Distribution and pyrethroid resistance status of Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus populations and possible phylogenetic reasons for the recent invasion of Aedes aegypti in Nepal.
Background: When the first systematic list of mosquitoes in Nepal was reported in 1990, there was no description of Aedes aegypti (L.), while Aedes albopictus (Skuse) has been included in the Stegomyia subgroup since the 1950s. The first record of Ae. aegypti in Nepal was reported in 2009, suggesting some coincidence between the invasion of this species and the first record of dengue fever in Nepal in 2006. Results: We performed a field survey of the distribution and insecticide susceptibility of Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus in Nepal in 2017 and 2018. Mosquito larvae were collected from used tires located along the streets of Kathmandu, Bharatpur and Pokhara, and a simplified bioassay was used to assess the susceptibility of the larvae to pyrethroid insecticides using d-allethrin. The presence or absence of point mutations in the voltage-gated sodium channel was also detected by direct sequencing. V1016G was detected at a high frequency and a strong correlation was observed between the frequencies of V1016G and susceptibility indices in Ae. aegypti populations. F1534C was also detected at a relatively low frequency. In Ae. albopictus populations, susceptibilities to d-allethrin were high and no point mutations were detected. Analysis of the cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (cox1) gene was performed for assessing genetic diversity and the existence of two strains were identified in Ae. aegypti populations. One consisted of 9 globally-distributed haplotypes while the other was derived from an African haplotype. Conclusions: The high pyrethroid resistance, high V1016G frequency, and relatively low quantity of insecticides used to control dengue vectors in Nepal may have resulted in only weak selection pressure favoring insecticide resistance and could support the hypothesis that this species has recently been introduced from neighboring Asian countries where pyrethroid resistance is relatively widespread.