Entomology, Department of


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Scientific Reports | (2019) 9:19551


© The Author(s) 2019

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Resistance mechanisms to synthetic insecticides often include point mutations and increased expression of genes encoding detoxification enzymes. Since pyrethroids are the main adulticides used against Aedes aegypti, which vectors pathogens such as Zika virus, understanding resistance to this insecticide class is of significant relevance. We focused on adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-binding cassette (ABC) transporters in the pyrethroid-resistant Puerto Rico (PR) strain of Ae. aegypti. We investigated the expression patterns of six ABC transporters previously characterized as differentially expressed in insecticide-challenged mosquitoes, or increased mRNA expression in pyrethroid-resistant Ae. aegypti, by comparing PR to the Rockefeller (Rock) susceptible strain. No constitutive differential expression between strains was detected, but expression differences for these genes was influenced by sex and age, suggesting that their role is independent from resistance in PR. Instead, ABC transporters may be induced after insecticide exposure. Challenging mosquitoes with deltamethrin, with or without ABC transporter modulators, showed that Rock and PR responded differently, but a contribution of ABC transporters to deltamethrin toxicity is suspected. Moreover, the effect of dexamethasone, which enhanced the inhibition of nerve firing by deltamethrin, was observed using a Drosophila central nervous system preparation, showing synergy of these two compounds through the potential inhibition of ABC transporters.

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