Comparison of infection rates of Oestrus ovis between sheep and goats kept in mixed flocks.Vet Parasitol. 2006 Jun 15; 138(3-4):382-5.VP
Oestrosis is a nasal myiasis of sheep and goats caused by larvae of the fly Oestrus ovis and can lead to severe clinical signs, which together with the disturbance caused by the adult fly may result into serious economic losses. Infection rates and larval burdens are always higher in sheep than in goats after either natural or artificial infestation. The aim of this study was to compare the host preference of the adult fly O. ovis between sheep and goats in mixed flocks, where they are kept together under the same husbandry conditions and hence, are very similarly exposed to the fly preference. Blood sera samples were collected from a total of 397 sheep and 335 goats, from 43 mixed flocks located at different regions of Greece. Antibodies specific to O. ovis IgG were measured by ELISA. A flock was considered positive when at least one individual was positive, i.e. showed a seropositivity of >or=20% in relation to positive control sera. A total of 193 (48.6%) sheep and 58 (17.9%) goats were found to be seropositive against O. ovis. Thirty-eight (88.4%) out of 43 flocks had at least one seropositive animal. The mean seroconversion against O. ovis in animals from the different flocks was 38.6% and 13.6% for sheep and goats, respectively, whereas the variance of infection within each flock was 0-100%. The mean seropositivity between sheep that were found to be positive or negative was 60.6% and 5.4%, respectively, whereas the corresponding values between goats were 35.2% and 5.2%, respectively. No significant difference in the seroconversion values was noted between flocks from the different areas (P=0.817), whereas a very significant difference was observed between animal species (P=0.001). However, there was no significant difference when seroconversion comparisons were made within samples of the same animals species, sheep or goats from different flocks of all the regions included in the study (P=0.695). The results of this study clearly demonstrate that O. ovis has a widespread distribution in Greece, and the seroprevalence is significantly higher in sheep than goats (P=0.001).