Goat farming in India is becoming popular and many new farms are establishing due to rising demand of goat meat. India is leading exporter of goat meat and its domestic consumption of goat meat is also very high. This puts pressure on the supply of the goats due to which its market rates are high. Under this situation goat farming is seems lucrative from business point of view.
Before entering this business investors would like to know the challenges faced by the industry. Out of many limitations, poor health status of goats is the main constrain in goat farming. Most serious challenge in goat farming is poor kid’s health and high kid mortality. This problem ends up in high economic losses which could leads to closure of farms. High price of goat meat and increasing demand makes it viable business but above problem do not allows the profitable functioning of farms. In one of the study conducted at CIRG, Makhdoom highest ROI of 3.56 were seen when invest in health management and disease prevention. It is therefore important to improve kid’s survival rate & health status so that farmers can have successful goat farming.
Economic losses due to kid’s mortality in India
We can look at the kid mortality at glance which can destroy your all investments in goat farming. An average of 20% of kid’s lost every year. Estimated total deaths would be around 12 million kids each year. Economic losses Rs.14,589.42 per household due to kid mortality on survey of 11 states. With present assigned value of kid and adult goats, the total mortality losses due to diseases in goats at national level would be around Rs.11460 million per annum.
Diarrhea and pneumonia are the number one killer of kids and lambs. Almost 60% mortality in first few months after birth is due to diarrhea having different etiologies. Nearly 30% of the cases are associated with pneumonia which are indirectly linked to poor gut health and ventilation issues inside the farms. It is because excessive LPS generation in intestine would leak into the blood which ultimately reduces immunity and damage internal organs including lungs. Another cause of mortality is weakness in kids. Poor feeding at the time of birth and poor absorption of nutrients through gut is responsible for weakness and ultimately death occurs. These cases are usually remained undiagnosed.
Why diarrhea and other gut problems are so common in kids and cause such huge losses.
Disease causing pathogens like E.coli, Coccidia, Rota virus etc are commonly present in farms. Kids are born in unhygienic environment in goat farms, due to which these pathogens have easy access to kids. Kids have mainly 3 routes through which infection could enter inside the body. Mouth, nares (nose) and navel are these 3 routes.
- Daily dipping of navel in 7% tincture iodine could save kids from navel infection.
- Proper ventilation with lots of fresh air and warm comfortable temperature could reduce incidences of pneumonia.
- Now third route become important to consider because we cannot put barrier on mouth. We can only give supportive intervention which take care of intestinal health.
If we take care of gut then we will win almost 70% of the total issues occurring at goat farms. It would not only reduces disease incidences in the farm but also increases feed efficiency and survival opportunities of the business. Remember, only disease free well running farm would expand into big businesses.
So, it is important to see various gut diseases which affect health of new born kids up to 3 months of age. All the gut problems are comes under broad topic named Neonatal Diarrhea Complex. There are various classes of pathogens which causes disease of intestine that manifest in the form of diarrhea. These groups are bacteria, viruses, protozoans & helminthes.
1. E.coli – will see in little detail because, it is main villain
E.coli is the most frequent cause of diarrhea in kids and lambs. This bacteria is an exclusive inhabitant of intestine. If it is found outside intestine (like in drinking water) that means there is fecal contamination of water. Most of the E.coli is commensal but some percentage around 15% can cause fatal enteritis with or without diarrhea especially in new born kids which are under 1 month of age.
- But now question arises, how some E.coli become virulent and cause diseases?
It is interesting to know that Escherichia coli (E.coli) normally resides in the colon without causing disease. However, there is an amazing amount of DNA being swapped about among the E.coli by conjugation with plasmid exchange, lysogenic conversion by temperate bacteriophages, and direct transposon mediated DNA insertion. When E.coli acquires virulence in this manner, it can cause disease:
To simply put the fact, Nonpathogenic Escherichia coli (normal flora) + Virulence factors = DISEASE.
What are these virulence factors, which make E.coli that much deadly?
To understand this, we have to look understand the structure of E.coli.
