Genetic variants in dyf-7 validated by droplet digital PCR are not drivers for ivermectin resistance in Haemonchus contortus.
ABSTRACT: Resistance to ivermectin (IVM) in the nematode Haemonchus contortus in small ruminants is an increasing problem throughout the world. Access to molecular diagnostics will allow early detection of IVM resistance, which in turn can limit the spread of resistant isolates. One candidate gene which has recently been suggested as a marker for IVM resistance is that for dye-filling protein (dyf-7). In this study, we critically investigated the suitability of A141G and G153T single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) of dyf-7 as a marker in larval cultures collected from sheep farms in Sweden, involving several isolates for which resistance status had been characterised by the faecal egg count reduction test (FECRT). Initially, we designed dyf-7 primers from a worldwide collection of adult Haemonchus contortus DNA. With the sequence data, we created a haplotype network. We then optimised and used the same sets of primers and probes in a droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) assay for precise quantification of dyf-7 allele frequencies in pre- and post-anthelmintic treatment faecal larval cultures. The fractional abundance (FA) of the mutant SNP was within the range 7.8 and 31%. However, the FA was generally stable in samples collected from the same farms, even though they were obtained on different occasions up to 25 months apart. There was also no indication that the level of IVM resistance as measured by the faecal egg count reduction test was higher on farms with high FA. Furthermore, by comparing FA in samples from the same farms pre- and post-IVM treatment, we found no evidence of a correlation between dyf-7 and level of IVM resistance. Based on these results, dyf-7 is not a suitable marker for field testing of IVM resistance in H. contortus.
Project description:Gastrointestinal (GI) nematodes are among the most important causes of production loss in farmed ruminants, and anthelmintic resistance is emerging globally. We hypothesized that wild deer could potentially act as reservoirs of anthelmintic-resistant GI nematodes between livestock farms. Adult abomasal nematodes and faecal samples were collected from fallow (n = 24), red (n = 14) and roe deer (n = 10) from venison farms and areas of extensive or intensive livestock farming. Principal components analysis of abomasal nematode species composition revealed differences between wild roe deer grazing in the areas of intensive livestock farming, and fallow and red deer in all environments. Alleles for benzimidazole (BZ) resistance were identified in β-tubulin of Haemonchus contortus of roe deer and phenotypic resistance confirmed in vitro by an egg hatch test (EC50 = 0.149 µg ml(-1) ± 0.13 µg ml(-1)) on H. contortus eggs from experimentally infected sheep. This BZ-resistant H. contortus isolate also infected a calf experimentally. We present the first account of in vitro BZ resistance in wild roe deer, but further experiments should firmly establish the presence of phenotypic BZ resistance in vivo. Comprehensive in-field studies should assess whether nematode cross-transmission between deer and livestock occurs and contributes, in any way, to the development of resistance on livestock farms.
Project description:Sheep farmers in the UK rely on strategic anthelmintic use to treat and control gastrointestinal roundworms in their flocks. However, resistance to these drugs is now widespread and threatens the sustainability of sheep production. The mechanisms underlying resistance to the most commonly used class, the macrocyclic lactones, are not known and sensitive diagnostic tools based on molecular markers are not currently available. This prohibits accurate surveillance of resistance or assessment of strategies aimed at controlling its spread. In this study, we examined four UK field populations of Haemonchus contortus, differing in macrocyclic lactone treatment history, for evidence of selection at 'candidate gene' loci identified as determining macrocyclic lactone resistance in previously published research. Individual worms were genotyped at Hc-lgc-37, Hc-glc-5, Hc-avr-14 and Hc-dyf-7, and four microsatellite loci. High levels of polymorphism were identified at the first three candidate gene loci with remarkably little polymorphism at Hc-dyf-7. While some between-population comparisons of individual farms with and without long-term macrocyclic lactone use identified statistically significant differences in allele frequency and/or fixation index at the Hc-lgc-37, Hc-glc-5 or Hc-avr-14 loci, we found no consistent evidence of selection in other equivalent comparisons. While it is possible that different mechanisms are important in different populations or that resistance may be conferred by small changes at multiple loci, our findings suggest that these are unlikely to be major loci conferring macrocyclic lactone resistance on UK farms or suitable for diagnostic marker development. More powerful approaches, using genome-wide or whole genome sequencing, may be required to define macrocyclic lactone resistance loci in such genetically variable populations.
