Immune and haematological parameters of Blackbelly ewes infected with gastrointestinal nematodes


  • Roberto González Garduño Chapingo Autonomous University
  • María E. López Arellano National Center for Disciplinary Research in Veterinary Parasitology
  • Magnolia M. Conde Felipe University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
  • Pedro Mendoza de Gives National Center for Disciplinary Research in Veterinary Parasitology
  • Liliana Aguilar Marcelino National Center for Disciplinary Research in Veterinary Parasitology
  • Gabriela Jaso Díaz Colegio de Postgraduados



antigens, Haemonchus contortus, immunity, parasites, sheep, Trichostrongylus colubriformis


Background: It is necessary to identify phenotypic traits related to natural resistance against gastrointestinal nematodes (GIN) in order to know the host immunity status in productive ewes. Objetive: To determine haematological and immunological parameters (IgA and IgG) during pregnancy and lactation in Blackbelly ewes naturally infected with GIN. Methods: The number of eggs per gram (EPG), packed cell volume (% PCV), plasmatic protein (PP), and peripheral eosinophils were determined during eight months. In addition, sera and saliva samples were collected to establish IgG and IgA kinetics by indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Results: The results showed 2,592 ± 2,403 EPG and 22.2 ± 4.0% PCV during lactation and 595 ± 901 EPG and 25.1 ± 2.5% PCV during pregnancy. A higher percentage of Trichostrongylus colubriformis larvae were observed in pregnancy (84 to100%) than in lactation (36 to 44%). The IgA activity in serum samples showed a marked reduction (from 80 to 10%) during lambing for both Haemonchus contortus and T. colubriformis antigens. In saliva samples, IgA activity with regard to the standard decreased from 56% at 60 days to 30% at 45 days before lambing and remained low for 45 days during lactation (23 to 32% activity). The eosinophils numbers were 2.0 x 109 cells L-1 in pregnancy and remained low at 0.7 x 109 cells L-1 in lactation. Conclusion: The studied variables reflect the breakdown of immunity against GIN in Blackbelly ewes before and after lambing.

= 56 veces | PDF
= 50 veces|


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...

Author Biographies

Roberto González Garduño, Chapingo Autonomous University

AEZ., Dr., South-Southeast Regional University Unit, Chapingo Autonomous University, Teapa, Tabasco, Mexico.

María E. López Arellano, National Center for Disciplinary Research in Veterinary Parasitology

VMZ, PhD., National Center for Disciplinary Research in Veterinary Parasitology (INIFAP), Jiutepec, Morelos, Mexico.

Magnolia M. Conde Felipe, University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

VM, PhD., Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Las Palmas, Spain.

Pedro Mendoza de Gives, National Center for Disciplinary Research in Veterinary Parasitology

VMZ, PhD., National Center for Disciplinary Research in Veterinary Parasitology (INIFAP), Jiutepec, Morelos, Mexico.

Liliana Aguilar Marcelino, National Center for Disciplinary Research in Veterinary Parasitology

AEZ, Dr., National Center for Disciplinary Research in Veterinary Parasitology (INIFAP), Jiutepec, Morelos, Mexico.

Gabriela Jaso Díaz, Colegio de Postgraduados

VMZ, MC., Colegio de Postgraduados, Montecillo Campus, Montecillo, State of Mexico, Mexico.


Alba F, Muñoz A. Immune responses associated with resistance to haemonchosis in sheep. Bio Med Res Intern 2012; 2013:1-11.

Amarante AFT, Bricarello PA, Huntley JF, Mazzolin LP, Gomes JC. Relationship of abomasal histology and parasite-specifi c immunoglobulin A with the resistance to Haemonchus contortusinfection in three breeds of sheep. Vet Parasitol 2005; 128:99-107.

Beasley AM, Kahn LP, Windon RG. The periparturient relaxation of immunity in Merino ewes infected with Trichostrongylus colubriformis: Parasitological and immunological responses. Vet Parasitol 2010; 168:60-70.

Bishop SC. Possibilities to breed for resistance to nematode parasite infections in small ruminants in tropical production systems. Anim 2012; 6:741-747.

Bowdridge S, MacKinnon K, McCann JC, Zajac AM, Notter DR. Hair-type sheep generate an accelerated and longer-lived humoral immune response to Haemonchus contortus infection. Vet Parasitol 2013; 196:172-178.

Bradford M. A rapid and sensitive method for the quantifi cation of microgram quantities of protein utilizing the principle of protein-dye binding. Annal Biochem 1976; 72:248-254.

Cardia DFF, Rocha RA, Tsunemi MH, Amarante AFTD. Immune response and performance of growing Santa Ines lambs to artifi cial Trichostrongylus colubriformis infections. Vet Parasitol 2011; 182:248-258.

Cardoso CP, Silva BF, Trinca LA, Amarante AF. Resistance against gastrointestinal nematodes in Crioulo Lageano and crossbred Angus cattle in Southern Brazil. Vet Parasitol 2013; 192:183-191.

Cruz MA, Martínez M, Rojo FA. Teladorsagia circumcincta antibodies in serum and milk samples in experimentally infectedlactating ewes. Vet Parasitol 2012; 188:386-390.

González R, Torres G, Arece J. Comportamiento productivo y reproductivo de ovinos Pelibuey en un sistema de pariciones aceleradas con tres épocas de empadre al año. Zoot Trop 2010; 28(1):51-56.

González R., Torres JFJ, Chay AJ. Susceptibility of hair sheep ewes to nematode parasitism during pregnancy and lactation in a selective anthelmintic treatment scheme under tropical conditions. Res Vet Sci 2014; 96:487-492.

