Effects of giardiasis on production in a domestic ruminant (lamb) model

M. E. Olson From the Gastrointestinal Research Group (Olson, Deselliers, Buret), Department of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (Olson, Ceri) and Biological Sciences (Olson, Morck, Ceri), University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta T2N 4N1, and Agriculture and Agrifood Canada, Lethbridge Research Station, Lethbridge, Alberta T1J 4B1 (McAllister, Cheng), Canada.

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T. A. McAllister From the Gastrointestinal Research Group (Olson, Deselliers, Buret), Department of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (Olson, Ceri) and Biological Sciences (Olson, Morck, Ceri), University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta T2N 4N1, and Agriculture and Agrifood Canada, Lethbridge Research Station, Lethbridge, Alberta T1J 4B1 (McAllister, Cheng), Canada.

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L. Deselliers From the Gastrointestinal Research Group (Olson, Deselliers, Buret), Department of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (Olson, Ceri) and Biological Sciences (Olson, Morck, Ceri), University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta T2N 4N1, and Agriculture and Agrifood Canada, Lethbridge Research Station, Lethbridge, Alberta T1J 4B1 (McAllister, Cheng), Canada.

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D. W. Morck From the Gastrointestinal Research Group (Olson, Deselliers, Buret), Department of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (Olson, Ceri) and Biological Sciences (Olson, Morck, Ceri), University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta T2N 4N1, and Agriculture and Agrifood Canada, Lethbridge Research Station, Lethbridge, Alberta T1J 4B1 (McAllister, Cheng), Canada.

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K.-J. Cheng From the Gastrointestinal Research Group (Olson, Deselliers, Buret), Department of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (Olson, Ceri) and Biological Sciences (Olson, Morck, Ceri), University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta T2N 4N1, and Agriculture and Agrifood Canada, Lethbridge Research Station, Lethbridge, Alberta T1J 4B1 (McAllister, Cheng), Canada.

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A.G. Buret From the Gastrointestinal Research Group (Olson, Deselliers, Buret), Department of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (Olson, Ceri) and Biological Sciences (Olson, Morck, Ceri), University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta T2N 4N1, and Agriculture and Agrifood Canada, Lethbridge Research Station, Lethbridge, Alberta T1J 4B1 (McAllister, Cheng), Canada.

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H. Ceri From the Gastrointestinal Research Group (Olson, Deselliers, Buret), Department of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (Olson, Ceri) and Biological Sciences (Olson, Morck, Ceri), University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta T2N 4N1, and Agriculture and Agrifood Canada, Lethbridge Research Station, Lethbridge, Alberta T1J 4B1 (McAllister, Cheng), Canada.

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Abstract

Objective

To examine the effects of giardiasis on production and carcass quality, using growing lambs as a domestic ruminant model.

Design

Randomized block.

Animals

Giardia-free lambs: 23 in infected group, 24 in control group.

Procedure

Six-week-old, specific-pathogen-free lambs were infected with Giardia trophozoites; control lambs received saline solution. Clinical signs of infection, body weight, and feed intake were determined for 10 weeks. Carcass weight and quality were determined at slaughter weight of 45 kg.

Results

Giardia infection persisted from weeks 7 to 16. For 5 weeks after challenge exposure, abnormal feces were more frequently observed in infected lambs. Giardia infection was associated with a decrease in rate of weight gain and impairment in feed efficiency. Time to reach slaughter weight was extended in infected lambs, and the carcass weight of Giardia-infected lambs was lower than that of control lambs.

Conclusion

Giardiasis has a negative effect on domestic ruminant production.

Clinical Relevance

Giardiasis in domestic ruminants is an economically important disease, thus necessitating control or elimination of the infection.

Abstract

Objective

To examine the effects of giardiasis on production and carcass quality, using growing lambs as a domestic ruminant model.

Design

Randomized block.

Animals

Giardia-free lambs: 23 in infected group, 24 in control group.

Procedure

Six-week-old, specific-pathogen-free lambs were infected with Giardia trophozoites; control lambs received saline solution. Clinical signs of infection, body weight, and feed intake were determined for 10 weeks. Carcass weight and quality were determined at slaughter weight of 45 kg.

Results

Giardia infection persisted from weeks 7 to 16. For 5 weeks after challenge exposure, abnormal feces were more frequently observed in infected lambs. Giardia infection was associated with a decrease in rate of weight gain and impairment in feed efficiency. Time to reach slaughter weight was extended in infected lambs, and the carcass weight of Giardia-infected lambs was lower than that of control lambs.

Conclusion

Giardiasis has a negative effect on domestic ruminant production.

Clinical Relevance

Giardiasis in domestic ruminants is an economically important disease, thus necessitating control or elimination of the infection.

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