Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research]]> vol. 83 num. 1 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Bovine dermatophilosis: Awareness, perceptions and attitudes in the small-holder sector of north-west Zimbabwe</b>]]> A cross-sectional study was conducted to assess cattle owners' awareness, perceptions, attitudes and drug-usage practices with regard to bovine dermatophilosis. Knowledge of these farmers' attributes is important for animal health policy makers in their endeavours to provide optimum disease control strategies that are acceptable to the communities. Data on cattle owner awareness of bovine dermatophilosis, causes, treatment practices, perceptions about its importance and potential dangers to humans were collected using an interviewer-administered questionnaire. A total of 185 stockowners and cattle herds were involved in the study, with bovine dermatophilosis determined clinically by veterinarians. The results showed that 45.4% of the herds were clinically positive for dermatophilosis, and most farmers (79.5%) were generally aware that dermatophilosis was a cattle disease. In the event of a dermatophilosis outbreak in a herd, 74.1% of the farmers treated their cattle using antibiotics; the proportion of farmers treating cattle did not differ (p > 0.05) across the diptanks. Fifty-two farmers (52/63) indicated that drugs had to be administered four to seven times before an animal recovered from infection. Tetracyclines were the antibiotics used by most farmers (79.3%) to treat dermatophilosis, with 19.1% using penicillins. Concerns were raised by farmers about the effectiveness of these drugs against bovine dermatophilosis. Across the study sites, 48.6% and 27.6% of the farmers perceived bovine dermatophilosis to be an important disease at the herd and area level, respectively. A small proportion (12.4%) of the farmers regarded bovine dermatophilosis as a potentially zoonotic disease. The high level of stockowners' general awareness, with regards to bovine dermatophilosis, sets ideal conditions for the mobilisation of farmers by animal health authorities in the control of the disease. However, further research needs to be undertaken to investigate effective antibiotic delivery protocols and the potential zoonotic impact of bovine dermatophilosis in a situation of high disease prevalence. <![CDATA[<b>Serosurvey of peste des petits ruminants virus in small ruminants from different agro-ecological zones of Nigeria</b>]]> Peste des petits ruminants, caused by the peste des petits ruminants virus (PPRV), is a highly contagious and economically important transboundary viral disease of domestic and wild small ruminants and a major hindrance to small-ruminant production in Nigeria. The seroprevalence and distribution of PPRV antibodies in small ruminants in rural households, farms, live animal markets and slaughter slabs across the six different agro-ecological zones of Nigeria were determined. A total of 4548 serum samples from 3489 goats and 1059 sheep were collected in 12 states. A PPRV competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was used to test the samples and the data analysed with R statistical software version 3.0.1. The study animals included all ages and both sexes. The overall prevalence estimate of sera positive for PPRV antibodies was 23.16% (n = 1018 positive samples per 4548 total samples, 95% confidence interval: 21.79% - 24.57%). There were significant differences in the seroprevalence between the states (p = 0.001). Taraba State had the highest seroprevalence of 29.51%, whilst the lowest seroprevalence of 14.52% was observed in Cross River State. There were no significant differences in the PPRV seroprevalence between male and female animals (p = 0.571), age (p = 0.323) and between species (p = 0.639). These data indicate the current seroprevalence to PPRV in the small-ruminant population in Nigeria. <![CDATA[<b>Medicinal plants used to control internal and external parasites in goats</b>]]> The use of medicinal plants plays a major role in the primary health care of animals in South Africa. A survey was conducted to document medicinal plants used to control parasites in goats in Kwezi and Ntambethemba villages in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. Information from 50 farmers and 3 herbalists was obtained through the use of a structured questionnaire, and a snowball sampling technique was used to identify key informants. The obtained data were analysed using PROC FREQ of SAS (2003), and fidelity level values were determined to estimate the healing potential of the mentioned plants. The survey revealed nine plant species belonging to eight families that were used to control parasites in goats. Asphodelaceae (22.22%) was the most frequently used plant family. Leaves were the most used plant parts, constituting 60.38%. They were prepared either as infusions or decoctions of single plants or in mixtures. Aloe ferox, Acokanthera oppositifolia and Elephantorrhiza elephantina were the plants having the highest fidelity level for their use to control parasites, each scoring 100%, followed by Albuca setosa (83.33%). The study revealed low knowledge about ethno-veterinary medicine in the study area. It also revealed that information on ethno-veterinary medicine in this area is mostly confined to older people and there is danger that this knowledge can be lost before being passed on to other generations. Therefore, there is an urgent need to document information on these plant species so that the future generation can benefit. Further investigation should be carried out to validate the efficacy and safety of the above-mentioned plants so as to provide cheap alternative ways of controlling parasites. <![CDATA[<b>Diagnosis and genotyping of African swine fever viruses from 2015 outbreaks in Zambia</b>]]> In early 2015, a highly fatal haemorrhagic disease of domestic pigs resembling African swine fever (ASF) occurred in North Western, Copperbelt, and Lusaka provinces of Zambia. Molecular diagnosis by polymerase chain reaction targeting specific amplification of p72 (B646L) gene of ASF virus (ASFV) was