Sarcocystosis in meat-producing animals is a major cause of reduced productivity in many countries, especially those that rely on agriculture. Although several diagnostic methods are available to detect sarcocystosis, many are too time-consuming for routine use in abattoirs and meat inspection centers, where large numbers of samples need to be tested. This study aimed to compare the sensitivity of the methylene blue tissue preparation, unstained tissue preparation and nested PCR in the detection of sarcocysts in tissue samples. Approximately three-fold more sarcocysts were detected in methylene blue-stained tissue compared to unstained controls (McNemar's test: P<0.01). Test sensitivity was comparable to that of the gold standard for sarcocyst detection, nested polymerase chain reaction. These results suggest that methylene blue can be used in tissue compression as a rapid, safe, and inexpensive technique for the detection of ruminant sarcocystosis in abattoirs.
The occurrence of macroparasites was studied from 543 stray cats in four urban cities from the west (Kuala Lumpur), east (Kuantan), north (Georgetown) and south (Malacca) of Peninsular Malaysia from May 2007 to August 2010. Five ectoparasites species were recovered namely, Ctenocephalides felis, Felicola subrostratus, Haemaphysalis bispinosa, Heterodoxus spiniger and Lynxacarus radovskyi. Two cats from Georgetown were infested with the dog louse, H. spiniger and this represented the first host record for this species in Malaysia. Up to nine species of helminths were recovered with overall high prevalences of infection of 83% in Kuantan, followed by 75.1% in Kuala Lumpur, 71.6% in Georgetown and 68% in Malacca. The helminth species comprised five nematodes, Toxocara malaysiensis, Toxocara cati, Ancylostoma braziliensis, Ancylostoma ceylanicum, Physaloptera praeputialis, two cestodes Taenia taeniaeformis, Dipylidium caninum and one trematode, Playtnosomum fastosum. The majority of helminths were present in the four study sites except for the absence of P. praeputialis in Kuala Lumpur. The prevalence and abundance of infections were analysed taking intrinsic (host age and sex) and extrinsic (season) factors into consideration. Levels of infection and infestation were mainly influenced by host age and to a lesser extent sex and season, whereas four nematode species exhibited significant interactions within the intestine of the cat host. The potential for transmission of some macroparasite species from stray cats to the human population in urban areas is discussed.
Recent reports from New Zealand indicate Neospora caninum has a possible role in causing abortions in sheep. Transmission of N. caninum via semen has been documented in cattle. This study aimed to investigate if horizontal transmission through semen was also possible in sheep. Initially, 6-month old crossbred ram lambs (n=32), seronegative to N. caninum, were divided into 4 equal groups. Group 1 remained uninoculated whilst the remainder were inoculated with N. caninum tachyzoites intravenously as follows: Group 2 - 50 tachyzoites; Group 3 - 10(3) tachyzoites; Group 4 - 10(7) tachyzoites. Semen samples were collected weekly for 8 weeks for the detection of N. caninum DNA and quantified using quantitative PCR (qPCR). Plasma collected 1 month post-inoculation was subjected to ELISA (IDEXX Chekit) and Western blot. At 2 weeks post-infection, three rams from Group 1 (uninoculated) and three rams from Group 4 (10(7)tachyzoites/ml) were mated with two groups of 16 ewes over two oestrus cycles. Ewe sera collected 1 and 2 months post-mating were tested for seroconversion by ELISA and Western blot. All experimentally infected rams seroconverted by 1 month with ELISA S/P% values ranging from 11% to 36.5% in Group 2, 12-39.5% in Group 3 and 40-81% in Group 4. However, none of the ewes mated with the experimentally infected rams seroconverted. For the Western blot, responses towards immunodominant antigens (IDAs) were observed in ram sera directed against proteins at 10, 17, 21, 25-29, 30, 31, 33 and 37 kDa. Rams in Group 2, 3 and 4 were noted to have at least 3 IDAs present. None of the ewes showed any of the 8 prominent IDAs except for the one at 21 kDa which was seen in 30 out of 32 ewes in both groups. N. caninum DNA was detected intermittently in the ram's semen up to 5 weeks post-inoculation with the concentrations ranging from that equivalent to 1-889 tachyzoites per ml of semen. Low concentrations of N. caninum DNA were also detected in the brain tissue of two rams (Groups 1 and 4). These results suggest that although N. caninum DNA can be found in the semen of experimentally infected rams, the transmission of N. caninum via natural mating is an unlikely event.
