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The lethal effect of some benzimidazoles on Taenia hydatigena infections in dogs have been compared. Fenbendazole, parbendazole and oxibendazole were more effective than cambendazole and thiabendazole, while coarsely ground mebendazole did not differ significantly from any of them.
The development of cestocidal compounds has generally been neglected. Cobbold (1872) in a series of lectures to medical students gave the most important remedies as male fern, kousso, kamala, turpentine, pumpkin seeds, and pomegranate root bark. Powdered areca nut was acknowledged to be of value but lost strength quickly after crushing. In 1963, Standen listed some of these remedies as still being used in veterinary and human medicine; since then, advances have been more rapid, and none of those listed by Standen for veterinary use is now recommended.
Adult and larval stages of tapeworms occur in domesticated animals throughout the world. However, the economic importance of cestode infections is generally less than that of nematodes and trematodes and the development of compounds effective against cestodes has been neglected until relatively recently. The major economic impact of cestode infections derives from the condemnation of infected livestock carcasses or offal for human consumption rather than through the direct effects of adult or larval stages upon the health of animals. Losses due to condemnation are more difficult to quantitate than the more overt disease or production losses occasioned by other parasites. The public health significance of some adult and larval stages of tapeworms of domesticated animals has probably provided the major impetus for development of new cestocidal drugs.
Birds were obtained from a commercial broiler operation where birds were naturally infected with Raillietina cesticillus at an incidence of 40%. Fenbendazole was added to the diet for six consecutive days at 30, 60, 120 or 180 mg/kg or at 60 or 120 mg/kg for 3 days. Birds were necropsied over a 3-day period beginning 4 days after fenbendazole withdrawal. Anthelmintic efficacies for the 6-day regimens of fenbendazole at the dietary rates of 30, 60, 120 and 180 mg/kg were 76, 73, 77 and 95%, respectively. In regard to the 3-day regimens of fenbendazole, efficacies were 48 and 51% for the 60 and 120 mg/kg diets, respectively. Fenbendazole did not affect the palatability of the diet nor induced any adverse effects.
Micronised mebendazole has been shown to have anthelmintic activity against Fasciola hepatica in rats and sheep. Activity is higher against non-egg-producing F. hepatica in bile ducts than against the migrating larval stages. Parbendazole, cambendazole and thiabendazole have been shown to be much less active, or devoid of activity, against mature and immature F. hepatica in rats, at elevated dose rates.Reasons for the differences, in terms of molecular structure, are briefly discussed and the pitfalls of structure/activity analyses are considered.
This chapter discusses the mebendazole and related anthelmintics. Ascaris lumbribcoides has been estimated to infect one-quarter of the world's population. In a review on costs, prevalence, and approaches for control of Ascaris infection in Kenya, Stephenson et al. collected evidence indicating that even light Ascaris infections may have detrimental effects on the growth of undernourished “preschool” children. These authors proved that it is simply not true that Ascaris infection is harmless in most cases as often considered by other investigators. Ascariasis is linked not only to poor growth and protein-caloric malnutrition but also to malabsorption of macronutrients and vitamin A. Ascaris affects the growth of pigs. Spindler (1947) artificially infected pigs with Ascaris suum eggs and determined 126 days later the weight increase in both infected and uninfected animals. A negative correlation was found between the number of Ascaris and weight increase.
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