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Poult Sci. 1987 Jun;66(6):960-5.

Effect of ionophorous anticoccidials on invasion and development of Eimeria: comparison of sensitive and resistant isolates and correlation with drug uptake.

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USDA, Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville, Maryland 20705.


Prophylactic levels of three ionophorous antibiotics, monensin, salinomycin, and lasalocid, were administered to groups of chickens and turkeys. All three ionophores markedly inhibited invasion of cecal tissues by sporozoites of ionophore-sensitive (IS) Eimeria tenella. Monensin and salinomycin also reduced invasion in turkeys by sporozoites of E. adenoeides, but lasalocid only minimally inhibited invasion. Invasion of ceca of monensin-medicated chickens was significantly greater by sporozoites of ionophore-resistant (IR) E. tenella than of the IS isolate. Concomitant experiments showed significant differences in [14C]monensin accumulation among IS and IR isolates of E. tenella. The decreased uptake of monensin by the IR isolates appeared to be accompanied by a decrease in responsiveness to the activity of monensin as well as to two other ionophores, salinomycin and narasin in cell culture. The amount of monensin, salinomycin or narasin required to inhibit development of E. tenella by 50% was 20 to 40 times higher for the IR isolates than for the IS ones. Collectively, the data suggest that differences in ionophore accumulation by IS and IR isolates of E. tenella might reflect differences in membrane chemistry and that these differences are responsible for the expressions of resistance that were observed in these studies. This expression of resistance appears to be common to all ionophores tested.

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