The performance of newly developed trapping systems for the Old World screw-worm fly, Chrysomya bezziana has been determined in field trials on cattle farms in Malaysia. The efficacy of non-sticky traps and new attractants to trap C. bezziana and non-target flies was compared with the standard sticky trap and Swormlure. The optimal trap was a modified LuciTrap(®) with a new attractant mixture, Bezzilure-2. The LuciTrap/Bezzilure-2 caught on average 3.1 times more C. bezziana than the sticky trap with Swormlure (P<0.05) and provided selectivity for C. bezziana against Chrysomya megacephala and Chrysomya rufifacies with factors of 5.9 and 6.4, respectively. The LuciTrap also discriminates with factors of 90 and 3.6 against Hemipyrellia sp. and sarcophagid flesh flies respectively, compared to the sticky trap. The LuciTrap/Bezzilure-2 system is recommended for screwworm fly surveillance as it is more attractive and selective towards C. bezziana and provides flies of better quality for identification than the sticky trap.
Anthelmintic resistance of gastrointestinal nematodes is considered as one of the main limiting factors causing significant economic losses to the small ruminant industry. The anthelmintic properties of some plants are among the suggested alternative solutions to control these parasitic worms. The present study investigated the anthelmintic activity of neem (Azadirachta indica) and cassava (Manihot esculenta) leaf extracts against the susceptible and resistant strains of one of the most important nematodes in small ruminants, Teladorsagia (Ostertagia) circumcincta. Three different in vitro tests: egg hatch test, larval development assay, and larval paralysis assay were used to determine the efficiency of neem and cassava extracts on three pre-parasitic stages of T. circumcincta. The LC(50) was determined for the most potent extract in each plant as well as the phytochemical tests, total tannin quantification and cytotoxicity on peripheral blood mononuclear cells of goats. The results revealed a high anthelmintic activity of neem methanol extract (NME) and cassava methanol extract (CME) on both strains of T. circumcincta without significant differences between the strains. The first stage larvae were more sensitive with the lowest LC(50) at 7.15 mg/ml and 10.72 mg/ml for NME and CME, respectively, compared with 44.20mg/ml and 56.68 mg/ml on eggs and 24.91 mg/ml and 71.96 mg/ml on infective stage larvae.
Snapper had been cultured in Malaysia since 1980 due to the fry availability and the high demand. However, details on the caligids infestation were not properly documented. This study was carried out to determine the prevalence, mean intensity and site preference of Caligus rotundigenitalis (Caligidae, Siphonostomatoida) a parasitic copepod on cage cultured crimson snapper, Lutjanus erythropterus from Bukit Tambun, Penang, Malaysia. A total of 70 specimens of cultured snapper were examined based on different infestation sites such as head, body as well as operculum. The specimens were separated into three groups according to the size of the fish. C. rotundigenitalis was found to be the only species infesting L. erythropterus with the prevalence and the mean intensity of 81.4% and 5.6±4.4, respectively. There was a significant difference between the prevalence of site infestation of the body and inner operculum sites. The prevalence of C. rotundigenitalis was highest on inner operculum of the fish followed by the body and head. However, there was no significant difference in the distribution of C. rotundigenitalis over the different infestation sites derived from the three groups. The information obtained from this study can be used for more effective control measures of ectoparasitic copepod infestation in floating cages.
