Recommendations for control of gastrointestinal nematode parasites in small ruminants

These ain't your father's parasites


  • Ray M. Kaplan Department of Infectious Diseases, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602



Haemonchus contortus, gastrointestinal nematodes, drug resistance, anthelmintics, parasite control, animal parasitic nematodes, helminthoses, helminths, infections, multiple drug resistance, nematicide resistance, nematode control, parasites, parasitose


Gastrointestinal nematode parasites are the single most important health problem of sheep and goats. Traditionally, parasites have been controlled by frequent administration of anthelmintic drugs. However, the emergence of multiple-drug-resistant parasites now threatens this paradigm of control and new approaches are required. Anthelmintics can no longer be thought of as a convenient and inexpensive management tool for maximizing animal productivity. Instead, anthelmintics must be thought of as extremely valuable and limited resources that should be used prudently. In response to this changing paradigm of anthelmintic use, new recommendations for parasite control now exist. A key tenet of this approach, referred to as "Smart Drenching", is to use the best available knowledge to develop strategies that maximize the effectiveness of treatments while also decreasing the development of drug resistance. Additionally, new innovative schemes using novel and sustainable approaches must be implemented. An overall strategy that integrates these approaches is referred to as "sustainable integrated parasite management" (sIPM). However, by its very nature sIPM is much more complicated and difficult to implement than casual administration of anthelmintics. Consequently, successful implementation of sIPM will only be possible with the help and active involvement of veterinarians and other animal health professionals. Because multiple-drug resistance in parasites is now the status quo, and development of further drug resistance is almost certain to outpace the development of new anthelmintics, it is critical that this new philosophy and approach to parasite control be embraced and implemented immediately.




How to Cite

Kaplan, R. M. (2013). Recommendations for control of gastrointestinal nematode parasites in small ruminants: These ain’t your father’s parasites. The Bovine Practitioner, 47(2), 97–109.




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