011 American Society of Mammalogists.

  16. Imaging findings in 14 domestic ferrets (Mustela putorius furo) with lymphoma.

    PubMed

    Suran, Jantra Ngosuwan; Wyre, Nicole Rene

    2013-01-01

    Lymphoma is the most common malignant neoplasia in domestic ferrets, Mustela putorius furo. However, imaging findings in ferrets with lymphoma have primarily been described in single case reports. The purpose of this retrospective study was to describe imaging findings in a group of ferrets with confirmed lymphoma. Medical records were searched between 2002 and 2012. A total of 14 ferrets were included. Radiographs (n = 12), ultrasound (n = 14), computed tomography (CT; n = 1), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI; n = 1) images were available for review. Median age at the time of diagnosis was 5.2 years (range 3.25-7.6 years). Clinical signs were predominantly nonspecific (8/14). The time between the first imaging study and lymphoma diagnosis was 1 day or less in most ferrets (12). Imaging lesions were predominantly detected in the abdomen, and most frequently included intra-abdominal lymphadenopathy (12/14), splenomegaly (8/14), and peritoneal effusion (11/14). Lymphadenopathy and mass lesions were typically hypoechoic on ultrasound. Mild peritoneal effusion was the only detected abnormality in two ferrets. Mild pleural effusion was the most common thoracic abnormality (3/12). Expansile lytic lesions were present in the vertebrae of two ferrets with T3-L3 myelopathy and the femur in a ferret with lameness. Hyperattenuating, enhancing masses with secondary spinal cord compression were associated with vertebral lysis in CT images of one ferret. The MRI study in one ferret with myelopathy was inconclusive. Findings indicated that imaging characteristics of lymphoma in ferrets are similar to those previously reported in dogs, cats, and humans. © 2013 Veterinary Radiology & Ultrasound.

  17. 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

  18. A ferret model of COPD-related chronic bronchitis

    PubMed Central

    Raju, S. Vamsee; Kim, Hyunki; Byzek, Stephen A.; Tang, Li Ping; Trombley, John E.; Jackson, Patricia; Rasmussen, Lawrence; Wells, J. Michael; Libby, Emily Falk; Winter, Lindy; Samuel, Sharon L.; Zinn, Kurt R.; Blalock, J. Edwin; Schoeb, Trenton R.; Dransfield, Mark T.; Rowe, Steven M.

    2016-01-01

    Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the third leading cause of death in the US. The majority of COPD patients have symptoms of chronic bronchitis, which lacks specific therapies. A major impediment to therapeutic development has been the absence of animal models that recapitulate key clinical and pathologic features of human disease. Ferrets are well suited for the investigation of the significance of respiratory diseases, given prior data indicating similarities to human airway physiology and submucosal gland distribution. Here, we exposed ferrets to chronic cigarette smoke and found them to approximate complex clinical features of human COPD. Unlike mice, which develop solely emphysema, smoke-exposed ferrets exhibited markedly higher numbers of early-morning spontaneous coughs and sporadic infectious exacerbations as well as a higher level of airway obstruction accompanied by goblet cell metaplasia/hyperplasia and increased mucus expression in small airways, indicative of chronic bronchitis and bronchiolitis. Overall, we demonstrate the first COPD animal model exhibiting clinical and pathologic features of chronic bronchitis to our knowledge, providing a key advance that will greatly facilitate the preclinical development of novel treatments for this disease. PMID:27699245

  19. Characterization of radiation-induced emesis in the ferret

    SciTech Connect

    King, G.L.

    1988-01-01

    Forty-eight ferrets (Mustela putorius furo) were individually head-shielded and radiated with bilateral cobalt 60 gamma radiation at 100 cGy min at doses ranging between 49 and 601 cGy. The emetic threshold was observed at 69 cGy, the ED 50 was calculated as 77 cGy, and 100% incidence of emesis occurred at 201 cGy. With increasing doses of radiation, the latency to first emesis after radiation decreased dramatically, whereas the duration of the prodromal period increased. Two other sets of experiments suggest that dopaminergic mechanisms play a minor role in radiation-induced emesis in the ferret. Twenty-two animals were injected either intravenously or subcutaneously with 30 to 300 micrograms /kg of apomorphine. Fewer than 50% of the animals vomited to 300 micrograms/kg apomorphine; central dopaminergic receptor activation was apparent at all doses. Another eight animals received 1 mg/kg domperidone prior to either 201 (n=4) or 401 (n=4) cGy radiation and their emetic responses were compared with NaCi-injected-irradiated controls (n=8). At 201 cGy, domperidone significantly reduced only the total time in emetic behavior. At 401 cGy, domperidone had no salutary effect on radiation-induced emesis. The emetic responses of the ferret to radiation and apomorphine are compared with these responses in other vomiting species.

  20. Characterization of radiation-induced emesis in the ferret

    SciTech Connect

    King, G.L.

    1988-06-01

    Forty-eight ferrets (Mustela putorius furo) were individually head-shielded and radiated with bilateral /sup 60/Co gamma radiation at 100 cGy min-1 at doses ranging between 49 and 601 cGy. The emetic threshold was observed at 69 cGy, the ED50 was calculated at 77 cGy, and 100% incidence of emesis occurred at 201 cGy. With increasing doses of radiation, the latency to first emesis after radiation decreased dramatically, whereas the duration of the prodromal period increased. Two other sets of experiments suggest that dopaminergic mechanisms play a minor role in radiation-induced emesis in the ferret. Twenty-two animals were injected either intravenously or subcutaneously with 30 to 300 micrograms/kg of apomorphine. Fewer than 50% of the animals vomited to 300 micrograms/kg apomorphine; central dopaminergic receptor activation was apparent at all doses. Another eight animals received 1 mg/kg domperidone prior to either 201 (n = 4) or 401 (n = 4) cGy radiation and their emetic responses were compared with NaCl-injected-irradiated controls (n = 8). At 201 cGy, domperidone significantly reduced only the total time in emetic behavior. At 401 cGy, domperidone had no salutary effect on radiation-induced emesis. The emetic responses of the ferret to radiation and apomorphine are compared with these responses in other vomiting species.

  1. Development of mucociliary transport in the postnatal ferret trachea.

    PubMed

    Voter, K Z; Leigh, M W; Boat, T F; Carson, J L; Wood, R E

    1992-10-01

    Little is known of the developmental aspects of mucociliary transport. Previous studies have documented that newborn ferret trachea has very few ciliated cells but numerous immature secretory cells in the epithelium and only rudimentary submucosal glands. Rapid and complete maturation occurs in the first postnatal month. This study examines mucociliary transport during this period of rapid maturation. We made direct observations of particle movement across the epithelium of ferret tracheas. No mucus transport could be demonstrated on the first day of life. Transport was discernible, although sporadic and slow, by 7 days and reached adult levels (10.7 +/- 3.7 mm/min) by 28 postnatal days. The emergence of transport capability correlated well with previously described developmental changes in ciliation, mucus secretion, and ion permeability and transport. Threshold mucus transport occurred at 1 wk of age when 20-25% of the surface cells are ciliated. The neonatal ferret appears to be a useful model for assessing integrated epithelial structure-function relationships that are important not only during early development but also during repair after airway injury involving deciliation.

  2. 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.

  3. Use of multi-opening burrow systems by black-footed ferrets

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Biggins, Dean E.

    2012-01-01

    Multi-opening burrow systems constructed by prairie dogs (Cynomys) ostensibly provide escape routes when prairie dogs are pursued by predators capable of entering the burrows, such as black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes), or by predators that can rapidly dig into the tunnels, such as American badgers (Taxidea taxus). Because badgers also prey on ferrets, ferrets might similarly benefit from multi-opening burrow systems. Using an air blower, white-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys leucurus) burrow openings were tested for connectivity on plots occupied by black-footed ferrets and on randomly selected plots in Wyoming. Significantly more connected openings were found on ferret-occupied plots than on random plots. Connected openings might be due to modifications by ferrets in response to plugging by prairie dogs, due to selection by ferrets for complex systems with multiple openings that are already unobstructed, or simply due to ferrets lingering at kill sites that were multi-opening systems selected by their prairie dog prey.

  4. Distribution and Size of Mucous Glands in the Ferret Tracheobronchial Tree

    PubMed Central

    HAJIGHASEMI-OSSAREH, MOHAMMAD; BORTHWELL, RACHEL M.; STEVENS, JEREMY E.; FINKBEINER, WALTER E.; WIDDICOMBE, JONATHAN H.

    2014-01-01

    A transgenic ferret model of cystic fibrosis has recently been generated. It is probable that malfunction of airway mucous glands contributes significantly to the airway pathology of this disease. The usefulness of the ferret model may therefore depend in part on how closely the airway glands of ferrets resemble those of humans. Here, we show that in the ferret trachea glands are commonest in its most ventral aspect and disappear about half way up the lateral walls; they are virtually absent from the dorsal membranous portion. Further, the aggregate volume of glands per unit mucosal surface declines progressively by about 60% between the larynx and the carina. The average frequency of glands openings for the ferret trachea as a whole is only about one-fifth that in humans (where gland openings are found at approximately the same frequency throughout the trachea). Glands in the ferret trachea are on average about one-third the size of those in the human. Therefore, the aggregate volume of tracheal glands (per unit mucosal surface area) in the ferret is only about 6% that in humans. As in other mammalian species, airway glands in the ferret disappear at an airway internal diameter of ~1 mm, corresponding approximately in this species to airway generation 6. PMID:24106034

  5. 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.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  7. Distribution and size of mucous glands in the ferret tracheobronchial tree.

    PubMed

    Hajighasemi-Ossareh, Mohammad; Borthwell, Rachel M; Lachowicz-Scroggins, Marrah; Stevens, Jeremy E; Finkbeiner, Walter E; Widdicombe, Jonathan H

    2013-11-01

    A transgenic ferret model of cystic fibrosis has recently been generated. It is probable that malfunction of airway mucous glands contributes significantly to the airway pathology of this disease. The usefulness of the ferret model may therefore depend in part on how closely the airway glands of ferrets resemble those of humans. Here, we show that in the ferret trachea glands are commonest in its most ventral aspect and disappear about half way up the lateral walls; they are virtually absent from the dorsal membranous portion. Further, the aggregate volume of glands per unit mucosal surface declines progressively by about 60% between the larynx and the carina. The average frequency of glands openings for the ferret trachea as a whole is only about one-fifth that in humans (where gland openings are found at approximately the same frequency throughout the trachea). Glands in the ferret trachea are on average about one-third the size of those in the human. Therefore, the aggregate volume of tracheal glands (per unit mucosal surface area) in the ferret is only about 6% that in humans. As in other mammalian species, airway glands in the ferret disappear at an airway internal diameter of ∼1 mm, corresponding approximately in this species to airway generation 6. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Identification of a tyrosinase (TYR) exon 4 deletion in albino ferrets (Mustela putorius furo).

    PubMed

    Blaszczyk, W M; Distler, C; Dekomien, G; Arning, L; Hoffmann, K-P; Epplen, J T

    2007-08-01

    Albinism is due to a lack of pigmentation in hair, skin and eye, and has been shown to occur in several animal species. Mutations of the tyrosinase (TYR) gene account for albinism in domestic cats, rabbits, cattle, mice and rats. In this study, we demonstrate that a TYR mutation accounts for albinism in the ferret (Mustela putorius furo). The coding sequence of the five exons of TYR was determined in genomic DNA from wild-type pigmented 'sable' coloured and albino ferrets. It was not possible to amplify TYR exon 4 in albino ferrets originating from different breeds. The deletion of exon 4 in albino ferrets was confirmed by Southern blot hybridization of genomic DNA from albino and pigmented ferrets. This is the first report of a deletion of a TYR exon in a non-human mammal.

  11. Rehabilitation of a Species: The Black-Footed Ferret (Mustela nigripes)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Miller, Brian; Biggins, Dean E.; Hanebury, Lou; Conway, Courtney; Wemmer, Chris

    1991-01-01

    Black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) are an endangered carnivore endemic to North America.  This small nocturnal member of the weasel family is totally dependent on the prairie dog (Cynomys spp.) ecosystem for survival.  The ferret lives in prairie dog burrows and relies on prairie dogs for 90 percent of its diet (3,21).  Poisoning of prairie dogs was largely responsible for the 98 percent reduction in geographic distribution of prairie dogs; concurrently, black-footed ferret numbers plummeted.  Recently, only a single known population of black-footed ferrets remained.  In 1985 that popuation, located near Meeteetse Wyoming, succumbed to an outbreak of canine distemper, and the few remaining ferrets were taken into captivity in an attempt to save the species through captive progation.

  12. Naturally occurring recombination in ferret coronaviruses revealed by complete genome characterization.

    PubMed

    Lamers, Mart M; Smits, Saskia L; Hundie, Gadissa B; Provacia, Lisette B; Koopmans, Marion; Osterhaus, Albert D M E; Haagmans, Bart L; Raj, V Stalin

    2016-09-01

    Ferret coronaviruses (FRCoVs) exist as an enteric and a systemic pathotype, of which the latter is highly lethal to ferrets. To our knowledge, this study provides the first full genome sequence of a FRCoV, tentatively called FRCoV-NL-2010, which was detected in 2010 in ferrets in The Netherlands. Phylogenetic analysis showed that FRCoV-NL-2010 is most closely related to mink CoV, forming a separate clade of mustelid alphacoronavirus that split off early from other alphacoronaviruses. Based on sequence homology of the complete genome, we propose that these mustelid coronaviruses may be assigned to a new species. Comparison of FRCoV-NL-2010 with the partially sequenced ferret systemic coronavirus MSU-1 and ferret enteric coronavirus MSU-2 revealed that recombination in the spike, 3c and envelope genes occurred between different FRCoVs.

  13. Ferret airway epithelial cell cultures support efficient replication of influenza B virus but not mumps virus.

    PubMed

    Elderfield, Ruth A; Parker, Lauren; Stilwell, Peter; Roberts, Kim L; Schepelmann, Silke; Barclay, Wendy S

    2015-08-01

    Ferrets have become the model animal of choice for influenza pathology and transmission experiments as they are permissive and susceptible to human influenza A viruses. However, inoculation of ferrets with mumps virus (MuV) did not lead to successful infections. We evaluated the use of highly differentiated ferret tracheal epithelium cell cultures, FTE, for predicting the potential of ferrets to support respiratory viral infections. FTE cultures supported productive replication of human influenza A and B viruses but not of MuV, whereas analogous cells generated from human airways supported replication of all three viruses. We propose that in vitro strategies using these cultures might serve as a method of triaging viruses and potentially reducing the use of ferrets in viral studies.

  14. 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.

  15. Use of recombinant human thyroid-stimulating hormone for thyrotropin stimulation testing in euthyroid ferrets.

    PubMed

    Mayer, Jörg; Wagner, Robert; Mitchell, Mark A; Fecteau, Kellie

    2013-11-15

    To evaluate the effects of IM administration of recombinant human thyroid-stimulating hormone (rhTSH) on plasma total thyroxine (T4) concentrations in euthyroid ferrets. Evaluation study. 25 healthy neutered ferrets (14 female and 11 male) of various ages from 2 populations (laboratory ferrets from Georgia and pet ferrets from Pennsylvania). Each ferret underwent a physical examination and standard hematologic testing to ensure it was healthy and had clinically normal thyroid function. Once determined to be euthyroid, ferrets received a single IM injection of 100 μg of rhTSH. Blood samples were collected into plasma-separator tubes immediately before the rhTSH injection (time 0) and 4 hours after injection to measure T4 concentrations. Males did not differ from females in regard to prestimulation or poststimulation plasma T4 concentrations; however, prestimulation and poststimulation T4 concentrations were significantly different between the 2 groups of ferrets. A significant difference was also identified between prestimulation T4 concentration (mean ± SD, 21.3 ± 6.1 nmol/L) and poststimulation T4 concentration (29.9 ± 8.2 nmol/L). All 25 ferrets had high poststimulation T4 concentrations (median difference, 7. 5 nmol/L; 10% to 90% interval, 3.26 to 17.70 nmol/L [0.25 to 1.38 μg/dL]; range, 2.50 to 20.70 nmol/L [0.19 to 1.61 μg/dL]); this represented a median increase in T4 concentration of 35% (10% to 90% interval, 18% to 81%; range, 8% to 126%). Results suggested that rhTSH can be used for thyrotropin stimulation testing in ferrets when administered IM. According to the findings, a euthyroid ferret should have an increase of approximately 30% in plasma T4 concentration 4 hours after rhTSH injection.

  16. 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.

  17. Patterns of surface burrow 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 × 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).

  18. 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).

  19. Neuropathology of H5N1 virus infection in ferrets.

    PubMed

    Peng, Bi-Hung; Yun, Nadezhda; Chumakova, Olga; Zacks, Michele; Campbell, Gerald; Smith, Jeanon; Smith, Jennifer; Linde, Seth; Linde, Jenna; Paessler, Slobodan

    2012-05-04

    Highly pathogenic H5N1 virus remains a potential threat to humans. Over 289 fatalities have been reported in WHO confirmed human cases since 2003, and lack of effective vaccines and early treatments contribute to increasing numbers of cases and fatalities. H5N1 encephalitis is a recognized cause of death in Vietnamese cases, and brain pathology is described in other human cases and naturally infected animals. However, neither pathogenesis of H5N1 viral infection in human brain nor post-infection effects in survivors have been fully investigated. We report the brain pathology in a ferret model for active infection and 18-day survival stages. This model closely resembles the infection pattern and progression in human cases of influenza A, and our report is the first description of brain pathology for longer term (18-day) survival in ferrets. We analyzed viral replication, type and severity of meningoencephalitis, infected cell types, and cellular responses to infection. We found viral replication to very high titers in ferret brain, closely correlating with severity of meningoencephalitis. Viral antigens were detected predominantly in neurons, correlating with inflammatory lesions, and less frequently in astrocytes and ependymal cells during active infection. Mononuclear cell infiltrates were observed in early stages predominantly in cerebral cortex, brainstem, and leptomeninges, and less commonly in cerebellum and other areas. Astrogliosis was mild at day 4 post-infection, but robust by day 18. Early and continuous treatment with an antiviral agent (peramivir) inhibited virus production to non-detectable levels, reduced severity of brain injury, and promoted higher survival rates.

  20. Ferret: a sentence-based literature scanning system.

    PubMed

    Srinivasan, Padmini; Zhang, Xiao-Ning; Bouten, Roxane; Chang, Caren

    2015-06-20

    The rapid pace of bioscience research makes it very challenging to track relevant articles in one's area of interest. MEDLINE, a primary source for biomedical literature, offers access to more than 20 million citations with three-quarters of a million new ones added each year. Thus it is not surprising to see active research in building new document retrieval and sentence retrieval systems. We present Ferret, a prototype retrieval system, designed to retrieve and rank sentences (and their documents) conveying gene-centric relationships of interest to a scientist. The prototype has several features. For example, it is designed to handle gene name ambiguity and perform query expansion. Inputs can be a list of genes with an optional list of keywords. Sentences are retrieved across species but the species discussed in the records are identified. Results are presented in the form of a heat map and sentences corresponding to specific cells of the heat map may be selected for display. Ferret is designed to assist bio scientists at different stages of research from early idea exploration to advanced analysis of results from bench experiments. Three live case studies in the field of plant biology are presented related to Arabidopsis thaliana. The first is to discover genes that may relate to the phenotype of open immature flower in Arabidopsis. The second case is about finding associations reported between ethylene signaling and a set of 300+ Arabidopsis genes. The third case is on searching for potential gene targets of an Arabidopsis transcription factor hypothesized to be involved in plant stress responses. Ferret was successful in finding valuable information in all three cases. In the first case the bZIP family of genes was identified. In the second case sentences indicating relevant associations were found in other species such as potato and jasmine. In the third sentences led to new research questions about the plant hormone salicylic acid. Ferret successfully

  1. Novel calicivirus from a ferret badger (Melogale moschata) in China.

    PubMed

    Miao, Fa-Ming; Li, Yue-Hong; Liu, Ye; Zhang, Shou-Feng; Miao, Fu-Chun; Zhao, Jing-Hui; Hu, Rong-Liang

    2015-07-01

    We describe the isolation and complete genome sequence of a new calicivirus, FBCV-JX12, isolated from a ferret badger (Melogale moschata). Comparison of FBCV-JX12 with other vesiviruses revealed that it shared the highest amino acid sequence identities of 71.6, 60.5, and 59.3% in the nonstructural protein, VP1, and VP2, respectively, with MCV-DL2007 (mink calicivirus). Phylogenetic analysis of the whole genomic sequence showed that it clustered most closely with MCV-DL2007 of the genus Vesivirus, but with low nucleotide similarity in the three open reading frames (62.1-68.5%).

  2. Isolation, characterization, and functional analysis of ferret lymphatic endothelial cells.

    PubMed

    Berendam, Stella J; Fallert Junecko, Beth A; Murphey-Corb, Michael A; Fuller, Deborah H; Reinhart, Todd A

    2015-02-15

    The lymphatic endothelium (LE) serves as a conduit for transport of immune cells and soluble antigens from peripheral tissues to draining lymph nodes (LNs), contributing to development of host immune responses and possibly dissemination of microbes. Lymphatic endothelial cells (LECs) are major constituents of the lymphatic endothelium. These specialized cells could play important roles in initiation of host innate immune responses through sensing of pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) by pattern recognition receptors (PRRs), including toll-like receptors (TLRs). LECs secrete pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines to create local inflammatory conditions for recruitment of naïve antigen presenting cells (APCs) such as dendritic cells (DCs) to sites of infection and/or vaccine administration. In this study, we examined the innate immune potential of primary LEC populations derived from multiple tissues of an animal model for human infectious diseases - the ferret. We generated a total of six primary LEC populations from lung, tracheal, and mesenteric LN tissues from three different ferrets. Standard RT-PCR characterization of these primary LECs showed that they varied in their expression of LEC markers. The ferret LECs were examined for their ability to respond to poly I:C (TLR3 and RIG-I ligand) and other known TLR ligands as measured by production of proinflammatory cytokine (IFNα, IL6, IL10, Mx1, and TNFα) and chemokine (CCL5, CCL20, and CXCL10) mRNAs using real time RT-PCR. Poly I:C exposure induced robust proinflammatory responses by all of the primary ferret LECs. Chemotaxis was performed to determine the functional activity of CCL20 produced by the primary lung LECs and showed that the LEC-derived CCL20 was abundant and functional. Taken together, our results continue to reveal the innate immune potential of primary LECs during pathogen-host interactions and expand our understanding of the roles LECs might play in health and disease in animal

  3. Effects of melatonin administration on the clinical course of adrenocortical disease in domestic ferrets.

    PubMed

    Ramer, Jan C; Benson, Keith G; Morrisey, James K; O'Brien, Robert T; Paul-Murphy, Joanne

    2006-12-01

    To evaluate the effect of oral administration of melatonin on clinical signs, tumor size, and serum steroid hormone concentrations in ferrets with adrenocortical disease. Noncontrolled clinical trial. 10 adult ferrets with clinical signs of adrenocortical disease (confirmed via serum steroid hormone concentration assessments). Melatonin (0.5 mg) was administered orally to ferrets once daily for 1 year. At 4-month intervals, a complete physical examination; abdominal ultrasonographic examination (including adrenal gland measurement); CBC; serum biochemical analyses; and assessment of serum estradiol, androstenedione, and 17alpha-hydroxyprogesterone concentrations were performed. Serum prolactin and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate concentrations were evaluated at the first, second, and last examinations, and serum cortisol concentration was evaluated at the first and last examinations. Daily oral administration of melatonin greatly affected clinical signs of adrenocortical disease in ferrets; changes included hair regrowth, decreased pruritus, increased activity level and appetite, and decreased vulva or prostate size. Mean width of the abnormally large adrenal glands was significantly increased after the 12-month treatment period. Recurrence of clinical signs was detected in 6 ferrets at the 8-month evaluation. Compared with pretreatment values, serum 17alpha-hydroxyprogesterone and prolactin concentrations were significantly increased and decreased after 12 months, respectively. Results suggest that melatonin is a useful, easily administered, palliative treatment to decrease clinical signs associated with adrenocortical disease in ferrets, and positive effects of daily treatment were evident for at least an 8-month period. Oral administration of melatonin did not decrease adrenal gland tumor growth in treated ferrets.

  4. Evaluating habitat for black-footed ferrets: Revision of an existing model

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Biggins, Dean E.; Lockhart, J. Michael; Godbey, Jerry L.

    2006-01-01

    Black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) are highly dependent on prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) as prey, and prairie dog colonies are the only known habitats that sustain black-footed ferret populations. An existing model used extensively for evaluating black-footed ferret reintroduction habitat defined complexes by interconnecting colonies with 7-km line segments. Although the 7-km complex remains a useful construct, we propose additional, smaller-scale evaluations that consider 1.5-km subcomplexes. The original model estimated the carrying capacity of complexes based on energy requirements of ferrets and density estimates of their prairie dog prey. Recent data have supported earlier contentions of intraspecific competition and intrasexual territorial behavior in ferrets. We suggest a revised model that retains the fixed linear relationship of the existing model when prairie dog densities are <18/ha and uses a curvilinear relationship that reflects increasing effects of ferret territoriality when there are 18–42 prairie dogs per hectare. We discuss possible effects of colony size and shape, interacting with territoriality, as justification for the exclusion of territorial influences if a prairie dog colony supports only a single female ferret. We also present data to support continued use of active prairie dog burrow densities as indices suitable for broad-scale estimates of prairie dog density. Calculation of percent of complexes that are occupied by prairie dog colonies was recommended as part of the original habitat evaluation process. That attribute has been largely ignored, resulting in rating anomalies.

  5. Acute and chronic effects of ferret odor exposure in Sprague-Dawley rats.

    PubMed

    Campeau, S; Nyhuis, T J; Sasse, S K; Day, H E W; Masini, C V

    2008-09-01

    This manuscript describes several behavioral and functional studies evaluating the capacity of ferret odors to elicit a number of acute and long-term responses in male Sprague-Dawley rats. Acute presentation elicits multiple responses, suggesting that ferret odor, likely from skin gland secretions, provides an anxiogenic-like stimulus in this strain of rats. Compared to cat odor, however, ferret odor did not produce rapid fear conditioning, a result perhaps attributable to methodological factors. Inactivation of the olfactory system and medial nucleus of the amygdala, combined with induction of the immediate-early gene c-fos, suggest the necessity of the accessory olfactory system in mediating the effects of ferret odor. Repeated exposures to ferret odor produce variable habituation of neuroendocrine and behavioral responses, perhaps indicative of the lack of control over the exact individual origin or concentration of ferret odor. Ferret odor induces rapid and long-term body weight regulation, thymic involution, adrenal hyperplasia and facilitation of the neuroendocrine response to additional challenges. It is argued that the use of such odors is exquisitely suited to investigate the brain regions coordinating anxiety-like responses and the long-term changes elicited by such stimuli.

  6. Reference values for selected ophthalmic diagnostic tests of the ferret (Mustela putorius furo).

    PubMed

    Montiani-Ferreira, Fabiano; Mattos, Bianca Chaim; Russ, Heloisa Helena Abil

    2006-01-01

    To perform selected ophthalmic diagnostic tests in healthy ferrets with the aim of establishing normal physiological reference values for this species. A total of 15 healthy, unrelated ferrets were used to test most of the parameters in this investigation. Eight of the 15 ferrets were used for central corneal thickness evaluation. Ages varied from 1.5 to 6 years of age. Selected diagnostic ocular tests were performed including Schirmer tear test, tonometry using an applanation tonometer (Tonopen), central corneal thickness using an ultrasonic pachymeter (Sonomed, Micropach, Model 200P +) and culture of the normal conjunctival bacterial flora. Staphylococcus sp. and Corynebacterium sp. were isolated from healthy conjunctival and eyelid margins, suggesting they are normal constituents of the conjunctival flora of the ferret. Results for selected ocular diagnostic tests investigated here for the ferret eye were as follows: intraocular pressure: 14.50 +/- 3.27 mmHg; Schirmer tear test: 5.31 +/- 1.32 mm/min; central corneal thickness: 0.337 +/- 0.020 mm. No statistically significant differences between ages or genders were found for any of the results. The reference data for the ocular tests obtained in this investigation will help veterinary ophthalmologists to more accurately diagnose ocular diseases in the ferret. Knowledge of these reference values will be particularly useful to diagnose discrete or unusual pathological changes of the ferret eye.

  7. Long-term outcome of domestic ferrets treated surgically for hyperadrenocorticism: 130 cases (1995-2004).

    PubMed

    Swiderski, Jennifer K; Seim, Howard B; MacPhail, Catriona M; Campbell, Terry W; Johnston, Matthew S; Monnet, Eric

    2008-05-01

    To determine the long-term survival rate and factors that affect survival time of domestic ferrets treated surgically for hyperadrenocorticism. Retrospective case series. 130 ferrets with hyperadrenocorticism that were treated surgically. Medical records of ferrets surgically treated for hyperadrenocorticism were reviewed. Data recorded included signalment, duration of clinical signs prior to hospital admission, CBC values, serum biochemical analysis results, anesthetic time, surgical time, concurrent diseases, adrenal gland affected (right, left, or both [bilateral]), histopathologic diagnosis, surgical procedure, caudal vena caval involvement (yes or no), postoperative melena (yes or no), days in hospital after surgery, and whether clinical signs of hyperadrenocorticism developed after surgery. 130 ferrets were entered in the study (11 of 130 ferrets were admitted and underwent surgery twice). The 1- and 2-year survival rates were 98% and 88%, respectively. A 50% survival rate was never reached. Combined partial adrenal gland resection with cryosurgery had a significantly negative effect on survival time. No other risk factors were identified. Survival time was not significantly affected by either histopathologic diagnosis or specific affected adrenal gland (right, left, or bilateral). Ferrets with adrenal gland masses that were treated surgically had a good prognosis. Survival time of ferrets with hyperadrenocorticism undergoing surgery was not affected by the histologic characteristic of the tumor, the adrenal glands affected (right, left, or bilateral), or complete versus partial adrenal gland resection. Debulking was a sufficient surgical technique to allow a favorable long-term outcome when complete excision was not possible.

  8. 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.

  9. Ferret-mouse differences in interkinetic nuclear migration and cellular densification in the neocortical ventricular zone.

    PubMed

    Okamoto, Mayumi; Shinoda, Tomoyasu; Kawaue, Takumi; Nagasaka, Arata; Miyata, Takaki

    2014-09-01

    The thick outer subventricular zone (OSVZ) is characteristic of the development of human neocortex. How this region originates from the ventricular zone (VZ) is largely unknown. Recently, we showed that over-proliferation-induced acute nuclear densification and thickening of the VZ in neocortical walls of mice, which lack an OSVZ, causes reactive delamination of undifferentiated progenitors and invasion by these cells of basal areas outside the VZ. In this study, we sought to determine how VZ cells behave in non-rodent animals that have an OSVZ. A comparison of mid-embryonic mice and ferrets revealed: (1) the VZ is thicker and more pseudostratified in ferrets. (2) The soma and nuclei of VZ cells were horizontally and apicobasally denser in ferrets. (3) Individual endfeet were also denser on the apical (ventricular) surface in ferrets. (4) In ferrets, apicalward nucleokinesis was less directional, whereas basalward nucleokinesis was more directional; consequently, the nuclear density in the periventricular space (within 16 μm of the apical surface) was smaller in ferrets than in mice, despite the nuclear densification seen basally in ferrets. These results suggest that species-specific differences in nucleokinesis strategies may have evolved in close association with the magnitudes and patterns of nuclear stratification in the VZ. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  10. Epidemiological evaluation of cystine urolithiasis in domestic ferrets (Mustela putorius furo): 70 cases (1992-2009).

    PubMed

    Nwaokorie, Eugene E; Osborne, Carl A; Lulich, Jody P; Albasan, Hasan

    2013-04-15

    To determine the prevalence of cystine uroliths in domestic ferrets with urolithiasis and determine whether age, breed, sex, reproductive status, anatomic location, and season are risk factors associated with cystine urolith formation. Retrospective cross-sectional case-control study. Records of 435 ferrets (Mustela putorius furo) with uroliths submitted for analyses between 1992 and 2009, of which 70 were cystine uroliths. Specific descriptive information was obtained about each ferret to determine whether specific risk factors were associated with the development of cystine uroliths. Cystine uroliths comprised 70 of the 435 (16%) uroliths. Cystine uroliths were more common in male (n = 54) than in female (16) ferrets. All cystine uroliths were retrieved from the lower portion of the urinary tract (bladder and urethra [n = 67]) or were voided (3); none of the uroliths were retrieved from the upper portion of the urinary tract (kidney and ureters). Awareness of the prevalence of cystine uroliths along with knowledge of etiologic, demographic, and environmental risk and protective factors for urolithiasis may facilitate development of surveillance strategies that result in earlier detection of cystinuria. Genetic factors associated with this disease have not yet been reported in ferrets, but a familial pattern of inheritance determined to be a major underlying factor in cystine urolithiasis in dogs and humans suggests that this may be a factor in ferrets and that the parent stock of ferrets in the present study may have been inbred.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Disease manifestations of canine distemper virus infection in ferrets are modulated by vitamin A status.

    PubMed

    Rodeheffer, Carey; von Messling, Veronika; Milot, Sylvain; Lepine, François; Manges, Amee R; Ward, Brian J

    2007-08-01

    The measles virus (MV) causes half a million childhood deaths annually. Vitamin A supplements significantly reduce measles-associated mortality and morbidity. The mechanisms whereby vitamin A acts against MV are not understood and currently there is no satisfactory small animal model for MV infection. We report on the development of a ferret model to study antiviral activity of vitamin A against canine distemper virus (CDV). CDV is closely related to MV at the molecular level and distemper in ferrets mimics measles in humans. We infected vitamin A-replete (control) and vitamin A-depleted ferrets with CDV and assessed the ability of high-dose vitamin A supplements to influence CDV disease. In control ferrets, CDV infection caused fever, rash, conjunctivitis, cough, coryza, and diarrhea. In contrast, control ferrets that were given 30 mg of vitamin A did not develop typical distemper after infection and exhibited only a mild rash. The supplement did not negatively affect ferret health and resulted in a 100% increase in serum and liver vitamin A concentrations. We also found that profound vitamin A deficiency is inducible in ferrets and can be rapidly reversed upon high-dose vitamin A supplementation. Vitamin A deficiency caused anorexia, diarrhea, cataracts, behavioral abnormalities, and ultimately death, with or without CDV infection. All ferrets that received vitamin A supplements, however, recovered uneventfully from CDV infection. These results replicate many aspects of the observations of vitamin A therapy in humans with measles and suggest that CDV infection in ferrets is an appropriate model for the study of the antiviral mechanism of vitamin A.

