Ground-Breaking Treatment Prevents Parasites in Sheep

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agriculture Research Service (ARS) has developed a groundbreaking treatment for barber's pole worm (Haemonchus contortus), the number one health issue in the sheep industry. In live-animal trials, the new treatment reduced fecal egg counts by 90% and overall parasite burdens by 72%. Perhaps most importantly, the treatment impacted female parasites the most, reducing their populations by 96%. Such a large reduction in females means an equally large reduction in the number of eggs produced, leading to reduced infections overall. The Problem Haemonchus contortus (Barber's pole worm) is a parasitic roundworm that sucks blood from the lining of the sheep's stomach. This causes anemia, bottle jaw (a swelling under the jaw), reduced milk production, weight loss and reduced wool growth and quality. Severe infections can be deadly. The worm parasite mates within the animal and its fertilized eggs per day pass through the animal's waste into the soil. The larvae then develop to re-infect other unsuspecting animals, spreading the infection throughout a pasture and creating a cycle of infection. Since the female barber's pole

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