WRML.2017-02-24.reversion to susceptibility. feedlotting goats to avoid worms.Q fever. Prof Hinch.dingoes. hot weather and worms.etc

In this issue

Reversion: Do worms become susceptible again to drenches not used for years? (Kahn?)
Feedlotting goats to avoid worm issues (WormBoss-Baxendell, Murphy et al)
Haemonchus aglow! ( Martin, Parker and Constantinoiu)
Q fever survey – Dr Lucienne Downs
Pollens and worm eggs
Professor Geoff Hinch retires (Sheep CRC)
Dingoes – the saviours of Australian wildlife? (Morgan, Ballard, Hunter)
BOM – special climate statement
So, what does this heat mean for worms? (Barger/WormBoss)
Creating a noise buffer at work (ABC)
Carbon fibre makes Australian debut (CSIRO News)
Why does Canberra have a beach at Jervis Bay? (ABC)

‘Hard to believe I know, but there are still some of you who would benefit from subscribing to ParaBoss News, but have yet to do so.

‘A couple of items you would have missed:

Reversion: Do worms become susceptible again to drenches not used for years?

(Probably by Lewis Kahn. (There is a picture of him :-). Article undated, but was flagged in a ParaBoss news email in the last week. No references cited but this was possibly considered unsuitable for the main target audience. A very good overview).


This may be the NZ reference to which the article refers:

Leathwick DM, Ganesh S, and Waghorn TS, 2015. Evidence for reversion towards anthelmintic susceptibility in Teladorsagia circumcincta in response to resistance management programmes.International Journal for Parasitology: Drugs and Drug Resistance 5 (2015) 9–15.

Feedlotting goats to avoid worm issues

(Another article highlighted recently in ParaBoss News)


Haemonchus aglow!

A fabulous pic, by Martin, Parker and Constantinoiu (contact: Dr Constantin Constantinoiu , James Cook University), of a 1st stage (L1) Haemonchus larva fed fluorescent bacteria.


Image credit: Martin, Parker and Constantinoiu. Contact: Dr C Constantinoiu, JCU. Used with permission. Please respect the rights of authors/photographers. Request permission from them before using their material.

Q fever survey – Dr Lucienne Downs

See here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NDQHMS6

When you go to the link above, you will find this introductory information from Lucienne:

Q fever is a an illness caused by the bacterium Coxiella burnetii.

Coxiella burnetii is a bacterium that can cause an illness in people called Q fever and reproductive problems in livestock.

The bacterium is mostly spread by airborne transmission. Organisms are shed into the environment from infected animals, especially domestic ruminants in birthing material, faeces, urine and milk. Other domestic animals and wildlife may carry and shed the organism. The bacteria remain viable in the environment for extended periods of time and may be carried on inanimate objects such as clothing, boots, animal bedding, feed and wool. 

A vaccine is available to protect people against Q fever.

For further information please see the NSW Health Factsheet on Q fever: http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/factsheets/Factsheets/qfever.PDF

This survey is being conducted by Lucienne Downs District Veterinarian with Central Tablelands Local Land Services, Orange. The purpose of the study is to increase awareness of this disease. Participation in this survey is voluntary and all data will be de-identified and kept securely. The findings may be published but will not identify participants.

Please contact me on 0417043966 or lucienne.downs@lls.nsw.gov.au if you require any more information or would like to discuss this survey.

It looks like an interesting, worthwhile survey. I am sure Lucienne would very much appreciate it if you completed the survey.

Pollens and worm eggs

What does doing worm egg counts (WECs) have to do pollens?   Anyone who WECs knows that at times you see egg-like things when you look down the microscope. Some may be mite eggs, some may be pollens, e.g. pine pollen.   Below is a pic of pollen. It doesn’t look like any pollen – or egg – I have seen before, but is an excuse to post an interesting picture.  (This pollen is roughly the size of a (smallish) strongyle egg, the ones most commonly seen in faeces from worm-infected grazing livestock).


Source: The Pollens Seeds Fruit calendar by Rob Kesseler, Wolfgang Stuppy, and Madeline Harley. Amber Lotus Publishing.

Some more interesting things (some worm eggs, plus other) here.   (Thanks JL)

Professor Geoff Hinch retires


Image source: Sheep CRC (photographer unknown)


This article in part is about Lewis Kahn taking over the reins from Geoff Hinch (Leader of Sheep CRC’s Wellbeing and Productivity Program),  but of particular  interest to me (partly because I have known Geoff for so long) is the thumb-nail sketch it gives of some of Geoff’s history.

Clearly ‘retirement’ for Geoff is a relative thing: “Although retiring from full-time employment, Prof. Hinch plans to continue to contribute to the development of young researchers as an academic supervisor. He is presently principal or co-supervisor of two Masters and six PhD students covering aspects of animal welfare and behaviour, and reproductive management“.

