Further characterization of a cattle nematode population with demonstrated resistance to current anthelmintics

Vet Parasitol. 2009 Dec 23;166(3-4):275-80. doi: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2009.08.019. Epub 2009 Aug 26.


We previously documented the appearance of cattle nematode parasites resistant to avermectins, milbemycin, and a benzimidazole at the end of a grazing season in a backgrounding operation in the upper Midwestern US. To further characterize the pattern of drug resistance, we extended the study to (1) monitor the animals over the course of the grazing season; (2) increase the number of animals slaughtered at the end of the season to minimize the effect of potential outlying observations; (3) increase the time interval between treatment and slaughter to ensure sufficient time for drug action; (4) utilize repeated fecal sampling in the fecal egg reduction test to minimize procedural variation; (5) increase the number of drugs tested. The results of the present study were in agreement with those of the previous study and demonstrated that during the course of the grazing season the pastures harbored significant numbers of parasites that were refractory to avermectins, milbemycin, and a benzimidazole at the label recommended doses. As seen previously, Haemonchus contortus resistant to all these anthelmintics were present over the course of the study period. In contrast, Cooperia sp., mainly punctata, and Haemonchus placei were resistant only to the macrocyclic lactones. There was no apparent resistance against the older anthelmintic levamisole, which had not been used for >20 years in the operation. However, animals treated with this drug continued to harbor small but measurable numbers of Ostertagia ostertagi.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anthelmintics / pharmacology*
  • Anthelmintics / therapeutic use*
  • Cattle
  • Cattle Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Cattle Diseases / parasitology*
  • Drug Resistance
  • Feces / parasitology
  • Female
  • Male
  • Nematoda / drug effects*
  • Nematode Infections / drug therapy
  • Nematode Infections / parasitology
  • Nematode Infections / veterinary*
  • Parasite Egg Count
  • Random Allocation


  • Anthelmintics