Toxicological and molecular characterization of pyrethroid-resistant horn flies, Haematobia irritans: identification of kdr and super-kdr point mutations

Insect Biochem Mol Biol. Aug-Sep 1997;27(8-9):745-55. doi: 10.1016/s0965-1748(97)00057-x.


Two pyrethroid-resistant strains of horn flies were found to be 17- and 688-fold more resistant to permethrin and 17- and 11,300-fold more resistant to cyhalothrin than a susceptible control strain. Synergism experiments with piperonyl butoxide showed that both target site insensitivity and metabolic resistance mechanisms were present in the Super Resistant strain. Using the reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), a 0.9 kb fragment of the putative sodium channel gene from susceptible and resistant flies was cloned and sequenced. Two sequence variants were detected, presumably arising from alternative splicing of transcripts. The amino acid sequences deduced from the resistant and susceptible fly gene fragments were identical except for three amino acid substitutions, two of which have been associated with resistance in house flies. A leucine to phenylalanine substitution associated with knockdown resistance (kdr) was found in both resistant strains. A methionine to threonine substitution associated with super-kdr was found in the Super Resistant strain. Translation of poly(A)+ RNA followed by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) detected translation products whose concentrations increased in association with pyrethroid resistance. Random-amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD)-PCR of genomic DNA with over 260 DNA oligomers yielded one resistance-associated marker, designated HF-77, which was not detected in any susceptible flies but was present in 16% of the resistant individuals.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Insecticide Resistance / genetics*
  • Insecticides*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Muscidae / genetics*
  • Nitriles
  • Permethrin
  • Point Mutation*
  • Protein Biosynthesis
  • Pyrethrins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA Technique
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Sodium Channels / chemistry
  • Sodium Channels / genetics*


  • DNA, Complementary
  • Insecticides
  • Nitriles
  • Pyrethrins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Sodium Channels
  • Permethrin
  • cyhalothrin

Associated data

  • GENBANK/U83871
  • GENBANK/U83872
  • GENBANK/U83873
  • GENBANK/U83874
  • GENBANK/U83875