The Prevalence of Gastro-Intestinal Nematodes in Dairy Cows

  • D. Barth
  • D. Bernhard
  • J. Lamina
Part of the Current Topics in Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science book series (CTVM, volume 9)


The parasitic nematodes present in the abomasum and small intestine of 198 milk cows sent for slaughter over a period of one year, were counted and differentiated. In addition, the worm burden of the Zarge intestine of 20 cows and the plasma-pepsinogen levels of 56 cows, were determined. The results were as follows.

All milking cows were parasitised to a varying degree (up to 225 000 worms), whereas only 13% of them had positive faecal egg counts. The geometric mean burden of grazing cows was 15 678, whereas that of housed animals was 2 836; tapeworms (immature Moniezia spp) were present in 12% of the cows. Of the 14 nematode species found, Ostertagia, Trichostrongylus and cooperia, were the most common genera; seasonal variations in adult worm populations confirmed present knowledge of the epidemiology of gastrointestinal nematodes but an unexpected increase of Ostertagia larvae in the mucosa occurred in winter; the reasons for slaughter did not significantly influence worm counts; three and 8 year-old cows had higher worm counts than 5 year-old animals, and there was no statistically significant correlation between worm counts and plasma-pepsinogen levels.


Milk Production Parasitic Nematode Worm Burden Worm Count Grazing History 
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Copyright information

© ECSC, EEC, EAEC, Brussels-Luxembourg 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Barth
    • 1
  • D. Bernhard
    • 2
  • J. Lamina
    • 2
  1. 1.Sharp and Dohme GmbH, KatrinenhofLauterbachFederal Republic of Germany
  2. 2.Institut für Tierwissenschaften, Angewande Zoologie (Entomologie, Fischbiologie, Parasitologie)Technische Universität MünchenFriesing - Weihenstephan 12Federal Republic of Germany

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