[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An experiment was completed to determine if copper oxide wire particles (COWP) had any effect on the activity of the nematode-trapping fungus Duddingtonia flagrans in growing lambs. COWP has been used recently as a dewormer in small ruminants because of nematode resistance to anthelmintics. D. flagrans has been used to control free-living stages of parasitic nematodes in livestock. Katahdin and Dorper lambs, 4 months of age, were administered no or 4 g COWP (n=24/dose) in early October 2003. Haemonchus contortus was the predominant gastrointestinal parasite during the trial, which was acquired naturally from pasture. Half the lambs from each COWP group were supplemented with corn/soybean meal with or without D. flagrans for 35 days. Fecal egg counts (FEC) and packed cell volume (PCV) were determined weekly between days 0 (day of COWP administration) and 35. Feces from lambs in each treatment group were pooled and three replicates per group were cultured for 14 days at room temperature. Larvae (L3) were identified and counted per gram of feces cultured. Treatment with COWP was effective in decreasing FEC, which remained low compared with FEC from lambs not treated with COWP. This led to an increase in PCV in these lambs (COWP x day, P<0.001). Number of larvae was decreased in feces from lambs treated with COWP and D. flagrans between days 14 and 35 compared to the other groups of lambs (COWP x D. flagrans x day, P<0.003). Percentage of larvae identified as H. contortus decreased in feces collected from lambs treated with COWP and D. flagrans between days 14 and 28 compared with other treatments (COWP x D. flagrans x day, P<0.05). Other trichostrongyles were present and remained less than 7% in feces collected from control lambs. There was no adverse effect of COWP on the ability of D. flagrans to trap residual larvae after COWP treatment. With fewer eggs being excreted due to the effect of copper on H. contortus, and the additional larval reducing effect exerted by the nematode destroying fungus D. flagrans, the expected result would be a much lower larval challenge on pasture when these two tools are used together in a sustainable control strategy.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent studies on sheep and goat farms in the southern United States indicate that multiple-anthelmintic resistance in Haemonchus contortus is becoming a severe problem. Though many factors are involved in the evolution of resistance, the proportion of the parasite population under drug selection is believed to be the single most important factor influencing how rapidly resistance develops. Therefore, where prevention of resistance is an important parallel goal of worm control, it is recommended to leave a portion of the animals untreated. Recently, a novel system called FAMACHA was developed in South Africa, which enables clinical identification of anemic sheep and goats. When H. contortus is the primary parasitic pathogen, this system can be applied on the farm level to reduce the number of treatments administered, thereby increasing the proportion of the worm population in refugia. Since most studies validating the FAMACHA method have been performed in South Africa, it is important that the method be tested in other regions before its use is broadly recommended. We performed a validation study of FAMACHA by testing the system in sheep (n = 847) and goats (n = 537) of various breeds and ages from 39 farms located in Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Florida, and the US Virgin Islands. The color of the ocular conjunctiva of all animals were scored on a 1-5 scale using the FAMACHA card, and blood samples were collected from each animal for determination of packed cell volume (PCV). Fecal samples were also collected from a majority of the animals tested for performance of fecal egg counts (FEC). Correlations between PCV and eye scores, PCV and FEC, and FEC and eye scores were all highly significant for both sheep and goats (P < 0.001). Data for both FAMACHA scores and PCV were evaluated using two separate criteria for anemia: eye score values of 3, 4 and 5 or 4 and 5, and PCV values of < or =19 or < or =15 were considered anemic. Specificity was maximized when eye score values of 4 and 5 were considered anemic and PCV cut off for anemia was < or =19, but sensitivity was low. In contrast, sensitivity was 100% for both sheep and goats when eye score values of 3, 4 and 5 were considered anemic and PCV cut off was < or =15, but specificity was low. In both sheep and goats, predictive value of a negative was greater than 92% for all anemia and eye score categories, and was greater than 99% for both eye score categories when an anemia cutoff of < or =15 was used. Predictive value of a positive test was low under all criteria indicating that many non-anemic animals would be treated using this system. However, compared to conventional dosing practices where all animals are treated, a large proportion of animals would still be left untreated. These data indicate that the FAMACHA method is an extremely useful tool for identifying anemic sheep and goats in the southern US and US Virgin Islands. However, further studies are required to determine optimal strategies for incorporating FAMACHA-based selective treatment protocols into integrated nematode control programs.