Evaluation of tests for anthelmintic resistance in cyathostomes

J. F. Pook, M. L. Power, N. C. Sangster*, J. L. Hodgson, D. R. Hodgson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


Resistance, especially to the anthelmintic benzimidazoles (BZ), has been reported in horse cyathostomes world-wide. Diagnosis of resistance has traditionally been made by faecal egg count reduction (FECR) trials, however, this technique has limitations. Some of the shortcomings may be resolved by refining the test or by using an in vitro test. FECR tests and the larval development assay (LDA) were performed on adult horses held on 15 different horse properties across a wide geographical area of NSW, Australia. FECR were measured before and 10-14 after days treatment with oxibendazole (OBZ), morantel (MOR) or ivermectin (IVM) at recommended dose rates. Eight properties were rejected following low pre-treatment egg counts, leaving seven in the study. On these, the majority of larvae recovered from faecal cultures were cyathostomes. Using a definition of resistance as a FECR of <90%, resistance to OBZ was present on six properties and to MOR on two properties. Resistance to IVM was not detected. An alternative method of calculating FECR based on individual horse egg counts pre- and post-treatment was developed and results from the same properties compared with the results of the LDA. For example, for the BZ, correlation coefficients of values of lethal concentration to kill 50% of population (LC 50) on LDA and FECR percentages were -0.536 before and -0.704 after OBZ treatment. We conclude that the LDA has the potential to be a single visit test for detection of anthelmintic resistance in horse cyathostomes but requires further investigation and standardisation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)331-343
Number of pages13
JournalVeterinary Parasitology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Benzimidazole
  • Cyathostomes
  • Drug resistance
  • Horse
  • Ivermectin
  • Larval development
  • Morantel
  • Small strongyles


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