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Concept: Pyrethroid


Resistance monitoring is essential in ensuring the success of insecticide based vector control programmes. This study was carried out to assess the susceptibility status of urban populations of Anopheles gambiae to carbamate insecticide being considered for vector control in mosquito populations previously reported to be resistant to DDT and permethrin.

Concepts: Malaria, Anopheles, Mosquito, Mosquito control, Insecticide, DDT, Pyrethroid, Carbamate


Few studies have examined the impact of mosquito adulticides on honey bees under conditions that reflect actual field exposure. Whereas several studies have evaluated the toxicity of mosquito control products on honey bees, most have been laboratory based and have focused solely on acute mortality as a measure of impact. The goal of this study was to determine effects of routine applications of truck-based ultra-low volume (ULV) mosquito adulticides (i.e., Scourge, Duet, and Deltagard) on honey bees in a suburban setting. The mosquito adulticides used in this study were pyrethroids with active ingredients resmethrin (Scourge), prallethrin and sumithrin (Duet), and deltamethrin (Deltagard), in which resmethrin, prallethrin, and sumithrin were synergized with piperonyl butoxide. We measured and compared mortality and detoxification enzyme activities (esterase and glutathione S-transferase) from sentinel beehives within and outside of mosquito control areas. Concurrently, colony health (i.e., number of adult bees, brood quantity and brood quality) was compared throughout the study period. No significant differences were observed in honey bee mortality, colony health or detoxification enzyme activities between treated (five sprayed areas each received one to three insecticide treatment) and control sites (four unsprayed areas that did not receive insecticide treatment) over the seven week study period. However, our laboratory study showed that exposure to resmethrin, the active ingredient in Scourge, caused significant inhibition of esterase activity compared with the control group. Our findings suggest that proper application of truck based insecticides for mosquito control results in little or no exposure and therefore minimal effects on domestic honey bees.

Concepts: Insect, Honey bee, Beekeeping, Bumblebee, Insecticide, Apidae, Pyrethroid, Honeycomb


Thickening of the integument as a mechanism of resistance to insecticides is a well recognised phenomenon in the insect world and, in recent times, has been found in insects exhibiting pyrethroid-resistance. Resistance to pyrethroid insecticides in the common bed bug, Cimex lectularius L., is widespread and has been frequently inferred as a reason for the pest’s resurgence. Overexpression of cuticle depositing proteins has been demonstrated in pyrethroid-resistant bed bugs although, to date, no morphological analysis of the cuticle has been undertaken in order to confirm a phenotypic link. This paper describes examination of the cuticle thickness of a highly pyrethroid-resistant field strain collected in Sydney, Australia, in response to time-to-knockdown upon forced exposure to a pyrethroid insecticide. Mean cuticle thickness was positively correlated to time-to-knockdown, with significant differences observed between bugs knocked-down at 2 hours, 4 hours, and those still unaffected at 24 hours. Further analysis also demonstrated that the 24 hours survivors possessed a statistically significantly thicker cuticle when compared to a pyrethroid-susceptible strain of C. lectularius. This study demonstrates that cuticle thickening is present within a pyrethroid-resistant strain of C. lectularius and that, even within a stable resistant strain, cuticle thickness will vary according to time-to-knockdown upon exposure to an insecticide. This response should thus be considered in future studies on the cuticle of insecticide-resistant bed bugs and, potentially, other insects.

