Methods for detecting insecticide resistance in sand flies: A systematic review

Acta Trop. 2021 Jan;213:105747. doi: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2020.105747. Epub 2020 Nov 11.


The classification of insecticide resistance in sand flies populations is based on concepts and methodologies used to characterize the susceptibility profile in mosquitoes. This can generate erroneous and subjective interpretations since they are biologically different organisms. In this context, the goal of this review is to analyze the works and/or articles that aimed at characterizing the susceptibility of sand flies and describing the methodological parameters, in order to improve future works to estimate more accurately the resistance of sand flies to insecticides. Using keywords that refer to the purpose of this review, scientific studies in English, Spanish and Portuguese published until December 2019 were analyzed. A total of 3481 articles were found in searches in four databases (Pubmed, Scopus, BVS and ScienceDirect) and 61 were selected. The panorama of sand-fly resistance revealed 47 populations of sand flies, of species Phlebotomus papatasi, Ph. argentipes e Sergentomyia shorttii, with confirmed resistance, and 28 populations of species Ph. papatasi, Ph. argentipes, Ph. sergenti e Lutzomyia longipalpis. Of the 61 selected studies, only three studies performed comparisons between field and colony phlebotomines, and all colony populations were less susceptible than field populations to at least one tested insecticide. The lethal doses and lethal times of sand flies are very varied, revealing that there is no specific protocol for assessing the susceptibility of sand flies to insecticides. For a quick and early detection of sand flies' resistance to insecticides, we suggest the use of CDC bottle tests with an SRL to estimate the local Dose and Diagnostic Time. Males and females can be used in the same proportion, but with only female sand flies in the control group. Females with engorged abdomen or pregnant should be avoided in the experiment and, if possible, use the F1 generation of field sand flies, up to 5 days old, or at least 100 sand flies to reduce the influence of age on the susceptibility of the population.

Keywords: Bioassays; Leishmaniasis; Lutzomyia; Phlebotominae; Phlebotomus.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Culicidae / drug effects
  • Female
  • Insecticide Resistance*
  • Insecticides
  • Male
  • Phlebotomus
  • Psychodidae*


  • Insecticides