Anthelmintic therapy of equine cyathostomin nematodes – larvicidal efficacy, egg reappearance period, and drug resistance

Jennifer L. Bellaw, Kristen Krebs, Craig R. Reinemeyer, Jamie K. Norris, Jessica A. Scare, Stefanie Pagano, Martin K. Nielsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Cyathostomins are ubiquitous in grazing horses across the world, and anthelmintic resistance has been reported with increasing levels over past decades. The aims of the present study were (i) to investigate the efficacy against encysted larval stages of moxidectin (0.4 mg/kg) and fenbendazole (10 mg/kg daily for five consecutive days) and compare these regimens at 2 and 5 weeks post-treatment, (ii) to investigate individual cyathostomin species associated with shortened egg reappearance periods, and (iii) to document species exhibiting decreased susceptibility to the evaluated compounds. Thirty-six ponies were allocated to treatment groups with half euthanatized 2 weeks post-treatment, and the remainder necropsied after 5 weeks. Luminal and mucosal worm counts were conducted and strongyle egg counts were determined at weekly intervals. At 2 weeks, mean reductions of early L3s were 50.4% and 73.8% for fenbendazole and moxidectin, respectively. At 5 weeks, the respective efficacies were 51.3% and 71.8%. Two week efficacies against late L3s and L4s (LL3s/L4s) were 70.8% and 74.6% for fenbendazole and moxidectin, respectively, whereas very low numbers were found in all three groups at 5 weeks. None of the mucosal counts were significantly different between treatment groups. Fenbendazole and moxidectin reduced luminal worm counts by 93.2% and 98.3% at 2 weeks following administration, with moxidectin group adult counts being significantly lower than the other two groups (P < 0.0001). Both treatment groups had increased counts 3 weeks later (P = 0.0415). A moxidectin ERP of 4 weeks was associated with surviving luminal L4s, and adult species contributing to this were Cyathostomum catinatum, Cylicostephanus longibursatus, Cylicocyclus ashworthi and Cylicocyclus nassatus. This study documented (i) larvicidal efficacy of fenbendazole much lower than historical standards, (ii) survival of luminal immatures (L4) following moxidectin administration, and (iii) new information about cyathostomin species associated with these phenomena.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-105
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal for Parasitology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Australian Society for Parasitology


  • Cyathostomin
  • Efficacy
  • Egg reappearance
  • Fenbendazole
  • Horse
  • Moxidectin
  • Strongyle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases


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