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Research article2023Peer reviewedOpen access

Benzimidazole-resistance associated mutation in Haemonchus contortus in Norwegian sheep, as detected by droplet digital PCR

Gravdal, Maiken; Woolsey, Ian D.; Robertson, Lucy J.; Hoglund, Johan; Chartier, Christophe; Stuen, Snorre


The aim of this study was to investigate the occurrence of benzimidazole-resistant Haemonchus contortus in Norwegian sheep flocks. Screening was based on detection of one of the resistance-conferring mutations in the beta tubulin isotype 1 gene (F200Y, TAC) in larvae (L3) cultivated from H. contortus eggs from naturally infected sheep. Faecal samples were collected in 2021/2022 from flocks in the northern (n = 34), central (n = 7), eastern (n = 40), southern (n = 1), and western (n = 87) areas of Norway. In total, samples were taken from 169 flocks (spring-ewes samples: 167, autumn-lambs samples: 134). Individual faecal samples were collected from 10 randomly selected ewes (spring) and 10 randomly selected lambs (autumn) in each flock. Faecal samples collected from each flock on each occasion were pooled (lamb and ewe samples pooled separately) and cultured for L3 development. After harvest of larvae (Baermann method), DNA was extracted and then analysed using droplet digital PCR with primer/probe sets targeting the BZ-associated F200Y (TAC) mutation. Haemonchus was found in 60% (80/134) of samples from lambs, and in 63% (106/167) from ewes. Among these, the F200Y mutation was detected in 73% (58/80) of larval samples from lambs and 69% (73/106) of larval samples from ewes, respectively. Although regional differences were evident, the mutation was detected in all areas indicating a widespread distribution and a strong potential for an increasing problem with treatmentresistant haemonchosis in Norwegian sheep flocks.


Anthelmintic resistance; Sheep; Haemonchus contortus; Droplet digital PCR; Parasite control; Gastrointestinal nematodes

Published in

Veterinary Parasitology: Regional Studies and Reports
2023, Volume: 46, article number: 100938
Publisher: ELSEVIER

    Associated SLU-program

    AMR: Parasite

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Clinical Science

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