A top bloke and a top performer.

Dingoes – the saviours of Australian wildlife?

This article apparently is a tad contentious… But, that is part of the process of science?   (Great pics as well).

Authors: Morgan (UNE), Ballard (NSWDPI/UNE), Hunter (UNE).


BOM – special climate statement


Key points from the statement:

  • Prolonged and extreme heat in January and February 2017 affected New South Wales, southern Queensland, South Australia and northern Victoria.
  • Many temperature records set including:
    • hottest February day on record for sites in South Australia (Tarcoola 48.2 °C on 9 February) and Queensland (Thargomindah 47.2 °C on 12 February)
    • record runs of consecutive days of high temperatures: Moree, New South Wales, 54 consecutive days of 35 °C or above (27 December 2016 to 18 February 2017)
    • hottest February day for New South Wales as a whole: record broken twice in the month with over 93% of the State 10 °C above average
map of Australia showing highest maximum temperatures for 8–14 February 2017
Australian highest maximum temperatures for
8–14 February 2017

So, what does this heat mean for worms?


Source: http://www.wormboss.com.au/programs/sheep/nsw/appendices/roundworm-life-cycle-and-larval-survival.php

Creating a noise buffer at work

This is a “light a candle, don’t curse the darkness” type of article (providing solutions, not complaining) – with some interesting, ‘sound’ science..


Carbon fibre makes Australian debut

‘Australia for the first time has the capacity to produce carbon fibre from scratch and at scale, thanks to CSIRO and Deakin University.

The “missing link” in Australia’s carbon fibre capability, a wet spinning line (below), has been launched today in a ceremony at Waurn Ponds just outside Geelong.

Carbon fibre combines high rigidity, tensile strength and chemical resistance with low weight and is used in aerospace, civil engineering, the military, cars, and also in competitive sports.

Only a handful of companies around the world can create carbon fibre, each using their own secret recipe.

To join this elite club CSIRO and Deakin researchers had to crack the code.’


Why does Canberra have a beach at Jervis Bay?



SL, (Stephen L), Armidale   Fri 2017-02-24

ee&oe (egregious errors and omissions excepted)

Conflicts of interest: zero


NSW DPI Agriculture – largest rural R&D provider in Australia. See here



WRML.2017-02-13.Oestrus ovis.RHDV etc

(It’s too hot in this office (often ~30) to do much brain-sapping work, so I am sending this WormMail instead. What do I know about brain-sapping, I hear you say??)

In this issue:

  • Oestrus ovis – nasal bot in sheep and goats
  • Rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV) 1 K5 to be released nationally in the first week of March
  • Development Officer, Wool Performance position at Orange
  • NSW DPI digital publications
  • The Land’s Top Ten (farming apps)
  • ‘The dose makes the poison’
  • Lychee causing mystery deadly childhood illness in India?
  • Red meat mortality – the usual bad science??
  • The method of science
  • Cluck Norris thinks he’s a kangaroo

Oestrus ovis – nasal bot in sheep and goats

A chat with a colleague:  “Further to our discussion, I am not aware that there are studies showing O ovis to be economically significant in our grazing systems (Australia).
I saw a reference (google) to a statement by Merial NZ that the effects of O ovis are ‘not well defined’…   perhaps a significant statement?
But, as we discussed, you would think that very heavy burdens and high levels of fly worry would disrupt feeding at least….
The Americans at least seem to have put a $ value on O ovis:
‘Drummond in 1981 estimated annual losses in sheep production in the United States due to sheep bot fly to be $13.5 million’    Cited by Lloyd and Brewer, Wyoming.  http://www.wyomingextension.org/agpubs/pubs/B966.pdf
With increasing resistance to macrocyclic lactones (MLs), and to closantel (CLOS), and declining availability of organophosphate (OP) drenches, maybe bot numbers could increase???    (MLs, CLOS and OPs of course are boticides…)
Wiki… (for what it is worth) – seems to think it’s a big deal in some countries…

“In some areas of the world it is a significant pest which affects the agricultural economy.[2]”   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oestrus_ovis

Attached are pages from Taylor…which also does not definitively answer our questions.    Taylor says the major effect is from activity of adult flies
So Georgi(‘s Parasitology) reckons that both Tabanus (horseflies) and Oestrus mean ‘gadfly’…   (A gadfly is a fly that bites livestock.It comes (proximally) from 16C English: gad=goad or spike).
So, I checked ‘Oestrus; in the Macquarie Dictionary:
It says the word is Latin, from Greek…’oistros’ – gadfly, sting, frenzy.  (Etymology is both weird and interesting. Maybe entomology is too).
 (Thank-you Drs Gillan and Biddle).

Rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV) 1 K5 to be released nationally in the first week of March

From the VPB NSW to registered veterinarians:
‘Rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV) 1 K5 will be released nationally in the first week of March 2017.  It is recommended all healthy domestic rabbits are vaccinated against RHVD1″.
More information (with a timeline of RHDV in Australia):  https://www.vpb.nsw.gov.au/sites/default/files/images/NEWS_20170207_Biosecurity_Bulletin%20RHDV1K5.pdf

Development Officer, Wool Performance position at Orange

DPI Agriculture is seeking to appoint a Development Officer, Wool Performance on a temporary basis.

More information at:  Seek  or   iworkfornsw    Enquiries:  Joe Sullivan on 02 6391 3210

NSW DPI digital publications


The Land’s Top Ten (farming apps)

‘Ten farming apps you should download’

‘The dose makes the poison’

Famous quote from Paracelsus* (1493-1541), the Swiss-German physician often considered the founder of modern toxicology.

*aka Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim

Lychee causing mystery deadly childhood illness in India?

This ABC article isn’t really clear: Lychee identified as cause for mystery deadly childhood illness http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-02-02/lychee-identified-as-cause-for-mystery-indian-childhood-illness/8233964

So, I looked for the paper: Aakash Shrivastava et al, 2017. Association of acute toxic encephalopathy with litchi consumption in an outbreak in Muzaffarpur, India, 2014: a case-control study   (It’s natural for a vet to be interested in toxicology).

http://www.thelancet.com/journals/langlo/article/PIIS2214-109X(17)30035-9/fulltext ; http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(17)30035-9

The authors consider a number of factors to be involved, as well as the toxins hypoglycin A/MCPG, and in part say..

‘Skipping an evening meal is likely to result in night-time hypoglycaemia, particularly in young children who have limited hepatic glycogen reserves, which would normally trigger β-oxidation of fatty acids for energy production and gluconeogenesis.However, in the setting of hypoglycin A/MCPG toxicity, fatty acid metabolism is disrupted and glucose synthesis is severely impaired,which can lead to the characteristic acute hypoglycaemia and encephalopathy of the outbreak illness’.    (Thanks JL)

Red meat mortality – the usual bad science??


On balance we are probably assailed more by anti- rather than pro-meat reports in the media??   If so, the above might help rectify confirmation bias.   (I do try to read across the spectrum…from the VeganRD (American blog) through to Harcombe, Taubes etc…and peer-reviewed papers they reference…:-)

The method of science

Thus says Karl Popper: “The method of science is the method of bold conjectures and ingenious and severe attempts to refute them”

Cluck Norris thinks he’s a kangaroo

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-02-03/meet-cluck-norris-the-outback-rooster-who-thinks-its-a-kangaroo/8215054     (Good pics  🙂   Thanks JL)


SL, Armidale   2017-02-13

ee&oe  (egregious errors and omissions excepted)

Conflicts of interest: none to declare.

WRML.2017-02-06. wormfax. appreciation for pathologists. gross margins. wormboss workshop etc

In this issue:

  • WormFax -Dec 2016
  • NSW DPI – livestock health info
  • District Vets express appreciation for vet pathologists
  • Resistance breeding values confirmed
  • Drenches for goats
  • Gross margins -sheep – Casburn
  • New England WormBoss Workshop-Valentine’s Day – Maxwell
  • Low Na diets not beneficial??   – O’Donnell et al
  • Freeze it, don’t squeeze it – ticks, ‘meat allergy’ etc
  • How many feral cats in Australia?
  • Parthenium pathways – Blackmore
  • Fruit and veg pre-domestication

WormFaxNSW – December 2016

Wormfax for December 2016 is now on-line:


NSW DPI – livestock health information


District Vets express appreciation for DPI vet pathologists

Several vet pathologists have or will be leaving NSW DPI. These are (in no particular order) Drs Rod Reece, Andrew Thompson, Effie Lee, Erika Bunker and Patrick Staples.

The District Veterinarian’s Association sent them this note of appreciation recently (published here with permission):

Afternoon Rod, Effie, Andrew, Patrick and Erika

On behalf of the members of the District Veterinarian’s Association I would like to express our appreciation to you all for your many years of dedicated, professional service to us in veterinary public health. 
We appreciate that you have taken the time to answer our queries and do the extra research that is often necessary to advise us and to guide us to an accurate diagnosis. This is so valuable in supporting our service to our stakeholders from landholders to governments to our trading partners.
For many of us you are also valued colleagues and friends. We would like to extend our best wishes to you in the next stage of your career.
Bruce Watt
President, District Veterinarian’s Association

Worm resistance breeding values confirmed

“A recent analysis shows worm resistance can be bred relatively rapidly with little effect on other important traits. The study published in January 2017 by Daniel Brown (AGBU) and Neal Fogarty (NSW DPI), analyzed data from the Sheep Genetics MERINOSELECT database. Their findings showed that the moderate heritability for worm egg count (WEC) (0.2–0.3) combined with its high phenotypic variation (WEC results for individuals in a mob can range from zero to many thousands) means that worm resistance in sheep can be improved relatively rapidly by selection for low WEC”

For the full article, by Deb Maxwell for ParaBoss, see:


Drenches registered for use in milking goats (NSW/Australia)

‘Another reason to subscribe to ParaBoss News.  In the latest, there is this quiz;

1. What is the Barbervax vaccine used for?

2. What are covert strikes?

3. When buying rams, what is recommended to avoid introduction of lice?

4. Which drenches are registered for use in milking goats

Here is the answer to question 4:

Which drenches are registered for use in milking goats?

