Naked Science Forum

Life Sciences => Physiology & Medicine => Topic started by: Andrew K Fletcher on 08/11/2014 18:21:43

Title: Recent Flooding: Has it resulted in a parasite epidemic in grazing animals?
Post by: Andrew K Fletcher on 08/11/2014 18:21:43
http://youtu.be/EmPzVaqfhQQ (http://youtu.be/EmPzVaqfhQQ)

Having fed our dogs raw meat for many years, collected from an abattoir or purchased frozen from other sources, it came to our attention that the last batch of raw green tripe were infected with parasites that at first looked similar to seeds inside a pomegranate.

To add to this, earlier in the year we came across a cow in a heard that had severe oedema in it's jaw line and recent research into this particular parasite has revealed that the cow's condition is bottle-jaw, a symptom related to heavy fluke infections.

The video from the link provided is short and to the point and graphically shows the Rumen fluke along with the infected cow.

Note on reporting the cow, which was in Churston, Torbay, South Devon UK we were told that the cow was allergic to grass and sunlight, which not for a minute did we accept. It was then reported to the local area vet connected to DEFRA and we were assured that they would call back to let us know the outcome and didn't.

The history of this particular parasite has shown a rapid spread throughout the UK and I suspect that given the fact that it requires a water snail host to proliferate, the recent flooding may have accelerated the success of this leach like invader. What do you think?
Title: Re: Recent Flooding: Has it resulted in a parasite pandemic in grazing animals?
Post by: alancalverd on 08/11/2014 23:58:48
Seems a lot more probable than a cow being allergic to grass and sunlight! Teenage vampire goth cow, addicted to video games, perhaps?

An article http://www.fieldscience.co.uk/rumen_fluke.html from Ireland makes a lot of sense - the fluke larvae attach to flooded vegetation which is then grazed as it dries out, so I guess there would be a lot of it about in Somerset this year. Watch out for massive compensation claims as everybody blames the government for flooding.
Title: Re: Recent Flooding: Has it resulted in a parasite pandemic in grazing animals?
Post by: Andrew K Fletcher on 09/11/2014 08:54:27
I agree Alan and fear this is the tip of the iceberg for farming. I wonder if they could claim against the government who neglected to maintain the waterways? From childhood, I seem to remember being told that snail eggs attached to vegetation become attached to water fowl who then fly off / migrate to other regions and countries. Perhaps it's not the movement of cattle that is spreading this parasite?
Title: Re: Recent Flooding: Has it resulted in a parasite pandemic in grazing animals?
Post by: Bored chemist on 09/11/2014 19:22:12
"Recent Flooding: Has it resulted in a parasite pandemic in grazing animals?"

No
"A pandemic (from Greek πᾶν pan "all" and δῆμος demos "people") is an epidemic of infectious disease that has spread through human populations across a large region; for instance multiple continents, or even worldwide. "

from
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pandemic (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pandemic)
Title: Re: Recent Flooding: Has it resulted in a parasite pandemic in grazing animals?
Post by: alancalverd on 10/11/2014 01:04:55
Perhaps it's not the movement of cattle that is spreading this parasite?

Pretty obviously  not - the parasite needs the snail vector, which needs flooded meadows.
Title: Re: Recent Flooding: Has it resulted in a parasite pandemic in grazing animals?
Post by: Bored chemist on 10/11/2014 10:27:31
As far as I can tell, all you have done is spot that endemic diseases respond to environmental conditions.
It's the equivalent of spotting the fact that people get a lot of colds in Autumn and Winter.

Sure, it would be nice to ensure that our farm animals didn't get parasites; but that would cost more money than the consumers are prepared to pay.

There seems to be some debate about the significance.
http://www.cattleparasites.org.uk/papers/liverpool2013/P%20Skuce%20COWS%20R&D%20Workshop_rumen%20fluke.pdf

Incidentally, I think freezing and thawing the tripe will probably kill many parasites which might make things easier for your dogs.
Title: Re: Recent Flooding: Has it resulted in a parasite pandemic in grazing animals?
Post by: Andrew K Fletcher on 10/11/2014 11:26:21
Vet reported first sighting of Rumen fluke in Shepton Mallet 2012 http://www.sheptonvet.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/NewsletterMayLarge201204271.pdf
Title: Re: Recent Flooding: Has it resulted in a parasite pandemic in grazing animals?
Post by: Andrew K Fletcher on 10/11/2014 11:28:36
RE Pandemic definition. Let's hope the French cook their snails well :P
Title: Re: Recent Flooding: Has it resulted in a parasite epidemic in grazing animals?
Post by: Andrew K Fletcher on 11/11/2014 15:21:15
It get's worse:
Abstract.
The practice of eating rumen flukes of cattle by a section of people living in Meghalaya, a north eastern State of India, is reported in this communication.Economically backward, some rural people belonging to Khasi, Jaintia, Garo, and Karbi tribes of Christian and Nepali communities who eat beef are accustomed to consuming cooked flukes during breakfast, meals, and also along with rice beer or alcohol. Inspection of the rumens of cattle during slaughter indicated a prevalence of flukes belonging to Cotylophoron, Paramphistomum, Calicophoron, Gastrothylax and Fischoederius genera in 74% cases, and their collection from rumen ranged approximately from 50g to 600g. Biochemical analysis of flukes found 12.60% total protein, 0.78% fat, and 0.87% ash on fresh weight basis. High prevalence of flukes, easy visualization in rumen, their bulk collection, presence of nutritive value, absence of any ill effect, and lack of imminent danger of transmissibility are believed to be the rationales influencing their consumption by people. It is suggested that dietary benefits obtained from flukes might contribute to the energy transfer and inclusion in the food web. Keywords: rumen flukes, human consumption, India
http://www.tm.mahidol.ac.th/seameo/2014-45-1-full/05-5930-2.pdf