Insecticide resistance in populations of mosquitoes is an escalating problem that can directly affect disease prevalence. Determining the fitness associated with an insecticide resistance mechanism (allele) will provide for greater understanding of the evolution of resistance, and help inform effective vector management programs. Previously, a population cage experiment in which the alleles of two highly related strains of Culex pipiens quinquefasciatus (Say) SLAB (susceptible) and ISOP450 (permethrin resistant because of cytochrome P450-mediated detoxification) were placed in direct competition in the absence of insecticide revealed that the P450 resistance allele frequency decreased over time. In the current study, SLAB and ISOP450 development, mortality and energetic resources derived from glycogen, other sugars and lipids were measured to identify biological parameters that might explain the previously observed fitness cost. SLAB exhibited shorter egg-to-adult female development time and larger body size when reared in groups when compared with ISOP450. ISOP450 female adults provided 20% sugar water lived longer than 20% sugar water fed females of the SLAB strain. No significant differences in larval development time, larval mortality, pupal stage duration time, pupal mortality, longevity of male and female adults provided with distilled water and males provided sugar water were found between the strains. The caloric content from glycogen and lipids were significantly higher in SLAB relative to ISOP450 in adults. The slower female emergence time and smaller body size when reared in groups combined with lower energy reserves (glycogen and lipids) associated with the resistance allele (in ISOP450) are likely fitness costs associated with the resistance allele of P450-mediated detoxification.
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Vol. 47 • No. 2