Veterinary Science Research is critical to the protection of public health and advancement of science that benefits both humans and animals as individuals and populations. Veterinary research includes studies on basic biology and welfare of animals and diagnosis, treatment, prevention and control of diseases/infections. The Faculty of Veterinary Science has adopted a research strategic plan that seeks excellence in research, generates novel scientific information, and provides solutions to existing and anticipated problems in animal health, production and welfare. The research policy is primarily aimed at improving production of livestock and livestock products as well as improving the welfare of animals. As a way of encouraging interdisciplinary research, the Faculty is actively involved in developing both local and international collaborative research links. Locally, research funding opportunities have been realized through the University Research Board and internationally through the Norwegian Council for Higher Education’s Programme for Development Research and Education (NUFU), Council for Assisting Refugee Academics (CARA), Research Platform “Production and Conservation in Partnership” (RP-PCP), RenCaRe, Fort Hare University, University of KwaZulu Natal, Venda University, Stellenbosch University and others. There is no restriction with regards to research fields. However, currently emphasis has been placed on the following areas:
- Epidemiology and molecular techniques for identification of important zoonoses such as Brucella spp and Bacillus anthracis
- Seroprevalence and risk factors for canine brucellosis and leptospirosis
- Disease transmission between wildlife and livestock at different wildlife/livestock interfaces
- Ethno-veterinary control of bovine dermatophilosis and ticks
- Effects of Boophone disticha extract on early maternal separation followed by later stressors on anxiety-mice models
- Effects of Helichrysum species on rangelands and livestock production
- Genetic resistance of Matabele goats to worms
- Effects of legume forages on milk production in goats
Research activities in these areas and others has resulted in the Faculty publishing over 30 scientific papers in referred journals for the period 2010 to 2013 as shown under individual academic staff members.
Notable research findings
a) New Species Discovered
i) Trichinella zimbabwensis
Morphological, biological, biochemical and molecular studies on Trichinella larvae detected in the muscles of crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus) on crocodile farms in Zimbabwe demonstrated that this was a parasite belonging to a new species, which has been named Trichinella zimbabwensis. Its detection represented the first observation of a reptile naturally infected with Trichinella. Trichinella zimbabwensis is the first known parasite capable of completing its life cycle in cold-blooded and warm-blooded vertebrates and is the first non-encapsulated species detected in Africa. Research has shown that this species infects both reptiles [e.g. crocodiles & Nile monitor lizards (Varanus niloticus)] and mammals [e.g. lions (Panthera leo)& leopards (P. pardus)]. Experimentally it was shown to infect rodents, domestic pigs, carnivores and primates.
ii) Mycoplasma crocodyli
A new, previously unrecognized Mycoplasma species from farmed crocodiles; Mycoplasma crocodyli was first reported in Zimbabwe. This new Mycoplasma species causes polyarthritis and pneumonia in crocodiles.
iii) Rickettsia africae
Studies demonstrated that rickettsial isolates from Amblyomma hebraeum ticks collected from Zimbabwe are phenotypically and genotypically distinct from the other spotted fever group rickettsia and this organism was named Rickettsia africae. This pathogen is the aetiological agent of African tick bite fever in humans.
b) First confirmation of important pathogens, vectors and/or disease conditions through isolation or serology
i) Mycobacterium bovis
This bacterium causes bovine tuberculosis (bTB) and can also infect humans. The presence of Mycobacterium bovis was confirmed for the first time in Gonarezhou National Park (GNP) buffaloes. Its presence has implications for the conservation of affected wildlife species and the health of humans and livestock living at the wildlife–livestock–human interface.
