Economic viability of anthelmintic treatment in naturally infected beef cattle under different nutritional strategies after weaning
The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of treatment with different anthelmintic compounds on the productivity of naturally infected calves and the economic viability of these treatments within extensive breeding systems employing different nutritional strategies after weaning. For this purpose, 4 farms with 42–60 calves naturally infected with gastrointestinal nematodes were selected. The calves were distributed into 6 groups (7–10 animals each) per farm and treated with ivermectin 1%, ivermectin 3.15%, eprinomectin 5%, levamisole 7.5%, albendazole 15%, and control group (no treatment). These animals were evaluated over an experimental period of 150 days. Levamisole 7.5% presented the best capacity for the reduction of eggs per gram (EPG) of feces in all herds evaluated, followed by albendazole 15% and eprinomectin 5%. Parasite resistance to multiple drugs was found in all herds, especially those of Cooperia, Haemonchus, Oesophagostomum, and Trichostrongylus. For farm 1, differences in weight gain and EPG reduction percentages led to a difference of US$285.06 between the levamisole and ivermectin 3.15% groups. Similar findings were noted for the levamisole and ivermectin 1% groups of farm 3, with a difference of US$399.37 because of the final weight gain in these groups. For farms 2 and 4, the ivermectin 3.15% and control groups, respectively, were the most profitable; these unexpected results were possibly influenced by variables not measured during the experimental period. This study suggested that anthelmintic treatments should always precede an efficacy test, once they are demonstrated to be most profitable under adequate breeding conditions, to ensure adequate control of gastrointestinal nematode infection.
KeywordsAnthelmintic resistance Cost-benefits Gastrointestinal nematodes Beef cattle
The authors are grateful for the availability and collaboration of producers and their employees who performed this work. We also thank Dr. Alfredo S. Cezar for collaborating with us on this article.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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