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Setting a Baseline: A Clearer View of Mosquito Resistance to Insecticides

Setting a Baseline: A Clearer View of Mosquito Resistance to Insecticides

Mosquito control professionals have made significant gains toward managing malaria worldwide, as well as defending against West Nile virus, chikungunya, dengue, St. Louis encephalitis, and, more recently, Zika. However, mosquito resistance to existing insecticides also has been making gains. According to the World Health Organization, 60 countries have reported some mosquito resistance to at least one class of insecticide.

One challenge to managing mosquito resistance has been a lack of reliable information on the nature of resistance, including a dearth of baseline information on which mosquitoes survive which insecticides. A few studies have evaluated a few populations of mosquitoes for a few active ingredients, but no such studies examine several populations for several active ingredients from several different regions. A team of researchers, led by Stephanie Richards at East Carolina University, looked to change that, conducting the first large-scale baseline study in the United States on mosquito resistance, and they found degrees of resistance among two major mosquito genera to six common insecticide active ingredients.

Their study, published today in the Journal of Medical Entomology, showed that mosquitoes of the Aedes genus were less likely to show resistance than those in genus Culex, but both genera showed varying resistance to active ingredients.

Using WHO criteria to classify susceptibility (something that only a few states or even countries do) as “susceptible” (98-100 percent mortality), “possibly resistant” (80-97 percent mortality) and “resistant” (less than 80 percent mortality), the researchers found mosquito resistance to these common active ingredients:

    Malathion: All Culex mosquito populations that were tested were resistant (4-64 percent mortality), while only Aedes triseriatus from Minnesota showed no resistance.
    Etofenprox: All Culex were resistant, while three Aedes albopictus populations were susceptible, and 10 other species showed at least possible resistance.
    Bifenthrin: All Culex were resistant, as were nine Aedes populations, while four Aedes and four Culex populations showed possible resistance.
    Permethrin: Nine Aedes populations were susceptible, while the remaining four Aedes showed possible resistance. No Culex populations were susceptible.
    Phenothrin: Twelve Aedes populations were susceptible, and one showed possible resistance, while no Culex were susceptible.
    Deltamethrin: Eleven Aedes and five Culex populations were susceptible, while three Culex populations showed possible resistance and six showed resistance.

One Aedes population (A. albopictus) from Florida was resistant.

Overall, Culex mosquitoes were 15 times more likely to show resistance than Aedes. Differences in resistance were more significant between genera than between regions where the mosquitoes lived. This was not a surprising finding itself, said Richards, because Culex mosquitoes are more active from dusk until dawn, while Aedes are more active during the day and thus were exposed to very different insecticide pressures due to exposure to sub-lethal doses of pesticides. “We did see that pyrethroid resistance is increasing due to increased usage, and it was interesting to observe the differences between the active ingredients.”

Large scale, baseline-setting studies like this one are key to understanding the dynamics and causes of mosquito resistance to pesticides. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now encouraging pesticide control managers to evaluate resistance, including the issuance of guidance documents with protocols and bottle bioassay procedures. From these studies, local agencies can more easily analyze resistance and design more effective abatement programs.

“Only insecticides that are effective at killing mosquitoes should be used,” Richards said in an email. “Efficacy must be evaluated on a regular basis. These insecticides should only be used in a targeted surveillance-based manner, against potentially dangerous mosquitoes. Unfortunately, most spraying is used as a routine, reactive control,” which increases the risk of using pesticides that mosquitoes have evolved to resist.

Author : Andrew Porterfield
Source : Entomology Today

Rentokil becomes the leading pest control company in India

Rentokil becomes the leading pest control company in India

Rentokil Initial plc (FTSE: RTO, “the Company”) today announces that it has entered into an agreement to form a joint venture with PCI Pest Control Pvt. Ltd. (“PCI”) and to acquire a 57% stake in the new joint venture, for an undisclosed sum. As part of the transaction, the Company will merge its Indian business into the joint venture. The combined business will be the largest provider of pest control services and products in India.

The Company will have management control of the joint venture, which will have combined annual revenues of 4.5Bn rupees (c. £50m), operate from c.250 locations and employ c.6,900 people. In the 12 months to 31 March 2016, PCI delivered revenues of 3.7Bn rupees (c. £41m).

Today’s agreement is in line with the Company’s strategy of accelerating growth in its pest control business and pursuing M&A opportunities in Growth and Emerging markets.

PCI, a privately owned company, provides a national presence in the Indian market – operating in 47 cities. Headquartered in Mumbai in Western India, it also has significant scale in North and East India. Mumbai is India’s commercial centre with one of the highest GDPs in the country and ranks as one of the world’s most populous cities (the metropolitan population is in excess of 20m). Rentokil has a strong presence in Southern India where there will be significant density benefits by combining the businesses.

