Abel Ekiri

Dr Abel B. Ekiri

Lecturer in Infectious Disease Epidemiology
+44 (0)1483 688779
01 VSM 02


University roles and responsibilities

  • Lecturer in Infectious Disease Epidemiology


    Research interests



    Isabella C Endacott, Abel B Ekiri, Ruth Alafiatayo, Erika Galipo, Samuel G Okech, Florence M Kasirye, Patrick Vudriko, Francis K Kalule, Liesja Whiteside, Erik Mijten, Gabriel Varga, Alasdair J.C Cook (2021)Continuing Education of Animal Health Professionals in Uganda: A Training Needs Assessment, In: Journal of veterinary medical educationpp. e20200161-e20200161

    In Uganda, delivery of veterinary services is vital to animal health and productivity, and is heavily dependent on well-trained and skilled animal health professionals. The purpose of this study was to identify and prioritize areas for refresher training and continuous professional development of animal health professionals (veterinarians and veterinary paraprofessionals), with the overarching aim of improving veterinary service delivery in Uganda. A survey was administered electronically to 311 animal health professionals during the period November 14–30, 2019. Data were collected on relevant parameters including demographics, knowledge on preventive medicine, diagnostics, disease control and treatment, epidemiology, and One Health, as well as participants’ opinions on training priorities, challenges faced, and constraints to veterinary service delivery. Most respondents were veterinarians 26–35 years old, were male, and worked in clinical practice. Lowest perceived knowledge was reported on subjects relating to laboratory diagnostics, antimicrobial resistance (AMR), and nutrition. Training topics considered to be of most benefit to respondents included laboratory diagnostics, treatment of common livestock diseases, AMR, and practical clinical skills in reproductive and preventive medicine. Participants preferred to receive training in the form of practical workshops, in-practice training, and external training. This study highlights the need to prioritize training in practical clinical skills, laboratory diagnostics, and AMR. Wet labs and hands-on practical clinical and laboratory skills should be incorporated to enhance training. Provision of targeted and successful trainings will be dependent on the allocation of adequate resources and support by relevant public and private stakeholders across the veterinary sector.

    B. Armson, A.B. Ekiri, R. Alafiatayo, A.J. Cook (2021)Small ruminant production in Tanzania, Uganda, and Ethiopia: A systematic review of constraints and potential solutions, In: Veterinary Sciences8(1)pp. 1-13 MDPI AG

    Sheep and goats are an important commodity for smallholder farmers across East Africa, but severe limitations remain in small ruminant production. This review aimed to identify specific constraints to small ruminant production and identify practical and sustainable solutions. From 54 el-igible articles, most were focused in Ethiopia (n = 44) with only 6 studies performed in Tanzania and 4 in Uganda. The most frequently identified constraint in Ethiopia and Tanzania was disease (n = 28 and n = 3, respectively), and in Uganda, it was the lack of access to veterinary services (n = 4). Additionally, access to good breeding stock, lack of animal records, and an established marketing chain were also mentioned in all the three countries. Ectoparasites, gastrointestinal parasites, orf, and sheep/goat pox were the most frequently mentioned disease challenges causing productivity losses. Many articles provided potential solutions as suggested by farmers, including improved access to veterinary services and medicines, improved record keeping, and access to good breeding stock. Farmers highlighted the value of community-based participatory development plans to increase education on disease control, land management, and husbandry. This review also highlighted knowledge gaps, the need for further research, particularly in Tanzania and Uganda, and the importance of addressing multiple challenges holistically due to the links between constraints. © 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

    R. Alafiatayo, E. Galipo, A.B. Ekiri, M. Dineva, I. Endacott, T. Tesfaye, G. Gellebo, F. Awol, E. Mijten, G. Varga, A.J.C. Cook (2022)Training needs assessment of veterinary practitioners in Ethiopia, In: Tropical Animal Health and Production54(1) Springer Science and Business Media B.V.

    Pastoral and agro-pastoral farming are extensively practised in Ethiopia, and the main livestock kept are cattle, goats, sheep, poultry, and camels. The livestock sector is faced with complex challenges including limited availability of well-trained and skilled animal health professionals. The objective of this study was to identify and prioritise areas for training with the goal of providing evidence to guide strategies to improve the skills, delivery, and governance of veterinary services across Ethiopia. A cross-sectional survey was developed and administered electronically to veterinary professionals in Ethiopia using the Qualtrics platform. Data were collected on select parameters including demographics, diseases of economic significance, diagnosis, disease prevention, biosecurity, disease control, treatment, epidemiology, One Health, disease reporting, and the participants’ opinions about training. The survey data was downloaded in Microsoft Excel and descriptive statistics performed. A total of 234 veterinary professionals completed the survey. Most participants were male (89.7%) and aged between 26 and 35 years (81.2%). Of the total respondents, 56.4% worked in government and 8.5% in private practice. Most participants perceived training on laboratory diagnostic testing, disease prevention, antimicrobial resistance, antibiotic sensitivity testing, basic epidemiology, and clinical procedures, as most beneficial. In addition, most respondents would like to receive training on diseases affecting cattle, poultry, and small ruminants. The findings from this study provide baseline information on priority training areas for veterinary professionals and could potentially contribute to national efforts to develop and implement a continuing professional development programme in the veterinary domain, in view of improving veterinary service delivery. © 2022, The Author(s).

    Francis Kalule, Patrick Vudriko, Ann Nanteza, Abel B. Ekiri, Ruth Alafiatayo, Jonathan Betts, Martha Betson, Erik Mijten, Gabriel Varga, Alasdair Cook (2023)Prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites and molecular identification of beta-tubulin mutations associated with benzimidazole resistance in Haemonchus contortus in goats from selected districts of Uganda, In: Veterinary parasitology (Amsterdam)42100889 Elsevier B.V

    Gastrointestinal parasites are among the most economically important pathogens of small ruminants causing serious economic losses and animal welfare problems for the livestock industry worldwide. The emergence of anthelmintic resistant H. contortus in small ruminants is a serious problem because it undermines effective helminth control and results in reduced productivity. Little is known about resistance to benzimidazoles (BZ) in Haemonchus in goats and sheep in Uganda. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites and to identify the presence of benzimidazole resistance associated mutations in the β-tubulin isotype 1 gene of Haemonchus contortus in goats from selected districts of Uganda. A total of 200 goats from 10 districts of Uganda slaughtered at Kalerwe abattoir in Kampala were sampled for H. contortus adult worms. Faecal samples were also collected to detect other intestinal parasites. Faecal microscopy and analysis were performed using flotation and sedimentation techniques. DNA was extracted from adult worms and PCR and sequencing of the ITS- 2 region and β-tubulin isotype 1 gene performed to identify H. contortus species and to determine the presence of mutations associated with anthelmintic resistance respectively. Faecal microscopy showed that the most prevalent intestinal parasites were coccidia (98%), strongyles (97.5%), Strongyloides (82%), Paramphistomum (74.5%), Moniezia (46%), Fasciola (1.5%) and Trichuris (1%). Most goats had a high intestinal burden of coccidia (≥ 5000 oocyst per gram) and strongyles (≥ 1000 egg per gram), 65% and 67.5%, respectively. The prevalence of H. contortus adult worms was 63% (126/200). Sequencing of the partial β-tubulin isotype 1 gene of 54 Haemonchus contortus adult male isolates revealed the presence of mutations associated with anthelmintic resistance. The F200Y mutation was the most common mutation (13% of samples with good beta-tubulin sequences) followed by the E198A and E198K mutations, both found in 9% of sequenced samples. Mutation F167Y was not identified in any of the samples and there were no heterozygous individuals for any of the SNPS associated with BZ resistance that were identified in this study. These findings highlight the need for controlled use of anthelmintics especially benzimidazoles, to enable sustainable control of H. contortus in Uganda, and a need for further investigation to understand the resistance of other parasites identified in this study. •Coccidia and strongyles were the most common gastrointestinal parasites found in the study goat population.•Prevalence of Haemonchus contortus in goats in this study was 63%.•Point mutations F200Y, E198A and E198K were detected in the H. contortus β-tubulin isotype 1 gene.

    A.B. Ekiri, B. Armson, K. Adebowale, I. Endacott, E. Galipo, R. Alafiatayo, D.L. Horton, A. Ogwuche, O.N. Bankole, H.M. Galal, B.-V. Maikai, M. Dineva, A. Wakawa, E. Mijten, G. Varga, A.J.C. Cook (2021)Evaluating Disease Threats to Sustainable Poultry Production in Africa: Newcastle Disease, Infectious Bursal Disease, and Avian Infectious Bronchitis in Commercial Poultry Flocks in Kano and Oyo States, Nigeria, In: Frontiers in Veterinary Science8 Frontiers Media S.A.

    The growth of the poultry industry in Nigeria is constrained by major poultry diseases, despite the implementation of vaccination programs. This study aimed to assess the level of protection against Newcastle disease (ND), infectious bursal disease (IBD), and avian infectious bronchitis (IB) afforded by current vaccination schedules and characterize the circulating virus strains in commercial poultry flocks in Nigeria. A cross-sectional study was conducted on 44 commercial poultry farms in Oyo and Kano states of Nigeria. Serum and tissue samples and data on flock, clinical and vaccination records were collected on each farm. Farms were classified as being protected or not protected against ND, IBD and IB based on a defined criterion. Real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) testing was performed for each target virus on tissue samples and positive samples were sequenced. A total of 15/44 (34.1%), 35/44 (79.5%), and 1/44 (2.3%) farms were considered to be protected against ND, IBD, and IB, respectively, at the time of sampling. NDV RNA was detected on 7/44 (15.9%) farms and sequences obtained from 3/7 farms were characterized as the lentogenic strain. Infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV) RNA was detected on 16/44 (36.4%) farms tested; very virulent (vv) IBDV and non-virulent (nv) IBDV strains were both detected in 3/16 (18.8%) positive samples. Sequences of IBDV isolates were either clustered with a group of genotype 3 virulent IBDV strains or were related to vaccine strains MB and D78 strains. IBV RNA was detected on 36/44 (81.8%) farms, with variant02, Massachusetts, 4/91, and Q1 variants detected. Sequences of IBV isolates were either clustered with the vaccines strains Massachusetts M41 and H120 or were most closely related to the D274-like strains or a clade of sequences reported in Nigeria and Niger in 2006 and 2007. This study revealed that most study farms in Oyo and Kano states did not have adequate protective antibody titers against IBV and NDV and were therefore at risk of field challenge. Infectious bursal disease virus and IBV RNA were detected on farms with a history of vaccination suggesting potential vaccination failure, or that the vaccine strains used mismatch with the circulating strains and are therefore not protective. © Copyright © 2021 Ekiri, Armson, Adebowale, Endacott, Galipo, Alafiatayo, Horton, Ogwuche, Bankole, Galal, Maikai, Dineva, Wakawa, Mijten, Varga and Cook.