The research work on actinobacillosis resulted in the first time isolation of Actinobacillus lignieresii from a post-operative wound in a cat and from an ostrich.
iv) Psittacine beak and feather disease
This well-known viral disease (caused by a Circovirus) not previously diagnosed in Zimbabwe was shown to occur in the country affecting mostly two species of lovebirds; Agapornis nigrigensis and A. lillianae and had a different clinical course than that reported elsewhere.
v) Philophthalmus gralli (The oriental eye-fluke)
Tiny organisms isolated from commercially reared ostriches with severe eye infection in Zimbabwe were identified asPhilophthalmus gralli, the “oriental eye-fluke”. This was the first record of the oriental eye-fluke infection in birds in Zimbabwe and Africa and this extends its known geographical range.
vi) Snail intermediate hosts ofPhilophthalmus gralli (The oriental eye-fluke)
Through natural and experimental infection, a prosobranch snail, Melanoides tuberculata, was confirmed as the snail intermediate host of Philophthalmus gralli, the “oriental eye-fluke” in Zimbabwe.
vii) Fasciola (Tenuifasciola) tragelaphi
Fasciola tragelaphi, previously recovered from the Sitatunga (Tragelaphus spekei) was diagnosed a beef cow in the country for the first time.
A total of 128 scientific articles related to parasitic diseases have been published to date. Of the total publications, approximately 34% (44/127) focused on nematode infections, 20.3% (26/128) on protozoa infections and 15.6% (20/128) on trematode infections. Approximately 19% (24/128) of the papers dealt with treatment, control and prevention of parasitic diseases. Parasitic zoonoses researched on include trichinellosis, toxoplasmosis, ancylostomosis, toxocariosis and cysticercosis.
Trichinella larvae detected in the muscles of crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus) on crocodile farms in Zimbabwe represented the first observation of a reptile naturally infected with Trichinella. Morphological, biological, biochemical and molecular studies done on these Trichinella larvae demonstrated that this parasite belongs to a new species, which has been namedTrichinella zimbabwensis. Trichinella zimbabwensis is the first known parasite capable of completing its life cycle in cold-blooded and warm-blooded vertebrates. In addition, T. zimbabwensisis the first non-encapsulated species detected in Africa. Sequence heterogeneity has been shown to occur among T. zimbabwensis isolates originating from different geographical locations of Zimbabwe. Research has shown that this species infects both reptiles (e.g. crocodiles & Nile monitor lizards, Varanus niloticus) and mammals (e.g. lions, Panthera leo& leopards, P. pardus). Experimentally it has been shown to infect rodents, domestic pigs, carnivores and primates. Despite experimentally infecting non-human primates, the zoonotic potential of T. zimbabwensis is currently unknown. However, crocodile and monitor lizard meat could be possibly a source of human infection with T. zimbabwensis.
Research on toxoplasmosis provided evidence of Toxoplasma gondii infection in goats, pigs, and sheep, wild bovidae (Tragelaphus spp) and farm-reared ostriches (Struthio camelus) and no evidence of infection in African wild suids (warthog, Phacochoerus africanus& bush pig, Potamochoerus larvatus). These results show that consumption of undercooked mutton, goat meat and pork from free-range domestic pigs is likely to be associated with the highest risk of contracting T. gondiiinfection in Zimbabwe. A potential risk is also the consumption of undercooked game meat wild bovids and ostriches.
Ancylostomosis and toxocariosis
Awareness studies on parasitic zoonoses demonstrated that the knowledge of parasitic diseases such as ancylostomosis (hookworms) and toxocariosis (roundworms) as zoonoses was low in pet owners. These results show that veterinarians are crucial link in keeping pet owners fully informed of zoonoses and ways to reduce the risk of zoonotic parasite transmission and, awareness and education arekey to this mission.
Other parasitic diseases
Research studies on gastrointestinal (GIT) nematodes infecting cattle revealed that nineteen GIT nematode species belonging to seven families occur in cattle in Zimbabwe. The main genera are Cooperia, Haemonchus, Trichostrongylus andOesophagostomum and the dominant species are Cooperia pectinata, Cooperia punctata, Haemonchus placei andTrichostrongylus axei. Production and husbandry practices, season, host age and environment are considered to be the main factors that influence GIT nematode infection in cattle. The current accumulated epidemiological data on GIT nematodes is used to design appropriate control measures.
