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Effect of vacuum packing and temperature on survival and hatching of strongyle eggs in faecal samples

Sengupta, Mita E., Thapa, Sundar, Thamsborg, Stig M., Mejer, Helena
Veterinary parasitology 2016 v.217 pp. 21-24
Cooperia oncophora, Cyathostominae, Oesophagostomum dentatum, Strongylus vulgaris, air, ambient temperature, calves, eggs, embryogenesis, feces, gloves, hatching, helminths, horses, larvae, oxygen, swine, vacuum packaging
Strongyle eggs of helminths of livestock usually hatch within a few hours or days after deposition with faeces. This poses a problem when faecal sampling is performed in the field. As oxygen is needed for embryonic development, it is recommended to reduce air supply during transport and refrigerate. The present study therefore investigated the combined effect of vacuum packing and temperature on survival of strongyle eggs and their subsequent ability to hatch and develop into L3. Fresh faecal samples were collected from calves infected with Cooperia oncophora, pigs infected with Oesophagostomum dentatum, and horses infected with Strongylus vulgaris and cyathostomins. The samples were allocated into four treatments: vacuum packing and storage at 5°C or 20°C (5 V and 20 V); normal packing in plastic gloves closed with a loose knot and storage at 5°C or 20°C (5 N and 20 N). The number of eggs per gram faeces (EPG) was estimated every fourth day until day 28 post set up (p.s.) by a concentration McMaster-method. Larval cultures were prepared on day 0, 12 and 28 p.s. and the larval yield determined. For C. oncophora, the EPG was significantly higher in vacuum packed samples after 28 days as compared to normal storage, regardless of temperature. However, O. dentatum EPG was significantly higher in samples kept at 5°C as compared to 20°C, irrespective of packing. For the horse strongyles, vacuum packed samples at 5°C had a significantly higher EPG compared to the other treatments after 28 days. The highest larval yield of O. dentatum and horse strongyles were obtained from fresh faecal samples, however, if storage is necessary prior to setting up larval cultures O. dentatum should be kept at room temperature (aerobic or anaerobic). However, horse strongyle coprocultures should ideally be set up on the day of collection to ensure maximum yield. Eggs of C. oncophora should be kept vacuum packed at room temperature for the highest larval yield.