Can piperonyl butoxide enhance the efficacy of pyrethroids against pyrethroid-resistant Aedes aegypti?

Georgina Bingham, Clare Strode, Lien Tran, Pham Thi Khoa, Helen Pates Jamet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

84 Citations (Scopus)


Background Pyrethroid resistance can be considered the main threat to the continued control of many mosquito vectors of disease. Piperonyl butoxide (PBO) has been used as a synergist to help increase the efficacy of certain insecticides. This enhancement stems from its ability to inhibit two major metabolic enzyme systems, P450s and non-specific esterases, and to enhance cuticular penetration of the insecticide. Objective To compare the mortality of a characterized resistant Aedes aegypti strain, Nha Trang, from Vietnam and the susceptible laboratory strain Bora Bora on netting with the pyrethroid deltamethrin (DM) alone and in combination with PBO. Methods Resistance mechanisms were characterized using molecular and bioassay techniques; standard PCR was used to test for the kdr target site mutation. Potential genes conferring metabolic resistance to DM were identified with microarray analysis using the Ae. aegypti ‘detox chip’. These data were analysed alongside results from WHO susceptibility tests. P450, CYP9J32, was significantly overexpressed in the DM-resistant strain compared with the susceptible Bora Bora strain. Another five genes involved with oxidative stress responses in mosquitoes were also significantly overexpressed. The Nha Trang strain was homozygous for two kdr mutations. WHO cone bioassays were used to investigate mortality with incorporated DM-treated nets with and without PBO. PBO used in combination with DM resulted in higher mortality than DM alone. Conclusion Synergists may have an important role to play in the future design of vector control products in an era when alternatives to pyrethroids are scarce.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)492-500
JournalTropical Medicine & International Health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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