Bacterial and Fungal Diseases
A total of 79 scientific articles related to bacterial and fungal diseases have been published to date. However, only one article has so far been published on fungal diseases (zygomycosis and aspergillosis in breeder layer cockerels). Of the 78 publications on bacterial diseases, 55.1% (43/78) focused on bacterial zoonoses. Bacterial zoonoses researched on include anthrax, bartonellosis (cat scratch disease due to Bartonella henselae), brucellosis, leptospirosis, Q fever, salmonellosis, tuberculosis and yersiniosis (plague).
The practical research conducted by the Faculty addresses some very important aspects aimed at understanding bacterial zoonoses, their identification, their prevalence and risk factors; which ultimately contribute to designing effective disease control. The Faculty has focused its research on key bacterial zoonoses such as brucellosis, anthrax, tuberculosis and leptospirosis which are all of public health significance.
Spatio-temporal studies of anthrax made it possible to identify high risk areas and seasonal trends; enabling development of contingency plans for different risk locations, better resource allocation and improved preparedness in the event of an outbreak. The spatial model tested improved the understanding of anthrax ecology and can be potentially used in devising better control strategies of the disease in the country. Anthrax awareness studies elucidated important risk factors contributing to frequent human anthrax outbreaks in Zimbabwe thereby indicating possible intervention strategies. Bacillus anthracis soil isolation studies showed that there are areas contaminated with viable B. anthracis spores for at least 12 months after the last outbreak; indicating that decontamination of affected areas may help reduce animal and human anthrax incidence. A temperature-time combination of 75oC for 15 minutes was shown to be optimum for soil isolation with PCR targeting virulence plasmids providing a rapid confirmation of B. anthracis.
Over 50% of the work on zoonoses has focused on brucellosis. Bovine brucellosis is a disease of both economic and zoonotic importance worldwide, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. Research by the Faculty has greatly contributed to surveillance, identification of risk factors and suggesting control measures against brucellosis among domestic ruminants in both commercial and smallholder farms. The work has further contributed to characterization of Brucella species affecting domestic ruminants in Zimbabwe. Furthermore, it has contributed to the evaluation of several serological tests, promoting the use of techniques with high sensitivity and specificity in disease surveillance and control programs in commercial and smallholder farms. In turn, the ultimate effect is the significant reduction in the public health risks associated with the disease in cattle.
Research on bartonellosis provided evidence showing domestic cats to be the principal reservoirs of B. henselae, the aetiological agent of human diseases that include cat-scratch disease, bacillary angiomatosis, bacillary peliosis and a febrile bacteraemia syndrome. In addition, serological evidence ofbartonellosiswas shown in dogs from widely separated communal lands in Zimbabwe. These results have implications for human health, particularly pet owners and animal handlers.
Results on Q fever studies indicate that cats in Zimbabwe are infected with C. burnetii and should be considered as sources of infection for humans. In other domestic animals, serological evidence of Q fever infection was found in 39% of cattle (n = 180), but only 15% of dogs (n = 27) and 10% of goats (n = 180). The results suggest that cattle are important reservoirs of C. burnetii in Zimbabwe. Furthermore, the serological evidence of Q fever infection was found in 37% of humans (n = 494). Findings of these studies alert health workers to this infection, which apparently occurs frequently in Zimbabwe even though clinical cases have not been reported.
Healthy farmed Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus) in Zimbabwe were found harbouringSalmonella spp in their intestines and salmonellae have been isolated from meat samples of slaughtered crocodiles. These observations indicate that there is potential danger to humans arising from the trade in and consumption of crocodile meat. Implementation of measures to control and minimize Salmonella’s contamination of crocodile meat needs serious and careful considerations. Recent salmonellosis studies in poultry provided evidence of S. Enteritidis infection. The identification of multi-drug-resistant S. Enteritidis is of public health concern. Stringent control of S. Enteritidis and proper monitoring of antimicrobial usage in chicken farms will reduce the public health risk of human salmonellosis.
