Pyrethroid resistance in Anopheles gambiae leads to increased susceptibility to the entomopathogenic fungi Metarhizium anisopliae and Beauveria bassiana

A.F.V. Howard, C.J.M. Koenraadt, M. Farenhorst, B.G.J. Knols, W. Takken

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60 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Entomopathogenic fungi are being investigated as a new mosquito control tool because insecticide resistance is preventing successful mosquito control in many countries, and new methods are required that can target insecticide-resistant malaria vectors. Although laboratory studies have previously examined the effects of entomopathogenic fungi against adult mosquitoes, most application methods used cannot be readily deployed in the field. Because the fungi are biological organisms it is important to test potential field application methods that will not adversely affect them. The two objectives of this study were to investigate any differences in fungal susceptibility between an insecticide-resistant and insecticide-susceptible strain of Anopheles gambiae sensu stricto, and to test a potential field application method with respect to the viability and virulence of two fungal species METHODS: Pieces of white polyester netting were dipped in Metarhizium anisopliae ICIPE-30 or Beauveria bassiana IMI391510 mineral oil suspensions. These were kept at 27 +/- 1 degrees C, 80 +/- 10% RH and the viability of the fungal conidia was recorded at different time points. Tube bioassays were used to infect insecticide-resistant (VKPER) and insecticide-susceptible (SKK) strains of An. gambiae s.s., and survival analysis was used to determine effects of mosquito strain, fungus species or time since fungal treatment of the net. RESULTS: The resistant VKPER strain was significantly more susceptible to fungal infection than the insecticide-susceptible SKK strain. Furthermore, B. bassiana was significantly more virulent than M. anisopliae for both mosquito strains, although this may be linked to the different viabilities of these fungal species. The viability of both fungal species decreased significantly one day after application onto polyester netting when compared to the viability of conidia remaining in suspension. CONCLUSIONS: The insecticide-resistant mosquito strain was susceptible to both species of fungus indicating that entomopathogenic fungi can be used in resistance management and integrated vector management programmes to target insecticide-resistant mosquitoes. Although fungal viability significantly decreased when applied to the netting, the effectiveness of the fungal treatment at killing mosquitoes did not significantly deteriorate. Field trials over a longer trial period need to be carried out to verify whether polyester netting is a good candidate for operational use, and to see if wild insecticide-resistant mosquitoes are as susceptible to fungal infection as the VKPER strain
Original languageEnglish
Article number168
Number of pages9
JournalMalaria Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • african malaria mosquitos
  • insecticide resistance
  • vector control
  • western kenya
  • 1st report
  • culicidae
  • diptera
  • infection
  • s.s.
  • pathogenicity


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