Potential impact of GLOWORM
GLOWORM - IMPACT
GLOWORM brings together the expertise from 14 European participants, including four SMEs, involving a multitude of disciplines such as parasitology, epidemiology, molecular biology, farming systems and GIS. Together they will contribute to the further integration and harmonisation of the European Science. The outcome of the project would also benefit consumer driven concerns with regard to animal health and welfare.
In particular, the expected impact of this project is:
Low cost, multi species novel diagnostic tools
The ability to detect clinical signs of worm infection and to identify the species that are responsible for disease or to be able to determine which species are actually surviving drug treatments are important prerequisites for sustainable parasite control. The development of novel, high-throughput diagnostic tools will have a significant impact on the EU livestock industry by providing, informed evidence-based decision making regarding parasite control strategies and management intervention.
Provision of spatial and temporal disease risk assessment systems
GLOWORM offers a unique opportunity to integrate a wide variety of approaches to the development of low cost disease risk and forecasts maps. GLOWORM will develop models to identify risk factors and explain the current distribution of parasitic worms in Europe. More challenging is the development of models to test long-term trends, such as climate change. The biggest impact from this part of the project will be a better understanding of the likely consequences of change on disease prevalence and ultimately advice to farmers and veterinarians on how best to manage such change but this information will also feed into policy development by national government and European governments on future research priorities.
Promote sustainable livestock production and optimizing use of pharmaceutical resources
The ability to optimise anthelmintic treatment will change the way in which anthelmintics are used; anthelmintics will only be given to those animals that actually need treatment, instead of, as is common practice now, prophylactic treatment being given to all animals in a flock/herd simultaneously. Full optimisation of anthelmintic treatment will allow producers to be more in control of the rate of development of anthelmintic resistance on their properties. The parasite transmission models developed in GLOWORM will assist the strategic planning of treatments. The impact will be more efficient livestock production with optimised, in some cases reduced intervention, and therefore enhanced food security in the face of global change.
Encouraging a new worm control paradigm
Farm-specific management protocols and treatment decision processes will be developed. The concept of administering anthelmintics only to animals requiring such treatment will be promoted. In the long term this will reduce anthelmintic resistance and risk of chemical residues in food but also enhance the short- and longer-term profits on farms.
Training for the future
The project brings together the expertise from 14 European participants involving a multitude of disciplines such as parasitology, epidemiology, molecular biology, farming systems and GIS. The connection between the different disciplines will be stimulated by training courses, ad hoc meetings and exchanges of scientists between the participants. Young scientists in particular will benefit from this exchange of knowledge. Close collaboration with farmers in the evaluation of novel control approaches may also be used as demonstrations of the advantages of the novel approaches and to share peer experiences under the farming community.
Benefit to SMEs
Often a problem in science is the gap between research and decision making. In GLOWORM particular attention has been given to link up fundamental and applied academic research teams with the four participating SMEs.
Vet-geoTools, a spatial software package enabling a more rapid and efficient spatial management of veterinary disease outbreaks has already been developed by a GLOWORM partner SME (Avia-GIS). This company will develop prototype additional functionalities aiming at an improved management of endemic diseases, using Fasciola hepatica as an example
A second GLOWORM SME (Uniform-Agri) is developing herd management software packages. The aim will be to develop and integrate prototype herd management software with optimised anthelmintic usage protocols.
E&P (our third SME partner) provides biostatistical and epidemiological expertise. Their aim is to develop a comprehensive statistical framework for spatial and spatio-temporal analysis and sampling design dedicated to parasite control that will be incorporated into a new statistical package.
Laboklin, the fourth SME, will develop high throughput diagnostic platforms and provide access to sample material from other European countries. This partner will help establishing a service tool and will play a key role in marketing this to either farms, agricultural organisations or pharmaceutical industry in various European countries by means of our own customer network.