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The genetic basis for the selection of dairy goats with enhanced resistance to gastrointestinal nematodes


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Heckendorn, Felix; Bieber, Anna; Werne, Steffen; Saratsis, Anastasios; Maurer, Veronika and Stricker, Chris (2017) The genetic basis for the selection of dairy goats with enhanced resistance to gastrointestinal nematodes. Parasite, 34 (Art.32), pp. 1-11.

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Online at: https://www.parasite-journal.org/articles/parasite/olm/2017/01/parasite160118/parasite160118.html


Gastrointestinal nematodes (GIN) severely affect small ruminant production worldwide. Increasing problems of anthelmintic resistance have given strong impetus to the search for alternative strategies to control GIN.
Selection of animals with an enhanced resistance to GIN has been shown to be successful in sheep. In goats, the corresponding information is comparatively poor. Therefore, the present study was designed to provide reliable data on heritabilities of and genetic correlations between phenotypic traits linked to GIN and milk yield in two major dairy goat breeds (Alpine and Saanen). In all, 20 herds totalling 1303 goats were enrolled in the study. All herds had (i) a history of gastrointestinal nematode infection, (ii) uniform GIN exposure on pasture and (iii) regular milk recordings.
For all goats, individual recordings of faecal egg counts (FEC), FAMACHA© eye score, packed cell volume (PCV) and milk yield were performed twice a year with an anthelmintic treatment in between. The collected phenotypic data were multivariately modelled using animal as a random effect with its covariance structure inferred from the pedigree, enabling estimation of the heritabilities of the respective traits and the genetic correlation between them. The heritabilities of FEC, FAMACHA© and PCV were 0.07, 0.22 and 0.22, respectively. The genetic correlation between FEC and FAMACHA© was close to zero and -0.41 between FEC and PCV. The phenotypic correlation between FEC and milk yield was close to zero, whereas the genetic correlation was 0.49. Our data suggest low heritability of FEC in Saanen and Alpine goats and an unfavourable genetic correlation of FEC with milk yield.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:parasitlogy, small ruminants, dairy goats, animal health, nematodes
Agrovoc keywords:
Englishgastrointestinal diseaseshttp://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_11105
Subjects: Animal husbandry > Production systems > Sheep and goats
Animal husbandry > Health and welfare
Research affiliation: Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Animal Health
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Veterinary Parasitology
DOI:DOI: 10.1051/parasite/2017033
Deposited By: Bieber, Anna
ID Code:38535
Deposited On:28 Oct 2020 14:55
Last Modified:28 Oct 2020 14:56
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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