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Infection with gastrointestinal nematodes, particularly Haemonchus contortus, is a major constraint to goat production in the southeastern United States. Non-anthelmintic control alternatives are needed due to increasing resistance of these nematodes to available anthelmintics. Two studies were completed in Central Georgia in August 1999, and April-May 2000, using Spanish does naturally infected with Haemonchus contortus, Trichostongylus colubriformis, and Cooperia spp. to evaluate effectiveness of nematode-trapping fungi as a biological control agent. In the first experiment, five levels of Duddingtonia flagrans spores were mixed with a complete diet and fed once daily to the does (three per treatment) in metabolism crates. The treatment concentrations were (1) 5 x 10(5), (2) 2.5 x 10(5), (3) 10(5), and (4) 5 x 10(4) spores per kilogram body weight (BW), and (5) no spores. Fungal spores were fed for the first 7 days of the 14-day trial, and fecal samples were collected daily from individual animals for analysis of fecal egg count and establishment of fecal cultures. Efficacy of the fungus at reducing development of infective larvae (L3) in the fecal cultures was evaluated. The mean reduction in L3 from day 2 of the treatment period until the day after treatment stopped (days 2-8) was 93.6, 80.2, 84.1, and 60.8% for animals given the highest to lowest spore doses, respectively. Within 3-6 days after termination of fungal spore feedings, reduction in L3 development was no longer apparent in any of the treated animals. In a second experiment, effectiveness of 2.5 x 10(5) spores of D. flagrans per kilogram BW fed to does every day, every second day, and every third day was evaluated. Reduction in L3 development by daily feeding was less in the second experiment than in the first experiment. Daily fungal spore feeding provided more consistent larval reduction than intermittant feeding (every second or third day). When fed daily under controlled conditions, D. flagrans was effective in significantly reducing development of L3 and appears to be an effective tool for biocontrol of parasitic nematodes in goats.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The fungus, Duddingtonia flagrans, is able to trap and kill free-living nematode larvae of the cattle parasite Cooperia oncophora when chlamydospores are mixed in cattle faeces. Isolates of Bacillus subtilis (two isolates), Pseudomonas spp. (three isolates) and single isolates of the fungal genera Alternaria, Cladosporium, Fusarium, Trichoderma and Verticillium were isolated from cattle faeces and shown to reduce D. flagrans growth on agar plates. When these isolates were added to cattle faeces containing D. flagrans and nematode larvae of C. oncophora, developing from eggs, none of the isolates reduced nematode mortality attributed to D. flagrans. Similarly, the coprophilic fungus Pilobolus kleinii, which cannot be cultivated on agar, also failed to suppress the ability of D. flagrans to trap and kill developing larvae of C. oncophora. Increasing chlamydospore doses of D. flagrans in faecal cultures resulted in higher nematode mortality. Thus, no evidence of interspecific or intraspecific competition was observed. The consequences of these findings are discussed.
Journal of Helminthology 04/2004; 78(1):41-6. · 1.16 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Long-term field studies were conducted on two government managed small ruminant research farms, located in different geo-climatic regions and approximately 300 km separate from each other, on Peninsula Malaysia. The Infoternak trial (48 weeks) and the Chalok trial (43 weeks) each compared nematode parasite control in separately managed groups of young sheep, either short-term rotationally grazed around a suite of 10 paddocks in addition to receiving a daily supplement of Duddingtonia flagrans spores (Fungus Group); or similar groups of sheep being rotationally grazed alone (Control Group). The prevailing weather conditions at Infoternak farm were of below average rainfall conditions for the most of the trial. As a consequence, only very low worm infections (almost exclusively Haemonchus contortus) were acquired by the 17 sets of tracer lambs that grazed sequentially with the experimental lambs. However on all except 2 occasions in the early part of the trial, the mean tracer worm burdens were significantly lower (P < 0.05) and the experimental lambs grew significantly better (P = 0.054) in the Fungus Group. Rainfall at Chalok farm during the course of the trial was also below average. As a consequence infectivity of pastures was assumed to be relatively low based on faecal egg counts (epg) of the experimental sheep, which following an anthelmintic treatment prior to allocation, remained very low in both treatment groups. Faecal egg counts of undosed replacement lambs in the latter half of the Chalok study, showed a progressive increase in the Control Group to levels exceeding 3000 epg, whereas the Fungus Group remained static at approximately 500 epg. These results show that the deployment of the nematophagous fungus, D. flagrans, can improve the level of parasite control of sheep in the tropics above that which can be achieved by the short-term rotational grazing strategy alone.