Phenotypic and genotypic pyrethroid resistance of Aedes albopictus, with focus on the 2017 chikungunya outbreak in Italy

Verena Pichler, Chiara Malandruccolo, Paola Serini, Romeo Bellini, Francesco Severini, Luciano Toma, Marco Di Luca, Fabrizio Montarsi, Marco Ballardini, Mattia Manica, Vincenzo Petrarca, John Vontas, Shinji Kasai, Alessandra della Torre, Beniamino Caputo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: The highly invasive mosquito species Aedes albopictus has become a major health concern in temperate areas due to its role as vector of exotic arboviruses. Pyrethroid insecticides represent the main tools for limiting the circulation of such mosquito-borne viruses. The present work aim to extend previous reports on phenotypic pyrethroid-resistance in European Ae. albopictus, to identify its genetic basis and to monitor the geographical distribution of resistant genotypes, with a particular focus on sites experiencing the 2017 chikungunya outbreak in Italy. RESULTS: Bioassays, performed according to World Health Organization protocols, showed full susceptibility to deltamethrin (concentration = 0.05%) and varying levels of resistance to permethrin (0.75%) and/or α-cypermethrin (0.05%) across Italy, with highest levels in the core of the 2017 chikungunya outbreak. Partial genotyping of the VSSC gene revealed widespread distribution of V1016G mutation and confirmed its association with pyrethroid resistance. CONCLUSION: The results obtained show that the condition for the spread of pyrethroid resistance in Ae. albopictus in Europe exists under strong selective pressure due to intensive insecticide spraying to control exotic arbovirus outbreak or high levels of nuisance. The results draw attention to the need for an evidence-based implementation of mosquito nuisance control, taking insecticide resistance management into consideration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2642-2651
Number of pages10
JournalPest Management Science
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2019


  • arbovirus vector
  • Europe
  • insecticide resistance
  • mosquito

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Insect Science


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