Molecular drivers of insecticide resistance in the Sahelo-Sudanian populations of a major malaria vector Anopheles coluzzii

Sulaiman S Ibrahim*, Abdullahi Muhammad, Jack Hearn, Gareth D Weedall, Sanjay C Nagi, Muhammad M Mukhtar, Amen N Fadel, Leon J Mugenzi, Edward I Patterson, Helen Irving, Charles S Wondji

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Information on common markers of metabolic resistance in malaria vectors from countries sharing similar eco-climatic characteristics can facilitate coordination of malaria control. Here, we characterized populations of the major malaria vector Anopheles coluzzii from Sahel region, spanning four sub-Saharan African countries: Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon.

RESULTS: Genome-wide transcriptional analysis identified major genes previously implicated in pyrethroid and/or cross-resistance to other insecticides, overexpressed across the Sahel, including CYP450s, glutathione S-transferases, carboxylesterases and cuticular proteins. Several, well-known markers of insecticide resistance were found in high frequencies-including in the voltage-gated sodium channel (V402L, I940T, L995F, I1527T and N1570Y), the acetylcholinesterase-1 gene (G280S) and the CYP4J5-L43F (which is fixed). High frequencies of the epidemiologically important chromosomal inversion polymorphisms, 2La, 2Rb and 2Rc, were observed (~80% for 2Rb and 2Rc). The 2La alternative arrangement is fixed across the Sahel. Low frequencies of these inversions (<10%) were observed in the fully insecticide susceptible laboratory colony of An. coluzzii (Ngoussou). Several of the most commonly overexpressed metabolic resistance genes sit in these three inversions. Two commonly overexpressed genes, GSTe2 and CYP6Z2, were functionally validated. Transgenic Drosophila melanogaster flies expressing GSTe2 exhibited extremely high DDT and permethrin resistance (mortalities <10% in 24h). Serial deletion of the 5' intergenic region, to identify putative nucleotide(s) associated with GSTe2 overexpression, revealed that simultaneous insertion of adenine nucleotide and a transition (T->C), between Forkhead box L1 and c-EST putative binding sites, were responsible for the high overexpression of GSTe2 in the resistant mosquitoes. Transgenic flies expressing CYP6Z2 exhibited marginal resistance towards 3-phenoxybenzylalcohol (a primary product of pyrethroid hydrolysis by carboxylesterases) and a type II pyrethroid, α-cypermethrin. However, significantly higher mortalities were observed in CYP6Z2 transgenic flies compared with controls, on exposure to the neonicotinoid, clothianidin. This suggests a possible bioactivation of clothianidin into a toxic intermediate, which may make it an ideal insecticide against populations of An. coluzzii overexpressing this P450.

CONCLUSIONS: These findings will facilitate regional collaborations within the Sahel region and refine implementation strategies through re-focusing interventions, improving evidence-based, cross-border policies towards local and regional malaria pre-elimination.

Original languageEnglish
Article number125
Pages (from-to)125
JournalBMC Biology
Volume21
Issue number1
Early online date24 May 2023
DOIs
Publication statusFirst published - 24 May 2023

Bibliographical note

© 2023. The Author(s).

Keywords

  • Animals
  • Anopheles/genetics
  • Insecticide Resistance/genetics
  • Insecticides/pharmacology
  • Acetylcholinesterase/genetics
  • Drosophila melanogaster
  • Malaria/prevention & control
  • Mosquito Vectors/genetics
  • Permethrin
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Anopheles coluzzii
  • Pyrethroid
  • Genes
  • Inversions
  • Insecticides
  • Metabolic
  • Resistance
  • DDT
  • Sahel

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