Anthelmintic efficacy of single active and combination products against commonly occurring parasites in foals

L. H. Morris, S. Colgan, D. M. Leathwick, M. K. Nielsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Parasite control in foals is complicated by the concurrent presence of biologically diverse parasites with differing levels of anthelmintic resistance. Several combination anthelmintic products are available for use in horses, but information on their efficacies against important equine parasites is scarce. Two trials were performed in New Zealand during 2008 and 2011 on four different farms with substantially different anthelmintic treatment histories. The first trial evaluated the efficacy of an ivermectin/praziquantel/oxibendazole combination, a single active oxibendazole, and a single-active macrocyclic lactone (ML) in 49 foals located on three farms. The second trial evaluated two combination anthelmintic products and three single-active ML products and enrolled a total of 110 foals on three farms. Foals in the second trial were allocated to one of six anthelmintic treatment groups; oxfendazole/pyrantel embonate, pyrantel embonate/ivermectin/praziquantel, ivermectin/praziquantel, abamectin/praziquantel, moxidectin/praziquantel, and a placebo-treated control. In both trials, foals were monitored monthly prior to treatment, and fecal egg counts (FECs) of Parascaris spp., strongylid, and Strongyloides westeri were determined. A “rolling enrolment” process was implemented whereby foals were systematically allocated to a treatment group and treated with the corresponding anthelmintic following the first appearance of Parascaris spp. eggs in the faeces. A generalised linear model was used to evaluate the effect of farm and treatment on Day14 FEC (ln) for each parasite. Three different FECR calculation methods were employed as follows; i) FECR(T) pre and post treatment ii) FECR (C) in the treated group compared with control, and iii) FECR (P) pre- and post- treatment in the treated and control groups. Across both trials, treatment with ML single active products failed to achieve >95% reduction in Parascaris spp. FEC on two of three farms. The pyrantel embonate/oxfendazole and ivermectin/ praziquantel/oxibendazole combinations demonstrated full efficacy against Parascaris spp. This is in contrast to the anti-strongylid efficacies determined, where the pyrantel embonate/oxfendazole combination and single active oxibendazole had reduced efficacy on one farm, while the macrocyclic lactones generally had good efficacy. Strongyloides egg counts were sporadic in both trials, and allowed limited insight into anthelmintic efficacy. The study illustrated the importance of keeping an untreated or placebo-treated control group in studies evaluating anti-Parascaris efficacy and it demonstrated the utility of a rolling enrolment procedure, where foals are enrolled over the course of a defined period of time. Furthermore, the study demonstrated the value of a farm specific FECR monitoring programme and the complexity of parasite control in foals, where combination anthelmintic products can be employed to target multiple species of parasites.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-52
Number of pages7
JournalVeterinary Parasitology
StatePublished - Apr 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier B.V.


  • Anthelmintic resistance
  • Combination anthelmintics
  • Foals
  • Parascaris spp.
  • Strongylid
  • Strongyloides westeri

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • General Veterinary


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