Emerging animal and zoonotic diseases and increasing international trade have resulted in an increased demand for veterinary surveillance systems. However, human and financial resources available to support government veterinary services are becoming more and more limited in many countries world-wide. Intuitively, issues that present higher risks merit higher priority for surveillance resources as investments will yield higher benefit-cost ratios. The rapid rate of acceptance of this core concept of risk-based surveillance has outpaced the development of its theoretical and practical bases.
The principal objectives of risk-based veterinary surveillance are to identify surveillance needs to protect the health of livestock and consumers, to set priorities, and to allocate resources effectively and efficiently. An important goal is to achieve a higher benefit-cost ratio with existing or reduced resources. We propose to define risk-based surveillance systems as those that apply risk assessment methods in different steps of traditional surveillance design for early detection and management of diseases or hazards. In risk-based designs, public health, economic and trade consequences of diseases play an important role in selection of diseases or hazards. Furthermore, certain strata of the population of interest have a higher probability to be sampled for detection of diseases or hazards. Evaluation of risk-based surveillance systems shall prove that the efficacy of risk-based systems is equal or higher than traditional systems; however, the efficiency (benefit-cost ratio) shall be higher in risk-based surveillance systems.
Risk-based surveillance considerations are useful to support both strategic and operational decision making. This article highlights applications of risk-based surveillance systems in the veterinary field including food safety. Examples are provided for risk-based hazard selection, risk-based selection of sampling strata as well as sample size calculation based on risk considerations.
Increasing resistance to antimicrobial agents is of growing concern to public health officials worldwide. The concern includes infections acquired in hospitals, community infections acquired in outpatient care settings, and resistant foodborne disease associated with drug use in food-producing animals. In the United States, a significant source of antimicrobial-resistant foodborne infections in humans is the acquisition of resistant bacteria originating from animals. The US Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) goal in resolving the public health impact arising from the use of antimicrobial drugs in food-producing animals is to ensure that significant human antimicrobial therapies are not compromised or lost while providing for the safe use of antimicrobials in food animals. The FDA's approach to the problem is multipronged and innovative. The strategy includes revision of the pre-approval safety assessment for new animal drug applications, use of risk assessment to determine the human health effect resulting from the use of antimicrobials in food animals, robust monitoring for changes in susceptibilities among foodborne pathogens to drugs that are important both in human and veterinary medicine, research, and risk management.
Antimicrobial resistance; animal drugs; foodborne disease; veterinary medicine
Workforce development strategies to educate, inform, and diversify the veterinary profession of the future must begin with children in elementary school. This manuscript provides a description of the Fat Dogs and Coughing Horses program, which takes a multifaceted approach toward informing young students, beginning in first grade, about the interesting work and career opportunities available in the field of veterinary medicine. The program, a collaboration among Purdue University and Indiana public schools, is supported by a Science Education Partnership Award from the Office of Research Infrastructure Programs, a component of the National Institutes of Health. The overall goal of the program is to provide formal and informal educational opportunities for students, parents, teachers, and the public about the science involved in keeping people and their animals healthy. Examples of health concerns that impact both people and their pets are used to inform and excite children about careers in the health sciences. The program resulted in (1) curricula for students in grades 1–3, 6, and 9; (2) four children’s books and a set of collectible cards which highlight veterinarians, veterinary technicians, and research scientists who work with animals; and, (3) four traveling museum-grade exhibits. Preliminary assessment data has shown that the implementation of the curricula enhanced student science learning, and science attitudes and interests. The program provides evidence that partnerships among professionals in veterinary medicine and K-12 education can result in impactful workforce development programs.
Workforce development; K-12 education; veterinary medicine; curricula; traveling exhibit; children’s books
The threat of bioterrorism and emerging infectious diseases has prompted various public health agencies to recommend enhanced surveillance activities to supplement existing surveillance plans. The majority of emerging infectious diseases and bioterrorist agents are zoonotic. Animals are more sensitive to certain biological agents, and their use as clinical sentinels, as a means of early detection, is warranted.
