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Anthelmintic resistance is a serious problem in veterinary medicine and appears to be developing in some helminths of importance to human health. Anthelmintic drugs remain the principal means of control of helminth infections in animals and humans and the continued dependence on these pharmaceuticals will continue to impose selection pressure for resistance development. Our ability to detect anthelmintic resistance before control breaks down and to monitor the spread of anthelmintic resistance is quite limited. We are currently dependent on biological methods which are not sufficiently sensitive to detect low levels of drug resistance and are particularly difficult to perform on helminth parasites of humans. There is a serious need for new molecular markers for detecting and monitoring for anthelmintic resistance. The problem of anthelmintic resistance is already very serious in nematode parasites of livestock. In addition, there should be great concern about possible anthelmintic resistance development and the lack of tools and efforts for monitoring it as part of the major worldwide programmes to control helminth parasites in people. An international Consortium has been formed to develop Anthelmintic Resistance Single nucleotide polymorphism markers (CARS). Discussions within the Consortium have addressed the need for such markers, the current state of knowledge about them, possible mechanisms of anthelmintic resistance and approaches and constraints to the development of markers. Summaries of the state of the art in these areas are presented in a series of papers in this Special Issue of Parasitology.