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Vet. Sci., Volume 5, Issue 1 (March 2018)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Preventative healthcare comprises a significant amount of the time spent in small animal practice [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle Parasite Specific Antibody Levels, Interferon-γ and TLR2 and TLR4 Transcripts in Blood from Dogs with Different Clinical Stages of Leishmaniosis
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(1), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5010031
Received: 30 December 2017 / Revised: 8 March 2018 / Accepted: 14 March 2018 / Published: 16 March 2018
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Abstract
Canine leishmaniosis has a wide range of disease severity from mild (stage I), to severe (stages II–III), or very severe disease (stage IV). The objective of the study was to evaluate and compare serum antibody levels, Leishmania infantum specific IFN-γ production and TLR2
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Canine leishmaniosis has a wide range of disease severity from mild (stage I), to severe (stages II–III), or very severe disease (stage IV). The objective of the study was to evaluate and compare serum antibody levels, Leishmania infantum specific IFN-γ production and TLR2 and TLR4 transcripts in non-stimulated blood from dogs with different clinical stages at the time of diagnosis as well as blood parasitemia. Enzyme-Linked ImmunoSorbent Assay (ELISAs) were performed to determine serum antibody levels and IFN-γ production and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCRs) in order to determine blood parasite load and TLR2 and TLR4 transcripts. Older dogs were significantly affected by more severe disease with higher antibody levels and blood parasitemia than dogs with mild disease. IFN-γ production was significantly higher in dogs with stage I disease when compared to dogs with more severe disease. Relative quantification of TLR2 in dogs with mild disease was similar to that of control dogs. On the other hand, TLR2 transcripts were significantly higher in dogs with severe disease as compared with that from control healthy dogs. No differences were found in TLR4 relative quantification between groups. This study demonstrates that dogs with different clinical stages of leishmaniosis present different levels of biological markers indicative of different immune responses. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Comparison of Protein Gut Samples from Rhipicephalus spp. Using a Crude and an Innovative Preparation Method for Proteome Analysis
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(1), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5010030
Received: 1 February 2018 / Revised: 6 March 2018 / Accepted: 12 March 2018 / Published: 14 March 2018
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Abstract
Tick populations are controlled through the application of chemical pesticides. However, the rise in chemical resistance has prompted the investigation of other control methods such as the use of tick vaccines. Proteomic analysis provides valuable information about the possible function and localization of
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Tick populations are controlled through the application of chemical pesticides. However, the rise in chemical resistance has prompted the investigation of other control methods such as the use of tick vaccines. Proteomic analysis provides valuable information about the possible function and localization of proteins, as candidate vaccine proteins are often either secreted or localized on the cell-surface membrane. Progress in the utilization of proteomics for the identification of novel treatment targets has been significant. However, their use in tick-specific investigations is still quite novel, with the continual development of tick-specific methodologies essential. In this study, an innovative sample preparation method was utilized to isolate epithelial cells from tick midguts to identify the membrane-bound proteins. Proteomic analysis was conducted comparing crude and innovative sample preparation methods with 692 and 1242 tick-specific proteins, 108 and 314 surface proteins respectively, isolated from the midguts of semi-engorged Rhipicephalus microplus adult female ticks. This research reports a novel preparation protocol for the analysis of tick midgut proteins which reduces host protein contamination. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Descriptive Morphometric Approach of the Skull and Mandible of the Common Opossum (Didelphis Marsupialis Linnaeus, 1758) in the Caribbean and its Clinical Application during Regional Anaesthesia
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(1), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5010029
Received: 17 January 2018 / Revised: 19 February 2018 / Accepted: 7 March 2018 / Published: 9 March 2018
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Abstract
The aim of this study was to determine the morphometric values of the skull and the mandible of the common opossum from the Caribbean island of Trinidad and Tobago. The skulls and mandibles were obtained from ten opossums captured for research purposes. The
