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The effect of garlic on Haemonchus contortus infection in goats

Z. Wang, E. Loetz, A. L. Goetsch, S. P. Hart, and T. Sahlu

Journal of Animal Science 86(E-Supplement 2):92. 2008

Garlic has been used in some countries as an ingredient in deworming remedies for humans and animals for many years. The study reported here determined the efficacy of garlic for treatment of H. contortus infection and effect on immune responses in goats. Twelve Spanish wethers (1.5 yr, 35 1.5 kg BW) naturally infected with H. contortus were allocated to two groups of six each and housed individually. Goats were fed hay-based diets (ME = 8.7 MJ/kg DM; CP = 10%) without or with 2% of garlic powder. The diets were offered for 4 wk at a maintenance level of intake. The initial mean fecal egg counts (FEC) were 4,983 1,973/g (range of 1,125 to 13,652/g) for the Control group and 8,654 3,548/g (range of 2,050 to 22,225/g) for the Garlic group. There was not a time x treatment interaction in FEC (P > 0.05). With initial FEC as a covariate, the garlic treatment reduced FEC (geometric mean: 7,872 38.6/g for Control and 699 38.4/g for Garlic, respectively; P < 0.001) during the experimental period. Serum concentrations of IgA, IgE, and IgG on d 0, 14, and 28 were not affected (P > 0.05) by garlic intake. The BW of goats did not change during the experiment and was not affected by treatment (P > 0.05). These data suggest that the decline in FEC may be attributable to cell mediated immunity rather than a humoral immune reaction or direct garlic toxicity to the parasites. The results demonstrate that garlic is a potent anthelmintic herb and warrant more work to elucidate the mechanism.


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