HIGH-TRHROUGHPUT FLUORESCENCE-BASED IDENTIFICATION OF HAEMONCHUS CONTORTUS PARASITES IN SHEEP FECAL SAMPLES

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Parasites of livestock are responsible for diseases of paramount socio-economic importance worldwide. The current economic losses derived from endoparasitic infestations have a great impact on farm profitability, especially on those farms using pastures. Small ruminants represent one of the most exposed livestock affected groups as they get naturally infested by gastrointestinal (GI) nematodes of the family Trichostrongylidae while grazing. 

H. contortus is the GI species with greatest pathologic and economic importance in sheep. Current diagnostics depend on exacting lab techniques, including manual egg counts and larval differentiation, all of which require time, effort, and specialized technicians. The present project aimed to expedite and automate the identification of H. contortus by taking advantage of an exclusive feature of these parasites’ egg shell. Our results have led to a novel high-throughput screening fluorescence detection method, allowing for an accurate and rapid quantification of H. contortus eggs.

Funding: CDEVQ-MAPAQ 2017 granted to CFP

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