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Vet Rec. 2005 May 7;156(19):597-600.

Prevalence and diagnosis of parasites of the stomach and small intestine in horses in south-west England.

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School of Biological Sciences, University Of Bristol, Woodland Road, Bristol BS8 1UG.


Parasites were extracted from the stomach and small intestine of 118 horses at slaughter. The most abundant species was the tapeworm Anoplocephala perfoliata. Maximum likelihood analysis was used to investigate the relationship between the number of worms and their total weight, and the ability of an antibody-based elisa to diagnose the level of infection. The total weight of tapeworms increased towards a maximum as the number of worms increased, suggesting a population density-dependent constraint on the weight. The number of A perfoliata present could be predicted approximately from the results of the elisa. Although wide variation in elisa optical densities confound interpretation in individual animals, tests on groups of animals could provide a useful reflection of overall levels of infection.

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