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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 Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA).

Parasitology testing at APHA includes:

  • 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)
  • 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.
  • Responsible for monitoring Trichinella (wild boar testing)
  • Echinococcus multilocularis surveillance in red foxes to demonstrate disease-free status
  • Parasitology research projects
  • Risk assessments and modelling
  • Vectors and vector-borne parasite research and surveillance (Babesia and Theileria spp vector competence studies)
  • Import and export testing on companion animals and horses.

Surveillance for Exotic Worms Project

APHA and the European Scientific Counsel Companion Animal Parasites (ESCCAP) UK & Ireland are collaborating to encourage diagnosis and reporting of exotic worms and worm like parasites in imported and travelled dogs. APHA will carry out free of charge, morphological identification of suspected cases of the eye worm T. callipaeda, skin worm D. repens and the nasal pentastomid L. serrata seen in veterinary practices in England and Wales. Samples should be posted using this form to the APHA Carmarthen Veterinary Investigation Centre.