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The aim of this study was to determine the morphometric values of the skull and the mandible of the common opossum from the Caribbean island of Trinidad and Tobago. The skulls and mandibles were obtained from ten opossums captured for research purposes. The skulls and mandibles were prepared and cleaned using standard method. Some anatomical landmarks of the skulls and mandibles were identified and measured. The results were important for identification of the common opossum via comparison and discussion of our results with that of other marsupial species. Furthermore, the results had clinical importance with regard to regional nerve blocks of the infraorbital, inferior alveolar, and mental nerves for dental extraction and head surgery. This study concluded that by using the anatomical landmarks of the infraorbital and mental foramina it will be easier for the veterinarian surgeons during the application of local anesthetic agent for the infraorbital, inferior alveolar, and mental nerve blocks. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication Isolation of Brucella abortus and Brucella melitensis from Seronegative Cows is a Serious Impediment in Brucellosis Control
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(1), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5010028
Received: 22 January 2018 / Revised: 6 March 2018 / Accepted: 7 March 2018 / Published: 9 March 2018
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Abstract
Brucellosis is a zoonosis occurring worldwide, with economic and public health impacts. Its diagnosis remains a challenge in endemic countries and basically relies on serology. The present study was carried out on two dairy cattle farms allegedly free from brucellosis, but with sporadic
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Brucellosis is a zoonosis occurring worldwide, with economic and public health impacts. Its diagnosis remains a challenge in endemic countries and basically relies on serology. The present study was carried out on two dairy cattle farms allegedly free from brucellosis, but with sporadic cases of abortion. The aim of this study was to investigate the presence of Brucella (B.) spp. in uterine discharge of seronegative cows after abortion. In farm I, B. melitensis biovar (bv) 3 was cultured from two of five cows after abortion, while in farm II, B. abortus bv 1 was cultured from three of eleven cows after abortion. These cows had been intrauterinely infected but remained seronegative until abortion and seroconverted only thereafter. Shedding of brucellae in uterine discharge of culture positive/seronegative aborting cows is a serious problem resulting in maintenance and further spread of infection. Thus, serosurveys in endemic countries have to be accompanied by molecular detection and/or culture of aborted material to close the diagnostic window and to hinder uncontrolled spread. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Performance of Three Immune Assays to Assess the Serological Status of Cattle Experimentally Exposed to Mycoplasma bovis
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(1), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5010027
Received: 1 February 2018 / Revised: 2 March 2018 / Accepted: 6 March 2018 / Published: 8 March 2018
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Abstract
Mycoplasma bovis is associated with several clinical syndromes of cattle. Currently, limited information is available on the sensitivity (Se) and specificity (Sp) of serological assays used for the detection of M. bovis-specific antibodies. Consequently, it is difficult to
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Mycoplasma bovis is associated with several clinical syndromes of cattle. Currently, limited information is available on the sensitivity (Se) and specificity (Sp) of serological assays used for the detection of M. bovis-specific antibodies. Consequently, it is difficult to critically evaluate the outcomes of studies that use these assays. Therefore, the current study used bovine sera sourced from M. bovis exposure studies from three countries to estimate the Se and Sp of two commercial M. bovis enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA), BIO K302 and BIO K260, and Western blotting. Western blotting had the highest Se estimate of 74% (95% confidence interval (CI): 16–98%), compared to the BIO K302: 47% (95% CI: 10–87%) and BIO K260: 28% (95% CI: 1–92%). However, for Sp, the BIO K302: 96% (95% CI: 87–99%) and the BIO K260: 100% (95% CI: 93–100%) out-performed Western blotting: 88% (95% CI: 56–98%). Western blotting was the best assay for detecting seroconversion, correctly identifying 61% (95% CI: 29–86%) of exposed animals compared to 35% for BIO K302 (95% CI: 21–54%) and 8% for BIO K260 (95% CI: 0–87%). While none of the methods assessed had high Se and Sp, the availability of these estimates will aid in the interpretation of studies that use these assays. The results of this study highlight the difficulties encountered when using serology to detect exposure to M. bovis in cattle. Full article
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Open AccessReview Detection and Characterisation of Anaplasma marginale and A. centrale in South Africa
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(1), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5010026
Received: 31 January 2018 / Revised: 27 February 2018 / Accepted: 28 February 2018 / Published: 3 March 2018
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Abstract