  14. Morphology of the pituitary gland in ferrets (Mustela putorius furo) with hyperadrenocorticism.

    PubMed

    Schoemaker, N J; van der Hage, M H; Flik, G; Lumeij, J T; Rijnberk, A

    2004-05-01

    Pituitary tumours are the cause of hyperadrenocorticism in a variety of species, but the role of the pituitary gland in hyperadrenocorticism in ferrets is not known. In this species, the disease is mediated by the action of excess gonadotrophins on the adrenal cortex and is characterized by an excessive secretion of sex steroids. In this study, the pituitary gland of four healthy control ferrets, intact or neutered, and 10 neutered ferrets with hyperadrenocorticism was examined histologically following immunohistochemical labelling for adrenocorticotrophic hormone, alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone, growth hormone, thyroid-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone, and prolactin. Immunohistochemistry revealed that somatotrophs, thyrotrophs and lactotrophs were the most abundant cell types of the pars distalis of the pituitary gland in the healthy ferrets. The distribution of corticotrophs was similar to that in the dog and man. In ferrets, as in dogs, the melanotrophic cell was almost the only cell type of the pars intermedia. Gonadotrophs were found in the pars distalis of neutered, but not intact ferrets. All the ferrets with hyperadrenocorticism had unilateral or bilateral alterations of the adrenal gland. In addition, in the pituitary gland of two of these ferrets a tumour was detected. These tumours were not immunolabelled by antibodies against any of the pituitary hormones, and had characteristics of the clinically non-functional gonadotroph tumours seen in man. In some of the other ferrets low pituitary immunoreactivity for gonadotrophic hormones was detected, which may have been due to the feedback of autonomous steroid secretion by the neoplastic transformation of the adrenal cortex. It is concluded that initially high concentrations of gonadotrophins resulting from castration may initiate hyperactivity of the adrenal cortex. The low incidence of pituitary tumours and the low density of gonadotrophin-positive cells in non

  15. Role for prenatal estrogen in the development of masculine sexual behavior in the male ferret.

    PubMed

    Tobet, S A; Baum, M J

    1987-12-01

    Previous studies have shown that neonatal exposure to testosterone is essential for coital masculinization in male ferrets. In the present experiments, masculine sexual behavior was diminished in male ferrets by prenatal exposure to drugs which inhibited estrogenic stimulation of the brain. Similarly timed prenatal treatments with testosterone failed to masculinize the behavior of female offspring. We hypothesize that prenatal exposure of the male ferret to estrogen, derived from the neural aromatization of circulating androgen, may sensitize the developing brain to the subsequent masculinizing action of testosterone shortly after birth.

  16. Modeling black-footed ferret energetics: Are southern release sites better?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Harrington, Lauren A.; Biggins, Dean E.; Alldredge, A. William

    2006-01-01

    Several models have been developed to estimate prey requirements and to assess habitat suitability of release sites for the black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes) (e.g., Stromberg and others, 1983; Powell and others, 1985; Biggins and others, 1993). None of these models, however, addressed possible differences in energetic requirements between sites due to climatic differences within the ferret’s historical range. We used a simplified energetics model to examine the effect of variation in environmental conditions on ferret energetic requirements. The aim of the study was to determine whether the ferret might be more successful in one area than another.

  17. Spatial organization of astrocytes in ferret visual cortex.

    PubMed

    López-Hidalgo, Mónica; Hoover, Walter B; Schummers, James

    2016-12-01

    Astrocytes form an intricate partnership with neural circuits to influence numerous cellular and synaptic processes. One prominent organizational feature of astrocytes is the "tiling" of the brain with non-overlapping territories. There are some documented species and brain region-specific astrocyte specializations, but the extent of astrocyte diversity and circuit specificity are still unknown. We quantitatively defined the rules that govern the spatial arrangement of astrocyte somata and territory overlap in ferret visual cortex using a combination of in vivo two-photon imaging, morphological reconstruction, immunostaining, and model simulations. We found that ferret astrocytes share, on average, half of their territory with other astrocytes. However, a specific class of astrocytes, abundant in thalamo-recipient cortical layers ("kissing" astrocytes), overlap markedly less. Together, these results demonstrate novel features of astrocyte organization indicating that different classes of astrocytes are arranged in a circuit-specific manner and that tiling does not apply universally across brain regions and species. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:3561-3576, 2016. © 2016 The Authors The Journal of Comparative Neurology Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 The Authors The Journal of Comparative Neurology Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. Spatial organization of astrocytes in ferret visual cortex

    PubMed Central

    López‐Hidalgo, Mónica; Hoover, Walter B.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Astrocytes form an intricate partnership with neural circuits to influence numerous cellular and synaptic processes. One prominent organizational feature of astrocytes is the “tiling” of the brain with non‐overlapping territories. There are some documented species and brain region–specific astrocyte specializations, but the extent of astrocyte diversity and circuit specificity are still unknown. We quantitatively defined the rules that govern the spatial arrangement of astrocyte somata and territory overlap in ferret visual cortex using a combination of in vivo two‐photon imaging, morphological reconstruction, immunostaining, and model simulations. We found that ferret astrocytes share, on average, half of their territory with other astrocytes. However, a specific class of astrocytes, abundant in thalamo‐recipient cortical layers (“kissing” astrocytes), overlap markedly less. Together, these results demonstrate novel features of astrocyte organization indicating that different classes of astrocytes are arranged in a circuit‐specific manner and that tiling does not apply universally across brain regions and species. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:3561–3576, 2016. © 2016 The Authors The Journal of Comparative Neurology Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27072916

  19. Vasoactive intestinal peptide stimulates tracheal submucosal gland secretion in ferret

    SciTech Connect

    Peatfield, A.C.; Barnes, P.J.; Bratcher, C.; Nadel, J.A.; Davis, B.

    1983-07-01

    We studied the effect of vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) on the output of 35S-labeled macromolecules from ferret tracheal explants either placed in beakers or suspended in modified Ussing chambers. In Ussing chamber experiments, the radiolabel precursor, sodium (35S)sulfate, and all drugs were placed on the submucosal side of the tissue. Washings were collected at 30-min intervals from the luminal side and were dialyzed to remove unbound 35S, leaving radiolabeled macromolecules. Vasoactive intestinal peptide at 3 X 10(-7) M stimulated bound 35S output by a mean of + 252.6% (n . 14). The VIP response was dose-dependent with a near maximal response and a half maximal response at approximately 10(-6) M and 10(-8), M, respectively. The VIP effect was not inhibited by a mixture of tetrodotoxin, atropine, I-propranolol, and phentolamine. Vasoactive intestinal peptide had no effect on the electrical properties of the of the tissues. We conclude that VIP stimulates output of sulfated-macromolecules from ferret tracheal submucosal glands without stimulating ion transport. Our studies also suggest that VIP acts on submucosal glands via specific VIP receptors. Vasoactive intestinal peptide has been shown to increase intracellular levels of cyclic AMP, and we suggest that this may be the mechanism for its effect on the output of macromolecules. This mechanism may be important in the neural regulation of submucosal gland secretion.

  20. Variable effects of soman on macromolecular secretion by ferret trachea

    SciTech Connect

    McBride, R.K.; Zwierzynski, D.J.; Stone, K.K.; Culp, D.J.; Marin, M.G. )

    1991-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of the anticholinesterase agent, soman, on macromolecular secretion by ferret trachea, in vitro. We mounted pieces of ferret trachea in Ussing-type chambers. Secreted sulfated macromolecules were radiolabeled by adding 500 microCi of {sup 35}SO{sub 4} to the submucosal medium and incubating for 17 hr. Soman added to the submucosal side produced a concentration-dependent increase in radiolabeled macromolecular release with a maximal secretory response (mean +/- SD) of 202 +/- 125% (n = 8) relative to the basal secretion rate at a concentration of 10{sup {minus} 7} M. The addition of either 10{sup {minus}6} M pralidoxime (acetylcholinesterase reactivator) or 10{sup {minus}6} M atropine blocked the response to 10{sup {minus}7} M soman. At soman concentrations greater than 10{sup {minus}7} M, secretion rate decreased and was not significantly different from basal secretion. Additional experiments utilizing acetylcholine and the acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, physostigmine, suggest that inhibition of secretion by high concentrations of soman may be due to a secondary antagonistic effect of soman on muscarinic receptors.

  1. Influenza Vaccination Accelerates Recovery of Ferrets from Lymphopenia

    PubMed Central

    Music, Nedzad; Reber, Adrian J.; 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

  2. 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. © 2015 The Author(s).

  3. 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.

  4. Failure of Surface Ring Mutant Strains of Helicobacter mustelae To Persistently Infect the Ferret Stomach

    PubMed Central

    Patterson, M. M.; O'Toole, P. W.; Forester, N. T.; Noonan, B.; Trust, T. J.; Xu, S.; Taylor, N. S.; Marini, R. P.; Ihrig, M. M.; Fox, J. G.

    2003-01-01

    Helicobacter mustelae, the gastric pathogen of ferrets, produces an array of surface ring structures which have not been described for any other member of the genus Helicobacter, including H. pylori. The unique ring structures are composed of a protein named Hsr. To investigate whether the Hsr rings are important for colonization of the ferret stomach, ferrets specific pathogen free for H. mustelae were inoculated with an Hsr-deficient mutant strain or the wild-type H. mustelae strain. Quantitative cultures from antral biopsy specimens obtained at 3, 6, and 9 weeks postinoculation demonstrated no significant difference in the levels of bacteria in the ferrets that received the Hsr-negative strain and the ferrets infected with the parent strain. However, when the ferrets were biopsied at 12 and 15 weeks and necropsied at 18 weeks after infection, the levels of bacteria of the Hsr-negative strain in the stomach antrum were significantly reduced. This decline contrasted the robust antral colonization by the wild-type strain. The Hsr-negative strain did not efficiently colonize the gastric body of the study ferrets. Histological examination at 18 weeks postinoculation revealed minimal gastric inflammation in the animals that received the mutant H. mustelae strain, a finding consistent with its waning infection status, whereas lesions characteristic of helicobacter infection were present in ferrets infected with the wild-type strain. Scant colonization by the Hsr-negative H. mustelae strain at the end of the 18-week study, despite initial successful colonization, indicates an inability of the mutant to persist, perhaps due to a specific host response. PMID:12704104

  5. Evaluation of a ferret-specific formula for determining body surface area to improve chemotherapeutic dosing.

    PubMed

    Jones, Krista L; Granger, L Abbigail; Kearney, Michael T; da Cunha, Anderson F; Cutler, Daniel C; Shapiro, Meredith E; Tully, Thomas N; Shiomitsu, Keijiro

    2015-02-01

    To use CT-derived measurements to create a ferret-specific formula for body surface area (BSA) to improve chemotherapeutic dosing. 25 adult ferrets (19 live and 6 cadavers). Live subjects were weighed, and body measurements were obtained by each of 3 observers while ferrets were awake and anesthetized. Computed tomography was performed, and a 3-D surface model was constructed with open-source imaging software, from which BSA was estimated. The CT-derived values were compared with BSA calculated on the basis of the traditional tape method for 6 cadavers. To further validate CT analysis software, 11 geometric shapes were scanned and their CT-derived values compared with those calculated directly via geometric formulas. Agreement between methods of surface area estimation was assessed with linear regression. Ferret-specific formulas for BSA were determined with nonlinear regression models. Repeatability among the 3 observers was good for all measurements, but some measurements differed significantly between awake and anesthetized ferrets. Excellent agreement was found between measured versus CT-derived surface area of shapes, traditional tape- versus CT-derived BSA of ferret cadavers, and CT-derived BSA of cadavers with and without monitoring equipment. All surface area formulas performed relatively similarly. CT-derived BSA measurements of ferrets obtained via open-source imaging software were reliable. On the basis of study results, the recommended formula for BSA in ferrets would be 9.94 × (body weight)(2/3); however, this represented a relatively minor difference from the feline-derived formula currently used by most practitioners and would result in little practical change in drug doses.

  6. Transduction of ferret airway epithelia using a pre-treatment and lentiviral gene vector.

    PubMed

    Cmielewski, Patricia; Farrow, Nigel; Donnelley, Martin; McIntyre, Chantelle; Penny-Dimri, Jahan; Kuchel, Tim; Parsons, David

    2014-11-21

    The safety and efficiency of gene therapies for cystic fibrosis (CF) need to be assessed in pre-clinical models. Using the normal ferret, this study sought to determine whether ferret airway epithelia could be transduced with a lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC) pre-treatment followed by a VSV-G pseudotyped HIV-1 based lentiviral (LV) vector, in preparation for future studies in CF ferrets. Six normal ferrets (7 -8 weeks old) were treated with a 150 μL LPC pre-treatment, followed one hour later by a 500 μL LV vector dose containing the LacZ transgene. LacZ gene expression in the conducting airways and lung was assessed by X-gal staining after 7 days. The presence of transduction in the lung, as well as off-target transduction in the liver, spleen and gonads, were assessed by qPCR. The levels of LV vector p24 protein bio-distribution in blood sera were assessed by ELISA at 0, 1, 3, 5 and 7 days. The dosing protocol was well tolerated. LacZ gene expression was observed en face in the trachea of all animals. Histology showed that ciliated and basal cells were transduced in the trachea, with rare LacZ transduced single cells noted in lung. p24 levels was not detectable in the sera of 5 of the 6 animals. The LacZ gene was not detected in the lung tissue and no off-target transduction was detected by qPCR. This study shows that ferret airway epithelia are transducible using our unique two-step pre-treatment and LV vector dosing protocol. We have identified a number of unusual anatomical factors that are likely to influence the level of transduction that can be achieved in ferret airways. The ability to transduce ferret airway epithelium is a promising step towards therapeutic LV-CFTR testing in a CF ferret model.

  7. 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. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. 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. © 2015 American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists.

  9. Sodium-dependent magnesium uptake by ferret red cells.

    PubMed Central

    Flatman, P W; Smith, L M

    1991-01-01

    1. Magnesium uptake can be measured in ferret red cells incubated in media containing more than 1 mM-magnesium. Uptake is substantially increased if the sodium concentration in the medium is reduced. 2. Magnesium uptake is half-maximally activated by 0.37 mM-external magnesium when the external sodium concentration is 5 mM. Increasing the external sodium concentration increases the magnesium concentration needed to activate the system. 3. Magnesium uptake is increased by reducing the external sodium concentration. Uptake is half-maximum at sodium concentrations of 17, 22 and 62 nM when the external magnesium concentrations are 2, 5 and 10 mM respectively. 4. Replacement of external sodium with choline does not affect the membrane potential of ferret red cells over a 45 min period. 5. Magnesium uptake from media containing 5 mM-sodium is inhibited by amiloride, quinidine and imipramine. It is not affected by ouabain or bumetanide. Vanadate stimulates magnesium uptake but has no effect on magnesium efflux. 6. When cell ATP content is reduced to 19 mumol (1 cell)-1 by incubating cells for 3 h with 2-deoxyglucose, magnesium uptake falls by 50% in the presence of 5 mM-sodium and is completely abolished in the presence of 145 mM-sodium. Some of the inhibition may be due to the increase in intracellular ionized magnesium concentration ([Mg2+]i) from 0.7 to 1.0 mM which occurs under these conditions. 7. Magnesium uptake can be driven against a substantial electrochemical gradient if the external sodium concentration is reduced sufficiently. 8. These findings are discussed in terms of several possible models for magnesium transport. It is concluded that the majority of magnesium uptake observed in low-sodium media is via sodium-magnesium antiport. A small portion of uptake is through a parallel leak pathway. It is believed that the antiport is responsible for maintaining [Mg2+]i below electrochemical equilibrium in these cells at physiological external sodium concentration

  10. 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.

  11. Hybridization and the phylogenetic relationship between polecats and domestic ferrets in Britain

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Davison, A.; Birks, J. D. S.; Griffiths, H. I.; Kitchener, A. C.; Biggins, D.; Butlin, R. K.

    1999-01-01

    Ferrets (Mustela furo) were domesticated from polecats (M. putorius, M. eversmannii) over 2000 years ago. Following their introduction to Britain, they escaped and hybridized with native European polecats (M. putorius). Native polecats declined to the point of near extinction prior to World War I, but have recently begun to expand from a Welsh refugium. Concern has arisen as to the extent of polecat/ferret introgression, and in particular, whether the expanding population is of mainly hybrid origin. Therefore, mitochondrial DNA sequencing was used to investigate polecat genetic diversity in Britain. Two geographically distinct lineages were found, where one may be ancestral to the British polecat, and the other to the domestic ferret. The ancestral distribution of each lineage, or assortative mating is sufficient to explain the observed pattern. A further comparison between the distribution of the polecat phenotype and mitochondrial haplotype implies that the current population expansion may be mediated by dispersing male polecats hybridizing with female feral ferrets. However, the wild source of the ferret remains obscure. Relatively recent speciation from European mink (M. lutreola) and black-footed ferrets (M. nigripes), and/or the effects of hybridization result in an unresolved molecular phylogeny.

  12. An unusual presentation of canine distemper virus infection in a domestic ferret (Mustela putorius furo).

    PubMed

    Zehnder, Ashley M; Hawkins, Michelle G; Koski, Marilyn A; Luff, Jennifer A; Benak, Jaromir; Lowenstine, Linda J; White, Stephen D

    2008-08-01

    A 4.5-year-old, male castrated ferret was examined with a 27-day history of severe pruritus, generalized erythema and scaling. Skin scrapings and a trichogram were negative for mites and dermatophyte organisms. A fungal culture of hair samples was negative. The ferret was treated presumptively for scabies and secondary bacterial and yeast infection with selamectin, enrofloxacin, fluconazole, diphenhydramine and a miconazole-chlorhexidine shampoo. The ferret showed mild improvement in clinical signs over the subsequent 3 weeks, but was inappetent and required supportive feeding and subcutaneous fluids by the owner. The ferret was then examined on an emergency basis at the end of 3 weeks (53 days following initial signs of illness) for severe blood loss from a haematoma over the interscapular region, hypotension and shock. The owners elected euthanasia due to a poor prognosis and deteriorating condition. On post-mortem examination intraepithelial canine distemper viral inclusions were identified systemically, and abundant canine distemper virus antigen was identified with immunohistochemical staining. It is important to note the prolonged course of disease along with the absence of respiratory and neurological signs because this differs from the classic presentation of canine distemper virus infection in ferrets. Canine distemper virus should remain a clinical suspicion for ferrets with skin lesions that do not respond to appropriate therapy, even in animals that were previously vaccinated.

  13. 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.

  14. Generation of Monoclonal Antibodies against Immunoglobulin Proteins of the Domestic Ferret (Mustela putorius furo)

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    The domestic ferret (Mustela putorius furo) serves as an animal model for the study of several viruses that cause human disease, most notably influenza. Despite the importance of this animal model, characterization of the immune response by flow cytometry (FCM) is severely hampered due to the limited number of commercially available reagents. To begin to address this unmet need and to facilitate more in-depth study of ferret B cells including the identification of antibody-secreting cells, eight unique murine monoclonal antibodies (mAb) with specificity for ferret immunoglobulin (Ig) were generated using conventional B cell hybridoma technology. These mAb were screened for reactivity against ferret peripheral blood mononuclear cells by FCM and demonstrate specificity for CD79β+ B cells. Several of these mAb are specific for the light chain of surface B cell receptor (BCR) and enable segregation of kappa and lambda B cells. Additionally, a mAb that yielded surface staining of nearly all surface BCR positive cells (i.e., pan ferret Ig) was generated. Collectively, these MαF-Ig mAb offer advancement compared to the existing portfolio of polyclonal anti-ferret Ig detection reagents and should be applicable to a wide array of immunologic assays including the identification of antibody-secreting cells by FCM. PMID:28286781

  15. Ferret: a user-friendly Java tool to extract data from the 1000 Genomes Project.

    PubMed

    Limou, Sophie; Taverner, Andrew M; Winkler, Cheryl A

    2016-07-15

    The 1000 Genomes (1KG) Project provides a near-comprehensive resource on human genetic variation in worldwide reference populations. 1KG variants can be accessed through a browser and through the raw and annotated data that are regularly released on an ftp server. We developed Ferret, a user-friendly Java tool, to easily extract genetic variation information from these large and complex data files. From a locus, gene(s) or SNP(s) of interest, Ferret retrieves genotype data for 1KG SNPs and indels, and computes allelic frequencies for 1KG populations and optionally, for the Exome Sequencing Project populations. By converting the 1KG data into files that can be imported into popular pre-existing tools (e.g. PLINK and HaploView), Ferret offers a straightforward way, even for non-bioinformatics specialists, to manipulate, explore and merge 1KG data with the user's dataset, as well as visualize linkage disequilibrium pattern, infer haplotypes and design tagSNPs. Ferret tool and source code are publicly available at http://limousophie35.github.io/Ferret/ ferret@nih.gov Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. Published by Oxford University Press 2016. This work is written by US Government employees and is in the public domain in the US.

  16. Beta-carotene uptake and tissue distribution in ferrets (Mustela putorius furo).

    PubMed

    Gugger, E T; Bierer, T L; Henze, T M; White, W S; Erdman, J W

    1992-01-01

    Ferrets accumulate beta-carotene in liver and adipose tissue after chronic feeding. This study was designed to further evaluate the time course of uptake and depletion of beta-carotene in ferret serum and tissues. Male ferrets (n = 15; 1000-1200 g) were given a single dose of beta-carotene (10 mg/kg body wt) with a meal. Animals were killed at various time points over an 11-d period. Blood and tissue samples were extracted and analyzed for beta-carotene by HPLC. Peak serum beta-carotene levels (0.68 +/- 0.18 mumol/L) were observed 8 h after the test meal. beta-Carotene was essentially cleared from the blood by 76 h. Peak beta-carotene concentrations (nmol/g) were observed between 8 and 16 h after ingestion for liver (1.20 +/- 0.04), lung (0.042 +/- 0.012), kidney (0.090 +/- 0.015) and spleen (0.076 +/- 0.012). Ferret liver also seemed to contain a variety of other polar and nonpolar carotenoids. Ferrets were shown to absorb beta-carotene from a meal and have a consistent serum response pattern. Absorbed beta-carotene is differentially distributed in a variety of tissues. The ferret seems to be a useful model for the study of beta-carotene absorption and metabolism.

  17. Generation of Monoclonal Antibodies against Immunoglobulin Proteins of the Domestic Ferret (Mustela putorius furo).

    PubMed

    Kirchenbaum, Greg A; Ross, Ted M

    2017-01-01

    The domestic ferret (Mustela putorius furo) serves as an animal model for the study of several viruses that cause human disease, most notably influenza. Despite the importance of this animal model, characterization of the immune response by flow cytometry (FCM) is severely hampered due to the limited number of commercially available reagents. To begin to address this unmet need and to facilitate more in-depth study of ferret B cells including the identification of antibody-secreting cells, eight unique murine monoclonal antibodies (mAb) with specificity for ferret immunoglobulin (Ig) were generated using conventional B cell hybridoma technology. These mAb were screened for reactivity against ferret peripheral blood mononuclear cells by FCM and demonstrate specificity for CD79β(+) B cells. Several of these mAb are specific for the light chain of surface B cell receptor (BCR) and enable segregation of kappa and lambda B cells. Additionally, a mAb that yielded surface staining of nearly all surface BCR positive cells (i.e., pan ferret Ig) was generated. Collectively, these MαF-Ig mAb offer advancement compared to the existing portfolio of polyclonal anti-ferret Ig detection reagents and should be applicable to a wide array of immunologic assays including the identification of antibody-secreting cells by FCM.

  18. 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.

  19. The mouse and ferret models for studying the novel avian-origin human influenza A (H7N9) virus.

    PubMed

    Xu, Lili; Bao, Linlin; Deng, Wei; Zhu, Hua; Chen, Ting; Lv, Qi; Li, Fengdi; Yuan, Jing; Xiang, Zhiguang; Gao, Kai; Xu, Yanfeng; Huang, Lan; Li, Yanhong; Liu, Jiangning; Yao, Yanfeng; Yu, Pin; Yong, Weidong; Wei, Qiang; Zhang, Lianfeng; Qin, Chuan

    2013-08-08

    The current study was conducted to establish animal models (including mouse and ferret) for the novel avian-origin H7N9 influenza virus. A/Anhui/1/2013 (H7N9) virus was administered by intranasal instillation to groups of mice and ferrets, and animals developed typical clinical signs including body weight loss (mice and ferrets), ruffled fur (mice), sneezing (ferrets), and death (mice). Peak virus shedding from respiratory tract was observed on 2 days post inoculation (d.p.i.) for mice and 3-5 d.p.i. for ferrets. Virus could also be detected in brain, liver, spleen, kidney, and intestine from inoculated mice, and in heart, liver, and olfactory bulb from inoculated ferrets. The inoculation of H7N9 could elicit seroconversion titers up to 1280 in ferrets and 160 in mice. Leukopenia, significantly reduced lymphocytes but increased neutrophils were also observed in mouse and ferret models. The mouse and ferret model enables detailed studies of the pathogenesis of this illness and lay the foundation for drug or vaccine evaluation.

  20. 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.

  1. Canine distemper virus in wild ferret-badgers of Taiwan.

    PubMed

    Chen, Chen-Chih; Pei, Kurtis Jai-Chyi; Liao, Ming-Huei; Mortenson, Jack A

    2008-04-01

    Canine distemper is an acute or subacute, highly contagious, febrile disease that is caused by canine distemper virus (CDV). Two CDV-infected wild Taiwan ferret-badgers (Melogale moschata subauantiaca) were found in Kaohsiung County, southern Taiwan, in 2005. Each case was confirmed by detecting CDV RNA in lung and brain tissues. A suspected third case was detected based on clinical signs and histology. These cases are the first record of wildlife infected by CDV in Taiwan. It is believed that domestic dogs or coexisting wild carnivores infected with the virus were the most likely source, and a serologic survey is needed to fully understand the host range of this virus in Taiwan. In addition, further genetic sequencing is needed to determine the source of these CDV cases.

  2. Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli infection in captive black-footed ferrets.

    PubMed

    Bradley, G A; Orr, K; Reggiardo, C; Glock, R D

    2001-07-01

    Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli with genes for heat stabile toxins Sta and STb was isolated from the gastrointestinal tract and multiple visceral organs of three adult and three juvenile black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) that died in a captive breeding colony between 24 May 1998 and 2 July 1998. Similar isolates were obtained from rectal swabs of one adult and one juvenile that were clinically ill. All were fed a diet composed of mink chow, raw rabbit meat, beef liver powder, blood meal and lard. Escherichia coli of the same toxin genotype was isolated from the mixed ration. Clinical signs included sudden death, dehydration, anorexia and diarrhea. Necropsy lesions included acute enteritis with large numbers of rod shaped bacteria microscopically visible on intestinal villi.

  3. 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.

  4. Initiation of teeth from the dental lamina in the ferret.

    PubMed

    Jussila, Maria; Crespo Yanez, Xenia; Thesleff, Irma

    2014-01-01

    Mammalian tooth development is characterized by formation of primary teeth that belong to different tooth classes and are later replaced by a single set of permanent teeth. The first primary teeth are initiated from the primary dental lamina, and the replacement teeth from the successional dental lamina at the lingual side of the primary teeth. An interdental lamina connects the primary tooth germs together. Most mammalian tooth development research is done on mouse, which does not have teeth in all tooth classes, does not replace its teeth, and does not develop an interdental lamina. We have used the ferret (Mustela putorius furo) as a model animal to elucidate the morphological changes and gene expression during the development of the interdental lamina and the initiation of primary teeth. In addition we have analyzed cell-cell signaling taking place in the interdental lamina as well as in the successional lamina during tooth replacement. By 3D reconstructions of serial histological sections we observed that the morphogenesis of the interdental lamina and the primary teeth are intimately linked. Expression of Pitx2 and Foxi3 in the interdental lamina indicates that it has odontogenic identity, and there is active signaling taking place in the interdental lamina. Bmp4 is coexpressed with the stem cell factor Sox2 at its lingual aspect suggesting that the interdental lamina may retain competence for tooth initiation. We show that when tooth replacement is initiated there is Wnt pathway activity in the budding successional lamina and adjacent mesenchyme but no active Fgf or Eda signaling. Genes associated with human tooth replacement phenotypes, including Runx2 and Il11rα, are mostly expressed in the mesenchyme around the successional lamina in the ferret. Our results highlight the importance of the dental lamina in the mammalian tooth development during the initiation of both primary and replacement teeth.

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    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 that the effects of enzootic

  7. Ferret badger rabies origin and its revisited importance as potential source of rabies transmission in Southeast China

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The frequent occurrence of ferret badger-associated human rabies cases in southeast China highlights the lack of laboratory-based surveillance and urges revisiting the potential importance of this animal in rabies transmission. To determine if the ferret badgers actually contribute to human and dog rabies cases, and the possible origin of the ferret badger-associated rabies in the region, an active rabies survey was conducted to determine the frequency of rabies infection and seroprevalence in dogs and ferret badgers. Methods A retrospective survey on rabies epidemics was performed in Zhejiang, Jiangxi and Anhui provinces in southeast China. The brain tissues from ferret badgers and dogs were assayed by fluorescent antibody test. Rabies virus was isolated and sequenced for phylogenetic analysis. The sera from ferret badgers and dogs were titrated using rabies virus neutralizing antibodies (VNA) test. Results The ferret badgers presented a higher percentage of rabies seroconversion than dogs did in the endemic region, reaching a maximum of 95% in the collected samples. Nine ferret badger-associated rabies viruses were isolated, sequenced, and were phylogenetically clustered as a separate group. Nucleotide sequence revealed 99.4-99.8% homology within the ferret badger isolates, and 83-89% homology to the dog isolates in the nucleoprotein and glycoprotein genes in the same rabies endemic regions. Conclusions Our data suggest ferret badger-associated rabies has likely formed as an independent enzootic originating from dogs during the long-term rabies infestation in southeast China. The eventual role of FB rabies in public health remains unclear. However, management of ferret badger bites, rabies awareness and control in the related regions should be an immediate need. PMID:20691095

  8. Lack of Innate Interferon Responses during SARS Coronavirus Infection in a Vaccination and Reinfection Ferret Model

    PubMed Central

    Cameron, Mark J.; Kelvin, Alyson A.; Leon, Alberto J.; Cameron, Cheryl M.; Ran, Longsi; Xu, Luoling; Chu, Yong-Kyu; Danesh, Ali; Fang, Yuan; Li, Qianjun; Anderson, Austin; Couch, Ronald C.; Paquette, Stephane G.; Fomukong, Ndingsa G.; Kistner, Otfried; Lauchart, Manfred; Rowe, Thomas; Harrod, Kevin S.; Jonsson, Colleen B.; Kelvin, David J.

    2012-01-01

    In terms of its highly pathogenic nature, there remains a significant need to further define the immune pathology of SARS-coronavirus (SARS-CoV) infection, as well as identify correlates of immunity to help develop vaccines for severe coronaviral infections. Here we use a SARS-CoV infection-reinfection ferret model and a functional genomics approach to gain insight into SARS immunopathogenesis and to identify correlates of immune protection during SARS-CoV-challenge in ferrets previously infected with SARS-CoV or immunized with a SARS virus vaccine. We identified gene expression signatures in the lungs of ferrets associated with primary immune responses to SARS-CoV infection and in ferrets that received an identical second inoculum. Acute SARS-CoV infection prompted coordinated innate immune responses that were dominated by antiviral IFN response gene (IRG) expression. Reinfected ferrets, however, lacked the integrated expression of IRGs that was prevalent during acute infection. The expression of specific IRGs was also absent upon challenge in ferrets immunized with an inactivated, Al(OH)3-adjuvanted whole virus SARS vaccine candidate that protected them against SARS-CoV infection in the lungs. Lack of IFN-mediated immune enhancement in infected ferrets that were previously inoculated with, or vaccinated against, SARS-CoV revealed 9 IRG correlates of protective immunity. This data provides insight into the molecular pathogenesis of SARS-CoV and SARS-like-CoV infections and is an important resource for the development of CoV antiviral therapeutics and vaccines. PMID:23029269

  9. Population based MRI and DTI templates of the adult ferret brain and tools for voxelwise analysis.

    PubMed

    Hutchinson, E B; Schwerin, S C; Radomski, K L; Sadeghi, N; Jenkins, J; Komlosh, M E; Irfanoglu, M O; Juliano, S L; Pierpaoli, C

    2017-05-15

    Non-invasive imaging has the potential to play a crucial role in the characterization and translation of experimental animal models to investigate human brain development and disorders, especially when employed to study animal models that more accurately represent features of human neuroanatomy. The purpose of this study was to build and make available MRI and DTI templates and analysis tools for the ferret brain as the ferret is a well-suited species for pre-clinical MRI studies with folded cortical surface, relatively high white matter volume and body dimensions that allow imaging with pre-clinical MRI scanners. Four ferret brain templates were built in this study - in-vivo MRI and DTI and ex-vivo MRI and DTI - using brain images across many ferrets and region of interest (ROI) masks corresponding to established ferret neuroanatomy were generated by semi-automatic and manual segmentation. The templates and ROI masks were used to create a web-based ferret brain viewing software for browsing the MRI and DTI volumes with annotations based on the ROI masks. A second objective of this study was to provide a careful description of the imaging methods used for acquisition, processing, registration and template building and to demonstrate several voxelwise analysis methods including Jacobian analysis of morphometry differences between the female and male brain and bias-free identification of DTI abnormalities in an injured ferret brain. The templates, tools and methodological optimization presented in this study are intended to advance non-invasive imaging approaches for human-similar animal species that will enable the use of pre-clinical MRI studies for understanding and treating brain disorders. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  10. Lack of innate interferon responses during SARS coronavirus infection in a vaccination and reinfection ferret model.

    PubMed

    Cameron, Mark J; Kelvin, Alyson A; Leon, Alberto J; Cameron, Cheryl M; Ran, Longsi; Xu, Luoling; Chu, Yong-Kyu; Danesh, Ali; Fang, Yuan; Li, Qianjun; Anderson, Austin; Couch, Ronald C; Paquette, Stephane G; Fomukong, Ndingsa G; Kistner, Otfried; Lauchart, Manfred; Rowe, Thomas; Harrod, Kevin S; Jonsson, Colleen B; Kelvin, David J

    2012-01-01

    In terms of its highly pathogenic nature, there remains a significant need to further define the immune pathology of SARS-coronavirus (SARS-CoV) infection, as well as identify correlates of immunity to help develop vaccines for severe coronaviral infections. Here we use a SARS-CoV infection-reinfection ferret model and a functional genomics approach to gain insight into SARS immunopathogenesis and to identify correlates of immune protection during SARS-CoV-challenge in ferrets previously infected with SARS-CoV or immunized with a SARS virus vaccine. We identified gene expression signatures in the lungs of ferrets associated with primary immune responses to SARS-CoV infection and in ferrets that received an identical second inoculum. Acute SARS-CoV infection prompted coordinated innate immune responses that were dominated by antiviral IFN response gene (IRG) expression. Reinfected ferrets, however, lacked the integrated expression of IRGs that was prevalent during acute infection. The expression of specific IRGs was also absent upon challenge in ferrets immunized with an inactivated, Al(OH)(3)-adjuvanted whole virus SARS vaccine candidate that protected them against SARS-CoV infection in the lungs. Lack of IFN-mediated immune enhancement in infected ferrets that were previously inoculated with, or vaccinated against, SARS-CoV revealed 9 IRG correlates of protective immunity. This data provides insight into the molecular pathogenesis of SARS-CoV and SARS-like-CoV infections and is an important resource for the development of CoV antiviral therapeutics and vaccines.

  11. Effects of dietary hexachlorobenzene exposure on regional brain biogenic amine concentrations in mink and European ferrets

    SciTech Connect

    Bleavins, M.R.; Bursian, S.J.; Brewster, J.S.; Aulerich, R.J.

