A study of helminth parasites in culled cows from Ireland

Central Veterinary Laboratory, Department of Agriculture and Food, Abbotstown, Castleknock, Dublin 15, Ireland.
Preventive Veterinary Medicine (Impact Factor: 2.17). 10/2006; 76(1-2):1-10. DOI: 10.1016/j.prevetmed.2006.04.005
Source: PubMed


The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence and intensity of gastrointestinal nematode, lungworm and liver fluke infection in culled cows in Ireland. Abomasa, colorectal contents and livers were collected from 30 to 68 culled beef and dairy cows during autumn 2002 and summer 2003, respectively. Ostertagia ostertagi were found in the abomasa of only three (10%) cows sampled in autumn and in 38 (57%) cows examined in summer. The majority of positive animals had low burdens of O. ostertagi but a few individuals in the group sampled during the summer had a moderate infection (5000-10,000 adult worms). A proportion of the cows in the summer group were also co-infected with small numbers of Trichostrongylus axei. Cooperia oncophora predominated in the recoveries from the larval cultures although O. ostertagi were also recovered. The overall prevalence of Dictyocaulus viviparus was 14%, based on larval identification in faecal samples. Liver fluke, or varying degrees of pathology attributable to Fasciola hepatica, were present in 65% of the livers. The results of this study extend those of previous workers, which were largely limited to dairy cows alone and which focussed on gastrointestinal nematodes and did not include simultaneous infections with lungworm and liver fluke. It was concluded, from the level of polyparasitism evident in this study, that adult cattle should be considered in preventative approaches to bovine helminthosis.

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    • "The results of the current study are similar to the F. hepatica prevalence (65%) in culled cows during autumn and summer in Ireland (Murphy et al., 2006) and the prevalence (75%) among Irish dairy herds in November (Bloemhoff et al., 2012). The high prevalence observed in Irish dairy herds can be attributed to the combination of high level of grass-based diet and temperate climate during grazing period that can increase the exposure to parasites (O'Farrell et al., 1986). "
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    ABSTRACT: Fasciolosis caused by Fasciola hepatica is a widespread parasitic disease in cattle farms. The aim of this study was to detect clusters of fasciolosis in dairy cow herds in Munster Province, Ireland and to identify significant climatic and environmental predictors of the exposure risk. In total, 1,292 dairy herds across Munster was sampled in September 2012 providing a single bulk tank milk (BTM) sample. The analysis of samples by an in-house antibody-detection enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), showed that 65% of the dairy herds (n = 842) had been exposed to F. hepatica. Using the Getis-Ord Gi* statistic, 16 high-risk and 24 low-risk (P < 0.01) clusters of fasciolosis were identified. The spatial distribution of high-risk clusters was more dispersed and mainly located in the northern and western regions of Munster compared to the low-risk clusters that were mostly concentrated in the southern and eastern regions. The most significant classes of variables that could reflect the difference between high-risk and low-risk clusters were the total number of wet-days and rain-days, rainfall, the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), temperature and soil type. There was a bigger proportion of well-drained soils among the low-risk clusters, whereas poorly drained soils were more common among the high-risk clusters. These results stress the role of precipitation, grazing, temperature and drainage on the life cycle of F. hepatica in the temperate Irish climate. The findings of this study highlight the importance of cluster analysis for identifying significant differences in climatic and environmental variables between high-risk and low-risk clusters of fasciolosis in Irish dairy herds.
    Geospatial health 03/2015; 9(2):271. DOI:10.4081/gh.2015.349 · 1.19 Impact Factor
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    • "Data on the prevalence of D. viviparus and O. ostertagi infections in Irish dairy herds are limited. The most recent study recorded post-mortem prevalence at abattoirs of 14% and up to 59% for D. viviparus and O. ostertagi, respectively (Murphy et al., 2006). Specific data on geographical and seasonal trends in D. viviparus and O. ostertagi infection in Ireland are not available. "
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    ABSTRACT: Infections with Dictyocaulus viviparus and Ostertagia ostertagi nematode parasites are of importance to bovine health and production in temperate areas across the world. Losses due to these parasites in dairy herds can be considerable due to decreased milk productivity and fertility. However, information on current epidemiological patterns in Irish dairy herds is limited. Bulk milk samples were collected from a total of 319 dairy farms across the Republic of Ireland. The D. viviparus samples were tested with an ELISA based on recombinant major sperm protein, while the O. ostertagi samples were tested with an ELISA based on crude saline extract, whole worm O. ostertagi antigen. Management data were collected from the farms using a questionnaire. Logistic regression was used to find significant associations between the presence of antibodies against D. viviparus and O. ostertagi and management factors. The overall prevalence of D. viviparus infection was 62.8%, while over 98% of herds had antibodies to O. ostertagi at the specified cut-off. Both D. viviparus and O. ostertagi antibodies were highest in November, which could be explained by the accumulated uptake of larvae through the grazing season. In herds of farmers that dosed their in-calf heifers with anthelmintics were significantly more likely to be positive for antibodies against D. viviparus infection. This study highlights that both D. viviparus and O. ostertagi infections are widespread in dairy herds in Ireland throughout the grazing season. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
    Veterinary Parasitology 02/2015; 209(1-2). DOI:10.1016/j.vetpar.2015.01.021 · 2.46 Impact Factor
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    • "Helminth parasites cause >55% of all farm animal diseases in Europe and effective control strategies would have a major impact on the sustainability of the livestock industry (Nieuwhof and Bishop, 2005; Murphy et al., 2006; Morgan et al., 2013). In Europe, parasitic diseases of farm animals are caused principally by infections with the liver fluke Fasciola hepatica, the lungworm Dictyocaulus viviparus, and the gastrointestinal nematode parasites of sheep (Haemonchus contortus, Teladorsagia circumcincta) and cattle (Ostertagia ostertagi, Cooperia oncophora). "
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    ABSTRACT: Major advances have been made in identifying potential vaccine molecules for the control of fasciolosis in livestock but we have yet to reach the level of efficacy required for commercialisation. The pathogenesis of fasciolosis is associated with liver damage that is inflicted by migrating and feeding immature flukes as well as host inflammatory immune responses to parasite-secreted molecules and tissue damage alarm signals. Immune suppression/modulation by the parasites prevents the development of protective immune responses as evidenced by the lack of immunity observed in naturally and experimentally infected animals. In our opinion, future efforts need to focus on understanding how parasites invade and penetrate the tissues of their hosts and how they potentiate and control the ensuing immune responses, particularly in the first days of infection. Emerging 'omics' data employed in an unbiased approach are helping us understand liver fluke biology and, in parallel with new immunological data, to identify molecules that are essential to parasite development and accessible to vaccine-induced immune responses. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
    Veterinary Parasitology 01/2015; 36(1-2). DOI:10.1016/j.vetpar.2015.01.004 · 2.46 Impact Factor
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