Should Concurrent Deworming and Vaccination Be Done?

A thesis of Masters student Emily Rubinson, who performed her work under the direction of Dr. Martin K. Nielsen of the University of Kentucky Gluck Equine Research Center, was recently made available from the university. The title of her paper was “Modulation of Vaccine-Induced Responses by Anthelmintic Treatment in Ponies.” The paper can be found online.


Vaccines and anthelmintics induce an inflammatory response in equids. Since they are commonly given concurrently, it is practical to study any interaction between them. This study evaluated whether IVM and PYR would modulate the acute phase inflammatory response, the systemic gene expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines, and vaccine-specific titers induced by WNV, EHV, and KLH vaccines. Naturally-infected, yearling ponies were sorted by gender, then fecal epgs. They were randomly assigned to three treatment groups: IVM, PYR, and control. All ponies received vaccinations intramuscularly on days 0 and 29. Whole blood, serum, and plasma samples were collected 1, 3, and 14 days post-vaccination. Samples were analyzed for inflammatory markers, cytokine, mRNA expression, and vaccine-specific IgG titers by ELISA. The acute-phase inflammatory marker data showed no statistical significance; they did show an increase in SAA, haptoglobin, and fibrinogen, and a decrease in iron after vaccination. The mRNA data showed that anthelmintics had a significant effect on interleukin mRNA levels, but not on TNF-alpha or IFN-y levels. The ELISA assays showed no biologically significant reduction in IgG as compared to the control group. We conclude that deworming does not affect vaccine IgG titers; therefore, ceasing vaccinating and deworming concurrently is not necessary.

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