    1984-01-01

    In the initial trial, adult mink and ferrets were administered hexachlorobenzene (HCB) via the feed at concentrations of 1, 5, or 25 ppm for 47 wk. Animals receiving 125 and 625 ppm HCB in the diet died before termination of the experiment, with female ferrets at the 125 ppm level displaying abnormal aggressiveness and hyperexcitability just prior to death. Hypothalamic serotonin (5-HT) was significantly elevated at all dose levels in mink, and cerebellar 5-HT was significantly elevated at 1 ppm in the ferret. Regional brain biogenic amine concentrations were also determined in the offspring of the female mink that were administered 1 and 5 ppm HCB. Hypothalamic dopamine (DA) concentrations were significantly depressed by 1 and 5 ppm in these kits. In a second study, adult male and female ferrets were administered 250 or 500 ppm HCB via the diet for 7 wk. Two animals at the 250-ppm level and 3 animals at the 500-ppm level died before termination of the experiment without showing behavioral changes. Of the remaining animals, 3 ferrets at 250 ppm and 1 ferret at 500 ppm showed slight aggressiveness and hyperexcitability during the last week of the experiment. Concentrations of 5-HT were significantly elevated at 500 ppm in the cerebral hemispheres and at 250 ppm in the midbrain of male ferrets, while in the females, 5-HT was elevated in the cerebral hemispheres at 250 ppm and in the hypothalamus at both 250 and 500 ppm. Norepinephrine (NE) concentrations were significantly elevated in the cerebellum of males exposed to 250 and 500 ppm, as were NE concentrations in the midbrain. HCB at 500 ppm caused a significant increase in medullary NE, while 250 ppm caused an increase in hypothalamic NE in males. The only change in regional brain dopamine (DA) concentrations occurred at 500 ppm HCB in the midbrain of males, where there was a significant elevation of this neurotransmitter. 34 references, 7 tables.

  12. Defective innate immunity and hyperinflammation in newborn cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator-knockout ferret lungs.

    PubMed

    Keiser, Nicholas W; Birket, Susan E; Evans, Idil A; Tyler, Scott R; Crooke, Adrianne K; Sun, Xingshen; Zhou, Weihong; Nellis, Joseph R; Stroebele, Elizabeth K; Chu, Kengyeh K; Tearney, Guillermo J; Stevens, Mark J; Harris, J Kirk; Rowe, Steven M; Engelhardt, John F

    2015-06-01

    Mucociliary clearance (MCC) and submucosal glands are major components of airway innate immunity that have impaired function in cystic fibrosis (CF). Although both of these defense systems develop postnatally in the ferret, the lungs of newborn ferrets remain sterile in the presence of a functioning cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator gene. We evaluated several components of airway innate immunity and inflammation in the early CF ferret lung. At birth, the rates of MCC did not differ between CF and non-CF animals, but the height of the airway surface liquid was significantly reduced in CF newborn ferrets. CF ferrets had impaired MCC after 7 days of age, despite normal rates of ciliogenesis. Only non-CF ferrets eradicated Pseudomonas directly introduced into the lung after birth, whereas both genotypes could eradicate Staphylococcus. CF bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) had significantly lower antimicrobial activity selectively against Pseudomonas than non-CF BALF, which was insensitive to changes in pH and bicarbonate. Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry and cytokine analysis of BALF from sterile Caesarean-sectioned and nonsterile naturally born animals demonstrated CF-associated disturbances in IL-8, TNF-α, and IL-β, and pathways that control immunity and inflammation, including the complement system, macrophage functions, mammalian target of rapamycin signaling, and eukaryotic initiation factor 2 signaling. Interestingly, during the birth transition, IL-8 was selectively induced in CF BALF, despite no genotypic difference in bacterial load shortly after birth. These results suggest that newborn CF ferrets have defects in both innate immunity and inflammatory signaling that may be important in the early onset and progression of lung disease in these animals.

  13. Defective Innate Immunity and Hyperinflammation in Newborn Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator–Knockout Ferret Lungs

    PubMed Central

    Keiser, Nicholas W.; Birket, Susan E.; Evans, Idil A.; Tyler, Scott R.; Crooke, Adrianne K.; Sun, Xingshen; Zhou, Weihong; Nellis, Joseph R.; Stroebele, Elizabeth K.; Chu, Kengyeh K.; Tearney, Guillermo J.; Stevens, Mark J.; Harris, J. Kirk; Rowe, Steven M.

    2015-01-01

    Mucociliary clearance (MCC) and submucosal glands are major components of airway innate immunity that have impaired function in cystic fibrosis (CF). Although both of these defense systems develop postnatally in the ferret, the lungs of newborn ferrets remain sterile in the presence of a functioning cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator gene. We evaluated several components of airway innate immunity and inflammation in the early CF ferret lung. At birth, the rates of MCC did not differ between CF and non-CF animals, but the height of the airway surface liquid was significantly reduced in CF newborn ferrets. CF ferrets had impaired MCC after 7 days of age, despite normal rates of ciliogenesis. Only non-CF ferrets eradicated Pseudomonas directly introduced into the lung after birth, whereas both genotypes could eradicate Staphylococcus. CF bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) had significantly lower antimicrobial activity selectively against Pseudomonas than non-CF BALF, which was insensitive to changes in pH and bicarbonate. Liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry and cytokine analysis of BALF from sterile Caesarean-sectioned and nonsterile naturally born animals demonstrated CF-associated disturbances in IL-8, TNF-α, and IL-β, and pathways that control immunity and inflammation, including the complement system, macrophage functions, mammalian target of rapamycin signaling, and eukaryotic initiation factor 2 signaling. Interestingly, during the birth transition, IL-8 was selectively induced in CF BALF, despite no genotypic difference in bacterial load shortly after birth. These results suggest that newborn CF ferrets have defects in both innate immunity and inflammatory signaling that may be important in the early onset and progression of lung disease in these animals. PMID:25317669

  14. Assessment of a blood preservation protocol for use in ferrets before transfusion.

    PubMed

    Pignon, C; Donnelly, T M; Todeschini, C; Deschamps, J Y; Roux, F A

    2014-03-15

    Blood transfusion has been described in ferrets as a treatment for oestrus-associated anaemia and as a life-saving therapy following trauma, iatrogenic (usually surgery-induced) anaemia, autoimmune haemolytic anaemia and pure red cell aplasia. Although blood banking is a common method for storage of feline and canine blood it is not currently done with ferret blood. The aim of this study was to determine the shelf-life of ferret blood using the anticoagulant citrate-phosphate-dextrose-solution with adenine (CPDA). Two male ferrets were used as blood donors. From each ferret, 6 ml of blood was taken from the cranial vena cava and stored in 10 ml polyethylene terephthalate (PET) blood tubes containing 1 ml of CPDA solution. Blood was taken from each ferret once per month for five months. These 10 blood samples were stored in a laboratory refrigerator at 4°C for four weeks. Biochemical (glucose, pH, lactate, potassium, sodium) and haematological (haematocrit, light microscopic blood smear examination) analyses were performed on the stored blood at days 0, 7, 14, 21 and 28. Biochemical analyses revealed a progressive decrease from day seven in the stored blood pH, glucose and sodium, with a concomitant increase in lactate and potassium. These results are attributable to the ongoing metabolism and deterioration of the red blood cells (RBC) while in storage, and are more rapid than described for human or canine stored blood. Haematological analyses revealed a progressive elevation of the haematocrit due to the appearance of hypochromic red blood cells and echinocytes beginning at day 7. Haemolysis was observed in the microhaematocrit capillary tube sample by day 21, and microscopic clots were visible on the blood smear by day 28. The low blood pH and the appearance of many hypochromic RBCs and some echinocytes from day 7 in CPDA-stored ferret blood, suggest stored ferret blood has a short shelf-life when compared with stored human or canine blood. We recommend that

  15. A novel video tracking method to evaluate the effect of influenza infection and antiviral treatment on ferret activity.

    PubMed

    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.

  16. Magnesium sulfate treatment for juvenile ferrets following induction of hydrocephalus with kaolin.

    PubMed

    Di Curzio, Domenico L; Turner-Brannen, Emily; Mao, Xiaoyan; Del Bigio, Marc R

    2016-04-27

    Previous work with 3-week hydrocephalic rats showed that white matter damage could be reduced by the calcium channel antagonist magnesium sulfate (MgSO4). We hypothesized that MgSO4 therapy would improve outcomes in ferrets with hydrocephalus induced with kaolin at 15 days. MRI was performed at 29 days to assess ventricle size and stratify ferrets to treatment conditions. Beginning at 31 days age, they were treated daily for 14 days with MgSO4 (9 mM/kg/day) or sham saline therapy, and then imaged again before sacrifice. Behavior was examined thrice weekly. Histological and biochemical ELISA and myelin enzyme activity assays were performed at 46 days age. Hydrocephalic ferrets exhibited some differences in weight and behavior between treatment groups. Those receiving MgSO4 weighed less, were more lethargic, and displayed reduced activity compared to those receiving saline injections. Hydrocephalic ferrets developed ventriculomegaly, which was not modified by MgSO4 treatment. Histological examination showed destruction of periventricular white matter. Glial fibrillary acidic protein content, myelin basic protein content, and myelin enzyme activity did not differ significantly between treatment groups. The hydrocephalus-associated disturbances in juvenile ferret brains are not ameliorated by MgSO4 treatment, and lethargy is a significant side effect.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. A comparison of epigean and subterranean locomotion in the domestic ferret (Mustela putorius furo: Mustelidae: Carnivora).

    PubMed

    Horner, Angela M; Biknevicius, Audrone R

    2010-05-01

    Burrows are used by many mammals to escape predation, cache food and for parturition. Although the construction of burrows has been studied in some taxa, the locomotion while inside of them has received scant attention. In this study we collected simultaneous video and force data to characterize gaits, kinematics, peak ground reaction forces (GRFs) and external mechanical energy profiles in the domestic ferret, an animal that displays the typical morphology and behaviors associated with subterranean adaptations in mustelines. We compared kinematics and kinetics between locomotion in two experimental conditions: subterranean, simulated by a Plexiglass tunnel designed such that the ferrets' peak back height was reduced by 40% and hip height by 25%, and epigean, or unconstrained overground. Despite the large change in posture, a striking number of gait and force variables were not statistically different between experimental conditions. In both subterranean and epigean conditions, the ferrets in our study traveled at similar average velocities (approximately 0.8 m s(-1)), preferred to use a lateral-sequence diagonal-couplet gait, and were more likely to demonstrate the in-phase fluctuations of external mechanical energy indicative of running mechanics (68% of all trials). The ferrets conformed to gait and mechanical patterns seen in a variety of other small (<1 kg) mammals rather than being unique, despite the divergent morphology of mustelines. Our results demonstrated biodynamically similar locomotion in both epigean and subterranean conditions and support the hypothesis that ferrets possess adaptations for tunnel locomotion.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Dental eruption and exfoliation chronology in the ferret (Mustela putorius furo).

    PubMed

    He, Tailun; Friede, Hans; Kiliaridis, Stavros

    2002-08-01

    Substituting ferrets for rats and dogs as animal models for craniofacial research is favourable because of the similarity of many of the ferret's anatomical, metabolic and physiological features to those of man. Other advantages are cost-effectiveness and possibly less ethical controversy. However, information on the dental chronology of ferrets needs to be supplemented if this animal is to be promoted as an alternative model. Dental development was here examined in 16 ferrets (eight males, eight females) from three litters at between 12 and 90 days of age. Dental eruption and exfoliation were assessed and recorded every second day. The sequence of eruption of deciduous and permanent teeth was determined and data were analysed statistically. Also, any sex-related differences in eruption and exfoliation ages were defined. No deciduous incisors were observed to erupt in this group of animals. Other deciduous teeth erupted between the 19th and 31st postnatal days, and exfoliated between days 51 and 76. The time of eruption of the permanent teeth ranged from 42 to 77 days, in accordance with the stage of the mixed dentition. The female ferrets were generally ahead of the males in the exfoliation age of their deciduous teeth and the eruption age of their permanent teeth, but this, a sex difference did not apply to the eruption age of the deciduous teeth. These extended basic data might facilitate the introduction of this alternative experimental animal into craniofacial research.

  3. Emesis, radiation exposure, and local cerebral blood flow in the ferret

    SciTech Connect

    Tuor, U.I.; Kondysar, M.H.; Harding, R.K.

    1988-06-01

    We examined the sensitivity of the ferret to emetic stimuli and the effect of radiation exposure near the time of emesis on local cerebral blood flow. Ferrets vomited following the administration of either apomorphine (approx 45% of the ferrets tested) or peptide YY (approx 36% of those tested). Exposure to radiation was a very potent emetic stimulus, but vomiting could be prevented by restraint of the hindquarters of the ferret. Local cerebral blood flow was measured using a quantitative autoradiographic technique and with the exception of several regions in the telencephalon and cerebellum, local cerebral blood flow in the ferret was similar to that in the rat. In animals with whole-body exposure to moderate levels of radiation (4 Gy of /sup 137/Cs), mean arterial blood pressure was similar to that in the control group. However, 15-25 min following irradiation there was a general reduction of local cerebral blood flow ranging from 7 to 33% of that in control animals. These cerebral blood flow changes likely correspond to a reduced activation of the central nervous system.

  4. 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.

  5. Tissue distribution of lycopene in ferrets and rats after lycopene supplementation.

    PubMed

    Ferreira, A L; Yeum, K J; Liu, C; Smith, D; Krinsky, N I; Wang, X D; Russell, R M

    2000-05-01

    To determine lycopene uptake and tissue distribution in ferrets (Mustela putorius furo) and F344 rats, we supplemented orally 4.6 mg/(kg body wt.d) lycopene in a tomato oleoresin-corn oil mixture (experimental groups). After 9 wk of supplementation, the animals were killed and blood and organs were collected. Plasma and tissue carotenoids were extracted and measured using HPLC. Mean concentrations of lycopene (nmol/kg wet tissue) in saponified tissues of ferrets were as follows: liver 933, intestine 73, prostate 12.7 and stomach 9.3. Levels of lycopene (nmol/kg wet tissue) in saponified tissue of rats were as follows: liver 14213, intestine 3125, stomach 78.6, prostate 24 and testis 3.9. When these organs were extracted without saponification, the lycopene levels were lower, except for rat testis. All-trans-lycopene was the predominant isomer found in tomato oleoresin and in the majority of rat tissues, whereas cis-lycopenes were predominant in rat prostate and plasma. This pattern was reversed in ferrets. The results show the following: 1) lycopene from tomato oleoresin is absorbed and stored primarily in the liver of both animals; 2) saponification generally improves the extraction of lycopene from most tissues of both animals; 3) cis-lycopene and all-trans-lycopene are the predominant isomers in ferret and rat tissues, respectively; and 4) rats absorb lycopene more effectively than ferrets.

  6. 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.

  7. Neuropeptides degranulate serous cells of ferret tracheal glands

    SciTech Connect

    Gashi, A.A.; Borson, D.B.; Finkbeiner, W.E.; Nadel, J.A.; Basbaum, C.B.

    1986-08-01

    To determine whether serous or mucous cells in tracheal submucosal glands respond to the neuropeptides substance P (SP) and vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP). The authors studied the peptide-induced changes in gland cell morphology accompanying release of TVSO4-labeled macromolecules from tracheal explants of ferrets. Explants were labeled for 1 h in medium containing TVSO4 and washed for 3.5 additional hours. Base-line secretion in the absence of drugs declined between 1.5 and 3.5 h after the pulse. Between 2.5 and 3.5 h, the average percent change in counts per minute recovered per sample period was not significantly different from zero. Substance P and VIP added 4 h after labeling each increased greatly the release of TVSO4-labeled macromolecules above base line. Bethanechol, a muscarinic-cholinergic agonist, increased secretion by an average of 142% above base line. Light and electron microscopy of the control tissues showed glands with narrow lumens and numerous secretory granules. Glands treated with SP or VIP had enlarged lumens and the serous cells were markedly degranulated. These phenomena were documented by morphometry and suggest that SP and VIP cause secretion from glands at least partially by stimulating exocytosis from serous cells.

  8. Nasal turbinate enlargement due to cartilage and bone proliferation: a normal developmental finding in young ferrets.

    PubMed

    Funk, Kathleen A; Frantz, Christopher; Dyke, Amy S; Ryan, Patricia C; Jin, Hong; Kemble, George; Dixit, Rakesh; Leininger, Joel R

    2010-12-01

    Toxicity studies of intranasally administered, live attenuated influenza virus vaccine candidates conducted in male and female ferrets led to the microscopic observation of individual differences in the size of nasal turbinates, especially in the dorsal aspect of the nasal cavity. The association of these enlarged turbinates with acute to subacute inflammation, which is sometimes common in ferrets given live attenuated influenza virus vaccine candidates, led to this detailed microscopic evaluation of turbinate enlargement (cartilaginous and osseous thickening, or COT) in control animals dosed intranasally with saline. Results of this evaluation led to the conclusion that COT is a normal developmental feature of growing ferrets, irrespective of inflammation in nasal tissues or inflammatory exudate in the nasal cavity.

  9. 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.

  10. Efficacy of 2'-deoxy-2'-fluororibosides against influenza A and B viruses in ferrets.

    PubMed Central

    Jakeman, K J; Tisdale, M; Russell, S; Leone, A; Sweet, C

    1994-01-01

    Single-dose treatments (5 to 40 mg/kg of body weight given intraperitoneally) of ferrets with 2'-deoxy-2'-fluoroguanosine or its prodrug, 2,6-diamino-purine-2'-fluororiboside, 1 h after infection with influenza A virus significantly inhibited replication of virus in the upper respiratory tract, resulting in amelioration of fever and nasal inflammation. Replication of virus in the lower respiratory tract was also reduced > 100-fold, but three doses were required to prevent replication in the lungs. In ferrets infected with influenza B virus, single-dose treatment (40 mg/kg given intraperitoneally) produced a similar but reduced response in comparison with that in ferrets infected with influenza A virus, indicating that dosing was not optimal for this virus. PMID:7986023

  11. Impaired Heterologous Immunity in Aged Ferrets During Sequential Influenza A H1N1 Infection

    PubMed Central

    Paquette, Stéphane G.; Huang, Stephen S. H.; Banner, David; Xu, Luoling; León, Alberto; Kelvin, Alyson A.; Kelvin, David J.

    2014-01-01

    The major burden of influenza morbidity resides within the elderly population. The challenge managing influenza-associated illness in the elderly is the decline of immune function, where mechanisms leading to immunological senescence have not been elucidated. To better represent the immune environment, we investigated clinical morbidity and immune function during sequential homologous and heterologous H1N1 influenza infection in an aged ferret model. Our findings demonstrated experimentally that aged ferrets had significant morbidity during monosubtypic heterologous 2° challenge with significant weight loss and respiratory symptoms. Furthermore, increased clinical morbidity was associated with slower and shorter hemagglutinin antibody generation and attenuated type 1 T-cell gene responses in peripheral blood. These results revealed dampened immune activation during sequential influenza infection in aged ferrets. With the presence of an aged model, dissecting clinical morbidity, viral dynamics and immune response during influenza infection will aid the development of future prophylactics such as age specific influenza vaccines. PMID:25086242

  12. Prepuce and partial penile amputation for treatment of preputial gland neoplasia in two ferrets.

    PubMed

    van Zeeland, Y R A; Lennox, A; Quinton, J F; Schoemaker, N J

    2014-11-01

    Preputial tumours in ferrets are frequently malignant and therefore warrant prompt investigation. As many cases do not respond favourably to surgery, even in combination with radiation therapy, wide surgical resection has been recommended. Such a procedure may necessitate partial or total penile resection but outcomes have thus far not been well described. The current case series describes two ferrets in which surgical resection, including penile amputation, was performed using 10 and 5 mm margins, respectively. In the first case, no recurrence of preputial gland adenocarcinoma was noted for 32 months postsurgery, whereas multiple attempts at surgery and radiation therapy were unsuccessful in the second. These cases suggest that margins of at least 1 cm may help achieve a better outcome. Penile amputation for the treatment of preputial tumours appears to be well tolerated by ferrets, as demonstrated by these cases.

  13. The development of direction selectivity in ferret visual cortex requires early visual experience.

    PubMed

    Li, Ye; Fitzpatrick, David; White, Leonard E

    2006-05-01

    Development of the selective response properties that define columns in sensory cortex is thought to begin early in cortical maturation, without the need for experience. We investigated the development of direction selectivity in ferret visual cortex using optical imaging and electrophysiological techniques and found an exception to this view. Unlike orientation selectivity and ocular dominance, direction selectivity was not detected at eye opening. Direction selectivity emerged several days later and strengthened to adult levels over the following 2 weeks. Visual experience was essential for this process, as shown by the absence of direction selectivity in dark-reared ferrets. The impairment persisted in dark-reared ferrets that were given experience after this period, despite the recovery of response amplitude, preference and bandwidth for stimulus orientation, spatial and temporal frequency, and contrast. Visual experience in early postnatal life plays a necessary and unique role in the development of cortical direction selectivity.

  14. 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.

  15. Evidence of disseminated infection by Mycobacterium avium subspecies hominissuis in a pet ferret (Mustela putorius furo).

    PubMed

    Bezos, Javier; Álvarez-Carrión, Beatriz; Rodríguez-Bertos, Antonio; Fernández-Manzano, Álvaro; de Juan, Lucía; Huguet, Cristina; Briones, Víctor; Romero, Beatriz

    2016-12-01

    The infection caused by the zoonotic opportunistic pathogen Mycobacterium avium subsp. hominissuis (Mah) was reported for the first time in a pet ferret. Both owners were HIV-positive. Euthanasia of the pet was recommended due to medical reasons and as a preventive action. Disseminated and open tuberculosis lesions were observed in the gastrointestinal and respiratory systems of the ferret. Ecographic and radiographic surveys showed a severe generalized lymphadenopathy, strong thickening of the gastric wall and peritoneum layer. The histopathological findings revealed a disseminated, granulomatous, chronic inflammation affecting the gastrointestinal tract, lungs, lymphoid tissues (spleen, tonsils and lymph nodes) and liver. Ziehl-Neelsen staining displayed the presence of positive acid-fast bacilli within these granulomas. Bacteriology and sequencing of the isolates yielded Mah sequevar code 3. Ferrets can act as reservoirs of mycobacteria exposing their owners to the infection, which is of major concern in immunodeficient individuals, as those HIV-infected. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. The quest for a safe and effective canine distemper virus vaccine for black-footed ferrets

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wimsatt, Jeffrey; Biggins, Dean E.; Williams, Elizabeth S.; Becerra, Victor M.

    2006-01-01

    Canine distemper virus (CDV) causes a systemic disease that is highly virulent to mustelids and other carnivore (Order Carnivora) species and is found worldwide. Endemic canine distemper in wild and domestic carnivores in the United States has made reintroduction of endangered black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) difficult in the absence of safe and effective CDV vaccines and vaccination practices. Toward this end, researchers have explored appropriate animal models and vaccine preparations in highly susceptible species. Published studies involving domestic ferrets (M. putorius furo) using Galaxy-D® and evaluating a recombinant canarypox-vectored vaccine for oral administration are reviewed. In addition, we present new findings in domestic and black-footed ferrets and Siberian polecats (M. eversmannii) that have extended our understanding of CDV in the black-footed ferret and other at-risk carnivore species. Original research presented here includes trials that determined an effective challenge dose (by route) of virulent CDV in domestic ferrets and Siberian polecats; the low likelihood of collateral vaccination with Galaxy-D; the adverse effect of modified-live virus boostering in black-footed ferrets receiving killed vaccine previously and the response of Siberian polecats receiving canarypoxvectored recombinant CDV vaccine (reCDV); the absence of an effect of reCDV vaccination on conception, pregnancy, and neonatal growth in Siberian polecats; and the apparent inefficacy of active reCDV vaccination during the period of passive immunity in young Siberian polecats. In the final section, we discuss emerging concerns and avenues for disease intervention that may present new opportunities to solve problems in vaccine safety, vaccine availability, field vaccine delivery, and other therapeutic modalities.

  19. 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.

  20. Invasive histiocytic sarcoma of the lumbar spine in a ferret (Mustela putorius furo).

    PubMed

    Warschau, M; Hoffmann, M; Dziallas, P; Hansmann, F; Baumgärtner, W; Mischke, R; Cichowski, S; Fehr, M

    2017-02-01

    This report describes the history, clinical examination and histopathology of a histiocytic sarcoma in a domestic ferret. Clinical signs were acute paraplegia and dysuria. Physical examination revealed a firm, smooth, touch-sensitive mass in and around the lumbar vertebral column. Neurologic examination was consistent with a lesion between spinal cord segments T3 and L3. Magnetic resonance images revealed bone lesions of L2 and L3 combined with compression of the spinal cord due to a homogenous, isointense mass that was diagnosed as a malignant round cell tumour and the ferret was euthanased. Histopathology confirmed the diagnosis of an infiltrative histiocytic sarcoma.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. An electron microscope study of vagus nerve composition in the ferret.

    PubMed

    Asala, S A; Bower, A J

    1986-01-01

    The total number of axons in the cervical and abdominal vagus nerves of the ferret was counted. The ratio of myelinated to non-myelinated, and afferent to efferent axons was determined. The fibre diameter spectrum of myelinated axons was measured. The total number of axons in the ferret cervical vagus is similar to other mammals (approximately 28,000); the majority of axons are afferent (approx. 24,000) and also the majority of axons are nonmyelinated (approx. 27,000). The dorsal abdominal trunk is about twice the size of the ventral trunk although both trunks have the same number of efferent axons. The abdominal vagal trunks are over 90% afferent.

  4. Ferrets Infected with Bundibugyo Virus or Ebola Virus Recapitulate Important Aspects of Human Filovirus Disease.

    PubMed

    Kozak, Robert; He, Shihua; Kroeker, Andrea; de La Vega, Marc-Antoine; Audet, Jonathan; Wong, Gary; Urfano, Chantel; Antonation, Kym; Embury-Hyatt, Carissa; Kobinger, Gary P; Qiu, Xiangguo

    2016-10-15

    Bundibugyo virus (BDBV) is the etiological agent of a severe hemorrhagic fever in humans with a case-fatality rate ranging from 25 to 36%. Despite having been known to the scientific and medical communities for almost 1 decade, there is a dearth of studies on this pathogen due to the lack of a small animal model. Domestic ferrets are commonly used to study other RNA viruses, including members of the order Mononegavirales To investigate whether ferrets were susceptible to filovirus infections, ferrets were challenged with a clinical isolate of BDBV. Animals became viremic within 4 days and succumbed to infection between 8 and 9 days, and a petechial rash was observed with moribund ferrets. Furthermore, several hallmarks of human filoviral disease were recapitulated in the ferret model, including substantial decreases in lymphocyte and platelet counts and dysregulation of key biochemical markers related to hepatic/renal function, as well as coagulation abnormalities. Virological, histopathological, and immunohistochemical analyses confirmed uncontrolled BDBV replication in the major organs. Ferrets were also infected with Ebola virus (EBOV) to confirm their susceptibility to another filovirus species and to potentially establish a virus transmission model. Similar to what was seen with BDBV, important hallmarks of human filoviral disease were observed in EBOV-infected ferrets. This study demonstrates the potential of this small animal model for studying BDBV and EBOV using wild-type isolates and will accelerate efforts to understand filovirus pathogenesis and transmission as well as the development of specific vaccines and antivirals. The 2013-2016 outbreak of Ebola virus in West Africa has highlighted the threat posed by filoviruses to global public health. Bundibugyo virus (BDBV) is a member of the genus Ebolavirus and has caused outbreaks in the past but is relatively understudied, likely due to the lack of a suitable small animal model. Such a model for BDBV is

  5. 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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Linder, R.L.; Hillman, C.N.

    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.

  7. Ferrets Infected with Bundibugyo Virus or Ebola Virus Recapitulate Important Aspects of Human Filovirus Disease

    PubMed Central

    Kozak, Robert; He, Shihua; Kroeker, Andrea; de La Vega, Marc-Antoine; Audet, Jonathan; Wong, Gary; Urfano, Chantel; Antonation, Kym; Embury-Hyatt, Carissa; Kobinger, Gary P.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Bundibugyo virus (BDBV) is the etiological agent of a severe hemorrhagic fever in humans with a case-fatality rate ranging from 25 to 36%. Despite having been known to the scientific and medical communities for almost 1 decade, there is a dearth of studies on this pathogen due to the lack of a small animal model. Domestic ferrets are commonly used to study other RNA viruses, including members of the order Mononegavirales. To investigate whether ferrets were susceptible to filovirus infections, ferrets were challenged with a clinical isolate of BDBV. Animals became viremic within 4 days and succumbed to infection between 8 and 9 days, and a petechial rash was observed with moribund ferrets. Furthermore, several hallmarks of human filoviral disease were recapitulated in the ferret model, including substantial decreases in lymphocyte and platelet counts and dysregulation of key biochemical markers related to hepatic/renal function, as well as coagulation abnormalities. Virological, histopathological, and immunohistochemical analyses confirmed uncontrolled BDBV replication in the major organs. Ferrets were also infected with Ebola virus (EBOV) to confirm their susceptibility to another filovirus species and to potentially establish a virus transmission model. Similar to what was seen with BDBV, important hallmarks of human filoviral disease were observed in EBOV-infected ferrets. This study demonstrates the potential of this small animal model for studying BDBV and EBOV using wild-type isolates and will accelerate efforts to understand filovirus pathogenesis and transmission as well as the development of specific vaccines and antivirals. IMPORTANCE The 2013-2016 outbreak of Ebola virus in West Africa has highlighted the threat posed by filoviruses to global public health. Bundibugyo virus (BDBV) is a member of the genus Ebolavirus and has caused outbreaks in the past but is relatively understudied, likely due to the lack of a suitable small animal model. Such

  8. 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

    2016-02-02

    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.

  9. 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).

  10. Delineating morbillivirus entry, dissemination and airborne transmission by studying in vivo competition of multicolor canine distemper viruses in ferrets

    PubMed Central

    de Jong, Alwin; Verburgh, R. Joyce; van Amerongen, Geert; van Run, Peter R. W. A.; Osterhaus, Albert D. M. E.

    2017-01-01

    Identification of cellular receptors and characterization of viral tropism in animal models have vastly improved our understanding of morbillivirus pathogenesis. However, specific aspects of viral entry, dissemination and transmission remain difficult to recapitulate in animal models. Here, we used three virologically identical but phenotypically distinct recombinant (r) canine distemper viruses (CDV) expressing different fluorescent reporter proteins for in vivo competition and airborne transmission studies in ferrets (Mustela putorius furo). Six donor ferrets simultaneously received three rCDVs expressing green, red or blue fluorescent proteins via conjunctival (ocular, Oc), intra-nasal (IN) or intra-tracheal (IT) inoculation. Two days post-inoculation sentinel ferrets were placed in physically separated adjacent cages to assess airborne transmission. All donor ferrets developed lymphopenia, fever and lethargy, showed progressively increasing systemic viral loads and were euthanized 14 to 16 days post-inoculation. Systemic replication of virus inoculated via the Oc, IN and IT routes was detected in 2/6, 5/6 and 6/6 ferrets, respectively. In five donor ferrets the IT delivered virus dominated, although replication of two or three different viruses was detected in 5/6 animals. Single lymphocytes expressing multiple fluorescent proteins were abundant in peripheral blood and lymphoid tissues, demonstrating the occurrence of double and triple virus infections. Transmission occurred efficiently and all recipient ferrets showed evidence of infection between 18 and 22 days post-inoculation of the donor ferrets. In all cases, airborne transmission resulted in replication of a single-colored virus, which was the dominant virus in the donor ferret. This study demonstrates that morbilliviruses can use multiple entry routes in parallel, and co-infection of cells during viral dissemination in the host is common. Airborne transmission was efficient, although transmission of

  11. Developmental remodeling of corticocortical feedback circuits in ferret visual cortex.

    PubMed

    Khalil, Reem; Levitt, Jonathan B

    2014-10-01

    Visual cortical areas in the mammalian brain are linked through a system of interareal feedforward and feedback connections, which presumably underlie different visual functions. We characterized the refinement of feedback projections to primary visual cortex (V1) from multiple sources in juvenile ferrets ranging in age from 4-10 weeks postnatal. We studied whether the refinement of different aspects of feedback circuitry from multiple visual cortical areas proceeds at a similar rate in all areas. We injected the neuronal tracer cholera toxin B (CTb) into V1 and mapped the areal and laminar distribution of retrogradely labeled cells in extrastriate cortex. Around the time of eye opening at 4 weeks postnatal, the retinotopic arrangement of feedback appears essentially adult-like; however, suprasylvian cortex supplies the greatest proportion of feedback, whereas area 18 supplies the greatest proportion in the adult. The density of feedback cells and the ratio of supragranular/infragranular feedback contribution declined in this period at a similar rate in all cortical areas. We also found significant feedback to V1 from layer IV of all extrastriate areas. The regularity of cell spacing, the proportion of feedback arising from layer IV, and the tangential extent of feedback in each area all remained essentially unchanged during this period, except for the infragranular feedback source in area 18, which expanded. Thus, while much of the basic pattern of cortical feedback to V1 is present before eye opening, there is major synchronous reorganization after eye opening, suggesting a crucial role for visual experience in this remodeling process.

  12. The laminar development of direction selectivity in ferret visual cortex

    PubMed Central

    Clemens, Jared M.; Ritter, Neil J.; Roy, Arani; Miller, Julie M.; Van Hooser, Stephen D.

    2012-01-01

    Sensory experience plays a critical role in the development of cortical circuits. At the time of eye opening, visual cortical neurons in the ferret exhibit orientation selectivity, but lack direction selectivity, which is a feature of mature cortical neurons in this species. Direction selectivity emerges in the days and weeks following eye opening via a process that requires visual experience. However, the circuit mechanisms that underlie the development of direction selectivity remain unclear. Here, we used microelectrodes to examine the laminar chronology of the development of direction selectivity around the time of eye opening in order to identify the locations within the cortical circuit that are altered during this process. We found that neurons in layers 4 and 2/3 exhibited weak direction selectivity just prior to natural eye opening. Layer 4 neurons in animals that had opened their eyes but were younger than postnatal day (PND) 35 exhibited modestly increased direction selectivity, but layer 2/3 cells remained as weakly tuned as before eye opening. Animals that had opened their eyes and were PND 35 or older exhibited increased direction selectivity in both layers 4 and 2/3.On average, initial increases in direction selectivity in animals younger than PND 35 were explained by increases in responses to the preferred direction, while subsequent increases in direction selectivity in animals PND35 or older were explained by decreases in responses to the null direction. These results suggest that all cortical layers are influenced by sensory stimulation during early stages of experience-dependent development. PMID:23238731

  13. Developmental remodeling of corticocortical feedback circuits in ferret visual cortex

    PubMed Central

    Khalil, Reem; Levitt, Jonathan B.

    2014-01-01

    Visual cortical areas in the mammalian brain are linked through a system of interareal feedforward and feedback connections, which presumably underlie different visual functions. We characterized the refinement of feedback projections to primary visual cortex (V1) from multiple sources in juvenile ferrets ranging in age from four to ten weeks postnatal. We studied whether the refinement of different aspects of feedback circuitry from multiple visual cortical areas proceeds at a similar rate in all areas. We injected the neuronal tracer cholera toxin B (CTb) into V1, and mapped the areal and laminar distribution of retrogradely labeled cells in extrastriate cortex. Around the time of eye opening at four weeks postnatal, the retinotopic arrangement of feedback appears essentially adultlike; however, Suprasylvian cortex supplies the greatest proportion of feedback, whereas area 18 supplies the greatest proportion in the adult. The density of feedback cells and the ratio of supragranular/infragranular feedback contribution declined in this period at a similar rate in all cortical areas. We also find significant feedback to V1 from layer IV of all extrastriate areas. The regularity of cell spacing, the proportion of feedback arising from layer IV, and the tangential extent of feedback in each area all remained essentially unchanged during this period, except for the infragranular feedback source in area 18 which expanded. Thus, while much of the basic pattern of cortical feedback to V1 is present before eye opening, there is major synchronous reorganization after eye opening, suggesting a crucial role for visual experience in this remodeling process. PMID:24665018

  14. Spatiotemporal patterning of glutamate receptors in developing ferret striate cortex.

    PubMed

    Smith, A L; Thompson, I D

    1999-03-01

    We have studied glutamate receptor levels during very early phases of cortical formation by using quantitative in vitro autoradiography to map the expression of NMDA, AMPA and kainate receptors in the developing primary visual cortex of the ferret. NMDA and non-NMDA receptors exhibit very different developmental profiles in primary visual cortex. NMDA receptor density is low at birth and increases throughout the first 2 postnatal months, rising between threefold (layers II/III) and ninefold (layer VI). In contrast, AMPA receptors are abundant at birth and their density remains constant for the first postnatal month, before rising by a maximum of 1.7-fold (layer I) at around the time of eye-opening (postnatal day 32). Kainate receptors are also present in high levels at birth and their expression levels rise in the early postnatal period by between 1. 5-fold (layer I) and threefold (layers V/VI) to a peak just after eye-opening. The proportion of the total ionotropic glutamate receptor binding contributed by NMDA receptors thus rises from 5% at birth to a maximum of 22% at 2 months of age, while the AMPA receptor contribution falls from 87% to 72% over the same period. Below cortex, all three glutamate receptor subtypes are expressed in the subplate region for the first 3 postnatal weeks. These developmental patterns, combined with the fact that AMPA receptors are densely expressed in the proliferative zones underlying presumptive area 17, indicate that non-NMDA receptor expression levels in primary visual cortex are mostly specified much earlier than those of NMDA receptors.

