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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2004

Evaluation of copper supplementation to control Haemonchus contortus infections of sheep in Sweden

Waller PJ, Bernes G, Rudby-Martin L, Ljungstrom BL, Rydzik A


A pen study was conducted to assess the effect of providing daily copper mineral supplement, or copper wire particle (COWP) capsules, on established or incoming mixed nematode infections in young sheep. For lambs with established (6 week old) infections, COWP resulted in 97% and 56% reduction of the adult and early L4 stages of H. contortus, respectively, compared with controls (p<0.001). Additionally there was a 74% reduction in Teladorsagia circumcincta infections in the COWP lambs compared with controls (p<0.01). However, no effect was observed when COWP were given at the commencement of a larval dosing period of 6 weeks. There was no significant effect of copper mineral supplement (given at the recommended rate to prevent Cu deficiency) on either established, or developing parasite infections. In addition, a field trial was conducted on a commercial farm to assess the effects of COWP in the management of recurrent H. contortus infections, but lack of parasites during the grazing season prevented an adequate assessment from being made. These results indicate that there is little, if any, benefit from a parasite control standpoint in recommending copper therapy, specifically to control parasites in Swedish sheep flocks

Published in

Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica
2004, volume: 45, number: 3-4, pages: 149-160

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Agricultural Research for Northern Sweden
Rudby-Martin, Lisbeth
Rydzik, Anna
Ljungström, Britt-Louise
Waller, Peter

UKÄ Subject classification

Animal and Dairy Science
Veterinary Science

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