What is BioWorma®?


BioWorma® is a nutritional supplement that contains a nematode-trapping fungus called Duddingtonia flagrans. After being fed to livestock, the fungus traps and kills roundworm larvae in the manure which reduces reinfection of the pastures. The fungus is equally effective against drug-resistant parasites. According to research, BioWorma® reduces the number of GI parasites on pasture by 86 percent in goats and 68 percent in sheep.

BioWorma® is the first product to target parasites on pasture, where the majority reside (an estimated 90 percent). It is available in two products: BioWorma® and Livamol® with BioWorma®. Livamol® is a ready-to-use product. It is a protein supplement (20% CP) that can be mixed with other feeds or top-dressed. It contains 2.2 percent of the fungus. The dosage of Livamol® is 2.2 ounces per hundred pounds of animal, so it's possible to accurately dose a single animal. There have been some palatability issues with Livamol®, but animals can be conditioned to eat it.

BioWorma® is a concentrated feed additive that is meant to be mixed with other feeds or supplements. Its distribution is limited to veterinarians and EPA-certified feed manufacturers. Premier 1 Supplies (in Iowa) is able to sell BioWorma® because the company has veterinarians on staff. BioWorma® contains 34 percent D. flagrans. Its dosage is only 0.1 oz per 100 lbs., so hand mixing it isn't going to be practical.

It is recommended that BioWorma® be fed during periods of peak worm transmission, when temperatures exceed 40 degrees F. It should be fed to the most susceptible sheep/goats, usually periparturient females and young, growing lambs/kids. The American Consortium for Small Ruminant Parasite Control (ACSRPC) recommends that BioWorma® be fed for at least 60 days.

There are several strategies for reducing the cost of feeding BioWorma®. Using BioWorma® instead of Livamol® (with BioWorma®) will reduce cost. But in order to do that, you have to be able to mix BioWorma® into a batch of feed or have a feed mill that can do it. Buying either product in bulk will result in substantial savings.

It's possible that feeding BioWorma® every other day or for two weeks out of the month will give similar results as feeding BioWorma® every day. This would cut the cost of feeding BioWorma® in half. Researchers are currently testing this hypothesis. If BioWorma® could be incorporated into a mineral product, this would greatly reduce labor cost. It would also make the product more appealing to producers who don't supplement their grazing animals. Researchers are also working on this.

There is still much to be learned about feeding BioWorma®. Perhaps, feeding it to periparturient females will reduce or eliminate the need to feed it to lambs/kids. Feeding BioWorma® should have long-term benefits because it will reduce pasture infectivity. Researchers hypothesize that BioWorma® could be used to restore the efficacy of dewormers.

BioWorma® has no effect in the animal. It is a feed-through product. Clinically-parasitized animals still require treatment with effective dewormers. BioWorma® cannot be incorporated into a pellet. It's not supposed to get wet. It has good shelf life. BioWorma® is not known to have any negative effects on the environment or non-targeted species. Even though BioWorma® is not organic, it offers a non-chemical, biological option for parasite control.


Additional reading
Worm Killing Fungus: Best Management Practice (Wormx)
BioWorma web site: bioworma.com | duddingtonia.com/
Webinar presentation on BioWorma by Chris Lawlor