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Med Vet Entomol. 2015 Sep;29(3):245-54. doi: 10.1111/mve.12122. Epub 2015 May 13.

Imidacloprid impairs the post-embryonic development of the midgut in the yellow fever mosquito Stegomyia aegypti (=Aedes aegypti).

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Departamento de Biologia Geral, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Viçosa, Minas Gerais, Brazil.
Departamento de Entomologia, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Viçosa, Minas Gerais, Brazil.


The mosquito Stegomyia aegypti (=Aedes aegypti) (Diptera: Culicidae) is a vector for the dengue and yellow fever viruses. As blood digestion occurs in the midgut, this organ constitutes the route of entry of many pathogens. The effects of the insecticide imidacloprid on the survival of St. aegypti were investigated and the sub-lethal effects of the insecticide on midgut development were determined. Third instar larvae were exposed to different concentrations of imidacloprid (0.15, 1.5, 3.0, 6.0 and 15.0 p.p.m.) and survival was monitored every 24 h for 10 days. Midguts from imidacloprid-treated insects at different stages of development were dissected and processed for analyses by transmission electron microscopy, immunofluorescence microscopy and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick-end labelling (TUNEL) assays. Imidacloprid concentrations of 3.0 and 15.0 p.p.m. were found to affect midgut development similarly. Digestive cells of the fourth instar larvae (L4) midgut exposed to imidacloprid had more multilamellar bodies, abundantly found in the cell apex, and more electron-lucent vacuoles in the basal region compared with those from untreated insects. Moreover, imidacloprid interfered with the differentiation of regenerative cells, dramatically reducing the number of digestive and endocrine cells and leading to malformation of the midgut epithelium in adults. The data demonstrate that imidacloprid can reduce the survival of mosquitoes and thus indicate its potentially high efficacy in the control of St. aegypti populations.


Cell proliferation; digestive cells; mosquito control; neonicotinoid; sub-lethal effects

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