FERNANDEZ Alicia Silvina
capítulos de libros
Biological control of parasites in veterinary medicine
Fungi: Types, Environmental Impact and Role in Disease
Nova Science Publishers
Año: 2012; p. 309 - 340
The capacity of microfungi known as ‘nematophagous fungi’ to reduce the numbers of parasitic nematodes is anything but a new subject. However, the research into the actual development of these fungi for biological control purposes and their practical application in veterinary medicine has made inroads only during the last two decades. This chapter intends to shed light on those inroads, focusing on the application of biological control of parasites of veterinary importance. Examples of parasite-destroying fungi other than nematophagous ones are also mentioned in the chapter. The four functional categories of nematophagous fungi are nematode-trapping, endoparasitic, egg- and cyst-parasitic fungi, and toxin-producing fungi. Although species of all categories have shown capabilities to act as biological control agents at different levels, the first group has been more extensively studied for that purpose to this date. However, the field for using the second and third groups remains wide open. While the last category is briefly mentioned and exemplified, this chapter focuses on the first three categories, including their description, biology, and behaviour in the environment. The research into using nematophagous fungi to control parasitic nematodes of veterinary importance has not only elucidated issues such as which fungal species are the most promising candidates and their individual nematode suppressive effect under controlled conditions, but has also raised problematic questions ranging from the use of the fungi in different geographical and climate regions to the formulation, commercialisation and regulatory aspects of their use. All these and the future perspectives of this exciting field of knowledge will be covered in this chapter.