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The effects of tannin-rich plants on parasitic nematodes in ruminants

Apart from the obvious role of plants in herbivore nutrition, they are also a rich source of bioactive products that can operate either to the benefit or the detriment of grazing animals. Here, we review the available evidence for the potential beneficial effects that plant-derived bioactive substances can have on gastrointestinal parasites. Tannin-rich plants have attracted most attention for their effect on internal nematodes in ruminants. These plants could act through direct antiparasitic activity but might also act indirectly by increasing host resistance. The effects vary with the species of plant, parasite and host. More research is required to understand better the mechanisms of action, and therefore make more pertinent use of these bioactive plants in livestock systems.