Fine-scale spatial distribution of deltamethrin resistance and population structure of Anopheles funestus and Anopheles arabiensis populations in Southern Mozambique

Smita Das, Mara Máquina, Keeley Phillips, Nelson Cuamba, Dulcisaria Marrenjo, Francisco Saúte, Krijn P. Paaijmans, Silvie Huijben

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Insecticide resistance in malaria vectors can be spatially highly heterogeneous, yet population structure analyses frequently find relatively high levels of gene flow among mosquito populations. Few studies have contemporaneously assessed phenotypic, genotypic and population structure analysis on mosquito populations and none at fine geographical scales. In this study, genetic diversity, population structure, and insecticide resistance profiles of Anopheles funestus and Anopheles arabiensis were examined across mosquito populations from and within neighbouring villages. Methods: Mosquitoes were collected from 11 towns in southern Mozambique, as well as from different neighbourhoods within the town of Palmeira, during the peak malaria transmission season in 2016. CDC bottle bioassay and PCR assays were performed with Anopheles mosquitoes at each site to determine phenotypic and molecular insecticide resistance profiles, respectively. Microsatellite analysis was conducted on a subsample of mosquitoes to estimate genetic diversity and population structure. Results: Phenotypic insecticide resistance to deltamethrin was observed in An. funestus sensu stricto (s.s.) throughout the area, though a high level of mortality variation was seen. However, 98% of An. funestus s.s. were CYP6P9a homozygous resistant. An. arabiensis was phenotypically susceptible to deltamethrin and 99% were kdr homozygous susceptible. Both Anopheles species exhibited high allelic richness and heterozygosity. Significant deviations from Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium were observed, and high linkage disequilibrium was seen for An. funestus s.s., supporting population subdivision. However, the FST values were low for both anophelines (− 0.00457 to 0.04213), Nm values were high (9.4–71.8 migrants per generation), AMOVA results showed almost 100% genetic variation among and within individuals, and Structure analysis showed no clustering of An. funestus s.s. and An. arabiensis populations. These results suggest high gene flow among mosquito populations. Conclusion: Despite a relatively high level of phenotypic variation in the An. funestus population, molecular analysis shows the population is admixed. These data indicate that CYP6P9a resistance markers do not capture all phenotypic variation in the area, but also that resistance genes of high impact are likely to easily spread in the area. Conversely, other strategies, such as transgenic mosquito release programmes will likely not face challenges in this locality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number94
JournalMalaria journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023


  • Anopheles funestus
  • Anopheles gambiae
  • Gene flow
  • Insecticide resistance
  • Malaria
  • Population genetics
  • Surveillance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases


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