Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research]]> vol. 76 num. 3 lang. pt <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Species composition and geographic distribution of ticks infesting cattle, goats and dogs in a temperate and in a subtropical region of south-east Africa</b>]]> The species and distribution of ticks infesting cattle, goats and dogs in the eastern region of the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa and Maputo Province, Mozambique were determined from collections made from these animals at 72 localities in the former region and 30 in the latter. Eleven ixodid and one argasid species were recovered in the Eastern Cape Province and 15 ixodid species in Maputo Province. The most common ticks infesting cattle and goats in both provinces were Amblyomma hebraeum, Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus, Rhipicephalus appendiculatus and Rhipicephalus evertsi evertsi. The dominant species on dogs were Haemaphysalis elliptica and Rhipicephalus simus. The geographic distributions of the major species and some of the minor species in both regions were plotted. The partial or complete displacement of the indigenous tick Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) decoloratus by the introduced species R. (B.) microplus was a major feature of both surveys. <![CDATA[<b>Description and comparison of the pupae of a further two <i>Culicoides (Avaritia) </i>species from the dung of large herbivores in South Africa (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae)</b>]]> In 2007 Nevill, Venter, Meiswinkel & Nevill demonstrated that the pupae of five Culicoides species belonging to the Imicola complex of the subgenus Avaritia could readily be differentiated from one another using various morphological characters. Three of the described species, Culicoides bolitinos Meiswinkel 1989; Culicoides loxodontis Meiswinkel 1992 and Culicoides sp. # 107 (= C. kwagga, Meiswinkel, unpublished thesis 1995), were reared from the dung of large herbivores, which included buffaloes, elephants, white and black rhinoceroses and zebras. However, during that study a further two Avaritia species, neither of which belonged to the Imicola complex, were reared from dung and these are the subject of the present study. For the past 20 years the adults of these two new closely related species have been known as Culicoides sp. # 54 pale form (p.f.) Meiswinkel and Culicoides sp. # 54 dark form (d.f.) Meiswinkel. The taxonomic description and formal naming of the adults of these two species has yet to be done. The present description and comparison of their pupae show that they are two clearly distinct species; that there is no group of morphological characters that can be used to differentiate these two species from the previously described five species of the Imicola complex; and finally that there was no difference between the pupae of C. sp. # 54 d.f. nor C. sp. # 54 p.f. reared from the dung of different host animals. <![CDATA[<b>Detection of natural <i>Trypanosoma vivax </i>infections in pigs with microhaematocrit centrifugation and amplification of ITS1 rDNA</b>]]> Different species of trypanosomes may infect their mammalian hosts both singly or in combination. This study was undertaken to determine the trypanosome species that may be afflicting pigs in Uganda. Blood was collected from pigs of all ages and sexes from two districts, Kasese in Western and Jinja in Central Uganda. Of the 133 pig blood samples from Kasese that were tested for trypanosomes using the microhaematocrit centrifugation technique (MHCT), none was found to be infected. However, of the 253 pigs from Jinja district, nine were infected with trypanosomes of which three had T. vivax as determined by MHCT. However, application of the ITS1 rDNA PCR test revealed that eight pigs had T. vivax in mixed infections and one pig had T. vivax monolithic infection. These observations show that under certain circumstances, pigs may be important reservoirs for, as well as hosts to, T. vivax, contrary to earlier reports. <![CDATA[<b>The effects of low levels of dietary trace minerals on the plasma levels, faecal excretion, health and performance of pigs in a hot African climate</b>]]> The present study was performed in order to evaluate the effects of lower than usual industry levels of dietary trace minerals on plasma levels, faecal excretion, performance, mortality and morbidity in growing-finishing pigs in a hot African climate. Group 1 (n =100 pigs) received a diet with common industry levels of trace minerals. Group 2 (n =100 pigs) received reduced dietary trace mineral levels but were fed the same basic diet as Group 1. Mortality, morbidity, pig performance and carcass measurements were evaluated. Two pigs in