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Helminth infections on organic dairy farms in Spain

Orjales, Inmaculada; Mezo, Mercedes; Miranda, Marta; Gonzáles-Warleta, Marta; Rey-Crespo, Fransisco; Vaarst, Mette; Thamsborg, Stig; Diéguez, Fransisco Javier; Castro-Hermida, José Antonio and López-Alonso, Marta (2017) Helminth infections on organic dairy farms in Spain. Veterinary Parasitology, 243, pp. 115-118.

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Document available online at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304401717302996?via%3Dihub


The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of the major helminth infections affecting organic dairy cattle in northern Spain. Milk and faecal samples were obtained from 443 milking cows. Ostertagia ostertargi and Fasciola hepatica exposure was assessed by detection of specific antibodies in milk samples and F. hepatica infection was diagnosed by the detection of coproantigens in faecal samples. Dictyocaulus viviparus and Calicophoron daubneyi infections were diagnosed by conventional coprological techniques. The prevalence of infections caused by F. hepatica was considerable low, but similar to data reported from conventional farming in the same area. The prevalence rate of C. daubneyi infection was higher than previous data mirroring an increase of the prevalence that was also reported in other European countries in recent years. Specific antibodies against O. ostertargi were detected in all herds and the median levels of antibodies, determined by ELISA, exceeded the thresholds indicating milk production losses. The prevalence of D. viviparus was almost negligible. For each parasite, an ordinal logistic-regression analysis was used to assess the risk of infection by taking into account the administration of effective anthelmintics and the number of lactations. Treatment of cows with fasciolicides decreased the risk of F. hepatica infection in multiparous cows, whereas treatment with oxiclozanide or albendazol did not decrease the risk of C. daubneyi infection or O. ostertargi exposure, respectively. The study findings demonstrate that helminth infection in organic dairy farming is similar or even lower than previous data reported from conventional farming. Special attention should be paid to the impact of these infections on milk production.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:Cattle, grazing, organic milk production, helminth infections
Subjects: Animal husbandry > Production systems > Dairy cattle
Animal husbandry > Feeding and growth
Animal husbandry > Health and welfare
Values, standards and certification > Regulation
Research affiliation: Denmark > AU - Aarhus University
Spain > University of Santiago de Compostela
Denmark > KU - University of Copenhagen
Deposited By: Vaarst, Dr. Mette
ID Code:34458
Deposited On:21 Feb 2019 11:20
Last Modified:21 Feb 2019 11:20
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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