Submitted to: Veterinary Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/20/2006
Publication Date: 6/1/2006
Citation: Shaik, S.A., Terrill, T.H., Miller, J.E., Kouakou, B., Kannan, G., Kaplan, R.M., Burke, J.M., Mosjidis, J. 2006. Sericea lespedeza hay as a natural deworming agent against haemonchus contortus infection in goats. Veterinary Parasitology. 139:150-157.
Interpretive Summary: Widespread resistance of gastrointestinal worms to chemical dewormers has led to the need for alternative parasite control. Plants containing condensed tannins, such as sericea lespedeza, may have some anthelmintic properties, but it is not known if preserving the forage will affect anthelmintic activity. Sericea lespedeza hay maintained anthelmintic activity when fed to goats. These results indicate that sericea lespedeza hay aids in the control of internal parasites in goats and this information is important to extension agents, scientists, and a growing number of goat producers.
Technical Abstract: Infection with gastrointestinal nematodes (GIN), particularly Haemonchus contortus, is the biggest constraint to profitable goat production in the United States (US). Due to widespread prevalence of anthelmintic resistance in goat GIN, alternative, non-chemical control methodologies are needed to increase profitability of small ruminant industries. A study was designed to test the efficacy of a high condensed tannin (CT) legume, sericea lespedeza [SL, Lespedeza cuneata (Dum.-Cours. G. Don)] against GIN of goats fed in confinement. The goats were given a trickle infection of 500 H. contortus larvae/animal 3 times per week during the trial to simulate natural infection. Twenty 6-8 month-old Boer bucks were fed long-stem bermudagrass [BG, Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.] hay plus concentrate for 5 weeks in confinement and then 10 animals were switched to long-stem SL hay for an additional 7 weeks. Throughout the trial, feces and blood were collected from individual animals weekly to determine fecal egg count (FEC) and blood packed cell volume (PCV). Fecal cultures were made weekly to determine treatment effects on GIN larval development. All goats were slaughtered at the end of the trial, with adult worms in the abomasum and small intestines of each goat recovered, counted, and identified to species. Feeding SL hay to goats significantly (P < 0.01) reduced FEC and increased PCV compared with BG hay. In addition, a lower percentage of ova in feces from SL-fed goats developed into infective (L3) larvae. There was a direct effect of SL hay on adult worms, with significantly (P < 0.01) lower numbers of both abomasal (H. contortus, Ostertagia circumcinta) and small intestinal (Trichostrongylus colubriformis) nematodes compared with goats fed BG hay. Feeding SL hay to goats is an effective means of controlling parasitic nematodes and may be a potential supplement/replacement for chemical anthelmintics.