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Iran J Parasitol. 2013 Jan;8(1):18-32.

Anthelmintics Resistance; How to Overcome it?

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  • 1Department of Parasitology and Animal Diseases, National Research Center, Giza, Egypt.


Many parasitic helminthes of veterinary importance have genetic features that favor development of anthelmintic resistance, this becoming a major worldwide constrain in livestock production. The development of anthelmintic resistance poses a large threat to future production and welfare of grazing animals. Development of variable degrees of resistance among different species of gastrointestinal nematodes has been reported for all the major groups of anthelmintic drugs. It has been observed that frequent usage of the same group of anthelmintic; use of anthelmintics in sub-optimal doses, prophylactic mass treatment of domestic animals and frequent and continuous use of a single drug have contributed to the widespread development of anthelmintic resistance in helminthes. The degree and extent of this problem especially with respect to multidrug resistance in nematode populations is likely to increase. Maintaining parasites in refugia and not exposed to anthelmintics, seems to be a key point in controlling and delaying the development of resistance, because the susceptible genes are preserved. Targeted selective treatments attract the interest of scientists towards this direction. Additionally, adoption of strict quarantine measures and a combination drug strategy are two important methods of preventing of anthelmintic resistance. Experience from the development of anthelmintic resistance suggests that modern control schemes should not rely on sole use of anthelmintics, but employ other, more complex and sustainable recipes, including parasite resistant breeds, nutrition, pasture management, nematode-trapping fungi, antiparasitic vaccines and botanical dewormers. Most of them reduce reliance on the use of chemicals and are environmental friendly. Finally, if new anthelmintic products are released, an important question will be raised about how they should be used. It is suggested that slowing the development of resistance to a new class are likely to be gained by releasing it in combination with one or more of the older anthelmintic classes, especially where efficacy of the older active(s) remains high.


Anthelmintic; Control; Helminths; Resistance

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