  15. Disease phenotype of a ferret CFTR-knockout model of cystic fibrosis

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Xingshen; Sui, Hongshu; Fisher, John T.; Yan, Ziying; Liu, Xiaoming; Cho, Hyung-Ju; Joo, Nam Soo; Zhang, Yulong; Zhou, Weihong; Yi, Yaling; Kinyon, Joann M.; Lei-Butters, Diana C.; Griffin, Michelle A.; Naumann, Paul; Luo, Meihui; Ascher, Jill; Wang, Kai; Frana, Timothy; Wine, Jeffrey J.; Meyerholz, David K.; Engelhardt, John F.

    2010-01-01

    Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a recessive disease that affects multiple organs. It is caused by mutations in CFTR. Animal modeling of this disease has been challenging, with species- and strain-specific differences in organ biology and CFTR function influencing the emergence of disease pathology. Here, we report the phenotype of a CFTR-knockout ferret model of CF. Neonatal CFTR-knockout ferrets demonstrated many of the characteristics of human CF disease, including defective airway chloride transport and submucosal gland fluid secretion; variably penetrant meconium ileus (MI); pancreatic, liver, and vas deferens disease; and a predisposition to lung infection in the early postnatal period. Severe malabsorption by the gastrointestinal (GI) tract was the primary cause of death in CFTR-knockout kits that escaped MI. Elevated liver function tests in CFTR-knockout kits were corrected by oral administration of ursodeoxycholic acid, and the addition of an oral proton-pump inhibitor improved weight gain and survival. To overcome the limitations imposed by the severe intestinal phenotype, we cloned 4 gut-corrected transgenic CFTR-knockout kits that expressed ferret CFTR specifically in the intestine. One clone passed feces normally and demonstrated no detectable ferret CFTR expression in the lung or liver. The animals described in this study are likely to be useful tools for dissecting CF disease pathogenesis and developing treatments. PMID:20739752

  16. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  18. Seasonal trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine protects against 1918 Spanish influenza virus infection in ferrets.

    PubMed

    Pearce, Melissa B; Belser, Jessica A; Gustin, Kortney M; Pappas, Claudia; Houser, Katherine V; Sun, Xiangjie; Maines, Taronna R; Pantin-Jackwood, Mary J; Katz, Jacqueline M; Tumpey, Terrence M

    2012-07-01

    The influenza virus H1N1 pandemic of 1918 was one of the worst medical catastrophes in human history. Recent studies have demonstrated that the hemagglutinin (HA) protein of the 1918 virus and 2009 H1N1 pandemic virus [A(H1N1)pdm09], the latter now a component of the seasonal trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine (TIV), share cross-reactive antigenic determinants. In this study, we demonstrate that immunization with the 2010-2011 seasonal TIV induces neutralizing antibodies that cross-react with the reconstructed 1918 pandemic virus in ferrets. TIV-immunized ferrets subsequently challenged with the 1918 virus displayed significant reductions in fever, weight loss, and virus shedding compared to these parameters in nonimmune control ferrets. Seasonal TIV was also effective in protecting against the lung infection and severe lung pathology associated with 1918 virus infection. Our data demonstrate that prior immunization with contemporary TIV provides cross-protection against the 1918 virus in ferrets. These findings suggest that exposure to A(H1N1)pdm09 through immunization may provide protection against the reconstructed 1918 virus which, as a select agent, is considered to pose both biosafety and biosecurity threats.

  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. Urine specific gravity values in clinically healthy young pet ferrets (Mustela furo).

    PubMed

    Eshar, D; Wyre, N R; Brown, D C

    2012-02-01

    To determine urine specific gravity values in clinically healthy pet ferrets and explore possible associations with sex, sampling techniques, hydration status and urine analytes. Sixty-nine entire ferrets of both sexes, under one year of age, were included in this study. Physical examination, complete blood count, blood biochemistry, urine microscopy, urine dipstick and urine specific gravity were performed on all ferrets. Urine specific gravity was determined using a handheld urine refractometer. Statistical analysis was performed to determine urine specific gravity value intervals and to test for associations with sex, sample collection method, packed cell volume, plasma total protein concentrations and urine analytes. Urine specific gravity differed by sex in ferrets as females exhibited a lower urine specific gravity (P<0·001). There was no significant correlation between urine specific gravity, sampling method, packed cell volume/total protein and urine dipstick analytes. Mean urine specific gravity reported in this study was 1·051 for entire males (sd ±9; range 1·034 to 1·070) and 1·042 for entire females (sd ±8; range 1·026 to 1·060). Results of this study may allow clinicians to have a more accurate evaluation of the ability of those animals to concentrate urine by comparing their urine specific gravity results to those obtained from this cohort of clinically healthy animals. © 2012 British Small Animal Veterinary Association.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Viscoelastic properties of the ferret brain measured in vivo at multiple frequencies by magnetic resonance elastography

    PubMed Central

    Feng, Y.; Clayton, E.H.; Chang, Y.; Okamoto, R.J.; Bayly, P.V.

    2013-01-01

    Characterization of the dynamic mechanical behavior of brain tissue is essential for understanding and simulating the mechanisms of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Changes in mechanical properties may also reflect changes in the brain due to aging or disease. In this study, we used magnetic resonance elastography (MRE) to measure the viscoelastic properties of ferret brain tissue in vivo. Three-dimensional (3D) displacement fields were acquired during wave propagation in the brain induced by harmonic excitation of the skull at 400 Hz, 600 Hz and 800 Hz. Shear waves with wavelengths on the order of millimeters were clearly visible in the displacement field, in strain fields, and in the curl of displacement field (which contains no contributions from longitudinal waves). Viscoelastic parameters (storage and loss moduli) governing dynamic shear deformation were estimated in gray and white matter for these excitation frequencies. To characterize the reproducibility of measurements, two ferrets were studied on three different dates each. Estimated viscoelastic properties of white matter in the ferret brain were generally similar to those of gray matter and consistent between animals and scan dates. In both tissue types G′ increased from approximately 3 kPa at 400 Hz to 7 kPa at 800 Hz and G″ increased from approximately 1 kPa at 400 Hz to 2 kPa at 800 Hz. These measurements of shear wave propagation in the ferret brain can be used to both parameterize and validate finite element models of brain biomechanics. PMID:23352648

  4. Pathogenesis of novel reassortant avian influenza virus A (H5N8) Isolates in the ferret.

    PubMed

    Kim, Heui Man; Kim, Chi-Kyeong; Lee, Nam-Joo; Chu, Hyuk; Kang, Chun; Kim, Kisoon; Lee, Joo-Yeon

    2015-07-01

    Outbreaks of avian influenza virus H5N8 first occurred in 2014, and spread to poultry farms in Korea. Although there was no report of human infection by this subtype, it has the potential to threaten human public health. Therefore, we evaluated the pathogenesis of H5N8 viruses in ferrets. Two representative Korean H5N8 strains did not induce mortality and significant respiratory signs after an intranasal challenge in ferrets. However, ferrets intratracheally infected with A/broiler duck/Korea/Buan2/2014 virus showed dose-dependent mortality. Although the Korean H5N8 strains were classified as the HPAI virus, possessing multiple basic amino acids in the cleavage site of the hemagglutinin sequence, they did not produce pathogenesis in ferrets challenged intranasally, similar to the natural infection route. These results could be useful for public health by providing the pathogenic characterization of H5N8 viruses. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Progress toward generating a ferret model of cystic fibrosis by somatic cell nuclear transfer

    PubMed Central

    Li, Ziyi; Engelhardt, John F

    2003-01-01

    Mammalian cloning by nuclear transfer from somatic cells has created new opportunities to generate animal models of genetic diseases in species other than mice. Although genetic mouse models play a critical role in basic and applied research for numerous diseases, often mouse models do not adequately reproduce the human disease phenotype. Cystic fibrosis (CF) is one such disease. Targeted ablation of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene in mice does not adequately replicate spontaneous bacterial infections observed in the human CF lung. Hence, several laboratories are pursuing alternative animal models of CF in larger species such as the pig, sheep, rabbits, and ferrets. Our laboratory has focused on developing the ferret as a CF animal model. Over the past few years, we have investigated several experimental parameters required for gene targeting and nuclear transfer (NT) cloning in the ferret using somatic cells. In this review, we will discuss our progress and the hurdles to NT cloning and gene-targeting that accompany efforts to generate animal models of genetic diseases in species such as the ferret. PMID:14613541

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Enteric colonization by staphylococcus delphini in four ferret kits with diarrhoea.

    PubMed

    Gary, J M; Langohr, I M; Lim, A; Bolin, S; Bolin, C; Moore, I; Kiupel, M

    2014-11-01

    Four, 1-to 4-week-old ferret kits were submitted to the Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health at Michigan State University for post-mortem examination. Grossly, multiple bowel loops in all ferret kits were distended by mucoid faecal material. Microscopically, there was no evidence of inflammation or notable alteration to the normal mucosal morphology. Gram-positive coccoid bacteria colonized variable segments of the small intestine. These bacteria were identified as Staphylococcus delphini by phenotypic and molecular analyses. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for detection of Staphylococcus enterotoxins was positive and polymerase chain reaction detected the gene for Staphylococcus enterotoxin E in the isolates. The hypersecretory diarrhoea in these ferret kits may have been associated with colonization of the small intestine by S. delphini, cultures of which were shown in vitro to be potentially capable of producing enterotoxin E. The condition described in these ferrets is similar to 'sticky' kit syndrome in mink. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

    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

    2014-12-17

    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.

  11. 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. © 2014 British Small Animal Veterinary Association.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Nipah Virus C and W Proteins Contribute to Respiratory Disease in Ferrets

    PubMed Central

    Satterfield, Benjamin A.; Cross, Robert W.; Fenton, Karla A.; Borisevich, Viktoriya; Agans, Krystle N.; Deer, Daniel J.; Graber, Jessica; Basler, Christopher F.; Mire, Chad E.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Nipah virus (NiV) is a highly lethal paramyxovirus that recently emerged as a causative agent of febrile encephalitis and severe respiratory disease in humans. The ferret model has emerged as the preferred small-animal model with which to study NiV disease, but much is still unknown about the viral determinants of NiV pathogenesis, including the contribution of the C protein in ferrets. Additionally, studies have yet to examine the synergistic effects of the various P gene products on pathogenesis in animal models. Using recombinant NiVs (rNiVs), we examine the sole contribution of the NiV C protein and the combined contributions of the C and W proteins in the ferret model of NiV pathogenesis. We show that an rNiV void of C expression resulted in 100% mortality, though with limited respiratory disease, like our previously reported rNiV void of W expression; this finding is in stark contrast to the attenuated phenotype observed in previous hamster studies utilizing rNiVs void of C expression. We also observed that an rNiV void of both C and W expression resulted in limited respiratory disease; however, there was severe neurological disease leading to 60% mortality, and the surviving ferrets demonstrated sequelae similar to those for human survivors of NiV encephalitis. IMPORTANCE Nipah virus (NiV) is a human pathogen capable of causing lethal respiratory and neurological disease. Many human survivors have long-lasting neurological impairment. Using a ferret model, this study demonstrated the roles of the NiV C and W proteins in pathogenesis, where lack of either the C or the W protein independently decreased the severity of clinical respiratory disease but did not decrease lethality. Abolishing both C and W expression, however, dramatically decreased the severity of respiratory disease and the level of destruction of splenic germinal centers. These ferrets still suffered severe neurological disease: 60% succumbed to disease, and the survivors experienced

  15. Nipah Virus C and W Proteins Contribute to Respiratory Disease in Ferrets.

    PubMed

    Satterfield, Benjamin A; Cross, Robert W; Fenton, Karla A; Borisevich, Viktoriya; Agans, Krystle N; Deer, Daniel J; Graber, Jessica; Basler, Christopher F; Geisbert, Thomas W; Mire, Chad E

    2016-07-15

    Nipah virus (NiV) is a highly lethal paramyxovirus that recently emerged as a causative agent of febrile encephalitis and severe respiratory disease in humans. The ferret model has emerged as the preferred small-animal model with which to study NiV disease, but much is still unknown about the viral determinants of NiV pathogenesis, including the contribution of the C protein in ferrets. Additionally, studies have yet to examine the synergistic effects of the various P gene products on pathogenesis in animal models. Using recombinant NiVs (rNiVs), we examine the sole contribution of the NiV C protein and the combined contributions of the C and W proteins in the ferret model of NiV pathogenesis. We show that an rNiV void of C expression resulted in 100% mortality, though with limited respiratory disease, like our previously reported rNiV void of W expression; this finding is in stark contrast to the attenuated phenotype observed in previous hamster studies utilizing rNiVs void of C expression. We also observed that an rNiV void of both C and W expression resulted in limited respiratory disease; however, there was severe neurological disease leading to 60% mortality, and the surviving ferrets demonstrated sequelae similar to those for human survivors of NiV encephalitis. Nipah virus (NiV) is a human pathogen capable of causing lethal respiratory and neurological disease. Many human survivors have long-lasting neurological impairment. Using a ferret model, this study demonstrated the roles of the NiV C and W proteins in pathogenesis, where lack of either the C or the W protein independently decreased the severity of clinical respiratory disease but did not decrease lethality. Abolishing both C and W expression, however, dramatically decreased the severity of respiratory disease and the level of destruction of splenic germinal centers. These ferrets still suffered severe neurological disease: 60% succumbed to disease, and the survivors experienced long-term neurological

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Putative chemosignals of the ferret (Mustela furo) associated with individual and gender recognition.

    PubMed

    Zhang, J X; Soini, H A; Bruce, K E; Wiesler, D; Woodley, S K; Baum, M J; Novotny, M V

    2005-11-01

    Quantitative stir bar sorptive extraction methods, both in the aqueous and headspace modes, followed by thermal desorption gas chromatography-mass spectrometry were used to investigate individual variations in the volatile components of male and female ferret (Mustela furo) urine. The urinary profiles were further compared with volatile profiles of anal gland secretions of breeding male and female ferrets. Thirty volatile compounds were quantified in male and female urine. Among them, 2-methylquinoline was unique to male urine. Four ketones (4-heptanone, 2-heptanone, o-aminoacetophenone, and a dimethoxyacetophenone) and several nitrogen compounds (e.g., 2,5-dimethylpyrazine, quinoline, 4-methylquinazoline) and low levels of three unidentified nonsulfur compounds were significantly more abundant in males than in females. Quantitative comparison of 30 volatile urinary compounds showed several statistically significant differences between the sexes and individuals of the same sex. These findings suggest that ferrets may use urine marking for sex and individual recognitions. Ten of the 26 compounds identified in anal gland secretions from females and males were also found in urine. However, most of the major compounds (thietanes, dithiolanes, and indole) in anal glands were not present in urine. This suggests that urine may convey specific signals that differ from those of anal glands. Additionally, 10 volatiles (two aldehydes, five ketones, benzothiazole, 2-methylquinoline, and 4-methylquinazoline), not previously identified, were found in ferret anal gland secretions. Among the new compounds, o-aminoacetophenone was found only in males, while only traces of this compound were found in females. Similar results were previously obtained in anal glands of three other Mustela species. These findings provide new information about the constituents of urine and volatile components of anal gland secretions in ferrets.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.; 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.

  2. Epidemic and maintenance of rabies in Chinese ferret badgers (Melogale moschata) indicated by epidemiology and the molecular signatures of rabies viruses.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Shoufeng; Liu, Ye; Hou, Yanli; Zhao, Jinghui; Zhang, Fei; Wang, Ying; Hu, Rongliang

    2013-06-01

    An epidemic of Chinese ferret badger-associated human rabies was investigated in Wuyuan county, Jiangxi province and rabies viruses isolates from ferret badgers in different districts in Jiangxi and Zhejiang provinces were sequenced with their nucleotides and amino acids and aligned for epidemiological analysis. The results showed that the human rabies in Wuyuan are only associated with ferret badger bites; the rabies virus can be isolated in a high percentage of ferret badgers in the epidemic areas in Jiangxi and Zhejiang provinces; the isolates share the same molecular features in nucleotides and have characteristic amino acid signatures, i.e., 2 sites in the nucleoprotein and 3 sites in the glycoprotein, that are distinct from virus isolates from dogs in the same region. We conclude that rabies in Chinese ferret badgers has formed an independent transmission cycle and ferret badgers may serve as another important rabies reservoir independent of dog rabies in China.

  3. Assessing the Viral Fitness of Oseltamivir-Resistant Influenza Viruses in Ferrets, Using a Competitive-Mixtures Model ▿

    PubMed Central

    Hurt, Aeron C.; Nor'e, Siti Sarah; McCaw, James M.; Fryer, Helen R.; Mosse, Jennifer; McLean, Angela R.; Barr, Ian G.

    2010-01-01

    To determine the relative fitness of oseltamivir-resistant strains compared to susceptible wild-type viruses, we combined mathematical modeling and statistical techniques with a novel in vivo “competitive-mixtures” experimental model. Ferrets were coinfected with either pure populations (100% susceptible wild-type or 100% oseltamivir-resistant mutant virus) or mixed populations of wild-type and oseltamivir-resistant influenza viruses (80%:20%, 50%:50%, and 20%:80%) at equivalent infectivity titers, and the changes in the relative proportions of those two viruses were monitored over the course of the infection during within-host and over host-to-host transmission events in a ferret contact model. Coinfection of ferrets with mixtures of an oseltamivir-resistant R292K mutant A(H3N2) virus and a R292 oseltamivir-susceptible wild-type virus demonstrated that the R292K mutant virus was rapidly outgrown by the R292 wild-type virus in artificially infected donor ferrets and did not transmit to any of the recipient ferrets. The competitive-mixtures model was also used to investigate the fitness of the seasonal A(H1N1) oseltamivir-resistant H274Y mutant and showed that within infected ferrets the H274Y mutant virus was marginally outgrown by the wild-type strain but demonstrated equivalent transmissibility between ferrets. This novel in vivo experimental method and accompanying mathematical analysis provide greater insight into the relative fitness, both within the host and between hosts, of two different influenza virus strains compared to more traditional methods that infect ferrets with only pure populations of viruses. Our statistical inferences are essential for the development of the next generation of mathematical models of the emergence and spread of oseltamivir-resistant influenza in human populations. PMID:20631138

  4. 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

  5. Assessing the viral fitness of oseltamivir-resistant influenza viruses in ferrets, using a competitive-mixtures model.

    PubMed

    Hurt, Aeron C; Nor'e, Siti Sarah; McCaw, James M; Fryer, Helen R; Mosse, Jennifer; McLean, Angela R; Barr, Ian G

    2010-09-01

    To determine the relative fitness of oseltamivir-resistant strains compared to susceptible wild-type viruses, we combined mathematical modeling and statistical techniques with a novel in vivo "competitive-mixtures" experimental model. Ferrets were coinfected with either pure populations (100% susceptible wild-type or 100% oseltamivir-resistant mutant virus) or mixed populations of wild-type and oseltamivir-resistant influenza viruses (80%:20%, 50%:50%, and 20%:80%) at equivalent infectivity titers, and the changes in the relative proportions of those two viruses were monitored over the course of the infection during within-host and over host-to-host transmission events in a ferret contact model. Coinfection of ferrets with mixtures of an oseltamivir-resistant R292K mutant A(H3N2) virus and a R292 oseltamivir-susceptible wild-type virus demonstrated that the R292K mutant virus was rapidly outgrown by the R292 wild-type virus in artificially infected donor ferrets and did not transmit to any of the recipient ferrets. The competitive-mixtures model was also used to investigate the fitness of the seasonal A(H1N1) oseltamivir-resistant H274Y mutant and showed that within infected ferrets the H274Y mutant virus was marginally outgrown by the wild-type strain but demonstrated equivalent transmissibility between ferrets. This novel in vivo experimental method and accompanying mathematical analysis provide greater insight into the relative fitness, both within the host and between hosts, of two different influenza virus strains compared to more traditional methods that infect ferrets with only pure populations of viruses. Our statistical inferences are essential for the development of the next generation of mathematical models of the emergence and spread of oseltamivir-resistant influenza in human populations.

  6. 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.

  7. Establishing the ferret as a gyrencephalic animal model of traumatic brain injury: Optimization of controlled cortical impact procedures.

    PubMed

    Schwerin, Susan C; Hutchinson, Elizabeth B; Radomski, Kryslaine L; Ngalula, Kapinga P; Pierpaoli, Carlo M; Juliano, Sharon L

    2017-06-15

    Although rodent TBI studies provide valuable information regarding the effects of injury and recovery, an animal model with neuroanatomical characteristics closer to humans may provide a more meaningful basis for clinical translation. The ferret has a high white/gray matter ratio, gyrencephalic neocortex, and ventral hippocampal location. Furthermore, ferrets are amenable to behavioral training, have a body size compatible with pre-clinical MRI, and are cost-effective. We optimized the surgical procedure for controlled cortical impact (CCI) using 9 adult male ferrets. We used subject-specific brain/skull morphometric data from anatomical MRIs to overcome across-subject variability for lesion placement. We also reflected the temporalis muscle, closed the craniotomy, and used antibiotics. We then gathered MRI, behavioral, and immunohistochemical data from 6 additional animals using the optimized surgical protocol: 1 control, 3 mild, and 1 severely injured animals (surviving one week) and 1 moderately injured animal surviving sixteen weeks. The optimized surgical protocol resulted in consistent injury placement. Astrocytic reactivity increased with injury severity showing progressively greater numbers of astrocytes within the white matter. The density and morphological changes of microglia amplified with injury severity or time after injury. Motor and cognitive impairments scaled with injury severity. The optimized surgical methods differ from those used in the rodent, and are integral to success using a ferret model. We optimized ferret CCI surgery for consistent injury placement. The ferret is an excellent animal model to investigate pathophysiological and behavioral changes associated with TBI. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Vaccines for Conservation: Plague, Prairie Dogs & Black-Footed Ferrets as a Case Study.

    PubMed

    Salkeld, Daniel J

    2017-09-06

    The endangered black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes) is affected by plague, caused by Yersinia pestis, both directly, as a cause of mortality, and indirectly, because of the impacts of plague on its prairie dog (Cynomys spp.) prey base. Recent developments in vaccines and vaccine delivery have raised the possibility of plague control in prairie dog populations, thereby protecting ferret populations. A large-scale experimental investigation across the western US shows that sylvatic plague vaccine delivered in oral baits can increase prairie dog survival. In northern Colorado, an examination of the efficacy of insecticides to control fleas and plague vaccine shows that timing and method of plague control is important, with different implications for long-term and large-scale management of Y. pestis delivery. In both cases, the studies show that ambitious field-work and cross-sectoral collaboration can provide potential solutions to difficult issues of wildlife management, conservation and disease ecology.

  12. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  14. The role of naturally-acquired bacterial infection in influenza-related death in neonatal ferrets.

    PubMed Central

    Husseini, R. H.; Collie, M. H.; Rushton, D. I.; Sweet, C.; Smith, H.

    1983-01-01

    Concomitant, naturally-acquired bacterial infection was the cause of some deaths occurring in neonatal ferrets infected with the attenuated influenza virus A/Puerto Rico/8/34, these being prevented by antibiotic therapy. Bacterial infection played an insignificant role in the greater number of deaths following inoculation with the virulent clone 7a (of the recombinant influenza virus A/Puerto Rico/8/34-A/England/939/69/(H3N2]. As seen previously with clone 7a some ferret neonates infected with A/PR/8/34 died either from obstruction in the upper respiratory tract or from viral pneumonia, but with the latter virus, both types of lesion were probably attributable to the bacterial superinfection. PMID:6639875

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Biggins, Dean E; Godbey, Jerry L

    2003-08-01

    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 conductive 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.

  17. Molecular investigations of the brain of higher mammals using gyrencephalic carnivore ferrets.

    PubMed

    Kawasaki, Hiroshi

    2014-09-01

    The brains of mammals such as carnivores and primates contain developed structures not found in the brains of mice. Uncovering the physiological importance, developmental mechanisms and evolution of these structures using carnivores and primates would greatly contribute to our understanding of the human brain and its diseases. Although the anatomical and physiological properties of the brains of carnivores and primates have been intensively examined, molecular investigations are still limited. Recently, genetic techniques that can be applied to carnivores and primates have been explored, and molecules whose expression patterns correspond to these structures were reported. Furthermore, to investigate the functional importance of these molecules, rapid and efficient genetic manipulation methods were established by applying electroporation to gyrencephalic carnivore ferrets. In this article, I review recent advances in molecular investigations of the brains of carnivores and primates, mainly focusing on ferrets (Mustela putorius furo). Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd and the Japan Neuroscience Society. All rights reserved.

  18. 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

  19. Sylvatic plague vaccine: combating plague in prarie dogs and black-footed ferrets

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rocke, Tonie E.; Abbott, Rachel C.

    2012-01-01

    After achieving promising results in laboratory trials, researchers at the USGS National Wildlife Health Center (NWHC) and University of Wisconsin at Madison will soon begin field testing a new oral vaccine for sylvatic plague, a devastating disease affecting prairie dogs and other mammals, particularly the endangered black-footed ferret. Our team has developed and is currently registering a sylvatic plague vaccine (SPV) that uses raccoon poxvirus (RCN) to express two key antigens of the Yersinia pestis bacterium, the causative agent of plague.

  20. Focal thoracolumbar spinal cord lymphosarcoma in a ferret (Mustela putorius furo)

    PubMed Central

    Ingrao, Joelle C.; Eshar, David; Vince, Andrew; Lee-Chow, Bridget; Nykamp, Stephanie; DeLay, Josepha; Smith, Dale

    2014-01-01

    A 6-year-old, castrated male domestic ferret (Mustela putorius furo) was euthanized following progressive hind limb paresis and atonia of the bladder of 1-year duration. Neurological evaluation localized the lesion to the thoracolumbar spinal region, and magnetic resonance imaging showed a focal intramedullary spinal cord lesion. Histopathology revealed an extensive, unencapsulated, poorly demarcated mass within the thoracolumbar spinal cord, diagnosed as lymphosarcoma. PMID:24982519

  1. Ferretting out the facts behind the H5N1 controversy.

    PubMed

    Sleator, Roy D

    2012-01-01

    Recent recommendations by the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) to redact key methodological details of two studies involving mammal-to-mammal transmission of the H5N1 (H5) subtype influenza viruses, has led to a temporary moratorium on all research involving live H5N1 or H5 HA reassortant viruses shown to be transmissible in ferrets. Herein, I review the events which led to this impasse and comment on their impact.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Chromatin Configurations in the Ferret Germinal Vesicle that Reflect Developmental Competence for In Vitro Maturation

    PubMed Central

    Sun, X; Li, Z; Yi, Y; Ding, W; Chen, J; Engelhardt, JF; Leno, GH

    2013-01-01

    In several mammalian species, the configuration of germinal vesicle (GV) chromatin correlates with the developmental competence of oocytes. Yet, no study has been published on the configuration of GV chromatin in ferret, nor is it known whether a specific configuration predicts meiotic competence in this species, in spite of the potential importance of ferret cloning to the study of human disease and to species conservation efforts. Here, we report on an analysis of the chromatin configuration in ferret GV oocytes and on how they correlate with meiotic development. Three distinct configurations were identified based on the degree of chromatin condensation: (1) fibrillar chromatin (FC), featuring strands of intertwined chromatin occupying most of the visible GV region; (2) intermediate condensed chromatin (ICC), characterized by dense, irregular chromatin masses throughout the GV; and (3) condensed chromatin (CC), which is highly compact and centered around the nucleolus. We also found that chromatin configuration was related to the extent of association with cumulus cells in cumulus–oocyte complexes; CC-configured oocytes were most often surrounded by a compact cumulus layer and also a compact corona but FC-configured oocytes were associated with neither. In addition, increasing chromatin condensation corresponded to an increase in oocyte diameter. Finally, following in vitro culture, significantly more CC-configured oocytes underwent maturation to meiotic metaphase II than did FC- or ICC-configured oocytes. We conclude that, in ferret, chromatin condensation is related to the sequential achievement of meiotic competencies during oocyte growth and differentiation, and thus can be used as a predictor of competence. PMID:18992097

  5. Viscoelastic properties of the ferret brain measured in vivo at multiple frequencies by magnetic resonance elastography.

    PubMed

    Feng, Y; Clayton, E H; Chang, Y; Okamoto, R J; Bayly, P V

    2013-03-15

    Characterization of the dynamic mechanical behavior of brain tissue is essential for understanding and simulating the mechanisms of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Changes in mechanical properties may also reflect changes in the brain due to aging or disease. In this study, we used magnetic resonance elastography (MRE) to measure the viscoelastic properties of ferret brain tissue in vivo. Three-dimensional (3D) displacement fields were acquired during wave propagation in the brain induced by harmonic excitation of the skull at 400 Hz, 600 Hz and 800 Hz. Shear waves with wavelengths in the order of millimeters were clearly visible in the displacement field, in strain fields, and in the curl of displacement field (which contains no contributions from longitudinal waves). Viscoelastic parameters (storage and loss moduli) governing dynamic shear deformation were estimated in gray and white matter for these excitation frequencies. To characterize the reproducibility of measurements, two ferrets were studied on three different dates each. Estimated viscoelastic properties of white matter in the ferret brain were generally similar to those of gray matter and consistent between animals and scan dates. In both tissue types G' increased from approximately 3 kPa at 400 Hz to 7 kPa at 800 Hz and G″ increased from approximately 1 kPa at 400 Hz to 2 kPa at 800 Hz. These measurements of shear wave propagation in the ferret brain can be used to both parameterize and validate finite element models of brain biomechanics. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. 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

  7. Emesis in Ferrets Following Exposure to Different Types of Radiation: A Dose-Response Study

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1992-08-01

    SR92-34 Emesis in Ferrets Following Exposure to Different Types of Radiation: N A Dose -Response Study L51 BERNARD M. RABIN, Ph.D., WALTER A. HUNT...fission neutrons (1500-2000 following exposure to different types o" radiation: a dose -response cGy), Young (13) reported that increasing the propor...order to establish the dose -response relationships monkey, but did not produce an increase in the total for emesis following exposure to different types

  8. 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.

  9. First report of Cryptosporidium parvum 'ferret' genotype in American mink (Mustela vison Shreber 1777).

    PubMed

    Gómez-Couso, H; Méndez-Hermida, F; Ares-Mazás, E

    2007-03-01

    A total of 51 faecal samples from wild and farmed mink were analysed by a direct immunofluorescence antibody test. Cryptosporidium oocysts were identified in eight, apparently healthy, farmed American mink (Mustela vison). The isolates were identified as Cryptosporidium parvum 'ferret' genotype by PCR-RFLP and sequencing analysis of a 341-base-pair fragment of the Cryptosporidium oocyst wall protein (COWP) gene. This is the first report of Cryptosporidium in American mink.

  10. 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

  11. Influenza Virus Infectivity and Virulence following Ocular-Only Aerosol Inoculation of Ferrets

    PubMed Central

    Belser, Jessica A.; Gustin, Kortney M.; Katz, Jacqueline M.; Maines, Taronna R.

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Respiratory pathogens have traditionally been studied by examining the exposure and infection of respiratory tract tissues. However, these studies typically overlook the role of ocular surfaces, which represent both a potential site of virus replication and a portal of entry for the establishment of a respiratory infection. To model transocular virus entry in a mammalian species, we established a novel inoculation method that delivers an aerosol inoculum exclusively to the ferret ocular surface. Using influenza virus as a representative respiratory pathogen, we found that both human and avian viruses mounted productive respiratory infections in ferrets following ocular-only aerosol inoculation, and we demonstrated that H5N1 virus can result in a fatal infection at doses below 10 PFU or with exposure times as short as 2 min. Ferrets inoculated by the ocular aerosol route with an avian (H7N7, H7N9) or human (H1N1, H3N2v) virus were capable of transmitting the virus to naïve animals in direct-contact or respiratory-droplet models, respectively. Our results reveal that ocular-only exposure to virus-containing aerosols constitutes a valid exposure route for a potentially fatal respiratory infection, even for viruses that do not demonstrate an ocular tropism, underscoring the public health implications of ocular exposure in clinical or occupational settings. IMPORTANCE In the absence of eye protection, the human ocular surface remains vulnerable to infection with aerosolized respiratory viruses. In this study, we present a way to inoculate laboratory mammals that excludes respiratory exposure, infecting ferrets only by ocular exposure to influenza virus-containing aerosols. This study demonstrates that the use of respiratory protection alone does not fully protect against influenza virus exposure, infection, and severe disease. PMID:24920819

  12. Clinical, Cytological, Histological and Immunohistochemical Features of Cutaneous Mast Cell Tumours in Ferrets (Mustela putorius furo).

    PubMed

    Vilalta, L; Meléndez-Lazo, A; Doria, G; Ramis, A; Solano-Gallego, L; Pastor, J; Martorell, J

    2016-11-01

    Cutaneous mast cell tumours (cMCTs) are one of the most common cutaneous tumours in ferrets (Mustela putorius furo). However, limited information is available regarding cytological and histological features of these tumours and studies evaluating KIT expression are lacking in this species. The aims of this prospective study were to describe the most common clinical, cytological and histological features of cMCTs in ferrets and to compare the usefulness of different staining techniques in the diagnosis of these tumours in ferrets as well as evaluating KIT expression in neoplastic mast cells (MCs) by immunohistochemistry. Macroscopically, the tumours were small, round to plaque-like and frequently associated with surface crusting. The most common locations were the extremities and the trunk. MC granules were stained in all cases using toluidine blue (TB) and Wright-Giemsa stains in cytological specimens, but none stained with modified Wright's stain. Haematoxylin and eosin and TB on histological sections failed to stain MC granules in all the cases. Cytological and histological examination revealed low to moderate anisocytosis and anisokaryosis. An infiltrative rather than a delineated or encapsulated growth pattern was noted histologically in all cases. Eosinophilic infiltration was not uncommon and 'collagenolysis' was detected on cytological and histological examination. KIT expression was detected in all cases evaluated. In approximately one third of the cases the MCs exhibited KIT labelling pattern I and in the remaining ferrets, KIT pattern III. No correlation was found between KIT expression pattern and biological behaviour. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Focal thoracolumbar spinal cord lymphosarcoma in a ferret (Mustela putorius furo).

    PubMed

    Ingrao, Joelle C; Eshar, David; Vince, Andrew; Lee-Chow, Bridget; Nykamp, Stephanie; DeLay, Josepha; Smith, Dale

    2014-07-01

    A 6-year-old, castrated male domestic ferret (Mustela putorius furo) was euthanized following progressive hind limb paresis and atonia of the bladder of 1-year duration. Neurological evaluation localized the lesion to the thoracolumbar spinal region, and magnetic resonance imaging showed a focal intramedullary spinal cord lesion. Histopathology revealed an extensive, unencapsulated, poorly demarcated mass within the thoracolumbar spinal cord, diagnosed as lymphosarcoma.

