Wormfax.cattle drench resistance.usefulness of WEcs in cattle.monepantel etc..

In this issue:

  • WormFaxNSW-March 2016
  • Drench resistant cattle worms – Wonders
  • WECs don’t tell the full story in dairy cattle either – Wonders
  • Monepantel matters
  • Cooper Curtice
  • Profarm courses
  • Kelpies and dingoes, antibiotic resistance, pediatric myopia, first illegal immigrants etc

WormFaxNSW-March 2016

The March edition, along with explanatory notes, is now up on the DPI website:


The data is supplied each month by the State Vet Lab at EMAI and by Veterinary Health Research, Armidale.

Now, let’s see who scored the highest worm egg counts (WECs):

  • Armidale had the highest ( mean WEC of 13 380 epg (range 5440 – 18640, 100% Haemonchus), narrowly eclipsing …
  • Central Tablelands (mean WEC 11 660 epg ( range 7920 – 15 400, 93% Haemonchus)

Drench-resistant cattle worms in Australia – Dr Nick Wonders

Merial vet Dr Nick Wonders did a presentation on this subject at a recent (April 2016) Australian Cattle Veterinarians meeting at Ayres Rock, NT. He presented data from a Merial sponsored survey. The abstract is in the public domain. Here is a link to it: Wonders-N. 2016.Abstract – What does anthelmintic resistance mean for worm treatment in cattle. Aust Cattle Vets, Ayres Rock Autumn 2016

Why  am I posting it here? Well, I think it is important information, an acceptable/standard protocol was used, the field work was done by a variety of people, not just company employed or sponsored persons, all the actives tested were affected (i.e. less than 95% efficacy) to some extent, including actives Merial markets. (Of the actives for which there are results, Merial markets all of them in Australia in ruminants except doramectin, and, in cattle, all of them except doramectin and oral benzimidazole (BZ) drenches).

The study was done on 36 Australian farms, mostly in NSW and Victoria. The farms were not randomly selected. It is not claimed that reliable estimates of prevalence of resistance were obtained for a particular region or regions. The prevalences reported here are clearly proportions of farms tested that yielded particular results.   You could say these results are indicative of what the prevalence of resistance in the field might be.

Rather than getting mired in the detail, perhaps the most important take home point is that 75% of the farms tested had resistance (efficacy <95%) to at least one of the single active macrocyclic lactone drenches tested. [This was in at least one worm species based on larval differentiation (OstertagiaTrichostrongylus, Haemonchus and Cooperia spp). Based on undifferentiated strongylid egg counts, it was closer to 66%].

And of course resistance to the other drench groups was common as well.

If you prefer pictures, here is a PowerPoint slide that I put together and sometimes use. It is based on the Merial dataset.   The usual caveats apply regarding over-interpreting results, particularly with very small numbers of farms/tests. So, for example, the results do not say resistance to moxidectin LA injectable occurs on 100% of farms!

SL.Merial cattle drench resistance survey screen shot of PPT slide 16 04 21

Take home messages:

  • Resistance to cattle drenches is common.
  • Combinations have benefits. Everything else being equal, they are more likely to kill more worms including resistant worms.
  • These results are not a guide to what an individual farm should use. Testing on each farm is required. This can be as simple as frequent DrenchChecks (WEC on, or just before, the day of drenching a mob, and then again 14 days (in cattle) after drenching, with preferably a larval culture (‘worm type’) being done as well).

WECs don’t tell the full story in dairy cattle either

We know WECs (unfortunately) don’t tell the full story in cattle regarding actual worm burdens and the impact of these burdens on productivity.  In a previous WormMail, there is this:

“…. NSW and Victorian trials (see below) (found) that worm egg counts have limitations in cattle, particularly when it comes to predicting likely production losses from roundworms”.

“So, consider on-going evaluation of your worm control program, what drenches you use, and whether you have drench resistance. Objectively assessing these might have a big impact on cost of production and/or productivity, and therefore the bottom line.

