The p-glycoprotein inhibitor ketoconazole causes a reversion to ivermectin sensitivity in cyathostomins in vitro

Laura Peachey
Jacqui. B. Matthews
Gina L. Pinchbeck
Faith A. Burden
Nikki Stradling
Jane E. Hodgkinson
Presentation date

Anthelmintic resistance is a major veterinary and public health issue globally, of most concern is the level of resistance to the macrocyclic lactones. Recent studies have identified a role in resistance for the ATP binding cassette (ABC) drug transporters, P-glycoproteins (P-gps). This study demonstrates the effect of the P-gp inhibitor ketoconazole on the efficacy of ivermectin (IVM) against equid cyathostomin larvae using the larval migration inhibition test (LMIT). Third stage cyathostomin larvae (L3) were cultured from two populations; 1) with recent history of IVM resistance in vivo and 2) naive to anthelmintic exposure. The sensitivity to IVM in each group (n=8) was characterised using the LMIT. The IVM LMIT was repeated for each sample with and without the addition of 10µM ketoconazole. Probit analysis was performed on grouped data from each population to give LC-50 values. The LC-50 value for IVM in Populations 1 and 2 was 4.9 and 2.4µg/ml respectively indicating that Population 1 has a resistant phenotype in comparison to Population 2. Addition of 10µM ketoconazole to IVM in Population 1 caused a drop in LC-50 value from 5.8 to 1.6µg/ml. In Population 2 the effect of the addition of ketoconazole was negligible (1.1 to 0.9µg/ml). This study demonstrates that the P-gp inhibitor ketoconazole causes reversion to a sensitive phenotype in IVM-resistant cyathostomins, inferring that P-gps play a role in their resistance to IVM. This work will be corroborated by investigation into P-gp genes and their expression in cyathostomins.

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