Appropriate monitoring of vector insecticide susceptibility is required to provide the rationale for optimal insecticide selection in vector control programs.
In order to assess the influence of mosquito age on susceptibility to various insecticides, field-collected larvae of An. gambiae s.l. from Tiassalé were reared to adults. Females aged 1, 2, 3, 5 and 10 days were exposed to 5 insecticides (deltamethrin, permethrin, DDT, malathion and propoxur) using WHO susceptibility test kits. Outcome measures included the LT50 (exposure time required to achieve 50% knockdown), the RR (resistance ratio, i.e. a calculation of how much more resistant the wild population is compared with a standard susceptible strain) and the mortality rate following 1 hour exposure, for each insecticide and each mosquito age group.
There was a positive correlation between the rate of knockdown and mortality for all the age groups and for all insecticides tested. For deltamethrin, the RR50 was highest for 2 day old and lowest for 10 day old individuals. Overall, mortality was lowest for 2 and 3 day old individuals and significantly higher for 10 day old individuals (P < 0.05). With permethrin, the RR50 was highest for 1 to 3 day old individuals and lowest for 10 day old individuals and mortality was lowest for 1 to 3 day old individuals, intermediate for 5 day old and highest for 10 day old individuals. DDT did not display any knockdown effect and mortality was low for all mosquito age groups (<7%). With malathion, the RR50 was low (1.54 - 2.77) and mortality was high (>93%) for all age groups. With propoxur, no knockdown effect was observed for 1, 2 and 3 day old individuals and a very low level of mortality was observed (< 4%), which was significantly higher for 5 and 10 day old individuals (30%, P < 0.01).
Results indicate that for An. gambiae s.l. adults derived from wild-collected larvae, there was an influence of age on insecticide susceptibility status, with younger individuals (1 to 3 days old) more resistant than older mosquitoes. This indicates that the use of 1 – 2 day old mosquitoes in susceptibility assays as recommended by the WHO should facilitate detection of resistance at the stage where the highest rate of the resistance phenotype is present.