ALVAREZ Luis Ignacio
Impact on beef cattle productivity of infection with anthelmintic-resistant nematodes
CANTON, C.; CEBALLOS, L.; DOMÍNGUEZ, M.P.; FIEL, C.; LIRÓN, J.P.; MORENO, L.; CANTON, L.; BERNAT, G.; LANUSSE, C.; ALVAREZ, L.I.
NEW ZEALAND VETERINARY JOURNAL
NEW ZEALAND VETERINARY ASSOC INC
Aims: The main goal of the current study was to evaluate, on a commercial beef cattle farm, the impact of infection with gastrointestinal nematodes resistant to both ivermectin (IVM) and moxidectin (MXD) on the productivity of calves. Methods: Male Aberdeen Angus calves, aged 9?11 months, with faecal nematode egg counts (FEC) ≥200 epg and body weight ≥190 kg, were allocated to two herds. Herd A (n = 90) grazed a maize-winter forage crop rotation and Herd B (n = 90) grazed a 2-year-old Agropyrum pasture. On Day 0 in each herd, calves were randomly allocated into five groups (n = 18), which were treated with 0.2 mg/kg IVM; 0.2 mg/kg MXD; 3.75 mg/kg ricobendazole (RBZ), both IVM and RBZ, or remained untreated. Faecal samples collected on Days −1 and 19 were used to determine the percentage reduction in FEC, and genera of the nematodes were determined by the identification of the third-stage larvae recovered from faecal cultures. Total weight gain was determined from body weights recorded on Days −1 and 91. Results: Overall mean reduction in FEC was 42% for IVM, 67% for MXD, 97% for RBZ and 99% for IVM + RBZ. The reduction in FEC for Cooperia spp. was ≤78% for IVM and MXD, and for Haemonchus spp. was 0 and 36% for IVM and MXD, respectively, confirming the presence of parasites resistant to both anthelmintics. Only IVM + RBZ treatment resulted in 100% efficacy against Haemonchus spp. The overall estimated mean total weight gain for calves treated with IVM was 15.7 (95% CI = 11.9?19.7) kg and for calves treated with IVM + RBZ was 28.8 (95% CI = 25?32.5) kg (p < 0.001). Mean total weight gain for calves treated with MXD was 23.5 (95% CI = 19.7?27.2) kg. Conclusions and clinical relevance: In calves naturally infected with resistant nematodes, under the production system assessed here, weight gains were lower in calves treated with anthelmintics that were moderately or highly ineffective compared to those treated with highly effective anthelmintics. These results demonstrate to farmers and veterinarians the importance of a sustainable and effective nematode control under field conditions.