Behavioral responses of Aedes aegypti male populations developed for Release of Insects Carrying a Dominant Lethal (RIDL) technology and a Malaysian wild-type population of two age groups (4–5 and 8–10 d old) were tested under laboratory conditions against chemical irritants and repellents using the high-throughput screening system device. Results indicate that all male Ae. aegypti test populations showed significant (P < 0.01) behavioral escape responses when exposed to alphacypermethrin, DDT, and deltamethrin at the test dose of 25 nmol/cm2. In addition, all populations showed significant (P < 0.05) spatial repellent responses to DDT, whereas alphacypermethrin and deltamethrin elicited no directional movement in the assay. These data suggest that genetic modification has not suppressed expected irritancy and repellency behavior. Age effects were minimal in both contact irritant and spatial repellent assays. The magnitude of irritant response, based on percentage responding, was stronger in the RIDL test cohorts as compared with the wild-type Malaysian population, but the impact, if any, that this increased behavioral sensitivity might have on the success of a RIDL strategy has yet to be defined. Information of the type reported in the current study is vital in defining the effects of genetic modification on vector behavior and understanding how these behaviors may influence the success of RIDL technology as they relate to other vector control interventions implemented in the same disease-endemic locale.
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