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Secondary Kill Effect of Deltamethrin on Triatoma infestans

Kathleen M. Maloney, Jenny Ancca-Juarez, Renzo Salazar, Katty Borrini-Mayori, Danitza Pamo-Tito, Joseph A. Keating, Michael Z. Levy
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1603/ME10268 929-933 First published online: 1 July 2011


Control of the Chagas disease vector, Triatoma infestans, relies on the application of pyrethroid insecticides, especially deltamethrin. We performed laboratory studies to determine whether a T. infestans nymph that comes into contact with a deltamethrin-treated surface horizontally transfers the insecticide to subsequent triatomines. We found that a triatomine that walks on a deltamethrin-treated surface for a short period of time has the ability to transport the insecticide in concentrations sufficient to kill other triatomines with which it comes into contact. The effect was limited to high-density environments, and mortality as a result of secondary exposure was greater among second-instar nymphs compared with fifth-instar nymphs. Our results suggest that deltamethrin could be killing triatomines through both direct and indirect contact, although it remains unclear whether the phenomenon occurs in natural conditions.

  • secondary exposure
  • Triatoma infestans
  • horizontal transfer
  • Chagas disease
  • deltamethrin
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