WRML. Trifecta. Monepantel-llamas. Ag smartphone apps. Cattle parasite atlas.Recovery of fluke eggs.Q&A-egg counting.Other.

To WormMail (WRML) list (recip. undisclosed. ~ 400 subscribers).

In this issue (2014-08-29):

· ‘Trifecta’ multi-combination broad-spectrum cattle and sheep drench released

· Dose rate of monepantel (MPL) for llamas

· Useful Ag-related apps for smartphones

· Cattle Parasite Atlas – MLA

· Recovery rates of Fasciola hepatica eggs

· Q&A on worm egg counting

· Other…..

· Prof Marmion and Q Fever

Trifecta multi-combination broad-spectrum cattle and sheep drench released

Coopers‘ new triple active oral drench for sheep and cattle – ‘Coopers Trifecta’ – was registered recently. It was available in stores from 25 August.

‘Trifecta contains the actives abamectin, oxfendazole and levamisole, as well as selenium and cobalt and is registered for use in sheep (over 15 kg and 6 weeks of age) and cattle (over 100kg and over 16 weeks of age) for the control of internal parasites. The dose rate for both species is 1ml/10kg liveweight and it will be available in a 10L drum. Coopers will also have available an 8ml drench gun for sheep and a 60ml drench gun for cattle (with or without a floating hook).’

‘Trifecta has the following withholding periods:

WHP meat (sheep and cattle) – 21 days

ESI Cattle – 21 days

ESI Sheep – 28 days

MILK – Do not use in cows/ewes which are producing or may in the future produce milk that may be used or processed for human consumption.

‘Coopers is currently working towards establishing a treatment to calving interval.’

Coopers Trifecta is the only triple (broad-spectrum) active combination drench available for use in cattle in Australia.

The only other combination (of broad spectrum actives) available for cattle in AU is ‘Eclipse’ (Merial), which is a pour-on (topical) product containing abamectin + levamisole.

The only other cattle drench in AU, that I can think of/find, that contains a macrocyclic lactone and is an oral drench, is ‘Fasimec’ (triclabendazole + ML; Novartis) and it’s equivalent/’mirror’ product, ‘Triclamec’ (Youngs).

There is general consensus among most experts (at least in Australia/NZ) that using a combination of unrelated broad-spectrum actives of similar persistency and with similar spectra of activity – especially if used as part of an integrated approach to worm control (including management of refugia) – is a preferred way to maintain high drench efficacy/manage resistance of worms of grazing livestock.

There is also evidence that, at least in some situations, and with everything else being equal, that oral formulations of a drench outperform the injectable and topical equivalents. I am thinking of the Leathwick and Miller (2013) paper here, but note in that situation the differences in the efficacies of the the formulations types was

D.M Leathwick & C.M. Miller (2013), Efficacy of oral, injectable and pour-on formulations of moxidectin against gastrointestinal nematodes in cattle in New Zealand. Vet. Parasitology 191 (2013) pg293-300.

D.M. Leathwick & R.B. Besier (2014), The management of anthelmintic resistance in grazing ruminants in Australasia – Strategies and experiences. Vet. Parasitology 204 (2014) pg44-54.

Dose rate of monepantel (MPL) for llamas

Dadak and others (2013) conducted studies to see what dose rate of MPL was efficacious in llamas. The dose rate for sheep is 2.5mg/kg liveweight.

The authors concluded: “.. monepantel is considered (to be) highly effective in llamas naturally infected with GINs (gastrointestinal nematodes), and is recommended at a dose rate of 7.5mg/kg BW. It remains to be investigated whether the efficacy of monepantel is comparable in alpacas at the dose rates studied.”

As always you need to read the full paper for yourself.

Note also that, in Australia, monepantel (Zolvix(R), Novartis) is only registered for use in sheep and that use in other species is ‘off-label’. More information on ‘off-label use and “prescription” by veterinarians:


A. M. Dadak, H. Asanger, A. Tichy, S. Franz (2013). Establishing an efficacious dose rate

of monepantel for treating gastrointestinal nematodes in llamas under field conditions.Veterinary Record 2013;172:155. http://veterinaryrecord.bmj.com/content/172/6/155.1.extract

(Thank-you Dr Paul Mason for the ‘heads up’ regarding this paper).

