Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Genetic parameters for resistance to trichostrongylid infection in dairy sheep

  • B. Gutiérrez-Gil (a1), J. Pérez (a2), L. F. de la Fuente (a1), A. Meana (a3), M. Martínez-Valladares (a2) (a4), F. San Primitivo (a1), F. A. Rojo-Vázquez (a2) (a4) and J. J. Arranz (a1)...

Abstract

In sheep, the traditional chemical control of gastrointestinal nematode (GIN) parasites with anthelmintics has led to the widespread development of anthelmintic resistance. The selection of sheep with enhanced resistance to GIN parasites has been suggested as an alternative strategy to develop sustainable control of parasite infections. Most of the estimations of the genetic parameters for sheep resistance to GIN parasites have been obtained from young animals belonging to meat- and/or wool-specialised breeds. We present here the estimated genetic parameters for four parasite resistance traits studied in a commercial population of adult Spanish Churra dairy ewes. These involved two faecal egg counts (FECs) (LFEC0 and LFEC1) and two serum indicator traits, the anti-Teladorsagia circumcincta fourth stage larvae IgA (IgA) and the pepsinogen (Peps) levels. In addition, this study has allowed us to identify the environmental factors influencing parasite resistance in naturally infected Spanish Churra sheep and to quantify the genetic component of this complex phenotype. The heritabilities estimated for the two FECs analysed (0.12 for LFEC0 and 0.09 for LFEC1) were lower than those obtained for the examined serum indicators (0.19 for IgA and 0.21 for Peps). The genetic correlations between the traits ranged from 0.43 (Peps−IgA) to 0.82 (LFEC0LFEC1) and were higher than their phenotypic counterparts, which ranged between 0.07 and 0.10. The heritabilities estimated for the studied traits were lower than previously reported in lambs. This may be due to the differences in the immune mechanisms controlling the infection in young (antibody reactions) and adult (hypersensitivity reactions) animals/sheep. In summary, this study demonstrates the presence of heritable variation in parasite resistance indicator traits in the Churra population studied, which suggests that genetic improvement is feasible for this complex trait in this population. However, further studies in which the experimental variables are controlled as much as possible are needed to identify the best trait that could be measured routinely in adult sheep as an indicator of parasite resistance.

