Phenotypic, genotypic and biochemical changes during pyrethroid resistance selection in Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-75865-1
The directional selection for insecticide resistance due to indiscriminate use of insecticides in public health and agricultural system favors an increase in the frequency of insecticide-resistant alleles in the natural populations. Similarly, removal of selection pressure generally leads to decay in resistance. Past investigations on the emergence of insecticide resistance in mosquitoes mostly relied on field survey of resistance in vector populations that typically had a complex history of exposure to various public health and agricultural pest control insecticides in nature, and thus the effect of specific insecticides on rate of resistance emergency or resistance decay rate is not known. This study examined the phenotypic, genotypic, and biochemical changes that had occurred during the process of selection for pyrethroid resistance in Anopheles gambiae, the most important malaria vector in Africa. In parallel, we also examined these changes in resistant populations when there is no selection pressure applied. Through repeated deltamethrin selection in adult mosquitoes from a field population collected in western Kenya for 12 generations, we obtained three independent and highly pyrethroid-resistant An. gambiae populations. Three susceptible populations from the same parental population were generated by removing selection pressure. These two lines of mosquito populations differed significantly in monooxygenase and beta-esterase activities, but not in Vgsc gene mutation frequency, suggesting metabolic detoxification mechanism plays a major role in generating moderate-intensity resistance or high-intensity resistance. Pre-exposure to the synergist piperonyl butoxide restored the susceptibility to insecticide among the highly resistant mosquitoes, confirming the role of monooxygenases in pyrethroid resistance. The rate of resistance decay to become fully susceptible from moderate-intensity resistance took 15 generations, supporting at least 2-years interval is needed when the rotational use of insecticides with different modes of action is considered for resistance management.