The impact of selection with diflubenzuron, a chitin synthesis inhibitor, on the fitness of two Brazilian Aedes aegypti field populations.
Several Aedes aegypti field populations are resistant to neurotoxic insecticides, mainly organophoshates and pyrethroids, which are extensively used as larvicides and adulticides, respectively. Diflubenzuron (DFB), a chitin synthesis inhibitor (CSI), was recently approved for use in drinking water, and is presently employed in Brazil for Ae. aegypti control, against populations resistant to the organophosphate temephos. However, tests of DFB efficacy against field Ae. aegypti populations are lacking. In addition, information regarding the dynamics of CSI resistance, and characterization of any potential fitness effects that may arise in conjunction with resistance are essential for new Ae. aegypti control strategies. Here, the efficacy of DFB was evaluated for two Brazilian Ae. aegypti populations known to be resistant to both temephos and the pyrethroid deltamethrin. Laboratory selection for DFB resistance was then performed over six or seven generations, using a fixed dose of insecticide that inhibited 80% of adult emergence in the first generation. The selection process was stopped when adult emergence in the diflubenzuron-treated groups was equivalent to that of the control groups, kept without insecticide. Diflubenzuron was effective against the two Ae. aegypti field populations evaluated, regardless of their resistance level to neurotoxic insecticides. However, only a few generations of DFB selection were sufficient to change the susceptible status of both populations to this compound. Several aspects of mosquito biology were affected in both selected populations, indicating that diflubenzuron resistance acquisition is associated with a fitness cost. We believe that these results can significantly contribute to the design of control strategies involving the use of insect growth regulators.