Haemonchus contortus: spatial risk distribution for infection in sheep in Europe

  • Laura Rinaldi | lrinaldi@unina.it Department of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Productions, University of Naples Federico II, Naples; CREMOPAR Campania Region, Naples, Italy.
  • Dolores Catelan Department of Statistics, Informatics and Applications “G. Parenti”, University of Florence, Italy.
  • Vincenzo Musella Department of Health Sciences, University “Magna Græcia” of Catanzaro, Catanzaro, Italy.
  • Lorenzo Cecconi Department of Statistics, Informatics and Applications “G. Parenti”, University of Florence, Italy.
  • Hubertus Hertzberg Institute of Parasitology, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Zurich, Switzerland.
  • Paul R. Torgerson Section of Epidemiology, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Zurich, Switzerland.
  • Fabien Mavrot Section of Epidemiology, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Zurich, Switzerland.
  • Theo de Waal UCD School of Veterinary Medicine, University College Dublin, Ireland.
  • Nikolaos Selemetas UCD School of Veterinary Medicine, University College Dublin, Ireland.
  • Tom Coll Teagasc, Mohill, Co Leitrim, Ireland.
  • Antonio Bosco Department of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Productions, University of Naples Federico II, Naples; CREMOPAR Campania Region, Naples, Italy.
  • Annibale Biggeri Department of Statistics, Informatics and Applications “G. Parenti”, University of Florence, Italy.
  • Giuseppe Cringoli Department of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Productions, University of Naples Federico II, Naples; CREMOPAR Campania Region, Naples, Italy.

Abstract

Haemonchus contortus is a species of gastrointestinal strongyles of primary concern for sheep. This highly pathogenic, blood-feeding helminth negatively influences animal health, welfare and productivity. In order to elucidate the current scenario in terms of prevalence and intensity of H. contortus infection in sheep farms across Europe, a standardized crosssectional survey was conducted in three pilot areas in Ireland, Switzerland and Italy, all part of the EU funded GLOWORM project. Two consecutive field surveys (in 2012 and 2013) were conducted in the three countries in the same period (August-October) in 259 sheep farms in total. Harmonized, diagnostic procedures (from farm to laboratory) based on pooled samples, the FLOTAC technique and coproculture were used. The georeferenced parasitological results were modelled (at the pilot area level) following a Bayesian geostatistical approach with correction for preferential sampling and accounting for climatic and environmental covariates. The observed H. contortus prevalence rates did vary between the countries showing high values in Switzerland (77%) and Italy (73%) compared to Ireland (4%). Spatial patterns of H. contortus distribution were detected in Switzerland and Italy with a north-south gradient. The latent factor analysis highlighted the importance of seasonality and annual cyclicity within country (particularly in southern Italy), while mean temperature and rainfall dominated between country variations in the prevalence of H. contortus infection.

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Published
2015-03-19
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Original Articles
Keywords:
Haemonchus contortus, gastrointestinal strongyles, spatial statistics, geographical information systems, sheep, Europe
Statistics
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How to Cite
Rinaldi, L., Catelan, D., Musella, V., Cecconi, L., Hertzberg, H., Torgerson, P. R., Mavrot, F., de Waal, T., Selemetas, N., Coll, T., Bosco, A., Biggeri, A., & Cringoli, G. (2015). Haemonchus contortus: spatial risk distribution for infection in sheep in Europe. Geospatial Health, 9(2), 325-331. https://doi.org/10.4081/gh.2015.355

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