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Genetic resistance to endoparasites in sheep and goats. A review of genetic resistance to gastrointestinal nematode parasites in sheep and goats in the tropics and evidence for resistance in some sheep and goat breeds in sub-humid coastal Kenya

  • R.L. Baker (a1)

Summary

The evidence for both between- and within- breed genetic variation for resistance to gastrointestinal (GI) nematode parasites is reviewed. It is concluded that much of the published research on breed characterisation for resistance suffers from poor experimental design. Prior to the initiation of a 6-year study that has just been completed in coastal Kenya there were no estimates of within-breed genetic variation (i.e. heritabilities) of resistance in sheep or goats in the tropics. This study has confirmed that Red Maasai sheep and Small East African (SEA) goats are more resistant to GI parasites (predominantly Haemonchus contortus) than Dorper sheep and Galla goats. Heritability estimates for logarithm transformed faecal egg counts (an indicator of resistance) in 8-month-old lambs was 0.18±0.08 for all lambs, but higher in the susceptible Dorper-sired lambs (0.35±0.16) than in the resistant Red Maasai-sired lambs (0.06±0.07). This difference in heritability suggests that many centuries of natural selection have fixed most of the genes for resistance in the Red Maasai sheep. The resistant Red Maasai sheep and SEA goats were two to three times more productive than the susceptible Dorper sheep and Galla goats in the sub-humid coastal Kenya environment.

Se presenta una revisión de la variación genètica entre y dentro de las razas para la resistencia a los nematodos gastrointestinales (GI). Se concluye que mucha de la investigación publicada sobre la caracterización de las razas para la resistencia carecen de diseño experimental. Antes de iniciar el estudio de 6 años que acaba de concluirse en la costa del Kenya, no se encontraban estimaciones acerca de la variación genética dentro de la raza (por ejemplo la heredabilidad) para la resistencia en ovinos y caprinos en zonas del trópico. Este estudio ha confirmado que la raza ovina Red Maasai y la cabra Small East Africa (SEA) son más resistentes a los parasitos GI (sobre todo a Haemonchus contortus) que la oveja Dorper y la cabra Galla. La estimación de la heredabilidad del logaritmo transformado del número de huevos fecales (que es un indicador de resistencia) en corderos de 8 meses era de 0,18±0,8 para todos los corderos, pero era superior en los machos susceptibles de raza Dorper (0,35±0,16) en comparación con los corderos resistentes de raza Red Maasai (0,06±0,07). Esta diferencia en la heredabilidad sugiere que muchos siglos de selección natural han fijado muchos de los genes para la resistencia en la oveja Red Maasai. La raza Red Maasai y la cabra SEA eran de dos a tres veces más productivas que la oveja susceptible de raza Dorper y que la cabra Galla en un medio como la zona subhumida de la costa del Kenya.

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Keywords

Genetic resistance to endoparasites in sheep and goats. A review of genetic resistance to gastrointestinal nematode parasites in sheep and goats in the tropics and evidence for resistance in some sheep and goat breeds in sub-humid coastal Kenya

  • R.L. Baker (a1)

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