Segregation of natural and experimental gastrointestinal nematode infection in F-2 progeny of susceptible Suffolk and resistant Gulf Coast Native sheep and its usefulness in assessment of genetic variation

J. E. Miller*, S. C. Bishop, N. E. Cockett, R. A. McGraw

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Gastrointestinal nematode parasitism is a concern to small ruminants worldwide. Productivity has been compromised because such nematodes, particularly Haemonchus contortus, have developed resistance to available anthelmintics. Some sheep breeds and lines within breeds are relatively resistant to infection, a trait that may be useful for developing control strategies. Suffolk sheep, which are susceptible to infection, were crossed with Gulf Coast Native sheep, which are more resistant to infection, to produce F-1 progeny. F-1 rams were bred to F-1 ewes which produced 227 F-2 offspring. These F-2 offspring were evaluated for variability in infection levels, based on fecal egg count (FEC) and blood packed cell volume (PCV), under two natural infection conditions (one at weaning and another after a summer grazing period) and one experimental infection. The range of both FEC and PCV was large for all three infection periods with annual variation. Overall, the range for the three infection periods, respectively, were 167-149, 933, 0-31,400 and 17-114, 667 eggs per gram (EPG) of feces and 8.7-:37.0%, 7.333.0% and 8.3-36.0%. This segregation of infection is what would be expected of F-2 progeny from susceptible and resistant parent breeds. Heritabilities of FEC and PCV for the three infection periods, respectively, were 0.15, 0.29 and 0.12, and 0.11, 0.22 and 0.12. Based on segregation of infection, larger heritabilities and maternal environment effects that declined after weaning, the summer natural infection was probably the best model for assessing genetic variation. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-89
Number of pages7
JournalVeterinary Parasitology
Volume140
Issue number1-2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2006

Keywords

  • nematode
  • sheep
  • infection
  • resistance
  • genetic variation
  • HAEMONCHUS-CONTORTUS INFECTION
  • ANTHELMINTIC RESISTANCE
  • YOUNG LAMBS
  • CIRCUMCINCTA
  • RAMBOUILLET
  • PARASITISM
  • RUMINANTS
  • DISEASE

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