This study aimed to represent the first report of the ovicidal and larvicidal activity of the methanolic leaf extract of Manihot esculenta (cassava) against eggs and larvae of susceptible and resistant strains of Trichostrongylus colubriformis. As well as, to determine the total tannin compounds, antioxidant activity and toxicity of the extract. The egg hatch test was used to evaluate ovicidal activity against unembryonated eggs, whereas larval feeding inhibition assay and MTT-formazan assay were used to evaluate larvicidal activity against first (L(1)) and infective (L(3)) larvae, respectively. The results showed no significant differences were detected between the sensitivities of susceptible and resistant strains of T. colubriformis to the extract. Eggs, L(1) and L(3) were significantly affected (P<0.001) compared with negative control, and L(1) were more sensitive than the eggs and L(3). The total tannin compounds were investigated using tannin quantification assay and determined by 254.44 TAE/mg. The antioxidant activity was evaluated using the DPPH radical scavenging assay and the median inhibition concentration (IC(50)) was determined by 2.638 mg/ml. Acute oral toxicity at dose of 5,000 mg/kg, and sub-chronic oral toxicity at 500 and 1,000 mg/kg of the extract were observed in male and female Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats. The acute oral toxicity revealed that the median lethal dose (LD(50)) of methanolic extract of cassava leaves on SD rats was greater than 5,000 mg/kg, whereas the sub-chronic oral toxicity did not show observed adverse effects at 500 and 1,000 mg/kg per day for 28 days. In conclusion, the methanolic extract of cassava leaves has direct ovicidal and larvicidal activity against T. colubriformis strains with a safety margin for animals, and it may be potentially utilized as a source of natural antioxidants.
The large stomach worm, Haemonchus contortus, commonly known as "the barber's pole worm", is a blood-sucking nematode found in the abomasa of sheep and goats. This work is the first documentation on the ND4 sequences of H. contortus from sheep and goats in Malaysia and Yemen and the results provide a preliminary insight on the genetic differences of H. contortus found in the two countries. In general, this study showed a high degree of diversity and low population structure of this species within the same country in comparison with higher genetic structuring at a wider geographical scale. The results also showed that the majority of genetic variance was within H. contortus populations. The Malaysian sheep and goat populations investigated appeared to share the same isolate of H. contortus while different isolates may be found in Yemen which must be taken into account in the design of an effective control strategy. Analysis of the internal transcribed spacer-2 (ITS-2) confirmed that all samples investigated in this study belonged to H. contortus. However presence of other Haemonchus species parasitizing these two hosts can only be confirmed by further detailed studies.
The Asian seabass is euryhaline, therefore it is interesting to describe the infestation and survival of caligids at varying salinity on the host. In this study, two different brackish water culture systems with monoculture and polyculture practices were investigated for the occurrence of Caligus spp. on Lates calcarifer. Polyculture practices mainly consisted of snapper (Lutjanus spp.), grouper (Epinephelus spp.) and seabass (L. calcarifer), while the monoculture was stocked with only seabass. A total of 777 Caligus spp. specimens were isolated from the sampling in 2009, consisting of three species; Caligus chiastos, Caligus epidemicus and Caligus rotundigenitalis. In 2011, the total specimen was increased to 3110 and two additional species were found; Caligus punctatus and one unknown species (Caligus sp.). A 98.6% of the total examination was represented by C. epidemicus. Constant presence of C. epidemicus was observed throughout the study, regardless the differences in between culturing practices and systems. This species was able to survive within wide salinity range, from 5 to 28 ppt. The other isolated species (C. chiastos, C. punctatus, C. rotundigenitalis and Caligus sp.) were only found infesting in polyculture cages with the salinity ranging from 25 to 28 ppt. Despite accounts for less than 2% of the total specimens, these species may able to produce a challenge for L. calcarifer polyculture farming activity due to their capability for host switching. The present study revealed the potential risk for cross-species transmission in polyculture practices.
