Effect of feeding sericea lespedeza leaf meal in goats experimentally infected with Haemonchus contortus

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Effect of sericea lespedeza [SL; Lespedeza cuneata (Dum-Cours.) G. Don.] leaf meal feeding was evaluated in two experiments in indoor reared goats with experimental infection of Haemonchus contortus larvae. In the first experiment, ten 8-10 month old male Spanish and Alpine cross kids pair matched for body weight and age were fed SL or bermudagrass [BG; Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.] hay one week before infection and were infected with 5000 H. contortus L3. The animals were maintained on the same diet for the remaining period and were slaughtered 28 days post-infection (DPI) to determine the establishment of incoming infective larvae. Goats fed SL had lower establishment (P<0.05) of H. contortus larvae than that of the control goats fed BG hay. In the second experiment, twenty-five 8-10 months old male Alpine cross, Saanen, Nubian×Saanen and Spanish kids reared in confinement on BG were experimentally infected with 5000 H. contortus L3. On 35 DPI, the animals were allocated to two groups after blocking by fecal egg count (FEC), and one group was fed SL leaf meal (n=13), and another control group remained on BG (n=12). Four goats/group were slaughtered successively on days 7, 14, and 28 days post SL feeding, except on day 7, when five SL fed goats were slaughtered. Fecal egg counts and blood packed cell volume (PCV) were measured at weekly intervals and worm count, female worm fecundity, worm length and mucosal eosinophils, mast cells and globule leucocytes were measured after slaughter. Goats fed SL had a lower FEC (P<0.05) one week after feeding, as compared to those fed on BG, and the values remained at low level thereafter. Similarly, PCV was also significantly affected by feeding (P<0.01), and feeding and time interaction (P<0.05). However, worm burden, female worm fecundity, parasite length, and mucosal inflammatory cell count were similar between the groups. Feeding SL reduced the establishment of infective larvae and FEC of H. contortus in experimental studies and this plant could be used for biological control of parasite infection under field conditions to limit the harmful effects of the parasites in goats. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

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Veterinary Parasitology

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