Widespread distribution of knockdown resistance mutations in the bed bug, Cimex lectularius (Hemiptera: Cimicidae), populations in the United States

Arch Insect Biochem Physiol. 2010 Apr;73(4):245-57. doi: 10.1002/arch.20355.


We previously reported high deltamethrin resistance in bed bugs, Cimex lectularius, collected from multiple areas of the United States (Romero et al., 2007). Recently, two mutations, the Valine to Leucine mutation (V419L) and the Leucine to Isoleucine mutation (L925I) in voltage-gated sodium channel alpha-subunit gene, had been identified to be responsible for knockdown resistance (kdr) to deltamethrin in bed bugs collected from New York (Yoon et al., 2008). The current study was undertaken to investigate the distribution of these two kdr mutations in 110 bed bug populations collected in the United States. Out of the 17 bed bug populations that were assayed for deltamethrin susceptibility, two resistant populations collected in the Cincinnati area and three deltamethrin-susceptible lab colonies showed neither of the two reported mutations (haplotype A). The remaining 12 populations contained L925I or both V419L and L925I mutations in voltage-gated sodium channel alpha-subunit gene (haplotypes B&C). In 93 populations that were not assayed for deltamethrin susceptibility, 12 contained neither of the two mutations (haplotype A) and 81 contained L925I or V419L or both mutations (haplotypes B-D). Thus, 88% of the bed bug populations collected showed target-site mutations. These data suggest that deltamethrin resistance conferred by target-site insensitivity of sodium channel is widely spread in bed bug populations across the United States.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Animals
  • Bedbugs / genetics*
  • Bedbugs / growth & development
  • DNA / chemistry
  • DNA / genetics
  • Insecticide Resistance / genetics*
  • Insecticides*
  • Nitriles*
  • Point Mutation*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Pyrethrins*
  • Sodium Channels / genetics*
  • United States


  • Insecticides
  • Nitriles
  • Pyrethrins
  • Sodium Channels
  • decamethrin
  • DNA