Disease behaviours of sows naturally infected with Taenia solium in Tanzania

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Neurocysticercosis (NCC) is a disease caused by the zoonotic parasite Taenia solium lodging in the central nervous system. Both humans and pigs can get NCC. The impact of the disease in pigs has so far been little explored. The aim of this study was to describe the effect of NCC on social and feeding behaviours as well as the pattern of activity as indicators of reduced welfare in naturally infected sows.
In total 13 T. solium naturally infected and 15 non-infected control sows were videotaped for 2 consecutive weeks using close circuit television cameras at research facilities at Sokoine University of Agriculture, Morogoro, Tanzania. Videos were analysed at the beginning, in the middle and at the end of the 2 week recording period. For each time point, videos were analysed during feeding, while the enrichment was provided, and by recording every half an hour the sows’ behaviours performed over the course of a whole day.
Sows with NCC spent significantly less time at the feeding trough, especially during the second half of the feeding period. Infected sows were also more passive e.g. lying and standing still significantly more during a whole day period and showed social isolation compared to non-infected control sows by performing behaviours more distant to their nearest neighbour. Results of this study indicated that NCC changed the behaviour of infected sows. The behavioural changes are indicative of decreased welfare. Efforts to reinforce the animal welfare aspect are needed as this has so far been neglected.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftVeterinary Parasitology
Vol/bind235
Sider (fra-til)69-74
Antal sider6
ISSN0304-4017
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 15 feb. 2017

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