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News

International presentation on sheep worm research

CSIRO : 29 September, 2006  (Technical Article)
Work by CSIRO Livestock Industries researcher, Kerri Tyrrell, which validates a new method of controlling a major parasite in Australian sheep, is being presented to the International Controlled Release Society conference in Vienna this week.
Ms Tyrrell successfully combined two chemicals in a unique way to produce a single controlled-release formulation for effective long-term protection against the damaging intestinal worm, Haemonchus contortus.

This required formulating a capsule which combined tablets of Ivermectin, for continuous release over 100 days, with two pulses of Levamisole released over a 20-hour period after day-50 and again after day-100.

“The technology that enables the incorporation of Levamisole in pulse-release formulation has not previously been used in conventional controlled-release products,” Ms Tyrrell said.

“The unique combination of the two chemicals offered a real chance to break the worm’s life-cycle without resistance developing,” Ms Tyrrell said.

As part of her project, a trial was conducted using 30 young Merinos infected with a combination of susceptible and Invermectin-resistant Haemonchus contortus.

While Invermectin alone controlled, but did not eliminate, the intestinal worm, the subsequent doses of Levamisole reduced the number of eggs produced by the worms by 99.9 percent.

“The sheep industry spends large sums of money controlling parasites each year. However the development of new treatments in the future is uncertain and this combination technology is about making best use of existing bioactives,” Ms Tyrrell said.

“The technology that enables the incorporation of Levamisole in pulse-release formulation has not previously been used in conventional controlled-release products,”

Ms Tyrrell saidMs Tyrrell, who recently won an AFFA Science and Innovation Award for Young People, undertook the three-year project at CSIRO Livestock Industries research facilities near Armidale with the assistance of Dr Leo Le Jambre and Dr Keith Ellis.

Her findings have been submitted in a report to the Bureau of Rural Science and two scientific papers are being prepared for publication. The presentation at the Vienna Conference, is being made by Professor Ellis who has since retired from CSIRO.
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