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Conference Agenda

Overview and details of the sessions of this conference. Please select a date or location to show only sessions at that day or location. Please select a single session for detailed view (with abstracts and downloads if available).

Session Overview
BiomedSci Talks II: Biomedical Sciences: Talks II
Thursday, 01/Feb/2018:
10:15am - 11:15am

Session Chair: Prof. Nicola Low
Location: DCB, S481, 4th floor, South
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, 4th floor, Freiestrasse 3, 3012 Bern

Presentations T-029 to T-032

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10:15am - 10:30am

Effects of an Oral Echinacea purpurea (L.) MOENCH Alcoholic Spissum Extract in Calves—A Placebo-Controlled, Randomized, Double Blinded Study

Hannah Ayrle1,2, Meike Mevissen1, Rupert Bruckmaier3, Olga Wellnitz3, Martin Kaske4, Michael Walkenhorst2

1Division Veterinary Pharmacology & Toxicology, Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Bern, Switzerland; 2Department of Livestock Sciences, Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), Frick, Switzerland; 3Veterinary Physiology, Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Bern, Switzerland; 4Department of Farm Animals, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Zurich, Switzerland

Antimicrobial resistance resulted in international accordance to strengthen the research to investigate novel treatment options including medicinal plants. A trial has been performed in calves (n=27) focusing on gastrointestinal and respiratory tract diseases. The calves were enrolled randomly in three groups: placebo (1) and two doses of Echinacea purpurea (L.) MOENCH extract (EP) (low dose: 2; high dose: 3). They received the treatment per os twice daily for 4 weeks in a double-blinded manner. To investigate EPs effects on the immune system, the animals were vaccinated twice with a bluetongue virus (BTV) vaccine, serotype 4. Afterwards the calves were brought to a new farm to simulate transport stress. Body weight, clinical health and milk intake were recorded. Blood samples were analysed with ELISA for BTV antibodies, white and red blood cell count by flow cytometry and for the mRNA abundance of a variety of inflammatory factors via RT-qPCR.

Preliminary findings based on least square means (using linear mixed effect models) show that EP reduced the days of diarrhea in group 2 compared to 1 significantly (p=0.03; 1: 13.6, 2: 7.5, 3: 10.1) and increased the mean body temperature by trend in group 3 compared to 1 (p=0.08; 1: 38.93, 2: 39.05, 3: 39.05 °C). No effect was found in red and white blood cell counts, milk intake, weight gain, incidence of bovine respiratory disease and drug consumption when the EP groups were compared to placebo. In addition, no differences in the mRNA abundance in blood cells of IL-1β, IL-8, TNFα, and COX-2 were found between groups. However, the mRNA abundance of the prostaglandin-synthase was significantly increased in group 2 and 3 compared to 1 after first vaccination (linear regression analysis, p≤0.05). The measured effects might be due to immune modulation of EP known from the literature. The analysis of specific BTV-4 antibodies (by SNT) is important for a conclusive evaluation, and is currently under way.

10:30am - 10:45am

The Innervation of the Antireflux Barrier

Kati Haenssgen, Valentin Djonov

Institute of Anatomy, University of Bern, Switzerland

Two muscles maintain the antireflux barrier at the esophagogastric junction (EGJ); the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) and the crural diaphragm (CD). Their failure result in gastroesophageal reflux. The neural control during transient lower esophageal sphincter relaxation (TLESR) is not fully understood. TLESR is responsible for most reflux episodes and characterized by LES-relaxation and simultaneous CD-inhibition. Two theories for a neural control exist: 1) A common afferent pathway but separate efferent pathways via vagus and phrenic nerve, respectively. 2 ) A common afferent and separate efferent pathways, except that via a central coordination center, additional vagal nerves innervate the CD.

The presence of vagal efferents to the CD was investigated macroscopically and microscopically in 7 adult human bodies and 5 series of embryonal sections (Body donation program).

This study could not find evidence for vagal efferents to the CD but evidence for vagal afferents to its surrounding connective tissue. In 3 samples a vagal-phrenic nerve loop was found in front of the EGJ with varying contributions from vegetative nerves of the coeliac plexus, which made up the main connection to the phrenic nerve in 1 sample. In 2 samples fibres from the left phrenic nerve contacted the EGJ but did not form a nerve loop with the anterior vagal trunk. In 1 sample an atypical nerve loop formed by the right phrenic nerve was identified.

