BackgroundBenzimidazole (BZ) anthelmintics are widely used to control infections with parasitic nematodes, but BZ resistance is an emerging threat among several nematode species infecting humans and animals. In Sudan, BZ-resistant Haemonchus contortus populations were recently reported in goats in South Darfur State. The objective of this study was to collect data regarding the situation of BZ resistance in cattle parasitic nematodes in South Darfur using phenotypic and molecular approaches, besides providing some epidemiological data on nematodes in cattle.
MethodsThe faecal egg count reduction test and the egg hatch test (EHT) were used to evaluate benzimidazole efficacy in cattle nematodes in five South Darfur study areas: Beleil, Kass, Nyala, Rehed Al-Birdi and Tulus. Genomic DNA was extracted from pools of third-stage larvae (L3) (n = 40) during trials, before and after treatment, and pools of adult male Haemonchus spp. (n = 18) from abattoirs. The polymorphisms F167Y, E198A and F200Y in isotype 1 β-tubulin genes of H. contortus and H. placei were analysed using Sanger and pyrosequencing.
ResultsPrevalence of gastro-intestinal helminths in cattle was 71% (313/443). Reduced albendazole faecal egg count reduction efficacy was detected in three study areas: Nyala (93.7%), Rehed Al-Birdi (89.7%) and Tulus (88.2%). In the EHT, EC50 values of these study areas ranged between 0.032 and 0.037 µg/ml thiabendazole. Genus-specific PCRs detected the genera Haemonchus, Trichostrongylus and Cooperia in L3 samples collected after albendazole treatment. Sanger sequencing followed by pyrosequencing assays did not detect elevated frequencies of known BZ resistance-associated alleles in codon F167Y, E198A and F200Y in isotype 1 β-tubulin gene of H. placei (≤ 11.38%). However, polymorphisms were detected in H. contortus and in samples with mixed infections with H. contortus and H. placei at codon 198, including E198L (16/58), E198V (2/58) and potentially E198Stop (1/58). All pooled L3 samples post-albendazole treatment (n = 13) were identified as H. contortus with an E198L substitution at codon 198.
ConclusionsTo the knowledge of the authors, this is the first report of reduced albendazole efficacy in cattle in Sudan and is the first study describing an E198L substitution in phenotypically BZ-resistant nematodes collected from cattle.