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SLU's global knowledge bank

Read a selection about findings from research and environmental monitoring and assessment within global development.

Development of a novel detection method for contagious sheep and goat disease

Peste des petits ruminants (PPR) is a severe viral disease of sheep and goats. PPR is present in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, and seriously impacts the livelihoods and food security of poor and marginalized groups that often depend on their animals for daily survival. PPR is highly contagious, and the mortality can vary from 10% to around 90%.

Zambian goats

Zambian livestock trader perceptions of animal disease

Trade in animals and animal products is a key factor in the transmission of infectious diseases. Livestock traders play an important role in this process, yet there is little knowledge of traders’ perceptions of animal disease or their associated actions. The aim of this study was to investigate perceptions and practices of Zambian small ruminant traders with regard to sheep and goat health and disease. It also analysed how existing perceptions and practices might affect risks of disease...

Sow feeding piglets

Respiratory disease pathogens of swine in Africa

Over the last two decades, the pig population in Africa has grown rapidly, reflecting the increased adoption of pig production as an important economic activity. Of all species, pigs are likely to constitute a greater share of the growth in the livestock subsector. However, constraints such as respiratory infectious diseases cause significant economic losses to the pig industry worldwide.

Agricultural fields, some farms and a small mountain in the background.

Smallholder farmers in Africa - yields, climate change and ecosystem services

Small-scale farmers in sub-Saharan Africa are highly vulnerable to climate change, but also have good potential to improve their sustainability and their production. These farmers struggle to make ends meet and in most cases live on less than one hectare of land. In her thesis, Ylva Nyberg has looked at how Kenyan smallholders manage their farms in order to adapt to rainfall variability, improve productivity and maintain ecosystem services for a sustainable livelihood.

Cow and milkfarmer Rwanda

Prevalence and risk factors of subclinical mastitis in Rwanda

The objective of this cross-sectional study was to investigate prevalence, causative udder pathogens and their antimicrobial resistance (AMR), as well as cow and herd risk factors associated with subclinical mastitis (SCM = cows with at least one udder quarter with California mastitis test (CMT) score > 2) and intramammary infections (IMI) caused by Staphylococcus (S.) aureus or Non-aureus staphylococci (NAS) in dairy cows linked to Milk Collection Centers (MCCs) in Rwanda.

Blood sampling camel

Sentinel surveillance of Pakistani camel pathogens

An extended range of host susceptibility including camel has been evidenced for some of the important veterinary and public health pathogens, such as brucellosis, peste des petits ruminants (PPR) and bluetongue (BT). However, in disease endemic settings across many parts of the globe, most of the disease control interventions accounts for small and large ruminants, whereas unusual hosts and/or natural reservoirs, such as camels, remain neglected for disease control measures including routine...

Ticks in bat cave

Novel viruses found in ticks from bat caves in Brazil

In this study, we describe the viral composition of adult Antricola delacruzi ticks collected in a hot bat cave in the state of Rondônia, Western Amazonia, Brazil. A. delacruzi ticks, are special, compared to many other ticks, in that they feed on both bats (larval blood feeding) and bat guano (nymphal and adult feeding) instead of feeding exclusively on vertebrate hosts (blood feeding). Considering this unique life-cycle it is potentially possible that these ticks can pick up/be infected by...


Immune system differences in parasite tolerant goats

Gastrointestinal nematode (GIN) infections are one of the major constraints for grazing sheep and goat production worldwide. Genetic selection for resistant animals is a promising control strategy. Whole-transcriptome analysis via RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq) provides knowledge of the mechanisms responsible for complex traits such as resistance to GIN infections.

African goat

Bovine viral diarrhoea virus detected in cattle in Botswana

Infectious diseases are serious constraints for improving livestock productivity. Bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVDV) is a virus causing grave economic losses throughout the cattle producing world. Infection is often not apparent, but the virus can also cause respiratory signs, diarrhoea, reproductive problems and immunosuppression. Risk factors for disease transmission include, but are not limited to, herd size, animal trade and grazing on communal pastures. Several prevalence studies have...

African pig resting on the ground

Lack of evidence for long term carriers of African swine fever virus

African swine fever (ASF) was first described in 1921 as a highly fatal and contagious disease which caused severe outbreaks among settlers' pigs in British East Africa. Since then the disease has expanded its geographical distribution and is currently present in large parts of Africa, Europe and Asia and considered a global threat.

Raw chicken

Campylobacter contamination when handling raw chicken

In many low- and middle-income countries, data limitations are a major challenge facing the development of food safety risk assessment. In the present study, a questionnaire data collection tool was designed with an emphasis on gathering specific data points required by a risk modeller for simulating a scenario of Campylobacter cross-contamination during handling of raw chicken meat at the consumer phase.

African goat herd

Caprine genes follow humans through Africa

Indigenous goats make significant contributions to Cameroon's national and local economy, but little effort has been devoted to identifying the populations. Here, we assessed the genetic diversity and demographic dynamics of Cameroon goat populations using mitochondrial DNA (two populations) and autosomal markers (four populations) generated with the Caprine 50K SNP chip.

Udder health has potential to improve in Rwanda

Dairy cows have cultural and economic importance in Rwanda, and are needed for enhanced human nutrition and food security. The Rwandan Ministry of Agriculture has prioritized research aiming at disease control for increased dairy production and productivity. Mastitis is one of the most common diseases in dairy cows. The disease lower the milk yield, also in cows with subclinical mastitis (without visible changes in udder and milk).

Small-holder perceptions on control of African swine fever

In Africa, intensified pig production is frequently accompanied by increased occurrence of African swine fever (ASF) outbreaks, leading to high case fatality rates and socio-economic impact for the farmers. ASF control relies on prevention of disease transmission and control of outbreaks.

Kartläggning av fruktad sjukdom hos getter i Tanzania

Peste des petits ruminants (PPR) är en fruktad virussjukdom som drabbar får och getter i Afrika, Mellanöstern och Asien. Sedan 2008 finns sjukdomen i Tanzania. Den påvisades då i norra delen av landet vid gränsen mot Kenya.

Fattigdom påverkar spridning av afrikansk svinpest

Uganda har den största grispopulationen i Östafrika. Grishållning har stor potential och skulle kunna bidra till att minska den utbredda fattigdomen. Dock hämmas detta av att Afrikansk svinpest (ASF) är ständigt förekommande.

Bönder i Kambodja underskattar risken för zoonoser

Merparten av Kambodjas fattiga befolkning lever på landsbygden med odling och djurhållning som huvudsakliga inkomstkälla. Djur och människor lever ofta nära varandra, men hushållen har få hygienrutiner vilket ökar risken för spridning av zoonoser (sjukdomar som sprids mellan människor och djur).

Ugandan cattle farmers views on disease prevention

Infectious diseases are an important obstacle to high productivity in Ugandan cattle production. General disease prevention is particularly important in low-income countries, where veterinary services and adequate treatment regimens for many infectious diseases are insufficient. Improved biosecurity could lead to improved animal health and production with lower mortality and better reproductive rates. Any sustainable biosecurity interventions must be feasible for the farmers, from a practical...

Bumblebee pollinatng flower.

Scientists propose ten policies to protect vital pollinators

Pesticide regulation, diversified farming systems and long-term monitoring are all ways governments can help to secure the future of pollinators such as bees, flies and wasps, according to scientists. The article was published in November 2016 but the policies are still valid.

Heat-resistant transport of blood samples

Peste des petits ruminants (PPR) is a highly contagious disease caused by peste-des-petits-ruminants virus. Following the successful eradication of the related rinderpest virus, a program to control and eradicate PPR was launched by the FAO and OIE. PPR is today present in many tropical countries where maintaining the cold chain for sample transportation is one of the major barriers for timely processing.

High antibiotic resistance in Cambodia's pig production

Administration of antimicrobials to food-producing animals is regarded as a major contributor to the overall emergence of resistance in bacteria worldwide. However, few data are available on global antimicrobial use and resistance (AMR) in livestock, especially from low- and middle-income countries.

Food safety challenges and One Health within Europe

This review discusses food safety aspects of importance from a One Health perspective, focusing on Europe. Using examples of food pathogen/food commodity combinations, spread of antimicrobial resistance in the food web and the risk of transmission of zoonotic pathogens in a circular system, it demonstrates how different perspectives are interconnected.

Leptospirosis in urban dairy farming a One Health issue?

Global trends in urbanization are increasing the spread of neglected zoonotic infections such as leptospirosis, and reducing the number of human cases of leptospirosis is best accomplished by controlling the infection in the animal reservoir.

Sharing and supporting knowledge

Kevin Bishop, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Environmental Monitoring and Assessment at SLU, predicts a bright future for Swedish work methods when it comes to meeting the objectives in Agenda 2030.

Climate affects bull sperm quality

The aim of the present study was to evaluate the possible effects of climate factors on sperm quality of Holstein dairy bulls housed in northern Spain. Semen samples from 11 Holstein dairy bulls were collected and cryopreserved in winter, spring and summer.

Interdisciplinary collaboration for control of animal diseases

Peste des Petits ruminants (PPR) is a potentially lethal, highly contagious viral disease of sheep and goats. Within societies where PPR is now spreading, poverty is widespread and the disease is expected to have significant negative impacts on livelihoods. Participatory epidemiology has been suggested as a particularly suitable research method to study epidemiology and social impacts of diseases in these contexts.

Biosecurity breaches behind African swine fever outbreak

In Uganda, a low-income country in east Africa, African swine fever (ASF) is endemic with yearly outbreaks. In the prevailing smallholder subsistence farming systems, farm biosecurity is largely non-existent. Outbreaks of ASF, particularly in smallholder farms, often go unreported, creating significant epidemiological knowledge gaps. The continuous circulation of ASF in smallholder settings also creates biosecurity challenges for larger farms.

Antibiotic use varies in European pig production

Data on sales of antimicrobials using a standardised methodology have shown that there are vast differences between countries in amounts of antimicrobials sold for food-producing animals. However, these data do not provide insight on how sales are distributed by species and age groups.

Ticks in bat cave

Novel viruses found in ticks from bat caves in Brazil

In this study, we describe the viral composition of adult Antricola delacruzi ticks collected in a hot bat cave in the state of Rondônia, Western Amazonia, Brazil. A. delacruzi ticks, are special, compared to many other ticks, in that they feed on both bats (larval blood feeding) and bat guano (nymphal and adult feeding) instead of feeding exclusively on vertebrate hosts (blood feeding). Considering this unique life-cycle it is potentially possible that these ticks can pick up/be infected by...