Main content area

Anthelmintic resistance in nematodes of beef cattle in south-west Western Australia

Cotter, J.L., Van Burgel, A., Besier, R.B.
Veterinary parasitology 2015 v.207 no.3-4 pp. 276-284
levamisole, parasites, Ostertagia ostertagi, ivermectin, Cooperia oncophora, beef cattle, eggs, farms, surveys, fecal egg count, Haemonchus placei, fenbendazole, climatic zones, arithmetics, Western Australia
Anthelminthic resistance in nematodes of beef cattle is an emerging issue globally with implications for effective parasite control. The prevalence of resistance in beef cattle in the Mediterranean-style climatic zone of south-west Western Australia was assessed on 19 farms, using faecal egg count reduction tests. Pre-treatment faecal worm egg counts were compared with counts at 14 days after treatments with ivermectin (injectable), fenbendazole (oral), or levamisole (oral). A separately grazed group treated with topical ivermectin (pour-on) and sampled at 28 days was included as a comparison against injectable ivermectin. The results demonstrate that resistance is common, with failure of at least one anthelmintic (<95% reduction for each species, by arithmetic means) for either of the major species Cooperia oncophora or Ostertagia ostertagi on 17 of the 19 properties. Resistance to ivermectin (injectable) was demonstrated in C. oncophora in 59% of tests, but ivermectin was fully effective against O. ostertagi by this route. Conversely, O. ostertagi resistant to fenbendazole and levamisole were present on 50% and 67% of farms respectively, with both fully effective against C. oncophora. The finding of Haemonchus placei on several properties was unexpected but the egg counts were low and there is no suggestion of pathogenic effects. An indication of reduced efficacy of the pour-on ivermectin formulation compared to the injectable was apparent against both C. oncophora and O. ostertagi, and this may have implications for resistance development, given the widespread use of topical treatments reported in this region. This survey confirms that anthelminthic resistance in nematodes of beef cattle is common in Western Australia and the pattern of occurrence is in general agreement with surveys elsewhere in Australia and in other countries.