Investigation of mucosal immunity to gastrointestinal nematodes in Ontario goats

Lead Applicant: Emma Borkowski

Research Priority: Animal Health & Welfare 

Program Type: Tier 1

Funding Cycle: 2023/2024

Research Centre: NA

Research Summary: Gastrointestinal nematodes (GINs) are serious pathogens in goats, and resistance to dewormers is common. Genetic selection of livestock for immunologic GIN resistance is a sustainable tool to mitigate the impact of GINs but has not been investigated in Canadian goats. This project will evaluate salivary antibody to carbohydrate larval antigen (CarLA) as a marker of immunologic GIN resistance in Ontario goats. Thirty farms will be recruited, and each will enrol ten goats in each of the following age groups: <1 year, yearling, and 2+ years. GIN parasitism will be monitored monthly from June to September, and saliva samples collected in October to assess CarLA antibody. The relationship between CarLA antibody and parasitism will be modeled to determine if CarLA antibody reflects immunity to GINs, and at which age screening should be performed. The results can be incorporated into genetic selection programs to improve the health and welfare of Ontario goats.