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Concept: Herbivorous animals


Listeria monocytogenes infection is most commonly recognized in ruminants, including cattle, sheep, and goats; but it is rarely diagnosed in poultry. This report describes an outbreak of L. monocytogenes in a backyard poultry flock. Also, it points out the importance of collaboration between veterinarians and public health departments and the possible implications of zoonotic diseases.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Listeria monocytogenes, Listeria, Listeriosis, Livestock, Goat, Joseph Lister, 1st Baron Lister, Herbivorous animals


A total of 10,818 domestic ruminants (3913 cattle, 2722 sheep, 3779 goats, 404 dromedaries) slaughtered in various abattoirs in Tunisia between 2003 and 2010 were examined for the presence of Echinococcus granulosus hydatid cysts. The prevalence of cystic echinococcosis (CE) was 16.42% in sheep, 8.56% in cattle, 5.94% in dromedaries and 2.88% in goats. CE prevalence increased with age according to an asymptotic model and there was evidence of variation in infection pressure depending on the region of Tunisia where the animals were slaughtered. Cattle appeared to have the highest infection pressure of the species examined. The mean intensity of hepatic cysts was higher than that of pulmonary cysts in all species. The highest mean intensity of infection with E. granulosus larvae was observed in cattle (18.14) followed by sheep (9.58), goats (2.31) and dromedaries (2.12). The abundance of infection increased in a linear fashion with age in all animal species. Cyst abundance varied with species of animal and district of Tunisia. Cysts from dromedaries were more fertile (44.44%) than those from sheep (30.25%), goats (30.32%) and cattle (0.95%). The viability of the protoscoleces from fertile cysts from cattle (78.45%) was higher than those from sheep (70.71%) and camels (69.57%). The lowest protoscolex viability was recorded for hydatid cysts from goats (20.21%). This epidemiological study confirms the importance of CE in all domestic ruminant species, particularly in sheep, throughout Tunisia and emphasizes the need to interrupt parasite transmission by preventive integrated approaches in a CE control programme.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Mammal, Cyst, Livestock, Ruminant, Goat, Camel, Herbivorous animals


Application of molecular approaches has led to a significant progress on the knowledge of the epidemiology of Cryptosporidium spp. Nevertheless, molecular information on the occurrence of cryptosporidiosis in domestic small ruminants, especially in goats, are limited and restricted to the study of a modest number of isolates, mainly from diarrhoeic neonates. In order to determine the Cryptosporidium species present in healthy post-weaned and adult small ruminants from north-western Spain and to analyse a possible age-related distribution of species, faecal specimens were collected in sheep and goat farms without neonatal diarrhoea outbreaks the year before the sampling. Cryptosporidium spp. DNA was detected by SSU-rRNA PCR-RFLP, using restriction enzymes SspI, VspI and MboII. C. parvum and C. ubiquitum isolates were further characterized at the GP60 locus. Our results reveal that Cryptosporidium spp. is widely distributed in small ruminant farms (47.4-50.0%), although its prevalence is low in both hosts (5.9-6.0%). No significant differences in individual prevalence were detected between age groups. C. xiaoi and the zoonotic C. parvum and C. ubiquitum were identified. In sheep, C. parvum was the predominant species and its prevalence increased with age, in contrast to C. xiaoi; C. ubiquitum was an occasional finding in adults. In goats, C. xiaoi and C. ubiquitum were the most frequent species and slightly more prevalent in adults than in post-weaned kids, in contrast to C. parvum. Subtyping analysis of C. parvum isolates revealed the presence of IIaA15G2R1 and IIaA14G2R1 in sheep, whereas IIaA13G1R1 and IIdA17G1 were restricted to goats; only the C. ubiquitum XIIa subtype 3 was found. Although the prevalences detected are low, these values are probably underestimated due to, amongst others, the cross-sectional design of the study and the intermittent oocyst-excretion of post-weaned and adult small ruminants. Thus, these animals may play an important role in the appearance of cryptosporidiosis outbreaks in humans and domestic ruminant neonates and therefore should be considered as a potential threat to animal production and human health.

Concepts: Health, Epidemiology, Human, Prevalence, Cryptosporidium parvum, Ruminant, Goat, Herbivorous animals


This review summarizes research on the use of sheep and goats as large animal models of human osteoporosis for preclinical and translational studies.

Concepts: Mammal, Livestock, Ruminant, Goat, Domestic sheep, Chinese zodiac, Browsing, Herbivorous animals


Global data regarding the molecular epidemiology of Blastocystis sp. and Pentatrichomonas hominis in sheep and goats are sparse. China has one of the largest sheep and goat populations in the world. In this study we investigated the occurrence of Blastocystis sp. and P. hominis in domestic sheep and goats in China, and analyzed the genetic characterization of these two parasite species.

Concepts: Biology, Livestock, Goat, Domestic sheep, Sheep, Chinese zodiac, Browsing, Herbivorous animals


Coccidiosis is an important parasitic disease of young ruminant livestock caused by the protozoan parasite of the genus Eimeria. Infection with Eimeria can lead to subclinical production losses and clinical disease. The most common clinical sign is diarrhea. Control of coccidiosis in cattle, sheep, and goats is based on sound management, the use of preventive medications, and treatment of clinical cases as necessary.

Concepts: Bacteria, Protozoa, Cattle, Livestock, Ruminant, Goat, Herbivorous animals, Cud


Fermentative capacity among ruminants can differ depending on the type of ruminant species and the substrate fermented. The aim was to compare in vitro cow and goat rumen inocula in terms of methane (CH4 ) and gas production (GP), fermentation kinetics and 72 h volatile fatty acids (VFA) production using the browse species Acacia etbaica, Capparis tomentosa, Dichrostachys cinerea, Rhus natalensis, freeze-dried maize silage and grass silage, and a concentrate as substrates.

Concepts: Carbon dioxide, Milk, Butter, Mammal, Cattle, Ruminant, Goat, Herbivorous animals


In 2014-2016, >1,000 wild goats and sheep in 4 northern and central provinces of Iran died from peste des petits ruminants virus (PPRV) infection. Partial nucleoprotein sequencing of PPRV from 3 animals showed a close relationship to lineage 4 strains from China. Control measures are needed to preserve vulnerable ruminant populations.

Concepts: Interpersonal relationship, Iran, Ruminant, Goat, Central Asia, Tehran, Herbivorous animals


Infection with small ruminant lentiviruses (SRLV) causes a variety of chronic inflammatory conditions that limit production. Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP) is also a major production-limiting disease of sheep and goats, which causes severe inflammation of the small intestine. Previous studies have indicated that both SRLV and MAP are widespread in small ruminants in Ontario. This study estimated the prevalence of SRLV and MAP co-infection. Serum samples that were previously tested for MAP infection were re-tested for SRLV. The apparent prevalence of co-infection was low, with 3.4% [95% confidence interval (CI): 1.9 to 5.9] and 14.3% (95% CI: 11.6 to 17.5) of sheep and goats respectively, positive for both infections. However, co-infection is widespread with 36.8% (95% CI: 19.1 to 59.1) and 71.4% (95% CI: 52.8 to 84.9) of sheep and goat farms with 1 or more co-infected animals. A significant association was found between SRLV seropositivity and MAP fecal culture (P = 0.021), suggesting that co-infected goats may be more likely to shed MAP in their feces.

Concepts: Inflammation, Milk, Large intestine, Small intestine, Cattle, Ruminant, Goat, Herbivorous animals


This focus article was prepared by Amanda Carson and colleagues of the APHA Small Ruminant Expert Group.

Concepts: Goat, Herbivorous animals