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Grova L.,Norwegian Institute for Agricultural And Environmental Research Bioforsk | Grova L.,Norwegian University of Life Sciences | Olesen I.,Norwegian University of Life Sciences | Steinshamn H.,Norwegian Institute for Agricultural And Environmental Research Bioforsk | Stuen S.,Section for Small Ruminant Research
Small Ruminant Research | Year: 2013

Tick-borne fever (TBF) is caused by the bacterium Anaplasma phagocytophilum that is transmitted by the tick Ixodes ricinus, which is a major challenge in sheep farming along the coast of south-western Norway. Few efficient and sustainable preventive measures are available, but older lambs seem to be more susceptible than younger lambs to an A. phagocytophilum infection. A field experiment was carried out in 2008 and 2009 on two sheep farms with the breed Norwegian White Sheep (NWS). Three treatment groups of lambs on each farm and year were established: 1; lambs ≥3 weeks old when turned out to pasture and born in early spring, 2; lambs ≤1 week old when turned out to pasture and born in late spring, 3; lambs ≥3 weeks old when turned out to pasture and born in late spring. The study included a total of 337 lambs distributed to treatment group 1, 2 and 3 with 116, 111 and 110 lambs respectively. Recordings of tick-counts, rectal temperature, clinical symptoms and mortality together with weight, blood serology and blood smears were used to analyze the effect of age of lambs to a natural A. phagocytohpilum infection. Gompertz weight curve parameters were estimated for all lambs and were used to compare weight gain in lambs between the treatment groups. There were observations of tick-bites, clinical disease (including fever) and mortality, but no significant effect of lamb age to a natural A. phagocytophilum infection was detected. However, lambs infected with A. phagocytophilum in group 2 had higher (P<0.05) maximum spring growth rate (358. g/day) than infected lambs in group 1 (334. g/day) and group 3 (310. g/day). Further, lambs not infected with A. phagocytophilum showed no weight differences (P<0.05) between treatment group 2, compared to groups 1 and 3. Pasturing of ≤1 week old lambs on tick-infested pastures in tick endemic areas, can therefore be recommended to prevent weight loss due to an A. phagocytophilum infection. Note should however be taken on annual and seasonal variations in tick activity relative to lambing, different genetic variants of A. phagocytophilum involved and turnout time as these factors probably will influence the effect of pasturing young lambs. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Meling S.,Section for Small Ruminant Research | Kvalheim O.M.,University of Bergen | Kvalheim O.M.,Sogn og Fjordane University College | Arneberg R.,Innovation Norway | And 3 more authors.
BMC Research Notes | Year: 2013

Background: Classical scrapie in sheep is a fatal neurodegenerative disease associated with the conversion PrP§ssup§C§esup§ to PrP§ssup§Sc§esup§. Much is known about genetic susceptibility, uptake and dissemination of PrP§ssup§Sc§ esup§ in the body, but many aspects of prion diseases are still unknown. Different proteomic techniques have been used during the last decade to investigate differences in protein profiles between affected animals and healthy controls. We have investigated the protein profiles in serum of sheep with scrapie and healthy controls by SELDI-TOF-MS and LC-MS/MS. Latent Variable methods such as Principal Component Analysis, Partial Least Squares-Discriminant Analysis and Target Projection methods were used to describe the MS data. Results: The serum proteomic profiles showed variable differences between the groups both throughout the incubation period and at the clinical end stage of scrapie. At the end stage, the target projection model separated the two groups with a sensitivity of 97.8%, and serum amyloid A was identified as one of the protein peaks that differed significantly between the groups. Conclusions: At the clinical end stage of classical scrapie, ten SELDI peaks significantly discriminated the scrapie group from the healthy controls. During the non-clinical incubation period, individual SELDI peaks were differently expressed between the groups at different time points. Investigations of differences in -omic profiles can contribute to new insights into the underlying disease processes and pathways, and advance our understanding of prion diseases, but comparison and validation across laboratories is difficult and challenging. © 2013 Meling et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Ulvund M.J.,Section for Small Ruminant Research
Small Ruminant Research | Year: 2012

This paper reviews some key aspects of important flock health issues in Scandinavia/northern Europe. The number of sheep in Scandinavia/northern Europe and the sheep livestock trend are shortly summarized, and focus is made on sheep disease diagnostics and health records, disease and management, approach to flock problems, lamb loss, and some specific diseases not being dealt with by others; like toxoplasmosis, trace element deficiencies, plant poisoning (" alveld" ) and radioactivity problems. Although few notifiable sheep diseases and zoonoses occur in Scandinavia, numerous common diseases are causing welfare problems among sheep and economic loss to the farmer, and there is a lot to be gained by improved diagnostics and preventive work. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

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