n Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research - Sheep enteric cestodes and their influence on clinical indicators used in targeted selective treatments against gastrointestinal nematodes - original research

Volume 86 Number 1
  • ISSN : 0030-2465
  • E-ISSN: 2219-0635



Clinical indicators such as diarrhoea (DISCO) or anaemia (FAMACHA©) are used as a measure for targeted selective treatments against gastrointestinal nematodes (GIN). Enteric cestodes such as Moniezia may interfere directly with DISCO or indirectly with the FAMACHA© score. We investigated 821 Ouled Djellal rams naturally infected in a steppe environment (GIN alone, cestodes alone, GIN and cestodes) or not. The rams were treated with ivermectin 2 months before being slaughtered to reduce the impact of nematodes on the clinical scores; however, persistent or newly acquired GINs were not related to both scores. Of the non-infected rams (n = 296), 26% identified as needing treatment against GIN using the FAMACHA score, and 34.5% using DISCO would have been thus selected. This implies that the clinical indicators used for the targeted selective treatment of gastrointestinal nematodes are not fully reliable when a low infection is recorded and may well be influenced by confounding factors. As expected, only DISCO was affected by cestode infection, and we suggest that the presence of Moniezia should also be taken into consideration.

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