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Differences in receptivity to gastrointestinal infections with nematodes in dairy ewes: Influence of age and of the level of milk production

H., Hoste; A.C., Rulie; F., Prevot; J.P., Bergeaud; C., Grisez; F., De La Farge; P., Jacquiet and P., Dorchies (2005) Differences in receptivity to gastrointestinal infections with nematodes in dairy ewes: Influence of age and of the level of milk production. Small Ruminant Research.

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Resistance to anthelmintics in populations of gastrointestinal nematodes is a major concern in small ruminants. One solution
to limit the spread of anthelmintic resistance is to apply treatments selectively by targeting the most susceptible animals within
a flock. In dairy goats, previous studies have shown that, within a flock, goats in first lactation and those with high level of milk
production were highly receptive to nematode infections. These results provided the rationale for targeted treatments. In dairy
ewes, such epidemiological information on possible factors modulating the susceptibility to parasitism were still lacking. The
objective of the current study was therefore to examine differences in the level of parasite infection and in the pathophysiological
consequences in dairy ewes, depending on the age or on the level of milk production. In three farms, parasite egg excretion, and the
serum concentrations of pepsinogen and inorganic phosphate were compared on one hand between primiparous and multiparous
ewes; on the other hand, between ewes with the highest and the lowest level of milk production, within a cohort of 3–5-year
old animals. Overall, the results did not indicate significant differences for both either the parasitological or pathophysiological
measurements depending on the level of milk production. In contrast, significant differences were found according to age,
indicating higher levels of infections in the primiparous ewes than in the multiparous ones and suggesting that this category of
animals represents a particular parasitic risk within a flock.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:Dairy ewes; Parasitic nematodes; Susceptibility; Epidemiology; Selective treatment
Subjects: Animal husbandry > Production systems > Sheep and goats
Animal husbandry > Health and welfare
Research affiliation: France > INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique
Deposited By: HOSTE, Dr HERVE
ID Code:6968
Deposited On:21 Jan 2006
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:32
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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