J Vercruysse3; J Charlier1; E Morgan6; J Van Dijk4; T Geary5; G Von Samson-Himmelstjerna2;
1 Avia-GIS, Risschotlei 33, 2980 Zoersel, Belgium, Belgium; 2 Freie Universität Berlin, Institute for Parasitology and Tropical Veterinary Medicine, Germany; 3 Ghent University, Belgium; 4 Institute of Infection and Global Health, University of Liverpool, UK; 5 Institute of Parasitology, McGill University, Canada; 6 Queen's University Belfast, UK
DiscussionHelminth infections have large negative impacts on production efficiency in ruminant farming systems worldwide, and their effective management is essential if livestock production is to increase to meet future human needs for dietary protein. The control of helminths relies heavily on routine use of chemotherapeutics, but this approach is unsustainable as resistance to anthelmintic drugs is widespread and increasing. At the same time, infection patterns are being altered by changes in climate, land-use and farming practices. Future farms will need to adopt more efficient, robust and sustainable control methods, integrating ongoing scientific advances. Here, we present a vision of helminth control in farmed ruminants by 2030, bringing to bear progress in: (1) diagnostic tools, (2) innovative control approaches based on vaccines and selective breeding, (3) anthelmintics, by sustainable use of existing products and potentially new compounds, and (4) rational integration of future control practices. In this review we identify the technical advances that we believe will place new tools in the hands of animal health decision makers in 2030, to enhance their options for control and allow them to achieve a more integrated and sustainable approach to helminth control in support of animal welfare and production.