Acute Kidney Injury Secondary to Exposure to Insecticides Used for Bedbug (Cimex lectularis) Control

Department of Medicine, Abington Memorial Hospital, Abington, PA. Electronic address: .
American Journal of Kidney Diseases (Impact Factor: 5.9). 06/2013; 62(5). DOI: 10.1053/j.ajkd.2013.04.020
Source: PubMed


Bedbug (Cimex lectularis) infestation is becoming a worldwide epidemic due to the emergence of insecticide-resistant strains. Pyrethroids are approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency for use against bedbugs and are considered minimally toxic to humans, with known respiratory, neurologic, and gastrointestinal effects. We present the first reported case of pyrethroid-induced toxic acute tubular necrosis (ATN). A 66-year-old healthy woman receiving no prior nephrotoxic medications presented with extreme weakness, decreased urine output, and acute kidney injury. She had administered multiple applications of a bedbug spray (permethrin) and a fogger (pyrethrin), exceeding the manufacturer's recommended amounts. She was found to have severe nonoliguric acute kidney injury associated with profound hypokalemia. Kidney biopsy revealed toxic ATN with extensive tubular degenerative changes and cytoplasmic vacuolization. With conservative management, serum creatinine level decreased from 13.0 mg/dL (estimated glomerular filtration rate, 3 mL/min/1.73 m(2)) to 1.67 mg/dL (estimated glomerular filtration rate, 37 mL/min/1.73 m(2)) within 6 weeks. Literature review uncovered no prior report of pyrethroid insecticide-induced ATN in humans, although there are reports of ATN with similar tubular vacuolization in rats exposed to this agent. Bedbug insecticides containing pyrethroids should be used with caution due to the potential development of toxic ATN after prolonged exposure.

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    ABSTRACT: Objectives Despite multiple attempts at eradication, many ectoparasites of humans and domestic livestock remain a persistent problem in the modern world. For many years, a range of pesticide drugs including organophosphates, organochlorides and synthetic pyrethroids provided effective control of these parasites; but intensive use of these drugs has led to the evolution of resistance in many target species. This paper aims to review the effectiveness of current control methods and discuss potential alternatives for the long term sustainable control of ectoparasites.Key FindingsImportant medical ectoparasites such as scabies mites, head lice and bed bugs present a significant public health problem, and so adequate control methods are essential. Ectoparasites of domestic livestock and farmed fish (for example sheep scab mites, poultry mites and sea lice) are also of concern given the increasing strain on the world's food supply. These parasites have become resistant to several classes of pesticide, making control very difficult. Recently, an increasing amount of research has focussed on alternative control methods such as insect growth regulators, biological control using essential oils or fungi, as well as vaccine development against some ectoparasites of medical and veterinary importance.SummaryDrug resistance is prevalent in all of the ectoparasites discussed in this review. A wide variety of alternative control methods have been identified, however further research is necessary in order for these to be used to successfully control ectoparasitic diseases in the future.
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