    P. Vudriko, A.B. Ekiri, I. Endacott, S. Williams, N. Gityamwi, J. Byaruhanga, R. Alafiatayo, E. Mijten, R. Tweyongyere, G. Varga, A.J.C. Cook (2021)A Survey of Priority Livestock Diseases and Laboratory Diagnostic Needs of Animal Health Professionals and Farmers in Uganda, In: Frontiers in Veterinary Science8 Frontiers Media S.A.

    Background: Despite the investments made in veterinary diagnostic laboratory service delivery in Uganda, the scope and level of utilization remains low. This study aimed to determine the priority livestock diseases for which farmers and animal health professionals require veterinary diagnostic laboratory services, document the perceptions and opinions of key stakeholders on veterinary diagnostic laboratory services, and determine the factors that influence the delivery and utilization of animal disease diagnostic services in Uganda. Methods: A qualitative study approach involving a survey and key informant interviews was used to collect relevant data from four stakeholder groups: animal health workers, laboratory technologists and technicians, farmers, and key informants. The survey data were exported to excel, and descriptive statistics performed. The key informant interview recordings were transcribed, and thematic analysis performed. Results: The most reported diseases and conditions for which diagnostic services were needed were hemoparasites (including East Coast fever, anaplasmosis, babesiosis, and trypanosomosis), viral (including Foot and mouth disease, lumpy skin disease, rift valley fever, and papillomatosis), bacteria (including brucellosis, colibacillosis, anthrax, leptospirosis, and paratuberculosis) and protozoa diseases (coccidiosis), endoparasites (helminths), and mastitis. The most common diagnostic laboratory tests requested by clients, but laboratories were unable to provide included: rapid tests for contagious bovine pleuropneumonia, Foot and mouth disease, Newcastle disease, acaricide analysis, culture and antimicrobial sensitivity test, serology, and complete blood count. The most frequently reported challenges to providing diagnostic laboratory services were poor or lack of relevant equipment, insufficient or lack of supplies and reagents, high cost of reagents, inadequate or lack of laboratory staff to perform tests, and inadequate training of laboratory staff. Conclusions: This study highlighted the need to improve provision of laboratory diagnostic services to meet the prioritized diagnostic needs of farmers and animal health professionals. Increased intersectoral engagement and funding support from the private, industry, and government sectors is necessary to help address the observed challenges to provision of diagnostic laboratory services, including equipping of the laboratories, provision of supplies, and hiring and training of laboratory staff. Finally, the findings also suggest that the education of farmers and animal health workers on the value and benefits of laboratory diagnostic services may contribute to increase in sample submission and subsequent demand for diagnostic laboratory services. © Copyright © 2021 Vudriko, Ekiri, Endacott, Williams, Gityamwi, Byaruhanga, Alafiatayo, Mijten, Tweyongyere, Varga and Cook.

    Abel Wilson Walekhwa, Brenda Nakazibwe, Mary Nantongo, Solomon Tsebeni Wafula, Douglas Bulafu, Brenda Ayugi, Caroline Nankabirwa, Godfrey Nsereko, Martha Dorcas Nalweyiso, Tonny Tindyebwa, Roy William Mayega, Abel Bulamu Ekiri, Danstan Bagenda, Monica Musenero, Lawrence Mugisha (2023)COVID-19 second wave and clinical characteristics of cases in Uganda: A retrospective cross-sectional survey of confirmed SARS-CoV-2 cases, March-June 2021, In: Epidemiology and infection151e142pp. 1-e142 Cambridge University Press

    We conducted a retrospective cross-sectional population-based survey among recovered COVID-19 cases in Uganda to establish the case presentations of the second wave SARS-CoV-2 infections. We interviewed 1,120 recovered COVID-19 cases from 10 selected districts in Uganda. We further conducted 38 key informant interviews with members of the COVID-19 District Taskforce and 19 in-depth interviews among COVID-19 survivors from March to June 2021. Among them, 62% were aged 39 years and below and 51.5% were female with 90.9% under home-based care management. Cases were more prevalent among businesspeople (25.9%), students (16.2%), farmers (16.1%), and health workers (12.4%). Being asymptomatic was found to be associated with not seeking healthcare (APR 2, P < 0.001). The mortality rate was 3.6% mostly among the elderly (6.3%) and 31.3% aged 40 years and above had comorbidities of high blood pressure, diabetes, and asthma. Being asymptomatic, or under home-based care management (HBCM), working/operating/studying at schools, and not being vaccinated were among the major drivers of the second wave of the resurgence of COVID19 in Uganda. Managing future COVID-19 waves calls for proactive efforts for improving homebased care services, ensuring strict observation of SOPs in schools, and increasing the uptake of COVID-19 vaccination.

    I.C. Endacott, E. Galipo, A.B. Ekiri, R. Alafiatayo, K. Adebowale, M. Dineva, A. Wakawa, A. Ogwuche, B.-V. Maikai, B. Armson, E. Mijten, G. Varga, A.J.C. Cook (2021)Baseline assessment of poultry production, pharmaceutical product use, and related challenges on commercial poultry flocks in Kano and Oyo states of Nigeria, In: Veterinary Sciences8(12) MDPI

    Poultry production is a major component of the livestock sector in Nigeria and continues to expand rapidly; however, it is still constrained by low productivity. A farm survey was conducted to provide a baseline assessment of poultry production (products generated, farm costs, and revenue), pharmaceutical use, and related challenges faced by farmers on 44 commercial poultry farms in Oyo and Kano states of Nigeria. Live spent layers, eggs, and used beddings were the most frequently sold products for revenue. Antibiotic products were widely used, the most reported were Doxygen, Tylosin, and Conflox. Overall, 40% of farms used feed additives (including toxin binders, minerals, and vitamins) and 12% used coccidiostats. Access to pharmaceutical products was a key challenge and appeared to disproportionally affect farmers in the northern part (Kano) of Nigeria. Other challenges included perceived antibiotic ineffectiveness, high cost of drugs, and long distances to pharmaceutical suppliers. Challenges related to vaccine use were unavailability, distance to the supplier, and health issues interfering with the vaccination schedule. Study findings highlight the need for improved access to veterinary pharmaceuticals, particularly in the northern states. Further investigations into the causes of antibiotic ineffectiveness and strategies for distribution of high-quality, effective pharmaceuticals are also necessary. © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

    Alice B. J. E. Jacobsen, Jane Ogden, Abel B. Ekiri (2023)Antimicrobial resistance interventions in the animal sector: scoping review, In: Frontiers in antibiotics2

    Animals are considered key contributors to the development and spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). However, little is known about the existing AMR interventions in the animal sector. This scoping review examines the existing evidence on AMR interventions aimed at livestock, animal health professionals (AHPs), and farmers, while reviewing their impact, limitations, gaps, and lessons for future use. The scoping review was conducted following guidelines from the PRISMA-ScR checklist. The databases, Web of Science, Scopus, PubMed, and international organisations’ websites (WHO, FAO, WOAH) were searched for articles reporting interventions targeting livestock, farmers, and AHPs. Interventions were categorised based on seven pre-defined primary measures including: change in antimicrobial use (AMU) practices; change in the uptake of antimicrobial stewardship (AMS); change in development of AMR; change in knowledge of appropriate AMU practices, AMR, and AMS; change in attitudes and perceptions concerning AMU, AMR, and AMS; and surveillance strategies. In total, ninety three sources were included: 66 studies, 20 reports, and 7 webpages. The reviewed interventions focused mostly on AMU practices (22/90), AMS uptake (8/90), and reduction of bacterial or resistant strains (30/90). Changes in knowledge (14/90) and attitude (1/90) were less frequently assessed and were often implicit. Most interventions were conducted within a select country (83/90) and 7/90 were at a global level. Only 19% (16/83) of interventions were implemented in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) and most were at herd level with many self-reporting changes. Most of the interventions that focused on surveillance strategies (30/83) were implemented in high-income countries (62/83). Only one study investigated the financial implications of the intervention. The study findings provide an overview of existing AMR interventions and insights into the gaps which can be addressed to guide future interventions and research. A focus on developing, implementing and evaluating interventions in LMICs coupled with the use of objective outcome measures (e.g., measurable outcomes vs. self-reporting) will improve our understanding of the impact of interventions in these settings. Finally, assessing the financial benefits of interventions is necessary to inform feasibility and to encourage uptake of interventions aimed at reducing AMR in the animal health sector.

    Margaret Loy Khaitsa, John David Kabasa, John Baligwamunsi Kaneene, Abel Bulamu Ekiri, Florence Wakoko, William Sischo, Samuel Majalija, Gabriel Tumwine, Douglas Freeman, Claire Card, Kiama Gitahi, Charles Mulei, Robinson Mdegela, Berihu Gebrekidan, Maurice Byuka, Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka (2017)CIMTRADZ: a US-Africa Higher Education Collaborative Model for Sustainable Capacity Development in Trans-Boundary Diseases and Zoonoses Management in Eastern and Central Africa, In: The Pan African Medical Journal27(supp. 4)20 The Pan African Medical Journal

    Today�s increasingly interconnected world has laid to bear several health challenges associated with globalization. Trans-boundary infectious diseases and zoonoses, once thought to be limited by geographical demarcations, are now a constant threat to global animal and human health, trade, food security, and socio-economic wellbeing. Tackling such wide-scale challenges requires innovative, global, and collaborative approaches. Tthe project: �Capacity building in Integrated Management of Trans-boundary Animal Diseases and Zoonoses - CIMTRADZ� was a collaboration of Higher Education Institutions in Africa and North America focused on advancing Higher Education-led development in Africa. The project aim was to improve capacity for effective disease management, through transformative education and collaborative research and training in integrated disease management, with a focus on trans-boundary animal diseases and zoonoses that affect East and Central Africa and the world. Additionally the project engaged local communities in sustainable resource management practices, which promote animal and public health, and food security. The accomplishments discussed include: joint academic programs involving a study abroad program, a master�s degree program, and a training program at the science and policy interface; joint research initiatives; joint professional development initiatives for faculty and leadership; joint community service initiatives; and joint sustainable development initiatives. This paper highlights CIMTRADZ project accomplishments, challenges faced, lessons learned and considerations for future implementers of global health activities.

    Samuel Majalija, David Owiny Okello, Margaret Loy Khaitsa, Douglas Freeman, Abel Ekiri, Marvin Ssemadaali, John Baligwamunsi Kaneene, John David Kabasa (2017)Africa-United States joint curriculum development of a Master of Science degree in international infectious disease management at Makerere University, In: The Pan African Medical Journal27(supp. 4)14 The Pan African Medical Journal

    Trans-boundary infectious diseases and zoonoses once thought to be limited by geographical demarcations are now a constant threat to global animal and human health, trade, food security, and socio-economic wellbeing. Many colleges and schools worldwide are training students to serve as professionals who will improve animal health, public health and food security globally. With this realization, Makerere University and North Dakota State University (NDSU) developed the first US-Africa trans-Atlantic degree addressing integrated disease management and international biosecurity. Both institutions received a grant from United States Department of Agriculture, Higher Education Challenge program to develop a joint Master of Science degree in International Infectious Disease Management (MS-IDM). This grant also funded four graduate students� stipend and research. Additionally, the two institutions received funds through �Capacity building in Integrated Management of Transboundary Animal Diseases and Zoonoses (CIMTRADZ)" project that supported students from Uganda. Faculty from CIMTRADZ participating institutions offered short term training to MS-IDM students, including workshops at The International Scientific Boma and conference in Uganda. A joint degree (MS-IDM) was developed in 2011. Ten MS-IDM students graduated and over 20 fellowships were awarded. Student exchange and joint mentorship of students by faculty at both institutions occurred. There were challenges experienced and valuable lessons learnt. The MS-IDM degree provided opportunities for human capacity development to manage transboundary animal diseases and zoonoses in East and Central Africa. This paper describes the curriculum development, challenges experienced and lessons learned, and informs future similar endeavors in internationalizing curricula in higher education.

    Joshua Isiko, Margaret Loy Khaitsa, Abel Ekiri, William Sischo (2017)Engaging Intergovernmental Organizations in the Training of Students on Global Animal Health, Public Health and Food Security, In: The Pan African Medical Journal27(supp. 4)12

    Collaboration between higher education institutions and intergovernmental organizations is desirable in order to produce professionals with global competences in animal health, public health and food security. The mission of intergovernmental organizations and their strategic plans normally align well with those of higher education institutions, particularly colleges of agriculture and health sciences, making the two actors natural partners. Historically, intergovernmental organizations and higher education institutions have collaborated in several ways including utilizing intergovernmental organizations� information, sharing courses and academic programs, research, and hosting collaborating centers. The objectives of this paper are: 1) To describe a case study of how multiple higher education institutions (Washington State University (lead), University of Minnesota, University of California Davis, North Dakota State University, University of Prince Edward Island, Iowa State University, and Makerere University) engaged collaboratively with several intergovernmental organizations in training graduate students in global policy formulation under the project �Capacity building in Integrated Management of Transboundary Animal Diseases and Zoonoses�, 2) To discuss various ways higher education institutions and intergovernmental organizations could engage to affect global animal health, public health and food security. Lessons learned from the multi-institutional collaborative experience are discussed including possible models of engagement between higher education institutions and intergovernmental organizations. The paper summarizes possible ways higher education institutions could engage with Intergovernmental Organizations in the Training of Students on Global Animal Health, Public Health and Food Security.

    Abel B. Ekiri, Margaret L. Khaitsa, David Kabasa (2013)International Infectious Disease Management: A Case Study of Internationalizing Curricula, In: NACTA Journal57(3a)pp. 74-82 North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA)

    Global perspectives in agriculture are critical to the safety of food and agricultural resources, trade and consumers globally, yet very few opportunities exist for their study. North Dakota State University and Makerere University in Uganda responded to this need by developing a joint Master of Science and Graduate Certificate in International Infectious Disease Management and Biosecurity in 2011. The program requires completion of 30 credits with core courses offered jointly by both institutions. The program is innovative, learner-centered, with student engagement, empowerment and responsibility. There is interdisciplinary learning, problem-based learning and service learning, with cross pollination of teaching methods from both institutions. Graduates of this program will have a better understanding of international agricultural, animal health and biosecurity issues, making them much more viable in today’s competitive job market. This unique program within the US and African educational systems is the first US-Africa trans-Atlantic degree addressing integrated disease management and international biosecurity. The following components of the aforementioned program will be discussed: program development; overview of the program; successes; challenges faced; opportunities; and recommendations for the way forward in internationalizing curriculum on two campuses across continents.

    David Tendo, Abel B. Ekiri, Margaret L. Khaitsa, William M. Sischo (2014)Case Study of Experiential Learning through a Training Model at the Science and Policy Interface: The National Animal Health Policy and Food Security Course, In: NACTA journal58(3)pp. 189-195 North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA)

    Experiential learning provides an opportunity for students to bridge classroom and research knowledge and experiences with the realities of creating solutions for difficult policy issues. Experiential learning becomes even more powerful for capacity building when it involves cultural and geographic diversity and multiple public and private institutions. Our next generation of leaders will need these bridging experiences to address and solve global challenges like climate change, food security and transboundary diseases. These challenges cannot effectively be solved by individual countries or institutions and require creating new frameworks and partnerships that are transdisciplinary and global. The objectives of this paper were 1) to describe an experiential learning experience through the National Animal Health and Food Security Policy course conducted in Washington DC and 2) discuss ways the curriculum of this multi-institutional course could be internationalized and adopted globally. The paper discusses possible ways of internationalizing this course including: formation of partnerships with institutions that are already involved in multi-institutional global courses; involvement of international agencies whose missions align with the national health and food security policy course; and signing memoranda of understanding among governments to use this course for capacity building for their public servants.

    James A C Oliver, Abel Ekiri, ABEL BULAMU EKIRI, Cathryn S Mellersh (2016)Prevalence of pectinate ligament dysplasia and associations with age, sex and intraocular pressure in the Basset hound, Flatcoated retriever and Dandie Dinmont terrier, In: Canine genetics and epidemiology3(1)pp. 1-1

    The aims of this study were to: determine the prevalence of pectinate ligament dysplasia (PLD) in populations of Basset hounds (BH), Flatcoated retrievers (FCR) and Dandie Dinmont terriers (DDT) resident in the UK; investigate possible associations between the degree of PLD and age, sex and intraocular pressure (IOP) and; investigate possible associations between IOP and age and sex. Gonioscopy was performed in both eyes of 198 BH, 170 FCR and 95 DDT and the percentage of iridocorneal angle affected by PLD was estimated and classified as unaffected (0 %), mildly affected (90 %). Rebound tonometry was performed bilaterally in the majority of enrolled dogs. Seventy-six of 198 (38.4 %) BH, 36/170 (21.2 %) FCR and 21/95 (22.1 %) DDT were moderately or severely affected by PLD. The prevalence of PLD was significantly higher in BH than both FCR and DDT. In all breeds there was a significant positive correlation between PLD and age. In the BH only there was a significant association between PLD and sex. In the DDT only there was a weak negative correlation between PLD and IOP and a moderately strong negative correlation between IOP and age. PLD is prevalent and significantly associated with age in all three breeds we investigated. The linear relationship between PLD and age can be explained by the progression of PLD over time which would contribute to the high prevalence of PLD despite widespread screening.

    Abel B. Ekiri, Margaret L. Khaitsa, David Kabasa (2013)Africa-US Integrated Disease Management Consortium: A Model for International Education and International Development, In: NACTA journal157(3a)pp. 115-121 North American Colleges & Teachers (NACTA)

    In 2010, the United States Agency for International Development, The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and Higher Education for Development awarded 11 Africa-US Higher Education partnership grants of $1.1 million each to universities in Africa and the US to address national and regional priorities in sub-Saharan Africa. Each partnership will develop collaborative research and academic programs to build the capacity of the African and US institutions to affect change in Africa. This paper describes one of the partnerships between North Dakota State University (NDSU) and Makerere University (Mak) in Uganda that addresses capacity building in integrated management of transboundary animal diseases and zoonoses in Eastern and Central Africa. In addition, NDSU and Mak are part of a consortium of twelve North American and African institutions of higher learning working collaboratively to offer global educational experiences with an emphasis on animal production and health and food security. Several components of the aforementioned partnership will be discussed including: 1) Africa-US Partnerships, the twinning model; 2) global perspective of Higher Education training; 3) centers of excellence model and the academic-community-public-private partnerships framework under the Africa Institute for Strategic Services Development; and 4) the challenges and achievements of the NDSU-Mak partnership.

    Abel B. Ekiri, Loy F. Aceng, Margaret L. Khaitsa, Francis Ejobi, David Kabasa (2013)An International Experiential Learning Program: A Study Abroad Experience in Uganda, In: NACTA Journalpp. 104-110 North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA)

    An international experience helps create an awareness of international perspectives and prepares students for a global workforce. Creating an effective study abroad experience requires strong collaboration and active involvement of local and foreign host partner institutions. This paper describes a one month summer study abroad experience in Uganda developed jointly by North Dakota State University (NDSU) and Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda to offer international educational experiences with an emphasis on animal production and health. The elements shared in this paper include: course overview and objectives; course requirements, content and evaluation, management and funding; student participation; the experiential learning experience in Uganda; impact; benefits; challenges; student comments; and future directions in promoting international learning experiences. The course supports NDSU’s mission to “address the needs and aspirations of people in a changing world,” its vision to “be globally identified as a contemporary metropolitan land grant institution” and its core values to “reflect and serve geographically and culturally diverse populations,” “remain committed to serving people globally” and “value collaboration with colleges and universities around the world.” When considering a study abroad experience, students should be encouraged to broaden their choice of place and include non-traditional destinations such as developing countries in Africa.