Concepts: Hemiptera, Pyrethroid, Deltamethrin, Bedbug, Heteroptera, Cimex lectularius, Cimex, Masked hunter


Insecticide-treated clothing has been used for many years by the military and in recreational activities as personal protection against bites from a variety of arthropods including ticks, chigger mites, sandflies and mosquitoes. Permethrin is the most commonly used active ingredient, but others, including bifenthrin, deltamethrin, cyfluthrin, DEET (N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenz-amide) and KBR3023, have also been trialled. Treatment is usually carried out by home or factory dipping. However, new microencapsulation technologies which may prolong the activity of insecticides on clothing are now available and may help to overcome the inevitable reduction in efficacy over time that occurs as a result of washing, ultraviolet light exposure, and the normal wear and tear of the fabric. The aim of this article is to review the evidence base for the use of insecticide-treated clothing for protection against bites from arthropods and its effect on arthropod-borne pathogen transmission. Although some studies do demonstrate protection against pathogen transmission, there are surprisingly few, and the level of protection provided varies according to the disease and the type of study conducted. For example, insecticide-treated clothing has been reported to give between 0% and 75% protection against malaria and between 0% and 79% protection against leishmaniasis. Studies vary in the type of treatment used, the age group of participants, the geographical location of the study, and the pathogen transmission potential. This makes it difficult to compare and assess intervention trials. Overall, there is substantial evidence that insecticide-treated clothing can provide protection against arthropod bites. Bite protection evidence suggests that insecticide-treated clothing may be useful in the prevention of pathogen transmission, but further investigations are required to accurately demonstrate transmission reduction.

Concepts: Malaria, Insect, Effectiveness, Pathogen, Arachnid, Insecticide, Pyrethroid, Insect repellent


BACKGROUND: The emergence and spread of insecticide resistance in the major African malaria vectors Anopheles gambiae s.s. and Anopheles arabiensis may compromise control initiatives based on insecticide treated nets (ITNs) or indoor residual spraying (IRS), and thus threaten the global malaria elimination strategy. METHODS: We investigated pyrethroid resistance in four populations of An. arabiensis from south-western Ethiopia and then assessed the bio-efficacy of six World Health Organization recommended long lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) using these populations. RESULTS: For all four populations of An. arabiensis, bottle bioassays indicated low to moderate susceptibility to deltamethrin (mortality at 30 minutes ranged between 43 and 80%) and permethrin (mortality ranged between 16 and 76%). Pre-exposure to the synergist piperonyl butoxide (PBO) significantly increased the susceptibility of all four populations to both deltamethrin (mortality increased between 15.3 and 56.8%) and permethrin (mortality increased between 11.6 and 58.1%), indicating the possible involvement of metabolic resistance in addition to the previously identified kdr mutations. There was reduced susceptibility of all four An. arabiensis populations to the five standard LLINs tested (maximum mortality 81.1%; minimum mortality 13.9%). Bio-efficacy against the four populations varied by net type, with the largest margin of difference observed with the Jimma population (67.2% difference). Moreover, there were differences in the bio-efficacy of each individual standard LLIN against the four mosquito populations; for example there was a difference of 40% in mortality of Yorkool against two populations. Results from standard LLINs indicated reduced susceptibility to new, unused nets that was likely due to observed pyrethroid resistance. The roof of the combination LLIN performed optimally (100% mortality) against all the four populations of An. arabiensis, indicating that observed reductions in susceptibility could be ameliorated with the combination of PBO with deltamethrin, as used in PermaNet® 3.0. CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that bio-efficacy evaluations using local mosquito populations should be conducted where possible to make evidence-based decisions on the most suitable control products, and that those combining multiple chemicals such as PBO and deltamethrin should be considered for maintaining a high level of efficacy in vector control programmes.

Concepts: Malaria, Anopheles, Pesticide, Mosquito control, Insecticide, DDT, Pyrethroid, Anopheles gambiae


