Evaluation of the mucosal inflammatory responses to equine cyathostomins in response to anthelmintic treatment

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14 Scopus citations


Members of Cyathostominae are pervasive parasites of equids that can cause larval cyathostominosis, a potentially life-threatening disease that occurs when a multitude of encysted larvae synchronously excyst from the wall of the large intestine. Moxidectin and fenbendazole are the two current labeled drugs that target the encysted larval stages; however, there is limited knowledge of the local inflammatory response to the larvae and to the two treatments in clinically healthy horses. This study is the first to evaluate the local inflammatory response to cyathostomin larvae and to larvicidal treatment at 2 and 5 weeks post treatment. Thirty-six ponies with naturally acquired cyathostomin infections were randomly allocated into 3 groups: Group 1, fenbendazole at 10 mg/kg for 5 days, Group 2, a single dose of moxidectin at 0.4 mg/kg, and Group 3, untreated controls. Tissue samples from the cecum and dorsal and ventral colons were used for histopathological and immunohistochemical evaluation. Tissues were stained with routine hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) for light microscopy and immunohistochemically for MAC387, CD20, and CD3 for differentiation of activated macrophages, B cells, and T cells, respectively. Semiquantitative scores were assigned for all inflammatory cell types and fibrous connective tissue. Larvae observed by light microscopy were enumerated and classified by stage. Mucosal ulcerations and submucosal granulomas were also enumerated. Mean macrophage scores were higher in the moxidectin group than the fenbendazole group (p = 0.0185) and the control group had a higher activated macrophage score than both treatment groups (p = 0.0104, p = 0.0004). T lymphocyte scores were higher in the moxidectin group when compared to the control group (p = 0.0069). Goblet cell hyperplasia scores were elevated at 5 weeks post treatment compared to 2 weeks post treatment (p = 0.0047) and were elevated in the ventral colon compared to the dorsal colon (p = 0.0301). Eosinophil scores were elevated surrounding degenerative larvae when compared to intact larvae (p = 0.0001). Mucosal ulcerations were found only in the control group at 2 weeks post treatment. This study found subtle inflammatory differences between treatment groups but provided new information about goblet cells and eosinophils in relation to encysted cyathostomin larvae.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalVeterinary Immunology and Immunopathology
StatePublished - May 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier B.V.


  • Cyathostomin
  • Histopathology
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Inflammation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • General Veterinary


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