Parasitic and other diseases of the African buffalo in the Kruger National Park
Basson, P.A.; McCully, R.M.; Kruger, S.P.; Van Niekerk, J.W.; Young, E.; De Vos, Valerius; South Africa. Dept. of Agricultural Technical Services; Tustin, R.C.; De Lange, M.; Reinecke, R.K.; Walker, Jane B.; De Kock, V.E.
One hundred randomly-collected buffaloes [Syncerus caffer (Sparrman, 1779)] were autopsied, and
tissues and parasites were collected for histopathological studies and identification. Blood smears were
prepared from 92 animals, of which 97 per cent proved to be positive for piroplasms of an unidentified
Theileria sp. Schizonts were found in the lymph nodes, liver, kidneys and myocardium of three young
buffaloes. Granulomatous mycotic lymphadenitis of the peripheral lymph nodes occurred in 15 per cent
of the animals and 86 per cent contained large sarcosporidial cysts in the oesophageal, pharyngeal and
laryngeal musculature. Neoplasia, a squamous cell carcinoma, was encountered in only one animal. The
most significant metazoan diseases were pentastomiasis (69 per cent), bilharziasis (62 per cent), cysticercosis
(29 per cent), filariasis (16 per cent), hydatidosis (5 per cent) and mange caused by an unidentified
Psoroptes sp. Thy nymphs of Linguatula serrata Frölich, 1779 were recovered mostly from the hepatic
veins, sometimes from the right heart chambers and rarely from the liver substance, lymph nodes and
pulmonary artery. Schistosoma mattheei Veglia & LeRoux, 1929 was mainly responsible for the bilharzia!
lesions. However, none of the buffaloes were found to be infected with besnoitiosis. As this disease is very
common in antelopes in the same area this finding suggests that the buffalo is not susceptible to it. A list
of the intestinal and other helminths encountered is given.
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