Pyrantel resistance in two herds of donkey in the UK

Resistance to currently available anthelmintics is a serious phenomenon which is prevalent globally. Cyathostomins are one of the major parasites, and are of primary concern in donkeys. There have been reports of emerging resistance to pyrantel, but the status of pyrantel resistance in donkey populations in the UK is largely unknown. This report investigates pyrantel resistance in two geographically isolated donkey herds in the South West of England. The first herd had suspected pyrantel resistance, with already established resistance to other anthelmintics. In the second herd the efficacy of pyrantel was not suspected at the time the study took place. Faecal Egg Count Reduction Test (FECRT) was carried out, revealing large scale resistance. Eighty one percent of the first herd and 73% of the second herd had a FEC of less than 95% after treatment, and anthelmintic resistance was confirmed using the World Association for the Advancement of Veterinary Parasitology guidelines. These findings indicate that anthelmintic resistance to pyrantel exists in both tested donkey populations and illustrate the continuing development of resistance through different classes of chemotherapeutics.

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