Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research]]> vol. 81 num. 1 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Bovine cysticercosis and its food safety implications in Harari People's National Regional State, eastern Ethiopia</b>]]> Taenia saginata cysticercosis is one of the zoonotic diseases that threaten food safety and food security, particularly in developing countries. A cross-sectional study was conducted to estimate the prevalence and cyst distribution in infected cattle, and food safety implications of Taenia saginata cysticercosis in Harari People's National Regional State, eastern Ethiopia. Post-mortem inspection of carcasses and organs of slaughtered cattle in Harar Municipal Abattoir, cyst viability tests and interviews with randomly selected meat consumers were undertaken. The post-mortem inspection showed that of the 898 local zebu cattle slaughtered for human consumption and examined for the presence of cysticerci of T. saginata, 19.7% (177/898; 95% CI = 17.2-22.5) harboured at least one cyst in the muscles or organs inspected. Of the edible anatomical sites with cysticerci, shoulder muscle, liver and heart together represented 65.4%, 66.0% and 65.4% respectively of relative prevalence, total cyst count and cyst viability. These edible sites are preferred above others by local people for preparation and consumption of raw or inadequately cooked meat dishes that are locally served as kurt, kitffo and dullet. The interviews revealed that among the 300 study participants, 182 (60.7%) had been infected by taeniosis at least once during the previous year and of these 99.0% had eaten raw or undercooked beef, the majority (88.3%) obtained from butchers assumed to provide officially inspected meat that was fit for consumption. This indicated that existing meat inspection processes were inadequate to prevent carcasses infected with T. saginata cysticerci from reaching consumers. The high prevalence of viable cysts in the edible parts of beef together with the widespread consumption of raw or undercooked beef indicated the importance of T. saginata cysticercosis as a food safety problem in eastern Ethiopia. The promotion of policies to upgrade existing meat inspection procedures and public education to ensure effective prevention of T. saginata taeniosis in humans were recommended. <![CDATA[<b>Distribution patterns and predilection muscles of <i>Trichinella zimbabwensis</i> larvae in experimentally infected Nile crocodiles (<i>Crocodylus niloticus</i> Laurenti)</b>]]> No controlled studies have been conducted to determine the predilection muscles of Trichinella zimbabwensis larvae in Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus) or the influence of infection intensity on the distribution of the larvae in crocodiles. The distribution of larvae in muscles of naturally infected Nile crocodiles and experimentally infected caimans (Caiman crocodilus) and varans (Varanus exanthematicus) have been reported in literature. To determine the distribution patterns of T. zimbabwensis larvae and predilection muscles, 15 crocodiles were randomly divided into three cohorts of five animals each, representing high infection (642 larvae/kg of bodyweight average), medium infection (414 larvae/kg of bodyweight average) and low infection (134 larvae/kg of bodyweight average) cohorts. In the high infection cohort, high percentages of larvae were observed in the triceps muscles (26%) and hind limb muscles (13%). In the medium infection cohort, high percentages of larvae were found in the triceps muscles (50%), sternomastoid (18%) and hind limb muscles (13%). In the low infection cohort, larvae were mainly found in the intercostal muscles (36%), longissimus complex (27%), forelimb muscles (20%) and hind limb muscles (10%). Predilection muscles in the high and medium infection cohorts were similar to those reported in naturally infected crocodiles despite changes in infection intensity. The high infection cohort had significantly higher numbers of larvae in the sternomastoid, triceps, intercostal, longissimus complex, external tibial flexor, longissimus caudalis and caudal femoral muscles (p < 0.05) compared with the medium infection cohort. In comparison with the low infection cohort, the high infection cohort harboured significantly higher numbers of larvae in all muscles (p < 0.05) except for the tongue. The high infection cohort harboured significantly higher numbers of larvae (p < 0.05) in the sternomastoid, triceps, intercostal, longissimus complex, external tibial flexor, longissimus caudalis and caudal femoral muscles compared with naturally infected crocodiles. Results from this study show that, in Nile crocodiles, larvae of T. zimbabwensis appear first to invade predilection muscles closest to their release site in the small intestine before occupying those muscles situated further away. The recommendation for the use of masseter, pterygoid and intercostal muscles as sampling sites for the