URLs for reports on Central Tablelands (NSW) and Victorian (MLA-supported) ‘producer demonstration site’ (PDS) trials:

Eppleston J and Watt B: http://tinyurl.com/jqwu3w7    Rolls N and Webb Ware J: http://tinyurl.com/zhavhdb  ”

I can’t guarantee the above links will work – or won’t be changed -so here is a PPT slide that provides  a summary:

SL.worm impact on weaner cattle summary PPT slide

While at Ayres Rock, Nick Wonders also presented some data on the effect of drenching dairy cattle at calving. He was reporting some work done roughly 15 years ago. Here is  the abstract: Little G et al 2000 Effect_of_Eprinomectin_at_calving_on_milk_production Socy Dairy Cattle Vets NZVA-frm Nick W 16 04 20


  • Australian study on 2,599 dairy cows on 9 farms
  • Drenched at calving (eprinomectin). (The merits of different drenches is not the main point here).
  • Average effect, compared to untreated controls, on milk production per treated cow over 100 days:
    • milk volume up by 1.8%  (2642 vs 2595 L)
    • milk fat up by 1.8% (101.0 vs 99.2kg)
    • milk protein up by 2.6% (87.1 vs 84.9)
  • On ~18% of the cows, nematode worm egg counts (WECs) were done, with the detection limit being 2 eggs per gram. (Typically the detection limit for cattle WECs  using the usual lab method is 20-25 epg).
    • before treatment, ~47% of untreated controls and 41% of cows to be treated had positive strongylid WECs
    • only 2.4% had WECs >40 epg.

The main point I take from this is that high WECs in cattle  may mean something, but low WECs, certainly in adults, may not, i.e. there can still be significant production losses with low WECs. So, for cattle in particular, measuring production as well as WECs is necessary to see if there are significant adverse effects from worms.

And something else that needs to be regularly measured: drench efficacy.  Resistance is common. How much is lost through the unwitting use of less than highly effective drenches?

Monepantel matters

Following are two recent papers -and an excerpt from one – on resistance to monepantel. As always, you need to read the papers for yourself!

A. Raza et al. Larval development assays reveal the presence of sub-populations showing high- and low-level resistance in a monepantel (Zolvix®)-resistant isolate of Haemonchus contortus. Veterinary Parasitology 220 (2016) 77–82.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26995725

An excerpt: ‘This study demonstrates that a larval development assay is able to detect resistance to monepantel in H. contortus, and that resistance can exist in two distinct forms. This suggests that at least two separate monepantel resistance mechanisms are acting within the worm isolate studied here, with one or more mechanisms conferring a much higher level of resistance than the other(s)’.

D.J. Bartley et al. Phenotypic assessment of the ovicidal activity of monepantel andmonepantel sulfone on gastro-intestinal nematode eggs. Veterinary Parasitology 220 (2016) 87–92.    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26995727

(Thanks LK).

Cooper Curtice – what’s in a name?

Dr Keith Dash (of WormKill, and other, fame) has told me about Cooper Curtice’s 1890 book “The Animal Parasites of Sheep”, which contains the the original description of Oesphagostomum columbianum. (Keith did his PhD on this worm).

So, what else?  I guess you have heard of the small intestinal worm, Cooperia curticei ? and the genus, Cooperia ?

Cooper Curtice -Beyond the Germ Theory-story of Dr Cooper Curtice – Dr Jeanne Logue -amazon books

Profarm course list


ABC Catalyst

  • Increased prevalence of myopia in children?  – and a simple preventative measure


Kelpie interacts with sheep – a great pic (by Carey Edwards)


Kelpies – a dash of dingo?


‘The Australian kelpie is considered the best all-round stock dog on Earth with its abilities taking it from Australia’s dusty Outback to even herding reindeer in the Arctic. But the kelpie’s origins are shrouded in mystery.’

‘The kelpie takes its name from a water spirit of Scottish folklore’.

Dingo genes dominant over domestic dogs


University of Sydney excels in latest QS rankings


“Veterinary Science (at Uni Syd) was ranked ninth in the world and number one in Australia.”

(This is mainly to annoy my veterinary friends/colleagues who studied ‘elsewhere’.)

The first illegal immigrants?