Group 1 and three pigs in Group 2 died. Thirteen pigs in Group 1 and 27 pigs in Group 2 were medically treated (P < 0.05). Carcass masses, back fat depth, loin depth, and lean percent were not significantly different between the groups. However, the carcasses when evaluated revealed a non-significant higher back fat thickness, lower loin eye area and percentage of fat-free lean in barrows compared to gilts within each group. Despite lower initial masses, pigs fed diets containing industry levels of trace minerals were heavier (P < 0.05) and had a higher (P< 0.05) than average daily gains compared to those that received a diet containing lower levels of trace minerals. Faecal zinc excretion was significantly lower (P < 0.05) in pigs fed with lower dietary zinc levels. Copper, manganese and iron excretion were not affected (P &gt; 0.05) by the dietary levels of these trace minerals. Plasma trace mineral concentrations were not affected by the dietary treatment. <![CDATA[<b>Study on the efficacy and safety of different antigens and oil formulations of infectious coryza vaccines containing an NAD-independent strain of <i>Avibacterium paragallinarum</i></b>]]> The present study was designed to assess and compare three different formulations of the new Onderstepoort infectious coryza (IC) quadrivalent vaccine, which contain an NAD-independent strain of Avibacterium paragallinarum (previously known as Haemophilus paragallinarum), and a commercial IC vaccine, not containing an NAD-independent strain, for their safety and ability to protect chickens of varying ages against virulent challenges with four different serovars of A. paragallinarum, including the NAD-independent strain of the C-3 serovar. Four groups of 140 chickens each were vaccinated at the age of 17 weeks and revaccinated at the age of 19 weeks with each of the four vaccine formulations. A similar sized group of non-vaccinated chickens was used as control. Two rounds of challenge were conducted: a group of chicken in each vaccination group was challenged between 31 and 35 weeks of age, while another group was challenged between 51 and 55 weeks of age. The "in-contact" challenge model was used in this experiment. For each vaccination group, the four challenge strains representing four local serovars were used in each challenge round. The efficacy of the vaccines was compared based on overall protection levels obtained and the duration of protection. The safety of the different vaccines was determined by the severity of post-vaccination reactions. The need for the incorporation of the NAD-independent strain in the vaccine was evidenced by the low protection level against NAD-independent challenge recorded in the group of birds vaccinated with the commercial vaccine. The results obtained confirmed not only the variation in virulence of different South African serovars, with serovar C-3 being the most virulent and serovar B having almost no virulence but also the age related increase in susceptibility. The importance of a suitable formulation of the vaccine is discussed. <![CDATA[<b>Identification and partial sequencing of a crocodile poxvirus associated with deeply penetrating skin lesions in farmed Nile crocodiles, <i>Crocodylus niloticus</i></b>]]> When large numbers of crocodile skins were downgraded because of the presence of small pin pricklike holes, collapsed epidermal cysts were found deep in the dermis of juvenile crocodiles while forming cysts were observed in hatchlings. Histopathology of these forming cysts showed the presence of intracytoplasmic inclusions in proliferating and ballooning epidermal cells. Pox virions were seen in electron microscope preparations made from the scabs of such early lesions. The partial sequencing of virus material from scrapings of these lesions and comparison of it with the published sequence of crocodile poxvirus showed the virus associated with the deep lesions to be closely related, but different. To differentiate between the two forms of crocodile pox infection it is suggested that the previously known form should be called "classical crocodile pox" and the newly discovered form "atypical crocodile pox". The application of strict hygiene measures brought about a decline in the percentage of downgraded skins. <![CDATA[<b>Blood platelet counts, morphology and morphometry in lions, <i>Panthera leo</i></b>]]> Due to logistical problems in obtaining sufficient blood samples from apparently healthy animals in the wild in order to establish normal haematological reference values, only limited information regarding the blood platelet count and morphology of free-living lions (Panthera leo) is available. This study provides information on platelet counts and describes their morphology with particular reference to size in two normal, healthy and free-ranging lion populations. Blood samples were collected from a total of 16 lions. Platelet counts, determined manually, ranged between 218 and 358 x 10(9)/l. Light microscopy showed mostly activated platelets of various sizes with prominent granules. At the ultrastructural level the platelets revealed typical mammalian platelet morphology. However, morphometric analysis revealed a significant difference (P < 0.001) in platelet size between the two groups of animals. Basic haematological information obtained in this study may be helpful in future comparative studies between animals of the same species as well as in other felids. <![CDATA[<b>Prevalence of bovine cysticercosis and hydatidosis in Jimma municipal abattoir, South West Ethiopia</b>]]> A cross-sectional study to determine the prevalence of bovine cysticercosis and hydatidosis was conducted from October 2007 to March 2008 in cattle slaughtered at the Jimma municipal abattoir. Cyst distribution and viability of bovine cysticercosis and hydatidosis were also determined. A total of 512 carcasses were inspected of which 15 (2.93%) and 161 (31.44%) were infected with Taenia saginata metacestodes and hydatid cysts, respectively. From a total of 109 cysticerci collected from infected carcasses, 47 (43.12 %) were viable. The anatomical distribution of the cysticerci was, shoulder muscle (39.5°%), heart (33.9 %), neck muscle (13.8°%), tongue (10.1°%), masseter muscles (1.8°%) and diaphragm (0.9°%). Of the 1171 hydatid cysts collected 223 (19.0°%) were fertile, 505 (43.1 °%) sterile, 49 (29.8 °%) calcified and 94 (8.0 °%) contained pus. A greater proportion of fertile cysts were found in the lungs than in other organs. It was concluded that these zoonotic cestodes deserve due attention to safeguard public health, and that further studies are needed on genotyping, epidemiology and public health importance of Echinococcus granulosus in the study area. <![CDATA[<b>The effect of pyridoxal-5-phosphate on serum alanine aminotransferase activity in dogs suffering from canine babesiosis</b>]]> Accurate measurements of serum aminotransferase (ALT) activity in dogs relies on the endogenous pro-enzyme pyridoxal 5-phosphate (P5P). The purpose of this study was to determine whether the exclusion of P5P from the analytical method causes an underestimation of serum ALT activity in dogs suffering from babesiosis and in those manifesting evidence of hepatocellular damage, and to determine if anorexia causes sufficient P5P depletion to affect in vitro serum ALT activity. One-hundred-and-twenty healthy control dogs and 105 Babesia-infected dogs were included in the study. Two methods for ALT measurement were used: Method 1 included P5P, and Method 2 excluded P5P from the reaction mixture. Higher serum ALT activity was measured with Method 1 in the Babesia-infected dogs (P < 0.001), as well as in 14 dogs with suspected hepatocellular damage (P = 0.03). Duration of anorexia had no effect, irrespective of the method used. Although inclusion of P5P to the reaction mixture consistently resulted in higher measured serum ALT activity, the differences were too small to have led to incorrect diagnoses in the Babesia-infected dogs suspected of liver disease. <![CDATA[<b>Morphology of the tongue of the emu <i>(Dromaius novaehollandiae). </i>I. Gross anatomical features and topography</b>]]> Despite numerous papers addressing the topic, the gross morphology of the ratite tongue and more specifically that of the emu, has been superficially or poorly described. This paper presents the first definitive macroscopic description of the emu tongue and reviews, consolidates and compares the scattered information on the gross morphology of the ratite tongue available in the literature. Twenty-three heads obtained from birds at slaughter were used for this study. Specimens were fixed in 10 % neutral buffered formalin, rinsed and the gross anatomy described. The emu tongue is divided into a body and a root. The body is triangular, dorsoventrally flattened, pigmented and displays caudally directed lingual papillae on both the lateral and caudal margins. The root, a more conspicuous structure in comparison to other ratites, is triangular, with a raised bulbous component folding over the rostral part of the laryngeal fissure. Following the general trend in ratites, the emu tongue is greatly reduced in comparison to the bill length and is specifically adapted for swallowing during the cranioinertial method of feeding employed by palaeognaths. This study revealed that it is not only the shape of the tongue that differs between ratites, as previously reported, but also its colour, appearance of its margins and root, and its length in comparison to the bill, and the shape of the paraglossum.