Recent work on bovine tuberculosis (bTB) confirmed for the first time the presence of Mycobacterium bovis in Gonarezhou National Park (GNP) buffaloes. The presence of bTB in wildlife has implications for the conservation of the wildlife species affected and the health of humans and livestock living at the wildlife–livestock–human interface. Development and implementation of adequate risk-mitigation strategies should be done to reduce the risk for bTB transmission to livestock and humans living at the periphery of the unfenced Gonarezhou National Park.
Four common rodent species (Mastomys natalensis, Rattus rattus, Rhabdomys pumilio&Tatera leucogaster) were found to be hosts of human plague vectors; Xenopsylla brasiliensis, Dinopsyllus lypusus and Ctenophthalmus calceatus. Findings of the studies support the reported pattern of plague outbreaks occurrence in the country. Environmental management and chemical control measures should be taken particularly in the informal settlements where risk of plague outbreaks appearsto be high. The results also showed that periurban cultivation should be discouraged to prevent wild, peridomestic, and domestic rodent interactions.
Other bacterial diseases
A new, previously unrecognized Mycoplasma species from farmed crocodiles; Mycoplasma crocodyli was first reported in Zimbabwe. The new Mycoplasma species causes polyarthritis and pneumonia in crocodiles. Tetracycline treatment of the cases by injection and in the feed proved to be effective in ameliorating clinical signs but does not prevent relapses. The use of an autogenous vaccine produced from M. crocodyli proved more effective in alleviating the disease manifestations than antibiotic therapy. In addition to the usual organs infected, Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae (MO) reported in communal flocks of goats infected the thymus, which has not been previously reported with any Mycoplasma spp. The goats did not produce detectable serum antibodies to M. ovipneumoniae and were not reactive to MO antigen in a tuberculin-type hypersensitivity test; indicating the possibility of an immunotolerance state responsible for failure to develop clinical pneumonia.
Pasteurellosis research revealed the Pasteurella spp (P. multocida, P. haemolytica, P. canis, P. gallinarum, P. stomatitis&P. dagmatis) with P. multocida (75%) and P. haemolytica (18%) being the dominant species. Serotyping studies demonstrated presence of three capsular serogroups [A (59%), B (5%) & D (14%)] with serogroup A being widely distributed among various animal hosts and the most prevalent serotype while serogroups E & F are absent. The research also highlights the first isolation of Communicable Diseases Centre (CDC) group EF-4 from dogs. A wide variety of disease conditions in different hosts due to Pasteurella spp have been recorded. Hosts included all domestic animals (cats, cattle, chickens, dogs, goats, horses, pigs, rabbits & sheep) in Zimbabwe, and also some wild animals (crocodiles).
Research on actinobacillosis enabled detailed descriptions of Zimbabwean Actinobacillus spp strains that includes; A. lignieresii, A. equuli, A. suis, Taxon 9 (causing ‘sleepy foal’ disease) and Taxon 11. The studies resulted in the first time isolation of A. lignieresii from a post-operative wound in a cat and from an ostrich.
A total of 29 scientific articles related to viral diseases have been published to date. The research has focused on the following viral diseases: rabies in dogs, humans and wildlife; feline leukemia in domestic cats; distemper in dogs; Newcastle disease (NCD) in ostriches (Struthio camelus); bovine virus diarrhoea – mucosal complex in cattle; beak and feather disease in Lillian’s Lovebirds (Agapornis lillianae); contagious ecthyma in goats; infectious pustular vulvo-vaginitis (IPV) in cattle; bovine viral leucosis; porcine rotavirus infection in pigs; bovine ephemeral fever and canine parvovirus infection. Rabies publications accounted for approximately 38% (11/29) of the articles.Only two viral zoonotic diseases, contagious ecthyma and rabies have been researched on by the Faculty. The research focused on several aspects such as epidemiology, prevalence, clinical features, diagnosis, control and prevention. Highlights of some of the research findings are outlined below.
