Interactions between Teladorsagia circumcincta Infections and Microbial Composition of Sheep with or without Successful Monepantel Treatment—A Preliminary Study
Nematodes are one of the main impactors on the health, welfare and productivity of farmed animals. Teladorsagia circumcincta are endemic throughout many sheep-producing countries, particularly in the northern hemisphere, and contribute to the pathology and economic losses seen on many farms. Control of these nematode infections is essential and heavily reliant on chemotherapy (anthelmintics), but this has been compromised by the development of anthelmintic resistance. In mammals, the composition of the intestinal microbiota has been shown to have a significant effect on overall health. The interactions between host, microbiota and pathogens are complex and influenced by numerous factors. In this study, comparisons between intestinal and faecal microbiota of sheep infected with sensitive or resistant strains of T. circumcincta, with or without monepantel administration were assessed. The findings from both faecal samples and terminal ileum mucosal scrapings showed clear differences between successfully treated animals and those sheep that were left untreated and/or those carrying resistant nematodes. Specifically, the potentially beneficial genus Bifidobacterium was identified as elevated in successfully treated animals. The detection of these and other biomarkers will provide the basis for new therapeutic reagents particularly relevant to the problems of emerging multidrug anthelmintic resistance.