Insecticide resistance to organophosphates in Culex pipiens complex from Lebanon
1 Department of Biology, American University of Beirut, Bliss Street, Beirut, 11072020, Lebanon
2 Team Genomics of Adaptation, CNRS UMR 5554, Institut des Science de l’Evolution, Université Montpellier 2, Place E. Bataillon, 34095, Montpellier cedex 05, France
Parasites & Vectors 2012, 5:132 doi:10.1186/1756-3305-5-132Published: 3 July 2012
Analysis of Culex pipiens mosquitoes collected from a single site in Lebanon in 2005, revealed an alarming frequency of ace-1 alleles conferring resistance to organophosphate insecticides. Following this, in 2006 the majority of municipalities switched to pyrethroids after a long history of organophosphate usage in the country; however, since then no studies have assessed the impact of changing insecticide class on the frequency of resistant ace-1 alleles in C. pipiens.
C. pipiens mosquitoes were captured indoors from 25 villages across the country and subjected to established methods for the analysis of gene amplification at the Ester locus and target site mutations in ace-1 gene that confer resistance to organophosphates.
We conducted the first large-scale screen for resistance to organosphosphates in C. pipiens mosquitoes collected from Lebanon. The frequency of carboxylesterase (Ester) and ace-1 alleles conferring resistance to organophosphates were assessed among C. pipiens mosquitoes collected from 25 different villages across the country between December 2008 and December 2009. Established enzymatic assay and PCR-based molecular tests, both diagnostic of the major target site mutations in ace-1 revealed the absence of the F290V mutation among sampled mosquitoes and significant reduction in the frequency of G119S mutation compared to that previously reported for mosquitoes collected from Beirut in 2005. We also identified a new duplicated ace-1 allele, named ace-1D13, exhibiting a resistant phenotype by associating a susceptible and a resistant copy of ace-1 in a mosquito line sampled from Beirut in 2005. Fisher’s exact test on ace-1 frequencies in the new sample sites, showed that some populations exhibited a significant excess of heterozygotes, suggesting that the duplicated allele is still present. Starch gel electrophoresis indicated that resistance at the Ester locus was mainly attributed to the Ester2 allele, which exhibits a broad geographical distribution.
Our analysis suggests that the frequency of resistant ace-1 alleles in mosquito populations can be downshifted, and in certain cases (F290V mutation) even eliminated, by switching to a different class of insecticides, possibly because of the fitness cost associated with these alleles.