We met with our colleagues at a seminar entitled: Leishmaniasis in Dogs.

Leishmaniasis Cyprus

Serkan Sayıner, DVM PhD. Assoc. Prof. took part as an invited speaker at the seminar on “Leishmaniasis in Dogs” organized by One Health Cyprus on February 26th, 2022.

The seminar on “Leishmaniasis in Dogs”, which brings together veterinarians carrying out animal health services on both sides of the island of Cyprus, was held at the Home For Co-operation. During the seminar, up-to-date information, and experiences on the issue, which affects the dog population on the island and is also important for public health, were shared.

serkan sayıner doç

In his presentation titled “Canine Leishmaniosis: Laboratory Markers in Diagnosis and Monitoring”, Dr. Sayiner gave information about the physiopathology of the disease and its projection, the markers used in the diagnosis and monitoring of the disease and treatment, and their evaluations. At the seminar, Prof. Dr. Gaetano Oliva from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Naples., and Dr. Vasiliki Christodoulou from Southern Cyprus Veterinary Services provided up-to-date information on the transmission routes of the disease, its epidemiology, diagnosis, prevention and vaccine effectiveness. In addition, in the seminar where the possibilities of working together were discussed, data on the spread of the disease on the island was shared.

I would like to thank the One Health Cyprus organisation for inviting me to this event, which I think was very enjoyable and beneficial.

A new article with our undergraduate student: Current Knowledge on Tumour Markers in Veterinary Oncology


The review article entitled “Current Knowledge on Tumour Markers in Veterinary Oncology”, in which Gamze Bilgili is the lead author, one of our NEU Faculty of Veterinary Medicine students was published in the journal “AS ​​Veterinary Sciences (ISSN: 2582-3183)”.

Bilgili G, Alpay M, Ceylanli D, Gençosman S, Gültekin Ç, Şehirli AÖ, Sayiner S. (2022). Current Knowledge on Tumour Markers in Veterinary Oncology. Acta Scientific Veterinary Sciences, 4(2): 37-45. DOI: 10.31080/ASVS.2022.04.0306

We aimed to compile and present tumour markers that have been evaluated and are being studied in veterinary medicine.

Tumour markers are molecules that are produced by tumour cells or an organism in response to the presence of a tumour. These molecules can be found in blood, urine, tissues, and body fluids, and blood levels are the most commonly tested. Tumour markers are particularly useful in aiding diagnosis, assessing disease progression, and monitoring treatment.

Tumour markers are an exciting field of study for both veterinary and human medicine. We hope our article will be beneficial. 

Click to access the article.

Owning a dog may be beneficial for the mental health of adults having autism spectrum disorder


It’s a known fact that adult individuals who have autism spectrum disorder (ASD) tend to have mental health issues and be suicidal. According to a new study that has been published in Scientific Reports (Impact factor =4.38), individuals with ASD that adopt a dog show a significant amount of improvement in the mental aspect.

yardımcı köpek, dog, autism, help, save

During the research that Barcelos and his group (2021) led in the UK: 36 individuals that have autism spectrum disorder (ASD), are between ages 18 and 74 and own a dog have been chosen. It has been detected that about 17% of the participants avoided committing suicide because of their dogs. Aside from that, the need of taking care of the dog or the affection that the dog gives, in other words, the overall existence of a dog has proven to have a positive effect on mental health.

Unfortunately, people with ASD are suffering from little or limited understanding from the public. Another case about the research being held in the ASD field is that they are mainly focused on children, even though autism is a life-long condition. It has been detected that people in the autism spectrum are more likely to suffer from other mental problems such as anxiety and depression, plus a higher rate of suicide.

According to the findings of researchers, we understand that participating in human-dog-related activities seems to have a positive outcome, and even if the dog is just present in the environment, it seems to be helping people in all aspects. Interactions such as playing with the dog or taking them for a walk have been shown to improve health. Some of the participants also mentioned that their dog specifically prevented them from committing suicide, which has been recorded as a critical value in research. But researchers have reported that aside from the positive effects, there is also a negative side that shows itself once a dog performs an unwanted behaviour, gets sick or has maintenance problems.

