Life Cycle Stages Of The Barbers Pole Worm

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Endoparisites live inside its host mainly inhabiting the stomach as it is the perfect condition. The most common and dangerous endoparasite to sheep in Australia is the barbers pole worm. These specific worms thrive in warm moist, conditions and especially after rainfall. These blood sucking worms can grow up to 20- 30mm and female worms are capable of laying up to 10 000 eggs a day.

The barber’s pole worm has three main life cycle stages of the dung, pasture and host stage (Figure 1). The dung stage is when the dung passes through the sheep onto the grass with the worms hatching and developing on the grass .The next stage is the pasture stage is the writhing movement resulting
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The time is usually 2 weeks since the worm larvae cannot live for over 2 weeks without living a host. This method also limits the amount of faeces on the paddock that enable the larvae to find a host.

Immunity is more of a long time resistance against internal parasitises. Sheep have an ability to build a resistance against worms as their body produces more effective and stronger antibodies to fight these worms. Unfortunately worms can do this to since they can also build an immunity to the drenches that are used. Long term exposure to the same drench over a long period of time results in the worm building a more effective immunity. Due to the fact that not all of the worms die when drenched this specific genetic mutation is passed onto the next generation of worms.
Genetics play a massive role in the fight against barber’s pole and is clearly evident in the vets data result. The test that the vet conducted came back with the ram having a worm egg count of 0. This either because the ram has very good genetics or that the agistment that he was placed on had an effective method in the management of worms.

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