Insecticide resistance in Pediculus humanus capitis De Geer 1778 (Phthiraptera: Pediculidae) from different countries has been well documented in the last years. Otherwise, little research has been reported about insecticide resistance in insect embryos and none in human louse embryos. In this work, we studied insecticide resistance in eggs of three head lice populations whose pyrethroid resistance was shown in adults and nymphs compared with a susceptible laboratory body louse strain. All head louse populations showed high permethrin resistance in eggs. Levels of permethrin resistance (LCRs) assessed in eggs by immersion technique were higher than those previously reported for the corresponding populations of adults by topical application. Comparison of LCR values for different populations showed that there was a direct relationship between the resistance levels assessed in eggs and those in adults. All permethrin-resistant eggs showed high resistance to d-phenothrin and dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane (DDT) and low resistance to carbaryl, which is in common with the resistance profile established for adults and nymphs. The results concerning the high resistance to pyrethroid (permethrin and d-phenothrin) and the cross-resistance to DDT and carbaryl detected in head louse eggs and adults suggested similar resistance mechanisms in eggs and adults of head louse populations from adults.
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