In this image we can see the small threadlike structures called pilli (also called fimbriae), which are serve as adherence factors (that is why it is also called as adhesins). Many bacteria possess adhesins that are vital to their ability to cause disease. E.coli and Campylobacter cannot cause diarrhea without their adhesins to bind to the mannose-modified glycoproteins receptors on the surface of intestinal epithelium. So, this binding of bacteria with mannose receptors of intestinal cell is an essential part in initiation of disease, if this binding doesn’t occur then disease would not be caused. This binding is also known as colonization. After this other virulence factors like exotoxins (shiga like toxins, HL & HS toxins), endotoxins (LPS), Iron-binding siderophore: obtains iron from blood transferrin or lactoferrin (iron is essential for survival of E.coli). These factors are very harmful but works only when E.coli firmly established themselves on intestinal mucosa through the process of colonization. There are four main types of E. coli that can potentially be associated with diarrhea in kids: enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC); enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC); enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC); and necrotoxigenic E. coli (NTEC).
ETEC – does bound to intestinal cells and causes local infection, it do not enter blood. It produces heat labile (HL) and heat stable (HS) enterotoxins. These exotoxins inhibit the reabsorption of Na and Cl and stimulate the secretion of Cl – and HCO3 – into the intestinal lumen. Water follows the osmotic pull of these ions, resulting in water and electrolyte loss. This produces a severe watery diarrhea with up to 20 liters being lost a day. ETEC are probably significant as a cause of diarrhoea in newborn kids and may complicate infections caused by cryptosporidia, rotavirus and coronavirus in kids up to 2 to 3 weeks of age.
EPEC – This E.coli possess special gene called eae gene which translate into intimin protein through which it strongly binds with intestinal cells. It develops lesions of the gut mucosa, involving destruction of the brush border of enterocytes, but are usually non-invasive. Kids died over a period of three weeks with profuse diarrhea and dehydration beginning at one week of age.
EHEC – The enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) are characterized by production of verotoxin, a toxin similar to the shiga toxin. It does not have much health significance in ruminants but ruminants especially cattle & goats are reservoir of this. O157:H7 strain is the most well-known EHEC which has public health implications. Verotoxigenic E. coli are not strongly associated with diarrhea in kids, but that goats can serve as an important source of EHEC infection for humans.
NTEC – This type of E.coli produces necrotizing cytotoxic factors. These factors destroy intestinal cells and then E.coli enter into blood stream which causes septicemia rather than enteritis like previous forms. This condition is known as colispetcemia (also known as Colibacillosis). In colisepticemia, invasive strains of E.coli (NTEC) gain entrance to the bloodstream and produce clinical disease through the effects of bacteremia and endotoxemia. Diarrhea may be part of the clinical syndrome, but is not the primary problem. Colisepticemia occurs most commonly in neonates that have not received adequate passive immunity through consumption of the dam’s colostrum.
In short – E.coli is of 4 types toxigenic, pathogenic, hemorrhagic and necrotizing. Toxigenic and pathogenic cause diarrhea in kids, hemorrhagic does not cause disease in goats & necrotizing causes blood infection in which fever is also seen.
Treatment of E.coli – Treatment of E.coli is straight and simple but become very difficult and costly in resistant strains. Obviously, broad spectrum antibiotics are indicated to treat the disease. Antibiotic sensitivity test is recommended before using any antibiotic in an outbreak. This would not only increases the chances of successful treatment but also reduces cost of treatment. Supportive treatment is given according to the symptoms observed in flock. Dehydration is usually as common sequel which ends up in death. Recurring disease problem is the main issue associated with the use of antibiotics. Bacteria often become resistant due to improper dosing and time gap between doses, which become difficult to treat in the course of disease.
Why antibiotics should avoid and only use last resort in severely affected kids?
Antibiotics are lifesaving and usually work against rapidly diving bacteria. If infection is slowly progressing than use of antibiotic become very critical and results are often discouraging. Antibiotics are given to support the immune system to eradicate disease from the body. Antibiotics usually reduces load on immune system. If immune system is broken down than working of antibiotics would be reduced. We can understand this with an example that in certain immune compromised like Gumboro in poultry and AIDS in humans, infection rates increases many folds and even higher antibiotics would not work in such cases. Second problem which is associated with antibiotics is that it wipe out the entire or most of the microflora from gut. It means disease causing as well as good bacteria both are destroyed and due to that after recovery animal do not eat properly and its growth and production is affected badly.
