Production and immunological responses associated with controlled-release-capsule vs 5-drench preventive anthelmintic programmes for parasite control in lambs
New Zealand Veterinary Journal, Volume 50, Issue 2, pp 70-76, Apr 2002
Article class: Scientific Article
Subject Terms: Alimentary system/gastroenterology, Animal remedies/veterinary medicines, Anthelmintics, Growth/development, Immune system/immunology, Nematode, Parasite control, Parasites - internal, Treatment/therapyTaylor and Francis
AbstractAIMS: To determine whether: a) using a controlled-release anthelmintic capsule (CRC) instead of a programme of 5 oral drenches administered at 3-4 week intervals, would delay the development of anti-parasite immunity in lambs; b) the use of ivermectin instead of albendazole, administered either as a CRC or as a programme of 5 oral drenches, would delay the development of anti-parasite immunity in lambs; c) lambs treated with CRCs would have higher liveweight gains than lambs drenched orally 5 times at 3-4 week intervals, and; d) delayed onset of anti-parasite immunity is associated with reduced liveweight gains in the period following anthelmintic treatment.
METHODS: Three field trials were conducted, 1 on a research farm and 2 on commercial sheep farms, in which groups of 30 lambs were treated with either a CRC containing albendazole, a CRC containing ivermectin, 5 oral drenches with albendazole, or 5 oral drenches with ivermectin, administered at 3-4 week intervals. Liveweights and faecal nematode egg counts (FECs) were recorded in all trials. Immunoglobulin-G (IgG) antibody levels to Ostertagia circumcincta and Trichostrongylus colubriformis adult and larval antigens were measured in Trials 1 and 3, and fleece weights and resistance of animals to nematode challenge infection were measured in Trial 1.
RESULTS: CRC-treated lambs had higher levels of antibodies to O. circumcincta infective-stage larvae (L3) than orally drenched lambs in Trial 3, but no other immunological differences due to mechanism of delivery were detected. Antibody levels were lower in lambs treated with ivermectin than albendazole, as a CRC or oral drench in Trial 1, but this was not associated with any measurable effects on FEC or productivity. No significant differences (p>0.05) were detected between drench types (albendazole vs ivermectin) or delivery mechanisms (CRC vs oral drenching) in any of the production parameters measured, in any of the trials. Albendazole-CRCs failed to control FECs in all 3 trials.
CONCLUSIONS: Although some differences between treatments in antibody levels were detected these were not associated with measurable differences in level of parasitism or productivity of lambs. CRC use did not appear to offer substantial gains in productivity over a structured programme of 5 oral drenches administered at 3-4 week intervals.
KEY WORDS: Anthelmintic capsule, parasite control, immunity, liveweight gain, sheep.
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