Sensitivity of periparturient breakdown of immunity to parasites to dietary protein source

P Sakkas, JGM Houdijk, S Athanasiadou, I Kyriazakis

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13 Citations (Scopus)


Effects of increased MP supply on the degree of periparturient relaxation of immunity (PPRI) in sheep may be dependent on quality of supplied MP. Here we tested the hypothesis that additional MP supply from rations based on xylose-treated soybean meal would be more effective than from rations based on faba beans in reducing the degree of PPRI, as indicated by nematode egg excretion. Twenty-four multiplebearing ewes were trickle infected with Teladorsagia circumcincta larvae from d −56 to d 31 relative to start of lactation (d 0). From d −26 onwards, ewes were fed at either 0.8 (LP) or at 1.2 times their respective calculated MP requirements using either xylose-treated soybean (HPS) or faba beans (HPB). Litter size was adjusted to 2 lambs at parturition. Feeding treatments did not affect nematode egg excretion, ewe BW or BCS during late pregnancy (P > 0.10), but HPS and HPB ewes had reduced plasma pepsinogen concentrations (P = 0.003). During lactation, HPS and HPB feeding increased ewe BW gain (P < 0.001) and BCS (P = 0.017), and reduced plasma pepsinogen concentrations (P = 0.008) to the same extent, compared with LP feeding. However, only HPS feeding increased litter weight gain (P = 0.017) and reduced nematode egg excretion (P = 0.015), which were both similar between HPB and LP (P > 0.10). The results support the view that extra MP supply from xylose-treated soybean based rations is more effective in reducing parasitism than MP from faba bean-based rations, suggesting that protein source and/or quality are important factors to consider for the nutritional control of parasitism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3954 - 3962
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Animal Science
Issue number11
Publication statusFirst published - 2012


  • Ewe
  • Faba beans
  • Fecal egg count
  • Protein quality
  • Soybean meal
  • Teladorsagia circumcincta


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