The effect of three intraruminal sustained-release devices (SRD) against Dictyocaulus viviparus infection was tested in five groups of six calves. Group 1 served as untreated controls, and groups 2, 3 and 4 were dosed with a levamisole SRD, a fenbendazole SRD, and an ivermectin SRD, respectively. Group 5 was vaccinated against lungworm and received a levamisole sRD. The calves were turned out on May 28 and the devices given seven days later. All the calves received trickle infections with a total of 200 lungworm larvae between 9 and 34 days after turnout. They were housed on October 28, challenged with 5000 lungworm larvae and slaughtered three weeks later. No clinical signs of parasitic bronchitis were observed during the study. The treated groups gained significantly more weight (P<0.05) than the controls, but did not differ among themselves. Larvae were first detected in the faeces of the control group between 25 and 32 days after the rist infection, and had a group mean of 21 larvae per gram (lpg) after 60 to 80 days, after which the lpg gradually decreased. In group 2, larvae were detected near the end of the grazing season and never exceeded a group mean of 1.5 lpg. In group 3, a very low larval output was observed after housing (group mean 0.1 lpg). Groups 4 and 5 never became patent. The results of an ELISA followed the pattern of larval output; optical densities above the cut-off value were recorded in groups 1, 2 and 3. On the basis of worm recoveries after challenge, group 1 was immune. Group 4 had significantly more lungworms than group 2. There were no significant differences in worm numbers between groups 2, 3 and 5, but the worms in group 5 were retarded in growth (P<0.05).
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