Master of Science (MS)


Veterinary Medical Sciences - Pathobiological Sciences

Document Type



Among the gastrointestinal nematode parasites that cause the most problems to small ruminants, Haemonchus contortus is one of major concern. Currently, the control of H. contortus and others is almost entirely based on the use of anthelmintics. Consequently, anthelmintic resistance has developed worldwide and this has become a serious problem in small ruminant nematode parasite control programs. In view of this, there is a need for alternative control methods. The use of Copper-Oxide Wire Particles (COWP) to help reduce parasite burden is one such alternative. Three trials were conducted to determine the effect of COWP on the reduction of H. contortus in ewes (Summer, 2002, and Spring, 2003) and lambs (Summer, 2002). Each trial followed similar protocols where the animals were allocated to treatment and control groups based on fecal egg count (FEC). COWP boluses were administered to the treatment group and infection level was monitored over a period of time by weekly determination of FEC and blood PCV. Serum copper levels were determined before and at the end of each trial. Feces were also collected every other week for coproculture, which was used to determine relative distribution of infective larvae genera. Results of all three trials indicated that COWP were effective in reducing FEC for a period of 4-5 weeks. There was no difference in PCV between groups for any trial. Coproculture indicated that the reduced FEC was primarily due to a reduction in H. contortus. Serum copper levels were either below or within normal range before treatment and remained within normal limits at the end of the trials. The results from these trials demonstrated that the use of COWP reduced H. contortus infection and this may be useful in conjunction with other nematode parasite control methods.



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Committee Chair

James E Miller