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Parasite (Paris, France)

Epidemiology of Oestrus ovis infection of sheep in Argentina's Western Pampas.


PMID 15638142

Abstract

Seasonal population trends and effects of Oestrus ovis in naturally infected sheep were studied over 13 months, in the Western of the Pampeana region. At weaning, 140 growing lambs were randomly allocated to two groups: UG, untreated group and TG treated every 4 weeks with closantel (10 mg/kg). Successive Oestrus free tracer lambs (TL) by previous treatment (n = 65) were slaughtered after 20-30 exposition days for larval counts. Likewise, other group PL of 117 permanent untreated lambs was slaughtered from four to 17 months of age. Weighing and assessment of health signs of UG and TG and blood samples were monthly carried out. The prevalence of infection in permanent group varied from 33% to 100%. Mean number of larvae in PL was 6.1 with 3 L1, 1.4 L2 and 1.6 L3 during spring-summer and 17.9 with 16.9 L1, 0.5 L2 and 0.4 L3 during autumn-winter months. In PL the proportions of larvae in each of the different larval stages was similar during spring and summer, but a significant (P < 0.01) increase of L1 was detected during autumn and winter. The prevalence in tracer lambs was 100% during summer time and larvae were absent from 25-May to 25-October. Mean larval burdens of positive TL varied from 6.4 to one Oestrus and a significant peak (P < 0.05) of larvae was seen from December to March. Since March to November only L1 was recovered from TL. TG group showed a reduction in nasal discharge and in antibody ELISA levels, but no difference was observed in live weight gain between TG and UG. These results show a high prevalence during summer and that the perpetuation of Oestrus is ensured by an autumn period of arrested development and the over wintering larvae in the sheep heads.

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