A study was carried out to assess the efficacy of a moxidectin microsphere sustained release (SR) injectable formulation (Guardian® SR Iniettabile, Fort Dodge®) for the prevention of Dirofilaria repens infection in experimentally infected dogs. On day 0, 18 Beagle dogs, 9 male dogs and 9 female dogs, weighing 12-16kg were ranked in ascending order of body weight (b.w.) and blocked into pairs. Within each pair, dogs were allocated to Group 1 or Group 2 at random. On the same day, dogs in Group 1 were injected with 0.05ml/kg b.w. of saline solution and dogs in Group 2 were injected with moxidectin SR at the label dose 0.17mg/kg b.w. (0.05ml/kg b.w.). Six months after moxidectin SR or saline injection, on day 180, each dog in the two groups was challenged with 50 infective larvae of D. repens collected from laboratory-reared, experimentally infected Aedes aegypti. Dogs were humanely euthanized on day 380 of the study, approximately 7 months from D. repens challenge. At necropsy, no worms were found in dogs treated with moxidectin SR (Group 2) while adult worms were found in saline-treated dogs (total 90; 38 males and 52 females; arithmetic mean 10, standard error 0.96, median 9, range 7-15) (Group 1 vs Group 2 P<0.001). In this experimental study, moxidectin SR injectable showed full efficacy (100%) lasting at least 6 months, and is able to prevent subcutaneous D. repens patent infection throughout the entire transmission season in Europe. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.
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