    Daniel Esonu, Bryony Armson, Mohammed Babashani, Ruth Alafiatayo, Abel B. Ekiri, Alasdair J. C. Cook (2022)Epidemiology of Peste des Petits Ruminants in Nigeria: A Review, In: Frontiers in veterinary science9898485pp. 898485-898485 Frontiers Media Sa

    Peste des petits ruminants (PPR) is a major constraint to the productivity of small ruminants in Nigeria. Understanding of the current epidemiological status of PPR is crucial to its effective control. A review of the epidemiology of PPR in Nigeria was performed and research gaps were identified. Thirty-seven eligible articles were reviewed: these presented information from 30 of the 36 states of Nigeria. Most studies focused on goats and/or sheep (n = 33) but camels (n = 4), cattle (n = 1) and wild ruminants (n = 2) were also considered. Fourteen (37.8%) of the articles reported seroprevalence in small ruminants, which varied from 0.0% to 77.5% where more than 10 animals were sampled. Molecular characterization and phylogenetic analysis were performed in 6 studies, with lineages II and IV, detected in sheep and goats. In one study in small ruminants, sequences clustering into lineage I showed a similarity to the vaccine strain, Nigeria 75/1, based on phylogenetic analysis of F gene sequences. However, if the preferred method of sequencing the N gene had been performed, this isolate would have been grouped into lineage II. According to N gene phylogenetic analysis in the other studies, sequences were identified that clustered with clade II-NigA, II-NigB (closely related to the Nigeria 75/1 vaccine strain), and others which were well separated, suggesting a high diversity of PPRV in Nigeria. Five articles reported the detection of lineage IV in 22/36 states, with IV-NigA and IV-NigB detected, highlighting its widespread distribution in Nigeria. Risk factors for PPRV seropositivity were reported in 10/37 (27.0%) articles, with a higher seroprevalence observed in female animals, although differing results were observed when considering species and age separately. There were inconsistencies in study design and data reporting between studies which precluded conduct of a meta-analysis. Nevertheless, several research gaps were identified including the need to investigate the low uptake of PPRV vaccine, and the economic benefits of PPR control measures to small ruminant farmers. Such data will inform PPR control strategies in Nigeria and subsequently contribute to the global 2030 PPR eradication strategy.

    A.B. Ekiri, A.M. House, T.M. Krueger, J.A. Hernandez (2014)Awareness, perceived relevance, and acceptance of large animal hospital surveillance and infection control practices by referring veterinarians and clients, In: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association244(7)pp. 835-843

    Objective-To assess awareness, perceived relevance, and acceptance of surveillance and infection control practices at a large animal referral hospital among referring veterinarians and clients who sent horses to the facility for veterinary care. Design-Survey. Sample-57 referring veterinarians and 594 clients. Procedures-A 15-question survey targeting Salmonella enterica as an important pathogen of interest in horses was sent to clients who sent ≥ 1 horse to the University of Florida Large Animal Hospital for veterinary care during July 1, 2007, through July 1, 2011, and to veterinarians who had referred horses to the same hospital prior to July 1, 2011. Responses were summarized with descriptive statistics. The χ2 test and the Wilcoxon rank sum test were used to examine associations among variables of interest. Results-Survey response rates were low (57/467 [12%] for veterinarians and 594/3,095 [19%] for clients). Significantly more (35/56 [63%]) veterinarians than clients (227/585 [39%]) were aware that the hospital operates a surveillance and infection control program. Most veterinarians (56/57 [98%]) and clients (554/574 [97%]) indicated that sampling and testing of horses to detect Salmonella shedding in feces at admission and during hospitalization was justified. In addition, on a scale of 1 (not important) to 10 (very important), veterinarians and clients indicated it was very important (median score, 10 [interquartile range, 8 to 10] for both groups) that a referral hospital operates a surveillance and infection control program. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance-Survey results indicated that awareness of hospital surveillance and infection control practices was higher among veterinarians than clients, and these practices were considered relevant and well-accepted among participant veterinarians and clients.

    A.B. Ekiri, R.J. MacKay, J.M. Gaskin, D.E. Freeman, A.M. House, S. Giguère, M.R. Troedsson, C.D. Schuman, M.M. Von Chamier, K.M. Henry, J.A. Hernandez (2009)Epidemiologic analysis of nosocomial Salmonella infections in hospitalized horses, In: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association234(1)pp. 108-119

    Objective - To examine the relationship between abdominal surgery and nosocomial Salmonella infections and the relationship between high caseload in combination with abdominal surgery and nosocomial Salmonella infections in hospitalized horses with signs of gastrointestinal tract disease. Animals - 140 horses. Design - Case-control study. Procedures - To accomplish the first objective, 1 to 4 control horses were matched with each nosocomial case horse on the basis of admission date of a primary case horse. The frequency of abdominal surgery and other investigated exposure factors were compared between nosocomial case horses and control horses. For the second objective, 4 control horses were matched with each nosocomial case horse on the basis of year of admission. The frequency of high caseload (≥ 26 inpatients), abdominal surgery, and other factors was compared between nosocomial case horses and control horses. Results - The odds of nosocomial Salmonella infection were 8 times as high (odds ratio = 8.2; 95% confidence interval = 1.11, 60.24) in horses that underwent abdominal surgery, compared with the odds for horses that did not undergo surgery. High caseload alone or in combination with abdominal surgery was not associated with increased risk of nosocomial Salmonella infection. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance - Abdominal surgery was identified as a risk factor for nosocomial Salmonella infections in horses. Horses that undergo abdominal surgery require enhanced infection control and preventative care. Risk of nosocomial Salmonella infections may be reduced by implementation of biosecurity measures (such as the use of plastic boots, gloves, and footbaths) immediately after surgery.

    Usman O. Adekanye, Abel Bulamu Ekiri, Erika Galipo, Abubakar Bala Muhammad, Ana Mateus, Roberto M. La Ragione (2020)Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices of Veterinarians Towards Antimicrobial Resistance and Stewardship in Nigeria, In: Antibiotics MDPI

    Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global health concern and the inappropriate use of antibiotics in animals and humans are considered contributing factors. A cross-sectional survey to assess the knowledge, attitudes and practices of veterinarians regarding AMR and antimicrobial stewardship was conducted in Nigeria. A total of 241 respondents completed an online survey. Only 21% of respondents correctly defined the term antimicrobial stewardship and 59.8% were unaware of the guidelines provided by the Nigeria AMR National Action Plan. Over half (51%) of respondents indicated that prophylactic antibiotic use was appropriate when farm biosecurity was poor. Only 20% of the respondents conducted antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) frequently, and the unavailability of veterinary laboratory services (82%) and the owner’s inability to pay (72%) were reported as key barriers to conducting AST. The study findings suggest a focus on the following areas of potential intervention may be useful in improving appropriate antibiotic use and antimicrobial stewardship among veterinarians in Nigeria: increased awareness of responsible antimicrobial use among practicing and new graduated veterinarians, increased dissemination of 33 regularly updated antibiotic use guidelines, increased understanding of the role of good biosecurity 34 and vaccination practices in disease prevention, and increased provision of AST at affordable costs.

    Sitira Williams, Isabella Endacott, Abel B. Ekiri, Mirende Kichuki, Mariana Dineva, Erika Galipo, Vadim Alexeenko, Ruth Alafiatayo, Erik Mijten, Gabriel Varga, Alasdair J.C. Cook (2022)Barriers to vaccine use in small ruminants and poultry in Tanzania, In: Onderstepoort journal of veterinary research89(1)pp. 11-2007 AOSIS

    Vaccination is an important disease prevention and control measure; however, vaccine adoption by livestock farmers in Tanzania is still low. This cross-sectional study examined the challenges to vaccine use faced by livestock owners and animal health professionals (AHPs) in Tanzania. A questionnaire was administered to 216 households that kept small ruminants and poultry and 19 AHPs’ data were collected electronically via the survey platform Qualtrics, and descriptive statistics were performed. Households with poultry reported vaccinating mostly against Newcastle disease (91.7%), fowl pox (48.1%) and Gumboro disease (37.0%), whilst households with small ruminants reported contagious caprine pleuropneumonia (62.2%), sheep and goat pox (17.1%), foot-and-mouth disease (7.3%) and peste des petits ruminants (7.3%). The households’ decision to vaccinate was mostly influenced by knowledge of diseases (82.4%), disease history on the farm (69.4%) and vaccine price (63.4%). Most households (54.6%) experienced challenges when purchasing vaccines, including high vaccine cost (78.0%), long distance from vaccine source (61.0%) and vaccine unavailability (21.2%). The findings suggest that improving the knowledge of livestock owners regarding the priority diseases and the benefits of vaccination, establishing more vaccine suppliers, improving vaccine distribution and access and training AHPs and households on appropriate vaccine storage and handling are necessary to improve vaccine adoption and ensure vaccine quality and effectiveness.

    Karen Saylors, David J. Wolking, Emily Hagan, Stephanie Martinez, Leilani Francisco, Jason Euren, Sarah H. Olson, Maureen Miller, Amanda E. Fine, Nga Nguyen Thi Thanh, Phuc Tran Minh, Jusuf D. Kalengkongan, Tina Kusumaningrum, Alice Latinne, Joko Pamungkas, Dodi Safari, Suryo Saputro, Djeneba Bamba, Kalpy Julien Coulibaly, Mireille Dosso, Anne Laudisoit, Kouassi Manzan N’guettia Jean, Shusmita Dutta, Ariful Islam, Shahanaj Shano, Mwokozi I. Mwanzalila, Ian P. Trupin, Aiah Gbakima, James Bangura, Sylvester T. Yondah, Dibesh Karmacharya, Rima D. Shrestha, Marcelle Annie Matsida Kamta, Mohamed Moctar Mouliom Mouiche, Hilarion Moukala Ndolo, Fabien Roch Niama, Dionne Onikrotin, Peter Daszak, Christine K. Johnson, Jonna A. K. Mazet, Abel Bulamu Ekiri (2021)Socializing One Health: an innovative strategy to investigate social and behavioral risks of emerging viral threats, In: One Health Outlook3(1)pp. 11-11 BioMed Central

    In an effort to strengthen global capacity to prevent, detect, and control infectious diseases in animals and people, the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Emerging Pandemic Threats (EPT) PREDICT project funded development of regional, national, and local One Health capacities for early disease detection, rapid response, disease control, and risk reduction. From the outset, the EPT approach was inclusive of social science research methods designed to understand the contexts and behaviors of communities living and working at human-animal-environment interfaces considered high-risk for virus emergence. Using qualitative and quantitative approaches, PREDICT behavioral research aimed to identify and assess a range of socio-cultural behaviors that could be influential in zoonotic disease emergence, amplification, and transmission. This broad approach to behavioral risk characterization enabled us to identify and characterize human activities that could be linked to the transmission dynamics of new and emerging viruses. This paper provides a discussion of implementation of a social science approach within a zoonotic surveillance framework. We conducted in-depth ethnographic interviews and focus groups to better understand the individual- and community-level knowledge, attitudes, and practices that potentially put participants at risk for zoonotic disease transmission from the animals they live and work with, across 6 interface domains. When we asked highly-exposed individuals (ie. bushmeat hunters, wildlife or guano farmers) about the risk they perceived in their occupational activities, most did not perceive it to be risky, whether because it was normalized by years (or generations) of doing such an activity, or due to lack of information about potential risks. Integrating the social sciences allows investigations of the specific human activities that are hypothesized to drive disease emergence, amplification, and transmission, in order to better substantiate behavioral disease drivers, along with the social dimensions of infection and transmission dynamics. Understanding these dynamics is critical to achieving health security--the protection from threats to health-- which requires investments in both collective and individual health security. Involving behavioral sciences into zoonotic disease surveillance allowed us to push toward fuller community integration and engagement and toward dialogue and implementation of recommendations for disease prevention and improved health security.

    J. Deutsch, A. Ekiri, A. de Vries (2017)Alfaxalone for maintenance of anaesthesia in ponies undergoing field castration: continuous infusion compared with intravenous boluses, In: Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia44(4)pp. 832-840 Association of Veterinary Anaesthetists and American College of Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia

    Objective To compare alfaxalone as continuous intravenous (IV) infusion with intermittent IV injections for maintenance of anaesthesia in ponies undergoing castration. Study design Prospective, randomized, ‘blinded’ clinical study. Animals A group of 33 entire male Welsh ponies undergoing field castration. Methods After preanaesthetic medication with IV detomidine (10 μg kg−1) and butorphanol (0.05 mg kg−1), anaesthesia was induced with IV diazepam (0.05 mg kg−1) followed by alfaxalone (1 mg kg−1). After random allocation, anaesthesia was maintained with either IV alfaxalone 2 mg kg−1 hour−1 (group A; n = 16) or saline administered at equal volume (group S; n = 17). When necessary, additional alfaxalone (0.2 mg kg−1) was administered IV. Ponies were breathing room air. Using simple descriptive scales, surgical conditions and anaesthesia recovery were scored. Total amount of alfaxalone, ponies requiring additional alfaxalone and time to administration, time from induction to end of infusion and end of infusion to standing were noted. Indirect arterial blood pressure, pulse and respiratory rates, end-expiratory carbon dioxide partial pressure and arterial haemoglobin oxygen saturation were recorded every 5 minutes. Data were analysed using Student t, Mann–Whitney U and chi-square tests, where appropriate (p < 0.05). Results Total amount of alfaxalone administered after induction of anaesthesia (0.75 ± 0.27 versus 0.17 ± 0.23 mg kg−1; p < 0.0001) and time to standing (14.8 ± 4 versus 11.6 ± 4 minutes; p = 0.044) were higher in group A compared to group S. Ponies requiring additional alfaxalone boluses [four (group A) versus seven (group S)] and other measured variables were similar between groups; five ponies required oxygen supplementation [three (group A) versus two (group S)]. Conclusion and clinical relevance Continuous IV infusion and intermittent administration of alfaxalone provided similar anaesthesia quality and surgical conditions in ponies undergoing field castration. Less alfaxalone is required when used intermittently. © 2017 Association of Veterinary Anaesthetists and American College of Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia

    E.S. Idoga, B. Armson, R. Alafiatayo, A. Ogwuche, E. Mijten, A.B. Ekiri, G. Varga, A.J.C. Cook (2020)A Review of the Current Status of Peste des Petits Ruminants Epidemiology in Small Ruminants in Tanzania, In: Frontiers in Veterinary Science7 Frontiers Media S.A.

    Peste des petits ruminants (PPR) is a highly contagious viral disease of sheep and goats with high mortality. The disease is of considerable economic importance in countries such as Tanzania, where small ruminant products are important for sustainable livelihoods. This review assesses current knowledge regarding the epidemiology of PPRV in Tanzania, highlighting the challenges with respect to control and suggesting possible interventions. Thirty-three articles were identified after literature searches using Google Scholar and PubMed. Studies revealed that PPRV is endemic in sheep and goats in Tanzania, although seropositivity has also been reported in cattle, camels, buffalo, Grant's gazelle, wildebeest and impala, but with no clinical manifestation. Three lineages (lineage II to IV) of PPRV have been identified in Tanzania, implying at least two separate introductions of the virus. Diagnosis of PPR in Tanzania is mostly by observation of clinical signs and lesions at post mortem. Risk factors in Tanzania include age, sex, species, and close contact of animals from different farms/localities. Although there is an efficacious vaccine available for PPR, poor disease surveillance, low vaccine coverage, and uncontrolled animal movements have been the bane of control efforts for PPR in Tanzania. There is need for collaborative efforts to develop interventions to control and eradicate the disease. The establishment of a national reference laboratory for PPR, conduct of surveillance, the development of high-quality DIVA vaccines, as well as execution of a carefully planned national vaccination campaign may be key to the control and subsequent eradication of PPR in Tanzania and achieving the global goal of eradicating PPR by 2030. © Copyright © 2020 Idoga, Armson, Alafiatayo, Ogwuche, Mijten, Ekiri, Varga and Cook.

    A. de Vries, S.A. Pakkanen, M.R. Raekallio, A. Ekiri, M. Scheinin, P.M. Taylor, O.M. Vainio (2016)Clinical effects and pharmacokinetic variables of romifidine and the peripheral α2‐adrenoceptor antagonist MK‐467 in horses, In: Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia43(6)pp. 599-610 Association of Veterinary Anaesthetists and American College of Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia

    Objectives: To investigate the effects of MK‐467 on sedation quality, and cardiopulmonary and pharmacokinetic variables in horses sedated intravenously (IV) with romifidine. Study design: Experimental, randomized, crossover design. Animals: Seven healthy mares. Methods: Romifidine (80 μg kg−1; R) and MK‐467 (200 μg kg−1; MK) were administered IV alone and in combination (R + MK). Levels of sedation and borborygmi were scored. Heart rate (HR), direct arterial blood pressure (ABP) and respiratory rate (fR) were recorded. Arterial and venous blood gas analyses were performed and venous plasma drug concentrations were measured. Pharmacokinetic parameters were calculated. Linear mixed modelling for repeated measures, contrasts of least square means by Bonferroni correction tests, one‐way ANOVA for repeated measures with Bonferroni multiple comparison tests and paired Student's t‐tests were used to compare results within and between treatments as appropriate. Significance was set at p < 0.05. Results: After R, ABP increased and HR and fR decreased significantly. After R + MK, HR, fR, systolic and mean ABP decreased. MK alone increased both HR and fR. After R, ABP was significantly higher than after R + MK. HR and fR were significantly higher after MK than after R and R + MK. Areas under the curve for sedation time were similar after R and R + MK. Intestinal activity decreased markedly after R and less after R + MK. Volume of distribution and clearance of romifidine were significantly higher and area under the concentration time curve extrapolated to infinity significantly lower after R + MK than after R. Conclusions: Combined romifidine and MK‐467 prevented the cardiovascular changes commonly seen with romifidine but did not affect sedation quality. Clinical relevance: Combined IV romifidine and MK‐467 can be used to attenuate the cardiovascular effects of romifidine, such as in horses with colic or undergoing general anaesthesia. © 2016 Association of Veterinary Anaesthetists and American College of Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia

    A.B. Ekiri, D. Landblom, D. Doetkott, S. Olet, W.L. Shelver, M.L. Khaitsa (2014)Isolation and characterization of shiga toxin-producing escherichia coli serogroups O26, O45, O103, O111, O113, O121, O145, and O157 shed from range and feedlot cattle from postweaning to slaughter, In: Journal of Food Protection77(7)pp. 1052-1061 International Association for Food Protection

    Cattle are the main reservoirs for Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) strains. E. coli O26, O45, O103, O111, O121, O145, and O157 are among the STEC serogroups that cause severe foodborne illness and have been declared as adulterants by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service. The objectives of this study were (i) to estimate the prevalence of non-O157 STEC and E. coli O157 in naturally infected beef cows and in steer calves at postweaning, during finishing, and at slaughter and (ii) to test non-O157 STEC isolates for the presence of virulence genes stx1, stx2, eaeA, and ehlyA. Samples were collected from study animals during multiple sampling periods and included fecal grabs, rectal swabs, and midline sponge samples. Laboratory culture, PCR, and multiplex PCR were performed to recover and identify E. coli and the virulence genes. The prevalence of non-O157 STEC (serogroups O26, O45, O103, O111, O121, O113, and O145) fecal shedding ranged from 8% (4 of 48 samples) to 39% (15 of 38 samples) in cows and 2% (1 of 47 samples) to 38% (9 of 24 samples) in steer calves. The prevalence of E. coli O157 fecal shedding ranged from 0% (0 of 38 samples) to 52% (25 of 48 samples) in cows and 2% (1 of 47 samples) to 31% (15 of 48 samples) in steer calves. In steer calves, the prevalence of non-O157 STEC and E. coli O157 was highest at postweaning, at 16% (15 of 96 samples) and 23% (22 of 96 samples), respectively. Among the 208 non- O157 STEC isolates, 79% (164 isolates) had stx1, 79% (165 isolates) had stx2, and 58% (121 isolates) had both stx1 and stx2 genes. The percentage of non-O157 STEC isolates encoding the eaeA gene was low; of the 165 isolates tested, 8 (5%) were positive for eaeA and 135 (82%) were positive for ehlyA. Findings from this study provide further evidence of non-O157 STEC shedding in beef cows and steer calves particularly at the stage of postweaning and before entry into the feedlot.

    F. Stabile, M. Bernardini, G. Bevilacqua, A.B. Ekiri, A. de Stefani, L. De Risio (2015)Neurological signs and pre- and post-traction low-field MRI findings in Dobermanns with disc-associated cervical spondylomyelopathy, In: Journal of Small Animal Practice56(5)pp. 331-338

    OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether the presence of neurological signs and magnetic resonance imaging findings could predict the presence of a traction-responsive lesion in Dobermanns affected by disc-associated cervical spondylomyelopathy. METHODS: Retrospective review of neurological signs and low-field pre- and post-traction magnetic resonance imaging abnormalities of the cervical spine (abnormal vertebral body shape and vertebral tipping, intervertebral disc degeneration, protrusion and ligamentum flavum hypertrophy) in Dobermanns with disc-associated cervical spondylomyelopathy. The main outcome of interest was response to linear traction (dynamic versus static) at C6-C7 intervertebral disc space. The association between investigated variables and response to linear traction was assessed. RESULTS: The study included 25 dogs. No association was identified between neurological status grading and the presence of a static or traction-responsive lesion. Of the investigated magnetic resonance findings, C7-T1 intervertebral disc degeneration was significantly (P = 0 · 03) associated with the presence of a traction-responsive lesion at C6-C7 intervertebral disc space. CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE: The presence of C7-T1 intervertebral disc degeneration might help in predicting the presence of traction-responsive C6-C7 intervertebral disc lesions. © 2015 British Small Animal Veterinary Association.

