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Int J Parasitol. 1999 Dec;29(12):1979-85.

A hybridisation technique to identify anthelmintic resistance genes in Haemonchus.

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C.S.I.R.O. Division of Animal Production, Armidale, NSW, Australia.


The identification of genes associated with anthelmintic resistance can be facilitated in Haemonchus contortus by the ability of this species to hybridise with Haemonchus placei. Although the hybrid males are sterile, the lines can be rescued by backcrossing the females to either parental species. Resistance genes can be retained in Haemonchus hybrids, while the unwanted contortus background is removed through backcrossing to H. placei and anthelmintic selection of the progeny. Under this selection, genes involved in resistance would retain the H. contortus nucleotide sequence, while those that are not would either be H. placei or a random mixture of both, depending on the amount of backcrossing that had occurred. The first candidate gene to be tested in this system was a Haemonchus P-glycoprotein, hcpgp-1. hcpgp-1 was amplified, cloned and sequenced from H. contortus and H. placei. Two restriction sites were then identified in the sequenced product; one specific to H. contortus hcpgp-1 and the other found only in the H. placei gene. These genes were identified from macrocyclic lactone selected and non-selected worms by restricting PCR products from individual worms. Fitted occurrence of the H. contortus allele was 49% of unselected worms and 69% of macrocyclic lactone selected worms. The probability of this percentage occurring by chance was P = 0.006. Thus macrocyclic lactone selection was acting to increase the percentage of hcpgp-1 from macrocyclic-lactone-resistant CAVRS.

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