The Spit Test: New Saliva Test For Tapeworm The Real Deal

by | 08.23.2017 | 10:49am

EquiSal® Tapeworm saliva is a targeted treatment strategy used to control tapeworm infections and reduce the use of anti-tapeworm anthelmintics. The study, completed at Bransby Horses, a horse welfare charity in the UK, was recently published in Equine Veterinary Journal. The study  used 237 horses where EquiSal® Tapeworm testing was used to inform on anthelmintic administration over the course of a year. The EquiSal® Tapeworm diagnostic-led approach reduced the use of anti-tapeworm treatments by 86 percent compared to 6 monthly interval treatment strategies.

The scientifically validated EquiSal® Tapeworm saliva test accurately diagnoses horses with a tapeworm infection, providing a low, borderline or moderate/high diagnosis. Treatment is recommended for horses with a borderline or moderate/high result. In this study, most horses diagnosed below the treatment threshold in the first EquiSal® Tapeworm test remained below the threshold in the following two tests and 168 horses (71 percent) required no anti-tapeworm treatment at all.

Importantly, no increase in tapeworm infection prevalence was observed during the study period and only seven horses received treatment following all three EquiSal® Tapeworm tests, suggesting that some horses are more susceptible to tapeworm infections.

The patterns of infection and reinfection observed during the study highlight the value of regular monitoring with the EquiSal® Tapeworm test. Testing horses every six months will identify horses acquiring new tapeworm infections, allowing treatment at an early stage, limiting paddock contamination and exposure of the rest of the herd, and will also identifying those individuals that may be more prone to reinfection. Incorporation of EquiSal® Tapeworm testing into deworming schedules will decrease the frequency of anti-tapeworm treatments and reduce the risk of resistance developing in tapeworms in the future.

It is easy to integrate EquiSal® Tapeworm testing into worm control programs;  simply test every six months at a time when routine deworming for tapeworm is considered. Saliva samples can be easily collected by horse owners using the specially designed swab provided in the EquiSal® saliva collection kit. Once the swab has collected enough saliva, as indicated by a color change, the swab is placed in the preservative solution and sent for testing at the EquiSal laboratory.

Purchase EquiSal saliva collection kits from Horsemen's Laboratory.

EquiSal saliva collection kits are available at wholesale prices contact [email protected] or visit

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