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      Widespread Distribution of a Newly Found Point Mutation in Voltage-Gated Sodium Channel in Pyrethroid-Resistant Aedes aegypti Populations in Vietnam

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          Resistance of Aedes aegypti to photostable pyrethroid insecticides is a major problem for disease-vector control programs. Pyrethroids target the voltage-gated sodium channel on the insects' neurons. Single amino acid substitutions in this channel associated with pyrethroid resistance are one of the main factors that cause knockdown resistance in insects. Although kdr has been observed in several mosquito species, point mutations in the para gene have not been fully characterized in Ae. aegypti populations in Vietnam. The aim of this study was to determine the types and frequencies of mutations in the para gene in Ae. aegypti collected from used tires in Vietnam.

          Methods and Findings

          Several point mutations were examined that cause insensitivity of the voltage-gated sodium channel in the insect nervous system due to the replacement of the amino acids L1014F, the most commonly found point mutation in several mosquitoes; I1011M (or V) and V1016G (or I), which have been reported to be associated to knockdown resistance in Ae. aegypti located in segment 6, domain II; and a recently found amino acid replacement in F1269 in Ae. aegypti, located in segment 6, domain III. Among 756 larvae from 70 locations, no I1011M or I1011V nor L1014F mutations were found, and only two heterozygous V1016G mosquitoes were detected. However, F1269C mutations on domain III were distributed widely and with high frequency in 269 individuals among 757 larvae (53 collection sites among 70 locations surveyed). F1269C frequencies were low in the middle to north part of Vietnam but were high in the areas neighboring big cities and in the south of Vietnam, with the exception of the southern mountainous areas located at an elevation of 500–1000 m.


          The overall percentage of homozygous F1269C seems to remain low (7.4%) in the present situation. However, extensive and uncontrolled frequent use of photostable pyrethroids might be a strong selection pressure for this mutation to cause serious problems in the control of dengue fever in Vietnam.

          Author Summary

          Pyrethroid is the general term for a group of synthetic chemicals that are structurally related to natural pyrethrins derived from C hrysanthemum flowers. In Vietnam, photostable pyrethroids have been extensively used as insecticides for malaria and dengue vector control. Recently, Kawada et al. found that Aedes aegypti collected from used tires were susceptible to pyrethroids in the North but were resistant in the South and Central Highlands of Vietnam. By analyzing the presence of mutations in the para locus, which cause insensitivity to voltage-gated sodium channel in the insect nervous system, a recently found amino acid replacement in the area of segment 6 of domain III (F1269C) was found to be widely distributed with high frequency in southern Vietnam. We suggest that this point mutation plays an important role in pyrethroid resistance in Vietnam. Extensive and uncontrolled frequent use of photostable pyrethroids might be a strong selection pressure for this mutation to increase homozygous populations, which cause serious problems in controlling dengue fever in Vietnam.

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          Most cited references 20

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          Molecular characterization of pyrethroid knockdown resistance (kdr) in the major malaria vector Anopheles gambiae s.s.

          Pyrethroid-impregnated bednets are playing an increasing role for combating malaria, especially in stable malaria areas. More than 90% of the current annual malaria incidence (c. 500 million clinical cases with up to 2 million deaths) is in Africa where the major vector is Anopheles gambiae s.s. As pyrethroid resistance has been reported in this mosquito, reliable and simple techniques are urgently needed to characterize and monitor this resistance in the field. In insects, an important mechanism of pyrethroid resistance is due to a modification of the voltage-gated sodium channel protein recently shown to be associated with mutations of the para-type sodium channel gene. We demonstrate here that one of these mutations is present in certain strains of pyrethroid resistant A. gambiae s.s. and describe a PCR-based diagnostic test allowing its detection in the genome of single mosquitoes. Using this test, we found this mutation in six out of seven field samples from West Africa, its frequency being closely correlated with survival to pyrethroid exposure. This diagnostic test should bring major improvement for field monitoring of pyrethroid resistance, within the framework of malaria control programmes.
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            Pyrethroid and DDT cross-resistance in Aedes aegypti is correlated with novel mutations in the voltage-gated sodium channel gene.

