Merck Animal Health Introduces PANACUR AquaSol for Swine in Europe

BOXMEER (The Netherlands), July 24, 2012 — Merck Animal Health (known as MSD Animal Health outside the USA and Canada) has introduced PANACUR AquaSol (fenbendazole), a new, water-administered dewormer for swine that stays in suspension without re-stirring, thereby ensuring more uniform intake and proper dosing of the field-proven anthelmintic.

The product, which can be used in weaners, growers, gestating sows and boars, was recently launched in France and Belgium and will soon become available in other EU countries. PANACUR AquaSol is indicated for the treatment and control of gastrointestinal nematodes, specifically Ascaris suum (adult, intestinal and migrating larval stages) and Oesophagostomum spp. (adult stages).

PANACUR AquaSol is produced with an innovative wet-milling process that produces very fine fenbendazole particles that mix easily in water and stay suspended for 24 hours without agitation. The new formulation eliminates the problem of clogged pipes and filters that have sometimes discouraged swine producers from using water-administered wormers in the past, according to Mario Sommer, PhD, research scientist at Merck Animal Health, Schwabenheim (Germany).

Speaking at a seminar held in conjunction with the European Symposium for Porcine Health Management, Bruges (Belgium), Sommer noted that PANACUR AquaSol provides better bioavailability than powder formulations due to the homogenous particle size. The product has a two-day treatment period and the withdrawal requirement is four days. “PANACUR AquaSol brings producers a flexible and effective worming option for all ages of breeding and rearing pigs,” he said.

At the same conference, Philippe Tessier, DVM, global swine marketing director for Merck Animal Health, presented evidence that low residual populations of the parasite A. suum can induce milk spots on the liver, one of the hallmarks of the parasitic infection. In contrast, high levels of infection can induce a strong immunity that suppresses liver white spots while an adult population is established in the small intestine. Tessier also showed trial results indicating that A. suum infections can interfere with developing immunity after vaccination against diseases such as Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae.

Jozef Vercruysse, DVM, professor and veterinary parasitologist at Ghent University (Belgium), noted: “the prevalence of A. suum has remained constant the last 10 years, which suggests that control is very difficult.” He added that the high prevalence of liver white spots observed in many countries in Europe “is strongly indicative that Ascaris is present on many farms.”

Vercruysse agreed that the presence of migrating larvae can compromise the efficacy of vaccination and pointed out that A. suum can infect humans. “For these reasons, coupled with the physical and economic damage that A. suum infections cause, swine producers should have a deworming program,” he said. “Worming efforts should focus on growers and finishers, which is the stage of production when A. suum infections usually occur. The worming program should be combined with good sanitation practices to get the best results,” Vercruysse explained.