Characterization of immune responses against gastrointestinal nematodes in weaned lambs grazing willow fodder blocks

Ramírez-Restrepo, C.A., Pernthaner, A., Barry, T.N., López-Villalobos, N., Shaw, R.J., Pomroy, W.E., and Hein, W.R. (2010) Characterization of immune responses against gastrointestinal nematodes in weaned lambs grazing willow fodder blocks. Animal Feed Science and Technology, 155 (2-4). pp. 99-110.

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Abstract

A 131-day rotational grazing experiment was conducted in the summer autumn of 2007/2008 to compare effects of feeding condensed tannin (CT)-containing willow (Salix spp.) fodder blocks (i.e., silvopastoral system) or perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne)/white clover (Trifolium repens) control pasture upon the immune response to gastrointestinal nematode parasite infection in Romney weaned lambs. Groups of lambs (n = 40) were allocated to either willow fodder blocks or control pasture; half of each group (n = 20) were regularly-drenched with anthelmintic at approximately 21 day intervals, whilst the remaining 20 weaned lambs were not drenched unless pre-determined faecal nematode egg counts (FEC) were reached, when all weaned lambs in that group were drenched with anthelmintic (i.e., trigger-drenching). Metabolizable energy and CT concentrations were higher in willow fodder versus pasture herbages. Weaned lambs grazing willow fodder blocks had lower live weight gain (92 g/day) and carcass weight (14.4 kg) than those grazing control pasture (134 g; 15.3 kg), with no effect of anthelmintic drenching. Regular anthelmintic treatment maintained similar and low FEC up to day 82, which then increased, whilst trigger-drenched lambs grazing willow fodder blocks had higher FEC than lambs grazing control pasture on three out of eight occasions. As judged by faecal larval cultures, grazing willow fodder blocks reduced the relative proportions of abomasal-dwelling parasites (Haemonchus contortus and Teladorsagia spp.). Trigger-drenched willow fodder block-fed sheep had higher platelet, eosinophil, total white blood cell and lymphocyte counts, greater CD21+ and greater γδ (Gamma Delta) TCR+ (T cell receptor) lymphocyte subsets than control pasture-fed sheep, and higher plasma levels of Immunoglobulin A (IgA) specific for carbohydrate larval antigen (CarLa) on day 105 (P<0.001). None of these parameters were affected by grazing treatment in regularly-drenched lambs. Higher immunological measurements in trigger-drenched lambs grazing willow fodder blocks could be due to higher larval intake and/or to the effects of secondary compounds in willow fodder blocks priming the immune system. Further research is required to separate these effects.

Item ID: 27678
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1873-2216
Keywords: dryland farming systems, condensed tannins, immune response, gastrointestinal nematode parasites, perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne)/white, clover (Trifolium repens), willow (Salix spp.) fodder blocks
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2013 04:28
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0707 Veterinary Sciences > 070705 Veterinary Immunology @ 50%
07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0707 Veterinary Sciences > 070708 Veterinary Parasitology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8303 Livestock Raising > 830310 Sheep - Meat @ 50%
83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8303 Livestock Raising > 830311 Sheep - Wool @ 50%
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