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Increased production of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species and reduced adult life span in an insecticide-resistant strain of Anopheles gambiae

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 February 2014

D. Otali*
Department of Biology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Campbell Hall 464, 1720 2ndAve. South, Birmingham, AL 35294-1170, USA
R.J. Novak
Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, William C Gorgas Center for Geographic Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 845 19th St. South, Birmingham, AL 35294-2170, USA Department of Global Health, University of South Florida, 13201 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., Tampa, FL 33612, USA
W. Wan
Department of Biostatistics, Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center, P.O. Box 980032, Richmond, VA 23298-0032, USA
S. Bu
Department of Nutrition Sciences, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1720 2ndAve. South, Birmingham, AL 35294-3360, USA
D.R. Moellering
Department of Nutrition Sciences, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1720 2ndAve. South, Birmingham, AL 35294-3360, USA
M. De Luca
Department of Nutrition Sciences, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1720 2ndAve. South, Birmingham, AL 35294-3360, USA
*Author for correspondence Phone: (+1) 205-975-6205 Fax: (+1) 205-975-7128 E-mail:


Control of the malaria vector An. gambiae is still largely obtained through chemical intervention using pyrethroids, such as permethrin. However, strains of An. gambiae that are resistant to the toxic effects of pyrethroids have become widespread in several endemic areas over the last decade. The objective of this study was to assess differences in five life-history traits (larval developmental time and the body weight, fecundity, hatch rate, and longevity of adult females) and energy metabolism between a strain of An. gambiae that is resistant to permethrin (RSP), due to knockdown resistance and enhanced metabolic detoxification, and a permethrin susceptible strain reared under laboratory conditions. We also quantified the expression levels of five antioxidant enzyme genes: GSTe3, CAT, GPXH1, SOD1, and SOD2. We found that the RSP strain had a longer developmental time than the susceptible strain. Additionally, RSP adult females had higher wet body weight and increased water and glycogen levels. Compared to permethrin susceptible females, RSP females displayed reduced metabolic rate and mitochondrial coupling efficiency and higher mitochondrial ROS production. Furthermore, despite higher levels of GSTe3 and CAT transcripts, RSP females had a shorter adult life span than susceptible females. Collectively, these results suggest that permethrin resistance alleles might affect energy metabolism, oxidative stress, and adult survival of An. gambiae. However, because the strains used in this study differ in their genetic backgrounds, the results need to be interpreted with caution and replicated in other strains to have significant implications for malaria transmission and vector control.

Research Paper
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2014 

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