To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Several factor analytic studies have shown than anhedonia and avolition are included in the same factor, suggesting that motivational deficits in schizophrenia are related to a reduced experience of pleasure; however other studies have not confirmed this hypothesis. More recently, it has been hypothesized that avolition is related to a difficulty in anticipating reward value and\or regulating behavior on the basis of the associations between value and action.
This study is aimed to verify an impairment of reward anticipation in patients with deficit schizophrenia (DS), but not in those with non-deficit schizophrenia (NDS) and its association with primary negative symptoms, using event-related potentials (ERPs).
ERPs were recorded in 11 patients with DS, 23 patients with NDS and 23 healthy controls (HC), during anticipation of five different outcomes, small (SR) or large (LR) reward, small (SP) or large (LP) punishment or no-outcome (NO), and during feedback processing.
Patients did not differ from HC on indices of anticipatory or consummatory anhedonia, but they showed reduced motivation. During reward anticipation, only patients with primary and persistent avolition showed ERPs abnormalities, with respect to HC, in the early processing stages and a reduced activity of cortical generators in the cingulate, in the temporal-occipital and fronto-parietal regions, that are involved in the attention modulation and visual perceptual processing.
Our data suggest that anhedonia and avolition are partially independent constructs and that avolition is related to the inability to modulate attention and amplify visual perceptual processing of reward stimuli.
Previous studies have reported that patient with schizophrenia have preserved hedonic capacity, but impaired ability to anticipate future reward (anticipatory anhedonia) that, according to some authors, may underlie other aspects of negative symptoms, such as avolition.
The aim of our study was to demonstrate an impairment of reward anticipation in patients with deficit schizophrenia (DS), characterized by primary and persistent negative symptoms, but not in those with non-deficit schizophrenia (NDS) with respect to healthy controls (HC), by means of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).
fMRI was recorded during the execution of the ’Monetary Incentive Delay’ task in 11 patients with DS, 23 patients with NDS and 23 HC, during the anticipation of five different outcomes, small (SR) or large (LR) reward, small (SP) or large (LP) punishment or no-outcome (NO).
The ventral striatum response to reward anticipation was preserved in subjects with schizophrenia. Only patients with DS, compared with HC, showed a significant reduction in the left caudate during the anticipation of reward. The reduced activity of the caudate correlated with the scores for avolition but not for anhedonia.
Our preliminary data suggest an involvement of the caudate in the abnormal processing of reward stimuli in patients with DS and show that avolition and anhedonia are subtended by different functional abnormalities.
The Mismatch Negativity (MMN) is an event-related potential (ERP) sensitive to early auditory deviance detection and has been shown to be reduced in patients with schizophrenia. Moreover, MMN amplitude reduction to duration deviant tones was found to be related to functional outcomes particularly, to social cognition and real-life functioning.
In the context of a multicentre study of the Italian Network for Research on Psychoses, our study focused on the investigation of early auditory discrimination components in relation to functioning in real-life in patients with schizophrenia.
ERPs were recorded in 64 chronic, stabilized patients with schizophrenia during the presentation of standard, duration deviants and frequency deviants tones while watching a cartoon. The Specific Level of Functioning (SLOF) scale was used to measure real-life functioning. Psychopathology, neurocognition and social cognition were measured by state of art instruments. Regression analyses were carried out using SLOF domains as dependent variables and MMN, psychopathology, neurocognition, extrapyramidal symptoms and social cognition as independent predictors.
Latency of MMN entered the regression equation only for the SLOF domain of common activities explaining less variance than social cognition and positive symptoms.
In stabilized patients with schizophrenia pre-attentive deficits, as indexed by MMN and P3a amplitude reduction, do not show any association with psychopathology or functioning. Latency of MMN was an independent predictor of some aspects of functioning with a smaller effect than social cognition and psychopathology domains.
Negative symptoms are the psychopathological domain most associated to poor outcome in patients with schizophrenia (SCZ). Insight into their pathophysiology might contribute to develop innovative treatments for the syndrome. Recently, it has been hypothesized that avolition is related to a difficulty in anticipating reward or integrating value and action.
Our study aimed to investigate abnormalities of reward anticipation in SCZ and evaluate associations of negative symptoms dimensions with the same abnormalities using electrophysiological indices.