It gives the owners an incredible amount of accomplishment and pride if the dog is well-behaving and effectively trained. Owning a dog or participating in human-dog activities shows not only a positive effect but also a healing effect on social interactions and causes an increase in self-improvement in individuals with ASD.

Even though this study explains the basics of the idea, they have stated that with a more comprehensive study, the impact of dogs on human lives could be explained better.

Further reading: Barcelos, A.M., Kargas, N., Packham, C. et al. Understanding the impact of dog ownership on autistic adults: implications for mental health and suicide prevention. Sci Rep 11, 23655 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-02504-8

Chronic Kidney Disease in Dogs: A New Approach to Assess and Monitor Inflammation and Oxidative Stress


According to a recent study, a specially formulated nutrient supplement was added to the diet and promising results were determined in monitoring advanced chronic kidney disease in dogs.

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) causes irreversible loss of kidney function and is often considered a disease of senior adult animals. The severity of this disease is divided into different stages (1-4) according to the International Renal Interest Association (IRIS). Even if radical treatment is not possible,  conventional and alternative treatment methods are used. Besides, diet adjustments and periodic laboratory tests are made to follow and hold the disease under control.

kronik-yetmezlik, kidney

The results of the research carried out by Elisa Martello and her team to test a new nutritional supplement for the control of the disease were published in the journal Veterinary Sciences (Impact factor = 2.304), a journal of the very prestigious MDPI. In the study, which included 30 dogs with CKD, the animals were divided into two groups. They added 15 different nutritional supplements with a special formulation that they prepared in addition to a commercial kidney diet to one and a commercial kidney diet to the other. These included Lactobacillus acidophilus D2/CSL, Olea europaea L. extract, chitosan, calcium lactate-gluconate and fructooligosaccharides. The animals were fed in accordance with the study procedure for 90 days, and at the end, clinical examinations and laboratory analyses were made, and the results were evaluated.

According to the results of the researchers, it was determined that creatinine values, which is a critical marker of kidney disease, decreased significantly in the group that took the nutritional supplement they prepared.

The mean creatinine value, which was 3.17 mg/dL at the beginning, decreased to 2.4 mg/dL at the end of the study. There was no significant change in the group that did not take the nutritional supplement. Similarly, blood urea nitrogen (BUN), phosphorus (P), symmetrical dimethylarginine (SDMA), urine protein:creatinine ratio (UPC), c-reactive protein (CRP-inflammation marker) and reactive oxygen metabolite derivative compounds (d-ROM) values ​​were also found to decrease in the group that received nutritional supplements. In this sense, the regression of oxidative stress can be considered an important result. It is known that oxidative stress directly contributes to the progression of CKD by causing tissue damage and inflammation.

The researchers also emphasized that their results covered a small sample group and most animals with third-stage CKD. In other words, the study data represented a limited group. This type of study needs to be improved by performing a larger study that includes both a larger population of dogs and different analysis parameters. Researchers emphasised this situation and actually opened a new door.

As a conclusion of the study, it was stated that this new nutritional supplement may be a good approach to controlling metabolic, inflammatory, and oxidative processes in animals with advanced CRF.

Further reading: Martello E, Perondi F, Bruni N, Bisanzio D, Meineri G, Lippi I. Chronic Kidney Disease and Dietary Supplementation: Effects on Inflammation and Oxidative Stress. Vet Sci. 2021 Nov 15;8(11):277. doi: 10.3390/vetsci8110277. PMID: 34822650.

Martin Rodbell and The Components of Cellular Communication: Journey To The Discovery of G-proteins…


Martin Rodbell was a biochemist best recognized for discovering G-proteins. He received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1994 for his studies on “G-proteins and their role in signal transduction in cells.”

