Abstract | Bacillus anthracis (B. anthracis) is a spore-forming bacteria that causes anthrax in animals, including small ruminants. The present study, for the first time investigated the B. anthracis spores contamination in small ruminant’s wool/hair in district Tharparkar, Pakistan. Randomly selected sheep and goats (n=40 each) were used for sample collection from different body parts i.e., abdomen, neck + face, fore limbs and hind limbs. Overall results showed that 28% samples were contaminated with anthrax spores. A moderately high (P > 0.05) incidence of anthrax spores was observed in samples collected from abdomen (35%), followed by neck + face (30%), fore limbs (25%) and hind limbs (20%) respectively. Sheep wool (30%) has a higher contamination level (P < 0.05) than goat hair (25%). In sheep, the highest prevalence was observed in 2 years of age group i.e., 4/8 (50%), whereas, 3/8 (37.5%), 3/12 (25%) and 2/12 (16.6%) samples were positive in age groups of 2 ½, 3 and 4 years respectively. However, in goats the prevalence was recorded as 6/12 (50%), 3/12 (25%) and 1/8 (12.5%) in age groups of 2, 2 ½ and 3 years respectively, whereas, anthrax spores were not found in goats of 4 years age-group. These results indicated that wool/hair of small ruminants harbor B. anthracis spores. Moreover, sheep wool harbored relatively higher spore numbers as compared to goat hair.
Keywords | Anthrax Spore, Small ruminant, Tharparkar, Hair, Wool.