Key growth drivers of pest control services in India:

High GDP growth: The United Nations World Economic Situation and Prospects 2017 report (January 2017) projects growth in India of 7.7% in fiscal year 2017 and 7.6% in 2018.
Population growth: India will become the most populous country in the world by 2028 with about 1.45Bn inhabitants (source: UN).
Rapid urbanisation: By 2030 the number of Indian cities with more than 1m people will be 68, currently 42 (source: McKinsey)
Expansion of middle classes: By 2030, urban middle class households in India will reach 91m and 590m people will live in cities, nearly twice the total USA population (source: McKinsey).
Increasing hygiene standards – safer foods and medicines: India was ranked 12th in the world for the export of food and food products in 2015, and produced 20% of global exports in generic medicines (source: IBEF).
Government initiatives – Including the drive for higher standards of hygiene and its investment in the food and pharmaceutical sectors.

Rentokil Initial estimates that the professional pest control services market in India is worth c. £200m p.a. and growing at c. 15% p.a. No figures are available for the size of the products or semi-professional markets.

As part of the transaction, which is expected to complete in March, the existing PCI business’ manufacturing facilities are being retained by the sellers and the Company has entered into an exclusive agreement to market their key pest control products in India and export them to other Emerging markets. The agreement also provides the opportunity to jointly develop new innovative products.

In 2016, Rentokil Initial’s Asia region had ongoing revenues of £118.9m (+12% year on year) and operating profits of £12.4m (+31.1% year on year). The joint venture therefore provides the Region with an exciting and significant opportunity to accelerate its revenue and profit growth. In India, revenues grew by 23.4% in 2016 alone.

Andy Ransom, Chief Executive of Rentokil Initial, commented:

“PCI is an outstanding business and by combining its national scale in India with our global expertise, we will create a market leader that is strongly positioned to take advantage of the increasing demand for commercial and residential pest control services over the coming years. Both companies operate similar business models with a strong commitment to colleagues and delivering great customer service.

“The growth potential in India is enormous. Economic activity, urbanisation, population growth and increasing urban middle classes are some of the key drivers of growth for pest control services, and we see these trends very clearly in India.”

Mr Anil Rao, Chief Executive of PCI, said:

“The joint venture is the most strategic combination of the acknowledged managerial and technical skills represented by Rentokil Initial and PCI’s premier position, broad-spectrum customer base and vast experience operating on the Indian subcontinent. It is perfectly suited and timed to capitalise on the surging demand for high quality, world-class pest management services.

“PCI is the only company in this service industry with in-house manufacturing capabilities and the unique ability to create sustainable products, better suited to a business driven increasingly by a global search for ecologically sensible solutions. This would certainly provide a great opportunity to accelerate growth and performance in India and across the region.”

International Trade Secretary, Liam Fox, said:

“This move is yet another example of the strong economic and commercial partnership between the UK and India which drives economic development and growth, leading to shared prosperity.

“India is a fast-growing market with real trade and investment potential for UK businesses and Rentokil Initial is a great example of a business taking advantage of the opportunities to put in place ambitious expansion plans.”

Source : Rentokil Initial

Beetle Fossil Nearly Doubles the Age of Known Parasites of Social Insects

Beetle Fossil Nearly Doubles the Age of Known Parasites of Social Insects

When ancient insects first evolved eusocial behavior and began forming colonies, it didn’t take long, paleontologically speaking, for parasites of those resource-rich colonies to evolve, as well. A newly discovered ancient species of beetle found preserved in amber dates this apparent parasitic behavior to at least 98.8 million years ago.

In a paper published in Nature Communications this month, researchers from Kyushu University and Columbia University detail a new species of rove beetle, Mesosymbion compactus, found in a Burmese amber specimen housed at the American Museum of Natural History, that exhibits the hallmark traits of previously known parasitic beetles from the family Staphylinidae, subfamily Aleocharinae. These beetles have specialized to live inside the colonies of social insects such as ants or termites and often feed on eggs, larvae, and pupae in brood galleries.

As revealed through advanced imaging of the fossilized specimen, M. compactus, like modern aleocharines, has a teardrop-shaped body resembling a horseshoe crab, a head hidden below the pronotum when viewed from above, mandibles pointing rearward, and short, compact antennae. “Together, the suite of characters presented by Mesosymbion define an ecomorphology that has arisen numerous times in Aleocharinae, and suggests a non-integrated social parasite that was probably treated aggressively by its hosts, potentially targeting colonies as a brood predator,” the authors write. They also posit that M. compactus was a parasite of termites.

The M. compactus specimen comes from the very same amber deposit in Burma that provided the earliest known fossils of social termites, estimated to be 99 million years old. Previously, however, the earliest known social parasite was a rove beetle dated to approximately 52 million years ago (discovered by the same researchers), meaning M. compactus signifies a significantly earlier beginning to the evolution of parasitism of social insect colonies, placing it much closer to the rise of social insects themselves.

“Mesosymbion reveals that this adaptive versatility extends deep into the Mesozoic, when eusocial colonies presented novel niches for occupation that few other taxa were equivalently predisposed to fill. The notion of Mesozoic social parasitism by aleocharines implies that ant and termite societies were subject to exploitation during most of their evolution, including a long period when both social insect groups are inferred to have been rare and ecologically insignificant,” the authors write.

Source: Entomology Today


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