Pyrethroid-treated bed-nets and indoor spray are important components of malaria control strategies in Kenya. Information on resistance to pyrethroid insecticides in Anopheles gambiae and An. arabiensis populations is essential to the selection of appropriate insecticides and the management of insecticide resistance. Monooxygenase activity and knockdown resistance (kdr) allele frequency are biochemical and molecular indicators of mosquito resistance to pyrethroids. This study determined baseline information on monooxygenase activity and kdr allele frequency in anopheline mosquitoes in the western region, the Great Rift Valley–central region, and the coastal region of Kenya. In total, 1,990 field-collected individuals, representing 12 An. gambiae and 22 An. arabiensis populations were analyzed. We found significant among-population variation in monooxygenase activity in An. gambiae and An. arabiensis and substantial variability among individuals within populations. Nine of 12 An. gambiae populations exhibited significantly higher average monooxygenase activity than the susceptible Kisumu reference strain. The kdr alleles (L1014S) were detected in three An. gambiae populations, and one An. arabiensis population in western Kenya, but not in the Rift Valley–central region and the coastal Kenya region. All genotypes with the kdr alleles were heterozygous, and the conservative estimation of kdr allele frequency was below 1% in these four populations. Information on monooxygenase activity and kdr allele frequency reported in this study provided baseline data for monitoring insecticide resistance changes in Kenya during the era when large-scale insecticide-treated bed-net and indoor residual spray campaigns were being implemented.
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Vol. 45 • No. 2