            Samples of the dengue vector mosquito Aedes aegypti (L.) (Diptera: Culicidae) were collected from 13 localities between 1995 and 1998. Two laboratory strains, Bora (French Polynesia) and AEAE, were both susceptible to DDT and permethrin; all other strains, except Larentuka (Indonesia) and Bouaké (Ivory Coast), contained individual fourth-instar larvae resistant to permethrin. Ten strains were subjected to a range of biochemical assays. Many strains had elevated carboxylesterase activity compared to the Bora strain; this was particularly high in the Indonesian strains Salatiga and Semarang, and in the Guyane strain (Cayenne). Monooxygenase levels were increased in the Salatiga and Paea (Polynesia) strains, and reduced in the two Thai strains (Mae Kaza, Mae Kud) and the Larentuka strain. Glutathione S-transferase activity was elevated in the Guyane strain. All other enzyme profiles were similar to the susceptible strain. The presence of both DDT and pyrethroid resistance in the Semarang, Belem (Brazil) and Long Hoa (Vietnam) strains suggested the presence of a knock-down resistant (kdr)-type resistance mechanism. Part of the S6 hydrophobic segment of domain II of the voltage-gated sodium channel gene was obtained by RT-PCR and sequenced from several insects from all 13 field strains. Four novel mutations were identified. Three strains contained identical amino acid substitutions at two positions, two strains shared a different substitution, and one strain was homozygous for a fourth alteration. The leucine to phenylalanine substitution that confers nerve insensitivity to pyrethroids in a range of other resistant insects was absent. Direct neurophysiological assays on individual larvae from three strains with these mutations demonstrated reduced nerve sensitivity to permethrin or lambda cyhalothrin inhibition compared to the susceptible strains.
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              A mutation in the voltage-gated sodium channel gene associated with pyrethroid resistance in Latin American Aedes aegypti.

              Pyrethroids are commonly used as mosquito adulticides and evolution of resistance to these compounds is a major threat to public health. 'Knockdown resistance' to pyrethroids (kdr) is frequently caused by nonsynonymous mutations in the voltage-gated sodium channel transmembrane protein (para) that reduce pyrethroid binding. Early detection of kdr is critical to the development of resistance management strategies in mosquitoes including Aedes aegypti, the most prevalent vector of dengue and yellow fever viruses. Brengues et al. described seven novel mutations in hydrophobic segment 6 of domain II of para in Ae. aegypti. Assays on larvae from strains bearing these mutations indicated reduced nerve sensitivity to permethrin inhibition. Two of these occurred in codons Iso1011 and Val1016 in exons 20 and 21 respectively. A transition in the third position of Iso1011 encoded a Met1011 replacement and a transversion in the second position of Val1016 encoded a Gly1016 replacement. We have screened this same region in 1318 mosquitoes in 32 additional strains; 30 from throughout Latin America. While the Gly1016 allele was never detected in Latin America, we found two new mutations in these same codons. A transition in the first position of codon 1011 encodes a Val replacement while a transition in the first position of codon 1016 encodes an Iso replacement. We developed PCR assays for these four mutations that can be read either on an agarose gel or as a melting curve. Selection experiments, one with deltamethrin on a field strain from Santiago de Cuba and another with permethrin on a strain from Isla Mujeres, Mexico rapidly increased the frequency of the Iso1016 allele. Bioassays of F(3) offspring arising from permethrin susceptible Val1016 homozygous parents and permethrin resistant Iso1016 homozygous parents show that Iso1016 segregates as a recessive allele in conferring kdr. Analysis of segregation between alleles at the 1011 and 1016 codons in the F(3) showed a high rate of recombination even though the two codons are only separated by a ~250 bp intron. The tools and information presented provide a means for early detection and characterization of kdr that is critical to the development of strategies for resistance management.

                Author and article information

                Role: Editor
                PLoS Negl Trop Dis
                PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, USA )
                October 2009
                6 October 2009
                : 3
                : 10
                [1 ]Department of Vector Ecology & Environment, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Nagasaki University, Nagasaki, Japan
                [2 ]National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Tokyo, Japan
                [3 ]National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, Hanoi, Vietnam
                [4 ]Pasteur Institute, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
                [5 ]Universidad Evangélica de El Salvador, San Salvador, El Salvador
                Yale School of Public Health, United States of America
                Author notes

                Conceived and designed the experiments: HK YH OK SK TT MT. Performed the experiments: HK YH NTY RAPS. Analyzed the data: HK. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: HK YH NTY LLL. Wrote the paper: HK.

                Kawada et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
                Page count
                Pages: 7
                Research Article
                Genetics and Genomics/Gene Discovery

                Infectious disease & Microbiology


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