Spatial distribution on pasture of infective larvae of the gastro-intestinal nematode parasites of sheep.
ABSTRACT The horizontal distributions of infective larvae on pasture grazed by sheep have been investigated. Using Taylor's Power Law it was found that larvae had a more aggregated distribution in September than August, the Law index of aggregation being 1.97 and 1.89 for the 2 months, respectively. However, at each time the degree of aggregation remained fairly constant for a range of spacings between points from 5 to 30 m. These results suggest that Taylor's Power Law could be used as a basis for devising an efficient pasture sampling strategy. More data are required, however, to determine the extent to which aggregation of the larvae varies with time of the year.
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ABSTRACT: Parasitic helminths present one of the most pervasive challenges to grazing herbivores. Many macro-parasite transmission models focus on host physiological defence strategies, omitting more complex interactions between hosts and their environments. This work represents the first model that integrates both the behavioural and physiological elements of gastro-intestinal nematode transmission dynamics in a managed grazing system. A spatially explicit, individual-based, stochastic model is developed, that incorporates both the hosts' immunological responses to parasitism, and key grazing behaviours including faecal avoidance. The results demonstrate that grazing behaviour affects both the timing and intensity of parasite outbreaks, through generating spatial heterogeneity in parasite risk and nutritional resources, and changing the timing of exposure to the parasites' free-living stages. The influence of grazing behaviour varies with the host-parasite combination, dependent on the development times of different parasite species and variations in host immune response. Our outputs include the counterintuitive finding that under certain conditions perceived parasite avoidance behaviours (faecal avoidance) can increase parasite risk, for certain host-parasite combinations. Through incorporating the two-way interaction between infection dynamics and grazing behaviour, the potential benefits of parasite-induced anorexia are also demonstrated. Hosts with phenotypic plasticity in grazing behaviour, that make grazing decisions dependent on current parasite burden, can reduce infection with minimal loss of intake over the grazing season. This paper explores how both host behaviours and immunity influence macro-parasite transmission in a spatially and temporally heterogeneous environment. The magnitude and timing of parasite outbreaks is influenced by host immunity and behaviour, and the interactions between them; the incorporation of both regulatory processes is required to fully understand transmission dynamics. Understanding of both physiological and behavioural defence strategies will aid the development of novel approaches for control.PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(11):e77996. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: In this article, it is shown that available genetic tools for the omnipresent parasite Anguillicoloides crassus in European eels Anguilla anguilla are sensitive to different immigration rates into local A. anguilla stocks for two separated river systems. Relying on four highly polymorphic microsatellite markers, it was inferred that under natural recruitment, nematode samples meet Hardy-Weinberg expectations for a single panmictic population, while genetic signals show signs for a strong Wahlund effect most likely due to very recent population mixing under frequent restocking of young A. anguilla. This was indicated by a low but significant F(ST) value among within-host populations (infrapopulations) along with high inbreeding indices F(IS) consistent over all loci. The latter signal is shown to stem from high levels of admixture and the presence of first-generation migrants, and alternative explanations such as marker- and sex-specific biases in the nematode populations could be dismissed. Moreover, the slightly increased degree of relatedness within infrapopulations in the stocked river system cannot explain the excessive inbreeding values found and are most likely a direct consequence of recent influx of already infected fish harbouring parasites with different genetic signatures. Applying a simulation approach using known variables from the nematode's invasion history, only the artificial introduction of a Wahlund effect leads to a close match between simulated and real data, which is a strong argument for using the parasite as a biological tag for detecting and characterizing fish translocation.Journal of Fish Biology 07/2010; 77(1):191-210. · 1.83 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Spatio-temporal pattern of larvae and eggs of gastrointestinal nematodes in cattle pastures in Veracruz, Mexico. The spatial and temporal distribution of gastrointestinal nematodes of cattle has been little studied in Mexico. Previous studies have described periods of higher larval presence, vertical and horizontal migration in grasslands, and the frequency of adult nematodes; as well as the effect of pasture trichomes on the migration and survival of Haemonchus larvae. The aim of this study was to determine the time-space layout and spread of gastrointestinal nematode larvae on pasture, and to estimate the effect of ivermectin applied to cattle on the time-dependent abundance of their eggs in a ranch in Veracruz. To determine the spatio-temporal arrangement, monthly morning grass samples were obtained from 30 sampling points from July 2008 to June 2009. Third stage larvae (L 3) from each point were counted, and aggregation patterns were estimated through variance/mean and negative binomial K indices. Additionally, the number of eggs per gram in cattle feces was determined, from samples with (CI) and without ivermectin (SI), using standard techniques. A total of 20 276L 3 larvae were recovered in the pasture, of which an 80% corresponded to Haemonchus contortus. The highest nematode density with more than 5 000L 3 /kgDM was detected in October 2008, and the lowest in February and March 2009. The L 3 showed an aggregated spatial pattern of varying intensity throughout the year. The number of eggs in the stool was not reduced with the ivermectin application to cattle, which suggested a failure of control. However, the highest parasite loads were observed from July to November 2008. We concluded that the application of ivermectin was not effective to control nematodes eggs, and that L 3 populations fluctuated on pasture for ten months, providing an infection source to grazing animals afterwards. Rev. Biol. Trop. 61 (4): 1747-1758. Epub 2013 December 01.Revista de biologia tropical 12/2013; 61:1747-1758. · 0.55 Impact Factor