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Resistance of Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus) to anticoagulant rodenticides in Hungary

| August 14, 2017

Dr. D. Bajomi, B. Tánczos.

Abstract: First generation rodenticides have been in use in Hungary since the mid 60-ies. Coumatetralyl based formulations were the first to appear, while rodenticides containing warfarin active substance have become less widespread. The application of bromadiolone and other second generation anticoagulant actives started afterwards.

Anticoagulant resistant strains of Rattus norvegicus were regularly reported in the past decades in Western-European countries, but records from Eastern-Europe are scarce. In two regions of Hungary small numbers of rat corpses were collected in 2006-2007, of which 33% – 44 % proved to carry Y139C mutation in the VKORC-1 gene.

In 2014-2015 nearly 80 rat corpses were collected at multiple sites in the capital and in agricultural facilities in Hungary where rat control efficiency problems had occurred. The samples were subjected to comparative SNP analysis of the VKORC-1 locus. Again, our findings proved the occurrence of Y139C mutation in the studied populations of tested specimens; nearly one third were hetero- and nearly one third homozygous carriers, respectively. No other mutations known for causing warfarin-resistance in rats were detected in our study. Wild type rats represented cca. 44 % in the studied populations.

The results obtained cannot be regarded as representative since the rat corpses originated decisively from sites where efficiency problems were found. Hence, considering that qualified PCOs have been working at these sites for a long time, our findings seem to refute the view of certain registration authorities stating that increasing resistance to anticoagulant rodenticides is due to rodent control performed by amateurs.

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