Improved parasite diagnosis and targeted treatment of laying hens

Last changed: 09 May 2022

Parasitic worm infections in layers are a well-known animal welfare problem in the poultry industry. Despite this, there are knowledge gaps about how worms are detected in living laying hens and on methods for how they can be controlled in modern free-range housing systems.

The objectives of the project are to; i) develop new molecular with which one can distinguish ascarid eggs from Ascaridia and Heterakis, and ii) evaluate a method of targeted treatment during production conditions which so far has only been tested on a smaller scale. All in all, the idea is to investigate whether it is possible to suppress the spread of infection and thereby prevent severe re-infection by beginning the deworming at an early stage of the infection cycle. We also intend to evaluate the results of a monitoring program initiated by the Swedish Egg Association in 2009. The results of the proposed research program will thus form the basis and be able to be implemented in the extension service to farmers.

Project-time: 2019-2023

The project is financed through grants from The Swedish Foundation of Agricultural Research.

The project is carried out in collaboration between BVF, KV, SVA and Svenska Ägg.

Group members:
Johan Höglund, professor, BVF
Behdad Tarbiat, forskare, BVF
Desiree Jansson, KV / SVA
Eva Osterman, SVA
Marike Gunnarsson, Svenska Ägg

Recently published studies from this project:

Tarbiat, B., Enweji, N., Baltrusis, P., Halvarsson, P., Osterman-Lind, E., Jansson, D.S., Höglund, J., 2021. A novel duplex ddPCR assay for detection and differential diagnosis of Ascaridia galli and Heterakis gallinarum eggs from chickens feces. Vet. Parasitol. 296, 109499.

Tarbiat, B., Jansson, D.S., Wall, H., Tydén, E., Höglund, J., 2020. Effect of a targeted treatment strategy against Ascaridia galli on egg production, egg quality and bird health in a laying hen farm. Vet. Parasitol. 286, 109238 Contents.


Johan Höglund
Professor at the Department of Biomedical Science and Veterinary Public Health; Parasitology Unit

Telephone: 018-672371, 070-2574156