June 19, 2023

Antech Diagnostics Presents Largest Molecular Study on GI Parasites in Pets at ACVIM, Sharing New Insights on Prevalence in North America

Antech Diagnostics presented its largest molecular parasite study1 to date at the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine’s (ACVIM) Forum 2023. The first research abstract of two presented by Antech this year, studied a large subset of fecal samples – more than 300,000 – from cats and dogs amassed in the first 10 months following KeyScreen GI Parasite PCR’s 2022 launch.

As reported in the study1, molecular diagnostic testing revealed more than a quarter of dogs and cats from the studied population were infected with parasites (1 in 4), which shows much more sensitive detection than conventional fecal testing (1 in 10).

KeyScreen is the most advanced and comprehensive molecular diagnostic test, which can quickly detect 20 intestinal parasites in cats and dogs from a single 0.15 gram fecal sample, including markers for zoonotic Giardia and drug-resistant hookworm.

Evidence showed 1 in 4 dogs and cats (over 25 percent) were infected with at least one parasite and co-infections (two or more parasites found in a single fecal sample) were detected in 1 in 5 pets with parasites (over 20 percent). Among the dog samples that identified hookworm, 1 in 10 (over 11 percent) were found to have the marker for anthelmintic drug (benzimidazole)-resistance.1

In addition to uncovering a much higher frequency of parasite infection, further research also shows the parasite problem to be more widespread in North America– both geographically and across dog breeds – than previously believed.

Research supports a growing body of KeyScreen data

Another KeyScreen study into anthelmintic-resistant canine hookworms in North America had found that the problem is much more widespread across the US. 2 This new data shows that in North America, more than 11 percent of detected canine hookworms were identified with the drug resistance marker 167Y. 1 In addition, the problem of hookworm resistance is now emerging in Canada.

Treatment resistance hookworm markers have been found in more than 72 dog breeds, indicating that this is no longer just a problem in greyhounds. Drug-resistant hookworms are a problem North American veterinarians need to be aware of.3

Second ACVIM presentation highlights new drug resistance marker

A second KeyScreen research study presented at ACVIM today, highlights how these drug-resistant parasites are rapidly adapting, through investigation of another recently discovered hookworm benzimidazole treatment resistance marker. 3,4 This new marker (134H) increased the detection of hookworm benzimidazole treatment resistance by 25 percent in dog hookworm detected samples (143) collected in Florida.

The existing drug resistance marker 167Y was found in 31 samples, while the marker 134H was found in an additional 8, thereby increasing the rate of resistant strains by 25 percent. Because of Antech’s agility, as of June 1, 2023, this second marker is now included in KeyScreen, providing additional practical – and the most advanced – information for veterinarians.

KeyScreen’s real-world impact

KeyScreen is revolutionizing the field of routine veterinary parasite screening, by providing more detailed information on how parasites are adapting, emerging and spreading geographically. It is also highlighting One Health (the interconnection between human, animal and environmental health led by WHO and in the US by the CDC) and pharmacological stewardship.

In practice, KeyScreen is part of veterinary day-to-day routine wellness and in line with evidence and expert-based recommendations from CAPC/CPEP, which helps create the most accurate parasite profile possible for every pet. And by doing so, veterinarians can provide the most efficient and effective care to protect the health of pets, their families and the broader community.

Dr. Christian M. Leutenegger, Vice President of research and development at Antech and KeyScreen inventor who presented both abstracts at ACVIM Forum 2023 said: “Until recently, parasites have been adapting at a rate that has outpaced technology. KeyScreen is a significant advancement in veterinary diagnostics, providing a powerful tool to detect parasites in a way we have never been able to before. This innovation has important implications for GI parasite One Health and, antimicrobial stewardship. DNA doesn’t lie, it’s either there or it’s not – there is no subjectivity.”

Find out more about KeyScreen here: Antech Diagnostics.


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