Non chemical control of helminths in ruminants: adapting solutions for changing worms in a changing world

Veterinary Parasitology
Hervé Hoste, J F J Torres-Acosta

Abstract

Infections with gastrointestinal nematodes (GIN) remain a major threat for ruminant production, health and welfare associated with outdoor breeding. The control of these helminth parasites has relied on the strategic or tactical use of chemical anthelmintic (AH) drugs. However, the expanding development and diffusion of anthelmintic resistance in nematode populations imposes the need to explore and validate novel solutions (or to re-discover old knowledge) for a more sustainable control of GIN. The different solutions refer to three main principles of action. The first one is to limit the contact between the hosts and the infective larvae in the field through grazing management methods. The latter were described since the 1970s and, at present, they benefit from innovations based on computer models. Several biological control agents have also been studied in the last three decades as potential tools to reduce the infective larvae in the field. The second principle aims at improving the host response against GIN infections relying on the genetic selection between or within breeds of sheep or goats, crossbreeding of resistant and susceptible breeds and/or the manipulation of nutrition. These approaches may benefit from a better u...Continue Reading

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