In the West of Scotland the epidemiology of parasitic bronchitis in grazing calves was studied over a two year period with the aid of tracer calves and herbage examinations for Dictyocaulus viviparus larvae. The observations of both years emphasised the importance of overwintered lungworm larvae as a source of disease. In the first year it was shown that the ingestion and development of these overwintered larvae were, by themselves, directly responsible for severe morbidity, high faecal larval counts and deaths. In the second year it was shown that pasture ungrazed during the winter and spring and from which a hay crop was removed in mid-summer was still capable of producing clinical parasitic bronchitis in susceptible calves within three to four weeks of their introduction in later summer. In both years there was some evidence that the outbreaks appeared to be associated with the sudden availability of infective larvae on the herbage. The possibility that such larvae may have survived for many months in the soil is discussed. Despite the heavy challenge with lungworm larvae experienced by the grazing calves in the first year those vaccinated with lungworm vaccine survived, their clinical signs were mild and of short duration and their faecal larval output was greatly reduced.
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