Life After Insecticide Resistance is Detected: A Conversation

After detecting insecticide resistance, understanding resistance management methods is key. This was the takeaway from a presentation from Dina Fonseca of the Rutgers University Center for Vector Biology. In her talk, Fonseca focused on local mosquito control programs in New Jersey as she outlined next steps for resistance management.

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Fonseca opened with a brief overview of her lab’s work on insecticide resistance in Aedes albopictus, which has created a baseline to evaluate resistance in other field populations.

She then moved to discuss the challenges that US-based programs – as locally developed and locally funded centers of vector control – are faced with. To punctuate these challenges, she illustrated the complexity of developing a resistance management program; which involves establishing surveillance, research, management, innovation, financial support, and advocacy, among other complications.

Fonseca went on to describe the role of the Northeast Regional Center for Excellence in Vector-Borne Disease (NEVBD) in measuring the current extent of resistance monitoring done by local programs. She provided an overview of the roadblocks these programs face; including a lack of training, equipment, dedicated funding, time, and personnel.

“It is important to mention that reactive alternation [alternating products in response to finding resistance] is not technically insecticide resistance management.”

In the latter part of her presentation, Fonseca discussed recommended resistance management strategies. She called for further research and development in several areas: a better understanding of insecticide-resistant dynamics in mosquito populations; improved methods for non-traditional species of mosquitoes; a better understanding of spatial and temporal trends in insecticide resistance; quantitative measures of insecticide impact on local mosquito control; alternative tools for mosquito control; and, finally, non-insecticidal approaches for emergencies.