Salmonellosis causes peracute septicaemia and sudden death in neonatal kids and an acute diarrhoea in kids and older goats, often following stress. Salmonella typhimurium and S. dublin are most common, but several other serotypes have been associated with disease. Infection is most often acquired from other goats that are excreting the organism, feed, water, vermins (rats, cockroaches, dogs etc), other domestic animals and humans. Kids become lethargic, develop fever, diarrhoea often profusely watery and yellow ± dysentery, abdominal cramps, dehydration & sudden death in young kids. Enteritis and enlarged mesenteric lymphnodes are seen on PM. For treatment oral and parenteral antibiotics are indicated.
C. perfringens is very common cause of diarrhoea in neonatal as well as in older kids along with E. coli and viral infections. It causes enterotoxaemia in goats. The ferocity and intensity of disease is higher in kids than in lambs and calves. In kids this is occurs in per acute form and usually very fatal. On the basis of toxins produced by Clostridium perfringens, it is divided into five types viz. type A, B, C, D & E. Type D is most common cause of ET in goats of all ages. C. perfringens Type D produces alpha and epsilon toxins. This bacteria is a common inhabitant of rumen and intestine of goats, generally in low numbers. It is passed in feces and may persist in soil, though it dies out more quickly in soil than other Clostridium spp. The organism has a quick generation time, as short as eight minutes, allowing for rapid proliferation in the intestine under favorable conditions. It is the rapid proliferation of this resident organism and the associated release of toxins that causes disease in the host. Sudden changes in feedstuffs or feeding practices have been associated with triggering outbreaks of enterotoxemia in all affected species. Specific situations that make goats predisposed to this disease have included turnout to lush pasture, feeding of bread or other bakery goods, feeding of a bran/molasses mash to recently fresh does, excessive grain consumption after accidental access to feed storage sheds, and feeding of garden greens to goats unaccustomed to green feed. Feed changes, however, are not a prerequisite for enterotoxemia to occur. Abrupt changes in weather have also been associated with onset of enterotoxemia sometimes. In field cases, diarrhea is a predominant clinical finding in goats relative to other species, and at necropsy, marked enterocolitis is often present. Kids showed more prominent diarrhea and abdominal discomfort with fewer neurologic signs preceding death. In kids epsilon toxins would not enter inside blood in larger quantities as compare to lambs. High fever is often seen. Flunixin, oral sulphas and antitoxins are considered as line of treatment. Post treatment growth and production issues are common. Goats are considered highly susceptible to enterotoxemia and it is universally recommended that all goats be vaccinated against the disease as part of any basic caprine herd health program. At the same time, it is recognized that vaccination does not afford the same level of protection to goats that occurs in sheep, and that the persistence of serum antibodies against toxin at protective levels in goats is limited. It is therefore methods of prevention should be carried out in conjunction with vaccine.
Campylobacter spp., largely Campylobacter jejuni, have occasionally been isolated from diarrhoeic kids and are a potential zoonotic hazard.
Rotavirus, coronavirus and adenovirus have been reported to cause diarrhoea in kids. Mixed infections with enterotoxigenic E. coli or Cryptosporidia may occur. Other viruses such as caprine herpes virus (CpHv-1) have also been implicated in diarrhoea in neonatal kids.
Rotavirus is the most common enteric virus of goats. It is believed to cause profuse diarrhea either alone or in combination with E. coli and/or cryptosporidia. Rotaviruses are now known to belong to seven different serogroups, A through G. Group A, B & C rotaviruses are found in goat kids. Group A & C are found in both diarrheic & healthy kids. An association between infection and diarrhea is established only for the group B rotaviruses. Rotavirus infects and destroys the epithelial cells of villi in the small intestine, producingvmalabsorption and diarrhoea. There is no remedy or vaccination is available for this virus. Prevention is only way to save kids from rotavirus infections. To reduce the severity we have to prevent other important pathogens like ETEC & Cryptosporidia. Numerous recent studies found that bifidogenic bacteria along with oligosachharide prebiotics significantly reduces rotavirus infection in human babies, that information is useful for goat kids also.
Coronavirus is a major cause of diarrhea in calves, but information on coronavirus infection in goats is limited.
Adenoviruses are not commonly associated with diarrhea in kids.
There are 3 main protozoan diseases effects goat kids, cryptosporidium, coccidiosis and giardia. Significance of giardia is disputed and not considered a problem alone. Cryptosporidium in kids younger than 4 week of age and coccidiosis in kids more than 4 week of age are very prominent causes of diarrhea.
