Tuesday, September 4, 2007

First new anthelmintic in 25 years

At the recent World Association for the Advancement of Veterinary Parasitology (WAAVP) Congress, Novartis Animal Health presented promising data on what is potentially the first new livestock anthelmintic class in 25 years, offering renewed hope for farmers struggling with the devastating economic effects of parasitic worms in livestock.

drenching a lambThe new class of parasiticides, known as Amino-Acetonitrile Derivatives (AADs), have a potentially novel mode of action which has shown promising results against all sheep and cattle gastro-intestinal nematodes, including those resistant to existing treatments. While further testing is required, early in vivo research suggests a kill rate of greater than 95 percent in key economically-important nematodes.

"Anthelmintic resistance is recognized as an increasing problem globally, as existing treatments become less effective and potentially threaten the viability of livestock farming," said Dr. Ronald Kaminsky, the Novartis parasitologist presenting the data at WAAVP.

As with existing products, any new treatments should be used as part of a holistic parasite control program in order to maximize their benefit and reduce the risk of developing resistance.

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It will probably take at least 5 years before this new anthelmintic reaches the U.S. market (for cattle). If the drug is abused, resistance may develop quickly. Sheep and goat producers are encouraged to adopt the FAMACHA system and/or the philosophy it teaches to minimize the use of all anthelmintics in an effort to prolong their efficacy.