Glossary

Antibody

Antibodies (also known as immunoglobulins (Iggs) are proteins that are found in blood or other bodily fluids of vertebrates, and are used by the immune system to identify and neutralize foreign objects, such as bacteria and viruses. Antibodies are produced by a kind of white blood cell called a B cell. Five different antibody isotypes are known in mammals, which perform different roles, and help direct the appropriate immune response for each different type of foreign object they encounter. Although the general structure of all antibodies is very similar, a small region at the tip of the protein is extremely variable, allowing millions of antibodies with slightly different tip structures to exist. This region is known as the hypervariable region. Each of these variants can bind to a different target, known as an antigen.

Biotechnology

Biotechnology is technology based on biology, especially when used in agriculture, food science, and medicine. The United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity has come up with one of many definitions of biotechnology: Biotechnology makes use of knowledge of organisms and their metabolisms. Uses include medicine, agriculture, farming and domestication.

Blood Plasma

Blood plasma is the liquid component of blood, in which the blood cells are suspended. It makes up about 55% of total blood volume. Blood plasma is prepared simply by spinning a tube of fresh blood in a centrifuge until the blood cells fall to the bottom of the tube. The blood plasma is then poured or drawn off. Blood serum is blood plasma without fibrinogen or the other clotting factors.

Bovinae (bovine)

The biological subfamily Bovinae (or bovines) includes a diverse group of 10 species of medium-sized to large ungulates, including domestic cattle, Bison, the Water Buffalo, the Yak, and the four-horned and spiral-horned antelopes. The evolutionary relationship between the members of the group is obscure, and their classification into loose tribes rather than formal sub-groups reflects this uncertainty. General characteristics include a cloven hoof and usually at least one of the sexes of a species having a true horn. In most countries, bovines are used for food. Cows are eaten almost everywhere, except in India where bovines are considered sacred by most Hindus. Some of the largest cattle breeding areas in the United States are Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas.

Bovine leukemia virus (BLV)

Bovine Leukemia is a viral disease of cattle. This disease goes by several names such a BLV, Bovine Leukosis, Lymphosarcoma or Malignant Lymphoma. Within BLV infected cows, the virus is associated with the white blood cells called lymphocytes. BLV is transferred from cow to cow or cow to calf in blood that contains the virus-laden lymphocytes. Very small amounts of blood have been experimentally shown to be capable of transmitting the virus. Many cows are infected with BLV; however, only 2-5% of infected cows eventually develop tumors of the lymph nodes after a prolonged incubation period..

Bovine Virus Diarrhea (BVD)

BVD is a disease of cattle which reduces productivity and increases death loss. It is caused by a Pestivirus from the family Flaviviridae. Classical swine fever (CSF) is also caused by a pestivirus. CSF and BVD are notifiable diseases and eradication programs are administered in many countries worldwide. Pestiviruses have the ability to establish persistent infection during pregnancy. This often goes unnoticed. For BVDV frequently nonhomologous RNA recombination events lead to the appearance of genetically distinct viruses that are lethal to the host.

Clostridium

The bacterium Clostridium perfringens is divided into five types: A, B, C, D and E. These different strains of bacteria produce four different lethal toxins: alpha, beta, iota, and epsilon. The bacterium also produces various other toxins such as the theta toxin that damages the blood vessels and enterotoxins specific to intestinal cells. Clostridium perfringen is deadly to minks, sheep, pigs, cattle, and sometimes humans.

Colostrum

Colostrum (also known as beestings or first milk) is a form of milk produced by the mammary glands of mammals in late pregnancy and the few days after giving birth. Human and bovine colostrum are thick, sticky and yellowish. There are five classes of immunoglobulins found in all mammals (including humans) which begin with the abbreviation “Ig” and are distinguished with the capital letters A, D, E, G and M. Each class has its own unique amino acid chain structure, specific function and ability to attach to, penetrate, destroy or immobilize a specific antigen. Colostrum contains all five Immunoglobulins. IgA is found in blood serum, and especially in saliva, tears and the mucous membranes of the respiratory and GI tract where most invading organisms make their first contact with the human body. IgG is the most abundant immunoglobulin found in bovine colostrum. It is carried in the lymphatic and circulatory systems where it helps to neutralize toxins and other unwanted invaders. IgD and IgE are highly antiviral and IgM is a powerful bacterial fighter.

Cryptosporidium

Cryptosporidium parvum, a single-celled animal, i.e., a protozoa, is a parasite. Intestinal cryptosporidiosis is characterized by severe watery diarrhea and has been given additional species names when isolated from different hosts. It is currently thought that the form infecting humans is the same species that causes disease in young calves. Cryptosporidium sp. infects many herd animals (cows, goats, sheep among domesticated animals, and deer and elk among wild animals). The sporocysts are resistant to most chemical disinfectants, but are susceptible to drying and the ultraviolet portion of sunlight. Some strains appear to be adapted to certain hosts but cross-strain infectivity occurs and may or may not be associated with illness. The species or strain infecting the respiratory system is not currently distinguished from the form infecting the intestines. Treatment is symptomatic, with fluid rehydration, electrolyte correction and management of any pain.

Escherichia coli (E. coli)

Escherichia coli (E. coli), is a bacterium that is commonly found in the lower intestine of warm-blooded animals. Most E. coli strains are harmless, but some, such as serotype O157:H7, can cause serious food poisoning in humans, and are occasionally responsible for costly product recalls. The harmless strains are part of the normal flora of the gut, and can benefit their hosts by producing vitamin K2, or by preventing the establishment of pathogenic bacteria within the intestine. E. coli are not always confined to the intestine, and their ability to survive for brief periods outside the body makes them an ideal indicator organism to test environmental samples for fecal contamination.

