Mosquitoes super-resistant to insecticides identified in Asia

Mosquitoes super-resistant to insecticides identified in Asia

The spraying of insecticides in mosquito-infested areas is a common practice in tropical and subtropical regions. Resistance was already a concern, but the extent of the problem was not precisely known until now.

Japanese scientist Shinji Kasai and his team studied mosquitoes from several Asian countries and Ghana and found genetic mutations which make some immune to widely used insecticides like permethrin.

In Cambodia, more than 90% Aedes aegypti mosquitoes (the main vector of dengue, Zika, chikungunya and yellow fever viruses) have a combination of mutations resulting in a extremely high level of resistance” according to Mr. Kasai. This director of the department of medical entomology at the Japanese National Institute of Infectious Diseases discovered that certain types of mosquitoes supposed to be killed by 100% by insecticides were now only 7%.

Even a toxic dose ten times higher killed only 30%.

Resistance levels vary by region. They”totally different” between Cambodia and Vietnam for example, according to Mr. Kasai. His work also revealed that in Ghana, parts of Indonesia and Taiwan, existing insecticides were still working for the time being. Insecticide resistance has has also been observed in the tiger mosquito Aedes albopictus but in lower degrees.

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