Skip to main content Accessibility help

Sensitivity of Culicoides obsoletus (Meigen) (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) to deltamethrin determined by an adapted WHO standard susceptibility test

  • R. DEL RÍO (a1), R. VENAIL (a2), C. CALVETE (a3), C. BARCELÓ (a1), T. BALDET (a4), J. LUCIENTES (a5) and M. A. MIRANDA (a1)...


Bluetongue is a disease of major economic concern in Europe. Its causative agent, bluetongue virus (BTV), is transmitted by several Culicoides species (mainly Culicoides imicola and Culicoides obsoletus in Europe). The application of insecticides on animals may reduce transmission of BTV, however, no formulation is currently licensed specifically against Culicoides midges. The present study assesses the susceptibility of C. obsoletus to deltamethrin using an adapted World Health Organization (WHO) susceptibility test. Midges were exposed to different dosages of deltamethrin for 1 h, and mortality after 1 h and 24 h was recorded. Results indicated that deltamethrin is highly toxic to C. obsoletus since a dose of 1·33×10−4% was enough to kill 50% of the population (LD50) in 24 h. The deltamethrin concentration needed to kill 90% of the population (LD90) was 5·55×10−4%. The results obtained in the present work could help to create a system that can be used to assess insecticide resistance and susceptibility of Culicoides biting midges.


Corresponding author

* Corresponding author: Laboratory of Zoology, University of the Balearic Islands, Cra/Valldemossa Km 7·5, Palma de Mallorca, Spain. E-mail:


