Between 1983 and 1997, a low incidence of seasonal allergic dermatitis was diagnosed in sheep in Israel aged eight months to eight years, in 10 flocks of a variety of breeds, but not the local Awassi breed. The 40 affected animals reacted with scratching, biting and vigorous stamping of the feet from April to November each year. The principal skin lesions were hyperkeratosis, spongiosis and infiltrations of eosinophils and mononuclear cells, typical of an allergic dermatitis which was probably a hypersensitivity reaction to biting insects. The epidemiological findings in relation to the area of Israel affected, the breeds of sheep and the distribution of the lesions suggested that the sheep's hypersensitivity was due to the bites of several species of Culicoides.
- British Veterinary Association. All rights reserved.