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Vet Parasitol. 2001 Jul 31;99(1):29-39.

Comparative efficacy, persistent effect, and treatment intervals of anthelmintic pastes in naturally infected horses.

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  • 1Medical Department, Virbac Laboratories, 06511 Cedex, Carros, France.


Eighty horses were involved in a comparative, controlled, and randomised field study conducted in Australia and Brazil. This study was undertaken to address the duration of efficacy (by faecal egg count reduction) of four anthelmintic pastes and to measure the time required between treatments on horses naturally infected by gastrointestinal nematodes. The treatment interval was based on the egg reappearance period (ERP), defined as "the period after treatment when horses have reached a positive egg count equal or superior to 200 eggs per gram (epg) of faeces". Horses were ranked according to pre-treatment faecal egg counts and randomly allocated on Day 0 to one of the four treatment groups (n=16). Group A received a combination of ivermectin at 200 microg/kg and praziquantel at 1.5mg/kg, Group B received an ivermectin paste at 200 microg/kg, Group C received a reference product containing ivermectin at 200 microg/kg, Group D received a moxidectin paste at 400 microg/kg, and Group E received a placebo. Horses were individually faecal sampled at weekly interval from Days 0 to 70 after treatment and coprocultures were made on pooled samples at the pre-treatment time on D-7 in Brazil and D-6 in Australia. The nematode population was mainly composed of small strongyles (Cyathostominae, Gyalocephalus spp., Triodontophorus spp.). All products were efficient (>90% efficacy) until Day 42 with no statistical difference between groups. From Day 49 onwards, Group C reached the threshold, while Group B exceeded this threshold on Day 56. Groups A and D remained below 200 epg for the entire study period (70 days). The interval between two anthelmintic treatments can vary according to the threshold. The ERP was defined as the period after treatment while the output of eggs is negligible or considered as acceptable. The mean number of days calculated to recurrence of 200 epg and more was, respectively, 60 days for product A, 56 days for products B and C, and 64 days for product D. If treatments are combined with other methods of limiting exposure to infective larvae on pasture, the number of treatments required will be reduced even further.

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