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Open Access Research article

Unchanged triclabendazole kinetics after co-administration with ivermectin and methimazole: failure of its therapeutic activity against triclabendazole-resistant liver flukes

Laura Ceballos12, Laura Moreno12, Luis Alvarez12, Laura Shaw3, Ian Fairweather3 and Carlos Lanusse12*

Author Affiliations

1 Laboratorio de Farmacología, Facultad de Ciencias Veterinarias, Universidad Nacional del Centro de la Provincia de Buenos Aires (UNCPBA), Campus Universitario, 7000, Tandil, Argentina

2 Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET), Argentina

3 School of Biological Sciences, Medical Biology Centre, The Queen's University of Belfast, Belfast, Northern Ireland, BT9 7BL, UK

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BMC Veterinary Research 2010, 6:8  doi:10.1186/1746-6148-6-8

Published: 3 February 2010



The reduced drug accumulation based on enhanced drug efflux and metabolic capacity, identified in triclabendazole (TCBZ)-resistant Fasciola hepatica may contribute to the development of resistance to TCBZ. The aim of this work was to evaluate the pharmacokinetics and clinical efficacy of TCBZ administered alone or co-administered with ivermectin (IVM, efflux modulator) and methimazole (MTZ, metabolic inhibitor) in TCBZ-resistant F. hepatica-parasitized sheep. Sheep infected with TCBZ-resistant F. hepatica (Sligo isolate) were divided into three groups (n = 4): untreated control, TCBZ-treated (i.r. at 10 mg/kg) and TCBZ+IVM+MTZ treated sheep (10 i.r., 0.2 s.c. and 1.5 i.m. mg/kg, respectively). Plasma samples were collected and analysed by HPLC. In the clinical efficacy study, the animals were sacrificed at 15 days post-treatment to evaluate the comparative efficacy against TCBZ-resistant F. hepatica.


The presence of IVM and MTZ did not affect the plasma disposition kinetics of TCBZ metabolites after the i.r. administration of TCBZ. The AUC value of TCBZ.SO obtained after TCBZ administration (653.9 ± 140.6 μg.h/ml) was similar to that obtained after TCBZ co-administered with IVM and MTZ (650.7 ± 122.8 μg.h/ml). Efficacy values of 56 and 38% were observed for TCBZ alone and for the combined treatment, respectively. No statistical differences (P > 0.05) were observed in fluke counts between treated groups and untreated control, which confirm the resistant status of the Sligo isolate.


The presence of IVM and MTZ did not affect the disposition kinetics of TCBZ and its metabolites. Thus, the combined drug treatment did not reverse the poor efficacy of TCBZ against TCBZ-resistant F. hepatica.