Human filariasis caused by Brugia malayi is still a public health problem in many countries of Asia including India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. The World Health Organization (WHO) has targeted to eliminate filariasis by the year 2020 by Mass annual single dose Diethylcarbamazine Administration (MDA). Results of the MDA programme after the first phase was less satisfactory than expected. Malayan filariasis caused by B. malayi is endemic in the south of Thailand where domestic cat serves as the major reservoir host. There is no report about the occurrence of B. malayi in dogs. The present work was carried out to find out the incidence of microfilariasis in dogs and also to detect the presence of human filarial infection in dogs, if any. One hundred dogs above 6 months of age presented to the veterinary college Hospital, Mannuthy, Kerala, with clinical signs suggestive of microfilariasis - fever, anorexia, conjunctivitis, limb and scrotal oedema - were screened for microfilariae by wet film examination. Positive cases were subjected to Giemsa staining, histochemical staining and molecular techniques. Results of the study showed that 80% of dogs had microfilariasis; out of which 20% had sheathed microfilaria. Giemsa and histochemical staining character, PCR and sequencing confirmed it as B. malayi. High prevalence of B. malayi in dogs in this study emphasized the possible role of dogs in transmission of human filariasis.
A survey was undertaken to investigate the prevalence of intestinal parasites from different groups of mammals housed in a zoological garden in Malaysia. A total of 197 faecal samples were collected randomly from various primates (99), hoofed mammals (70) and feline (28). It was discovered that 89.3% of feline, 54.5% of primates and 45.7% of hoofed mammals were infected with intestinal parasites. Intestinal parasites found in primates were Balantidium coli (19.2%), Cryptosporidium spp. (14.1%), hookworm (10.1%), Trichuris spp. (5.1%), Ascaris (4.0%) and Blastocystis spp. (2.0%). For hoofed mammals, hookworm had the highest prevalence (34.3%) followed by Trichuris spp. and Cryptosporidium spp. (5.7%). Meanwhile, for feline, Toxocara cati was the most prevalent (64.3%), followed by Cryptosporidium spp. (14.3%), Spirometra spp. (7.1%), and hookworm (3.6%). Animals that were infected were all asymptomatic with low parasite load. Routine monitoring of the presence of parasites in animals kept in the zoo is imperative in assisting zoo management in the formulation and implementation of preventive and control measures against the spread of infectious parasitic diseases among animals within the zoo or to humans.
In order to attempt isolate the protozoan parasite Neospora caninum, an N. caninum seropositive pregnant Sahiwal Friesian cross heifer from a large-scale dairy farm in Malaysia was kept for observation until parturition at the Veterinary Research Institute, Ipoh. The heifer gave birth to a female calf that was weak, underweight and unable to rise. Precolostral serum from the calf had an N. caninum indirect fluorescent antibody test titre of 1:3200. It died 12 h after birth and necropsy was performed. Brain homogenate from the calf was inoculated into 10 BALB/c mice that were kept for 3 months after which brain tissue from the mice was inoculated onto 24 h fresh monolayer Vero cell lines. The cell cultures were examined daily until growth of intracellular protozoa was observed. DNA of the organisms from the cell cultures was analyzed by PCR and DNA sequencing. DNA fragments of the expected size were amplified from the isolate using N. caninum-specific primers, and sequence analysis of ITS1 clearly identified the isolate as N. caninum. This is the first successful isolation of N. caninum from a bovine in Malaysia, and the isolate is designated Nc-MalB1.
A study was conducted to determine the incidence of trypanosome infections in cattle in tsetse-free and tsetse-infested zones of the Amhara Region of northwest Ethiopia. A total of six sentinel herds were established and the cattle observed during a period of 8 consecutive months. The prevalence of seropositive cattle was high in both the tsetse-free and tsetse-infested zones. The average monthly incidence of trypanosome infection, determined using molecular diagnostic tools, was 20.9% and 25.7% in the tsetse-free and the tsetse-infested zones, respectively. In the tsetse-free, Trypanosoma vivax was responsible for 90.9% of the cattle trypanosome infections. In the tsetse-infested zone, Trypanosoma congolense and T. vivax contributed almost equally to the trypanosome infections in cattle. Trypanosome infection, regardless of species, resulted in anaemia as evidenced by a significant decrease in the packed cell volume of the infected animal. The outcome of this longitudinal study suggests that control of trypanosomiasis in the Amhara Region cannot be achieved by tsetse control alone. Supplemental measures to include drug therapy and biting fly control are discussed.