Bovine anaplasmosis is endemic in South Africa and it has a negative economic impact on cattle farming. An improved understanding of Anaplasma marginale and Anaplasma marginale variety centrale (A. centrale) transmission, together with improved tools for pathogen detection and characterisation, are required to
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Bovine anaplasmosis is endemic in South Africa and it has a negative economic impact on cattle farming. An improved understanding of Anaplasma marginale and Anaplasma marginale variety centrale (A. centrale) transmission, together with improved tools for pathogen detection and characterisation, are required to inform best management practices. Direct detection methods currently in use for A. marginale and A. centrale in South Africa are light microscopic examination of tissue and organ smears, conventional, nested, and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) assays, and a reverse line blot hybridisation assay. Of these, qPCR is the most sensitive for detection of A. marginale and A. centrale in South Africa. Serological assays also feature in routine diagnostics, but cross-reactions prevent accurate species identification. Recently, genetic characterisation has confirmed that A. marginale and A. centrale are separate species. Diversity studies targeting Msp1a repeats for A. marginale and Msp1aS repeats for A. centrale have revealed high genetic variation and point to correspondingly high levels of variation in A. marginale outer membrane proteins (OMPs), which have been shown to be potential vaccine candidates in North American studies. Information on these OMPs is lacking for South African A. marginale strains and should be considered in future recombinant vaccine development studies, ultimately informing the development of regional or global vaccines. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Intrauterine Transmission of Anaplasma phagocytophilum in Persistently Infected Lambs
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(1), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5010025
Received: 28 January 2018 / Revised: 23 February 2018 / Accepted: 26 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
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Abstract
Anaplasma phagocytophilum, which causes the disease tick-borne fever (TBF), is the most important tick-borne pathogen in European animals. TBF may contribute to severe welfare challenges and economic losses in the Norwegian sheep industry. The bacterium causes a persistent infection in sheep and several
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Anaplasma phagocytophilum, which causes the disease tick-borne fever (TBF), is the most important tick-borne pathogen in European animals. TBF may contribute to severe welfare challenges and economic losses in the Norwegian sheep industry. The bacterium causes a persistent infection in sheep and several other animal species. The objective of this study was to investigate whether intrauterine transmission occurs in persistently infected sheep. The study included thirteen 5–6-month-old unmated ewes, of which twelve were experimentally infected with A. phagocytophilum (GenBank acc. no. M73220). Four to six weeks later, all ewes were mated, and nine became pregnant. Blood samples were collected from these ewes and their offspring. If the lamb died, tissue samples were collected. The samples were analyzed with real-time PCR (qPCR) targeting the msp2 gene. PCR-positive samples were further analyzed by semi-nested PCR and 16S rDNA sequencing. A total of 20 lambs were born, of which six died within two days. Six newborn lambs (30%) were PCR-positive (qPCR), of which one was verified by 16S rDNA sequencing. The present study indicates that intrauterine transmission of A. phagocytophilum in persistently infected sheep may occur. The importance of these findings for the epidemiology of A. phagocytophilum needs to be further investigated. Full article
Open AccessArticle Application and Comparative Evaluation of Fluorescent Antibody, Immunohistochemistry and Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction Tests for the Detection of Rabies Virus Antigen or Nucleic Acid in Brain Samples of Animals Suspected of Rabies in India
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(1), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5010024
Received: 14 December 2017 / Revised: 19 February 2018 / Accepted: 23 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
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Abstract
Accurate and early diagnosis of animal rabies is critical for undertaking public health measures. Whereas the direct fluorescent antibody (DFA) technique is the recommended test, the more convenient, direct rapid immunochemistry test (dRIT), as well as the more sensitive, reverse transcription polymerase chain
