The use of negative binomial modelling in a ...

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Title The use of negative binomial modelling in a longitudinal study of gastrointestinal parasite burdens in Canadian dairy cows
Author(s) A. Nodtvedt, Ian R. Dohoo, J. Sanchez, Gary A. Conboy, L. DesCjteaux, Gregory P. Keefe, K. Leslie, J. Campbell
Journal Canadian Journal of Veterinary Research = Revue Canadienne de Recherche Veterinaire
Date 2002
Volume 66
Issue 4
Start page 249
End page 257
Abstract The epidemiology of bovine gastrointestinal nematodes was investigated through a 1-year (October 1999 to September 2000) longitudinal study in 38 Canadian dairy herds from 4 different provinces (Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Ontario, Saskatchewan). For each herd, fecal egg counts from 8 randomly selected animals were performed on a monthly or quarterly basis. Larval cultures were performed once, to determine the species breakdown of the parasites. All producers were interviewed regarding herd management practices. The observed fecal egg counts were low in this study, with a range from 0 to 419 nematode eggs per 5 g of feces. The mean count was 9.8 and the median was 1. Standard transformations failed to normalize the data, which followed an over-dispersed Poisson distribution. A zero inflated negative binomial model was applied to assess factors that would influence the fecal egg counts. Identified associations were: egg counts were lowest in the winter and highest in the late spring; first-lactation cattle had higher counts than older cows; if manure was spread mechanically on pastures used by lactating cattle the egg counts were higher; and if manure was spread on heifer-pastures, the adult cows had lower counts. In herds where pasture use was more extensive, the cattle had higher fecal egg counts. The difference in pasture exposure was found to be a main contributor to an observed difference in fecal egg counts among herds in the 4 provinces.

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