Martin Rodbell, G-proteins

Martin Rodbell, father of G-proteins, was born in Baltimore, Maryland, USA on December 1, 1925. After finishing his public school education there, he attended Johns Hopkins University in 1943. Even though he primarily studied Latin, Greek, German, and French, he became more interested in French because of his friends, and this interest affected the course of his educational life. While at university, he served in the navy in World War II and, as a Jew, believed that battling Hitler was a priority.

When he was serving as a navy radio operator on the Japanese front in the Pacific Ocean in 1944, he realised that the communication and experiences with different individuals under challenging circumstances had actually prepared him to become a scientist. When he returned from the war in 1946, he intended to continue his schooling at Johns Hopkins. While Rodbell was attracted to French literature, her father was eager to his attend medical school. The turning point in this process occurred when James Ebert recognised his passion for the philosophy of science and embryology and realised then he wanted to have a career in the biological sciences. To progress in the discipline of biochemistry, he stayed at Hopkins for another year and studied advanced chemistry courses, as suggested by Bentley Glass, one of the great professors in the biology department.

Once he met Barbara Ledermann in 1949, she brought with him a group of companions who were interested in a wide range of creative art. Rodbell, who married in 1950 and became a participant in the world of science and art, later relocated to Seattle and began working at the University of Washington. Working on lipid chemistry, specifically phospholipid metabolism, he learnt methods of examining the actions of phospholipases in ether solutions from his thesis advisor, Donald Hanahan. In 1954, he earned his PhD with his thesis on the biosynthesis of lecithin in rat liver. In the same year, the head of the University of Illinois’ Department of Chemistry, Dr Herbert E. Carter, contributed to the study of chloramphenicol biosynthesis. During his two years there, he also worked as a teacher, but he realized that he wanted to continue his research on the biochemistry of lecithin found in cell membranes.

Martin Rodbell accepted the position of biochemistry research assistant in Christian Anfinsen’s lab at the National Heart Institutes in Maryland in 1956.

Dr Edward Korn identified lipoprotein lipase, an enzyme that hydrolyzes chylomicron triglycerides, as a clearing factor. Rodbell, on the other hand, was interested in discriminating the nature of lipoproteins on the surface of chylomicrons and using the “fingerprint” method, he determined that there were at least five different proteins that will later be proven to have important roles in lipoprotein-containing diseases. When he decided to return to embryology research in 1960, he joined the University of Brussels. With the guidance of Jean Brachet, he observed the technique of X-ray films for recording the localization of tritium-labelled molecules in cells. After that, Dr In Peter Gaillard’s lab in Leiden, obtained specialized training in the use of cultured heart cells to differentiate the uptake of tritium-labelled chylomicrons.

Rodbell’s interest switched from the metabolic functions of lipid proteins to the effect of hormones (particularly insulin and glucagon) on individual cells while he was at the Arthritis and Metabolic Diseases Institute in the mid-1960s. Korn observed that the enzyme was found in adipose tissue, while Rodbell observed that collagenase digested and released fat cells. Following a meeting with Bernardo Houssay in 1963, he focused on the functioning mechanism of hormones on isolated cells and released his essay “Metabolism of Isolated Fat Cells” in 1964, which drew widespread attention in the field of endocrinology. After identifying that the mechanism of action of phospholipases mimicked the effect of the hormone on glucose utilization and protein synthesis, but that their action was limited to the surface membrane, he suggested that insulin-stimulating phospholipases could alter the structure of the surface membrane. All of these findings suggested that the insulin receptor is found on the surface of fat cells. Rodbell continued his studies on the hormone-sensitive fat cell, which he dubbed the “ghost,” by safeguarding the cell’s structural and metabolic features.

Rodbell greatly contributed to the understanding of the importance and function of G-proteins in 1969.

Following Earl W. Sutherland’s speech on hormones, activity drew the attention of many biochemists when he announced the hypothesis that the first messenger operates on the cell surface and triggers the “second messenger” mechanism, leading Rodbell to focus on the cyclic AMP paradigm. In 1967, when he travelled to Geneva, he collaborated with Torben Clausen on the effects of hormones on ions and amino acid translocations in “ghost” fat cells, concluding that hormones are pleiotropic agents. In 1968, while working with rat liver membrane cells, he believed the existence of a receptor for transducing and transmitting signals that trigger intracellular processes.