Cryptosporidiosis has emerged as a major cause of diarrhea in kids younger than one month of age, particularly under intensive management conditions. It has zoonotic significance. It is a small, protozoal parasites in the family Cryptosporidiidae in the phylum Apicomplexa. Currently, fifteen Cryptosporidium species have been identified. Cryptosporidium parvum is not host-specific & it infects domestic ruminants, including goats, sheep, and cattle as well as humans, and it is the major focus of this discussion. Goat kids can get infection from other species (e.g. rodents, farm cats) via contamination of feed. It is known that cryptosporidial oocysts are very resistant to environmental degradation, and many common disinfectants are reported to be ineffective in destroying them. Cryptosporidiosis occurs worldwide. In goats, kids from two days to three weeks old are mainly affected but older animals may also be affected. In outbreaks, especially in intensively managed herds, kid morbidity can approach 100% and mortality up to 40% has been reported. The life cycle is direct and closely resembles that of other Eimerian coccidia, although it is as short as 3 or 4 days, so environmental contamination can reach high levels very rapidly. It parasitizes the distal small intestine, caecum and colon, resulting in villous atrophy, blunting and fusion, reducing the mucosal surface area, causing malabsorption and deficiencies in mucosal enzymes, particularly lactose. Cryptosporidiosis is characterized by acute gastrointestinal disturbances, haemorrhagic or mucoid diarrhoea, fever, lethargy, anorexia and loss of body condition leading to significant economic loss. The faeces are yellow or pale, watery, contain mucus and have a strong odour. Concurrent infections with other enteric pathogens, especially rotavirus and coronavirus, are common, and epidemiologic studies suggest that diarrhoea is more severe in mixed infections. Large numbers of oocysts (108 to 1010 oocysts/g) are present in the diarrhoeic stool. Recovered kids serve as carriers and become a potential source of infection to susceptible populations. Treatment with halofuginone and paromomycin sulphate have proved successful in kids.
This is an important protozoan infection of the intestine that mostly affects kids more than 4 weeks of age to 6-month age group, particularly when young goats are group-housed in confinement. Coccidia are protozoan parasites: goats are affected by 12 species of Eimeria that are all specific for the goat. Almost all goats carry coccidia in their intestinal tract. Oocysts of this parasite shed in the environment from where newly born kids get infected. As their intestinal tract is not immune to the coccidian they show high clinical disease symptoms. Flock management, weather and crowding are most important factors which predispose kids to this disease. Oocysts are ingested by the kid, rapidly undergo maturation and multiply. The cycling of a single oocyst could result in 1 to 2 million oocysts being passed 3 to 4 weeks later. Severe infection can occur indoors in intensive rearing situations. In coccidiosis, the damage done to the host is essentially the result of intestinal cell destruction occurring when coccidian cysts are released from host cells. In young kids, coccidiosis is clinically manifested by the presence of diarrhoea. The faeces are loose, foul smelling and discoloured with or without blood. Animals may show abdominal pain, anaemia, inappetence and weight loss. The look of the animal is unthrifty with a rough coat. Death may occur in acute cases. The clinical disease is common after the stress of weaning, feed change or transportation. Kids that survive have poor appetites and poor body weight gain. The clinical signs may be correlated with oocyst faecal counts. Chemotherapeutic agents recommended for treatment and control of coccidiosis in kids are sulphadimidine, nitrofurozone , amprolium hydrochloride.
Control of Neonatal Diarrhea Complex –
With above information we can now understand that there are 6 agents which causes maximum losses in goat farming through kid’s mortality and reduced growth rates in survived kids. These agents are E.coli, Salmonella, Clostridium, Rotavirus, Cryptosporidium and Coccidia.
These agents often show similar symptoms but their incidences are usually age dependent like E.coli and cryptosporidium in first month after birth and clostridium and coccidia after 1st month of age. To control this we have to use comprehensive strategy of prevention in which we need to focus on
- Reduction of infection rates through good management practices,
- Increase mucosal and systemic immunity of kids against these agents and
- Direct binding of pathogens & neutralize them in intestine, so their colonization would not occur.
This is the 3 way filtration protection to reduce incidences of neonatal diarrhea complex in kids and lambs.
