Lotilaner - a novel systemic tick and flea control product for dogs
Little Parasites & Vectors
Lotilaner - a novel systemic tick and flea control product for dogs
Susan E. Little 0
0 Center for Veterinary Health Sciences, Oklahoma State University , Stillwater, OK 74074 , USA
Safe, effective control of ticks and fleas is critically important for the health and well-being of companion animals and the people with whom they share their lives. Mitigating the risk created by tick and flea infestations protects dogs and humans not only from the arthropods but also, in many cases, from the serious infections they transmit. An added and perhaps equally important benefit of successfully controlling ticks and fleas is protecting the human animal bond. Modern tick and flea control products such as lotilaner, the novel isoxazline described in this special issue, provide veterinarians and pet owners with a simple, reliable strategy to help eliminate these pests from pets and make the distress of home infestations a distant memory. Removing ticks and fleas from the dog-human equation fosters a closer relationship between people and their pets which in turn benefits many aspects of public health, both physical and mental . Supporting the human-animal bond and protecting both canine and human health are some of the primary reasons the Companion Animal Parasite Council (capcvet.org) and the European Scientific Counsel on Companion Animal Parasites (esccap.org) recommend routine tick and flea control for dogs. This special issue debuts a collection of detailed studies performed to evaluate the safety, efficacy, and performance characteristics of a novel systemic isoxazoline insecticidal and acaricidal compound - lotilaner - developed by Elanco specifically for use in companion animals to quickly address canine tick and flea infestations. The pharmacokinetic and safety studies described document that lotilaner is rapidly absorbed and was not associated with any treatmentrelated or pathological effects even when elevated doses were administered for several months [2, 3]. The excellent safety profile of lotilaner and other isoxazolines highlights another advantage of using more recently developed
insecticides and acaricides in pets. Indeed, products like
lotilaner have largely supplanted use of the more toxic,
often now-banned, historic compounds such as
organochlorines, organophosphates and carbamates [
Ctenocephalides felis continues to reign as the most
common flea associated with pets worldwide. Despite
several decades of widely available, sound flea control
products, infestations remain a substantial canine health
concern, an issue compounded by the presence of
insecticide-resistant populations of C. felis [
experimental flea infestation studies in this special issue
demonstrate that the novel systemic insecticide lotilaner
begins killing fleas as soon as 2 h after administration
and maintains a rapid (within 4 h) high efficacy against
subsequent re-infestations for at least 35 days after
initial administration [
]. Field trials confirmed that
owners using lotilaner can expect to see elimination of
flea infestations and significant reduction of flea allergy
]. Rapid kill, complete elimination of
infestations, and prevention of re-infestation are critically
important for minimizing the dermatitis associated with
allergy to fleas because even a small number of bites can
result in recrudescence of clinical signs [
lotilaner tablets were readily accepted by dogs and, in a
comparison field trial, achieved better efficacy against fleas
than fipronil [
]. This high acceptability is important -
despite the many advances in safety and efficacy of parasite
control products, lack of compliance remains a significant
barrier to achieving flea control in dogs [
A diverse array of ticks infest dogs around the world,
including Rhipicephalus sanguineus (sensu lato)
wherever dogs are found; Ixodes ricinus and Dermacentor
reticulatus in Europe; and Amblyomma americanum,
Dermacentor variabilis and Ixodes scapularis in North
America. Each species has unique habitat preferences
and phenology [
]. Most canine tick infestations are
acquired from natural outdoor environments with the
notable exception of R. sanguineus, an endophilic tick
inhabiting homes and kennels [
]. Although published
records are incomplete, the geographical distribution of
Ixodes spp. in North America and Europe and of A.
americanum in North America has dramatically
expanded in recent decades [
], leading to an
increased need for straightforward, robust tick control
strategies for dogs in many different regions of the globe.
The tick studies presented in this special issue
demonstrate that lotilaner treatment readily eliminates
infestation with three key European species (I. ricinus, D.
reticulatus and R. sanguineus) and the four major North
American species (A. americanum, D. variabilis, I.
scapularis and R. sanguineus), and that all of the different
tick species continued to be killed at a very high efficacy
throughout the month following treatment [
Detailed studies with I. ricinus revealed the ticks present
at the time of treatment were killed within 4–8 h of
initial administration, and newly acquired I. ricinus ticks
were killed within 12 h of infestation throughout the
35day study [
]. Both the rapid onset of action and
sustained speed of kill are important; systemic acaricides
have been associated with decrease in or complete
prevention of transmission of tick-borne disease agents in
several studies, including those evaluating the ability of
acaricides to prevent tick-borne infection with Borrelia
burgdorferi, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Ehrlichia
canis and Babesia canis [
Dog ownership provides many benefits to human
health, including encouraging opportunities for exercise,
reducing the impact of stressful life events, and developing
capacity for empathy, especially in children [
tick and flea infestations directly threaten both human
and canine health. Infestations are at best a nuisance to
the owner, dog, and veterinarian alike that often
discourages owners from keeping pets indoors or even keeping a
pet at all. At worst, these arthropods and the infections
they transmit can severely compromise the health of dogs
and people. As we forge ever closer bonds with
companion animals, insuring dogs and the homes we share with
them remain free of ticks and fleas becomes increasingly
important. By providing safe, fast, and effective flea
control and broad-spectrum tick efficacy for up to 35 days
after administration, lotilaner, a novel insecticidal and
acaricidal compound, allows us to achieve this goal of
protecting dogs from ticks and fleas and protecting the
special relationship between dogs and their owners. French
translation of the article is available in Additional file 1.
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