Few rational parameters exist for the selection of new compounds for evaluation as potential anthelmintics. Therefore, dependence is often placed on an empirical approach where it is essential that the investigator screen as wide a variety of chemical types as possible. According to Neal (1980), to stand a good statistical chance of success, about 50 new compounds need to be evaluated each week. Clearly, to achieve this goal a simple, rapid but relevant first-stage in vitro screen consuming no more than l-5mg of compound would be far more practicable than any animal model. Such in vitro tests are used frequently and very effectively in the search for new antiprotozoal drugs (Neal, 1980), but the majority of anthelmintic screens still rely on the use of long-established animal models. In fact, the use of in vitro screens for anthelmintics has been criticised, often quite irrationally, in the past and there seems to have been some reluctance to expend resources on their study and improvement.
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