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PCR-BASED ASSAY TO SURVEY FOR KNOCKDOWN RESISTANCE TO PYRETHROID ACARICIDES IN HUMAN SCABIES MITES (SARCOPTES SCABIEI VAR HOMINIS)

CIELO PASAYQueensland Institute of Medical Research and Australian Centre for International and Tropical Health and Nutrition, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia; Menzies School of Health Research and Charles Darwin University, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia

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SHELLEY WALTONQueensland Institute of Medical Research and Australian Centre for International and Tropical Health and Nutrition, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia; Menzies School of Health Research and Charles Darwin University, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia

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KATJA FISCHERQueensland Institute of Medical Research and Australian Centre for International and Tropical Health and Nutrition, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia; Menzies School of Health Research and Charles Darwin University, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia

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DEBORAH HOLTQueensland Institute of Medical Research and Australian Centre for International and Tropical Health and Nutrition, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia; Menzies School of Health Research and Charles Darwin University, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia

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JAMES MCCARTHYQueensland Institute of Medical Research and Australian Centre for International and Tropical Health and Nutrition, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia; Menzies School of Health Research and Charles Darwin University, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia

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Permethrin, in the form of a topical cream, is being increasingly used for community-based programs to control endemic scabies. The development of resistance has reduced the use of pyrethroids for the control of many arthropods of economic and health importance. The best recognized form of pyrethroid resistance, known as knockdown resistance or kdr, has been linked to specific mutations in the target of these agents, the para-homologous voltage-sensitive sodium channel gene (Vssc). To develop tools to study resistance to pyrethroid acaricides, we cloned 3711 and 6151 bp, respectively, of cDNA and genomic fragments of the Vssc gene from scabies mite, Sarcoptes scabiei. The sequence encompasses the major polymorphic amino acid residues associated with pyrethroid resistance. A polymerase chain reaction–based strategy has been developed that enables genotyping individual scabies mites. This will facilitate early detection and monitoring of pyrethroid resistance in scabies mite populations under drug selection pressure.

Author Notes

Reprint requests: Cielo Pasay, Clinical Tropical Medicine Laboratory, Infectious Diseases and Immunology Division, Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Herston, Queensland 4029, Australia. E-mail: cieloP@qimr.edu.au.
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