Caister Academic Press

Antiparasitic Drugs: Mechanisms of Action and Resistance

Hany M. Elsheikha, Steven McOrist and Timothy G. Geary
from: Essentials of Veterinary Parasitology (Edited by: Hany M. Elsheikha and Naveed Ahmed Khan). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2011)


Parasites such as nematodes and mites can be debilitating and deadly inhabitants of an animal's body. While some parasitic infections can be controlled effectively by preventive biosecurity, vaccines or other non-pharmaceutical intervention measures, for many parasites, these measures are not available, have a limited effect, or cannot be applied in practical settings. Antiparasitic drugs are the commonly-applied pharmaceutical compounds used to reduce, treat or prevent parasitic infections in animals. Starting perhaps with the initial usage of carbon tetrachloride against Fasciola in cattle, the strategic use of anthelmintic drugs has drastically reduced gastro-intestinal helminth infections and improved the welfare and productivity of domestic animals. Widespread effective usage of antiparasitics is therefore one of the greatest triumphs of the parasitology discipline, although they are not without problems and shortcomings. One of the most pressing concerns addressed in this chapter is the emergence of strains of parasites that are resistant to the action of an antiparasitic drug read more ...
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