    L. Mari, S. Behr, A. Shea, E. Dominguez, C. Ricco, E. Alcoverro, A. Ekiri, D. Sanchez-Masian, L. De Risio (2019)Predictors of urinary or fecal incontinence in dogs with thoracolumbar acute non-compressive nucleus pulposus extrusion, In: Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine33(6)pp. 2693-2700 Blackwell Publishing Inc.

    Background: Urinary (UI) and fecal (FI) incontinence occur in up to 7.5% and 32% of dogs, respectively, after thoracolumbar acute noncompressive nucleus pulposus extrusion (ANNPE). Hypotheses/Objectives: To investigate clinical, diagnostic, and therapeutic predictors of UI and FI in dogs with ANNPE affecting the T3-L3 spinal cord segments. Animals: Hundred and eighty-seven dogs with T3-L3 ANNPE diagnosed based on clinical and MRI findings. Methods: Multicenter retrospective study. Data were obtained from medical records and telephone questionnaires and analyzed by logistic regression. Results: UI and FI were reported in 17 (9.1%) and 44 (23.5%) dogs, respectively. Paraplegic dogs were 3 times (95% CI = 1.25, 10.87) more likely to develop UI (P =.018) and 4 times (95% CI = 1.94, 12.56) more likely to develop FI (P =.001) compared to nonparaplegic dogs. Dogs with an intramedullary hyperintensity greater than 40% of the cross-sectional area of the spinal cord at the same level on transverse T2-weighted MRI images were 4 times more likely to develop UI (95% CI = 1.04, 21.72; P =.045) and FI (95% CI = 1.56, 10.39; P =.004) compared to dogs with smaller lesions. FI was 3 times (95% CI = 1.41, 7.93) more likely in dogs that were not treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) after diagnosis compared to dogs administered NSAIDs (P =.006) and 2 times (95% CI = 1.12, 5.98) more likely in dogs presented with clinical signs compatible with spinal shock compared to dogs without (P =.026). Conclusion and Clinical Importance: The identification of clinical, diagnostic, and therapeutic predictors of UI and FI in dogs with T3-L3 ANNPE can help to approach these autonomic dysfunctions occurring after spinal cord injury. © 2019 The Authors. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.

    A.B. Ekiri, C. Kilonzo, B.H. Bird, E. Vanwormer, D.J. Wolking, W.A. Smith, H. Masanja, R.R. Kazwala, J.A.K. Mazet (2020)Utility of the Rose Bengal Test as a Point-of-Care Test for Human Brucellosis in Endemic African Settings: A Systematic Review, In: Journal of Tropical Medicine2020 Hindawi Limited

    In endemic African areas, such as Tanzania, Brucella spp. cause human febrile illnesses, which often go unrecognized and misdiagnosed, resulting in delayed diagnosis, underdiagnosis, and underreporting. Although rapid and affordable point-of-care tests, such as the Rose Bengal test (RBT), are available, acceptance and adoption of these tests at the national level are hindered by a lack of local diagnostic performance data. To address this need, evidence on the diagnostic performance of RBT as a human brucellosis point-of-care test was reviewed. The review was initially focused on studies conducted in Tanzania but was later extended to worldwide because few relevant studies from Tanzania were identified. Databases including Web of Science, Embase, MEDLINE, and World Health Organization Global Index Medicus were searched for studies assessing the diagnostic performance of RBT (sensitivity and specificity) for detection of human brucellosis, in comparison to the reference standard culture. Sixteen eligible studies were identified and reviewed following screening. The diagnostic sensitivity (DSe) and specificity (DSp) of RBT compared to culture as the gold standard were 87.5% and 100%, respectively, in studies that used suitable "true positive"and "true negative"patient comparison groups and were considered to be of high scientific quality. Diagnostic DSe and DSp of RBT compared to culture in studies that also used suitable "true positive"and "true negative"patient comparison groups but were considered to be of moderate scientific quality varied from 92.5% to 100% and 94.3 to 99.9%, respectively. The good diagnostic performance of RBT combined with its simplicity, quickness, and affordability makes RBT an ideal (or close to) stand-alone point-of-care test for early clinical diagnosis and management of human brucellosis and nonmalarial fevers in small and understaffed health facilities and laboratories in endemic areas in Africa and elsewhere. © 2020 Abel B. Ekiri et al.

    A. Shea, L. De Risio, H. Carruthers, A. Ekiri, E. Beltran (2016)Clinical features and disease progression of L-2-hydroxyglutaric aciduria in 27 Staffordshire bull terriers, In: Veterinary Record179(21) British Veterinary Association

    To describe the development of clinical signs (CS) and outcome of L-2-hydroxyglutaric aciduria (L-2-HGA), owners of 119 Staffordshire bull terriers positive for the known L-2- hydroxyglutarate dehydrogenase autosomal-recessive mutations were requested to complete a questionnaire regarding their pet's CS. Questionnaires were returned for 27 dogs, all with neurological abnormalities-not all questions were answered in all cases. The mean age of CS onset was 12 months (range 2.5'60). Gait dysfunction was reported in 26/26 dogs, with stiffness of all four limbs the most common (24/26) and earliest recognised abnormality. Kyphosis (19/26), body and/or head tremors (19/26) and hypermetria (15/26) were frequent. Behavioural changes were present in 24/27 dogs; most commonly staring into space (21/24), signs of dementia (17/24) and loss of training (15/24). Eighteen dogs demonstrated paroxysmal seizure-like/dyskinetic episodes. Nineteen (70 per cent) dogs were alive at a mean survival time of 76.6 months (12'170) after onset of CS. L-2-HGA was the cause of euthanasia in six dogs. Euthanasia occurred at a mean survival time of 44 months (8.5'93) after onset of CS, with 2/8 dogs euthanased within 12 months. L-2-HGA is considered a progressive neurological disease; however, CS can be successfully managed with affected dogs potentially living a normal lifespan.

    Jessica S Schwind, David J Wolking, John S Brownstein, Jonna A K Mazet, Woutrina A Smith, ABEL BULAMU EKIRI, (2014)Evaluation of local media surveillance for improved disease recognition and monitoring in global hotspot regions, In: PloS one9(10)pp. e110236-e110236

    Digital disease detection tools are technologically sophisticated, but dependent on digital information, which for many areas suffering from high disease burdens is simply not an option. In areas where news is often reported in local media with no digital counterpart, integration of local news information with digital surveillance systems, such as HealthMap (Boston Children's Hospital), is critical. Little research has been published in regards to the specific contribution of local health-related articles to digital surveillance systems. In response, the USAID PREDICT project implemented a local media surveillance (LMS) pilot study in partner countries to monitor disease events reported in print media. This research assessed the potential of LMS to enhance digital surveillance reach in five low- and middle-income countries. Over 16 weeks, select surveillance system attributes of LMS, such as simplicity, flexibility, acceptability, timeliness, and stability were evaluated to identify strengths and weaknesses in the surveillance method. Findings revealed that LMS filled gaps in digital surveillance network coverage by contributing valuable localized information on disease events to the global HealthMap database. A total of 87 health events were reported through the LMS pilot in the 16-week monitoring period, including 71 unique reports not found by the HealthMap digital detection tool. Furthermore, HealthMap identified an additional 236 health events outside of LMS. It was also observed that belief in the importance of the project and proper source selection from the participants was crucial to the success of this method. The timely identification of disease outbreaks near points of emergence and the recognition of risk factors associated with disease occurrence continue to be important components of any comprehensive surveillance system for monitoring disease activity across populations. The LMS method, with its minimal resource commitment, could be one tool used to address the information gaps seen in global 'hot spot' regions.

    Terra R Kelly, William B Karesh, Christine Kreuder Johnson, Kirsten V.K Gilardi, Simon J Anthony, Tracey Goldstein, Sarah H Olson, Catherine Machalaba, Jonna A.K Mazet, ABEL BULAMU EKIRI, (2017)One Health proof of concept: Bringing a transdisciplinary approach to surveillance for zoonotic viruses at the human-wild animal interface, In: Preventive veterinary medicine137(Pt B)pp. 112-118 Elsevier B.V

    As the world continues to react and respond inefficiently to emerging infectious diseases, such as Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome and the Ebola and Zika viruses, a growing transdisciplinary community has called for a more proactive and holistic approach to prevention and preparedness – One Health. Such an approach presents important opportunities to reduce the impact of disease emergence events and also to mitigate future emergence through improved cross-sectoral coordination. In an attempt to provide proof of concept of the utility of the One Health approach, the US Agency for International Development’s PREDICT project consortium designed and implemented a targeted, risk-based surveillance strategy based not on humans as sentinels of disease but on detecting viruses early, at their source, where intervention strategies can be implemented before there is opportunity for spillover and spread in people or food animals. Here, we share One Health approaches used by consortium members to illustrate the potential for successful One Health outcomes that can be achieved through collaborative, transdisciplinary partnerships. PREDICT’s collaboration with partners around the world on strengthening local capacity to detect hundreds of viruses in wild animals, coupled with a series of cutting-edge virological and analytical activities, have significantly improved our baseline knowledge on the zoonotic pool of viruses and the risk of exposure to people. Further testament to the success of the project’s One Health approach and the work of its team of dedicated One Health professionals are the resulting 90 peer-reviewed, scientific publications in under 5 years that improve our understanding of zoonoses and the factors influencing their emergence. The findings are assisting in global health improvements, including surveillance science, diagnostic technologies, understanding of viral evolution, and ecological driver identification. Through its One Health leadership and multi-disciplinary partnerships, PREDICT has forged new networks of professionals from the human, animal, and environmental health sectors to promote global health, improving our understanding of viral disease spillover from wildlife and implementing strategies for preventing and controlling emerging disease threats.

