Changes in Faecal Egg Counts at Different Hours of the Day and Relationship between Faecal Egg Count and Parasite Burden in Sheep Naturally Infected with Dicrocoelium dendriticum


Abstract: The present study was carried out to determine the variations in the number of eggs excreted in the faeces at different hours of the day and the correlation between faecal egg counts and fluke burden in sheep naturally infected with Dicrocoelium dendriticum. For this purpose faecal samples were taken from 14 sheep at 1-h intervals from 07^{00} to 19^{00}. Faecal samples were examined by modified Benedek sedimentation method and mean egg counts per gram of faeces (EPG) for each hour (average of group) were calculated. In general, egg counts were found higher in faecal samples taken in the afternoon than those from the morning. Although the highest EPG value was observed at 17^{00} (61.3 ± 16.9), no statistical difference was found among the egg counts at different hours. In order to detect the fluke burden 7 sheep were necropsied after faecal sampling. The number of D. dendriticum recovered at necropsy of each animal varied between 200 and 759. While a positive correlation was observed between faecal egg count and total fluke count (r = 0.786, P < 0.01), no statistically significant correlation was found between gall bladder fluke count and total fluke count.

Keywords: Dicrocoelium dendriticum, egg count, fluke burden, sheep

Full Text: PDF