Trends in Camel Health and Production

A special issue of Animals (ISSN 2076-2615). This special issue belongs to the section "Animal Welfare".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 May 2022) | Viewed by 25372

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Department of Veterinary Sciences, University of Messina, 98168 Messina, Italy
Interests: veterinary internal medicine; companion animals; clinical of infectious diseases; biomarker of disease
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Guest Editor
Department of Livestock and Poultry Production, Bahauddin Zakariya University, 60800 Multan, Pakistan
Interests: camel production; reproduction and diseases

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

It is widely accepted in the literature that the dromedary camel plays a pivotal role in the social life and economy of the people of arid and semi-arid areas in various regions of the world. Despite being disregarded for centuries as a multi-purpose animal, fortunately, they have been gaining recognition for their production potentialities in recent decades. It is used to yield milk and meat for human consumption, especially in areas where the production performance of other animals is adversely affected by the harsh environmental conditions. In fact, its status has since been changed from “ship of the desert” to “food security animal”. This rapidly changing scenario needs overall evaluation, and there is an urgent need to undertake multi-disciplinary studies, given that this animal is one of the most neglected species.

In this Research Topic, we invite all camel-specialist scientists to submit their research relating to disease, welfare, and production of camels to promote the knowledge of this species.

Dr. Michela Pugliese
Prof. Annamaria Passantino
Dr. Asim Faraz
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • camels
  • disease
  • health
  • production
  • welfare

