2014 - 2016
Control of ascarids in laying hens and prevention of anthelmintic resistance
Nematodes (roundworms) are common parasites that often cause impaired animal health with associated production losses in livestock. This is particularly true for the chicken roundworm (Ascaridia galli), which in recent years has increased significantly in free-range laying hens in several EU countries, including Sweden. Control measures against this parasite include deworming and good hygiene. There is currently only one approved dewormer (anthelmintic, flubendazole) in poultry, but the therapeutic effect is unsatisfactory as it is used today. Experience from related parasites in other livestock species shows that the use of anthelmintics is often associated with risks for selection of anthelmintic resistance (AR), especially when the drugs are used in a non-strategic way and/or underdosed. In this project we want to investigate the effect of flubendazole on all
developmental stages of the parasite and find out how deworming contributes to increased animal health and improved production. Our ambition is to develop a sustainable deworming strategy based on targeted strategic tretments (TST) early during the course of infection. Furthermore, we will develop detection methods for AR and study the underlying mechanisms, which will generate important new general knowledge on parasite infections in livestock. With a thoughtful strategic use of anthelmintics, we are convinced that a future scenario without efficient anthelmintics for laying can be avoided.