Harrison GBL, Pulford HD, Doolin EE, Pernthaner A, Shoemaker CB, Hein W. Antibodies to surface epitopes of the carbohydrate larval antigen CarLA are associated with passive protection in strongylid nematode challenge infections. Parasite Immunol 2008; 30:577-584.

Harrison GBL, Pulford HD, Hein WR, Barber TK, Shaw RJ, McNeill M, Wakefi eld J. Immune rejection of Trichostrongylus colubriformis in sheep; a possible role for intestinal mucus antibody against an L3 specific surface antigen. Parasite Immunol 2003a; 25:45-53.

Harrison GBL, Pulford HD, Hein WR, Severn WB, Shoemaker CB. Characterization of a 35 kDa carbohydrate larval antigen (CarLA) from Trichostrongylus colubriformis; a potential target for host immunity. Parasite Immunol 2003b; 25:79-86.

Henderson NG, Stear MJ. Eosinophil and IgA responses in sheep infected with Teladorsagia circumcincta. Vet Immunol Immunopathol 2006; 112:62-66.

Houdijk JGM, Kyriazakis I, Jackson F, Huntley JF, Coop RL. Eff ects of protein supply and reproductive status on local and systemic immune responses to Teladorsagia circumcincta in sheep. Vet Parasitol 2005; 129:105-117.

Kahn LP, Knox MR, Gray GD, Lea JM, Walkden-Brown SW. Enhancing immunity to nematode parasites in single-bearing Merino ewes through nutrition and genetic selection. Vet Parasitol 2003; 112:211-225.

Kottek M, Grieser J, Beck C, Rudolf B, Rubel F. World map of the Köppen-Geiger climate classifi cation updated. Meteorol Z 2006; 15(3):259-263.

Macarthur FA, Kahn LP, Windon RG. Immune response of twin-bearing Merino ewes when infected with Haemonchus contortus: Eff ects of fat score and prepartum supplementation. Livest Sci 2013; 157:568-576.

Mahieu M, Aumont G. Periparturient rise in Martinik hair sheep and perspectives for gastrointestinal nematode control. Trop Anim Health Prod 2007; 39:387-390.

Martínez M, Vara MP, Cruz MA, Rojo FA. Genetic resistance to Teladorsagia circumcincta: IgA and parameters at slaughter in Churra sheep. Parasite Immunol 2005; 27:213-218.

McCoy KD, Stoel M, Stettler R, Merky P, Fink K, Senn BM, SchaerC, Massacand J, Odermatt B, Oettgen HC, Zinkernagel RM, Bos NA, Hengartner H, Macpherson AJ, Harris NL. Polyclonal and specifi c antibodies mediate protective immunity against enteric helminth infection. Cell Host Microbe 2008; 4:362-373.

Prada J, Matthews L, Mair C, Stefan T, Stear MJ. The transfer of IgA from mucus to plasma and the implications for diagnosis and control of nematode infections. Parasitol 2014; 141:875-879.

Ramírez CA, Pernthaner A, Barry TN, López N, Shaw RJ, Pomroy WE, Hein WR. Characterization of immune responses against gastrointestinal nematodes in weaned lambs grazing willow fodder blocks. Anim Feed Sci Technol 2010; 155:99-110.

SAS Institute Inc. SAS/STAT® User’s Guide, Version 9.2, Cary, NC: SAS Institute Inc. 2004.

Shakya KP, Miller JE, Lomax LG, Burnett DD. Evaluation of immune response to artificial infections of Haemonchus contortus in Gulf Coast Native compared with Suff olk lambs. Vet Parasitol 2011; 181:239-247.

Shaw RJ, Morris CA, Wheeler M. Genetic and phenotypic relationships between carbohydrate larval antigen (CarLA) IgA, parasite resistance and productivity in serial samples taken from lambs after weaning. Int J Parasitol 2013; 43:661-667.

Shaw RJ, Morris CA, Wheeler M, Tate M, Sutherland IA. Salivary IgA: A suitable measure of immunity to gastrointestinal nematodes in sheep. Vet Parasitol 2012; 186:109-117.

Strain SAJ, Bishop SC, Henderson NG, Kerr A, McKellar QA, Mitchell S, Stear MJ. The genetic control of IgA activity against Teladorsagia circumcincta and its association with parasite resistance in naturally infected sheep. Parasitol 2002; 124:545-552.

Thientpont D, Rochette F, VanParijs OFJ. Diagnosing helminthiasis through coprological examination. 2nd ed. Beerse, Belgium: Janssen Research Foundation; 1986.

Tibbo M, Aragaw K, Abunna F, Woldemeskel M, Deressa A, Dechassa ML, Rege JEO. Factors affecting haematological profi les in three indigenous Ethiopian sheep breeds. Comp Clin Pathol 2005; 13:119-127.

Van Wyk JA, Mayhew E. Morphological identifi cation of parasitic nematode infective larvae of small ruminants and cattle: A practical lab guide. Onderstepoort J Vet Res 2013; 80(1):1-14.

Williams AR, Greeff JC, Vercoe PE, Dobson RJ, Karlsson LJE. Merino ewes bred for parasite resistance reduce larval contamination onto pasture during the peri-parturient period. Anim 2010; 4:122-127.




How to Cite

González Garduño, R., López Arellano, M. E., Conde Felipe, M. M., Mendoza de Gives, P., Aguilar Marcelino, L., & Jaso Díaz, G. (2017). Immune and haematological parameters of Blackbelly ewes infected with gastrointestinal nematodes. Revista Colombiana De Ciencias Pecuarias, 30(3), 219–230.



Original research articles

Similar Articles

> >> 

You may also start an advanced similarity search for this article.