    J.A.C. Oliver, A.B. Ekiri, C.S. Mellersh (2017)Pectinate ligament dysplasia in the Border Collie, Hungarian Vizsla and Golden Retriever, In: Veterinary Record180(11) British Veterinary Association

    Pectinate ligament dysplasia (PLD) is significantly associated with primary closed angle glaucoma (PCAG) in several dog breeds. Gonioscopy screening for PLD is advised in breeds in which PLD and PCAG are particularly prevalent in order that affected dogs may be eliminated from the breeding population. The Border Collie (BC), Hungarian Vizsla (HV) and Golden Retriever (GR) breeds are currently under investigation for PLD by the British Veterinary Association/Kennel Club/International Sheep Dog Society (BVA/KC/ISDS) Eye Scheme. The authors aimed to determine the prevalence of PLD in UK populations of BC, HV and GR and to investigate possible associations between the degree of PLD and age and sex. Gonioscopy was performed in 102 BCs, 112 HVs and 230 GRs and the percentage of iridocorneal angle affected by PLD was estimated and classified as unaffected (0 per cent), mildly affected (90 per cent). Eleven of 102 (13.8 per cent) BCs, 16/112 (14.3 per cent) HVs and 60/230 (26.1 per cent) GRs were moderately or severely affected by PLD. The prevalence of PLD was significantly higher in GR than both BC and HV. There was a significant positive correlation between PLD and age in the HV and GR but not in the BC. There was no association between PLD and sex in any breed. © 2017 British Veterinary Association.

    K.L.B. Blacklock, P. Langer, Z. Halfacree, D.A. Yool, S. Corr, L. Owen, E. Friend, A. Ekiri (2016)Canine ovariohysterectomy: A survey of surgeon concerns and surgical complications encountered by newly graduated veterinarians, In: Journal of Veterinary Medical Education43(2)pp. 184-189 University of Toronto Press Inc.

    The objective of this study was to document newly qualified veterinarians' concerns and surgical complications encountered during canine ovariohysterectomy (cOVH) during the first year of general practice. A questionnaire investigating concerns about cOVH procedures was sent to all final-year veterinary students (group 1) enrolled at five UK universities. Participants were later asked to complete a similar questionnaire 6 months (group 2) and 12 months (group 3) after graduation, which involved grading their concern about different aspects of the cOVH procedure and reporting surgical complications encountered after completing three cOVHs. Responses were compared between different time points. There were 196 respondents in group 1, 55 in group 2, and 36 in group 3. Between groups 1 and 2, there was a statistically significant reduction in the respondents' levels of concern in every aspect of cOVH (p

    A.J. Morton, C.R. Varney, A.B. Ekiri, A. Grosche (2011)Cardiovascular effects of N-butylscopolammonium bromide and xylazine in horses, In: Equine Veterinary Journal43pp. 117-122

    Reasons for performing study: N-butylscopolammonium bromide (NBB) and xylazine are commonly used medications for the treatment of spasmodic colic and other forms of abdominal pain in horses. Both NBB and xylazine exert significant effects on the cardiovascular system and other vital systems of horses. Objective: To evaluate the effects of i.v. administration of NBB, xylazine, and the combination of NBB and xylazine on heart rate, other commonly measured physiological parameters, cardiac rhythm and blood pressure. Methods: Six mature horses of mixed breed were used. In a random cross-over design, each horse was given 0.3mg/kg bwt of NBB i.v., 0.25mg/kg bwt xylazine i.v., and a combination of 0.3mg/kg bwt NBB and 0.25mg/kg bwt xylazine. Heart rate, physiological parameters, cardiac rhythm and indirect blood pressure were recorded at timed intervals before and 60min following administration. Results: Heart rate and blood pressure were significantly elevated immediately following administration of NBB or NBB with xylazine. Administration of NBB with xylazine resulted in significantly greater initial and peak blood pressure values than with NBB alone. Administration of xylazine resulted in a decrease in heart rate, with an initial increase in blood pressure followed by a decrease in blood pressure. Sinus tachycardia was seen with NBB, and NBB and xylazine administration. First and second degree atrioventricular block was identified with xylazine administration. Ventricular tachycardia was identified in one horse following NBB and xylazine administration. Conclusions: Results of this study suggest that the effects of administration of NBB alone or in combination with xylazine to horses with colic, especially to those with systemic cardiovascular compromise, should be considered carefully to assess condition and predict prognosis accurately, and to avoid potential adverse effects. © 2011 EVJ Ltd.

    L. Mari, S. Behr, A. Shea, E. Dominguez, P.J. Johnson, A. Ekiri, L. De Risio (2017)Outcome comparison in dogs with a presumptive diagnosis of thoracolumbar fibrocartilaginous embolic myelopathy and acute non-compressive nucleus pulposus extrusion, In: Veterinary Record181(11) British Veterinary Association

    Dogs with fibrocartilaginous embolic myelopathy (FCEM) or acute non-compressive nucleus pulposus extrusion (ANNPE) are reported to have a fair prognosis; however, persistent motor/autonomic deficits are possible. Specific MRI patterns have been suggested to differentiate these diseases although never been validated with histopathology in large studies. The aim of this retrospective study was to evaluate if these MRI patterns are associated with different clinical outcomes in dogs with peracute non-progressive T3-L3 myelopathy. Two hundred and one dogs were included. Outcome data were obtained via medical records and telephone questionnaires. MRIs were blindly reviewed by three board-certified observers, obtaining substantial to almost perfect interobserver agreement on diagnoses (κ=0.635-0.828). Presumptive ANNPE and FCEM were diagnosed in 157 and 44 dogs, respectively. Ambulatory function was regained in 99 per cent of cases, with persistent motor deficits in 83.6 per cent and 92.5 per cent of dogs with presumptive ANNPE and FCEM, respectively. The presumptive diagnosis was not associated with motor function recovery, recovery times or urinary continence. Faecal incontinence was five times more likely in dogs with presumptive ANNPE (23 per cent) compared with presumptive FCEM (7.5 per cent). Distinguishing between MRI patterns of presumptive ANNPE or FCEM in dogs with peracute non-progressive T3-L3 myelopathy may help predict the risk of developing faecal incontinence.

    E Laws, L Sanchez, E Beltran, E. Dominguez, ABEL BULAMU EKIRI, J Brocal, L De Risio (2022)Multicenter Study of Clinical Presentation, Treatment, and Outcome in 41 Dogs With Spinal Epidural Empyema, In: Frontiers in veterinary science9813316 Frontiers Media Sa

    There is limited information on canine spinal epidural empyema (SEE). The aim of this multicenter retrospective study is to describe the clinical presentation and outcome of dogs undergoing spinal surgery or conservative management for SEE. Forty-one dogs met the inclusion criteria; the SEE was treated surgically in 17 dogs and conservatively in 24 dogs. Two dogs underwent spinal surgery after failure of conservative management, meaning that 19 dogs in total had spinal surgery. Long-term (i.e., >6 months) follow-up was available in 35 dogs (19 conservatively treated and 16 surgically treated dogs). Recovery to a functional pet status was achieved in 15/19 (78.9%) conservatively treated and 12/16 (75%) surgically treated dogs. There was no significant difference (p = 1.000) in long-term outcome between conservatively and surgically treated dogs (78.9 and 75%, respectively). However, significantly more surgically treated dogs were non-ambulatory at presentation (9/17 vs. 5/24, p = 0.048) compared with conservatively treated dogs. This study suggests that conservative treatment may be appropriate for dogs with SEE that are ambulatory at presentation and that surgically treated dogs generally have good outcomes. Age may be a negative prognostic indicator as dogs with poor long-term outcomes were significantly older than dogs with a good long-term outcome (p = 0.048). A larger prospective randomized study may provide further insight on treatment and outcome of SEE in dogs.

    A.B. Ekiri, A.J. Morton, M.T. Long, R.J. MacKay, J.A. Hernandez (2010)Review of the epidemiology and infection control aspects of nosocomial Salmonella infections in hospitalised horses, In: Equine Veterinary Education22(12)pp. 631-641

    Outbreaks of nosocomial Salmonella infections in hospitalised horses can occur when surveillance and infection control protocols are not in place, or not well structured and enforced. The aim of this article is to present a review of published studies that have contributed to the literature of the epidemiology and infection control aspects of nosocomial Salmonella infections in hospitalised horses. The review highlights important elements that must be taken into consideration during the formulation, implementation and evaluation of a hospital surveillance and infection control programme designed to reduce the risk of an outbreak of nosocomial Salmonella infection in hospitalised horses. © 2010 EVJ Ltd.

    J.A. Oliver, A. Ekiri, C.S. Mellersh (2016)Prevalence and progression of pectinate ligament dysplasia in the Welsh springer spaniel, In: The Journal of small animal practice57(8)pp. 416-421 Blackwell Publishing Ltd

    OBJECTIVES: To determine the prevalence of pectinate ligament dysplasia in a large group of Welsh springer spaniels; to investigate associations between pectinate ligament dysplasia and age, sex and intraocular pressure and between intraocular pressure and age and sex; and to investigate progression of pectinate ligament dysplasia in individual dogs. METHODS: In a prospective study, gonioscopy was performed in both eyes of 227 Welsh springer spaniels and intraocular pressure measured by rebound tonometry. Eyes were classified as "unaffected" if 0% of the iridocorneal angle was affected with pectinate ligament dysplasia (grade 0), "mildly affected" if 90% was affected (grade 3). In a retrospective study, progression of pectinate ligament dysplasia over time was investigated for 65 dogs. RESULTS: One hundred and thirty-nine of 227 dogs (61·2%) were affected by pectinate ligament dysplasia (grades 1 to 3) and 82/227 (36·2%) were moderately or severely affected. There was a significant association between pectinate ligament dysplasia and age. There were no associations between pectinate ligament dysplasia and intraocular pressure or pectinate ligament dysplasia and sex. Thirty-five of 65 dogs (53·8%) demonstrated progression of pectinate ligament dysplasia. CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE: Prevalence of pectinate ligament dysplasia was high despite widespread screening and selection against the condition. Our data indicate that gonioscopic features of pectinate ligament dysplasia can progress in the Welsh springer spaniel. Dogs deemed unaffected at an early age may subsequently be diagnosed with pectinate ligament dysplasia. © 2016 British Small Animal Veterinary Association.