Useful Ag-related apps for smartphones – from SheepConnect-Tasmania


Cattle Parasite Atlas – Meat and Livestock Australia

This is a useful resource. I am pasting the link as it is not always easy to find things on the MLA website. (Sorry, JS).


However, I must say I have trouble with the suggested program for the NSW Northern Tablelands: perhaps someone can explain it to me sometime. Or, maybe I should drink more coffee.

Recovery rates of Fasciola hepatica eggs

In Happich and Boray’s paper in the Australian Veterinary Journal, 1969 (short title: quantification – chronic fasciolosis), there is an interesting table describing the recovery rates of fluke eggs by floatation and sedimentation techniques. The table is attached. The recoveries ranged from 1% (in a flotation technique) up to around 40% (sedimentation technique).

​‘Table 1 shows that only 2 out of 75 samples with 10 epg were positive by the flotation method, but eggs were detected in all samples by sedimentation.’

‘In the flotation technique only about 1% of the eggs were recovered compared with about one third of the total number of eggs by sedimentation.’

‘More eggs (about 40%) were recovered by sedimentation if detergent were added, but the amount of sediment increased considerably and the examination was more difficult.’

‘In positive samples, the average calculated epg was about one-third of the actual epg by both flotation and sedimentation.’

‘Eggs were not recovered from 55 samples, and only asingle egg was recovered from 17 samples containing 10 epg by flotation. Only 1 or 2 eggs were recovered by flotation from 32 samples (43%) containing as many as 100 epg. At both 10 and 100 epg the recovery from a large proportion of samples was appreciably below the

average calculated epg. More uniform recovery was achieved from the samples containing 1000 epg.

‘With sedimentation the variation of recovery from sample to sample with 10 epg was large, but some eggs were recovered from all samples. In 84% of the samples with 100 epg and 77% of the samples with 1000 epg the recoveries deviated only +/_ 30% from the average.’

The flotation solution used was potassium mercuriiodide​.

(Mercury salts have the advantage of relatively high specific gravities (see below), but I think they have fallen out of favour for safety reasons??).

(Thank-you Maxine Lyndal-Murphy for bringing this to my attention, again).

Q&A on worm egg counting

Below is some information I gave to a person (private vet practitioner) who attended one of NSW DPI’s egg counting courses. I don’t imagine for a moment that my answer is necessarily 100% accurate or exhaustively accurate. It may however be useful as a starting point for someone wanting to learn more about these parasitological techniques.

The question: “Is there an all in one solution that will float liver fluke? (A producer believes there is and we are not aware of such a solution)”.

​The answer I gave: ‘Yes, I was thinking ZnSO4 (zinc sulphate) might be one of them and it is. I consulted some old parasitology references on this’.

‘From the ‘MAFF (Ministry of Agriculture Fish and Food (United Kingdom)) Manual of Vet. Parasitology Laboratory Techniques), 3rd Ed., 1986; ISBN 0 11 242724 3))​ ​: Saturated Zn SO4 solution (Specific gravity (SG) =1.364) is recommended for floating Fasciola eggs (e.g. using a ‘sensitive floatation technique’) as they ​won’t float in sat. Na Cl (SG=1.204 (1.19 at 20 degrees C according to Thienpont (Thienpont D et al ~ 1979-‘Diagnosing helminthiasis through coprological examination’ – Janssen Research Foundation -Belgium)’.

‘Now, this answers your MgSO4 answer as well. MAFF go on to say that say MgSO4 (SG=1.290 (1.28 at 15 deg according to Thienpont)) is similarly recommended (instead of NaCL) for Metastrongylus eggs, and indeed sat. MgS04 can be used to replace NaCl and will give a better recover of some types of eggs such as Trichuris, Capillaria and Ascaris. If the eggs are required for other procedures (e.g. hatching), then sat. sucrose solution (SG=1.286 (1.12 at 15 deg according to Thienpont)) is better as it has less deleterious effects on egg viability than others’.

