Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Cow’s resistance to worms is genetically determined

10.10.2003


Research carried out in the Netherlands has revealed that the genetic background of cattle apparently determines how quickly and effectively they acquire immunity to infections from gastrointestinal worms. Such infections cause considerable economic losses in the beef farming industry. During her doctoral research, Kirezi Kanobana investigated how cattle rid themselves of worms and prevent new infections.



Kanobana used an infection model in which, based on their genetic background, animals exhibited varying degrees of resistance to gastrointestinal worms. Broadly speaking there are three groups of animals. Two percent of the animals are naturally immune to a first infection. Another group reacts to the first infection with an effective immune response. In the event of a second infection these animals are protected. A third group is highly sensitive for infection and scarcely acquires any immunity even after repeated infections.

The researcher distinguished the three groups of animals by using two types of measurement. Three-month-old calves were infected with 100,000 larvae of a small-intestinal worm. After the infection an initial distinction was made on the basis of parasitological variables such as worm counts and the detection of eggs in the animals’ excreta. Secondly, immunological parameters were used to confirm the three groups of animals.


In an animal that has no resistance to a worm infection, the worms occur in the first part of the small intestine. In animals that develop resistance, worms are translocated towards the end of the small intestine.

Interestingly the male worms disappear out of the intestine first, followed by the female worms. This conclusion is based on a study six different parts of the small intestine, which in calves has a length of between 25 to 40 metres. In addition to this, Kanobana also discovered a number of mechanisms that are responsible for ensuring the disappearance of the worms from the small intestine.

Cattle pick up larvae from the grass, which develop into adult worms in the cattle’s gastrointestinal system. The worms reproduce sexually and lay eggs. The eggs pass out of the cattle with the excreta. In the dung, the eggs can once more develop into larvae. In this manner cattle can continually be reinfected by eating the grass.

Preventative anti-worm drugs are effective but are a potential risk to public health, as they are sometimes found in dairy and meat products. An understanding of how cattle acquire immunity might contribute to the development of a vaccine, which would be a good alternative for preventing gastrointestinal worm infections.

Sonja Jacobs | alfa
Further information:
http://www.nwo.nl

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht New 3-D model predicts best planting practices for farmers
26.06.2017 | Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

nachricht Fighting a destructive crop disease with mathematics
21.06.2017 | University of Cambridge

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

Im Focus: Laser-cooled ions contribute to better understanding of friction

Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision

Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA looks to solar eclipse to help understand Earth's energy system

21.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

Stanford researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot

21.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Vortex photons from electrons in circular motion

21.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>