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Across and within breed differences in the relationship between packed cell volume and fecal egg count in growing meat goat and hair sheep males naturally and artificially infected with gastrointestinal nematodes

Tsukahara, Y., Gipson, T.A., Hart, S.P., Dawson, L.J., Wang, Z., Puchala, R., Sahlu, T., Goetsch, A.L.
Veterinary Parasitology: Regional Studies and Reports 2019 v.17 pp. 100311
Dorper, Haemonchus contortus, Kiko (goat breed), ad libitum feeding, breed differences, deworming, diet, eggs, farms, fecal egg count, gastrointestinal nematodes, goats, hematocrit, larvae, males, models, sheep, United States
The relationship between packed cell volume (PCV) and fecal egg count (FEC) in different breeds of meat goats and hair sheep infected with gastrointestinal nematodes, including Haemonchus contortus, was characterized. Growing males from eight commercial and two research farms (one Kiko, Spanish, Dorper, and St. Croix; three Boer; four Katahdin) in the southcentral United States were evaluated in a central performance test with ad libitum intake of a 50% concentrate pelleted diet. There were 84 Boer, 55 Kiko, and 57 Spanish goats and 52 Dorper, 129 Katahdin, and 49 St. Croix sheep. During adaptation, animals were dewormed then dosed with 10,000 infective H. contortus larvae. PCV and FEC were determined before deworming (i.e., natural infection potentially with multiple internal parasites) and 21, 28, 35, 42, and 49 days after artificial infection. Effects of species, breed, and year were analyzed with mixed effects models including day of sampling post dosing as a repeated measure and FEC and FEC × breed as covariates. Moreover, differences in correlation coefficients between PCV and logarithmic FEC (lnFEC) among species, breed, year, and day of sampling were evaluated. Breed affected (P ≤ 0.001) PCV in goats (24.8, 27.2, and 26.0% for Boer, Kiko, and Spanish, respectively; SEM = 0.42) and sheep (29.8, 26.7, and 31.0% for Dorper, Katahdin, and St. Croix, respectively; SEM = 0.28). There were effects of FEC × breed (P ≤ 0.029) on PCV for Boer, Kiko, Dorper, Katahdin, and St. Croix (−0.31, −0.33, −0.46, −0.46, and − 0.49% per 1000 eggs, respectively) but not for Spanish goats (P = 0.451). With all data, PCV and lnFEC with natural infection were highly correlated (P < 0.001) for Boer and Kiko goats and Dorper and Katahdin sheep (r = −0.59, −0.67, −0.77, and − 0.84, respectively) but not for Spanish goats or St. Croix sheep (P ≥ 0.323). Correlation coefficients for artificial infection with H. contortus were significant (P ≤ 0.002) except for Spanish goats, although values were lower (−0.40, −0.21, −0.23, −0.47, and − 0.28 for Boer, Kiko, Dorper, Katahdin, and St. Croix, respectively) compared with natural infection. In conclusion, PCV was not related to FEC in Spanish goats infected either naturally or artificially, and the nature of the relationship varied among breeds of goats and sheep. Based on the magnitude of the FEC × breed coefficient, sheep incurred a relatively greater reduction in PCV as FEC increased, and correlation coefficients indicate stronger relationships with natural than artificial infection.