conducted. Fourteen out of 16 domestic pigs from the affected provinces were found to be positive for ASFV. Phylogenetic analyses based on part of the p72 and the complete p54 (E183L) genes revealed that all the ASFVs detected belonged to genotypes I and Id, respectively. Additionally, epidemiological data suggest that the same ASFV spread from Lusaka to other provinces possibly through uncontrolled and/or illegal pig movements. Although the origin of the ASFV that caused outbreaks in domestic pigs in Zambia could not be ascertained, it appears likely that the virus may have emerged from within the country or region, probably from a sylvatic cycle. It is recommended that surveillance of ASF, strict biosecurity, and quarantine measures be imposed in order to prevent further spread and emergence of new ASF outbreaks in Zambia. <![CDATA[<b>Contagious bovine pleuropneumonia: Seroprevalence and risk factors in Western Oromia, Ethiopia</b>]]> Contagious bovine pleuropneumonia (CBPP) is one of the most important threats to cattle health and production in Ethiopia. At the livestock farm of the Bako Agricultural Research Center, an outbreak of respiratory disease of cattle occurred in May 2011, and many animals were affected and died before the disease was diagnosed. Therefore, this study was designed to determine the seroprevalence of CBPP antibodies in selected districts of Western Oromia Region and to assess the potential risk factors for the occurrence of the disease. A cross-sectional study was conducted from November 2013 to March 2014 in three selected districts of Western Oromia Region. A total of 386 sera were examined for the presence of specific antibodies against Mycoplasma mycoidesmycoides small colony (MmmSC), using a competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The risk factors that were evaluated in this study were geographical location, age, sex, breed and body condition. The overall seroprevalence in this study was 28.5%. The seroprevalence of Mycoplasma mycoidesmycoides small colony antibodies at the district level was 40.3%, 19.0% and 5.7% in Gobbu Sayyo, BakoTibbe and Horro districts, respectively. There was a statistically significant variation (p < 0.05) in the prevalence of antibodies amongst the districts. However, animal-related risk factors, such as age, sex, breed and body condition, were not significantly associated (p &gt; 0.05) with the serological status of the animal. This study showed that the overall prevalence of CBPP in Western Oromia Zones was high. This warrants the implementation of appropriate preventive and control measures to minimise the economic losses associated with the disease. <![CDATA[<b>Sero-epidemiological survey and risk factors associated with bovine brucellosis among slaughtered cattle in Nigeria</b>]]> Bovine brucellosis is endemic in Nigeria; however, limited data exist on nationwide studies and risk factors associated with the disease. Using a cross-sectional sero-epidemiological survey, we determined the prevalence of and risk factors for brucellosis in slaughtered cattle in three geographical regions of Nigeria. Serum samples from randomly selected unvaccinated cattle slaughtered over a period of 3 years (between December 2010 and September 2013) from northern, southern and south-western Nigeria were tested for antibodies to Brucella abortus using the Rose Bengal test. Data associated with risk factors of brucellosis were analysed by Stata Version 12. In all, 8105 cattle were screened. An overall seroprevalence of 3.9% (315/8105) was recorded by the Rose Bengal test, with 3.8%, 3.4% and 4.0% from the northern, southern and south-western regions, respectively. Bivariate analysis showed that cattle screened in northern Nigeria were less likely to be seropositive for antibodies to Brucella spp. than those from south-western Nigeria (odds ratio = 0.94; 95% confidence interval: 0.73-1.22). However, logistic regression analysis revealed that breed (p = 0.04) and sex (p £ 0.0001) of cattle were statistically significant for seropositivity to Brucella spp. The study found that brucellosis was endemic at a low prevalence among slaughtered cattle in Nigeria, with sex and breed of cattle being significant risk factors. Considering the public health implications of brucellosis, we advocate coordinated surveillance for the disease among diverse cattle populations in Nigeria, as is carried out in most developed countries. <![CDATA[<b>Is a 10-sow unit economically sustainable? A profitability assessment of productivity amongst small-holder pig farmers, Mpumalanga, South Africa</b>]]> The majority of small-holder pig farmers in Mpumalanga had between 1- and 10-sow herds. The main aim of this study is to evaluate the current government agricultural intervention (supply of 10 sows and a boar) in terms of technical and economic feasibilities and ascertain whether the small-scale pig value chain system alleviates poverty. Data were obtained from 220 randomly selected small-holder pig farmers using a semi-structured questionnaire. The results showed that 58% farrowed < 10 piglets/born/sow/litter, 44.2% practiced no weaning method and many fed swill and leftovers alone (41.6%). Pair-wise association revealed that the feeding of commercial feeds had a relationship with pigs in relatively good to very good body condition. Pigs in poor body condition were positively correlated with the feeding of swill alone. The economic models for the 10-sow unit proved that pig farming is unprofitable if the current management and feeding systems that operate in the commercial industry are utilised. However, only through a combination of cooperative systems, benefits of economies of scale, reduction of preweaning mortalities and structured government inputs can pig production be profitable at this scale of production. <![CDATA[<b>A description of village chicken production systems and prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites: Case studies in Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal provinces of South Africa</b>]]> The majority of rural households in developing countries own village chickens that are reared under traditional