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Effects of ethanol, ibuprofen and caffeine on the biology and fitness of bed bug (Cimex lectularius L.) plus gene expression from these compounds and two insecticides

Ralph B Narain, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


The bed bug (Cimex lectulariusL.) requires blood to grow, molt and reproduce, and humans are one of their main hosts. This research determined the effects of ethanol, ibuprofen and caffeine on the bed bug biology and fitness plus gene expression analysis of these compounds and two insecticides. These compounds were diluted and incorporated in reconstituted human blood and fed to bed bugs. The experimental design was a complete randomized design consisting of 20 adult bed bugs per treatment per replications. The bed bugs were weighed, placed in 125 ml glass jars (experimental unit) with harborage, allowed to feed for 45 minutes and then reviewed to determine the percent mass increase. The experimental units were placed in a growth chamber for 3 7-d intervals to determine fecundity and nymph emergence. Differential gene expression analyses were conducted on the bed bugs exposed to these compounds and two insecticides using RNA-Seq. Twenty-four hours after exposure, total RNA was extracted from the adult bed bugs and sequenced, the RNA sequences were mapped to the bed bug genome and read counts obtained. The read count data were analyzed using Bioconductor software to identify significantly differentially expressed genes, which were then BLAST against the non-redundant protein database of NCBI. Feeding experiment results showed negative correlation in bed bug fecundity to the increasing concentration of the test compounds. With the exception of ibuprofen treatment, increasing the concentrations resulted in a decrease of blood consumption. Greater than 80% of eggs laid hatched. The gene expression analysis results showed >75% of the bed bugs' RNA sequences mapped to its genome. There were 2,161, 1,923, 1,049, 659 and 417 significantly differential expressed genes in the bed bugs for control vs [caffeine, ethanol, Phantom®, ibuprofen and Tandem®] respectively. BLAST search returned >67% hits of significantly differential expressed genes from the NCBI nr database, with 31-100% similarity. Results identified additional benefits for consumption of these three compounds, and genes that could assist in bed bug management.

Subject Area


Recommended Citation

Narain, Ralph B, "Effects of ethanol, ibuprofen and caffeine on the biology and fitness of bed bug (Cimex lectularius L.) plus gene expression from these compounds and two insecticides" (2014). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3642817.