Relevant Pathogens

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  • African Swine Fever: Viral; Tick Bourne / feces; no vaccine; no human infections. Interesting geographic variation.
  • Avian flu: Viral; see Anaplasmosis as far as effects
  • Blue Tongue: Viral. Native resistant. Midge spread.
  • Enzootic Bovine Leukosis: Viral; causes leukemia
  • FMDV (Foot-and-mouth-disease): Viral. Economically important. High prevalence. Students cannot board a plane after xxx days of being on a farm. Vet department is interested in. Super important. Incredibly contagious.
  • Infectious Bursal disease: Viral. Lymph nodes. Chickens. 50-90% mortality in flocks.
  • Lumpy skin disease: Viral. Epidemics every 3-5 years. Biting flies. 2-5% mortality. Effective vaccine available. Vaccine not given because of economics of creating vaccine.
  • Newcastle disease: Viral. See Infectious Bursal disease.
  • Peste Des Petits Ruminants: Viral. Goats / sheep. High mortality. Not thought to be in Malawi. Causes death/abortions. Interesting to screen for.
  • Rabies: Viral. Endemic in domestic dogs. No known wildlife reservoirs. But, none tested. Zoonotic. 200-300 cases / year in 1992-ish. But, underreported. South vs. North prevalence would be interesting. Good collaborators in this; they use the web-program 'epiCollect'. Might be hard to work with, as it infects humans. Human vaccine is incredibly expensive in the US (US$500-US$1500).
  • Rift Valley Fever: Viral. Mosquito vector. Zoonotic, all mammals. Flu-like in people. Serological studies would be best, infrequent outbreaks in cattle. Sylvatic cycle?


  • Anaplasmosis : Bacterial; Tick Bourne; cows / goats immune at low levels. Not clinical in native animals. Europeans breeds die. Not economically important.
  • Anthrax: Bacterial; this would be a nightmare to try and detect as it is a BSL-4 organism. Many governments would be very interested in what we are doing!
  • Black Quarter: Bacterial — Clostrium choviae. Affects cows. Swampy areas to dry areas. Husbandry issues. Spore transmitted.
  • Brucellosis sp.: Bacteria. Contaminated water. Passed through urine. Zoonotic.
  • Bovine Pleuropneumonia: Bacterial — Mycoplasma. Government denies exists. PCR. In surrounding countries. Slow onset, long incubation period.
  • Heartwater: Bacteria (Ehrlichia sp.) — rickettsia. Tick-bourne.
  • Leptospirosis: Bacteria (Leptospira sp.). Transmitted by animal urine.
  • Bovine Tuberculosis and Avian Tuberculosis: Bacteria — mycobacterium. Bovine TB or avian TB. Endemic in cattle. 18% or more? Confused with chryony bacterium (? unclear what this is). Primates get it from humans (? again, unclear). Primates exposed to avian TB

Eukaryotes: Protists / Parasites

  • Cysticercosis: Parasite tapeworm. Taenia solium — pork tapeworm. Can infect humans to cause disease.
  • East Coast Fever: Protist. Tick Bourne. Cattle/goat. Present, but prevalence is unclear. There are studies on the effects of on this with tick dipping. Would be a good one to work with. Live vaccine in Malawi available.
  • Echinococcus: Parasite tapeworm. Genus of tapeworm, with key species of E. granulosus, E. multilocularis, E. vogeli, and E. oligarthrus.
  • Heartworm: Parasite, filarial worm. D. immitis
  • Liver flukes: Parasite flatworm. See Black Quarter as far as effects.
  • Strongyloides: Parasite — worm in feces. In wildlife, leads to lower health.
  • Trypanosomiasis: Parasite — Plasmodium. Tsetse fly vector; 2% of cattle affected? Interesting. Receivers in wildlife. Can be tested with thick/thin blood smears. Stain with Giemsa (chemical). Economic impact is high. Interesting.

Price List for Ondestepoort, veterinary reference lab in South Africa

Malawi Animal Disease Screening Editable Spreadsheet by Dr Catherine Wood