Field efficacy and safety of an oral formulation of the novel combination anthelmintic, derquantel-abamectin, in sheep in New Zealand

Field efficacy and safety of an oral formulation of the novel combination anthelmintic, derquantel-abamectin, in sheep in New Zealand
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AIM: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of the novel anthelmintic combination, derquantel-abamectin, against gastrointestinal nematode populations in sheep, under field-use conditions.
METHODS: Controlled faecal egg count reduction tests (FECRT) were conducted in New Zealand in 14 trials, covering a range of geographic locations, farming enterprises, breeds, nematode populations, and anthelmintic-resistance profiles. Enrolled animals were naturally infected with mixed populations of gastrointestinal nematodes. All trials included a group treated with derquantel-abamectin, and a negative control group. Nine trials included additional groups each treated with a single- or dual-active oral reference anthelmintic, selected from albendazole, levamisole, albendazole-levamisole, ivermectin, abamectin and moxidectin. A total of 838 animals were enrolled across all trials, and were randomly allocated to treatment groups within blocks defined by faecal nematode egg counts (FEC) pretreatment. On Day 0 derquantel-abamectin was administered orally at 1 ml/5 kg bodyweight (2 mg/kg derquantel, 0.2 mg/kg abamectin), and each reference anthelmintic was given at the recommended label dose. Faecal samples were collected on Day 14 (±1 day), to determine the percentage reduction in mean FEC for each anthelmintic tested. Larval differentiation was also performed post-treatment, to estimate efficacy at the genus level. Animals were weighed on or before Day 0, and on Day 14 (±1 day) in 13 trials.
RESULTS: The efficacy of derquantel-abamectin against mixed strongyle populations was ≥99.2%, based on the percentage reduction in geometric mean FEC. Nematodirus sp. was present in six trials at a level sufficient for efficacy calculations to be conducted; in all cases, the efficacy of derquantel-abamectin was 100%. In those trials where the efficacy of at least one reference anthelmintic was <95% against strongyles and/or Nematodirus sp., derquantel-abamectin was 100% effective. In five trials, the mean gain in bodyweight was significantly greater in the derquantel- abamectin group than the negative controls.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: When administered orally at 1 ml/5 kg bodyweight, derquantel-abamectin is highly effective for the treatment of gastrointestinal nematodes in sheep, including populations of strongyles and Nematodirus sp. with resistance to one or more single- or dual-active anthelmintics. Derquantel-abamectin presents sheep producers with a unique opportunity to introduce a new class of anthelmintic to their nematode control programmes, with the added benefits offered by a combination anthelmintic.
KEY WORDS: Spiroindole (SI), derquantel, abamectin, anthelmintic efficacy, sheep, gastrointestinal, nematode

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