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Major Breakthrough In Sheep Drench

February 20 2002

Merial New Zealand Limited is launching a new oral sheep drench on the New Zealand market, which will have a major impact on delaying the development of anthelmintic resistance.

The new drench, Triton, unites the three drench action families into one single treatment, creating the world's first and only triple-combination sheep drench containing albendazole, levamisole, and ivermectin.

David Biland, Director of Operations for Merial New Zealand Ltd, says Triton was developed in New Zealand and is a major advance of international significance.

"While the search continues for new compounds to control parasites, the emphasis of the animal health industry in recent years has been on extending the life and improving the effectiveness of the compounds we already have," Mr Biland says.

"The industry has tried for years to come up with a way to merge benzimidazole and levamisole with the more recent avermectin/milbemycin group in one stable formulation, and that has now been achieved by scientists at Captec NZ."

(Captec, which is based in Manurewa, formed a strategic alliance partnership with Merial New Zealand Ltd three years ago.)

The technology behind Triton is suspoemulsion, a technique which enables levamisole which is highly water soluble but requires a low pH for stability, to be mixed with ivermectin, which is lipophilic (meaning it has a strong affinity for oils rather than water) and requires a neutral pH. This is achieved by partitioning solubilised ivermectin within oil which is then suspended as minute droplets, using emulsifiers, in water containing levamisole. The albendazole compound is suspended as microfine particles in the water.

Triton kills more parasites at more stages of their life-cycle than any single or double combination drench.

Mr Biland says because the chances of parasites developing resistance to Triton are astronomically small, sheep farmers should look at Triton as a powerful treatment that should be used as a routine drench.

"Independent computer mathematical modelling has established that a triple-compound of short acting anthelmintics with no significant persistent activity and high therapeutic efficacy, can significantly delay the development of resistance to all three drench families," he says.

"It should not be seen as a drench of last resort only to be used where there is a resistance problem. Used as a routine treatment now, Triton will safeguard the future by delaying the development of resistance to all three existing compounds."

Triton has the highest efficacy of any drench against all worm types, including those that have single and dual resistance (including moxidectin resistant strains). Its triple combination formulation also removes the need for rotation between anthelmintic families.

Triton is available in 15 litre drums and 5 litre backpacks, and contains ivermectin at a rate of 0.8 g/L, levamisole (as levamisole hydrochloride) at 25.5 g/L and albendazole 20 g/L. It also contains Selenium and Cobalt.

The recommended treatment for lambs and hoggets is to treat from weaning at intervals of no more than 28 days. In replacement stock no fewer than six treatments are recommended. Ewes should be treated three weeks prior to mating, three weeks before lambing and four weeks after lambing.

Triton is for the treatment and control of mixed infections of adult and immature stages of gastrointestinal roundworms including worms sensitive to one or more of the three action families, and also those that have single or dual resistance to the avermectin/milbemycins (including moxidectin resistant strains), benzimidazole, or levamisole/morantel anthelmintic action families. It is effective against lungworm, itchmite and nasal bot.

TRITON has indications for the treatment and control of mixed infections of:

Adult and immature gastrointestinal roundworms • Barber's pole worm: Haemonchus contortus* • Small brown stomach worm: Ostertagia circumcincta* • Stomach hair worm: Trichostrongylus axei • Black scour worm: Trichostrongylus colubriformis, Trichostrongylus vitrinus • Thin-necked intestinal worm: Nematodirus spathiger, Nematodirus fillicollis • Small intestinal worm: Coopera curticei, Cooperia oncophora • Intestinal threadworm: Strongyloides papillosus • Large mouthed bowel worm: Chabertia ovina • Nodule worm: Oesophagostomum columbianum • Large bowel worm: Oesophagostomum venulosum • Whipworm: Trichuris ovis • Hookworm: Bunostomum trigonocephalum * Including inhibited L4 stage

It is also indicated for the treatment and control of mixed infections of New Zealand strains of: • Barber's Pole worm (Haemonchus contortus) with resistance to benzimidazole and avermectin/milbemycins (including moxidectin) • small brown stomach worm (Ostertagia circumcincta) with resistance to levamisole and avermectin/milbemycin (including moxidectin) • black scour worm (Trichostrongylus colubriformis) with resistance to benzimidazole and levamisole, and the thin-necked intestinal worm (Nematodirus spathiger) with resistance to benzimidazole.

Nasal bot: Oestrus ovis (parasitic larval stages only).

Large lungworm: Dictyocaulus filarial

Itchmite: Psoregates ovis

It has a 14 day withholding period for meat, and a 35 day withholding period for milk and milk products intended for human consumption.


For further information, contact Mike Stephens, Marketing Manager, Merial New Zealand Ltd, telephone Auckland (09) 980-1600.

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