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Frontiers in anthelmintic pharmacology

Veterinary Parasitology
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/s0304-4017(99)00042-4
  • Anthelmintic
  • Resistance
  • Nematode
  • C. Elegans
  • Biology
  • Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Political Science


Abstract Research in anthelmintic pharmacology faces a grim future. The parent field of veterinary parasitology has seemingly been devalued by governments, universities and the animal industry in general. Primarily due to the success of the macrocyclic lactone anthelmintics in cattle, problems caused by helminth infections are widely perceived to be unimportant. The market for anthelmintics in other host species that are plagued by resistance, such as sheep and horses, is thought to be too small to sustain a discovery program in the animal heallth pharmaceutical industry. These attitudes are both alarming and foolish. The recent history of resistance to antibiotics provides more than adequate warning that complacency about the continued efficacy of any class of drugs for the chemotherapy of an infectious disease is folly. Parasitology remains a dominant feature of veterinary medicine and of the animal health industry. Investment into research on the basic and clinical pharmacology of anthelmintics is essential to ensure chemotherapeutic control of these organisms into the 21st century. In this article, we propose a set of questions that should receive priority for research funding in order to bring this field into the modern era. While the specific questions are open for revision, we believe that organized support of a prioritized list of research objectives could stimulate a renaissance in research in veterinary helminthology. To accept the status quo is to surrender.

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