Submitted to: Veterinary Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 30, 2001
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM) is a serious disease of horses caused by a single celled parasite, Sarcocystis neurona. There is no effective therapy. Pyrantel tartrate is an anti- parasitic drug used by equine practitioners. Scientists at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University have found that pyrantel tartrate has no anti-S. neurona activity in gamma interferon knockout mice infected with sporocysts. These results will be of interest to horse owners, veterinarians and parasitologists.
Equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM) is the most important protozoal disease of horses in the United States. Some horse owners and equine clinicians believe that horses which are on daily pyrantel tartrate at 2.64 mg/kg for helminth prophylaxis are less likely to develop EPM. The present study examined the efficacy of pyrantel tartrate in preventing clinical disease in gamma interferon gene knockout (BALB/c-Ifng[superscript tmlts endsuperscript]) mice. No activity was seen against sporocyst- induced S. neurona infections in mice treated prophylacticly with 4 to 5 mg pyrantel tartrate per mouse per day in the drinking water.