Publications

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control and management of sheep mange and pediculosis in great britain.the patterns of insecticide use for the prevention and control of sheep lice and psoroptes mites, in england, wales and scotland, in 2003-2004, were examined using data from a retrospective questionnaire. overall, 375 of the 966 (39%) farmers who responded said that they treated at least once to prevent louse infestation. for scab, 426 of the 966 (44%) farmers who responded said that they had treated prophylactically to prevent the disease. there were no significant differences between regions i ...200818495347
aerococcus urinae in ovine reproductive disease. 200819011254
e. coli o157 from sheep in northeast scotland: prevalence, concentration shed, and molecular characterization by multilocus variable tandem repeat analysis.we report the prevalence, concentrations, and strain diversity of escherichia coli o157 shed by sheep fed on root crops during a winter period in northeast scotland. e. coli o157 was isolated on 6 farms from 14 studied during january to march 2005. the individual sheep prevalence was 5.8% and concentration excreted was <10(2) colony-forming units/g for all but one fecal sample. verocytotoxigenic e. coli o157, determined by polymerase chain reaction and verocell assay, was recovered from 27% of s ...200919292688
potential for epidemic take-off from the primary outbreak farm via livestock movements.abstract:201122115121
coccidiosis in cattle, sheep and gamebirds in scotland. 200919717828
severe ostertagiasis in a group of scottish dairy heifers. 201122167842
within-holding prevalence of sheep classical scrapie in great britain.data from the compulsory scrapie flocks scheme (csfs), part of the compulsory eradication measures for the control of scrapie in the eu, have been used to estimate the within-holding prevalence of classical scrapie in great britain (gb). specifically data from one of the testing routes within the csfs have been used; the initial cull (ic), whereby two options can be applied: the whole flock cull option by which the entire flock is depopulated, and the genotyping and cull of certain genotypes.200919133119
fasciolosis becoming more prevalent in cattle and sheep in scotland. 200919880859
evidence of chlamydophila abortus vaccine strain 1b as a possible cause of ovine enzootic abortion.chlamydophila abortus, the agent of ovine enzootic abortion (oea), is a major cause of lamb mortality worldwide. disease can be controlled through the use of vaccines based on the 1b temperature-sensitive mutant strain of c. abortus. this study investigated suspected oea cases across scotland for the presence of the 1b strain by analysis of recently identified unique point mutations (9). thirty-five cases were c. abortus-positive and 14 came from vaccinated flocks. analysis of single nucleotide ...201020554095
[about the shieling: summer grazing in the british isles in the 17th and 18th centuries]. 199921213932
ageing in a variable habitat: environmental stress affects senescence in parasite resistance in st kilda soay sheep.despite widespread empirical evidence for a general deterioration in the majority of traits with advancing age, it is unclear whether the progress of senescence is chronologically determined, or whether factors such as environmental conditions experienced over the lifespan are more important. we explored the relative importance of 'chronological' and 'environmental' measures of age to changes in parasite resistance across the lifespan of free-living soay sheep. our results show that individuals ...200919586947
assessing the consequences of an incursion of a vector-borne disease. ii. spread of bluetongue in scotland and impact of vaccination.bluetongue is a viral disease of ruminants transmitted by culicoides biting midges, which has spread across europe over the past decade. the disease arrived in south-east england in 2007, raising the possibility that it could pose a risk to the valuable scottish livestock industry. as part of an assessment of the economic consequences of a bluetongue virus incursion into scotland commissioned by scottish government, we investigated a defined set of feasible incursion scenarios under different va ...201021352784
assessing the consequences of an incursion of a vector-borne disease i. identifying feasible incursion scenarios for bluetongue in scotland.following the arrival of bluetongue virus serotype 8 (btv-8) in southeast england in september 2007, the scottish government commissioned research to assess the economic consequences of a btv-8 incursion to scotland. here we present the first component of the assessment, which entailed identifying feasible incursion scenarios for the virus. our analyses focused on three routes of introduction: wind-borne dispersal of infected vectors, import of infected animals and northwards spread of btv from ...201021352785
birds bias offspring sex ratio in response to livestock grazing.livestock grazing, which has a large influence on habitat structure, is associated with the widespread decline of various bird species across the world, yet there are few experimental studies that investigate how grazing pressure influences avian reproduction. we manipulated grazing pressure using a replicated field experiment, and found that the offspring sex ratio of a common upland passerine, the meadow pipit anthus pratensis, varied significantly between grazing treatments. the proportion of ...201121561962
