We investigated the possible relationship between the agricultural use of insecticides and the emergence of insecticide resistance. Bioassays were conducted using simulated mosquito larval habitats and well known Anopheles gambiae strains. Soil samples were collected from vegetable production areas in Benin, including one site with insecticide use, one site where insecticides had not been used for two months, and a third where insecticides had not been used. Pupation and emergence rates were very low in pyrethroid-susceptible strains when exposed to soil that had been recently exposed to insecticides. Pupation and emergence rates in strains with the kdr mutation alone or both the kdr and Ace-1 mutations were much higher. Overall, strains with the kdr mutation survived at higher rates compared to that without kdr mutation. Although this study is observational, we provide indirect evidence indicating that soils from agricultural areas contain insecticide residues that can play a role in the emergence of insecticide resistance in Anopheles. This aspect should be taken into account to better utilize the insecticide in the context of integrated pest management programs.
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Vol. 41 • No. 1