Imidocarb Dipropionate Antiprotozoal Agent

Imidocarb dipropionate is a drug that belongs to the antiprotozoal agents, substances that are destructive to protozoans. Synonyms: Carbesia, Imixol, Imizol, Imizocarb, 4A65.

Babesiosis is caused by a haemotropic protozoal parasite of the genus Babesia, member of the phylum Apicomplexa and transmitted by the bite of an infected tick. There are many Babesia species affecting livestock, dogs, horses and rodents which are of economic significance. Infections can occur without producing symptoms, but babesiosis may also be severe and sometimes fatal caused by the intraerythrocytic parasite development. The disease can cause fever, fatigue and haemolytic anemia lasting from several days to several months. There are a number of effective babesiacides, but imidocarb dipropionate (which consistently clears the parasitaemia; often the only available drug on the market) and diminazene aceturate are the most widely used.4

The antiprotozoal activity of imidocarb dipropionate is directed against Theileria (formerly Babesia equi and Babesia caballi in donkeys and mules. In addition babesiosis of cattle may be controlled easily by imidocarb. The drug is also used to treat Babesia canis infection in dogs (babesiosis).1

In some cases, imidocarb dipropionate treatment has been effective in clearing Babesia caballi infection in horses with confirmation of lack of transmission risk either by direct blood transfer or a high tick burden. Importantly, the treated horses reverted to seronegative status according to the international standard for serologic testing and were permitted to move between countries where the pathogen is endemic and countries that are free of the pathogen.3

Adverse Effects

Imidocarb has a direct effect on the structure of Babesia spp. and is the drug of choice of equine piroplasmosis. Imidocarb has neurological effects and may cause adverse, potentially fatal effects (colic, diarrhea).2

In dogs, imidocarb dipropionate has been reported to cause difficulty in breathing, increased heart rate, weakness and profuse diarrhea which are attributable to neurological effects of the drug.5

References

  1. Encyclopedia of parasitology, Volume 1. Heinz Mehlhorn, C. (CON) Combes
  2. Equine clinical pharmacology. Joseph Bertone, Linda J. I. Horspool
  3. Imidocarb dipropionate clears persistent Babesia caballi infection with elimination of transmission potential. Schwint, O Nicolas ; Ueti, Massaro W ; Palmer, Guy H ; Kappmeyer, Lowell S ; Hines, Melissa T ; Cordes, R Timothy ; Knowles, Donald P ; Scoles, Glen A. In: Journal Article, Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  4. Chemotherapy against babesiosis. Vial, Henri J ; Gorenflot, A. In: Vet Parasitol 2006,May,31;138(1-2):147-60; (PMID: 16504402)
  5. Adverse effects of imidocarb dipropionate (Imizol) in a dog. Abdullah AS, Sheikh-Omar AR, Baggot JD, Zamri M. In: Vet Res Commun. 1984 Feb;8(1):55-9.