The decline in faecal egg counts, characteristic of calves which have been experimentally infected with Ostertagia ostertagi, is analysed using a mathematical model in which parasite fecundity is assumed to be an inverse function of both the duration and intensity of infection. The model incorporates a description of the frequency distribution of mature parasites between hosts (which is less over-dispersed than is usual for many other helminth infections). The model provides a good overall description of the decline in faecal egg production observed during trickle and single infection experiments. The main discrepancy between a comparison of the model predictions and the results of the most detailed available series of trickle infection experiments occurs at the initial peak of egg production. The magnitude of this difference appears to be related to the worm burden at the peak of egg production. The possible mechanisms underlying density-dependent regulation of the fecundity of O. ostertagia are discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Animal Science and Zoology
- Infectious Diseases