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Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 52(7)

The prevalence of lice (Bovicola ovis) in sheep flocks on the central and southern Tablelands of New South Wales

S. Popp A, J. Eppleston B, B. R. Watt B, S. Mansfield A and R. D. Bush C D

A Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia.
B Tablelands Livestock, Health and Pest Authority, Bathurst, NSW 2795, Australia.
C Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Sydney, Camden, NSW 2570, Australia.
D Corresponding author. Email: russell.bush@sydney.edu.au

Animal Production Science 52(7) 659-664 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/AN11240
Submitted: 18 October 2011  Accepted: 8 February 2012   Published: 3 April 2012

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In response to suggestions that the incidence of louse infestations in New South Wales has increased markedly, a survey of 173 producers was conducted in the Tablelands Livestock Health and Pest Authority region using visual detection and a questionnaire to document retrospective lice history. An estimated apparent prevalence of 16.5% is a moderate increase from the 10% reported in 2004. On a subset of the surveyed sheep flocks sheep, lice-specific immunoassay conducted by the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries were used to detect low levels of infestation that were not identified by visual detection. This provided a true prevalence estimate of 30%. These results will be used to promote improved control and preventative strategies.

Additional keywords: lice detection kit, shearing, visual inspection, wool.


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