Gene Mapping Reveals Clues to Bed Bugs' Pesticide Resistance
U.S. News and World Report
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
(HealthDay News) - Some of the genetic traits that give
bedbugs resistance to insecticides have been pinpointed by U.S.
The findings will help efforts to understand the biochemical
basis for bedbug resistance to insecticidesand provide molecular markers for
"Different bedbug populations within the U.S. and throughout the
world may differ in their levels of resistance and resistance
strategies, so there is the need for continuous surveillance,"
study author Zach Adelman, an associate professor of entomology with the
Vector-Borne Disease Research Group at Virginia Tech, said in a
school news release.
There's been a resurgence of bedbugs in the United States in the
past decade, and some bedbugs have developed a resistance to
pyrethroids, one of the few classes of insecticides used to control
The Virginia Tech team identified three genes (cytochrome P450
monooxygenases, carboxylesterases and glutathione S-transferases)
that produce enzymes that can bind to, deactivate and break down
two of the most common pyrethroids, deltamethrin and
The researchers also discovered that insecticide-resistant
bedbugs have a mutation in the sodium channel gene. This mutation
gives the bedbugs partial resistance to pyrethroid
Highly resistant bedbug populations can have a number of genetic
traits that protect them against pyrethroids and possibly other
insecticides, the researchers concluded.
The study appears in the Oct. 19 issue of PLoS
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more