Worm burdens and associated histopathological changes caused by gastrointestinal nematodes in alpacas from Australia
- 68 Downloads
In this study, 100 gastrointestinal tracts of Australian alpacas were examined to assess the worm burden and to identify the species of nematode present. Faecal samples were collected from 97 alpacas and processed for faecal egg counts (FECs). For identification of the species, both molecular (multiplexed-tandem polymerase chain reaction [MT-PCR]) and morphological techniques were used. Total worm counts (TWCs) revealed a mean burden of 1300 worms, with the highest burden of 29,000 worms. The average egg count was 501 eggs per gram of faeces (EPG), with the highest count of 3500 EPG. Nineteen different species of gastrointestinal nematodes (GINs) were identified, and Graphinema auchenia, Camelostrongylus mentulatus and Trichuris tenuis were recovered from Australian alpacas for the first time. Haemonchus contortus was the most prevalent nematode (81%) followed by C. mentulatus (60%). The majority of the nematodes found are shared with sheep, goats and cattle. Findings of this study provide useful insights into the spectrum of GINs and their burden in Australian alpacas.
KeywordsGastrointestinal nematodes Alpaca Total worm count Camelostrongylus mentulatus Graphinema auchenia Haemonchus contortus
We are grateful to alpaca farmers who provided the gastrointestinal and faecal samples for this study. We are thankful to Ms. Christine Andersen and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Students for their technical assistance.
The financial assistance for this project was provided by the AgriFutures Australia and the Australian Alpaca Association. M.H.R. is a grateful recipient of the Australian Postgraduate Award through the University of Melbourne and the PhD top-up scholarship from the AgriFutures Australia.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interests.
- Altman DG (1991) Practical statistics for medical research. Chapman and Hall, LondonGoogle Scholar
- Carmichael IH (1999) Internal parasitism in alpacas in southern Australia. In: Australian Alpaca Fibre – Improving Productivity and Marketing. Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation, Canberra, pp. 92–130Google Scholar
- Chandler AC (1930) Specific characters in the genus Trichuris, with a description of a new species, Trichuris tenuis, from a camel. J Parasitol 16:198–206Google Scholar
- Gibbons LM, Khalil LF (1982) A key for the identification of genera of the nematode family Trichostrongylidae Leiper, 1912. J Helminthol 56:185–233Google Scholar
- Gordon HM, Whitlock H (1939) A new technique for counting nematode eggs in sheep faeces. J CSIR 12:50–52Google Scholar
- Hutchinson G (2009) Nematode parasites of small ruminants, camelids and cattle: diagnosis with emphasis on anthelmintic efficacy and resistance testing. Aquatic and Terrestrial Australian and New Zealand Standard Diagnostic Procedures (ANZSDPs) http://www.agriculture.gov.au/animal/health/laboratories/procedures/anzsdp
- Michel JF (1969a) Observations on the faecal egg count of calves naturally infected with Ostertagia ostertagi. Parasitology 59:829–835Google Scholar
- Michel JF (1969b) The regulation of egg output by Ostertagia ostertagi in calves infected once only. Parasitology 59:767–774Google Scholar
- Presidente PJA (2007) Alpaca parasites & their control: recent experiences. Australian Alpaca Veterinarians Annual Conference, Australia, pp 1–14Google Scholar
- Rashid MH, Vaughan JL, Stevenson MA, Campbell AJD, Saeed MA, Indjein L, Beveridge I, Jabbar A (2019a) Epidemiology of gastrointestinal nematodes of alpacas in Australia: I. a cross-sectional study. Parasitol Res. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00436-019-06235-8
- Rashid MH, Vaughan JL, Stevenson MA, Saeed MA, Campbell AJD, Beveridge I, Jabbar A (2019b) Epidemiology of gastrointestinal nematodes of alpacas in Australia: II. A longitudinal study. In: Parasitol res. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00436-019-06236-7
- Rubin R (1967) Some observations on the interpretation of fecal egg counts. Amer J Vet Clin Path 1:145–148Google Scholar
- Stevenson M, Nunes T, Heuer C, Marshall J, Sanchez J, Thornton R, Reiczigel J, Robison-Cox J, Sebastiani P, Solymos P, Yoshida K, Jones G, Pirikahu S, Firestone S, Kyle R, Popp J, Mathew J (2018) epiR: tools for the analysis of epidemiological data. Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences, the. University of Melbourne, MelbourneGoogle Scholar