Insecticide resistance in phlebotomine sandflies in Southeast Asia with emphasis on the Indian subcontinent

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� 2016 The Author(s). Background: Visceral leishmaniasis, commonly known as kala-azar in India, is a global public health problem. In Southeast Asia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand are endemic for visceral leishmaniasis. The role of sandflies as the vector of kala-azar was first confirmed in 1942 in India. Insecticide resistance in Phlebotomus argentipes Annandale and Brunetti, the vector of kala-azar in the Indian subcontinent, was first reported in 1987 in Bihar, India. This article provides a scoping review of the studies undertaken from 1959 to 2015 on insecticide resistance in P. argentipes and P. papatasi (Scopoli), the vectors of visceral and cutaneous leishmaniasis respectively, in Southeast Asia, mainly in Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Results: Studies undertaken in areas of Bihar and West Bengal in India where kala-azar is endemic have reported resistance of P. argentipes to DDT, while in non-endemic areas it has been reported to be susceptible. In areas of Nepal bordering India, there are indications of resistance to DDT; biochemical resistance has been reported in Sri Lanka. No laboratory studies have been undertaken in Bangladesh; however, the sandfly vector is reported to be still susceptible to pyrethroids in all kala-azar endemic areas in the aforementioned countries. Conclusions: Studies are needed to determine the resistance of sandfly vectors to all available classes of potential insecticides in kala-azar endemic areas. There is a need to assess the impact of indoor residual spraying with DDT and pyrethroids on the incidence of kala-azar in India where 54 districts remain endemic for the disease, strengthen entomological surveillance capacity, and develop and implement an insecticide management plan. Alpha-cypermethrin indoor residual spraying has been introduced in 33 kala-azar endemic districts in Bihar State of India in a pilot trial; the outcomes should be used to inform decisions on expanding coverage with alpha-cypermethrin in all remaining endemic districts to achieve the revised goal of elimination of visceral leishmaniasis by 2020.




Dhiman, R. C., & Yadav, R. S. (2016, November 7). Insecticide resistance in phlebotomine sandflies in Southeast Asia with emphasis on the Indian subcontinent. Infectious Diseases of Poverty. BioMed Central Ltd.

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