In order to study the prevalence of benzimidazole-resistance in equine cyathostomes, 30 stables in south east England were selected according to strict criteria but with minimum bias to provide three matched groups of 100 horses. One group was treated with fenbendazole, one with pyrantel embonate and the third was left untreated. The overall efficacies of fenbendazole and pyrantel embonate, as judged by the faecal egg-count reduction test, were 56.3 and 95.8 per cent, respectively. The numbers of horses at individual stables were too small to draw conclusions at each stable, but whereas efficacies greater than 85 per cent were recorded for pyrantel at 26 of 27 stables, the corresponding figure for fenbendazole was five of 27. Cyathostomes accounted for more than 90 per cent of the larvae cultured from faeces before and after treatment. Trichostrongylus axei was detected on 20 sites, but Strongylus species were present on only five. In the area of the survey, benzimidazole-resistance was very widespread in stables which used benzimidazole anthelmintics regularly and had more than nine horses per stable, but the benzimidazole-resistant cyathostome strains were adequately controlled with the non-benzimidazole anthelmintic pyrantel embonate.
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