Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

CSIRO Supports War Against River Blindness

Date:
January 5, 2000
Source:
CSIRO Australia
Summary:
CSIRO research into controlling worms in sheep is in the frontline contributing to the battle against the devastating human disease, river blindness.

CSIRO research into controlling worms in sheep is in the frontline contributing to the battle against the devastating human disease, river blindness.

With backing from the World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr Leo Le Jambre of CSIRO Animal Production is working to prevent the potential threat of drug resistance in the parasitic worms.

Dr Le Jambre says current drugs used to control the human parasites could be threatened by similar resistance problems to those seen in sheep parasites, which already endanger the livelihoods of Australian farmers.

The roundworm parasite Onchocerca volvulus that causes river blindness (onchocerciasis) is spread by the bite of the black fly. It causes years of suffering with potential blindness and severe skin itching such that social life, work, education and socio-economic development are affected.

Some 18 million people are infected with the parasite and a further 80 million are at risk. Most of these infected people live in Africa.

"Ivermectin is the only drug that is used on a large scale for the control of onchocerciasis. This same drug is extensively used to control worm parasites in sheep and already cases of ivermectin resistance are being reported by Australian producers," Dr Le Jambre says.

"Development of resistance to ivermectin by the Onchocerca parasite could seriously hamper the progress of the River Blindness Control Programmes.

"In order to detect any ivermectin resistance, should it appear, WHO is keen to develop the appropriate tools to monitor the human use of the drug.

"In Australia, internal worm parasites are a major health problem in grazing livestock. They cost the sheep industry at least $200 million per year, including $80 million in the cost of chemical treatments.

"Despite the range of drugs available for livestock use, the worms have developed widespread resistance to two of the three broad-spectrum drug families and are now showing resistance to the one remaining group, the avermectins," says Dr Le Jambre.

"We need early warning of the appearance of resistant worms. If we can pin down the genes responsible for resistance then we can develop early warning systems," he explains.

"This has been achieved for some drug families but not yet for ivermectin and this is the push of the current work at CSIRO Animal Production which is being supported by WHO."

"Our studies have already shown that ivermectin resistance in sheep worms is inherited as a dominant trait. Resistance develops faster when it is inherited as a dominant trait, as all the worms which carry the gene will be resistant."

"Our aim, as contributors to WHO's research effort, is to have the first DNA assay for ivermectin resistance in the River Blindness parasite available within three years."

"Availability of a robust test to detect ivermectin resistant genes will not only benefit humans with onchocerciasis, but it will benefit sheep producers."

"This will have immediate application in Australia with better worm management procedures based on the early detection of drug resistance," adds Dr Le Jambre.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by CSIRO Australia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

CSIRO Australia. "CSIRO Supports War Against River Blindness." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 January 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/01/000105044801.htm>.
CSIRO Australia. (2000, January 5). CSIRO Supports War Against River Blindness. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/01/000105044801.htm
CSIRO Australia. "CSIRO Supports War Against River Blindness." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/01/000105044801.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Cadaver Dogs Aid Search for More Victims of Suspected Indiana Serial Killer

Cadaver Dogs Aid Search for More Victims of Suspected Indiana Serial Killer

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 21, 2014) Police in Gary, Indiana are using cadaver dogs to search for more victims after a suspected serial killer confessed to killing at least seven women. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
White Lion Cubs Unveiled to the Public

White Lion Cubs Unveiled to the Public

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) Visitors to Belgrade zoo meet a pair of three-week-old lion cubs for the first time. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Where's a body buried? Buster's nose can often tell you. He's a cadaver dog, specially trained to find human remains and increasingly being used by law enforcement and accepted in courts. These dogs are helping solve even decades-old mysteries. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) Two white lion cubs, an extremely rare subspecies of the African lion, were recently born at Belgrade Zoo. They are being bottle fed by zoo keepers after they were rejected by their mother after birth. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins