Dr. Raden Wisnu Nurcahyo, a lecturer at the UGM Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (FKH), was inaugurated as a professor of veterinary parasitology at the UGM Senate Hall on Tuesday (11/7).
Professor Wisnu Nurcahyo delivered his inaugural speech titled “Surra Disease and Its Implications for Human, Animal, and Environmental Health.”
In his speech, Professor Nurcahyo mentioned that Surra disease is caused by Trypanosoma evansi, a protozoan parasite commonly found in animals, particularly cattle, buffalo, horses, and rodents.
The parasite lives in vertebrates’ blood plasma and tissue fluids; only a few live by invading cells.
He explained that Surra could cause significant economic losses every year. The observed losses include decreased production and stunted growth, which can lead to death if left untreated.
“The prevalence of Trypanosomiasis in buffalo in Sumatra, Java, South Kalimantan, Lombok, South Sulawesi, and North Sulawesi ranges from 5.8% to 7%,” he said.
Infected animals usually appear lethargic, experience weight loss, anemia, edema of particular body parts, intermittent fever, enlarged prescapular lymph nodes, decreased production of milk, saliva, and tears, and may also suffer abortions.
Controlling the disease depends on chemotherapy, but it often encounters challenges such as the high cost of medication, difficulties in diagnosis, drug availability, and drug resistance development.
To diagnose Trypanosoma evansi in animals, Professor Nurcahyo emphasized the need to pay attention to clinical symptoms, disease history, and treatment history of the animals, considering field conditions based on parasitological principles.
The use of chemotherapy for Trypanosomiasis should be given, especially before entering the rainy season.
“This can protect susceptible animals during the period of increased disease risk. Sick livestock should be promptly and properly handled to prevent the spread of the disease and reduce the risk of infection and development of carriers,” the professor added.
A livestock health system needs to be established to anticipate the emergence of new animal diseases and the re-emergence of old ones. One approach to combat disease transmission through animals is through the concept of “One Health.”
This concept promotes a multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary approach that not only safeguards human health but also ensures the well-being of animals and the conservation of the environment.
“One Health is one of the efforts to prevent future disease outbreaks,” he stated.
Author: Gusti Grehenson