ERPs were recorded during the execution of 'Monetary Incentive Delay' task in 30 SCZ patients stabilized on second generation antipsychotics and 23 and healthy controls (HC). Measures of anticipatory and consummatory pleasure, trait anhedonia and motivation were obtained in all subjects. A measure of avolition independent of anhedonia was obtained in patients.
Patients did not differ from HC with respect to trait anhedonia and experience of pleasure but showed a deficit of motivation. Unlike HC, P3 amplitude in patients did not discriminate stimuli relevance in the early interval and was higher for the anticipation of loss in the late interval. In SCZ, early P3 amplitude for loss and reward anticipation was inversely related to social anhedonia but not to avolition.
Patients with preserved experience and anticipation of reward seem unable to integrate the relevance and rewarding value of future events in the context of their ongoing task. Our results indicate that anhedonia and avolition are partially independent constructs and that SCZ might integrate better loss than reward.
P300 is an event-related potential (ERP) thought to reflect attention, working memory and context integration and has been shown to be consistently reduced in patients with Schizophrenia. Despite a possible relation between P300 components and cognitive deficits in Schizophrenia has been hypothesized, few studies addressed this hypothesis.
In the context of a multicenter study of the Italian Network for Research on Psychoses, our study focused on the investigation of auditory P300 component in relation to clinical and cognitive domains in patients with Schizophrenia.
ERPs were recorded in 64 chronic, stabilized patients with Schizophrenia during a standard oddball task. N1 and P3b latency and amplitude were assessed at Fz and Pz, respectively. State of art instruments was used for clinical assessment. Cognitive indices (from the seven cognitive domains of the Measurement and Treatment of Cognition in Schizophrenia, MATRICS) were expressed as Z-scores from an Italian normative sample.
Correlation analysis revealed associations of P3b latency with age, education, PANSS-DIS, processing speed, working memory, St. Hans parkinsonism subscale. In a multiple linear regression model, processing speed was an independent significant predictor of P3b latency.
For the first time, a strong relation between P3b latency and processing speed impairment was shown in Schizophrenia. Processing speed is considered a central factor in the relation between cognitive deficits and functional outcome in chronic schizophrenia. The association with P3b latency might shed lights in the neural basis of this complex construct.
Short stature caused by growth hormone (GH) deficiency is one of the causes of the “Failure to Thrive” (FTT) condition. In absence of clear organic causes, several different psychosocial conditions may play a role in explaining the FTT phenotype. Advances in developmental psychology have highlighted the role of emotions and caregiving behaviors in the organization of child's personality and psychobiology, with the mother–son attachment bond being considered a fundamental developmental experience. The objective of the present preliminary study was to assess whether there are significant correlations between attachment styles and GH levels in a sample of subjects with non-organic FTT.
We enrolled 27 children (mean age: 9.49 ± 2.63) with non-organic FTT. Perceived attachment security was assessed through the Security Scale (SS) and its subscales focused on maternal and paternal security. Pearson partial correlation was used to test associations between GH levels and SS measures adjusting for confounding factors (i.e. age, gender and BMI).
Across all subjects, GH was significantly positively correlated with general security (r = 0.425; P = 0.038) and maternal security (SSM) (r = –0.451; P = 0.027) and not significantly correlated with paternal security (SSP) (r = 0.237; P = 0.264).
These findings preliminarily suggest that perceived attachment security may play a role in the etiopathogenesis of non-organic GH deficiencies and add to the accumulating evidence that attachment styles are associated with specific psychoendocrine underpinnings.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Since the implementation of the Clinical Learning Environment Review by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, there has been an emphasis on training residents in health care quality as well as patient safety. As such, psychiatry residency training programs have had to incorporate quality improvement (QI) projects into their training. We developed a QI curriculum, which not only included resident and faculty participation, but also encouraged other staff in our department to focus on patient safety as well as improving their performance and the quality of care provided to the patients.
In this poster, we present the development of our curriculum and will include a successful QI project to highlight this. This project focused on creating an algorithm to help assign patient risk level, which is based on evidence based risk factors. This project was created due to a survey conducted in our clinic which demonstrated that clinicians, and in residency training in particular, identifying and managing high risk patients can be anxiety provoking for trainees. We will present the specifics of this QI project, and additionally outline the steps that were taken to develop and integrate the QI project into clinical practice.
(1) Learn how to successfully incorporate a QI project and curriculum into a psychiatry residency training program.
(2) Understand both resident and faculty perspectives on what resources facilitated participation in QI.
