Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover (TiHo)TiHo eLib

Effectiveness of anthelmintic treatments in small ruminants in Germany

Widespread anthelmintic resistance is a concern for small ruminant health and production worldwide. The current situation regarding anthelmintic efficacy is, however, not very well studied in Germany. Thus, a nationwide field study was undertaken to assess the effectiveness of 253 treatments performed in 223 small ruminant flocks by faecal egg count reduction test (FECRT) using pooled samples and a modified McMaster method. The percentage of Haemonchus contortus and non-Haemonchus eggs was determined by fluorescence microscopy following peanut agglutinin-fluorescein isothiocyanate staining. Treatments were chosen and performed by farmers together with their local veterinarian, and potentially confounding factors for FECRT results were addressed as far as possible by rigorous inclusion criteria. Reduced effectiveness was observed for treatments with all examined anthelmintic classes, but treatments with benzimidazoles and moxidectin showed significantly poorer results than monepantel, a closantel and mebendazole combination, and levamisole. Low case numbers precluded reliable assessment of avermectins. Unsuccessful treatments were frequently associated with the survival of H. contortus, but this was also observed for non-Haemonchus genera. The results are highly concerning, and sustainable approaches to parasite control are urgently needed to prevent further deterioration of this situation.

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