Anthelmintic resistance in nematodes of horses.
Suppressive anthelmintic treatment strategies originally designed to control Strongylus vulgaris in horses were extremely successful in reducing morbidity and mortality from parasitic disease. Unfortunately, this strategy has inadvertently resulted in the selection of drug-resistant cyathostomes (Cyathostominea), which are now considered the principal parasitic pathogens of horses. Resistance in the cyathostomes to benzimidazole drugs is highly prevalent throughout the world, and resistance to pyrantel appears to be increasingly common. However, there are still no reports of ivermectin resistance in nematode parasites of horses despite 20 years of use. It is unknown why resistance to ivermectin has not yet emerged, but considering that ivermectin is the single most commonly used anthelmintic in horses most parasitologists agree that resistance is inevitable. The fecal egg count reduction test is considered the gold standard for clinical diagnosis of anthelmintic resistance in horses, but diagnosis is complicated by lack of an accepted standard for the performance of this test or for the analysis and interpretation of data. Presently there is very little data available on the molecular mechanisms of anthelmintic resistance in cyathostomes; beta-tubulin gene is the only anthelmintic-resistance associated gene that has been cloned. The increasingly high prevalence of anthelmintic-resistant cyathostomes must be taken into account when designing worm control programs for horses. Strategies to decelerate further selection for drug resistance thereby extending the lifetime of currently effective anthelmintics should be implemented whenever possible. Considering the nature of the equine industry in which horses often graze shared pastures with horses from diverse locations, transmission and widespread dispersal of resistant parasites is virtually assured. A proactive approach to this problem centered on understanding the molecular basis of anthelmintic resistance in cyathostomes is required if we are to expect chemical control of nematodes in horses to remain a viable element of parasite control in the future. (+info)
Methyridine (2-[2-methoxyethyl]-pyridine]) and levamisole activate different ACh receptor subtypes in nematode parasites: a new lead for levamisole-resistance.
1. The development of resistance to all chemotherapeutic agents increases and needs to be addressed. We are interested in resistance in parasitic nematodes to the anthelmintic levamisole. During studies on methyridine, we found that it gave us a new insight into pharmacological changes associated with levamisole resistance. Initially, electrophysiological investigation using a two-micropipette current-clamp recording technique revealed that methyridine acts as a cholinergic agonist on nematode muscle receptors (Ascaris suum). Methyridine (>30 microm) produced reversible concentration-dependent depolarizations and increases in input conductance. Mecamylamine (30 microm) and paraherquamide (0.3 microm) produced reversible antagonism of the depolarization and conductance responses to methyridine. These observations suggest that methyridine, like acetylcholine and levamisole, gates ion channels on the muscle of parasitic nematodes. 2. The antagonistic effects of dihydro-beta-erythroidine and paraherquamide on methyridine-induced contractions of A. suum muscle flaps were then examined to determine if methyridine showed subtype selectivity for N-subtype (nicotine-sensitive) or L-subtype (levamisole-sensitive) acetylcholine receptors. Dihydro-beta-erythroidine weakly antagonized the effects of methyridine (but had no effect on levamisole responses). The antagonism of methyridine (pA2, 5.9) and nicotine (pA2, 6.1) by paraherquamide was similar, but was less than the antagonism of levamisole (pA2, 7.0). The antagonist profiles suggested that methyridine has a selective action on the N-subtype rather than on the L-subtype. 3. A novel use for a larval inhibition migration assay was made using L3 larvae of Oesophagostomum dentatum. Inhibitory effects of nicotine, levamisole, pyrantel and methyridine on the migration of larvae of levamisole-sensitive (SENS) and levamisole-resistant (LEV-R) isolates were tested at different concentrations. Levamisole and pyrantel (putative L-subtype-selective agonists) concentration-response plots were displaced to the right in LEV-R isolates. Nicotine (an N-subtype-selective agonist) and methyridine produced little shift in concentration-response plots in the LEV-R isolates. Resistance dose ratios were used to calculate the relative selectivity, rhoL, for the L-type receptor (levamisole rhoL=1.0; pyrantel rhoL=0.93; methyridine rhoL=0.17; nicotine rhoL=0.06). These observations reveal an N-subtype-selective action of methyridine and suggest that levamisole resistance may be associated with a loss of the L-subtype, but not the N-subtype receptors. The pharmacology of methyridine suggests an approach for the treatment of levamisole-resistant parasites. (+info)
Molecular determinants of pyrantel selectivity in nicotinic receptors.
