A systematic review and meta-analysis of factors associated with anthelmintic resistance in sheep.

Falzon, Laura Cristina; O'Neill, T J; Menzies, P I; Peregrine, A S; Jones-Bitton, A; vanLeeuwen, J; Mederos, A (2014). A systematic review and meta-analysis of factors associated with anthelmintic resistance in sheep. Preventive veterinary medicine, 117(2), pp. 388-402. Elsevier 10.1016/j.prevetmed.2014.07.003

[img] Text
1-s2.0-S0167587714002190-main.pdf - Published Version
Restricted to registered users only
Available under License Publisher holds Copyright.

Download (1MB) | Request a copy

BACKGROUND Anthelmintic drugs have been widely used in sheep as a cost-effective means for gastro-intestinal nematode (GIN) control. However, growing anthelmintic resistance (AHR) has created a compelling need to identify evidence-based management recommendations that reduce the risk of further development and impact of AHR. OBJECTIVE To identify, critically assess, and synthesize available data from primary research on factors associated with AHR in sheep. METHODS Publications reporting original observational or experimental research on selected factors associated with AHR in sheep GINs and published after 1974, were identified through two processes. Three electronic databases (PubMed, Agricola, CAB) and Web of Science (a collection of databases) were searched for potentially relevant publications. Additional publications were identified through consultation with experts, manual search of references of included publications and conference proceedings, and information solicited from small ruminant practitioner list-serves. Two independent investigators screened abstracts for relevance. Relevant publications were assessed for risk of systematic bias. Where sufficient data were available, random-effects Meta-Analyses (MAs) were performed to estimate the pooled Odds Ratio (OR) and 95% Confidence Intervals (CIs) of AHR for factors reported in ≥2 publications. RESULTS Of the 1712 abstracts screened for eligibility, 131 were deemed relevant for full publication review. Thirty publications describing 25 individual studies (15 observational studies, 7 challenge trials, and 3 controlled trials) were included in the qualitative synthesis and assessed for systematic bias. Unclear (i.e. not reported, or unable to assess) or high risk of selection bias and confounding bias was found in 93% (14/15) and 60% (9/15) of the observational studies, respectively, while unclear risk of selection bias was identified in all of the trials. Ten independent studies were included in the quantitative synthesis, and MAs were performed for five factors. Only high frequency of treatment was a significant risk factor (OR=4.39; 95% CI=1.59, 12.14), while the remaining 4 variables were marginally significant: mixed-species grazing (OR=1.63; 95% CI=0.66, 4.07); flock size (OR=1.02; 95% CI=0.97, 1.07); use of long-acting drug formulations (OR=2.85; 95% CI=0.79, 10.24); and drench-and-shift pasture management (OR=4.08; 95% CI=0.75, 22.16). CONCLUSIONS While there is abundant literature on the topic of AHR in sheep GINs, few studies have explicitly investigated the association between putative risk or protective factors and AHR. Consequently, several of the current recommendations on parasite management are not evidence-based. Moreover, many of the studies included in this review had a high or unclear risk of systematic bias, highlighting the need to improve study design and/or reporting of future research carried out in this field.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


05 Veterinary Medicine > Research Foci > Veterinary Public Health / Herd Health Management
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH) > Veterinary Public Health Institute
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH)

UniBE Contributor:

Falzon, Laura Cristina








Susanne Agnes Lerch

Date Deposited:

24 Mar 2015 15:04

Last Modified:

15 Oct 2015 09:50

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Drench resistance, Evidence-based recommendations, Gastro-intestinal nematodes, Management practices, Qualitative and quantitative synthesis





Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback