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Co-infection of Haemonchus contortus and Trichostrongylus spp. among livestock in Malaysia as revealed by amplification and sequencing of the internal transcribed spacer II DNA region

Tiong K Tan1, Chandrawathani Panchadcharam2, Van L Low3, Soo C Lee1, Romano Ngui1, Reuben SK Sharma4 and Yvonne AL Lim1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

2 Veterinary Research Institute, 59, Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah, 31400 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

3 Institute of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

4 Department of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosis, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia

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BMC Veterinary Research 2014, 10:38  doi:10.1186/1746-6148-10-38

Published: 7 February 2014



Haemonchus contortus and Trichostrongylus spp. are reported to be the most prevalent and highly pathogenic parasites in livestock, particularly in small ruminants. However, the routine conventional tool used in Malaysia could not differentiate the species accurately and therefore limiting the understanding of the co-infections between these two genera among livestock in Malaysia. This study is the first attempt to identify the strongylids of veterinary importance in Malaysia (i.e., H. contortus and Trichostrongylus spp.) by amplification and sequencing of the Internal Transcribed Spacer II DNA region.


Overall, 118 (cattle: 11 of 98 or 11.2%; deer: 4 of 70 or 5.7%; goats: 99 of 157 or 63.1%; swine: 4 of 91 or 4.4%) out of the 416 collected fecal samples were microscopy positive with strongylid infection. The PCR and sequencing results demonstrated that 93 samples (1 or 25.0% of deer; 92 or 92.9% of goats) contained H. contortus. In addition, Trichostrongylus colubriformis was observed in 75 (75.8% of 99) of strongylid infected goats and Trichostrongylus axei in 4 (4.0%) of 99 goats and 2 (50.0%) of 4 deer. Based on the molecular results, co-infection of H. contortus and Trichostrongylus spp. (H. contortus + T. colubriformis denoted as HTC; H. contortus + T. axei denoted as HTA) were only found in goats. Specifically, HTC co-infections have higher rate (71 or 45.2% of 157) compared to HTA co-infections (3 or 1.9% of 157).


The present study is the first molecular identification of strongylid species among livestock in Malaysia which is essential towards a better knowledge of the epidemiology of gastro-intestinal parasitic infection among livestock in the country. Furthermore, a more comprehensive or nationwide molecular-based study on gastro-intestinal parasites in livestock should be carried out in the future, given that molecular tools could assist in improving diagnosis of veterinary parasitology in Malaysia due to its high sensitivity and accuracy.

Strongylid; Haemonchus contortus; Trichostrongylus; Infection rate; Livestock; Co-infection; Second internal transcribed spacer (ITS2) of ribosomal DNA