The parasitological laboratory is a highly specialised division of the GD Animal Health laboratory. Here, parasites are detected using direct or indirect methods. The laboratory has extensive experience in the field of effectiveness of antiparasitics and the detection of resistance development.
A major part of the tests performed in the parasitology laboratory involves faecal testing for eggs or testing for the presence of other stages of parasite. This can be samples from cattle, sheep, goats, pets, swine, poultry and horses.
The parasitological laboratory is very well equipped for studies like prevalence studies, registration studies, or testing anti-parasitic agents in practice. For instance, recently a study has been carried out into a new agent against coccidiosis in swine. GD Animal Health usually works with recognised, standardised procedures. But if a study requires a new procedure or a new test, developing and applying that is also part of the services package.
Liver fluke forecast
GD Animal Health has a study group 'liver fluke prognosis'. This study group draws up an expectation of the liver fluke infection pressure on the basis of precipitation data, temperature, snail counts, and lamb liver rejection percentages. Livestock farmers and veterinarians use this prognosis as a basis to draw up their treatment plans.
Parasites are demonstrated in a direct or an indirect manner. For the direct manner GD Animal Health uses the light microscope for identification, for the indirect manner we demonstrate parasite antigen or the antibodies formed against the parasite after an infection.
- Light microscopy
That means identifying the parasite on the basis of its morphology by looking at the specimen under the light microscope. For many parasites we make a distinction between the various development stages of the parasite in question, such as worms, larvae or eggs.
In many cases we use ELISAs (Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Assays) to demonstrate antibodies. ELISAs are based on the principle that the antibodies in question, or parts thereof, attach to a carrier (indirect ELISAs) or compete with a specific labelled antibody (blocking ELISAs). Attached antibodies are then made visible by staining.