Managing anthelmintic resistance : Modelling strategic use of a new anthelmintic class to slow the development of resistance to existing classes

Managing anthelmintic resistance : Modelling strategic use of a new anthelmintic class to slow the development of resistance to existing classes
Peer reviewed

Abstract

AIM: To test the hypothesis that a single strategic treatment with a new class of anthelmintic could slow the development of resistance to existing classes of anthelmintic.
METHODS: An existing model was used to simulate nematode parasite dynamics and the development of anthelmintic resistance. Variations on a five-drench preventive programme of treatments for lambs, in which either zero, the first, third or fifth treatment was substituted with a different class of drug, were compared for the time to reach treatment failure (defined as efficacy <95%). The sensitivity to variations in the death rate of adult worms, that varied from 1 to 5%, and the dominance of resistance genes were also assessed.
RESULTS: Replacing one of the five treatments with a different class of anthelmintic almost always slowed the development of resistance, and was never worse than using the same drug for all treatments. Further, there were large differences in the relative time to treatment failure depending on which treatment was substituted. Changing the first treatment always had the least benefit, whereas changing the fifth treatment always had the greatest. This pattern was independent of the daily death rate of adult worms, and was not influenced by the dominance of resistance under treatment.
CONCLUSIONS: The results indicated that strategic substitution of a single treatment with a new class of anthelmintic, at the end of a series of preventive treatments to lambs using an existing class, could slow the further development of resistance to the latter. This strategic use of a new anthelmintic class has the potential to greatly extend the life of existing anthelmintics if these are still effective.
KEY WORDS: Monepantel, nematode, sheep, anthelmintic resistance, control

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