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Mystery Behind Camel Mortalities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (Lakki Marwat), Pakistan

Mystery Behind Camel Mortalities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (Lakki Marwat), Pakistan

Rafiullah1, Said Sajjad Ali Shah1*, Muhammad Ilyas Khan2, Anwar Ali3, Imtiaz Ali Shah1 and  Sohaib ul Hassan4

1Veterinary Research Institute, Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan; 2Veterinary Research and Disease Investigation Centre, Chitral, Pakistan; 3Livestock Research and Dairy Development Station, Dir Lower, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan; 4The University of Agriculture, Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.

*Correspondence | Said Sajjad Ali Shah, Veterinary Research Institute, Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan; Email: 


Camel is an important animal, possessing unique physiological characteristics and serving millions of poor people throughout the world. Mortality in the camel population was observed in Lakki Marwat district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in 2018, in which more than 60 camels died. Two dogs that consumed the meat of dead camels were also found dead in the study area. Different types of samples, i.e., tissue samples from dead camels (n=2) and blood samples from infected live camels (n=60) were collected from the study area for bacteriological, hematological, and parasitological studies, while for feed analysis, feed samples (n=20) were collected. Postmortem examination of dead camels revealed extensive hemorrhages in the small intestine and severe congestion of the colon and rectum. Among the hematological parameters, there was a significant reduction in hemoglobin level and hematocrit values and a significant increase in total leukocyte count, whereas all other parameters were in the normal range. Microbiological results revealed sporulated bacilli indicative of Bacillus cereus, which is an important cause of food poisoning, causing diarrheal and emetic illness. Analysis of feed samples showed a higher level of Aflatoxin B1 in spoiled Gram and Berseem fed to camels. From the results of the study, it can be concluded that recent mortality in camels might be due to food poisoning due to Bacillus cereus intoxication (Haemorrhagic diathesis) and a higher level of Aflatoxin B1 in the feed. Dog mortality may be related to indospicine toxicity due to feeding of indigoferous plants by camels.

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Sarhad Journal of Agriculture


Sarhad Journal of Agriculture, Vol.40, Iss. 2, Pages 263-679


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