Our sixth BUG progress meeting was held at the University of Glasgow on Monday 19th March 2018.
We began with a morning of parasite genetics. First, we were given an update on the H. contortus and T. circumcincta genomes from Stephen Doyle, followed by an overview of ongoing analysis of our H. contortus genetic cross (produced by crossing drug-resistant and drug-susceptible parasites), which has been treated with different anthelmintics to identify regions of the genome associated with anthelmintic resistance. Next, Umer Chaudhry described the use of microsatellites to narrow a large region identified in the ivermectin-selected cross, and the selection of known mutations at the B-tubulin isotype 1 locus in the benzimidazole-selected cross. Roz Laing described differences in gene expression in the ivermectin-selected cross and in parental isolates, before Jenni McIntyre described her use of a high-density marker approach (RADseq) to identify regions under ivermectin selection in UK field populations of T. circumcincta. This was followed by a whole team discussion of approaches to better define the regions under ivermectin selection in H. contortus and T. circumcincta, and how best to improve the T. circumcincta genome.
After lunch, we turned to more applied aspects of the project. Cath Milne started the afternoon session with a description of her approach to the cost:benefit analysis of anthelmintic resistance on UK farms and the likely implementation of tools arising from the project. Next, Louise Matthews presented flock-level parasite modelling data generated by Jamie Prentice, demonstrating the impact of recessive, dominant and multi-locus traits on the development of resistance. Hannah Vineer updated us on her predictive models on larval and adult worm lifecycles and described the addition of climatic and drug selection parameters. The afternoon was finished with a discussion of ongoing fieldwork and how best to integrate the social science, followed by feedback from research, industry and farmer perspectives from members of the Advisory Panel (Andy Tait, Jane Learmount, Lis King and Iain Duncan Miller).