Several groups are developing and applying DNA-based technologies to monitor insecticide-based disease control programmes. However, several recent papers have concluded that the knockdown resistance (kdr) genotype-phenotype correlation that is observed in a wide variety of taxa might not hold in all mosquitoes. In this article, we review the evidence to support this putative breakdown and argue that the conclusion follows from unreliable data or the unparsimonious interpretation of data. We assert that the link between kdr genotype and DDT- and pyrethroid-susceptibility phenotype is clear. However, we emphasize that kdr genotype might explain only a portion of heritable variation in resistance and that diagnostic assays to test the importance of other resistance mechanisms in field populations are required.