Dermatophilus Infection in Nigeria: A Mini-Review

Dermatophilosis in Nigeria is reviewed. Dermatophilosis, a chronic dermatitis that damages the skin of cattle, is caused by Dermatophilus congolensis. The organism requires existing skin lesions to establish infection. An association between ticks bites and dermatophilosis has been established. 12% prevalence of infection in Nigeria's estimated 10.8 million cattle, and 10% prevalence in draught cattle may account for the loss of nearly 50.81% of annual revenue expected from hides. Infected cattle, which are retarded in growth, are culled early thereby contributing indirectly to the nation's shortfall of about 43.75% in meat expected from domesticated ruminants. 20% drop in milk yield has been observed in lactating cows unwilling to be milked due to painful lesions of dermatophilosis on their udders and teats. Systemic antibiotic chemotherapy is uneconomically feasible, and there is no immunity to re-infection. Control of tick infestation in cattle may help to reduce the incidence of dermatophilosis, but the emergence of resistant strains has rendered most of the available acaricides ineffective for field use in Nigeria. Dermatophilosis has been diagnosed in man in New York, and surveillance is necessary to establish the zoonotic status of the infection in Nigeria. Search for a safe and effective vaccine for immune-prophylaxis should be a priority in current bioresearch in Africa. Key Words: Dermatophilosis, Nigeria, Cattle, Economy, Control, and Public Health. Bio-Research Vol.2(2) 2004: 37-41

 OO Ikpeze