  14. Glycomic characterization of respiratory tract tissues of ferrets: implications for its use in influenza virus infection studies.

    PubMed

    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

    2014-10-10

    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. © 2014 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  15. Constant rate infusion of glucagon as an emergency treatment for hypoglycemia in a domestic ferret (Mustela putorius furo).

    PubMed

    Bennett, Katarina R; Gaunt, M Casey; Parker, Dennilyn L

    2015-02-15

    A 3-year-old female domestic ferret (Mustela putorius furo) with an insulinoma was treated because of a hypoglycemic crisis prior to scheduled pancreatectomy with concurrent nodulectomy. Previously, the ferret had clinical signs of lethargy and hind limb weakness; at that time, blood glucose concentration was low, and a tentative diagnosis (subsequently confirmed) of insulinoma was made. Prednisolone treatment (0.3 mg/kg [0.14 mg/lb], PO, q 12 h) did not improve clinical signs; the dosage was gradually increased over a 1-month course (1.8 mg/kg [0.82 mg/lb], PO, q 12 h) and maintained for 10 days. Overall, the treatment was ineffective, and the ferret remained lethargic and developed inappetence. At a reevaluation, the ferret had severe weakness and nonresponsiveness nearing a comatose state. Standard treatment with dextrose (1 mL of 50% solution, IV), and dexamethasone (1 mg/kg [0.45 mg/lb], SC) was administered with resultant improvement in mentation. The ferret was discharged from the hospital and then returned 3 days later for stabilization prior to pancreatectomy with concurrent nodulectomy. The day before surgery, the ferret was administered a glucagon constant rate infusion at a rate of 15 ng/kg/min (6.8 ng/lb/min), which resulted in an increase in blood glucose concentration to a euglycemic state and resolution of clinical signs of hypoglycemia. As illustrated by the case described in this report, a glucagon constant rate infusion can be used successfully for the emergency treatment of hyperinsulinemic-hypoglycemic crisis in insulinomic ferrets.

  16. Acute Inactivation of Primary Auditory Cortex Causes a Sound Localisation Deficit in Ferrets.

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-01

    The objective of this study was to demonstrate the efficacy of acute inactivation of brain areas by cooling in the behaving ferret and to demonstrate that cooling auditory cortex produced a localisation deficit that was specific to auditory stimuli. The effect of cooling on neural activity was measured in anesthetized ferret cortex. The behavioural effect of cooling was determined in a benchmark sound localisation task in which inactivation of primary auditory cortex (A1) is known to impair performance. Cooling strongly suppressed the spontaneous and stimulus-evoked firing rates of cortical neurons when the cooling loop was held at temperatures below 10°C, and this suppression was reversed when the cortical temperature recovered. Cooling of ferret auditory cortex during behavioural testing impaired sound localisation performance, with unilateral cooling producing selective deficits in the hemifield contralateral to cooling, and bilateral cooling producing deficits on both sides of space. The deficit in sound localisation induced by inactivation of A1 was not caused by motivational or locomotor changes since inactivation of A1 did not affect localisation of visual stimuli in the same context.

  17. Intranasal immunization of recombinant Lactococcus lactis induces protection against H5N1 virus in ferrets.

    PubMed

    Lei, Han; Peng, Xiaojue; Ouyang, Jiexiu; Zhao, Daxian; Jiao, Huifeng; Shu, Handing; Ge, Xinqi

    2015-01-22

    The increasing outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza A (HPAI) H5N1 viruses in birds and human bring out an urgent need to develop a safe and effective vaccine to control and prevent H5N1 infection. Lactococcus lactis (L. lactis) based vaccine platform is a promising approach for mucosal H5N1 vaccine development. Intranasal immunization is the potential to induce mucosal immune response which is associated with protective immunity. To develop a safe and effective mucosal vaccine against HAPI H5N1, we extended our previous study by evaluating the immunogenicity of L. lactis-psA-HA1 in the absence of adjuvant via intranasal route in the ferret model. Ferrets administered intranasally with L. lactis-pgsA-HA1 could elicit robust humoral and mucosal immune responses, as well as significant HI titers. Importantly, ferrets were completely protected from H5N1 virus challenge. These findings suggest that L. lactis-pgsA-HA1 can be considered an alternative mucosal vaccine during A/H5N1 pandemic.

  18. Activation of coagulation and tissue fibrin deposition in experimental influenza in ferrets

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Epidemiological studies relate influenza infection with vascular diseases like myocardial infarction. The hypothesis that influenza infection has procoagulant effects on humans has been investigated by experimental animal models. However, these studies often made use of animal models only susceptible to adapted influenza viruses (mouse adapted influenza strains) or remained inconclusive. Therefore, we decided to study the influence of infection with human influenza virus isolates on coagulation in the well-established ferret influenza model. Results After infection with either a seasonal-, pandemic- or highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI-H5N1) virus strain infected animals showed alterations in hemostasis compared to the control animals. Specifically on day 4 post infection, a four second rise in both PT and aPTT was observed. D-dimer concentrations increased in all 3 influenza groups with the highest concentrations in the pandemic influenza group. Von Willebrand factor activity levels increased early in infection suggesting endothelial cell activation. Mean thrombin-antithrombin complex levels increased in both pandemic and HPAI-H5N1 virus infected ferrets. At tissue level, fibrin staining showed intracapillary fibrin deposition especially in HPAI-H5N1 virus infected ferrets. Conclusion This study showed hemostatic alterations both at the circulatory and at the tissue level upon infection with different influenza viruses in an animal model closely mimicking human influenza virus infection. Alterations largely correlated with the severity of the respective influenza virus infections. PMID:24884666

  19. Isolation of Mycobacterium bovis and other mycobacterial species from ferrets and stoats.

    PubMed

    de Lisle, Geoffrey W; Kawakami, R Pamela; Yates, Gary F; Collins, Desmond M

    2008-12-10

    As part of wildlife surveillance for bovine tuberculosis, pooled lymph nodes from 21,481 ferrets, 1056 stoats and 83 weasels were cultured for mycobacteria. A total of 268 isolates of Mycobacterium bovis were obtained from ferrets, 2 from stoats and none from weasels, demonstrating the presence of a wildlife reservoir of infection in ferrets. DNA typing by restriction endonuclease analysis (REA) of 48 selected isolates of M. bovis revealed 23 REA types. Twenty-one of these types had previously been isolated from cattle and farmed deer, demonstrating a complex cycle of infection involving wildlife and domestic animals. Apart from M. bovis, a further 208 mycobacterial isolates were obtained, the majority of which (178) were members of the M. avium complex. Speciation of the remaining 30 mycobacterial isolates by DNA sequencing of the 16s rRNA gene, identified half the isolates as M. triplex. Other species identified included M. fortuitum, M. florentinum, M. interjectum, M. intracellulare, M. holsaticum, and M. septicum/M. peregrinum.

  20. Safety, efficacy and immunogenicity evaluation of the SAG2 oral rabies vaccine in Formosan ferret badgers.

    PubMed

    Hsu, Ai-Ping; Tseng, Chun-Hsien; Barrat, Jacques; Lee, Shu-Hwae; Shih, Yu-Hua; Wasniewski, Marine; Mähl, Philippe; Chang, Chia-Chia; Lin, Chun-Ta; Chen, Re-Shang; Tu, Wen-Jane; Cliquet, Florence; Tsai, Hsiang-Jung

    2017-01-01

    Since 2013, rabies cases have been reported among Formosan ferret badgers in Taiwan, and they have been shown to be the major reservoirs for Taiwanese enzootics. To control and eradicate rabies, the authorities plan to implement a vaccination programme. Before distributing live vaccines in the field, this study assessed the safety, efficacy, and immunogenicity of SAG2 vaccine on ferret badgers by direct oral instillation. After application of 109 TCID50/dose, no virus was excreted into the oral cavity 1-7 days post-application, and safety was also satisfactorily verified over a 266-day period. Moreover, despite the low level of rabies virus neutralising antibodies induced after vaccination of a 108 TCID50/dose, the efficacy assessment revealed a 100% survival rate (15/15) of vaccinees and an 87.5% fatality rate (7/8) in control animals after a challenge on the 198th day post-vaccination. The immunisation and protection rates obtained more than 6 months after a single vaccination dose demonstrated that SAG2 is an ideal vaccine candidate to protect Formosan ferret badgers against rabies in Taiwan.

  1. Distemper virus infection in ferrets: an animal model of measles-induced immunosuppression.

    PubMed Central

    Kauffman, C A; Bergman, A G; O'Connor, R P

    1982-01-01

    Distemper virus is very similar antigenically to measles virus, and the disease produced in ferrets by distemper is a systemic illness quite similar to measles infection in humans. Using an attenuated strain of distemper virus, we produced a mild systemic illness in ferrets and were able to study the effects of the viral infection on cell-mediated immunity (CMI). Beginning on day 5 after viral inoculation and continuing to day 30, infected ferrets showed a marked lymphopenia, with a reduction in total numbers of all lymphocyte subpopulations studied. Transformation of circulating lymphocytes to the mitogens phytohemagglutinin, concanavalin A, and pokeweed mitogen was suppressed on day 5, reached a nadir by days 8 to 11, and returned toward normal by days 23 to 30 after viral inoculation. Production of macrophage migration inhibitory factor by splenic macrophages was diminished during distemper infection. In contrast to marked suppression of these in vitro assays for CMI, delayed hypersensitivity skin test responses were only slightly diminished in animals infected with distemper virus. This model should prove useful in exploring the mechanisms of measles induced immunosuppression. PMID:7044625

  2. Spatial and Temporal Variations of Cortical Growth during Gyrogenesis in the Developing Ferret Brain

    PubMed Central

    Kroenke, Christopher D.; Chang, Yulin V.; Taber, Larry A.; Bayly, Philip V.

    2013-01-01

    Spatial and temporal variations in cortical growth were studied in the neonatal ferret to illuminate the mechanisms of folding of the cerebral cortex. Cortical surface representations were created from magnetic resonance images acquired between postnatal day 4 and 35. Global measures of shape (e.g., surface area, normalized curvature, and sulcal depth) were calculated. In 2 ferrets, relative cortical growth was calculated between surfaces created from in vivo images acquired at P14, P21, and P28. The isocortical surface area transitions from a slower (12.7 mm2/day per hemisphere) to a higher rate of growth (36.7 mm2/day per hemisphere) approximately 13 days after birth, which coincides with the time of transition from neuronal proliferation to cellular morphological differentiation. Relative cortical growth increases as a function of relative geodesic distance from the origin of the transverse neurogenetic gradient and is related to the change in fractional diffusion anisotropy over the same time period. The methods presented here can be applied to study cortical growth during development in other animal models or human infants. Our results provide a quantitative spatial and temporal description of folding in cerebral cortex of the developing ferret brain, which will be important to understand the underlying mechanisms that drive folding. PMID:22368085

  3. Spatial and temporal variations of cortical growth during gyrogenesis in the developing ferret brain.

    PubMed

    Knutsen, Andrew K; Kroenke, Christopher D; Chang, Yulin V; Taber, Larry A; Bayly, Philip V

    2013-02-01

    Spatial and temporal variations in cortical growth were studied in the neonatal ferret to illuminate the mechanisms of folding of the cerebral cortex. Cortical surface representations were created from magnetic resonance images acquired between postnatal day 4 and 35. Global measures of shape (e.g., surface area, normalized curvature, and sulcal depth) were calculated. In 2 ferrets, relative cortical growth was calculated between surfaces created from in vivo images acquired at P14, P21, and P28. The isocortical surface area transitions from a slower (12.7 mm(2)/day per hemisphere) to a higher rate of growth (36.7 mm(2)/day per hemisphere) approximately 13 days after birth, which coincides with the time of transition from neuronal proliferation to cellular morphological differentiation. Relative cortical growth increases as a function of relative geodesic distance from the origin of the transverse neurogenetic gradient and is related to the change in fractional diffusion anisotropy over the same time period. The methods presented here can be applied to study cortical growth during development in other animal models or human infants. Our results provide a quantitative spatial and temporal description of folding in cerebral cortex of the developing ferret brain, which will be important to understand the underlying mechanisms that drive folding.

  4. Viremia associated with fatal outcomes in ferrets infected with avian H5N1 influenza virus.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xue; Zhao, Jiangqin; Tang, Shixing; Ye, Zhiping; Hewlett, Indira

    2010-08-12

    Avian H5N1 influenza viruses cause severe disease and high mortality in infected humans. However, tissue tropism and underlying pathogenesis of H5N1 virus infection in humans needs further investigation. The objective of this work was to study viremia, tissue tropism and disease pathogenesis of H5N1 virus infection in the susceptible ferret animal model. To evaluate the relationship of morbidity and mortality with virus loads, we performed studies in ferrets infected with the H5N1 strain A/VN/1203/04 to assess clinical signs after infection and virus load in lung, brain, ileum, nasal turbinate, nasal wash, and blood. We observed that H5N1 infection in ferrets is characterized by high virus load in the brain and and low levels in the ileum using real-time PCR. In addition, viral RNA was frequently detected in blood one or two days before death and associated with symptoms of diarrhea. Our observations further substantiate pathogenicity of H5N1 and further indicate that viremia may be a bio-marker for fatal outcomes in H5N1 infection.

  5. Acute Inactivation of Primary Auditory Cortex Causes a Sound Localisation Deficit in Ferrets

    PubMed Central

    Wood, Katherine C.; Town, Stephen M.; Atilgan, Huriye; Jones, Gareth P.

    2017-01-01

    The objective of this study was to demonstrate the efficacy of acute inactivation of brain areas by cooling in the behaving ferret and to demonstrate that cooling auditory cortex produced a localisation deficit that was specific to auditory stimuli. The effect of cooling on neural activity was measured in anesthetized ferret cortex. The behavioural effect of cooling was determined in a benchmark sound localisation task in which inactivation of primary auditory cortex (A1) is known to impair performance. Cooling strongly suppressed the spontaneous and stimulus-evoked firing rates of cortical neurons when the cooling loop was held at temperatures below 10°C, and this suppression was reversed when the cortical temperature recovered. Cooling of ferret auditory cortex during behavioural testing impaired sound localisation performance, with unilateral cooling producing selective deficits in the hemifield contralateral to cooling, and bilateral cooling producing deficits on both sides of space. The deficit in sound localisation induced by inactivation of A1 was not caused by motivational or locomotor changes since inactivation of A1 did not affect localisation of visual stimuli in the same context. PMID:28099489

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

    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

  7. The effects of pH changes on human and ferret detrusor muscle function.

    PubMed Central

    Liston, T G; Palfrey, E L; Raimbach, S J; Fry, C H

    1991-01-01

    1. The effects of altering extracellular pH on the electrically evoked contractions of ferret and human bladder (detrusor) smooth muscle have been investigated. pH was varied by changing superfusate PCO2 or NaHCO3 concentration. Acidosis increased force when superfusate PCO2 was raised but decreased force when the NaHCO3 concentration was reduced. 2. Intracellular pH (pHi) in isolated ferret detrusor cells was measured separately by epifluorescence microscopy. Extracellular pH changes caused by altering superfusate PCO2 were accompanied by similar changes of pHi, whereas variation of the NaHCO3 concentration had smaller effects on pHi. 3. It was proposed that intracellular acidosis increased contraction but extracellular acidosis depressed contraction. 4. Other interventions, such as addition and removal of NH4Cl, Cl- replacement, and NaHCO3 replacement with HEPES, changed pHi and had predictable effects on force. It was possible to describe unique relationships between tension and either intracellular or extracellular pH regardless of the means whereby pH changes were brought about. 5. Resting tension was reduced whether brought about by either intracellular or extracellular acidosis. K+ contractures were similarly affected by acidosis. Ferret preparations showed low levels of spontaneous activity, which was reduced by acidosis and enhanced by alkalosis. PMID:1653318

  8. 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

  9. Microliths in the parotid of ferret investigated by electron microscopy and microanalysis

    PubMed Central

    Triantafyllou, Asterios; Harrison, John D; Garrett, John R

    2009-01-01

    The present investigation is an attempt to determine the occurrence, elemental composition and formation of microliths in the parotid of ferret. Parotids from four normal ferrets were examined by electron microscopy and X-ray microanalysis. Crystalline microliths were found in phagosomes of acinar cells, which occasionally contained secretory material, and in phagosomes situated between mitochondria of striated ductal cells. Crystalline microliths and microliths that consisted of granular material either without crystals or mixed with a component of crystals were found in lumina, where they were often associated with cellular debris. The crystals contained calcium and phosphorus. Phagy and stagnation related to pockets of inefficient secretory activity have been previously found to be features of the parotid of ferret. Thus, possibly persistent degradation of redundant cellular material, particularly secretory granules, in phagosomes results in accumulation of calcium and leads to calcified microliths, whereas consolidation of stagnant debris extracellularly does not involve such accumulation and leads to non-calcified or mixed microliths. PMID:19659902

  10. 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

  11. Postnatal development of tracheal surface epithelium and submucosal glands in the ferret.

    PubMed

    Leigh, M W; Gambling, T M; Carson, J L; Collier, A M; Wood, R E; Boat, T F

    1986-01-01

    We explored the usefulness of the postnatal ferret as a model for early developmental events in the large airways, using light and scanning electron microscopy. In the first 28 postnatal days, ferret tracheal surface epithelium and glands undergo dramatic growth and development. Tracheal surface area increases 8-fold. At birth, ciliated cells are sparse (9.4 +/- 1.2% of total epithelial cells). A significant increase in ciliated cells is observed at weekly intervals and by day 28 the ciliated cell is the predominant cell type (54.2 +/- 2.8% of total epithelial cells). Secretory cells decrease from 66.4 +/- 1.0% at birth to 22.2 +/- 2.8% of total epithelial cells. Histochemical staining of the granules of the epithelial secretory cells changes from predominantly non-acidic (staining with PAS but not Alcian blue) to predominantly acidic (staining also with Alcian blue). During the same time interval, tracheal glands develop from intraepithelial cellular aggregates devoid of secretory granules at birth into complex, submucosal tubuloacinar structures composed predominantly of cells containing non-acidic secretory granules at 28 days. Therefore, infant ferrets offer an opportunity to examine the structural and functional components of the mucociliary clearance mechanism at developmental stages which occur prenatally in many laboratory animals and in humans.

  12. Development of banded afferent compartments in the inferior colliculus before onset of hearing in ferrets.

    PubMed

    Henkel, C K; Keiger, C J; Franklin, S R; Brunso-Bechtold, J K

    2007-04-25

    Axonal projections from the lateral superior olivary nuclei (LSO), as well as from the dorsal cochlear nucleus (DCN) and dorsal nucleus of the lateral lemniscus (DNLL), converge in frequency-ordered layers in the central nucleus of the inferior colliculus (IC) where they distribute among different synaptic compartments. A carbocyanine dye, 1,1'-dioctadecyl-3,3,3',3'-tetramethylindocarbocyanine perchlorate (DiI), was used as a tracer to study the postnatal development of axonal projections in the ferret IC. The results indicated that projections from all three nuclei are present at birth, but are not segregated into bands. During the postnatal week between approximately postnatal days 4 and 12 (P4-P12), axons from LSO proliferate in IC, become more branched, and segregate into a series of bands composed of densely packed fibers and endings. LSO projections in these afferent bands course parallel to IC layers and are separated by intervening regions with few endings. A modest fit of a sine curve (R2>0.15) to the pattern of spacing of LSO projections in IC indicated that regularly spaced bands are forming by P7. Similarly, banded patterns of DCN and DNLL projections to IC have developed by the end of the first postnatal week. Thus, well before hearing onset in ferret (P28-30), three different afferent projections have segregated into banded compartments along layers in the central nucleus of the ferret IC. Possible mechanisms in circuit development are discussed.

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

    Pallister, Jackie A; Klein, Reuben; Arkinstall, Rachel; Haining, Jessica; Long, Fenella; White, John R; Payne, Jean; Feng, Yan-Ru; Wang, Lin-Fa; Broder, Christopher C; Middleton, Deborah

    2013-07-16

    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%. 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. 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. 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 post-vaccination, with data supporting

  15. 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

  16. TaqMan real time RT-PCR assays for detecting ferret innate and adaptive immune responses.

    PubMed

    Carolan, Louise A; Butler, Jeff; Rockman, Steve; Guarnaccia, Teagan; Hurt, Aeron C; Reading, Patrick; Kelso, Anne; Barr, Ian; Laurie, Karen L

    2014-09-01

    The ferret is an excellent model for many human infectious diseases including influenza, SARS-CoV, henipavirus and pneumococcal infections. The ferret is also used to study cystic fibrosis and various cancers, as well as reproductive biology and physiology. However, the range of reagents available to measure the ferret immune response is very limited. To address this deficiency, high-throughput real time RT-PCR TaqMan assays were developed to measure the expression of fifteen immune mediators associated with the innate and adaptive immune responses (IFNα, IFNβ, IFNγ, IL1α, IL1β, IL2, IL4, IL6, IL8, IL10, IL12p40, IL17, Granzyme A, MCP1, TNFα), as well as four endogenous housekeeping genes (ATF4, HPRT, GAPDH, L32). These assays have been optimized to maximize reaction efficiency, reduce the amount of sample required (down to 1ng RNA per real time RT-PCR reaction) and to select the most appropriate housekeeping genes. Using these assays, the expression of each of the tested genes could be detected in ferret lymph node cells stimulated with mitogens or infected with influenza virus in vitro. These new tools will allow a more comprehensive analysis of the ferret immune responses following infection or in other disease states.

  17. Monitoring black-footed ferrets during reestablishment of free-ranging populations: Discussion of alternative methods and recommended minimum standards

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Biggins, Dean E.; Godbey, Jerry L.; Matchett, Marc R.; Hanebury, Louis R.; Livieri, Travis M.; Marinari, Paul E.

    2006-01-01

    Although the monitoring of black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes) populations following reintroductions has not been haphazard, several ferret recovery groups since 1994 have recommended development of uniform standards prescribing minimum methods, intensities, and frequencies of monitoring that would provide data on population size, mortality rates, and recruitment. Such standards would promote comparability of data among sites, document expectations for those who will attempt to establish new populations, and allow the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other responsible groups to better assess progress made toward achieving recovery objectives. Our recommendations are based on methods that have been successfully used to monitor natural and reintroduced populations of ferrets and are an attempt to balance needs and costs. We suggest a combination of marking ferrets with passive integrated transponder (PIT) tags and annual spotlight searches coupled with automated transponder readers to individually identify survivors. Unmarked ferrets should be captured and implanted with PIT tags whenever possible. These and other methods are detailed. Circumstances that may dictate other methods or more intensive monitoring (e.g., high rates of loss or low recruitment) also are discussed.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Cytochrome b5 Expression in Gonadectomy-induced Adrenocortical Neoplasms of the Domestic Ferret (Mustela putorius furo)

    PubMed Central

    Wagner, S.; Kiupel, M.; Peterson, R.A.; Heikinheimo, M.; Wilson, D.B.

    2008-01-01

    Whereas the adrenal glands of healthy ferrets produce only limited amounts of androgenic steroids, adrenocortical neoplasms that arise in neutered ferrets typically secrete androgens or their derivative, estrogen. The 17,20-lyase activity of cytochrome P450 17α-hydroxylase/17,20-lyase (P450c17) must increase to permit androgen biosynthesis in neoplastic adrenal tissue. We screened ferret adrenocortical tumor specimens for expression of cytochrome b5 (cyt b5), an allosteric regulator that selectively enhances the 17,20-lyase activity of P450c17. Cyt b5 immunoreactivity was evident in 24 of 25 (96 %) adrenocortical adenomas/carcinomas from ferrets with signs of ectopic sex steroid production. Normal adrenocortical cells lacked cyt b5, which may account for the low production of adrenal androgens in healthy ferrets. Other markers characteristic of gonadal somatic cells, such as luteinizing hormone receptor, aromatase, and GATA4, were co-expressed with cyt b5 in some of the tumors. We conclude that cyt b5 is upregulated during gonadectomy-induced adrenocortical neoplasia and is a marker of androgen synthetic potential in these tumors. PMID:18587089

  1. Efficacy and safety of the combination imidacloprid 10 % / moxidectin 1.0 % spot-on (Advocate(®) spot-on for small cats and ferrets) in the treatment of ear mite infection (Otodectes cynotis) in ferrets.

    PubMed

    Le Sueur, Christophe; Bour, Sophie; Schaper, Roland

    2011-08-01

    In this study, the efficacy and safety of a treatment with the combination imidacloprid 10 %/ moxidectin 1.0 % spot-on (Advocate(®) spot-on for small cats and ferrets) was tested in 39 ferrets naturally infested with ear mites (Otodectes cynotis). The study was performed as a multicentre, non-randomised, non-controlled (all study animals were treated) and non-blinded clinical field study in two French veterinary practices. Four visits (day (D) 0 = inclusion and first treatment, D14 = second treatment, D28 = possible third treatment, D56 = termination) were planned. The dosage was one pipet per ferret (designed for cats weighing up to 4 kg, corresponding to a dose of moxidectin ranging from 2.2 to 5 mg/kg body weight) two or three times at 14-days intervals (at D0, D14 and possibly D28 depending on the parasitological examination of the ears at D28). The main efficacy criterion was the absence of the parasite (all stages incl. eggs, larvae, nymphs and adults) from ear scrapings by microscopic examination. At D28 after two treatments (D0 and D14), 76.9 % (30/39) of animals were cured. Only 23 % (9/39) needed a third treatment. At day 56, 100 % were cured. Local symptoms (inflammation and pruritus) were consistently improved (50.6 % improvement at D14, 81.0 % at D28 and 97.9 % at D56) as well as the abnormal cerumen production (14.7 % improvement at D14, 77.7 % at D28 and 100.0 % at D56). No general symptoms were noticed during the study (general health and skin aspect). Advocate(®) spot-on for small cats and ferrets is an effective and safe treatment for ear mite infection in ferrets. Two or three treatments administered in 14-days intervals to ferrets infested with ear mites provided 100 % parasitological cure on D56.

  2. Brainstem origin of duodenal vagal preganglionic parasympathetic neurons. A WGA-HRP study in the ferret (Mustela Putorius Furo), a human model.

    PubMed

    Odekunle, A; Chinnah, T I

    2003-12-01

    The projections of vagal brainstem neurons to the duodenal segment of the gastrointestinal tract were studied in the ferret using the WGA-HRP neurohistochemical technique. Fourteen adult ferrets with weights ranging from 800 gm to 1500 gm were used for the study. The muscular wall of the duodenum of six ferrets was injected with 0.1 ml of 5% WGA-HRP in 0.5 M sodium chloride. The eight remaining ferrets were used as controls. Two of these had injections of 0.1 ml normal saline into the muscular wall of the duodenum. The second set of two ferrets was injected with 0.1 ml of 5% WGA-HRP in buffer after bilateral truncal vagotomy. The third set of two ferrets received intraperitoneal injection of 0.1 ml of 5% WGA-HRP while, in the last set, the tracer was injected into the hepatic portal vein. Following the injections, the ferrets were allowed to survive for 48-72 hours after which each ferret was perfused transcardially first with normal saline followed by a fixative containing 1% paraformaldehyde and 1.25% glutaraldehyde in 0.1 M phosphate buffer, pH 7.4 at room temperature and finally with 10% buffered sucrose at 4 degrees C. Transverse serial frozen sections of the brainstem were then taken and processed for WGA-HRP neurohistochemistry and were analyzed under light and dark-field illuminations. The analyses of the sections taken from the six ferrets injected with WGA-HRP revealed neurons labelled with the tracer in the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus nerve (DMNV). Sections taken from the control ferrets did not reveal any WGA-HRP labelled neurons in the brainstem.

  3. Use of a SLAM transfected Vero cell line to isolate and characterize marine mammal morbilliviruses using an experimental ferret model.

    PubMed

    Nielsen, Ole; Smith, Greg; Weingartl, Hana; Lair, Stéphane; Measures, Lena

    2008-07-01

    Two ferrets (Mustela putorius furo) were experimentally infected with phocine distemper virus (PDV), from the 1988 seal epizootic in Europe, in order to determine whether the stable transfected Vero cell line (Vero.DogSLAMtag) expressing canine "signaling lymphocyte activation molecules" (SLAM; CD150) receptors, was more suitable for isolating and characterizing PDV when compared with Vero (American Type Culture Collection # C1008) and primary seal kidney (PSK) cells. Both ferrets displayed characteristic clinical signs of distemper, including fever and rash, 10 days postinoculation (dpi) and, due to increased morbidity, they were euthanized 12 dpi. Histologic lesions, suggestive of infection with morbilliviruses, were observed in tissues from both ferrets, and the tissues stained positive using immunohistochemistry. Isolation of PDV from isolated peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBLs), taken at 5 and 10 dpi, was achieved by cocultivation with Vero and PSK cells, following several passages. Cytopathic effects (CPE) were observed in Vero cell cultures at 29 dpi and in PSK cell cultures at 22 dpi. Phocine distemper virus was isolated from frozen infected ferret lung tissue within 48 hr, when isolation was attempted using the Vero.DogSLAMtag cell line. In addition, a reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test was developed to detect a 114 base pair (bp) portion of the nucleocapsid gene found only in PDV. This RT-PCR methodology was used to confirm the identity of the virus subsequently isolated from the ferrets. Viral isolates from the infected ferrets, as well as cultures of virus originally isolated from a dolphin and a porpoise and maintained in Vero cells, also replicated faster and produced higher titers of virus when propagated in Vero.DogSLAMtag cells. These results indicate that Vero.DogSLAMtag cells offer a substantial improvement (including faster viral replication resulting in primary viral isolation in a shorter period of time, and higher

  4. 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

  5. Highly pathogenic avian influenza A virus (H5N1) can be transmitted in ferrets by transfusion.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xue; Tan, Jiying; Zhao, Jiangqin; Ye, Zhiping; Hewlett, Indira

    2014-04-08

    Highly pathogenic avian influenza A virus has been shown to infect organs other than the lung, and this is likely to be mediated by systemic spread resulting from viremia which has been detected in blood in severe cases of infection with avian H5N1 viruses. The infectivity of virus in blood and the potential for virus transmission by transfusion has not been investigated. Using a susceptible ferret animal model, we evaluated viremia and transmission by blood transfusion. Blood was collected on day 2, 4, 6, and 10 post-infection (or before death) from donor ferrets infected with either low dose (1.0 × 10(2.6) EID50/ml) or high dose (1.0 × 10(3.6) EID50/ml) of H5N1 virus, A/VN/1203/04 and transfused to recipient animals. Viremia was observed in 2/12 (16.67%) recipients that received blood from donor ferrets infected with low dose and 7/12 (58.33%) recipients who received blood from high dose infected donors. 1/12 (8.3%) low dose recipients and 6/12 (50%) high dose recipients died within 11 days after transfusion. Increased changes in body weight and temperatures were observed in high dose recipients, and high levels of viral RNA were detected in recipient ferrets after transfusion of blood from the early viremic phase, which also correlated with adverse impact on their survival. These data suggest that highly pathogenic avian influenza A virus, H5N1, is transmissible by blood transfusion in ferrets. Low levels of viremia were detected around the time of onset of symptoms and later in ferrets infected with highly pathogenic H5N1 virus. These findings may have implication for pathogenesis and transmissibility of H5N1.

  6. Effect of sex steroids and coital experience on ferrets' preference for the smell, sight and sound of conspecifics.

    PubMed

    Kelliher, Kevin; Baum, Michael

    2002-05-01

    Previous research showed that ferrets of both sexes recognize potential opposite-sex mates on the basis of volatile body odors. We compared the ability of estrogen and androgen treatments to activate a preference in gonadectomized male and female ferrets for distal cues (volatile body odors alone or volatile odors+sight+sounds) from male versus female stimulus ferrets using an airtight Y-maze and a "stimulus proximity" or a "discrete trials" testing paradigm. Sexually naive, gonadectomized male and female ferrets that received either testosterone propionate (TP) or estradiol benzoate (EB) spent equal time in proximity to goal boxes that provided either volatile odors alone or odors+sight+sounds of male and female stimulus animals. After they received coital experience, male and female subjects (treated with either EB or TP) showed a significant preference for both types of opposite-sex stimuli. When discrete trials tests were given to these ferrets prior to receiving coital experience, EB-treated females preferred to approach odor only cues, as well as odors+sight+sounds of stimulus males, and this preference was further strengthened after coital experience. Sexually naive, TP-treated males preferred to approach volatile odor cues from stimulus females; however, these animals showed an equal preference for odors+sight+sounds of stimulus females and males. Again, after coital experience, males' preference for both sets of cues from stimulus females was significantly enhanced. Thus, in sexually naive ferrets, discrete trials, but not stimulus proximity tests, revealed a preference for distal cues (body odors with or without concurrent sight and sounds) from opposite-sex conspecifics in subjects of both sexes. Coital experience significantly enhanced these preferences for heterosexual distal cues under both testing paradigms.

  7. Surface glycoproteins of influenza A H3N2 virus modulate virus replication in the respiratory tract of ferrets.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Xing; Zengel, James R; Xu, Qi; Jin, Hong

    2012-10-10

    The hemagglutinin (HA) genes of the influenza A H3N2 subtype viruses isolated from 1968 to 2010 have evolved substantially but their neuraminidase (NA) genes have been relatively less divergent. The H3N2 viruses isolated since 1995 were found to replicate in the lower respiratory tract of ferrets less efficiently than the earlier isolates. To evaluate whether the HA or/and NA or the internal protein gene segments of the H3N2 virus affected viral replication in the respiratory tract of ferrets, recombinant A/California/07/2004 (CA04) (H3N2) virus and its reassortants that contained the same CA04 internal protein gene segments and the HA and/or NA of A/Udorn/309/1972 (UD72) or A/Wuhan/359/1995 (WH95) H3N2 viruses were generated and evaluated for their replication in the respiratory tract of ferrets. All the reassortant viruses replicated efficiently in the upper respiratory tract of ferrets, but their replication in the lower respiratory tract of ferrets varied. In contrast to the UD72-HA reassortant virus that replicated efficiently in the lungs of ferrets, the virus with the WH95-HA or the CA04-HA either replicated modestly or did not replicate in the lungs of ferrets. The reassortants with the WH95-HA and UD72-NA or CA04-NA had the tendency to lose a N-linked glycosylation site at residue 246 in the HA, resulting in viral lung titer of 100-fold higher than the virus with the HA and NA from WH95. The UD72-NA had the highest neuraminidase activity and increased viral replication by up to 100-fold in tissue culture cells during early infection. Thus, our data indicate that both the HA and NA glycoproteins play important roles in viral replication of the H3N2 influenza virus in ferrets. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Severity of clinical disease and pathology in ferrets experimentally infected with influenza viruses is influenced by inoculum volume.