Hide All
Abbott, W. S. (1925). A method of computing the effectiveness of an insecticide. Journal of Economic Entomology 18, 265267.
Balenghien, T. (2008). Culicoides chiopterus: Confirmation of its Status as Potential Vector of Bluetongue Virus in Europe. ProMed-mail. International Society for Infectious Diseases, Brookline, MA, USA.
Bishop, A. L., McKenzie, H. J., Spohr, L. J. and Barchia, I. M. (2001). In vitro testing of chemicals for repellency against Culicoides brevitarsis Kieffer (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae). General and Applied Entomology 30, 3540.
Boorman, J., Jennings, M., Mellor, P. S. and Wilkinson, P. (1985). Further data on the distribution of biting midges in southern Europe and the Mediterranean area, with special reference to C. imicola . In Bluetongue and Related Orbiviruses (ed. Barber, T. L. and Jochim, M. M.), pp. 187190. Alan R. Liss, New York, USA.
Braverman, Y., Chizov-Ginzburg, A. and Wilamowski, A. (2004). Susceptibility and repellency of Culicoides imicola and Culex pipiens to lambda-cyhalothrin. Veterinaria Italiana 40, 337.
Carpenter, S., Lunt, H. L., Arav, D., Venter, G. J. and Mellor, P. S. (2006). Oral susceptibility to bluetongue virus of Culicoides (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) from the United Kingdom. Journal of Medical Entomology 43, 7378.
Conraths, F. J., Gethmann, J. M., Staubach, C., Mettenleiter, T. C., Beer, M. and Hoffmann, B. (2009). Epidemiology of bluetongue virus serotype 8, Germany. Emerging Infectious Diseases 15, 433435.
Conte, A., Goffredo, M., Ippoliti, C. and Meiswinkel, R. (2007). Influence of biotic and abiotic factors on the distribution and abundance of Culicoides imicola and the Obsoletus complex in Italy. Veterinary Parasitology 150, 333344.
Doherty, W. M., Johnson, S. J. and Reid, A. E. (2001). Suppression of Culicoides brevitarsis Kieffer (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) on cattle in Queensland with deltamethrin and cypermethrin. General and Applied Entomology 30, 4547.
EFSA (2008). Scientific opinion of the panel on animal health and welfare. Bluetongue vectors and insecticides. EFSA Journal 735, 170.
Elbers, A. R., Meiswinkel, R., van Weezep, E., van Oldruitenborgh-Oosterbaan, M. M. and Kooi, E. A. (2013). Schmallenberg virus in Culicoides spp. biting midges, the Netherlands, 2011. Emerging Infectious Diseases 19, 106109.
Finney, D. (1971). Probit Analysis: A Statistical Analysis of the Sigmoid Response Curve. Macmillan, Oxford, UK.
Floore, T. G. (1985). Laboratory wind tunnel tests of nine insecticides against adult Culicoides species (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae). Florida Entomologist 68, 678682.
Hill, M. A. and Roberts, E. W. (1947). An investigation into effects of gammexane on the larvae, pupae and adults of Culicoides impunctatus Goetghebuer and on the adults of Culicoides obsoletus Meigen. Annals of Tropical Medicine and Parasitology 41, 143163.
Hodjati, M. H. and Curtis, C. F. (1999). Effects of permethrin at different temperatures on pyrethroid resistant and susceptible strains of Anopheles. Medical and Veterinary Entomology 13, 415422.
Hoffmann, B., Bauer, B., Bauer, C., Bätza, H. J., Beer, M., Clausen, P. H., Geier, M., Gethmann, J. M., Kiel, E., Liebisch, G., Liebisch, A., Mehlhorn, H., Schaub, G. A., Werner, D. and Conraths, F. J. (2009). Monitoring of putative vectors of bluetongue virus serotype 8, Germany. Emerging Infectious Diseases 15, 14811484.
Holbrook, F. R. (1994). Survival, fecundity, and egg fertility of Culicoides variipennis (Diptera, Ceratopogonidae) fed on calves inoculated with ivermectin. Journal of American Mosquito Control Association 10, 79.
Jennings, D. M. and Mellor, P. S. (1988). The vector potential of British Culicoides species for bluetongue virus. Veterinary Microbiology 17, 110.
Kline, D. L. and Roberts, R. H. (1981). Effectiveness of chloropyrifos, fenthion, malation, and proporxur as screen treatments for control of Culicoides mississippiensis . Journal of Economical Entomology 74, 331333.
Mehlhorn, H., Schmahl, G., D'Haese, J. and Schumacher, B. (2008 a). Butox® 7.5 pour on: a deltamethrin treatment of sheep and cattle: pilot study of killing effects on Culicoides species (Ceratopogonidae). Parasitology Research 102, 515518.
Mehlhorn, H., Schmahl, G., Schumacher, B., D'Haese, J., Walldorf, V. and Klimpel, S. (2008 b). Effects of Bayofly on specimens of Culicoides species when incubated in hair taken from the feet of previously treated cattle and sheep. Parasitology Research 102, 519522.
Meiswinkel, R., Goffredo, M., Leijs, P. and Conte, A. (2008). The Culicoides ‘snapshot’: a novel approach used to assess vector densities widely and rapidly during the 2006 outbreak of bluetongue (BT) in the Netherlands. Preventive Veterinary Medicine 87, 98118. doi: 10.1016/j.prevetmed.2008.06.013.
Mellor, P. S., Jennings, D. M., Wilkinson, P. J. and Boorman, J. (1985). Culicoides imicola: a bluetongue virus vector in Spain and Portugal. Veterinary Record 116, 589590.
Melville, L. F., Hunt, N. T., Bellis, G. A. and Pinch, D. (2001). Evaluation of chemical treatments to prevent Culicoides spp. feeding on cattle in the Northern Territory. General and Applied Entomology 30, 4144.
Mullens, B. A., Gerry, A. C. and Velten, R. K. (2001). Failure of a permethrin treatment regime to protect cattle against bluetongue virus. Journal of Medical Entomology 38, 760762.
Purse, B. V., Caracappa, S., Marino, A. M. F., Tatem, A. J., Rogers, D. J., Mellor, P. S., Baylis, M. and Torina, A. (2004). Modelling the distribution of outbreaks and Culicoides vectors in Sicily: towards predictive risk maps for Italy. Veterinaria Italiana 40, 303310.
Rawlings, P. (1996). A key, based on wing patterns of biting midges (genus Culicoides Latreille-Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) in the Iberian Peninsula, for use in epidemiological studies. Graellsia 52, 5771.
Raymond, M. (1985). Presentation d'un programme basic d'analyse log-probit pour micro-ordinateur. Cahiers ORSTOM Serie Entomology Medical Parasitology 23, 117121.
Schmahl, G., Sven, K., Walldorf, V., Al-Quraishi, S., Schumacher, B., Jatzlau, A. and Melhorn, H. (2008). Pilot study on deltamethrin treatment (Butox© 7.5, Versatrine©) of cattle and sheep against midges (Culicoides species, Ceratopogonidae). Parasitology Research 104, 809813. doi: 10.1007/s00436-008-1260-5.
Schmahl, G., Klimpel, S., Walldorf, V., Schumacher, B., Jatzlau, A., Al-Quraishy, S. and Mehlhorn, H. (2009). Effects of permethrin (Flypor®) and fenvalerate (Acadrex® 60, Arkofly®) on Culicoides species – the vector of Bluetongue virus. Parasitology Research 104, 815820.
Stephan, A., Clausen, P. H., Bauer, B. and Steuber, S. (2009). PCR identification of Culicoides dewulfi midges (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae), potential vectors of bluetongue in Germany. Parasitology Research 105, 367371.
Strong, L. (1992). Avermectins: a review of their impact on insects of cattle dung. Bulletin of Entomological Research 82, 265274.
Venail, R., Mathieu, B., Setier-Rio, M. L., Borba, C., Alexandre, M., Viudes, G., Garros, C., Allene, X., Carpenter, S. and Baldet, T. (2011). Laboratory and field-based tests of deltamethrin insecticides against adult Culicoides biting midges. Journal of Medical Entomology 48, 351357.
WHO (1981). Instructions for Determining the Susceptibility or Resistance of Adult Blackflies, Sandflies and Biting Midges to Insecticides: Mimeographed Document (WHO/VBC/81.810). World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland.


Sensitivity of Culicoides obsoletus (Meigen) (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) to deltamethrin determined by an adapted WHO standard susceptibility test

  • R. DEL RÍO (a1), R. VENAIL (a2), C. CALVETE (a3), C. BARCELÓ (a1), T. BALDET (a4), J. LUCIENTES (a5) and M. A. MIRANDA (a1)...


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed