The Thai Journal of Veterinary Medicine


Bed bugs, Cimex hemipterus and Cimex lectularius, are common blood-sucking ectoparasites of human and currently found in many countries around the world. In Thailand, both species have been found mostly in hotels in tourist attraction areas and the insecticide resistance of these insects was also documented. To date, identification of these two bed bug species is based on morphological taxonomy, a technique which requires expertise and in some instance is difficult especially for immature bed bugs or incomplete bed bug samples. In this study, we analyzed the cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) gene of bed bugs, C. hemipterus and C. lectularius collected from various regions of Thailand. PCR-RFLP and phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that the COI gene could significantly differentiate between the two bed bug species. Moreover, the phylogenetic tree could separate clusters of insecticide resistant from insecticide susceptible C. lectularius strains. However, sequence analysis of C. hemipterus showed no significant intraspecific variation from different geographical regions of Thailand. Data obtained from this study will be valuable for epidemiological distribution of bed bugs in Thailand and subsequently for the most effective control of these insects.

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