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Forskningsartikel2020Vetenskapligt granskad

Selective flukicide treatment of non-lactating cows and the corresponding production impact of Fasciola hepatica in dairy herds in Sweden

Novobilsky, Adam; Rustas, Bengt-Ove; Grandi, Giulio; Hogberg, Niclas; Hoglund, Johan


A control strategy against Fasciola hepatica infection based on selective treatment of non-lactating animals was evaluated in four Swedish dairy herds. The study was conducted over the course of two consecutive seasons in moderately to highly F. hepatica infected herds with robotic milking, where heifers and dry cows received an oral drench with albendazole (10 mg/kg) during three visits in January, February and March in both 2017 and 2018. This resulted in an anthelmintic coverage between 38 % and 58 % of the animals. Furthermore, on each visit, the infection status of all dewormed animals along with 15 randomly selected milking cows were monitored by detection of F. hepatica coproantigens. Individual milk samples were also collected quarterly from the whole herds for measurements of individual antibody levels against the parasite using milk ELISA. In addition, individual data on milk yield and quality were collected on a monthly basis between 2016 and 2018. To further study the impact of the infection on milk production, truly F. hepatica positive and negative cows in the first lactation were identified based on the results from coproantigen and milk ELISA assays. Total F. hepatica coproantigen prevalence in the herds varied between 28 % and 85 % in the first year, and between 27 % and 68 % in the second year of the study. We found that two years of treatments resulted in a significant decrease of coproantigen-positivity especially on the two most heavily infected farms. These results were confirmed by a similar drop in within-herd prevalences obtained by milk ELISA results. The infection had a significant negative impact on milk yields in untreated F. hepatica positive cows. No consistent long-term effect was observed at the herd level probably due to the influx of animals infected before puberty and/or adult animals that were re infected at dry-off. This is the first study of the effects of F. hepatica infection on milk yield and quality in dairy herds in Sweden.


Fluke control; Albendazole; Antibodies; Selective treatment; Coproantigen; Milk-ELISA; Milk production

Publicerad i

Veterinary Parasitology
2020, Volym: 283, artikelnummer: 109180Utgivare: ELSEVIER