Effect of nematophagous fungus Duddingtonia flagrans and energy supplementation on the epidemiology of naturally infected kidsCarlota Gómez-Rincón, Joaquín Uriarte and José Valderrábano
Centro de Investigación y Tecnología Agraria de Aragón, Apartado 727, 50080 Zaragoza, Spain
(Received 3 May 2006; accepted 15 September 2006; published online 21 December 2006)
Abstract - Gastrointestinal (GI) nematode infection is a major constraint for grazing livestock production. The increasing prevalence and severity of anthelmintic-resistant nematodes in many parts of the world has led to a search for non-chemical control options. Under experimental conditions, the nematophagous fungus Duddingtonia flagrans is emerging as an alternative to chemotherapy for the control of GI nematode infection in biological production systems. Also, recent information points to the role of energy nutrition to increase the immune response against GI nematode infection. In this study the effect of D. flagrans and energy supplementation on the epidemiology of GI nematode infections is explored on grazing kids. Four groups of 10, 4-month old goats were turned out on infected pasture in the early spring and allocated to four separate paddocks where they were rotationally grazed for 16 weeks. One of these groups (F) received D. flagrans spores/kg BW/d. Another group (S) was supplemented with 100 g barley grain per day. A third group (F+S) received both nematophagous fungi and barley supplement treatments simultaneously while the fourth group (C) was used as a non-treated control. Both nematophagous fungi and barley supplement had a significant effect (P<0.01) on reducing pasture infectivity, faecal egg excretion and worm burdens at slaughter that was particularly evident for Trichostrongylus colubriformis. The combination of both treatments showed a synergistic effect on the control of gastrointestinal nematode infections. At slaughter, the average total post-mortem worm count of the F+S group was reduced by 65% compared with the non-treated control. The results herein show that D. flagrans can act as an efficient biological control agent against kid GI nematode infections on pasture, which could further improve carcass characteristics. While small amounts of energy supplement can also reduce kid infection, the effect of D. flagrans as a biological control agent appeared clearly enhanced both in magnitude and duration by energy supplementation. This has clear implications for grazing animals and provides an efficient method for the practical control of parasitic nematodes in biological production systems.
Key words: Duddingtonia flagrans / nematode parasite / biological control / energy supplementation / goat
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© INRA, EDP Sciences 2007