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An Update on the Distribution, Bionomics, and Insecticide Susceptibility of Anopheles Stephensi in Ethiopia, 2018–2020

Meshesha Balkew, Peter Mumba, Gedeon Yohannes, Ephrem Abiy, and Dereje Dengela (Abt Global, PMI VectorLink Ethiopia Project), Dejene Getachew (Dire Dawa University, Dire Dawa, Ethiopia), Solomon Yared and Amha Worku (Jigjiga University, Jigjiga, Ethiopia), Araya Gebresilassie (Addis Ababa University), Fitsum G. Tadesse, Endalamaw Gadisa, Endashaw Esayas, Temesgen Ashine, and Hiwot Teka (Armauer Hansen Research Institute, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia), Delenasaw Yewhalaw (Tropical Infectious Disease Research Center, Jimma University, Jimma, Ethiopia), Sheleme Chibsa, Hiwot Teka, Matt Murphy, Melissa Yoshimizu, Sarah Zohdy, and Seth Irish (US President’s Malaria Initiative), Sheleme Chibsa and Hiwot Teka (United States Agency for International Development), Matt Murphy (Malaria Branch, Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria, Center for Global Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)


June 29, 2021

Anopheles stephensi, an invasive malaria vector, was first detected in Djibouti nearly 10 years ago and then was found in Ethiopia, Sudan, and Somalia. Informed policies and vector control decisions require understanding of the distribution, bionomics, insecticide susceptibility, and transmission potential of An. stephensi.

Abt studied these aspects as part of routine entomological monitoring in Ethiopia between 2018 and 2020. Blood-meal analysis revealed a high proportion of blood meals that were taken from goats, and only a small proportion from humans. High levels of insecticide resistance were detected to pyrethroids, carbamates, and organophosphates. Pre-exposure to piperonyl butoxide increased susceptibility to pyrethroids. Larvae were found to be susceptible to temephos.

Further work is needed to understand the role that An. stephensi will have in Plasmodium transmission and malaria case incidence in Ethiopia. While additional data are being collected, national programs can use the available data to formulate and operationalize national strategies against the threat of An. stephensi.