Nicotinic receptors (acetylcholine receptors, AChRs) play key roles in synaptic transmission throughout the nervous system. AChRs mediate neuromuscular transmission in nematodes, and they are targets for antiparasitic drugs. The anthelmintic agents levamisole and pyrantel, which are potent agonists of nematode muscle AChRs, are partial agonists of mammalian muscle AChRs. To further explore the structural basis of the differential activation of AChR subtypes by anthelmintics, we studied the activation of alpha7 AChRs using the high-conductance form of the alpha7-5-hydroxytryptamine-3A receptor, which is a good model for pharmacological studies involving the extracellular region of alpha7. Macroscopic and single-channel current recordings show that levamisole is a weak agonist of alpha7. It is interesting that pyrantel is a more potent agonist of alpha7 than acetylcholine (ACh). To identify determinants of this differential activation, we replaced residues of the complementary face of the binding site by the homologous residues in the muscle epsilon subunit and evaluated changes in activation. The mutation Q57G does not affect the activation by either ACh or levamisole. However, it increases EC50 values and decreases the maximal response to pyrantel. Kinetic analysis shows that gating of the mutant channel activated by pyrantel is profoundly impaired. The decreased sensitivity of alpha7-Q57G to pyrantel agrees with its weak action at muscle AChRs, indicating that when glycine occupies position 57, as in the mammalian muscle AChR, pyrantel behaves as a partial agonist. Thus, position 57 located at the complementary face of the binding site plays a key role in the selective activation of AChRs by pyrantel. (+info)
Activation of single nicotinic receptor channels from Caenorhabditis elegans muscle.
Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are pentameric neurotransmitter-gated ion channels that mediate synaptic transmission throughout the nervous system in vertebrates and invertebrates. Caenorhabditis elegans is a nonmammalian model for the study of the nervous system and a model of parasitic nematodes. Nematode muscle nAChRs are of considerable interest because they are targets for anthelmintic drugs. We show single-channel activity of C. elegans muscle nAChRs for the first time. Our results reveal that in the L1 larval stage acetylcholine (ACh) activates mainly a levamisole-sensitive nAChR (L-AChR). A single population of 39 pS channels, which are 5-fold more sensitive to levamisole than ACh, is detected. In contrast to mammalian nAChRs, open durations are longer for levamisole than for ACh. Studies in mutant strains reveal that UNC-38, UNC-63, and UNC-29 subunits are assembled into a single L-AChR in the L1 stage and that these subunits are irreplaceable, suggesting that they are vital for receptor function throughout development. Recordings from a strain mutated in the LEV-1 subunit show a main population of channels with lower conductance (26 pS), prolonged open durations, and reduced sensitivity to levamisole. Thus, although LEV-1 is preferentially incorporated into native L-AChRs, receptors lacking this subunit can still function. No single-channel activity from levamisole-insensitive nAChRs is detected. Thus, during neuromuscular transmission in C. elegans, the majority of ACh-activated current flows through L-AChRs. This study contributes to the understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying functional diversity of the nAChR family and offers an excellent strategy to test novel antiparasitic drugs. (+info)
Parasite control practices on Swedish horse farms.
BACKGROUND: Virtually all horses are infected with helminth parasites. For some decades, the control of parasites of Swedish horses has been based on routine treatments with anthelmintics, often several times per year. Since anthelmintic resistance is becoming an increasing problem it is essential to develop more sustainable control strategies, which are adapted to different types of horse management. The aim of this study was to obtain information on practices used by Swedish horse owners for the control of endoparasites. METHODS: A questionnaire with 26 questions about management practices and parasite control routines was posted to 627 randomly selected horse establishments covering most types of horse management in Sweden. RESULTS: The response rate was good in all categories of respondents (66-78%). A total of 444 questionnaires were used in the analyses. It was found that virtually all horses had access to grazing areas, usually permanent. Generally, pasture hygiene was infrequently practiced. Thirty-six percent of the respondents clipped or chain harrowed their pastures, whereas weekly removal of faeces from the grazing areas was performed by 6% of the respondents, and mixed or rotational grazing with other livestock by 10%. The number of anthelmintic treatments per year varied from 1-8 with an average of 3.2. Thirty-eight percent considered late autumn (Oct-Dec) to be the most important time for deworming. This finding, and an increased use of macrocyclic lactones in the autumn, suggests a concern about bot flies, Gasterophilus intestinalis. Only 1% of the respondents stated that faecal egg counts (FEC) were performed on a regular basis. The relatively high cost of FEC analyses compared to purchase of anthelmintics was thought to contribute to the preference of deworming without a previous FEC. From the study it was evident that all categories of horse owners took advice mainly from veterinarians. CONCLUSION: The results show that routines for endoparasite control can be improved in many horse establishments. To increase the knowledge of equine endoparasite control and follow the recommendations for how to reduce the spread of anthelmintic resistance, a closer collaboration between parasitologists and veterinary practitioners is desirable. (+info)
Phenotypic characterization of two Ancylostoma caninum isolates with different susceptibilities to the anthelmintic pyrantel.