Two worm-free grass paddocks, P1 and P2, were artificially contaminated in March and April-May, respectively, with bovine faeces containing known numbers of trichostrongyle (mainly Cooperia, Haemonchus and Trichostrongylus spp.) eggs in order to determine the relative contributions of late dry-season and early rains pasture contaminations to the wet-season herbage larval infestation in Nsukka, eastern Nigeria. The resulting herbage infestation was assessed by means of larval counts and tracer studies. A sudden rise in herbage infestation occurred simultaneously in both paddocks in late April, this apparently being determined by the onset of the first substantial rainfall of the wet season. Peak infestations in both paddocks also occurred simultaneously in May. The infestation in P1 was much larger, and the larval population persisted longer, than that in P2 and later gave rise to a second smaller peak in June. No L3 were recovered in herbage samples from either of the paddocks after the third week of July. Both paddocks were infective to goats in May-June, while P2 was also infective in July-August. The results suggest that in the Nigerian derived savanna the initial wet-season herbage infestation in pastures grazed by infected cattle during the dry and wet seasons will consist of L3 from late dry-season and early rains pasture contaminations, the former being the major contributor to the infestation. Consequently, pastures contaminated during the late dry season may not be safe for susceptible animals to graze at the start of the succeeding rainy season.
Veterinary Parasitology 05/1988; 28(1-2):115-23. DOI:10.1016/0304-4017(88)90023-4