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Condensed tannins from Sesbania sesban and Desmodium intortum as a means of Haemonchus contortus control in goats


Two experiments were conducted to determine whether the proanthocyanidin (condensed tannin)-containing forage legumes Desmodium intortum cv Greenleaf and Sesbania sesban (accession 15019) could be integrated into a feeding management strategy as a means of Haemonchus contortus control in goats. The anthelmintic effects of condensed tannin extracts from the two legumes on H. contortus L3 larvae were studied in an in vitro larval migration inhibition system. The extracts inhibited larval migration in a dose-dependent manner, and at concentrations from 1,000 μg/ml condensed tannin, the extract from D. intortum caused a significantly higher inhibition of larval migration than did the corresponding concentrations of the S. sesban extract (P < 0.01). Prolonged feeding of tanniniferous forage legumes showed that animals receiving D. intortum had the lowest total worm burden, the lowest female to male parasite ratio, the lowest number of eggs in the uterus of each female worm and the lowest per capita fecundity (P < 0.01). However, there was no change in the performance (weight gain) of parasite-infected goats probably due to incomplete removal of the parasite or prolonged confinement of goats in small pens, which calls for further investigation. However, since there is no single efficient method in control of parasites, based on the obtained data from this experiment, integrated feeding of D. intortum with other suitable method of parasite control is thus suggested.

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The authors would like to thank Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation for financial support.

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Correspondence to Etana Debela.

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Debela, E., Tolera, A., Eik, L.O. et al. Condensed tannins from Sesbania sesban and Desmodium intortum as a means of Haemonchus contortus control in goats. Trop Anim Health Prod 44, 1939–1944 (2012).

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  • Condensed tannins
  • Gastrointestinal nematode
  • Haemonchus contortus
  • Goats