Gebäude 35, 22, 23
Tel.+49 30 838 62310 Fax.+49 30 838 62323
In grazing cattle, infections with gastrointestinal nematodes pose some of the most important health threats and subclinical infections result in considerable production losses. While there is little doubt that climate change will affect grazing ruminants directly, mean temperature increases of ∼3°C and longer drought stress periods in summer may also influence the free-living stages of parasitic nematodes. Hostile climatic conditions reduce the number of L3s on pasture and therefore the refugium, which is expected to result in a higher selection pressure, accelerating development of resistance against anthelmintic drugs. The aim of the current experiments was to investigate the effects of drought stress and different temperature/humidity ranges over time on the survival and fitness of Cooperia oncophora L3s and their distribution in grass and soil under controlled conditions using a climate chamber. Grass containers inoculated with L3s were analysed after 1-6weeks using descriptive statistics as well as linear models. A large proportion of L3s was recovered from soil where fitness was also better preserved than on grass. Numbers and fitness of recovered L3s declined with duration in the climate chamber under both temperature profiles. However, the results of the linear models confirmed that higher temperatures (20-33°C versus 17-22.6°C) significantly impaired survival, distribution and fitness of L3s. Application of drought stress, known as another important factor, had a surprisingly smaller impact than its duration or higher temperatures. The climate chamber enabled exclusion of confounding factors and therefore accurate interpretation of the investigated climatic aspects. The obtained results highlight the relative importance of those factors, and will help to design better models for the population dynamics of L3s on pasture in the future. Additionally, the outcomes of these investigations may offer explanations regarding interdependencies of development of anthelmintic resistance and the presence of hot/dry weather conditions.