PARASOL focuses on gastro-intestinal nematode parasites of ruminants as they are the greatest threat to animal welfare and production, and since effective contributions can be made within three years. Current conventional methods for worm control involve repeated dosing of whole herds with synthetic anthelmintics but are unsustainable due to the food and environmental residues produced and promote the spread of anthelmintic resistance by failing to leave an untreated parasite refugium.
Effective chemical anthelmintics remain irreplaceable for worm control and their elimination is not practical on animal welfare and economic grounds. We will replace current practice with Targeted Selective Treatments, where only animals showing clinical symptoms or reduced productivity are given drugs. Animals with low worm burdens are symptomless and do not require treatment. We will assess several innovative methods, under various farming conditions, for identifying animals that require treatment, and produce and standardise tests for anthelmintic resistance to ensure that the drugs are effective. We will produce, by the end of the project, clear guidance and protocols for sustainable, low-input, user- and consumer-friendly nematode control.
In order to do this we will:
(1) assess the effect of targeted selective treatments on productivity, animal welfare and the spread of anthelmintic resistance genes under a range of farming conditions;
(2) determine the best methods of identifying animals and herds requiring anthelmintic intervention;
(3) standardise existing in vivo and in vitro tests for detecting anthelmintic resistance and develop new tests for where current ones are inadequate;
(4) optimise the efficacy and bio-availability of anthelmintics by modulating parasite P-glycoprotein detoxification systems; and
(5) communicate with farmers, veterinarians and advisors, to produce and disseminate guidance to ensure good uptake and implementation of the protocols produced.
Fields of science
Call for proposal
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Funding SchemeSTREP - Specific Targeted Research Project
20 01 24 Warendorf