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Gastrointestinal nematodes are of concern in sheep production because of production and economic losses. Control of these nematodes is primarily based on the use of anthelmintic treatment and pasture management. The almost exclusive use of anthelmintic treatment has resulted in development of anthelmintic resistance which has led to the need for other parasite control options to be explored. The blood sucking abomasal parasitic nematode Haemonchus contortus causes severe losses in small ruminant production in the warm, humid sub-tropic and tropics. This study evaluated the effectiveness of a nematode trapping fungus, Duddingtonia flagrans, in reducing availability of parasitic nematode larvae, specifically H. contortus, on pasture. Chlamydospores of D. flagrans were mixed with a supplement feed which was fed daily to a group of crossbred ewes for the duration of the summer grazing season. A control group was fed the same supplement feed without chlamydospores. A reduction in infective larval numbers was observed in fecal cultures of the fungus-fed group. Herbage samples from the pasture grazed by the fungus-fed group also showed a reduction in infective larvae. There were no significant (P > 0.05) differences in overall fecal egg count, packed cell volume or animal weight between fungus-fed and control groups. Tracer animals were placed on the study pastures at the end of the study to assess pasture infectivity. Although tracer animals were only two per group, those that grazed with the fungus-fed group had substantially reduced (96.8%) nematode burdens as compared to those from the control group pasture. Results demonstrated that the fungus did have activity against nematode larvae in the feces which reduced pasture infectivity and subsequently nematode burdens in tracer animals. This study showed that D. flagrans, fed daily to grazing ewes, was an effective biological control agent in reducing a predominantly H. contortus larval population on pasture.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Control of nematode parasites of small ruminants in a wet, tropical environment using the nematophagous fungus, Duddingtonia flagrans, was assessed in this study. Two methods of fungal delivery were tested, namely as a daily feed supplement, or incorporated into feed blocks. Initially, pen trials were conducted with individually penned groups of sheep and goats at dose rates of 125,000 spores and 250,000 spores/kg live weight per day. At the lower dose rate this reduction was between 80 and 90% compared with the pre-treatment levels. At the higher dose rate, there was virtually complete suppression (>99% reduction) of larval recovery. Trials using the fungal feed blocks, showed that when animals were individually penned, they consumed only small amounts of the block (particularly goats), hence little effect on larval recovery in faecal cultures was observed. Grouping animals according to species and dose rate induced satisfactory block consumption and subsequent high levels of larval reduction in faecal cultures. These larval reductions were mirrored by the presence of fungus in faecal cultures. This work was followed by a small paddock trial, whereby three groups of sheep were fed either a feed supplement without fungal spores, supplement with spores, or offered fungal blocks. The dose rate of spores in the latter two groups was 500,000 spores/kg live weight per day. Egg counts were significantly reduced in the two fungal groups, compared with the control group and the latter required two salvage anthelmintic treatments to prevent mortality due to haemonchosis. Pasture larval numbers on the two fungal group plots were also much lower than on the control plot.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To determine prevalence of resistance to all anthelmintics that are commonly used to treat gastrointestinal nematodes (GINs) in goats.
On each farm, goats were assigned to 1 of 5 treatment groups: untreated controls, albendazole (20 mg/kg [9.0 mg/lb], p.o., once), ivermectin (0.4 mg/kg [0.18 mg/lb], p.o., once), levamisole (12 mg/kg [5.4 mg/lb], p.o., once), or moxidectin (0.4 mg/kg, p.o., once), except on 3 farms where albendazole was omitted. Fecal samples were collected 2 weeks after treatment for determination of fecal egg counts (FECs), and percentage reductions were calculated by comparing data from anthelmintic-treated and control groups. Nematode populations were categorized as susceptible, suspected resistant, or resistant by use of guidelines published by the World Association for the Advancement of Veterinary Parasitology.
Resistance to albendazole was found on 14 of 15 farms, and resistance to ivermectin, levamisole, and moxidectin was found on 17, 6, and 1 of 18 farms, respectively. Suspected resistance to levamisole and moxidectin was found on 4 and 3 farms, respectively. Resistance to multiple anthelmintics (albendazole and ivermectin) was found on 14 of 15 farms and to albendazole, ivermectin, and levamisole on 5 of 15 farms. Mean overall FEC reduction percentages for albendazole, ivermectin, levamisole, and moxidectin were 67, 54, 94, and 99%, respectively.
