The repeatability of faecal egg counts, peripheral eosinophil counts, and plasma pepsinogen concentrations during deliberate infections with Ostertagia circumcincta
Faecal egg counts, peripheral blood eosinophil counts and plasma pepsinogen concentrations were monitored during 2 successive, deliberate infections in 24 Scottish Blackface sheep. For all 3 techniques, the repeatability of replicate counts or of measurements made at short intervals were high which suggests that all 3 assays were reliable, Within an infection the repeatability of different samples from the same animal decreased as the interval between samples increased, The repeatability between infections was only moderate for faecal egg counts but high for peripheral eosinophil counts and plasma pepsinogen concentrations, Of the 3 variables, faecal egg count was the most strongly associated with the worm burden. Together, the three variables accounted for, in a statistical sense, one half of the variation in worm burden. The three variables, if measured concurrently, should provide a more effective identification of resistant and susceptible lambs.