Líffræðifélag Íslands - biologia.is
Líffræðiráðstefnan 2019

Erindi/veggspjald / Talk/poster V3

Lungworms in Icelandic sheep (Ovis aries) – prevalence, abundance and geographical distribution in 2018.

Höfundar / Authors: Hrafnkatla Eiríksdóttir (1), Karl Skírnisson (2), Stig Milan Thamsborg (1)

Starfsvettvangur / Affiliations: 1. The University of Copenhagen, 2. Tilraunastöð Háskóla Íslands í meinafræði að Keldum

Kynnir / Presenter: Hrafnkatla Eiríksdóttir

Masters project from the University of Copenhagen Since the 1960ies limited research has been made on lungworm infections in Icelandic ruminants (sheep, goats, cattle and reindeer), earlier pioneer studies were made at Keldur. Thus, at present time, little knowledge is available on lungworm infections in Icelandic ruminants.
The aim of our study was to improve this situation regarding sheep - detect the species composition, estimate infection prevalence and intensity and evaluate the present distribution of sheep lungworms. For this purpose, lungs were inspected at three abattoirs. Further, 717 faecal samples from 52 farms distributed over the country, were collected and analysed with the Baermann technique and larval counting. Additionally, faeces was sampled four times from October 2017 to April 2018 on six sheep farms in two distinct areas, to gather information on larval excretion changes during the cold months of the year. Larvae and adult worms obtained at the abattoirs and farm visits were examined morphologically and by using molecular tools.
In the study, two lungworm nematodes were detected. Muellerius capillaris was found everywhere in Iceland with an infection prevalence of 53.8%. The other species, a Prostostrongylus nematode, probably a single species, had a restricted distribution and was only detected in 2.8% of the examined sheep. On 98% of the farms at least one inspected sheep was infected with lungworms.