The finding of vagal -phrenic nerve loops as well as individual phrenic fibres to the EGJ might support a novel theory for the neural control. Here, the afferent pathway is separated in a phrenic and a vagal path conveying information simultaneously from the EGJ to their brainstem centres. Two separate efferent pathways cause LES relaxation and simultaneous CD inhibition. The lack of vagal efferents to the CD supports this theory but nevertheless allows for a central coordination center in the brainstem.

10:45am - 11:00am

Exploring Variation in Human Papillomavirus Vaccination Uptake: Multi-Level Spatial Analysis

Maurane Riesen1,2, Garyfallos Konstantinoudis1,3, Phung Lang4, Nicola Low1, Christoph Hatz4, Mirjam Maeusezahl5, Anne Spaar5, Marc Bühlmann6, Ben D. Spycher1, Christian L. Althaus1

1Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Bern, Switzerland; 2Graduate School for Cellular and Biomedical Sciences, University of Bern, Switzerland; 3Graduate School for Health Sciences, University of Bern, Switzerland; 4Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute, University of Zurich, Switzerland; 5Swiss Federal Office of Public Health, Bern, Switzerland; 6Institute of Political Science, University of Bern, Switzerland

Understanding the factors that influence human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination uptake is critically important to the design of effective vaccination programmes. In Switzerland, completed HPV vaccination by age 16 years among women ranges from 30 to 79% across 26 cantons (states). Our objective was to identify factors that are associated with the spatial variation in HPV vaccination uptake.We used data from the Swiss National Vaccination Coverage Survey 2009-2016 on HPV vaccination status (≥1 dose) of 14-17 year old girls, their municipality of residence and their nationality for 21 of 26 cantons (N=8,965). We examined covariates at municipality level: language, degree of urbanisation, socio-economic position, religious denomination, results of a vote about vaccination laws as a proxy for vaccine scepticism; and, at cantonal level, availability of school-based vaccination and survey period. We used a series of conditional auto regressive (CAR) models to assess the effects of covariates while accounting for variability between cantons and municipal-level spatial autocorrelation. In the best-fit model, school-based vaccination (adjusted odds ratio, OR: 2.51, 95% credible interval, CI: 1.77-3.56) was associated with increased uptake, while lower acceptance of vaccination laws was associated with lower HPV vaccination uptake (OR 0.61, 95% CI: 0.50-0.73). Overall, the covariates explained 88% of the municipal-level variation in uptake. In Switzerland, both cantons and community opinion about vaccination play a prominent role in the variation in HPV vaccination uptake. To increase uptake, efforts should be made to mitigate vaccination scepticism and to encourage school-based vaccination.

11:00am - 11:15am

Proteome Analysis of Equine Oviductal Secretions Collected During Oestrus in Relation to the Major Histocompatibility Complex

Elise Amélie Jeannerat1, Laura Kunz2, Paolo Nanni2, Ghylène Goudet3, Dominik Burger1

1Swiss Institute of Equine Medicine, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Bern, Switzerland; 2Functional Genomics Center Zurich, University of Zurich and ETH Zurich, Switzerland; 3UMR de Physiologie de la Reproduction et des Comportements, INRA Centre Val de Loire, Nouzilly, France

The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) plays a crucial role in the adaptive immune response of vertebrates, but also has an important function in social signalling, sexual selection and life-history decisions at the level of the gametes. We wanted to investigate the effect of the MHC on fertilization and embryogenesis in horses. We hypothesized that the socially signaled MHC constellation of a stimulus stallion influences the composition of the oviductal milieu of mares in order to favour acceptance or rejection of early embryos. Fourteen clinically healthy mares in oestrous were slaughtered after the exposure to a MHC-similar or MHC-dissimilar stallion. Oviducts were separated from surrounding tissue, straightened on a sterile Petri dish and scraped with a sterile blade from the utero-tubal junction towards the infundibulum. Obtained fluid was centrifuged at 10’000g during 15min at 4°C and the supernatant collected. The samples were processed and protein quantification was performed using trypsin digestion, LC-MS/MS analysis and MaxQuant analysis. Two samples identified as outliers were excluded from the data analysis. Overall a total of 2580 proteins with at least 2 peptides and a maximum of 6 missing values per protein could be identified. The variances within both categories were relatively high, almost as high as the variances between both categories. In addition, the correlation of the samples showed that there was a large within-group variation. Therefore, no significant proteins were detected with the given filtering parameters (q mod < 0.05, log2 fold change ≥ 1 and log2 fold change ≤-1) for the comparison between MHC-similar and MHC-dissimilar. The distribution of the p-values was uniform over all proteins, which implies that there was no real differences between the two tested conditions. However, different filtering strategies revealed proteins with fold changes and their biological meaning in relation to the MHC still need to be determined.

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