Pyrethroid bioaccumulation in field-collected insecticide-resistant Hyalella azteca

Kara E. Huff Hartz, Donald P. Weston, Nadhirah Johanif, Helen C. Poynton, Richard E. Connon, Michael J. Lydy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Wild-type Hyalella azteca are highly sensitive to pyrethroid insecticides and typically do not survive exposure; however, pyrethroid bioaccumulation by insecticide-resistant H. azteca is an important potential risk factor for the transfer of pyrethroids to higher trophic species in aquatic systems. In the current study, four populations of pyrethroid-resistant H. azteca with corresponding sediment samples were sampled throughout the year, and nine-current use pyrethroids (tefluthrin, fenpropathrin, bifenthrin, cyhalothrin, permethrin, cyfluthrin, cypermethrin, esfenvalerate and deltamethrin) were measured. Bifenthrin was detected in every pyrethroid-resistant H. azteca tissue sample, up to 813 ng/g lipid, while cyhalothrin and permethrin were detected in fewer (18 and 28%, respectively) samples. Concurrent sampling of the sediment showed total pyrethroid concentrations exceeding toxic unit thresholds for non-resistant H. azteca survival, and confirmed the ubiquitous presence of bifenthrin at each site and sampling event. Bifenthrin concentrations in H. azteca tended to be higher in samples collected in winter months, and seasonal factors, such as temperature and rainfall, may have contributed to the noted differences in bioaccumulation. Finally, the bifenthrin and permethrin biota-sediment accumulation factors (BSAF) for pyrethroid-resistant H. azteca were similar to the BSAF values for less sensitive invertebrates, and therefore the development of resistance may enable an additional pathway for trophic transfer of pyrethroids in species that would otherwise be too sensitive to survive the exposure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)514-523
Number of pages10
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2021


  • Bioaccumulation
  • Genetic resistance
  • Hyalella azteca
  • Pyrethroid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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