    PubMed

    Moore, Ian N; Lamirande, Elaine W; Paskel, Myeisha; Donahue, Danielle; Kenney, Heather; Qin, Jing; Subbarao, Kanta

    2014-12-01

    Ferrets are a valuable model for influenza virus pathogenesis, virus transmission, and antiviral therapy studies. However, the contributions of the volume of inoculum administered and the ferret's respiratory tract anatomy to disease outcome have not been explored. We noted variations in clinical disease outcomes and the volume of inoculum administered and investigated these differences by administering two influenza viruses (A/California/07/2009 [H1N1 pandemic] and A/Minnesota/11/2010 [H3N2 variant]) to ferrets intranasally at a dose of 10(6) 50% tissue culture infective doses in a range of inoculum volumes (0.2, 0.5, or 1.0 ml) and followed viral replication, clinical disease, and pathology over 6 days. Clinical illness and respiratory tract pathology were the most severe and most consistent when the viruses were administered in a volume of 1.0 ml. Using a modified micro-computed tomography imaging method and examining gross specimens, we found that the right main-stem bronchus was consistently larger in diameter than the left main-stem bronchus, though the latter was longer and straighter. These anatomic features likely influence the distribution of the inoculum in the lower respiratory tract. A 1.0-ml volume of inoculum is optimal for delivery of virus to the lower respiratory tract of ferrets, particularly when evaluation of clinical disease is desired. Furthermore, we highlight important anatomical features of the ferret lung that influence the kinetics of viral replication, clinical disease severity, and lung pathology. Ferrets are a valuable model for influenza virus pathogenesis, virus transmission, and antiviral therapy studies. Clinical disease in ferrets is an important parameter in evaluating the virulence of novel influenza viruses, and findings are extrapolated to virulence in humans. Therefore, it is highly desirable that the data from different laboratories be accurate and reproducible. We have found that, even when the same virus was administered

  9. Severity of Clinical Disease and Pathology in Ferrets Experimentally Infected with Influenza Viruses Is Influenced by Inoculum Volume

    PubMed Central

    Moore, Ian N.; Lamirande, Elaine W.; Paskel, Myeisha; Donahue, Danielle; Qin, Jing

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Ferrets are a valuable model for influenza virus pathogenesis, virus transmission, and antiviral therapy studies. However, the contributions of the volume of inoculum administered and the ferret's respiratory tract anatomy to disease outcome have not been explored. We noted variations in clinical disease outcomes and the volume of inoculum administered and investigated these differences by administering two influenza viruses (A/California/07/2009 [H1N1 pandemic] and A/Minnesota/11/2010 [H3N2 variant]) to ferrets intranasally at a dose of 106 50% tissue culture infective doses in a range of inoculum volumes (0.2, 0.5, or 1.0 ml) and followed viral replication, clinical disease, and pathology over 6 days. Clinical illness and respiratory tract pathology were the most severe and most consistent when the viruses were administered in a volume of 1.0 ml. Using a modified micro-computed tomography imaging method and examining gross specimens, we found that the right main-stem bronchus was consistently larger in diameter than the left main-stem bronchus, though the latter was longer and straighter. These anatomic features likely influence the distribution of the inoculum in the lower respiratory tract. A 1.0-ml volume of inoculum is optimal for delivery of virus to the lower respiratory tract of ferrets, particularly when evaluation of clinical disease is desired. Furthermore, we highlight important anatomical features of the ferret lung that influence the kinetics of viral replication, clinical disease severity, and lung pathology. IMPORTANCE Ferrets are a valuable model for influenza virus pathogenesis, virus transmission, and antiviral therapy studies. Clinical disease in ferrets is an important parameter in evaluating the virulence of novel influenza viruses, and findings are extrapolated to virulence in humans. Therefore, it is highly desirable that the data from different laboratories be accurate and reproducible. We have found that, even when the same virus

  10. Isolation, Characterization, and Differentiation of Dental Pulp Stem Cells in Ferrets.

    PubMed

    Homayounfar, Negar; Verma, Prashant; Nosrat, Ali; El Ayachi, Ikbale; Yu, Zongdong; Romberg, Elaine; Huang, George T-J; Fouad, Ashraf F

    2016-03-01

    The ferret canine tooth has been introduced as a suitable model for studying dental pulp regeneration. The aim of this study was to isolate and characterize ferret dental pulp stem cells (fDPSCs) and their differentiation potential. Dental pulp stem cells were isolated from freshly extracted ferret canine teeth. The cells were examined for the expression of stem cell markers STRO-1, CD90, CD105, and CD146. The osteo/odontogenic and adipogenic differentiation potential of fDPSCs was evaluated. Osteogenic and odontogenic marker genes were evaluated using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) on days 1, 4, and 8 after osteo/odontogenic induction of fDPSCs including dentin sialophosphoprotein (DSPP), dentin matrix protein-1, osteopontin, and alkaline phosphatase. Human dental pulp cells were used as the control. The results were analyzed using 3-way analysis of variance. fDPSCs were positive for STRO1, CD90, and CD105 and negative for CD146 markers with immunohistochemistry. fDPSCs showed strong osteogenic and weak adipogenic potential. The overall expression of DSPP was not significantly different between fDPSCs and human dental pulp cells. The expression of DSPP in osteo/odontogenic media was significantly higher in fDPSCs on day 4 (P < .01). The overall expression of dentin matrix protein-1, osteopontin, and alkaline phosphatase was significantly higher in fDPSCs (P = .0005). fDPSCs were positive for several markers of dental pulp stem cells resembling human DPSCs and appeared to show a stronger potential to differentiate to osteoblastic rather than odontoblastic lineage. Copyright © 2016 American Association of Endodontists. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

    Marsh, Glenn A; Virtue, Elena R; Smith, Ina; Todd, Shawn; Arkinstall, Rachel; Frazer, Leah; Monaghan, Paul; Smith, Greg A; Broder, Christopher C; Middleton, Deborah; Wang, Lin-Fa

    2013-03-25

    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. 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. 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. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Pathogenesis and transmission of avian influenza A (H7N9) virus in ferrets and mice.

    PubMed

    Belser, Jessica A; Gustin, Kortney M; Pearce, Melissa B; Maines, Taronna R; Zeng, Hui; Pappas, Claudia; Sun, Xiangjie; Carney, Paul J; Villanueva, Julie M; Stevens, James; Katz, Jacqueline M; Tumpey, Terrence M

    2013-09-26

    On 29 March 2013, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the first reported case of human infection with an avian influenza A(H7N9) virus. The recent human infections with H7N9 virus, totalling over 130 cases with 39 fatalities to date, have been characterized by severe pulmonary disease and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). This is concerning because H7 viruses have typically been associated with ocular disease in humans, rather than severe respiratory disease. This recent outbreak underscores the need to better understand the pathogenesis and transmission of these viruses in mammals. Here we assess the ability of A/Anhui/1/2013 and A/Shanghai/1/2013 (H7N9) viruses, isolated from fatal human cases, to cause disease in mice and ferrets and to transmit to naive animals. Both H7N9 viruses replicated to higher titre in human airway epithelial cells and in the respiratory tract of ferrets compared to a seasonal H3N2 virus. Moreover, the H7N9 viruses showed greater infectivity and lethality in mice compared to genetically related H7N9 and H9N2 viruses. The H7N9 viruses were readily transmitted to naive ferrets through direct contact but, unlike the seasonal H3N2 virus, did not transmit readily by respiratory droplets. The lack of efficient respiratory droplet transmission was corroborated by low receptor-binding specificity for human-like α2,6-linked sialosides. Our results indicate that H7N9 viruses have the capacity for efficient replication in mammals and human airway cells and highlight the need for continued public health surveillance of this emerging virus.

  15. Influenza Virus Respiratory Infection and Transmission Following Ocular Inoculation in Ferrets

    PubMed Central

    Belser, Jessica A.; Gustin, Kortney M.; Maines, Taronna R.; Pantin-Jackwood, Mary J.; Katz, Jacqueline M.; Tumpey, Terrence M.

    2012-01-01

    While influenza viruses are a common respiratory pathogen, sporadic reports of conjunctivitis following human infection demonstrates the ability of this virus to cause disease outside of the respiratory tract. The ocular surface represents both a potential site of virus replication and a portal of entry for establishment of a respiratory infection. However, the properties which govern ocular tropism of influenza viruses, the mechanisms of virus spread from ocular to respiratory tissue, and the potential differences in respiratory disease initiated from different exposure routes are poorly understood. Here, we established a ferret model of ocular inoculation to explore the development of virus pathogenicity and transmissibility following influenza virus exposure by the ocular route. We found that multiple subtypes of human and avian influenza viruses mounted a productive virus infection in the upper respiratory tract of ferrets following ocular inoculation, and were additionally detected in ocular tissue during the acute phase of infection. H5N1 viruses maintained their ability for systemic spread and lethal infection following inoculation by the ocular route. Replication-independent deposition of virus inoculum from ocular to respiratory tissue was limited to the nares and upper trachea, unlike traditional intranasal inoculation which results in virus deposition in both upper and lower respiratory tract tissues. Despite high titers of replicating transmissible seasonal viruses in the upper respiratory tract of ferrets inoculated by the ocular route, virus transmissibility to naïve contacts by respiratory droplets was reduced following ocular inoculation. These data improve our understanding of the mechanisms of virus spread following ocular exposure and highlight differences in the establishment of respiratory disease and virus transmissibility following use of different inoculation volumes and routes. PMID:22396651

  16. Avian influenza h6 viruses productively infect and cause illness in mice and ferrets.

    PubMed

    Gillim-Ross, Laura; Santos, Celia; Chen, Zhongying; Aspelund, Amy; Yang, Chin-Fen; Ye, Dan; Jin, Hong; Kemble, George; Subbarao, Kanta

    2008-11-01

    Influenza pandemic preparedness has focused on influenza virus H5 and H7 subtypes. However, it is not possible to predict with certainty which subtype of avian influenza virus will cause the next pandemic, and it is prudent to include other avian influenza virus subtypes in pandemic preparedness efforts. An H6 influenza virus was identified as a potential progenitor of the H5N1 viruses that emerged in Hong Kong in 1997. This virus continues to circulate in the bird population in Asia, and other H6 viruses are prevalent in birds in North America and Asia. The high rate of reassortment observed in influenza viruses and the prevalence of H6 viruses in birds suggest that this subtype may pose a pandemic risk. Very little is known about the replicative capacity, immunogenicity, and correlates of protective immunity for low-pathogenicity H6 influenza viruses in mammals. We evaluated the antigenic and genetic relatedness of 14 H6 influenza viruses and their abilities to replicate and induce a cross-reactive immune response in two animal models: mice and ferrets. The different H6 viruses replicated to different levels in the respiratory tracts of mice and ferrets, causing varied degrees of morbidity and mortality in these two models. H6 virus infection induced similar patterns of neutralizing antibody responses in mice and ferrets; however, species-specific differences in the cross-reactivity of the antibody responses were observed. Overall, cross-reactivity of neutralizing antibodies in H6 virus-infected mice did not correlate well with protection against heterologous wild-type H6 viruses. However, we have identified an H6 virus that induces protective immunity against viruses in the North American and Eurasian lineages.

  17. Pathogenicity and transmissibility of North American triple reassortant swine influenza A viruses in ferrets.

    PubMed

    Barman, Subrata; Krylov, Petr S; Fabrizio, Thomas P; Franks, John; Turner, Jasmine C; Seiler, Patrick; Wang, David; Rehg, Jerold E; Erickson, Gene A; Gramer, Marie; Webster, Robert G; Webby, Richard J

    2012-01-01

    North American triple reassortant swine (TRS) influenza A viruses have caused sporadic human infections since 2005, but human-to-human transmission has not been documented. These viruses have six gene segments (PB2, PB1, PA, HA, NP, and NS) closely related to those of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic viruses. Therefore, understanding of these viruses' pathogenicity and transmissibility may help to identify determinants of virulence of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic viruses and to elucidate potential human health threats posed by the TRS viruses. Here we evaluated in a ferret model the pathogenicity and transmissibility of three groups of North American TRS viruses containing swine-like and/or human-like HA and NA gene segments. The study was designed only to detect informative and significant patterns in the transmissibility and pathogenicity of these three groups of viruses. We observed that irrespective of their HA and NA lineages, the TRS viruses were moderately pathogenic in ferrets and grew efficiently in both the upper and lower respiratory tracts. All North American TRS viruses studied were transmitted between ferrets via direct contact. However, their transmissibility by respiratory droplets was related to their HA and NA lineages: TRS viruses with human-like HA and NA were transmitted most efficiently, those with swine-like HA and NA were transmitted minimally or not transmitted, and those with swine-like HA and human-like NA (N2) showed intermediate transmissibility. We conclude that the lineages of HA and NA may play a crucial role in the respiratory droplet transmissibility of these viruses. These findings have important implications for pandemic planning and warrant confirmation.

  18. 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.

  19. Single injection recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus vaccines protect ferrets against lethal Nipah virus disease

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Nipah virus (NiV) is a highly pathogenic zoonotic agent in the family Paramyxoviridae that is maintained in nature by bats. Outbreaks have occurred in Malaysia, Singapore, India, and Bangladesh and have been associated with 40 to 75% case fatality rates. There are currently no vaccines or postexposure treatments licensed for combating human NiV infection. Methods and results Four groups of ferrets received a single vaccination with different recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus vectors expressing: Group 1, control with no glycoprotein; Group 2, the NiV fusion protein (F); Group 3, the NiV attachment protein (G); and Group 4, a combination of the NiV F and G proteins. Animals were challenged intranasally with NiV 28 days after vaccination. Control ferrets in Group 1 showed characteristic clinical signs of NiV disease including respiratory distress, neurological disorders, viral load in blood and tissues, and gross lesions and antigen in target tissues; all animals in this group succumbed to infection by day 8. Importantly, all specifically vaccinated ferrets in Groups 2-4 showed no evidence of clinical illness and survived challenged. All animals in these groups developed anti-NiV F and/or G IgG and neutralizing antibody titers. While NiV RNA was detected in blood at day 6 post challenge in animals from Groups 2-4, the levels were orders of magnitude lower than animals from control Group 1. Conclusions These data show protective efficacy against NiV in a relevant model of human infection. Further development of this technology has the potential to yield effective single injection vaccines for NiV infection. PMID:24330654

  20. 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

  1. A chimeric measles virus with canine distemper envelope protects ferrets from lethal distemper challenge.

    PubMed

    Rouxel, Ronan Nicolas; Svitek, Nicholas; von Messling, Veronika

    2009-08-06

    CDV infects a broad range of carnivores, and over the past decades it has caused outbreaks in a variety of wild carnivore populations. Since the currently available live-attenuated vaccine is not sufficiently safe in these highly susceptible species, we produced a chimeric virus combining the replication complex of the measles Moraten vaccine strain with the envelope of a recent CDV wild type isolate. The resulting virus did not cause disease or immunosuppression in ferrets and conferred protection from challenge with a lethal wild type strain, demonstrating its potential value for wildlife conservation efforts.

  2. Pathogenicity testing of influenza candidate vaccine viruses in the ferret model.

    PubMed

    Belser, Jessica A; Johnson, Adam; Pulit-Penaloza, Joanna A; Pappas, Claudia; Pearce, Melissa B; Tzeng, Wen-Pin; Hossain, M Jaber; Ridenour, Callie; Wang, Li; Chen, Li-Mei; Wentworth, David E; Katz, Jacqueline M; Maines, Taronna R; Tumpey, Terrence M

    2017-08-25

    The development of influenza candidate vaccine viruses (CVVs) for pre-pandemic vaccine production represents a critical step in pandemic preparedness. The multiple subtypes and clades of avian or swine origin influenza viruses circulating world-wide at any one time necessitates the continuous generation of CVVs to provide an advanced starting point should a novel zoonotic virus cross the species barrier and cause a pandemic. Furthermore, the evolution and diversity of novel influenza viruses that cause zoonotic infections requires ongoing monitoring and surveillance, and, when a lack of antigenic match between circulating viruses and available CVVs is identified, the production of new CVVs. Pandemic guidelines developed by the WHO Global Influenza Program govern the design and preparation of reverse genetics-derived CVVs, which must undergo numerous safety and quality tests prior to human use. Confirmation of reassortant CVV attenuation of virulence in ferrets relative to wild-type virus represents one of these critical steps, yet there is a paucity of information available regarding the relative degree of attenuation achieved by WHO-recommended CVVs developed against novel viruses with pandemic potential. To better understand the degree of CVV attenuation in the ferret model, we examined the relative virulence of six A/Puerto Rico/8/1934-based CVVs encompassing five different influenza A subtypes (H2N3, H5N1, H5N2, H5N8, and H7N9) compared with the respective wild-type virus in ferrets. Despite varied virulence of wild-type viruses in the ferret, all CVVs examined showed reductions in morbidity and viral shedding in upper respiratory tract tissues. Furthermore, unlike the wild-type counterparts, none of the CVVs spread to extrapulmonary tissues during the acute phase of infection. While the magnitude of virus attenuation varied between virus subtypes, collectively we show the reliable and reproducible attenuation of CVVs that have the A/Puerto Rico/9/1934 backbone

  3. Mycobacterial lesions in fish, amphibians, reptiles, rodents, lagomorphs, and ferrets with reference to animal models.

    PubMed

    Reavill, Drury R; Schmidt, Robert E

    2012-01-01

    Mycobacteriosis is a serious disease across many animal species. Approximately more than 120 species are currently recognized in the genus Mycobacterium. This article describes the zoonotic potential of mycobacteria and mycobacteriosis in fish, amphibians, rodents, rabbits, and ferrets. It considers clinical signs; histology; molecular methods of identification, such as polymerase chain reaction and DNA sequencing; routes of infection; and disease progression. Studying the disease in animals may aid in understanding the pathogenesis of mycobacterial infections in humans and identify better therapy and preventative options such as vaccines.

  4. Prevention of Disease in Ferrets Fed an Inactivated Whole Cell Campylobacter jejuni Vaccine

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-03-29

    Vaccine 23 (2005) 4315–4321 Prevention of disease in ferrets fed an inactivated whole cell Campylobacter jejuni vaccine Donald H. Burr a, David...prepared from Campylobacter jejuni to protect against disease. C 10 ( m u h a d d w o w s t c t a s t P K P A 1 0 d . jejuni strain 81–176 was grown in BHI...determined by ELISA showed little increase following the CWC four dose vaccination regimen, compared o animals given one dose of the live organism. On

  5. The immune correlates of protection for an avian influenza H5N1 vaccine in the ferret model using oil-in-water adjuvants.

    PubMed

    Wong, Sook-San; Duan, Susu; DeBeauchamp, Jennifer; Zanin, Mark; Kercher, Lisa; Sonnberg, Stephanie; Fabrizio, Thomas; Jeevan, Trushar; Crumpton, Jeri-Carol; Oshansky, Christine; Sun, Yilun; Tang, Li; Thomas, Paul; Webby, Richard

    2017-03-17

    Because of the pathogenicity and low incidence of avian influenza virus infections in humans, the immune correlates of protection for avian influenza vaccines cannot be determined from clinical studies. Here, we used the ferret model to address this for an avian influenza H5N1 vaccine. Using oil-in-water adjuvants, we generated groups of ferrets with undetectable (geometric mean titer [GMT] < 10), low (GMT = 28.3), or high (GMT > 761.1) hemagglutination-inhibition (HAI) titers to the A/Viet Nam/1203/2004 (H5N1) virus. Ferrets were then challenged with the wild-type virus and disease severity and immunologic parameters were studied. The severity of infection and symptom profile were inversely associated with pre-challenge HAI titers in a dose-dependent manner. A vaccinated ferret with no detectable HAI-antibodies but high flu-specific IgG-antibody titers mounted rapid functional antibodies after infection and experienced milder disease compared to other ferrets in the group. Compared to naïve ferrets, all vaccinated ferrets showed improved cellular immunity in the lungs and peripheral blood. High number of IFNγ(+) CD8- T cells in the airways was associated with early viral clearance. Thus, while neutralizing antibodies are the best correlate of protection, non-neutralizing antibodies can also be protective. This should be taken into consideration in future avian influenza vaccine trials.

  6. Pathogenesis of Influenza A/H5N1 Virus Infection in Ferrets Differs between Intranasal and Intratracheal Routes of Inoculation

    PubMed Central

    Bodewes, Rogier; Kreijtz, Joost H.C.M.; van Amerongen, Geert; Fouchier, Ron A.M.; Osterhaus, Albert D.M.E.; Rimmelzwaan, Guus F.; Kuiken, Thijs

    2011-01-01

    Most patients infected with highly pathogenic avian influenza A/H5N1 virus develop severe pneumonia resulting in acute respiratory distress syndrome, with extrarespiratory disease as an uncommon complication. Intranasal inoculation of ferrets with influenza A/H5N1 virus causes lesions in both the respiratory tract and extrarespiratory organs (primarily brain). However, the route of spread to extrarespiratory organs and the relative contribution of extrarespiratory disease to pathogenicity are largely unknown. In the present study, we characterized lesions in the respiratory tract and central nervous system (CNS) of ferrets (n = 8) inoculated intranasally with influenza virus A/Indonesia/5/2005 (H5N1). By 7 days after inoculation, only 3 of 8 ferrets had a mild or moderate bronchointerstitial pneumonia. In contrast, all 8 ferrets had moderate or severe CNS lesions, characterized by meningoencephalitis, choroiditis, and ependymitis, and centered on tissues adjoining the cerebrospinal fluid. These findings indicate that influenza A/H5N1 virus spread directly from nasal cavity to brain, and that CNS lesions contributed more than pulmonary lesions to the pathogenicity of influenza A/H5N1 virus infection in ferrets. In comparison, intratracheal inoculation of ferrets with the same virus reproducibly caused severe bronchointerstitial pneumonia. The method of virus inoculation requires careful consideration in the design of ferret experiments as a model for influenza A/H5N1 in humans. PMID:21640972

  7. The immune correlates of protection for an avian influenza H5N1 vaccine in the ferret model using oil-in-water adjuvants

    PubMed Central

    Wong, Sook-San; Duan, Susu; DeBeauchamp, Jennifer; Zanin, Mark; Kercher, Lisa; Sonnberg, Stephanie; Fabrizio, Thomas; Jeevan, Trushar; Crumpton, Jeri-Carol; Oshansky, Christine; Sun, Yilun; Tang, Li; Thomas, Paul; Webby, Richard

    2017-01-01

    Because of the pathogenicity and low incidence of avian influenza virus infections in humans, the immune correlates of protection for avian influenza vaccines cannot be determined from clinical studies. Here, we used the ferret model to address this for an avian influenza H5N1 vaccine. Using oil-in-water adjuvants, we generated groups of ferrets with undetectable (geometric mean titer [GMT] < 10), low (GMT = 28.3), or high (GMT > 761.1) hemagglutination-inhibition (HAI) titers to the A/Viet Nam/1203/2004 (H5N1) virus. Ferrets were then challenged with the wild-type virus and disease severity and immunologic parameters were studied. The severity of infection and symptom profile were inversely associated with pre-challenge HAI titers in a dose-dependent manner. A vaccinated ferret with no detectable HAI-antibodies but high flu-specific IgG-antibody titers mounted rapid functional antibodies after infection and experienced milder disease compared to other ferrets in the group. Compared to naïve ferrets, all vaccinated ferrets showed improved cellular immunity in the lungs and peripheral blood. High number of IFNγ+ CD8- T cells in the airways was associated with early viral clearance. Thus, while neutralizing antibodies are the best correlate of protection, non-neutralizing antibodies can also be protective. This should be taken into consideration in future avian influenza vaccine trials. PMID:28303960

  8. Recovery of the black-footed ferret: Progress and continuing challenges- Proceedings of the Symposium on the Status of the Black-footed Ferret and Its Habitat, Fort Collins, Colorado, January 28-29, 2004

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Roelle, James E.; Miller, Brian J.; Godbey, Jerry L.; Biggins, Dean E.

    2006-01-01

    The black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes) is a member of the weasel family (Mustelidae) and is closely related to the Siberian polecat (M. eversmannii) of Asian steppes and the European polecat (M. putorius). Compared to its relatives, the black-footed ferret is an extreme specialist, depending on the prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) of North American grasslands for food and using prairie dog burrows for shelter. The black-footed ferret’s close association with prairie dogs was an important factor in its decline. Prairie dogs were regarded as an agricultural pest as human settlement progressed westward, and they became important hosts for plague as that disease colonized eastward from its sources of introduction on the west coast. Prairie dog numbers were dramatically reduced by poisoning, cropland conversions, and plague during the first half of the 20th century, and black-footed ferret populations declined precipitously. The black-footed ferret was included on the first lists of endangered species, and its status was precarious by the time the Endangered Species Act of 1973 was passed. Its rebound from a low point of 10 known individuals in spring of 1985 (Biggins and others, 2006) is impressive, but the species is not yet “recovered” in either the biological or legal sense (for further details, see Lockhart and others, this volume).

  9. 78 FR 77485 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Revised Recovery Plan for the Black-Footed Ferret

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-12-23

    ... North America wherever prairie dogs occurred. The species was listed as endangered in 1967 (32 FR 4001... with prairie dogs was an important factor in the ferret's decline. From the late 1800s to approximately the 1960s, prairie dog-occupied habitat and prairie dog numbers were dramatically reduced by the...

  10. Amrinone effects on electromechanical coupling and depolarization-induced automaticity in ventricular muscle of guinea pigs and ferrets.

    PubMed

    Malécot, C O; Arlock, P; Katzung, B G

    1985-01-01

    The effects of the cardiotonic agent, amrinone (0.05-4 mM), on electrical and mechanical activities of ferret and guinea-pig papillary muscles were studied using current and voltage clamp (single sucrose gap) techniques. In current clamp studies, amrinone increased, in a dose-dependent manner, contractile force elicited by action potential in both species. Depolarization-induced automaticity was facilitated in ferret muscles at all maximum diastolic potentials between -70 and -15 mV. Facilitation of automaticity in guinea-pig muscles occurred only at potentials more negative than -35 mV and was suppressed at more positive potentials. Cimetidine (10 microM) partially reversed the effects of amrinone on automaticity in both species. In voltage clamp studies, amrinone increased the slow inward current. Steady-state outward current was increased in guinea-pig but not in ferret muscles. A dual effect of amrinone on tension was observed. Amrinone was found to increase phasic tension of ferret papillary muscles only for depolarizations lasting less than 250 to 300 msec. For longer depolarizations, amrinone decreased the phasic tension (in a dose-dependent manner), whereas the tonic tension was not modified. The decrease as well as the increase in tension was associated with an increase of the slow inward current. The results suggest that amrinone may be arrhythmogenic and may have an intracellular action at the sarcoplasmic reticulum level (partial inhibition) in addition to its action on the calcium current.

  11. Epidemiology and clinical presentation of canine distemper disease in dogs and ferrets in Australia, 2006-2014.

    PubMed

    Wyllie, S E; Kelman, M; Ward, M P

    2016-07-01

    To determine the status and distribution of distemper in Australian dogs and ferrets. Retrospective case series. Cases were identified via a national voluntary disease reporting system, veterinarian groups and a national laboratory database. The geographic distribution, seasonal distribution, signalment and clinical presentation of cases were described using maps and frequency distributions. A total of 48 individually affected dogs and ferrets in 27 case groups were identified, including eight confirmed case groups (> one individual). Confirmed cases were more common in summer and on the central coast of New South Wales and southern Victoria, and occurred exclusively in young, unvaccinated dogs. For dogs there was no obvious sex predilection. A mortality rate of 100% in ferrets and up to 77% in dogs was estimated. Neurological, gastrointestinal and respiratory were the most commonly reported systems affected in dogs and ferrets. There was no evidence that any large, unreported outbreaks occurred during the study period. Continuation of vaccination against canine distemper virus is justified within Australia, particularly for younger dogs. Veterinarians should continue to consider distemper in their differential diagnosis of cases with neurological, gastrointestinal and respiratory presentation. © 2016 Australian Veterinary Association.

  12. Germinal zones in the developing cerebral cortex of ferret: ontogeny, cell cycle kinetics, and diversity of progenitors.

    PubMed

    Reillo, Isabel; Borrell, Víctor

    2012-09-01

    Expansion and folding of the cerebral cortex are landmark features of mammalian brain evolution. This is recapitulated during embryonic development, and specialized progenitor cell populations known as intermediate radial glia cells (IRGCs) are believed to play central roles. Because developmental mechanisms involved in cortical expansion and folding are likely conserved across phylogeny, it is crucial to identify features specific for gyrencephaly from those unique to primate brain development. Here, we studied multiple features of cortical development in ferret, a gyrencephalic carnivore, in comparison with primates. Analyzing the combinatorial expression of transcription factors, cytoskeletal proteins, and cell cycle parameters, we identified a combination of traits that distinguish in ferret similar germinal layers as in primates. Transcription factor analysis indicated that inner subventricular zone (ISVZ) and outer subventricular zone (OSVZ) may contain an identical mixture of progenitor cell subpopulations in ferret. However, we found that these layers emerge at different time points, differ in IRGC abundance, and progenitors have different cell cycle kinetics and self-renewal dynamics. Thus, ISVZ and OSVZ are likely distinguished by genetic differences regulating progenitor cell behavior and dynamics. Our findings demonstrate that some, but not all, features of primate cortical development are shared by the ferret, suggesting a conserved role in the evolutionary emergence of gyrencephaly.

  13. Length-tension relationships of sub-epicardial and sub-endocardial single ventricular myocytes from rat and ferret hearts.

    PubMed

    Cazorla, O; Le Guennec, J Y; White, E

    2000-05-01

    In vivo the sub-epicardial myocardium (EPI) and sub-endocardial myocardium (ENDO) operate over different ranges of sarcomere length (SL). However, it has not been previously shown whether EPI and ENDO work upon different ranges of the same or differing length-tension curves. We have compared the SL-tension relationship of intact, single ventricular EPI and ENDO myocytes from rat and ferret hearts. Cells were attached to carbon fibres of known compliance in order to stretch them and to record force at rest (passive tension) and during contractions (active tension). In both species, ENDO cells were significantly stiffer (i.e. had steeper SL-passive tension relationships) than EPI cells. Ferret ENDO cells had significantly steeper SL-active tension relationships than EPI cells; rat cells tended to behave similarly but no significant regional differences in active properties were observed. There were no inter-species differences in the active and passive properties of EPI cells, but ferret ENDO cells displayed significantly steeper passive and active SL-tension relationships than rat ENDO. We conclude that in vivo, ferret EPI and ENDO myocytes will function over different ranges of different SL-tension curves. There is a close relationship between SL and active tension (the Frank-Starling law of the heart), and our observations suggest that regional differences in the response to ventricular dilation will depend on both the change in SL and differing regional slopes of the SL-active tension curves.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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,...

  15. A neutralizing human monoclonal antibody protects against lethal disease in a new ferret model of acute nipah virus infection.

    PubMed

    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

    2009-10-01

    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 TCID(50) 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. [Clinical evaluation of three medetomidine--midazolam--ketamine combinations for neutering of ferrets (Mustela putorius furo)].

    PubMed

    Schernthaner, Anita; Lendl, Christine; Busch, Raymonde; Henke, Julia

    2008-01-01

    33 ferrets (Mustela putorius furo, 11 females, 22 males, ASA I-II) were neutered in a combination anaesthesia with medetomidine, midazolam and ketamine. The animals were randomized into 3 groups. All animals received 20 microg/kg BW medetomidine and 0.5 mg/kg BW midazolam. The three groups differed regarding dosis and way of application of ketamine (IM10 = 10 mg/kg BW intramuscularly; IM07 = 7 mg/kg BW intramuscularly; SC10 = 10 mg/kg BW subcutaneously). After 30 minutes anaesthesia was partially antagonised with 100 microg/kg BW atipamezole i.m.. Sedation, muscle relaxation, analgesia, and overall anaesthetic impression were compared by a scoring protocol. Reactions to painful stimuli of clamping the spermatic cord or the ovarial ligament including the A. ovarica were judged, too. All animals lost their righting reflex and could be placed in dorsal recumbency. Induction and recovery time were significantly the shortest in study group IM10 with 1.73 +/- 0.3 and 9.73 +/- 4.6 min respectively. Recovery was significantly prolonged in group SC10 with 30.27 +/- 15.6 min. The MMK-anaesthesia with 10 mg/kg ketamine i.m. is very useful for neutering ferrets. Respiratory depression and bradycardia typically for medetomidine were seen in all three combinations, but quickly reversed after partial antagonisation. Induction and intubation, followed by inhalation anaesthesia, were possible with all three regimes.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-30

    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.

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

    Kirchenbaum, Greg A; Carter, Donald M; Ross, Ted M

    2015-11-11

    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. 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 directed at the HA

  6. 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

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

    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; Peiris, Malik; Yen, Hui-Ling

    2015-10-01

    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. 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 determinant PB2 residue 627

  9. Selection of multi-drug resistant influenza A and B viruses under zanamivir pressure and their replication fitness in ferrets.

    PubMed

    Oh, Ding Yuan; Panozzo, Jacqueline; Vitesnik, Sophie; Farrukee, Rubaiyea; Piedrafita, David; Mosse, Jennifer; Hurt, Aeron C

    2017-02-14

    Intravenous zanamivir has been used to treat patients with severe influenza. Because the majority of cases (including immunocompromised patients) require the drug for an extended period of treatment, there is a higher risk that the virus will develop resistance. Therefore, knowing the possible amino acid substitutions that may arise in recently circulating influenza strains under prolonged zanamivir exposure and their impact on antiviral susceptibility is important. Influenza A(H1N1)pdm09, A(H3N2) and B virus were serially passaged under increasing zanamivir pressure in vitro. Neuraminidase (NA) mutations that arose were introduced into recombinant viruses and the susceptibility to oseltamivir, zanamivir, peramivir and laninamivir was determined. The replication fitness of the recombinant variants was assessed in the ferret. NA mutations E119D (N1 numbering) and E117D (B numbering) were detected in A(H1N1)pdm09 and B (Victoria-lineage) viruses respectively and were associated with reduced susceptibility to all four NA inhibitors. No NA mutations were detected in the A(H3N2) or B (Yamagata-lineage) viruses. In ferrets, the A(H1N1)pdm09 E119D variant caused a lower degree of morbidity and the mutation was found to be unstable with E119 reverted virus detected 4 days post-infection of ferrets with the variant E119D virus. In contrast, the influenza B E117D variant was genetically stable in ferrets, caused a noticeable level of morbidity but had a significant reduction in replication fitness compared to wild-type virus. The NA mutations E119D in influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 and E117D in influenza B viruses that arose under zanamivir pressure conferred resistance to multiple NAIs but had compromised viral replication in ferrets compared to wild-type virus without antiviral drug pressure.

  10. Low dose influenza virus challenge in the ferret leads to increased virus shedding and greater sensitivity to oseltamivir.

    PubMed

    Marriott, Anthony C; Dove, Brian K; Whittaker, Catherine J; Bruce, Christine; Ryan, Kathryn A; Bean, Thomas J; Rayner, Emma; Pearson, Geoff; Taylor, Irene; Dowall, Stuart; Plank, Jenna; Newman, Edmund; Barclay, Wendy S; Dimmock, Nigel J; Easton, Andrew J; Hallis, Bassam; Silman, Nigel J; Carroll, Miles W

    2014-01-01

    Ferrets are widely used to study human influenza virus infection. Their airway physiology and cell receptor distribution makes them ideal for the analysis of pathogenesis and virus transmission, and for testing the efficacy of anti-influenza interventions and vaccines. The 2009 pandemic influenza virus (H1N1pdm09) induces mild to moderate respiratory disease in infected ferrets, following inoculation with 106 plaque-forming units (pfu) of virus. We have demonstrated that reducing the challenge dose to 102 pfu delays the onset of clinical signs by 1 day, and results in a modest reduction in clinical signs, and a less rapid nasal cavity innate immune response. There was also a delay in virus production in the upper respiratory tract, this was up to 9-fold greater and virus shedding was prolonged. Progression of infection to the lower respiratory tract was not noticeably delayed by the reduction in virus challenge. A dose of 104 pfu gave an infection that was intermediate between those of the 106 pfu and 102 pfu doses. To address the hypothesis that using a more authentic low challenge dose would facilitate a more sensitive model for antiviral efficacy, we used the well-known neuraminidase inhibitor, oseltamivir. Oseltamivir-treated and untreated ferrets were challenged with high (106 pfu) and low (102 pfu) doses of influenza H1N1pdm09 virus. The low dose treated ferrets showed significant delays in innate immune response and virus shedding, delayed onset of pathological changes in the nasal cavity, and reduced pathological changes and viral RNA load in the lung, relative to untreated ferrets. Importantly, these observations were not seen in treated animals when the high dose challenge was used. In summary, low dose challenge gives a disease that more closely parallels the disease parameters of human influenza infection, and provides an improved pre-clinical model for the assessment of influenza therapeutics, and potentially, influenza vaccines.

