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Equine cestodosis: a sero-epidemiological study of Anoplocephala perfoliata infection in Ethiopia

Abstract

A 12/13 kDa antigen, tapeworm ELISA test, developed for use in horses, was used to detect parasite-specific serum antibody, IgG(T), in the serum of donkeys. In a pilot study the 12/13 kDa antigen was tested and proved to detect the antibody, IgG(T), in donkey sera. Blood samples from 797 donkeys, naturally exposed to cestode infection, from four geographical localities were collected and sera were prepared and analysed. There was substantial serological evidence that donkeys were potentially infected with A. perfoliata. A range of ELISA OD values were obtained from the serological assay. Over 26% and 7.5% of the donkeys were moderately and highly infected, respectively, showing at least a 34% sero-prevalence. The rest, 66.1%, were either with low infection intensity or negative for A. perfoliata infection. The risk of infections, both in sero-prevalence and intensity, as determined by ELISA optical density (OD), were highest in the highland areas of Ethiopia where pastures are low-lying and wet, and permanent pasture management is regularly practised. Sex, age and body condition of the donkeys had no significant effect either on prevalence of the infection or on the serum antibody level. These results indicate a risk of intestinal disorders, particularly, colic, associated with A. perfoliata infection in donkeys.

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Acknowledgement

The work was generously funded by The Donkey Sanctuary, UK. We are grateful to Almaz Sharew of the National Veterinary Institute (NVI) and staff of the Donkey Sanctuary in Ethiopia for their support during data collection and laboratory works. The schools of veterinary medicine of Glasgow and Addis Ababa Universities and the faculty of veterinary medicine of Liverpool University are highly acknowledged for facilitating this study.

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The authors have no conflict of interest.

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Correspondence to A. M. Getachew.

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Getachew, A.M., Innocent, G., Proudman, C.J. et al. Equine cestodosis: a sero-epidemiological study of Anoplocephala perfoliata infection in Ethiopia. Vet Res Commun 36, 93–98 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11259-012-9516-z

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11259-012-9516-z

Keywords

  • Anoplocephala perfoliata-cestoda
  • Equine-donkey
  • ELISA
  • Epidemiology