Gastrointestinal nematode infection adversely affects small ruminant productivity all over the world, especially in tropical countries. A study was carried out to evaluate the extent to which concurrent infection with these nematodes may influence lamb meat quality, and how phytotherapy might improve these parameters. During the trial, 24 male Djallonke lambs (Age: 3 to 5 months) were experimentally infected with Teladorsagia circumcincta (4000 infective larvae) and Trichostromgylus colubriformis (10000 infective larvae) and treated from day 26 post infection with methanol extracts of Harungana madagascariensis and Momordica foetida twice daily. Lambs were divided into 8 groups: An untreated (Group 1), Albendazole 7.5 mg/kg (Group 2), H. madagascariensis extract at 125 mg/kg (Group 3), H. madagascariensis extract at 250 mg/kg (Group 4), H. madagascariensis at 500 mg/kg (Group 5), M. foetida extract at 125 mg/kg (Group 6), M. foetida 250 mg/kg (Group 7), and M. foetida at 500 mg/kg (Group 8). Meat quality attributes of lambs from different treatment groups were evaluated. Treatment with different doses of plant extracts led to differences in the level of parasitic load at necropsy. This effect was accompanied by an elevated pH24 in meat from the most severely infected lambs and a concomitant decrease in their chemical composition. This high pH24 equally had significant influence on meat flavour, overall acceptability and water retention of lamb meat. The present study suggested that nematode infection may influence pH of resulting carcass, nutritional composition and some sensory parameters of meat while treatment using M. foetida at 500 mg/kg maybe important in reducing parasite burden while enhancing quality of subsequent lamb carcass.
Key words: Phytotherapy, meat quality, Teladorsagia circumcincta, Trichostrongylus colubriformis, Harungana madagascareinsis, Momordica foetida, Djallonke lambs.
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