1. A flexible methodology for the specific diagnosis of strongylid infections of sheep has been developed. A multiplex test has been developed which can simultaneously detect and quantitate barber‟s pole, black scour and small brown stomach worms of sheep. In addition, seven single-species tests have been devised which in SYBR green-based assays can detect these three groups of worms and additional species found in sheep in Australia.
2. A simplified methodology for extracting high quality DNA from nematode parasite eggs after separation from faeces has been developed. This method has been tested using field samples and provided species composition data to complement worm egg counts (FWEC) in these samples. It is ready for commercial evaluation in its current form.
3. A feasibility study has been completed to evaluate the direct extraction of DNA from faeces and undertake PCR to replace visual FWEC and the specific identification and delineation of nematodes. Results are encouraging, showing the potential for inclusion of internal quality controls, aiding the qualitative and quantitative evaluation of nematode parasites in field samples.