Establishment of Cooperia oncophora in calves
Publication date: Available online 8 November 2018
Source: Veterinary Parasitology
Author(s): Christian W. Sauermann, Siva Ganesh, Ian Scott, William E. Pomroy, Dave M. Leathwick
The establishment rate of Cooperia oncophora related to host age and previous infection was investigated in young calves. Calves of similar age were kept on a feed pad and allocated into multiple groups, based on their age and weight. Two groups (each n = 16) received trickle infections with an ivermectin-susceptible C. oncophora isolate of 2,000 or 10,000 infective stage larvae per week while another group (n = 16) was kept as an uninfected control. At intervals over a period of 11 months, two animals from each group were challenged with 15,000 infective stage larvae of an ivermectin-resistant isolate, 25 days later orally treated with ivermectin and 5 days after that slaughtered for worm counts. On three occasions additional calves (n = 2), subjected to the high trickle infection rate, received an ivermectin treatment to remove the existing worm burden, prior to challenge as above. Further calves (n = 4) of similar age were introduced at the beginning and the end of the experiment to determine the effect of larval age on establishment rate. The establishment in the two trickle infection groups declined to <10% within the first three months, which was significantly different from the control group. In the animals receiving the high trickle infection, but an anthelmintic treatment before challenge the establishment rate was not significantly different from the controls. Over the duration of the experiment establishment in the control group declined from 53% to <20%, which was similar to the decrease recorded at the beginning and end of the end of the experiment in the animals to determine the effect of larval age. The findings indicate that an existing C. oncophora burden had a strong effect on the establishment of incoming larvae in the trickle infected groups, but this was not observed if the existing burden was removed before the final challenge. The decline in establishment rate in the control group was attributed to the age of the larvae and not the age of the calves per se.