Long-term field studies were conducted on two government managed small ruminant research farms, located in different geo-climatic regions and approximately 300 km separate from each other, on Peninsula Malaysia. The Infoternak trial (48 weeks) and the Chalok trial (43 weeks) each compared nematode parasite control in separately managed groups of young sheep, either short-term rotationally grazed around a suite of 10 paddocks in addition to receiving a daily supplement of Duddingtonia flagrans spores (Fungus Group); or similar groups of sheep being rotationally grazed alone (Control Group). The prevailing weather conditions at Infoternak farm were of below average rainfall conditions for the most of the trial. As a consequence, only very low worm infections (almost exclusively Haemonchus contortus) were acquired by the 17 sets of tracer lambs that grazed sequentially with the experimental lambs. However on all except 2 occasions in the early part of the trial, the mean tracer worm burdens were significantly lower (P < 0.05) and the experimental lambs grew significantly better (P = 0.054) in the Fungus Group. Rainfall at Chalok farm during the course of the trial was also below average. As a consequence infectivity of pastures was assumed to be relatively low based on faecal egg counts (epg) of the experimental sheep, which following an anthelmintic treatment prior to allocation, remained very low in both treatment groups. Faecal egg counts of undosed replacement lambs in the latter half of the Chalok study, showed a progressive increase in the Control Group to levels exceeding 3000 epg, whereas the Fungus Group remained static at approximately 500 epg. These results show that the deployment of the nematophagous fungus, D. flagrans, can improve the level of parasite control of sheep in the tropics above that which can be achieved by the short-term rotational grazing strategy alone.
Control of nematode parasites of small ruminants in a wet, tropical environment using the nematophagous fungus, Duddingtonia flagrans, was assessed in this study. Two methods of fungal delivery were tested, namely as a daily feed supplement, or incorporated into feed blocks. Initially, pen trials were conducted with individually penned groups of sheep and goats at dose rates of 125,000 spores and 250,000 spores/kg live weight per day. At the lower dose rate this reduction was between 80 and 90% compared with the pre-treatment levels. At the higher dose rate, there was virtually complete suppression (>99% reduction) of larval recovery. Trials using the fungal feed blocks, showed that when animals were individually penned, they consumed only small amounts of the block (particularly goats), hence little effect on larval recovery in faecal cultures was observed. Grouping animals according to species and dose rate induced satisfactory block consumption and subsequent high levels of larval reduction in faecal cultures. These larval reductions were mirrored by the presence of fungus in faecal cultures. This work was followed by a small paddock trial, whereby three groups of sheep were fed either a feed supplement without fungal spores, supplement with spores, or offered fungal blocks. The dose rate of spores in the latter two groups was 500,000 spores/kg live weight per day. Egg counts were significantly reduced in the two fungal groups, compared with the control group and the latter required two salvage anthelmintic treatments to prevent mortality due to haemonchosis. Pasture larval numbers on the two fungal group plots were also much lower than on the control plot.
Parasitic nematodes are among the most common and economically important infectious diseases of grazing livestock, especially in small ruminants in the tropics and subtropics in Kenya the control of gastrointestinal nematode infections in sheep and goats is usually made with synthetic anthelmintics but substantial levels of anthelmintic resistance have been recorded. A number of medicinal plants, that may provide possible alternatives, and are used by pastoralists and smallholder farmers in Kenya as deworming agents for their livestock and equines, namely Aframomum sanguineum, Dodonea angustifolia, Hildebrandtia sepalosa, Myrsine africana, Rapanea melanophloeos from Kenya, and Azadirachta indica from Kenya and Malaysia, together with the chemicals embelin and santonin that occur in some of these plants, were evaluated against Heligmosomoides polygyrus in mice. Commercial anthelmintics, namely ivermectin, pyrantel and piperazine, were also investigated, both to validate the mouse model system and to assess efficacy of these drugs against H. polygyrus. Pyrantel and ivermectin were highly effective in reducing the numbers of H. polygyrus worms as well as eggs in faeces of the mice, but piperazine had a lower activity. Application of santonin and M. africana significantly reduced the number of total worm counts (TWC) but not faecal egg counts (FEC). The use of embelin, R. melanophloeos and A. indica reduced FEC but not TWC. In all cases, however, reductions were well below the a priori level of 70% required for biological significance. A. sanguineum, D. angustifolia and H. sepalosa had no effect on either TWC or FEC. In conclusion, none of the plant preparations had any biologically significant anthelmintic effect in this monogastric host-parasite model system.
