Evaluation of fenbendazole for treatment of Giardia infection in cats concurrently infected with Cryptosporidium parvum

Carey L. Keith Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.

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Steven V. Radecki Address is 150 N County Rd 3, Fort Collins, CO 80524-9204.

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Michael R. Lappin Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.

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 DVM, PhD

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether fenbendazole effectively eliminates Giardia organisms from chronically infected cats that have a concurrent Cryptosporidium parvum infection.

Animals—16 clinically normal cats.

Procedure—Eight cats with chronic concurrent Giardia and C parvum infections received fenbendazole (50 mg/kg, PO, q 24 h) for 5 days (treatmentgroup cats). Feces from each cat were collected and processed 3 days weekly for 23 days after treatment. By use of an immunofluorescent assay for detection of Giardia lamblia cysts and C parvum oocysts, organism numbers were counted and scored. Fecal results from treatment-group cats were compared with those of 8 untreated cats with Giardia infection but no C parvum infection (control-group cats).

Results—Four of 8 treatment-group cats had consistently negative results for Giardia infection after treatment. These 4 cats had consistently positive results for C parvum oocysts prior to treatment and consistently negative results after treatment. One treatment -group cat had positive results for cysts on all fecal samples, and 3 treatment-group cats had 1 to 3 negative results and then resumed shedding large numbers of cysts; each of these cats had consistently positive results for C parvum oocysts. When compared with control-group cats, treatment-group cats shed less Giardia cysts during week 1 after treatment but not during week 2.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Administration of fenbendazole decreases Giardia cyst shedding to less than detectable numbers in some cats. In our study, persistent C parvum infection may have been associated with failure of fenbendazole to eliminate Giardia infection. (Am J Vet Res 2003;64:1027–1029)

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether fenbendazole effectively eliminates Giardia organisms from chronically infected cats that have a concurrent Cryptosporidium parvum infection.

Animals—16 clinically normal cats.

Procedure—Eight cats with chronic concurrent Giardia and C parvum infections received fenbendazole (50 mg/kg, PO, q 24 h) for 5 days (treatmentgroup cats). Feces from each cat were collected and processed 3 days weekly for 23 days after treatment. By use of an immunofluorescent assay for detection of Giardia lamblia cysts and C parvum oocysts, organism numbers were counted and scored. Fecal results from treatment-group cats were compared with those of 8 untreated cats with Giardia infection but no C parvum infection (control-group cats).

Results—Four of 8 treatment-group cats had consistently negative results for Giardia infection after treatment. These 4 cats had consistently positive results for C parvum oocysts prior to treatment and consistently negative results after treatment. One treatment -group cat had positive results for cysts on all fecal samples, and 3 treatment-group cats had 1 to 3 negative results and then resumed shedding large numbers of cysts; each of these cats had consistently positive results for C parvum oocysts. When compared with control-group cats, treatment-group cats shed less Giardia cysts during week 1 after treatment but not during week 2.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Administration of fenbendazole decreases Giardia cyst shedding to less than detectable numbers in some cats. In our study, persistent C parvum infection may have been associated with failure of fenbendazole to eliminate Giardia infection. (Am J Vet Res 2003;64:1027–1029)

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