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Towards finding effective indicators (diarrhoea and anaemia scores and weight gains) for the implementation of targeted selective treatment against the gastro-intestinal nematodes in lambs in a steppic environment

Veterinary Parasitology
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2011.12.024
  • Gastro-Intestinal Nematode
  • Famacha©
  • Disco
  • Lamb
  • Targeted Selective Treatment
  • Steppe
  • Biology


Abstract The effective application of targeted selective treatment (TST) against gastro-intestinal nematodes depends on the accurate identification of those animals in need of anthelmintic treatment. Finding cost and labour effective measures to identify such animals is paramount. This study tested the efficacy of three indicators on lambs in a farm in Eastern Algeria: anaemia score (FAMACHA©), diarrhoea score (DISCO) and weight gain. These were contrasted against traditional parasitological infection measures (nematode eggs per gram of faeces: EPG). Thirty lambs were used in the study; every second month they were sampled (FAMACHA©, faecal samples for EPG and DISCO, weight gains) and two of the original 30 lambs were necropsied for adult worm counts. The main gastro-intestinal nematodes were Teladorsagia circumcincta, Marshallagia marshalli, Nematodirus helvetianus, Trichostrongylus vitrinus, and Haemonchus contortus. DISCO proved to be the most effective indicator correctly identifying 80% of the sheep in need of treatment. This was followed by FAMACHA© with a 50% accuracy level and finally weight gains, which were not found to be a useful indicator at all.

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