Tag Archives: Small Ruminants

Goats could increase the risk of a rare lung cancer

Exposure to goats could increase the risk of a certain type of lung cancer, according to French researchers. The study, presented at the European Respiratory Society’s Annual Congress in Amsterdam, has linked a professional exposure to goats with a distinct subset of lung cancer, known as pneumonic-type lung adenocarcinoma (P-ADC). This form of lung cancer […]

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‘Goat Plague’ threat to global food security and economy must be tackled, experts warn

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“Goat plague,” or peste des petits ruminants (PPR), is threatening global food security and poverty alleviation in the developing world, say leading veterinarians and animal health experts in this week’s Veterinary Record. They call on the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) to turn their attention now […]

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Experimental oral transmission of atypical scrapie to sheep

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To investigate the possibility of oral transmission of atypical scrapie in sheep and determine the distribution of infectivity in the animals’ peripheral tissues, we challenged neonatal lambs orally with atypical scrapie; they were then killed at 12 or 24 months. Screening test results were negative for disease-specific prion protein in all but 2 recipients; they […]

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Novel bluetongue virus serotype from Kuwait

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Sheep and goats sampled in Kuwait during February 2010 were seropositive for bluetongue virus (BTV). BTV isolate KUW2010/02, from 1 of only 2 sheep that also tested positive for BTV by real-time reverse transcription–PCR, caused mild clinical signs in sheep. Nucleotide sequencing identified KUW2010/02 as a novel BTV serotype. Bluetongue virus (BTV) infects ruminants, camelids, […]

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Molecular epidemiology of Coxiella burnetii from ruminants in Q fever outbreak, the Netherlands

Q fever is a zoonosis caused by the bacterium Coxiella burnetii. One of the largest reported outbreaks of Q fever in humans occurred in the Netherlands starting in 2007; epidemiologic investigations identified small ruminants as the source. To determine the genetic background of C. burnetii in domestic ruminants responsible for the human Q fever outbreak, […]

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Molecular discrimination of sheep bovine spongiform encephalopathy from scrapie

Sheep CH1641-like transmissible spongiform encephalopathy isolates have shown molecular similarities to bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) isolates. We report that the prion protein PrPSc from sheep BSE is extremely resistant to denaturation. This feature, combined with the N-terminal PrPSc cleavage, allowed differentiation of classical scrapie, including CH1641-like, from natural goat BSE and experimental sheep BSE. Prion […]

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The sharpest mind in the farmyard

When we look for examples of intelligent animals, certain species always leap to mind. Ourselves of course, and our close relatives the chimpanzees and other primates. Perhaps the cunning corvids – crows and scrub jays – with their prodigious memories and talent for deception. Dolphins and whales are pretty bright. Many would even agree that […]

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Prion disease spreads in sheep via mother’s milk

Transmission of prion brain diseases such as bovine spongiform enecephalopathy (BSE) — also known as mad cow disease — and human variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) is generally attributed to the consumption of the brain or organ meat of infected animals but new research demonstrates lambs exposed to milk from prion-infected sheep with inflamed mammary glands […]

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Molecular typing of protease-resistant prion protein in transmissible spongiform encephalopathies of small ruminants, France, 2002–2009

The agent that causes bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) may be infecting small ruminants, which could have serious implications for human health. To distinguish BSE from scrapie and to examine the molecular characteristics of the protease-resistant prion protein (PrPres), we used a specifically designed Western blot method to test isolates from 648 sheep and 53 goats. […]

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Zoonotic cryptosporidiosis from petting farms, England and Wales

Visits to petting farms in England and Wales recently have increased in popularity. Petting farms are commercial operations at which visitors, mainly families and organized groups, are encouraged to have hands-on contact with animals. The ≈1,000 petting farms in the United Kingdom collectively receive >2 million visitors per year, with peak visitor times during school […]

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Wild Scottish sheep could help explain differences in immunity

An 11-year study of a population of wild sheep located on a remote island off the coast of Scotland that gauged the animals’ susceptibility to infection may give new insight into why some people get sicker than others when exposed to the same illness. The answer to this medical puzzle may lie in deep-rooted differences […]

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Eye test for neurological diseases in livestock developed

The eyes of sheep infected with scrapie — a neurological disorder similar to mad cow disease — return an intense, almost-white glow when they’re hit with blue excitation light, according to a research project led by Iowa State University’s Jacob Petrich. The findings suggest technologies and techniques can be developed to quickly and noninvasively test […]

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Severe pneumonia outbreak kills bighorn sheep

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Wildlife officials worry an unusually aggressive pneumonia outbreak will result in stagnation in affected bighorn sheep populations. Wildlife officials say an outbreak of bacterial pneumonia killing bighorn sheep herds in five Western states is without precedent. Every year, a small number of bighorn sheep succumb to pneumonia, but this winter Montana, Washington, Utah, Wyoming, and […]

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New test may help address costly parasite in sheep industry

Researchers at Oregon State University and the University of Georgia have developed an improved, more efficient method to test for the most serious of the parasitic worms in sheep, a problem that causes hundreds of millions of dollars in losses every year to the global sheep and wool industry. This technology is now available, and […]

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Genetic characterization of foot-and-mouth disease viruses, Ethiopia, 1981–2007

Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is endemic to sub-Saharan Africa. To further understand its complex epidemiology, which involves multiple virus serotypes and host species, we characterized the viruses recovered from FMD outbreaks in Ethiopia during 1981–2007. We detected 5 of the 7 FMDV serotypes (O, A, C, Southern African Territories [SAT] 1, and SAT 2). Serotype O […]

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Mary had a lot of lambs: Researchers identify way to accelerate sheep breeding

Mary had a little lamb, but only once a year. However, Cornell Sheep Program researchers have discovered an unusual form of a gene that prompts ewes to breed out of season as well as conceive at younger ages and more frequently. They conducted a simple genetic test to identify the presence of the unusual form […]

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Secret of Scotland’s shrinking sheep solved

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Call it the case of the shrinking sheep. On the remote Scottish island of Hirta, sheep have been getting smaller, shrinking an average of 5% over the last 24 years. Don’t blame evolution, though. Researchers say climate change is the real culprit. The Hirta sheep belong to a breed known as Soay, after the remote […]

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Possible basis of memories for different smells uncovered

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Ben W. Strowbridge, Ph.D, associate professor of Neuroscience and Physiology/Biophysics, and Yuan Gao, a Ph.D. student in the neurosciences program at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, are the first to discover a form of synaptic memory in the olfactory bulb, the part of the brain that processes the sense of smell. Their study, […]

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Closing in on goat scrapie

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Goats are tough, spirited animals, but they’re no match for scrapie, a form of transmissible spongiform encephalopathy. Now, with a “helping hand” from science, the animals’ plight could take a turn for the better. Toward that end, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists and their collaborators have developed a live-animal test to detect scrapie in goats. […]

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FDA planning to ban cattle brains, spinal cords from all animal feed

Federal authorities (USA) are accepting comments on a planned regulation that would prohibit use of some cattle tissues in all animal feeds by late April. The regulation published by the Food and Drug Administration is intended to reduce the risk of transmission of bovine spongiform encephalopathy by prohibiting use of brains and spinal cords from […]

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Old sheep raising the population growth

Populations of wild animals face the challenge of surviving in a changing climate. Researchers at Imperial College London and Université Claude Bernard Lyon have shown how a sheep population on a remote island off the west coast of Scotland responds to two consequences of climate change: altered food availability and the unpredictability of winter storms. […]

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Resistant prions: Can they be transmitted by environment as well as direct contact?

Prions, the pathogens that cause scrapie in sheep, can survive in the ground for several years, as researchers have discovered. Animals can become infected via contaminated pastures. It is not yet known whether the pathogens that cause BSE and CWD are equally resistant. A flock of sheep at pasture – a seemingly idyllic scene. But […]

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Bluetongue spreads despite vaccinations

Bluetongue is back. It has survived another winter in northern Europe, and now farmers are vaccinating livestock in a race against the biting midges that carry the virus. The first cases of the disease, which affects ruminants, began to surface this month, with France so far reporting 260. Most are located along the front line […]

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Genetic basis for the black sheep of the family

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Coat color of wild and domestic animals is a critical trait that has significant biological and economic impact. Researchers have now identified the genetic basis for black coat color, and white, in a breed of domestic sheep. In the wild, mammalian coat color is essential for camouflage and plays a role in social behavior. Coat […]

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Sheep’s sex determined by diet prior to pregnancy

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Maternal diet influences the chances of having male or female offspring. New research has demonstrated that ewes fed a diet enriched with polyunsaturated fats for one month prior to conception have a significantly higher chance of giving birth to male offspring. This study was carried out by a team of researchers from the Division of […]

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Secret of Scottish sheep evolution discovered

Researchers from the University of Sheffield, as part of an international team, have discovered the secret of why dark sheep on a remote Scottish Island are mysteriously declining, seemingly contradicting Darwin’s evolutionary theory. Dr Jacob Gratten and Dr Jon Slate, from the University’s Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, led the team, which found that […]

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Vaginal insemination for ewe

The effect of different thawing procedures for ram semen frozen in mini tubes and mini straws on the fertility of sheep was tested in a field trial. Altogether, 719 Norwegian Crossbred ewes, aged between six months and six-and-a-half years from 8 farms, were inseminated vaginally in natural oestrus with frozen-thawed semen. Mini tubes were thawed […]

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New strategy to create genetically-modified large animals

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine have demonstrated the potential of a new strategy for genetic modification of large animals. The method employs a harmless gene therapy virus that transfers a genetic modification to male reproductive cells, which is then passed naturally on to offspring. Ina Dobrinski, associate professor and director […]

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Calls for vaccination against bluetongue disease

A vaccine is available for the deadly animal virus that has been rampaging across northern Europe, and was reported for the first time in the UK last week. On Wednesday, agriculture ministers from the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Germany will ask the EU to approve widespread vaccination. But to stop a bigger outbreak next year, […]

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Manganese levels increase in scrapie-infected sheep before clinical symptoms develop

Sheep infected with scrapie and cows infected with BSE have elevated levels of manganese in their blood before clinical symptoms appear, according to new research. The findings, published in the Journal of Animal Science, also show that scrapie-resistant sheep produce elevated levels of the metal when “challenged” with the disease. This suggests that elevated manganese […]

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