Resistance to the safest and most commonly used pediculicides in the U.S. and globally are giving rise to head louse epidemics and increasing number of serious side effects resulting from multiple treatments/failures and frustrated people resorting to more hazardous alternatives. There exists a pressing need for information concerning head louse biology, toxicology and population genetics, particularly those factors controlling transmission, extent of pyrethroid and malathion resistance, and how best to monitor for resistance and optimize treatments. There is detailed information on the resistance mechanisms for the pyrethrins/pyrethroids and malathion in many pest insects that will allow us to rapidly and efficiently obtain a complete database for head lice and use it to make effective control decisions. The kdr resistance factor is identified and we can monitor it efficiently and affordably at the genotypic level to judge the effectiveness of our control choices. Recent published biochemical results have determined that malathion carboxylesterase is a major resistance mechanism. Our in situ bioassay allows us to apply pediculicides and to monitor their effectiveness in a controlled and reproducible manner (semi-clinical) that largely simulates the human head at a fraction of the cost of clinical studies so that only those strategies that have a high level of success are taken to clinical studies. In response to these published and in press results, the specific aims of this resubmitted application are: 1). Knockdown resistance (kdr): A model to develop tools for management; 2). Molecular biology underlying malathion resistance due to the hydrolytic esterases. ? ? ?

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Research Project (R01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-VB-P (01))
Program Officer
Costero, Adriana
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Schools of Earth Sciences/Natur
United States
Zip Code
Kim, J H; Previte, D J; Yoon, K S et al. (2017) Comparison of the proliferation and excretion of Bartonella quintana between body and head lice following oral challenge. Insect Mol Biol 26:266-276
Clark, J Marshall; Yoon, Kyong Sup; Kim, Ju Hyeon et al. (2015) Utilization of the human louse genome to study insecticide resistance and innate immune response. Pestic Biochem Physiol 120:125-32
Kwon, Deok Ho; Kim, Ju Hyeon; Kim, Young Ho et al. (2014) Identification and characterization of an esterase involved in malathion resistance in the head louse Pediculus humanus capitis. Pestic Biochem Physiol 112:13-8
Yoon, Kyong Sup; Previte, Domenic J; Hodgdon, Hilliary E et al. (2014) Knockdown resistance allele frequencies in North American head louse (Anoplura: Pediculidae) populations. J Med Entomol 51:450-7
Olds, Brett P; Coates, B S; Steele, L D et al. (2012) Comparison of the transcriptional profiles of head and body lice. Insect Mol Biol 21:257-68
Strycharz, Joseph P; Lao, Alice R; Alves, Anna-Maria et al. (2012) Ovicidal response of NYDA formulations on the human head louse (Anoplura: Pediculidae) using a hair tuft bioassay. J Med Entomol 49:336-42
Strycharz, Joseph P; Berge, Noah M; Alves, Anna-Maria et al. (2011) Ivermectin acts as a posteclosion nymphicide by reducing blood feeding of human head lice (Anoplura: Pediculidae) that hatched from treated eggs. J Med Entomol 48:1174-82
Kim, Ju Hyeon; Min, Jee Sun; Kang, Jae Soon et al. (2011) Comparison of the humoral and cellular immune responses between body and head lice following bacterial challenge. Insect Biochem Mol Biol 41:332-9
Yoon, K S; Strycharz, J P; Baek, J H et al. (2011) Brief exposures of human body lice to sublethal amounts of ivermectin over-transcribes detoxification genes involved in tolerance. Insect Mol Biol 20:687-99
Hodgdon, Hilliary E; Yoon, Kyong Sup; Previte, Domenic J et al. (2010) Determination of knockdown resistance allele frequencies in global human head louse populations using the serial invasive signal amplification reaction. Pest Manag Sci 66:1031-40

Showing the most recent 10 out of 22 publications