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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Trends in DDT and pyrethroid resistance in Anopheles gambiae s.s. populations from urban and agro-industrial settings in southern Cameroon

Philippe Nwane12*, Josiane Etang13, Mouhamadou Chouaibou12, Jean Claude Toto1, Clément Kerah-Hinzoumbé4, Rémy Mimpfoundi2, Herman Parfait Awono-Ambene1 and Frédéric Simard5

Author Affiliations

1 Organisation de Coordination pour la lutte contre les Endémies en Afrique Centrale, Yaoundé, Cameroun

2 Université de Yaoundé I, Yaoundé, Cameroun

3 Faculty of Medicine and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Douala, Cameroun

4 Programme National de Lutte contre le Paludisme, N'Djamena, Tchad

5 Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), UR016, Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2009, 9:163  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-9-163

Published: 30 September 2009

Abstract

Background

Pyrethroid insecticides are widely used for insect pest control in Cameroon. In certain insect species, particularly the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae, resistance to this class of insecticides is a source of great concern and needs to be monitored in order to sustain the efficacy of vector control operations in the fields. This study highlights trends in DDT and pyrethroid resistance in wild An. gambiae populations from South Cameroon.

Methods

Mosquitoes were collected between 2001 and 2007 in four sites in South Cameroon, where insecticides are used for agricultural or personal protection purposes. Insecticide use was documented in each site by interviewing residents. Batches of 2-4 days old adult female mosquitoes reared from larval collections were tested for susceptibility to DDT, permethrin and deltamethrin using standard WHO procedures. Control, dead and survivors mosquitoes from bioassays were identified by PCR-RFLP and characterized for the kdr mutations using either the AS-PCR or the HOLA method.

Results

Four chemical insecticide groups were cited in the study sites: organochlorines, organophosphates, carbamates and pyrethroids. These chemicals were used for personal, crop or wood protection. In the four An. gambiae populations tested, significant variation in resistance levels, molecular forms composition and kdr frequencies were recorded in the time span of the study. Increases in DDT and pyrethroid resistance, as observed in most areas, were generally associated with an increase in the relative frequency of the S molecular form carrying the kdr mutations at higher frequencies. In Mangoum, however, where only the S form was present, a significant increase in the frequency of kdr alleles between 2003 to 2007 diverged with a decrease of the level of resistance to DDT and pyrethroids. Analyses of the kdr frequencies in dead and surviving mosquitoes showed partial correlation between the kdr genotypes and resistance phenotypes, suggesting that the kdr mechanism may act with certain co-factors to be identified.

Conclusion

These results demonstrate the ongoing spread of kdr alleles in An. gambiae in Central Africa. The rapid evolution of insecticide resistance in this highly dynamic and genetically polymorphic species remains a challenge for its control.