Lead Applicant: Jesudoss Chelladurai
Organization: Kansas State University
Abstract: Bison health is adversely affected by parasites that live in the stomach, intestine and lungs. These may cause prolonged periods of going “off-feed”, diarrhea, respiratory problems and death. This project will use an integrated approach to assess parasite burdens in American bison in the face of dewormer use in four US regions across two years. This approach combines classical parasitology methods with cutting edge DNA sequencing techniques. By completing this study, how bison parasite burdens change as they respond to dewormer treatments will be better understood. With this data, recommendations commensurate with parasitic burdens can be made by veterinarians to treat and strategically manage the effect of parasites. Additionally, a survey of bison ranchers will be carried out to understand perceptions about the use of fecal tests, dewormer usage and perceived gains. This will ultimately allow for healthier bison herds, improved animal welfare and increased production through a decrease in parasitism.
Funding: $140,000 over 2 years