Genetic Selection for Resistance to Gastrointestinal Parasitism in Meat Goats and Hair Sheep through a Performance Test with Artificial Infection of Haemonchus contortus
by Yoko Tsukahara (IGA Board member), Terry A. Gipson (IGA member), Steven P. Hart (IGA member), Lionel Dawson, Zaisen Wang, Ryszard Puchala, Tilahun Sahlu (IGA Board member), and Arthur L. Goetsch (IGA member)
Internal parasitism has been an important constraint to small ruminant production and anthelmintic resistance has become a worldwide issue. This study evaluated a 3-year genetic selection program through activities on-farm and a centralized performance test and also provided estimates of genetic parameters of growth and response to artificial infection with Haemonchus contortus by goats and sheep in the southcentral USA. Considerable species as well as breed differences were found in average daily gain and response to parasite infection. Average daily gain was greater for Boer than for Kiko and Spanish goats and slightly greater for Dorper than for St. Croix sheep. Infection level (number of eggs found in feces) of Spanish and St. Croix were relatively low each year, whereas that of Kiko and Dorper was lower after selection. An indicator of anemia (packed cell volume) did not always reflect infection level, which is probably reflective of differences among animals in resilience and susceptibility to haemonchosis. Moderate to high heritabilities were found for growth performance and response to parasite infection for growing meat goat and hair sheep males under a standardized environment that suggests considerable potential for genetic improvement through selection.
John Sanders, Yue Xie, David Gazzola, Hanchen Li, Ambily Abraham, Kelly Flanagan, Florentina Rus, Melanie Millerd, Yan Hu, Sierra Guynn, Austin Draper, Sridhar Vakalapudi, Katherine H. Petersson, Dante Zarlenga, Robert W. Li, Joseph F. Urban Jr., Gary R. Ostroff, Anne Zajac, and Raffi V. Aroian
Haemonchus contortus is a critical parasite of goats and sheep. Infection by this blood-feeding gastrointestinal nematode (GIN) parasite has significant health consequences, especially in lambs and kids. The parasite has developed resistance to virtually all known classes of small molecule anthelmintics used to treat it, giving rise in some areas to multidrug resistant parasites that are very difficult to control. Thus, new anthelmintics are urgently needed. Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) crystal protein 5B (Cry5B), a naturally occurring protein made by a bacterium widely and safely used around the world as a bioinsecticide, represents a new non-small molecule modality for treating GINs. Cry5B has demonstrated anthelmintic activities against parasites of monogastric animals, including some related to those that infect humans, but has not yet been studied in a ruminant. Here we show that H. contortus adults are susceptible to Cry5B protein in vitro. Cry5B produced in its natural form as a spore-crystal lysate against H. contortus infections in goats had no significant efficacy. However, a new Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) paraprobiotic form of Cry5B called IBaCC (Inactivated Bacterium with Cytosolic Crystals), in which Cry5B crystals are encapsulated in dead Bt cell wall ghosts, showed excellent efficacy in vitro against larval stages of H. contortus and relative protein stability in bovine rumen fluid. When given to sheep experimentally infected with H. contortus as three 60 mg/kg doses, Cry5B IBaCC resulted in significant reductions in fecal egg counts (90%) and parasite burdens (72%), with a very high impact on female parasites (96% reduction). These data indicate that Cry5B IBaCC is a potent new treatment tool for small ruminants in the battle against H. contortus.
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