Equine

The horse (Equus caballus) is a large odd-toed ungulate mammal, one of ten modern species of the family Equidae. Horses have long been among the most economically important domesticated animals; however their importance has declined with the introduction of mechanization. The horse is a prominent figure in the ideals of religion, mythology, and art, as well as playing an important role in transportation, agriculture, and warfare.

Haemophilus influenzae

Haemophilus influenzae, formerly called Pfeiffer’s bacillus or Bacillus influenzae, is a non-motile Gram-negative coccobacillus first described in 1892 by Richard Pfeiffer during an influenza pandemic. A member of the Pasteurellaceae family, it is generally aerobic, but can grow as a facultative anaerobe. H. influenzae was mistakenly considered to be the cause of influenza until 1933, when the viral etiology of the flu became apparent. Still, H. influenzae is responsible for a wide range of clinical diseases. A coccobacillus (plural coccobacilli) is a type of rod-shaped bacteria. The word coccobacillus reflects an intermediate shape between coccus (spherical) and bacillus (elongated). A facultative anaerobic organism is an organism, usually a bacterium, that makes ATP by aerobic respiration if oxygen is present but is also capable of switching to fermentation. In contrast, obligate anaerobes die in presence of oxygen.

Immunoglobulin G (IgG)

Immunoglobulin G (IgG) is the most abundant immunoglobulin and is approximately equally distributed in blood and in tissue liquids, constituting 75% of serum immunoglobulins in humans. It can bind to many kinds of pathogens, for example viruses, bacteria, and fungi, and protects the body against them by complement activation (classic pathway), opsonization for phagocytosis and neutralisation of their toxins. IgG can cause food allergy, and in such causes delayed-onset food allergy, in contrast to food allergy by IgE, whose effects appear rapidly.

Johne’s disease

Johne’s disease (pronounced “yo-knees”) is a contagious, chronic and usually fatal infection that affects primarily the small intestine of ruminants. A ruminant is any hooved animal that digests its food in two steps, first by eating the raw material then regurgitating and eating a semi digested form known as cud. Ruminants include cattle, goats, sheep, camels, llamas, giraffes, bison, buffalo, deer, wildebeest, and antelope. All ruminants are susceptible to Johne’s disease, which is sometimes called paratuberculosis. The disease is worldwide in distribution.

Mastitis

Mastitis is the inflammation of the mammalian mammary gland (breast in primates, udder in other mammals). It is called puerperal mastitis when it occurs in lactating mothers and non-puerperal otherwise. Mastitis can rarely occur in men. Inflammatory breast cancer has symptoms very similar to mastitis and must be ruled out. Popular usage of the term mastitis varies by geographic region. Outside the US it is commonly used for puerperal and nonpuerperal cases, in the US the term nonpuerperal mastitis is rarely used. Chronic cystic mastitis, also called fibrocystic disease, a condition rather than a disease, is characterized by noncancerous lumps in the breast.

Mycoplasma

Mycoplasma is a genus of bacteria which lack a cell wall. Without a cell wall, they are unaffected by many common antibiotics such as penicillin or other beta-lactam antibiotics that target cell wall synthesis. They can be parasitic or saprotrophic. Several species are pathogenic in humans, including M. pneumoniae, which is an important cause of atypical pneumonia and other respiratory disorders, and M. genitalium, which is believed to be involved in pelvic inflammatory diseases. Atypical pneumonia is a term used to describe a form of pneumonia not caused by one of the more traditional pathogens.

Nutraceutical

Nutraceutical, a portmanteau of nutrition and pharmaceutical, refers to extracts of foods claimed to have a medicinal effect on human health. The Nutraceutical is usually contained in a medicinal format such as a capsule (pharmacy), tablet or powder in a prescribed dose. More rigorously, Nutraceutical implies that the extract or food is demonstrated to have a physiological benefit or provide protection against a chronic disease. Functional foods are defined as being consumed as part of a usual diet but are demonstrated to have physiological benefits and/or reduce the risk of chronic disease beyond basic nutritional functions.

Pasteurella

Many Pasteurella species are zoonotic pathogens, and humans can acquire an infection from domestic pet bites. P. multocida is the most frequent causative agent in human Pasteurella infection. Common symptoms of pasteurellosis in humans include swelling, cellulitis, and bloody drainage at the site of the wound. Infections may progress to nearby joints where it can cause swelling and arthritis. Pasteurella spp. are generally susceptible to chloramphenicol, the penicillins, and tetracycline.

Salmonellosis

Salmonellosis in animals is a disease that occurs when animals become infected by salmonella bacteria. The disease has the potential to spread easily from animal to animal and all animals, both wild and a domestic, are at risk. There are many different types of bacteria associated with salmonella. Some strains attach the intestinal tract causing severe diarrhea and potentially life-threatening dehydration and electrolyte imbalances while others tend to target joints etc. Some strains of Salmonella have the potential to cause abortions.

Generally, animals develop salmonella infections when their immune systems are low. For example, calves that do not receive adequate colostrum and animals suffering from stress are at risk from salmonella bacteria. Some animals are carriers of the disease and generally, carrier animals cannot be cured with antibiotics or other drugs.

Carrier animals spread the bacteria in their manure and other discharges. Contaminated footwear, clothing, vehicle tires, feed and water containers and other equipment are all capable of spreading the disease.