(3) Present the development of a quality improvement project focused on risk assessment of outpatient psychiatric patients.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Although multiple studies have been conducted in the adult population, there is a vast knowledge gap regarding the epidemiologic characteristics of cardiomyopathies in the paediatric population. This issue is even more crucial when the precarious situation of medical research in Latin America is considered. Given the potential impact that these disorders could have on Latin American health systems, a comprehensive epidemiologic study regarding the clinical profile and sociodemographic characteristics of these patients will influence the way we approach paediatric cardiomyopathies.
An observational retrospective study was conducted at a tertiary referral centre for Colombian and Latin American paediatric cardiology. We analysed all cases of primary cardiomyopathies in children younger than 18 years of age who presented at our institution between 2010 and 2016. Cases of cardiomyopathies were classified according to World Health Organization guidelines.
From a total of 29,533 children who attended our institution during the study period, 89 new cases of primary cardiomyopathies were identified. The median age at diagnosis was 11 years (interquartile range 4–9). Dilated cardiomyopathy accounted for 57.3% (n = 51) of cases; hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, 12.3% (n = 11); restrictive cardiomyopathy, 8.9% (n = 8); non-compacted cardiomyopathy, 7.8% (n = 7); arrhythmogenic ventricular cardiomyopathy, 6.7% (n = 6); and unspecified cardiomyopathy, 6.7% (n = 6). Heart failure was observed in 53.93% of the patients. The overall mortality was 12.36% (n = 11), which included two of eight patients who underwent cardiac transplantation.
Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping tools, which can analyse thousands of SNPs covering the whole genome, have opened new opportunities to estimate the inbreeding level of animals directly using genome information. One of the most commonly used genomic inbreeding measures considers the proportion of the autosomal genome covered by runs of homozygosity (ROH), which are defined as continuous and uninterrupted chromosome portions showing homozygosity at all loci. In this study, we analysed the distribution of ROH in three commercial pig breeds (Italian Large White, n = 1968; Italian Duroc, n = 573; and Italian Landrace, n = 46) and four autochthonous breeds (Apulo-Calabrese, n = 90; Casertana, n = 90; Cinta Senese, n = 38; and Nero Siciliano, n = 48) raised in Italy, using SNP data generated from Illumina PorcineSNP60 BeadChip. We calculated ROH-based inbreeding coefficients (FROH) using ROH of different minimum length (1, 2, 4, 8, 16 Mbp) and compared them with several other genomic inbreeding coefficients (including the difference between observed and expected number of homozygous genotypes (FHOM)) and correlated all these genomic-based measures with the pedigree inbreeding coefficient (FPED) calculated for the pigs of some of these breeds. Autochthonous breeds had larger mean size of ROH than all three commercial breeds. FHOM was highly correlated (0.671 to 0.985) with FROH measures in all breeds. Apulo-Calabrese and Casertana had the highest FROH values considering all ROH minimum lengths (ranging from 0.273 to 0.189 and from 0.226 to 0.152, moving from ROH of minimum size of 1 Mbp (FROH1) to 16 Mbp (FROH16)), whereas the lowest FROH values were for Nero Siciliano (from 0.072 to 0.051) and Italian Large White (from 0.117 to 0.042). FROH decreased as the minimum length of ROH increased for all breeds. Italian Duroc had the highest correlations between all FROH measures and FPED (from 0.514 to 0.523) and between FHOM and FPED (0.485). Among all analysed breeds, Cinta Senese had the lowest correlation between FROH and FPED. This might be due to the imperfect measure of FPED, which, mainly in local breeds raised in extensive production systems, cannot consider a higher level of pedigree errors and a potential higher relatedness of the founder population. It appeared that ROH better captured inbreeding information in the analysed breeds and could complement pedigree-based inbreeding coefficients for the management of these genetic resources.
Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) able to describe population differences can be used for important applications in livestock, including breed assignment of individual animals, authentication of mono-breed products and parentage verification among several other applications. To identify the most discriminating SNPs among thousands of markers in the available commercial SNP chip tools, several methods have been used. Random forest (RF) is a machine learning technique that has been proposed for this purpose. In this study, we used RF to analyse PorcineSNP60 BeadChip array genotyping data obtained from a total of 2737 pigs of 7 Italian pig breeds (3 cosmopolitan-derived breeds: Italian Large White, Italian Duroc and Italian Landrace, and 4 autochthonous breeds: Apulo-Calabrese, Casertana, Cinta Senese and Nero Siciliano) to identify breed informative and reduced SNP panels using the mean decrease in the Gini Index and the Mean Decrease in Accuracy parameters with stability evaluation. Other reduced informative SNP panels were obtained using Delta, Fixation index and principal component analysis statistics, and their performances were compared with those obtained using the RF-defined panels using the RF classification method and its derived Out Of Bag rates and correct prediction proportions. Therefore, the performances of a total of six reduced panels were evaluated. The correct assignment of the animals to its breed was close to 100% for all tested approaches. Porcine chromosome 8 harboured the largest number of selected SNPs across all panels. Many SNPs were included in genomic regions in which previous studies identified signatures of selection or genes (e.g. ESR1, KITL and LCORL) that could contribute to explain, at least in part, phenotypically or economically relevant traits that might differentiate cosmopolitan and autochthonous pig breeds. Random forest used as preselection statistics highlighted informative SNPs that were not the same as those identified by other methods. This might be due to specific features of this machine learning methodology. It will be interesting to explore if the adaptation of RF methods for the identification of selection signature regions could be able to describe population-specific features that are not captured by other approaches.
Glioblastoma is the most common primary malignant brain tumour in adults, and remains uniformly lethal. These tumours contain a subpopulation of glioblastoma stem cells (GSCs) that drive tumour recurrence and drug resistance. We find that MacroH2A2 is a histone variant that can stratify glioblastoma patients, with higher levels of this histone variant associated with better patient prognosis. Knockdown of macroH2A2 in GSCs is associated with increased self-renewal and an increased expression of stemness genes by RNA-seq. Our preliminary results suggest that macroH2A2 is a novel biomarker for glioblastoma and that macroH2A2 loss is a marker of GSC stemness and a poor prognostic marker in glioblastoma. This work identifies loss of macroH2A2 as a feature of GSCs and provides a framework for therapeutic modulation of this histone variant.
This presentation will enable the learner to:
1.Explain the role of epigenetics in glioblastoma pathophysiology
We study a class of growing systems of random walks on regular trees, known as frog models with geometric lifetime in the literature. With the help of results from renewal theory, we derive new bounds for their critical parameters. Our approach also improves the existing bounds for the critical parameter of a percolation model on trees known as cone percolation.
Protected designation of origin dry-cured hams are obtained from heavy pigs (slaughtered at about 160 kg of live weight). A specific breeding program designed to improve meat quality for this production has included as key traits the level of intermuscular fat between the leg muscles and ham weight loss during the seasoning period together with a balance between fat and lean cuts. In this study we carried out genome-wide association studies for seven traits used in the genetic merit of Italian Duroc heavy pigs, five related to meat and carcass quality traits (visible intermuscular fat, ham weight loss at first salting, backfat thickness, ham weight and lean cuts), and two related to performance and efficiency traits (average daily gain and feed : gain ratio). A total of 573 performance-tested pigs were genotyped with the Illumina PorcineSNP60 BeadChip and genome-wide association analyses were carried out using the Bayes B approach with the 1 Mb window option of GenSel and random residuals for each of the seven traits. Detected windows were supported by independent single nucleotide polymorphism analyses with a linear mixed model (LMM) approach on the same animals for the same traits. A total of 30 windows identifying different quantitative trait loci (QTL) were detected and among those, 27 were confirmed by LMM in one of these traits. Among the confirmed windows, three QTL were reported for visible intermuscular fat, seven for ham weight loss at first salting and five and four for backfat thickness and lean cut, respectively. A total of eight QTL were detected for the other production traits. No overlapping QTL were reported except for one window on porcine chromosome 10 between lean cuts and ham weight that contained the CACNB2 gene that has been already associated with loin marbling score in other Duroc pigs. Several regions contained genes that have been already associated with production traits in other pig breeds, including Duroc lines, related to fat deposition or muscle structure. This work reports, for the first time, genome-wide association study results for several traits in Italian Duroc heavy pigs. These results will be useful to dissect the genetic basis for dry-cured ham production traits that determine the total genetic merit index of Italian Duroc pigs.
Head and neck space infections present with a potential mortality rate of 40–50 per cent. This paper proposes an algorithm-based management of head and neck space infection to prevent life-threatening events.
