The nematophagous fungus Duddingtonia flagrans, used for the biological control of gastrointestinal nematodes in livestock, is fed to infected animals so its chlamydospores and the parasite eggs are voided together with faeces where the fungus preys on nematode larvae, thus reducing pasture infectivity. The number of chlamydospores needed for the fungus to be efficient in the presence of a wide range in numbers of parasitic eggs is largely unknown and a matter of discussion. The aim of this study was to determine the fungal efficacy of four different chlamydospore concentrations against three different levels of cattle faecal egg counts. Fungal concentrations of 11000, 6250, 3000 and 1000 chlamydospores/gram of faeces (cpg) were added to cultures containing 840, 480 or 100 eggs/gram of faeces (epg). After 14 days of incubation, the efficacy of D. flagrans, in decreasing order of chlamydospore concentrations, ranged from 100% (P < 0.0001) to 77% (P > 0.0999) in the 100 epg groups; 100% (P < 0.0001) to 92% (P = 0.4625) in the 480 epg groups and 100% (P < 0.0001) to 96% (P = 0.7081) in the 840 epg groups. The results indicate that the numbers of eggs in cattle faeces were not a determining factor on the fungal efficacy against gastrointestinal nematodes.
Keywords: Biological control; Cattle; Chlamydospores; Duddingtonia flagrans; Gastrointestinal nematodes; Nematophagous fungi.
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