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Vet Parasitol. 2012 Mar 23;184(2-4):384-6. doi: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2011.08.030. Epub 2011 Aug 25.

Cross-infection between tropical goats and heifers with Haemonchus contortus.

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INRA, UR143, Unité de Recherches Zootechniques, Domaine Duclos, 97170 Petit Bourg, Guadeloupe (F.W.I.), France.


Developing effective biological control without the systematic use of anthelmintics is necessary to reduce the impact of gastrointestinal nematodes on small ruminants. Therefore, grazing management systems that use different host species to dilute nematodes in pasture appear to be promising for worm control. A trial was carried out to investigate the specificity of Haemonchus contortus for goats and cattle and to evaluate cross-infection between ruminant species. The effect of an experimental infection of 12 heifers by the free-living stages of H. contortus collected from goats (500 larvae per kg liveweight) was evaluated and compared to uninfected controls. After 28 and 35 days, egg excretion was measured. The experimental infection of heifers by H. contortus was not significant, with no egg excretion. These results, i.e., the lack of cross-infection of GIN between goats and cattle, suggest that integrated grazing using such animals could be employed for pasture dilution and decontamination.

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