The aim of the DELIVER project is to develop new environmentally-friendly methods for the control of liver fluke disease in livestock, thereby minimising the use of anthelmintic drugs and enhancing the quality and safety of meat and dairy products. The project will integrate the work of 15 partners from 10 countries. <P>
Novel control methods will be developed through: <OL> <LI> Epidemiology: determination of risk factors and a predictive model for fasciolosis; standardisation of improved diagnostic tools in intermediate hosts, livestock and humans and determination of genetic diversity of European liver fluke populations. <LI> Anthelmintic resistance: standardisation of field and in vitro assays for detecting anthelmintic resistance and measurement of triclabendazole resistance; determination of mechanisms of drug action and resistance in order to formulate new strategies for conservation of drug efficacies. <LI> Immunoprophylaxis: development of protective vaccines, evaluation of the immunomodulatory impact of fasciolosis and investigation of the prospects of breeding animals innately resistant to infection. </ol> Guidelines for best practice in liver fluke control in livestock minimising the use of anthelmintic will be produced.
Liver fluke disease causes annual losses over 3 USD billion to livestock production and the food industry worldwide. Prevalence of fasciolosis is dramatically increasing in recent years for example increases of up to 12 fold have been recorded in EU member states. In the UK the prevalence of infection in cattle ranges from 45% to 84%, and in Ireland alone annual losses have been estimated at about 60 million. Control of the disease in livestock is based in the use of anthelmintic drugs, with accompanying risks of chemical residues in foodstuffs; moreover, anthelmintic resistance is emerging as a problem in many areas of Europe and globally. Fasciolosis is also an emerging human disease in many INCO countries (an estimated 17 million people are infected).
<P>For more information about this project, please visit the <a href="http://ec.europa.eu/research/biosociety/food_quality/projects/117_en.ht…; target="_blank">European Commission Food Quality and Safety in Europe</a> Web site.