Dermatophilosis in camels (Camelus dromedarius Linnaeus, 1758) in Kenya [experimental infection]
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Natural dermatophilosis (caused by Dermatophilus congolensis Van Saceghem, 1915) has only recently been described in camels (Camelus dromedarius). Further work has shown that the disease is actually widespread. At the Ol Maisor farm where it was first diagnosed (in the Laikipia district of northern Kenya), detailed investigations have revealed that thirty camels (ten calves and twenty adult animals) were infected. The signs varied from mild to more than 50% skin involvement. Patches of wool on the rump were easily detachable with many hard, white crusts. Similarly, another twenty camels from a totally different area of northern Kenya (Samburu district) were found to be infected with D. congolensis. Bacterial isolation was used to confirm the diagnosis. At Ol Maisor farm, twenty sheep were also found to have severe dermatophilosis. There were scabs and many areas of wool shedding. The shed wool had crusts similar to those observed on camels. Experimental infection with D. congolensis isolated from camels was conducted, by means of scarification, on the skin of two goats. The same experimental infection was possible in two calves, taking two weeks to become established. After thirty days there were disseminated foci of infection on the heads of the calves, especially around the eyes. Although these findings cannot show the actual source of D. congolensis, it is possible that the same organism causes dermatophilosis in the different animals.