Infections with parasitic worms (nematodes and trematodes) represent a significant economic and welfare burden to the European ruminant livestock industry. The increasing prevalence of anthelmintic resistance means that current control programs are costly and unsustainable in the long term. Recent changes in the epidemiology, seasonality and geographic distribution of helminth infections have been attributed to climate change. However, other changes in environment (e.g. land use) and in livestock farming, such as intensification and altered management practices, will also have an impact on helminth infections. Sustainable control of helminth infections in a changing world requires detailed knowledge of these interactions. GLOWORM develops new, sustainable strategies for the effective control of ruminant helminthoses in the face of global change, including: (1) optimizing diagnosis, by developing novel, high-throughput diagnostic tests for mixed helminth infections, sub-clinical infections and anthelmintic resistance, (2) mapping, monitoring and predicting the impact of global change on parasite epidemiology, leading to spatial risk maps and improved forecasting of disease, (3) producing predictive models to identify optimal future intervention strategies, (4) identifying and mitigate the economic impacts of infections and (5) involving end-users in the production and dissemination of detailed advice for effective worm control.

We work together to develop a panel of innovative technologies and models to monitor and predict changing patterns of infection and disease, optimize the use of anthelmintics to limit the development and spread of drug resistance, and reduce the overall economic impact of helminth infections. GLOWORM contributes to the continued productivity and profitability of European livestock farming by delivering new tools, strategies and recommendations for the monitoring, surveillance, and sustainable control of helminth infections in grazing livestock.

Keywords: Helminthoses, Ruminants, Diagnosis, Control, Infection Risk, Global Change, Anthelmintic Resistance, Risk Management, Spatio-Temporal Modeling, Epidemiology.

FP7 project number: 288975

Starting date: 1 January 2012
Project duration: 36 months
End date: 31 December 2014