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

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17 pages, 1918 KiB  
Article
Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis Infections in Alpacas (Vicugna pacos)
by Reinhard Sting, Claudia Geiger, Wolfram Rietschel, Birgit Blazey, Ingo Schwabe, Jörg Rau and Lisa Schneider-Bühl
Animals 2022, 12(13), 1612; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12131612 - 22 Jun 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2287
Abstract
Alpacas are the major camelid species in Europe held for hobbies, animal-aided therapy, and commercial reasons. As a result, health-related issues associated with alpacas are of growing significance. This especially holds true for one of the most serious infectious diseases, caseous lymphadenitis, which [...] Read more.
Alpacas are the major camelid species in Europe held for hobbies, animal-aided therapy, and commercial reasons. As a result, health-related issues associated with alpacas are of growing significance. This especially holds true for one of the most serious infectious diseases, caseous lymphadenitis, which is caused by the bacterial pathogen Corynebacterium (C.) pseudotuberculosis. Our study focuses on post-mortem examinations, the laboratory diagnostic tool ELISA, and the immunoblot technique for the detection of specific antibodies against C. pseudotuberculosis and detection of the causative pathogen in alpaca herds. We examined a total of 232 alpacas living in three herds. Four of these alpacas were submitted for post-mortem examination, revealing abscesses, apostematous and fibrinous inflammation in inner organs, pleura, and peritoneum. Serological investigation using a commercial ELISA based on phospholipase D (PLD) as antigen and an in-lab ELISA based on whole cell antigens (WCA) revealed an overall seroprevalence of 56% and 61.2%, respectively. A total of 247 alpaca sera originating from 232 animals were tested comparatively using the in-lab and the commercial ELISA and showed a substantial degree of agreement, of 89.5% (Cohen’s kappa coefficient of 0.784), for both tests. Further comparative serological studies using the two ELISAs and the immunoblot technique were carried out on selected sera originating from 12 breeding stallions and six breeding mares for which epidemiological data and partial C. pseudotuberculosis isolates were available. The results showed the immunoblot to have a sensitivity that was superior to both ELISAs. In this context, it should be emphasized that evaluation of these investigations and the epidemiological data suggest an incubation period of one to two months. Antibiotic susceptibility testing of 13 C. pseudotuberculosis isolates based on the determination of minimal inhibitory concentrations using the broth microdilution method revealed uniform susceptibility to aminopenicillins, cephalosporines, macrolides, enrofloxacin, florfenicol, tetracycline, sulfonamid/trimethoprime, tiamulin, gentamicin, neomycin, spectinomycin, and vancomycin, but resistance to colistin, nitrofurantoin, and oxacillin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Trends in Camel Health and Production)
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11 pages, 1366 KiB  
Article
Detection of Trypanosoma Infection in Dromedary Camels by Using Different Diagnostic Techniques in Northern Oman
by Amal Al-Kharusi, Elshafie Ibrahim Elshafie, Senan Baqir, Asim Faraz, Aliya Al-Ansari, Pamela Burger, Osman Mahgoub, Kaadhia Al-Kharousi, Halima Al-Duhli, Mohammed Al-Sinani, Raqiya Al-Hatali and Derek Roberts
Animals 2022, 12(11), 1348; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12111348 - 25 May 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2386
Abstract
Camel trypanosomoses is considered a devastating disease with severe health consequences that can be caused by different hemoprotozoan parasites. Camel samples (388) from the five regions in Northern Oman were assessed using a thin blood film. In addition, 95 seropositive samples were analyzed [...] Read more.
Camel trypanosomoses is considered a devastating disease with severe health consequences that can be caused by different hemoprotozoan parasites. Camel samples (388) from the five regions in Northern Oman were assessed using a thin blood film. In addition, 95 seropositive samples were analyzed using various primers of mechanically transmitted trypanosomes. Out of the 388 blood smears examined, 0.8% (CI 95%, 2/388) were found to be positive for Trypanosoma sp. using a microscope. The parasitologically positive cases were detected in samples from females. The overall molecular prevalences were as follows: TBR was 78/95, 77% (CI 73.1–89.2%); ITS was 30/95, 31.6% (CI 73.1–89.2%); and T. evansi type A (RoTat 1.2) was 8/95, 8.4% (CI 4.0–16.0%). There were two species of trypanosomes that were observed in the camels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Trends in Camel Health and Production)
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9 pages, 2983 KiB  
Article
Identification of Candidate Genes for Pigmentation in Camels Using Genotyping-by-Sequencing
by Morteza Bitaraf Sani, Javad Zare Harofte, Mohammad Hossein Banabazi, Asim Faraz, Saeid Esmaeilkhanian, Ali Shafei Naderi, Nader Salim, Abbas Teimoori, Ahmad Bitaraf, Mohammad Zadehrahmani, Pamela Anna Burger, Nader Asadzadeh, Mohammad Silawi, Afsaneh Taghipour Sheshdeh, Behrouz Mohammad Nazari, Mohammad Ali Faghihi and Zahra Roudbari
Animals 2022, 12(9), 1095; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12091095 - 23 Apr 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2785
Abstract
