Development of the major arboviral vector Aedes aegypti in urban drain-water and associated pyrethroid insecticide resistance is a potential global health challenge
Background Aedes aegypti were found developing in the water in open public drains (drain-water, DW) in Jaffna city in northern Sri Lanka, a location where the arboviral diseases dengue and chikungunya are endemic.Methods Susceptibilities to the common insecticides dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), malathion, propoxur, permethrin and deltamethrin and activities of the insecticide-detoxifying enzymes carboxylesterase (EST), glutathione S-transferase (GST) and monooxygenase (MO) were compared in adult Ae. aegypti developing in DW and fresh water (FW).Results DW Ae. aegypti were resistant to the pyrethroids deltamethrin and permethrin, while FW Ae. aegypti were susceptible to deltamethrin but possibly resistant to permethrin. Both DW and FW Ae. aegypti were resistant to DDT, malathion and propoxur. Greater pyrethroid resistance in DW Ae. aegypti was consistent with higher GST and MO activities.Conclusions The results demonstrate the potential for insecticide resistance developing in Ae. aegypti adapted to DW. Urbanization in arboviral disease-endemic countries is characterized by a proliferation of open water drains and therefore the findings identify a potential new challenge to global health.