Review of Resistance in US Mosquitoes

For mosquito abatement and vector control professionals, insecticide resistance is an ongoing battle that ultimately manifests at the local level. As attendees at the 2022 Global Mosquito Resistance Management Summit (GMRMS) learned, however, the onset of adulticide resistance – and the relative lack of alternative tools – is a US national issue that’s reaching alarming proportions.

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Mosquito insecticide resistance management is a concern that Jennifer Henke, Laboratory Manager at the Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District, contends with every day. Not only does Henke test samples for resistance in the lab, she also works closely with national groups such as the Entomological Society of America and the Vector Borne Disease Network to confront resistance challenges on a broader scale.

During her recent GMRMS presentation, Henke provided attendees with a sobering overview of the current state of resistance in the United Sates. Henke began her presentation by providing the global audience with basic information on the roles of two federal agencies – the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) – that work closely with state and local vector control groups.  She then went on to give an overview of the most important mosquito-borne diseases in the United States, the genera and species that transmit them, and the geographical distribution of each.

“Resistance is clearly an issue in US mosquito control, and I know that my colleagues in the audience are probably saying ‘but it’s not driven by us.’ I get that but it’s still something that we have to deal with. It’s the consequence that’s out there that is ours to have to work on and to try to make better.”

The thrust of Henke’s presentation then focused on detailing the status of insecticide resistance in the US. With a succession of slides fueled by information from the Insecticide Resistance Action Committee database and published scientific literature, Henke provided a thorough look at commonly used adulticides and confirmed cases of resistance for a variety of Aedes and Culex species by chemical class and location.