Carter, T, E., Gebresilassie. A., Hansel, S., Damodaran, L., Montgomery, C., Bonnell, V., Lopez, K., Janies ,D.,& Yared, S. (2020). Comparison of the knockdown resistance locus (kdr) in Anopheles stephensi, An. arabiensis, and Culex pipiens s.l. suggests differing mechanisms of pyrethroid resistance in east Ethiopia. BioRxiv. https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.05.13.093898
The malaria vector, Anopheles stephensi, which is typically restricted to South Asia and the Middle East, was recently detected in the Horn of Africa. Controlling the spread of this vector could involve integrated vector control that considers the status of insecticide resistance of multiple vector species in the region. Previous reports indicate that the knockdown resistance mutations (kdr) in the voltage-gated sodium channel (vgsc) are absent in both pyrethroid resistant and sensitive variants of An. stephensi in east Ethiopia but similar information on other vector species in the same areas is limited. In this study, kdr and the neighboring intron was analyzed in An. stephensi, An. arabiensis, and Culex pipiens s. l. collected in east Ethiopia between 2016 and 2017. Sequence analysis revealed that all of Cx. pipiens s.l. (n = 42) and 71.6% of the An. arabiensis (n=67) carried kdr L1014F known to confer target-site pyrethroid resistance. Intronic variation was only observed in An. stephensi (segregating sites = 6, haplotypes = 3) previously shown to have no kdr mutations. In addition, no evidence of non-neutral evolutionary processes was detected at the An. stephensi kdr intron which further supports target-site mechanism not being a major resistance mechanism in this An. stephensi population. Overall, these results suggest differences in evolved mechanisms of pyrethroid/DDT resistance in populations of vector species from the same region. Variation in insecticide resistance mechanisms in East Ethiopian mosquito vectors highlight possible species or population specific biological factors and distinct environmental exposures that shape their evolution.