Copyright

Corresponding author

References

Hide All
Almería, S, Llorente, MM, Uriarte, J 1996. Monthly fluctuations of worm burdens and hypobiosis of gastrointestinal nematodes of calves in extensive management systems in the Pyrenees (Spain). Veterinary Parasitology 67, 225236.
Beraldi, D, McRae, AF, Gratten, J, Pilkington, JG, Slate, J, Visscher, PM, Pemberton, JM 2007. Quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping of resistance to strongyles and coccidia in the free-living Soay sheep (Ovis aries). International Journal for Parasitology 37, 121129.
Bishop, SC, Jackson, F, Coop, RL, Stear, MJ 2004. Genetic parameters for resistance to nematode infections in Texel lambs and their utility in breeding programmes. Animal Science 78, 185194.
Coop, RL, Graham, RB, Jackson, F, Wright, SE, Angus, KW 1985. Effect of experimental Ostertagia circumcincta infection on the performance of grazing lambs. Research in Veterinary Science 38, 282287.
Davies, G, Stear, MJ, Benothman, M, Abuagob, O, Kerr, A, Mitchell, S, Bishop, SC 2006. Quantitative trait loci associated with parasitic infection in Scottish blackface sheep. Heredity 96, 252258.
Davies, G 2004. Investigating genetic aspects of the variation in the host response to gastrointestinal parasites in sheep. PhD, Glasgow University.
de la Fuente, LF, Baro, JA, San Primitivo, F 1995. Breeding programme for the Spanish Churra sheep breed. Cahiers Options méditerranéennes 11, 165172.
Donald, AD 1979. Effects of parasites and disease on wool growth. In Physiological and environmental limitations to wool growth (ed. JL Black and PJ Reis), pp. 99114. University of New England Publication, Armidale, NSW, Australia.
Edwards, K, Jepson, RP, Wood, KF 1960. Value of plasma pepsinogen estimation. British Medical Journal 2, 3031.
Gibbs, HC, Barger, IA 1986. Haemonchus contortus and other trichostrongylid infections in parturient, lactating and dry ewes. Veterinary Parasitology 22, 5766.
Gray, GD 1997. The use of genetically resistant sheep to control nematode parasitism. Veterinary Parasitology 72, 345357.
Groeneveld, E 1998. VCE user’s guide, version 4.2. Institute of Animal Husbandry and Animal Sciences, Mariensee, Germany.
Houdijk, JGM, Kyriazakis, I, Jackson, F, Huntley, JF, Coop, RL 2003. Is the allocation of metabolisable protein prioritised to milk production rather than to immune functions in Teladorsagia circumcincta infected lactating ewes? International Journal for Parasitology 33, 329338.
Jeffcoate, IA, Fishwick, G, Bairden, K, Armour, J, Holmes, PH 1990. Pathophysiology of the peri-parturient egg rise in sheep: the role of prolactin. Research in Veterinary Science 48, 295300.
Kates, KC 1947. Diagnosis of gastrointestinal nematode parasitism of sheep of some nematodes by differential egg counts. Proceedings of the Helminthological Society of Washington 14, 4453.
Leyva, V, Henderson, AE, Sykes, AR 1982. Effect of daily infection with Ostertagia circumcincta larvae on food intake, milk production and wool growth in sheep. Journal of Agricultural Science 99, 249259.
Mackay, AD, Betteridge, K, Devantier, BP, Budding, PJ, Niezen, J 1998. Chemical-free hill country sheep and beef livestock production systems. Proceedings of the New Zealand Grassland Association 60, 1518.
Martínez-Valladares, M, Vara-Del Río, MP, Cruz-Rojo, MA, Rojo-Vázquez, FA 2005a. Genetic resistance to the infection by Teladorsagia circumcincta: IgA and parameters measured at slaughter in Churra sheep. Parasite Immunology 27, 213218.
Martínez-Valladares, M, Vara-del Río, MP, Cruz-Rojo, MA, Rojo-Vázquez, FA 2005b. Effect of a low protein diet on the resistance of Churra sheep to Teladorsagia circumcincta. Parasite Immunology 27, 219225(7).
Ministry of Agriculture Food and Fisheries 1986. Manual of Veterinary Parasitological Laboratory Techniques, 3rd edition. HMSO, London, UK.
Morris, CA, Bisset, SA, Vlassoff, A, West, CJ, Wheeler, M 2004. Genetic parameters for Nematodirus spp. egg counts in Romney lambs in New Zealand. Animal Science 79, 3339.
Murray, M, Jennings, FW, Armour, J 1970. Bovine ostertagiasis: structure, function and mode of differentiation of the bovine gastric mucosa and kinetics of the worm loss. Research in Veterinary Science 11, 417427.
Neumaier, A, Groeneveld, E 1998. Restricted maximum likelihood estimation of covariances in sparse linear models. Genetics Selection Evolution 30, 326.
Nieuwhof, GJ, Bishop, SC 2005. Costs of the major endemic diseases of sheep in Great Britain and the potential benefits of reduction in disease impact. Animal Science 81, 2329.
Perry, BD, Randolph, RF, McDermott, JJ, Sones, KR, Thornton, PK 2002. Investing in animal health research to alleviate poverty. International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Nairobi, Kenya, 148 pp.
Raadsma, HW, Gray, GD, Woolaston, RR 1997. Genetics of disease resistance and vaccine response. In The genetics of sheep (ed. L Piper and A Ruvinsky), pp. 199224. CABI Publishing, Oxon, UK.
Rojo-Vázquez, FA 2004. The present status of helminth infections in small ruminants in Spain: prevalence, anthelmintic resistance an some considerations on their control. IX European multicolloquium of parasitology, Valencia, Spain, pp. 227–231.
SAS 1998. SAS user’s guide: statistics, release 6.12. 1998. SAS Institute, Inc., Cary, NC.
Sayers, G, Sweeney, T 2005. Gastrointestinal nematode infection in sheep – a review of the alternatives to anthelmintics in parasite control. Animal Health Research Reviews 6, 159171.
Stear, MJ, Bishop, SC 1999. The curvilinear relationship between worm length and fecundity of Teladorsagia circumcincta. International Journal for Parasitology 29, 777780.
Stear, MJ, Bairden, K, Duncan, JL, Gettinby, G, McKellar, QA, Murray, M, Wallace, DS 1995. The distribution of faecal nematode egg counts in Scottish Blackface lambs following natural, predominantly Ostertagia circumcincta infection. Parasitology 110, 573581.
Stear, MJ, Bairden, K, Bishop, SC, Buitkamp, J, Duncan, JL, Gettinby, G, McKellar, QA, Park, M, Parkins, JJ, Reid, SW, Strain, S, Murray, M 1997. The genetic basis of resistance to Ostertagia circumcincta in lambs. Veterinary Journal 154, 111119.
Stear, MJ, Bairden, K, McKeller, QA, Scott, I, Strain, S, Bishop, SC 1999a. The relationship between the number and size of nematodes in the abomasum and the concentration of pepsinogen in ovine plasma. Research in Veterinary Science 67, 8992.
Stear, MJ, Strain, S, Bishop, SC 1999b. How lambs control infection with Ostertagia circumcincta. Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology 72, 213218.
Stear, MJ, Strain, S, Bishop, SC 1999c. Mechanisms underlying resistance to nematode infection. International Journal for Parasitology 29, 5156.
Thomas, RJ, Ali, DA 1983. The effect of Haemonchus contortus infection on the pregnant and lactating ewe. International Journal for Parasitology 13, 393398.
Waller, PJ 1997. Anthelmintic resistance. Veterinary Parasitology 72, 391412.
Windon, RG 1996. Genetic control of resistance to helminths in sheep. Veterinary Journal for Immunology and Immunopathology 54, 245254.
Woolaston, RR, Baker, RL 1996. Prospects of breeding small ruminants for resistance to internal parasites. International Journal for Parasitology 26, 845855.

Keywords

Genetic parameters for resistance to trichostrongylid infection in dairy sheep

  • B. Gutiérrez-Gil (a1), J. Pérez (a2), L. F. de la Fuente (a1), A. Meana (a3), M. Martínez-Valladares (a2) (a4), F. San Primitivo (a1), F. A. Rojo-Vázquez (a2) (a4) and J. J. Arranz (a1)...

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed