bovicola

Essential oils in the management of the donkey louse, Bovicola ocellatus

Citation

Lauren Ellse, Bryony Sands, Faith A. Burden, Richard Wall. March 2015. Essential oils in the management of the donkey louse, Bovicola ocellatus. Equine Veterinary Journal.

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Publication date: 
10 March 2015
DOI number: 
DOI: 10.1111/evj.12431
Abstract

REASONS FOR PERFORMING THE STUDY:
Chewing lice are widespread and clinically compromising parasites of livestock and equines. Their management is complicated by growing levels of resistance to commonly applied insecticides. Hence, the development of novel approaches to their control is of major clinical interest.
OBJECTIVES:
To assess the effects of incorporating the essential oils of tea tree and lavender into a grooming programme for populations of donkeys with natural infestations of Bovicola ocellatus in the UK and Ireland when louse populations were at their winter seasonal peak.
STUDY DESIGN:
In vivo field trial.
METHODS:
Suspensions of 5% (v/v) tea tree or lavender oil or an excipient only control, were groomed into the coats of winter-housed donkeys (n = 198) on 2 occasions, 2 weeks apart. Louse counts were conducted before each application and 2 weeks later.
RESULTS:
After 2 applications, the groups groomed with lavender or tea tree oil suspensions had a significant reduction in louse intensity, with a mean decline in louse abundance of 78% (95% CI 76-80%). Louse numbers in the groups groomed with excipient only either did not change or increased significantly. Donkey hair length had no effect on the decline in louse numbers.
CONCLUSIONS:
These results demonstrate that the inclusion of essential oil suspensions during grooming can be used to manage louse populations successfully. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

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Control of the chewing louse Bovicola (Werneckiella) ocellatus in donkeys, using essential oils

Citation

Lauren Ellse, Faith A. Burden, Richard Wall. March 2013. Control of the chewing louse Bovicola (Werneckiella) ocellatus in donkeys, using essential oils. Medical and Veterinary Entomology.

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Publication date: 
1 March 2013
DOI number: 
doi: 10.1111/mve.12004
Abstract

Infestations by lice can be a significant clinical and welfare issue in the management of large animals. The limited range of commercial pediculicides available and the development of resistance have led to the need to explore alternative louse management approaches. The results of in vitro and in vivo trials undertaken to control populations of the donkey chewing louse, Bovicola ocellatus (Piaget) (Phthiraptera: Trichodectidae) using the essential oils of tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) and lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) are reported here. Results of contact and vapour bioassays showed that 5% (v/v) tea tree and lavender oils resulted in > 80% louse mortality after 2 h of exposure. On farms, separate groups of 10 donkeys sprayed with 5% (v/v) tea tree and lavender oil as part of their usual grooming regime showed significant reductions in louse numbers compared with a control group (0.2% polysorbate 80 in water). These findings indicate that tea tree and lavender essential oils can provide clinically useful levels of control of B. ocellatus when used as part of a grooming routine and suggest that with further development could form the basis of an easy to apply and valuable component of a louse management programme for donkeys

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Pyrethroid tolerance in the chewing louse bovicola (werneckiella)

Citation

Lauren Ellse, Faith A. Burden, Richard Wall. May 2012. Pyrethroid tolerance in the chewing louse bovicola (werneckiella). Veterinary Parasitology.

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Publication date: 
1 May 2012
DOI number: 
doi:10.1016/j.vetpar.2012.03.018
Abstract

Equine pediculosis is a significant health and welfare issue, particularly in elderly and
chronically debilitated animals. Currently infestation is controlled predominantly using
topically applied pyrethroid insecticides, allowing limited scope for the rotation of drugs and increasing the risk of selection for resistance. Here the insecticidal efficacies of two pyrethroid-based products against the louse Bovicola (Werneckiella) ocellatus collected from donkeys were examined in vitro. The products were cypermethrin (DeosectTM, Pfizer Ltd., 5% (w/v) cypermethrin, cutaneous spray) and permethrin (SwitchTM, VetPlus Ltd., 4% (w/v) permethrin, pour-on). The pyrethroid efficacy was contrasted with that of the organophosphate diazinon, since the louse populations examined were unlikely to have had prior exposure to this compound. The efficacy of diluted pure permethrin, the excipient, butyl dioxitol and the synergist piperonyl butoxide in the presence of the pyrethroids, were also considered. At the concentrations recommended for animal application, neither 4% (w/v) permethrin, nor 0.1% (w/v) cypermethrin had any significant effect on the mortality of B. ocellatus and neither induced significantly more mortality than an acetone-only control. In contrast, 0.04% diazinon caused 70% mortality within 4 h and 100% mortality after 24 h
exposure. The addition of a potential pyrethroid synergist, piperonyl butoxide, in combinationwith cypermethrin and permethrin, resulted in no significant increase in mortality.

It is concluded that the population of lice tested display a high level of pyrethroid tolerance which is likely to reflect the development of resistance. Twenty-four hours after routine treatment of 10 donkeys with a pour-on permethrin product (SwitchTM, VetPlus Ltd., 4% (w/v) permethrin, pour-on) hair tufts taken from their flanks were not significantly insecticidal compared with hair from the midline application site, implying a low level of insecticide distribution. Such a distribution pattern is likely to create an insecticide concentration gradient over the body and further facilitate selection for resistance.

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Toxicity of essential and non-essential oils against the chewing louse

Citation

Rose Talbert, Richard Wall. May 2012. Toxicity of essential and non-essential oils against the chewing louse. Research in Veterinary Science.

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Publication date: 
1 May 2012
DOI number: 
doi:10.1016/j.rvsc.2011.11.006
Abstract

The toxicity of six plant essential oils to the chewing louse, Bovicola (Werneckiella) ocellatus collected from donkeys, was examined in laboratory bioassays. The oils examined were: tea-tree (Melaleuca alternifolia), lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), peppermint (Mentha piperita), eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus Labillardiere), clove bud (Eugenia caryophyllata) and camphor (Cinnamomum camphora). All except camphor oil showed high levels of toxicity, with significant dose-dependent mortality and an LC50 at concentrations of below 2% (v/v). Hundred percent mortality was achieved at concentrations of 5–10% (v/v). Two essential oil components: eugenol and (+)-terpinen-4-ol showed similar levels of toxicity. The data suggest that these botanical products may offer environmentally and toxicologically safe, alternative veterinary pediculicides for the control of ectoparasitic lice.

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