Four grass plots were sequentially contaminated with goat faeces containing known numbers of unembryonated eggs of predominantly Haemonchus contortus and Trichostrongylus spp. between October 1982 and April 1983. Four other plots were similarly contaminated with sheep faeces between February and May 1987. An additional plot was repeatedly contaminated with sheep faeces from February to April 1987. Populations of free-living stages in faeces and of infective larvae (L3) in the herbage were subsequently monitored until the end of April and June of 1983 and 1987 respectively. During February and May 1987 two control cultures of sheep faeces were incubated in the laboratory at 25 degrees C-30 degrees C and at a constant temperature of 50 degrees C and the free-living development was also monitored. L3 developed very readily in the faeces cultured at 25 degrees C-30 degrees C and in those spread on a grass plot in October, at the end of the wet season, but developed less on the plot contaminated in May at the start of the wet season. Worm eggs in faeces deposited on plots during the hot dry season (December to April) or incubated at 50 degrees C died and disintegrated after 24-48 h exposure to the high environmental temperatures. The results indicate that it is unlikely that gastrointestinal nematodes of sheep and goats can develop or survive on open pasture during the dry season in the Nigerian derived savanna zone.
Veterinary Research Communications 02/1989; 13(2):103-12. DOI:10.1007/BF00346720