The coat color of dromedary is usually uniform and varies from black to white, although dark- to light-brown colors are the most common phenotypes. This project was designed to gain knowledge on novel color-related variants using genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS). The association between the SNPs [...] Read more.
The coat color of dromedary is usually uniform and varies from black to white, although dark- to light-brown colors are the most common phenotypes. This project was designed to gain knowledge on novel color-related variants using genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS). The association between the SNPs and coat color was tested using MLM (mixed linear models) with kinship matrix. Three GWAS models including white color vs. non-white color, black vs. non-black color, and light-brown vs. dark-brown color were performed. There were no distinct genetic clusters detected based on the color phenotypes. However, admixture occurred among all individuals of the four different coat color groups. We identified nine significant SNPs associated with white color after Bonferroni correction, located close to ANKRD26, GNB1, TSPYL4, TEKT5, DEXI, CIITA, TVP23B, CLEC16A, TMPRSS13, FXYD6, MPZL3, ANKRD26, HFM1, CDC7, TGFBR3, and HACE1 genes in neighboring flanking regions. The 13 significant SNPs associated with black color and the candidate genes were: CAPN7, CHRM4, CIITA, CLEC16A, COL4A4, COL6A6, CREB3L1, DEXI, DGKZ, DGKZ, EAF1, HDLBP, INPP5F, MCMBP, MDK, SEC23IP, SNAI1, TBX15, TEKT5, TMEM189, trpS, TSPYL4, TVP23B, and UBE2V1. The SNAI1 gene interacted with MCIR, ASIP and KIT genes. These genes play a key role in the melanin biosynthetic and pigmentation biological process and melanogenesis biological pathway. Further research using a larger sample size and pedigree data will allow confirmation of associated SNPs and the identified candidate genes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Trends in Camel Health and Production)
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8 pages, 1875 KiB  
Article
Gene-Set Enrichment Analysis for Identifying Genes and Biological Activities Associated with Growth Traits in Dromedaries
by Morteza Bitaraf Sani, Zahra Roudbari, Omid Karimi, Mohammad Hossein Banabazi, Saeid Esmaeilkhanian, Nader Asadzadeh, Javad Zare Harofte, Ali Shafei Naderi and Pamela Anna Burger
Animals 2022, 12(2), 184; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12020184 - 13 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1928
Abstract
Growth is an important heritable economic trait for dromedaries and necessary for planning a successful breeding program. Until now, genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and QTL-mapping have identified significant single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with growth in domestic animals, but in dromedaries, the number [...] Read more.
Growth is an important heritable economic trait for dromedaries and necessary for planning a successful breeding program. Until now, genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and QTL-mapping have identified significant single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with growth in domestic animals, but in dromedaries, the number of studies is very low. This project aimed to find biological themes affecting growth in dromedaries. In the first step, 99 candidate SNPs were chosen from a previously established set of SNPs associated with body weight, gain, and birth weight in Iranian dromedaries. Next, 0.5 kb upstream and downstream of each candidate SNP were selected from NCBI (assembly accession: GCA_000803125.3). The annotation of fragments with candidate SNPs regarding the reference genome was retrieved using the Blast2GO tool. Candidate SNPs associated with growth were mapped to 22 genes, and 25 significant biological themes were identified to be related to growth in dromedaries. The main biological functions included calcium ion binding, protein binding, DNA-binding transcription factor activity, protein kinase activity, tropomyosin binding, myosin complex, actin-binding, ATP binding, receptor signaling pathway via JAK-STAT, and cytokine activity. EFCAB5, MTIF2, MYO3A, TBX15, IFNL3, PREX1, and TMOD3 genes are candidates for improving growth in camel breeding programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Trends in Camel Health and Production)
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13 pages, 935 KiB  
Article
First Report of Antimicrobial Susceptibility and Virulence Gene Characterization Associated with Staphylococcus aureus Carriage in Healthy Camels from Tunisia
by Faten Ben Chehida, Haythem Gharsa, Wafa Tombari, Rachid Selmi, Sana Khaldi, Monia Daaloul, Karim Ben Slama and Lilia Messadi
Animals 2021, 11(9), 2754; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11092754 - 21 Sep 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2575
Abstract
A total of 318 nasal and rectal swabs were collected from 159 apparently healthy camels (Camelus dromedarius) randomly selected from five regions in southern and central Tunisia and screened for Staphylococcus aureus carriage. Staphylococcus spp. were recovered from 152 of 159 [...] Read more.
A total of 318 nasal and rectal swabs were collected from 159 apparently healthy camels (Camelus dromedarius) randomly selected from five regions in southern and central Tunisia and screened for Staphylococcus aureus carriage. Staphylococcus spp. were recovered from 152 of 159 camels studied (95.6%) and in total 258 swabs (81%) were positive. Among these isolates, 16 were coagulase positive Staphylococcus (CoPS) (6.2%) and were characterized by biochemical and molecular tests as S. aureus. These were isolated from 14 camels (8.8%) with co-carriage in nasal and rectal mucosa by two camels. All S. aureus isolates recovered were methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) and were characterized by spa typing and PFGE. Three different spa types were recovered: t729, t4013 and a spa type newly registered as t19687, which was the most common. PFGE analysis revealed seven different patterns and these were characterized by MLST, which revealed five different sequence types (ST6, ST88, ST3583 and two new sequences, ST6504 and ST6506). All isolates harbored different virulence genes, including hld, encoding delta hemolysin; lukE–lukD, encoding bicomponent leukotoxin LukE–LukD; the clfB gene, encoding clumping factor B; the laminin gene, encoding laminin-binding protein; and cap8, encoding capsule type 8. Fifteen isolates harbored hemolysin beta (hlb) and fourteen encoded hemolysin alpha (hla) and hemolysin G2 (hlgv). Adhesin factors, including clfA and fnbB, were detected in five and four isolates respectively. Binding proteins, including collagen (cbp) and elastin-binding protein (ebp), were detected in two S. aureus isolates while fibrinogen-binding protein (fib) was identified in four isolates. This study provides the first set of genotyping data on the population structure and presence of toxin genes of S. aureus strains in Tunisian camels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Trends in Camel Health and Production)
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12 pages, 991 KiB  
Article
Machine Milkability of Dromedary Camels: Correlation between Udder Morphology and Milk Flow Traits
by Moufida Atigui, Marwa Brahmi, Imen Hammadi, Pierre-Guy Marnet and Mohamed Hammadi
Animals 2021, 11(7), 2014; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11072014 - 6 Jul 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 4526
Abstract
This study aims to measure mammary morphological traits with a functional influence on machine milking ability of Tunisian Camels (Camelus dromedarius) and their evolution according to the stage of lactation and parity. Udder and teat measurements were recorded before morning milking [...] Read more.
This study aims to measure mammary morphological traits with a functional influence on machine milking ability of Tunisian Camels (Camelus dromedarius) and their evolution according to the stage of lactation and parity. Udder and teat measurements were recorded before morning milking and associated with the measurement of milk emission kinetics parameters evaluated with Lactocorder® devices (WMB AG, Balgache, Switzerland) and observations. Three main teat shapes were recorded and their dimensions evolved with parity and stage of lactation. The milk flow curves were classified into three main types according to their maximum and average flow rates and they also evolve according to parity and stage of lactation. An average of 41% of the milk flow curves was bimodal. The correlations showed that some morphological traits were unfavorable to rapid milking and that these increase with parity. Therefore, this study provides the first elements for a morphological selection associated with an aptitude for mechanical milking which appears rather good in our dromedaries. Nevertheless, it will be necessary to monitor a possible negative evolution of the functional and anatomical traits of the udders during the career of the animals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Trends in Camel Health and Production)
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9 pages, 261 KiB  
Article
Effect of Different Watering Regimes in Summer Season on Water Intake, Feed Intake, and Milk Production of Marecha She-camel (Camelus dromedarius)
by Asim Faraz, Naeem Ullah Khan, Annamaria Passantino, Michela Pugliese, Ecevit Eyduran, Carlos Iglesias Pastrana, Amir Ismail, Nasir Ali Tauqir, Abdul Waheed and Muhammad Shahid Nabeel
Animals 2021, 11(5), 1342; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11051342 - 8 May 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2174
Abstract
Twelve lactating healthy Marecha she-camels in the early lactation stage during the summer at Camel Breeding and Research Station Rakh-Mahni (Pakistan) were included. All animals were fed with Medicago sativa and Cicer arientinum ad libitum and divided into three groups in relation to [...] Read more.
Twelve lactating healthy Marecha she-camels in the early lactation stage during the summer at Camel Breeding and Research Station Rakh-Mahni (Pakistan) were included. All animals were fed with Medicago sativa and Cicer arientinum ad libitum and divided into three groups in relation to the access to water, after a period of seven days of adaptation to experimental conditions. Group 1 (G1) was considered as control having access to water once every day; Group 2 (G2) had access once every 4 days, while Group 3 (G3) had access once every 6 days. The duration of the study was 60 days with an adaptation period to experimental conditions of 7 days before the onset of the study. Dry matter intake (DMI) was calculated on a dry matter basis. On average the ambient temperature and relative humidity during the trial were 39–41 °C and 55–63%, respectively. The DMI, water intake, milk production, and body weight changes were affected (p < 0.001) during various watering regimes. The mean values of water intake were found to be 82.94 ± 1.34 L higher in G3 than G1 and G2. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Trends in Camel Health and Production)

