We have sequenced the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene from the guinea pig, the African porcupine, and a South American opossum. A phylogenetic analysis, which includes 22 eutherian and four other vertebrate cytochrome b sequences, indicates that the guinea pig and the porcupine constitute a natural clade (Hystricomorpha) that is not a sister group to the clade of mice and rats (Myomorpha). Therefore, the hypothesis that the Rodentia is paraphyletic receives additional support.
Successful artificial insemination (AI) of elephants depends heavily on determining the unique luteinizing hormone (LH) surges that occur during the follicular phase of the elephant's estrous cycle. Natural breeding of elephants also can benefit from a rapid and accurate determination of the two LH surges found in elephants. There are three ELISAs available for determining the LH surge; two are commercially-available assays and one is a laboratory in-house assay. Each vary in their cost, time to complete the assay, and ease of performing the procedures.
One hundred and seventy one serum samples from 10 game species from Zimbabwe were tested for IgG antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii infection using the modified agglutination test (MAT). Significantly higher seroprevalences were found in the felidae (Panthera leo) (92% of 26), bovidae (Tragelaphus species) (55.9% of 34)and farm-reared struthionidae (Struthio camelus) (48% of 50) compared to the other groups tested. Among the bovidae, the nyala (Tragelaphus angasii) had the highest seroprevalence of 90% (9/10).
Serum samples from 156 captive elephants (Elephas maximus indicus) collected between 1994 and 1999 in Thailand were examined for antibodies to T. gondii using the modified agglutination test (MAT) and the latex agglutination test (LAT). Antibodies to T. gondii were found in 45.5% of 156 elephants by MAT (_1:50) and 25.6% of 156 elephants by LAT (_1:64). This is the first report of T. gondii infection in E. maximus indicus from Asia.
The coagulation profile of seven Asian elephants was assessed using human reference plasma as a standard. The plasma values for the majority of the coagulation proteins evaluated, including Factors VII, IX, X, and XI, and antithrombin, were similar to that of human plasma. The average Factor VIII:C value was 1.95 units/ml, approximately twice that of the human value. Human recombinant tissue factor was effective as an activator of the tissue factor-factor VII pathway as measured by the prothrombin time assay.