Use of scanning electron microscopy to confirm the identity of lice infesting communally grazed goat herds

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2004
Authors:P. J. Sebei, McCrindle, C. M., Green, E. D., Turner, M. L.
Journal:Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research
Pagination:87 - 92
Date Published:2004
ISBN Number:0030-2465
Keywords:animals, Animals, Newborn/parasitology, goat diseases, goats, Lice Infestations/diagnosis/epidemiology/parasitology/veterinary, Lice/anatomy & histology/classification/ultrastructure, Microscopy, Electron, Scanning/veterinary, phylogeny, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't, South Africa

Lice have been described on goats in commercial farming systems in South Africa but not from flocks on communal grazing. During a longitudinal survey on the causes of goat kid mortality, conducted in Jericho district, North West Province, lice were collected from communally grazed indigenous goats. These lice were prepared for and viewed by scanning electron microscopy, and micro-morphological taxonomic details are described. Three species of lice were found in the study area and identified as Bovicola caprae, Bovicola limbatus and Linognathus africanus. Sucking and biting lice were found in ten of the 12 herds of goats examined. Lice were found on both mature goats and kids. Bovicola caprae and L. africanus were the most common biting and sucking lice respectively in all herds examined. Scanning electron microscopy revealed additional features which aided in the identification of the louse species. Photomicrographs were more accurate aids to identification than the line drawings in the literature and facilitated identification using dissecting microscope.

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