Mosquito age and susceptibility to insecticides

Shavanthi Rajatileka, Joseph Burhani, Hilary Ranson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


Insecticides play a crucial role in controlling the transmission of mosquito-borne diseases and the development and spread of insecticide resistance is a major threat to sustainable control. Guidelines developed by the WHO to monitor for insecticide resistance recommend using 1-3 day old, non blood fed female mosquitoes. This standardisation facilitates comparison between different tests, which is important when monitoring for spatial or longitudinal variations in resistance in the field. However, mosquitoes of this age cannot transmit human pathogens. In order to transmit disease, the mosquito must live long enough to pick up the pathogen via a blood meal, survive the extrinsic incubation period and then pass on the pathogen during a subsequent blood meal. Previous studies have reported declines in insecticide resistance with mosquito age. If widely applicable this would have important implications for predictions of the impact of resistance that are based on results from WHO bioassays. This study investigated the impact of senescence and blood feeding on insecticide induced mortality in six different mosquito populations and found higher mortality after insecticide exposure in older mosquitoes in three populations of Aedes aegypti and two Anopheles gambiae populations. Age dependent changes in the expression of a known insecticide detoxification gene, GSTe2, and in the frequency of a target site mutation (kdr 1014F) were investigated in an attempt to explain the results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-253
Number of pages7
JournalTransactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2011


  • Bioassay
  • Dengue
  • Insecticide resistance
  • Kdr
  • Malaria
  • Senescence


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