Title page for ETD etd-03022010-133826

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Spickett, Andrea
Email spickettA@arc.agric.za
URN etd-03022010-133826
Document Title The anthelmintic effect of copper oxide wire particle (COWP) boluses against Haemonchus contortus in indigenous goats in South Africa
Degree MSc (Veterinary Tropical Diseases)
Department Veterinary Tropical Diseases
Advisor Name Title
Dr A F Vatta Committee Chair
Prof J Boomer Supervisor
  • COWP
  • copper oxide wire particles
  • South Africa
  • small scale communal farmers
  • goats
Date 2009-11-27
Availability unrestricted

A field trial was conducted to test the anthelmintic effect of a single dose of 4g of copper oxide wire particles (COWP) in bolus form in indigenous goats belonging to small scale communal farmers in three areas in the Bergville district of Kwa-Zulu Natal Province, South Africa namely Dukuza, Ogade and Hoffenthal. Faecal egg counts (FECs) determined by both the McMaster and Pitchford–Visser methods, FAMACHA© scores,haematocrits (PCV), body condition scores (BCS) and live weights (Wt) of 172 indigenous goats belonging to 15 farmers were monitored on a four-weekly basis for a period of 53 weeks. Faecal cultures were done to determine the generic composition of the gastro-intestinal nematodes in the experimental animals. Monitoring commenced in October 2007 and extended to October 2008. During November 2007, a pilot faecal egg count reduction test (FECRT), done on 75 goats not included in the trial, confirmed the efficacy of 12 mg/kg levamisole (Tramisol, Coopers, Afrivet, South Africa) in the area relative to three other anthelmintic groups. All trial goats were treated with 12 mg/kg levamisole when a FAMACHA© score of 3 – 5 was recorded. This allowed training of collaborating farmers in the FAMACHA© system and provided selective treatment of animals presumed to have high worm burdens. Trial animals were not dosed during December 2007 and January 2008 in order to allow normal seasonal worm burdens to develop unaffected by treatment intervention. In January 2008 (week 15 of the trial), when faecal egg counts were approaching peak numbers, the goats of each farmer were assigned to control and treated groups. The goats were ranked from highest to lowest according to faecal egg count obtained by the Pitchford-Visser method results for week 13, i.e. the week of sampling of 7 January 2008. The goats were then sequentially paired and one of the two randomly assigned to the treated or the control group. The remaining one of the pair was then allocated to the group not allocated to the first of the pair. A bolus containing 4 g COWP was administered during the week of 21 January 2008 to each goat in the treated group. At the end of the trial (October 2008), the data were subjected to an analysis of variance (ANOVA) to compare the epidemiological variables between treated and control groups.

The Pitchford-Visser and McMaster faecal egg count methods, on comparison, showed similar results, with no statistical differences evident between the counts. The Pitchford-Visser method, however, generally yielded higher values and was thus used for the analyses. Faecal egg counts were similar in all three trial areas with higher burdens experienced in Dukuza, followed by Ogade and Hoffenthal. High faecal egg counts coincided with the higher environmental temperatures and precipitation associated with the summer months (December – March). Faecal egg counts decreased from April onwards to reach negligible numbers in mid-winter (June and July), increasing again during spring (October). A marked reduction in faecal egg counts was evident two weeks after COWP administration (week of 4 February 2008) in the treated groups of goats compared to those of the controls. The faecal egg counts of the treated groups of goats were significantly lower than those of the controls for all the groups analyzed, except for adult goats in the Hoffenthal area. The marked reduction in faecal egg counts was accompanied by a corresponding rise in PCV of the treated goats. This rise also proved to be significantly higher on analysis relative to those of the controls, except for the young group of goats in all three areas combined and for adult goats in the Hoffenthal area. In March 2008, six weeks after COWP administration, the faecal egg counts of the treated goats had returned to values comparable to those prior to COWP administration and similar to those of the control groups, with no statistical differences evident. The calculated percentage reduction in faecal egg count two weeks after COWP administration, for all areas combined was 89.5% for all goats, 87.7% for young goats and 89.8% for adults. The calculated efficacy for Hoffenthal was 91.5%, Ogade95.3% and Dukuza 82.4%. Faecal cultures confirmed the predominance of Haemonchus in the trial areas. The administration of COWP therefore showed a marked, immediate effect in lowering faecal egg counts as determined two weeks after administration. The anthelmintic effect of COWP was of a relatively short duration, not being discernable six weeks after administration and the effect was mainly on Haemonchus. The reduction in faecal egg counts due to COWP also reduced the number of goats in the treated group that required dosing according to the FAMACHA© technique, from 46 during the week of sampling of 21 January 2008, week 15 to 38 in week 17, while that of the control group remained similar. Apart from this, the administration of COWP did not appear to have any discernable effect on the FAMACHA© and body condition scores. Further research on the effect of administering multiple COWP dosages to effectively control haemonchosis in indigenous goats farmed extensively is required. Communal use of available pastures under these conditions implies that almost all small ruminants that may contaminate these pastures with worm eggs be treated, for such an intervention to have the best effect.

Haematocrit values (PCV) compared with FAMACHA© categories show that FAMACHA© categories 4 and 5 are reliable indicators of increasing anaemia. The considerable overlap in PCV values between FAMACHA© categories, however, prevents the definitive relation of FAMACHA© category to PCV value. Other factors, such as nutrition, ectoparasite infection, extant diseases and general condition, may influence the anaemic state of an animal. It is therefore advisable that the FAMACHA© system be used as a general guide for anthelmintic treatment in goats but be supported by other criteria such as other clinical symptoms and body condition score. Also, the FAMACHA© system used was developed primarily for use in sheep and its application to goats may require further refinement.

Copyright © 2009, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Spickett, A 2009, The anthelmintic effect of copper oxide wire particle (COWP) boluses against Haemonchus contortus in indigenous goats in South Africa, MSc (Veterinary Tropical Diseases) dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-03022010-133826/ >

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