This article provides design methods for a local integrated zoonotic surveillance plan and materials developed for veterinarians to assist in the early detection of bioevents. Zoonotic surveillance in the U.S. is currently too limited and compartmentalized for broader public health objectives. To rapidly detect and respond to bioevents, collaboration and cooperation among various agencies at the federal, state, and local levels must be enhanced and maintained. Co-analysis of animal and human diseases may facilitate the response to infectious disease events and limit morbidity and mortality in both animal and human populations.
The objective of this brief article is to provide an overview of some of the important harmonization efforts that are currently under way within the animal health community. Topics include: scientific networks and interdisciplinary communication: organizations that address animal-related public health concerns; the role of the veterinary pharmaceutical scientist within human health-oriented professional organizations; recent publications pertaining to veterinary pharmacology, pharmaceutics and therapeutics; and the role of global networking in veterinary product research and development.
communication; globalization; veterinary medicine
Greater collaboration is needed between human and veterinary medicine to better control zoonoses.
Many of the emerging infectious diseases, including those caused by bioterrorist agents, are zoonoses. Since zoonoses can infect both animals and humans, the medical and veterinary communities should work closely together in clinical, public health, and research settings. In the clinical setting, input from both professions would improve assessments of the risk-benefit ratios of pet ownership, particularly for pet owners who are immunocompromised. In public health, human and animal disease surveillance systems are important in tracking and controlling zoonoses such as avian influenza virus, West Nile virus, and foodborne pathogens. Comparative medicine is the study of disease processes across species, including humans. Physician and veterinarian comparative medicine research teams should be promoted and encouraged to study zoonotic agent-host interactions. These efforts would increase our understanding of how zoonoses expand their host range and would, ultimately, improve prevention and control strategies.
Zoonosis; veterinarians; physicians; perspective
Results of analyses based on veterinary records of animal disease may be prone to variation and bias, because data collection for these registers relies on different observers in different settings as well as different treatment criteria. Understanding the human influence on data collection and the decisions related to this process may help veterinary and agricultural scientists motivate observers (veterinarians and farmers) to work more systematically, which may improve data quality. This study investigates qualitative relations between two types of records: 1) 'diagnostic data' as recordings of metritis scores and 2) 'intervention data' as recordings of medical treatment for metritis and the potential influence on quality of the data.
The study is based on observations in veterinary dairy practice combined with semi-structured research interviews of veterinarians working within a herd health concept where metritis diagnosis was described in detail. The observations and interviews were analysed by qualitative research methods to describe differences in the veterinarians' perceptions of metritis diagnosis (scores) and their own decisions related to diagnosis, treatment, and recording.
The analysis demonstrates how data quality can be affected during the diagnostic procedures, as interaction occurs between diagnostics and decisions about medical treatments. Important findings were when scores lacked consistency within and between observers (variation) and when scores were adjusted to the treatment decision already made by the veterinarian (bias). The study further demonstrates that veterinarians made their decisions at 3 different levels of focus (cow, farm, population). Data quality was influenced by the veterinarians' perceptions of collection procedures, decision making and their different motivations to collect data systematically.
Both variation and bias were introduced into the data because of veterinarians' different perceptions of and motivations for decision making. Acknowledgement of these findings by researchers, educational institutions and veterinarians in practice may stimulate an effort to improve the quality of field data, as well as raise awareness about the importance of including knowledge about human perceptions when interpreting studies based on field data. Both recognitions may increase the usefulness of both within-herd and between-herd epidemiological analyses.
