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Lack of efficacy of fenbendazole against Giardia duodenalis in a naturally infected population of dogs in France

Abstract : Giardiosis is a worldwide intestinal parasitosis, affecting both humans and animals. Treatment in dogs remains limited and the lack of efficacy of the few approved medications is a rising concern. In this study, 23 dogs raised by veterinary students and naturally infected with Giardia duodenalis were treated in home conditions with fenbendazole (50 mg/kg orally for 5 consecutive days). Fecal samples were collected immediately before treatment (FS1), 2–4 days after treatment (FS2) and 8–10 days after treatment (FS3). Giardia duodenalis cyst excretion was measured quantitatively by direct immunofluorescence assay (DFA) at FS1, FS2 and FS3. Molecular typing with a nested PCR targeting the SSU rDNA locus was also performed at FS1 and FS2. Fecal consistency improved in 16/21 dogs (76%) and mean cyst shedding was reduced by 84% after treatment. However, only 8/23 dogs (35%) achieved therapeutic success (≥90% reduction of cysts) and only 4/23 dogs (17%) had complete elimination of G. duodenalis. Molecular typing showed that dogs harbored only canine-specific assemblages, with a high prevalence of assemblage C in analyzed samples (30/39). We also detected different assemblages after treatment and nucleotide substitutions in assemblage C sequences that have not been described previously. Eight to ten days after treatment, high Giardia cyst excretion was measured, suggesting possible reinfection despite hygiene measures and/or multiplication. These data suggest that fenbendazole treatment may improve fecal consistency but has limited therapeutic efficacy against giardiosis in this population of dogs. Further research is still needed to assess the efficacy of fenbendazole against canine giardiosis.
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Submitted on : Monday, October 31, 2022 - 11:05:27 PM
Last modification on : Friday, November 4, 2022 - 3:44:08 AM


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Hugo Kaufmann, Lionel Zenner, Slimania Benabed, Marie-Thérèse Poirel, Gilles Bourgoin. Lack of efficacy of fenbendazole against Giardia duodenalis in a naturally infected population of dogs in France. Parasite, 2022, 29, pp.49. ⟨10.1051/parasite/2022048⟩. ⟨hal-03835624⟩



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