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Milk and milk components reduce the motility of Ostertagia circumcinta larvae in vitro

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-16, 16:18 authored by Zeng, S, Brown, SC, Przemeck, SMC, Simpson, HVS
AIM: To examine the effects in vitro of bovine milk and milk products and soymilk on the motility of sheathed and exsheathed L3 Ostertagia circumcincta (also known as Teladorsagia circumcincta) as a measure of larval viability and infectivity. METHODS: L3 were exsheathed in 0.2% sodium hypochlorite, resuspended in Hanks Balanced Salt Solution (HBSS) pH 7.4 and incubated with test solutions at 37°C for up to 48 h. The motility of 50 larvae from each incubate was assessed at selected times using a McMaster slide. Larvae were considered immotile only if straight and not moving. Fresh bovine milk, homogenised milk (3.3% fat), low-fat milk (0.2% fat) and lamb milk replacer were diluted with HBSS pH 7.4 to concentrations from 1.6-100%, and incubated with exsheathed L3 for 1, 24 or 48 h. Bovine whey protein was tested in concentrations of 5-15% at pH 2.5-6.5, casein at 5 or 7.5%, and skim milk powder from 5-15% at pH 5.5 or 6.5, all for 2, 4 or 24 h. Soymilk was tested in concentrations of 1.6-100% for 1, 2, 24 or 48 h. HBSS was used as the control solution. Sheathed L3 were incubated in HBSS pH 7.4, 50% homogenised milk in HBSS, or 50% soymilk in HBSS. Each solution was incubated for 1, 2, 24 or 48 h. RESULTS: The motility of exsheathed L3 was reduced by fresh bovine milk, homogenised milk, low-fat milk, lamb milk replacer, whey, casein and skim milk solutions, but not by soymilk. The mean percentage (and SE) immotile at 48 h were: fresh milk 38% (SE 20); homogenised milk 65% (SE 7); low-fat milk 57% (SE 5); lamb milk replacer 43% (SE 7); and soymilk 7% (SE 0.5). Larval immotility increased in whey protein solutions from 5-15%, from pH 2.5-6.5 and from 2 to 24 h (all p<0.001); in skim milk from 5-15% (p<0.001), and was greater at pH 6.5 than at pH 5.5 (p<0.001); in casein from 5-7.5% (p<0.001), but was no different at pH 5.5 and 6.5. The motility of sheathed L3 was reduced at 24 h (p=0.009) and 48 h (p<0.001) by 50% homogenised milk, but not by 50% soymilk or HBSS. CONCLUSIONS: Bovine milk proteins, or components associated with the proteins, reduced the motility of both sheathed and exsheathed L3 O. circumcincta. Soymilk had no effect on nematode motility. Lower larval motility may reduce worm establishment and be a contributing factor to the smaller burdens of gastrointestinal nematodes in milk-fed animals compared with animals after weaning.


Publication title

New Zealand Veterinary Journal










School of Health Sciences


New Zealand Veterinary Journal

Place of publication

New Zealand

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Sheep for meat

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