One day FWEC Training Courses-Tamworth 10&11 November | PhD in Liver Fluke anyone? | WormFax NSW

(To: WormMail list.  Recip undisclosed.  bcc DVs, QAAH-L et al.   WormMail 2009-10-27-1000.   Apologies if you get this more than once (overlapping lists))


One day FWEC Training Courses-Tamworth 10&11 November

See below for information from Julie Chapman/Cassie Gardiner. Please contact either of them for more information and/or go to:

PhD student to undertake research on “Population Genetics of Liver Fluke”

See below. Contact Professor Spithill directly.

WormFax NSW
Latest issue (Sept. 09) is attached. See our website also for  previous issues.




Stephen Love BVSc MACVSc
State Coordinator ~ Internal Parasites
Industry and Investment NSW ~ Primary Industries
Armidale District Office ~ Tel: 61 2 67388519


Primary Industries ~ Livestock Health pages:

Primary Industries ~ Office directory:

vet26mi: or


—– Forwarded by Stephen Love/DII/NSW on 27/10/2009 09:44 AM —–

Julie Chapman/DII/NSW26/10/2009 12:43 PM


Are you interested in managing internal parasites and worms in livestock?

I&I NSW Tamworth PROfarm are running two more Faecal Egg Count For Worms
Courses in Tamworth on 10 OR 11 November.

Participants will –

  • Identify how to take samples and complete faecal egg counts
  • Identify different worms under a microscope
  • Analyse results from samples
  • Identify targeted control options.

Please find attached the Course Information Flyer and Registration Form/
Fax-back Form (dpi/lhpa staff only).  Could you please pass this information on to
any staff, colleagues, family or friends who may be interested in attending this course.

If you need any further information, please do not hesitate to call:
Cassie Gardiner (6763 1276) or Julie Chapman (6763 1285).


Julie Chapman | Primary Industries, PROfarm Short Course Program
Industry & Investment NSW | 4 Marsden Park Road | Tamworth NSW 2340
T: 02 6763 1285 | F: 02 6763 1222 | E:
W: |



PhD student to undertake research on “Population Genetics of Liver Fluke”

Professor Terry Spithill, Strategic Research Professor with the EH Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation, Wagga Wagga   is advertising for a PhD student to undertake research on “Population Genetics of Liver Fluke” – as per attached advertisement to appear in this weeks Australian newspaper.

Could you please circulate it to SDVs, DVs, RVOs and VOs and other potential interested parties.

Interested individuals should contact Professor Spithill directly.

Ian Links
Biosecurity Special Projects Officer,
EH Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation (an alliance between Charles Sturt University and Industry & Investment NSW) ,
Wagga Wagga NSW 2650
0427 102 305.




WOOL, WORMS AND WRINKLES WORKSHOP – Sheep CRC Field Day – Guyra 12 November

(To: WormMail list – recip undisclosed)   (WormMail 2009-10-26-1230)

For your information

Details, RSVP etc _ see below–guyra–12-november-2009.php



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Haemonchus dipstick test | Dirty Harry goes drenching | Worms and coeliacs

TO:  WormMail list (recip undisclosed).  Haemonchus dipstick test | Dirty Harry goes drenching | Worms and  coeliacs  (WormMail 20091023)


This was mentioned in a recent despatch. (wormmail 20091016: )

I mentioned the research team behind this, led by Dr Ian Coldizt, but overlooked the part played by others, for example, the farmer cooperators on whose places the test was field tested, as well as others involved in testing, for example, Natasha Morley, who was then an honours student in Rural Science here at UNE Armidale.

Since the WormMail of 16 October, there have been a number of questions put to me, such as (1) the possibility of the test being launched in other countries, or (2) for other species affected by haemonchosis, such as goats and sheep. Calves in subtropical areas affected by Haemonchus placei could be candidates also. The question of (3) ‘false positives’ from blood from other sources such as liver fluke or other worms/pathogens, or damage to the rectal mucosa, or from other sources of blood, has also been raised.

(1). The short answer is, ‘I don’t know’, as I don’t know the details of patent ownership (I believe it currently rests with the Australian Sheep Industry Cooperative Research Centre), or the licensing arrangements, apart from knowing that Merial/Ancare are marketing the test kit in Australia.

(2) As to species other than sheep, the test has not been validated in other species. It’s reasonable to assume the test will detect ‘faecal occult blood’ in these species as well, but the unknown is how to interpret the results in these species.

(3) ‘False positives’. The Haemonchus Dipstick Test utilises  a guaiacol-based assay for the detection of haemoglobin, as in Bayer’s Hemastix, well known to vets and medicos. This assay relies on the peroxidase activity of haemoglobin which catalyses a colour change in guaiacol.   In human medicine, somewhat more specific tests for faecal occult blood are often used, for example, immunological tests specific for human haemoglobin. Naturally these are not cheap.

False positives in the Haemonchus Dipstick Test  potentially can arise from sources of haemoglobin other than Haemonchus infections. This might include patent (mature) liver fluke infections, or various other conditions. A knowledge of a history of the property,and a bit of diagnostic acumen, can usually assess the likelihood of false positives, however.

Also the test is an adjunct to, not a replacement for, faecal worm egg counts.

(There may be false positives in carnivorous sheep given the effect of dietary myoglobin on the assay  🙂  ).

More information

Ian Coldizt and Leo Le Jambre have published a paper on this test:

Coldizt I and Le Jambre LF (2008). Development of a faecal occult blood test to determine the severity of Haemonchus contortus infections in sheep.Veterinary Parasitology 153 (2008) 93–99.

There were further developments in the test (extensively field tested) after this paper was submitted. For example, different dilutions, and a ‘boiling step’ to reduce ‘noise’ in the test.

* DIRTY HARRY GOES DRENCHING  (VETCAP)   Forwarded to my by a colleague. There are some people he would like to try this out on.

‘Feeling lucky, nematode?!’


Many of you will have seen the report on ABC News regarding coeliac disease being ameliorated by a hookworm infection.

Some of my colleagues have pointed out the irony of me being a coeliac who works in the area of worm management.

I am aware of similar work to this being done in the past (eg whipworm in ulcerative colitis in humans) and wrote an article on this for ‘Vet Talk’ in The Land newspaper some time ago.

As for me, interesting though this work is, I will continue to avoid gluten as well as hookworms.

Perhaps coeliacs who use the hookworm approach (so they can have their cake and eat it) can monitor their worm burdens using a faecal occult blood test, followed, if need be, by non-invasive anthelmintic treatment using Vetcap.

Or, they can just avoid gluten.

Stephen Love BVSc MACVSc
State Coordinator ~ Internal Parasites
Industry and Investment NSW ~ Primary Industries
Armidale District Office ~ Tel: 61 2 67388519


Primary Industries ~ Livestock Health pages:

Primary Industries ~ Office directory:



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Merial/Ancare Haemonchus dipstick test for sheep [wormmail 20091016]

TO: WormMail list (recip. undisclosed)   (bcc: various incl QAAH-L. Apologies if you get this twice, or more 🙂

Following is a Merial/Ancare press release on the Haemonchus Dipstick Test.

As mentioned in the release, development of the test was an Australian Sheep Industry CRC project. The test itself was the brain child of CSIRO Armidale scientist and veterinarian, Dr Ian Coldizt, who lead the scientific team. Others involved were CSIRO Armidale scientist Dr Leo Le Jambre, Dr Gareth Hutchinson, formerly a parasitologist with NSW DPI (now I&I NSW) at EMAI, parasitologist Maxine Lyndal-Murphy from Queensland DPI (now ‘DEEDI’), and veterinarians Deb Maxwell of Armidale, and Rob Woodgate and Brown Besier from Western Australia. The writer played a minor role (I fetched the coffee :-).

Training days for prospective users will be conducted over the coming months. Interested graziers should contact their local Merial or Ancare Territory Manager or their local rural reseller for further information.

There have already been inquiries about use of the test in other host species affected by Haemonchus, notably goats and also alpaca.  

The test has only been evaluated in sheep, so it is not known how well it will work in species other than sheep or how the results should be interpreted. So, at this stage at least, it’s use in other species cannot be recommended.


Revolution in early barbers pole worm detection                        

Graziers will soon have a quick and highly effective tool to detect when sheep should be treated to prevent Barbers Pole worm disease (haemonchosis) outbreaks.

Producers and their advisors can now use the tool in conjunction with the reliable yet time-consuming faecal egg count monitoring, as well as paddock records, grazing management and a degree of intuition to determine which mobs are at risk of, or are affected by, Barbers Pole worm.  

The Haemonchus Dipstick Test kit is to be commercially available this spring, coinciding with the time when Haemonchus contortuscan appear in the higher-risk areas of northern NSW and Queensland, and at times in southern higher rainfall zones, including Victoria and south-west WA.

The test also gives results before worm egg counts rise. Immature worms are detected by the test about a week before they produce eggs, which is when they are already causing serious disease in sheep.

The kit has been developed by the Sheep CRC. It will be available to industry through distributors of the range of Merial and Ancare products. Both see the kit as a valuable tool for producers and they are about to embark on farmer and rural store training field days to ensure correct usage of the kit.

Sheep CRC project manager and Principal Veterinary Parasitologist with the Department of Agriculture & Food WA, Dr Brown Besier, found that this worm species can be quickly and easily tested for, on-farm.

“The basis for the test is that Barbers Pole worms are blood-sucking internal parasites, and as they feed in the abomasum, some blood passes through the digestive tract.

“The testing tool is chemically sensitive to haemoglobin (a product of blood breakdown) and changes colour according to the amount of blood in the sample,” he said.

“If there is a significant Barbers Pole Worm burden present, there is more blood in the faeces – seen as a colour change on the dipstick.  Assessed in relation to weather conditions and sheep factors, this will indicate to farmers and advisors if, or when, drenching is required.”

The major benefits of the Haemonchus Dipstick Test kit include:
        Results are available within 30 minutes on-farm
        Worm burdens are detected before egg production begins (before worm egg counts are of any value in diagnosis)
        The test is easily accessible and able to be kept on-hand on-farm
        The test is reliable, accurate and inexpensive

Director of Large Animal Business with Merial and Ancare, Jack Bree, explains that the kit will be available as an off-the-shelf package with all components and instructions included and enough materials for 50 tests in each kit.

“Farmers will still need to collect dung samples from the paddock, but from there it’s a much easier, quicker and cost-effective process; we find it takes about half an hour from sample collection to test result. The speed and cost of the testing process allows for regular testing of multiple mobs to occur, really allowing for close monitoring of this dangerous parasite.

“The sample is mixed with water, heated in a water bath and then cooled. The test-stick is inserted into the solution and then the colours on the stick change according to the amount of haemoglobin in the faecal sample. Testing is simple and quick, but a very precise process has to be followed to ensure correct readings.

“Through the warmer months it could be used up to once per week to predict risks, while in spring and autumn, temperature and rainfall conditions will determine how often it’s used,” he said.

Chairman of the Sheep CRC, Dr John Keniry, says the Haemonchus Dipstick Test is a prime example of how the CRC model works to develop and deliver scientific solutions to key production problems.

“Few farmers do conventional worm egg counts every week due to the cost, but this means industry runs a risk of stock losses when there are rapid increases in Barbers Pole infection.

“Having identified that a quick-test is both required and possible, the scientists worked to refine the technology and prove its practicality, and the CRC then offered the completed package to specialist agri-businesses to manage the commercialisation process.

“We are very pleased that Merial and Ancare have seen the product’s merits, and have become the commercial partners to make it available to producers.”

“With contributions and funding from the key producer R&D bodies AWI and MLA, and state agencies, universities and key consultants; the Sheep CRC is able to draw on national expertise and resources to address priorities.

“The kit is but one of a range of tools and techniques being delivered and developed by the CRC to help drive productivity and profitability growth in the sheep industry.”


Stephen Love  BVSc MACVSc   (name remains unchanged)
Veterinarian / State Coordinator – Internal Parasites
Industry and Investment NSW – Primary Industries
Armidale District Office

Primary Industries – Livestock Health pages:
Primary Industries – Office directory:

Also autoposted/mirrored at: W-Press; Blogger; Tumblr; Twitter.


* Merck and SP

"The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) ( this week) announced that it would not oppose the proposed acquisition of Merck by Schering-Plough. The
ACCC also decided to accept a court enforceable undertaking from Merck and Schering-Plough, providing that the merged entity would not take steps to combine the Intervet Schering-Plough and Merial animal health businesses until such time as the ACCC advises that the transaction does not raise competition concerns.

The ACCC concluded that the proposed acquisition of Merck by Schering-Plough did not raise competition concerns in relation to any human health market".

* RSS and Change Detection

RSS – Really Simple Syndication – is a nice way of keeping up with information you want to keep up with. (Unless you like to spend all of your day surfing the web, in between Twittering and Facebooking).

For more information:

If a webpage you are interested in is RSS-enabled (you will see the tell-tale logo), then you can have updates delivered to your RSS reader.  There are various ways of reading your RSS feeds, for example, in Apple Mail, or Mozilla Thunderbird, or in web browsers eg FireFox, or in Google Reader, if you have a Google/Gmail account.

Useful sites such as WordPress (and Tumblr, Blogger, Twitter etc), Dilbert and ABC News provide RSS feeds, but others, such as WormBoss and Industry and Investment-Primary Industries either have no or limited RSS feeds.

But, for these sites, you might consider something like Change Detection.

WormBoss however partly gets around the problem of no RSS feeds by providing a monthly update by email. Subscribe to this at the WormBoss site.

I&I NSW, under the leadership of Alex Russell, is working a new ‘clearing house’ for sheep-related information. But my lips are sealed.

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Fw: Lose money by drenching (GFG and Vet Talk, The Land) | WormFax up on the web

To: WormMail list (recip. undisclosed)    bcc: Beef LOs etc .. (references to cattle worms as well; apologies if you are already on ‘WormMail’ and got this twice)

Lose money by drenching

Article in Guide for Graziers (Industry and Investment NSW -Primary Industries, Goulburn). An edited version also appeared in Vet Talk, The Land.

Please excuse the typos in the GFG article.   eg ‘wormboss’ not womrboss’. and ‘you don’t need someone else’s worms’.

WormFax NSW August  is now up on the web

Screenshot below. Go to the page (URL above) if you wish to click on links.


Stephen Love | Veterinarian / State Coordinator – Internal Parasites
Industry and Investment NSW – Primary Industries
Armidale District Office | Tel: 61 2 67388519

  Primary Industries – Livestock Health pages | WormBoss  | Vet26mi | Primary Industries – Office directory

        << this post autoposted/mirrored here


* Arial not so good?

There was interesting piece on Media Watch (ABC TV) last night about the pitfalls of Arial. The name of Korean leader ‘Kim Jong Il’ (font=Arial) /  ‘Kim Jong Il’ (font=Times Roman) was misread by a (poorly informed?) journalist as ‘Kim Jong The Second’. Not an issue with ‘good old Times Roman’, said the Media Watch presenter.  🙂

* Quick improvements on hunter-gatherer diet. An interesting paper.

* Plagiarism: stealing from one. Research: stealing from many.    🙂

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High speed WiFi – one of the most important inventions that Australians have made

 "WiFi Windfall – ABC TV Science"    

This is the story of how a small group of Australian scientists beat the world’s heaviest computer hitters to one of the biggest inventions of our time.

Dennis Redfern

Its one of the most important inventions that Australians have made.


This message is intended for the addressee named and may contain confidential information. If you are not the intended recipient, please delete it and notify the sender. Views expressed in this message are those of the individual sender, and are not necessarily the views of their organisation.

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Liver fluke – Rural Report for New England North West for Wednesday 23rdSeptember 2009

To: WormMail list (recip undisclosed).  Posted also to ‘vet26mi’ microblogs (see below).)

Liver fluke – Rural Report for New England

mp3 of the rural report available at this site (Click on link above)


(Thank you to Sally Edgar at for organising this).

Steve L


* McFarthest

* National Ride to Work  14 October

* Movember – for Men’s Health

* Critical Vitamin Deficiency on the Rise

Primary Industries – Livestock Health pages:
Primary Industries – Office directory:
vet26mi (mirrored at various microblogs): ; ; ; ;

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