World Association for the Advancement of Veterinary Parasitology (W.A.A.V.P.) guideline for diagnosing anthelmintic resistance using the faecal egg count reduction test in ruminants, horses and swine

Vet Parasitol. 2023 Jun:318:109936. doi: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2023.109936. Epub 2023 Apr 23.


The faecal egg count reduction test (FECRT) remains the method of choice for establishing the efficacy of anthelmintic compounds in the field, including the diagnosis of anthelmintic resistance. We present a guideline for improving the standardization and performance of the FECRT that has four sections. In the first section, we address the major issues relevant to experimental design, choice of faecal egg count (FEC) method, statistical analysis, and interpretation of the FECRT results. In the second section, we make a series of general recommendations that are applicable across all animals addressed in this guideline. In the third section, we provide separate guidance details for cattle, small ruminants (sheep and goats), horses and pigs to address the issues that are specific to the different animal types. Finally, we provide overviews of the specific details required to conduct an FECRT for each of the different host species. To address the issues of statistical power vs. practicality, we also provide two separate options for each animal species; (i) a version designed to detect small changes in efficacy that is intended for use in scientific studies, and (ii) a less resource-intensive version intended for routine use by veterinarians and livestock owners to detect larger changes in efficacy. Compared to the previous FECRT recommendations, four important differences are noted. First, it is now generally recommended to perform the FECRT based on pre- and post-treatment FEC of the same animals (paired study design), rather than on post-treatment FEC of both treated and untreated (control) animals (unpaired study design). Second, instead of requiring a minimum mean FEC (expressed in eggs per gram (EPG)) of the group to be tested, the new requirement is for a minimum total number of eggs to be counted under the microscope (cumulative number of eggs counted before the application of a conversion factor). Third, we provide flexibility in the required size of the treatment group by presenting three separate options that depend on the (expected) number of eggs counted. Finally, these guidelines address all major livestock species, and the thresholds for defining reduced efficacy are adapted and aligned to host species, anthelmintic drug and parasite species. In conclusion, these new guidelines provide improved methodology and standardization of the FECRT for all major livestock species.

Keywords: Anthelmintic drug efficacy; Anthelmintic resistance; Cattle; Faecal egg count reduction test; Goats; Horses; Pigs; Sheep; World Association for the Advancement of Veterinary Parasitology.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anthelmintics* / pharmacology
  • Anthelmintics* / therapeutic use
  • Cattle
  • Drug Resistance
  • Feces / parasitology
  • Goats
  • Horses
  • Ovum*
  • Parasite Egg Count / methods
  • Parasite Egg Count / veterinary
  • Sheep
  • Swine


  • Anthelmintics