Camel mange is a highly contagious skin condition caused by Sarcoptes scabiei var. cameli. clinically characterized by loss of hairs, scab formation, thickening/corrugation of skin and severe itching in most of the camels.
By Abdullah Arijo
A study conducted by my research team in various areas of Tharparkar, Sindh Pakistan confirm that out of 100 camels randomly examined we found mange in 67% of a camel. Three regions of district Tharparkar were selected for the current study and Nagarparkar was found highly infested (71%) as compared to Mithi and Islamkot. In terms of gender-wise mite infestation, female camels were found more susceptible (71%) as compared to male (52%). In this study 64 adult and 30 young camels were investigated for the presence of mite infestation and found that adult camels were more infested (76.6%) as compared to young camels (44.4%). Different body parts of camels were observed for mite infestation and found that face region was most infested as compared to the neck, abdominal, under thighs and inguinal region. During the investigation, body condition of the host was also checked and highest infestation (76%) was recorded with very poor body condition; however, the rate of mite infestation with poor, moderate and good health state was recorded as 60%, 50% and 45% respectively. Based on these findings we recommend the Department of Livestock and Fisheries to embark upon mange control program on an emergency basis.
MITE-INFESTED POOR CAMEL
Pakistan is blessed with rich livestock fauna, Tharparkar being the richest. There are about 26.98 million heads of a camel in the world, of which 1.2 million are in Pakistan (FAO, 2015). Camel has abundant profit-making status in the livestock sector in Tharparkar. They are mainly used as draft, milk, meat, leathers and curls as produces. Camel survives generally in the difficult barren area and rugged districts some place the extended tenure persist of extra animals organizes imaginable, with surprisingly low inputs as utmost of the phase they glance the trimmings of trees and bushes. Thus, camels contribute knowingly to the food sanctuary of the farmer families in these regions. Camels were grazed on the uncultivated/saline area where mostly halophilic plants like Atriplex or Acacia etc. are grown naturally. Over all the world especially in dry, semi-dry, hilly areas and desert areas the people aiding on a camel. Camel offers milk, meat, furs, fabric, skins and shipping. In many of the areas in the country, camel is also considered as a status symbol. Around about some investigation has been done in nourishment, composition, facsimile and fitness of camel. Nevertheless, the fabrication prospective of the camel has revealing effort. Camel milk is certainly not esteemed appropriately as its tenet (Younas and Iqbal, 2001). Cholistan rangelands and Thar desert areas are up-to-date husbandry practices allow to camel farming as profitable dairy farming. Camel milk is used up as yoghurt (Abu Ruqaie et al., 1989). Camel plays an important role especially in the Islamic territories of the Middle East. However, they facilitated traders to interchange across the gigantic empires to processions encumbered with possessions. Watering the desert areas/lands camels worked on farms in the fields and turned water out from well. They conceded belongings concluded the congested metropolitan boulevards. The most vital of all the animals to the out-of-date Muslims was the camel, hence are termed “The Gift of God” then “The Ship of the Desert” (Moktefi and Ageorges 1997).
Parasite “Sarcoptes scabiei var cameli” cause harmful and contagions disease in camel named camel mange (Awol et al., 2014). Skull, turtleneck, rims, internal crosswise of legs and inguinal region of animal is affected by this disease. It has been documented from different camel populated countries that Scabies cause by mange infestation (Pence and Uechermann, 2002 and Agab, 2006). The appearance of the syndrome in camel with poor management and associating of a diseased camel with healthy ones (Abdel et al., 2001), such infected animals become susceptible to many other bacterial infections and even mortality is not uncommon if untreated. Infected animals are also a source of human scabies (Tikaram et al., 1991). It has been reported that commonly mange mite infestation is located on the face followed by neck region, abdominal, the inner surface of the thighs and inguinal regions correspondingly. Mostly the camels were described by, loss of hairs, scab formation, corrugation/thickening of the skin and severe irritation known by clinically disease (Zahid et al., 2015). Sarcoptes, a scrabbling mite, enters cavernously hooked on the skin and lead to pruritus, the growth of papules, bald areas and scab formation (Megersa et al., 2012).
Animal to animal contact cause disease through coverlets. Sarcoptic mite disease is also zoonotic which cause false irritation on different body parts of humans (Schillinger, 1987 and Mitra, 1993). Mange is an ecto-parasitosis which stands termed trendy entirely in the journals relating to problems of camels which exists widely spread. It is the commonest problem of almost all living animals. However, current conditions reduce the effectiveness of skin scabies disease where animal kept under this situation (Richard, 1987), due to the close contact of the camel mentor animal zoonosis is communal (Schillinger, 1987). Sixteen families of mite cause almost mange. Mainly the humans were the host and responsible to spread S. scabiei.
Department of Livestock and Fisheries must embark upon mange control program on emergency basis
Camels have an important role in the local communities living in the desert, especially socioeconomically. They are beloved companions, a source of milk and meat, they provide transport, and are used for entertainment in activities such as racing and dancing.
We were informed that the camel herders are highly disappointed due to the harshness of the drought, and Khaji, the local term used for mange. We were also told that the problem is increasing day by day, and this has affected the reproductive potential of the camel as well,
Some youngsters with middle school education said that camels remain neglected in terms of research and care at farms compared to other domestic animals like cattle, sheep, and goats. Therefore, the exact statistics of the camel population in Sindh are missing.
Some activists from villages near Mithi pointed out that some families in past were rearing camel as main livestock species and could sell for earning Rs: 200,000 per camel. But the situation has changed, and herders are reluctant to rear camel.
Camel has largely been neglected in terms of research and care compared to buffalo cattle, sheep, and goats.
Author Prof Dr Abdullah G Arijo Chairman Department of Parasitology Sindh Agriculture University Tandojam