The activity of maltase, saccharase, cellobiase, trehalase and lactase was estimated in the intestinal contents of non-infected pigs and pigs infected with several gastrointestinal nematodes and in the nematodes themselves.
Enzyme activities in the intestinal contents of pigs infected with Hyostrongylus rubidus were similar to those in uninfected control pigs. However the enzyme activity of the contents of the whole intestine was increased in Strongyloides ransomi infections and moderately increased in Ascaris suum infection. In Trichuris and Oesophagostomum infections activity was only increased in the large intestine contents.
Ascaris suum contained high activity of maltase and saccharase in its intestine and lower levels in other organs, while levels were much lower in other pig nematodes. Hyostrongylus rubidus and its third-stage larva did not contain any disaccharidases activity.
The disaccharidases in the pig nematodes, especially in Strongyloides, were more sensitive to high temperatures (70°C) than those in the contents of the pig intestine.
Some disaccharidases were demonstrable in embryonated Ascaris and Trichuris eggs and in third-stage larvae of Strongyloides and Oesophagostomum.