New approaches for improving integrated parasite control strategies in the Northeast

Project Overview

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2015: $236,815.00
Projected End Date: 10/31/2019
Grant Recipient: University of Rhode Island
Region: Northeast
State: Rhode Island
Project Leader:
Katherine Petersson
University of Rhode Island

Annual Reports

Information Products


  • Fruits: berries (cranberries)
  • Animals: goats, sheep


  • Animal Production: animal protection and health, grazing management, livestock breeding, parasite control, preventive practices
  • Education and Training: demonstration, extension, workshop

    Proposal abstract:



    Gastrointestinal nematodes (GIN), especially Haemonchus contortus, limit small ruminant (SR) production on pasture and are one of the top three health concerns of SR producers in the northeast. Although integrated parasite control workshops are commonly held throughout the northeast, currently, there are no online options for parasite control training that many of today’s producers require. Additionally, when other management strategies fail to alleviate GIN infection in susceptible animals, producers have few options for the use of alternative efficacious dewormers. With parasite resistance to all classes of dewormers developing rapidly, this situation is not sustainable. Finally, the long-term value of genetic selection for parasite resistance is undervalued and underutilized by SR producers in the northeast, translating into a lack of genetically resistant breeding stock available for replacement animals.

    The primary beneficiaries of this project are northeastern producers concerned about the deleterious effects of GIN infections in their sheep and goats. Our educational program will consist of three components: 1) Online training materials in integrated parasite control that include three educational videos, covering the hands-on skills of FAMACHA© scoring, fecal egg counting and general principles of IPM. An online test of IPM principles and live video assessment of FAMACHA© scoring will be provided to producers interested in FAMACHA© certification; 2) Integrated parasite control workshops will be held each year in conjunction with large regional events, and 3) Focus on selective breeding by factoring parasite susceptibility into breeding decisions and promotion of NSIP to seedstock producers interested in generating EBV targeting superior performance traits and parasite resistance.


     In the search for alternative methods of GIN control in small ruminants, one of the most promising findings has been the discovery that some forages containing condensed tannins, also called proanthocyanidins (PAC), suppress GIN infection. During LNE10-300, we found that cranberry leaf powder PAC extract demonstrated anthelmintic efficacy against larval and adult stages of Haemonchus contortus. This project seeks funding to expand these studies to evaluate the anti-parasitic effect of a CLP pellet on GIN infection in lambs. By the end of this study, producers may have a viable alternative to chemical dewormers available in the not-too-distant future.

    Performance targets from proposal:

    Three hundred forty small ruminant producers, with an average of 30 lambs or 20 kids and reported problems with parasites in the past five years, will introduce or improve integrated parasite management practices including genetic selection for resistance. These behaviors will result in reduced death and productivity losses totaling $700,000.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.