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Forskningsartikel2019Vetenskapligt granskadÖppen tillgång

Effects of nematode parasitism on activity patterns in first-season grazing cattle

Hogberg, Niclas; Lidfors, Lena; Hessle, Anna; Segerkvist, Katarina Arvidsson; Herlin, Anders; Hoglund, Johan


We investigated the effects of gastrointestinal nematode (GIN) challenge on activity patterns in first season grazing (FSG) steers exposed to two different levels of Ostertagia ostertagi and Cooperia oncophora. At turn-out, experimental animals were allocated to one of two treatment groups grazing in different enclosures each with 32 animals. The first group (High) received 5000 third stage (L3) O. ostertagi (50%) and C. onchophora (50%) larvae; whereas the second group (Low) were dewormed monthly with 0.5mg ivermectin (Noromectin (R), Pour-on) per kg bodyweight. Activity patterns were monitored by fitting some animals in each group (High, n = 10; Low, n = 8) with leg mounted sensors (IceTag (R) 3D-accelerometers) during three two-week periods. In animals fitted with sensors body weight gain (BWG) was recorded every fortnight, whereas faecal and blood samples were collected every four weeks for nematode faecal egg count (FEC) and serum pepsinogen concentrations (SPC). Differences between the periods in daily (P = 0.046) and diurnal (P = 0.0502) activities were recorded between groups during the course of the study. A significant (P = 0.038) increase in the number of lying bouts was recorded in group High during the second period (days 74-86), which was correlated (r = 0.55, P = 0.018) to an increase in SPC approximate to 85 days after turn-out. BWG was reduced (P = 0.037) in group High compared to group Low, deviating from day 45. Strongyle nematode eggs were observed in both groups 29 days after turn-out, however the mean EPG remained low in group Low throughout the experiment. An increase in SPC was observed (P < 0.0038) in group High with levels peaking on day 58. In conclusion, our data supports that changes in activity patterns monitored with sensors could contribute to the identification of animals challenged with GIN, but also improve our understanding in the potential welfare impairments caused by such infections.


Activity; Animal welfare; Behaviour; Cooperia onchophora; Cattle; Gastrointestinal nematodes; Health monitoring; Ostertagia ostertagi; Pasture

Publicerad i

Veterinary parasitology. X
2019, Volym: 1, artikelnummer: 100011