Culex species diversity, susceptibility to insecticides and role as potential vector of Lymphatic filariasis in the city of Yaoundé, Cameroon.

PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2019 04 3;13(4):e0007229. Epub 2019 Apr 3.

Laboratoire de Recherche sur le Paludisme, Organisation de Coordination pour la lutte Contreles Endémies en Afrique Centrale (OCEAC), Yaoundé, Cameroon.

Background: Culex species are widespread across Cameroon and responsible for high burden of nuisance in most urban settings. However, despite their high nuisance, they remain less studied compared to anophelines. The present study aimed to assess Culex species distribution, susceptibility to insecticide, bionomics and role in Lymphatic Filariasis (LF) transmission in the city of Yaoundé.

Methods: Mosquito collections were conducted from March to December 2017 using Centre for Disease Control light traps (CDC-LT), human landing catches (HLC) and larval collections. Mosquitoes were identified using morphological identification keys. Mosquitoes from the Culex pipiens complex were further identified using Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) to assess the presence of sibling species. Bioassays were conducted with 2-5 day-old unfed females to assess mosquito susceptibility to DDT, permethrin, deltamethrin and bendiocarb following WHO guidelines. Dead, control and surviving mosquitoes from bioassays were screened by PCR to detect the presence of knockdown resistance (kdr) alleles. Pools of mosquitoes were examined by PCR to detect the presence of Wuchereria bancrofti.

Results: A total of 197,956 mosquitoes belonging to thirteen species were collected. The density of mosquito collected varied according to the collection methods, districts and seasons. Culex quinquefasciatus emerged as the most abundant and the only species of the Culex pipiens complex in Yaoundé. Culex species were found breeding in different types of breeding sites including polluted and unpolluted sites. All Culex species including Cx antennatus, Cx duttoni, Cx perfuscus and Cx tigripes were found to be highly resistant to permethrin, deltamethrin and DDT. Culex quinquefasciatus was also found to be resistant to bendiocarb. A high frequency of the West Africa kdr allele was recorded in resistant Cx. quinquefasciatus. Out of the 247 pooled samples of 25 Culex spp. examined for the presence of Wuchereria bancrofti, none was found infected.

Conclusion: The study confirms the high adaptation of Culex species particularly Culex quinquefasciatus to the urban environment and no implication of this species in the transmission of LF in Yaoundé Cameroon. Culex species predominance in urban settings highlight potential transmission risk of West Nile and rift valley fever in Yaoundé.

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