evaluation of risks of foot-and-mouth disease in scotland to assist with decision making during the 2007 outbreak in the uk.an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease (fmd) occurred in surrey on august 3, 2007. a great britain-wide ban on livestock movements was implemented immediately. this coincided with the start of seasonal sheep movements off the hills in scotland; the majority of these animals are sold via markets. the ban therefore posed severe economic and animal-welfare hardships if it was to last through september and beyond. the scottish government commissioned an analysis to assess the risk of re-opening marke ...201121730033
severe winter weather affects the health of scottish livestock. 201121682006
Testes size, testosterone production and reproductive behaviour in a natural mammalian mating system.1. Testosterone (T) is a key mediator in the expression of numerous morphological and behavioural traits in mammals, but the factors underlying individual variation in circulating T levels are poorly understood. 2. The intimate structural integration of sperm and T production within the testes, alongside the dependency of sperm production on high levels of T, suggests that T requirements for spermatogenesis could be an important driver of individual differences in T. 3. To test this hypothesis, ...201221958300
the efficacy of monepantel against naturally acquired inhibited and developing fourth-stage larvae of teladorsagia circumcincta in sheep in the united kingdom.the inhibition of teladorsagia and other nematode genera at the early fourth-stage is a biological process that allows the parasites to survive in their host in a dormant state when prevailing conditions may otherwise kill them or prevent their progeny from surviving in the external environment. a study was conducted in scotland to evaluate the efficacy of monepantel, an amino-acetonitrile derivative, against natural infections of inhibited fourth-stage teladorsagia spp. larvae. at necropsy it w ...201122177334
genetic diversity of cryptosporidium spp. within a remote population of soay sheep on st. kilda islands, scotland.this is the first report to characterize the genotypes and subtypes of cryptosporidium species infecting a geographically isolated population of feral soay sheep (ovis aries) on hirta, st. kilda, scotland, during two distinct periods: (i) prior to a population crash and (ii) as host numbers increased. cryptosporidium dna was extracted by freeze-thawing of immunomagnetically separated (ims) bead-oocyst complexes, and species were identified following nested-pcr-restriction fragment length polymor ...201323354707
mapping risk foci for endemic sheep scab.psoroptic mange in sheep, resulting from infestation by the astigmatid mite psoroptes ovis, is increasingly prevalent in europe and other parts of the world. as a step towards improved national control, regional or local scab management programmes that target high-risk areas and aim to maintain the number of outbreaks below an acceptable level may be an effective initial use of time and resource. to facilitate such a management approach, in this paper scab outbreak farms are identified using a q ...200919713045
Risk assessment of the use of PAS100 green composts in sheep and cattle production in Scotland.A generalized quantitative risk assessment for the use of source-segregated green waste (SSGW) compost use in livestock production is presented. This assessment focussed on potential risks associated with a specific product, PAS100 compost that meets the UK publicly available specification 100 and represents the majority of compost available for use in extensive Scottish livestock systems. A hazard screening approach was used to identify all potentially hazardous agents present in compost. A tot ...201221924890
diagnostic accuracy of pcr for jaagsiekte sheep retrovirus using field data from 125 scottish sheep flocks.using a representative sample of scottish sheep comprising 125 flocks, the sensitivity and specificity of pcr for jaagsiekte sheep retrovirus (jsrv) was estimated. by combining and adapting existing methods, the characteristics of the diagnostic test were estimated (in the absence of a gold standard reference) using repeated laboratory replicates. as the results of replicates within the same animal cannot be considered to be independent, the performance of the pcr was calculated at individual re ...201119931475
variation in the hatching behaviour of nematodirus battus: polymorphic bet hedging?previous work on the transmission dynamics of nematodirus battus, an important nematode parasite of farmed ruminants in temperate regions, suggests that it operates a bet-hedging strategy. hatching of cold-sensitised eggs is concentrated in spring, while alternative hatching of non-cold-sensitised eggs in autumn mitigates the risk of poor conditions for hatching in spring or host absence during peak larval availability. isolates from scotland showed much less propensity to hatch without chilling ...201019944106
causes of abortion and stillbirth in cattle in scotland. 200919966330
trypanosoma melophagium from the sheep ked melophagus ovinus on the island of st kilda.summarythe sheep ked has been largely eradicated in the uk but persists in the feral soay sheep of st kilda in the outer hebrides. sheep keds transmit trypanosoma melophagium, but parasitaemias are typically cryptic and this trypanosome has not been recorded in the st kilda sheep. trypanosomes were detected by pcr in preserved keds and were also found in gut smears from live keds; one infected gut was used to establish the trypanosome in vitro. examination of the morphology of bloodstream forms ...201020546642
