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Durham University

Department of Biosciences

Academic Staff

Publication details for Prof Steve Lindsay

Wilson, A.L., Pinder, M., Bradley, J., Donnelly, M.J., Hamid-Adiamoh, M., Jarju, L.B.S., Jawara, M., Jeffries, D., Kandeh, B., Rippon, E.J., Salami, K., D’Alessandro, U. & Lindsay, S.W. (2018). Emergence of knock-down resistance in the Anopheles gambiae complex in the Upper River Region, The Gambia, and its relationship with malaria infection in children. Malaria Journal 17: 205.

Author(s) from Durham


Insecticide resistance threatens malaria control in sub-Saharan Africa. Knockdown resistance to pyrethroids and organochlorines in Anopheles gambiae sensu lato (s.l.) is commonly caused by mutations in the gene encoding a voltage-gated sodium channel which is the target site for the insecticide. The study aimed to examine risk factors for knockdown resistance in An. gambiae s.l. and its relationship with malaria infection in children in rural Gambia. Point mutations at the Vgsc-1014 locus, were measured in An. gambiae s.l. during a 2-year trial. Cross-sectional surveys were conducted at the end of the transmission season to measure malaria infection in children aged 6 months–14 years.

Whilst few Anopheles arabiensis and Anopheles coluzzii had Vgsc-1014 mutations, the proportion of An. gambiae sensu stricto (s.s.) mosquitoes homozygous for the Vgsc-1014F mutation increased from 64.8 to 90.9% during the study. The Vgsc-1014S or 1014F mutation was 80% higher in 2011 compared to 2010, and 27% higher in the villages with indoor residual spraying compared to those without. An increase in the proportion of An. gambiae s.l. mosquitoes with homozygous Vgsc-1014F mutations and an increase in the proportion of An. gambiae s.s. in a cluster were each associated with increased childhood malaria infection. Homozygous Vgsc-1014F mutations were, however, most common in An. gambiae s.s. and almost reached saturation during the study meaning that the two variables were colinear.

As a result of colinearity between homozygous Vgsc-1014F mutations and An. gambiae s.s., it was not possible to determine whether insecticide resistance or species composition increased the risk of childhood malaria infection.