Introduce and usage of FAMACHA test for treatment management and selection of resistant animal to gastrointestinal nematodes in sheep


1 1Department of Animal Science, University of Tabriz, Tabriz, Iran

2 2Department of Pathobiology, Veterinary College, University of Tabriz, Tabriz, Iran


BACKGROUND: Gastrointestinal nematodes causing digestive problems, anemia and weight loss in sheep and goat. OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study is to introduce FAMACHA test and usage of it for early detection of infected animals with gastrointestinal nematodes (especially Haemonchus contortus) to reducing of treated sheep population with anthelmintic drug and selection of resistant animals. METHODS: In this study 120 Ghezel sheep breed lambs were used in age of 4 to 6 months. The lambs were chosen randomly from 6 different grazing flocks with 20 lambs in each of them. Sampling and FAMACHA test scoring was carried out in 2014. Blood samples was collected for calculating of packed cell volume percent and fecal sampling was collected for counting of egg per each grams of fecal and body weight was investigate. The sampling was carried out 2 times with a week apart. RESULTS: Results showed that the effects of FAMACHA, flocks and interaction between them on parasite eggs per gram of fecal was significant (p<0.01) and also the effect of FAMACHA on the percentage of packed cells volume was significant (p<0.01). CONCLUSIONS: It seems that the FAMACHA test scoring could be used as a synergetic and alternative method to early diagnosis of infestation to blood sucking nematodes and prevention of new cases of drug resistant and selection of resistant animals in Iran.