Map of Britain before the first illegal immigrants. A bit after actually; they had started to colonize the east coast. There would be similar maps for other regions, e.g. NZ, Australia (~ C.18), the americas, Africa etc

Britain-map circa 500 AD IMG_0130


Dr Sawford’s worm control guidelines.FECPAKG2.Brucellosis.Sheep Breed Compendium.Other

In this issue:

Cattle and sheep worm control guidelines for Braidwood (NSW) – Kate Sawford


Ovine brucellosis still causing losses – Bruce Watt

Sheep Breed Compendium by AWEX

Other:  MAMILs; the Australian paradox; butter got dudded?; corp-speak

Cattle and sheep worm control guidelines for Braidwood – Kate Sawford

Dr Kate Sawford [kate.sawford@lls.nsw.gov.au] is the Local Land Services (South East region) District Veterinarian  for the  Braidwood area, which is in the Southern Tablelands of NSW. She has prepared these guidelines for local producers to help them better manage sheep and cattle worms.
In preparing the guidelines, Kate has relied heavily on these resources:
* WormBoss. This resource currently is only for sheep, but the general principles apply to other grazing livestock, including cattle.
* Paper by Leathwick and Besier, 2014. (Leathwick DM and Besier RB, 2014.The management of anthelmintic resistance in grazing ruminants in Australasia-strategies and experiences.Vet Parasitol. 2014 Jul 30;204(1-2):44-54. doi: 0.1016/j.vetpar.2013.12.022. Epub 2013 Dec 31.)
As mentioned, these guidelines have been prepared specifically for the Braidwood region. Also, they are ‘living’ or ‘organic’ documents, and are continually being refined. For example, the cattle guidelines will be updated to include a schedule that relates to autumn as well as spring calving. While written specifically for the Braidwood area, the general principles apply to most temperate regions of NSW.
Kate intends these guidelines as a starter for local producers and strongly recommends that users avail themselves of more comprehensive resources, WormBoss being a prime example.


This may be of interest:

http://fecpakg2.com/    http://www.techiongroup.co.nz/

Brucellosis still causing losses in (NSW) central tablelands sheep flocks

An article by Bruce Watt in the April 2016 SheepConnectNSW newsletter.


Sheep Breed Compendium by AWEX

Free app for iOS  released 12 April 2016. Apparently also available on Android.

“The SBC is the industry reference guide of sheep & wool.”  (Thanks, Ashley W).

The stage after MAMIL?

As you no doubt know, MAMIL stands for Middle Aged Men In Lycra but have you heard of Very Old Men In Tights?

Australian Paradox under fire: Health experts hit out at Sydney Uni sugar study

“Imagine if the amount of sugar you consumed in things like soft drink had nothing to do with how much weight you put on. A much-cited Australian research paper claiming just that has raised questions in the health world and beyond.”


Did butter get a bad rap?



Recently I came across a new ‘corp-speak’ gem: ‘we have no visibility on…’.   Example: ‘We currently have no visibility on when this product will be off-shored.’ Translation: ‘We don’t know when this product will be made overseas’.

Including this new gem with other buzzwords and hackneyed phrases:

‘In terms of the issue at hand, even though we currently have no visibility on the outcome in this space, we will nevertheless  impactfully evolve synergies and new learnings going forward until we achieve critical mass, while meeting KPIs in ‘win-win’ cooperation with KOLs, in a clean, time-bound, quantifiable manner.’ (Translation not attempted, and putting this into Google Translate made my computer crash).

The last gem (‘clean, time-bound, quantifiable manner’) was shared with me by the late Ian Barger, eminent parasitologist and master of various communication styles, when we wrote a project proposal together.

This string above reminds me of the all-purpose political speech, by British entertainer and interviewer David Frost, which said nothing meaningful (i.e, it bypassed cognitive processes) but nonetheless evoked strong emotional responses…. and presumably a commitment to vote in a certain way, give money, adore, worship etc.

SL, 2016 04 20

WormFax, liver fluke, drench calculator, low worm-risk paddocks etc

In this issue:

  • WormFaxNSW-February
  • April? Think liver fluke
  • Combination drench efficacy calculator (WormBoss
  • Pathway to enlightenment low worm-risk pasture (Kahn / WormBoss)
  • NSW Weedwise app
  • NZ overtakes AUS as skin cancer capital
  • Eat less red meat, die more??!!??
  • Other

WormFaxNSW- February

The data for February has been added to the website.

To see explanatory notes and the data, go to http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/aboutus/resources/periodicals/newsletters/wormfax

‘Some high/’juicy’ worm egg counts in there.

April? Think ‘liver fluke’

For those who have liver fluke on their properties, April/May (when cold weather/frosts begin) is the single most important time to drench for liver fluke.  And, at this time, use the most effective fluke drenches. This means (assuming no resistance) triclabendazole-based drenches, with the additional option in cattle of drenches containing nitroxynil+clorsulon (i.e., ‘Nitrofluke’), and ‘Nitromec’ (= Nitrofluke+ivermectin).

If you need to drench for fluke again in August, rotate to a flukicide based on an unrelated active.  For more information on drenches, go to WormBoss.

To check the efficacy of a fluke drench, do a fluke egg count on or just before the day of treatment and again 21-28 days later.

More information:




Combination drench efficacy calculator

Have you checked it out?


The path to low worm-risk paddocks with worm resistant sheep

By Lewis Kahn, ParaBoss Executive Officer, March 2016 ParaBoss News

Ed: In case you missed this article in last month’s ParaBoss News, it is repeated here. You don’t get ParaBoss News?   Really? You can rectify that grave oversight, by subscribing, here:  http://www.paraboss.com.au/news.php

‘Worm resistant sheep have lower worm egg counts and it makes sense that, when compared with more susceptible sheep, this would result in fewer infective larvae on pasture over time.  But how big is this effect?

‘A research project conducted near Armidale in northern NSW compared the performance of Merino ewes from a worm-resistant selection line against ewes from an unselected control line. The two groups of ewes (and their lambs) were grazed in separate paddocks from 10 weeks prior to 8 weeks after lambing and no drench was given at any stage.

‘The average worm egg count of worm-resistant ewes peaked at 300 epg, while the unselected ewes had a peak worm egg count of 1,000 epg.  Over the entire trial period of 18 weeks, the average worm egg count of resistant ewes was 80 epg compared with unselected ewes at 420 epg: a five-fold difference.

‘How did this translate to the worm-risk of paddocks? The effect of worm resistance on the number of infective larvae on pasture was determined by grazing young “tracer” sheep on these paddocks prior to and after the 18-week trial. The egg counts of these tracer sheep were compared before and after the trial.

‘As expected, at the start of the trial, there was no difference in worm egg counts from the tracer sheep that grazed the paddocks to be used by the resistant and unselected sheep. After the trial, results were different. The tracer sheep that grazed paddocks used by the worm-resistant ewes and lambs had worm egg counts that were half the value of those from the tracer sheep that grazed paddocks used by unselected sheep. A larval culture of the faeces indicated that the difference was greatest for barber’s pole worm. The barber’s pole worm counts from the tracer sheep on paddocks used by unselected ewes were three times as high as in tracer sheep grazing the paddocks used by the worm-resistant ewes.

‘There are a number of ways to create low worm-risk paddocks, which are detailed in WormBoss. In barber’s pole worm areas, the reduction in worm larvae from worm-resistant sheep will not be enough for dedicated low worm-risk lambing and weaning paddocks for susceptible stock. However, for other pastures throughout the year, worm-resistant sheep significantly reduce the number of infective larvae on pasture and provide an ongoing benefit.

NSW Weedwise app

‘Twelve months since its launch, the NSW WeedWise smartphone app has been installed on over 5000 smartphones. While the majority are in Australia, NSW WeedWise also has users in the USA, Russia, the UK, Germany, Brazil, Israel, Japan and the Phillipines.’

‘User analysis (via Google Mobile Analytics) is showing that herbicide registrations are the most visited part of the app, followed by the profiles for African lovegrass, mother-of-millions, blackberry and alligator weed, and then spreading across many of the 340 weeds it contains.

‘Version 1.1 was released last week, with improved navigation that allows a user to return to their last-viewed weed.

‘5000 users in 12 months is equivalent to 50% of the yearly print run of the Noxious & Environmental Weed Control Handbook (the very popular NSW DPI print publication listing herbicide registrations) indicating that immediate uptake of the information in digital format is high. Being the first smartphone-based delivery of this content, use levels also indicate that behaviour change is occurring around the way people access this weeds information.

