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      Schistosoma mattheei infections in cattle: changes associated with season and age

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      Veterinary Parasitology

      Elsevier BV

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          The Schistosoma mattheei egg output was monitored in 31 cattle over a 18-month period on a dairy farm near Lusaka (Zambia). The animals were kept on pasture with free access to two streams which were suitable for the intermediate host, Bulinus globosus. Individual faecal egg excretion reached an average peak of 130 eggs per gram, around 9 months after birth and decreased markedly before the age of 18 months. Average counts declined significantly with age, down to less than five eggs per gram in adult cows. A seasonal increase in B. globosus snails and S. mattheei transmission during the rainy season had no effect on the egg output of animals older than 18 months. Two calves and two adult cows were necropsied to compare fluke and tissue egg counts in young and old infections. There was a marked decline in tissue egg accumulation in older cows, in spite of an increase in the numbers of adult female flukes, as compared with young animals. A shift of egg accumulation from the large intestine towards the liver was also observed as infection progressed. It is concluded from the results of faecal egg counts that cattle reared under conditions of continuous challenge develop acquired resistance to S. mattheei infection within the first year following primary infection. Comparison of fluke and tissue egg counts in farm animals of different ages suggests the acquisition of an anti-fecundity effect as infection progresses.

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          Veterinary Parasitology
          Veterinary Parasitology
          Elsevier BV
          April 1995
          April 1995
          : 57
          : 4
          : 299-307
          © 1995


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