Reasons for performing the study: The study of novel pharmacological strategies to control parasitism in horses is required since many parasite species have developed resistance to anthelmintic drugs.Objectives: To evaluate the effects of piperonyl butoxide (PB) (a metabolic inhibitor) on the plasma availability and enantiomeric behaviour of oxfendazole (OFZ) given orally to horses, and to compare the clinical efficacy of OFZ given either alone or co-administered with PB in naturally parasitised horses.Methods: Fifteen naturally parasitised crossbred male ponies were allocated into 3 groups (n = 5) and treated orally as follows: Group I (control) received distilled water as placebo; Group H was dosed with OFZ (10 mg/kg bwt); and Group III was treated with OFZ (10 mg/kg bwt) co-administered with PB (63 mg/kg bwt). Jugular blood samples were obtained over 120 h post treatment. Three weeks after treatments, all experimental horses were subjected to euthanasia.Results: The observed maximum plasma concentration (Cmax) and area under the concentration vs. time curve (AUC) values for OFZ increased 3- and 5-fold, respectively, in the presence of PB. The plasma concentration profiles of fenbendazole (FBZ), a metabolite generated from OFZ, were significantly lower after the treatment with OFZ alone (AUC = 0.8 mu g.h/ml) compared to those obtained after the OFZ + PB treatment (AUC = 2.7 mu g.h/ml). The enhanced pharmacokinetic profiles correlated with increased anthelmintic efficacy. The combination OFZ + PB showed 100% efficacy against mature nematode parasites. The efficacy against cyathostome L-3 larvae increased from 94% (Group II) to 98.7 % (Group III). Consistently, the number of L-4 larvae recovered from OFZ + PB treated horses (Group III) (n = 146) was significantly lower (P < 0.05) than that recovered from Group II In = 1397).Conclusions: The use of PB as a metabolic inhibitor may be useful to enhance OFZ activity against mature and migrating larvae of different parasite species in horses.Potential relevance: Metabolic inhibitors may be used to enhance the activity of benzimidazole anthelmintics and extend the effective lifespan of benzimidazole drugs in the face of increasing resistance.
- piperonyl butoxide