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SARCOPTIC mange is a widespread, contagious, zoonotic parasitic disease of ruminants caused by Sarcoptes scabiei, which can cause significant economic losses on sheep farms (Tarry 1991, Fthenakis and others 2000, Rehbein and others 2003, Dimri and Sharma 2004). Affected sheep become anorectic and suffer itching, septic skin infections and lesions (Bowman 1995, Radostits and others 2007). Affected body areas are usually non-woolly, and infection starts near the mouth (lip, nostrils) and spreads to the other parts of the body (Cordero del Campillo and others 1999).
Macrocyclic lactones are a group of endectocides commonly used to control parasites (Coop and others 2002). The injectable 1 per cent solution of moxidectin (Cydectin 1% injectable solution for sheep; Pfizer Animal Health) is effective against natural infestations of S scabiei when administered twice (Papadopoulos and Fthenakis 1999, Hidalgo Argüello and others 2001). At commercial farms, it is often difficult to treat all animals simultaneously. This makes it impossible to achieve 100 per cent treatment success, because infected animals are a continuous source of parasite challenge.
A long-acting 2 per cent moxidectin formulation has recently been registered for use in sheep. This formulation protects against infestation with gastrointestinal nematodes or Psoroptes ovis for up to 111 and 60 days, respectively. Moxidectin as a 1 per cent injectable solution has previously been shown to be effective against …