BACKGROUND: In spite of the emergence of populations of drug-resistant cyathostomines worldwide, little is known of parasite species responsible for 'early egg shedding' in cohorts of horses subjected to treatment with widely used anthelmintics, e.g. ivermectin (IVM). In this study, we determined the cyathostomine egg reappearance period (ERP) after IVM treatment in a cohort of yearlings from a large Thoroughbred (TB) stud farm in the United Kingdom, and identified species of cyathostomines with reduced ERP using a combination of fundamental parasitology techniques coupled with advanced molecular tools.
METHODS: Individual faecal samples were collected from TB yearlings with cyathostomine infection prior to IVM treatment, as well as at 14, 21, 28, 35, 42 and 49 days post-treatment. Faecal egg counts (FEC) were performed for each individual sample for determination of ERPs. In addition, individual larval cultures were performed and representative numbers of third-stage larvae (L3s) harvested from each culture were subjected to molecular species identification via PCR-Reverse Line Blot (RLB).
RESULTS: Prior to IVM treatment, 11 cyathostomine species were detected in faecal samples from TB horses enrolled in this study, i.e. Cyathostomum catinatum, Cylicostephanus longibursatus, Cylicostephanus goldi, Cylicocyclus nassatus, Cylicostephanus calicatus, Cyathostomum pateratum, Cylicocyclus radiatus, Paraposteriostomum mettami, Coronocyclus labratus, Cylicocyclus insigne and Cylicocyclus radiatus variant A. Of these, eggs of Cya. catinatum, Cys. longibursatus, Cyc. nassatus and Cyc. radiatus could be detected at 28 days post-treatment, while from day 42 onwards, cyathostomine species composition reflected data obtained pre-IVM treatment, with the exception of eggs of Cor. labratus and Cyc. insigne which could no longer be detected post-IVM administration.
CONCLUSIONS: This study provides valuable data on the occurrence of IVM-resistance in cyathostomines in the UK. Nevertheless, further investigations are needed to shed light on the prevalence and incidence of drug-resistance in this country, as well as other areas of the world where equine trade is substantial.
- Anthelmintics/administration & dosage
- Drug Resistance
- Horse Diseases/drug therapy
- Ivermectin/administration & dosage
- Parasite Egg Count
- Polymerase Chain Reaction
- Strongylida Infections/drug therapy
- Time Factors
- United Kingdom