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The influence of water on the migration of infective trichostrongyloid larvae onto grass

  • J. van DIJK (a1) and E. R. MORGAN (a1)

Summary

Detailed knowledge of the effects of water on the migration of infective larvae of economically important trichostrongyloid species is urgently needed to feed into prediction models of future epidemiology. The influence of water on the migration of the parasitic nematodes Nematodirus battus, Haemonchus contortus and Teladorsagia circumcincta from sheep dung onto grass was examined in a series of laboratory experiments. Turf plots were seeded with larvae, which were recovered from grass clippings by serial sampling. Free water was necessary for larvae to escape from dung, but not for vertical migration onto grass. When temperature and relative humidity were held constant, the proportion of a population of live larvae present on herbage reached a plateau of around 2 (1–10)% after 24 h, and then changed little over time. Larvae in soil and dung formed a reservoir, such that a similar proportion of the larval population was maintained on grass after clipping. These findings suggest continuing random movement of free larvae. Implications for the epidemiology of trichostrongyloid species are discussed in the context of trade-offs faced by the parasites.

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Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: Present address: Institute of Infection and Global Health, Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, University of Liverpool, Leahurst, Neston, Cheshire CH64 7TE, UK. Tel: +44 (0) 1517946087. Fax: +44 (0) 1517946065. E-mail: Jan.van-Dijk@liverpool.ac.uk

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The influence of water on the migration of infective trichostrongyloid larvae onto grass

  • J. van DIJK (a1) and E. R. MORGAN (a1)

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