Key words: FAMACHA test, Haemonchus contorts parasite, Haemonchosis, sheep


Burke, J.M., Kaplan, R.M., Miller, J.E., Terrill, T.H., Getz, W.R., Mobini, S., Valencia, E., Williams, M.J., Williamson, L.H., Vatta., A.F. (2007) Accuracy of the FAMACHA system for on-farm use by sheep and goat producers in the Southeastern United States. Vet Parasitol. 147: 89-95. ##
Burke, J.M., Miller, J.E. (2008) Use of FAMACHA system to evaluate gastrointestinal nematode resistance/resilience in offspring of stud rams. Vet Parasitol. 153: 85-92. ##
Drudge, J.H., Leland, S.E., Wyant, Z.N. (1957) Strain variation in the response of sheep nematodes to the action of Phenothiazine. II. Studies on pure infections of Haemonchus contortus. Am J Vet Res. 18: 317-325. ##
Gasbarre, L.C., Leighton, E.A., Bryant, D. (1996) Reliability of a single fecal egg per gram determination as a measure of individual and herd values for Trichostrongyle nematodes of cattle. Am J Vet Res. 57: 168-171. ##
Glaji, Y.A., Mani, A.U., Bukar, M.M., Igbokwe, I.O. (2014) Reliability of FAMACHA chart for the evaluation of anaemia in goats in and around Maiduguri. Sokoto J Vet Sci. 12: 9-14. ##
Gholamian, A., Eslami, A., Nabavi, L., Rasekh, A.R. (2006) A field survey on resistance of gastrointestinal nematodes to Levamisole in sheep in Khuzestan province of Iran. J Vet Res. 61: 7-13. ##
Gholamian, A., Eslami, A., Nabavi, L., Rasekh, A.R., Galedari, H. (2007) A field survey on resistance to Albendazole in gasterointestinal nematodes of sheep in Khozestan province of Iran. J Vet Res. 62: 45-51. ##
Gholamian, A., Eslami, A., Nabavi, L., Rasekh, A.R., Galedari, H. (2008) A survey on drug resistance in gastrointestinal nematodes of sheep using larval development assay. Iranian Vet J. 4: 48-57. ##
Hazelby, C.A., Probert, A.J., Rowlands, D.A.P.T. (1994) Anthelmintic resistance in nematodes causing parasitic gastroenteritis of sheep in the UK. J Vet Pharmacol Ther. 17: 245-252. ##
Kaplan, R.M., Burke, J.M., Terrill, T.H., Miller, J.E., Getz, W.R., Mobini, S., Valencia, E., Williams, M.J., Williamson, L.H., Larsen, M., Vatta, A.F. (2004) Validation of the FAMACHA eye color chart for detecting clinical anemia in sheep and goats on farms in the Southern United States. Vet Parasitol. 123: 105-120. ##
Malan, F.S., Van Wyk, J.A., Wessels, C.D. (2001) Clinical evaluation of anemia in sheep: early trials. J Vet Res. 68: 165-174. ##
Mederos, A., Kelton, D., Peregrine, A.S., VanLeeuwen, J., Fernández, S.,  LeBoeuf, A., Menzies, P., Martin, R. (2014) Evaluation of the utility of subjective clinical parameters for estimating fecal egg counts and packed cell volume in Canadian sheep flocks. Vet Parasitol. 205: 568-574. ##
Molento, M.B., Gavião, A.A., Depner, R.A., Pires, C.C. (2009) Frequency of treatment and production performance using the FAMACHA method compared with preventive control in ewes. Vet Parasitol. 162: 314–319. ##
Nabavi, R., Shayan, P., Shokrani, H.R., Eslami, A., Bokaie, S. (2011) Evaluation of Benzimidazole resistance in Haemonchus contortus using comparative PCR-RFLP methods. Iranian J Parasitol. 6: 45-53.
Naem, S., Gorgani, T. (2011) Gastrointestinal parasitic infection of slaughtered sheep (Zel breed) in Fereidoonkenar city, Iran. Vet Res Forum. 2: 238-241. ##
Reynecke, D.P., Van Wyk, J.A., Gummow, B., Dorny, P., Boomker, J. (2011) Validation of the FAMACHA© eye colour chart using sensitivity specificity analysis on two South African sheep farms. Vet Parasitol. 177: 203–211. ##
Scheuerle, M., Mahling, M., Muntwyler, J., Pfister K. (2010) The accuracy of the FAMACHA© method in detecting anaemia and haemonchosis in goat flocks in Switzerland under field conditions. Vet Parasitol. 170: 71-77. ##
Van Wyk, J.A., Bath, G.F. (2002) The FAMACHA© system for managing haemonchosis in sheep and goats by clinically identifying individual animals for treatment. Vet Res. 33: 509-529. ##
Vatta, A.F., Krecek, R.C., Letty, B.A., Van Der Linde, M.J., Grimbeek, R.J., Villiers, J.F., Motswatswe, P.W., Molebiemang, G.S., Boshoff, H.M., Hansen J.W. (2002) Incidence of Haemonchus spp. and effect on haematocrit an eye color in goats farmed under resource poor conditions in South Africa. Vet Parasitol. 103: 119-131. ##
Vatta, A.F., Krecek, R.C., Van Der Linde, M.J., Motswatswe, P.W., Grimbeek, R.J., Van Wijk, E.F., Hansen, J.W. (2002) Haemonchus spp. in sheep farmed under resource poor conditions in South Africa effect on haemotocrit, conjunctival mucous membrane color and body condition. J S Afr Vet Assoc. 73: 119-123. ##
Vatta, A.F., Letty, B.A., Van der Linde, M.J., Van Wijk, E.F., Hansen, J.W., Krecek, R.C. (2001) Testing for clinical anemia caused by Haemonchus spp. in goats farmed under resource poor conditions in South Africa using an eye color chart developed for sheep. Vet Parasitol. 99: 1-14. ##
Vilela, V.L., Feitosa, T.F., Linhares, E.F., Athayde, A.C., Molento, M.B., Azevedo, S.S. (2012) FAMACHA method as an auxiliary strategy in the control of gastrointestinal helminthiasis of dairy goats under semiarid conditions of northeastern Brazil. Vet Parasitol. 190: 281-284.  ##
Waller, P.J. (2003) Global perspectives on nematode parasite control in ruminant livestock: need to adopt alternatives to chemotherapy with emphasis on biological control. Anim Health Res Rev. 4: 35-43. ##