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Plant tannins in cattle nematode control

A. Novobilský, I. Mueller-Harvey, S. M. Thamsborg

TANNIN-containing plants have been reported to show anthelmintic activity against gastrointestinal nematodes of small ruminants, but the effects vary with nematode species. This study investigated the in vitro effects of condensed tannin extracts on gastrointestinal nematodes of cattle.

Tannin extracts were prepared from the leaves and stems of three plants: sainfoin (Onobrychis viciifolia), and greater (Lotus pedunculatus) and common (Lotus corniculatus) birds-foot trefoil. Two experiments were conducted using anthelmintic susceptible strains of Ostertagia ostertagi or Cooperia oncophora. In a larval feeding inhibition assay (LFIA), one of four concentrations of each plant extract (160, 40, 10 and 2.5 µg/ml), phosphate buffered saline (negative control) or levamisole (positive control causing total inhibition of feeding) was combined with first-stage larvae and fluorescent-tagged Escherichia coli. Following incubation, the percentage of fed larvae was calculated. In a larval exsheathment assay, three concentrations of each plant extract (2400, 1200 or 600 µg/ml) or phosphate buffered saline was incubated with third-stage larvae. The exsheathment process was then artificially induced and stopped at 15, 30, 45 or 60 minutes, when the percentage of exsheathed larvae was calculated. A tannin inhibitor, polyvinylpolypyrrolidine …

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