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 Studies show integrated strategies work best for buffelgrass control
12.12.2019 | Cambridge University Press

nachricht The tips of a plant design its whole shape
09.12.2019 | Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

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: Virus multiplication in 3D

Vaccinia viruses serve as a vaccine against human smallpox and as the basis of new cancer therapies. Two studies now provide fascinating insights into their unusual propagation strategy at the atomic level.

For viruses to multiply, they usually need the support of the cells they infect. In many cases, only in their host’s nucleus can they find the machines,...

Im Focus: Cheers! Maxwell's electromagnetism extended to smaller scales

More than one hundred and fifty years have passed since the publication of James Clerk Maxwell's "A Dynamical Theory of the Electromagnetic Field" (1865). What would our lives be without this publication?

It is difficult to imagine, as this treatise revolutionized our fundamental understanding of electric fields, magnetic fields, and light. The twenty original...

Im Focus: Highly charged ion paves the way towards new physics

In a joint experimental and theoretical work performed at the Heidelberg Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics, an international team of physicists detected for the first time an orbital crossing in the highly charged ion Pr⁹⁺. Optical spectra were recorded employing an electron beam ion trap and analysed with the aid of atomic structure calculations. A proposed nHz-wide transition has been identified and its energy was determined with high precision. Theory predicts a very high sensitivity to new physics and extremely low susceptibility to external perturbations for this “clock line” making it a unique candidate for proposed precision studies.

Laser spectroscopy of neutral atoms and singly charged ions has reached astonishing precision by merit of a chain of technological advances during the past...

Im Focus: Ultrafast stimulated emission microscopy of single nanocrystals in Science

The ability to investigate the dynamics of single particle at the nano-scale and femtosecond level remained an unfathomed dream for years. It was not until the dawn of the 21st century that nanotechnology and femtoscience gradually merged together and the first ultrafast microscopy of individual quantum dots (QDs) and molecules was accomplished.

Ultrafast microscopy studies entirely rely on detecting nanoparticles or single molecules with luminescence techniques, which require efficient emitters to...

Im Focus: How to induce magnetism in graphene

Graphene, a two-dimensional structure made of carbon, is a material with excellent mechanical, electronic and optical properties. However, it did not seem suitable for magnetic applications. Together with international partners, Empa researchers have now succeeded in synthesizing a unique nanographene predicted in the 1970s, which conclusively demonstrates that carbon in very specific forms has magnetic properties that could permit future spintronic applications. The results have just been published in the renowned journal Nature Nanotechnology.

Depending on the shape and orientation of their edges, graphene nanostructures (also known as nanographenes) can have very different properties – for example,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

The Future of Work

03.12.2019 | Event News

First International Conference on Agrophotovoltaics in August 2020

15.11.2019 | Event News

Laser Symposium on Electromobility in Aachen: trends for the mobility revolution

15.11.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Supporting structures of wind turbines contribute to wind farm blockage effect

13.12.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Chinese team makes nanoscopy breakthrough

13.12.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Tiny quantum sensors watch materials transform under pressure

13.12.2019 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>