Pichler V., Mancini E., Micocci M., Calzetta M., Arnoldi D,Rizzoli, A., Lencioni V., Paoli F., Bellini R., Veronesi R. et al.
Insects 2021,12, 79. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12010079
Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based genotyping of mutations in the voltage-sensitive sodium channel (vssc) associated with resistance to pyrethroid insecticides is widely used and represents a potential early warning and monitoring system for insecticide resistance arising in mosquito populations, which are vectors of different human pathogens. In the secondary vector Aedes albopictus—an Asian species that has invaded and colonized the whole world, including temperate regions—sequencing of domain II of the vssc gene is still needed to detect the V1016G mutation associated with pyrethroid resistance. In this study we developed and tested a novel allele-specific PCR (AS-PCR) assay to genotype the V1016G mutation in this species and applied it to the analysis of wild populations from Italy. The results confirm the high accuracy of the novel AS-PCR and highlight frequencies of the V1016G allele as >5% in most sampling sites, with peaks of 20–45% in coastal touristic sites where pyrethroid treatments are extensively implemented, mostly for mosquito nuisance reduction. The high frequency of this mutation observed in Italian Ae. albopictus populations should serve as a warning bell, advocating for increased monitoring and management of a phenomenon which risks neutralizing the only weapon today available to counteract (risks of) arbovirus outbreaks.