BACKGROUND: The control of tick and flea burdens in dogs and cats has become essential to the control of important and emerging vector borne diseases, some of which are zoonoses. Flea worry and flea bite hypersensitivity are additionally a significant disease entity in dogs and cats. Owner compliance in maintaining the pressure of control measures has been shown to be poor. For these reasons efforts are continuously being made to develop ectoparasiticides and application methods that are safe, effective and easy to apply for pet owners. A new polymer matrix collar has recently been developed which is registered for 8 months use in cats and dogs. The basic properties of this collar have been investigated in several in vitro and in vivo studies.
METHODS: The effects of imidacloprid, flumethrin and the combination were evaluated in vitro by means of whole cell voltage clamp measurement experiments conducted on isolated neuron cells from Spodoptera frugiperda. The in vitro efficacy of the two compounds and the combination against three species of ticks and their life stages and fleas were evaluated in a dry surface glass vial assay. The kinetics of the compounds over time in the collar were evaluated by the changed in mass of the collar and measurement of the surface concentrations and concentrations points, was used to assess the acaricidal efficacy of the actives ex vivo.
RESULTS: An in vitro isolated insect nerve model demonstrated the synergistic neurotoxic effects of the pyrethroid flumethrin and the neonicotinoid imidacloprid. An in vitro glass vial efficacy and mortality study against various life stages of the ticks Ixodes ricinus, Rhipicephalus sanguineus and Dermacentor reticulatus and against the flea (Ctenocephalides felis) demonstrated that the combination of these products was highly effective against these parasites. The release kinetics of these actives from a neck collar (compounded with 10% imidacloprid and 4.5% flumethrin) was extensively studied in dogs and cats under laboratory and field conditions. Acaricidal concentrations of the actives were found to be consistently released from the collar matrix for 8 months. None of the collar studies in dogs and cats were associated with any significant collar related adverse event.
CONCLUSION: Here we demonstrated the synergism between the pyrethroid flumethrin and the neonicotinoid imidacloprid, both provided in therapeutically relevant doses by a slow release collar matrix system over 8 months. This collar is therefore a convenient and safe tool for a long-term protection against ectoparasites.