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Prevention and treatment of Encephalitozoon cuniculi infection in rabbits with fenbendazole
  1. C. Suter, DiplMedVet1,
  2. U. U. Müler-Doblies, DrMedVet1,
  3. P. Deplazes, DrMedVet1 and
  4. J-M. Hatt, DrMedVet, MSc2
  1. 1 Institute of Parasitology, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 266a, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland
  2. 2 Division of Zoo Animals and Exotic Pets, Department of Reproductive Sciences, Veterinary Faculty, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 268, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland


The efficacy of fenbendazole for preventing an experimental infection of Encephalitozoon cuniculi and for eliminating the spores from the central nervous system of naturally infected rabbits was investigated. Fenbendazole (20 mg/kg bodyweight daily) was administered from seven days before until two or 21 days after rabbits had been infected orally with 106 spores of E cuniculi. Both regimens were effective in preventing the establishment of the parasites, as demonstrated by negative parasitic-specific serology and by the failure to isolate the parasite from brain tissue. In naturally infected, seropositive rabbits, parasites were successfully isolated from seven of nine untreated animals, but not from the brain tissue of eight animals treated with fenbendazole-medicated pellets for four weeks.

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