Improving the control of the major malaria vector Anopheles funestus in Africa: developing new molecular diagnostic tools, understanding the evolution of resistance and its impact on control interventions

Using the power of deep genome sequencing (transcriptomics with microarray/RNAseq, whole genome sequencing and target enrichment sequencing) coupled to extensive functional analyses (RNAi, enzyme characterisation, transgenic GAL4/UAS expression), this project aims to thoroughly decipher the genetic and molecular complexity of insecticide resistance mechanisms in the mosquito An. funestus, a major African malaria vector. It is expected that this will pinpoint the resistance genes and detect associated molecular markers to design DNA-based diagnostic tools to detect and track the evolution of resistance. Furthermore, these resistance markers will be used in field trials in Africa to assess resistance fitness cost and the impact of resistance on control interventions using experimental hut trials (Cameroon). This project also intends to establish patterns of gene flow (using ddRADseq) and detect signature of selective sweeps (whole genome Pool-seq) associated with insecticide resistance in field populations to predict the evolution and spread of resistance Africa-wide.