media was not used and an alternative had to be
improvised. Ideally, blood culture bottles should be
used for this purpose (e.g. VersaTREK® Redox blood
culture bottles; Trek Diagnostic Systems, USA). There
have only been two confirmed cases of anthrax in
the entire Eastern Cape province since 1993, with the
most recent having occurred in November 2011 in an
area over 100 km east of the ranch discussed (DAFF;
2017). During this investigation, one could be forgiven
for jumping to the conclusion of anthrax, based on
the history of the disease in South Africa, the role
of kudu in the ecology of the disease in other parts
of the country, recent environmental conditions as
well as translocation stress. The major disadvantage
when using Diff-Quick is that it does not reveal the
anthrax capsule as would have been possible with
polychrome methylene blue (MacFadyean’s reaction)
or Giemsa (De Vos & Turnbull; 2004). If the basic
polychrome methylene blue stain had been used
during the initial assessment, anthrax would have
been rapidly ruled out and further investigations could
have taken place in the field, with the implication of
producing fresher, higher quality samples for disease
diagnostics. This also would have avoided the risky
movement of the carcass off the property. In an effort
to reduce the length of the case study for Hooo Hooo,
several parts were removed. For further details on the
case, please contact the author.
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