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DAFM Award

EMIDA EraNet Call 2011 11/RD/EMIDA/2 Teagasc 149,666

Project Title:

Coping with Anthelmintic Resistance in Ruminants Coping with Anthelmintic Resistance in Ruminants

Project Coordinator:

Dr. Orla Keane

Project Abstract

Infections with gastrointestinal nematodes (GIN) are a major threat to ruminant health, welfare and production and thus to the viability of the ruminant livestock industries in the EU and worldwide. Anthelmintic resistance (AR) is the single-most important problem facing EU ruminant farmers today in relation to sustainable GIN control. AR is a constantly expanding process, from small ruminants to cattle; from the first commercialised anthelmintics (AH) to the modern ones and from single drug AR to multi-resistant cases. CARES believes that within the foreseeable future the most sustainable strategy is a combination of approaches, namely i) early detection of AR, ii) use of bioactive crops with documented AH properties, iii) improved farm management, feeding and selective use of AH. This applied approach needs support by basic research and a better understanding of mechanisms of development and reversion of AR. The project CARES will address these key issues through 3 complementary aims: 1) Improving the detection of AR in GINs (WP1). The aims are to improve the usability and reliability of current phenotypic tools but also to develop and validate molecular markers for the early detection of AR development and spread, particularly against macrocyclic lactones (ML).2) Assessing the role of plant resources to replace (WP2) or improve (WP3) the activity of synthetic AHs against AR GINs. The aims are to test the hypothesis of either direct AH effects of plant secondary metabolites (PSMs) against resistant (and susceptible) GINs (WP2); or indirect effects because some PSMs can potentially act as reversing agent for AR against ML (WP3). In vitro studies will provide basic data on the efficacy of active plants against AR GINs, either directly or in combination with AH drugs. In vivo studies will provide results for future exploitation of bioactive plants on-farm. 3) Exploring options for on-farm intervention (WP4). Integration is a key word for the sustainable control of GINs. The aims are to explore how combinations of solutions, adapting herd management systems, the use of natural AH or a selective use of AH can contribute to effective GIN control and slow down the spread of AR. The consortium is built on cross-linking criteria to address the objectives. Indeed, CARES brings together 8 partners from 5 EU countries plus a world leading research partner from Canada. Coping with Anthelmintic RESistance (CARES) is pivotal to all existing and up-coming means of nematode control. This project directly addresses the topic of parasite control/anthelmintic resistance named in the Stimulating Sustainable Agricultural Production through Research and Innovation (SSAPRI) document as a research priority area required to underpin the targets of the Food Harvest 2020 report. This research area aims “to mitigate against the risks of anthelmintic resistance and of new and emerging parasitic diseases - provide for sustainable use of anthelmintics and develop alternative parasite control strategies, with particular emphasis on the sheep sector.” The CARES project directly addresses these aims.

Final Report:

Final Report (pdf 355Kb)