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Int J Parasitol. 2000 Jan;30(1):105-11.

Inheritance of avermectin resistance in Haemonchus contortus.

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CSIRO Division of Animal Production, Pastoral Research Laboratory, Private Mail Bag, Armidale, Australia.


A larval development assay was used to compare the responses of the Chiswick Avermectin Resistant (CAVRS) isolate of Haemonchus contortus, an avermectin-susceptible isolate (VRSG) and their crosses to avermectins. The F(1) and F(2) generations of reciprocal crosses between CAVRS and VRSG were denoted as CAVRS malesxVRSG females=CXV, and VRSG malesxCAVRS females=VXC. The levels of avermectin resistance in the developing larvae of the F(1) of both CXV and VXC were indistinguishable from that in the avermectin-resistant parent, indicating that the resistance trait is completely dominant. Avermectin dose-response curves for the CXV F(1) did not show a 50% mortality rate at low concentrations, indicating that avermectin resistance is not sex-linked. This conclusion was confirmed when adult male worms of the F(1) of the CXV mating were found to have survived treatment of the host with 200microgkg(-1) ivermectin. This dose rate (200microgkg(-1) ivermectin) caused a 50% reduction in the number of adult males in the F(1) from both CXV and VXC crosses, but only a non-significant reduction in the number of adult females in the F(1). Dose-response curves obtained for the F(2) generations in the larval development assay indicated the presence of 25% of avermectin-susceptible individuals, suggesting that a single major gene largely controls the avermectin-resistance trait. This genetic analysis of avermectin resistance in an Australian H. contortus isolate indicates that the expression of the gene for avermectin resistance is an autosomal, complete dominant in the larvae; however, in adults its expression is sex-influenced, with males having a lower resistance to avermectin than females.

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