observations on the epidemiology of autumn nematodirosis in weaned lambs in a scottish sheep flock.nematodirosis was diagnosed in the south-east of scotland during two consecutive autumns in lambs which were grazed on the same field. the problem was unpredicted based on the knowledge of the pasture and animal management, and rudimentary understanding of the behaviour of free-living stages of nematodirus battus in the region. unlike the epidemiology that has been described in the south of england, whereby autumn infection of lambs is believed to arise from autumn hatching of eggs shed during t ...201222266686
sheep movement networks and the transmission of infectious diseases.background and methodology: various approaches have been used to investigate how properties of farm contact networks impact on the transmission of infectious diseases. the potential for transmission of an infection through a contact network can be evaluated in terms of the basic reproduction number, r(0). the magnitude of r(0) is related to the mean contact rate of a host, in this case a farm, and is further influenced by heterogeneities in contact rates of individual hosts. the latter can be ev ...201020567504
congenital cerebral and cerebellar lesions of unknown aetiology in calves. 201020710029
immunology. infection protection and natural selection. 201021030640
fitness correlates of heritable variation in antibody responsiveness in a wild mammal.a functional immune system is important for survival in natural environments, where individuals are frequently exposed to parasites. yet strong immune responses may have fitness costs if they deplete limited energetic resources or cause autoimmune disease. we have found associations between fitness and heritable self-reactive antibody responsiveness in a wild population of soay sheep. the occurrence of self-reactive antibodies correlated with overall antibody responsiveness and was associated wi ...201021030656
exposure to viral and bacterial pathogens among soay sheep (ovis aries) of the st kilda archipelago.we assessed evidence of exposure to viruses and bacteria in an unmanaged and long-isolated population of soay sheep (ovis aries) inhabiting hirta, in the st kilda archipelago, 65 km west of benbecula in the outer hebrides of scotland. the sheep harbour many metazoan and protozoan parasites but their exposure to viral and bacterial pathogens is unknown. we tested for herpes viral dna in leucocytes and found that 21 of 42 tested sheep were infected with ovine herpesvirus 2 (ohv-2). we also tested ...201626829883
Index selection in terminal sires improves early lamb growth.The use of terminal sires (TS) for crossbreeding is integral to the UK sheep industry where approximately 71% of market lambs are sired by TS rams. Early growth of these crossbred lambs affects profitability. The objectives of this study were: (i) to evaluate the effectiveness of index selection among TS on the BW and ADG of their crossbred offspring; and, (ii) to compare the efficacy of that selection within TS breeds. The most widely used TS breeds in the UK are Charollais, Suffolk and Texel. ...201122021813
continuous covariates in mark-recapture-recovery analysis: a comparison of methods.time varying, individual covariates are problematic in experiments with marked animals because the covariate can typically only be observed when each animal is captured. we examine three methods to incorporate time varying, individual covariates of the survival probabilities into the analysis of data from mark-recapture-recovery experiments: deterministic imputation, a bayesian imputation approach based on modeling the joint distribution of the covariate and the capture history, and a conditiona ...201020163405
geographic variation in tissue accumulation of endocrine disrupting compounds (edcs) in grazing sheep.muscle tissue was collected from ewes and lambs derived from farms throughout scotland and sample concentrations of five endocrine disrupting compound groups were determined. farms of origin were categorised according to geographic region. there were few statistically-significant differences with region or distance from cities. however, the magnitude of the difference between the highest and lowest mean values in ewe muscle from different regions exceeded 30% for 13 of the 15 compounds that were ...201021074917
scotland obtains some leeway on eid for sheep. 201121873391
genome-wide association mapping identifies the genetic basis of discrete and quantitative variation in sexual weaponry in a wild sheep population.understanding the genetic architecture of phenotypic variation in natural populations is a fundamental goal of evolutionary genetics. wild soay sheep (ovis aries) have an inherited polymorphism for horn morphology in both sexes, controlled by a single autosomal locus, horns. the majority of males have large normal horns, but a small number have vestigial, deformed horns, known as scurs; females have either normal horns, scurs or no horns (polled). given that scurred males and polled females have ...201121651634
physiological proteins in resource-limited herbivores experiencing a population die-off.nutrient availability is predicted to interact with herbivore population densities. competition for low quality food at high density may reduce summer food intake, and in turn winter survival. conversely, low population density may favor physiological recovery through better access to better quality spring forage. here, we take advantage of the long-term study of the soay sheep population of st. kilda (scotland) to measure plasma protein markers and immunity in two consecutive summers with contr ...201728761976
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