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Accurate and early diagnosis of animal rabies is critical for undertaking public health measures. Whereas the direct fluorescent antibody (DFA) technique is the recommended test, the more convenient, direct rapid immunochemistry test (dRIT), as well as the more sensitive, reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), have recently been employed for the laboratory diagnosis of rabies. We compared the three methods on brain samples from domestic (dog, cat, cattle, buffalo, horse, pig and goat) and wild (leopard, wolf and jackal) animals from various parts of India. Of the 257 samples tested, 167 were positive by all the three tests; in addition, 35 of the 36 decomposed samples were positive by RT-PCR. This is the first study in which such large number of animal samples have been subjected to the three tests simultaneously. The results confirm 100% corroboration between DFA and dRIT, buttress the applicability of dRIT in the simple and rapid diagnosis of rabies in animals, and reaffirm the suitability of RT-PCR for samples unfit for testing either by DFA or dRIT. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Canine Rabies Surveillance, Control and Elimination)
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Open AccessReview Avian Respiratory Coinfection and Impact on Avian Influenza Pathogenicity in Domestic Poultry: Field and Experimental Findings
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(1), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5010023
Received: 4 December 2017 / Revised: 21 February 2018 / Accepted: 22 February 2018 / Published: 24 February 2018
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Abstract
The avian respiratory system hosts a wide range of commensal and potential pathogenic bacteria and/or viruses that interact with each other. Such interactions could be either synergistic or antagonistic, which subsequently determines the severity of the disease complex. The intensive rearing methods of
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The avian respiratory system hosts a wide range of commensal and potential pathogenic bacteria and/or viruses that interact with each other. Such interactions could be either synergistic or antagonistic, which subsequently determines the severity of the disease complex. The intensive rearing methods of poultry are responsible for the marked increase in avian respiratory diseases worldwide. The interaction between avian influenza with other pathogens can guarantee the continuous existence of other avian pathogens, which represents a global concern. A better understanding of the impact of the interaction between avian influenza virus and other avian respiratory pathogens provides a better insight into the respiratory disease complex in poultry and can lead to improved intervention strategies aimed at controlling virus spread. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human and Animal Influenzas: A Shared Public Health Concern)
Open AccessArticle Risk Factors of Extended-Spectrum β-Lactamase Producing Enterobacteriaceae Occurrence in Farms in Reunion, Madagascar and Mayotte Islands, 2016–2017
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(1), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5010022
Received: 5 January 2018 / Revised: 12 February 2018 / Accepted: 19 February 2018 / Published: 23 February 2018
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Abstract
In South Western Indian ocean (IO), Extended-Spectrum β-Lactamase producing Enterobacteriaceae (ESBL-E) are a main public health issue. In livestock, ESBL-E burden was unknown. The aim of this study was estimating the prevalence of ESBL-E on commercial farms in Reunion, Mayotte and Madagascar and
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In South Western Indian ocean (IO), Extended-Spectrum β-Lactamase producing Enterobacteriaceae (ESBL-E) are a main public health issue. In livestock, ESBL-E burden was unknown. The aim of this study was estimating the prevalence of ESBL-E on commercial farms in Reunion, Mayotte and Madagascar and genes involved. Secondly, risk factors of ESBL-E occurrence in broiler, beef cattle and pig farms were explored. In 2016–2017, commercial farms were sampled using boot swabs and samples stored at 4 °C before microbiological analysis for phenotypical ESBL-E and gene characterization. A dichotomous questionnaire was performed. Prevalences observed in all production types and territories were high, except for beef cattle in Reunion, which differed significantly. The most common ESBL gene was blaCTX-M-1. Generalized linear models explaining ESBL-E occurrence varied between livestock production sectors and allowed identifying main protective (e.g., water quality control and detergent use for cleaning) and risk factors (e.g., recent antibiotic use, other farmers visiting the exploitation, pet presence). This study is the first to explore tools for antibiotic resistance management in IO farms. It provides interesting hypothesis to explore about antibiotic use in IO territories and ESBL-E transmission between pig, beef cattle and humans in Madagascar. Full article
Open AccessArticle Stability of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus on Fomite Materials at Different Temperatures
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(1), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5010021
Received: 10 January 2018 / Revised: 9 February 2018 / Accepted: 11 February 2018 / Published: 13 February 2018
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Abstract
Indirect transmission of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) ensues when susceptible animals contact PEDV-contaminated fomite materials. Although the survival of PEDV under various pHs and temperatures has been studied, virus stability on different fomite surfaces under varying temperature conditions has not been explored.