Anthelmintic resistance in GINs of goats is highly prevalent in the southern United States. The high prevalence of resistance to multiple anthelmintics emphasizes the need for reexamination of nematode control practices.
Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 09/2003; 223(4):495-500. · 1.72 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Two studies were conducted to investigate the growth and activity of the fungus, Duddingtonia flagrans, within cattle faecal pats. Artificial faecal pats were constructed with the centre separated from the outer layer by a nylon mesh. Eight treatments were tested, by varying the presence/absence of Cooperia oncophora eggs and fungal spores within each layer. With parasite eggs in the centre layer, a statistically lower recovery of larvae was observed compared to both pats with parasite eggs in the periphery and pats with parasite eggs throughout both layers. Regardless of location within the pat, if co-located with the parasite egg, D. flagrans was found to be effective in trapping developing larvae. The reduction in recovery of larvae from pats with parasite eggs and fungal spores in the centre was found to be significantly higher than when parasite eggs were in the centre and fungal spores in the periphery. In the second study, pats were made up in two treatments: pats containing fungal spores and C. oncophora eggs (fungus) and pats containing C. oncophora eggs (control). The pats were incubated at low or high humidity. Ten pats were used in a cross over where five pats incubated at low humidity for 7 weeks were removed, water added and then incubated at a high humidity for 1 week. Another five pats were incubated at a high humidity for 7 weeks, aerated and incubated at a low humidity for 1 week. There was no apparent growth of fungus in faecal pats incubated at a high humidity and less than 20% of larvae were recovered. The growth of D. flagrans was observed in faecal pats incubated at a low humidity, but a corresponding reduction in the percentage recovery of larvae did not occur, except in week 4. No statistical difference between fungal and control pats was seen in the change over pats. Nematophagous activity was assessed throughout the study and observed in the first 4 weeks within the pats containing fungus.
Journal of Helminthology 01/2003; 76(4):295-302. · 1.16 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Consequences of nematode infections due to Haemonchus contortus are a serious constraint for the sheep industry worldwide. Development of anthelmintic resistance and increasing concern about the impact of anthelmintic use dictate the need of alternative control. Such an alternative is using the nematode trapping fungus Duddingtonia flagrans to reduce infective larvae levels on pasture. Two trials were conducted to determine the effect of D. flagrans in reducing infective larvae (predominantly H. contortus) in feces. The first trial determined the dose effect of D. flagrans in reducing infective larvae in feces. Eighteen ewes were dewormed to remove existing infections and randomly assigned to six treatment groups: 5 x 10(4), 1 x 10(5), 2.5 x 10(5), 5 x 10(5), 1 x 10(6) or no (control) spores of D. flagrans per kg of body weight mixed in their feed for 7 days. Fecal samples were collected daily from these and from infected donor ewes. Feces from individual-treated ewes were mixed with equal amounts of donor ewe feces, theoretically approximating oral dose spore concentrations of 2.5 x 10(4), 5 x 10(4), 1.25 x 10(5), 2.5 x 10(5), 5 x 10(5) and no spores, and were cultured. Across dosages and during the 7 days of fungus feeding, percent reduction of infective larvae ranged from 76.6 to 100.0%. The second trial determined the effect of D. flagrans at the dose of 10(5) spores per kg body weight on reducing infective larvae in feces from naturally infected lambs. Twenty lambs were randomly assigned to either treatment or control groups based on fecal egg count. Treatment lambs were fed spores mixed in feed for 7 days. Feces were collected daily and cultured. During the 7 days of fungus feeding, the percent reduction of infective larvae ranged from 82.8 to 99.7%. Results of these trials demonstrated that the nematode trapping fungus D. flagrans was highly effective in reducing infective larvae in sheep feces and should be considered as a biological control agent for integrated nematode control programs.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The results reported in this paper represent work from two separate experiments, namely a plot trial using cattle feces conducted at Kungsãngen in Uppsala, Sweden and a plot trial using sheep feces undertaken at Tåstrup in Copenhagen, Denmark. In both trials, a technique was used to monitor the level of Duddingtonia flagrans propagules in soil surrounding feces. The feces were from animals fed or not fed D. flagrans fungal chlamydospores. Also presented are the numbers of soil nematodes in soil surrounding sheep feces. The results indicate that D. flagrans has little growth beyond the fecal environment into surrounding soil when chlamydospores are fed to either sheep or cattle. This is substantiated by the soil nematode data. No statistical differences in the number of nematode taxa identified, Shannon Weiner H′, proportion of various feeding groups, and B/B + F (B and F are the proportions of bacterial and fungal-feeding nematodes) were found when soil surrounding sheep feces containing chlamydospores and parasitic nematode eggs was compared to soil surrounding feces containing parasitic nematode eggs alone. It is unlikely that the application of D. flagrans as a biological control agent against the free-living stages of nematode parasites of these livestock will negatively affect populations of nontarget soil nematodes.