Project description:The most important and broad-spectrum drug used to control the parasitic worms to date is ivermectin (IVM). Resistance against IVM has emerged in parasites, and preserving its efficacy is now becoming a serious issue. The parasitic nematode Haemonchus contortus (Rudolphi, 1803) is economically an important parasite of small ruminants across the globe, which has a successful track record in IVM resistance. There are growing evidences regarding the multigenic nature of IVM resistance, and although some genes have been proposed as candidates of IVM resistance using lower magnification of genome, the genetic basis of IVM resistance still remains poorly resolved. Using the full magnification of genome, we herein applied a population genomics approach to characterize genome-wide signatures of selection among pooled worms from two susceptible and six ivermectin-resistant isolates of H. contortus, and revealed candidate genes under selection in relation to IVM resistance. These candidates also included a previously known IVM-resistance-associated candidate gene HCON_00148840, glc-3. Finally, an RNA-interference-based functional validation assay revealed the HCON_00143950 as IVM-tolerance-associated gene in H. contortus. The possible role of this gene in IVM resistance could be detoxification of xenobiotic in phase I of xenobiotic metabolism. The results of this study further enhance our understanding on the IVM resistance and continue to provide further evidence in favor of multigenic nature of IVM resistance.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Parasitic nematodes can cause substantial clinical and subclinical problems in alpacas and anthelmintics are regularly used to control parasitic nematodes in alpacas. Although anthelmintic resistance has been reported in ruminants worldwide, very little is known about anthelmintic resistance in alpacas. The present study was carried out to confirm a suspected case of anthelmintic resistance in Haemonchus contortus in alpacas in Australia. METHODS: Post mortem examination of an alpaca was conducted to determine the cause of its death. To confirm a suspected case of macrocyclic lactone (ML) resistance in H. contortus in alpacas, a faecal egg count reduction test (FECRT) was performed using closantel (7.5 mg/kg) and ivermectin (0.2 mg/kg). Nematode species were identified by morphological and molecular methods. RESULTS: Post mortem examination of a 1-year-old female alpaca that had died following a brief period of lethargy, anorexia and recumbency revealed severe anaemia, hypoproteinaemia and gastric parasitism by adult Haemonchus contortus, despite recent abamectin (0.2 mg/kg) treatment. Based on these findings and the exclusive use of MLs in the herd over the preceding six years, ML resistance in parasitic nematodes of alpacas on this farm was suspected. FECRT revealed that the efficacy of closantel was 99% (95% CI 93-100), whereas that of ivermectin was 35% (95% CI 0-78), indicating that the treatment failure was likely due to the presence of ML-resistant nematodes. Larval culture of faecal samples collected following ivermectin treatment consisted of 99% H. contortus and 1% Cooperia oncophora, a result confirmed using a PCR assay. CONCLUSIONS: This study provides the first evidence of ML resistance in H. contortus in alpacas in Australia. Based on the extent of anthelmintic resistance in sheep gastrointestinal nematodes in Australia, veterinarians and alpaca owners should be encouraged to implement integrated parasite management strategies to improve nematode control in alpacas.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Benzimidazole (BZ) resistance in gastrointestinal nematodes is a worldwide problem for livestock production, particularly in small ruminants. Assignment of the emergence of resistance using sensitive and reliable methods is required to adopt the correct strategies for control. In Sudan, BZ resistant Haemonchus contortus populations were recently reported in goats in South Darfur. This study aimed to provide additional data regarding albendazole efficacy and to describe the prevailing molecular BZ resistance mechanisms. METHODS:Faecal egg count reduction and egg hatch tests (EHT) were used to evaluate albendazole efficacy in three different areas of South Darfur using naturally (Rehed Al-Birdi and Tulus) and experimentally infected (Tulus and Um Dafuq) goats. Using samples from Central, East and South Darfur, pyro- and Sanger sequencing were used to detect the polymorphisms F167Y, E198A and F200Y in H. contortus isotype 1 ?-tubulin in DNA extracted from pooled third-stage larval (L3) samples (n?=?36) on days 0 and 10 during trials, and from pooled adult male H. contortus (treated goats, n?=?14; abattoirs, n?=?83) including samples from populations previously found to be resistant in South Darfur. RESULTS:Albendazole efficacies at 5, 7.5 and 10 mg/kg doses were 73.5-90.2% on day 14 in natural and experimental infections while 12.5 mg/kg showed >?96.6% efficacy. EC50 in the EHT were 0.8 and 0.11 µg/ml thiabendazole in natural and experimental infection trials, respectively. PCRs detected Haemonchus, Trichostrongylus and Cooperia in L3 samples from albendazole-treated goats. Haemonchus contortus allele frequencies in codons 167 and 200 using pyrosequencing assays were ??7.4% while codon 198 assays failed. Sanger sequencing revealed five novel polymorphisms at codon 198. Noteworthy, an E198L substitution was present in 82% of the samples (L3 and adults) including all post-treatment samples. Moreover, E198V, E198K and potentially E198I, and E198Stop were identified in a few samples. CONCLUSIONS:To our knowledge, this is the first report of E198L in BZ resistant H. contortus and the second where this is the predominant genotype associated with resistance in any strongyle species. Since this variant cannot be quantified using pyrosequencing, the results highlight important limitations in the general applicability of pyrosequencing to quantify BZ resistance genotypes.
