Scientists have made a major breakthrough in the battle against worms by producing a vaccine to protect sheep from parasitic worm infection.

The vaccine developed by the Moredun Research Institute is the most successful attempt yet to protect animals against worms.

The approach taken by Moredun involved identifying a number of key proteins which the worm produced. By immunising sheep with these key proteins, vaccinated animals were found to have significantly reduced numbers of adult worms.

The findings come at a time when worm resistance is high on the agenda of many farmers and the government. Commenting on the development, Dr Alasdair Nisbet said: “Currently, these pathogens are controlled using drugs. However, multi-drug resistant isolates are being reported with such frequency that development of a vaccine against this species is now a research priority.”

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