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Indirect transmission of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) ensues when susceptible animals contact PEDV-contaminated fomite materials. Although the survival of PEDV under various pHs and temperatures has been studied, virus stability on different fomite surfaces under varying temperature conditions has not been explored. Hence, we evaluated the survival of PEDV on inanimate objects routinely used on swine farms such as styrofoam, rubber, plastic, coveralls, and other equipment. The titer of infectious PEDV at 4 °C decreased by only 1 to 2 log during the first 5 days, and the virus was recoverable for up to 15 days on Styrofoam, aluminum, Tyvek® coverall, cloth, and plastic. However, viral titers decreased precipitously when stored at room temperature; no virus was detectable after one day on all materials tested. A more sensitive immunoplaque assay was able to detect virus from Styrofoam, metal, and plastic at 20 days post application, representing a 3-log loss of input virus on fomite materials. Recovery of infectious PEDV from Tyvek® coverall and rubber was above detection limit at 20 days. Our findings indicate that the type of fomite material and temperatures impact PEDV stability, which is important in understanding the nuances of indirect transmission and epidemiology of PEDV. Full article
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Open AccessArticle “I Always Feel Like I Have to Rush…” Pet Owner and Small Animal Veterinary Surgeons’ Reflections on Time during Preventative Healthcare Consultations in the United Kingdom
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(1), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5010020
Received: 23 November 2017 / Revised: 30 January 2018 / Accepted: 5 February 2018 / Published: 8 February 2018
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Abstract
Canine and feline preventative healthcare consultations can be more complex than other consultation types, but they are typically not allocated additional time in the United Kingdom (UK). Impacts of the perceived length of UK preventative healthcare consultations have not previously been described. The
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Canine and feline preventative healthcare consultations can be more complex than other consultation types, but they are typically not allocated additional time in the United Kingdom (UK). Impacts of the perceived length of UK preventative healthcare consultations have not previously been described. The aim of this novel study was to provide the first qualitative description of owner and veterinary surgeon reflections on time during preventative healthcare consultations. Semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted with 14 veterinary surgeons and 15 owners about all aspects of canine and feline preventative healthcare consultations. These qualitative data were thematically analysed, and four key themes identified. This paper describes the theme relating to time and consultation length. Patient, owner, veterinary surgeon and practice variables were recalled to impact the actual, versus allocated, length of a preventative healthcare consultation. Preventative healthcare consultations involving young, old and multi-morbid animals and new veterinary surgeon-owner partnerships appear particularly susceptible to time pressures. Owners and veterinary surgeons recalled rushing and minimizing discussions to keep consultations within their allocated time. The impact of the pace, content and duration of a preventative healthcare consultation may be influential factors in consultation satisfaction. These interviews provide an important insight into the complex nature of preventative healthcare consultations and the behaviour of participants under different perceived time pressures. These data may be of interest and relevance to all stakeholders in dog and cat preventative healthcare. Full article
Open AccessArticle Impact of RNA Degradation on Viral Diagnosis: An Understated but Essential Step for the Successful Establishment of a Diagnosis Network
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(1), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5010019
Received: 19 December 2017 / Revised: 29 January 2018 / Accepted: 2 February 2018 / Published: 6 February 2018
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Abstract
The current global conditions, which include intensive globalization, climate changes, and viral evolution among other factors, have led to an increased emergence of viruses and new viral diseases; RNA viruses are key drivers of this evolution. Laboratory networks that are linked to central
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The current global conditions, which include intensive globalization, climate changes, and viral evolution among other factors, have led to an increased emergence of viruses and new viral diseases; RNA viruses are key drivers of this evolution. Laboratory networks that are linked to central reference laboratories are required to conduct both active and passive environmental surveillance of this complicated global viral environment. These tasks require a continuous exchange of strains or field samples between different diagnostic laboratories. The shipment of these samples on dry ice represents both a biological hazard and a general health risk. Moreover, the requirement to ship on dry ice could be hampered by high costs, particularly in underdeveloped countries or regions located far from each other. To solve these issues, the shipment of RNA isolated from viral suspensions or directly from field samples could be a useful way to share viral genetic material. However, extracted RNA stored in aqueous solutions, even at −70 °C, is highly prone to degradation. The current study evaluated different RNA storage conditions for safety and feasibility for future use in molecular diagnostics. The in vitro RNA-transcripts obtained from an inactivated highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 virus was used as a model. The role of secondary structures in the protection of the RNA was also explored. Of the conditions evaluated, the dry pellet matrix was best able to protect viral RNA under extreme storage conditions. This method is safe, cost-effective and assures the integrity of RNA samples for reliable molecular diagnosis. This study aligns with the globally significant “Global One Health” paradigm, especially with respect to the diagnosis of emerging diseases that require confirmation by reference laboratories. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human and Animal Influenzas: A Shared Public Health Concern)
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Open AccessCommunication Qualitative Evaluation of the Five-Year ‘Red Collar’ Campaign to End Inhumane Culling of Dogs as a Method of Rabies Control
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(1), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5010018
Received: 21 December 2017 / Revised: 29 January 2018 / Accepted: 1 February 2018 / Published: 6 February 2018
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Abstract
Dog-mediated human rabies can be eliminated through mass dog vaccination. Despite leading authorities in human and animal health uniting to advance effective and humane rabies control, some governments resort to lethal methods, which are unethical, often inhumane and ineffective. To end the inhumane
[...] Read more.
