Diagnostic value of gastrin for clinical bovine ostertagiosis
Gastrin values were evaluated in 130 parasite naive calves, in 61 first season grazing calves during six field trials and in 8 experimentally infected adult immune cows. The gastrin values were linked to pepsinogen levels and daily weight gain. Also the influence of an anthelmintic treatment on pepsinogen and gastrin values was assessed during a clinical outbreak of ostertagiosis in a group of first season grazing calves. Mean gastrin levels in parasite naive calves were 106 pg/ml. Results show that a group mean of 400 pg/ml gastrin in first season grazing calves indicates a reduced daily weight gain but with no obvious clinical signs. During clinical outbreaks mean gastrin levels frequently reached 1,000 pg/ml with a severe weight loss and a mean pepsinogen level of 5,000 mU tyr. The serum gastrin concentration was strongly reduced 4 days post treatment. No gastrin response was noted following an Ostertagia challenge in adult immune cows. The value of gastrin as a diagnostic aid for ostertagiosis is discussed in relation to pepsinogen, the adult worm burden, larval inhibition and the technique involved in assessing gastrin.