Barbervax® protects sheep against H. contortus infection; however, the level of protection afforded by the vaccine at different levels of larval challenge under field conditions has not been reported. Therefore, this study was designed to investigate the protective efficacy of Barbervax® at increasing doses of trickle infection with H. contortus third stage larvae (L3). Merino lambs (220) were randomly allocated to challenge treatment groups and received Barbervax® vaccinations at approximately 8, 11, 15 and 22 weeks of age or not vaccinated (control group). Animals within each treatment group were subjected to one of five levels of H. contortus L3 trickle infection (0, 300, 600, 1200 and 2400 L3/week in two split doses). Trickle infections started two weeks after the third vaccination (week 0). Worm egg count (WEC), packed cell volume (PCV), antibody titre and bodyweight were measured at week 2 (start of trickle infection), week 5 and then every two weeks for 11 weeks. Vaccinated weaners had a significantly (P 60%) and at the higher challenge levels did not reduce H. contortus infection to levels that would not require anthelmintic treatment. Therefore, it is suggested that under conditions of high larval challenge the use of Barbervax® should be integrated with other control methods.
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