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on June 23, 2010

International research into parasites receives funding boost

Initiative could bring benefits for pig industry

A consortium of research and academic institutions spread across Europe, Latin America, Africa and Australia is to receive funding from the European Union to carry out a series of research projects into parasitic worms over the next three years.

The consortium is being led by Edinburgh-based Moredun Research Institute and amongst priorities will be vaccines for parasitic diseases such as roundworms, tapeworms and fluke.

Some Euro 9 million (US$11 million) will come from the EU’s Framework 7, the EU’s research programme, and will go to Moredun to fund projects with help from 20 academic partners. The consortium will include 11 groups from the EU, three from South America as well as Africa, two from Asia and one from Australia.

Commenting on the funding, Catherine McLaughlin, animal health and welfare adviser with British farming association, the NFU, said: “Research such as this can help farmers and growers meet the increasingly challenging demands of producing more food while impacting less on the environment.

“There is growing concern at the levels of resistance which these parasitic worms are acquiring to conventional wormers. This has serious implications for the health and welfare of our animals and therefore we look forward to the results of these studies as solutions to this growing threat.”

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