Psittacine beak and feather disease a well-known viral disease (caused by a Circovirus) not previously diagnosed in Zimbabwe was shown to occur in the country resulting in 100% mortality and about 91% morbidity in lovebirds. Further investigations showed that the disease mostly affected two species of lovebirds; Agapornis nigrigensis and A. lillianae and had a different clinical course than that reported elsewhere. Based on a different disease course and viral ultrastructural differences, it was concluded that the disease could be due to a different virus or that there are different strains of the virus in the country.
Dogs were shown to be themajor important vector of rabies in the country (over 90% of human cases are due to dog bites); withmost dog and human rabies cases being recorded in communal areas. Animal-to-human transmission is highest during the dry months of July to November. A significant inverse relationship was shown between vaccination coverage and number of dog rabies cases; indicating that dog rabies control is a more cost-effective measure for preventing human rabies. Jackals are the second major maintenance hosts and both species; Canis adustus (side-striped jackals) and C. mesomelas(black-backed jackals) are able to maintain rabies epidemics independently of other species. Control studies showed thata baiting system of sponge baits containing a placebo liquid, rhodamine B as a biomarker and a pungent attractant was efficient in delivering oral vaccine to dog populations. For jackals, a bait vaccine (SAG-2) was found sufficient to immunize wild jackal populations when given orally using chicken head baits.
With regard to other viral diseases; the studies showed high prevalence ofcanine distemper virus (CDV))and canine parvovirus (CPV) in dogs, bovine-virus diarrhoea-virus (BVDV) and bovine ephemeral fever (BEF) in cattle, porcine rotavirus in pigletsand feline leukemia virus (FeLV)in cats. CDV infection is likely to play an important role in the high morbidity and mortality seen in young communal dogs. CPV was found to be the most frequently encountered viral infection of urban dogs with in excess of 2500 cases per annum. The enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) is reported to be more suitable for the routine diagnosis of BVDV whilst haematological and biochemical changes in a single blood sample do not provide a reliable diagnostic aid for BEF. Selenium deficiency was associated with respiratory distress and subcutaneous emphysema in cattle with BEF while rotavirus infection in piglets was significantly associated with diarrhoea. Intact cats raised in multicat housing systems that have access to outdoor life are at a higher risk of being FeLV positive and the disease is associated with autoimmune haemolytic anaemia. The studies also serologically demonstrated the presence of antibodies against NCD virus in naturally exposed ostriches and the first confirmed isolation of the IPV virus in cattle in the country. Arboviruses’ vector studies showed that Culicoides imicola is the abundant species followed by C. zuluensisand C. bolitinos.Culicoides imicola is a known vector for blue tongue and African horse sickness viruses.
Tumours and other pathological conditions
Currently this category has a total of 72 articles published. However, a total of 32 scientific papers related to tumours in dogs, cattle and horses have so far been published. Of the 32 articles published, most (56.3%, 18/32) were on dog tumours and 40.6% (13/32) were on cattle tumours. Only one article was published on tumours (adenocarcinoma) in horses. Studied tumours in dogs included astrocytoma, carotid and aortic body tumours, cutaneous neoplasms, epitheliomata, haemangiosarcoma, leiomyosarcoma, melanomas, meningioma, mesothelioma, osteosarcoma and canine transmissible venereal tumours (CTVT) whilst in cattle it was ocular squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC), vulval carcinomas and vulval papillomas. Approximately 41% (13/32) of the articles focused on treatment of tumours, mostly on therapy of OSCC in cattle using interleukin 2 (IL2). Highlights of some of the research findings are outlined below.