‘A disadvantage (MAFF says) of using sat. ZnSO4 to float Fasciola ova is that the shells collapse or at least get misshapen (as do Ballantidium cysts), however they remain easily recognizable – the same clear yellow-green of the shell and the same size – but this collapse can lead some eggs to sink again, so it’s important to proceed with counting once the floatation procedure has started. Thienpont however says the solutions used to float trematode eggs cause shrinkage and discolouration, and the operculum will often disappear. But they can still be differentiated from nematodes, however different trematode eggs (e.g. Fasciola v pararamphistomes) can’t be differentiated).’

‘By the way, the NSW DPI labs (at least when I was in the system) use a sedimentation technique for fluke egg counts.’

‘(Most if not all eggs lose shape in concentrate solutions (i.e. SG> 1.0) over time).’

‘In short, all flotation solutions have their pros and cons. Sat. NacL is cheap and easy, not much will grow in it, but it is murder on lab equipment made of metal (e.g. mechanical stages on microscopes, and metal mechanical counters -which were used in the olden days (when I was in a lab) – and heavy eggs (e.g. trematodes and Metastrongylus) won’t float in it. Sucrose I imagine is messy, but I have never used it. I am not sure what the cons of sat MgS04 might be. Some solutions are toxic .e.g. mercury salt solutions (potassium mercury iodide, which is also very expensive (Thienpoint et al), but has an SG of 1.44 ! at 15 deg. (Thienpont).’

‘From Thienpont et al: ‘in practice, all cestode and nematode eggs (except Metastrongylus) float in fluids with SG between 1.10 and 1.20. Trematode eggs require SG 1.30 – 1.35.’

If there was one parasitology text that ‘does it all’, I would have merely pointed this inquirer to that text.

Now, when it comes to practical information on sheep worm management in Australia, WormBoss comes close to ‘doing it all’. I am unbiased of course. FlyBoss and Liceboss, the other two under the ParaBoss umbrella (parasol?), may well do likewise, but I am less competent to comment on ectoparasites.


Ancient vs modern wheat and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) etc

Effect of Triticum turgidum subsp. turanicum wheat… [Br J Nutr. 2014] – PubMed – NCBI] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24521561?dopt=Citation

Related: non-coeliac gluten sensitivity (NCGS), IBS, wheat allergy (WA), and coeliac disease (CD) etc: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3820047/

Especially for those with CD, one expert said that saying that ancient wheat is better than modern wheat was like saying low tar cigarettes are better ‘full’ tar cigarettes. Just avoid them both.

Higher cholesterol linked with lower risk of death in the more mature person

Here is something for the elderly (all those older than 61.2 years of age)


This is just to confuse you even more – in case dementia wasn’t enough..;-)

Sign of the times

From a friend currently in Ireland:

‘On the main street, O’Connell Street, I just witnessed a large pro-cannabis demonstration. One of the best placards read, “My sign is better than yours.”

Professor Marmion – the man responsible for the introduction and use of the world’s only Q Fever vaccine

Vets, farmers and meat workers are among those most at risk of getting Q fever.

The following is on Q-fever expert, Prof. Marmion, who died recently.



SL. 2014-08-28


WRML.20140820.Wormfax. alpaca worms-NZ. FBZ medicated blocks.Fasciola research-Victoria.Combat departs.Dung beetles.Milk and wood glue. A theory’s 4 stages.

To WormMail mailing list (recip. Undisclosed)

cc G Rawlin​

In this issue:

· WormFax

· Worms in alpaca in NZ. Update from Prof. Bill Pomroy

· Fenbendazole medicated blocks, feed intake and worms (Dr L Kahn)

· Research into liver fluke in irrigated areas of Victoria (Dr G Rawlin)

· Combat (Naphthalophos) discontinued

· Dung beetles

· Milk, wood glue and hearing

· The four stages of a theory (Haldane)


The latest issue (July/August) has been published to the website: http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/aboutus/resources/periodicals/newsletters/wormfax

WormFax is a monthly summary of sheep WormTests from around NSW.

Eye-balling the sheep WormTest results from two of the major labs in NSW (VHR and EMAI), I see there are some relatively high worm egg counts in various locales, even in areas such as north eastern NSW and southern Queensland which have had record or near record low rainfall for the last 12 months.

So, why the high counts (e.g. >2000) in some flocks, including those in drought-affected areas?

Of course there are a number of reasons, but a common one is the unwitting use of drenches rendered ineffective by resistant worms.

Although testing drench effectiveness is cheap and easy (see info on DrenchCheck) farmers like everyone else are afflicted by busy-ness: driven by the tyranny of the urgent rather than guided by the truly important.

Still, simple things like using drenches known to be effective through on-farm testing reaps huge rewards.

Another way to make great gains is to get familiar with and follow Your Program in WormBoss. It’s very easy to read, and not too hard to apply. But, like all important things, it does take some time.

Worms in alpaca – New Zealand

A recent comment from Professor Bill Pomroy of Massey University:

“…there have been several documented deaths due to haemonchosis. We have recently identified an abomasal species Trichostrongylus askivali in alpacas which is a species we have seen in red deer. There was no suggestion the numbers involved were pathogenic. The particular alpaca property involved apparently did not have any farmed deer so the importance is unclear. Camelostrongylus mentulatus is an Ostertagia-like parasite that lives in the glandular stomach region of camelids. It was first identified in New Zealand in 2003 and is now widespread.”

Fenbendazole medicated blocks, feed intake, worms and refugia

From Dr Lewis Kahn, UNE:

Fiona Fishpool investigated self-medication with fenbendazole blocks in sheep. She observed some interesting behaviours regarding block intake in response to infection. A significantly greater proportion of infected animals consumed the block and when the block was curative (i.e. BZ susceptible infection) the infected animals consumed more block. The pattern of non-eaters raised the possibility of built-in refugia.

Some references:

Fishpool, F. J., Kahn, L. P., Tucker, D. J., Nolan, J. V., & Leng, R. a. (2012a). Fenbendazole as a method for measuring supplement intake in grazing sheep. Animal Production Science, 52(12), 1142. doi:10.1071/AN12008

Fishpool, F. J., Kahn, L. P., Tucker, D. J., Nolan, J. V., & Leng, R. a. (2012b). Voluntary intake of a medicated feed block by grazing sheep is increased by gastrointestinal nematode infection. Animal Production Science, 52(12), 1136. doi:10.1071/AN12104

Fishpool, F., Kahn, L. P., Tucker, D. J., Nolan, J., & Leng, R. (2011). Fenbendazole as a possible marker of supplement intake in sheep. Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, 71(i), 1–4. Retrieved from http://www.nzsap.org/ym/ab11004.pdf

Research into liver fluke in irrigated areas of Victoria

Dr Grant Rawlin is the Research Leader in Veterinary Pathobiology with Victoria’s Department of Environment and Primary Industries.

Grant and the group he works with from La Trobe University are investigating various aspects of liver fluke (Fasciola hepatica) control, especially in the irrigated areas of Victoria. Fluke in these areas is becoming more of an issue, with triclabendazole (TCBZ) resistance and very high burdens in dairy herds, particularly in Maffra (south-eastern Victoria), being a major concern.

The group is estimating production losses from fluke in the district. Early results indicate the losses are significant.

The team has a PCR designed to track the infective stage of Fasciola around the irrigation district onto farm. The aim is to get some modern tools (that Boray did not have) to better understand the ecology and management options of liver fluke.

The PCR is fairly well advanced and working well in water but there are some issues to work out related to the presence of grass which affects the release of DNA from metacercariae.

The group is also working with apple and pear entomologists whose approaches to integrated pest management are of interest. The research team hopes to pick up where Boray left off before TCBZ came on the scene and impacted work on ecological approaches to Fasciola management.

Combat (naphthalophos) discontinued

Virbac has advised that, for commercial and other reasons, they are withdrawing the naphthalophos-based sheep drench, Combat.

Dung beetles

Article in The Land:


Of interest to parasitologists also.

Milk, wood glue and hearing

‘Something I read recently: ” Milk doesn’t look very good in photographs: the white liquid you see in advertisements is usually a mixture of milk and PVA glue”.

I have heard PVA wood glue (e.g. ‘Aquadhere®’) is good for your ears / preventing wax build up / hearing as well, or is that ‘Aquaear®’?

The four stages of a theory

“I suppose the process of acceptance (of a theory) will pass through the usual four stages:

1. This is worthless nonsense

2. This is an interesting, but perverse, point of view

3. This is true, but quite unimportant

4. I always said so.”

Attributed to JBS Haldane.