ParaBoss WEC QA Program

The ParaBoss WEC QA Program allows worm egg count (WEC) providers to test the accuracy of their work and receive recognition for accurate services and provides WEC users with a list of endorsed service providers.

Inaccurate worm egg counts can result in producers missing the optimum drench time: too late and there will be lost productivity and animal welfare impacts; too early and drenching costs are not justified.

In the inaugural 2019 round of testing, 70% of participants were within the accepted limits, but 30% returned results that were too low, too high or too variable.

A list of WEC providers that successfully demonstrated the accuracy of their work is available on the WormBoss Professional Service Providers pages.

Anyone providing paid or free worm egg counting services should participate

ParaBoss WEC QA Program—2020

Updates are published in ParaBoss News: Subscribe here 

Further information: technical@paraboss.com.au

What are the benefits?

  • This is the only independent program in Australia to benchmark WEC results and provide assistance and recognition.

THOSE WHO SATISFY THE WEC QA REQUIREMENTS WILL :

  • Be "endorsed" by ParaBoss and WormBoss.
  • Receive a free listing on the WormBoss Service Providers page (all current listings for WEC providers will be removed when this program commences).
  • Ongoing promotion to sheep, goat, camelid and cattle producers (via ParaBoss News, WormBoss website, industry newsletters such as AWI Beyond the Bale and MLA Feedback and in the rural press).
  • Recommendation of endorsed providers in response to enquiries received by WormBoss.

Who can participate?

  • For all laboratories, veterinarians, livestock merchandise/stock agents and individuals who do worm egg counts as a paid or complimentary service to others.
  • Any individuals who do their own worm egg counts and who wish to ensure they are achieving accurate results.
  • View the WormBoss Professional Service Providers pages

What is involved?

  • Once per year (generally October), participants will take part in a "round-robin" trial—they will be sent 13 samples of known worm egg counts, on which they will conduct worm egg counts.
  • Participants provide their results back for analysis.
  • Participants with results within the accepted range will receive ParaBoss endorsement as a WEC provider.
  • Those whose results are outside the accepted range will be provided contacts and an introduction to ParaBoss-endorsed laboratories or individuals who can offer training opportunities (this will be at the cost of the participant). ParaBoss will also provide a review of results with an indication of likely issues.

When will the testing occur?

  • The samples will generally be sent out in October each year.
  • Only one sample send out will occur annually due to the large preparation and freighting logistics and high cost involved. See details below of how samples will be prepared. 

What will it cost?

NSW, VIC, TAS, SA, QLD, NT (to a single location)
  • First set of samples: $350 
  • Each extra set of samples: $30
  • Cost for each Operator:  $20

WA (to a single location)

  • First set of samples: $300 
  • Each extra set of samples: $30
  • Cost for each Operator:  $20

(WA cheaper due to lower freight costs)

See information below regarding how our samples will be prepared.

What participants will need to do

  • Register (create an online account) and pay for the program through the link (this will open at the end of August each year and close about 3 weeks prior to sample send out).
  • You will be provided with all the details required to participate. This includes a document providing standard operating procedures for doing worm egg counts, allowing you to review your process in advance.
  • Receive samples and carry out the worm egg counts.
  • Upload your results through your online account.
  • Reports will be provided about 1-2 months later. 
  • Those whose results satisfy the requirements will have their contact details added to the WormBoss provider page if they have requested this.
  • Anyone not satisfying the requirements will be provided with the likely reasons for inaccurate results. We will also provide you with contacts and introductions at major laboratories to allow you to gain further advice and or training. Such further advice/training would be at your own cost. 

Sample Preparation 

ParaBoss has been fortunate to gain the  expertise of the key staff and laboratory that ran a previous program for some years.

  • The program is overseen by Dr Brown Besier (now retired from DPIRD, WA)
  • The  Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, WA, (DPIRD WA) at Albany, managed by Jill Lyon, is the sample supply laboratory.
    This laboratory has a suitable supply of clean and worm-infected sheep at the time required, which greatly reduces the costs for participants. (These sheep are also used to prepare the Barbervax vaccine).
  • Statistician, Andrew Van Burgel (DPIRD WA) is the data analyst.

SAMPLES ARE NOT SIMPLY TAKEN FROM WORMY SHEEP AND SENT TO YOU.

Considerable analysis by eminent parasitologists originally determined a process to eliminate as much variation as possible.

  • The faecal component of the samples are taken from worm-free housed sheep.
  • A large volume of faecal samples are collected from sheep artificially infected with Haemonchus contortus.
  • The worm eggs are then extracted from those samples to provide a purified solution of eggs.
  • This is measured to assess the quantity of eggs per millilitre of solution.
  • Specific amounts of worm-free faeces and egg solution are then measured into sample containers.
  • 13 samples are prepared for each participant with various worm egg counts in them.
  • All of these processes with sheep are done under animal ethics approval.

The samples are packed into eskies with ice bricks to keep the samples cool during the trip to each participant.
The hotter months have been avoided for this reason. Some embryonation may occur on the longer journeys, but this has been shown in the previous program to not affect the counts.

Samples will be freighted on a Monday to arrive no later than Friday of the same week. 

ParaBoss will advise all participants a month in advance of the date samples will be sent.

We are obliged to freight with a UN3373 categorisation of biological samples. This categorisation and the express freighting results in a high freight cost—higher to eastern states than WA.

2020 Schedule

Action

Date

Registration and payment open

31 August – 18 September

ParaBoss will confirm your registration and dispatch date

25 September

Dispatch of samples from Albany WA

TBA

Samples arrive at your lab

TBA

Submit your WEC results to ParaBoss by

TBA

Report returned to participants

TBA

Listing in WormBoss Service Providers Page updated

TBA