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The effect on liveweight gain of using anthelmintics with incomplete efficacy against resistant Cooperia oncophora in cattle

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-03, 19:43 authored by Paul CandyPaul Candy, Tania WaghornTania Waghorn, Chris MillerChris Miller, Siva Ganesh, Dave LeathwickDave Leathwick
A replicated field trial was conducted to measure the production cost of failing to control anthelmintic resistant populations of Cooperia oncophora and to determine whether populations, and hence production losses, increased with time. Eight mobs of 10 Friesian-Hereford calves were run on independent farmlets from January to December, over each of two years. All mobs were routinely treated with a pour-on formulation of eprinomectin every six weeks, which controlled parasites other than Cooperia. Four mobs also received six weekly treatments with an oral levamisole plus albendazole combination anthelmintic to control Cooperia. Liveweights, condition scores, faecal egg counts and larval numbers on pasture were measured throughout. In the first year animals treated with eprinomectin alone were 12.9 kg lighter in November than those treated with eprinomectin plus albendazole and levamisole, however, in the second year there was no difference between the treatment groups. The data, therefore, support the view that while C. oncophora is less pathogenic than other cattle parasite species it can still cause production losses when present in sufficient numbers. In the first year of the study parasite load, as measured by faecal nematode egg count and larval numbers on herbage, tended to be higher and calf growth rates lower than in the second year. In both years, counts of infective larvae on herbage declined over winter–spring to be at low levels before Christmas. This suggests that the carry-over of infection from one crop of calves to the next was relatively small and hence that the level of challenge to the young calves at the start of each year was largely due to the effectiveness of the quarantine treatments administered when the animals arrived on the trial site. Low survival of larvae on pasture between grazing seasons, resulting in small larval populations on pasture when drenching programmes start each summer, might help to explain the widespread development of anthelmintic resistance in this parasite in New Zealand.


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© 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


  • English

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  • No



Journal title

Veterinary Parasitology




Candy, P. M., Waghorn, T. S., Miller, C. M., Ganesh, S., & Leathwick, D. M. (2018). The effect on liveweight gain of using anthelmintics with incomplete efficacy against resistant Cooperia oncophora in cattle. Veterinary Parasitology, 251, 56–62. doi:10.1016/j.vetpar.2017.12.023

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