SPANA UK

Brooke, United Kingdom
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Scantlebury C.E.,University Institute of Health Sciences | Zerfu A.,Addis Ababa Institute of Technology | Zerfu A.,Ethiopian Development Research Institute EDRI | Pinchbeck G.P.,University Institute of Health Sciences | And 5 more authors.
Preventive Veterinary Medicine | Year: 2015

Epizootic lymphangitis (EZL) is reported to have a significant impact upon livelihoods within resource-poor settings. This study used a participatory approach to explore peoples' experiences of EZL and examine the perceived impact of disease, owner knowledge and understanding of EZL, lay management of disease and, attitudes and strategies towards disease prevention.Focus-group discussions were held with 358 cart-horse owners and drivers recruited from 7 towns attended by SPANA (Society for the protection of animals abroad) mobile veterinary clinics and 2 unexposed towns where no SPANA clinics were available. Focus group discussions explored four main research questions: (1) Is EZL recognised by animal owners, and is this considered an important disease in equids? (2) What factors do animal owners associate with the development of disease? (3) What happens to an animal with clinical disease and how does this impact upon the owner/community? (4) Are measures taken to reduce disease occurrence? These key areas were explored using photographs, disease ranking, matrices and open discussion. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics and thematic analysis.The results are presented thematically and include: recognition and descriptions of EZL, treatment strategies used, disease priorities and ranking, impact of disease, disease transmission and attitudes and approaches to disease prevention.EZL was widely recognised and ranked highly as an important disease of equids. However, there was uncertainty around identifying early cases of EZL, and this could impact upon the timing of initiating treatment and separating potentially infectious animals. People had varying knowledge of effective methods for disease prevention and reported particular difficulties with isolating infected animals.The impact of EZL was multi-dimensional and encompassed effects upon the horse, the individual owner and the wider society. Working equids provide a vital utility and source of income to many people in resource-poor settings. Often, infection with EZL resulted in a reduction in working ability which had a direct impact upon the livelihoods of owners and their dependent family members. EZL also impacted upon the welfare of the horse as sick animals continued to be worked and, in advanced cases, horses were abandoned due to ineffective or unavailable treatment.This study conceptualises the importance of EZL due to the effects of the disease on the horse and its impact upon human livelihoods. Epizootic lymphangitis is a neglected disease that requires further investigation in order to develop practical and sustainable disease control strategies within endemic regions. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.


Scantlebury C.E.,University of Liverpool | Zerfu A.,Addis Ababa Institute of Technology | Zerfu A.,Ethiopian Development Research Institute EDRI | Pinchbeck G.P.,University of Liverpool | And 5 more authors.
Preventive Veterinary Medicine | Year: 2015

Epizootic lymphangitis (EZL) is reported to have a significant impact upon livelihoods within resource-poor settings. This study used a participatory approach to explore peoples' experiences of EZL and examine the perceived impact of disease, owner knowledge and understanding of EZL, lay management of disease and, attitudes and strategies towards disease prevention.Focus-group discussions were held with 358 cart-horse owners and drivers recruited from 7 towns attended by SPANA (Society for the protection of animals abroad) mobile veterinary clinics and 2 unexposed towns where no SPANA clinics were available. Focus group discussions explored four main research questions: (1) Is EZL recognised by animal owners, and is this considered an important disease in equids? (2) What factors do animal owners associate with the development of disease? (3) What happens to an animal with clinical disease and how does this impact upon the owner/community? (4) Are measures taken to reduce disease occurrence? These key areas were explored using photographs, disease ranking, matrices and open discussion. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics and thematic analysis.The results are presented thematically and include: recognition and descriptions of EZL, treatment strategies used, disease priorities and ranking, impact of disease, disease transmission and attitudes and approaches to disease prevention.EZL was widely recognised and ranked highly as an important disease of equids. However, there was uncertainty around identifying early cases of EZL, and this could impact upon the timing of initiating treatment and separating potentially infectious animals. People had varying knowledge of effective methods for disease prevention and reported particular difficulties with isolating infected animals.The impact of EZL was multi-dimensional and encompassed effects upon the horse, the individual owner and the wider society. Working equids provide a vital utility and source of income to many people in resource-poor settings. Often, infection with EZL resulted in a reduction in working ability which had a direct impact upon the livelihoods of owners and their dependent family members. EZL also impacted upon the welfare of the horse as sick animals continued to be worked and, in advanced cases, horses were abandoned due to ineffective or unavailable treatment.This study conceptualises the importance of EZL due to the effects of the disease on the horse and its impact upon human livelihoods. Epizootic lymphangitis is a neglected disease that requires further investigation in order to develop practical and sustainable disease control strategies within endemic regions. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.


PubMed | Addis Ababa Institute of Technology, University of Liverpool and SPANA UK
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of clinical microbiology | Year: 2016

Histoplasma capsulatum var. farciminosum, the causative agent of epizootic lymphangitis (EZL), is endemic in parts of Africa. Diagnosis based on clinical signs and microscopy lacks specificity and is a barrier to further understanding this neglected disease. Here, a nested PCR method targeting the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region of the rRNA operon was validated for application to equine clinical samples. Twenty-nine horses with signs of EZL from different climatic regions of Ethiopia were clinically examined. Blood samples and aspirates of pus from cutaneous nodules were taken, along with blood from a further 20 horses with no cutaneous EZL lesions. Among the 29 horses with suspected cases of EZL, H. capsulatum var. farciminosum was confirmed by extraction of DNA from pus and blood samples from 25 and 17 horses, respectively. Positive PCR results were also obtained with heat-inactivated pus (24 horses) and blood (23 horses) spotted onto Whatman FTA cards. Two positive results were obtained among blood samples from 20 horses that did not exhibit clinical signs of EZL. These are the first reports of the direct detection of H. capsulatum var. farciminosum in equine blood and at high frequency among horses exhibiting cutaneous lesions. The nested PCR outperformed conventional microscopic diagnosis, as characteristic yeast cells could be observed only in 14 pus samples. The presence of H. capsulatum var. farciminosum DNA was confirmed by sequencing the cloned PCR products, and while alignment of the ITS amplicons showed very little sequence variation, there was preliminary single nucleotide polymorphism-based evidence for the existence of two subgroups of H. capsulatum var. farciminosum This molecular diagnostic method now permits investigation of the epidemiology of EZL.

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