MoksiMark – is moxidectin suitable for the treatment of brainworm (Elaphostrongylus rangiferi) infections in reindeer?


The MoksiMark project is a follow-up study of ReinBRAIN. Infections of free-grazing semi-domesticated reindeer with the nematodic brainworm Elaphostrongylus rangiferi occur frequently in Northern Norway and result in reduced animal welfare and losses. Due to the specificities of reindeer herding, a medical treatment of the condition can only be performed once a year and successful drugs have thus to provide long-term protection. However, as found in the study on LongRange® (eprinomectin) performed in ReinBRAIN, a drug with high stability can be excreted unchanged and lead to ecotoxicological concerns. Thus, the optimal drug should be sufficiently stable, but nevertheless, be biotransformable to metabolites with reduced biological activity.


In MoksiMark, the long-term effectivity and elimination profile of 1 mg/kg s.c. Cydectin LA® (moxidectin) will be studied in female reindeer and calves. The drug and potential metabolites will be analysed in serum and faeces. Moreover, liver microsomes of reindeer will be prepared, enzymatically characterized and used for in vitro metabolism experiments with moxidectin with the aim to determine pharmacokinetic parameters and evaluate both the applicability of the drug for the treatment of brainworm infections and potential ecotoxicological risks.

Funded by: Reindriftens utviklingsfond, 2023 – 2024