United Kingdom: AFBI issues warning over Nematodirus worm infection

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The Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) has issued a ‘high-risk’ warning to Northern Ireland’s sheep farmers that the peak risk period for Nematodirus worm infection in young lambs has arrived.

“Nematodirus eggs passed out by lambs in 2020 will generally have remained unhatched on the ground over the winter season. Given suitable conditions of moisture and temperature, eggs will undergo mass hatching in the spring of 2021, resulting in a high risk of infection for lambs,” said AFBI.

It must be mentioned here that Nematodirus usually affects lambs between 6 and 12 weeks of age and affected lambs develop profuse scour and can die rapidly.

For the unversed, Nematodirus – a thread-necked roundworm – causes disease in the small intestine of sheep and goats. It generally results from the ingestion of large numbers of infective worm larvae present on polluted pasture.