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Parasitology. 1997;114 Suppl:S111-24.

Target sites of anthelmintics.

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Department of Preclinical Veterinary Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Summerhall.


This paper reviews sites of action of anthelmintic drugs including: (1) levamisole and pyrantel, which act as agonists at nicotinic acetylcholine receptors of nematodes; (2) the avermectins, which potentiate or gate the opening of glutamategated chloride channels found only in invertebrates; (3) piperazine, which acts as an agonist at GABA gated chloride channels on nematode muscle; (4) praziquantel, which increases the permeability of trematode tegument to calcium and results in contraction of the parasite muscle; (5) the benzimidazoles, like thiabendazole, which bind selectively to parasite beta-tubulin and prevents microtubule formation; (6) the proton ionophores, like closantel, which uncouple oxidative phosphorylation; (7) diamphenethide and clorsulon, which selectively inhibit glucose metabolism of Fasciola and; (8) diethylcarbamazine, which appears to interfere with arachidonic acid metabolism of filarial parasites and host. The review concludes with brief comments on the development of anthelmintics in the future.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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