This paper analyses how the changing governance of animal health has impacted upon veterinary expertise and its role in providing public health benefits. It argues that the social sciences can play an important role in understanding the nature of these changes, but also that their ideas and methods are, in part, responsible for them. The paper begins by examining how veterinary expertise came to be crucial to the regulation of the food chain in the twentieth century. The relationship between the veterinary profession and the state proved mutually beneficial, allowing the state to address the problems of animal health, and the veterinary profession to become identified as central to public health and food supply. However, this relationship has been gradually eroded by the application of neoliberal management techniques to the governance of animal health. This paper traces the impact of these techniques that have caused widespread unease within and beyond the veterinary profession about the consequences for its role in maintaining the public good of animal health. In conclusion, this paper suggests that the development of the social sciences in relation to animal health could contribute more helpfully to further changes in veterinary expertise.
veterinary expertise; neoliberalism; animal disease; governance; regulation
Recent focus on earlier detection of pathogen introduction in human and animal populations has led to the development of surveillance systems based on automated monitoring of health data. Real- or near real-time monitoring of pre-diagnostic data requires automated classification of records into syndromes–syndromic surveillance–using algorithms that incorporate medical knowledge in a reliable and efficient way, while remaining comprehensible to end users.
This paper describes the application of two of machine learning (Naïve Bayes and Decision Trees) and rule-based methods to extract syndromic information from laboratory test requests submitted to a veterinary diagnostic laboratory.
High performance (F1-macro = 0.9995) was achieved through the use of a rule-based syndrome classifier, based on rule induction followed by manual modification during the construction phase, which also resulted in clear interpretability of the resulting classification process. An unmodified rule induction algorithm achieved an F1-micro score of 0.979 though this fell to 0.677 when performance for individual classes was averaged in an unweighted manner (F1-macro), due to the fact that the algorithm failed to learn 3 of the 16 classes from the training set. Decision Trees showed equal interpretability to the rule-based approaches, but achieved an F1-micro score of 0.923 (falling to 0.311 when classes are given equal weight). A Naïve Bayes classifier learned all classes and achieved high performance (F1-micro = 0.994 and F1-macro = .955), however the classification process is not transparent to the domain experts.
The use of a manually customised rule set allowed for the development of a system for classification of laboratory tests into syndromic groups with very high performance, and high interpretability by the domain experts. Further research is required to develop internal validation rules in order to establish automated methods to update model rules without user input.
Welcome to the first issue of Thyroid Research, a new journal published by BioMed Central, which aims at providing a platform for both researchers and clinicians to discuss a broad spectrum of thyroidology and related issues. These include physiological mechanisms of thyroid hormone action, secretory regulations, immunological and genetic aspects and, finally, news and information on state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment and treatment protocols for more effective management of thyroid disorders.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended the evaluation of food additives at the international level through the establishment of an expert committee or committees. These committees evaluated the safety of food additives present as residues resulting from the use of pesticides or veterinary pharmaceuticals. The results of these meetings include international harmonization on acceptable daily intake of these compounds and the maximum residue limit that is permitted to be present within any food of animal or plant origin. The decisions rendered by these committees provide a key element in the elimination of international trade barriers associated with products intended for human consumption.
human food safety; international harmonization, maximum residue limit; acceptable daily intake; World Health Organization; Codex Alimentarius; JECFA
The workshop “Pharmacogenetics in Individualized Medicine: Methods, Regulatory, and Clinical Applications” was held November 15–16, 2008 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. This workshop provided an opportunity for pharmaceutical scientists, clinical practitioners, clinical laboratory scientists, and FDA to discuss methods, regulatory, and the application of pharmacogenetics in clinical practice and drug discovery. Key highlights of the workshop were: (a) the use of genetic information in individualized medicine has significant potential in advancing drug development and human health by optimizing drug response, drug efficacy, and preventing adverse drug reactions; (b) various barriers exist preventing the advance of the individualized medicine in the society, industry, and clinical practice; and (c) the barriers may be overcome by integrated approaches; the education of researchers, clinical practitioners, and patients and fostering interactive communication among stakeholders. By targeting the AAPS audience, this workshop was one step among many steps that AAPS–FIP is intending to take towards removing the barriers to widespread uptake of pharmacogenetics in drug discovery and clinical practice.
clinical pharmacology; drug discovery; drug metabolism; individualized medicine; pharmacogenetics; pharmacogenomics
Bibliographic data can be used to map the research quality and productivity of a discipline. We hypothesized that bibliographic data would identify geographic differences in research capacity, species specialization, and interdisciplinary relationships within the veterinary profession that corresponded with demographic and economic indices.
