For a conditioned taste aversion (CTA) agent to be successful in wildlife management applications, the compound must not be detectable by the animal. Levamisole is an effective CTA agent when administered by oral intubation, but it is readily detected by a number of species when mixed directly in food. This paper describes the development of an ion-exchange resin complex (resinate) to mask the taste of levamisole. Two different resins were evaluated, Amberlite IRP-64 and Amberlite IRP-69, and release studies indicated that the resinate formed using IRP-64 resin would be most suitable for use in wildlife management. Although it contained a relatively low loading of levamisole (77 g kg(-1)), the results indicated that the IRP-64 resinate should be stable in the mouth and release the levamisole quickly in the acid environment of the stomach (93% of levamisole was released into 0.1 M HCl in 5 min). In a bioassay using laboratory rats (Rattus norvegicus Berk), we showed that the taste of levamisole was successfully masked in a biscuit bait using the IRP-64 resinate and that a CTA was generated to untreated bait. The use of ion-exchange resins is a new approach in the taste-masking of CTA agents and could be applied to other wildlife management applications.
(c) British Crown copyright 2005.