Day 2 :
USDA-ARS Forage Animal Production Research Unit
Keynote: Management practices to mitigate the adverse physiology in livestock that are exposed to ergopeptines
Time : 10:00-10:30
Glen E Aiken completed his PhD in Agronomy from the University of Florida in 1989. He completed postdoctoral studies at Auburn University and Texas A&M University, and has worked as a Research Animal Scientist/Agronomist for USDA-ARS since 1992. He has served as the Research Leader for the Forage Animal Production Unit in Lexington, KY since 2013. Dr. Aiken is a Fellow in the American Society of Agronomy and the Crop Science Society of America and has 94 papers in reputable journals and 111 book chapters, popular press aricles, and book chapters.
Ergopeptines are a group of ergot alkaloids produced by a fungal endophyte (Neotyphodium coenophialum) that infects tall fescue [Lolium arundinaceum (Schreb.) Darbysh.], which is a cool-season perennial grass that is the predominant forage in the U.S. transition zone between the temperate northeast and subtropical southwest. Unfortunately, ergopeptines can induce a toxicosis that adversely affects physiology and well-being of grazing cattle. Hardiness and persistence of tall fescue under limited management can be attributed to other ergot alkaloids the endophyte produced, but the trade-off is reduced cattle production from consumption of ergopeptines. Ergopeptines are agonists to alpha-adrenergic receptors in the vasculature and, therefore, are vasoactive in causing persistent constriction of arteries and veins. Reduced blood flow to peripheral tissues disrupts the animal’s ability to thermo-regulate, which makes them vulnerable to severe heat stress in the late spring and summer. Ergopeptines are also D2 dopamine receptor agonists in reducing secretion of prolactin from the anterior pituitary gland, which reduces milk production by lactating cows. Improved understanding of this endopyte-grass complex has facilitated development of the following technologies and management systems that can either mitigate or completely alleviate fescue toxicosis: 1) use moderate to heavy grazing intensities, 2) replace the toxic endophyte with non-ergot alkaloid producing endophytes, 3) use a herbicide that can suppress the emergence of tall fescue seed heads, 4) avoid grazing of tall fescue with high ergot alkaloid concentrations in the late spring and summer by moving cattle to warm-season grass, and 5) dilute dietary alkaloids by interseeding clovers or feeding supplements.
University of Missouri
Keynote: Improving diagnostic pathology results: Help us to help you come to a more definitive diagnosis
Time : 10:30-11:00
Fred Williams III completed his undergraduate education at Tuskegee University and continued in the veterinary school there at Tuskegee to become a member of the class of 2001. He started a residency at the University of Missouri in 2002 and continued following the completion of his residency as a faculty instructor. Currently, he is at the University of Missouri as an Associate Professor in Pathobiology with a primary focus on clinical education of professional students and diagnostic work for the Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Lab at the University of Missouri. He has special interests in pathogenesis and exotic animal diseases.
Diagnosticians strive to come up with the best possible diagnoses from submitted specimens; unfortunately, there is occasionally disconnect between the samples received and the potential etiologies that we are trying to rule out. I will provide some quick pointers on the topic necropsy for ambulatory veterinarians, fetal necropsy, and in-clinic necropsy protocols in order to provide some background on what happens to your sample after submission. I will provide tips and tricks to avoid some of the more common errors in sample submission, and discuss some ways to improve yield and efficiency.