Pediculosis is a prevalent parasitic infestation of humans, which is increasing due, in part, to the selection of lice resistant to either the pyrethrins or pyrethroid insecticides by the knockdown resistance (kdr) mechanism. To determine the extent and magnitude of thekdr-type mutations responsible for this resistance, lice were collected from 138 collection sites in 48 U.S. states from 22 July 2013 to 11 May 2015 and analyzed by quantitative sequencing. Previously published data were used for comparisons of the changes in the frequency of thekdr-type mutations over time. Mean percent resistance allele frequency (mean % RAF) values across the three mutation loci were determined from each collection site. The overall mean % RAF (±SD) for all analyzed lice was 98.3 ± 10%. 132/138 sites (95.6%) had a mean % RAF of 100%, five sites (3.7%) had intermediate values, and only a single site had no mutations (0.0%). Forty-two states (88%) had a mean % RAF of 100%. The frequencies ofkdr-type mutations did not differ regardless of the human population size that the lice were collected from, indicating a uniformly high level of resistant alleles. The loss of efficacy of the Nix formulation (Prestige Brand, Tarrytown, NY) from 1998 to 2013 was correlated to the increase inkdr-type mutations. These data provide a plausible reason for the decrease in the effectiveness of permethrin in the Nix formulation, which is the parallel increase ofkdr-type mutations in lice over time.

Concepts: Evolution, United States, U.S. state, Pyrethroid, Head louse, Pediculosis, Body louse, Louse


Detection of resistance levels against cypermethrin and deltamethrin, the most commonly used synthetic pyrethroids (SPs) against Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus collected from Moga, Punjab (India) was carried out using larval packet test. Results indicated the presence of resistance of level I and III against cypermethrin (resistance factors (RF) = 4.67) and deltamethrin (RF = 34.2), respectively. Adult immersion test was used to assess the acaricidal activity of aqueous and ethanolic extracts of leaves of Cymbopogon winterianus, Vitex negundo, and Withania somnifera along with roots of V. negundo against the SP resistant engorged females of R. (B.) microplus. The efficacy of various extracts was assessed by estimation of percent adult mortality, reproductive index (RI), percent inhibition of oviposition (%IO), and hatching rate. A concentration dependent increase in tick mortality was recorded which was more marked with various ethanolic extracts, and highest mortality was recorded in ticks treated with ethanolic extract of leaves of C. winterianus. The LC50 values were determined by applying regression equation analysis to the probit transformed data of mortality for various aqueous and ethanolic extracts. Acaricidal property was recorded to be higher in ethanolic extracts, and high activity was found with the ethanolic extract of leaves of C. winterianus with LC50 (95 % CL) values of 0.46 % (0.35-0.59 %), followed by W. somnifera as 5.21 % (4.45-6.09 %) and V. negundo as 7.02 % (4.58-10.74 %). The egg mass weight of the live ticks treated with different concentrations of the various extract was significantly (p < 0.01) lower than that of control ticks; consequently, the RI and the %IO value of the treated ticks were reduced. Further, complete inhibition of hatching was recorded in eggs laid by ticks treated with ethanolic extracts of leaves of V. negundo and aqueous extracts of leaves of W. somnifera. The results of the current study indicate that extracts of C. winterianus, V. negundo, and W. somnifera can be used for the control of SP resistant ticks.

Concepts: Concentration, Ixodidae, Acari, Pyrethroid, Extract, Withania somnifera, Cymbopogon, Vitex negundo


Bedbug (Cimex lectularis) infestation is becoming a worldwide epidemic due to the emergence of insecticide-resistant strains. Pyrethroids are approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency for use against bedbugs and are considered minimally toxic to humans, with known respiratory, neurologic, and gastrointestinal effects. We present the first reported case of pyrethroid-induced toxic acute tubular necrosis (ATN). A 66-year-old healthy woman receiving no prior nephrotoxic medications presented with extreme weakness, decreased urine output, and acute kidney injury. She had administered multiple applications of a bedbug spray (permethrin) and a fogger (pyrethrin), exceeding the manufacturer’s recommended amounts. She was found to have severe nonoliguric acute kidney injury associated with profound hypokalemia. Kidney biopsy revealed toxic ATN with extensive tubular degenerative changes and cytoplasmic vacuolization. With conservative management, serum creatinine level decreased from 13.0 mg/dL (estimated glomerular filtration rate, 3 mL/min/1.73 m(2)) to 1.67 mg/dL (estimated glomerular filtration rate, 37 mL/min/1.73 m(2)) within 6 weeks. Literature review uncovered no prior report of pyrethroid insecticide-induced ATN in humans, although there are reports of ATN with similar tubular vacuolization in rats exposed to this agent. Bedbug insecticides containing pyrethroids should be used with caution due to the potential development of toxic ATN after prolonged exposure.

