Parasite egg count

From BIF Guidelines Wiki

Gastrointestinal nematode infections have been found to have genetic influences that may be used in selection decisions.[1][2][3] According to Perry et al. helminthiases are among the most impactful livestock diseases.[4] The amount of nematode egg load in a specified volume of feces indicates the level of parasitic infection.


Multiple methods for obtaining fecal egg counts are available.[5] However, these tests can be costly and must be performed by experts using specialized equipment.

Adjusted Value

Fecal egg counts are adjusted to a specified volume of feces.

Contempory Group


Genetic Evaluation

None exist as of this writing


Fecal egg count is an indicator trait for the economically relevant trait of parasite load. No specific measure of parasite load has been defined.


  1. Gasbarre, L. C., E. A. Leighton, and T Sonstegard. 2001. Role of the bovine immune system and genome in resistance to gastrointestinal nematodes. Vet. Parasitology. 98:1-3:51-64.
  2. Assenza, F., Elsen, J. M., Legarra, A., Carré, C., Sallé, G., Robert-Granié, C., & Moreno, C. R. (2014). Genetic parameters for growth and faecal worm egg count following Haemonchus contortus experimental infestations using pedigree and molecular information. Genetics, selection, evolution : GSE, 46(1), 13. doi:10.1186/1297-9686-46-13.
  3. McManus, C., do Prado Paim, T., de Melo, C. B., Brasil, B. S., & Paiva, S. R. (2014). Selection methods for resistance to and tolerance of helminths in livestock. Parasite (Paris, France), 21, 56. doi:10.1051/parasite/2014055.
  4. Perry BD, McDermott JJ, Randolph TF, Sones KR, Thornton PK. 2002. Investing in animal health research to alleviate poverty. Nairobi International Livestock Research Institute: Nairobi
  5. Paras KL, George MM, Vidyashankar AN, Kaplan RM. 2018.Comparison of fecal egg counting methods in four livestock species. Vet Parasitol. 2018 Jun 15;257:21-27. doi: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2018.05.015. Epub 2018 May 26.