Biological Control - BIOL CONTROL. 01/2002; 23(1):64-70.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Approximately 2,800 fresh dung samples from animals, mainly ruminant livestock, were screened for the presence of nematophagous fungi in Malaysia. Arthrobotrys spp. was noted on numerous occasions, but only one isolate of Duddingtonia flagrans was made. For the purposes of producing sufficient quantities of this fungus for feeding trials in sheep, various, commonly available, cheap plant materials were tested as possible growth substrates. This showed that cereal grains (wheat, millet and rice) were the best media for fungal growth. Pen feeding trials were carried out using sheep, both naturally and experimentally infected with nematode parasites (predominantely Haemonchus contortus), to test the efficiency of D. flagrans when administered either in a grain supplement, or incorporated into a feed block. These showed that the fungus survived gut passage in sheep and that dose rates of approximately 1 x 10(6) D. flagrans spores / animal / day, reduced the percentage of infective larvae developing in faecal cultures by more than 90%. These results indicate that using D. flagrans as a biological control agent of nematode parasites, is a promising alternative to nematode parasite control of small ruminants in Malaysia, where anthelmintic resistance is now a major problem.
Veterinary Research 01/2002; 33(6):685-96. · 3.43 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Gastrointestinal nematode (GIN) parasitism is a major constraint to production of goats in the southeastern United States. The conventional method of control used by producers in this region is frequent use of anthelmintics during the warm season. Overuse of anthelmintics has led to an increase in the incidence of anthelmintic resistance in many parts of the world, but data on prevalence of anthelmintic resistance in GIN of goats in the southeastern United States are very limited. To address this issue, anthelmintic efficacy was determined in goat herds at the Fort Valley State University, Agricultural Research Station (FVSU-ARS) and the University of Georgia, College of Veterinary Medicine (UGA-CVM) using fecal egg count reduction (FECR) tests and DrenchRite((R)) larval development assays (LDA). At FVSU-ARS, 2-year-old Spanish goat does were randomly allocated to one of nine different treatment groups (n = 10): albendazole (ABZ; 20mg/kg body weight (BW)), fenbendazole (FBZ; 20mg/kg BW), ivermectin (IVM; 0.4 mg/kg BW), doramectin (DRM; 0.4 mg/kg BW), moxidectin (MOX; 0.4 mg/kg BW), levamisole (LEV; 12 mg/kg BW), morantel tartrate (MOR; 10mg/kg BW), a combination of IVM (0.4 mg/kg BW) and ABZ (20 mg/kg BW), and untreated controls. At UGA-CVM, goats were randomly allocated to one of five different treatment groups (n = 8): ABZ (20 mg/kg BW), IVM (0.4 mg/kg BW), MOX (0.4 mg/kg BW), LEV (12 mg/kg BW), and untreated controls. All drugs in both experiments were administered orally. Anthelmintic efficacy was calculated by comparing 14-day post-treatment FEC of treated and control animals, and percent reductions were interpreted using the World Association for the Advancement of Veterinary Parasitology guidelines for resistance. For the LDA, nematode eggs were isolated from pooled fecal samples of untreated control goats in each herd and used to perform DrenchRite((R)) assays. In the FVSU-ARS herd, MOX, LEV, the combination of IVM and ABZ, IVM, DRM, ABZ, MOR, and FBZ reduced FEC by 100, 91, 88, 78, 76, 62, 48, and 10%, respectively. In the UGA-CVM herd, MOX, LEV, ABZ and IVM, reduced FEC by 100, 94, 87, and 0%, respectively. In both herds moxidectin was the only drug tested that was fully effective. Results of the LDA were in agreement with results of the FECR tests for both herds. These data demonstrate the presence of GINs resistant to all three major anthelmintic classes in both goat herds.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Investigations were made into the timing of administration of Duddingtonia flagrans as a biological control agent against ovine parasitic nematodes including stongylid and Nematodirus spp. Faeces from 3-4 months old male lambs were deposited onto pasture plots that had never been grazed by sheep. The trial was conducted over two consecutive years (1998 and 1999). For both years, the following three plot types were involved: Sim plots had faeces containing nematode eggs and Duddingtonia flagrans spores deposited simultaneously; Post plots had faeces containing nematode eggs followed 2 weeks later by faeces containing D. flagrans spores alone; Control plots had faeces containing only nematode eggs; Prior plots (included in 1999) had faeces