Biology

Mapping trends in insecticide resistance phenotypes in African malaria vectors


by Penelope A. Hancock, Chantal J. M. Hendriks, Julie-Anne Tangena, Harry Gibson, Janet Hemingway, Michael Coleman, Peter W. Gething, Ewan Cameron, Samir Bhatt, Catherine L. Moyes

Mitigating the threat of insecticide resistance in African malaria vector populations requires comprehensive information about where resistance occurs, to what degree, and how this has changed over time. Estimating these trends is complicated by the sparse, heterogeneous distribution of observations of resistance phenotypes in field populations. We use 6,423 observations of the prevalence of resistance to the most important vector control insecticides to inform a Bayesian geostatistical ensemble modelling approach, generating fine-scale predictive maps of resistance phenotypes in mosquitoes from the Anopheles gambiae complex across Africa. Our models are informed by a suite of 111 predictor variables describing potential drivers of selection for resistance. Our maps show alarming increases in the prevalence of resistance to pyrethroids and DDT across sub-Saharan Africa from 2005 to 2017, with mean mortality following insecticide exposure declining from almost 100% to less than 30% in some areas, as well as substantial spatial variation in resistance trends.

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