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Vet Parasitol. 1996 Apr;62(3-4):253-66.

The effect of faecally excreted ivermectin and fenbendazole on the insect colonisation of cattle dung following the oral administration of sustained-release boluses.

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  • 1School of Biological Sciences, University of Bristol, UK


The effects of faecal drug residues following the administration of anthelmintics in the form of sustained-release boluses, on dung-colonising Coleoptera and Diptera are reported. In blind field trials, pats of standard weight and size were prepared from the dung of cattle treated with an ivermectin (Ivomec SR Bolus, MSD Agvet) or a fenbendazole (Panacur Bolus, Hoechst) sustained-release bolus, and from a third control group of cattle that received no treatment. Pats were recovered after 7, 14, 21 and 42 days in the field and searched for invertebrates. There were no differences in the numbers of adult beetles found in the pats from the three treatment groups. Pats made from the dung of ivermectin-treated animals contained no larval Diptera Cyclorrhapha and significantly fewer larval Scarabaeidae than pats made from the dung of the other two groups. Furthermore, larval Scarabaeidae in the ivermectin pats were inhibited in their development. The pats from fenbendazole-treated animals contained similar numbers of larval Scarabaeidae and Diptera to the pats from untreated animals throughout the trial. At 42 days, the solid matter of the control and fenbendazole-containing cow pats were reduced to a crumbling, granular texture, while the pats from the ivermectin-treated animals were solid and compacted. Pitfall trapping, using traps baited with dung from the three groups, showed no significant difference between the numbers of adult Scarabaeidae attracted, though a trend towards higher numbers attracted to the dung of both anthelmintic-treated groups was evident. The results provide evidence of the toxic effects of excreted ivermectin on key dung-colonising families of insects, and show that fenbendazole lacks such toxic effects.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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