scavenging systems with few inputs and exposure to various parasitic infestations. Understanding of the village chicken farming system and its influence on helminth infestation is a prerequisite for optimal prevention and control strategies. This study investigated the village chicken production system and associated gastrointestinal parasites in 87 households from Limpopo (n = 39) and KwaZulu-Natal (n = 48) provinces of South Africa. A total of 191 village chicken faecal samples and 145 intestines were collected to determine the prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites in villages of Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal provinces, respectively. The faecal floatation analysis of samples from Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal provinces indicated infestations by Ascaridia galli (18.77%), Heterakis gallinarum (15.56%) and Capillaria spp. (4.00%); tapeworms Choanotaenia infundibulum (2.10%) and Raillietina cesticillus (6.00%) and Eimeria spp. (29.46%). Mixed infestations were observed in five (4.90%) samples from Limpopo province and in only four (4.49%) from KwaZulu-Natal province, of which 1.12% were a mixture of C. infundibulum and Eimeria spp. and 3.37% a combination of H. gallinarum and Eimeria spp. In Limpopo, 2.94% of the chickens were positive for H. gallinarum and Eimeria spp., whilst 0.98% had A. galli and Capillaria spp. infestations. Further investigation is needed to understand the impact of gastrointestinal parasites on village chicken health and production and develop appropriate intervention and control strategies feasible for smallholder farmers. <![CDATA[<b><i>Cryptosporidium</i></b><b> genotypes in children and calves living at the wildlife or livestock interface of the Kruger National Park, South Africa</b>]]> Cryptosporidium infection is one of the most common causes of parasitic diarrhoea worldwide in cattle and humans. In developing countries, human cryptosporidiosis is most prevalent during early childhood and links between zoonotic infection and animal related activities have been demonstrated. This study investigated the prevalence and species/genotype distribution of Cryptosporidium among children (< 5 years) and calves (< 6 months) living in a rural farming area adjacent to the Kruger National Park in South Africa, where interactions between humans and wild and domestic animals are known to occur. Cryptosporidium oocysts were detected in 8/143 stool samples of children recruited within the hospital system (5.6%; 95% CI 2.4%, 10.7%) and in 2/352 faecal samples of calves (0.6%; 95% CI 0.1%, 2.0%) using the modified Ziehl-Neelsen (MZN) staining technique. Microscopy positive samples from children were further analysed by PCR targeting the 18S rRNA gene and identified as Cryptosporidium hominis (3/4) and Cryptosporidium meleagridis (1/4). Regardless of the microscopy outcome, randomly selected samples (n = 36) from calves 0-4 months of age were amplified and sequenced at the 18S rRNA gene using nested PCR. Two calves tested positive (5.6%; 95% CI 1.7%, 18.7%), and revealed the presence of Cryptosporidium parvum and Cryptosporidium bovis. The detection of only two zoonotic species (C. parvum in one calf and C. meleagridis in one child) suggests that zoonotic cryptosporidiosis is not currently widespread in our study area; however, the potential exists for amplification of transmission in an immunocompromised population. <![CDATA[<b>The African swine fever control zone in South Africa and its current relevance</b>]]> African swine fever (ASF) has been reported in South Africa since the early 20th century. The disease has been controlled and confined to northern South Africa over the past 80 years by means of a well-defined boundary line, with strict control measures and movement restrictions north of this line. In 2012, the first outbreak of ASF outside the ASF control zone since 1996 occurred. The objective of this study was to evaluate the current relevance of the ASF control line as a demarcation line between endemic ASF (north) areas and ASF-free (south) area and to determine whether there was a need to realign its trajectory, given the recent outbreaks of ASF, global climate changes and urban development since the line's inception. A study of ASF determinants was conducted in an area 20 km north and 20 km south of the ASF control line, in Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West and Gauteng provinces between May 2008 and September 2012. The study confirmed that warthogs, warthog burrows and the soft tick reservoir, Ornithodoros moubata, are present south of the ASF control line, but no virus or viral DNA was detected in these ticks. There appears to be an increasing trend in the diurnal maximum temperature and a decrease in humidity along the line, but the impact of these changes is uncertain. No discernible changes in minimum temperatures and average rainfall along the disease control line were observed between 1992 and 2014. Even though the reservoirs were found south of the ASF boundary line, the study concluded that there was no need to realign the trajectory of the ASF disease control line, with the exception of Limpopo Province. However, the provincial surveillance programmes for the reservoir, vector and ASF virus south of this line needs to be maintained and intensified as changing farming practices may favour the spread of ASF virus beyond the control line. <![CDATA[<b>Taeniasis in non-descript dogs in Ngorongoro, Tanzania: Prevalence and predisposing factors</b>]]> The prevalence of taeniasis was determined during the period January to April 2013 in a cross-sectional study of non-descript domestic dogs from the livestock-wildlife ecosystem of Ngorongoro, Tanzania. Taeniid eggs were determined by screening faecal samples using the formalin-ether sedimentation technique. Predisposing factors for dog infection were assessed in relation to demographic, husbandry and management data. Of the 205 faecal samples screened, 150 (73.2%) were positive for taeniid eggs. The prevalence of dogs harbouring taeniid eggs was 80%, 30.2% and 75.3% in the less than 1 year, 1-3 years and greater