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Impacts of naturally acquired protozoa and strongylid nematode infections on growth and faecal attributes in lambs

Sweeny, J.P.A., Robertson, I.D., Ryan, U., Jacobson, C. and Woodgate, R.G. (2012) Impacts of naturally acquired protozoa and strongylid nematode infections on growth and faecal attributes in lambs. Veterinary Parasitology, 184 (2-4). pp. 298-308.

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    Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetpar.2011.08.016
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    Abstract

    On two separate sampling occasions, faecal samples were collected from lambs (2-5 months of age) grazing pasture on two separate sheep farms in southern Western Australia. Live weight, body condition score (BCS), faecal consistency score (FCS) and faecal dry matter percentage (DM%) were measured. Faecal samples were screened by PCR for Cryptosporidium (18S rRNA, actin and 60kDa glycoprotein [gp60] loci), Giardia duodenalis (glutamate dehydrogenase [gdh] and β-giardin) and patent strongylid nematode infections (ITS-2 nuclear ribosomal DNA for Haemonchus contortus, Teladorsagia circumcincta, Trichostrongylus spp. Chabertia ovina and Oesophagostomum spp.). Faecal worm egg counts (WECs) were performed using a modified McMaster WEC technique. The WECs were adjusted for FCS and transformed using log 10(adjusted WEC+25) prior to statistical analyses.Cryptosporidium, Giardia and Trichostrongylus spp. detected by PCR were associated with an increased risk of non-pelleted faeces (FCS ≥ 3.0) for both flocks. Cryptosporidium-positive lambs were 2.8-11.6 times more likely to have non-pelleted faeces and Giardia-positive lambs were 2.4-14.0 times more likely to have non-pelleted faeces compared to lambs negative for each respective parasite. Lambs positive for both Cryptosporidium and Giardia were 2.9-11.8 times more likely to have non-pelleted faeces than lambs positive for only one or neither of these parasites. Mixed internal parasite infections were found to have greater impacts on FCS and BCS than single infections. A higher number of internal parasites detected per lamb was associated with lower BCS and more loose faeces. The relationship between parasite detection and live weight or growth rate were inconsistent for both flocks. Adjusted WEC was correlated with FCS and faecal DM% for one flock only, although little or no correlation was found with live weight and growth rate for both flocks. Cryptosporidium ubiquitum and Cryptosporidium parvum were the most prevalent Cryptosporidium species isolated in the two flocks. Giardia assemblage E was the most commonly isolated genotype assemblage from both flocks, while assemblage A was isolated almost as frequently as assemblage E in the one flock. One flock was a potential source of zoonotic Cryptosporidium and the other flock was a potential source of zoonotic Giardia.

    Publication Type: Journal Article
    Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
    Publisher: Elsevier BV
    Copyright: © 2011 Elsevier B.V.
    URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/7061
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