A total of 225 patients with head and neck space infection were prospectively analysed at our institution. An experimental scoring system determined the level of clinical risk for the development of major complications. Accordingly, patients were classified into three risk groups: low-, intermediate- and high-risk.
Only intermediate- and high-risk patients were hospitalised. Intermediate-risk patients received intravenous medical therapy with daily re-evaluation; 18 of them required delayed surgery. Of the high-risk patients, three required immediate surgical treatment and five received delayed surgery, while in five cases medical therapy was the only treatment received. Low-risk patients were treated in an out-patient setting.
The algorithm-based management of head and neck space infection was successful in enabling the avoidance of lethal complications onset.
Blood serum proteins are significant indicators of animal health. Nevertheless, several factors should be considered to appropriately interpret their concentrations in blood. Therefore, the objectives of this study were (1) to assess the effect of herd productivity, breed, age and stage of lactation on serum proteins and (2) to investigate association between serum proteins and somatic cell count (SCC) in dairy cattle. Milk and blood samples were collected from 1508 cows of six different breeds (Holstein Friesian, Brown Swiss, Jersey, Simmental, Rendena and Alpine Grey) that were housed in 41 multi-breed herds. Milk samples were analyzed for composition and SCC, while blood samples were analyzed for serum proteins (i.e. total protein, albumin, globulin and albumin-to-globulin ratio (A : G)). Herds were classified as low or high production, according to the cow’s average daily milk energy yield adjusted for breed, days in milk (DIM) and parity. Data were analyzed using a linear mixed model that included the fixed effects of DIM, parity, SCS, breed, herd productivity and the random effect of the Herd-test date within productivity level. Cows in high producing herds (characterized also by greater use of concentrates in the diet) had greater serum albumin concentrations. Breed differences were reported for all traits, highlighting a possible genetic mechanism. The specialized breed Jersey and the two dual-purpose local breeds (Alpine Grey and Rendena) had the lowest globulin concentration and greatest A : G. Changes in serum proteins were observed through lactation. Total protein reached the highest concentration during the 4th month of lactation. Blood albumin increased with DIM following a quadratic pattern, while globulin decreased linearly. As a consequence, A : G increased linearly during lactation. Older cows had greater total protein and globulin concentrations, while albumin concentration seemed to be not particularly affected by age. A linear relationship between serum proteins and SCS was observed. High milk SCS was associated with greater total protein and globulin concentrations in blood. The rise in globulin concentration, together with a decrease in albumin concentrations, resulted in a decline in A : G as SCS of milk increased. In conclusion, such non-genetic factors must be considered to appropriately interpret serum proteins as potential animal welfare indicator and their evaluation represents an important first-step for future analysis based on the integration of metabolomics, genetic and genomic information for improving the robustness of dairy cows.
Albatrosses (Diomedeidae) and large petrels (Macronectes and Procellaria spp.) are among the world’s most rapidly declining birds. Some of the most endangered species, Amsterdam Albatross Diomedea amsterdamensis, Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross Thalassarche carteri and Sooty Albatross Phoebetria fusca, are at risk from recurrent avian cholera outbreaks. Yet little is known about the overall impact of disease in this group. We compiled all available information on pathogens described in albatrosses and large petrel species listed under the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels (ACAP) (n = 31). Available reports (n = 53) comprise nearly 60% of ACAP species (18/31). However, only 38% of them focus on threatened species (20/53), and 43% solely report macroparasite findings (23/53). Black-browed Albatross Thalassarche melanophrys (Near Threatened) and Southern Giant Petrel Macronectes giganteus (Least Concern) are the two species with higher number of publications (29/53, 55% of all papers). Conversely, seven species on the IUCN Red List have three papers or less each. Most existing research has resulted from disease or mortality investigations and baseline studies (28 and 32%, respectively). Pathogens reported in the subset of ACAP species, included bacteria in seven species (39%), viruses in five (28%), protozoa in four (22%), helminths in nine (50%), ectoparasites in 13 (72%) and fungi in one species (5%). Avian cholera, caused by the bacterium Pasteurella multocida, appears as the most severe threat to ACAP species. Infections by poxvirus are the most common viral finding, yet entail lower population level impact. Few serosurveys report pathogen exposure in these species, but add valuable baseline information. There are numerous obvious gaps in species and geographical coverage and likely under-reporting due to remoteness, accessibility and sporadic monitoring. This insufficient knowledge may be hampering effective protection and management of populations at risk. Attention to species currently affected by avian cholera is of utmost priority.
