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Concept: Sheep


Sheep scab is an intensively pruritic, exudative and allergic dermatitis of sheep caused by the ectoparasitic mite Psoroptes ovis. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effect of P. ovis infestation on different components of the ovine epidermal barrier within the first 24 hours post-infestation (hpi). To achieve this, the expression of epidermal differentiation complex (EDC) genes and epidermal barrier proteins, the nature and severity of epidermal pathology and transepidermal water loss (TEWL) were evaluated.By 1 hpi a significant dermal polymorphonuclear infiltrate and a significant increase in TEWL with maximal mean TEWL (598.67 g/m2h) were observed. Epidermal pathology involving intra-epidermal pustulation, loss of epidermal architecture and damage to the basement membrane was seen by 3 hpi. Filaggrin and loricrin protein levels in the stratum corneum declined significantly in the first 24 hpi and qPCR validation confirmed the decrease in expression of the key EDC genes involucrin, filaggrin and loricrin observed by microarray analysis, with 5.8-fold, 4.5-fold and 80-fold decreases, respectively by 24 hpi.The present study has demonstrated that early P. ovis infestation disrupts the ovine epidermal barrier causing significant alterations in the expression of critical barrier components, epidermal pathology, and TEWL. Many of these features have also been documented in human and canine atopic dermatitis suggesting that sheep scab may provide a model for the elucidation of events occurring in the early phases of atopic sensitisation.

Concepts: Protein, Allergy, C-reactive protein, Domestic sheep, Ovis, Sheep, Glossary of sheep husbandry, Sheep husbandry


SUMMARY Ivermectin (IVE), one of the most important anthelmintics, is often used in the treatment of haemonchosis in ruminants. The objective of our work was (1) to find and identify phase I and II metabolites of IVE formed by the Barber’s pole worm (Haemonchus contortus), and (2) to compare IVE metabolites in helminths with IVE biotransformation in sheep (Ovis aries) as host species. Ultrahigh-performance liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC/MS/MS) was used for this purpose. During in vitro incubations, microsomes (from adult worms or from ovine liver) and a primary culture of ovine hepatocytes were incubated with IVE. In the ex vivo study, living H. contortus adults were incubated in the presence of 1 μM IVE for 24 h. The results showed that the H. contortus enzymatic system is not able to metabolize IVE. On the other hand, 7 different phase I as well as 9 phase II IVE metabolites were detected in ovine samples using UHPLC/MS/MS analyses. Most of these metabolites have not been described before. Haemonchus contortus is not able to deactivate IVE through biotransformation; therefore, biotransformation does not contribute to the development of IVE-resistance in the Barber’s pole worm.

Concepts: Metabolism, In vivo, Domestic sheep, Haemonchus contortus, Ovis, Sheep, Mouflon, Barber's pole


This study investigates the use of Scanning electron microscopy-energy-dispersive X-ray (SEM-EDX) as a diagnostic tool for the determination of the osseous origin of samples subjected to different temperatures. Sheep (Ovis aries) ribs of two experimental groups (fleshed and defleshed) were burned at temperatures of between 100°C and 1100°C in 100°C increments and subsequently analyzed with the SEM-EDX to determine the atomic percentage of present elements. Three-factor ANOVA analysis showed that neither the exposure temperature, nor whether the burning occurred with or without soft tissue present had any significant influence on the bone’s overall elemental makeup (p > 0.05). The Ca/P ratio remained in the osseous typical range of between 1.6 and 2.58 in all analyzed samples. This demonstrates that even faced with high temperatures, the overall gross elemental content and atomic percentage of elements in bone remain stable, creating a unique “fingerprint” for osseous material, even after exposure to extreme conditions.

Concepts: Light, Heart, Chemical element, Debut albums, Electron configuration, Domestic sheep, Ovis, Sheep


In recent years, sheep (Ovis aries) have emerged as a useful animal model for neurological research due to their relatively large brain and blood vessel size, their cortical architecture, and their docile temperament. However, the functional anatomy of sheep brain is not as well studied as that of non-human primates, rodents, and felines. For example, while the location of the sheep motor cortex has been known for many years, there have been few studies of the somatotopy of the motor cortex and there were a range of discrepancies across them. The motivation for this review is to provide a definitive resource for studies of the sheep motor cortex. This work critically reviews the literature examining the organization of the motor cortex in sheep, utilizing studies that have applied direct electrical stimulation and histological methods A clearer understanding of the sheep brain will facilitate and progress the use of this species as a scientific animal model for neurological research.

Concepts: Chromosome, Mammal, Primate, Anatomy, Domestic sheep, Ovis, Sheep, Mouflon


An accurate and simple-to-perform new version of a competitive ELISA (cELISA) kit that became commercially available in 2015 for testing of cattle for antibody to Anaplasma marginale was validated for detection of Anaplasma ovis antibody in domestic sheep. True positives and negatives were identified using nested PCR (nPCR) as the gold standard. Negative bovine control sera supplied with the kit were used to calculate % inhibition (%I), designated bovine control ELISA (BcELISA), and this was compared to %I calculated from negative ovine sera derived from hand-raised, pathogen-free sheep, designated ovine control ELISA (OcELISA). The receiver operating characteristics area under the curve was 1.0 with a p value <0.001 regardless of the source of the control sera. The cutoff values for negative BcELISA and OcELISA were <30%I and <27%I, respectively. Our work confirmed that this Anaplasma antibody cELISA kit version 2 can be used with the serum controls supplied in the kit to test for A. ovis antibody in domestic sheep. Furthermore, this work confirmed the historically high infection prevalence (>93%) at the U.S. Sheep Experiment Station (Dubois, Idaho), in spite of efforts to reduce the possibility for iatrogenic transmission there, suggesting high levels of tick-borne transmission.

Concepts: ELISA, Receiver operating characteristic, Livestock, Domestic sheep, Ovis, Sheep, Mouflon, Dubois, Idaho


Paratuberculosis (PTB) or Johne’s disease is a common ruminant infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP). In this study, two MAP antigens were compared for their diagnostic utility to detect subclinical PTB in a sheep flock in Mexicali, Mexico. Sheep (n = 31) without clinical signs but positive on a direct fecal-polymerase chain reaction were tested with two preabsorbed in-house enzyme linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) using: (1) an ethanol-extracted surface lipid antigen (EVELISA) and (2) a protoplasmic antigen (ELISA-PPA). Sensitivities of the EVELISA and ELISA-PPA were 84% (95% CI; 66-95%) and 29% (95% CI; 14-48%), respectively. The EVELISA test could be a fast and effective way to identify subclinical ovine PTB for severely affected flocks.

Concepts: Infectious disease, Bacteria, Infection, Tuberculosis, ELISA, Mycobacterium avium complex, Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis, Sheep


Bighorn sheep ( Ovis canadensis ) are more susceptible to pneumonia caused by Mannheimia haemolytica than are domestic sheep ( Ovis aries ). Leukotoxin produced by M. haemolytica is the principal virulence factor involved in pneumonia pathogenesis. Although leukotoxin is cytolytic to all subsets of ruminant leukocytes, neutrophils are the most susceptible subset. Bighorn sheep neutrophils are 4- to 8-fold more susceptible to leukotoxin-induced cytolysis than are domestic sheep neutrophils. We hypothesized that the higher susceptibility of bighorn sheep neutrophils, in comparison to domestic sheep neutrophils, is due to higher expression of CD18, the receptor for leukotoxin on leukocytes. Our objective was to quantify CD18 expression on neutrophils of bighorn sheep and domestic sheep. Cell-surface CD18 expression on bighorn sheep and domestic sheep neutrophils was measured as antibody binding capacity of cells by flow cytometric analysis with two fluorochrome-conjugated anti-CD18 monoclonal antibodies (BAQ30A and HUH82A) and microspheres. Contrary to our expectations, CD18 expression was higher (P=0.000) with monoclonal antibody BAQ30A and was higher (P=0.000) as well with monoclonal antibody HUH80A on domestic sheep neutrophils in comparison to bighorn sheep neutrophils. These findings suggest that the higher in vitro susceptibility to leukotoxin of bighorn sheep neutrophils compared to domestic sheep neutrophils is not due to higher expression of the leukotoxin receptor CD18 on bighorn sheep neutrophils.

