TO: WormMail mailing list (recip. undisclosed) WRML.20110622. Saffers.Startect. combos. quarantine drenches.etc
Saffers and Startect
Most of you know that after a 20-25 or so year hiatus, we recently got two new drench groups:
* the AADs, represented by monepantel, ("Zolvix", Novartis), and
* the spiroindoles, represented by derquantel (combined with abamectin, in "Startect" (Pfizer).
The ‘world’ launches for these two were in New Zealand, monepantel in autumn 2009, and derquantel in July 2010.
Australia got monepantel in Spring 2010. We have yet to get derquantel (Perhaps the end of 2011 or early 2012?)
I just heard from a South African contact that Startect
has hit the ground in South Africa.
Dr Dave Midgely was with Pfizer SA for the last 6 years, but resigned to pursue a career as a Veterinary Consultant.
He was in private practice in the Southern Cape area (near Caledon/Ian Herbst) for 20 years prior to that.
I had a ‘conversation’ with Dr Midgely: I think it is good to talk to those outside your own backyard (NSW in my case): ‘Iron sharpens iron’ and all that.
Dave told me:
"I spent some time with Faffa Malan recently launching STARTECT in South Africa (SA) and he recommended that I contact you
I have a keen interest in parasitology and am involved in the fight against resistance on ground level… "
"Startect (derquantel+abamectin, Pfizer) was launched to vets at our LHPG Congress (Livestock Health and Production Group) in March and to Farmers and Co-ops towards the end of May and in June.
"I spent 3 weeks with the launch team talking about positioning it…
"We have different “schools of thought” regarding the use of combinations in SA – the “old school” still fighting strongly against it!
"I am on the other extreme regarding combinations as a “must” – that is why I enjoy your newsletters that Faffa has passed on so much!
"The resistance issue is a reality – farmers seeing and feeling it in their pockets. "
Dave went on to say:
"It might be worth mentioning that Faffa Malan and myself tried to convey a few “basic messages” to vets, farmers and Co-op personnel:
* The first was to know your “status” – i.e. resistance status of the worms on your farm
*Next we felt that it is important to know the status of the farm from which you are buying in sheep, as this might influence quarantine decisions.
"If you are one of a “lucky” 7 % of farmers on whose farm no resistance was found in a recent survey undertaken by Pfizer (Van Schalkwyk and Cox), on whose farms all 5 tested anthelmintic groups were still > 95% effective, you would do anything to prevent resistance worms from entering your property!
"On the other hand, I (as a consultant/vet) would have a totally different approach if I I/my client was one of the 17% “Haemonchus” farmers on who’s farms there was resistance to all 5 the tested groups…
"In which case I might WANT susceptible parasites that I buy in and would like to use them to “dilute” my resistant population!
"Hence the importance of QUARANTINE treatment and of knowing the STATUS of both farms!
"I believe that this opens up major opportunities for private practitioners in SA (and elsewhere) to get involved in parasite control again.
"Next up was explaining REFUGIA and it’s application in parasite control – especially “managing refugia” through dose and leave or move and dose, instead of the “old” dose and move recommendation.
" I was/am still shocked by farmer’s responses – some of them said that it was the first time that they “heard” this message, despite it being propagated already for many years. It seems that the message has not/is not reaching ground level and that we will have to do a lot more to get it across!
" We further tried to bring across the message that parasite control has become more “complex” and that farmers should THINK before just dosing/drenching.
Harry Truman (?) apparently said – “If you can’t convince them, at least confuse them…”. One farmer said that he was confused before attending one of the meetings and was still confused afterwards, but just on a higher level!
I interrogated Dave further:
"all 5 anthelmintic groups?….which are they? "
"Avermectin, BZ, LV, Closantel plus organophosphates. These are the five “major” groups registered in SA.
"No combinations were used in this survey – ‘tried to compare results of those done by/used by Jan van Wyk in the 1980s.
"At that stage moxidectin was still distributed by Bayer – before Pfizer took over Fort Dodge and it was unfortunately not included!
" ‘individualised risk analysis for quarantine treat.: nice in theory, but how many accurately know their own anthelmintic resistance (AR) status as well as the farm from which they are sourcing sheep??
"I have started by doing a resistance test (drench test/FECRT) with every drenching.
"Flip van Schalkwyk started with “vacuum-sealing” of samples – which can then be kept at room temp for long periods. In this way farmers take initial sample, wait 10-14 days for second sample and then send them to lab together.
"What I like about this is that farmers can also start seeing that all generic equivalents are not the same…
"After 2-3 different groups being used (normally after the second group shows resistance) we have a reasonably clear picture of what is going on.
"I found that with this approach I can convince more farmers to then do a more advanced FECRT including COMBO’s which has been “shot down” by our leading parasitologists in SA for many years (and are still being done so at present!).
"We had a good Livestock Health and Production group congress in March where we also had a “wet lab” for attendees (private practitioners).
Unfortunately all these things are part of a process – but it is better to start somewhere, than not at all!
"diluting AR resistant worms with imported worms/sheep: this has been discussed here as well (in AUS), but…see above (not accurately knowing AR status), and also… I wonder how the numbers stack up…. importing say 10,000 anthelmintic susceptible (AS) worms, vs a billion AR worms (plucking numbers out of the air) already on farm. The imported worms would need some sort of ‘fitness’ advantage to gain ascendancy….and/or you import them when there are very few ‘home grown’/resistant) worms on pasture….eg the dead of summer in a Mediterranean climate (eg southern Western Aus, parts of South AUS), with lots of cereal stubbles.
"Once again, yes this is still very “theoretical” but a start in the right direction.
"I believe that our vets should become more involved in practical parasitology – anthelmintics are sold predominantly by Co-ops here and vets in private practice (PP) actually make very little money out of “parasitology”.
"I was in PP for just over 20 years and wonder if it made up 1% of my turnover! Why then spend time on something that gives so little “return”?
"By doing faecal samples I found that I got much closer to where the action is.
"In my opinion the fight against resistance is useless if we cannot get the PP involved! So the recommendation is – start somewhere.
(“Begin with the end in mind” – Stephan Covey). Knowing what the situation is, is the “cherry on the cake”. Next best is just “cleaning up” all “in-comers”… This does depend on where you farm. We have some areas where the situation is fast becoming “desperate”. With present wool and mutton prices being the highest ever, farmers are still “coining” it despite problems like “resistance”.
"By the way, I believe there have been attempts to re-populate sheep farms in AUS with AS worms, at great expense but with little success. (RB Besier could enlighten us on this).
"How long does it take for resistance to be “seen”? Would it not take as long to see a change in direction? I once again see this as a process. And a very slow one indeed, but once again – a better option than just “ignoring” it!
"the ‘drench and move’ dogma of old: yes, farmers don’t always appreciate you telling them it’s a two-edged sword: great for worm control (slow reinfection) but bad for resistance management (few worms in refugia), with the strength of these effects depending on just how clean the paddock is – and people mean different things by ‘clean’. eg those in winter rainfall areas, especially the Mediterranean climate variant, regard their cereal stubbles in summer as ‘clean’, whereas a grazing only property (no cropping) in the summer rainfall zone of NE NSW or SE Queensland might regard a pasture that has been sheep-free for 3-4 months over summer as relatively ‘clean’ – but the two examples are poles apart.
"The message has not come across yet. “Sheep Politics” can be blamed – conflict of interest – companies chasing budgets vs researchers who do excellent work but do/did not take “farm economics” into account properly! It all comes down to the understanding and “selling” of the REFUGIA principle.
"Complexity? Yes, likewise here (in AUS). Worm control messages are ‘too complex’. Maybe we have to major on the main drivers, and leave the detail on lesser issues to those who are really interested and have already made the main things the main thing (to parrot Stephen Covey).
"Have read his books, but missed this one in the past – I like it!
"Once again – it all depends on how serious the farmer is about worm control.
"I am getting more and more farmers who are being “hit” by parasites – I find that it doesn’t help crying wolf.
"But when I/we do get a foot in the door, the ball is in our hands. While Faffa and I were “on the road” we propagated a more “integrated approach”; another colleague presented/propagated a “dosing program” at a mini congress of a regional branch of the SAVA????? (I found that the parasites did not read the same text books and e-mails that we do!)
"The other day, I was thinking: "Consultants are a type of parasite, but like some parasites can provide long term benefits to the host"
Some consultants might take offence……. 🙂 But, I could then go on to liken public servants .. <cough>….public sector employees … to parasites as well… 🙂 "
(This good humoured reply from DM followed, no doubt buoyed by expectations that SAf would wallop the Wallabies at Rugby….)
"I do believe that what you say of consultants is true. Will “quote” you in future on this one!
"I was told last week that consultants are like wethers – knowing exactly what to do, but can’t do it themselves!
(All the above quoted with permission: DM must be fearless; perhaps he played for the Springboks)
As an aside, we talk a lot about resistance, but we have to remind ourselves what our ultimate objectives are (and if they align with farmers’ objectives!)
As venerable Scotsman GD Gray reminded me some years ago, resistance is only an issue to the extent that it affects our ability to manage worms. We have to remember that worms are the issue.
Hard on the heels of Apple talking up ‘the cloud’ – specifically iCloud – here is a piece regarding management and the cloud. Click HERE.