This indoor study investigated the effect of direct daily abomasal supplementation of both cysteine (cys; 1g) and glutamine (gln; 5g) on a 12-week subclinical Trichostronglylus colubriformis trickle infection in lambs. Parasite infection increased the total number of leucocytes and eosinophils in peripheral circulation, nitrogen excreted in faeces and urine (P≤0.01) and plasma total protein concentration (P<0.05). Infection also reduced liveweight gain and plasma albumin concentration (both P<0.001), but did not alter feed intake. Supplementation increased nitrogen retention (P<0.05), tended to increase phe (P=0.056) and cys (P=0.097) flux, reduced the number of circulating eosinophils (P<0.001) and changed the pattern of faecal egg counts (P≤0.05), with no effect on final nematode counts. This experiment showed supplementation with two non-essential amino acids alone can elicit changes in the response of sheep to internal parasite infection.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 62, Palmerston North, 72-76, 2002
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