Dengue fever and its more serious complications dengue haemorrhagic fever and dengue shock syndrome are growing public health problems in tropical and subtropical countries. In the absence of a vaccine, most dengue control programmes rely heavily on the use of insecticides to target the Aedes mosquito vectors. As a limited number of insecticides are routinely used in control, monitoring for the presence of resistance is an essential component of dengue prevention programmes. The pyrethroid insecticides target the voltage-gated sodium channel on the insects' neurons. Substitutions at residue 1016 of this protein have been associated with pyrethroid and DDT resistance in Aedes aegypti populations from Latin America and Asia. Here we report on the development of a simple colorimetric assay to detect these mutations in individual mosquitoes. Evaluation of this diagnostic assay on 180 Ae. aegypti individuals from Thailand revealed the presence of high frequencies of the Val1016Gly mutation throughout the country. The assay requires no specialised equipment and will enable monitoring for insecticide resistance associated alleles to be routinely incorporated into dengue surveillance operations.
- Aedes aegypti
- Insecticide resistance