Author(s): Silvestre A, Leignel V, Berrag B, Gasnier N, Humbert JF,
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Abstract Although the molecular bases of resistance to anthelmintic families have been intensively studied, the contributing factors for the development of anthelmintic resistance are less well known. Clear recommendations must be given to farmers in order to delay the onset of anthelmintic resistance. Until now, the main advice has concerned the reduction of treatment frequency in order to slow down the spread of resistance. Anthelmintic resistance development depends mostly on an efficient selection pressure. This means that a high treatment frequency is neither necessary nor sufficient to select for resistance. The contribution of resistant worms, which have survived an anthelmintic treatment, to the subsequent generation is the key factor that controls resistance spread. This point is illustrated by five surveys conducted on sheep and goat farms from France and Morocco. In the 52 farms studied, less than three anthelmintic treatments were given each year. Three characteristics of breeding management can be identified in the build up of anthelmintic resistance: (1) the introduction of resistant worms through the purchase of sheep/goats or the use of common pastures, grazed by several herds/flocks, (2) under-dosing of hosts and the repeated use of one class of drugs, (3) the size of the population in refugia (infective larvae on pastures) at the time of the treatment. The role played by these breeding management factors in selecting for resistance is discussed. The most efficient way to limit the increase of anthelmintic resistance remains the reduction of the selection pressure by drugs, and optimal timing to maximise their efficacy.
This article was published in Vet Res
and referenced in Journal of Veterinary Science & Technology