Scientists at Moredun, lead by Dr David Smith, have successfully developed a vaccine for Haemonchus contortus (Barber's Pole Worm), the most important roundworm parasite of sheep and goats in the world.
Barbervax® was registered for use in Australia in early October 2014 and provides farmers with a revolutionary new tool to combat Barber's Pole.
The basis for Barbervax® was devised after many years of research at Moredun and commercialised during the last five years through a collaboration with the Albany laboratory of the Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia, where it is made by Wormvax Australia, a subsidiary of Moredun.
Barbervax® works against all Barber's Pole worms including drench resistant ones. It offers a more sustainable form of control, because it is extremely unlikely that vaccine resistant worms will develop. Using Barbervax will reduce the need to use those drenches which are still effective on a particular farm, therefore prolonging their life.
Barbervax® contains tiny amounts of protein purified from the lining of Barber's Pole intestines. Like all vaccines, it works by stimulating the natural immune response in the animal after injection. The antibodies produced circulate in the sheep’s blood, so that the parasites drink antibodies with their blood meal. These antibodies attach to the lining of the Barber's Pole intestine, blocking digestion and starving the worm so that it produces far fewer eggs and dies.