AIMS: To determine the plasma disposition and concentrations of ivermectin (IVM) in eggs produced by laying hens following S/C, oral and I/V administration.METHODS: Twenty-four laying hens, aged 37 weeks and weighing 1.73 (SD 0.12) kg were allocated to three groups of eight birds. The injectable formulation of IVM was administered either orally, S/C, or I/V, at a dose of 0.2mg/kg liveweight, following dilution (1:5, v/v) with propylene glycol. Heparinised blood samples were collected at various times between 0.25 hours and 20 days after drug administration. Eggs produced by hens were also collected daily throughout the study period. Samples of plasma and homogenised egg were analysed using HPLC.RESULTS: Maximum concentrations of IVM in plasma and mean residence time of IVM were lower after oral (10.2 (SD 7.2) ng/mL and 0.38 (SD 0.14) days, respectively) than after S/C (82.9 (SD 12.4) ng/mL and 1.05 (SD 0.24) days, respectively) administration (p<0.01). The time to maximum concentration and elimination half-life were shorter following oral (0.14 (SD 0.04) and 0.23 (SD 0.11) days, respectively) than S/C (0.25 (SD 0.00) and 1.45 (SD 0.45) days, respectively) administration (p<0.01). IVM was first detected in eggs 2 days after treatment in all groups and was detected until 8 days after oral and I/V administration, and until 15 days after S/C administration. Peak concentrations of IVM were 15.7, 23.3 and 1.9 mu g/kg, observed 2, 5 and 4 days after I/V, S/C and oral administration, respectively.CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: The low plasma bioavailability of IVM observed after oral administration in laying hens could result in lower efficacy or subtherapeutic plasma concentrations, which may promote the development of parasitic drug resistance. Due to high IVM residues in eggs compared to the maximum residue limits for other food-producing animal species, a withdrawal period should be necessary for eggs after IVM treatment in laying hens.