New liver fluke Primefact from NSW DPI: ‘Liver fluke – a review’

A new edition of this Primefact has been published on the NSW DPI website:

‘Liver fluke – a review’, April 2017, Primefact 813, second edition.   Published 2017-04-21.

This Primefact is a companion to Dr Boray’s liver fluke Primefact (446; 4th ed, March 2017), which was also revised/updated recently (but still mostly ‘pure Boray’).
Primefact 813 is ~ 19 (!) pages long (including some nice pics, tables, and a very long reference list), and has been written at 3 levels:
1. Summary at the front. About half a page; bare-bones summary.
It also contains a link/reference to Dr Boray’s Primefact which really targets the broad, middle ground. (A giant in the world of parasitology, Joe could also write appropriately for different ‘audiences’).
2. The guts of the Primefact. Target: producers, advisers and others who are somewhat to very interested and motivated with respect to liver fluke.  A range of fluke-related topics are covered, and in some detail. Many salient facts from recent literature (mostly the last decade; Australia and Europe etc)) are included. (Can liver fluke cross- and self-fertilize?  Did you know about its cuticular spines? How long do metacercariae live? Vaccines? When do the antibody and coproantigen ELISAs detect fluke infections?)  References are cited.
3. The appendix.  This is for the serious reader. A bit more hard core.   Tabulated summaries of information on flukicide synergism, characteristics of various flukicides, flukicide resistance, and features of the various diagnostic tests. (Does one cross-react with stomach fluke?).
It also contains a link to two tabulated summaries (available as PDFs) in WormMail on flukicide efficacy, and more on synergism, etc.
In addition there are notes on sundry and various, including human infections, prenatal infection, why nitroxynil is not given orally, why salicylanilides are not so effective against immature fluke, the only flukicide for which resistance is not yet recorded? etc etc   But, there are no steak knives.  In short, it contains answers to some of my own questions which I could never find in one place, or in several places.
An enormous debt of gratitude is owed to Dr Joe Boray. And, several years ago, he also wrote some essays on fluke for the WormMail newsletter. These are referenced in PrimeFact 813 as well.
See also the great article on Joe written by Dr Bruce Watt (at the end of the revised version of Joe Boray’s Primefact (446)).

SL, Armidale NSW 2017-04-26

WRML.2017-04-21.wormfax.rat lungworm. weaners-winter.macropod worms. wild dog walking etc

In this issue:

  • Wormfax
  • Rat lung worm
  • Worms-weaners-winter – WormBoss
  • Pathology and diagnosis of internal parasites of ruminants – Love and Hutchinson 2003
  • Roo worms (Labiosimplex sp) – Sandow/Hemley/Spratt/Aust Socy Parasitol
  • Livestock memorabilia
  • Wild dog walking – Ballard
  • On-line security – Spider Oak

WormFaxNSW-March 2017


Thanks GK.

(Another reason ‘real’ men don’t eat vegetables? (joking!)…but then there is the pork tapeworm..T solium…so real men don’t eat bacon either?   (but does T solium survive in bacon/the curing process??  I see a research project happening…)

Worms-weaners-winter   Thanks ParaBoss (Subscribe to ParaBoss News:

Pathology and diagnosis of internal parasites of ruminants – Love and Hutchinson 2003    (Preserving good info from VG Cole (1986) etc)

‘Roo’ worms – Labiosimplex / Labiostrongylus

Image credit/source: Ruth Sandow

A photo by Ruth Sandow via Dr Sophie Hemley (District Vet Officer, Local Land Services, Broken Hill, NSW): nematodes in a ‘red roo’ (Macropus rufus). Location: Milparinka, 200 km north of Broken Hill (‘Corner country’, outback NSW).

Dr Dave Spratt (CSIRO), guru on worms of Australian native fauna (along with Ian Beveridge and others), advised as follows:

“Depending on what species the “roo” (or wallaby) was, those large nematodes are species of either Labiostrongylus, Labiosimplex or Labiomultiplex, very common in the stomachs of macropodids.’

“(Being a) “a red ‘roo’, then those nematodes are Labiosimplex of which three species occur in reds”.

