Parasitology

Parasitology encompasses all diseases that are caused by parasites in animals and humans including parasites as vectors of disease. This is a multidisciplinary work area across APHA.

Sian Mitchell at APHA CarmarthenFor further information, contact Sian Mitchell at APHA Carmarthen Veterinary Investigation Centre (01267 235244).

Sian has been a member of the Small Ruminant Species Expert Group since 2001. She is a RCVS recognised specialist in veterinary parasitology, and a diplomate of the European Veterinary Parasitology College (EVPC).

Sian was appointed discipline champion for parasitology in APHA in 2014, when she also became a de facto diplomate of the European College of Small Ruminant Health Management (ECSRHM). She is a committee member of the SCOPS (Sustainable Control of Parasites in Sheep) industry led body.

Have a look at Sian's APHA science blog.

Parasitology at APHA is carried out at APHA Carmarthen Veterinary Investigation Centre. This work includes:

  • Endemic parasites diagnosis and surveillance
  • New and emerging parasite detection
  • Non-statutory zoonotic parasite disease investigation
  • Anthelmintic resistance investigation
  • Providing consultancy and samples for research
  • Coccidial oocyst identification
  • Larval differentiation of Trichostrongyle-type eggs
  • Differential staining  for Haemonchus spp eggs
  • Some import and export testing on companion animals

The work carried out at APHA feeds into the Species Expert Groups, the Veterinary Risk Group (VRG) and Human Animal Infections and Risk Surveillance Group (HAIRS) as appropriate. 

There are an additional two sites within APHA that carry out parasitology work

APHA Sand Hutton:

  • UK national reference laboratory (NRL) for Trichinella and Echinococcus. NRL duties include providing scientific and technical assistance to Official Control Laboratories (abattoirs and government-contracted laboratories) – Funded by FSA
  • Responsible for monitoring Trichinella (wild boar testing) – Funded by FSA
  • Echinococcus multilocularis surveillance in red foxes to demonstrate disease-free status – Funded by Defra
  • Parasitology research projects
  • Risk assessments and modelling

APHA Weybridge:

  • Vectors and vector-borne parasite research and surveillance (Babesia and Theileria spp vector competence studies)
  • Protozoan and helminth expertise
  • Import and export testing on companion animals and horses

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