COMBAR Group, Warsaw, Feb 2018

A new network to combat anthelmintic resistance in livestock


COMBAR Group, Warsaw, Feb 2018

Group photo of First COMBAR Joint Working Group meeting, Warsaw University of Life Sciences, Poland (31/1 to 1/2/2018)

VirtualVet is delighted to join this new network to combat anthelmintic resistance in livestock.

Warsaw, February 2017 – 59 researchers from 25 countries met for the first time at the University of Life Sciences of Warsaw in Poland to discuss a coordinated approach in tackling anthelmintic resistance in ruminants.

Anthelmintics are a particular drug class that are used to treat parasitic worm infections. These infections are a common and important problem in livestock production around the world. Strategic use of anthelmintics has been very successful in reducing clinical parasitic disease and enhancing resource-efficient livestock production. This contributes to cheaper food prices and reductions in water use and greenhouse gas emission of the sector. Today, the ruminant livestock industry is increasingly confronted with parasitic worms that have become drug resistant. This is called anthelmintic resistance and is a part of the antimicrobial resistance phenomenon. New solutions need to be found to preserve the efficacy of the drugs and develop a broader panel of control options.

The network (“COMBAR – COMbatting Anthelmintic Resistance in Ruminants) will be supported over the 4 next years by the EU COST programme and aims to harmonize procedures, train young researchers and generate new data to support the transition to sustainable worm control approaches. Thereby it will focus on 3 pillars: diagnostics, socio-economic aspects and novel control approaches.

For maintaining the health, welfare and productivity of ruminant livestock, we need to shift the way we use anthelmintics and develop a broader panel of control options including novel diagnostics, vaccines, nutraceuticals and pasture management procedures.  Thanks to the COST programme, we will be able to create an important and diverse network across Europe. Along the process, we aim to reach out to industry, regulators and various stakeholders to share new data and discuss recommendations for best practices and new solutions”, said Johannes Charlier (Kreavet), Chair of the Action.

The strong part of COST Actions is that they truly allow for a pan-European approach, including the eastern and southern parts of Europe, surrounding countries and some international partner countries that have a strong expertise in the subject”, said Smaragda Sotiraki (Hellenic Veterinary Research Institute), Vice-chair of the Action.

We will first inventorise, assess technology readiness levels and then prioritise novel diagnostic options to support a targeted used of anthelmintics. We will also pool data on the prevalence of anthelmintic resistance to get a European overview of the situation”, said Laura Rinaldi (University of Naples Federico II), Leader of the Working Group on diagnosis.

We will generate new data on the economic impact of parasitic worm infections and anthelmintic resistance in Europe and investigate socio-psychological drivers to facilitate a behaviour change to sustainable approaches”, said Edwin Claerebout (Ghent University), Leader of the Working group on socio-economics.

We will investigate the readiness and level of evidence for alternative control approaches including vaccines, nutraceuticals and pasture management procedures. We hope to generate new insights in how these options together with diagnostics can be used to achieve integrated parasite control”, said Eric Morgan (Queen’s University of Belfast), Leader of the Working group on Innovative control methods

Further info with access to complete description of COMBAR aims and programme: http://www.cost.eu/COST_Actions/ca/CA16230