Effectiveness of current anthelmintic treatment programs on reducing fecal egg counts in United States cow-calf operations

Louis C. Gasbarre, Lora R. Ballweber, Bert E. Stromberg, David A. Dargatz, Judy M. Rodriguez, Christine A. Kopral, Dante S. Zarlenga

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19 Scopus citations


During the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Animal Health Monitoring System’s (NAHMS) 2007–2008 beef study, producers from 24 states were offered the opportunity to evaluate their animals for internal parasites and for overall responses to treatment with anthelmintics. A lapse of 45 d was required between initial sampling and any previous treatments. Choice of anthelmintic (oral benzimidazoles, and both injectable and pour-on endectocides) was at the discretion of the producer so as not to alter the local control programs. Fresh fecal samples were collected from 20 animals, or from the entire group if less than 20, then randomly assigned to 1 of 3 participating laboratories for examination. Analyses consisted of double centrifugation flotation followed by enumeration of strongyle, Nematodirus, and Trichuris eggs (the presence of coccidian oocysts and tapeworm eggs was also noted). Where strongyle eggs per gram (epg) exceeded 30, aliquots from 2 to 6 animals were pooled for egg isolation and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis for the presence of Ostertagia, Cooperia, Haemonchus, Oesophagostomum, and Trichostrongylus. Results from 72 producers (19 States) indicated that fecal egg count reductions were < 90% in 1/3 of the operations. All operations exhibiting less than a 90% reduction had used pour-on macrocyclic lactones as the anthelmintic treatment. While some of these less than expected reductions could have been the result of improper drug application, PCR analyses of the parasite populations surviving treatment, coupled with follow-up studies at a limited number of sites, indicated that less than expected reductions were most likely due to anthelmintic resistance in Cooperia spp. and possibly Haemonchus spp.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)296-302
Number of pages7
JournalCanadian Journal of Veterinary Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2015

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© 2015, Canadian Veterinary Medical Association. All rights reserved.


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