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The development and overwintering survival of free-living larvae of Haemonchus contortus in Sweden

  • K. Troell (a1), P. Waller (a1) and J. Höglund (a1)


Five complimentary studies were undertaken with the overall aim to examine the ability of free-living stages of Haemonchus contortus to over-winter and tolerate cold stress. Two studies deal with the development and long-term survival of eggs and infective larvae of two geographically different isolates (Kenya and Sweden). Eggs and larvae were monitored in climatic chambers at temperatures that fluctuated daily between −1°C and 15°C, or at constant temperatures of 5°C and 15°C. The development from egg to larvae was dependent on temperatures over 5°C. The long time survival was favoured at lower temperatures. Furthermore, the overwintering capacity of the free-living stages of these isolates was estimated under Swedish field conditions. Two groups of lambs were experimentally infected with different isolates, and kept separated on previously ungrazed plots. In early May the following year, two parasite-naive tracer lambs were turned out on each of the plots to estimate the pick up of overwintered larvae. This experiment was replicated in central and southern Sweden. In addition, two experiments were performed in 2003 on pasture previously grazed by naturally infected sheep. One trial was on a pasture in southern Sweden grazed by a commercial flock, where extreme numbers of H. contortus were found towards the end of the grazing season 2002. The other study was on a pasture plot in central Sweden grazed by a hobby flock in 2002, where three of six lambs died due to haemonchiasis. Overwintered H. contortus was recorded on three of four experimental sites. Worm burdens were in all instances extremely low. No differences in development and survival were found between the isolates. Consequently, overwintering on pasture is of no practical significance in the transmission of H. contortus between grazing-seasons in Sweden.


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The development and overwintering survival of free-living larvae of Haemonchus contortus in Sweden

  • K. Troell (a1), P. Waller (a1) and J. Höglund (a1)


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