Resistance of Santa Ines and crossbred ewes to naturally acquired gastrointestinal nematode infections

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Amarante, Alessandro Francisco Talamini do [UNESP]
Susin, I.
Rocha, R. A. [UNESP]
Silva, M. B. [UNESP]
Mendes, C. Q.
Pires, A. V.

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Elsevier B.V.


This trial was carried out in Piracicaba, São Paulo State. Brazil. to comparatively evaluate the degree of resistance to naturally acquired gastrointestinal nematode infections in sheep of the following genetic groups purebred Santa Ines (SI), SI crossbred with Dorper (DO x SI), lie de France (IF x SI), Suffolk (SU x SI), and Texel (TE < SI) Fifteen ewes from each group were raised indoors until 12 months of age. At this age, they were moved to pasture that was naturally contaminated by nematode infective larvae and were evaluated from December to May. 2007. Rainfall ranged from 267 mm in January to 37 mm in April Maximum and minimum mean temperatures ranged from 32 5 degrees C to 19 0 degrees C in March and from 25.9 degrees C to 12.8 degrees C in May. There was an increase in the mean number of eggs per gram of feces (EPG) after animals were placed on pasture with significant difference between the SI (80 EPG) and IF x SI (347 EPG) groups in January: and the do x SI (386 EPG) and TE x SI (258 EPG) groups in May. The highest mean fecal egg count (FEC), 2073 EPG, was recorded for the TE x SI group in February. All groups showed a progressive reduction in body weight throughout the experiment of 12.0% (TE x SI) to 15.9% (SU x SI). In general. the animals with the highest FEC presented the lowest packed cell volumes (PCV): the highest correlation coefficient between FEC x PCV occurred in the SU x SI sheep in January (r = -0.70; P < 0.01). Similarly, there was an inverse relationship between FEC and blood eosinophil Values, with the highest correlation coefficient in the TE x SI sheep in February (r = -0.64; P < 0.05). Immunoglobulin G (IgG) levels against Haemonchus contortus antigens increased in all groups as a result of the exposure to parasites and remained relatively constant until the end of the study, with the exceptions of SU x SI and TE x SI, which showed a rise in IgG levels during the last sampling that coincided with a reduction in mean FEC. In conclusion. crossbreeding Santa Ines sheep with any of the breeds evaluated can result in a production increase and the maintenance of a satisfactory degree of infection resistance, especially against H. contortus and Trichostrongylus colubriformis. the major nematodes detected in this flock. (c) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.



Haemonchus, Trichostrongylus, Genetic resistance, Immune response, Immunoglobulins, IgG

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Veterinary Parasitology. Amsterdam: Elsevier B.V., v. 165, n. 3-4, p. 273-280, 2009.