Duration of Anthelmintic Effect of Three Formulations of Ivermectin (Oral, Injectable and Pour-on) Against Multiple Anthelmintic-Resistant Haemonchus contortus in Sheep

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We report the results of investigations that were conducted in a sheep flock in Uttaranchal, India where repeated failure of anthelmintic medication was noted. The study revealed that Haemonchus contortus in sheep had developed resistance to benzimidazoles (fenbendazole, mebendazole and albendazole), imidazothiazole (levamisole) and salicylanide (rafoxanide), while it was fully susceptible to avermectins (ivermectin). Further, the suppression of nematode egg output in faeces of sheep naturally infected with multiple anthelmintic-resistant H. contortus following treatment with ivermectin tablet (0.4 mg/kg body weight (bw), orally), ivermectin injection (1% w/v, 0.2 mg/kg bw, subcutaneously) and ivermectin pour-on (0.5 w/v, 0.5 mg/kg bw) was also studied over a period of 10 weeks post treatment. It was noted that ivermectin tablet after initial clearance of infection (faecal egg count reduction 100%), could not prevent establishment of new patent natural infection for even a single day, while ivermectin pour-on and injection prevented the establishment of new infection for 7 and 14 days post treatment, respectively. Maximum protection period (duration for which mean faecal egg count of sheep reaches 500 eggs per gram of faeces or more) of 68 days was recorded in sheep treated with injectable ivermectin, followed by pour-on (60 days) and oral (53 days) preparations.

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