Large-scale monitoring of imidacloprid susceptibility in the cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis
Rust, M. K.
Dryden, M. W.
Blagburn, B. L.
Jacobs, D. E.
Although on-animal topical treatment with compounds such as imidacloprid has revolutionized the control of the cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis (Bouche) (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae), the development of insecticide resistance is a continuing threat. As part of a highly co-ordinated and unprecedented resistance monitoring programme for C. felis, 1437 flea isolates were collected by veterinary clinics in Australia, Germany, France, the U.K. and 29 states in the U.S.A. from 2002 to 2009. About 65% of the collections were made from June to October each year and 71% of the collections were from cats. Collections of flea eggs were sent to one of five different laboratories, where they were tested with a diagnostic dose of imidacloprid (3 p.p.m.) applied to larval flea-rearing medium. Of the 1437 collections received, 1064 contained adequate numbers of eggs for testing. Of these isolates, untreated eggs failed to hatch in 22.7% and were not considered valid bioassays. Survival rates > 5% and development of adult fleas (a threshold for further testing) occurred in only 22 isolates. They were re-tested with the same diagnostic dose and none produced > 5% adult emergence. Complete dose-response bioassays were performed on three of the isolates that had triggered a second test and produced slopes, intercepts and LC(50) values similar to those for existing susceptible laboratory strains. Results confirmed sustained susceptibility of C. felis to imidacloprid, despite its widespread use for over a decade.