Caprimec and Panacur 25 are the only products with a milk withdrawal time registered and can be used in dairy goats. The others have this or a similar statement: “Do not use in female sheep or goats which are producing or may in the future produce milk for human consumption” ‘.

(Caprimec=abamectin; Panacur=fenbendazole – Ed.)

Gross margins -sheep

Some very nice work by Geoff Casburn, NSW DPI, Wagga Wagga:


‘Some other budget and economic information here:  http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/agriculture/budgets

Climate outlooks – monthly and seasonal


New England WormBoss workshop
Armidale, 14 February 2017

More details:  http://www.paraboss.com.au/news/events.php

Low salt diets not beneficial?


While our data highlights the importance of reducing high salt intake in people with hypertension, it does not support reducing salt intake to low levels. Our findings are important because they show that lowering sodium is best targeted at those with hypertension who also consume high sodium diets.— Andrew Mente

Only about 10 per cent of the population in the global study (130 000 people/49 countries) had both hypertension and high sodium consumption (greater than 6 grams per day).

O’Donnell, Mente, Yusuf, 2015.Sodium Intake and Cardiovascular Health. http://circres.ahajournals.org/content/116/6/1046.short  https://doi.org/10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.116.303771

Smyth, A., O’Donnell, M., Mente, A. et al., 2015.Dietary Sodium and Cardiovascular Disease. Curr Hypertens Rep (2015) 17: 47. doi:10.1007/s11906-015-0559-8


Freeze it, don’t squeeze it

Ticks, tick removal and ‘meat allergy’ (alphagal):


(Freeze it??…ether-containing sprays eg for warts, and for skin tgas   See link ABC above).

How many feral cats are in Australia?


A collation of 91 studies was used to estimate Australia’s feral cat population.

Feral cats are present on >> 99.8% of Australia’s land area.

Feral cat numbers in Australia fluctuate (2.1–6.3 million) with antecedent rainfall.

Feral cat density is higher on small islands, and in arid/semi-arid areas after rain.

Feral cat impacts on Australian biodiversity have been particularly severe.

Legge S and others, 2016. Enumerating a continental-scale threat: How many feral cats are in Australia? Biological Conservation  Accessed Jan 2017 at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006320716309223  (Authors include Guy Ballard from NSW DPI).

Some more information: http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/content/agriculture/pests-weeds/vertebrate-pests/pest-animals-in-nsw

Preventing parthenium pathways

Text and image by Philip Blackmore, DPI Armidale,  1 Feb, 2017  (from DPI’s staff blog, DPI Active. Republished with permission)


Parthenium weed is endemic to central and southern Queensland and its potential to establish in New South Wales poses a significant biosecurity risk to the economy, environment and community of our state.

Border inspection staff from the Invasive Plants and Animals and the Animal Biosecurity units are at the front line of managing this risk. During the 2016 winter cereal harvest, they inspected 530 headers and other associated items of machinery, at the Goondiwindi, Tallwood, Mungindi and Hebel inspection points.

Headers and associated harvesting machinery that have operated in Queensland have been demonstrated to be significant carriers of Parthenium weed seed. By implementing the legislated cleaning requirement at the NSW – Queensland border under the Noxious Weeds Act 1993 and soon to transition to the Biosecurity Act 2015, a major invasion pathway is intercepted.

Parthenium weed is an annual Asteraceae species. It produces a large amount of seed and new incursions can quickly develop an abundant and persistent seedbank. Parthenium weed is allelopathic, that is, it exudes phytotoxic chemicals that suppress the germination and growth of other plant species, especially grasses. It is also an alternate host for a number of crop pests and disease. Parthenium weed contains serious allergens. It can cause severe contact dermatitis, asthma and rhinitis in sensitized individuals. People who are not initially allergic can become sensitised after prolonged exposure.

The NSW – Queensland border surveillance project has been operating for 32 years, originally as part of the Cattle Tick Program and is now funded under the NSW Weeds Action Program 2015-2020.




SL, Armidale  2017-02-06

e&oe.   Conflicts of interest: none to declare.   Mistakes? Blame the long heat spell and zero air/con  🙂