Tactical treatment with copper oxide wire particles and symptomatic levamisole treatment in indigenous goats in South Africa


Spickett A, de Villiers JF, Boomker J et al Tactical treatment with copper oxide wire particles and symptomatic levamisole treatment using the FAMACHA©system in indigenous goats in South Africa. Veterinary Parasitology. 2012:184(1): 48 -58

Why they did it

Haemonchus is considered to be one of the most economically important diseases in small ruminants in South Africa. Traditionally control of this gastrointestinal parasite has been achieved solely by the use of chemical anthelmintic treatment, however this has led to widespread resistance to these compounds. Copper oxide wire particles (COWP) have been shown to have an anthelminthic effect however there have been few studies done under field conditions. The aim of this study was to examine the efficacy of COWP as a tactical treatment in indigenous goats under communal grazing conditions in South Africa as well as its efficacy when used in combination with symptomatic dosing of these goats using the well-recognised FAMACHA© system and the anthelminthic Levamisole.

What they did

This study was conducted on-farm in KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa. A total of 172 indigenous goats were included in the trial, belonging to 15 different farmers from 3 different areas. Faecal egg counts (FECs), packed cell volumes (PCVs), body condition scores (BCSs) and live weights of the goats were recorded monthly for 3 months prior to treatment. COWP boluses were then administered to the treatment group. Data was then collected 2 weeks later and then monthly for 9 months.

All goats were monitored using the FAMACHA© system and all animals with moderate to severe anaemia (FAMACHA© score 3, 4 or 5) were treated with levamisole (efficacy of 98.5% by egg count reduction test in this area).

What they found

The percentage reduction in faecal egg count due to the COWP treatment was 89.0%. The mean pre- and post-treatment faecal egg count for the COWP-treated groups were 2347 epg and 264 epg respectively whereas the untreated controls were 2652 epg and 2709 epg respectively. The prevalence of Haemonchus spp. larvae in pre- and post-treatment faecal cultures was 72% and 46%, respectively. This study demonstrated the possible application of using COWP in combination with other methods for effective control of  Haemonchus contortus in similar environments.

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