This paper describes sensitivity analyses and expectations obtained from a mathematical model developed to account for the effects of host nutrition on the consequences of gastrointestinal parasitism in sheep. The scenarios explored included different levels of parasitic challenge at different planes of nutrition, for hosts differing only in their characteristics for growth. The model was able to predict the consequences of host nutrition on the outcome of parasitism, in terms of worm burden, number of eggs excreted per gram faeces and animal performance. The model outputs predict that conclusions on the ability of hosts of different characteristics for growth to cope with parasitism (i.e. resistance) depend on the plane of nutrition. Furthermore, differences in the growth rate of sheep, on their own, are not sufficient to account for differences in the observed resistance of animals. The model forms the basis for evaluating the consequences of differing management strategies and environments, such as breeding for certain traits associated with resistance and nutritional strategies, on the consequences of gastrointestinal parasitism on sheep.
- mathematical model
- OSTERTAGIA-CIRCUMCINCTA LARVAE
- ECOLOGICAL IMMUNOLOGY
- GROWING LAMBS