High Number Of Mosquitoes Found With Mutation That Resists Insecticides

A blood-engorged female Aedes albopictus mosquito feeding on a human host, 2001. Under experimental conditions the Aedes albopictus mosquito, also known as the Asian Tiger Mosquito, has been found to be a vector of West Nile Virus. Aedes is a genus of the Culicine family of mosquitoes. Image courtesy CDC/James Gathany. (Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images).

At a glance

  • The insecticides that target disease-spreading mosquitoes are running into nature’s ultimate defense mechanism: evolution.
  • Scientists reported Wednesday that mosquitoes in Cambodia and Vietnam increasingly carry a mutation that makes them resistant to a commonly deployed insecticide.
  • The report, in the journal Science Advances, tells the story of Aedes aegypti, a vector for dengue, yellow fever, chikungunya, Zika and other diseases.
  • The researchers found that in Cambodia and Vietnam, 78 percent of sampled mosquitoes had a mutation that, in laboratory studies, showed resistance to permethrin, which is part of a class of insecticides known as pyrethroids.

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