Friday, November 27, 2009

Do Your Wormers Work? - Full Article

"Do your wormers work?" Professor Jacqui Matthews, Chair of Veterinary Immunobiology at the University of Edinburgh and Moredun Research Institute, posed the question at the Thoroughbred Racing and Breeding Seminar at Cheltenham Racecourse.

The cyathostomins (small strongyles) are the most important group of intestinal parasites of the horse - both numerically, and through their ability to cause disease. Controlling these parasites is becoming increasingly difficult as they are developing resistance to the drugs used against them. Resistance has been reported to all three groups of dewormers that are currently available. And as no new anthelmintics are being developed it is important to retain the efficacy of those that we do have for as long as possible.

How does drug resistance develop within a worm population? Prof Matthews explained that worm populations are extremely large and genetically diverse, and able to adapt under pressure. Drug treatments provide a very potent trigger for adaptation.


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