The horn fly, Haematobia irritans irritans (L., 1758) (Diptera: Muscidae), is an important pest that causes significant economic losses to the livestock industry, but insecticide resistance in horn fly populations has made horn fly control increasingly difficult to achieve. In this study, we developed a multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay to simultaneously detect target site resistance to pyrethroids (kdr mutation), organophosphates (G262A acetylcholinesterase mutation), and cyclodienes (Rdl mutation) and used the new procedure to follow the progression of these three mutations after exposure to different insecticide pressure. We assayed flies collected at the Macon Ridge research station, Winnsboro, LA, from 2008 to 2012. The multiplex PCR showed robust results in all our assays. The kdr mutation remained at high frequencies during all years, even after 4 yr with no use of pyrethroids. The G262A acetylcholinesterase mutation fluctuated from 7.5 to 23.8% during the studied years, while the Rdl mutation was rare in 2008, 2009, and June 2010, and then significantly increased after the first use of endosulfan. The possibility of screening for all the known target site resistance mutations in a single PCR reaction makes the multiplex PCR a useful and affordable tool that can be used to help diagnose insecticide resistance.
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Vol. 51 • No. 5