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Parasitol Today. 1999 Jun;15(6):246-51.

The immunoepidemiology of nematode parasites of farmed animals: a mathematical approach.

Author information

1
AgResearch, Animal Health Division, Wallaceville Animal Research Centre, Upper Hutt, New Zealand. robertsm@agresearch.cri.nz

Abstract

The population dynamics of farmed animals are controlled by humans, and often involve high host densities, which encourage higher parasite burdens than would be usual in wild animals. As a result, the immunity to reinfection acquired by the host is an important determinant of parasite population dynamics. For example, lambs are highly susceptible to gastrointestinal nematodes as they begin to graze, but develop an immunity that accounts for the observed within-year variation in parasite load and pasture contamination. In the longer term, control measures are compromised by the development of parasite strains resistant to chemotherapy, focusing attention on the development of 'natural' measures, including the selection for resistant hosts and the development of antiparasite vaccines. Mick Roberts here considers the immunoepidemiology of parasites of farmed animals on three levels: the interaction between the parasite and the host's immune system determining the individual's level of protection; the development of acquired immunity determining the within-year parasite population dynamics; and the long-term effects of control measures on the between-year parasite population dynamics.

PMID:
10366833
DOI:
10.1016/s0169-4758(99)01430-1
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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