Helminth infections are the cause of morbidity in Cambodian cattle but other factors such as nutritional deficiencies and concurrent diseases may enhance the effects of parasites. The present study aimed to investigate the impact of anthelmintic treatment, feed supplementation, or both on gastrointestinal strongyle (GIS) and trematode infections as well as on morbidity parameters in Cambodian village cattle. At the beginning of the dry season, cattle populations in six villages were randomly assigned to a group: (A) receiving anthelmintic treatment (ivermectin+clorsulon) at week 0; (P) feed pellet supplementation during week 0-13 or both (AP). On five visits (week 0-29), faecal and blood samples were obtained for parasitological examination and haematocrit determination, respectively. Body condition (BCS), hind quarter fouling (HQFS), diarrhoea (DS), and conjunctiva colour (FAMACHA(©)) were scored and heart girth circumference was determined. To investigate the impact of treatment over time (week 0-29), a mixed model was used with treatment, time, and their interaction as fixed effects, and animal and village as random factors. At baseline, the proportion of GIS positive animals was high (67.9%), whereas trematode infections were low (Paramphistomum: 8.8%; Fasciola: 2.6%). Very thin to emaciated cattle (BCS 1-2) were more prevalent (11.4%) and FAMACHA(©) scores of ≤3 or below (65.8%) less prevalent than in an earlier study in the region. A Time ⨯ Treatment interaction was present for faecal egg counts (FEC) of GIS, GIS prevalence (both p<0.0001), PCV (p=0.0034), DS (p=0.0086) and HQFS (p=0.0241). For GIS FEC, treatment groups differed at a specific time point, with levels of treatment group P being higher than in A at week 6 (p=0.0054). For Paramphistomum prevalence as well as FAMACHA(©) scoring, heart girth and BCS, the interaction between treatment and time was not significant, yet, time in itself had a significant impact on all (p<0.0001). The beneficial effects of protein supplementation were unclear from the current study.
- Journal Article