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Monthly and seasonal fluctuations in abomasal nematode worm burden of naturally infected cattle in Austria

Veterinary Parasitology
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/0304-4017(87)90009-4


Abstract From October 1980 until September 1981, 191 abomasa of naturally infected cattle were obtained from the slaughter-houses of Mürzhofen and Graz in the province of Styria, and of Wiener Neustadt in the province of Lower Austria and examined to study the monthly and seasonal occurrence of hypobiosis in Ostertagia ostertagi and Trichostrongylus axei. Infections in pastured animals (cows, steers and heifers) were compared with those in stabled animals (bulls fed on green forage and silage). Except for 10 bulls fed on silage all animals were parasitized. The results indicate that in Austria inhibited early fourth stage larvae of Ostertagia accumulate during the winter. Pastured animals showed a higher intensity of infection than stabled animals. Cows <3 and >5 years of age had higher worm counts than those between these ages. There was a simultaneous accumulation of third stage larvae and adult worms of Trichostrongylus axei in autumn in steers and heifers. In bulls fed on green forage a higher adult worm burden was seen in winter. No significant correlation existed between the number of worm nodules in the abomasal mucosa and the various developmental stages of the worms. The count of in-utero immature eggs was higher in stabled than in pastured animals. No significant correlation between the number of in-utero eggs and that of female worms was noticeable. Numbers of mature Ostertagia eggs rose in spring, while in fall and winter the immature eggs predominated. An increase in the uterine egg count was observed in Trichostrongylus in autumn. Statistical analyses of our data show that the most decisive factor influencing the numbers of inhibited and adult Ostertagia as well as in-utero eggs is the system of animal management.

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