Prevalence and clustering of louse infestation in Queensland sheep flocks

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:1999
Authors:M. P. Ward, Armstrong R. T.
Journal:Veterinary parasitology
Pagination:243 - 250
Date Published:1999
ISBN Number:0304-4017
Keywords:animals, Lice Infestations/epidemiology, Lice/growth & development, prevalence, Queensland, sheep, Sheep Diseases/epidemiology/parasitology, wool

Information provided by wool growers in Queensland, Australia between 1995 and 1997 was used to assess the prevalence and spatial distribution of louse (Bovicola ovis) infestation in sheep flocks. The estimated prevalence of louse-infested flocks was 40% (95% confidence interval, 35-46%). Although the prevalence of infestation was higher in western regions (41-50%) compared to the south region of Queensland (31%), the difference was not statistically significant (P > 0.05). Significant (P = 0.02) clustering of infested flocks was detected in the south region where two foci were apparent. We conclude that Queensland sheep flocks have a moderate prevalence of louse infestation, and that clustering of infestation is not strong. The control of lice is an industry-wide issue that needs to be addressed by most wool growers in Queensland.

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