Mast cell tumours, squamous cell carcinomas, perianal gland adenomas, lymphomas, benign melanomas, haemangiosarcomas, sebaceous gland adenomas, fibrosarcomas, lipomas and malignant melanomas were reported to be the most common cutaneous tumours in dogs. It has been found that in Zimbabwe there is a greater prevalence of lymphomas and of tumours associated with increased exposure to ultraviolet light (squamous cell carcinomas, haemangiosarcomas and melanomas) in dogs. The prevalence of prostatic neoplasia was found to be low in dogs. Although digital rectal examination (DRE) appeared to be a good test to screen subclinical prostatic disease, it was found to have a low sensitivity and needs to be combined with other more sensitive techniques.Studies on CTVT suggests that mast cells play a role in CTVT progression that mast cell count (MCC) could be used as one of the histological factors to indicate growth stage of CTVT. Similarly, MCC and micro-vessel density (MVD) were demonstrated to have a prognostic significance in canine melanocytic tumours. However, clinicopathological factors and histopathological grading remain the most practical parameters in cancer decision-making and management. Combined bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) and vincristine therapy was found to be more effective than vincristine in treating CTVT, suggesting that the clinical course of this disease may be altered by immunochemotherapy.
OSCC was detected more in Simmental cattle with periorbital white skin.Therapy studies have shown that local IL- 2 therapy can be successfully used to treat OSCC with over 60% complete regressions. In addition, IL-2 can be used in combination with IL-12 for the treatment of OSCC but however, combination therapy does not improve the outcome in comparison to IL-2 as a single therapy. Local IL-2 treatment of bovine vulval papilloma carcinoma complex (BVPCC)was also shown to be feasible and effective under field conditions in Zimbabwe. This is of considerable economic importance, particularly for dairy farmers, as cows in Zimbabwe remain productive for a prolonged period. However, whereas a complete regression is obtained in OSCC mainly stable disease is attained in BVPCC. BCGtreatment also induced total regression of vulval carcinomas, limited regression in advanced papillomas, but had little or no effect on the early stages of papillomas in cattle.
IMPACT OF THE FACULTY TO THE UNIVERSITY, NATION AND BEYOND
Through its graduate outputs, services and research outputs, the faculty has contributed significantly to the advancement of the veterinary profession, improving livestock health, production and products as well as improving public health and animal welfare, including wildlife. By the end of December 2014, 264 veterinarians were registered on the Council of Veterinary Surgeons of Zimbabwe’s register to practice veterinary medicine in Zimbabwe, 70.5% (186/264) are graduates from the FVS. Currently there are 25 academics in the FVS and 76% (19/25) are products of the faculty. Similarly, over 70% of veterinarians in the Zimbabwean public and private sectors are FVS graduates. Hence, the faculty has a significant impact in promoting the livestock and wildlife industries in the country. The faculty is also having a significant impact in the region and beyond. In the region, by end of April 2014, in South Africa alone,104 veterinarians and 8 veterinary nurses graduating from the FVS were registered to practice veterinary medicine in the academia, private and public sectors of that country. Within the region, the FVS graduate outputs are contributing to the veterinary professions in countries such as Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland. Outside Africa, the faculty graduates are employed in different sectors in countries such as the UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, etc.
The research work by the faculty has contributed to the discovery of new and characterization of pathogenic species in animals. It has greatly contributed to the identification of risk factors, surveillance and suggesting control measures against several diseases in both domestic and wild animals. Furthermore, it has contributed to the evaluation of several diagnostic tests, promoting the use of techniques with high sensitivity and specificity in disease surveillance and control programs in commercial and smallholder farms. In turn, the ultimate effect is the significant promotion of animal health, production and welfare and, reduction in the public health risks associated with the disease in livestock and wildlife.
The Faculty has been involved in research that focused particularly on the so-called African neglected zoonotic diseases including anthrax, brucellosis and tuberculosis. The research has been broad enough to be viewed as making a contribution to the field of African neglected zoonotic diseases in the SADC region with a formidable production of research publications especially on brucellosis and anthrax.
Some of the Notable Luminaries from the FVS
Professor Munashe Chigerwe,Associate Professor of Food Animal Medicine and Surgery, University of Califonia Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. PhD & MPH (University of Missouri), BVSc (University of Zimbabwe 2001).
