Risk factors associated with clinical dermatophilosis in smallholder sector cattle herds of Zimbabwe at the Amblyomma variegatum and Amblyomma hebraeum interface.

Tropical animal health and production

PubMedID: 25465222

Ndhlovu DN, Masika PJ. Risk factors associated with clinical dermatophilosis in smallholder sector cattle herds of Zimbabwe at the Amblyomma variegatum and Amblyomma hebraeum interface. Trop Anim Health Prod. 2014;.
A cross-sectional study was conducted to investigate factors for clinical dermatophilosis herd-level positivity in smallholder dip tanks from Gokwe (Chemawororo, Gwanyika), Kwekwe (Koronika) and Chegutu (Chivero), Zimbabwe, between September 2013 and April 2014. A total of 185 herds were clinically examined for disease and tick infestation. Data on herd and potential herd level risk factors were collected using a structured questionnaire. A herd was classified as clinically positive if an animal satisfied any of the following criteria: small lesions characterised by hairs clumping like a small paint brush, clear exudative circumscribed lesions with scabs of at least 1 cm in diameter and confluent progressive exudative scab lesions affecting significant parts of the animal's body. Amblyomma variegatum and Amblyomma hebraeum ticks were identified in situ with further laboratory confirmation. The potential herd-level risk factors for clinical dermatophilosis were tested using multiple logistic regression with herd infection status (positive, negative) being the binomial outcome and risk factors being predictors. Of the herds examined, clinical bovine dermatophilosis was detected in 45 % (84/185, 95 % confidence interval (CI) 38.2, 52.6 %) of the herds. The herd prevalence ranged from 6.9 % (95 % CI 0.00, 16.7) to 56.7 % (95 % CI 43.8, 69.6) with Chivero and Chemawororo dip tanks recording the lowest and highest prevalence, respectively. Herds infested with A. variegatum were associated with higher odds (OR?=?6.8, 95 % CI 1.71, 27.10) of clinical dermatophilosis while the association was not significant (p?>?0.05) in A. hebraeum-infested herds. A history of having bought cattle (OR?=?3.5, 95 % CI 1.09, 11.12) compared to not buying was associated with increased herd clinical positivity status. It was concluded that management practices aimed at movement and tick control would help reduce the prevalence of clinical dermatophilosis in cattle herds.