Nutritional Modulation of Resistance and Resilience to Gastrointestinal Nematode Infection - A Review

  • Walkden-Brown, Stephen W. (Animal Science, School of Rural Science and Agriculture, University of New England Armidale) ;
  • Kahn, Lewis P. (Animal Science, School of Rural Science and Agriculture, University of New England Armidale)
  • Published : 2002.06.01


Disease susceptibility is linked to nutritional status for a wide range of human and animal diseases. Nutritional status can influence both resistance (ability to resist the pathogen) and resilience (ability to tolerate or ameliorate the effects of the pathogen). This review focuses on the nutritional modulation of gastro-intestinal nematode infection in domestic ruminants, primarily sheep. It highlights the duality of the adverse consequences of infection on host nutritional status and the adverse consequences of poor host nutritional status on resistance to infection. Central to both phenomena is the complex, gut-based immune response to gastrointestinal nematode infection. The potential for strategic nutritional supplementation to enhance host resistance and resilience is reviewed together with recent findings on responses to increased ME supply, and long term effects on host immunity of short term protein supplementation.


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