Molecular systematics and insecticide resistance in the major African malaria vector Anopheles funestus

Annu Rev Entomol. 2013;58:393-412. doi: 10.1146/annurev-ento-120811-153628.


Anopheles funestus is one of three major African vectors of malaria. Its distribution extends over much of the tropics and subtropics wherever suitable swampy breeding habitats are present. As with members of the Anopheles gambiae complex, An. funestus shows marked genetic heterogeneity across its range. Currently, two unnamed species are recognized in the group, with molecular and cytogenetic data indicating that more may be present. The control of malaria vectors in Africa has received increased attention in the past decade with the scaling up of insecticide-treated bed nets and indoor residual house spraying. Also in the past decade, the frequency of insecticide-resistant mosquitoes has increased exponentially. Whether this increase is in response to vector control initiatives or because of insecticide use in agriculture is debatable. In this article we examine the progress made on the systematics of the An. funestus group and review research on insecticide resistance and its mechanisms.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Africa
  • Animals
  • Anopheles / classification
  • Anopheles / drug effects*
  • Anopheles / genetics*
  • Insect Vectors / classification
  • Insect Vectors / drug effects*
  • Insect Vectors / genetics*
  • Insecticide Resistance
  • Insecticides / pharmacology*
  • Malaria / transmission


  • Insecticides