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Research Article

Evaluating the Effect of the Treatment of Doramectin on Some Biochemical Parameters in Goats Naturally Infected with Gastrointestinal Nematodes

E. Ceylan, C. Ragbetli and P. Tanritanir
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The aim of this study was to investigate the therapeutic effect of doramectin applied once in an optimum dose on stomach-intestine nematodes on goats naturally infected with gastrointestinal nematodes. Also to study the effect of the doramectin application on the clinically important biochemical parameters, electrolytes, minerals, vitamin B12 levels and enzyme activities of goats were affected or not after anthelmentic drug application. For this purpose, the stools in 45 goats between 1-3 years were chosen in Van province and subjected to Fulleborn saturated salt solution method. Thirty goats with gastrointestinal nematodes constituted treatment group and they were doramectin applied (group I). Other 15 goats with gastrointestinal nematodes chosen as control group (group II) was not Doramectine applied. Taking stool samples goats with Doramectin treatment and from control group on the 0, 7 and 14 days of application in gram stools, the number of eggs (EPG) were analyzed by modified McMaster method and treatment efficiency was investigated. After coprocultures, goats were determined to be infected with Trichostrongylus sp., Nematodirus sp., Ostertagia sp., Marshallagia sp., Haemonchus sp. and Oesophagostomum sp. The results demonstrated that Fe, Albumin and hemoglobin levels statistically increased in treatment group in comparison with control group (p<0.05); a significant change in IBP, Ferritin, ALT, AST, total protein, P, Ca, Na and K levels was not observed and minor increases along with the treatment related to time in vitamin B12, ALP and Mg levels occurred. It was concluded that in goats, one dose of 0.2 mg kg-1 of subcutaneous doramectin was efficient 100% and no side-effect was observed.

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  How to cite this article:

E. Ceylan, C. Ragbetli and P. Tanritanir, 2010. Evaluating the Effect of the Treatment of Doramectin on Some Biochemical Parameters in Goats Naturally Infected with Gastrointestinal Nematodes. Asian Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances, 5: 162-168.

DOI: 10.3923/ajava.2010.162.168



Gastrointestinal parasites are often observed among our country’s livestock and it causes widespread infection leading to important economic losses (Altas et al., 2006; Sarıozkan and Yalcın, 2009). Gastrointestinal nematodes sensitize animals to shortage of trace elements and vitamins and lead to destruction of gastrointestinal mucosa (Oge et al., 1996; Sykes and Coop, 2001; Koski and Scott, 2003; Ayaz et al., 2007).

Doramectin is a member of lacton class and a new avermectin genetically developed from Streptomyces avermitilis that naturally exists in the earth by using recombinant DNA technique. The effect of doramectin on gastrointestinal nematodes has been demonstrated in various species (Goudie et al., 1993; Shoop et al., 1995; Ayaz and Sahin, 2003).

Significant changes happen in the biochemical metabolism of hosts attacked by parasites (Dede et al., 2002). The changes in clinically important parameters and the activities of enzymes are important findings to indicate pathological situations (Kaneko et al., 1997; Karagul et al., 2000).

The aim of this study was to investigate the therapeutic effect of doramectin applied only once in an optimum dose level on stomach-intestine nematodes on goats naturally infected with gastrointestinal nematodes and whether clinically important biochemical parameters (albumin, total protein, iron binding protein, ferritin, hemoglobin), electrolytes (Na, K), minerals (Ca, Mg, P, Fe), vitamin B12 levels and enzyme (ALT, AST, ALP) activities in these goats were affected after drug application.


Forty five goats, ranging between 35 and 50 kg, in a private farm in Van district, infected with gastrointestinal nematodes were used in this study in the years 2006 and 2008. During the study all goats were kept in their winter care-house and were nourished at their normal nourishment level. Any food additives did not take place and water was given as ad libitum. Thirty of forty five goats proven to be infected with gastrointestinal formed treatment group (group I) and 15 were considered as control group (group II).

Fecal samples were collected directly from the rectums of the goats and examined for the eggs of gastrointestinal nematodes by the Fulleborn saturated salt solution method (Polozowski et al., 2006). Gastrointestinal nematode-positive animals were allocated to two groups of (group I and II), in a way of as homogeneous as possible taking into account the EPG numbers of the McMaster method (MAFF, 1986). The first group was subcutaneously administered 0.2 mg kg-1 of doramectine (Dectomax, Pfizer) (Molento et al., 1999; Alka et al., 2004). The second group was left as a control. Faecal samples from animals were analyzed for EPG numbers on days 0, 7 and 14 of treatment and geometrical means of the results taken. Coprocultures were performed to diagnose gastrointestinal nematodes in infected animals (Bowman, 2008).

The blood samples were collected from all animals on 0, 7 and 14th days. Biochemical parameters (albumin, total protein, iron binding protein, Ferritin, hemoglobin), electrolytes (Na, K) minerals (Ca, Mg, P, Fe), enzymes (ALT, AST, ALP) and vitamin B12 levels were analyzed in autoanalyzer (MODULAR PP, Roche/Hitachi, Japan) device.

The results were statistically assessed, averaged out as Mean±SD. The difference which according to Duncan Test amounted to p<0.05 was considered to be important.


Trichostrongylus sp., Oesophagostomum sp., Nematodirus sp. and Ostertagia sp., Marshallagia sp., Haemonchus sp., parasite larvae were diagnosed in coprocultures prepared from excrement samples of infected sheep before treatment.

The average number of eggs per gram in faeces (EPG) was determined with modified McMaster method as 511 and 528 g-1 in control and treatment group, respectively, before treatment. While no eggs were found in treatment group on 7th and 14th days, there were 509 and 504 g-1 eggs on the same days, respectively, in control group (Table 1).

Table 1: The effectiveness of doramectin in goats naturally infected with gastrointestinal nematodes

Table 2: Blood biochemical parameters of goats naturally infected with gastrointestinal nematodes before and after treatment
a.b: The difference taking place in treatment group along with time. *Difference between treated and untreated group

There were no differences in levels of Fe, albumin, hemoglobin, potassium in blood samples on day 0 but along with the treatment there appeared statistically significant difference (p<0.05) on day 7 and 14. The levels of vitamin B12, ALP and Mg in treatment group (group I) presented a slight change along with the treatment, but ALT, AST enzyme activities and IBP, ferritin, total protein, P, Ca and Na concentration didn’t suggest any differences between groups (Table 2).


Macro element shortage observed in parasitic diseases leads to clinical defectiveness, loss of efficiency and death (Kaneko et al., 1997; Dede et al., 2002). Being in avermectin group, doramectin is one of the antiparasitic drugs used in fighting back gastrointestinal nematodes that is common in ruminants and leads to significant loss of efficiency (Goudie et al., 1993). Dorchies et al. (2001) reported a decrease in the number of eggs in faeces of sheep after the treatment of doramectin. Doramectin was very efficient against most of the common gastrointestinal nematodes of sheep, i.e., T. circumcincta, N. battus, N. filicollis, O. venulosum and Trichuris sp. and first-stage larvae of O. ovis.

In a study (Umur and Arslan, 2000) on ewes and lambs doramectin was reported to be effective on various nematodes such as Ostertagia sp., Trichostrongylus sp., Haemonchus sp., Cooperia sp., Chabertia sp., Bunostomum sp., Oesophagostomum sp., Strongyloides sp. and Nematodirus sp. In the present study it was confirmed that one dose of 0.2 mg kg-1 subcutaneous doramectine application to goats was 100% effective on Trichostrongylus sp., Oesophagostomum sp., Nematodirus sp., Ostertagia sp., Marshallagia sp. and Haemonchus sp. In many studies it was reported that macro element concentrations such as Ca, Na, Mg, K, P changed after doramectin application (Kuzner et al., 2005; Kolar et al., 2006). Kuzner et al., 2005 found that calcium concentrations decreased significantly in sheep on day 15 and 42 after doramectin treatment. Mbuh and Mbwaye (2005) found that the levels of Na and Ca decreased because of disease but K levels weren’t affected from disease. Ayaz et al. (2007) reported that Na, K, Ca levels didn’t change in infected animals but Mg and P increased. In this study, it was observed that there were not any significant changes in levels of Ca, Na, Mg, K between groups and docrametin treatment did not cause any changes.

Because of pathological changes in intestine canal, changes in biochemical parameters can be observed in animals infected with gastrointestinal nematodes (Suttle and Jones, 1989; Sykes and Coop, 2001; Koski and Scott, 2003; Ayaz et al., 2007). Gastrointestinal parasites can lead to anemia as a result of decrease in the number of hemoglobin and erythrocyte (Dede et al., 2002). So, eliminating anemia is important for the treatment. As a matter of fact in infected animals having low level of hemoglobin, it was observed that, the number of hemoglobin was at its normal level after doramectin usage (Skogerboe et al., 2000). It was also observed in the present study that low levels of hemoglobin in parasite-infected group increased along with the treatment. The level of iron in blood is a certain parameter of diagnosis which indicates the conditions of diseases. The rise of iron in blood, blood loss, an increase in hemolysis of red blood cells or a decrease in life-span of blood cells can result from acute hepatitis, some kinds of anemia, nourishment with diet rich in iron, problems stemming from iron storage (pernisious anemia) and events like parasitic diseases (Kaneko et al., 1997; Habel and Jung, 2006; Wu et al., 2007; Raulfs et al., 2008). Serum iron levels in parasite-infected animals were lower than the normal levels (Kozat et al., 2006) but restored their normal levels after doramectin treatment (Skogerboe et al., 2000). It was observed in the present study that iron levels in treatment group increased after treatment.

Despite the differences in iron levels, the levels of IBP and ferritin did not show any changes.

Although, the total protein levels in some animals infected with different parasites did not change much (Molento et al., 1999) there were reports indicating their increases (Mbuh and Mbwaye, 2005; Ayaz et al., 2007). In the present study, the levels of total protein did not significantly change.

The activities of ALP, ALT and AST enzymes in serum significantly change because of degeneration of cellular membrane, loss and collapse of diffuse tissue inflammation (Kaneko et al., 1997; Karagul et al., 2000). The AST and ALT enzyme activities in sheep infected with gastrointestinal nematodes did not change ( Ayaz et al., 2007). In the present study there were not any significant changes between groups in the activities of these enzymes. This result suggested that gastrointestinal nematodes in goats did not lead to significant damages in cells or tissues. Besides, the insignificant changes in the relevant enzymes activities are important indicators to show the safety of doramectin used in this study.

Vitamin B12 has an important duty in generating red blood cells and its lack may result in anemia (Cecil et al., 2004). Ayaz et al. (2007) reported that the level of B12 did not change in animals infected with Trichostrongylidae sp. and Dicrocelium dendriticum, but it increased in those infected with Cyst hydatic, Fasciola sp. and Protostrongylidae sp. Similarly, in the present study it was determined that B12 concentration in goats infected with gastrointestinal nematodes did not change considerably.

In conclusion, parasites infections, especially gastrointestinal nematodosis in animals, are a cause of considerable economic loss in Turkey (Umur and Yukari, 2005; Ayaz and Sahin, 2003; Ayaz et al., 2007) and the world (Skogerboe et al., 2000). Turkey has a sub-tropical climate and therefore gastrointestinal nematodes are prevalent in goats (Ayaz and Sahin, 2003). These parasitological infections cause damage in tissues, this damage causes loss of yield, leads to predisposition against secondary infections via weakening the immune system and finally to deaths. Besides, it was confirmed that the application of one dose of 0.2 mg kg-1 subcutaneous doramectin in goats was 100% efficient against gastrointestinal nematodes without any obvious side-effects.


The authors thank Dr. Yasar Goz for his technical support for parasitic analysis.

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