than 3 years of age groups, respectively. Age group and sex prevalence in dogs did not differ significantly (P &gt; 0.05), although the females showed a marginally higher prevalence (73.8%) in comparison to the males (72.7%). Taeniid eggs were significantly more likely to be found in the faeces of dogs located in Waso (80.6%) and Endulen (75%) than in Malambo (63.2%, P < 0.05). The study revealed that dogs owned and raised by agro-pastoralists were at a lower risk of acquiring Taenia spp. infection (P = 0.001) than those that were raised by pastoralists. The majority of dog owners were not aware of the predisposing factors and the mode of transmission of taeniids. Dogs were frequently fed on viscera, trimmings and the heads of slaughtered animals, and they were not treated for parasitic infections. The findings of this study indicate that taeniasis is prevalent among non-descript dogs in Ngorongoro, underscoring the need for further research and active surveillance to better understand the transmission cycle of Taenia spp. in a wider geographical area in Tanzania. <![CDATA[<b>Prevalence of <i>Theileria</i> and <i>Babesia</i> species in Tunisian sheep</b>]]> In this study, the prevalence of Theileria and Babesia species in sheep was assessed with Giemsa-stained blood smear examination and polymerase chain reaction to identify the different piroplasms in 270 sheep from three Tunisian bioclimatic zones (north, centre, and south). The overall infection prevalence by Babesia spp. and Theileria spp. in Giemsa-stained blood smears was 2.9% (8 / 270) and 4.8% (13/270) respectively. The molecular results showed that sheep were more often infected by Theileria ovis than Babesia ovis with an overall prevalence of 16.3% (44/270) and 7.8% (21/270) respectively (p = 0.01). The molecular prevalence by Babesia ovis was significantly higher in females than in males (p < 0.05). According to localities B. ovis was found exclusively in sheep from the centre of Tunisia (Kairouan) whereas Theileria ovis was found in all regions. Infections with T. ovis and B. ovis were confirmed by sequencing. The sequence of T. ovis in this study (accession numbers KM924442) falls into the same clade as T. ovis deposited in GenBank. The T. ovis amplicons (KM924442) showed 99%-100% identities with GenBank sequences. Moreover, comparison of the partial sequences of 18S rRNA gene of B. ovis described in this study (KP670199) revealed 99.4% similarity with B. ovis recently reported in northern Tunisia from sheep and goats. Three nucleotides were different at positions 73 (A/T), 417 (A/T), and 420 (G/T). It also had 99% identity with B. ovis from Spain, Turkey and Iraq. The results suggest a high T. ovis prevalence in Tunisia with a decreasing north-south gradient. This could be correlated to the vector tick distribution. <![CDATA[<b>An acetone extract of <i>Clausena anisata</i> may be a potential control agent for flies encountered in cutaneous myiasis</b>]]> Clausena anisata is a medicinal plant used traditionally to treat myiasis and as an insect repellent by various communities. We have previously demonstrated the effects of C. anisata extracts on blowfly feeding and development in our laboratory. The impact of C. anisata leaf extracts on populations of different fly species on farms in Mpumalanga, South Africa was investigated in this study under field conditions. Flies were exposed to liver baits treated with acetone leaf extracts of C. anisata (150 mg/mL). Fly numbers and composition on two farms, with and without C. anisata treated liver, were compared during a period of 12 weeks when fly populations were expected to be high. Observations were made on fly behaviour and development, adult sizes and numbers. The flies exposed to liver treated with the leaf extract of C. anisata had a decreased rate of development, prolonged larval period, smaller body sizes and more sluggish behaviour compared to those subjected to the control treatment. No significant differences were, however, found between the numbers and sizes of flies on the treated and on the control farm, which was most likely due to the limited nature of the baiting programme we followed. The effects of C. anisata extracts on blowfly behaviour and development observed in previous laboratory studies were confirmed in this field evaluation. Although the extracts did not have a significant effect on the overall population size in this experiment, we believe that the C. anisata leaf extract could be useful in integrated pest management based on its effect on larval development. In addition, species such as Lucilia cuprina and Chrysomya marginalis seemed to have been repelled by the C. anisata treated liver; as a result, further work should explore this aspect and how it can be used for the protection of animals. <![CDATA[<b><i>Salmonella</i></b><b> contamination, serovars and antimicrobial resistance profiles of cattle slaughtered in South Africa</b>]]> Antimicrobial resistant Salmonella are among the leading causes of foodborne infections. Our aim was to determine Salmonella contamination during cattle slaughter in South African rural abattoirs (n = 23) and environmental samples. Furthermore, antimicrobial resistance patterns of the Salmonella isolates were determined. Samples of cattle faeces (n = 400), carcass sponges (n = 100), intestinal contents (n = 62), hides (n = 67), and water from the abattoirs (n = 75) were investigated for Salmonella species using microbiological techniques and species-specific polymerase chain reaction targeting the invA gene. In total 92 Salmonella species isolates were recovered. The Salmonella mean frequency of occurrence on hides, carcasses, and intestinal contents was 35.37% (n = 81). Eleven faecal samples (2.75%) tested positive for Salmonella. The predominant serovar was Salmonella Enteritidis. Diverse serovars that were identified on carcasses were not necessarily found on the hides and intestinal contents. The inconsistent occurrence of the diverse Salmonella serovars on hides, carcasses, and intestinal contents implies that in addition to carriage on hides and in intestinal contents, other external factors also play