Cuticular profiling of insecticide resistant Aedes aegypti

Ella Jacobs, Christine Chrissian, Stephanie Rankin-Turner, Maggie Wear, Emma Camacho, Nichole A. Broderick, Conor J. McMeniman, Ruth E. Stark, Arturo Casadevall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Insecticides have made great strides in reducing the global burden of vector-borne disease. Nonetheless, serious public health concerns remain because insecticide-resistant vector populations continue to spread globally. To circumvent insecticide resistance, it is essential to understand all contributing mechanisms. Contact-based insecticides are absorbed through the insect cuticle, which is comprised mainly of chitin polysaccharides, cuticular proteins, hydrocarbons, and phenolic biopolymers sclerotin and melanin. Cuticle interface alterations can slow or prevent insecticide penetration in a phenomenon referred to as cuticular resistance. Cuticular resistance characterization of the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti, is lacking. In the current study, we utilized solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, gas chromatography/mass spectrometry, and transmission electron microscopy to gain insights into the cuticle composition of congenic cytochrome P450 monooxygenase insecticide resistant and susceptible Ae. aegypti. No differences in cuticular hydrocarbon content or phenolic biopolymer deposition were found. In contrast, we observed cuticle thickness of insecticide resistant Ae. aegypti increased over time and exhibited higher polysaccharide abundance. Moreover, we found these local cuticular changes correlated with global metabolic differences in the whole mosquito, suggesting the existence of novel cuticular resistance mechanisms in this major disease vector.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number10154
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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