Background: A mosquito survey was carried out on the island of Likoma in Lake Malawi with a view to collecting baseline data to determine the feasibility of implementing an integrated malaria vector control programme. No vector control interventions are currently being applied on the island apart from the sporadic use of treated and untreated bed nets.
Results: Large numbers of Anopheles funestus were found resting inside houses. WHO susceptibility tests were carried out on wild caught females and 1-5 day old F-1 female progeny. Wild caught females were tested on deltamethrin (77.8% mortality) and bendiocarb (56.4% mortality). Female progeny were tested on deltamethrin (41.4% mortality), permethrin (40.4%), bendiocarb (52.5%), propoxur (7.4%), malathion, fenitrothion, DDT, dieldrin (all 100%) and pirimiphos-methyl (98.9%). The malaria parasite rate was 4.9%. A small number of Anopheles arabiensis were also collected.
Conclusion: This locality is 1,500 km north of the currently known distribution of pyrethroid resistant An. funestus in southern Africa. The susceptibility results mirror those found in southern Mozambique and South African populations, but are markedly different to An. funestus populations in Uganda, indicating that the Malawi resistance has spread from the south.