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Exciting news in faecal egg counts, parasite identification and disease monitoring

Figure 1. Invetus is the merger of Veterinary Health Research and VetX
Figure 1. Invetus is the merger of Veterinary Health Research and VetX

By Jane Lamb, Invetus

May 2017

In December 2016, Veterinary Health Research (VHR) merged with two other companies, Vetx Research (AUS) and Pharmfirst (NZ) to become Invetus, Australia’s largest veterinary research organisation.

Dr Maurice Webster, the Managing Director of the new company commented “Invetus contributes to the health and welfare of animals and people, by delivering independent, considered and authoritative answers for our partners.”

Invetus aims to provide an unparalleled range of veterinary research and consulting services. Having all these services and skills available from one organisation is unique in Australasia and provides clients with a single point of contact for all their research needs, providing independent evidence with confidence and care.

Invetus has three main facilities – the Armidale Research Centre, specialising in production animal projects and diagnostic parasite testing; the Wongaburra Research Centre (Casino, NSW), specialising in companion animal work and a range of entomology services; and the Invetus New Zealand facility near Hamilton NZ.

Figure 2. Worm Test kit
Figure 2. Worm Test kit

Invetus is committed to maintaining services previously provided by the legacy businesses, such as the parasite monitoring services currently provided by the Armidale Research Centre. Dr Bruce Chick, founder of VHR commented that “parasite monitoring is essential to farmers managing production animals. Our close relationship with the resellers who distribute diagnostic kits will continue.”

Invetus supplies worm monitoring kits which are used to perform a faecal egg count (FEC) to determine the level of infection in livestock. Kits are available from both Invetus directly, and rural merchandise stores throughout Australia. Invetus also performs larval species identification to pinpoint the types of worms that are infecting stock, and fluke egg counts if necessary. Once the testing has been completed, recommendations for treatment and further monitoring is provided by qualified Invetus staff. More detailed advice can be given on an individual property basis, on request.

Invetus also provides drench resistance testing, another essential part of an effective worm control program. A non-effective drench treatment, which kills less than 95% of the worms in stock, is an expensive exercise in both time and money.

Figure 3. Nematode third stage (infective) larvae (L3) 400x magnification

Our extensive range of laboratory services include

  • individual faecal egg counts, fluke counts and larval differentiation
  • worm monitoring for sheep, goats, cattle and horses
  • drench resistance testing (Drench Test Kit)
  • lungworm counts for sheep and cattle
  • parasite identification and total worm counts​
Figure 4.Faecal egg counting
Figure 4.Faecal egg counting
Figure 5. Fasciola hepatica (liver fluke)
Figure 5. Fasciola hepatica (liver fluke)
Figure 6. Parascaris equorum  (Horse roundworm)
Figure 6. Parascaris equorum (Horse roundworm)

Invetus’ core strengths are the independence, expertise and experience of its 60+ staff, two thirds of whom have tertiary qualifications, including 10 highly qualified veterinarians. Many of them have years of experience and understand the needs of both the clients and the research providers.

Invetus is an exciting new company, a one-stop-shop for answering questions in the Australian & New Zealand animal health industry.

For further information, please contact Tim Elliott (Invetus Diagnostic Laboratory – or +61 2 6770 3200) or visit the Invetus website (