Research ArticleMALARIA VECTOR CONTROL

A cytochrome P450 allele confers pyrethroid resistance on a major African malaria vector, reducing insecticide-treated bednet efficacy

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Science Translational Medicine  20 Mar 2019:
Vol. 11, Issue 484, eaat7386
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aat7386

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Tracking insecticide resistance

Malaria prevention relies extensively on mosquito control using insecticide-treated bednets. However, insecticide resistance in mosquito vectors of malaria threatens control of this disease. In a new study, Weedall et al. detected the major genes conferring insecticide resistance on the Anopheles mosquito vector of malaria in Africa. They found a DNA marker in a gene (cytochrome P450) encoding an enzyme that breaks down the insecticides used for treating bednets. The authors then designed a simple test allowing this resistance to be tracked and showed that mosquitoes carrying this resistance marker were better able to survive and to take a blood meal after exposure to insecticide-treated bednets in a field hut study in Cameroon.

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