Phenotypic insecticide resistance in arbovirus mosquito vectors in Catalonia and its capital Barcelona (Spain)

posted on 05.07.2019 by Krijn Paaijmans, Marco Brustollin, Carles Aranda, Roger Eritja, Sandra Talavera, Nonito Pagès, Silvie Huijben

A range of mosquito species that belong to the Culicidae family are responsible for the worldwide transmission of infectious arboviral diseases such as dengue fever, Zika, West Nile fever and Chikungunya fever. Spain is at risk of arbovirus outbreaks, as various arboviral diseases are frequently introduced and it has established competent vector populations. Autochthonous human cases of West Nile virus have been reported infrequently since 2004, and since October 2018 three autochthonous human case of dengue fever have been confirmed. In response to an outbreak of any arboviral disease, space spraying or fogging will be implemented to control adult mosquito populations. To ensure adulticiding is cost-effective, the insecticide susceptibility status of vectors throughout Catalonia, an autonomous region in north-eastern Spain, was assessed through standardized WHO tube and CDC bottle bioassays. All Culex pipiens populations tested were resistant to at least one of the pyrethroids tested, whereas Aedes albopictus populations were susceptible to all pyrethroids tested. More detailed studies on the Cx. pipiens populations from the Barcelona area (the capital and largest city of Catalonia) revealed resistance to all four classes of public health insecticides available (pyrethroids, carbamates, organophosphates and organochlorides). All Ae. albopictus populations were susceptible to those classes, except for one of the tests performed with pirimiphos-methyl (an organophosphate). Pyrethroids are currently the first line chemical class to be used in space spray operations in response to an outbreak of an arboviral disease. While pyrethroids can be effective in reducing Ae. albopictus populations, this class may not be effective to control Cx. pipiens populations.