Biocontrol of Cattle Parasites

Varieties of the bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis have been found toxic to livestock nematodes. This discovery may lead to the first application of B. thuringiensis (Bt) in veterinary medicine.

While toxic to worms in cattle, these new Bt varieties are unlikely to have an adverse affect on cattle or other organisms. Also, the bacteria are biodegradable. The Bt toxin breaks down easily because it is a protein, which could lead to safer treatment of cattle.

Biological pesticides like Bt could greatly affect animal health care in the United States, where farmers lose over $1 billion annually in revenues due to parasitic nematodes in cattle. Scientists at Mycogen Corporation in San Diego, California, made the Bt discovery. Mycogen does research in order to develop and market biopesticides for insect and weed control.

Agribusiness Worldwide. (1989). Bt may have veterinary applications.1989:7.

More information:

Dr. Leo Kim
Mycogen Corporation
5451 Oberlin Dr.
San Diego, California 92121 U.S.A.