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Prevalence of Anaplasma phagocytophilum infection and effect on lamb growth

Grøva, Lise; Olesen, Ingrid; Steinshamn, Håvard and Stuen , Snorre (2011) Prevalence of Anaplasma phagocytophilum infection and effect on lamb growth. Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica, 53 (30), pp. 1-7.

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Document available online at: http://www.biomedcentral.com/content/pdf/1751-0147-53-30.pdf


Background: A major challenge in sheep farming during the grazing season along the coast of south-western
Norway is tick-borne fever (TBF) caused by the bacteria Anaplasma phagocytophilum that is transmitted by the tick
Ixodes ricinus.
Methods: A study was carried out in 2007 and 2008 to examine the prevalence of A. phagocytophilum infection
and effect on weaning weight in lambs. The study included 1208 lambs from farms in Sunndal Ram Circle in Møre
and Romsdal County in Mid-Norway, where ticks are frequently observed. All lambs were blood sampled and
serum was analyzed by an indirect fluorescent antibody assay (IFA) to determine an antibody status (positive or
negative) to A. phagocytophilum infection. Weight and weight gain and possible effect of infection were analyzed
using ANOVA and the MIXED procedure in SAS.
Results: The overall prevalence of infection with A. phagocytophilum was 55%. A lower weaning weight of 3%
(1.34 kg, p < 0.01) was estimated in lambs seropositive to an A. phagocytophilum infection compared to
seronegative lambs at an average age of 137 days.
Conclusions: The results show that A. phagocytophilum infection has an effect on lamb weight gain. The study
also support previous findings that A. phagocytophilum infection is widespread in areas where ticks are prevalent,
even in flocks treated prophylactic with acaricides.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:SWATICK, sheep, animal health, grazing, ticks
Subjects: Animal husbandry
Animal husbandry > Production systems > Sheep and goats
Animal husbandry > Health and welfare
Research affiliation: Norway
Norway > Nofima (formerly Matforsk)
Norway > NMBU - Norwegian University of Life Sciences
Norway > Bioforsk - Norwegian Institute for Agriculture and Environmental Research > Bioforsk Organic Food and Farming Division
Norway > NVH - Norwegian School of Veterinary Science
Deposited By: Grøva, Lise
ID Code:19866
Deposited On:05 Dec 2011 15:46
Last Modified:05 Dec 2011 15:46
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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