In 1969, he made a significant contribution to the understanding of the role and function of G-proteins by developing a system he dubbed “transmission of signal” for describing the components of cellular communication. Alfred G. Gilman and Rodbell during try to stimulate cells with adrenaline, discovered in 1970 that the main component of the cell transducer is a GTP (guanosine triphosphate)-dependent protein —Guanine nucleotide-binding protein/G-protein— that plays a role in impulse transmission. It is also known that when these molecules fail to perform their receptor functions adequately, they are linked to illnesses like diabetes, blindness, and allergies.

He was transferred to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in 1985 after serving as Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Geneva from 1981 to 1983. Following his retirement, Rodbell and Alfred G. Gilman were awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology in 1994 for their independent work that led to the discovery of the G protein. After receiving the Nobel Prize, he went on to teach at high schools and universities. The Rodbell lecture series was initiated by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, and Rodbell has spoken on the discovery process and its work at several of its conferences.

During his lifetime, Rodbell enables scientists from all over the world to share their opinions and experiences, and he defined his profession and life as “In many respects, my career and my experiences with people and events have been seamless in that I cannot separate one from another. Without doubt, the thread of one’s life should be within the matrix of the total human experience.” he died on December 7, 1998, six days after his seventieth birthday, in North Carolina. He left his pupils and scientists, who saw themselves as Rodbell’s disciples, in craving and sorrow.


  • Biographical Overview | Martin Rodbell – Profiles in Science. U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, https://profiles.nlm.nih.gov/spotlight/gg/feature/biographical.
  • Martin Rodbell. Martin Rodbell American Biochemist, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., https://www.britannica.com/biography/Martin-Rodbell.
  • The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1994. NobelPrize.org, https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/medicine/1994/rodbell/biographical/.
  • Who Was Martin Rodbell? Everything You Need to Know. Martin Rodbell Biography, https://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/martin-rodbell-7650.php.

Association of certain foods with heart disease in dogs: A Foodomics study

golden retriever

A recent foodomics study reported that the presence of legumes such as peas or lentils in the diet may contribute to the development of dilated cardiomyopathy in dogs.

Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is the most common heart disease in dogs. This disorder causes the chambers of the heart to enlarge and pump blood less effectively. So, dogs may face congestive heart failure or unexpected death.

Historically, it is known that the disease mainly affects large breed dogs and Cocker Spaniels. However, in 2018, United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials reported that they began receiving reports of DCM regarding dogs of other breeds as well. Additionally, in 2020, the FDA said it had received approximately 1,100 reports of adverse events linked to DCM since January 2014 and plans to collaborate with researchers on studies of non-hereditary DCM, including its possible link to diet.

FDA representatives reported that more than 9 out of 10 dogs with DCM identified in the reports were fed diets rich in peas, lentils, or both, and in this regard, a study was initiated to evaluate the association between nine diets associated with dogs with DCM.

Studies involving the discovery and comparison of biochemical compounds in foods, similar to studies on all metabolites in body fluids or tissues (metabolomics), are defined as “foodomics” and is an important field of study today; in other words, the metabolomic approach to food. Therefore, researchers identified, measured and compared the concentrations of 830 biochemical compounds in foods in diets in order to shed more light on the link between diet and the development of disease.

mercimek, lentil, heart
bezelye, pea, heart

Researchers have found that diets associated with DCM have lower levels of B vitamins related to cardiac metabolism and synthesis of carnitine and taurine. Additionally, diets associated with DCM also have higher concentrations of amino acids, amino acid derivatives, and plant-derived compounds; suggested that some of these may contribute to deficiencies in molecules essential for cardiac function by affecting carnitine metabolism. On the other hand, given that dietary taurine deficiency in cats is a cause of DCM, when researchers examined its concentration in different feeds, they found no significant taurine-related differences for dogs.

