Licking behaviour induces partial anthelmintic efficacy of ivermectin pour-on formulation in untreated cattle.

Abstract : Licking behaviour in cattle has been reported to account for the disposition of topically administered macrocyclic lactones. However, its impact on anthelmintic efficacy remains to be established. Therefore, we evaluated the impact of ivermectin exchange between cattle on the reduction in the faecal egg count (FEC) after pour-on administration in a group of 10 heifers experimentally infected with Ostertagia ostertagi and Cooperia oncophora. Four treated (500 μg/kg, pour-on) and six untreated animals were put together after treatment and plasma and faecal exposure to ivermectin as well as the FECs were evaluated before and over 40 days after treatment. Ivermectin was detected in plasma and faeces of the six untreated heifers, with maximal exposures two- to three-fold lower than the minimal exposures in treated animals. The interindividual variability of exposure was very high in untreated animals, with a 10-fold difference between the upper and lower limits compared with treated heifers, where there was only a two-fold difference. Anthelmintic efficacy, expressed as an average reduction of the FECs over the experimental period, was maximal in the treated group. In untreated heifers, anthelmintic efficacies ranged from zero to maximal efficacy, with intermediary values between 30 and 80%. The use of a classical pharmacodynamic model demonstrated a clear relationship between exposure and efficacy and enabled us to define the critical plasma or faecal ivermectin concentrations delimiting an exposure window associated with partial anthelmintic efficacy. This range of ivermectin plasma concentrations (0.1-1 ng/mL) could be considered as a potential selection window for anthelmintic resistance. Finally, our results show that macrocyclic lactone exchange between cattle after pour-on administration, resulting from natural grooming behaviour, can significantly impact on anthelmintic efficacy. This raises several issues such as the design of comparative clinical trials and the occurrence of partial efficacy which is considered a risk factor for the development of anthelmintic resistance.
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Int J Parasitol, 2011, epub ahead of print. 〈10.1016/j.ijpara.2010.12.007〉
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Alain Bousquet-Mélou, Philippe Jacquiet, Hervé Hoste, Julien Clément, Jean-Paul Bergeaud, et al.. Licking behaviour induces partial anthelmintic efficacy of ivermectin pour-on formulation in untreated cattle.. Int J Parasitol, 2011, epub ahead of print. 〈10.1016/j.ijpara.2010.12.007〉. 〈hal-00556815〉

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