Review

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15 pages, 280 KiB  
Review
European Regulations on Camel Germplasm Movement within the European Union: A Current Framework Based on Safety
by Elena Zema, Salvatore Monti, Vito Biondi, Asim Faraz, Michela Pugliese, Gabriele Marino and Annamaria Passantino
Animals 2022, 12(17), 2255; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12172255 - 31 Aug 2022
Viewed by 1332
Abstract
With the aim of developing livestock breeding, the Delegated Regulation (EU) 2020/686 (hereafter referred to as Reg. 686) has taken steps to define traceability and animal health for the movement of germ material within the European Union (EU), including that of camelid species. [...] Read more.
With the aim of developing livestock breeding, the Delegated Regulation (EU) 2020/686 (hereafter referred to as Reg. 686) has taken steps to define traceability and animal health for the movement of germ material within the European Union (EU), including that of camelid species. Despite the economic importance of the camel market and the efforts of the EU to regulate their movements, there are considerable difficulties in the collection of semen and its freezing, limiting the use of artificial insemination in this species. If, on the one hand, there is little diffusion of the camel breeding and, consequently, limited diffusion of animals and germplasm, there will probably be a significant increase over the years. To avoid the spread of emerging diseases—or even those no longer present in Europe—the entry of genetic material from non-EU countries must be strictly monitored. Camels are rarely clinically compliant, but can transfer even fatal diseases to domestic ungulate farms in the EU. Based on these considerations, we conducted a narrative review of the European regulations on this issue, focusing on aspects related to their application in camels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Trends in Camel Health and Production)

Other

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11 pages, 1743 KiB  
Case Report
Fatal Infection in an Alpaca (Vicugna pacos) Caused by Pathogenic Rhodococcus equi
by Reinhard Sting, Ingo Schwabe, Melissa Kieferle, Maren Münch and Jörg Rau
Animals 2022, 12(10), 1303; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12101303 - 19 May 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2167
Abstract
Rhodococcus (R.) equi is a pathogen primarily known for infections in equine foals, but is also present in numerous livestock species including New World camelids. Moreover, R. equi is considered an emerging zoonotic pathogen. In this report, we describe in detail [...] Read more.
Rhodococcus (R.) equi is a pathogen primarily known for infections in equine foals, but is also present in numerous livestock species including New World camelids. Moreover, R. equi is considered an emerging zoonotic pathogen. In this report, we describe in detail a fatal rhodococcal infection in an alpaca (Vicugna pacos), to our best knowledge, for the first time. The alpaca died due to a septicemic course of an R. equi infection resulting in emaciation and severe lesions including pyogranulomas in the lungs and pericardial effusion. The onset of the infection was presumably caused by aspiration pneumonia. R. equi could be isolated from the pyogranulomas in the lung and unequivocally identified by MALDI-TOF MS analysis and partial sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, the 16S-23S internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region and the rpoB gene. The isolate proved to possess the vapA gene in accordance with tested isolates originating from the lungs of infected horses. The R. equi isolates revealed low minimal inhibitory concentrations (MIC values) for doxycycline, erythromycin, gentamycin, neomycin, rifampicin, trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, tetracycline and vancomycin in antibiotic susceptibility testing. Investigations on the cause of bacterial, especially fatal, septicemic infections in alpacas are essential for adequately addressing the requirements for health and welfare issues of this New World camelid species. Furthermore, the zoonotic potential of R. equi has to be considered with regard to the One Health approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Trends in Camel Health and Production)
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