Relationship between Knockdown Resistance, Metabolic Detoxification and Organismal Resistance to Pyrethroids in Anopheles sinensis

Daibin Zhong, Xuelian Chang, Guofa Zhou, Zhengbo He, Fengyang Fu, Zhentian Yan, Guoding Zhu, Tielong Xu, Mariangela Bonizzoni, Mei Hui Wang, Liwang Cui, Bin Zheng, Bin Chen, Guiyun Yan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


Anopheles sinensis is the most important vector of malaria in Southeast Asia, including China. Currently, the most effective measure to prevent malaria transmission relies on vector control through the use of insecticides, primarily pyrethroids. Extensive use of insecticides poses strong selection pressure on mosquito populations for resistance. Resistance to insecticides can arise due to mutations in the insecticide target site (target site resistance), which in the case of pyrethroids is the para-type sodium channel gene, and/or the catabolism of the insecticide by detoxification enzymes before it reaches its target (metabolic detoxification resistance). In this study, we examined deltamethrin resistance in An. sinensis from China and investigated the relative importance of target site versus metabolic detoxification mechanisms in resistance. A high frequency (>85%) of nonsynonymous mutations in the para gene was found in populations from central China, but not in populations from southern China. Metabolic detoxification as measured by the activity of monooxygenases and glutathione S-transferases (GSTs) was detected in populations from both central and southern China. Monooxygenase activity levels were significantly higher in the resistant than the susceptible mosquitoes, independently of their geographic origin. Stepwise multiple regression analyses in mosquito populations from central China found that both knockdown resistance (kdr) mutations and monooxygenase activity were significantly associated with deltamethrin resistance, with monooxygenase activity playing a stronger role. These results demonstrate the importance of metabolic detoxification in pyrethroid resistance in An. sinensis, and suggest that different mechanisms of resistance could evolve in geographically different populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere55475
JournalPloS one
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 6 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General


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