Infections caused by nematodes of the subfamily Cyathostominae affect nearly 100% of pastured horses. Despite of an absence of pronounced symptoms, cyathostominosis can have very serious health consequences. The aim of this study was to monitor changes in total protein levels and concentrations of selected microelements and macroelements in the blood of horses before and after ivermectin treatment. In healthy horses infected by the studied parasites, total blood protein levels were below the physiological norm, but iron (Fe), magnesium (Mg), calcium (Ca) and phosphorus (P) concentrations were within normal limits. Ivermectin treatment reduced the number of excreted parasite eggs (FEC) by 100%, and dead parasites were observed in feces. Decreased iron (Fe) concentrations and an insignificant increase in total blood protein levels were reported. A progressive decline in iron levels was observed when parasite eggs reappeared in feces 60 days after treatment. Iron loss takes place as a result of bleeding from the large intestine when adult nematodes affected by the drug are removed from intestine and fourth-stage larvae leave parasitic nodules in the intestinal wall. A drop in iron levels could be an indirect indicator of the severity of cyathostominosis.
Abbott JB, Mellor DJ, Love S (2007) Assessment of serum protein electrophoresis for monitoring therapy of naturally acquired equine cyathostomin infections. Vet Parasitol 147: 110-117.
Chapman MR, Kearney MT, Klei TR (2003) Equine cyathostome populations: accuracy of species composition estimations. Vet Parasitol 116: 15-21.
Demeulenaere D, Vercruysse J, Dorny P, Claerebout E (1997) Comparative studies of ivermectin and moxidectin in the control of naturally acquired cyathostome infections in horses. Vet Rec 141: 383-386.
Gasser RB, Hung GC, Chilton NB, Beveridge I (2004) Advances in developing molecular-diagnostic tools for strongyloid nematodes of equids: fundamental and applied implications. Mol Cell Probes 18: 3-16.
Gawor J (2009) Internal parasites in horses-epidemiology and control. Mag Weter 18: 1068-1074.
Giles CJ, Urquhart KA, Longstaffe JA (1985) Larval cyathostomiasis (immature trichonema- induced enteropathy): a report of 15 clinical cases. Equine Vet J 17: 196-201.
Kelly JC, Fogarty UMG (1993) Outbreak of larval cyathostomiasis on a thoroughbred stud farm. Irish Vet J 46: 133-136.
Love S, Murphy D, Mellor D (1999) Pathogenicity of cyathostome infection. Vet Parasitol 85: 113-122.
Lyons ET, Tolliver SC, Collins SS (2009) Probable reason why small strongyle EPG counts are returning “early” after ivermectin treatment of horses on a farm in central Kentucky. Parasitol Res 104: 569-574.
Matthews JB, Hodgkinson JE, Dowdall SM, Proudman CJ (2004) Recent developments in research into the Cyathostominae and Anoplocephala perfoliata. Vet Res 35: 371-381.
Murphy D, Love S (1997) The pathogenic effects of experimental cyathostome infections in ponies. Vet Parasitol 70: 99-110.
Osterman Lind E, Eysker M, Nilsson O, Uggla A, Ho¨glund J (2003) Expulsion of small strongyle nematodes (Cyathostomin spp) following deworming of horses on a stud farm in Sweden. Vet Parasitol 115: 289-299.
Pawlas-Opiela M, Sołtysiak Z, Gorczykowski M (2010) Morphological and biochemical changes in the blood of horses naturally infected with Gasterophilus sp. larvae. Pol J Vet Sci 13: 247-251.
Peregrine AS, McEvan B, Bienzle D, Koch TG, Weese JS (2006) Larval cyathostominosis in horses in Ontario: An emerging disease? Can Vet J 47: 80-82.
Slocombe JO (1985) Pathogenesis of helminths in equines. Vet Parasitol 18: 139-153.
Stefański W (1963) Veterinary parasitology. Państwowe Wydawnictwo Rolnicze i Leśne, 1st. ed., Warszawa.
Steinbach T, Bauer C, Sasse H, Baumgartner W, Rey-Moreno C, Hermosilla C, Damriyasa IM, Zahner H (2006) Small strongyle infection: Consequences of larvicidal treatment of horses with fenbendazole and moxidectin. Vet Parasitol 139: 115-131.
Tolliver SC, Lyons ET, Drudge JH (1987) Prevalence of internal parasites in horses in critical tests of activity of parasiticides over a 28-year period (1956-1983) in Kentucky. Vet Parasitol 23: 273-284.
Whitlock HV (1948) Some modifications of the McMaster helminth egg-counting technique and apparatus. J Counc Sci Ind Res 21: 177-180.
Ziomko I, Cencek T (1999) Livestock infestations-selected diagnostic methods. 1st ed., Drukarnia Piotra Włodarskiego, Warszawa.