Putting the ‘R’ in DRL – what’s been happening in the lab?

Research DRL

We are proud of our university roots and this is reflected in our ongoing commitment to R&D and to trying new things.

Some recent studies conducted by DRL have included –

2016: AGMARDT Agribusiness Innovation Grant – New Approaches to Control Parasites in Domestic Livestock.

In partnership with AGMARDT and with the support of the New Zealand Deer Farmers Association, we undertook to augment our existing Johne’s disease faecal test technology and to simultaneously detect endoparasite species commonly affecting red deer. The goal was to develop a composite diagnostic test for animals presenting with generalised, nonspecific clinical indicators of enteric disease such as scouring or progressive weight loss.

Distinguishing between Johne’s and parasitic disease remains a continuing challenge in disease control where accurate, disease-specific diagnosis will expedite properly informed and appropriately targeted treatment and management.

With this assistance from AGMARDT we have developed rapid, quantitative and species-specific DNA tests for parasite eggs and larvae shed in the dung of affected hosts as an alternative to conventional faecal egg counts and as an adjunct to routine Johne’s testing. Work is ongoing to further validate this approach to parasite diagnostics and to see how well PCR based detection of parasite signal in dung samples may correlate with adult worm burdens in parasitised individuals.

Most Recent Posts

New Approaches to Control Parasites

Parasite Control DRL Over the past 18 months, the NZDFA and AgMardt have been co-funding a research project through the Otago Innovation company Otago University’s Disease Research Laboratory (DRL) (now based at Invermay) in a $150,000 project research area “New approaches to control parasites (in deer)”. This project set out …[Read more]