Dogmas and misunderstandings in East Coast fever. (1/31)

East Coast fever (ECF) is the most important tick-borne disease in eastern, central and southern Africa and caused an estimated loss of US $186 million in 1989 in the 11 countries where it occurs. It was brought to southern Africa with cattle from Tanzania in 1901 and, over the next 3 years, devastated the cattle that had survived the rinderpest pandemic of the 1890s. Chemical control of ticks using arsenical compounds was introduced in the early 1900s and became the main control measure for both ticks and the diseases they transmit. This method of control has become less reliable over the last 30 years for many reasons, including reduced government spending on livestock and extension, the cost of acaricides, acaricide resistance, poor management of dips and spray races, and poor application of cattle movement control and quarantine. Significant advances in immunization and treatment have been made in the last 30 years, and more robust integrated strategies combining immunization, reduced frequency of chemical control and treatment are being adopted or considered. Throughout its history, ECF has been a source of great anxiety and cost to farmers, and of intense interest to research workers. Many dogmas and misconceptions have become established, some of which still flourish while others took years to demolish. This paper briefly reviews these as well as the history of the disease and explores recent epidemiological findings and their relevance to applying effective control.  (+info)

Economics of theileriosis control in Zambia. (2/31)

For an economic analysis of theileriosis control, we adopted the total economic cost (TEC) method, which calculates the sum of output losses from tick damage, theileriosis mortality and morbidity, and expenditures for treatment or prevention of the disease. At farm level, the TEC can be minimized by a specific combination of vector control and/or immunization and an acceptable level of losses. Expenditures for vector control include acaricides, construction of dipping or spraying facilities and their maintenance, and variable costs such as those for water and labour. Economics of vector control depend on the herd size and the method of application of the acaricide. Morbidity, mortality and tick damage losses are effectively reduced by correct and intensive vector control programmes. Expenditures for vector control are estimated at US$ 8. 43, 13.62 and 21.09 per animal per year for plunge dipping, hand spraying and pour-on, respectively. Immunization costs comprise production of parasite stabilates, storage and application, delivery and treatment. At US$ 9.5 per animal, immunization limits losses caused by Theileria parva, but ticks still may reduce the productivity of the animals. Expenditures for treatment after natural infection involve drugs, transport, veterinary fees and farm labour costs. Treatment has a moderate success rate, hence both morbidity and mortality remain important factors. Equally, it does not affect the vector, which may continue to reduce overall productivity of cattle. Expenditures for treatment range between US$ 9.04 and US$ 27.31 per animal. To compare different TECs in relation to different control strategies, assumptions have to be made on disease occurrence, case fatality, value and productivity of the cattle, reductions in productivity due to morbidity and number of animals under a specific control regime. Calculations based on data from Southern Province, Zambia show that large-scale immunization reduces the TEC by 90% compared to no intervention. Treatment, which is the second-best option, reduces the TEC by 60%. Appendix 1 Summary of factors influencing total economic cost  (+info)

Theileriosis control modelling (experiences from Southern Province, Zambia). (3/31)

Effects of different tick-borne disease control strategies on cattle productivity are simulated based on a 30-year herd projection, calculated by a modified Markov Chain model. Input data can be grouped in technical, economic and epidemiological parameters. The output is a set of economic parameters such as benefit/cost ratio (BCR), net present value (NPV) of the profit, internal rate of return (IRR), total economic cost (TEC) as well as graphs showing animal production over time. Shadow prices are obtained for input and output in kind. Throughout the calculations a distinction is made between transactions in cash and transactions in kind. A case study was run for Southern Province, Zambia, to illustrate the model. Either vector control or treatment, or a combination of these, controls theileriosis at farm level after natural infection. Preventive immunization against the parasite is also possible. Although the calculations are based on a mixture of data obtained from literature, field experience, expert opinion and assumptions, the importance of theileriosis control is clearly indicated. Immunization gives better economic results than chemotherapy. Vector control can only be used as a last resort.  (+info)

Allergen avoidance: does it work? (4/31)

The first recorded example of allergen avoidance in the treatment of allergic disorders dates from the 16th century. The Italian physician Gerolamo Cardano (1501-1576) was invited to Scotland by John Hamilton, Archbishop of St Andrews (and brother of the Regent), to give advice on the treatment of his asthma. Cardano recommended that the Archbishop should get rid of his feather bedding, which was followed by a 'miraculous' remission of otherwise troublesome symptoms. The first controlled attempts to treat asthma by environmental manipulation date to the beginning of 20th century. In 1925, the Leopold brothers treated patients with asthma and other allergic disorders by moving them into a dust free room. Storm van Leeuwen created a 'climate' chamber in The Netherlands in 1927 and demonstrated that asthmatic patients improved when moved from their homes into the chamber. One year later, Dekker observed that measures aimed at reducing the amount of dust in bedrooms had a beneficial effect on asthma symptoms in patients allergic to house dust. Van Leeuwen wrote: 'In our endeavours to find the cause of the attack ... we utilised the known fact that the environment of the asthmatic patient is, as a rule, of primary importance in determining the intensity and frequency of his attacks'. Nowadays, more than ever, it is essential to address the environmental influences on the increasing prevalence of asthma and allergic disorders.  (+info)

Epidemiology of bovine tick-borne diseases in southern Italy. (5/31)

