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Vet J. 2010 Apr;184(1):71-6. doi: 10.1016/j.tvjl.2009.02.014. Epub 2009 Sep 4.

Seroprevalence of tick-borne diseases in communal cattle reared on sweet and sour rangelands in a semi-arid area of South Africa.

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Department of Livestock and Pasture Science, University of Fort Hare, P. Bag X1314, Alice 5700, South Africa.


A survey was conducted to determine the seroprevalence of tick-borne diseases (TBD) in Nguni and non-descript cattle on the sweet and sour communal rangelands across seasons. Body condition scores, bodyweights, packed cell volume (PCV) and antibodies to B. bovis, B. bigemina, Ehrlichiaruminatium and Anaplasma marginale were determined seasonally in 144 cattle raised on communal rangelands from August 2007 to April 2008. Approximately 45% of the cattle were seropositive for B. bovis, 46% for B. bigemina and 26% for A. marginale. All animals were seronegative for E. ruminantium. Nguni cattle had lower (P<0.05) seroprevalence for A. marginale and B. bigemina in the cool-dry and hot-wet seasons. Cattle in the sweet rangeland had significantly lower seroprevalence of B. bovis and B. bigemina in all the seasons. Infection with B. bovis and B. bigemina negatively affected (P<0.05) bodyweight and body condition scores whilst B. bovis and A. marginale infections significantly affected PCV. The seroprevalence of TBD was lower in the Nguni breed. More work is required to understand the mechanisms of the adaptation and possible resistance of Nguni cattle to TBD.

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