, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 377–386 | Cite as

Coumatetralyl resistance of Rattus tanezumi infesting oil palm plantations in Indonesia

  • J. Andru
  • J. F. Cosson
  • J. P. Caliman
  • E. Benoit


Rodent control is an important issue in human health and agriculture. Oil palm plantations are rapidly expanding in Indonesia and this is having a major economic and ecological impact. Rodent control in oil palm plantations is based principally on the use of anti-vitamin K (AVK), the main anticoagulant used being coumatetralyl, a first-generation AVK. We conducted a comparative study in two well established oil palm plantations in Indonesia: (1) one without chemical control in Riau and (2) another with intensive coumatetralyl use on Bangka Island. Rat species were identified by the molecular barcoding method. Susceptibility to coumatetralyl was then assessed within the two populations and we screened for mutations in vkorc1, which encodes the molecular target of AVK. Different species were found in the two areas: Rattus tiomanicus in Riau, and a mix of R. tanezumi and a close relative one in Bangka. The rats in Riau were much more susceptible to coumatetralyl than those in Bangka. This study is the first to demonstrate physiological tolerance to AVK in these species. vkorc1 displayed low levels of polymorphism, and no SNP was associated with the high-tolerance phenotypes of R. tanezumi clade, even those exposed to very high concentrations (32 × the effective dose of 0.36 mg kg−1). The biochemical basis of this tolerance remains unknown, but may involve the vkorc1 promoter and/or cytochrome P450 metabolism. We discuss our results and the selective role of anticoagulant use in the occurrence of phenotypic tolerance.


vkorc1 Anticoagulant Rattus tanezumi Rattus tiomanicus Rodent control South-East Asia 



Prothrombin time


Anti-vitamin K


Vitamin-K epoxide reductase


Vitamin-K epoxide reductase subunit 1


Single nucleotide polymorphism



We would like to thank all the staff in Indonesia for assistance with field work. We thank D. Bourguet, G. Dobigny, and J-F Martin for scientific assistance and Y. Chaval for technical assistance. We thank M.L. Delignette-Muller for statistical advice. This work was supported by the French Association Nationale Recherche Technologie (ANRT) and two companies: Liphatech and PT-SMART.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Andru
    • 1
    • 2
  • J. F. Cosson
    • 3
  • J. P. Caliman
    • 4
  • E. Benoit
    • 1
  1. 1.VetAgro Sup, UMR 1233 INRA-DGER, Métabolisme des Xénobiotiques et MycotoxinesLyon UniversityMarcy l’EtoileFrance
  2. 2.Liphatech (De Sangosse Group) Research and Development UnitPont du CasseFrance
  3. 3.INRA, UMR CBGP (INRA/IRD/Cirad/Montpellier SupAgro), Campus International de BaillarguetMontferrier-sur-Lez cedexFrance
  4. 4.SMART Research InstitutePekanbaruIndonesia

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