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Endoparasites in Ruminants
This practical covers the most common and, in many cases, the most pathogenic endoparasites of cattle, sheep and goats. Most of these nematodes, trematodes or cestodes inhabit specific parts of the gastrointestinal tract (GIT). But pulmonal nematodes (Dictyocaulus spp.), intestinal coccidia (Eimeria spp.) and piroplasms (Babesia divergens) living in the blood stream are also included.
The trichostrongylid nematodes (superfamily Trichostrongyloidea) are thin and thread-like worms found in the anterior part of GIT. They have sexual dimorphism and are bursogenic like the rest of the order Strongylida. Speciation of trichostrongylids is in most cases based on features of the male, i.e. the shape and size of spicules and bursa, whereas speciation of females is usually more complicated.
The hermaphodritic trematodes (flukes) are recognized by their two suckers, shape and size; speciation is based on the specific morphology of internal structures.
Eimeria spp. oocysts in faeces can be speciated by presence of micropyle and/or polar cap and size, best after sporulation. It is, however, a specialist’s job.
B. divergens
is recognized as double pear-like (pyriform) structures, placed in the periphery of erythrocytes like hands of a clock.

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© Department of Veterinary Disease Biology 2011
Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences - University of Copenhagen