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At present, there is no effective alternative to chemical control of parasitic helminths where livestock are grazed intensively. Resistance to anthelmintics has become a major problem in veterinary medicine, and threatens both agricultural income and animal welfare. The molecular and biochemical basis of this resistance is not well understood. The lack of reliable biological and molecular tests means that we are not able to follow the emergence and spread of resistance alleles and clinical resistance as well as we need. This review summarizes some of the recent findings on resistance mechanisms, puts forward some recommendations for limiting its impact and suggests some priorities for research in this area.