Epidemiology of Mecistocirrus digitatus and other gastrointestinal nematode infections in cattle in Mindanao, Philippines

D Van Aken, J Vercruysse, A Dargantes, J Lagapa, D J Shaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Over a period of 14 months, faecal and serum samples were collected monthly from cattle of 1 to 30 months old on three ranches (20-25 animals ranch-1 sample-1) in Mindanao, Philippines. Individual faecal egg counts, serum pepsinogen levels and Mecistocirrus digitatus specific antibodies were determined, and infective larvae from pooled faecal samples were examined. Post mortem worm counts were carried out on tracer calves (n = 16) that had been kept for 30 days with the herds on two of the ranches. A number of gastrointestinal nematode species were present: M. digitatus, Haemonchus placei, H. similis, Trichostrongylus axei, Cooperia punctata, C. pectinata, Bunostomum phlebotomum and Oesophagostomum radiatum. Strongyle eggs first appeared in the faeces of calves of two months old, egg counts peaked when animals were 3-6 months old, after which they steadily and significantly declined. Faecal egg output of M. digitatus increased up to the age of 10 months, after which there was a steady but not significant decline until the age of 24 months. In faecal cultures the relative proportion of Cooperia larvae decreased from over 70% in 0-6 month old animals to 30% in 19-24 month old animals, and a corresponding 30% increase in the proportion of Mecistocirrus was observed. Both serum pepsinogen and M. digitatus specific antibodies levels increased during the first year of life, and then remained at the same level in older animals. Whereas the total faecal egg output did not significantly vary throughout the year, worm counts from tracer calves indicated a marked seasonality in transmission.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-41
Number of pages13
JournalVeterinary Parasitology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1998


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