Dog-mediated human rabies can be eliminated through mass dog vaccination. Despite leading authorities in human and animal health uniting to advance effective and humane rabies control, some governments resort to lethal methods, which are unethical, often inhumane and ineffective. To end the inhumane culling of dogs in response to rabies, World Animal Protection launched ‘Red Collar’; a five-year campaign (2011–2016) that worked with governments to promote the implementation of mass dog vaccination for rabies control. We present the findings from a qualitative evaluation of ‘Red Collar’, conducted both regionally and with national focus on Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, the Philippines and Zanzibar, Tanzania. Through semi-structured interviews and written contributions from stakeholders (n = 54), we compared perceptions of changes with stated campaign goals to capture recommendations for future work. The campaign successfully generated momentum for implementation of mass dog vaccination by targeted governments. Lessons learned were established: Value of a consistent animal welfare ‘voice’; the need to explore the motivations behind culling; the need to capacity build; time required for the ‘ripple effect’ to inspire humane control in other countries; importance of monitoring and evaluation of indicators; time and effort required for exit strategies and prior preparation for a robust response to culling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Canine Rabies Surveillance, Control and Elimination)
Open AccessArticle Knowledge, Awareness and Practices Regarding Cystic Echinococcosis among Livestock Farmers in Basrah Province, Iraq
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(1), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5010017
Received: 18 December 2017 / Revised: 2 February 2018 / Accepted: 2 February 2018 / Published: 6 February 2018
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Abstract
Cystic echinococcosis (CE) is an endemic neglected parasitic zoonosis in many of the countries of the Middle East. The disease poses a remarkable economic burden for both animals and humans. In this study, we conducted a questionnaire survey among livestock farmers in Basrah
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Cystic echinococcosis (CE) is an endemic neglected parasitic zoonosis in many of the countries of the Middle East. The disease poses a remarkable economic burden for both animals and humans. In this study, we conducted a questionnaire survey among livestock farmers in Basrah province, southern Iraq, in order to evaluate their knowledge and awareness about CE, and to understand some of the risky practices that could contribute to spread and persistence of such disease. Of the interviewed participants (N = 314), 27.4% owned dogs on their farms. Among farmers owning dogs, 76.7% (66/86) never tied up their dogs, and 43% (37/86) indicated feeding uncooked animal viscera to their dogs. The majority (96.5%) of the farmers indicated that they did not de-worm their dogs at all. Only 9.8% (31/314) of the respondents indicated eating raw leafy vegetables without washing. Added to that, 32% of the interviewees indicated that they source water for domestic use from a river; meanwhile 94.3% (296/314) of them do not boil water before using it for domestic purposes. Half of the interviewed livestock farmers in Basrah were not aware about how humans get infected with CE disease, and 41.4% (130/314) did not even realize that CE is a dangerous disease to human health. Almost one in three of the respondents who owned dogs on their farms viewed de-worming of their dogs as a low priority practice. This study highlights the gap in knowledge and awareness about CE among the study population. Risky practices associated with dog keeping management and food and water handling practices were identified. The insight from this research could be used to improve the delivery of a health education message relevant to cystic echinococcosis control at the human-animal interface in Iraq. Full article
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