African Health Sciences

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The potential role of urbanization in the resistance to organophosphate insecticide in Culex pipiens pipiens from Tunisia

Ahmed Tabbabi, Jabeur Daaboub, Raja Ben Cheikh, Ali Laamari, Mohamed Feriani, Chokri Boubaker, Ibtissem Ben Jha, Hassen Ben Cheikh


Objective: To examine the effects of urbanization on the resistance status of field populations of Culex pipiens pipiens to organo- phosphate insecticide.

Methods: Bioassays and biochemical assays were conducted on Tunisian field populations of Culex pipiens pipiens collected in four various areas differing in the degree of urbanization. Late third and early fourth larvae were used for bioassays with chlorpy- rifos and adults mosquitoes for biochemical assays including esterase and acetyl cholinesterase (AChE) activities.

Results: The distribution of resistance ratios in this study appears to be influenced by the degree of urbanization. The highest resistance was recorded in the population from most urbanized areas in Tunisia whereas the lowest resistance was found in rel- atively natural areas. Both metabolic and target site mechanisms were involved in the recorded resistance.

Conclusion: This is the first study in Tunisia showing evidence of the impact of urbanization on the resistance level in Culex pipiens pipiens. Proper management of the polluted breeding sites in the country and effective regulation of water bodies from commercial and domestic activities appear to be critical for managing insecticide resistance.

Keywords: Culex pipiens pipiens, urbanization, organophosphate resistance.
AJOL African Journals Online