Animal & Veterinary

Antiparasitic Resistance

What is antiparasitic resistance?

Antiparasitic resistance is the genetic ability of parasites to survive treatment with an antiparasitic drug that was generally effective against those parasites in the past. After an animal is treated with an antiparasitic drug, the susceptible parasites die and the resistant parasites survive to pass on resistance genes to their offspring.

Antiparasitic resistance poses a significant threat to animal health and can result in production losses in food-producing species. Researchers have documented antiparasitic resistance in grazing species, such as cattle, small ruminants (sheep and goats), and horses, both globally and within the United States.

Many factors contribute to antiparasitic resistance, including the biology of the parasite; the immune status of the host animal; treatment practices; drug properties; and certain livestock management practices.

What is FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine doing about antiparasitic resistance?

To help combat this emerging problem, the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine started the Antiparasitic Resistance Management Strategy (ARMS). The strategy promotes sustainable use of approved antiparasitic drugs in cattle, small ruminants, and horses. Sustainable use will help ensure that antiparasitic drugs remain effective for as long as possible, thereby slowing the development of antiparasitic resistance in grazing species in the United States.

Page Last Updated: 11/18/2015
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