Actinomycosis in Livestock animals

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  INTRODUCTION

Have you ever wondered what could be the cause of your livestock facial distortion? This brief blogpost will educate you on the causative agent, other symptoms and how you can prevent and control it.

Actinomycosis is an infrequent invasive bacterial disease, actinomyces spp. It is caused by Actinomyces Israeli or Actinomyces gerencseriae, they are filamentous gram-positive bacilli, on –acid fast, anaerobic to microaerophilic bacteria .it is characterized by contagious fast, anaerobic and granulomatous inflammation and formation of multiple abscesses and sinus tracts may discharge sulfur granules.

CLINICAL SIGNS OF ACTINOMYCOSIS

  1. Productive cough
  2. Hemoptysis
  3. Dyspnea
  4. Weight loss
  5. Fever
  6. Facial distortion
  7. Acute and chronic suppurative mastitis
  8. Suppurative pneumonia
  9. Septicemia
  10. Vegetative endocarditis

POST MORTEM FINDINGS OF ACTINOMYCOSIS

There is a swelling of the maxilla and mandible, deformation of the facial bones. Chronic granulomatous lesion with multiple abscesses. Presence of an enlarging hard, red, painless lump on the head and neck of the infected animal.

DIAGNOSIS OF ACTINOMYCOSIS

The gold standard for diagnosing actinomycosis is by histological examination and bacteria culture.

Diagnosis can be confirmed by microscopic examination of smears made from pus or by culturing the organism.

EPIDEMIOLOGY OF ACTINOMYCOSIS

Actinomycosis occurs worldwide, with likely higher prevalence rates in areas with low socioeconomic status and poor dental hygiene. The disease is sporadic but common in cattle, occasional cases occur in pigs, horses, goats, dogs and humans, the disease is important because of its widespread occurrence and poor response to treatment.

CONTROL OF ACTINOMYCOSIS

To control the spread of the disease, affected animals should be isolated or sent for slaughter. The herd should be rotated to a new grazing area to reduce the chances of further infection.

PREVENTION OF ACTINOMYCOSIS

There are no real preventions for reducing the contraction of actinomycosis as it is difficult to destroy all the fungi in a pasture.