In conclusion, some components were identified that contributed to the biochemical differences between diets. Peas and, to a lesser extent, lentils appear to be major sources of high concentrations of certain biochemical compounds in diets associated with DCM. Although researchers cannot definitively determine whether any of these compounds and components are the cause of the disease, their findings indicate that peas may be the main component associated with dietary DCM in dogs.

Further reading: Smith, C.E., Parnell, L.D., Lai, CQ. et al. Investigation of diets associated with dilated cardiomyopathy in dogs using foodomics analysis. Sci Rep 11, 15881 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-94464-2

Bronze Age farmers are thought to have given cows a preferential feeding strategy over other domesticated animals.

tunç devri

According to new research, the meat and milk products from Bronze Age China played a remarkable role in human diets, unlike what has been thought previously. This work also suggests that farmers and shepherds have treated their cows differently from how they treated their goats and sheep, which is different compared to the rest of the world. They kept their cows closer to their homes and fed them with byproducts of their own food that they grow, like grains and millet stalks.

It is possible to get archaeological records of how crops were planted and domestic animals moved in prehistoric Eurasia. The point that is not clear enough is: how did farmers and herders from the Bronze Age manage to combine those newly introduced domestic animals (like southwestern Asian cows) into their long-lasting traditional agriculture and cuisine?

cow, Bronze Age, holstein

A study from Scientific Reports, a reputable journal in its field, combines data from the latest and earlier research that has been obtained from nine sites along the Hexi (Gansu) Corridor, a significant region between the Tibetan Plateau and the Gobi Desert that was used to ease the course of ancient crops between East and Central Asia. Aside from that, researchers also strengthen their findings by making analyses on bone records and isotope samples from plants, animals and people.

The head author of the research, Petra Vaiglova, says that “We were able to examine the diet of local herbivores from the Hexi Corridor in northwest China during the Bronze Age by using the stable isotope analysis method.” Results indicate that in the studied region, ecological niches differ greatly because of the distinct management differences between cattle, sheep, and goats. To us, that derived from the effort of local farmers who tried to merge conventional and innovative methods into a balance.

Hexi Koridoru, Bronze Age
Hexi Corridor: It is a historical route in the Chinese province of Gansu.

According to the findings of researchers, it seems like locals just let the sheep and goats graze around the village and feed on naturally grown flora, while for cows, they both let them graze and also fed them at the same time. The cow bones that were analysed by them also show that there were plants from drier lands that weren’t really included in natural flora. Those foreign corps include Eastern Asia-originated millet plants.

Those discoveries show that the diet of cows was highly shaped by humans and so they have been kept closer to human villages compared to sheep and goats.

Xinyi Liu, an important author of the research, comments that “As the results imply, at Hexi Corridor there are similar results of domesticating and localising cows that have been significantly domesticated in a different environment. Areas whose grazing sites are limited for cows, tend to be suitable for a pig-based economy rather than cattle stall-feeding.”

Researchers claim that those results match up with modern ethnographic examples from North China, where cows won’t graze in open local fields like sheep and goats do, but stand closer to where people have settled.

According to Liu, recognising the agricultural and dietary conditions of the past can help us face some of the problems of today’s world. Those challenges are not only environmental but also social. Assuming that the soil moisture is decreasing worldwide because of the climate that just keeps getting warmer, we are able to draw some similarities between northwest China and Mid-Holocene conditions. Based on the increased innovations in the agriculture field, long-term social influences have been formed during 5000–1500 BC on the Eurasian continent. Identification of the genuine nature of those innovations around the continents may help us to build the foundations of cultivation implementations in today’s marginal world.

Further reading: Petra Vaiglova, Rachel E. B. Reid, Emma Lightfoot, Suzanne E. Pilaar Birch, Hui Wang, Guoke Chen, Shuicheng Li, Martin Jones, Xinyi Liu. Localized management of non-indigenous animal domesticates in Northwestern China during the Bronze Age. Scientific Reports, 2021; 11 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41598-021-95233-x

Source: ScienceDaily

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