The influence of relative resistance and urea-supplementation on deliberate infection with<i> Teladorsagia circumcincta during winter
The consequences for lambs of infection over the winter with Teladorsagia circumcincta were quantified by deliberate, trickle infection of selected animals at 7 months of age. Infected and control uninfected animals were each allocated into four groups, relatively resistant animals on a normal diet, relatively resistant animals on an isocaloric diet supplemented with urea, and relatively susceptible animals on the same two diets. Resistance and susceptibility was assessed by faecal egg counts following natural infection during the summer preceding the deliberate infection. During the deliberate infection egg counts remained low and most parasites recovered at necropsy were inhibited larvae. Nonetheless, infection reduced weight gain, decreased albumin and fructosamine concentrations and provoked a noticeable pepsinogen and eosinophil response. As most larvae were inhibited these responses may have been largely a consequence of immune-inflammatory responses in the host rather than the direct action of parasites themselves. Relatively resistant animals on the supplemented diet allowed fewer larvae to establish and had higher fructosamine concentrations, higher albumin concentrations and decreased pepsinogen responses. Therefore, a combination of relatively resistant sheep and nutritional supplementation appears most efficient at controlling infection. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.