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Parasite. 2015;22:7. doi: 10.1051/parasite/2015006. Epub 2015 Feb 10.

Haemonchotolerance in West African Dwarf goats: contribution to sustainable, anthelmintics-free helminth control in traditionally managed Nigerian dwarf goats.

Author information

1
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria.
2
School of Biology, University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham NG7 2RD, UK.
3
Department of Applied & Environmental Biology, Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

Abstract

West African Dwarf (WAD) goats are extremely important in the rural village economy of West Africa, but still little is known about their biology, ecology and capacity to cope with gastrointestinal nematode (GIN) infections. Here, we summarise the history of this breed and explain its economic importance in rural West Africa. We review recent work showing that Nigerian WAD goats are highly trypanotolerant and resist infections with Haemonchus contortus more effectively than other breeds of domestic goat (haemonchotolerance). We believe that haemonchotolerance is largely responsible for the generally low level GIN infections and absence of clinical haemonchosis in WADs under field conditions, and has contributed to the relatively successful and sustainable, anthelmintics-free, small-scale system of goat husbandry in Nigeria's humid zone, and is immunologically based and genetically controlled. If haemonchotolerance can be shown to be genetically controlled, it should be possible to exploit the underlying genes to improve GIN resistance among productive fibre and milk producing breeds of goats, most of which are highly susceptible to nematode infections. Genetic resistance to GIN and trypanosome infections would obviate the need for expensive chemotherapy, mostly unaffordable to small-holder farmers in Africa, and a significant cost of goat husbandry in more developed countries. Either introgression of resistance alleles into susceptible breeds by conventional breeding, or transgenesis could be used to develop novel parasite-resistant, but highly productive breeds, or to improve the resistance of existing breeds, benefitting the local West African rural economy as well as global caprine livestock agriculture.

PMID:
25744655
PMCID:
PMC4321401
DOI:
10.1051/parasite/2015006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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