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The effect of nutrition on the periparturient parasite status of mature ewes

  • J. Donaldson (a1), M. F. J. van Houtert (a1) and A. R. Sykes (a1)

Abstract

The rôle of nutrition in the periparturient breakdown of resistance to gastrointestinal parasitism in mature ewes was investigated. Host resistance around this period, as measured by faecal egg concentration and worm burden, was sensitive to protein supply and to a lesser extent energy supply and body condition. Resistance was significantly less in ewes bearing and suckling twin lambs than those with singles. Differences in larval intakes spanning the range likely to be experienced in practice did not appear to be important. In dual infection with Teladorsagia circumcincta and Trichostrongylus colubriformis, the breakdown of resistance occurred almost exclusively with T. circumcincta confirming previous evidence of parasite species specificity in the periparturient breakdown of resistance.

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