In this study we describe a nonradioactive single-fly microassay for permethrin hydrolysis. We used this assay with a microplate assay for general esterase activity to evaluate the permethrin hydrolyzing and general esterase activities of aging pyrethroid-susceptible male and female horn flies, Haematobia irritans (L.). We found substantial gender- and age-related differences regarding general esterase activity, permethrin sensitivity, and permethrin hydrolyzing activity within the colony. Extracts of female flies collected 48 h after receiving their first blood meal yielded significantly greater esterase activity than male extracts. Aging female flies were more tolerant of permethrin than were male flies. In addition, a positive correlation was found to exist between the general esterase activity of aging females and their ability to hydrolyze permethrin.
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Vol. 93 • No. 3