The Kyrgyz people are traditionally pastoral nomads. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, infrastructure to remote pastures fell into disrepair resulting in overgrazing of pastures closer to villages and higher parasite burdens. Most farmers are reliant on Albendazole; a group 1, broad spectrum anthelmintic. However, resistance to Albendazole has been widely documented in other countries.
To determine whether resistance to Albendazole is present in Southern Kyrgyzstan.
From January to AprilMay 2018, households with sheep in the Osh oblast were interviewed about husbandry practices, anthelmintic dosing strategy and pasture management. Fresh faecal samples were collected and gastrointestinal nematodes and Fasciola hepatica eggs were counted using the McMaster’s technique. If faecal egg count was >300 nematode eggs per gram or >100 F. hepatica eggs per gram, the sheep were treated with Albendazole in accordance with the datasheet. The gastrointestinal nematode and F. hepatica faecal egg counts were repeated with fresh faecal samples 2 and 3 weeks respectively after the initial test. If there was <95% reduction in the faecal egg count, the sheep were retreated with either oral Ivermectin for gastrointestinal nematodes or Oxyclozanide for F. hepatica. Following retreatment, a third faecal sample was collected and eggs counted using the McMasters technique 2 or 3 weeks later respectively.
Of the 43 households tested, 1 had <95% reduction in gastrointestinal nematode eggs and 4 had <95% reduction in F. hepatica eggs. Retreatment with Ivermectin and Oxyclozanide respectively resulted in zero eggs per gram of faeces.
This study provides evidence of Albendazole resistance in Southern Kyrgyzstan. Programs designed to increase awareness of anthelmintic resistance, provide training in good parasite management to farmers and resource veterinarians with parasite laboratories would be a valuable contribution to improving animal health and productivity. In addition, importing a wider range of veterinary medicines so households where anthelmintic resistance is already present have alternative drug choices is essential.