Project description:Extensive and indiscriminate use of the benzimidazole class of drugs has led to the onset of anthelmintic resistance. In tropical countries like India, Haemonchus contortus is the most pathogenic parasite infecting sheep and goats. The widespread presence of resistant helminths (especially H. contortus) threatens the livestock farming. The use of various drugs has led to single nucleotide polymorphism that causes specific amino acid substitutions in ?-tubulin protein of H. contortus to confer resistance. This emphasizes the need for a survey on the present status of resistance in India. In this study, allele specific PCR was employed to screen the presence of a SNP, a thymine-to-adenine transversion which leads to substitution of amino acid in codon 200 of ?-tubulin gene that is correlated specifically with BZ resistance. Third stage larvae (L3) from pooled faecal cultures of four organized sheep farms served as a source of genomic DNA for identification of H. contortus and further genotype analysis. A total of 1000 larvae was screened, out of which 673 larvae were identified as H. contortus. Among 673 H. contortus larvae, 539 larvae (80 %) were genotyped as homozygous resistant (rr) and remaining 134 (20 %) were heterozygous susceptible (Sr) by allele specific PCR. The concluded resistance status reasons out the failure of anthelmintic drug in treating ruminants. Immediate steps are needed to avoid further aggravation of the problem. Target selective treatment by reviewing the resistance status of individual drugs, appropriate use of anthelmintic drugs and other control strategies will provide a pragmatic option for delaying the further spread of anthelmintic resistance.
Project description:Resistance to the anthelmintic macrocyclic lactone ivermectin (IVM) has a great impact on the control of parasitic nematodes. The mechanisms by which nematodes adapt to IVM remain to be deciphered. We have identified NHR-8, a nuclear hormone receptor involved in the xenobiotic response in Caenorhabditis elegans, as a new regulator of tolerance to IVM. Loss-of-function nhr-8(ok186) C. elegans mutants subjected to larval development assays and electropharyngeogram measurements, displayed hypersensitivity to IVM, and silencing of nhr-8 in IVM-resistant worms increased IVM efficacy. In addition, compared to wild-type worms, nhr-8 mutants under IVM selection pressure failed to acquire tolerance to the drug. In addition, IVM-hypersensitive nhr-8(ok186) worms displayed low transcript levels of several genes from the xenobiotic detoxification network and a concomitant low Pgp-mediated drug efflux activity. Interestingly, some pgp and cyp genes known to impact IVM tolerance in many nematode species, were down regulated in nhr-8 mutants and inversely upregulated in IVM-resistant worms. Moreover, pgp-6 overexpression in nhr-8(ok186) C. elegans increased tolerance to IVM. Importantly, NHR-8 function was rescued in nhr-8(ok186) C. elegans with the homolog of the parasitic nematode Haemonchus contortus, and silencing of Hco-nhr-8 by RNAi on L2 H. contortus larvae increased IVM susceptibility in both susceptible and resistant H. contortus isolates. Thus, our data show that NHR-8 controls the tolerance and development of resistance to IVM in C. elegans and the molecular basis for this relates to the NHR-8-mediated upregulation of IVM detoxification genes. Since our results show that Hco-nhr-8 functions similarly to Cel-nhr-8, this study helps to better understand mechanisms underlying failure in drug efficacy and open perspectives in finding new compounds with NHR-8 antagonist activity to potentiate IVM efficacy.