Using the SCImago portal, we retrieved veterinary journal, article, and citation data in the Scopus database by year (1996–2011), region, country, and publication in species-specific journals (food animal, small animal, equine, miscellaneous), as designated by Scopus. In 2011, Scopus indexed 165 journals in the veterinary subject area, an increase from 111 in 1996. As a percentage of veterinary research output between 1996 and 2010, Western Europe and North America (US and Canada) together accounted for 60.9% of articles and 73.0% of citations. The number of veterinary articles increased from 8815 in 1996 to 19,077 in 2010 (net increase 66.6%). During this time, publications increased by 21.0% in Asia, 17.2% in Western Europe, and 17.0% in Latin America, led by Brazil, China, India, and Turkey. The United States had the highest number of articles in species-specific journals. As a percentage of regional output, the proportion of articles in small animal and equine journals was highest in North America and the proportion of articles in food animal journals was highest in Africa. Based on principal component analysis, total articles were highly correlated with gross domestic product (based on World Bank data). The proportion of articles in small animal and equine journals was associated with gross national income, research and development, and % urban population, as opposed to the proportion of food animal articles, agricultural output, and % rural population. Co-citations linked veterinary medicine with medicine in the United States, with basic sciences in Eastern Europe and the Far East, and with agriculture in most other regions and countries.
Bibliographic data reflect the demographic changes affecting veterinary medicine worldwide and provide insight into current and changing global research capacity, specialization, and interdisciplinary affiliations. A more detailed analysis of species-specific trends is warranted and could contribute to a better understanding of educational and workforce needs in veterinary medicine.
Agriculture; Bibliometrics; Economics; Education; Journal; Medicine; Research publication
The i-Perception special issue Art & Perception is based on the Art & Perception Conference 2010 in Brussels. Our vision with this conference was to bring together artists and vision scientists from different backgrounds to exchange views and state-of-the-art knowledge on art perception and aesthetics. The complexity of the experience of art and of aesthetic phenomena, in general, calls for specific research approaches, for which interdisciplinarity seems to be key. Following this logic, the special issue Art & Perception contains contributions by artists and vision scientists with different methodological approaches. The contributions span a wide range of topics, but are all centred around two questions: How can one understand art perception and aesthetics from a psychological point of view, and how is this reflected in art itself?
This is a first description of the main ethnoveterinary features of the peasants in the Sierras de Córdoba. The aim of this study was to analyze the use of medicinal plants and other traditional therapeutic practices for healing domestic animals and cattle. Our particular goals were to: characterize veterinary ethnobotanical knowledge considering age, gender and role of the specialists; interpret the cultural features of the traditional local veterinary medicine and plant uses associated to it; compare the plants used in traditional veterinary medicine, with those used in human medicine in the same region.
Fieldwork was carried out as part of an ethnobotanic regional study where 64 informants were interviewed regarding medicinal plants used in veterinary medicine throughout 2001-2010. Based participant observation and open and semi-structured interviews we obtained information on the traditional practices of diagnosis and healing, focusing on the veterinary uses given to plants (part of the plant used, method of preparation and administration). Plants speciemens were collected with the informants and their vernacular and scientific names were registered in a database. Non-parametric statistic was used to evaluate differences in medicinal plant knowledge, use, and valorization by local people. A comparison between traditional veterinary medicine and previous human medicine studies developed in the region was performed by analyzing the percentages of common species and uses, and by considering Sorensen's Similarity Index.
A total of 127 medicinal uses were registered, corresponding to 70 species of plants belonging to 39 botanic families. Veterinary ethnobotanical knowledge was specialized, restricted, in general, to cattle breeders (mainly men) and to a less degree to healers, and was independent of the age of the interviewees. Native plants were mostly used as skin cicatrizants, disinfectants or for treating digestive disorders. Together with a vast repertoire of plant pharmacopoeia, the therapies also involve religious or ritualistic practices and other popular remedies that evidence the influence of traditional Hispanic-European knowledge. Although the traditional veterinary knowledge seems to be similar or else is inlcuded in the local human ethnomedicine, sharing a common group of plants, it has distinct traits originated by a constant assessment of new applications specifically destined to the treatment of animals.
Veterinary medicine is a fountain of relevant vernacular knowledge, a permanent source for testing new applications with valuable ethnobotanical interest. Knowledge on medicinal applications of native plants will allow future validations and tests for new homeopathic or phytotherapeutic preparations.
ethnoveterinary; ethnomedicine; breeders; healers; pharmacopoeia; sierras de Córdoba
This article analyzes some of the challenges that can arise when patent law is applied to the field of veterinary medicine. Topics covered in this article include an overview of the different kinds of inventions that can be patented in the veterinary field; a review of recent legal developments that may affect the patenting of veterinary pharmaceuticals; a discussion of some potential issues related to patents covering assays; and an identification of some special situations where the law affecting veterinary pharmaceuticals is actually different from the law affecting human pharmaceuticals.
animal health; intellectual property; patents; pharmaceuticals; veterinary medicine
Hospital-associated infections are an increasing cause of morbidity and mortality in veterinary patients. With the emergence of multi-drug resistant bacteria, these infections can be particularly difficult to eradicate. Sources of hospital-associated infections can include the patients own flora, medical staff and inanimate hospital objects. Cellular phones are becoming an invaluable feature of communication within hospitals, and since they are frequently handled by healthcare personnel, there may be a potential for contamination with various pathogens. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of contamination of cellular phones (hospital issued and personal) carried by personnel at the Ontario Veterinary College Health Sciences Centre with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus pseudintermedius (MRSP) and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
MRSP was isolated from 1.6% (2/123) and MRSA was isolated from 0.8% (1/123) of cellular phones. Only 21.9% (27/123) of participants in the study indicated that they routinely cleaned their cellular phone.
Cellular phones in a veterinary teaching hospital can harbour MRSP and MRSA, two opportunistic pathogens of significant concern. While the contamination rate was low, cellular phones could represent a potential source for infection of patients as well as infection of veterinary personnel and other people that might have contact with them. Regardless of the low incidence of contamination of cellular phones found in this study, a disinfection protocol for hospital-issued and personal cellular phones used in veterinary teaching hospitals should be in place to reduce the potential of cross-contamination.
Cellular phone; Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus; Veterinary; Contamination
Rapid reduction in natural resources as a consequence to the expanded urbanization, global warming and reduced natural habitat posed a considerable threat to the sustainability of traditional medicine. Being completely dependent upon natural resources like herbs, minerals and animal products, traditional medicine would possibly rank first in order of extinction of heritage if an alternative way is not considered well in time. In reference to the use of animal products, Ayurveda presents some unique examples where animals are used without causing harm to them and so without posing a threat to their existence. In the current context, when natural resources are facing a threat to their existence, a revisit to these ideas may give us a new insight to refine our look at natural resources used in traditional medicine.
This study was completed as part of a project for the Quality Assurance Agency on the enhancement theme of 'Research teaching linkages: enhancing graduate attributes' in the disciplines of Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Medicine. The aims of this investigation were to elucidate a list of desirable research related graduate attributes for the disciplines of Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Medicine and provide evidence as to how they could be covered within such curricula.
Semi structured interviews, symposium breakout sessions and conference workshops were used to define and rank attributes suggested by curricula design experts from the three disciplines. Students graduating from a BSc Medical Science degree program were surveyed to determine how well they felt the curriculum and associated final year project equipped them with the identified attributes.
A list of seven high level attributes which were desirable in graduates wishing to pursue either a professional or research career were identified. 105 students reported that a final year project was particularly effective at developing an understanding of the need to have an inquiring mind and critical appraisal skills whilst other components of their degree course covered team working skills, core knowledge and an understanding of ethics and governance.
