TitleEffect of selenium yeast supplementation on naturally acquired parasitic infection in ewes.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsHooper, KJ, Bobe, G, Vorachek, WR, Bishop-Stewart, JK, Mosher, WD, Pirelli, GJ, Kent, ML, Hall, JA
JournalBiol Trace Elem Res
Date Published2014 Dec
KeywordsAnimal Feed, Animals, Dietary Supplements, Disease Susceptibility, Dose-Response Relationship, Drug, Feces, Haemonchiasis, Haemonchus, Organoselenium Compounds, Parasite Egg Count, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Sheep, Sheep Diseases

Gastrointestinal parasites cause substantial economic losses in pasture-based sheep production systems. Supranutritional organic selenium (Se) supplementation may be beneficial because it improves immune responses to pathogens. To evaluate the effect of Se-yeast supplementation on gastrointestinal parasite load, 30 ewes per treatment group were drenched weekly with no Se, 4.9 mg Se/week as Se yeast (maximum FDA-allowed concentration), or supranutritional concentrations of Se yeast (14.7 and 24.5 mg Se/week) starting early fall for 85 weeks. Fecal samples were collected at weeks 63, 66, 78, and 84 and counted for total trichostrongyle-type eggs and Haemonchus contortus eggs (in samples with ≥200 trichostrongyle eggs/g feces). During breeding season (fall), ewes were kept on pasture; ewes receiving 24.5 mg Se/week had lower fecal trichostrongyle egg counts (93 ± 40 eggs/g feces) compared with ewes receiving no Se (537 ± 257 eggs/g feces; P = 0.007) or ewes receiving 4.9 mg Se/week as Se yeast (398 ± 208 eggs/g feces; P = 0.03). In winter, fecal trichostrongyle egg counts decreased, and group differences were not apparent. During lambing season (spring), ewes were kept in the barn and fecal trichostrongyle egg counts increased, although no group differences were observed. However, none of the ewes receiving supranutritional Se yeast, and with trichostrongyle egg counts ≥200 eggs/g of feces, but four of the ewes receiving lower Se dosages had H. contortus egg counts ≥1,000 eggs/g feces (P = 0.04). Our results suggest that supranutritional Se-yeast supplementation may enhance resistance to naturally occurring H. contortus gastrointestinal parasitism in sheep.

Alternate JournalBiol Trace Elem Res
PubMed ID25256922