Resistance to a triple-combination anthelmintic in Trichostrongylus spp. on a commercial sheep farm in New Zealand

Resistance to a triple-combination anthelmintic in Trichostrongylus spp. on a commercial sheep farm in New Zealand
Peer reviewed


AIM: To evaluate resistance to anthelmintics containing abamectin, levamisole, and oxfendazole (AB-LEV-OX), derquantal and abamectin (DEQ-AB), moxidectin, and monepantel in naturally acquired gastrointestinal nematodes present on a sheep farm.

METHODS: Faecal nematode egg count reduction tests (FECRT) were carried out on lambs that were approximately 7 months-old and infected with naturally acquired nematodes. Lambs were randomly allocated to one of five groups (n=15 per group): treatment with 2 mg/kg derquantel and 0.2 mg/kg abamectin; 0.2 mg/kg abamectin, 8 mg/kg levamisole HCl and 4.5 mg/kg oxfendazole; 2.5 mg/kg monepantel; 0.2 mg/kg moxidectin, or no treatment. Post-treatment samples were collected 12 days later. Abomasa and small intestines were collected from two slaughtered lambs from each of the DEQ-AB, AB-LEV-OX, moxidectin and control groups 15 days after treatment, for nematode counting.

RESULTS: The FECRT demonstrated that efficacy was 90.3 (95% CI=84.2–94.1)% for AB-LEV-OX, 54.5 (95% CI=28.4–71.1)% for moxidectin, 99.2 (95% CI=97.4–99.8)% for DEQ-AB and 100% for monepantel, across all genera. For Trichostrongylus spp. efficacy was 85.5% for AB-LEV-OX and 46.7% for moxidectin. Haemonchus spp. were fully susceptible to all treatments. Post-treatment nematode counts indicated that the resistant Trichostrongylus spp. were from the small intestine.

CONCLUSIONS: Anthelmintic resistance to both AB-LEV-OX and moxidectin was present in the Trichostrongylus genus on a commercial sheep farm. Monepantel and DEQ-AB were both effective against Trichostrongylus spp. based on FECRT results.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE: This finding of resistance to an AB-LEV-OX triple-combination anthelmintic in the Trichostrongylus genus in sheep in New Zealand further limits anthelmintic treatment options available, and calls into question whether this combination is suitable for use as a quarantine treatment.

KEY WORDS: Anthelmintic, resistance, Trichostrongylus, triple combination, moxidectin, gastrointestinal, nematode, sheep

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