September 15, 2015


 FDA surveying veterinarians on antiparasitic drug resistance

Posted Sept. 2, 2015 

A survey starting in September will help direct federal outreach on the risks to horses and ruminants of antiparasitic drug resistance.

Dr. Emily R. Smith, a veterinary medical officer in the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, said the survey of veterinary practitioners who work with such animals and of veterinary parasitologists is intended to gauge awareness and concern about antiparasitic drug resistance, gather details on resistance that practitioners have encountered, and learn what strategies they have used to detect and manage resistance development. The survey also will gather related opinions on drug labeling and labeling statements, she said. 

The survey, which will be open Sept. 29-Nov. 3, is part of a larger strategy by the FDA intended to combat a developing problem of antiparasitic drug resistance in the U.S. and worldwide. 

“The end goal of the whole Antiparasitic Resistance Management Strategy is to keep the antiparasitic drugs we have as effective as possible for as long as possible,” Dr. Smith said.

In a JAVMA Commentary published in the May 1, 2014, issue, CVM employees described antiparasitic drug resistance as an emerging health crisis for U.S. grazing livestock. Veterinarians and livestock producers, particularly those in the cattle industry, need to shift from goals of parasite elimination to parasite management, according to the commentary.

The FDA is working with the AVMA and other veterinary organizations that will distribute links to the online survey.

Information on the Ruminant and Equine Antiparasitic Drug Use and Antiparasitic Resistance Survey will be available at sites including and

Dr. Janis R. Messenheimer, a supervisory veterinary medical officer for the CVM, said the FDA hopes to gather some information on what veterinarians see in daily practice, what they know about antiparasitic drug resistance, and how they deal with it. And conducting the survey itself could increase awareness, she said.

Results will be available to the public and be used to help the FDA work with agriculture stakeholders and communicate with veterinarians and others on issues related to antiparasitic drug resistance.

“It’s to help with educational outreach and to make the information available to others who are interested,” she said. “It’s really to help us collaborate better.”

For example, the results could expose gaps in awareness or knowledge or provide an indication of the level of concern among veterinarians who work with cattle, horses, and small ruminants, which have been infected with parasites resistant to current antiparasitic drugs.  

Related JAVMA content: