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Home Tests & Tools for Worm Control Barbervax® Vaccine in Goats

Barbervax® Vaccine in Goats

The Barbervax® vaccine is a potentially useful product for the control of barber’s pole worm in goats, not just sheep.

Unfortunately, the registration trials of the Barbervax® vaccine in Australia gave mixed results and registration was not completed. However, results comparable with use in sheep are being seen in other countries.

For this reason, if you have a serious ongoing barber’s pole worm problem in goats, consider trialling the Barbervax® vaccine on your property under the direction of your veterinarian.

The use of Barbervax® in goats in Australia is “off-label” and must be done with a veterinarian’s prescription.

WormBoss recommends that the vaccine be evaluated initially with a strict monitoring program of worm egg counts and eye membrane colour assessment (FAMACHA) at specific times and intervals to determine effectiveness on your property.

As such, ParaBoss has developed testing/assessment guidelines for veterinarians to assist clients wishing to use Barbervax® in goats.

Veterinarians can also request the pdf booklet, Worm Control in Goats: Advice for Australian Veterinarians from ParaBoss: technical@paraboss.com.au.

The vaccine was trialled in three NSW goat herds with a view to registration.

The following paragraphs are extracts from the report “Barbervax, a vaccine for Haemonchus contortus infection of sheep: attempts to extend the registration claim to include goats” by David Smith for Meat and Livestock Australia, 23 February 2016. You can access the full report here (mla.com.au).

“Three efficacy field trials with kids were performed in the Northern Tablelands of NSW with a view to obtaining caprine registration in Australia. Unfortunately the results were mixed: one trial worked well, a second showed some positive effects, but a third failed. Because the anti-vaccine antibody responses were similar in all three trials, the underlying cause of the variable vaccine efficacy is not understood.

It was concluded that the results were too variable for registration to be granted by the regulators.

At Guyra the counts of the vaccinates were significantly reduced relative to the controls by 73% on average, at Dorrigo the figure was also statistically significant at 44% but at CSIRO, at 17%, it was not statistically significant.

Figure. 1. Haemonchus egg counts of goat kids averaged from the third vaccination (V3) to end of trial (Smith 2016, as above)

Goat owners are reminded that Barbervax® is a protective treatment against barber’s pole worm and when used as per label in sheep relies on the use of effective anthelmintics for an initial “clean-out” of all worms, as well as ongoing use of drenches and worm egg count monitoring (as required) for scour worm control.

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