Impact of a spatial repellent intervention on Anopheles kdr insecticide resistance allele in Sumba, Indonesia

Lepa Syahrani, Puji B.S. Asih, Anom Bowolaksono, Astari Dwiranti, Siti Zubaidah, Ismail E. Rozi, Dendi H. Permana, Claus Bøgh, Michael J. Bangs, John P. Grieco, Nicole L. Achee, Neil F. Lobo, Din Syafruddin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The emergence of insecticide resistance and outdoor transmission in malaria-endemic areas underlines the urgent need to develop innovative tools, such as spatial repellents (SR), that may circumvent this residual transmission. With limited options for effective insecticides, regular resistance monitoring is warranted for selecting and using appropriate tools. This study evaluates the pyrethroid knockdown resistance (kdr) allele before and after implementing a transfluthrin-based spatial repellent (SR) intervention in placebo-treated clusters. Methods: This study looks at the frequency distribution of the kdr allele in Sumba Island from June 2015 to August 2018. Insecticide susceptibility tests were carried out on female Anopheles sp. aged 3–5 days against permethrin 21.5 μg/ml, deltamethrin 12.5 μg/ml, and transfluthrin 10 μg/ml using CDC bottle assay. PCR sequencing of representative samples from adult mosquito collections and insecticide tests revealed the presence of kdr mutations (L1014F and L1014S) in the VGSC gene. Results: A total of 12 Anopheles species, Anopheles tesselatus, Anopheles. aconitus, Anopheles barbirostris, Anopheles kochi, Anopheles annularis, Anopheles maculatus, Anopheles sundaicus, Anopheles flavirostris, Anopheles balabacensis, Anopheles indefinitus, Anopheles subpictus, and Anopheles vagus were analysed. Anopheles vagus and An. sundaicus predominated in the larval populations. Susceptibility assays for all insecticides identified fully susceptible phenotypes in all species examined. Anopheles increasing frequency of kdr mutant alleles during the 3 year SR deployment was observed in both SR-treated and placebo areas, a statistically significant increase occurred in each arm. However, it is unclear how significant SR is in causing the increase in mutant alleles. The L1014S, knockdown resistance east type (kdr-e) allele was detected for the first time among the mosquito samples in this study. The L1014F, knockdown resistance west type (kdr-w) allele and heteroduplex form (wild-type—mutant) were found in almost all Anopheles species examined, including An. vagus, An. aconitus, An. subpictus, An. tesselatus, An. annularis, An. flavirostris and An. sundaicus. Conclusion: The presence of fully susceptible phenotypes over time, along with an increase in the frequency distribution of the L1014F/S mutations post-intervention, suggest drivers of resistance external to the study, including pyrethroid use in agriculture and long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs). However, this does not negate possible SR impacts that support resistance. More studies that enable the comprehension of possible SR-based drivers of resistance in mosquitoes need to be conducted.

Original languageEnglish
Article number31
JournalMalaria Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2024


  • Kdr
  • L1014F
  • L1014S
  • Pyrethroid
  • Resistance
  • VGSC


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