Prevalence of pasture-associated metazoal endoparasites in Bavarian dairy goat herds and farmers' approaches to parasite control

Berl Munch Tierarztl Wochenschr. 2016 Jul-Aug;129(7-8):323-32.


The majority of dairy goat farms in Bavaria operate pasture-based systems. Endoparasites are therefore a common problem affecting health and productivity of these herds. Pooled faecal samples from 37 commercial dairy goat farms in Bavaria were examined by modified McMaster, flotation, sedimentation and Baermann funnel techniques. In addition, a questionnaire was used to gather information on farmers' perceptions and parasite management efforts. The average trichostrongyle faecal egg count across the 37 farms was 620 epg, with a median of 450 epg (1st quartile: 135 epg; 3rd quartile: 930 epg; range: < 30 to 3090 epg). Fasciola hepatica eggs were detected on four farms, Moniezia expansa eggs on one, Muellerius capillaris larvae on 13 and Dicrocoelium dendriticum eggs in none of the samples. Following coproculture third stage larvae of trichostrongyle species were identified morphologically. Sufficient larval numbers were obtained from samples from 23 farms. Haemonchus spp. was the most abundant larval genus and accounted for 30.4% of all larvae examined (n = 4868), followed by Trichostrongylus spp. (27.5%), Teladorsagia spp. (21.8%) and Oesophagostomum spp./Chabertia spp. (19.0%; these two genera were not differentiated). Further nematodes were identified according to their egg morphology: Nematodirus spp were present on nine farms, Skrjabinema spp. on nine, Trichuris spp. on five and Strongyloides spp. were not detected in any of the samples. The questionnaire results indicated a widespread lack of farmer awareness of appropriate parasite management and treatment measures. Farmer and veterinary education is therefore important to avoid future resistance problems caused by under-dosing or inappropriate treatments.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Communicable Disease Control / methods
  • Dairying / methods
  • Feces / parasitology
  • Germany / epidemiology
  • Goat Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Goat Diseases / parasitology
  • Goat Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Goats
  • Intestinal Diseases, Parasitic / epidemiology
  • Intestinal Diseases, Parasitic / prevention & control
  • Intestinal Diseases, Parasitic / veterinary*
  • Parasite Egg Count / veterinary
  • Prevalence
  • Strongylida Infections / epidemiology
  • Strongylida Infections / prevention & control
  • Strongylida Infections / veterinary*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires