Master of Science (MS)


Animal Science (Animal, Dairy, and Poultry Sciences)

Document Type



Gastrointestinal nematodes (GIN) are parasites of major concern for domestic and exotic ruminant species around the world. In the past, zoological facilities used anthelmintics as their primary control method. Challenges in accurate dosing and administration of anthelmintics to exotic hoofstock contributed to the development of resistant nematode populations in zoological settings. The historic dependency on anthelmintics to control GIN populations is no longer an option. Biological alternatives are urgently needed, in both exotic and domestic ruminants, in the war against resistance. One such alternative is the use of the nematophagous fungus, Duddingtonia flagrans. Three independent studies were conducted: A nine day study in the spring of 2010, a nine day study in the spring of 2011, and a 12 week study in the summer of 2011. The first study evaluated the efficacy of D. flagrans chlamydospores, as a suspension mixed into feed, in reducing infective GIN in feces at a dose of 500,000 chlamydospores per kg/BW administered for 4 consecutive days to giraffe and antelope. The second and third studies evaluated the efficacy of a powdered mixture containing D. flagrans chlamydospores incorporated into feed in reducing infective GIN in feces at a dose of 30,000 chlamydospores per kg/BW administered for 4 consecutive days and 8 weeks, respectively, in giraffe, antelope, and gerenuk (study 3 only). For studies 1 and 2, fecal samples were collected daily to monitor fecal egg count and percent reduction of infective larvae (L3) in fecal cultures. For study 3, samples were collected on a weekly basis. Results from all 3 studies indicated that D. flagrans was effective in reducing L3 in the feces during the period of feeding, The results from these studies demonstrated that the use of D. flagrans in exotic artiodactylids infected with GIN could be a long term prophylactic tool to reduce forage infectivity. Used in conjunction with other control methods, D. flagrans could be part of the future of GIN parasite control in zoological facilities.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Miller, James