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Title: Regulation of the resistance to nematode parasites of single-and twin-bearing Merino ewes through nutrition and genetic selection
Contributor(s): Kahn, Lewis  (author)orcid ; Knox, MR (author); Walkden-Brown, Steve W  (author)orcid ; Lea, JM (author)
Publication Date: 2003
Open Access: Yes
DOI: 10.1016/S0304-4017(03)00099-2
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Abstract: Periparturient Merino ewes obtained from lines of sheep that had been selected either for increased resistance to Haemonchus contortus (R) or at random (C) were supplemented, while grazing at pasture, with either nil or 250 g/day cottonseed meal (CSM) for the 6 weeks prior to or the 6 weeks after the start of parturition. Ewes from both supplement groups had lower (mean 66% reduction) faecal egg counts (FECs) during the postpartum period and this coincided with a period of maternal body weight loss. Factors which increased the rate of maternal body weight loss, such as pregnancy and lactation status, also increased FEC. Evidence is presented that the magnitude of the periparturient rise (PPR) in FEC in grazing ewes will be greatest during periods of maternal weight loss and at these times supplementation to increase metabolisable protein (MP) supply will be most effective in increasing resistance to nematode parasites. The resistance of R ewes to nematode parasites was greater than that of ewes throughout the experiment and was sufficiently low such that anthelmintic treatment in a commercial environment may not have been required. Irrespective of actual FEC, ewes from all treatment combinations exhibited a PPR in FEC. Reduced FEC of R ewes resultedin reduced apparent pasture larval contamination after 18 weeks of continuous grazing but supplementation was ineffective in this regard. It is suggested that integrated parasite management (IPM)programs for periparturient ewes should make use of both protein supplementation and genetic selection to increase worm resistance and reduce dependency on anthelmintics for worm control.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Veterinary Parasitology, 114(1), p. 15-31
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Place of Publication: The Netherlands
ISSN: 0304-4017
Field of Research (FOR): 070708 Veterinary Parasitology
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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School of Environmental and Rural Science

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