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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Factors that influence the prevalence of acaricide resistance and tick-borne diseases.

This manuscript provides a summary of the results presented at a symposium organized to accumulate information on factors that influence the prevalence of acaricide resistance and tick-borne diseases. This symposium was part of the 19th International Conference of the World Association for the Advancement of Veterinary Parasitology (WAAVP), held in New Orleans, LA, USA, during August 10-14, 2003. Populations of southern cattle ticks, Boophilus microplus, from Mexico have developed resistance to many classes of acaricide including chlorinated hydrocarbons (DDT), pyrethroids, organophosphates, and formamidines (amitraz). Target site mutations are the most common resistance mechanism observed, but there are examples of metabolic mechanisms. In many pyrethroid resistant strains, a single target site mutation on the Na(+) channel confers very high resistance (resistance ratios: >1000x) to both DDT and all pyrethroid acaricides. Acetylcholine esterase affinity for OPs is changed in resistant tick populations. A second mechanism of OP resistance is linked to cytochrome P450 monooxygenase activity. A PCR-based assay to detect a specific sodium channel gene mutation that is associated with resistance to permethrin has been developed. This assay can be performed on individual ticks at any life stage with results available in a few hours. A number of Mexican strains of B. microplus with varying profiles of pesticide resistance have been genotyped using this test. Additionally, a specific metabolic esterase with permethrin-hydrolyzing activity, CzEst9, has been purified and its gene coding region cloned. This esterase has been associated with high resistance to permethrin in one Mexican tick population. Work is continuing to clone specific acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and carboxylesterase genes that appear to be involved in resistance to organophosphates. Our ultimate goal is the design of a battery of DNA- or ELISA-based assays capable of rapidly genotyping individual ticks to obtain a comprehensive profile of their susceptibility to various pesticides. More outbreaks of clinical bovine babesisois and anaplasmosis have been associated with the presence of synthetic pyrethroid (SP) resistance when compared to OP and amidine resistance. This may be the result of differences in the temporal and geographic patterns of resistance development to the different acaricides. If acaricide resistance develops slowly, herd immunity may not be affected. The use of pesticides for the control of pests of cattle other than ticks can affect the incidence of tick resistance and tick-borne diseases. Simple analytical models of tick- and tsetse-borne diseases suggest that reducing the abundance of ticks, by treating cattle with pyrethroids for example, can have a variety of effects on tick-borne diseases. In the worst-case scenario, the models suggest that treating cattle might not only have no impact on trypanosomosis but could increase the incidence of tick-borne disease. In the best-case, treatment could reduce the incidence of both trypanosomosis and tick-borne diseases Surveys of beef and dairy properties in Queensland for which tick resistance to amitraz was known were intended to provide a clear understanding of the economic and management consequences resistance had on their properties. Farmers continued to use amitraz as the major acaricide for tick control after the diagnosis of resistance, although it was supplemented with moxidectin (dairy farms) or fluazuron, macrocyclic lactones or cypermethrin/chlorfenvinphos.[1]


  1. Factors that influence the prevalence of acaricide resistance and tick-borne diseases. Foil, L.D., Coleman, P., Eisler, M., Fragoso-Sanchez, H., Garcia-Vazquez, Z., Guerrero, F.D., Jonsson, N.N., Langstaff, I.G., Li, A.Y., Machila, N., Miller, R.J., Morton, J., Pruett, J.H., Torr, S. Vet. Parasitol. (2004) [Pubmed]
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