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Prevalence and diagnosis of parasites of the stomach and small intestine in horses in south-west England
  1. E. R. Morgan, MA, VetMB, PhD, MRCVS1,
  2. N. Hetzel, BSc2,
  3. C. Povah, BSc2 and
  4. G. C. Coles, MA, PhD, CBiol, FIBiol3
  1. 1School of Biological Sciences, University Of Bristol, Woodland Road, Bristol BS8 1UG
  2. 2Department of Anatomy, University of Bristol, Southwell Street, Bristol BS2 8EJ
  3. 3School of Veterinary Science, University of Bristol, Langford House, Bristol BS40 5DU


Parasites were extracted from the stomach and small intestine of 118 horses at slaughter. The most abundant species was the tapeworm Anoplocephala perfoliata. Maximum likelihood analysis was used to investigate the relationship between the number of worms and their total weight, and the ability of an antibody-based elisa to diagnose the level of infection. The total weight of tapeworms increased towards a maximum as the number of worms increased, suggesting a population density-dependent constraint on the weight. The number of A perfoliata present could be predicted approximately from the results of the elisa. Although wide variation in elisa optical densities confound interpretation in individual animals, tests on groups of animals could provide a useful reflection of overall levels of infection. ]

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  • Ms Helzel’s and Ms Povah’s present address is School of Veterinary Science, University of Bristol, Langford House, Bristol BS40 5DU

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