Submitted to: Veterinary Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/7/2008
Publication Date: 2/5/2009
Citation: Burke, J.M., Wells, A., Casey, P., Miller, J. 2009. Garlic exhibits lack of control over gastrointestinal nematodes in goats. Veterinary Parasitology. 159(2):171-174.
Interpretive Summary: Gastrointestinal nematodes represent a major health challenge to small ruminants and effective alternatives to chemical dewormers are needed for organic production. Garlic has been touted as an anthelmintic and is available as a certified organic product, but scientific studies are lacking. Scientists at USDA, ARS in Booneville, AR and Louisiana State University and farmers at Heifer International in Perryville, AR determined that garlic juice failed to control gastrointestinal nematodes in goats. This information is important to producers, extension agents, veterinarians, organic certifiers, and scientists.
Technical Abstract: Gastrointestinal nematodes (GIN) continue to hinder small ruminant production because of anthelmintic resistance and lack of effective products for GIN control in organic production. The objective of this study was to examine the effectiveness of a commercially available certified organic garlic product, fresh garlic juice or garlic bulbs as an anthelmintic to control GIN in goats. In the first experiment weaned meat goat kids were administered water or a commercial garlic juice product (n = 7/treatment). In the second experiment, kids were administered water, fresh garlic juice, or fed garlic bulbs (n = 9 or 10/treatment). Naturally infected goats were supplemented with bermudagrass hay and corn/soybean supplement in the first experiment or maintained on bermudagrass pasture in the second experiment. Blood and fecal samples were collected on Days 0, 7 and 14 after administration of treatment to examine changes in blood packed cell volume (PCV) and fecal egg counts (FEC). PCV and FEC were similar by Day 14 between kids treated with a commercial garlic juice and water in the first experiment. Similarly, PCV was not different among treatment groups in the second experiment. FEC of the garlic juice group was lower than the other two groups on Day 0, but was similar among groups by Day 14. Deworming was required in one goat within each treatment group by Day 7 and in three kids in the garlic juice group and two in the garlic bulb group by Day 14. Based on the garlic products used in this study, garlic is not recommended as an aid to control GIN in goats.