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Vet Parasitol. 2004 Aug 13;123(1-2):121-31.

The influence of flotation solution, sample dilution and the choice of McMaster slide area (volume) on the reliability of the McMaster technique in estimating the faecal egg counts of gastrointestinal strongyles and Dicrocoelium dendriticum in sheep.

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  • 1Dipartimento di Patologia e Sanità Animale, Facoltà di Medicina Veterinaria, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, CREMOPAR Regione Campania, Via Della Veterinaria 1, 80137 Napoli, Italy. cringoli@unina.it

Abstract

The present study was aimed to evaluate the influence of flotation solution, sample dilution, and the choice of McMaster slide area (volume) on the reliability of the McMaster technique in estimating the faecal egg counts of gastrointestinal (GI) strongyles and Dicrocoelium dendriticum in a composite sample of faeces from naturally infected sheep. Fourteen flotation solutions having densities between 1.200 and 1.450, and six sample dilutions, 1:10, 1:15, 1:20, 1:30, 1:40 and 1:50 were used. Each of the six dilutions was divided into 70 aliquots in order to have five replicates of each of the 14 flotation solutions at each of the six dilutions. For each McMaster slide, the GI strongyle and D. dendriticum egg counts were performed under one grid (McM 0.15 ml), two grids (McM 0.3 ml), one chamber (McM 0.5 ml), and both chambers (McM 1.0 ml). Mean eggs per gram (EPG) of faeces of GI strongyles and D. dendriticum were calculated and statistical analyses were performed on the resulting data. The type of flotation solution used significantly influenced the EPG in the GI strongyles and in the D. dendriticum egg counts. All the sucrose-based solutions at density between 1.200 and 1.350 floated more GI strongyle eggs than the others. With respect to D. dendriticum, only six solutions were capable of floating eggs and the potassium iodomercurate solution (density 1.440) floated more eggs than the others. The reliability of the McMaster technique regarding sample dilution was high for both GI strongyle and D. dendriticum EPG at 1:10 and 1:15, and then progressively decreased with increasing dilution. The reliability of the McMaster technique regarding the choice of the McMaster slide area (volume) was high for both GI strongyle and D. dendriticum EPG at the McMaster slide area (volume) of 1.0 ml, i.e. the total area of the McMaster slide. The EPG counts resulting from choosing any of the other three McMaster slide areas (volumes), i.e. McM 0.15 ml, McM 0.3 ml, or McM 0.5 ml, produced unreliable over-estimates. The findings of the present study show that the highest reliability of the McMaster technique for estimating GI strongyle and D. dendriticum egg counts in faeces from pastured sheep is obtained when using flotation solutions based on sucrose for GI strongyles, and potassium iodomercurate for D. dendriticum, dilutions which do not exceed 1:15, and the McMaster slide area (volume) of 1.0 ml.

PMID:
15265576
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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