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Assessment of benzimidazole resistance in Haemonchus contortus in sheep flocks in Ontario, Canada: Comparison of detection methods for drug resistance

Barrere, V., Falzon, L.C., Shakya, K.P., Menzies, P.I., Peregrine, A.S., Prichard, R.K.
Veterinary parasitology 2013 v.198 no.1-2 pp. 159-165
Haemonchus contortus, benzimidazole, drug resistance, eggs, farms, fecal egg count, fenbendazole, flocks, gastrointestinal nematodes, gene frequency, genes, larval development, sequence analysis, sheep, tubulin, Ontario
In 2011, a field study was conducted to assess drug resistance of gastro-intestinal nematodes in sheep flocks in Ontario, Canada. Benzimidazole resistance in Haemonchus contortus was assessed by genetic analysis of eggs; measurement of resistant allele percentages at codons 167, 198 and 200 in the β-tubulin gene was determined on pools of H. contortus eggs using pyrosequencing. Susceptibility to benzimidazoles in gastro-intestinal nematodes was also determined using a Faecal Egg Count Reduction Test (FECRT) and a Larval Development Assay (LDA). In total, 16 farms were assessed with the genetic test. Based on resistant allele frequencies, all of the farms (16/16) tested had benzimidazole resistance in H. contortus; the overall percentage of benzimidazole-resistant H. contortus (estimated prior to treatment using the Hardy–Weinberg formula) was 68.5%. The FECRT and LDA were performed on 11 and 13 farms, respectively. Resistance to fenbendazole was detected on 100% (11/11) of the farms where the FECRT was performed. The LDA revealed the presence of thiabendazole resistance in H. contortus in 92% (12/13) of the farms. Estimated percentages of resistant parasites in H. contortus populations obtained with the two biological tests and the genetic test were compared. The results of the genetic test were in agreement with the biological tests and confirmed that benzimidazole resistance in H. contortus is present in Ontario sheep flocks. Differences between the different methods of drug resistance detection are discussed in terms of cost, time and sampling.