OAHN Small Ruminant Network Project: Investigation of Gastrointestinal Nematode Parasitism on Ontario Goat Farms (in progress)

Project Lead: Dr. Emma Borkowski

Collaborators:  Dr. Rex Crawford

Project Proposal:

Gastrointestinal nematode parasites (GINs) are significant pathogens of small ruminants worldwide, causing morbidity, mortality, and loss of productivity. However, the degree of pathogenicity varies with GIN species, and knowledge of the prevalent species in a given region is valuable in directing treatment and control programs (Redman et al., 2019). The common GIN species infecting Ontario sheep have previously been described (Mederos et al., 2010), but the prevalence of various GIN species in Ontario goats has yet to be determined. The objectives of this project are to characterise the GIN species present on Ontario goat farms and evaluate management factors associated with parasitism in Ontario goats. Farms will be recruited through contacting industry and veterinary associations, and Ontario Goat has currently agreed to aid in recruitment of member farms via social media and their website. Additional funding for the project has been sought through the American Association of Small Ruminant Practitioners (AASRP), with funds expected to become available on May 1. The funding currently being requested from OAHN will support purchase of supplies for recruitment of farms and provision of sample kits in April while AASRP funding is still pending. Funding to support an undergraduate summer research student has also been awarded by the Ontario Veterinary College. Results of this pilot study will be published to inform best practice in management of GINs in the Ontario goat industry, and form the basis for further grant applications to investigate anthelmintic resistance and control of goat GINs both within Ontario and other regions of Canada.