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Open Access Highly Accessed Short report

Traumatic myiasis in free-ranging eland, reported from Kenya

Vincent Obanda1*, Ephantus Muthike Ndambiri1, Edward Kingori1, Francis Gakuya1, Olivia Wesula Lwande2 and Samer Alasaad34*

Author Affiliations

1 Veterinary Services Department, Kenya Wildlife Service, P.O. Box 40241–00100, Nairobi, Kenya

2 Department of Medical Laboratory Science, Mount Kenya University, P.O. Box 342–01000, Thika, Kenya

3 Estación Biológica de Doñana, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), Sevilla, Spain

4 Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies (IEU), University of Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland

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Parasites & Vectors 2013, 6:89  doi:10.1186/1756-3305-6-89

Published: 8 April 2013

Abstract

Background

For centuries, immature stages of Dipterans have infested humans and animals, resulting in a pathological condition referred to as myiasis. Myiases are globally distributed but they remain neglected diseases in spite of the great medical and veterinary importance. Moreover, there is a paucity of information on the clinical-pathology and/or epidemiology of the infestation, especially in African free ranging wildlife.

Findings

In the present study we report for the first time an outbreak of traumatic cutaneous myiasis (caused by Old World screwworm, Chrysomyia bezziana and blowfly, Lucilia sp.) in free-ranging common elands (Taurotragus oryx). The infestation affected both animal sexes and different age classes, and had a negative impact on individual fitness as well as the overall health. Severely affected individuals were euthanized, while others were clinically treated, and apparently recovered.

Conclusions

This study indicates that myiasis-causing flies still exist in Kenya and are able to cause severe outbreaks of clinical cutaneous myiasis in wild animals. The status of these parasites in Kenya, which are of zoonotic potential, are either unknown or neglected.

Keywords:
Taurotragus oryx; Chrysomya bezziana; Lucilia cuprina; Lucilia sericata; Myiasis; Disease outbreak; Treatment