an important role regarding carcass contamination. The 92 Salmonella were serotyped and tested for susceptibility towards the following antimicrobials: ampicillin, cefotaxime, enrofloxacin, kanamycin, and oxytetracycline using the disk diffusion method. Most Salmonella (n = 66; 71.7%) isolates were resistant to at least one antimicrobial with highest resistance observed towards oxytetracycline (51.90%), which highlights the need for strict hygiene during slaughter and prudent antimicrobial use during animal production. In conclusion, cattle slaughtered in South African rural abattoirs harbour diverse Salmonella serovars that are resistant to antimicrobials, which could be a public health risk. The findings should assist policymakers with improving implementation of hygienic slaughter of cattle in rural abattoirs, which is paramount from socioeconomic, public health, and epidemiological standpoints. <![CDATA[<b>Prevalence of virulence and antimicrobial resistance genes in <i>Salmonella</i> spp. isolated from commercial chickens and human clinical isolates from South Africa and Brazil</b>]]> Salmonellosis is a significant public health concern around the world. The injudicious use of antimicrobial agents in poultry production for treatment, growth promotion and prophylaxis has resulted in the emergence of drug-resistant strains of Salmonella. The current study was conducted to investigate the prevalence of virulence and antimicrobial resistance genes from Salmonella isolated from South African and Brazilian broiler chickens as well as human clinical isolates. Out of a total of 200 chicken samples that were collected from South Africa 102 (51%) tested positive for Salmonella using the InvA gene. Of the overall 146 Salmonella-positive samples that were screened for the iroB gene, most of them were confirmed to be Salmonella enterica with high prevalence rates. All the Salmonella isolates obtained were subjected to antimicrobial susceptibility testing with ten antibiotics. Salmonella isolates from South African chickens exhibited resistance to almost all antimicrobial agents used. All the samples were further subjected to the Polymerase Chain Reaction in order to screen some common antimicrobial and virulence genes of interest, namely spiC, pipD, misL, orfL, pse-1, tet A, tet B, ant (3")-la, sul 1 and sul. All the Salmonella-positive isolates exhibited resistance to at least one antimicrobial agent; however, antimicrobial resistance patterns demonstrated that multiple drug resistance was prevalent. The findings provide evidence that broiler chickens are colonised by pathogenic Salmonella harbouring antimicrobial resistance genes. Therefore, it is evident that there is a need for prudent use of antimicrobial agents in poultry production systems in order to mitigate the proliferation of multiple drug resistance across species. <![CDATA[<b>Prevalence, distribution and pattern of gastric lesions in slaughtered pigs in south-western Nigeria</b>]]> Gastric lesions, especially ulceration, cause significant economic losses in the swine industry worldwide. The study was designed to assess its prevalence, distribution and pattern in pigs in south-western Nigeria. Slaughter house surveys were conducted on three government-established abattoirs in Lagos, Ogun and Oyo states. Stomachs from 480 pigs were assessed for gross lesions, which were graded using a modification of a standard technique. Tissues from different regions of the stomach were routinely stained to assess histopathologic changes. Data were presented as frequency counts and analysed using analysis of variance and chi-square technique. Significance was determined at p ≤ 0.05. Gastric lesions were encountered across the four regions of the stomach with a point prevalence of 57.29%. The prevalence of lesions in the non-glandular region was 32.9%, with severe hyperkeratosis (13.13%) being most frequently observed (p < 0.05). Erosions were significantly higher in the cardia (8.54%) (p < 0.05), followed by fundus (8.33%). Gastric ulcers were significantly higher in the fundus (19.58%) (p < 0.05). Scars of healed ulcers and lacerations were also observed in the fundus (5.42%) (p < 0.05). The gastric lesion distribution across the four regions of the stomach and the occurrence of ulceration in the fundus showed an unusual pattern, which is rarely reported in other parts of the world. The reason for these findings in pigs in Nigeria is not fully understood; therefore, further studies are required to identify and manage these factors for increased productivity, improved animal welfare and enhanced food security. <![CDATA[<b>Feline panleukopaenia virus in captive non-domestic felids in South Africa</b>]]> An outbreak of feline panleukopaenia virus (FPLV) infection was diagnosed by pathology, electron microscopy and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in vaccinated captive-bred subadult cheetahs in South Africa. Subsequent to this disease outbreak, 12 cases of FPLV diagnosed on histology were confirmed by PCR in captive African black-footed cat, caracal, cheetah, lion, ocelot and serval. Phylogenetic analyses of the viral capsid protein gene on PCR-positive samples, vaccine and National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) reference strains identified a previously unknown strain of FPLV, present since at least 2006, that differs from both the inactivated and the modified live vaccine strains. A previously described South African strain from domestic cats and cheetahs was identified in a serval. Surveys of FPLV strains in South African felids are needed to determine the geographical and host species distribution of this virus. Since non-domestic species may be reservoirs of parvoviruses, and since these viruses readily change host specificity, the risks of FPLV transmission between captive-bred and free-ranging carnivores and domestic cats and dogs warrant further research. <![CDATA[<b>An update of the tsetse fly (Diptera: Glossinidae) distribution and African animal trypanosomosis prevalence in north-eastern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa</b>]]> An unpredicted outbreak of African animal trypanosomosis or nagana in 1990 in north-eastern KwaZulu-Natal necessitated an emergency control programme, utilising the extensive cattle-dipping system in the area, as well as a reassessment of the tsetse and trypanosomosis problem in the province. Since 1990, sporadic blood sampling of cattle at the dip tanks in the nagana-infested areas were undertaken to identify trypanosome species involved and to determine the infection prevalence in cattle. The distribution and species composition of the tsetse populations in the area were also investigated. From November 2005 to November 2007 selected dip tanks were surveyed for trypanosome infection prevalence. During April 2005 to August 2009 the distribution and abundance of tsetse populations were assessed with odour-baited H traps. The tsetse and trypanosome distribution maps were updated and potential correlations between tsetse apparent densities (ADs) and the prevalence of trypanosomosis were assessed. Glossina brevipalpis Newstead and Glossina austeni Newstead were recorded in locations where they have not previously been collected. No significant correlation between tsetse relative abundance and nagana prevalence was found, which indicated complex interactions between tsetse fly presence and disease prevalence. This was epitomised by data that indicated that despite large differences in the ADs of G. austeni and G. brevipalpis, trypanosome infection prevalence was similar in all three districts in the area. This study clearly indicated that both tsetse species play significant roles in trypanosome transmission and that it will be essential that any control strategy, which aims at sustainable management of the disease, should target both species. <![CDATA[<b>Identification of latent neosporosis in sheep in Tehran, Iran by polymerase chain reaction using primers specific for the <i>Nc-5</i> gene</b>]]> Little is known about latent infection and molecular characterisation of Neospora caninum in sheep (Ovis aries). In this study, 330 sheep samples (180 hearts and 150 brains) were analysed for N. caninum DNA by nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) targeting the Nc-5 gene. Neospora caninum DNA was detected in 3.9% (13/330) of sheep samples. The parasite's DNA was detected in 6.7% of heart samples (12/180) and 0.7% (1/150) of brain samples. No clinical signs were recorded from infected or uninfected animals. Sequencing of the genomic DNA revealed 96% - 99% similarity with each other and 95.15% - 100% similarity with N. caninum sequences deposited in GenBank. To our knowledge, this is the first report on the use of PCR to identify latent neosporosis in sheep in Iran. The results of this study have the potential to contribute to our understanding of the role of N. caninum-infected sheep in the epidemiology of neosporosis. <![CDATA[<b>Comparative performance of traps in catching tsetse flies (Diptera: Glossinidae) in Tanzania</b>]]> This study was conducted to determine the efficiency of different tsetse traps in 28 sites across Tanzania. The traps used were biconical, H, NGU, NZI, pyramidal, S3, mobile, and sticky panels. Stationary traps were deployed at a distance of 200 m apart and examined 72 h after deployment. The results showed that 117 (52.2%) out of the 224 traps deployed captured at least one Glossina species. A total of five Glossina species were captured, namelyGlossina brevipalpis, Glossina pallidipes, Glossina swynnertoni, Glossina morsitans, and Glossina fuscipes martinii. Biconical traps caught tsetse flies in 27 sites, pyramidal in 26, sticky panel in 20, mobile in 19, S3 in 15, NGU in 7, H in 2 and NZI in 1. A total of 21 107 tsetse flies were trapped, with the most abundant species being G. swynnertoni (55.9%), followed by G. pallidipes (31.1%), G. fuscipes martinii (6.9%) and G. morsitans (6.0%). The least caught was G. brevipalpis (0.2%). The highest number of flies were caught by NGU traps (32.5%), followed by sticky panel (16%), mobile (15.4%), pyramidal (13.0%), biconical (11.3%) and S3 (10.2%). NZI traps managed to catch 0.9% of the total flies and H traps 0.7%. From this study, it can be concluded that the most efficient trap was NGU, followed by sticky panel and mobile, in that order. Therefore, for tsetse fly control programmes, NGU traps could be the better choice. Conversely, of the stationary traps, pyramidal and biconical traps captured tsetse flies in the majority of sites, covering all three ecosystems better than any other traps; therefore, they would be suitable for scouting for tsetse infestation in any given area, thus sparing the costs of making traps for each specific Glossina species. <![CDATA[<b>Preliminary report on osteochondrosis in cattle in the north-western parts of South Africa</b>]]> The north-western part of South Africa, in particular, is well known for mineral imbalances. Aphosphorosis, resulting in rickets and osteomalacia, received a lot of attention at the turn of the nineteenth century (1882-1912). This was followed in 1997 by research on Vryburg hepatosis, another area-specific mineral imbalance-related disease in young calves reared on manganese-rich soil derived from the weathering of dolomitic (carbonate) rock formations. In 1982, a totally new syndrome (osteochondrosis) manifested in, amongst others, areas in South Africa where aphosphorosis was rife. Osteochondrosis was also identified in the south-western parts of Namibia as well as southern Botswana and other areas in South Africa. Osteochondrosis has a multifactorial aetiology and this study focused on the role of minerals, particularly phosphorus, in the development of the disease. A significant improvement in the clinical signs in experimental animals and a reduction of osteochondrosis occurred on farms where animals received bioavailable trace minerals and phosphorus as part of a balanced lick. An increase in the occurrence of the disease on farms during severe drought conditions in 2012-2013 prompted researchers to investigate the possible role of chronic metabolic acidosis in the pathogenesis of the disease. <![CDATA[<b>Identification of <i>Echinococcus granulosus</i> strains using polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism amongst livestock in Moroto district, Uganda</b>]]> A descriptive study was conducted to identify the different strains of Echinococcus granulosus occurring in livestock in Moroto district, Uganda.Echinococcus cysts from 104 domestic animals, including cattle, sheep, goats and camels, were taken and examined by microscopy, polymerase chain reaction with restriction fragment length polymorphism and Sanger DNA sequencing. Echinococcus granulosus genotypes or strains were identified through use of Bioinformatics tools: BioEdit, BLAST and MEGA6. The major finding of this study was the existence of a limited number of E. granulosusgenotypes from cattle, goats, sheep and camels. The most predominant genotype was G1 (96.05%), corresponding to the common sheep strain. To a limited extent (3.95%), the study revealed the existence of Echinococcus canadensis G6/7 in three (n = 3) of the E. granulosus-positive samples. No other strains of E. granulosus were identified. It was concluded that the common sheep strain of Echinococcus sensu stricto and G6/7 of E. canadensiswere responsible for echinococcal disease in Moroto district, Uganda. <![CDATA[<b>Anthelmintic activity of acetone extracts from South African plants used on egg hatching of <i>Haemonchus contortus</i></b>]]> The nematode, Haemonchus contortus, is responsible for major economic losses in the livestock industry. The management of parasites such as H. contortus has been through the use of synthetic parasiticides. This has resulted in the presence of residues in meat and milk, which affects food safety. The development of resistance to available anthelmintics coupled with their high cost has further complicated matters. This has led to the investigation of alternative methods to manage nematodes, including the use of plants and plant extracts as a potential source of novel anthelmintics. Acetone extracts were prepared from 15 South African plant species and their anthelmintic activity determined using the egg hatch assay (EHA). The leaf extract of Cleome gynandra had the best inhibitory activity (68% ± 3%) at a concentration of 2.5 mg/mL, followed by the stem extract of Maerua angolensis (65% ± 5%). The extracts had a relatively low toxicity on Vero cells determined by the MTT (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide) cellular assay. <![CDATA[<b>A retrospective study of the prevalence of bovine fasciolosis at major abattoirs in Botswana</b>]]> <![CDATA[<b>Enhanced expression of recombinant beta toxin of <i>Clostridium perfringens</i> type B using a commercially available <i>Escherichia coli</i> strain</b>]]> Clostridium perfringens beta toxin is only produced by types B and C and plays an important role in many human and animal diseases, causing fatal conditions that originate in the intestines. We compared the expression of C. perfringens type B vaccine strain recombinant beta toxin gene in theEscherichia coli strains RosettaTM(DE3) and BL21(DE3). The beta toxin gene was extracted from pJETβ and ligated with pET22b(+). pET22β was transformed into E. coli strains BL21(DE3) and RosettaTM(DE3). Recombinant protein was expressed as a soluble protein after isopropyl β-D-1-thiogalactopyranoside (IPTG) induction in strain RosettaTM(DE3) but not in BL21(DE3). Expression was optimised by growing recombinant cells at 37 °C and at an induction of 0.5 mM, 1 mM, 1.5 mM IPTG. Expression was evaluated using sodium dodecyl sulfate Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). The recombinant protein was purified via Ni-NTA and was analysed using western blot. We concluded that E. coli strain RosettaTM(DE3) can enhance the expression of C. perfringens recombinant beta toxin. <![CDATA[<b>Comparison of nucleotide sequences of recent and previous lineages of peste-des-petits-ruminants viruses of sheep and goats in Nigeria</b>]]> Peste-des-petits-ruminants virus (PPRV) is a highly contagious, fatal and economically important viral disease of small ruminants that is still endemic and militates against the production of sheep and goats in endemic areas of the world. The aim of this study was to describe the viral strains within the country. This was carried out by collecting tissue and swab samples from sheep and goats in various agro-ecological zones of Nigeria. The phylogeny of archived PPRV strains or isolates and those circulating and causing recent outbreaks was determined by sequencing of the nucleoprotein (N)-gene. Twenty tissue and swab samples from apparently healthy and sick sheep and goats were collected randomly from 18 states, namely 3 states in each of the 6 agro-ecological zones visited. A total of 360 samples were collected. A total of 35 samples of 360 (9.7%) tested positive by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, of which 25 were from oculo-nasal swabs and 10 were from tissue samples. Neighbour-joining phylogenetic analysis using Phylogenetic Analysis Using Parsimony (PAUP) identified four different lineages, that is, lineages I, II, III and IV. Interestingly, the Nigerian strains described in this study grouped in two separate major lineages, that is, lineages II and IV. Strains from Sokoto, Oyo, Plateau and Ondo states grouped according to the historical distribution of PPRV together with the Nigerian 75/1 strain of lineage II, while other strains from Sokoto, Oyo, Plateau, Akwa-Ibom, Adamawa, Kaduna, Lagos, Bauchi, Niger and Kano states grouped together with the East African and Asian strains of lineage IV. This finding confirms that both lineage II and IV strains of PPRV are circulating in Nigeria. Previously, only strains of lineage II were found to be present in the country. <![CDATA[<b>Cellular immune responses induced <i>in vitro</i> by <i>Ehrlichia ruminantium</i> secreted proteins and identification of vaccine candidate peptides</b>]]> Secreted proteins are reported to induce cell-mediated immunity characterised by the production of interferon-gamma (IFN)-γ. In this study three open reading frames (ORFs) (Erum8060, Erum7760, Erum5000) encoding secreted proteins were selected from the Ehrlichia ruminantium (Welgevonden) genome sequence