The RVC and Austin Davis Biologics have been awarded a research grant by Petplan Charitable Trust designed to develop more effective tapeworm control.
The project – entitled “Improved control of the equine tapeworm, Anoplocephala, through new insights into the biology of the oribatid mite intermediate host” – will monitor three horse premises known to be infected with tapeworms.
Routine sampling of pastures will monitor mite populations and identify the level of infected mites present, together with horse saliva testing, to monitor tapeworm infection in horses grazing the paddocks.
The study will:
- determine the effect of seasonal changes on mite populations
- investigate the impact dung removal has on tapeworm control
- determine the effect of deworming treatments
- define whether infected mites exhibit behavioural changes that may increase their likelihood of being ingested
Developing control programmes
Corrine Austin, director of Austin Davis Biologics, said: “The project seeks to develop more effective parasite control programmes which, together with paddock management recommendations, will ultimately result in a reduction in deworming treatments required.”