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Int J Parasitol. 1995 Apr;25(4):471-82.

Kinetic disposition of xylene-based or aqueous formulations of deltamethrin applied to the dorsal mid-line of sheep and their effect on lice.

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  • 1Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute, Camden, NSW, Australia.


A xylene-based topical formulation of the synthetic pyrethroid insecticide deltamethrin was applied to the dorsal mid-line of 2 groups of 5 Merino sheep within 24 h after shearing. One group was free of ectoparasites and the second was infested with sheep body lice, Bovicola (Damalinia) ovis. A water-based deltamethrin formulation was applied to the dorsal mid-line of a third group of 5 Merinos which were infested with lice. Insecticide concentrations on the wool of the back, upper and lower body and in the skin and bloodstream were measured at regular intervals between 1 and 98 days after treatment. Movement of the deltamethrin from the back to the lower body occurred within 24 h on all 3 groups, but maximum concentrations took 4-5 days to develop on the fleece in sheep treated with the xylene-based formulation and 11 days in sheep treated with the water-based formulation. There was a significant difference in concentration of deltamethrin close to the dorsal mid-line between the groups treated with the different formulations. Overall, concentrations of deltamethrin were lower at all sites examined on the sheep treated with the water-based formulation. Levels of deltamethrin in the tip of the fleece were significantly greater than those in the base and there was little movement of deltamethrin down the staple. The concentration of deltamethrin in the skin was significantly lower than the concentration in the wool and fell below the amount required to kill lice fully susceptible to deltamethrin after 12 days. Deltamethrin levels in the blood were near the limits of detection in all groups at all observations, indicating that there was little absorption or re-distribution of deltamethrin via the bloodstream. Most lice were killed after 20 h of exposure in vitro, to wool samples collected between 1 and 14 days after treatment. However, many lice survived in samples containing the same concentration of deltamethrin, but collected between 16 and 98 days after treatment. Numbers of lice surviving increased with the sampling time after treatment, suggesting that the bio-availability of the deltamethrin changed as the insecticide aged in the fleece.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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