Prevention and control of parasitism in livestock

Kalyan Sarma
Contd from previous issue
In a future where the very real possibility exists that resistance will have rendered all chemical families of anthelmintic ineffective, this is cause for serious concern and for escalation of efforts to develop sustainable helminths control technologies. Owing to favourable climatic conditions for development and survival of are parasitic stages and in absence of alternative control strategies, control of parasitic gastroenteritis in ruminants is primarily attempted by the frequent use of anthelmintic at short intervals, particularly in intensive and semi-intensive management systems, which has been shown to result in the emergence of very high levels of anthelmintic resistance.
Efforts are now being made to develop and use control options alternatives to chemotherapy, viz., targeted selective treatment, grazing management, biological control, host resistance to parasites, worm vaccine etc., which would not only reduce the use of chemical anthelmintic but also the cost of animal production as a whole.
The control strategies alternative to chemotherapy reveals that some of them are in the technology stage while others are still under research and development. Biological control by predacious fungi, worm vaccine, and exploitation of breed resistance are still undergoing laboratory research while targeted selective treatment, grazing management and exploitation of nutrition-parasite interaction can immediately be applied as an adjunct to chemotherapy.
The requirement today is coordinated, continued and committed effort for technology transfer and extension education to achieve the goal of “sustainable Parasite Control”.
For better livestock productivity, it is essential to free from diseases, selection of high producing animals and optimal feeding. Helminths infections are a major cause of production loss in all cattle-producing countries in the world. With the advent of the broad-spectrum anthelmintic, the more dramatic and obvious effects of clinical parasitism are seen less often in many countries.
(To be contd)