Main content area

Worm burdens and associated histopathological changes caused by gastrointestinal nematodes in alpacas from Australia

Rashid, Mohammed H., Beveridge, Ian, Vaughan, Jane L., Jabbar, Abdul
Parasitology research 2019 v.118 no.3 pp. 1031-1038
Haemonchus contortus, Trichuris, alpacas, cattle, eggs, fecal egg count, feces, gastrointestinal nematodes, gastrointestinal system, goats, histopathology, polymerase chain reaction, sheep, Australia
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.