This study identified desirable attributes from graduates from medical, dental and veterinary degree programs and provides evidence to support the case for student projects helping to achieve both clinical and research related graduate attributes in medical undergraduates. The project also provides a focus for debate amongst those involved in curriculum design as to whether the attributes identified are those desirable in their graduates and to examine their current curriculum to determine coverage.
Needlestick injuries are an inherent risk of handling needles during the course of veterinary practice. While significant effort has been expended to reduce needlestick injuries in human medicine, a relatively lax approach seems to be prevalent in veterinary medicine. It appears that needlestick injuries are very common among veterinary personnel and that serious adverse effects, while uncommon, do occur. Clients may also receive injuries in clinics during the course of animal restraint, and at home following prescription of injectable medications or fluids. Because of occupational health, personal health, and liability concerns, veterinary practices should review the measures they are taking to reduce the likelihood of needlestick injuries and develop written needlestick injury avoidance protocols.
A scientific conference and workshop was held March 2004 in Iowa City, Iowa, that brought together environmental scientists from North America and Europe to address major environmental health issues associated with concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) in large, industrialized livestock production facilities. After one and a half days of plenary sessions, five expert workgroups convened to consider the most relevant research areas, including respiratory health effects, modeling and monitoring of air toxics, water quality issues, influenza pandemics and antibiotic resistance, and community health and socioeconomic issues. The workgroup reports that follow outline the state of the science and public health concerns relating to livestock production as they apply to each workgroup topic. The reports also identify areas in which further research is needed and suggest opportunities to translate science to policy initiatives that would effect improvements in public and environmental health. Viable solutions to some of the current environmental health problems associated with CAFOs are outlined. In addition, these reports bring to light several major concerns, including air and water contamination, the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in livestock, and the specter of influenza outbreaks arising from siting industrialized poultry and swine production in proximity to each other and to humans.
air quality; animal confinements; antibiotic resistance; antimicrobial growth promotants; avian influenza; bioaerosols; livestock; poultry; swine; water quality
Our keynote addresses our main theme presenting three practical guides on integrated homecare (IHC) from the FP7-Homecare-project for patients suffering from stroke, Heart failure and COPD which together represent a fourth of the economic burden of disease and about every third deaths in the industrialized world. Our fourth keynote exemplifies good organization of integrated care by the German Kinzigtal-project. These themes are expanded in a number of other sessions and posters by other scientists demonstrating a good resonance in the scientific community. After INIC11 we may be close to the ‘critical mass’ of research required to expect a breakthrough in implementation!
The broader profile of INIC is continued by a series of other excellent contributions i.e.:
Effective collaborative care for depression and anxiety reported by a team from the Netherlands.Special sessions on Telerehabilitation and ‘Social Care Informatics’ present a series of good evidence and strategies on the use of tele-facilities within a framework where the collaborative integration of care—and not IT itself—is the main focus.A workshop on ‘Integrated oncology pathways’ is a joint Danish-Dutch venture.Also, we look forward to present a series of exciting virtual study trips to IC in San Marino (hosting INIC12), Germany, UK, Spain, Portugal, Finland and Italy.The Dutch contribution is as always impressive at INIC11. Participants from many countries may look forward to learn about the results from recent developments in the Dutch system of finance of integrated care to large groups with chronic conditions.Other sessions present specific projects funded by EU. These presentations are followed by a panel discussion on the finance of IC at the final part of INIC11.This year we have had a series of abstracts from projects with clearcut findings or experimental designs opted for poster presentation. The poster section comprises about 30 presentations.For more years experienced IC-scientists including Gus Schrijvers and Nick Goodwin have prepared a special initiative for PhD-students to improve the long-term competencies in the field of IC. We are proud to announce that INIC11 launches a special stream of sessions termed ‘IC-University for PhD-students’ with a focus on methodological issues.
Also, we would like to draw your attention to the cultural richness of the town of Odense and the whole region of Funen if you have the opportunity to stay a few extra days.
