Immunoglobulins as biomarkers for gastrointestinal nematodes resistance in small ruminants: a systematic review Academic Article uri icon


  • The rise of anthelmintic resistance worldwide has led to the development of alternative control strategies for gastrointestinal nematodes (GIN) infections, which are one of the main constraints on the health of grazing small ruminants. Presently, breeding schemes rely mainly on fecal egg count (FEC) measurements on infected animals which are time-consuming and requires expertise in parasitology. Identifying and understanding the role of immunoglobulins in the mechanisms of resistance could provide a more efficient and sustainable method of identifying nematode-resistant animals for selection. In this study we review the findings on immunoglobulin response to GIN in the literature published to date (june 2019) and discuss the potential to use immunoglobulins as biomarkers. The literature review revealed 41 studies which measured at least one immunoglobulin: 35 focused on lamb immune response (18 used non-naïve lambs) and 7 on yearlings. In this review we propose a conceptual model summarizing the role of immunoglobulins in resistance to GIN. We highlight the need for more carefully designed and documented studies to allow comparisons across different populations on the immunoglobulin response to GIN infection.

publication date

  • 2020