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Longitudinal prevalence, oocyst shedding and molecular characterisation of Eimeria species in sheep across four states in Australia

Yang, R.ORCID: 0000-0003-2563-2015, Jacobson, C.ORCID: 0000-0001-9427-1941, Gardner, G.ORCID: 0000-0001-7499-9986, Carmichael, I., Campbell, A.J.D. and Ryan, U.ORCID: 0000-0003-2710-9324 (2014) Longitudinal prevalence, oocyst shedding and molecular characterisation of Eimeria species in sheep across four states in Australia. Experimental Parasitology, 145 . pp. 14-21.

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The prevalence of Eimeria in sheep in Australia has not been well described, therefore a quantitative PCR (qPCR) was developed, validated and used to study the prevalence and oocyst concentration in lamb faecal samples at three sampling periods (weaning, post-weaning and pre-slaughter) from eight farms across South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia. A total of 3412 faecal samples were collected from approximately 1182 lambs across the 4 states and screened for the presence of Eimeria using this qPCR at the 18S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) locus. A subset of positives was typed by sequence analysis at the 18S locus. The overall prevalence was 18.1% (95% CI 16.8-19.3%) and of the 616 positives, 118 were successfully genotyped. The prevalence of Eimeria was highest in NSW and peaked at 70% during the post-weaning period. The range of oocyst shedding per gram of faeces (g(-1)) at weaning, post-weaning and pre-slaughter overall across all states was 23-2.1 x 10(7), 23-1.3 x 10(7) and 23-2.1 x 10(5), respectively. Median Eimeria shedding g(-1) was higher during post-weaning (1.1 x 10(3)) and pre-slaughter (1.1 x 10(3)) than during weaning (206). The following species were identified: Eimeria crandallis, Eimeria ahsata, Eimeria ovinoidalis, Eimeria weybridgensis and Eimeria cylindrica. Of these, E. crandallis and E. ovinoidalis, the most pathogenic species in sheep were responsible for 58.5% of infections typed. This highlights a need for further research to quantify the production impacts of Eimeria in sheep.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Academic Press
Copyright: © 2014 Elsevier Inc.
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