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Open Access Research

Prophylactic treatment of flea-infested cats with an imidacloprid/flumethrin collar to forestall infection with Dipylidium caninum

Josephus J Fourie1, Dionne Crafford1, Ivan G Horak23 and Dorothee Stanneck4*

Author Affiliations

1 ClinVet International, P.O. Box 11186, Universitas, 9321, South Africa

2 Department of Zoology and Entomology, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, 9301, South Africa

3 Department of Veterinary Tropical Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria, Onderstepoort, 0110, South Africa

4 Bayer Animal Health GmbH, D-51368, Leverkusen, Germany

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Parasites & Vectors 2012, 5:151  doi:10.1186/1756-3305-5-151

Published: 27 July 2012

Abstract

Background

The objective of the study was to determine the sustained effectiveness of 10% imidacloprid (w/w) and 4.5% flumethrin (w/w) incorporated in a slow-release matrix collar in preventing Dipylidium caninum infection in cats following repeated laboratory-infestations with fleas infected with metacestodes.

Methods

Efficacy against infection with D. caninum was evaluated by infesting 16 cats with the flea Ctenocephalides felis felis infected with metacestodes of the tapeworm. Medicated collars were fitted to 8 of the cats and infestation of each cat with 200 fleas from a suitably infected batch commenced 7 days later and continued at weekly intervals until Day 28. Efficacy against fleas was evaluated 24 h after each infestation. Infection of the cats with D. caninum was verified by daily examination of the cats’ faeces and immediate surroundings for proglottids from Day 21 to Day 60. Calculation of the prophylactic effectiveness of the collars in preventing infection of the cats with D. caninum was based on the difference in the geometric mean number of scoleces recovered from the gastrointestinal tracts of collared compared to untreated cats at necropsy on Day 61.

Results

Efficacy of the collars against infestation of the cats with fleas was 99.9% on Day 7 and 100% at each subsequent weekly assessment. Infection of the fleas with metacestodes was ≥40% in 7 to 13 day old fleas, but progressively decreased thereafter. At necropsy all the control cats were infected with D. caninum and harboured between 19 and 346 scoleces with a geometric mean of 58.3. A single treated cat was infected and harboured 2 scoleces. Effective prevention of infection with D. caninum, based on a comparison of the geometric mean numbers of scoleces recovered from control and treated cats, was 99.7%.

Conclusion

The insecticidal components of the medicated collars are capable of rapidly eliminating newly-acquired infestations of fleas that are infected with the metacestodes of D. caninum, thus preventing infection with the cestode in collared cats.

Keywords:
Imidacloprid; Flumethrin; Collars; Prophylaxis; Fleas; Dipylidium caninum; Cats