I don’t know what species these worms are, but there is some information on Labiosimplex in a paper by Smales, 2011:

Smales LR, 2011. New species and new locality records of the nematode genus Labiosimplex (Strongylida: Chabertiidae) from macropodid marsupials in Western Australia. RECORDS OF THE WESTERN AUSTRALIAN MUSEUM 183–190 (2011). Author information: Parasitology Section, South Australian Museum, North Terrace, Adelaide, South Australia 5000, Australia. Accessed April 2017 at

The Labiosimplex  described by Smales are large robust nematodes; male: length 22-27 (23.9) mm; female length 27-33 (30.3) mm. But Smales describes another species in this paper which are larger: male: 45 mm long (average) and females 80 mm.

BUT… I did find this:

“4.11. 1. Macropods (kangaroos and wallabies)
The kangaroos and wallabies harbour the most diverse parasite faunas
of all of the marsupials. By far the most numerous are the strongyloid
nematodes found in the sacculated forestomachs (Fig. 4.11.1), with 250
species described so far but with many more yet to describe. Nematodes
also occur in very large numbers (up to 500, 000) in the forestomach
and are frequently encountered at autopsy. The species described here
have been selected because they are the most frequently encountered
or because they are pathogenic. For simplicity, the term “kangaroo” has
been used to include all kangaroos and wallabies.
Fig. 4.11.1. Stomach of an agile wallaby, Macropus agilis, with
strongyloid nematatodes. (Image courtesy of I. Beveridge). Gastrointestinal tract
Labiostrongylus spp.
Species of Labiostrongylus are large (to 10 cm) nematodes found
in the lumen of the sacculate forestomachs; for simplicity, the
numerous species as well as those of the related genera Labiosimplex,
Labiomultiplex, Parazoniolaimus and Potorostrongylus are dealt with
together.”   “Eggs are passed in faeces and a doubly ensheathed L3 emerges from
the egg; the L3 is ingested and migrates into the gastric mucosa; the L4
and adult are found in the stomach lumen. The life cycle may be highly
seasonal with one generation per year and with the development of
adults and the onset of egg laying coinciding with the most favourable
climatic conditions (low temperatures, high rainfall)”. (Emphases (bolding) is mine-SL)

Source: Australasian_Animal_Parasites_Inside_Out-Aust Socy Parasitol-Feb 2015 edition. retrieved 2015-08-11.pdf. Section 4.11: Australian wildlife – monotremes and marsupials, pages ~ 982-985.   Published by Australian Society for Parasitology.

Livestock memorabilia

Tenterfield Railway Museum 2017-03 (livestock memorabilia)

Lister-Todd fogging machine: c 1950. For applying insecticide to sheep in tent or enclosed space. Donated by Deepwater Station.
Cattle wagon: Tens of thousands of cattle were transported from Tenterfield in similar wagons.
Queensland sheep wagon, c.1942. (Light grey wagon). Mounted on NSW standard gauge bogey.

Pictures: SL

Aerial infrared image of wild dog walking

From DPI Facebook post by Dr Guy Ballard (NSW DPI Armidale):

This infrared image shows a wild dog walking through pine forest in southern NSW. It is an important proof-of-concept for pursuing improved monitoring of invasive species via aerial platforms in heavily vegetated environments. It is yet another product of a valuable collaboration between NSW DPI and Riverina LLS, working alongside private contractors, National Parks and Forestry Corp.

Spideroak on-line security tips

(Privacy and security?  consider also aerial infrared photography? 🙂

WRML.2017-04-20.Love and Hutchinson 2003. Pathology and diagnosis of internal parasites of ruminants

Love S and Hutchinson GW, 2003. Pathology and diagnosis of internal parasites of ruminants in Gross Pathology of Ruminants, Proceedings 350, Post Graduate Foundation in Veterinary Science, University of Sydney, Ch. 16, pp. 309–38.

This document is or should be available here:

Retrievable from

But, if not, here it is: Love & Hutchinson-Pathol and Dx Int Parasites ruminants – …

Most of the document is current, apart from things likely to have changed since 2003, for example, economics, and the prevalence of anthelmintic resistance.

Among other things, this document preserves some of the valuable information – more or less timeless – from Cole VG, 1986 (no longer in print).

(Cole VG, 1986. Helminth Parasites of Sheep and Cattle. Animal Health in Australia, Volume 8. Australian Agricultural Health and Quarantine Service, Department of Primary Industry, Canberra, p.255).


WRML.2017-04-12. nodule worm.flukicides.beef crc website.easter eggs.spider for parasitologists.etc

In this issue:

New Primefact on nodule worm
Flukicides – summaries – efficacies.synergistic combinations.resistance management
Beef CRC ‘Legacy site’
Disturbing Easter-time thought
The truth about spider bites in Australia – they’re unlikely to eat your flesh
10th summer school for young parasitologists – Hamburg August 2017 RSVP 1st June
University of Sydney rankings

 New Primefact on nodule worm

The third edition has just been published, this time with fabulous photos by Jane Lamb of Invetus (formerly Vet Health Research etc), Armidale.

Flukicides – summaries – efficacies.synergistic combinations.resistance management

A separate post, but I thought I would link to it here as well (and also in a ‘new’ Primefact (#813) on liver fluke (still in press)), in case you missed it. (You can never have too much of liver fluke 🙂  or, shortlink:

Beef CRC ‘Legacy site’

‘Looks like lots of good info here on beef production:

Disturbing post-Easter thought

Hmm… it just occured to me…. Ascaridia galli of chooks can sometimes (rarely) end up inside hen eggs (Dr Rod Reece, pers comm) …    So,  what could be inside chocolate Easter eggs produced by the Easter Bunny?…if in fact that lifecycle has been thoroughly elucidated??

The truth about spider bites in Australia – they’re unlikely to eat your flesh

An excerpt from a related article:

Of all the spiders whose toxicity is currently known, probably the most toxic are the funnel-web spiders of Australia (of the genera Atrax and Hadronyche). Their bites are lethal to small children within minutes or hours and adults within 24 hours – but, having said this, there have been no Australian fatalities since anti-venom was developed.

10th summer school for young parasitologists – Hamburg August 2017  RSVP 1st June

(…von einem alten freund…)

10th summer school for young parasitologists DGP poster170807 from Johann S

University of Sydney rankings

“Ranked first in the world for sports-related subjects and best in Australia for medicine, architecture, veterinary sciences (9th in world), anatomy and physiology, English language and literature.”

(One has to promote one’s ‘mother’ (mater..alma mater); plus it is fun to stir one’s friends/colleagues (who went elsewhere)).

SL, Armidale.  2017-04-12    e&oe (Some mistakes may be deliberate, to see if you are paying attention..)

Disclosure: no conflicts of interest.


WRML.2017-04-10.Flukicides – summaries – efficacies.synergistic combinations.resistance management

Below are some summaries I put together, for my own benefit in the first place, but they may be of use to others some time.

I’ve done my best to make accurate summaries but, as always, check the source material.

Fairweather and Boray – flukicides, synergistic combinations, and resistance management. Edited/compiled by Love S, 2016-11-01

Fairweather and Boray – flukicides synergism resistance management – SL 2016-11-01

Flukicide % efficacy various actives and routes Martin et al Sargent et al Richards et al.compiled Love S, 2016-11-01

Flukicide efficacy various actives and routes Martin et al Sargent et al Richards et al Hutchinson et al.compiled S Love 2016-11-01




WRML.2017-04-04. new liver fluke Primefact. WEC courses. parasitology standard procedures. nodule worm etc

In this issue:

  • New liver fluke Primefact – Dr JC Boray
  • Faecal egg counting courses
  • Nematode Parasites of Ruminants: Australian and New Zealand Standard Diagnostic Procedures (and variations etc)
  • Lamb on nodule worm – Jane Lamb, Invetus
  • Parasitologist – Dr Paul Prociv
  • Sheep CRC – Wellbeing and productivity – Dr LP Kahn
  • Abortions in sheep – Dr Kate Peffer, LLS District Veterinarian
  • Wormbook – mainly about C elegans
  • BeefSpecs Tool
  • Fang the feral cat
  • Keely Small – world’s fastest female under 18
  • Molly and the snake

New liver fluke Primefact

Dr Boray’s Primefact has been revised:

Faecal egg counting courses

Upcoming courses at Tamworth. Follow the links for more information:

Nematode Parasites of Ruminants: Australian and New Zealand Standard Diagnostic Procedures and variations

Lamb on nodule worm

For those not yet subscribed to ParaBoss news ( …tut, tut…), recently there was this nice piece (complete with great pics) on nodule worm (Oesophagostomum columbianum), by Jane Lamb from Veterinary Health Research (Armidale), now part of Invetus:

Veterinarian and former CSIRO scientist, Dr Keith Dash (Father of WormKill), who did his PhD on nodule worm, will no doubt enjoy Jane’s article.

