Article Text

Epidemiology of gastrointestinal nematode parasitism in a commercial sheep flock and its implications for control programmes
  1. D. J. Wilson, MA, BVMS, DSHP, MRCVS1,
  2. N. D. Sargison, BA, VetMB, DSHP, FRCVS1,
  3. P. R. Scott, BVM&S, MPhil, DVM&S, CertCHP, DSHP, FRCVS1 and
  4. C. D. Penny, BVM&S, CertCHP, DBR, DipECBHM, MRCVS1
  1. 1 Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, Large Animal Practice, Easter Bush Veterinary Centre, Roslin, Midlothian EH25 9RG


The epidemiology of nematode infections in a uk commercial crossbred sheep flock was studied from January 2004 to January 2005. The ewes were treated orally with moxidectin when they were turned out of the lambing shed on to nematode-contaminated pasture, and the lambs were treated orally with ivermectin throughout the summer in accordance with the farm's usual practice, with the aim of near-suppressive nematode control. The lactating ewes experienced a significant increase in faecal egg count during the early summer, after the period of persistence of the moxidectin treatment had ended. The ewes' and lambs' egg outputs were dominated by Teladorsagia species, despite the persistence of the effect of moxidectin against this genus. The gimmers (primiparous two-year-old ewes) had a significantly greater faecal egg count at lambing than the three- to four-year-old ewes, but the older ewes had significantly greater post-treatment increases. The population of Trichostrongylus species appeared to follow accepted epidemiological patterns, with no evidence of summer trichostrongylosis. In late summer and autumn the faecal egg output of the ewes was primarily due to large intestinal nematodes.

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