‘The app is rating 4.2 out of 5 in the Google Play Store, with positive User Reviews:

Love this app. Love how you can select the areas that you want to view for weed legislation. Good selection of photos for plant id”

“Very useful app, with valuable info on control and herbicide treatment”

Very helpful. Very handy

The request for weed identification capabilities within the app is also strong in user feedback, and will be considered in the next phase of the project, funded under the NSW Weeds Action Plan, over the next two years.

‘NSW WeedWise was developed primarily by staff at the Grafton Primary Industries Institute, in association with the “Capacity Building of NSW Weeds Professionals” project team in Tamworth, and Adelphi Digital Pty Ltd in Canberra.

‘The app is freely available for Apple and Android devices, via the app stores.’

Source: Elissa van Oosterhout @ DPI Active

New Zealand ‘overtakes Australia as skin cancer capital’

‘Australia no longer has the highest rates of deadly skin cancer in the world, with New Zealand surpassing it according to researchers’.


Food safety and hand washing go hand in hand

Excerpt from DPI Active (internal DPI blog). Author: Katie Xia

‘The Food Authority has sponsored the Royal Agricultural Society in the delivery of the Show since 2004 as it provides an excellent opportunity to engage proactively, positively and face-to-face with approximately 40 000 consumers in addition to the helpline and website to promote the ‘food safety at home’ message.

‘With over 4 million cases of food poisoning in Australia every year – and with poor personal hygiene identified as one of the most common causes of foodborne illness the Food Authority once again focused on the ‘keep it clean’ message for consumers.  This was brought to life through a custom-built handwashing booth located on the high-traffic animal walk in the Woolworths Food Farm where visitors were asked to test how well they wash their hands.  Popular with the kids, the stand features an interactive hand washing booth where children apply a special gel (which imitates “‘bacteria”) on their hands, then wash their hands thoroughly and look under a UV light to see if any “bacteria” are still present.

‘Washing hands properly before handling food is one of the golden rules of food safety – and it’s also one of the most important and easiest ways to prevent illness.

Women who don’t eat red meat more likely to die???

Various reports, receiving a lot of air time in the media recently, have indicated eating red and processed meats carries higher risks of certain adverse events, death being one.

Well, Professor RD Feinman found evidence in a study that could be taken to mean that women who don’t eat red meat had a higher risk of mortality. https://feinmantheother.com/2015/11/10/red-meat-and-cancer/

All this serves to remind us that some things need to be taken with a grain of salt (if you are allowed to have it) and that, in observational / epidemiological studies, correlation does not equal causation. And ‘risk’, when reported in the media, could be either relative or absolute risk (or maybe just plain wrong). (So, if you have a 1% risk of contracting disease x in the next decade, and eating food y increases your risk by 30%, is your risk now 31% or 1.3% ?).

(Lest you get the wrong end of the stick, I am not saying women who eschew meat are more likely to die, nor the converse).

You might recall the splash in the media recently about an Australian nutritional study involving a small number of mice. One of the authors reportedly said the study indicated that the ‘paleo’ diet might not be so good for some people at least.   I went and read the paper and found that the diet the author referred to – the one with restricted carbohydrate – mainly had casein as its protein and the carbohydrate in that diet was sugar. Yep, all sucrose. At least the fat in that diet wasn’t mainly soyabean oil, as in some studies comparing different macronutrient ratios.  (Remember the TV ad (for Castrol) where we learnt ‘oils aint oils’?).The ‘paleo’ diet eschews both dairy products, which would include casein (I guess), and sugar / sucrose, (and also legumes and seed oils). If the author had been more circumspect when speaking to the media, he might have instead said that a (wacky) synthetic diet including casein and sugar might not be so good for you if you happen to be a herbivore, specifically, a mouse. But that sounds a bit boring.

Gasp!   someone said GMail not the best email?!

Oh….someone has broken ranks…

Apparently not all I.T. journalists think gmail is the best free email…

“The so-called “leader” in web-based email systems is (a) rickety, clunky, junked-up ugly mess and always has been”.


Cecily on sharing

cecily on sharing




Opinions expressed herein may not be those of the editor, even if he wrote them.