Discovery of the Rdl mutation in association with a cyclodiene resistant population of horn flies, Haematobia irritans (Diptera: Muscidae)

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The horn fly, Haematobia irritans irritans, is an obligate blood-feeding parasite of cattle that causes significant economic impact in many countries. We investigated the resistance of a horn fly population from Louisiana/USA to endosulfan, a cyclodiene insecticide. Bioassays were performed in 2010 and 2011 in order to determine the resistance ratio of the population to endosulfan and a PCR assay was developed to detect the Rdl mutation which is the replacement of an alanine with a serine at the GABA receptor locus that has been associated with resistance to cyclodienes in other insect species. Endosulfan tags had provided 8 weeks of effective control in 2010 but only 1 week in 2011. After only one summer (June-September/2010) of exposure to the endosulfan tagged cattle, there was a significant increase in the resistance ratio for endosulfan in the fly population. Most flies surveyed by the PCR diagnostic assay were homozygous susceptible at the Rdl locus, the resistant (R) allele was mainly present in the heterozygous state and there was no difference in the frequency of the R allele between female and male flies. After the first year's exposure of the horn flies to the endosulfan tags, the frequency of the R allele increased significantly. However, after one year without endosulfan treatment (2011-2012), the frequency of the R allele significantly dropped. These results indicate that target site resistance was responsible, at least in part, for the resistance and that a fitness cost is possibly associated with the Rdl mutation. © 2013 .

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Veterinary Parasitology

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