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Aust Vet J. 1984 Aug;61(8):248-51.

Anthelmintic resistance and sheep management practices in south western Victoria.


Twenty-eight farms in 7 shires in south western Victoria were selected and tested for presence of benzimidazole-resistant nematodes between November 1979 and June 1981. Mean faecal egg counts of sheep were less than 100 strongyloid eggs/g on 11 farms. Faecal egg count reduction tests were conducted on the remaining 17 farms and thiabendazole was less than 90% efficient in reducing egg counts in sheep from 5 (29%) of these farms. Thiabendazole-resistant Teladorsagia circumcincta were identified at necropsy of experimentally infected treated sheep. In further studies a survey of 104 farms was conducted in the Mount Rouse and Dundas shires of western Victoria in 1981 and 1982 respectively to determine the prevalence of anthelmintic resistance in these shires. Mean faecal egg counts among weaner sheep in the winter-spring of both years were less than 100 eggs/g which indicated low levels of parasitic nematode populations. A faecal egg count reduction test was conducted on 10 farms and thiabendazole was less than 90% efficient on 3; levamisole was greater than 90% efficient in all 10 tests. Most of the surveyed farms carried Merino or Merino crossbred sheep at 10 to 15 dry sheep equivalents per ha and weaners were treated with anthelmintics 3 to 6 times per year. Management procedures based mainly on anthelmintic therapy were effective in controlling nematode populations in weaner sheep, although many producers alternated between different groups of anthelmintics within the same year contrary to current recommendations for long-term preservation of anthelmintic efficacy. It was concluded that anthelmintic resistance was not of practical importance to the majority of sheep producers in the region.

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