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Ascaris suum infections in pigs born and raised on contaminated paddocks


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Mejer, Helena and Roepstorff, Allan (2006) Ascaris suum infections in pigs born and raised on contaminated paddocks. Parasitology, 133, pp. 305-312.

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The transmission of Ascaris suum was studied in outdoor reared pigs. From May to June, 2001 6 farrowing paddocks were naturally contaminated with A. suum using experimentally infected seeder pigs. Early July, 1 sow farrowed on each paddock. One piglet per litter was slaughtered every second week starting week 3 post partum (p.p.) for registration of liver white spots and recovery of A. suum from the lungs and the small intestine. The last pigs were slaughtered week 19 p.p. Faeces was examined for eggs and blood was analysed for A. suum specific antibodies. Weaning took place week 7 p.p. by removing the sow. Paddock infection levels were estimated by regular examination of soil samples and in late June and late November using parasite naïve tracer pigs. Paddock contamination was high but eggs developed slowly resulting in a low initial transmission to the experimental pigs. By week 5 p.p. transmission had increased and the numbers of infective eggs in the soil increased during the study. The results indicate a continuous uptake of infective eggs, but visceral larval migration was reduced with time probably due to the development of a pre-hepatic barrier. Nevertheless, a rather large population of adult worms remained in the pigs throughout the study, and it may primarily have been eggs ingested in the early infection phase that gave rise to the patent infections. It is suggested that neonatal exposure may result in increased persistence and size of adult worm burden and that the higher ‘life time worm burden’ may be of significant economic importance.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:Ascaris suum, pigs, transmission, pre-hepatic barrier, neonatal exposure
Subjects: Animal husbandry > Health and welfare
Research affiliation: Denmark > KU - University of Copenhagen > KU-LIFE - Faculty of Life Sciences
Denmark > DARCOF II (2000-2005) > II. 8 (MANORPIG) Health management in organic pig production
Deposited By: Mejer, Helena
ID Code:9367
Deposited On:02 Oct 2006
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:34
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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