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Goats develop more severe infections.

In 2022, Ethiopian researchers reported on a study in which they compared the pathological changes in sheep and goats that were experimentally infected with worm larvae. Fourteen male goats (G1 and G2) and fourteen male sheep (G3 and G4) were assigned to four equal groups. A single dose of 10,000 infective larvae of Haemonchus contortus (L3) was orally administered to each animal in G1 and G3. Parameters such as body weight, packed cell volume (PCV), hemoglobin, worm count, serum total protein, serum albumin, alkaline phosphatase and aspartate aminotransferase were measured.

The findings showed that 1) All infected sheep and goats developed the infection with a higher mean worm burden in goats (5590) than sheep (2887); 2) All infected sheep and goats exhibited a progressive anemia; the level being more severe in goats than in sheep with mean PCVs of 13 and 18.6% respectively; and 3) While body weight gain was minimal in sheep, goats lost significant weight compared to pre-infection levels, to control animals, or in relation to infected sheep.

The researchers concluded that, "goats under experimental infection and similar management condition with sheep develop much more severe infection and associated pathology compared to sheep and hence deserve special attention. Source: Surgical and Experimental Pathology 5, Article number: 14 (2022)

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