  11. A recombinant Hendra virus G glycoprotein-based subunit vaccine protects ferrets from lethal Hendra virus challenge.

    PubMed

    Pallister, Jackie; Middleton, Deborah; Wang, Lin-Fa; Klein, Reuben; Haining, Jessica; Robinson, Rachel; Yamada, Manabu; White, John; Payne, Jean; Feng, Yan-Ru; Chan, Yee-Peng; Broder, Christopher C

    2011-08-05

    The henipaviruses, Hendra virus (HeV) and Nipah virus (NiV), are two deadly zoonotic viruses for which no vaccines or therapeutics have yet been approved for human or livestock use. In 14 outbreaks since 1994 HeV has been responsible for multiple fatalities in horses and humans, with all known human infections resulting from close contact with infected horses. A vaccine that prevents virus shedding in infected horses could interrupt the chain of transmission to humans and therefore prevent HeV disease in both. Here we characterise HeV infection in a ferret model and show that it closely mirrors the disease seen in humans and horses with induction of systemic vasculitis, including involvement of the pulmonary and central nervous systems. This model of HeV infection in the ferret was used to assess the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of a subunit vaccine based on a recombinant soluble version of the HeV attachment glycoprotein G (HeVsG), adjuvanted with CpG. We report that ferrets vaccinated with a 100 μg, 20 μg or 4 μg dose of HeVsG remained free of clinical signs of HeV infection following a challenge with 5000 TCID₅₀ of HeV. In addition, and of considerable importance, no evidence of virus or viral genome was detected in any tissues or body fluids in any ferret in the 100 and 20 μg groups, while genome was detected in the nasal washes only of one animal in the 4 μg group. Together, our findings indicate that 100 μg or 20 μg doses of HeVsG vaccine can completely prevent a productive HeV infection in the ferret, suggesting that vaccination to prevent the infection and shedding of HeV is possible.

  12. Evaluation of intraocular pressure in conscious ferrets (Mustela putorius furo) by means of rebound tonometry and comparison with applanation tonometry.

    PubMed

    Di Girolamo, N; Andreani, V; Guandalini, A; Selleri, P

    2013-04-13

    To determine normal intraocular pressure (IOP) values by means of rebound tonometry in unanaesthetised ferrets, and to compare rebound and applanation tonometry, 55 clinically healthy ferrets were included in an observational, prospective, blinded study. On 52 ferrets, IOP was measured by means of rebound and applanation tonometry. On 3 ferrets, rebound tonometry was performed every two hours over a 24-hour period. Mean IOPs of the 104 eyes obtained with the rebound tonometer were 14.07±0.35 (95% CI 13.37 to 14.77) tonometer-units (TU). The IOP was significantly higher in males than in females, controlling for age and weight. A study-ordered decrease in coefficient of variation (CV) was observed (measurement 1-52=21.2±1.4 per cent v measurement 53-104=14.4±1.1 per cent) and high CVs (>30 per cent) were significantly less frequent in measurement 53-104. A significant difference in IOP during the 24- hour measurements was found, with the lowest IOP recorded at 22:00. The tonometers presented poor agreement, and IOP values were not correlated. The difference in IOP estimation increased with the magnitude of the measurements. Applanation tonometry presented a significant higher frequency of per-eye IOP values exceeding 25 and 30 TU, and a significant lower repeatability (CV=37.1±2.6 per cent v 17.8±1.2 per cent) compared with rebound tonometry. In conclusion, several factors need to be considered when measuring IOP in ferrets.

  13. 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Retinal Input Influences the Size and Corticocortical Connectivity of Visual Cortex During Postnatal Development in the Ferret

    PubMed Central

    Bock, A. S.; Kroenke, C. D.; Taber, E. N.; Olavarria, J. F.

    2013-01-01

    Retinal input plays an important role in the specification of topographically organized circuits and neuronal response properties, but the mechanism and timing of this effect is not known in most species. A system that shows dramatic dependence on retinal influences is the interhemispheric connection through the corpus callosum. Using ferrets, we analyzed the extent to which development of the visual callosal pattern depends on retinal influences, and explored the period during which these influences are required for normal pattern formation. We studied the mature callosal patterns in normal ferrets and in ferrets bilaterally enucleated (BE) at postnatal day 7 (P7) or P20. Callosal patterns were revealed in tangential sections from unfolded and flattened brains following multiple injections of horseradish peroxidase in the opposite hemisphere. We also estimated the effect of enucleation on the surface areas of striate and extrastriate visual cortex by using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data from intact brains. In BEP7 ferrets we found that the pattern of callosal connections was highly anomalous and the sizes of both striate and extrastriate visual cortex were significantly reduced. In contrast, enucleation at P20 had no significant effect on the callosal pattern, but it still caused a reduction in the size of striate and extrastriate visual cortex. Finally, retinal deafferentation had no significant effect on the number of visual callosal neurons. These results indicate that the critical period during which the eyes influence the development of callosal patterns, but not the size of visual cortex, ends by P20 in the ferret. PMID:21830218

  15. 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

  16. A single dose of whole inactivated H7N9 influenza vaccine confers protection from severe disease but not infection in ferrets.

    PubMed

    Wong, Sook-San; Jeevan, Trushar; Kercher, Lisa; Yoon, Sun-Woo; Petkova, Atanaska-Marinova; Crumpton, Jeri-Carol; Franks, John; Debeauchamp, Jennifer; Rubrum, Adam; Seiler, Patrick; Krauss, Scott; Webster, Robert; Webby, Richard J

    2014-07-31

    The H7N9 influenza virus caused significant mortality and morbidity in infected humans during an outbreak in China in 2013 stimulating vaccine development efforts. As previous H7-based vaccines have been poorly immunogenic in humans we sought to determine the immunogenic and protective properties of an inactivated whole virus vaccine derived from a 2013 H7N9 virus in ferrets. As whole virus vaccine preparations have been shown to be more immunogenic in humans, but less likely to be used, than split or surface antigen formulations, we vaccinated ferrets with a single dose of 15, 30, or 50 μg of the vaccine and subsequently challenged with wild-type A/Anhui/1/2013 (H7N9) either by direct instillation or by contact with infected animals. Although ferrets vaccinated with higher doses of vaccine had higher serum hemagglutinin inhibition (HI) titers, the titers were still low. During subsequent instillation challenge, however, ferrets vaccinated with 50 μg of vaccine showed no illness and shed significantly less virus than mock vaccinated controls. All vaccinated ferrets had lower virus loads in their lungs as compared to controls. In a separate study where unvaccinated-infected ferrets were placed in the same cage with vaccinated-uninfected ferrets, vaccination did not prevent infection in the contact ferrets, although they showed a trend of lower viral load. Overall, we conclude that inactivated whole-virus H7N9 vaccine was able to reduce the severity of infection and viral load, despite the lack of hemagglutinin-inhibiting antibodies.

  17. MRI-based morphometric characterizations of sexual dimorphism of the cerebrum of ferrets (Mustela putorius).

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-01

    The present study aimed to characterize cerebral morphology in young adult ferrets and its sexual dimorphism using high-field MRI and MRI-based morphometry. Ex vivo short TR/TE (typical T1-weighted parameter setting for conventional MRI) and T2W (long TR/TE) MRI with high spatial resolution at 7-tesla could visualize major subcortical and archicortical structures, i.e., the caudate nucleus, lentiform nucleus, amygdala and hippocampus. In particular, laminar organization of the olfactory bulb was identifiable by short TR/TE-MRI. The primary and secondary sulci observable in the adult ferret were distinguishable on either short TR/TE- or T2W-MRI, and the cortical surface morphology was reproduced well by 3D-rendered images obtained by short TR/TE-MRI. The cerebrum had a significantly lower volume in females than in males, which was attributed to region-specific volume reduction in the cerebral cortex and subcortical white matter in females. A sexual difference was also detected, manifested by an overall reduction in normalized signal ratios of short TR/TE-MRI in all cerebral structures examined in females than in males. On the other hand, an alternating array of higher and lower short TR/TE-MRI intensity transverse zones throughout the cortex, which was reminiscent of the functional cortical areas, was revealed by maximum intensity projection (MIP) in 3D. The normalized signal ratio of short TR/TE-MRI, but not T2W-MRI in the cortex, was negatively correlated with the density of myelin-basic protein immunoreactive fibers (males, r=-0.440; females, r=-0.481). The present results suggest that sexual differences in the adult ferret cerebrum are characterized by reduced volumes of the cerebral cortex and subcortical white matter in females, and by overall reductions in physiochemical characteristics, as obtained by short TR/TE-MRI, in females. It should be noted that short TR/TE-MRI-based MIP delineated functional cortical areas related to myeloarchitecture in 3D. Such an

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Flow Cytometric and Cytokine ELISpot Approaches To Characterize the Cell-Mediated Immune Response in Ferrets following Influenza Virus Infection

    PubMed Central

    DiPiazza, Anthony; Richards, Katherine; Batarse, Frances; Lockard, Laura; Zeng, Hui; García-Sastre, Adolfo; Albrecht, Randy A.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Influenza virus infections represent a significant socioeconomic and public health burden worldwide. Although ferrets are considered by many to be ideal for modeling human responses to influenza infection and vaccination, efforts to understand the cellular immune response have been severely hampered by a paucity of standardized procedures and reagents. In this study, we developed flow cytometric and T cell enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot (ELISpot) approaches to characterize the leukocyte composition and antigen-specific T cell response within key lymphoid tissues following influenza virus infection in ferrets. Through a newly designed and implemented set of serological reagents, we used multiparameter flow cytometry to directly quantify the frequency of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, Ig+ B cells, CD11b+ myeloid-derived cells, and major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II-positive antigen-presenting cells (APCs) both prior to and after intranasal infection with A/California/04/09 (H1N1). We found that the leukocyte composition was altered at 10 days postinfection, with notable gains in the frequency of T cells and myeloid cells within the draining lymph node. Furthermore, these studies revealed that the antigen specificity of influenza virus-reactive CD4 and CD8 T cells was very broad, with recognition of the viral HA, NA, M1, NS1, and NP proteins, and that total reactivity to influenza virus postinfection represented approximately 0.1% of the circulating peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). Finally, we observed distinct patterns of reactivity between individual animals, suggesting heterogeneity at the MHC locus in ferrets within commercial populations, a finding of considerable interest in efforts to move the ferret model forward for influenza vaccine and challenge studies. IMPORTANCE Ferrets are an ideal animal model to study transmission, diseases, and vaccine efficacies of respiratory viruses because of their close anatomical and physiological

  1. Spontaneous activity of morphologically identified ganglion cells in the developing ferret retina.

    PubMed

    Liets, Lauren C; Olshausen, Bruno A; Wang, Guo-Yong; Chalupa, Leo M

    2003-08-13

    Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings were made from morphologically identified ganglion cells in the intact retina of developing ferrets. As early as 3 d after birth, all ganglion cells exhibited bursts of spontaneous activity, with the interval between bursts gradually decreasing with maturity. By 2 weeks after birth, ganglion cells could be morphologically differentiated into three major classes (alpha, beta, and gamma), and at this time each cell class was characterized by a distinct pattern of spontaneous activity. Dual patch-clamp recordings from pairs of neighboring cells revealed that cells of all morphological classes burst in a coordinated manner, regardless of cell type. These observations suggest that a common mechanism underlies the bursting patterns exhibited by all ganglion cell classes, and that class-specific firing patterns emerge coincident with retinal ganglion cell morphological differentiation.

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

    PubMed

    Yoon, Sangchul; Kim, Eun-Do; 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.

  3. Molecular investigations of development and diseases of the brain of higher mammals using the ferret.

    PubMed

    Kawasaki, Hiroshi

    2017-01-01

    The brains of higher mammals such as primates and carnivores contain well-developed unique brain structures. Uncovering the physiological functions, developmental mechanisms and evolution of these brain structures would greatly facilitate our understanding of the human brain and its diseases. Although the anatomical and electrophysiological features of these brain structures have been intensively investigated, our knowledge about their molecular bases is still limited. To overcome this limitation, genetic techniques for the brains of carnivores and primates have been established, and molecules whose expression patterns correspond to these brain structures were identified recently. To investigate the functional roles of these molecules, rapid and efficient genetic manipulation methods for higher mammals have been explored. In this review, recent advances in molecular investigations of the brains of higher mammals are discussed, mainly focusing on ferrets (Mustela putorius furo).

  4. Molecular investigations of development and diseases of the brain of higher mammals using the ferret

    PubMed Central

    KAWASAKI, Hiroshi

    2017-01-01

    The brains of higher mammals such as primates and carnivores contain well-developed unique brain structures. Uncovering the physiological functions, developmental mechanisms and evolution of these brain structures would greatly facilitate our understanding of the human brain and its diseases. Although the anatomical and electrophysiological features of these brain structures have been intensively investigated, our knowledge about their molecular bases is still limited. To overcome this limitation, genetic techniques for the brains of carnivores and primates have been established, and molecules whose expression patterns correspond to these brain structures were identified recently. To investigate the functional roles of these molecules, rapid and efficient genetic manipulation methods for higher mammals have been explored. In this review, recent advances in molecular investigations of the brains of higher mammals are discussed, mainly focusing on ferrets (Mustela putorius furo). PMID:28496051

  5. Rock avalanches on a glacier and morainic complex in Haut Val Ferret (Mont Blanc Massif, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deline, Philip; Kirkbride, Martin P.

    2009-01-01

    Deposits in upper Val Ferret (Mont Blanc Massif, Italy) have been attributed to glacier advances and to a rock avalanche of 12 September AD 1717. We review evidence for the timing and mode of emplacement of the deposit, and present a new geomorphic interpretation and relative and absolute dating to show that the AD 1717 deposit is less extensive than previously thought. The landslide was deflected along one side of the valley floor, preserving older slope and morainic sediments along the other side. An earlier rock avalanche onto the Triolet Glacier occurred before AD 1000. The deposits of these landslides partly cover older moraine several kilometres downstream from the present glacier front, and have affected the glacier regimen and construction of its moraines. This study highlights the geomorphic impact of rock avalanches in glacierized high mountains.

  6. Organization and cellular arrangement of two neurogenic regions in the adult ferret (Mustela putorius furo) brain.

    PubMed

    Takamori, Yasuharu; Wakabayashi, Taketoshi; Mori, Tetsuji; Kosaka, Jun; Yamada, Hisao

    2014-06-01

    In the adult mammalian brain, two neurogenic regions have been characterized, the subventricular zone (SVZ) of the lateral ventricle (LV) and the subgranular zone (SGZ) of the dentate gyrus (DG). Despite remarkable knowledge of rodents, the detailed arrangement of neurogenic regions in most mammals is poorly understood. In this study, we used immunohistochemistry and cell type-specific antibodies to investigate the organization of two germinal regions in the adult ferret, which belongs to the order Carnivora and is widely used as a model animal with a gyrencephalic brain. From the SVZ to the olfactory bulb, doublecortin-positive cells tended to organize in chain-like clusters, which are surrounded by a meshwork of astrocytes. This structure is homologous to the rostral migratory stream (RMS) described in other species. Different from rodents, the horizontal limb of the RMS emerges directly from the LV, and the anterior region of the LV extends rostrally and reached the olfactory bulb. In the DG, glial fibrillary acidic protein-positive cells with long radial processes as well as doublecortin-positive cells are oriented in the SGZ. In both regions, doublecortin-positive cells showed characteristic morphology and were positive for polysialylated-neural cell adhesion molecule, beta-III tubulin, and lamin B1 (intense staining). Proliferating cells were detected in both regions using antibodies against proliferating cell nuclear antigen and phospho-histone H3. These observations demonstrate that the two neurogenic regions in ferrets have a similar cellular composition as those of other mammalian species despite anatomical differences in the brain. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  7. 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. Copyright © 2014 the American Physiological Society.

  8. The effects of magnesium on potassium transport in ferret red cells.

    PubMed Central

    Flatman, P W

    1988-01-01

    1. The magnesium dependence of net and isotopic (using 86Rb as tracer) potassium transport was measured in fed ferret red cells. Bumetanide (0.1 mM) was used to dissect total flux into two components: bumetanide sensitive and bumetanide resistant. 2. Increasing the external magnesium concentration from zero (added) to 2 mM stimulated bumetanide-sensitive uptake by 16% but inhibited the bumetanide-resistant component by about 20%. 3. Ionophore A23187 was used to control internal magnesium concentration. A23187 was usually present in the cells during measurement of isotopic fluxes but was washed away before measurement of net fluxes. The magnesium-buffering characteristics of fed ferret red cells were assessed during these experiments. The cytoplasm acts as a high-capacity, low-affinity magnesium buffer over most of the range. Some high-affinity binding was seen in the presence of A23187 and 2 mM-EDTA. 4. A23187 itself slightly inhibits bumetanide-sensitive potassium transport. 5. Bumetanide-sensitive potassium transport is strongly dependent on the concentration of internal ionized magnesium. Transport is 35% maximal at 10(-7) M and increases up to the maximal rate at 1.3 mM. Further increase in ionized magnesium concentration to 3.5 mM has no additional effect. The curve relating activity to magnesium concentration is steepest at the physiological magnesium concentration. The effects of changing magnesium concentration are fully reversible. 6. Reduction of internal ionized magnesium concentration to 10(-7) M with A23187 and EDTA approximately doubles bumetanide-resistant potassium transport. 7. Bumetanide-sensitive fluxes occur via the sodium-potassium-chloride co-transport system under the conditions used. Results described in this paper thus suggest that internal magnesium may be an important physiological controller of sodium-potassium-chloride co-transport activity. PMID:3137332

  9. The effects of magnesium on potassium transport in ferret red cells.

    PubMed

    Flatman, P W

    1988-03-01

    1. The magnesium dependence of net and isotopic (using 86Rb as tracer) potassium transport was measured in fed ferret red cells. Bumetanide (0.1 mM) was used to dissect total flux into two components: bumetanide sensitive and bumetanide resistant. 2. Increasing the external magnesium concentration from zero (added) to 2 mM stimulated bumetanide-sensitive uptake by 16% but inhibited the bumetanide-resistant component by about 20%. 3. Ionophore A23187 was used to control internal magnesium concentration. A23187 was usually present in the cells during measurement of isotopic fluxes but was washed away before measurement of net fluxes. The magnesium-buffering characteristics of fed ferret red cells were assessed during these experiments. The cytoplasm acts as a high-capacity, low-affinity magnesium buffer over most of the range. Some high-affinity binding was seen in the presence of A23187 and 2 mM-EDTA. 4. A23187 itself slightly inhibits bumetanide-sensitive potassium transport. 5. Bumetanide-sensitive potassium transport is strongly dependent on the concentration of internal ionized magnesium. Transport is 35% maximal at 10(-7) M and increases up to the maximal rate at 1.3 mM. Further increase in ionized magnesium concentration to 3.5 mM has no additional effect. The curve relating activity to magnesium concentration is steepest at the physiological magnesium concentration. The effects of changing magnesium concentration are fully reversible. 6. Reduction of internal ionized magnesium concentration to 10(-7) M with A23187 and EDTA approximately doubles bumetanide-resistant potassium transport. 7. Bumetanide-sensitive fluxes occur via the sodium-potassium-chloride co-transport system under the conditions used. Results described in this paper thus suggest that internal magnesium may be an important physiological controller of sodium-potassium-chloride co-transport activity.

  10. Induction and relief of nasal congestion in ferrets infected with influenza virus.

    PubMed Central

    Chen, K. S.; Bharaj, S. S.; King, E. C.

    1995-01-01

    Susceptible ferrets intranasally infected with influenza virus consistently responded with maximal nasal secretion of virus, febrile reaction, and influx of inflammatory cells into nasal lumen on day 2 post infection (d.p.i.). Polymorphonuclear leucocytes were the earliest predominant cell, followed by monocytes/macrophages while lymphocytes were maintained as a minor population throughout the 7-day period. Nasal congestion level, continuously monitored by computer aided active anterior rhinomanometry, was reproducibly maximal at 2 d.p.i., diminished in intensity the next day and returned to the basal level within 7 d.p.i. Nasal congestion was effectively relieved by a single intranasal dose of 0.1% oxymetazoline or 0.2% phenylephrine, or a single intragastric administration of pseudoephedrine. Intranasal delivery of a single dose of 1% pyrilamine relieved nasal congestion while 0.8% ipratropium bromide and 30% cimetidine were ineffective. These results suggested that nasal congestion is regulated by alpha-adrenergic receptors in the mucosal vasculature or by H1 histamine receptor, but is unaffected by inhibitors of nasal secretion regulated by the cholinergic nervous system. The present study indicates that the infectious rhinitis ferret model provides a reproducible nasal congestion pattern that can be objectively measured by a refined active anterior rhinomanometric system. This labour intensive measurement, however, makes it difficult either to conduct a large population animal study or to use it for a rapid throughput screening of new drugs. The temporal relation between the influx of inflammatory cells into the nasal lumen and the onset of nasal congestion underlies the model's relevance to the exploration of the pathogenic mechanism(s) during viral rhinitis. Images Figure 1 PMID:7537523

  11. 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.

  12. Differences in the Mechanical Properties of the Developing Cerebral Cortical Proliferative Zone between Mice and Ferrets at both the Tissue and Single-Cell Levels

    PubMed Central

    Nagasaka, Arata; Shinoda, Tomoyasu; Kawaue, Takumi; Suzuki, Makoto; Nagayama, Kazuaki; Matsumoto, Takeo; Ueno, Naoto; Kawaguchi, Ayano; Miyata, Takaki

    2016-01-01

    Cell-producing events in developing tissues are mechanically dynamic throughout the cell cycle. In many epithelial systems, cells are apicobasally tall, with nuclei and somata that adopt different apicobasal positions because nuclei and somata move in a cell cycle–dependent manner. This movement is apical during G2 phase and basal during G1 phase, whereas mitosis occurs at the apical surface. These movements are collectively referred to as interkinetic nuclear migration, and such epithelia are called “pseudostratified.” The embryonic mammalian cerebral cortical neuroepithelium is a good model for highly pseudostratified epithelia, and we previously found differences between mice and ferrets in both horizontal cellular density (greater in ferrets) and nuclear/somal movements (slower during G2 and faster during G1 in ferrets). These differences suggest that neuroepithelial cells alter their nucleokinetic behavior in response to physical factors that they encounter, which may form the basis for evolutionary transitions toward more abundant brain-cell production from mice to ferrets and primates. To address how mouse and ferret neuroepithelia may differ physically in a quantitative manner, we used atomic force microscopy to determine that the vertical stiffness of their apical surface is greater in ferrets (Young's modulus = 1700 Pa) than in mice (1400 Pa). We systematically analyzed factors underlying the apical-surface stiffness through experiments to pharmacologically inhibit actomyosin or microtubules and to examine recoiling behaviors of the apical surface upon laser ablation and also through electron microscopy to observe adherens junction. We found that although both actomyosin and microtubules are partly responsible for the apical-surface stiffness, the mouse<ferret relationship in the apical-surface stiffness was maintained even in the presence of inhibitors. We also found that the stiffness of single, dissociated neuroepithelial cells is actually

  13. Development of ferret as a human lung cancer model by injecting 4-(Nmethyl-N-nitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK).

    PubMed

    Aizawa, Koichi; Liu, Chun; Veeramachaneni, Sudipta; Hu, Kang-Quan; Smith, Donald E; Wang, Xiang-Dong

    2013-12-01

    Development of new animal lung cancer models that are relevant to human lung carcino-genesis is important for lung cancer research. Previously we have shown the induction of lung tumor in ferrets (Mustela putorius furo) exposed to both tobacco smoke and a tobacco carcinogen (4-(N-methyl-N-nitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone, NNK). In the present study, we investigated whether NNK treatment alone induces both preneoplastic and neoplastic lesions in the lungs of ferrets. We exposed ferrets to NNK by i.p. injection of NNK (50 mg/kg BW) once a month for four consecutive months and then followed up for 24, 26 and 32 weeks. The incidences of pulmonary pre-neoplastic and neoplastic lesions were assessed by histopathological examination. The expressions of 7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor ( 7 nAChR, which has been shown to promote lung carcinogenesis)and its related molecular biomarkers in lungs were examined by immunohistochemistry and/or Western blotting analysis. Ferrets exposed to NNK alone developed both preneoplastic lesions (squamous metaplasia, dysplasia and atypical adenomatous hyperplasia) and tumors (squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma and adenosquamous carcinoma), which are commonly seen in humans. The incidence of tumor induced by NNK was time-dependent in the ferrets (16.7%, 40.0% and 66.7% for 24, 26 and 32 weeks, respectively). 7 nAChR is highly expressed in the ferret bronchial/bronchiolar epithelial cells, and alveolar macrophages in ferrets exposed to NNK, and in both squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma of the ferrets. In addition, we observed the tendency for an increase in phospho-ERK and cyclin D1 protein levels (p = 0.081 and 0.080, respectively) in the lungs of ferrets exposed to NNK. The development of both preneoplastic and neoplastic lesions in ferret lungs by injecting NNK alone provides a simple and highly relevant non-rodent model for studying biomarkers/molecular targets for the prevention, detection and treatment of lung

  14. 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.

  15. Populations of Radial Glial Cells Respond Differently to Reelin and Neuregulin1 in a Ferret Model of Cortical Dysplasia

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-10-28

    Populations of Radial Glial Cells Respond Differently to Reelin and Neuregulin1 in a Ferret Model of Cortical Dysplasia Sylvie Poluch1,2, Sharon L...their function as neural precursors and guides of neuronal migration. Both reelin and neuregulin1 (NRG1) maintain the radial glial scaffold; they also...with the strongly disrupted vimentin expressing radial glia. When E24 MAM-treated organotypic slices are exposed to reelin or NRG1, the severely

  16. Long‐term vaccine‐induced heterologous protection against H5N1 influenza viruses in the ferret model

    PubMed Central

    Ducatez, Mariette F.; Webb, Ashley; Crumpton, Jeri‐Carol; Webby, Richard J.

    2012-01-01

    Please cite this paper as: Ducatez et al. (2012) Long‐term vaccine‐induced heterologous protection against H5N1 influenza viruses in the ferret model. Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses 7(4), 506–512. Background  Highly pathogenic H5N1 influenza viruses reemerged in humans in 2003 and have caused fatal human infections in Asia and Africa as well as ongoing outbreaks in poultry. These viruses have evolved substantially and are now so antigenically varied that a single vaccine antigen may not protect against all circulating strains. Nevertheless, studies have shown that substantial cross‐reactivity can be achieved with H5N1 vaccines. These studies have not, however, addressed the issue of duration of such cross‐reactive protection. Objectives  To directly address this using the ferret model, we used two recommended World Health Organization H5N1 vaccine seed strains – A/Vietnam/1203/04 (clade 1) and A/duck/Hunan/795/02 (clade 2.1) – seven single, double, or triple mutant viruses based on A/Vietnam/1203/04, and the ancestral viruses A and D, selected from sequences at nodes of the hemagglutinin and neuraminidase gene phylogenies to represent antigenically diverse progeny H5N1 subclades as vaccine antigens. Results  All inactivated whole‐virus vaccines provided full protection against morbidity and mortality in ferrets challenged with the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain A/Vietnam/1203/04 5 months and 1 year after immunization. Conclusion  If an H5N1 pandemic was to arise, and with the hypothesis that one can extrapolate the results from three doses of a whole‐virion vaccine in ferrets to the available split vaccines for use in humans, the population could be efficiently immunized with currently available H5N1 vaccines, while the homologous vaccine is under production. PMID:22897930

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

    PubMed

    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. © 2013 The Authors. European Journal of Neuroscience published by Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  18. 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

  19. The Local Origin of the Febrile Response Induced in Ferrets During Respiratory Infection with a Virulent Influenza Virus

    PubMed Central

    Sweet, C.; Bird, R. A.; Cavanagh, D.; Toms, G. L.; Collie, M. H.; Smith, H.

    1979-01-01

    Intranasal infection of ferrets with a virulent Clone (7a) of the recombinant influenza virus A/PR/8/34—A/England/939/69 (H3N2) produced a fever approximately 24 h in duration beginning about 29 h after infection. The origin of this fever has been investigated as an indication of what might happen in influenza in man. The systemic production of fever by virus interaction with phagocytes in the reticuloendothelial system appeared unlikely because insufficient virus escaped into the bloodstream. Ten half-hourly i.v. injections of 108 50%0 Egg-Bit Infectious Doses (EBID50) of virus were needed to produce a fever of short duration (3-8 h). Yet, after the intranasal infection, which results in the 24 h fever, the total virus content in the nasal mucosa was less than 108 EBID50 before the onset of fever and only reached 108.5 EBID50 for 4 h during fever. Also, just before or during the fever produced by intranasal infection, influenza virus antigens could not be detected by fluorescent antibody in the spleens of the animals but were detected in animals receiving a single bloodstream injection of 108 EBID50 of virus. Fever is more likely to result from release of leucocyte pyrogen by virus-phagocyte interaction in the upper respiratory tract. A pyrogen active in ferrets with the characteristics of leucocyte (endogenous) pyrogen was produced by incubating influenza virus with ferret peripheral phagocytes in vitro. A pyrogen with similar properties was released by incubation of nasal inflammatory cells collected from infected febrile ferrets and many of the cells were shown by fluorescent antibody to have interacted with influenza virus. ImagesFig. 4 PMID:224895

  20. Evidence for radiation-induced disseminated intravascular coagulation as a major cause of radiation-induced death in ferrets.

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-15

    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. 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. The lethal dose of radiation to 50% of the population (LD50) 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. 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 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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. The pregnant ferret as a model for studying the congenital effects of influenza virus infection in utero: infection of foetal tissues in organ culture and in vivo.

    PubMed Central

    Sweet, C.; Toms, G. L.; Smith, H.

    1977-01-01

    Organ cultures of ferret foetal tissues showed a similar pattern of susceptibility to influenza virus to that already observed for human foetal tissues (Rosztoczy et al., 1975); respiratory, alimentary and urogenital tissues supported the replication of influenza virus but nervous and lymphopoietic tissues (those which, in man, are associated with foetal or postnatal abnormalities) were insusceptible. In contrast to corresponding human tissues, ferret foetal placenta and amnion readily supported viral replication although both human and ferret umbilical cord were susceptible. In limited experiments, neither the membranes nor the susceptible foetal tissues became infected after intranasal inoculation of pregnant ferrets of various gestational ages. However, after intracardial inoculation of pregnant ferrets with high titre virus (ca 10(9) EBID50) virus was isolated from both foetal membranes and foetuses. The membranes became infected at early, middle and late gestation, but virus appeared to cross the placental barrier to infect foetal tissues only in late gestation. At this stage virus could be isolated not only from those foetal tissues (respiratory, alimentary and urogenital) susceptible in organ culture, but also in small amounts from tissues which were insusceptible in organ culture (heart, lymphopoietic and nervous tissue). Virus was also isolated from foetal membranes and foetuses of late gestation ferrets following intracardial inoculation with a one hundred-fold lower dose of virus which, unlike the higher dose, did not induce a maternal febrile response. The pregnant ferret appears to be a suitable model for investigating the effects on development of foetal infection with influenza virus but it may have disadvantages with regard to the nature and strength of the placental barrier. PMID:861161

  5. The pregnant ferret as a model for studying the congenital effects of influenza virus infection in utero: infection of foetal tissues in organ culture and in vivo.

    PubMed

    Sweet, C; Toms, G L; Smith, H

    1977-04-01

    Organ cultures of ferret foetal tissues showed a similar pattern of susceptibility to influenza virus to that already observed for human foetal tissues (Rosztoczy et al., 1975); respiratory, alimentary and urogenital tissues supported the replication of influenza virus but nervous and lymphopoietic tissues (those which, in man, are associated with foetal or postnatal abnormalities) were insusceptible. In contrast to corresponding human tissues, ferret foetal placenta and amnion readily supported viral replication although both human and ferret umbilical cord were susceptible. In limited experiments, neither the membranes nor the susceptible foetal tissues became infected after intranasal inoculation of pregnant ferrets of various gestational ages. However, after intracardial inoculation of pregnant ferrets with high titre virus (ca 10(9) EBID50) virus was isolated from both foetal membranes and foetuses. The membranes became infected at early, middle and late gestation, but virus appeared to cross the placental barrier to infect foetal tissues only in late gestation. At this stage virus could be isolated not only from those foetal tissues (respiratory, alimentary and urogenital) susceptible in organ culture, but also in small amounts from tissues which were insusceptible in organ culture (heart, lymphopoietic and nervous tissue). Virus was also isolated from foetal membranes and foetuses of late gestation ferrets following intracardial inoculation with a one hundred-fold lower dose of virus which, unlike the higher dose, did not induce a maternal febrile response. The pregnant ferret appears to be a suitable model for investigating the effects on development of foetal infection with influenza virus but it may have disadvantages with regard to the nature and strength of the placental barrier.

  6. Evaluation of oseltamivir prophylaxis regimens for reducing influenza virus infection, transmission and disease severity in a ferret model of household contact.

    PubMed

    Oh, Ding Yuan; Lowther, Sue; McCaw, James M; Sullivan, Sheena G; Leang, Sook-Kwan; Haining, Jessica; Arkinstall, Rachel; Kelso, Anne; Mcvernon, Jodie; Barr, Ian G; Middleton, Deborah; Hurt, Aeron C

    2014-09-01

    The emergence of the pandemic influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 virus in 2009 saw a significant increase in the therapeutic and prophylactic use of neuraminidase inhibitors (NAIs) to mitigate the impact of this highly transmissible virus. Prior to the pandemic, many countries stockpiled NAIs and developed pandemic plans for the use of antiviral drugs, based on either treatment of high-risk individuals and/or prophylaxis of contacts. However, to date there has been a lack of in vivo models to test the efficacy of treatment or prophylaxis with NAIs, for influenza-infected individuals or exposed contacts, in a household setting. A ferret model of household contact was developed to study the efficacy of different prophylaxis regimens in preventing infection in contact ferrets exposed to influenza A(H1N1)pdm09-infected index ferrets. Among the different prophylactic regimens, contact ferrets receiving oseltamivir prophylaxis twice daily showed better outcomes than those receiving oseltamivir once daily. Benefits included a significant delay in the time to secondary infection, lower weight loss and higher activity levels. The treatment of index ferrets at 36 h post-infection did not influence either secondary infection rates or clinical symptoms in exposed contact ferrets. Neither prophylaxis nor treatment prevented infection or reduced the duration of viral shedding, although clinical symptoms did improve in infected animals receiving prophylaxis. Different oseltamivir prophylaxis regimens did not prevent infections, but consistently resulted in a reduction in symptoms in infected ferrets. However, oseltamivir prophylaxis failed to reduce viral titres, which warrants further investigation in humans. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy.

  7. Evaluation of oseltamivir prophylaxis regimens for reducing influenza virus infection, transmission and disease severity in a ferret model of household contact

    PubMed Central

    Oh, Ding Yuan; Lowther, Sue; McCaw, James M.; Sullivan, Sheena G.; Leang, Sook-Kwan; Haining, Jessica; Arkinstall, Rachel; Kelso, Anne; Mcvernon, Jodie; Barr, Ian G.; Middleton, Deborah; Hurt, Aeron C.

