The aim of the study was to establish morphometric, biochemical and hematological values for the endangered Balkan donkey breed (Serbia) and to explore the possible age dependence of the parameters tested. Inter-breed similarity of morphometric parameters was assessed by comparing the data obtained for the Balkan donkey with morphometric measurements of several previously characterized domestic donkey breeds. The study population included 74 donkeys, divided in two age groups (group A ≤ 3 years; group B > 3 years). In total, 18 morphometric, 13 hematological and 14 biochemical parameters were assessed. Significant morphometric differences (p<0.05) in body length, head length, chest circumference and body weight were found between the two age groups. Significant differences in morphological parameters were revealed among the Balkan donkey and other donkey breeds (Catalonian, Croatian and Albanian), but results of cluster analysis demonstrated the smallest distance between the Balkan donkey and Albanian donkeys. The results of morphometric analyses showed consistency of the obtained values within the breed, and diversity as compared to other donkey breeds, and, thus, could be taken as referent for the Balkan donkey. Hematological and biochemical profiles obtained for the Balkan donkey were consistent with previous reports and within the recommended reference ranges. White blood cell, mid cell and granulocyte counts, showed significantly higher (p<0.05) values in donkeys under 3 years of age, while the only biochemical parameter affected by age was alkaline phosphatase. The information gained through characterization of the Balkan donkey breed provides a basis for conservation and development of the breed standard.
Varroa destructor is the most important honey bee parasite. There are various methods used in the control of this mite, but none of them meets all requested criteria, to be safe, effective and easy to apply. The objective of this study was to evaluate the varroacidal efficacy of newly created plant-derived formulation Argus Ras (mixture of extracts of Sophora flavescens, Ginkgo biloba, Gleditsia chinensis and Teucrium chamaedrys) in a field trial. The investigation was conducted on 240 Apis mellifera colonies equalized in respect of brood amount, adult bee population and food reserves. Efficiency was evaluated by applying Argus Ras consecutively with two other acaricides, amitraz and oxalic acid. Average acaricidal efficacy of Argus Ras was 80.89%, being higher of other previously tested essential oils. Besides, it showed a potential in knocking down the mites resistant to other acaricides. It should not be neglected that Argus Ras requires a smaller number of treatments and financial investments than other formulations used for the control of Varroa mites.
Control of swine dysentery with antibiotics is often ineffective due to the resistance of Brachyspira hyodysenteriae. The potential of some herbal-based components against B. hyodysenteriae was previously studied in vitro. This study aims at the evaluation of in vivo efficacy of phytogenic feed additives in the control of swine dysentery
The study involved 64 seven-week old weaned pigs allotted to 4 groups: two were fed on feed supplemented with either Patente Herba® or Patente Herba® Plus, the third received tiamulin (positive control), while the negative control was not given antibiotics or additives. Fecal consistency was recorded daily. The presence of B. hyodysenteriae in the feces was investigated weekly using microbiological assays and the PCR test. Weight gain and feed conversion ratio were calculated for each week, and for the whole experiment.
B. hyodysenteriae was detected in all samples by both methods. The additives showed efficacy in the prevention and control of swine dysentery as only normal and soft stool was observed in the treated groups. By contrast, in the negative control all feces categories were detected. Frequencies of feces categories significantly differed (p<0.001) between feed-supplemented groups and the negative control. Efficacy of both additives in the prevention of SD is comparable to tiamulin, based on insignificant differences in the frequency of the various feces categories.
Beneficial effects of both additives resulted in significantly (p≤0.05) higher weight gain and lower feed conversion ratio in comparison to the negative control. The average weight gains between additive-fed groups and tiamulin-treated group did not differ significantly.