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Status of pyrethroid resistance in Anopheles gambiae s. s. M form prior to the scaling up of Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLINs) in Adzopé, Eastern Côte d’Ivoire

Ludovic P Ahoua Alou12*, Alphonsine A Koffi1, Maurice A Adja12, Serge B Assi1, Philippe K Kouassi2 and Raphael N’Guessan34

Author Affiliations

1 Institut Pierre Richet (IPR), BP 47, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire

2 Laboratoire de Zoologie et Biologie Animale, Université Felix Houphouët-Boigny de Cocody, 22 BP 582, Abidjan 22, Côte d’Ivoire

3 London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Keppel Street, London, WC1E 7HT, UK

4 Centre de Recherche Entomologique de Cotonou, Cotonou, 06 BP 2604, Bénin

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Parasites & Vectors 2012, 5:289  doi:10.1186/1756-3305-5-289

Published: 11 December 2012



The growing development of pyrethroid resistance constitutes a serious threat to malaria control programmes and if measures are not taken in time, resistance may compromise control efforts in the foreseeable future. Prior to Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLINs) distribution in Eastern Cote d’Ivoire, we conducted bioassays to inform the National Malaria Control Programme of the resistance status of the main malaria vector, Anopheles gambiae s. s. and the need for close surveillance of resistance.


Larvae of An. gambiae s. s. were collected in two areas of Adzopé (Port-Bouët and Tsassodji) and reared to adults. WHO susceptibility tests with impregnated filter papers were carried out to detect resistance to three pyrethroids commonly used to develop LLINs: permethrin 1%, deltamethrin 0.05% and lambda-cyhalothrin 0.05%. Molecular assays were conducted to detect M and S forms and the L1014F kdr allele in individual mosquitoes.


Resistance, at various degrees was detected in both areas of Adzopé. Overall, populations of An. gambiae at both sites surveyed showed equivalent frequency of the L1014F kdr allele (0.67) but for all tested pyrethroids, there were significantly higher survival rates for mosquitoes from Tsassodji (32–58%) than those from Port-Bouët (3–32%) (p < 0.001), indicating the implication of resistance mechanisms other than kdr alone. During the survey period (May–June) in this forested area of Côte d’Ivoire, An. gambiae s. s. found were exclusively of the M form and were apparently selected for pyrethroid resistance through agricultural and household usage of insecticides.


Prior to LLINs scaling up in Eastern Côte d’Ivoire, resistance was largely present at various levels in An. gambiae. Underlying mechanisms included the high frequency of the L1014F kdr mutation and other unidentified components, probably metabolic detoxifiers. Their impact on the efficacy of the planned strategy (LLINs) in the area should be investigated alongside careful monitoring of the trend in that resistance over time. The need for alternative insecticides to supplement or replace pyrethroids on nets must be stressed.