A survey in 1992 showed that 44 per cent of the sheep farms tested in the south west and 15 per cent of those in the north east of England had parasitic nematode worm burdens which were resistant to benzimidazole anthelmintics, and that 65 per cent of the non-dairy goat farms tested in England and Wales had resistant worms. Ostertagia circumcincta was the main species in sheep and Haemonchus contortus in goats. The resistance to benzimidazoles was diagnosed by a combination of an egg hatch assay and a larval develop ment test. A simplified faecal egg count reduction test was used to investigate sheep and goat farms for signs of ivermectin resistance but no positive cases were detected. The initial identification of levamisole resistance on one farm, both from a faecal egg count reduction test and a positive larval development test, was confirmed by a ‘dose and slaughter’ trial.
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