Relative level of thiabendazole resistance associated with the E198A and F200Y SNPs in larvae of a multi-drug resistant isolate of Haemonchus contortus

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While the F200Y SNP in the beta-tubulin gene is most commonly associated with benzimidazole resistance in trichostrongylid nematodes, other SNPs as well as drug efflux pathways have been implicated in the resistance. The relative contributions of all these mechanisms are not understood sufficiently to allow expected drug efficacy to be inferred from molecular data. As a component of developing better means to interpret molecular resistance tests, the present study utilised a drug resistant Haemonchus contortus isolate which possesses two of the principal benzimidazole resistance SNPs (E198A and F200Y) in order to assess the relative degree of resistance conferred by the two SNPs. We exposed larvae to a range of thiabendazole concentrations in in vitro development assays, and collected the surviving L3 larvae at each drug concentration to establish sub-populations showing increasing levels of resistance. We then sequenced the isotype 1 beta-tubulin gene in pooled larval samples, and measured allele frequencies at the two SNP positions. The frequency of the resistance allele at the 198 position increased as the thiabendazole concentration increased, while the frequency of the resistance allele at the 200 position decreased. Genotyping of individual larvae showed that the highest drug concentration was associated with the removal of all genotypes except for homozygous resistance at the 198 position alongside homozygous susceptible at the 200 position. This indicates that, at least for larval life stages, the E198A SNP is able to confer higher levels of resistance to benzimidazole drugs than the F200Y SNP, and that the homozygosity at 198 in the highly resistant individuals is mutually exclusive with heterozygosity or resistant homozygosity at the 200 position. This study illustrates the need to understand the relative contributions of different resistance mechanisms in order to maximise the degree to which molecular tests are able to inform on drug resistance phenotype. © 2012 Australian Society for Parasitology.




Kotze, A. C., Cowling, K., Bagnall, N. H., Hines, B. M., Ruffell, A. P., Hunt, P. W., & Coleman, G. T. (2012). Relative level of thiabendazole resistance associated with the E198A and F200Y SNPs in larvae of a multi-drug resistant isolate of Haemonchus contortus. International Journal for Parasitology: Drugs and Drug Resistance, 2, 92–97.

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