using bioinformatics tools to determine whether they induce a cellular immune response in vitro with mononuclear cells from needle and tick infected animals. The whole recombinant protein of the three ORFs as well as four adjacent fragments of the Erum5000 protein (Erum5000A, Erum5000B, Erum5000C, Erum5000D) were successfully expressed in a bacterial expression system which was confirmed by immunoblots using anti-His antibodies and sheep sera. These recombinant proteins were assayed with immune sheep and cattle peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), spleen and lymph node (LN) cells to determine whether they induce recall cellular immune responses in vitro. Significant proliferative responses and IFN-γ production were evident for all recombinant proteins, especially Erum5000A, in both ruminant species tested. Thus overlapping peptides spanning Erum5000A were synthesised and peptides that induce proliferation of memory CD4+ and CD8+ T cells and production of IFN-γ were identified. These results illustrate that a Th1 type immune response was elicited and these recombinant proteins and peptides may therefore be promising candidates for development of a heartwater vaccine. <![CDATA[<b>A pathogen-specific approach towards udder health management in dairy herds: Using culture and somatic cell counts from routine herd investigations</b>]]> A dedicated udder health diagnostic programme was developed and used over a 15-year period in South Africa to analyse milk samples based on microbiological and cytological patterns within various groups and for individual cows and udder quarters in dairy herds. These pathogen-specific analyses are utilised for pro-active improvement and management of udder health in South African commercial dairy herds. The programme acts as a monitoring tool and identifies management areas at risk and individual cows with udder disease and uses both quarter and composite milk samples. Intra-mammary infection (IMI) is a dynamic situation and depending on the time a milk sample is taken, false-negative results may be obtained. A new IMI and an infection that is curing may both have low somatic cell counts (SCCs), masking the true bacterial status. SCC in individual infected udder quarters may differ greatly depending on the causative bacterial species, its pathogenicity, the host immune status and the environmental factors involved. A pathogen-specific udder health approach was followed with repeated herd tests to take account of these udder health dynamics. The results of the herd IMI investigation are applied in practice to assist veterinarians, udder health consultants and managers to make informed and specific detailed decisions at both a herd and on an individual cow basis regarding udder health. <![CDATA[<b>Effect of the infection with the nematode <i>Haemonchus contortus</i> (Strongylida: Trichostrongylidae) on the haematological, biochemical, clinical and reproductive traits in rams</b>]]> This study aimed to investigate the effect of Haemonchus contortus infection on rams' haematological, biochemical and clinical parameters and reproductive performances. A total number of 12 Barbarine rams (control and infected) were included in the experiment. The infected group received 30 000 H. contortus third-stage larvae orally. Each ram's ejaculate was immediately evaluated for volume, sperm cell concentration and mortality rate. At the end of the experiment (day 82 post-infection), which lasted 89 days, serial blood samples were collected in order to assess plasma testosterone and luteinising hormone (LH) concentrations. There was an effect of time, infection and their interaction on haematological parameters (p < 0.001). In infected rams, haematocrit, red blood cell count and haemoglobin started to decrease from 21 days post-infection. There was an effect of time and infection for albumin. For total protein, only infection had a statistically significant effect. For glucose, only time had a statistically significant effect. Concentrations were significantly lower in infected rams compared to control animals. A significant effect of infection and time on sperm concentrations and sperm mortality was observed. The effect of infection appears in time for sperm concentrations at days 69 and 76 post-infection. Sperm mortality rate was significantly higher in infected animals at day 46 post-infection when compared to control group (p < 0.05). Finally, plasma testosterone traits (average concentration, cumulated levels during the sampling period and pulse frequency) were depressed in infected rams when compared to control counterparts; none of these endocrine traits were affected for plasma LH. <![CDATA[<b>Health evaluation of African penguins (<i>Spheniscus demersus</i>) in southern Africa</b>]]> The African penguin (Spheniscus demersus) is an endangered seabird that breeds along the coast of Namibia and South Africa, and disease surveillance was identified as a priority for its conservation. Aiming for the establishment of baseline data on the presence of potential pathogens in this species, a comprehensive health assessment (blood smear examination, haematology, biochemistry and serology) was conducted on samples obtained from 578 African penguins at 11 breeding colonies and a rehabilitation centre. There were 68 penguins that were seropositive for at least one of seven pathogens tested: avian encephalomyelitis virus, avian infectious bronchitis virus, avian reovirus, infectious bursal disease virus, Newcastle disease virus, Mycoplasma gallisepticum and Mycoplasma synoviae. All samples were seronegative for avian influenza virus subtypes H5 and H7 and infectious laryngotracheitis virus. The apparent prevalence of Babesia sp. and Borrelia sp. in blood smears was consistent with previous studies. Babesia-infected individuals had a regenerative response of the erythrocytic lineage, an active inflammatory response and hepatic function impairment. These findings indicate that African penguins may be exposed to conservation-significant pathogens in the wild and encourage further studies aiming for the direct detection and/or isolation of these microorganisms.