INDIANA – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine is announcing the availability of “Responsible and Prudent Use of Anthelmintic Chemicals to Help Control Anthelmintic Resistance in Grazing Livestock Species,” a resource drafted in part by FDA experts and published by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), an independent global organization dedicated to promoting and protecting animal health.
Helminths are a type of parasite that can infect both humans and animals. This resource focuses on helminths that are commonly found in grazing animals, such as cattle, sheep, and goats. These parasitic worms can infect animals and affect their growth, weight gain, and ability to become and stay pregnant. Animals that are severely infected with helminths can become severely ill or die. Anthelmintic drugs have traditionally been used to control these parasites but can lose their effectiveness over time as the parasites evolve to become resistant to the medication.
Anthelmintic resistance is a problem throughout the world that can have far-ranging effects in areas where grazing livestock are used for tilling and plowing land for cultivation and for transportation, as well as for milk, meat, and fiber. Losing an animal used for so many purposes can be economically devastating for families and impact their access to food, especially in developing countries. The authors address the concept of anthelmintic resistance from a One Health perspective, which acknowledges that the health and well-being of people, animals, and the environment are interconnected.
The resource explores anthelmintic resistance, describes factors to consider when using anthelmintic drugs and explains management practices that help minimize resistance and the need for drugs to control helminths. The resource also lays out the responsibilities of those involved in the oversight and supply of anthelmintic drugs, including regulatory authorities, drug sponsors and manufacturers, distributors, veterinarians, and food animal producers, to help minimize the development of anthelmintic resistance.