This investigation was carried out in an area covering part of three southern Italian regions: Campania, Basilicata and Apulia. Eighty-one farms were involved using the formula suggested by Thrusfield; they were equally distributed over the area which was subdivided into 81 geo-referenced sub-areas. In May and June 1999 from a total of 506 cattle, older than 18 months, blood-samples were taken and ticks were collected and identified. Serum samples were tested for antibodies of Bahesia bigemina, Babesia bovis and Anaplasma marginale with an ELISA technique. Eight farms (9.8%) out of the 81 examined were positive for B. bigemina only, 3 (3.7%) for A. marginale only, and 70 (86.4%) for both. None of the animals of any farm was found to be positive for B. bovis. Out of the 506 sera tested, 117 (23.1 %) were positive for B. bigemina only, 58 (11.5%) forA. marginale only and 250 (49.4%) for both species; 81 (16.0%) were negative for all of them. Ticks were collected on animals on 62 (76.5%) out of the 81 farms. Adult ticks (1 410) were collected and identified; the highest number belonged to the Rhipicephalus bursa species (65.5%), followed by Rhipicephalus turanicus (8.6) and Haemaphysalis punctata (8.4). The results showed that B. bigemina, A. marginale and their potential vectors are common in the area examined and indicated that there is a risk for animals imported from tick-borne disease-free areas.  (+info)

The current status of major tick borne diseases in Zambia. (6/31)

Tick-borne diseases occurring in Zambia are assuming more importance as they continue to be a major economic problem not only in Zambia, but in many parts of Eastern, Southern and Central Africa. The current control methods, which include the use of toxic acaricides to kill ticks, and the virulent sporozoite infection and treatment method have limitations. Recombinant vaccines, currently in their experimental stages, offer hope for the future. The use of acaricides is hampered by the development of acaricide resistance and live vaccines are dependent on cold chain facilities, which are a formidable obstacle in the poorly developed infrastructure in parts of Zambia where the vaccine is most needed. Amidst these drawbacks are the results of the recent research on parasites and vector recombinant vaccines which promise to circumvent these problems. The history, current status and attitudes regarding the control of these diseases, taking into account their complexity, are reviewed. The establishment of the well-designed Central Veterinary Research Institute (CVRI) and Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) sponsored veterinary school, both have a potential for high quality research, with access to a wealth of specimens a veritable goldmine of research material. It is thus hoped that this review will stimulate the desire to maximize the value of the tick and tick-borne disease research in both Zambia and the international research community.  (+info)

Effectiveness of education for control of house dust mites and cockroaches in Seoul, Korea. (7/31)

We evaluated the efficacy of health education in reducing indoor arthropod allergens in Seoul. The mite control measures comprised the use of mite-proof mattress and pillow coverings, regular washing of potentially infested materials, maintenance of a low humidity, removal of carpets, and frequent vacuum cleaning. Cockroach control measures included trapping, application of insecticides, and protecting food. Of 201 homes enrolled in October 1999, 63 volunteers were included in a 2-year follow-up survey between April 2000 and January 2002. Before intervention, the density of mites/g of dust varied greatly; 27.1/g in childrenos bedding, 20/g in adult bedding, 7.2/g on the floors of childrenos bedrooms, 6.8/g in sofas, 5.9/g on the floors of adultos bedrooms, 3.9/g on living room floors, 3.7/g in carpets, and 1.9 mites/g on kitchen floors. The predominant mite species and house percentages infested were; Dermatophagoides farinae 93%, D. pteronyssinus 9%, and Tyrophagus putrescentiae 8%. Comparing 1999 and 2001 infestations, before and after 25 mo of education, mite abundance was reduced by 98%, from 23.7 to 0.57 mites/g of dust. In 1999, cockroaches were detected in 62% homes: 36% Blattella germanica and 35% Periplaneta spp., including 9% double infestations of B. germanica and P. americana. Following intervention, cockroach infestation rates decreased to 22% of houses in 2000 and 23% in 2001. We conclude that continuous and repetitive health education resulted in the effective control of domestic arthropods.  (+info)

House dust mite allergen avoidance and self-management in allergic patients with asthma: randomised controlled trial. (8/31)

BACKGROUND: The efficacy of bed covers that are impermeable to house dust mites has been disputed. AIM: The aim of the present study was to investigate whether the combination of 'house dust mite impermeable' covers and a self-management plan, based on peak flow values and symptoms, leads to reduced use of inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) than self-management alone. DESIGN OF STUDY: Prospective, randomised, double blind, placebo-controlled trial. SETTING: Primary care in a south-eastern region of the Netherlands. METHOD: Asthma patients aged between 16 and 60 years with a house dust mite allergy requiring ICS were randomised to intervention and placebo groups. They were trained to use a self-management plan based on peak flow and symptoms. After a 3-month training period, the intervention commenced using house dust mite impermeable and placebo bed covers. The follow-up period was 2 years. Primary outcome was the use of ICS; secondary outcomes were peak expiratory flow parameters, asthma control, and symptoms. RESULTS: One hundred and twenty-six patients started the intervention with house dust mite impermeable or placebo bed covers. After 1 and 2 years, significant differences in allergen exposure were found between the intervention and control groups (P<0.001). No significant difference between the intervention and control groups was found in the dose of ICS (P = 0.08), morning peak flow (P = 0.52), peak flow variability (P = 0.36), dyspnoea (P = 0.46), wheezing (P = 0.77), or coughing (P = 0.41). There was no difference in asthma control between the intervention and control groups. CONCLUSION: House dust mite impermeable bed covers combined with self-management do not lead to reduced use of ICS compared with self-management alone.  (+info)