A longitudinal study of a natural lice infestation in growing cattle over two winter periods.

A. S. Milnes, C. J. O'Callaghan, L. E. Green

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A group of 61 cattle which were naturally infested with lice was followed over two winter periods. Data were collected on the number of lice found at various body sites over this period. Summary statistics were produced and due to the repeated measured and hierarchical structure of the data, multi-level analysis was used to model the population dynamics of Bovicola bovis and assess the influence of the various hierarchical levels. A four level Poisson model was produced-level one, the individual number of lice at each parting; level two, the body site examined (shoulder, midline or rump); level three, the time of the inspection and level four, the animal. Seasonal fluctuation in lice numbers was modelled using a cosine function transformation of time. A seasonal pattern was seen in both years with lice counts higher in the first than the second year. The midline area was the most sensitive to detection of B. bovis. Variance contributed by the individual animal was less than that contributed by the body site examined and the time of the inspection. The model suggested that lice numbers within the shoulder and rump sites were near random following a Poisson distribution, but aggregation of lice occurred at the midline site with the distribution between animals following a Negative Binomial Pattern. The midline site was the most sensitive site for detecting B. bovis. Infestation numbers were higher in the first winter when cattle were younger. In the second winter, there was no difference in lice numbers between cattle exposed to infection for the first or second time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-83
Number of pages17
JournalVeterinary parasitology
Volume116
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 Aug 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • veterinary(all)

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