Concepts: Renal failure, Nephrology, Renal physiology, Blood urea nitrogen, Pyrethroid, Deltamethrin, Bedbug, Cimex lectularius


Larval packet test was used for detection of resistance levels against cypermethrin and deltamethrin, the most commonly used synthetic pyrethroids, in the multi-host tick Hyalomma anatolicum collected from district Moga, Punjab (India). Results indicated the presence of level I resistance against deltamethrin (RF = 2.81), whereas the tick isolate was susceptible to cypermethrin (RF = 0.2). The aqueous and ethanolic extracts of leaves of Cymbopogon winterianus, Vitex negundo and Withania somnifera along with roots of Vitex negundo were assessed for their acaricidal activity against the larvae of deltamethrin resistant H. anatolicum. The efficacy was assessed by measuring per cent larval mortality and determination of LC50 values. The various ethanolic extracts produced a concentration dependent increase in larval tick mortality, whereas the aqueous extracts exhibited a much lower mortality. The highest mortality (93.7 ± 0.66 %) was observed at the 5.0 % concentration of ethanolic extract of leaves of C. winterianus and the lowest LC50 value (0.011 %) was recorded for ethanolic extracts of leaves of V. negundo. The results indicated that these plant extracts have potential to be developed as herbal acaricides.

Concepts: Concentration, Chemistry, Assessment, Pyrethroid, Withania somnifera, Cymbopogon, Punjab, Vitex negundo


Omics technologies have long since promised to address a number of long standing issues related to environmental regulation. Despite considerable resource investment, there are few examples where these tools have been adopted by the regulatory community, which is in part due to a focus of most studies on discovery rather than assay development. The current work describes the initial development of an omics based assay using 48h Pimephales promelas (FHM) larvae for identifying aquatic exposures to pyrethroid pesticides. Larval FHM were exposed to seven concentrations of each of four pyrethroids (permethrin, cypermethrin, esfenvalerate and bifenthrin) in order to establish dose response curves. Then, in three separate identical experiments, FHM were exposed to a single equitoxic concentration of each pyrethroid, corresponding to 33% of the calculated LC50. All exposures were separated by weeks and all materials were either cleaned or replaced between runs in an attempt to maintain independence among exposure experiments. Gene expression classifiers were developed using the random forest algorithm for each exposure and evaluated first by cross-validation using hold out organisms from the same exposure experiment and then against test sets of each pyrethroid from separate exposure experiments. Bifenthrin exposed organisms generated the highest quality classifier, demonstrating an empirical Area Under the Curve (eAUC) of 0.97 when tested against bifenthrin exposed organisms from other exposure experiments and 0.91 against organisms exposed to any of the pyrethroids. An eAUC of 1.0 represents perfect classification with no false positives or negatives. Additionally, the bifenthrin classifier was able to successfully classify organisms from all other pyrethroid exposures at multiple concentrations, suggesting a potential utility for detecting cumulative exposures. Considerable run-to-run variability was observed both in exposure concentrations and molecular responses of exposed fish across exposure experiments. The application of a calibration step in analysis successfully corrected this, resulting in a significantly improved classifier. Classifier evaluation suggested the importance of considering a number of aspects of experimental design when developing an expression based tool for general use in ecological monitoring and risk assessment, such as the inclusion of multiple experimental runs and high replicate numbers.

Concepts: Gene, Gene expression, Bacteria, Chemistry, Experiment, Insecticide, Pyrethroid, Pyrethroids