containing D. flagrans spores alone followed 2 weeks later by faeces containing nematode eggs. In each year, two deposition periods were involved: July and August in 1998 and June and July in 1999. During the first year pasture samples were collected at 2, 4, 6, 8 and 12 weeks after initial deposition. In 1999, additional samples were collected at 10, 16 and 20 weeks. Larvae were extracted from the pasture samples and counts performed to estimate the number and species of infective third-stage (L(3), larvae) present. The number of third-stage strongylid larvae on pasture was significantly lower on Sim plots compared to the remaining plot types for both years at all deposition times (P<0.001). This was also the case for the number of Nematodirus infective larvae in August deposition plots in 1998 (P<0. 02). There was no significant difference between treatments in both deposition times in 1999 and July deposition plots in 1998 for the Nematodirus data. These results suggest that D. flagrans, if deposited at the same time as parasite eggs prevents transmission of third-stage larvae from the faecal deposit onto pasture, including occasionally Nematodirus species, but does not have an effect on third-stage parasitic nematode larvae in the surrounding soil.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The nematode-trapping fungus Duddingtonia flagrans may be used in biological control of parasitic nematode larvae in faeces of domestic host animals after feeding the hosts with fungal chlamydospores. In this experiment a possible undesirable fungal impact on earthworms, of the species Aporrectodea longa, was investigated. As earthworms eat animal faeces, D. flagrans may come into contact with earthworms both in their alimentary tract and on their body surface. However during the experimental period of 20 days, when earthworms were living in soil and eating cattle faeces that were heavily infested with viable chlamydospores of D. flagrans there were no indications of internal or external mycosis among the earthworms.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The efficacy of an isolate of the nematophagous fungus Duddingtonia flagrans against gastrointestinal nematodes of cattle was examined at 2 dose levels on 2 permanent pastures, with high and low stocking rates, respectively. Thirty calves, experimentally infected with Ostertagia ostertagi, were divided into 3 comparable groups and allocated to 3 similar paddocks in each of the 2 trials. Two of the 3 groups received fungal material once per day during the initial 2 months, either at high dose (10(6) fungal spores/kg body weight) or low dose (5 x 10(5) or 2.5 x 10(5) fungal spores/kg body weight). The third group remained as an untreated control group. Faecal, blood, and herbage samples were collected and animals were weighed every month from May to September. The pasture grazed at a high stocking rate had a large number of overwintering infective larvae, while the pasture grazed at a low stocking rate had a low overwintering herbage larval infectivity. The results showed that, at a high stocking rate, the recovery of infective larvae on pasture was diminished and calves were prevented from clinical ostertagiosis by using the D. flagrans Troll A-isolate. At low stocking rate, the parasite burden seemed not to be very heavy, and a conclusive effect of the fungi at the dose-level used could not be detected.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The ability of two isolates of the nematode-trapping fungus Duddingtonia flagrans to reduce the numbers of gastrointestinal nematode larvae on herbage was tested in three plot studies. Artificially prepared cow pats containing Ostertagia ostertagi eggs, with and without fungal spores, were deposited on pasture plots two or three times during the grazing season in 1995, 1996 and 1997. The herbage around each pat was sampled fortnightly over a period of 2 months and the number of infective larvae was recorded. At the end of the sampling period, the remainder of the faecal pats was collected to determine the wet weight, dry weight, and content of organic matter. The infective larvae remaining in the pats were extracted. Faecal cultures showed that both fungal isolates significantly reduced the number of infective larvae. Significantly fewer larvae were recovered from herbage surrounding fungus-treated pats compared with control pats in all three experiments, reflecting the ability of the fungus to destroy free-living larval stages in the faecal pat environment. After 8 weeks on pasture there were no differences between control and fungus-treated pats with respect to wet weight, dry weight, and organic matter content. This indicates that the degradation of faeces was not negatively affected by the presence of the fungus.