Discussion of Dr. Donald C. Boughton's Paper

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  • Parasite Treatment Section, ADP, USDA Agricultural Research Center, Beltsville, Maryland

In 1954, the Department of Agriculture estimated that parasites are responsible for about forty per cent of the total animal disease and parasite loss at the farm level in the United States. A loss exceeding one billion dollars annually was ascribed about equally to internal and external parasites. This estimate did not take into account costs for research, treatment and corrective measures, inspection, quarantine, eradication or intangible losses through devaluation. Nor did it allow for the kind of loss emphasized by Dr. Boughton—the cost from helminth production. It would be reiteration to go further into these aspects.

I subscribe to all that Dr. Boughton said, and feel constrained to reemphasize a few points — the reference to principles (already emphasized by Clay Huff), his own “laws of parasitism,” and the matter of honest speculation in scientific reports.

Probably the great need in parasitology, as in many sciences, is less concern about applied problems and more about the development of principles.