Interaction between copper oxide wire particles and Duddingtonia flagrans in lambs

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An experiment was completed to determine if copper oxide wire particles (COWP) had any effect on the activity of the nematode-trapping fungus Duddingtonia flagrans in growing lambs. COWP has been used recently as a dewormer in small ruminants because of nematode resistance to anthelmintics. D. flagrans has been used to control free-living stages of parasitic nematodes in livestock. Katahdin and Dorper lambs, 4 months of age, were administered no or 4 g COWP (n = 24/dose) in early October 2003. Haemonchus contortus was the predominant gastrointestinal parasite during the trial, which was acquired naturally from pasture. Half the lambs from each COWP group were supplemented with corn/soybean meal with or without D. flagrans for 35 days. Fecal egg counts (FEC) and packed cell volume (PCV) were determined weekly between days 0 (day of COWP administration) and 35. Feces from lambs in each treatment group were pooled and three replicates per group were cultured for 14 days at room temperature. Larvae (L3) were identified and counted per gram of feces cultured. Treatment with COWP was effective in decreasing FEC, which remained low compared with FEC from lambs not treated with COWP. This led to an increase in PCV in these lambs (COWP × day, P < 0.001). Number of larvae was decreased in feces from lambs treated with COWP and D. flagrans between days 14 and 35 compared to the other groups of lambs (COWP × D. flagrans × day, P < 0.003). Percentage of larvae identified as H. contortus decreased in feces collected from lambs treated with COWP and D. flagrans between days 14 and 28 compared with other treatments (COWP × D. flagrans × day, P < 0.05). Other trichostrongyles were present and remained less than 7% in feces collected from control lambs. There was no adverse effect of COWP on the ability of D. flagrans to trap residual larvae after COWP treatment. With fewer eggs being excreted due to the effect of copper on H. contortus, and the additional larval reducing effect exerted by the nematode destroying fungus D. flagrans, the expected result would be a much lower larval challenge on pasture when these two tools are used together in a sustainable control strategy.

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Veterinary Parasitology

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