Investigation of deltamethrin resistance in salmon lice (Lepeophtheirus salmonis) provides no evidence for roles of mutations in voltage-gated sodium channels


Tschesche C, Bekaert M, Bassett DI, Mitchell C, North B, Boyd S, Carmona‐Antoñanzas G, Bron JE & Sturm A (2021) Investigation of deltamethrin resistance in salmon lice (Lepeophtheirus salmonis) provides no evidence for roles of mutations in voltage-gated sodium channels. Pest Management Science, 77 (2), pp. 1052-1060.

BACKGROUND The pyrethroid deltamethrin is used to treat infestations of farmed salmon by parasitic salmon lice, Lepeophtheirus salmonis (Krøyer). However, the efficacy of deltamethrin for salmon delousing is threatened by resistance development. In terrestrial arthropods, knockdown resistance (kdr) mutations of the voltage‐gated sodium channel (Nav), the molecular target for pyrethroids, can cause deltamethrin resistance. A putative kdr mutation of an L. salmonis sodium channel homologue (LsNav1.3 I936V) has previously been identified. At the same time, deltamethrin resistance of L. salmonis has been shown to be inherited maternally and to be associated with mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations. The present study assessed potential roles of the above putative kdr mutation as a determinant of deltamethrin resistance in laboratory strains and field populations of L. salmonis. RESULTS The deltamethrin resistant L. salmonis strain IoA‐02 expresses the LsNav1.3 I936V mutation but was susceptible to the non‐ester pyrethroid etofenprox, a compound against which pyrethroid resistant arthropods are usually cross‐resistant if resistance is caused by Nav mutations. In a family derived from a cross between an IoA‐02 male and a drug‐susceptible female lacking the kdr mutation, deltamethrin resistance was not associated with the genotype at the LsNav1.3 locus (p>0.05). Similarly, in Scottish field populations of L. salmonis, LsNav1.3 I936V showed no association with deltamethrin resistance. In contrast, genotypes at the mtDNA loci A14013G and A9030G were significantly associated with deltamethrin resistance (P less than 0.001). CONCLUSION In the studied L. salmonis isolates, deltamethrin resistance was unrelated to the LsNav1.3 I936V mutation, but showed close association with mtDNA mutations.

Deltamethrin; salmon lice; resistance; sodium channel; mitochondria; knockdown resistance

Pest Management Science: Volume 77, Issue 2

FundersBBSRC Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation, PHARMAQ and Marine Alliance for Science & Technology Scotland
Publication date28/02/2021
Publication date online31/10/2020
Date accepted by journal29/09/2020