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Med Vet Entomol. 1999 Jul;13(3):239-44.

Elevated oxidase and esterase levels associated with permethrin tolerance in Anopheles gambiae from Kenyan villages using permethrin-impregnated nets.

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  • 1Vector Biology and Control Research Centre (Kenya Medical Research Institute), Kisumu.


The permethrin tolerance (PT) of a population of the mosquito Anopheles gambiae (Diptera: Culicidae) increased following the introduction of permethrin-impregnated nets for malaria control in certain villages near Kisumu, western Kenya. Using a biochemical test that indirectly measures oxidases associated with permethrin resistance, we found that this population had higher oxidase levels than a comparison population from villages without impregnated nets. Mosquitoes from a colony of An. gambiae selected for PT, the RSP (reduced susceptibility to permethrin) strain, were exposed to permethrin with or without the oxidase inhibitor piperonyl butoxide (PB). Significantly higher mortality rates occurred when permethrin was synergized by PB, presumably by suppression of oxidases responsible for PT. An unselected (UNS) colony of An. gambiae that was more susceptible than RSP in a permethrin-susceptibility bioassay (i.e. LT50 22 min for UNS, vs. 42min for RSP) was compared with the RSP colony for levels of oxidases and esterases. The levels of both enzymes were very significantly higher in the RSP strain (P<0.0001). We speculate that use of impregnated nets selected for higher oxidase and esterase levels in An. gambiae to metabolize permethrin acquired from the nets. Both oxidase and esterase mechanisms could confer cross-resistance to other pyrethroids.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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