Characterization of a Sodium Channel Mutation in Permethrin-Resistant Rhipicephalus sanguineus (Acari: Ixodidae). Academic Article uri icon


  • The brown dog tick, Rhipicephalus sanguineus (Latrielle) sensu lato, is an important ectoparasite of dogs and occasionally humans, capable of transmitting several pathogens, such as Rickettsia and Ehrlichia, which are of veterinary and medical importance. The brown dog tick is distributed worldwide and has an affinity for human habitations in much of its range. In some populations, lack of integrated pest management plans and overuse of pyrethroid pesticides and other sodium channel inhibitors has resulted in high levels of resistance to permethrin. Recently, a highly conserved region of the R. sanguineus sodium channel was sequenced, indicating that a single nucleotide polymorphism of thymine to cytosine on domain III segment VI of the sodium channel could confer resistance. A molecular assay targeting a point mutation in the sodium channel was developed and optimized to separate ticks expressing permethrin resistance from those from a susceptible colony. Thereafter, multiple field-collected phenotypically permethrin-resistant populations were evaluated using this molecular assay to determine genotype. As confirmed by DNA sequencing, a point mutation was present at a high rate in phenotypically resistant tick populations that was not present in the susceptible strain. These data suggest an additional permethrin resistance mechanism to metabolic resistance, which has been reported for this tick species, and confirm its association with phenotypic resistance. The results of this study further emphasize the need to preserve acaricide chemistry through rotation of active ingredients used to control ectoparasites.

published proceedings

  • J Med Entomol

author list (cited authors)

  • Tucker, N., Kaufman, P. E., Weeks, E., Rowland, J., Tidwell, J., & Miller, R. J.

citation count

  • 10

complete list of authors

  • Tucker, Nicholas SG||Kaufman, Phillip E||Weeks, Emma NI||Rowland, Jessica||Tidwell, Jason||Miller, Robert J

publication date

  • November 2017