Drug resistance in parasitic nematodes is an increasing problem worldwide, with resistance reported to all three commonly used classes of anthelmintics. Most studies to date have sought to correlate the resistant phenotype with genotypic changes in putative target molecules. Although this approach has identified mutations in several relevant genes, resistance might result from a complex interaction of different factors. Here we propose an alternative mechanism underlying the development of drug resistance based on functional differences in microRNA activity in resistant parasites. microRNAs play an important role in resistance to chemotherapeutic agents in many tumour cells and here we discuss whether they might also be involved in anthelmintic resistance in parasitic nematode
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