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Title: Relationships between disease, work and nutrition in draught cattle and buffalo
Author: Clemence, R. G.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1996
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The interactions of disease, work and undernutrition in draught animals were examined in three separate studies. The first study carried out in Indonesia investigated the effects of Trypanosoma evansi on the work output of twelve swamp buffalo in two groups. The second undertaken in the UK, used four groups of six sheep as a model to examine the effects of exercise and plane of nutrition on cellular and humoral immune responses in the absence of a pathogen. The final study in The Gambia, looked at the effects of work and undernutrition on the trypanotolerance of 32 N'Dama cattle in four groups challenged with T. congolense. In the first experiment work output was monitored for 11 weeks in infected and uninfected animals using a cross-over design. In the second laboratory based experiment the immune responses of sheep challenged with two foreign antigens, Brucella abortus and ovalbumin, were measured for 11 weeks after challenge in a factorial design with two planes of nutrition and two levels of exercise. In the third study the same factor design was adopted to examine the effects of work and undernutrition on the trypanotolerance of N'Dama cattle challenged with T. congolense. The results of all three studies were analysed using both parametric and non-parametric statistical tests as appropriate. In the first experiment carried out in Indonesia after a protracted period of work (5 weeks pre-infection and 4 weeks post-infection), the parasitaemias of some infected buffalo increased dramatically and this was associated with a marked decline in work output. In the second study with sheep, immune responses varied markedly between individuals but there were no significant differences between groups, with one exception, the speed of the primary antibody response to ovalbumin was significantly faster in sheep on the high plane of nutrition than in those on the low plane. In the final study work caused significant increases in animal parasitaemias and reductions in blood packed cell volumes. Some of the working cattle became so severely anaemic (PCVs < 15%) that they were unable to complete the normal daily work programme and had to be retired early, the first after only seven weeks work. In conclusion it appears that in some circumstances work can affect the course of a disease and conversely diseases can reduce work output. It is however very difficult to quantify these effects because of large differences in response between individual animals and differences in pathogenicity between different diseases and different strains of the same disease.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available