Project description:Gastrointestinal nematode infections, such as Haemonchus contortus and Mecistocirrus digitatus, are ranked in the top twenty diseases affecting small-holder farmers' livestock, yet research into M. digitatus, which infects cattle and buffalo in Asia is limited. Intestine-derived native protein vaccines are effective against Haemonchus, yet the protective efficacy of intestine-derived M. digitatus proteins has yet to be determined.A simplified protein extraction protocol (A) is described and compared to an established method (B) for protein extraction from H. contortus. Proteomic analysis of the H. contortus and M. digitatus protein extracts identified putative vaccine antigens including aminopeptidases (H11), zinc metallopeptidases, glutamate dehydrogenase, and apical gut membrane polyproteins. A vaccine trial compared the ability of the M. digitatus extract and two different H. contortus extracts to protect sheep against H. contortus challenge. Both Haemonchus fractions (A and B) were highly effective, reducing cumulative Faecal Egg Counts (FEC) by 99.19% and 99.89% and total worm burdens by 87.28% and 93.64% respectively, compared to the unvaccinated controls. There was no effect on H. contortus worm burdens following vaccination with the M. digitatus extract and the 28.2% reduction in cumulative FEC was not statistically significant. However, FEC were consistently lower in the M. digitatus extract vaccinates compared to the un-vaccinated controls from 25 days post-infection.Similar, antigenically cross-reactive proteins are found in H. contortus and M. digitatus; this is the first step towards developing a multivalent native vaccine against Haemonchus species and M. digitatus. The simplified protein extraction method could form the basis for a locally produced vaccine against H. contortus and, possibly M. digitatus, in regions where effective cold chains for vaccine distribution are limited. The application of such a vaccine in these regions would reduce the need for anthelmintic treatment and the resultant selection for anthelmintic resistant parasites.
Project description:Glutamate-gated chloride channel receptors (GluClRs) mediate inhibitory neurotransmission at invertebrate synapses and are primary targets of parasites that impact drastically on agriculture and human health. Ivermectin (IVM) is a broad-spectrum pesticide that binds and potentiates GluClR activity. Resistance to IVM is a major economic and health concern, but the molecular and synaptic mechanisms of resistance are ill-defined. Here we focus on GluClRs of the agricultural endoparasite, Haemonchus contortus. We demonstrate that IVM potentiates inhibitory input by inducing a tonic current that plateaus over 15 minutes and by enhancing post-synaptic current peak amplitude and decay times. We further demonstrate that IVM greatly enhances the active durations of single receptors. These effects are greatly attenuated when endogenous IVM-insensitive subunits are incorporated into GluClRs, suggesting a mechanism of IVM resistance that does not affect glutamate sensitivity. We discovered functional groups of IVM that contribute to tuning its potency at different isoforms and show that the dominant mode of access of IVM is via the cell membrane to the receptor.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Since pastoralists in South Darfur, Sudan, had complained about lack of albendazole (ABZ) efficacy to control nematodes in goats, the frequency of infection with gastrointestinal helminths was studied before in vivo faecal egg count reduction tests (FECRT) were conducted using ABZ orally either at the dose recommended for sheep, 5 mg/kg body weight (bw) or at 10 mg/kg bw. Experiments included goats naturally infected with gastrointestinal nematodes or experimentally infected with local Haemonchus contortus isolates. Three study areas (Nyala, Beleil and Kass) were visited in autumn or winter. RESULTS:Out of 478 screened goats, 82.4% were infected with gastrointestinal helminths and 82% were shedding eggs of strongyle nematodes with 90% of the strongyle larvae representing Haemonchus spp. A FECRT using naturally infected goats (n = 225: 71 untreated, 104 and 50 treated with 5 and 10 mg ABZ/kg bw, respectively) detected reduced ABZ efficacy in Nyala and Kass. Paired and unpaired FECRT calculations detected reductions of 72-92% with samples taken at 8 days post treatment with 5 mg ABZ/kg bw and of 85-94% with 10 mg ABZ/kg bw. The FECRT based on day 14 post treatment samples showed reductions of 69-77% with 5 mg/kg and of 75-87% with 10 mg ABZ/kg bw. In Beleil, ABZ efficacy was 95%. In the egg hatch test EC50 values for Nyala and Kass ranged from 0.12-0.24 μg thiabendazole/ml, corresponding to benzimidazole resistant phenotypes. Only Haemonchus spp. larvae were present after treatments in coprocultures. When the efficacy was evaluated experimentally using isolates of H. contortus from Nyala and Kass, the 5 mg ABZ/kg dose revealed reductions of 76-78% on day 8 and of 62-70% on day 14 with the unpaired method. Using 10 mg ABZ/kg, the FECR was still only 77-82%. CONCLUSIONS:Both, in vivo and in vitro methods detected resistant H. contortus populations in goats from South Darfur State. The time point 14 days post treatment was more sensitive for detection of ABZ resistance than 8 days post treatment. This is the first report on the occurrence of anthelmintic resistance in Sudan confirming that anthelmintic resistance selection is occurring in African subsistence farming systems.