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Evaluating the feasibility of developing a model to better manage nematode infections of sheep
This study evaluates the feasibility of developing (or accessing) a sheep nematode epidemiology model for Australian conditions. Following consultation with animal health experts, such a model would need to predict the impact of integrated parasite control strategies (nutrition, grazing management, anthelmintic treatment strategies and selective breeding for resistance) upon productive traits, parasitological traits and the emergence of anthelmintic resistance. Seven existing nematode epidemiology models were reviewed to evaluate their suitability for Australian conditions in their current form, or after customisation. Whilst individually these models were found to be incapable of evaluating integrated parasite control strategies, a composite of these models could achieve this aim. The best functions from the models reviewed were identified and the initial outline of a composite model is consequently proposed. Access to such a model for industry advice, educational or research purposes can be facilitated via its inclusion in the WormBoss website following development of a user friendly interface. Further, providing open-access to the model source code will inform researchers of underlying assumptions, allow for thorough review, remove reliance upon an individual, and facilitate further development. Finally, the potential pathway and cost of developing a validated sheep nematode epidemiology model and advice tool is considered.
This page was last updated on 24/07/2017
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