A longitudinal study of gastrointestinal parasites ...

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Title A longitudinal study of gastrointestinal parasites in Canadian dairy farms: : the value of an indirect Ostertagia ostertagi ELISA as a monitoring tool
Author(s) J. Sanchez, Ian R. Dohoo, A. Nodtvedt, Gregory P. Keefe, R. J. Frederick Markham, K. Leslie, L. DesCoteaux, J. Campbell
Journal Veterinary Parasitology
Date 2002
Volume 107
Issue 3
Start page 209
End page 226
Abstract The general objective of this study was to evaluate a crude Ostertagia ostertagi antigen enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for monitoring gastrointestinal parasites in lactating dairy cattle. A longitudinal study of gastrointestinal parasites in lactating dairy cows was carried out in 38 herds in four provinces of Canada (Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Ontario and Saskatchewan) from September 1999 to October 2000. Bulk tank milk, cow milk, serum and fecal samples were collected monthly or quarterly from all these farms. Information on herd management factors was collected by a standard questionnaire and individual cow production data were obtained from an electronic database. The overall mean optical density ratio (ODR) was 0.30 and ranged from -0.05 to 1.55. Although a clear seasonal pattern was not observed, the ODR values tended to decrease during the housing period and start increasing in the spring before the cows went out to pasture. The second and third or greater lactation cows had significantly higher ODR values compared with first lactation animals. The individual cow ODR had a very low correlation with individual squared root fecal egg counts but showed a reasonably high correlation when herd averages values were computed (r=0.73). A moderate correlation (r approximately 0.50) between the bulk tank and herd average ODR was observed. Milk yield was negatively associated with individual cow milk ODR and a quadratic effect on ODR was observed for days in milk. Twenty-eight of the herds participated in a clinical trial of eprinomectin (Ivomec Eprinex) treatment at calving. The cow level ODR values determined late in the previous lactation had a marginally significant effect (P=0.07) on treatment response, suggesting that high OD cows responded better to the anthelmintic treatment. However, because of the small sample size available in this model, more research is needed to better understand this relationship. In conclusion, the indirect ELISA using an O. ostertagi crude antigen appears useful as a technique for monitoring gastrointestinal parasite burdens in adult dairy cows and holds promise as a potential predictor of response to anthelmintic treatment.

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