Concepts: Immune system, Antibody, Domestic sheep, Ovis, Sheep, Mouflon, Bighorn Sheep, Snow sheep


Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis is an intracellular bacteria and the etiologic agent of caseous lymphadenitis in domestic and wildlife species. We report C. pseudotuberculosis infection in Patagonian huemul ( Hippocamelus bisulcus ) from the Cerro Castillo National Reserve, Region of Aysen, Chile. Subcutaneous abscesses in the abdominal and pectoral regions from two animals were sampled and bacteriologic isolation was performed. In both cases, we isolated a C. pseudotuberculosis strain belonging to the ovine genotype. In addition, one isolate was resistant to ciprofloxacin and streptomycin. We report that H. bisulcus is a susceptible species to this bacterium, which is transmitted by direct or indirect contact with domestic sheep ( Ovis aries ) and which represents a potential conservation threat to populations of H. bisulcus . Additional research and prevention efforts should be addressed.

Concepts: Evolution, Chromosome, Chile, Domestic sheep, Ovis, Sheep, Glossary of sheep husbandry, Mouflon


This is the first report performing the whole genome SNP scanning of snow sheep (Ovis nivicola). Samples of snow sheep (n = 18) collected in six different regions of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) from 64° to 71° N. For SNP genotyping, we applied Ovine 50K SNP BeadChip (Illumina, United States), designed for domestic sheep. The total number of genotyped SNPs (call rate 90%) was 47796 (88.1% of total SNPs), wherein 1006 SNPs were polymorphic (2.1%). Principal component analysis (PCA) showed the clear differentiation within the species O. nivicola: studied individuals were distributed among five distinct arrays corresponding to the geographical locations of sampling points. Our results demonstrate that the DNA chip designed for domestic sheep can be successfully used to study the allele pool and the genetic structure of snow sheep populations.

Concepts: DNA, Gene, Genetics, Genotyping, Domestic sheep, Ovis, Sheep, Mouflon


Resistance to ivermectin and moxidectin was explored by a faecal egg count reduction test in two sheep flocks with suspected anthelmintic resistance. The FECRT confirmed one suspicion, with a mean percentage of reduction in egg excretion within the treated groups of 0% for ivermectin (CI 95%: -228 to 58) and 13% for moxidectin (CI 95%: -152 to 70). This was further explored by a controlled efficacy test. An experimental infection of 18 naïve lambs was set up using infective larvae isolated from this flock (5000 L3/lamb). Compared to the control group, abomasal worm burdens (Teladorsagia circumcincta) were reduced by 90% [CI 95%: 81.5-94.8] and 85% [CI 95%: 72.4-92.2] after ivermectin (p<0.05) and moxidectin (p<0.05) treatment respectively. Again, compared to the control group, there was a reduction for intestinal strongyles (Trichostrongylus colubriformis) of 100% and 99% [CI 95%: 97.5-99.7] for ivermectin and moxidectin respectively. No difference was found between the efficacy of moxidectin and ivermectin. Pharmacokinetic values indicated that the strongyles were submitted to anthelmintic concentrations usually lethal to them. This trial demonstrated the first multiple resistance of ovine strongyles in France.

Concepts: Insect, Electrochemistry, Control, Livestock, Domestic sheep, Sheep, Glossary of sheep husbandry, Sheep husbandry