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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Booneville, Arkansas » Dale Bumpers Small Farms Research Center » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #387345

Research Project: Sustainable Small Farm and Organic Grass and Forage Production Systems for Livestock and Agroforestry

Location: Dale Bumpers Small Farms Research Center

Title: BioWorma as an aid for controlling ruminant nematode parasites

item MILLER, JAMES - Louisiana State University
item Burke, Joan
item TERRILL, THOMAS - Fort Valley State University

Submitted to: Journal of Animal Science
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/1/2021
Publication Date: 5/12/2021
Citation: Miller, J.E., Burke, J.M., Terrill, T.H. 2021. BioWorma as an aid for controlling ruminant nematode parasites. Journal of Animal Science. 99(Suppl. 2);36.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Nematode-trapping fungi are biological control agents used against the larval stages of gastrointestinal nematodes in livestock feces. These fungi are normal soil inhabitants where they feed on a variety of non-parasitic soil nematodes. Of the various fungi tested, Duddingtonia flagrans spores (BioWorma, International Animal Health Products, Australia) have been shown to survive passage through the gastrointestinal tract of ruminants. After defecation, the spores germinate and grow in the feces to form sticky, sophisticated traps/loops which are able to trap the developing larval stages in the fecal environment. This form of control has been successfully applied under field conditions and is an environmentally safe biological approach for forage-based feeding systems. BioWorma has recently been approved for use in the US. The primary delivery system is mixing BioWorma into supplement feedstuffs daily where each animal has the opportunity to consume an adequate amount of the mixture. To achieve optimum control of larvae during the transmission season (May-October), BioWorma needs to be fed for a period of no shorter than 60 days, starting at the beginning of the grazing season (especially young after weaning). Feeding BioWorma to dams during late pregnancy and lactation will also help to reduce pasture contamination, especially for growing young that will graze the same pasture. Another delivery system is mixing BioWorma into loose mineral supplement where animals will consume it free choice. The mineral needs to be kept covered and dry. The spores cannot be incorporated into pellets as the heat of the pelleting process will kill the spores. One drawback in using BioWorma is the relatively high cost. Research is being conducted to evaluate other delivery schemes that could be more cost effective. This product is the only control method that targets nematodes on pasture, where a majority of the total population reside.