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Abstract

Shining a Light on Haemonchus contortus in Sheep †

1
The Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation, The University of Queensland, St. Lucia, Queensland 4067, Australia
2
CSIRO Agriculture and Food, St. Lucia, Queensland 4067, Australia
3
The School of Public Health, The University of Queensland, Herston, Queensland 4006, Australia
4
Department of Food Science and Technology, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA
5
The School of Agriculture & Food Sciences, The University of Queensland, Gatton, Queensland 4343, Australia
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Presented at the third International Tropical Agriculture Conference (TROPAG 2019), Brisbane, Australia, 11–13 November 2019.
Proceedings 2019, 36(1), 138; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019036138
Published: 2 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Proceedings of The Third International Tropical Agriculture Conference (TROPAG 2019))
Heavy infestations of the Barber’s pole worm, Haemonchus contortus, can cause severe wasting, morbidity and mortality in animals if not promptly treated. The current detection methods for this blood-sucking parasite involve faecal worm egg counts and diagnosis of anaemia, both of which are time consuming and require expertise. As blood is detected in sheep faeces sooner during infection than worm eggs, quantitative evaluation of blood may serve as a sensitive indicator of H. contortus infection. Here we investigated the feasibility of rapid estimation of haemoglobin (Hb) in sheep faeces using visible near-infrared spectroscopy. Haemoglobin (Hb) was assessed at various concentrations in moist sheep faeces using portable visible near-infrared (vis-NIR) spectrometers. Calibration models were developed for the region of 400–600 nm, where Hb absorption bands can be found. Within this wavelength region, Hb in sheep faeces can be estimated with minimal interference from background moisture (970 nm) or chlorophyll (670 nm), suggesting that difference in diets in sheep will have minimal effect on prediction accuracy. Predictions for sheep faeces based on a drenching threshold of 3 µg Hb/mg faeces showed high levels of accuracy with minimal sample preparation (Sensitivity = 89%, specificity = 80%). The success in detecting Hb in sheep faeces indicates the potential of vis-NIR spectroscopy as a rapid, on-farm diagnostic method for predicting blood in sheep faeces, and timing treatment of H. contortus infections.
Keywords: Haemonchus contortus; visible-near infrared spectroscopy; portable spectroscopy; gastrointestinal nematode diagnosis; haemoglobin; faeces; NIR Haemonchus contortus; visible-near infrared spectroscopy; portable spectroscopy; gastrointestinal nematode diagnosis; haemoglobin; faeces; NIR
MDPI and ACS Style

Kho, E.; Fernandes, J.; Kotze, A.; Lord, M.; Fox, G.; Beasley, A.; Moore, S.; James, P. Shining a Light on Haemonchus contortus in Sheep. Proceedings 2019, 36, 138. https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019036138

AMA Style

Kho E, Fernandes J, Kotze A, Lord M, Fox G, Beasley A, Moore S, James P. Shining a Light on Haemonchus contortus in Sheep. Proceedings. 2019; 36(1):138. https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019036138

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kho, Elise, Jill Fernandes, Andrew Kotze, Maggy Lord, Glen Fox, Anne Beasley, Stephen Moore, and Peter James. 2019. "Shining a Light on Haemonchus contortus in Sheep" Proceedings 36, no. 1: 138. https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019036138

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