Immunity in calves against Dictyocaulus viviparus following a low primary infection

M Eysker, F N Kooyman, H W Ploeger

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    Thirty Holstein Friesian heifer calves, 3 months of age, were used to evaluate whether a low primary infection with Dictyocaulus viviparus would result in immunity against challenge infection 5 or 12 weeks later. Fifteen calves were experimentally infected with 30 larvae at day 0, while the other calves remained as uninfected controls. On day thirty-five 6 primary infected (G1) and 6 non-infected calves (G2) were challenged with 2000 larvae. These groups were necropsied on day 70. On day 84 the remaining 9 primary infected (G3) and 9 non-infected (G4) calves were similarly challenged and necropsied on day 119. Respiratory signs developed in most calves from approximately 2 weeks after challenge, but signs were more severe in G2 and G4 than in G1 and G3. The low primary infection resulted in significantly reduced faecal larval excretion (> 80%) and worm burdens (> 70%). In the primary infected groups the proportion of female worms in the worm burden was increased, suggesting that part of the developed immunity affected survival of the worms after their establishment in the host. Worm lengths and worm fecundity were also significantly reduced. All observed effects were stronger following challenge on day 84 than on day 35, but the effect of the duration of a primary infection (contrast between G1 and G3) was only statistically significant in the case of mean faecal larval excretion on the day of necropsy (P < 0.05) and fecundity (P < 0.05).

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)591-597
    Number of pages7
    Issue numberPt 6
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2001


    • Animals
    • Cattle
    • Cattle Diseases
    • Dictyocaulus
    • Dictyocaulus Infections
    • Feces
    • Female
    • Male
    • Parasite Egg Count
    • Random Allocation
    • Regression Analysis
    • Reproducibility of Results


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