LEXINGTON, Ky. — MEP Equine Solutions, a Lexington-based company that developed Parasight System, is helping large animal veterinarians and farmers globally conduct push-button parasite fecal tests in their clinics and in the field that once required cumbersome slides, microscopes, or waiting for results for samples mailed to reference labs.
Initially available as the only automated fecal egg count (FEC) solution for horses, the company has expanded species support for ruminants, goat and sheep. Parasight System provides instant quantitative imaged results; egg count / type and treatment recommendations are emailed immediately to veterinarians and animal owners. Timely FEC tests are vital because they determine how much parasitic infection an animal has, whether its current deworming program is effective, and drug resistance is an issue. Currently, ova detected for ruminants include round worms: Trichostrongylus, Haemonchus, Ostertagia, Oesophagostomum, Chabertia, Cooperia and Nematodirus. The test provides a total combined round worm count for all such genera except Nematodirus, which is reported as a separate count. Future versions of the system will include the ability to detect and count other parasitic helminth ova, including, Strongyloides and Trichuris.
“Sheep and goat producers want their veterinarians to give them a deworming schedule, including how often to deworm, and with what product, and they would like this schedule to work every year in all situations. Unfortunately, with the resistance to dewormers shown by sheep and goat parasites, this is challenging. The reliability and speed of the Parasight test will help owners know which dewormers still work on their farm and make informed decisions on the spot,” said Eric Hauck, CEO and co-founder of MEP Equine Solutions. “You essentially push a button for a sample to be analyzed. The previous time-consuming method required using a slide, a microscope, and a manual counter. As a result many animal owners didn’t perform the test at all. Parasight makes it so easy and quick to perform a fecal egg count, there is no reason to not test. Now, with minimal training, our scientifically validated system means farm managers, animal owners and vets receive instant, accurate fecal egg counts with a push of a button. It’s a huge advance for the industry.”
Parasight System is proving especially helpful as vets negotiate the changing boundaries and precautions of the Covid-19 pandemic. The system is optimized to help veterinarians communicate and manage treatments without in-person contact. After completing validation at several labs and major research universities and publishing in several peer-reviewed papers, Parasight System launched commercially in 2019 for horses and is now in over 100 equine hospitals, veterinary schools, and ambulatory equine clinics. The expansion into ruminants in 2020 was natural.
Proven to be significantly less variable and more accurate than the traditional McMaster FEC test method, the Parasight System for goat and sheep uses the same hardware system used for horses. The sample prep process and egg chamber filter are the only variances. Parasight System requires minimal training. Photo results showing eggs per gram are instantly emailed to the owner and veterinarian to enable immediate dialogue without the need for in-person interactions.
“We were fortunate to have had the University of Kentucky’s College of Agriculture, Food and Environment as a research partner from the beginning,” said Paul Slusarewicz, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer and co-founder of MEP Equine Solutions and an adjunct professor at UK. “Their team were instrumental in the rapid technological advances we have made in such a short period of time. This tremendous team effort allowed us to identify a rapid method to detect parasite eggs in fecal samples and to differentiate different egg types. This enabled us to automate a complete fecal egg count with the push of a button, which will enable a veterinarian to determine appropriate treatment both simply and conveniently.”
About Parasight System
Parasight System is a push-button automated fecal egg count (FEC) method with significantly less variability and more reliability than the traditional McMaster FEC. In horses, Parasight identifies and counts strongyle and ascarid eggs using fluorescence imaging technology and an automated software algorithm. In ruminants, ova detected include round worms: Trichostrongylus, Haemonchus, Ostertagia, Oesophagostomum, Chabertia, Cooperia and Nematodirus. The test provides a total combined round worm count for all such genera except Nematodirus, which is reported as a separate count. The Parasight System outputs an image of the eggs and a count of strongyle and ascarid ova in eggs per gram (EPG). The easy-to-use Parasight App provides a simple user interface for emailing results and also integrates with numerous patient management systems (PMS). The patented Parasight System is the only validated fecal egg count system in the industry. This on-site veterinarian-based solution provides rapid, quantitative fecal egg counts in animals. Parasight’s on-site testing and accurate results enable veterinarians, farmers and consumers to effectively treat and manage parasites. The Parasight System is provided to users at no cost in conjunction with an annual consumables agreement. For more information: www.parasightsystem.com.
About MEP Equine Solutions, LLC
The Parasight System is a product of MEP Equine Solutions LLC, a Lexington, KY, based animal health technology biotech startup focused on veterinarian and consumer-based solutions. MEP Equine Solutions leadership and scientific team is recognized worldwide for its innovative problem solving and its ability to deliver technology-based solutions for veterinarians and consumers caring for horses, livestock and companion animals. For more information: www.parasightsystem.com.
— Parasight System
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