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A series of experiments on corn meal agar was carried out to evaluate the efficacy of the nematode-trapping fungus Duddingtonia flagrans in different abiotic and biotic conditions which occur in cow pats. Above a concentration of 50 parasitic larvae (L3) cm–2 the fungus produced a maximum of between 500 and 600 nets cm–2 at 20°C in 2 days on the surface of corn meal agar. There were no differences in the trap-producing capacity of three strains of D. flagrans (CIII4, CI3 and Trol A). On agar at 30° and 20°C, the fungus responded to Cooperia oncophora L3 very quickly producing a maximum of trapping nets 1 day after induction. At 10°C, traps were produced slowly starting on day 4 after induction and continued over the following week. Duddingtonia flagrans (CI3) grew at a normal rate at least down to an oxygen concentration of 6 vol.% O2, but it did not grow anaerobically. On agar, D. flagrans (CI3) did not produce trapping nets in an anaerobic atmosphere. Moreover, C. oncophora L3 stopped migration under anaerobic conditions. When the fungal cultures were transferred to a normal aerobic atmosphere, after 1 and 2 weeks under anaerobic conditions, the C. oncophora L3 resumed migrating on the agar and, in response, D. flagrans produced traps in the same amount as when it had not been under anaerobic stress. Under microaerophilic conditions (6 vol.% O2) D. flagrans was able to grow, but the C. oncophora L3 were not able to induce trapping nets in D. flagrans (Trol A) because of larval immobility. But, as under anaerobic conditions, the fungus could return to a nematode-trapping state when transferred to a normal aerobic atmosphere within 1 or 2 weeks if migrating nematodes were present. Under natural conditions in the cow pat it is expected that the fungus will be ready to attack parasitic larvae, when the oxygen tension increases as a result of, for example the activity of the coprophilic fauna. Artificial light giving 3000–3400 Lux on the surface of the agar significantly depressed the growth rate and the production of trapping nets in D. flagrans (CI3). On agar, D. flagrans (CI3) could grow and produce trapping nets at pH levels of 6.3 to 9.3. Net-production has its optimum between pH 7 and 8. On dry faeces mycelial growth was 7–10 mm during a 15 day period while on moist faeces the fungus expanded 15–20 mm during the same period. Based on the parameters investigated, D. flagrans is expected to be especially active in the well aerated surface layer of a cow pat, an area which normally contains a high concentration of infective nematode parasite larvae, but also an area where the temperature can be high and the water content low.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study reports on the prevalence of anthelmintic resistance in strongyles of horses in Denmark. Of 5 methods used for the calculation of faecal egg count reduction (FECR) the method recommended by the World Association for the Advancement of Veterinary Parasitology, for the detection of resistance in sheep was the most sensitive procedure for detecting resistance. Using this method benzimidazole resistance was detected on 33 of 42 farms (79%) examined. Pyrantel was tested on 15 farms and FECR tests indicate resistance on 3 (30%) farms. On 2 farms on which resistance to pyrantel was detected resistance to benzimidazoles was also detected. On one of 16 farms examined ivermectin resistance was indicated at Day 14 but not at Day 19. On the 15 remaining farms ivermectin was effective. Due to the high prevalence of anthelmintic resistance in Danish horse herds it is recommended that tests of anthelmintic efficacy be conducted routinely to monitor the effectiveness of the strongyle control programmes.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The nematophagous fungus, Duddingtonia flagrans, isolated from a fresh sheep faecal sample obtained from a farm in northern New South Wales, Australia, was subjected to a number of in vivo investigations in both surgically modified and normal sheep to determine its capacity to survive passage through the gastrointestinal tract. Single and sustained dosing experiments established that between 5 x 10(5) and 10(6) chlamydospores/day resulted in a substantial (> 80%) reduction in the number of infective larvae derived from nematode eggs in faeces. This effect can be maintained if dosing continues. These results demonstrate for the first time the potential of nematophagous fungi to be deployed by means of sustained release technology in the biological control of nematode parasites of livestock.