Finally—but not least—I would like to thank Guus, Clarine and Marianne for a wonderful collaboration during the practical preparation of INIC11 and Helmut, Albert, Silvina, Jeroen and Ilmo to complement us with the scientific program.
The present work addresses the use of zootherapy in folk veterinary medicine (ethnoveterinary) by the residents of the municipal district of Cubati, microregion of Seridó, Paraíba State, Brazil. It sought to identify the principal animals used as medicinal sources for zootherapeutics and to contribute to the preservation and sustainability of this traditional knowledge.
Field research was undertaken on a weekly or biweekly basis during the period November, 2006, to January, 2007. Free, semi-structured, and open interviews were made with local residents of the municipal district of Cubati (in both urban and rural settings) as well as with venders in public markets. A total of 25 individuals of both sexes were interviewed (with ages varying from 26 to 78 years) although only 16 were finally chosen as informants as these people demonstrated the greatest degree of knowledge concerning zootherapeutics. Graphs and percentages were generated using Microsoft© Excel 2007 software, and the species were identified by photographic registration and subsequent bibliographical surveys.
Mammals constitute the main medicinal zootherapeutic source for folk veterinary medicines in the studied area, both in terms of the total number of species used and the frequency of their citation. Sheep (Ovis aries), pigs (Sus scrofa), cattle (Bos taurus), and foxes (Cerdocyon thous) were mentioned by 62.5, 43.75, 37.5, and 31.25% of the informants, respectively, as being used in folk veterinary medicine. Additionally, chameleons (Iguana iguana), chickens (Gallus domesticus), and rattlesnakes (Crotalus durissus) were mentioned by 75, 43.75, and 31.25% of the informants, respectively. Relatively simple animal illnesses, such as furuncles, or injuries resulting from embedded thorns or skin eruptions are responsible for the largest number of zootherapeutic treatment, while, diseases of greater complexity, such as rabies and brucellosis, were not even mentioned. Fat from various animals constituted the most frequently cited resource used for its medicinal-veterinary properties.
The examination of folk knowledge and health practices allows a better understanding of human interactions with their local environment, and aids in the formulation of appropriate strategies for natural resource conservation.
Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (basonym M. paratuberculosis) is the etiologic agent of a severe gastroenteritis in ruminants known as Johne's disease. Economic losses to the cattle industry in the United States are staggering, reaching $1.5 billion annually. A potential pathogenic role in humans in the etiology of Crohn's disease is under investigation. In this article, we review the epidemiology, pathogenesis, diagnostics, and disease control measures of this important veterinary pathogen. We emphasize molecular genetic aspects including the description of markers used for strain identification, diagnostics, and phylogenetic analysis. Recent important advances in the development of animal models and genetic systems to study M. paratuberculosis virulence determinants are also discussed. We conclude with proposals for the applications of these models and recombinant technology to the development of diagnostic, control, and therapeutic measures.
This article traces the development of agricultural science at the Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute, near Pretoria, from its founding in 1908 until the 1950s, by which time many enzootic and epizootic diseases had either been eradicated, or were largely controllable through various forms of prophylaxis. The Institute demonstrated the political and economic significance attributed to the pastoral industry in South Africa and the conviction that scientific discoveries could increase output. During this period, researchers explicated the aetiology and provenance of hitherto mysterious diseases such as lamsiekte, geeldikkop and African horsesickness. They developed vaccines, some of which were adopted internationally. The nature of their investigations showed that veterinary science increasingly entailed more than just progress in biomedical procedures. Ecological factors, in particular the nutritional state of the veld, became a priority from the 1920s onwards as veterinarians saw their function as promoting animal health as well as eliminating disease. Dealing with contagious infections also incorporated less welcome, and at times controversial, approaches to disease control. The imposition of pastoral regulations illustrated the expanding powers of the South African state, founded on presumptions of scientific legitimacy. The article also explores the contribution made by African communities and settler farmers to the institutionalisation of veterinary knowledge, as well as the role South African researchers played in the evolution of a colonial, as well as an increasingly international, scientific culture.