Yellow fever mosquitoes develop different strategies to resist pesticides

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Fig. 1. Bioassay to differentiate three phenotypes in Aedes aegypti exposed to permethrin (15 ug / bottle) for 1 h. The total number of mosquitoes used in bioassays is shown. Libraries combined with 25 individual mosquitoes from each phenotypic group were prepared. Credit: Saavedra-Rodriguez K et al., 2021, PLOS Genetics

The yellow fever mosquito (scientific name, Aedes aegypti) infects multiple untreated viruses in humans and is controlled primarily by a pesticide called permethrin. However, many mosquitoes are evolving in pesticide resistance. A new study by Karla Saavedra-Rodriguez of Colorado State University and colleagues, published in the journal PLOS Genetics, identifies mutations related to different permethrin resistance strategies, which threaten our ability to control disease outbreaks.

When it comes meeting in the wild, they will do one of the following: die immediately, be eliminated but recover, or be affected. Saavedra-Rodriguez and colleagues decided to investigate the genetic variations that lead to these three pesticide responses. The team collected mosquitoes from a permethrin-resistant colony in Tapachula, Mexico, exposed them to the laboratory pesticide, and then sequenced the genomes of each group.

When they compared the genomes of the three types of mosquitoes, they found that unaffected mosquitoes exhibited mainly mutations in VGSC, a gene for a sodium cell channel known to be involved in pesticide resistance. To a lesser extent, these mosquitoes also carried mutations in detoxification genes and cuticle protein genes. The cuticle constitutes the hard outer layer of insects and can slow down the pesticide when it enters the body. Insects that recovered from exposure exhibited mutations in cuticle protein genes and in a different detoxification group. . The results show that there are different genetic changes behind these two types of permethrin resistance.

The results of the new study will help scientists monitor linked to resistance in mosquito populations of yellow fever in southeastern Mexico. This knowledge can help scientists understand how mosquitoes have evolved resistance and when a population can no longer be controlled with permethrin. This understanding will be needed to develop tools to support future insecticide management strategies.

Aedes aegypti
Aedes aegypti mosquito larvae. Credit: NIAID (CC BY 2.0, 2016)


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More information:
Saavedra-Rodriguez K, Campbell CL, Lozano S, Penilla-Navarro P, Lopez-Solis A, Solis-Santoyo F, et al. (2021) Permethrin resistance to Aedes aegypti: genomic variants conferring resistance to fall, recovery, and death. PLoS Genet 17 (6): e1009606. doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1009606

Citation: Yellow fever mosquitoes develop different strategies to resist pesticides (2021, June 17) recovered on June 17, 2021 at https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-06-yellow-fever-mosquitoes-evolve -strategies.html

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