A survey in Louisiana of gastrointestinal helminths recovered at necropsy from 117 ponies with minimal exposure to anthelmintics between 1989 and 2000 is compared with a survey conducted 20 yr earlier in the same region. An objective of this study was to determine whether species diversity has been affected by the advent and use of the macrocyclic lactone (ML) parasiticides and by the increased anthelmintic pressure on the helminth species infecting the general equine population. Twenty-six cyathostome species and 8 strongyle species were recovered. Two cyathostome species that were not found before, Cylicostephanus asymetricus and C. bidentatus, and 1 species of large strongyle, Oesophagodontus robustus, were added to the list of species found in Louisiana. All cyathostome and large strongyle species found previously were still present. But prevalences and intensities were significantly reduced for almost all large and small strongyle species. Prevalences and intensities of Oxyuris equi adults and larvae were reduced, whereas the prevalence of Parascaris equorum remained constant. The tapeworm Paranoplocephala mamillana was added to the list of parasite species found in Louisiana. Anoplocephala perfoliata remained the most common cestode. This species was found at the same level of intensity but increased slightly in prevalence. Anoplocephala magna was found less frequently than previously. The overall diversity of species remained relatively unchanged. The reasons for the differences in intensity and prevalence of strongyles between these 2 periods are unknown but might be related to the development and use of the broad-spectrum ML anthelmintics in the intervening period, a difference in the population of equids surveyed, different techniques used to identify the parasites, or differences in numbers of parasites identified (or to all).
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