Professor Chigerwe is an Associate Professor of Food Animal Medicine and Surgery with UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. He received his BVSc from the FVS, UZ in 2001 and MPH and PhD degrees from the University of Missouri before joining University of California Davis in 2009. He is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. He has proven an exceptional instructor in didactic and clinical teaching settings, receiving the Favorite Large Animal Clinician and Favorite Teacher Awards in 2010 and the Favorite Large Animal Clinician and Favorite Faculty Awards in 2011. In 2013, he was awarded the School of Veterinary Medicine(SVM) Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award. He has published more than 30 articles covering different aspects of large animal medicine.
Professor Tarisai Brighton Dzikiti, Head of the Veterinary Anaesthesia Section, Companion Animal Clinical Studies Department, University of Pretoria. PhD (University of Pretoria 2011), MSc (Utrecht University, The Netherlands 2001), BVSc (University of Zimbabwe 1997)
Prof Tarisai Brighton Dzikiti was born in Rusape, Zimbabwe in 1972. He obtained his BVSc degree from the FVS, UZ in 1997. Immediately after completing his undergraduate studies, he joined the UZ as a Clinical Assistant in Small Animal Surgery, Anaesthesia and Radiology. In 2001, he obtained anMSc degree in Veterinary Anaesthesia from Utrecht University, The Netherlands. After a 2-year period of lecturing at UZ, he left to join the University of Pretoria, where he has been lecturing Veterinary Anaesthesia since March 2003. He obtained a PhD degree at the University of Pretoria in 2011 whose main research focus was intravenous anaesthesia in goats. He rose through the academic ranks at the University of Pretoria to become an Associate Professor since January 2013. He is currently the head of the Vet Anaesthesia section at the University of Pretoria. He has published 22 scientific papers in internationally recognised journals, presented at regional and international scientific conferences more than 35 times and has successfully supervised 5 Masters level degree students at the University of Pretoria. He regularly reviews scientific manuscripts for five journals, including the Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia journal and the Journal of the South African Veterinary Association. The value of his contribution to furthering advancement in the scientific community is substantiated by awards and recognitions that he has received in the last few years, namely: i) Exceptional Young Researcher of the Year Award (University of Pretoria) 2012; ii) Young Veterinarian of the Year Award of the South African Veterinary Association in 2013 and iii)Y2 rating as a researcher by for the years 2013 -2018 by the National Research Foundation (NRF) of South Africa. His most prominent scientific publications entitled ‘Effects of intravenous lidocaine on isoflurane concentration, physiological parameters, metabolic parameters and stress-related hormones in horses undergoing surgery’ has been cited up to 75 times to date.
Dr Benford Mafuvadze, Research Fellow, University of Kansas, Department of Pathology
PhD Sciences (University of Missouri 2012), MVSc (UZ 2004), BVSc (UZ 2002)
Dr Mafuvadze completed his BVSc at the FVS, UZ in 2002. After completing an MVScdegree in Veterinary Physiology (UZ) in 2004, he was employed as a Physiology lecturer (UZ). He was appointed Chairman of Preclinical studies in 2007, a position he held until he left for doctoral studies in the United States of America at the beginning of 2008. He completed his PhD in Biomedical Science at the University of Missouri in 2012. His Doctorate work focused on the role of natural flavonoids on development and progression of progestin-dependent breast cancer. In 2011, Dr Mafuvadze was awarded the Golden Key International award for scholarly achievement. He is currently a research fellow at the University of Kansas in the Department of Pathology, where his work involves studying molecular mechanisms involved in the progression of breast cancer. In particular he is looking at mechanisms involved in progression from the non-invasive form of breast cancer (ductal carcinoma in situ) to the invasive form (invasive ductal carcinoma). To-date Dr Mafuvadze has published 18 articles in International Accredited Journals and a book chapter in a widely referenced textbook of breast cancer. He is currently a member of the Editorial Board for the Pan African Medical Journal.