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Barber pole worms are parasites that suck the blood from animals, from inside their stomachs. They kill otherwise healthy animals, and cost farmers millions of dollars. To eliminate infections of barber pole worms, anti-parasitic drugs are used, but since the worms are evolvable, some of the worms have developed resistance. By identifying where drug resistant worms are developing, farmers and veterinarians can better identify cost-effective tools to get rid of them. I surveyed four farms to understand the frequency of barber pole worms in their animals, and asked the farmers about their use of levamisole, which is a common dewormer, and if there was any history of resistant infections. I took fecal samples at two sites from all the farms and isolated the eggs. I divided the eggs into two batches, which were for fluorescent staining and genetic analysis. I found that the staining and genetic tests agreed about the presence of barber pole worms, for 7 out of 8 farm sample sites. Since the tests were not completely consistent at being able to identify barber pole worms, further optimization is necessary to get more accurate measurements. For the genetic analysis, levamisole resistance and susceptibility tests were used and measured on three lab controlled DNA samples, which are from two levamisole resistant barber pole worms and one levamisole susceptible barber pole worm. Since the tests were not completely consistent at being able to identify levamisole resistant from susceptible barber pole worms, further optimization is necessary to get more accurate measurements.
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Stone, Dawson Charles, "Haemonchus contortus levamisole resistance on Dutchess County NY ruminant farms" (2022). Senior Projects Spring 2022. 63.
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