Variation among Merino sheep in susceptibilty to lice (Bovicola ovis) and association with susceptibility to trichostrongylid gastrointestinal parasites

James, P. J., Carmichael, I. H. C., Pfeffer, A., Martin, R. R. and O'Callaghan, M. G. (2002) Variation among Merino sheep in susceptibilty to lice (Bovicola ovis) and association with susceptibility to trichostrongylid gastrointestinal parasites. Veterinary Parasitology, 103 4: 355-365.


Author James, P. J.
Carmichael, I. H. C.
Pfeffer, A.
Martin, R. R.
O'Callaghan, M. G.
Title Variation among Merino sheep in susceptibilty to lice (Bovicola ovis) and association with susceptibility to trichostrongylid gastrointestinal parasites
Journal name Veterinary Parasitology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0304-4017
1873-2550
Publication date 2002-02
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/S0304-4017(01)00601-X
Volume 103
Issue 4
Start page 355
End page 365
Total pages 11
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Language eng
Formatted abstract Sheep of two bloodlines of Merino were artificially infested with equal numbers of lice (Bovicola ovis) and the resulting louse populations were monitored over the following 20 months. The sheep were shorn 6 and 17 months after infestation and, for analysis, the louse counts considered in 3 years separated by shearings. Nematode faecal egg counts (FECs) were assessed on faecal samples collected on five occasions, three times following natural challenge and twice after artificial challenge with 40,000 trichostrongyloid larvae (84% Trichostrongylus vitrinus). In addition, blood samples were collected and measured for B. ovis-specific immunoglobulins (predominantly IgG), B. ovis-specific IgE and serum total IgE. Bloodlines differed significantly in the size of louse populations at the end of year 2, FEC after both natural and artificial challenge and in serum levels of all three antibodies (p < 0.05). There were also large variations in louse counts and FEC among sheep within bloodlines. Louse counts at inspections after louse populations had been allowed to build up were highly repeatable, both between and within years. However, correlations with counts at inspections soon after initial infestation and following shearing were lower. FEC after natural challenge was correlated with louse counts in year 2 (r = 0.45, p < 0.01) and year 3 (r = 0.38, p < 0.05), but the correlation with counts in year 1 was not significant (r = 0.25, p > 0.05). FEC following artificial challenge was significantly correlated with louse counts in year 3 (r = 0.36, p < 0.05), but not in year 2 (r = 0.25, p > 0.05) or year 1 (r = 0.04, p > 0.05). Louse counts in the 3 years were significantly correlated with anti-B. ovis antibody concentration (r = 0.60, 0.48, 0.36), but not with levels of either anti-B. ovis or total serum IgE. These results suggest that sheep with greater resistance to gastrointestinal parasites also tend to be less susceptible to lice. Whether this is due to interaction of the effects of the parasites or to correlation in underlying resistance mechanisms requires clarification.
Keyword Sheep-arthropoda
Bovicola ovis
Phthiraptera
Trichostrongvlus sp.
Resistance
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation
 
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