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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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Abstract

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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