The faba bean (Vicia faba L.) is a potential source of proteins for poultry, mainly for laying hens whose protein requirements are lower than those of other birds such as growing broilers and turkeys. However, this feedstuff contains anti-nutritional factors, that is, vicine (V) and convicine (C) that are already known to reduce laying hen performance. The aim of the experiment reported here was to evaluate the effects of a wide range of dietary V and C concentrations in laying hens. Two trials were performed with laying hens fed diets including 20% or 25% of faba bean genotypes highly contrasting in V+C content. In Trial 1, faba beans from two tannin-containing cultivars, but with high or low V+C content were dehulled in order to eliminate the tannin effect. In addition to the contrasting levels of V+C in the two cultivars, two intermediate levels of V+C were obtained by mixing the two cultivars (70/30 and 30/70). In Trial 2, two isogenic zero-tannin faba bean genotypes with high or low V+C content were used. In both trials, a classical corn–soybean diet was also offered to control hens. Each experimental diet was given to 48 laying hens for 140 (Trial 1) or 89 (Trial 2) days. Laying performance and egg quality were measured. The redox sensitivity of red blood cells (RBCs) was assessed by measuring hemolysis and reduced glutathione (GSH) concentration in these cells. Egg weight was significantly reduced by the diets containing the highest concentrations of V+C (P<0.0001) in Trial 1 and slightly reduced (P<0.10) in Trial 2, but only weak linear relationships between egg weight and dietary V+C concentration were established. No negative effect of V+C level was observed for egg quality parameters. In contrast, certain parameters (i.e. Haugh units, yolk color) were improved by feeding low V+C diets (P<0.05). Hemolysis of RBCs was higher in hens fed high V+C diets. A decrease in GSH concentration in RBCs of hens fed the highest levels of V+C was observed. Faba bean genotypes with low concentrations of V+C can therefore be used in laying hen diets up to 25% without any detrimental effects on performance levels or egg characteristics, without any risk of hemolysis of RBCs.
We present results from our ongoing monitoring programs aimed at identifying and understanding Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) in extreme flux and spectral states. Observations of AGN in extreme states can reveal the nature of the inner accretion flow, the physics of matter under strong gravity, and they provide insight on the properties of ionized absorbers and outflows launched near supermassive black holes (SMBHs). We present new results from our long-term monitoring of IC 3599, WPVS007, and Mrk 335, multi-wavelength follow-ups of the newly identified changing-look AGN HE 1136–2304, and UV–X-ray follow-ups of the binary SMBH candidate OJ 287 after its 2015 optical maximum, now in a new optical-X-ray–high-state.
Animals destined for meat production are usually exposed to many stressful conditions during production and particularly during preslaughter operations. Handling animals on farm, loading into and unloading from vehicles, transportation, passing through livestock markets, fasting, lairage and stunning can all affect their welfare. How badly welfare can be affected will depend on both the intrinsic factors of the specific type of animal involved and the extrinsic factors of the environment where those animals live or are being handled, including the animal handlers. In South America (SA), it has been part of a strategy for improving animal welfare (AW) to address not only ethical aspects, but to emphasize the close relationship existing between handling ruminants preslaughter and the quantity and quality of the meat they produce. This has resulted not only in improvements in AW, but has also brought economic rewards to producers which in turn can lead to higher incomes for them and hence better human welfare. For producers with a high number of animals, considering AW during production and preslaughter operations can determine the possibility of exporting and/or getting better prices for their products. At smallfarmer level, particularly in some less developed countries, where human welfare is impaired, using this strategy together with education has also been relevant. It is important that education and training in AW are done not only considering global knowledge, but also including specific geographical and climatic characteristics of each country and the cultural, religious and socio-economical characteristics of its people; therefore, research within the context of each country or region becomes relevant. The aim of this review was to show the results of research dealing with AW of ruminant livestock in Chile and some other SA countries. Some of the main problems encountered are related to lack of proper infrastructure to handle animals; long distance transport with high stocking densities in the larger countries; long fasting times due to animals passing through livestock markets and dealers; bad handling of animals by untrained personnel in these and other premises; and finally the lack of knowledge and skills by operators in charge of stunning procedures. Interventions at these stages have considered training animal handlers and transporters by showing them the consequences of bad handling with audiovisual material prepared on site. Research results have helped to improve AW and support the development of new legislation or to make changes in the existent legislation related to AW.