BACKGROUND: Anticoagulant rodenticides are commonly used to control rodent pests all over the world. These pesticides inhibit one enzyme of the vitamin K cycle, Vkorc1, and thus prevent blood clotting and cause death by haemorrhage. Resistance to anticoagulants was first observed in Scotland in 1958, and more potent anticoagulants have been developed to overcome this obstacle. Unfortunately, these chemicals are very toxic and cannot be used everywhere. Some authors have shown that resistance to anticoagulants seems closely linked with single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the Vkorc1 gene.
RESULTS: This study draws a map of SNP and haplotypes found in Vkorc1 in rats from different areas of France. Some of them had never been described before. Moreover, the Y139F mutation, described previously in France and Belgium, is the most frequent in France. This mutation is known to be associated with a strong resistance to anticoagulants, and it was found in 28% of the samples.
CONCLUSION: This biomolecular approach to studying and detecting resistance is easier to carry out than the phenotypic approach measuring blood coagulation time because it can be conducted on biological samples from dead animals, and it is less dangerous for the operator. Copyright © 2009 Society of Chemical Industry