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Acta Parasitologica, Vol.44, No. 4, 1999, 274-280
Moskwa Bozena - The immune response against gastrointestinal nematodes in naturally infected Polish Wrzosowka sheep. II. The serum IgG response to nematode somatic antigens in young ewes over three grazing seasons.

W. Stefanski Institute of Parasitology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Twarda 51/55, 00-818 Warszawa, Poland

A longitudinal study in young Polish Wrzosowka ewes, naturally infected with gastrointestinal nematodes, was carried out to examine the association between parasite-specific IgG antibody and faecal egg counts. IgG activity varied among the young ewes in each sampling month. The highest individual values were measured in the second half of the each season, when the overall means were highest. The distribution of IgG activity among individuals was unimodal with a positive skew. This study appears the first to examine the distribution, among animals and over time, of IgG responses to natural mixed infection. Serum IgG responses were repeatable and significantly associated with reduced nematode faecal egg counts. A combination of faecal egg counts and IgG responses can be used to identify animals with increased resistance to nematode infection in this breed of sheep.

KEY WORDS: gastrointestinal nematodes, natural infection, ewes, EPG, IgG, repeatability, ELISA
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