31 March 1995

Alert for lungworm

LUNGWORM infection cannot be controlled by anthelmintics alone.

That is the warning of Shrewbury-based MAFF Veterinary Investigation Officer Graham David, at a time when lungworm incidence, especially in adult cows, is on the increase.

Mr David says lungworm must be tackled separately from fighting other parasites. He suggests farmers vaccinate calves before turnout to allow the development of natural immunity. This will be maintained given regular low-level exposure to lungworm larvae.

But when modern anthelmintic drugs limit lungworm populations and the chance of natural exposure, a booster vaccine might be necessary in later life. This will protect cattle exposed to highly infested pastures when anthelmintic protection is lost.

He advises following vaccination makers instructions exactly – and not to use an anthelmintic until the product had time to work.

For full report and control strategy see Anti-parasitics Supplement, Apr 14.