A simulation model to investigate interactions between first season grazing calves and Ostertagia ostertagi

Berk, Z., Bishop, S. C., Forbes, A. B. and Kyriazakis, I. (2016) A simulation model to investigate interactions between first season grazing calves and Ostertagia ostertagi. Veterinary Parasitology, 226, pp. 198-209. (doi: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2016.05.001) (PMID:27514906) (PMCID:PMC4990062)

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A dynamic, deterministic model was developed to investigate the consequences of parasitism with Ostertagia ostertagi, the most prevalent and economically important gastrointestinal parasite of cattle in temperate regions. Interactions between host and parasite were considered to predict the level of parasitism and performance of an infected calf. Key model inputs included calf intrinsic growth rate, feed quality and mode and level of infection. The effects of these varied inputs were simulated on a daily basis for key parasitological (worm burden, total egg output and faecal egg count) and performance outputs (feed intake and bodyweight) over a 6 month grazing period. Data from published literature were used to parameterise the model and its sensitivity was tested for uncertain parameters by a Latin hypercube sensitivity design. For the latter each parameter tested was subject to a 20% coefficient of variation. The model parasitological outputs were most sensitive to the immune rate parameters that affected overall worm burdens. The model predicted the expected larger worm burdens along with disproportionately greater body weight losses with increasing daily infection levels. The model was validated against published literature using graphical and statistical comparisons. Its predictions were quantitatively consistent with the parasitological outputs of published experiments in which calves were subjected to different infection levels. The consequences of model weaknesses are discussed and point towards model improvements. Future work should focus on developing a stochastic model to account for calf variation in performance and immune response; this will ultimately be used to test the effectiveness of different parasite control strategies in naturally infected calf populations.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Funding was provided by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) of the UK and Merial, France.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Forbes, Dr Andrew
Authors: Berk, Z., Bishop, S. C., Forbes, A. B., and Kyriazakis, I.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:Veterinary Parasitology
Published Online:07 May 2016
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 The Authors
First Published:First published in Veterinary Parasitology 226: 198-209
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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