1 Department of Integrated Pest Management, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Aarhus University, Aarhus University2 Danish Pest Infestation Laboratory, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Aarhus University, Aarhus University
a relevant issue in sewer rat control
Although sewer rat control is carried out in more than 80 % of all Danish municipalities, with usage of large amounts of anticoagulant rodenticides, knowledge on anticoagulant resistance among rats living in the sewers is limited. As rat problems in urban areas are believed to be related to sewer problems (70-90 % in UK and DK) unawareness of resistance amongst these populations of Brown rats may constitute a future control problem and knowledge on this issue has become crucial. Rats were captured in sewers from seven different locations in the suburban area of Copenhagen. Locations was chosen to represent different sewer rat management strategies i) no anticoagulants for approx. 20 years ii) no anticoagulants for the last 5 years and iii) continuous control for many years. Animals were tested for resistance to bromadiolone by Blood-Clotting Response test, as bromadiolone is the most frequently used agent in the sewers. Low level of resistance was found in locations regardless of management strategy. Mutations in the VKORC1 gene have been proposed to confer anticoagulant resistance and an Y139C VKORC1 mutation has been identified in Danish resistant rats. All animals were tested with an Y139C specific PCR to verify this genetic form of resistance, but in contrast to animals tested from various surface populations, we could not confirm the Y139C mutation in any of the sewer rats. Our findings could indicate that resistance in surface and sewer population may be caused by different mechanism or that sewer rats carry another VKORC1 mutation.