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PLoS neglected tropical diseases

Identification of carboxylesterase genes implicated in temephos resistance in the dengue vector Aedes aegypti.


PMID 24651719

Abstract

Thailand is currently experiencing one of its worst dengue outbreaks in decades. As in most countries where this disease is endemic, dengue control in Thailand is largely reliant on the use of insecticides targeting both immature and adult stages of the Aedes mosquito, with the organophosphate insecticide, temephos, being the insecticide of choice for attacking the mosquito larvae. Resistance to temephos was first detected in Aedes aegypti larvae in Thailand approximately 25 years ago but the mechanism responsible for this resistance has not been determined. Bioassays on Ae. aegypti larvae from Thailand detected temephos resistance ratios ranging from 3.5 fold in Chiang Mai to nearly 10 fold in Nakhon Sawan (NS) province. Synergist and biochemical assays suggested a role for increased carboxylesterase (CCE) activities in conferring temephos resistance in the NS population and microarray analysis revealed that the CCE gene, CCEae3a, was upregulated more than 60 fold in the NS population compared to the susceptible population. Upregulation of CCEae3a was shown to be partially due to gene duplication. Another CCE gene, CCEae6a, was also highly regulated in both comparisons. Sequencing and in silico structure prediction of CCEae3a showed that several amino acid polymorphisms in the NS population may also play a role in the increased resistance phenotype. Carboxylesterases have previously been implicated in conferring temephos resistance in Ae aegypti but the specific member(s) of this family responsible for this phenotype have not been identified. The identification of a strong candidate is an important step in the development of new molecular diagnostic tools for management of temephos resistant populations and thus improved control of dengue.