Molecular characterization of pyrethroid knockdown resistance (kdr) in the major malaria vector Anopheles gambiae s.s

Insect Mol Biol. 1998 May;7(2):179-84. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2583.1998.72062.x.


Pyrethroid-impregnated bednets are playing an increasing role for combating malaria, especially in stable malaria areas. More than 90% of the current annual malaria incidence (c. 500 million clinical cases with up to 2 million deaths) is in Africa where the major vector is Anopheles gambiae s.s. As pyrethroid resistance has been reported in this mosquito, reliable and simple techniques are urgently needed to characterize and monitor this resistance in the field. In insects, an important mechanism of pyrethroid resistance is due to a modification of the voltage-gated sodium channel protein recently shown to be associated with mutations of the para-type sodium channel gene. We demonstrate here that one of these mutations is present in certain strains of pyrethroid resistant A. gambiae s.s. and describe a PCR-based diagnostic test allowing its detection in the genome of single mosquitoes. Using this test, we found this mutation in six out of seven field samples from West Africa, its frequency being closely correlated with survival to pyrethroid exposure. This diagnostic test should bring major improvement for field monitoring of pyrethroid resistance, within the framework of malaria control programmes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Anopheles / genetics*
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Female
  • Insect Proteins / genetics*
  • Insect Vectors / genetics*
  • Insecticide Resistance
  • Malaria
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Pyrethrins*
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Sodium Channels / genetics*


  • DNA, Complementary
  • Insect Proteins
  • Pyrethrins
  • Sodium Channels

Associated data

  • GENBANK/Y13592