detection of T. zimbabwensis in crocodiles is in contrast to the results from this study, where the fore- and hind limb muscles had the highest number of larvae. This study also supports the use of biopsy sampling from the dorso-lateral regions of the tail for surveillance purposes in both wild and commercial crocodile populations. <![CDATA[<b>Risk, knowledge and preventive measures of smallholder dairy farmers in northern Malawi with regard to zoonotic brucellosis and bovine tuberculosis</b>]]> Milk production using local cattle breed-types is an age-old practice in Malawi. Although dairy farming is becoming more common as a result of the increasing population and demand for milk and milk products, there is limited knowledge of the farmers' awareness of zoonotic disease risks, their preventative practices and the disease burden in animals. This study determined dairy farmers' general knowledge of zoonoses, assessed their risks for infection with zoonotic bovine tuberculosis (bTB) and brucellosis, and evaluated farm practices to prevent disease transmission. A questionnaire was drawn up and administered by the authors. It was used to collect information about the knowledge and preventive practices of 140 out of 684 registered dairy farmers at Mzuzu Agricultural Development Division, northern Malawi. During a second visit to 60 out of the 140 farms, a total of 156 and 95 cattle were tested for brucellosis and tuberculosis, respectively. Most farmers (77.1%) knew or had heard of zoonotic diseases, whilst 75.0% correctly named at least one zoonotic disease. More survey participants named tuberculosis as a zoonotic disease compared to brucellosis (74.3% versus 2.9%). The most commonly named means of transmission were milk (67.0%) and meat (56.0%). Almost all survey participants (96.4%) practised at least one farm activity that could lead to potential transmission of brucellosis or bTB, including sale (67.0%) and consumption (34.0%) of unpasteurised milk. Antibodies against brucellosis were found in 12 cattle (7.7%), whilst one animal (1.1%) reacted to the tuberculin skin test. General knowledge about possible transmission of diseases between humans and animals was high, although most farmers practised risk behaviours that could potentially expose the public to milk-borne zoonotic diseases such as brucellosis and bTB. Furthermore, some animals had positive results for brucellosis and tuberculosis tests. Therefore, improvement of zoonotic disease prevention programmes, as well as further investigation into the prevalence and risk factors for zoonoses, is recommended. <![CDATA[<b>Functional morphology of the brain of the African giant pouched rat (<i>Cricetomys gambianus</i> Waterhouse, 1840)</b>]]> A gross morphological study of the brain of the African giant pouched rat (Cricetomys gambianus Waterhouse, 1840) was undertaken in order to document its normal features and assess the structure-function paradigm. The study was conducted by direct observation of 29 adult African giant pouched rats' brains. In the telencephalon, the cerebral cortex was devoid of prominent gyri and sulci, but the large olfactory bulb and tract relaying impulses to the olfactory cortex were very prominent. The large size of the olfactory bulb correlated with the established sharp olfactory acuity of the rodent. In the mesencephalic tectum, the caudal colliculi were bigger than the rostral colliculi, indicating a more acute sense of hearing than sight. In the metencephalon, the cerebellar vermis, the flocculus and the paraflocculus were highly coiled and, thus, well developed. The myelencephalon revealed a better organised ventral surface than dorsal surface; the cuneate fascicle, the intermediate sulcus and the lateral sulcus were not evident on the dorsal surface, but there were clearly visible pyramids and olivary prominence on the ventral surface. In conclusion, the highly coiled cerebellar vermis, flocculus and paraflocculus, as well as the conspicuous pyramids and olivary prominence are indicative of a good motor coordination and balance in the African giant pouched rat. <![CDATA[<b>The use of green tea (<i>Camellia sinensis</i>) as a phytogenic substance in poultry diets</b>]]> This review examined the use of green tea (Camellia sinensis) in the diets of poultry. Research findings were obtained from various recent studies, where much attention was focused on the role of green tea in the promotion of both animal and human health. The review involved some of the currently available information about green tea, pertaining to its chemical composition, anticoccidial and antimicrobial effect, effect on broiler and layer performance and on blood and egg yolk constituents. To the author's knowledge this is the first review paper on this topic. It will be helpful for poultry nutritionists and the poultry industry, although more detailed studies are still needed to elucidate the effects of green tea in poultry nutrition under various circumstances.