Psoroptes infections in cattle
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 Psoroptes ovis mites infect different ruminant species, such as sheep and cattle. Beef cattle, and especially the Belgian Blue breed, are more susceptible to this parasite than dairy cattle and psoroptic mange can cause important economic losses in beef cattle. Because mange problems vary significantly between farms, cross-sectional questionnaire surveys and farm visits are performed to identify potential risk factors for P. ovis infections on Belgian Blue farms in Belgium. Gene analysis will be carried out using blood samples from these farm visits, in order to identify a potential link between different genes and the high receptivity of the Belgian Blue breed to psoroptic mange. Local immune responses in the skin and systemic immune responses to mite antigens are studied to identify immune responses that are responsible for the hypersensitivity of Belgian Blue cattle to P. ovis.
Sarre C., De Bleecker K., Deprez P., Levecke B., Charlier J., Vercruysse J., Claerebout E., 2012. Risk factors for Psoroptes ovis mange on Belgian Blue farms in Northern Belgium. Veterinary Parasitology 190,216-221