Nicola Young

Institute of Integrative Biology Biosciences Building University of Liverpool Crown Street Liverpool L69 7ZB


Professor Steve Paterson

I graduated from Queen’s University Belfast in 2012 with a BSc (Hons) in Zoology. I completed my final year research project in equine parasite infections in Northern Ireland, during which I developed a passion for veterinary parasitology. After my degree, I worked in industry as a clinical research scientist before starting a BBSRC-funded PhD at the University of Liverpool in 2013.

Project title: A road map to better anthelmintic resistance control in UK cattle: underpinning knowledge on how resistance is spread amongst populations

The overall aim of this project is to investigate the development and spread of anthelmintic resistance in populations of the gastrointestinal nematode of cattle, Cooperia oncophora. C. oncophora, in combination with other gastrointestinal nematodes, contributes to significant economic losses in dairy and beef industries. Anthelmintic resistance to macrocyclic lactones (MLs), the most widely used of all anthelmintics, is a worldwide problem with increasing reports of resistance in cattle nematodes. There is therefore major concern with regards to current parasitic control and a crucial requirement for sustainable control measures.

This project is in collaboration with The Moredun Research Institute where recent studies have detected high levels of ML resistance in C. oncophora in Scottish cattle. This project aims to compare ML-susceptible and ML-resistant isolates to identify DNA level mutations associated with resistance genes, which subsequently can be used as markers, allowing us to identify regions of the genome responsible for resistance. These genetic markers can then be used to detect and predict emergence of resistance in cattle nematode populations and will also be used to begin to identify the genes encoding resistance. This information will be vital in the development and preservation of sustainable parasite control.

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