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Researchers at LSTM crack the genetic secret of mosquito resistance to DDT and ITNs
Date:2/24/2014

etabolic resistance) and confirmed that this mutation was found in mosquitoes from other areas of the world with DDT resistance but was completely absent in regions without. X-ray crystallography of the protein coded by the gene illustrated exactly how the mutation conferred resistance, by opening up the 'active site' where DDT molecules bind to the protein, so more can be broken down. This means that the mosquito can survive by breaking down the poison into non-toxic substances.

They also introduced the gene into fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) and found they became resistant to DDT and pyrethroids compared to controls, confirming that just this single mutation is enough to make mosquitoes resistant to both DDT and permethrin.

Wondji says: 'For the first time, we have been able to identify a molecular marker for metabolic resistance (the type of resistance most likely to lead to control failure) in a mosquito population and to design a DNA-based diagnostic assay. Such tools will allow control programs to detect and track resistance at an early stage in the field, which is an essential requirement to successfully tackle the growing problem of insecticide resistance in vector control. This significant progress opens the door for us to do this with other forms of resistance as well and in other vector species.'


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Contact: Clare Bebb
c.bebb@liv.ac.uk
44-015-170-53135
Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine
Source:Eurekalert  

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