Efficacy of Bravecto® Plus spot-on solution for cats (280 mg/ml fluralaner and 14 mg/ml moxidectin) for the prevention of aelurostrongylosis in experimentally infected cats
<h4>Background</h4>The feline lungworm Aelurostrongylus abstrusus affects the lower respiratory tract in cats worldwide. As infections may lead to chronic respiratory changes or even death, preventive treatment in cats with outdoor access is warranted.<h4>Methods</h4>The preventive efficacy of a spot-on solution (Bravecto® Plus spot-on solution for cats, MSD) against cat aelurostrongylosis was evaluated using three different preventive treatment regimes in a negative controlled, randomized and partially blinded laboratory efficacy study with 31 purposed-bred cats. The minimum recommended dose of 2.0 mg moxidectin + 40 mg fluralaner/kg bodyweight was applied once 12 (Group [G]1), 8 (G2) or 4 (G3) weeks before experimental infection with 300 third-stage larvae (L3) of A. abstrusus. Another group served as untreated control (G4). Individual faecal samples were analysed as of day 30 post infection (pi) to monitor larvae excretion. Necropsy was performed at days 47-50 pi. The lungs were examined macroscopically for pathological findings and (pre-)adult worms were counted to assess preventive efficacy.<h4>Results</h4>Beginning at day 32-40 pi, all cats of the control group were constantly shedding larvae of A. abstrusus, whereas only one animal of G1 excreted larvae at several consecutive days. In addition, two cats of G1 and G3 and three of G2 were positive on a single occasion. The geometric mean (GM) of the maximum number of excreted larvae was 7574.29 in the control group compared to 1.10 (G1), 1.19 (G2) and 0.53 (G3), resulting in a GM reduction of > 99.9% in all treatment groups. All lungs of the control animals showed severe or very severe alterations at necropsy, while in 94.44% of the treated cats lung pathology was rated as absent or mild. The GM number of (pre-)adult A. abstrusus retrieved from the lungs was 26.57 in the control group, 0.09 in G1 and 0.00 in G2 and G3. Thus, GM worm count reduction was 99.66% in G1 and 100% in G2 and G3.<h4>Conclusions</h4>A single application of Bravecto® Plus spot-on solution at a dose of 2.0 mg moxidectin + 40 mg fluralaner/kg bodyweight reliably prevents cat aelurostrongylosis for at least 12 weeks.