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Feeding of carob (Ceratonia siliqua) to sheep infected with gastrointestinal nematodes reduces faecal egg counts and worm fecundity

Abstract : The present study explored the anthelmintic effects of condensed tannins (CT) in carob (Ceratonia siliqua) pods fed to sheep against gastrointestinal nematodes. Three independent in vivo trials tested whether i) carob pod (CaBP)-containing feed had an anthelmintic effect and if yes, which was the optimal concentration in the diet; ii) whether this effect could be attributed to tannins through the polyethylene glycol (PEG) test and iii) whether there were any synergistic effects when combined with another tannin-containing feed (e.g. sainfoin). In all trials 6-month old nematode-naive lambs, experimentally infected with both Haemonchus contortus and Trichostrongylus colubriformis, were used. Faecal egg counts (FEC) were performed regularly and at the end of each trial adult worm counts (AWC) and female worm fecundity were recorded. In trial 1, 35 lambs (five groups of seven lambs) were fed different CaBP concentrations ranging from 0% to 12 % w/w. FEC declined up to 39.2 % only in the group fed with 12 %CaBP, while a declining trend (P < 0.06) was demonstrated for the AWC of T. colubriformis, which was associated with the increasing concentration of CaBP in feed. Female worm fecundity was reduced in groups fed CaBP for both parasites, however this was only significant for H. contortus (P < 0.001), in a dose dependent manner. In trial 2, four groups of six infected lambs each were used, which received the carob diets CaBP or CaBP + PEG, and the tannin-free diets with or without PEG (C or C + PEG). Results showed that FEC of Groups C, C + PEG, and CaBP + PEG were comparable throughout the trial, while the group receiving only CaBP showed lower FEC from DAY 25 onwards. AWC showed a reduction (67.7 %) only for H. contortus (P < 0.03). Reversal of the anthelmintic effect of CaBP after PEG administration suggested that CT contributed to the anthelmintic action. However, no effect of CaBP was observed on T. colubriformis AWC and on female worm fecundity for both species. Finally, for trial 3 four groups of six lambs each received a diet based on CaBP, sainfoin (S) or a combination (CaBP + S) and were compared to a control (C) diet of lucerne. On DAY 37 FEC values in groups CaBP + S and S tended to be lower compared to the two other groups (C, CaBP), while for AWCs no significant differences were observed for both parasites. The fecundity of H. contortus and T. colubriformis demonstrated significant differences between the treated and control groups, with lower values in the animals receiving CaBP + S. Overall, the results supported the hypothesis that carob had an anthelmintic effect due to its CT, but there was no clear indication of a synergistic effect with sainfoin.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, April 13, 2021 - 5:06:34 PM
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Katerina Saratsi, Herve Hoste, Nikolaos Voutzourakis, Nikolaos Tzanidakis, Alexandros Stefanakis, et al.. Feeding of carob (Ceratonia siliqua) to sheep infected with gastrointestinal nematodes reduces faecal egg counts and worm fecundity. Veterinary Parasitology, Elsevier, 2020, 284, pp.109200. ⟨10.1016/j.vetpar.2020.109200⟩. ⟨hal-03197340⟩



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