Field efficacy of praziquantel oral paste against naturally acquired equine cestodes in Ethiopia
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The efficacy of an oral formulation of praziquantel (Equitape, Horse paste, Fort Dodge) in the reduction of cestode egg counts and serum antibody level against Anoplocephala perfoliata was assessed in 44 donkeys under field conditions. The donkeys were confirmed both by faecal examination and serum antibody assessed by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay to have natural infection with tapeworms. The donkeys were randomly allocated into treatment (n = 22) and control (n = 22) groups. The treatment group was treated with both praziquantel and ivermectin (Ivomec, Merial) at a dose rate of 1 mg/kg and 200 μg/kg, respectively while the control group was treated only with ivermectin. Faecal samples were collected before treatment (day-0) and 2, 6, 8, 12, and 16 weeks post-treatment while blood samples were collected before treatment and 8 and 16 weeks after treatment and analysed. The results of the study demonstrated that praziquantel paste was highly effective in reducing cestode eggs in donkeys and had an efficacy of more than 99 % until week 16 (day 112). No cestode egg reappearance by 16 weeks post-treatment in any animal in the treatment group was observed while donkeys in the control group continued shedding cestode eggs. The immunological assay also showed a significant reduction in serum antibody level against A. perfoliata in treated donkeys compared to the control group (p = 0.0001). This marked decrease in serum antibody level indicates reduced risk of cestode-associated colic and other gastrointestinal disorders and clinical diseases. No adverse reactions or clinical effects were encountered in any animal within either group throughout the trial period.
KeywordsIvermectin Praziquantel Moxidectin Pyrantel Serum Antibody Level
The work was generously funded by The Donkey Sanctuary, UK. We are grateful to Almaz Sharew of the National Veterinary Institute (NVI) and staff of the Donkey Sanctuary in Ethiopia for their support during data collection and laboratory works. The Schools of Veterinary Medicine of Glasgow, Addis Ababa and Liverpool Universities are highly acknowledged for facilitating this study.
Conflict of interest
The authors have no conflict of interest.
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