ViParc community advisory boards share insights on parasitic worm infections in poultry
Ho Chi Minh City, 11 April 2018 – ViParc Community Advisory Board (CAB) members met on 29 March in Dong Thap Province, sharing insights on parasitic worm infections in poultry (helminthiasis) in the Mekong Delta.
Two CABs have been in operation specifically in Cao Lanh and Thap Muoi Districts to consult for ViParc, a three-year study aiming to help farmers in the region raise healthy chickens without an over-reliance on antibiotics.
At the 29 March meetings, ViParc provided an update on its helminthiasis component, which had been designed as part of the project’s holistic approach to chicken health, not just antibiotics and bacterial diseases.
ViParc researcher Nguyen Thi Bich Van reported that 54 percent of the flocks studied were infested with gastro-intestinal helminths. Ms. Van and her colleagues found no association between antihelminthic uses and infestation levels.
These preliminary findings result from ViParc studying 120 flocks in Dong Thap Province over a one-year period.
Commenting on the prevailing situation of poultry helminthiasis, both CABs identified chicken feed, among others, as a risk factor.
CAB member Nguyen Quoc Trung argued that feed supplements such as vegetables are, generally speaking, healthy for chickens. But wild vegetables conveniently picked up near a roadside ditch might bring with them “all kinds of worms, especially when Dong Thap Province has many areas considered wetland.”
In Cao Lanh District, farmer Nguyen Van Thien shared his experience in deworming chickens. He recently switched to an anthelmintic drug for humans believing that the veterinary medicine previously used was too weak, although they contained the same ingredient of menbendazole.
In Vietnam, it is not uncommon to find commercial formulations with a menbendazole concentration much lower than what is needed to correctly deworm a chicken flock.
Also voicing his concern over helminth treatment, farmer Vo Thanh Dien in Thap Muoi District said, “It looks like veterinary drugs are too bitter and chickens don’t bother consuming them, even when well-mixed with food or water.”
Such considerations are expected to inform ViParc’s future analyses, when the researchers take a closer look at risk factors and treatment options for poultry helminthiasis.
ViParc is led by the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit in Ho Chi Minh City, with implementation support from the Sub-Department of Livestock Production and Animal Health in Dong Thap Province.