Parasitologist – Dr Paul Prociv

Sheep CRC – Wellbeing and productivity

The latest update from new Program Leader, Dr Lewis Kahn:

Abortions in sheep

Article by Central Tablelands LLS District Vet, Dr Kate Peffer:

Wormbook – mainly about C elegans

Might be of interest to some:

BeefSpecs Tool

It’s not about visually impaired cattle. Check it out here:

The BeefSpecs Calculator  was developed by the NSW Department of Primary Industries in collaboration with Meat and Livestock Australia, University of New England, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, University of California Davis, and US Department of Agriculture Meat Animal Research Center.

Fang the feral cat

Story in the news – with pics and maps (of GPS tacking) – featuring Armidale-based researcher Dr Guy Ballard (NSW DPI) and colleagues    (Alas, the article doesnt have credits for the images).

Insightful final comment from Dr Ballard: “It is not their fault they are a problem, it is ours,” he said.

Keely Small – world’s fastest female under 18

“Running the blistering time of 2:01.46, 15 year old Keely Small became the world’s fastest ranked female aged under 18 over 800 metres.”

Molly and the snake

(Photobombed by snake)

‘It was not until Ms Dickinson and her children got into the car that her 13-year-old daughter Imogen asked her: “What happened? Did you see a snake mum?”

That was when Ms Dickinson checked her phone and realised she had unwittingly captured a photo of her daughter standing dangerously close to a brown snake.’

Molly and the snake -photo Bianca Dickinson abc net au 2017-03

Photo credit: Bianca Dickinson, Victoria.

Nematode Parasites of Ruminants: Australian and New Zealand Standard Diagnostic Procedures, and variations

Standard Diagnostic Procedures – Nematode Parasites of Ruminants

This is the current Australian and NZ  ‘official’ document for diagnostic procedures relating to nematode parasites of ruminants:

Hutchinson GW, (2009). Nematode Parasites of Ruminants: Australian and New Zealand Standard Diagnostic Procedures. Sub-Committee on Animal Health Laboratory Standards (SCAHLS)

It was available at the SCAHLS website, but that site no longer appears to be extant. (Due to rationalisations of federal government expenditure).

This document is currently (March 2017) available at the WA Dept of Agriculture website:

Also attached is an annotated version, containing some minor notes/updates (which are obvious, given red font (Microsoft’s ‘Track Changes’ facility). Hutchinson GW-ANZSDP-ruminant_nematodes-SCAHLS-issued May 2009- update- SLove 2016-09

Hutchinson (2009) updated the edition by Maxine Lyndal-Murphy (~1993?) which in turn updated the editions by CA (Cliff) Hall (1982, revised 1987). For those who wish to check out the Lyndal-Murphy edtion, I will attach it here: Lyndal-Murphy M.Anthelmintic resistance in sheep. ASDT. 20061020094742

This (but not the current (Hutchinson, 2009) version?) is also available at the JA Whitlock website:

One variation – University of New England

There are variations of the Modified McMaster technique (described by Hutchinson (2009) and in other places). Following is an outline of one of the methods currently used by those working (research/teaching) in animal science at UNE.

(One method uses a counting slide having chambers with a nominal volume of 0.3ml, and another uses a Whitlock Universal slide, which have “0.5 ml” volume chambers. More information below under ‘Whitlock Counting Slides’ ).

  1. Weigh out faecal sample. Approximately 2 g of faeces is placed into a 20ml plastic screw top jar.
  2. Add water. Add 5 times the weight of the faecal sample weight in water, e.g., if sample is 2 grams, add 10 grams (mls) of water). Soak.
  3. Homogenise faeces-water mix. Break up faeces with the plastic rod until completely broken up / homogenised.
  4. Load chamber (s) of Whitlock counting slide with salt solution. Using a 1ml syringe (labs may use a micropipette), slowly load a chamber or chambers (depending on requirements) of the counting slide with 400 µl (0.40 ml) of a saturated salt (NaCl) solution. Slow loading avoids bubble formation and the solution overflowing.  (The chambers will fill more easily if you first blow lightly on them to put a thin film of moisture over the inner surfaces). (In this method, the chambers are nominally 0.3ml. When using slides with nominal volumes of 0.5ml, 6o0 µl (0.6ml) of solution is used).
  5. Load chamber(s) with faeces-water mix. Stir the faecal sample-water mixture thoroughly and, using another 1ml syringe, draw up 100 µl (0.10 ml) of sample and carefully load it into the chambers where the salt solution is already loaded. (150 µl (0.15ml)) is loaded if the counting slide has ‘0.5’ml chambers)
  6. Mix contents of chamber(s). Gently insert a straightened paperclip into each chamber and gently mix the solutions together. Worm eggs will now float to the top of the solution, into the focal plane, where they can be seen and counted. (Take care not to scratch the slide with the paperclip!)

