Veterinary parasitology

Failure to eradicate the lungworm Dictyocaulus viviparus on dairy farms by a single mass-treatment before turnout.

PMID 22079553


On two dairy farms it was attempted to eradicate lungworm, Dictyocaulus viviparus, by means of a single mass-treatment of all cattle that had been grazed the previous year(s), before turnout in the spring. Both farms experienced two years of lungworm outbreaks in the adult dairy herd prior to this study. Following confirmation that both herds contained lungworm carriers, all animals older than approximately 6 months were treated with eprinomectin in March 2007. One week after treatment none of the animals were shedding lungworm larvae. Subsequently, animals were pastured according to normal farm routine. From August to November all first-calving heifers were coprologically and serologically monitored for lungworm infection. During 2007 both farms remained lungworm-negative and did not report any clinical sign indicative for a lungworm infection. The following year, on one of the farms replacements grazing on cow pastures, started showing signs of parasitic bronchitis which was serologically confirmed. The other herd remained free of parasitic bronchitis until at least the fourth year after the mass treatment, although some coughing was noticed in 2008 among first-lactation heifers. It was concluded that a single mass-treatment before the grazing season may be useful to break a series of annual lungworm outbreaks. However, it is not a secure method to prevent parasitic bronchitis for more than one year.