Drug resistance in an intestinal parasite of piglets confirmed for the first time

phys.org | 8/18/2017 | Staff
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The parasite Cystoisospora suis causes diarrhea in pigs, especially in newborn piglets, and is capable of quickly spreading across farms. For this reason, pig farmers in Europe preventively use toltrazuril to control parasite development. In contrast to congeneric parasites in chicken, no resistance to this pharmaceutical compound was described in pig parasites until recently. In an article in Parasites & Vectors, researchers of the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, have now for the first time confirmed that toltrazuril is ineffective against a Dutch isolate of the parasite. Even though antiparasitic resistance in pig parasites is developing slowly, monitoring of resistance should be intensified due to the lack of alternative treatment options, and increased hygiene measures should be taken to prevent pathogen spread.

When newborn piglets suffer from diarrhea, this is frequently caused by the intestinal parasite Cystoisospora suis. The pathogen may spread rapidly on affected farms, causing a high rate of disease among livestock. Infections are rarely fatal, but they hamper the growth of suckling piglets and thus reduce body weight compared to healthy individuals. The course of infection varies from one piglet to another, leading to uneven weight development which consequently can induce significant economic losses for the affected farm. When pathogenic bacteria infect the intestines damaged by the parasite, the piglets are susceptible to serious diseases, which can lead to the loss of entire litters.

Europe - Treatment - Regimen - Toltrazuril - Parasite

In Europe a standard treatment regimen with toltrazuril has been used to control the parasite for about two decades now. In contrast to congeneric parasites in chicken, against which toltrazuril is no longer consistently effective, resistance to this pharmaceutical was not known in pigs until recently. It was only in 2014 that a Dutch producer reported an increased rate of diarrhea in newborn piglets despite treatment. Using isolates from this farm, researchers at the Institute...
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