Insecticide resistance status, esterase activity, and electromorphs from mosquito populations of Culex quinquefasciatus Say (Diptera: Culicidae), in Houston (Harris County), Texas. Academic Article uri icon


  • Culex quinquefasciatus Say is a vector of St. Louis encephalitis (SLE) in Texas. This disease is endemic and prevalent in the Houston area. Disease prevention through mosquito control is mainly targeted against adults by application of a resmethrin-piperonyl butoxide formulation (Scourge). Immature mosquitoes were collected from eight areas in Harris County during 1998. The susceptibility status of these populations to Scourge, malathion, and resmethrin, the latter alone or with an esterase inhibitor as a synergist, was determined using a bottle assay with females. The population structure was investigated by electrophoretic analysis of esterases and their activity. Individual females were also analyzed for esterase activity by plate assay and for isoenzyme pattern by native PAGE. Bioassays indicated high levels of resistance to malathion in all areas. In addition, the effectiveness of Scourge in mosquitoes from area 51 deteriorated throughout the season. A localized, distinctive esterase pattern and activity level was observed in mosquitoes from different areas. Overall, the frequency of esterases Est alpha 2 (A2)/Est beta 2 (B2) was higher than that of Est beta 1 (B1). Altogether, these results indicate the onset of a fragile situation for mosquito control that should be further analyzed to effectively maintain the SLE prevention program for Harris County.

published proceedings

  • J Vector Ecol

author list (cited authors)

  • Pietrantonio, P. V., Gibson, G., Nawrocki, S., Carrier, F., & Knight, W. P.

citation count

  • 12

complete list of authors

  • Pietrantonio, PV||Gibson, G||Nawrocki, S||Carrier, F||Knight, WP

publication date

  • June 2000