    The main objective of this study was to assess the diagnostic performance of a real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay for the detection of Salmonella in fecal samples collected from hospitalized horses with or without signs of gastrointestinal (GI) tract disease. The PCR assay used primers and a probe that targeted the invA gene of Salmonella. Assuming a sensitivity of 100% and a specificity of 96.6%, and a disease prevalence of 2%, 5%, and 10-15% in study horses, the PCR assay had a high (100%) negative predictive value, and a positive predictive value that ranged from 37% in horses without signs of GI disease that tested Salmonella culture-negative, to 60% in horses with signs of GI disease that tested Salmonella culture-negative, to 76-83% in horses with signs of GI disease that tested Salmonella culture-positive. This study provides evidence that the real-time PCR that targets the Salmonella invA gene can be used as a screening test for the detection of Salmonella in feces of hospitalized horses with signs of GI disease. Horses that test PCR-positive can be tested in series using bacteriologic culture to reduce false positive results or to provide additional data (e.g., antibiogram and serotyping data) that can be used to identify potential nosocomial Salmonella infections. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

    Nistara Randhawa, Brian H Bird, Elizabeth VanWormer, Zikankuba Sijali, Christopher Kilonzo, Alphonce Msigwa, Abel B Ekiri, Aziza Samson, Jonathan H Epstein, David J Wolking, Woutrina A Smith, Beatriz Martínez-López, Rudovick Kazwala, Jonna A. K Mazet (2020)Fruit bats in flight: a look into the movements of the ecologically important Eidolon helvum in Tanzania, In: One Health Outlook2(1)pp. 1-16 BioMed Central
    A. Ogwuche, A.B. Ekiri, I. Endacott, B.-V. Maikai, E.S. Idoga, R. Alafiatayo, A.J.C. Cook (2021)Antibiotic use practices of veterinarians and para-veterinarians and the implications for antibiotic stewardship in Nigeria, In: Journal of the South African Veterinary Association92 AOSIS (pty) Ltd

    The aim of this study was to describe the antibiotic use practices of veterinarians and para-veterinarians in Nigeria. An online survey was distributed during November through December 2018 via email and phone to veterinarians and para-veterinarians to collect information on antibiotic use practices. Data were downloaded into Excel and descriptive statistics were presented and analysed. The survey was completed by 390 respondents. Almost all respondents (98.5%, 384/390) recommended the use of antibiotics to treat animal patients, and of these, 93.2% (358/384) were veterinarians and 6.8% (26/384) were para-veterinarians. Most respondents reported commonly recommending the use of oxytetracycline (82.6%, 317/384), tylosin (44.5%, 171/384) and gentamycin (43.8%, 168/384). A third (32.0%, 122/384) of respondents did not undertake antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) prior to antibiotic treatment. At least 60% of the respondents recommended the use of antibiotics for the treatment of non-bacterial pathogens, including viral, helminth and fungal pathogens. Over 55% (217/390) were not aware of government-issued guidelines on antibiotic use in animals, although of those aware, 69% (74/107) utilised the guidelines. Across all respondents, the majority believed legislation or regulation by government can influence the use of antibiotics by animal health professionals. The study highlights areas that can be targeted as part of intervention strategies to promote antimicrobial stewardship by animal health professionals in Nigeria, including the need for increased use of AST as a tool for supporting disease management, increased awareness of appropriate antibiotic use and greater dissemination of antibiotic use guidelines and enforcement of relevant regulation by government authorities. Copyright: © 2021. The Authors. Licensee: AOSIS. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution License.

    B. Nesemeier, A.B. Ekiri, D. Landblom, D. Doetkott, M.L. Khaitsa (2015)Prevalence and antimicrobial resistance of salmonella enterica shed from range and feedlot cattle from post-weaning to slaughter, In: Food Protection Trends35(4)pp. 280-289 International Association for Food Protection

    The objectives of this study were to (1) estimate the prevalence of Salmonella in beef cows and steers at postweaning, finishing and slaughter, and (2) determine antimicrobial resistance of isolates, and (3) assess the association between resistance and presence of class 1 integrons. Fecal samples were collected from 48 cows and 48 steers at multiple sampling periods, and mid-line sponge samples collected from steer hides before slaughter. Bacteriological culture, antimicrobial resistance tests, and polymerase chain reaction testing were performed. Salmonella prevalence varied from 8% (3/38) to 92% (35/38] in cows and from 28% (13/47) to 100% (24/24) in steers, with higher estimates at postweaning than at finishing and slaughter. Of the 200 isolates recovered, the majority (56%) were resistant to 2 or more antimicrobials. Class 1 integrons were detected in 98 isolates, of which 88 (90%) carried the conserved sequence for aadA resistance gene encoding for streptomycin/spectinomycin resistance. Study findings revealed that most steers shed Salmonella at postweaning, indicating widespread exposure either before or after weaning. The recovery of multidrug resistant isolates and presence of class 1 integrons carrying the aadA resistance gene further underscores the dilemma and public health significance associated with veterinary use of antibiotics such as streptomycin in beef cattle. Copyright © 2015, International Association for Food Protection 6200 Aurora Ave., Suite 200W, Des Moines, IA 50322-2864.

    Abel Ekiri, Barbara Haesler, Nicholas Mays, Katharina Staerk, Ana Mateus (2019)Impact of guidelines and recommendations on the level and patterns of antimicrobial use in livestock and companion animals: Systematic ReviewPIRU Publication 2019-25-A8 Policy Information and Evaluation Research Unit

    Background: There are currently several voluntary guidelines and recommendations that aim to promote the responsible use of antimicrobials (AMU) and to reduce misuse of these medicines in both food-producing animals and companion animals. They have been developed by a number of organisations and implemented in several European countries with the aim of reducing the impact of AMU on antimicrobial resistance (AMR). However, the extent of implementation of these guidelines and their effectiveness in changing behaviours associated with AMU are unknown in most cases. This review assesses the extent of implementation of guidelines, and the impact of these on levels and patterns of AMU in food-producing animals and companion animals in order to inform the development and implementation of better voluntary approaches for reducing AMU in the animal health sector. Methods: Databases including Science Direct and MEDLINE were searched for studies assessing the extent of implementation and impact of guidelines on levels and patterns of AMU in food-producing animals and companion animals. Additional searches using reference tracking, snowballing and grey literature were also performed. Quality of evidence and risk of bias assessment were conducted. A narrative synthesis approach was followed to assess and present the evidence gathered across eligible studies. Results: A total of 784 studies were screened. Fourteen studies were deemed eligible for inclusion. All, apart from three, were conducted in Europe. Several voluntary guidelines on prudent AMU were referred to in these studies, mostly developed by international or regional bodies. There is limited evidence on the extent of implementation and the effectiveness of these guidelines in food-producing animals and companion animals. In food-producing animals, the quality of studies was deemed low as most were cross-sectional and based on convenience sampling. There were differences in uptake of prudent AMU guidelines including use of antimicrobial susceptibility testing (ASTs) and critically important antimicrobials (CIAs) among countries. Voluntary initiatives from levy bodies supporting farmers involving reduction and ban of use of CIAs (e.g. third generation cephalosporins), combined with changes in animal husbandry and farming practices, and improvement of vaccination strategies were deemed amongst the most effective in the swine (UK and Denmark) and poultry (UK) sectors, and to a lesser extent in the dairy cattle production sector (Denmark). There may be lessons to be learnt from these countries for more effective AMU reduction strategies. Nevertheless, there are still scarce data on the potential impact of voluntary interventions on animal health and welfare, and productivity. One of the few countries to have assessed the impact of the promotion of prudent use campaigns, on animal health and welfare, and productivity was Denmark which has recently reported that their impact waslow in the short term according to surveillance data, though further assessments are required to assess impact in the long-term. There was even less evidence available for companion animals, and the quality of studies was lower; as consequence, these studies were not deemed suitable for the assessment of impact of prudent use recommendations and guidelines. Conclusions: Prudent use guidelines are available in most European countries, at different levels: international (Europe-wide); national (countrywide or for members of associations); and local (e.g. at hospital level). In some countries like the UK, the livestock and poultry industries have taken the initiative to reduce the use of AMs by adopting national and international recommendations for the reduction of use the use of critically important antimicrobials. However, there is currently limited quantitative evidence of the impact of the recommendations voluntary interventions in AMU in both food-producing and companion animals, and, particularly, their impact on animal health and welfare, and productivity. This is due to the lack of systematic assessment of surveillance data and of longitudinal studies to investigate the effectiveness of guidelines in changing antibiotic use in animal populations the promotion of prudent AMU. Targeted adoption of prudent use practices by farmers and veterinarians were reported to be an effective approach to reduce AMU, including CIAs in poultry, swine and dairy cattle.

    N.N. Tabe, S. Rahman, E.S. Tabe, D. Doetkott, A.B. Ekiri, M.L. Khaitsa (2016)Prevalence of Escherichia coli and Salmonella in Runoff of Two Cattle Feedlots in North Dakota, In: Food Protection Trends36(1)pp. 33-42 International Association for Food Protection

    Livestock waste is used extensively as manure in crop farming. Improperly managed manure can contaminate foods such as raw produce and can serve as a major source of zoonotic foodborne pathogens such as Escherichia coli and Salmonella. The objective of this study was to detect and estimate the prevalence of E. Coli (0157 and non-0157] serotypes and Salmonella species in runoff samples collected from two cattle feedlots [A and B) in North Dakota. Runoff samples were collected using automatic samplers (ISCO 6712) and processed by following standard culture and confirmatory methods for the isolation of E. Coli and Salmonella. Of 136 samples collected from feedlots A and B, 106 (78%) tested positive for at least one of the E. Coli serotypes (026, 045, 0103, 0111, 0113, 0121, 0145 and 0157), and 54 (40%) tested positive for Salmonella. One to seven E. Coli serotypes were detected in each of the positive runoff samples, and a total of 237 E. Coli serotypes were detected in the 106 positive runoff samples. Of the 237 serotypes, the most frequent was 045 (22%), followed by 0103 (19%), 0157 (18%), 0121 (15%), 026 (9%), 0111 (5%), 0113 (5%), and 0145 (5%). The number of serotypes recovered from feedlot A (169/237) was higher (P< 0.001) than the number recovered from B (68/237). These data provide evidence of the presence of E. Coli serotypes and Salmonella in feedlot runoff, underscoring the need for pretreatment of feedlot runoff before it is disposed into the environment or used as fertilizer. Copyright 2016, International Association for Food Protection.

    A. Mateus, E. A. Takahashi, D. A. Elkholly, M. Crotta, A. Ekiri, C. Wylie, C. Guinat, M. Patricio, L. Marshall, J. P. Ferreira, K. Stärk, J. Guitian (2016)Technical Report: A systematic review to assess the significance of the food chain in the context of antimicrobial resistance with particular reference to pork and poultry meat, dairy products, seafood and fresh produce on retail sale in the UK Royal Veterinary College