Saturday, June 30, 2012

71 percent barber pole worm

For the pooled fecal sample collected on June 2, Haemonchus contortus (barber pole worm) comprised 71 percent of the worm eggs. Sixteen percent of the eggs were Trichostrongylus. The remaining 13 percent were classified as "other."

While tapeworm eggs and coccidia oocytes can be differentiated at the egg stage, strongyle-type worms (Haemonchus, Trichostrongyles, and Teladorsagia) mostly look the same. Only Nematodirus is different, because it is a much larger egg. Thus, strongyle-type eggs have to be hatched for larvae identification. This process is labor-intensive and requires several weeks to complete.

The pooled sample is comprised of feces from random goats.

In previous tests, the first sample collected is always the most mixed sample, though Haemonchus Contortus has always been the predominant parasite, by a wide margin. As the test progresses, the worm load tends to become almost 100 percent barber pole worm.

Pooled fecal samples are collected every 4 weeks in the test. Larvae ID is done by Dr. Dahlia O'Brien's parasitology lab at Delaware State University. In previous years, the larvae ID was done by Dr. Ray Kaplan's lab at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. O'Brien was trained by Dr. Kaplan.

The larvae administered to the goats on June 21 was Haemonchus contortus.