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Nematode parasites of sheep: a survey of epidemiological parameters and their application in a simple model

  • R. R. KAO (a1) (a2), D. M. LEATHWICK (a3), M. G. ROBERTS (a1) and I. A. SUTHERLAND (a3)

Abstract

We review the literature on parameter values relevant to the epidemiology of strongyle nematode infections of domestic sheep. Information is subdivided by parasite genus, country of origin and climate type. While field observations have been made in a large number of countries, the bulk of studies under controlled conditions have been conducted in Australia, New Zealand and the UK. For these countries, experiments and parameters are interpreted in terms of a previously published model of nematode dynamics, and are used to calculate the basic reproduction number. Average values range from less than 6 for Haemonchus contortus in New Zealand and a winter rainfall region of Australia, to more than 16 for Ostertagia circumcincta in New Zealand and the UK. Additional considerations of the effects of climate and the annual replacement of host stock show that for conditions favourable for parasite transmission this is a robust indicator of parasite epidemiology. When climate variation and annual replacement are added to the model, it is shown to reasonably describe the qualitative behaviour of an experimental data set, indicating it to be a useful tool for further investigation of some of the underlying assumptions of sheep–nematode dynamics.

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Corresponding author

Corresponding author: AgResearch, Wallaceville Animal Research Centre, P.O. Box 40-063, Upper Hutt, New Zealand. Tel: +64 4 922 1537. Fax: +64 4 528 1380. E-mail: robertsm@agresearch.cri.nz

Keywords

Nematode parasites of sheep: a survey of epidemiological parameters and their application in a simple model

  • R. R. KAO (a1) (a2), D. M. LEATHWICK (a3), M. G. ROBERTS (a1) and I. A. SUTHERLAND (a3)

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