Veterinary parasitology

Progress in the epidemiology and diagnosis of amitraz resistance in the cattle tick Boophilus microplus.

PMID 17448604


Amitraz is a rapidly acting acaricide that has been in use for the control of cattle ticks for more than 30 years. Resistance against amitraz was first reported in Boophilus microplus in Australia in 1980 but has been slow to spread in comparison to resistance against synthetic pyrethroids. The most recent estimate of prevalence of amitraz resistance in Australia is 10.8%. In Mexico, the development and distribution of amitraz appears to have been more rapid and the prevalence has been estimated to be 19.4% in Yucatan state. In New Caledonia, about 10% of properties were confirmed to have amitraz resistance. There is little reliable information on the prevalence of amitraz resistance in southern Africa. Risk factors have been identified, but the small sample sizes in the studies that have attempted to identify risk factors using survey data suggest caution in their interpretation. Regional variation in prevalence has been reported, as has a positive relationship with frequency of acaricide application. There is evidence to suggest that in Australia, amitraz resistance might have emerged on a small number of properties and been disseminated by cattle movements. There is also some evidence to suggest that amitraz resistance can diminish in the field when selection pressure is not applied. The mode of inheritance of amitraz resistance is uncertain and it has been suggested that it is a polygenic trait. The mechanism of amitraz resistance is unknown. Two possibilities have been proposed: octopamine receptor and monoamine oxidase. There is some equivocal support for both possibilities. The larval packet test bioassay is the most reliable method of diagnosing amitraz resistance in B. microplus, and this test has been modified by Miller to provide more accuracy and repeatability. Molecular tests are in development but will not eliminate the need for the bioassay.

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Amitraz, PESTANAL®, analytical standard