The following comments apply generally. Prepare the compound microscope for counting the 1st chamber. Choose 40x magnification (i.e., with the 4x objective (and 10x eyepieces). (Take care not to choose high power objectives, especially oil immersion objectives, if present, because they are larger and closer to the microscope stage and may contact and damage  the counting slide). Rack the stage up close to the 4 x objective, then slowly lower the stage until you can identify and focus on lines of the counting chamber, and/or the small air bubbles in the solution which appear as round black refractive objects. This ensures that you are in the correct focal plane. Look for an egg and adjust the contrast (condenser) lever below the stage to ensure proper visualisation. Increase power to 100x (use 10x objective) to examine individual eggs or items in detail. Counting eggs is best done at 40x, as the full width of a chamber can be seen.

(Source: Adapted from notes for ‘student pracs’ provided 2017-03-31 by Michael Raue, University of New England ).

‘Nominal volumes’ of chambers in counting slides: see below.

Whitlock counting slides

JA Whitlock (Sydney NSW) make and supply counting chambers. There are doubtless other sources.

Whitlock slides and prices: (Accessed 31 March 2017).

The Whitlock universal slide (4 chambers, each 0.5ml) is specifically designed for parasite worm egg counts in large and small animals. Currently (from 1 March 2017) they cost $145 incl GST. They are glass sides and do last a long time (perhaps decades) if looked after.(Dropping on a concrete floor is not advised) These slides are commonly used in veterinary diagnostic laboratories, including the NSW DPI laboratory at Menangle, NSW.

The McMaster (3 x 0.3ml) and Paracytometer (2 x 0.6ml) slides have been discontinued, having been superseded by the Universal.

The chamber volumes of 0.3, 0.5 and 0.6 mls are nominal volumes. They refer to the volume of fluid under the lines scored on the slide. The actual volume of the chambers are a little bigger than their ‘nominal’ volumes.

Size of mesh for sieve/filter

What size mesh for the sieve designed to filter out extraneous material from the faeces-water-flotation solution mixture?

Hutchinson, 2009 (~page 17, line 770), suggests a mesh with 12 meshes per centimetre.


How do you calculate the egg count (eggs per gram of faeces) from the raw egg count (the number of eggs you counted in the counting slide (whether one or two chambers)?

Eggs per gram (epg) of faeces = ((eggs counted in scanned area of slide ) x (volume of faeces-flotation solution mix)) divided by (weight of  faecal sample x volume of the counting chamber(s)).


Assume this is the method you use:  3g of faeces is put into a jar (plus a small amount of water to aid breaking up/mixing of the faeces). Then flotation fluid (commonly saturated salt (NaCl) solution is added to make a total volume of 60 mls. After thoroughly mixing, a pipette (or syringe) is used to draw some of this fluid up and then transferred to a chamber in a Whitlock Universal slide. (These have 5 x ‘0.5’ml chambers). (In this method, usually one chamber is counted per sheep sample, and two chambers for each cattle sample).

Say there are 55 eggs counted. The EPG = 55 x  (60) / (3 x 0.5) = 2200   (Multiplication factor is 40  (60/(3 x 0.5)).

Say your methof uses a 4 g faecal sample, made up to 60 ml, and a slide with 0.3ml chambers is used. The multiplication factor is (60) / (4 x 0.3) = 50.

Royal Veterinary College / FAO Guide to Veterinary Diagnostic Pathology: Flotation fluids – general purpose

The following is also useful information. (Accessed March 2017).

An example of information from the above:

Saturated salt solution. Specific gravity: 1.18 – 1.20

. General purpose solution.

Sodium chloride: 400 grams
 Water: 1000 ml
• Stir thoroughly before use.
• May distort eggs.”

(I would also add: regularly check your stock solution with a hydrometer to check specific gravity (SG) is correct. Alternative: weigh the solution. One litre of a solution with a SG of 1.2 should weigh 1.2kg)

Learning to do your own egg counts

One option:

SL, Armidale