    2014-01-01

    Objectives The emergence of the pandemic influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 virus in 2009 saw a significant increase in the therapeutic and prophylactic use of neuraminidase inhibitors (NAIs) to mitigate the impact of this highly transmissible virus. Prior to the pandemic, many countries stockpiled NAIs and developed pandemic plans for the use of antiviral drugs, based on either treatment of high-risk individuals and/or prophylaxis of contacts. However, to date there has been a lack of in vivo models to test the efficacy of treatment or prophylaxis with NAIs, for influenza-infected individuals or exposed contacts, in a household setting. Methods A ferret model of household contact was developed to study the efficacy of different prophylaxis regimens in preventing infection in contact ferrets exposed to influenza A(H1N1)pdm09-infected index ferrets. Results Among the different prophylactic regimens, contact ferrets receiving oseltamivir prophylaxis twice daily showed better outcomes than those receiving oseltamivir once daily. Benefits included a significant delay in the time to secondary infection, lower weight loss and higher activity levels. The treatment of index ferrets at 36 h post-infection did not influence either secondary infection rates or clinical symptoms in exposed contact ferrets. Neither prophylaxis nor treatment prevented infection or reduced the duration of viral shedding, although clinical symptoms did improve in infected animals receiving prophylaxis. Conclusions Different oseltamivir prophylaxis regimens did not prevent infections, but consistently resulted in a reduction in symptoms in infected ferrets. However, oseltamivir prophylaxis failed to reduce viral titres, which warrants further investigation in humans. PMID:24840623

  8. Use of a GnRH vaccine, GonaCon, for prevention and treatment of adrenocortical disease (ACD) in domestic ferrets.

    PubMed

    Miller, Lowell A; Fagerstone, Kathleen A; Wagner, Robert A; Finkler, Mark

    2013-09-23

    Adrenocortical disease (ACD) is a common problem in surgically sterilized, middle-aged to old ferrets (Mustela putorius furo). The adrenal tissues of these ferrets develop hyperplasia, adenomas, or adenocarcinomas, which produce steroid hormones including estradiol, 17-hydroxyprogesterone, and androstenedione. Major clinical signs attributable to overproduction of these hormones are alopecia (hair loss) in both sexes and a swollen vulva in females. Pruritus, muscle atrophy, hind limb weakness, and sexual activity or aggression are also observed in both sexes. Males can develop prostatic cysts, prostatitis, and urethral obstruction. ACD is thought to be linked to continuous and increased LH secretion, due to lack of gonadal hormone feedback in neutered ferrets. This continuous elevated LH acts on adrenal cortex LH receptors, resulting in adrenal hyperplasia or adrenal tumor. This study investigated whether the immunocontraceptive vaccine GonaCon, a GnRH vaccine developed to reduce the fertility of wildlife species and the spread of disease, could prevent or delay onset of ACD and treat alopecia in ferrets with existing ACD. Results showed that GonaCon provided relief from ACD by causing production of antibodies to GnRH, probably suppressing production and/or release of LH. Treatment caused many ACD symptoms to disappear, allowing the ferrets to return to a normal life. The study also found that the probability of developing ACD was significantly reduced in ferrets treated with GonaCon when young (1-3 years old) compared to untreated control animals. GonaCon caused injection site reaction in some animals when administered as an intramuscular injection but caused few side effects when administered subcutaneously. Both intramuscular and subcutaneous vaccination resulted in similar levels of GnRH antibody titers. Subcutaneous vaccination with GonaCon is thus recommended to prevent the onset of ACD and as a possible treatment for ACD-signs in domestic ferrets. Published

  9. Differential Pathological and Immune Responses in Newly Weaned Ferrets Are Associated with a Mild Clinical Outcome of Pandemic 2009 H1N1 Infection

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Stephen S. H.; Banner, David; Degousee, Norbert; Leon, Alberto J.; Xu, Louling; Paquette, Stephane G.; Kanagasabai, Thirumagal; Fang, Yuan; Rubino, Salvatore; Rubin, Barry; Kelvin, Alyson A.

    2012-01-01

    Young children are typically considered a high-risk group for disease associated with influenza virus infection. Interestingly, recent clinical reports suggested that young children were the smallest group of cases with severe pandemic 2009 H1N1 (H1N1pdm) influenza virus infection. Here we established a newly weaned ferret model for the investigation of H1N1pdm infection in young age groups compared to adults. We found that young ferrets had a significantly milder fever and less weight loss than adult ferrets, which paralleled the mild clinical symptoms in the younger humans. Although there was no significant difference in viral clearance, disease severity was associated with pulmonary pathology, where newly weaned ferrets had an earlier pathology improvement. We examined the immune responses associated with protection of the young age group during H1N1pdm infection. We found that interferon and regulatory interleukin-10 responses were more robust in the lungs of young ferrets. In contrast, myeloperoxidase and major histocompatibility complex responses were persistently higher in the adult lungs; as well, the numbers of inflammation-prone granulocytes were highly elevated in the adult peripheral blood. Importantly, we observed that H1N1pdm infection triggered formation of lung structures that resembled inducible bronchus-associated lymphoid tissues (iBALTs) in young ferrets which were associated with high levels of homeostatic chemokines CCL19 and CXCL13, but these were not seen in the adult ferrets with severe disease. These results may be extrapolated to a model of the mild disease seen in human children. Furthermore, these mechanistic analyses provide significant new insight into the developing immune system and effective strategies for intervention and vaccination against respiratory viruses. PMID:23055557

  10. Replication and immunogenicity of swine, equine, and avian h3 subtype influenza viruses in mice and ferrets.

    PubMed

    Baz, Mariana; Paskel, Myeisha; Matsuoka, Yumiko; Zengel, James; Cheng, Xing; Jin, Hong; Subbarao, Kanta

    2013-06-01

    Since it is difficult to predict which influenza virus subtype will cause an influenza pandemic, it is important to prepare influenza virus vaccines against different subtypes and evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of candidate vaccines in preclinical and clinical studies prior to a pandemic. In addition to infecting humans, H3 influenza viruses commonly infect pigs, horses, and avian species. We selected 11 swine, equine, and avian H3 influenza viruses and evaluated their kinetics of replication and ability to induce a broadly cross-reactive antibody response in mice and ferrets. The swine and equine viruses replicated well in the upper respiratory tract of mice. With the exception of one avian virus that replicated poorly in the lower respiratory tract, all of the viruses replicated in mouse lungs. In ferrets, all of the viruses replicated well in the upper respiratory tract, but the equine viruses replicated poorly in the lungs. Extrapulmonary spread was not observed in either mice or ferrets. No single virus elicited antibodies that cross-reacted with viruses from all three animal sources. Avian and equine H3 viruses elicited broadly cross-reactive antibodies against heterologous viruses isolated from the same or other species, but the swine viruses did not. We selected an equine and an avian H3 influenza virus for further development as vaccines.

  11. Replication and Immunogenicity of Swine, Equine, and Avian H3 Subtype Influenza Viruses in Mice and Ferrets

    PubMed Central

    Baz, Mariana; Paskel, Myeisha; Matsuoka, Yumiko; Zengel, James; Cheng, Xing; Jin, Hong

    2013-01-01

    Since it is difficult to predict which influenza virus subtype will cause an influenza pandemic, it is important to prepare influenza virus vaccines against different subtypes and evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of candidate vaccines in preclinical and clinical studies prior to a pandemic. In addition to infecting humans, H3 influenza viruses commonly infect pigs, horses, and avian species. We selected 11 swine, equine, and avian H3 influenza viruses and evaluated their kinetics of replication and ability to induce a broadly cross-reactive antibody response in mice and ferrets. The swine and equine viruses replicated well in the upper respiratory tract of mice. With the exception of one avian virus that replicated poorly in the lower respiratory tract, all of the viruses replicated in mouse lungs. In ferrets, all of the viruses replicated well in the upper respiratory tract, but the equine viruses replicated poorly in the lungs. Extrapulmonary spread was not observed in either mice or ferrets. No single virus elicited antibodies that cross-reacted with viruses from all three animal sources. Avian and equine H3 viruses elicited broadly cross-reactive antibodies against heterologous viruses isolated from the same or other species, but the swine viruses did not. We selected an equine and an avian H3 influenza virus for further development as vaccines. PMID:23576512

  12. 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.

  13. 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. © The American Genetic Association. 2015.

  14. Transmissibility of novel H7N9 and H9N2 avian influenza viruses between chickens and ferrets.

    PubMed

    Ku, Keun Bon; Park, Eun Hye; Yum, Jung; Kim, Heui Man; Kang, Young Myong; Kim, Jeong Cheol; Kim, Ji An; Kim, Hyun Soo; Seo, Sang Heui

    2014-02-01

    Previous studies have shown that the H7N9 avian influenza virus cannot be transmitted efficiently between ferrets via respiratory droplets. Here, we studied the infectivity of the H7N9 avian influenza virus in chickens and its transmissibility from infected to naïve chickens and ferrets. The H7N9 virus (A/Anhui/1/2013) replicated poorly in chickens and could not be transmitted efficiently from infected chickens to naïve chickens and ferrets. H7N9 virus was shed from chicken tracheae for only 2 days after infection and from chicken cloacae for only 1 day after infection, while the H9N2 avian influenza virus, which is endemic in chickens in many Asian countries, was shed from tracheae and cloacae for 8 days after infection. Taken together, our results suggest that chickens may be a poor agent of transmission for the H7N9 virus to other chickens and to mammals, including humans.

  15. 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

    2016-06-14

    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.

  16. 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

  17. Comparative Pathology in Ferrets Infected with H1N1 Influenza A Viruses Isolated from Different Hosts ▿

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Jennifer Humberd; Nagy, Tamas; Driskell, Elizabeth; Brooks, Paula; Tompkins, S. Mark; Tripp, Ralph A.

    2011-01-01

    Virus replication and pulmonary disease pathogenesis in ferrets following intranasal infection with a pandemic influenza virus strain (A/California/4/09 [CA09]), a human seasonal influenza H1N1 virus isolate (A/New Caledonia/20/99 [Ncal99]), a classical swine influenza H1N1 virus isolate (A/Swine/Iowa/15/30 [Sw30]), or an avian H1N1 virus isolate (A/Mallard/MN/A108-2355/08 [Mal08]) were compared. Nasal wash virus titers were similar for Ncal99 and Sw30, with peak virus titers of 105.1 50% tissue culture infectious doses (TCID50)/ml and 105.5 TCID50/ml occurring at day 3 postinfection (p.i.), respectively. The mean peak titer for CA09 also occurred at day 3 p.i. but was higher (107 TCID50/ml). In contrast, the peak virus titers (103.6 to 104.3 TCID50/ml) for Mal08 were delayed, occurring between days 5 and 7 p.i. Disease pathogenesis was characterized by microscopic lesions in the nasal turbinates and lungs of all ferrets; however, Sw30 infection was associated with severe bronchointerstitial pneumonia. The results demonstrate that although CA09 is highly transmissible in the human population and replicates well in the ferret model, it causes modest disease compared to other H1N1 viruses, particularly Sw30 infection. PMID:21593156

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Novel avian-origin human influenza A(H7N9) can be transmitted between ferrets via respiratory droplets.

    PubMed

    Xu, Lili; Bao, Linlin; Deng, Wei; Dong, Libo; Zhu, Hua; Chen, Ting; Lv, Qi; Li, Fengdi; Yuan, Jing; Xiang, Zhiguang; Gao, Kai; Xu, Yanfeng; Huang, Lan; Li, Yanhong; Liu, Jiangning; Yao, Yanfeng; Yu, Pin; Li, Xiyan; Huang, Weijuan; Zhao, Xiang; Lan, Yu; Guo, Junfeng; Yong, Weidong; Wei, Qiang; Chen, Honglin; Zhang, Lianfeng; Qin, Chuan

    2014-02-15

    The outbreak of human infections caused by novel avian-origin influenza A(H7N9) in China since March 2013 underscores the need to better understand the pathogenicity and transmissibility of these viruses in mammals. In a ferret model, the pathogenicity of influenza A(H7N9) was found to be less than that of an influenza A(H5N1) strain but comparable to that of 2009 pandemic influenza A(H1N1), based on the clinical signs, mortality, virus dissemination, and results of histopathologic analyses. Influenza A(H7N9) could replicate in the upper and lower respiratory tract, the heart, the liver, and the olfactory bulb. It is worth noting that influenza A(H7N9) exhibited a low level of transmission between ferrets via respiratory droplets. There were 4 mutations in the virus isolated from the contact ferret: D678Y in the gene encoding PB2, R157K in the gene encoding hemagglutinin (H3 numbering), I109T in the gene encoding nucleoprotein, and T10I in the gene encoding neuraminidase. These data emphasized that avian-origin influenza A(H7N9) can be transmitted between mammals, highlighting its potential for human-to-human transmissibility.

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

    PubMed

    Rocke, Tonie E; Smith, Susan; Marinari, Paul; Kreeger, Julie; Enama, Jeffrey T; Powell, Bradford 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.

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  5. Lack of transmission of a human influenza virus with avian receptor specificity between ferrets is not due to decreased virus shedding but rather a lower infectivity in vivo.

    PubMed

    Roberts, Kim L; Shelton, Holly; Scull, Margaret; Pickles, Raymond; Barclay, Wendy S

    2011-08-01

    Influenza virus attaches to host cells by sialic acid (SA). Human influenza viruses show preferential affinity for α2,6-linked SA, whereas avian influenza viruses bind α2,3-linked SA. In this study, mutation of the haemagglutinin receptor-binding site of a human H3N2 influenza A virus to switch binding to α2,3-linked SA did not eliminate infection of ferrets but prevented transmission, even in a co-housed model. The mutant virus was shed from the noses of ferrets directly inoculated with virus in the same amounts and for the same length of time as wild-type virus. Mutant virus infection was localized to the same anatomical regions of the upper respiratory tract of directly inoculated animals. Interestingly, wild-type virus was more readily neutralized than the mutant virus in vitro by ferret nasal washes containing mucus. Moreover after inoculation of equal doses, the mutant virus grew poorly in ex vivo ferret nasal turbinate tissue compared with wild-type virus. The dose of mutant virus required to establish infection in the directly inoculated ferrets was 40-fold higher than for wild-type virus. It was concluded that minimum infectious dose is a predictor of virus transmissibility and it is suggested that, as virus passes from one host to another through stringent environmental conditions, viruses with a preference for α2,3-linked SA are unlikely to inoculate a new mammalian host in sufficient quantities to initiate a productive infection.

  6. 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. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  7. 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, Paul E.; 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.

  8. Cholinergic modulation of the basal L-type calcium current in ferret right ventricular myocytes

    PubMed Central

    Bett, Glenna C L; Dai, Shuiping; Campbell, Donald L

    2002-01-01

    The effects of the cholinergic muscarinic agonist carbachol (CCh) on the basal L-type calcium current, ICa,L, in ferret right ventricular (RV) myocytes were studied using whole cell patch clamp. CCh produced two major effects: (i) in all myocytes, extracellular application of CCh inhibited ICa,L in a reversible concentration-dependent manner; and (ii) in many (but not all) myocytes, upon washout CCh produced a significant transient stimulation of ICa,L (‘rebound stimulation’). Inhibitory effects could be observed at 1 × 10−10m CCh. The mean steady-state inhibitory concentration-response relationship was shallow and could be described with a single Hill equation (maximum inhibition = 34.5 %, IC50 = 4 × 10−8m, Hill coefficient n = 0.60). Steady-state inhibition (1 or 10 μM CCh) had no significant effect on ICa,L selectivity or macroscopic (i) activation characteristics, (ii) inactivation kinetics, (iii) steady-state inactivation or (iv) kinetics of recovery from inactivation. Maximal inhibition of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) activity (preincubation of myocytes in 1 mm l-NMMA (NG-monomethyl-l-arginine) + 1 mm l-NNA (NG-nitro-l-arginine) for 2–3 h plus inclusion of 1 mm l-NMMA + 1 mm l-NNA in the patch pipette solution) produced no significant attenuation of the CCh-mediated inhibition of ICa,L. Protocols involving (i) the nitric oxide (NO) scavenger PTIO (2-phenyl-4,4,5,5,-tetramethylimidazoline-1-oxyl-3-oxide; 200 μM), (ii) imposition of a ‘cGMP clamp’ (100 μM 8-Bromo-cGMP), and (iii) inhibition of soluble guanylyl cyclase (ODQ (1H-[1,2,4,]oxadiazolo(4,3,-a)quinoxalin-1-one), 50 μM) all failed to attenuate CCh-mediated inhibition of Ica,L. While CCh consistently inhibited basal ICa,L in all RV myocytes studied, not all myocytes displayed rebound stimulation upon CCh washout. However, there was no difference between CCh-mediated inhibition of ICa,L between these two RV myocyte types, and in myocytes displaying rebound stimulation neither ODQ nor 8

  9. Generation of a Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine that Elicits Broad Protection in Mice and Ferrets.

    PubMed

    Wang, Lulan; Liu, Su-Yang; Chen, Hsiang-Wen; Xu, Juan; Chapon, Maxime; Zhang, Tao; Zhou, Fan; Wang, Yao E; Quanquin, Natalie; Wang, Guiqin; Tian, Xiaoli; He, Zhanlong; Liu, Longding; Yu, Wenhai; Sanchez, David Jesse; Liang, Yuying; Jiang, Taijiao; Modlin, Robert; Bloom, Barry R; Li, Qihan; Deng, Jane C; Zhou, Paul; Qin, F Xiao-Feng; Cheng, Genhong

    2017-03-08

    New influenza vaccines that provide effective and broad protection are desperately needed. Live attenuated viruses are attractive vaccine candidates because they can elicit both humoral and cellular immune responses. However, recent formulations of live attenuated influenza vaccines (LAIVs) have not been protective. We combined high-coverage transposon mutagenesis of influenza virus with a rapid high-throughput screening for attenuation to generate W7-791, a live attenuated mutant virus strain. W7-791 produced only a transient asymptomatic infection in adult and neonatal mice even at doses 100-fold higher than the LD50 of the parent strain. A single administration of W7-791 conferred full protection to mice against lethal challenge with H1N1, H3N2, and H5N1 strains, and improved viral clearance in ferrets. Adoptive transfer of T cells from W7-791-immunized mice conferred heterologous protection, indicating a role for T cell-mediated immunity. These studies present an LAIV development strategy to rapidly generate and screen entire libraries of viral clones.

  10. Vagal influences on the jejunal 'minute rhythm' in the anaesthetized ferret.

    PubMed Central

    Collman, P I; Grundy, D; Scratcherd, T

    1983-01-01

    Spontaneous jejunal motility in the urethane-anaesthetized ferret shows a cyclical pattern of contraction bursts alternating with quiescent periods described as 'minute rhythm' in conscious animals. Cooling the cervical vagi to below 4 degrees C or acute vagotomy abolished this pattern of motility. On re-warming the vagi there was a return to cyclical motility after a latency which depended upon the contractile state at the time vagal conduction was restored. Electrical vagal stimulation produced bursts of contractions at the same frequency as the spontaneous motility. Longer periods of stimulation gave rise to bursts of contractions interrupted by periods of relative quiescence, mimicking the spontaneous motility, despite the continuous stimulation. Following atropinization all spontaneous motility was abolished, but electrical stimulation of the vagi revealed a non-cholinergic, non-adrenergic response whose characteristics differed from that of the cholinergic response. It is concluded that the vagus plays a permissive role in regulating the jejunal 'minute rhythm' via a cholinergic pathway and that there is a second excitatory vagal pathway which innervates non-cholinergic post-ganglionic neurones whose functional significance and transmitter mechanism is unknown. PMID:6663513

  11. GABAergic Neurons in Ferret Visual Cortex Participate in Functionally Specific Networks.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Daniel E; Smith, Gordon B; Jacob, Amanda L; Walker, Theo; Dimidschstein, Jordane; Fishell, Gord; Fitzpatrick, David

    2017-03-08

    Functional circuits in the visual cortex require the coordinated activity of excitatory and inhibitory neurons. Molecular genetic approaches in the mouse have led to the "local non-specific pooling principle" of inhibitory connectivity, in which inhibitory neurons are untuned for stimulus features due to the random pooling of local inputs. However, it remains unclear whether this principle generalizes to species with a columnar organization of feature selectivity such as carnivores, primates, and humans. Here we use virally mediated GABAergic-specific GCaMP6f expression to demonstrate that inhibitory neurons in ferret visual cortex respond robustly and selectively to oriented stimuli. We find that the tuning of inhibitory neurons is inconsistent with the local non-specific pooling of excitatory inputs and that inhibitory neurons exhibit orientation-specific noise correlations with local and distant excitatory neurons. These findings challenge the generality of the non-specific pooling principle for inhibitory neurons, suggesting different rules for functional excitatory-inhibitory interactions in non-murine species.

  12. Effects of Solar Particle Event Proton Radiation on Parameters Related to Ferret Emesis

    PubMed Central

    Sanzari, J. K.; Wan, X. S.; Krigsfeld, G. S.; King, G. L.; Miller, A.; Mick, R.; Gridley, D. S.; Wroe, A. J.; Rightnar, S.; Dolney, D.; Kennedy, A. R.

    2013-01-01

    The effectiveness of simulated solar particle event (SPE) proton radiation to induce retching and vomiting was evaluated in the ferret experimental animal model. The endpoints measured in the study included: (1) the fraction of animals that retched or vomited, (2) the number of retches or vomits observed, (3) the latency period before the first retch or vomit and (4) the duration between the first and last retching or vomiting events. The results demonstrated that γ ray and proton irradiation delivered at a high dose rate of 0.5 Gy/min induced dose-dependent changes in the endpoints related to retching and vomiting. The minimum radiation doses required to induce statistically significant changes in retching- and vomiting-related endpoints were 0.75 and 1.0 Gy, respectively, and the relative biological effectiveness (RBE) of proton radiation at the high dose rate did not significantly differ from 1. Similar but less consistent and smaller changes in the retching- and vomiting-related endpoints were observed for groups irradiated with γ rays and protons delivered at a low dose rate of 0.5 Gy/h. Since this low dose rate is similar to a radiation dose rate expected during a SPE, these results suggest that the risk of SPE radiation-induced vomiting is low and may reach statistical significance only when the radiation dose reaches 1 Gy or higher. PMID:23883319

  13. Changes in density of brainstem afferents in ferret primary auditory cortex (AI) during postnatal development.

    PubMed Central

    Harper, M S; Wallace, M N

    1995-01-01

    Histochemical methods were used to assess the distribution of 4 neurotransmitters thought to be involved in cortical plasticity. They were measured in the primary auditory cortex of the ferret from just before the onset of hearing. Acetylcholinesterase staining was strongest in layers I, IV and VI and there was a gradual increase in the amount of staining from postnatal day (PND) 21 through to adulthood. Serotonin fibres were located mainly in layers I-III and their density increased gradually over the same time period. Noradrenergic fibres were sparsely scattered throughout the cortex but their density and distribution showed little change over the age range studied. Dopaminergic fibres were densest in layers V and VI at all ages. However, there was a transient doubling in their density that started round about the onset of hearing at PND 28, peaked at PND 35 and had returned to baseline levels by 2 wk later. This transient peak in density did not occur in the adjacent suprasylvian gyrus and did not appear to be a general phenomenon. The local transient increase in dopaminergic fibres implies that they may have an important role during a short period in auditory cortical development. This role may involve modifying the cortical circuitry that is involved in analysing the input from the auditory periphery. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 6 PMID:7649837

  14. Swine Influenza Virus (H1N2) Characterization and Transmission in Ferrets, Chile

    PubMed Central

    Bravo-Vasquez, Nicolás; Karlsson, Erik A.; Jimenez-Bluhm, Pedro; Meliopoulos, Victoria; Kaplan, Bryan; Marvin, Shauna; Cortez, Valerie; Freiden, Pamela; Beck, Melinda A.

    2017-01-01

    Phylogenetic analysis of the influenza hemagglutinin gene (HA) has suggested that commercial pigs in Chile harbor unique human seasonal H1-like influenza viruses, but further information, including characterization of these viruses, was unavailable. We isolated influenza virus (H1N2) from a swine in a backyard production farm in Central Chile and demonstrated that the HA gene was identical to that in a previous report. Its HA and neuraminidase genes were most similar to human H1 and N2 viruses from the early 1990s and internal segments were similar to influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 virus. The virus replicated efficiently in vitro and in vivo and transmitted in ferrets by respiratory droplet. Antigenically, it was distinct from other swine viruses. Hemagglutination inhibition analysis suggested that antibody titers to the swine Chilean H1N2 virus were decreased in persons born after 1990. Further studies are needed to characterize the potential risk to humans, as well as the ecology of influenza in swine in South America. PMID:28098524

  15. Insights into the gyrification of developing ferret brain by magnetic resonance imaging

    PubMed Central

    Neal, Jason; Takahashi, Masaya; Silva, Matthew; Tiao, Grace; Walsh, Christopher A; Sheen, Volney L

    2007-01-01

    The developmental mechanisms underlying the formation of human cortical convolutions (gyri and sulci) remain largely unknown. Genetic causes of lissencephaly (literally ‘smooth brain’) would imply that disorders in neuronal migration cause the loss of cortical convolutions. However, prior studies have suggested that loss of sulci and gyri can also arise from impaired proliferation, disrupted lamination and loss of intracortical connections. To gain further insight into the mechanisms underlying the formation of cortical convolutions, we examined the progressive brain development of the gyrencephalic ferret. In this study, we used magnetic resonance imaging to follow the temporal and spatial pattern of neuronal migration, proliferation and differentiation in relation to the onset and development of cortical convolutions. In this manner, we demonstrate that the onset of gyrification begins largely after completion of neuronal proliferation and migration. Gyrification occurs in a lateral to medial gradient, during the period of most rapid cerebral cortical growth. Cortical folding is also largely complete prior to myelination of the underlying cortical axons. These observations are consistent with gyrification arising secondary to cortical processes involving neuronal differentiation. PMID:17229284

  16. Efficacy of imidacloprid, imidacloprid/permethrin and phoxim for flea control in the Mustelidae (ferrets, mink).

    PubMed

    Larsen, K S; Siggurdsson, H; Mencke, N

    2005-10-01

    Farmed mink (Mustela vison), a close relative of the domestic ferret (Mustela putorius furo), naturally infested with the squirrel flea (Ceratophyllus sciurorum) were included in a study to investigate three compounds for flea control. The test products were imidacloprid in a 10% (w/v) solution, an imidacloprid 10% (w/v)/permethrin 50% (w/v) solution, and phoxim; all three are well-known compounds for the control of different ectoparasites in a wide range of animals. Two groups of mink received 0.1 ml per animal of the imidacloprid or the imidacloprid/permethrin combination at days 0 and 28, respectively. Two groups of mink were sprayed with 25 ml of a 0.1% phoxim solution at day 0 and either 1x25 ml or 2x25 ml, respectively, of a 0.05% phoxim solution at day 28. One group of mink served as an untreated control. At assessment on day 56 the efficacy was 91.9% in the imidacloprid group, 89.3% in the imidacloprid/permethrin group, 92.2% in the phoxim 1x25-ml group and 99.3% in the phoxim 2x25 ml group, respectively. In the untreated control group an average of 757 fleas per mink nesting material was recorded.

  17. Transneuronal tracing of neural pathways influencing both diaphragm and genioglossal muscle activity in the ferret.

    PubMed

    Shintani, T; Anker, A R; Billig, I; Card, J P; Yates, B J

    2003-10-01

    In prior experiments that employed the transneuronal transport of isogenic recombinants of pseudorabies virus (PRV), we demonstrated that neurons located ventrally in the medial medullary reticular formation (MRF) of the ferret provide collateralized projections to both diaphragm and abdominal muscle motoneurons as well as to multiple abdominal muscle motoneuron pools. The goal of the present study was to determine whether single MRF neurons also furnish inputs to diaphragm motoneurons and those innervating an airway muscle with inspiratory-related activity: the tongue protruder genioglossus. For this purpose, PRV recombinants expressing unique reporters (beta-galactosidase or enhanced green fluorescent protein) were injected into either the diaphragm or the genioglossal muscle. The virus injections produced transneuronal infection of overlapping populations of MRF neurons. A small proportion of these neurons (<15%) was infected by both PRV recombinants, which indicated that they provide collateralized inputs to genioglossal and diaphragm motoneurons. These findings show that, whereas some MRF neurons simultaneously influence the activity of upper airway and respiratory pump muscles, other cells in this brain stem region independently contribute to diaphragm and genioglossal muscle contraction regulation.

  18. 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

  19. NS1-mediated delay of type I interferon induction contributes to influenza A virulence in ferrets.

    PubMed

    Meunier, Isabelle; von Messling, Veronika

    2011-07-01

    Interference of the influenza A virus non-structural protein NS1 with type I interferon (IFN) signalling has been characterized extensively in vitro. To assess the contribution of NS1 to the virulence of a specific strain, we generated recombinant USSR/90/77 viruses bearing the NS1 proteins of the attenuated strain PR/8/34 or the highly pathogenic strain 1918 'Spanish flu', all belonging to the H1N1 subtype. In vitro, the extent of interference with type I IFN production exerted by the different NS1 proteins correlated with the reported virulence of the respective strain. Infection of ferrets with the recombinant viruses revealed that the presence of the 1918 NS1 resulted in a slightly more severe disease with generally higher clinical scores and increased lung pathology. Analysis of mRNA from nasal wash cells revealed that viruses carrying the 1918 and, to a lesser extent, USSR/90/77 NS1 proteins caused a delay in upregulation of type I IFNs compared with the NS1 PR/8/34-expressing virus, demonstrating the importance of NS1 for early host-response control and virulence.

  20. 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.

  1. Response of Mice and Ferrets to a Monovalent Influenza A (H7N9) Split Vaccine

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Zhongpeng; Zhang, Liangyan; Xing, Li; Lai, Chengcai; Zhang, Peirui; Li, Zhiwei; Zhang, Keming; Wang, Zhouhai; Zhang, Shaogeng; Wang, Xiliang; Yang, Penghui

    2014-01-01

    In early spring 2013, the emergence of the influenza A (H7N9) virus in humans in Eastern China raised concerns of a new influenza pandemic. Development of a safe and effective H7N9 influenza vaccine is urgently needed. To this end, we first synthesized the hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) genes of the influenza A (H7N9) virus A/AnHui/1/2013. Using reverse genetics, we rescued a reassortant virus (H7N9/PR8) that contained the HA and NA genes from wild-type H7N9 and six genes encoding internal proteins from the A/Puerto Rico/8/34 (PR8) virus. Next, the pathogenicity of the reassortant virus was evaluated both in vivo and in vitro. We found that the virus was non-pathogenic in mice and was stable after serial passaging in eggs. Furthermore, we found that a monovalent influenza A (H7N9) split vaccine prepared from the virus was immunogenic in mice and ferrets. When given intramuscularly, the vaccine (two doses of at least 15-µg) completely protected mice from normally lethal wild-type H7N9 virus challenge. In summary, our H7N9 vaccine, developed over a short time, is a potential candidate for further clinical evaluation and human use. PMID:24937303

  2. Intranasal antibody gene transfer in mice and ferrets elicits broad protection against pandemic influenza.

    PubMed

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

    2013-05-29

    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.

  3. Somatosensory and multisensory properties of the medial bank of the ferret rostral suprasylvian sulcus

    PubMed Central

    Keniston, L. P.; Allman, B. L.; Meredith, M. A.

    2010-01-01

    In ferret cortex, the rostral portion of the suprasylvian sulcus separates primary somatosensory cortex (SI) from the anterior auditory fields. The boundary of the SI extends to this sulcus, but the adjoining medial sulcal bank has been described as “unresponsive.” Given its location between the representations of two different sensory modalities, it seems possible that the medial bank of the rostral suprasylvian sulcus (MRSS) might be multisensory in nature and contains neurons responsive to stimuli not examined by previous studies. The aim of this investigation was to determine if the MRSS contained tactile, auditory and/or multisensory neurons and to evaluate if its anatomical connections were consistent with these properties. The MRSS was found to be primarily responsive to low-threshold cutaneous stimulation, with regions of the head, neck and upper trunk represented somatotopically that were primarily connected with the SI face representation. Unlike the adjoining SI, the MRSS exhibited a different cytoarchitecture, its cutaneous representation was largely bilateral, and it contained a mixture of somatosensory, auditory and multisensory neurons. Despite the presence of multisensory neurons, however, auditory inputs exerted only modest effects on tactile processing in MRSS neurons and showed no influence on the averaged population response. These results identify the MRSS as a distinct, higher order somatosensory region as well as demonstrate that an area containing multisensory neurons may not necessarily exhibit activity indicative of multisensory processing at the population level. PMID:19466399

  4. Infection of Mice, Ferrets, and Rhesus Macaques with a Clinical Mumps Virus Isolate

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Pei; Huang, Zhixiang; Gao, Xiudan; Michel, Frank J.; Hirsch, Gwen; Hogan, Robert J.; Sakamoto, Kaori; Ho, Wenzhe; Wu, Jianguo

    2013-01-01

    In recent years, many mumps outbreaks have occurred in vaccinated populations worldwide. The reasons for these outbreaks are not clear. Animal models are needed to investigate the causes of outbreaks and to understand the pathogenesis of mumps virus (MuV). In this study, we have examined the infection of three animal models with an isolate of mumps virus from a recent outbreak (MuV-IA). We have found that while both ferrets and mice generated humoral and cellular immune responses to MuV-IA infection, no obvious signs of illness were observed in these animals; rhesus macaques were the most susceptible to MuV-IA infection. Infection of rhesus macaques via both intranasal and intratracheal routes with MuV-IA led to the typical clinical signs of mumps 2 weeks to 4 weeks postinfection. However, none of the infected macaques showed any fever or neurologic signs during the experimental period. Mumps viral antigen was detected in parotid glands by immunohistochemistry (IHC). Rhesus macaques represent the best animal model for the study of mumps virus pathogenesis. PMID:23678169

  5. Flow Cytometric and Cytokine ELISpot Approaches To Characterize the Cell-Mediated Immune Response in Ferrets following Influenza Virus Infection.

    PubMed

    DiPiazza, Anthony; Richards, Katherine; Batarse, Frances; Lockard, Laura; Zeng, Hui; García-Sastre, Adolfo; Albrecht, Randy A; Sant, Andrea J

    2016-09-01

    Influenza virus infections represent a significant socioeconomic and public health burden worldwide. Although ferrets are considered by many to be ideal for modeling human responses to influenza infection and vaccination, efforts to understand the cellular immune response have been severely hampered by a paucity of standardized procedures and reagents. In this study, we developed flow cytometric and T cell enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot (ELISpot) approaches to characterize the leukocyte composition and antigen-specific T cell response within key lymphoid tissues following influenza virus infection in ferrets. Through a newly designed and implemented set of serological reagents, we used multiparameter flow cytometry to directly quantify the frequency of CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells, Ig(+) B cells, CD11b(+) myeloid-derived cells, and major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II-positive antigen-presenting cells (APCs) both prior to and after intranasal infection with A/California/04/09 (H1N1). We found that the leukocyte composition was altered at 10 days postinfection, with notable gains in the frequency of T cells and myeloid cells within the draining lymph node. Furthermore, these studies revealed that the antigen specificity of influenza virus-reactive CD4 and CD8 T cells was very broad, with recognition of the viral HA, NA, M1, NS1, and NP proteins, and that total reactivity to influenza virus postinfection represented approximately 0.1% of the circulating peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). Finally, we observed distinct patterns of reactivity between individual animals, suggesting heterogeneity at the MHC locus in ferrets within commercial populations, a finding of considerable interest in efforts to move the ferret model forward for influenza vaccine and challenge studies. Ferrets are an ideal animal model to study transmission, diseases, and vaccine efficacies of respiratory viruses because of their close anatomical and physiological resemblances to

  6. 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