Coccidial infections were studied in goats in the state of Selangor (peninsular Malaysia) during a 12-month period. The study included 10 smallholder farms on which kids were monitored for faecal oocyst counts from birth until 1-year old. Eimeria oocysts were found in 725 (89%) of 815 faecal samples examined. Nine species of Eimeria were identified. The most prevalent were E. arloingi, found in 71% of the samples, E. ninakohlyakimovae (67%), E. christenseni (63%) and E. alijevi (61%). The other species found were, E. hirci, E. jolchijevi, E. caprovina, E. caprina and E. pallida, present in 34, 22, 12, 9 and 4% of the samples, respectively. Oocyst counts were significantly higher in animals of less than 4-months old (P < 0.05). High oocyst counts were mainly caused by non-pathogenic species. Poor hygienic conditions were found to be associated with a higher intensity of coccidial infections. Mortality rates in kids could not be related to the intensity of coccidial infections.
Classification of Theileria parasites of south-east Asian countries is still ambiguous due to the lack of basic studies, especially their molecular genetic information. In this study, we included 6 known species and 14 unclassified Theileria parasite isolates: Theileria annulata, Theileria parva, Theileria taurotragi, Theileria sergenti, Theileria buffeli, Theileria types Sable, Theileria types A, B, B1, B2, C, D, E, F, G, G1, Theileria type Medan (Indonesia), Theileria type Ipoh (Malaysia) and Theileria type Thong Song (Thailand). Small subunit ribosomal RNA (srRNA) nucleotide sequence data were collected by PCR, cloning and dideoxy sequencing. The srRNA nucleotide sequences were aligned and analyzed by distance methods, maximum parsimony algorithms and maximum likelihood methods to construct phylogenetic trees. Bootstrap analysis was used to test the strength of the different phylogenetic reconstructions. The data indicated that all of the tree-building methods gave very similar results. This study identified two groups of Theileria, the pathogenic and benign groups, which are strongly supported by bootstrap analysis. The analysis also indicated that three subgroups (A, B and C) were generated within the benign Theileria group whereas the classification of Theileria type D and Thong Song is questionable. However, more basic information such as life cycle differences, vectors, modes of transmission, virulent and genetic/sexual compatability is essential for clearer taxonomic definition of the benign Theileria parasites.
The faecal egg count reduction test (FECRT) was conducted on 39 sheep farms and 9 goat farms located in Peninsular Malaysia. The anthelmintic groups used in these tests were the benzimidazoles, levamisole, the benzimidazole/levamisole combination, macrocyclic lactones and closantel. Results indicated that the prevalence of resistance to the benzimidazole group was high, with approximately 50% of the sheep farms and 75% of the goat farms having resistant nematode parasite populations present. Resistance to levamisole, closantel and ivermectin was also detected. Differentiation of the infective larvae derived from faecal cultures indicated that by far the most predominant parasite species was Haemonchus contortus.
Two laboratory trials were conducted to determine the effect of the addition of spores (conidia) of the nematophagous fungus, Arthrobotrys oligospora, on the development of the ruminant parasite, Strongyloides papillosus, in cultures of bovine faeces. Both studies showed that at a concentration of 2000 conidia/g faeces virtually eliminated infective larvae (> 99% reduction), following 14 days incubation under ideal conditions (25 degrees C and saturated humidity) for free-living development of this parasite species. In one trial, a high level of control was also observed at a 10-fold decrease in conidia concentration (200 spores/g faeces). This work has demonstrated, in principle, that A. oligospora could provide a practical biological control agent against S. papillosus infecting intensively raised young ruminants in the humid tropics/subtropics.