How control strategy can be implemented to prevent neonatal diarrhea complex?
1. Good Farm Management
- Strict hygienic practices must be followed
- Clean the premises before delivery of kids. Use 2% bleaching solution to sanitize the whole area. Follow this practice routinely to keep farm clean.
- Separate the kids from does after birth and keep them on raised wooden platform.
- Regularly change bedding material
- Feed the kids from plastic nipple bottles. You can use boiled goat milk / milk replacer / cow / buffalo milk to feed the kids.
- Before feeding clean feeding bottles with detergent and then boil in water.
- Milk fed should be at body temperature of kids.
2. Mucosal & intestinal immunity of kids and lambs
There are many prebiotic molecules which are can be utilized to enhance immunity of the animals. These includes Mannose Oligosaccharides, beta-glucans, fructans etc.
- Mannose Oligosaccharides – Mannan oligosaccharides have been reported to increase villus height and surface area, decrease crypt depth, induce numbers of sulphated-acidic goblet cells, and upregulate gene expression of MUC, which is related to mucin secretion. It has been reported that sulphated acidic goblet cells are less degradable by the pathogen’s glycosides. Therefore, they can provide stronger protection against pathogens for the host. Mucin is the first line of defense & increased mucin secretion trap pathogen or impede them from invading epithelial cells. Mannose Oligosaccharides upregulated TLR2 and TLR4 expressions. TLR4 is a receptor where LPS is bind. After recognizing LPS, immune cells could produce high levels of nitric oxide and proinflammatory cytokines against pathogenic bacteria. Mannan oligosaccharides itself binds to LPS receptors which modulate immune system.
- β-glucan is a prebiotic derived from fungal cell walls. This long-chain polysaccharide is composed of D-glucose monomers with linkages of β-glycosidic 1-3 bonds, and its side-chains are linked by the 1–6 bonds. β-glucan can be recognized by receptors on sentinel cells, triggering production of cytokines and proliferation of lymphocytes. Lymphocytes are classified into three major types. The first type is NK cells, which play an important role in innate immunity. The second type is T cells, which regulate adaptive immunity. The third type is B cells, which produce antibodies against antigens. All types of lymphocytes can be modulated by β-glucan.
- Fructans: Fructans, commonly extracted from different plants, hydrolyzed from polysaccharides, or produced by microorganism, have been administered recently in broiler diets. Fructans are classified into three distinct types: the inulin group, the levan group, and the branched group. Fructans improved the immune responses of gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT) and the systemic immune system through three major mechanisms. Firstly, increasing the levels of Bifidobacteria by fructans could modulate the production of cytokines or antibodies. Secondly, leukocytes could be activated after their receptors respond to fructans’ metabolites, such as SCFA. Thirdly, fructans could be directly recognized by carbohydrate receptors on the surface of immune cells
3. Direct binding of pathogens & neutralize them in intestine
Some prebiotics like mannan oligosaccharides are known for their ability to bind pathogenic bacteria, which possess type-1 fimbriae, such as E. coli and Salmonella species. By blocking bacterial lectin, MOS could reduce colonization of these pathogens in the intestine of animals. Besides blocking pathogens it increasing total anaerobic bacteria, Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium reduces Salmonella, E. coli, Clostridium perfringens, and Campylobacter through competitive exclusion. Mannose receptors also present cryptosporidia and coccidia therefore Mannan oligosaccharides binds with these parasites. In various researches it is indicated that fructans shows direct reduction in titers of C. perfringens which cause enterotoxaemia in goat kids.
In short, these prebiotics directly reduce infection load in intestine and simultaneously improves body immunity to fight infection.
Probio-Tek is design keeping all these things in mind.
Probiotics – Mixture of various probiotic species which maintain rumen health and helps in competitive exclusion of disease causing micrbes
Hesperidin – Which have antirotaviral activity
Bifidogenic factors – it is mixture of fructans, β-glucans, D-mannose residues and other similar molecules which directly binds with E.coli, Salmonella, Coccidia and Cryptosporidia and neutralize them.
Butyrate generators – Butyric acid is fuel of rumen epithelial cells and it helps in early rumen development.
Osmolytes – It keeps intestinal cells hydrated and reduce impact of low level infection of coccidia.
Dosage – 5g per kid/lamb directly in mouth from 3rd day after birth till 1st