The use of pyrethroid insecticides in malaria vector control has increased dramatically in the past decade through the scale up of insecticide treated net distribution programmes and indoor residual spraying campaigns. Inevitably, the major malaria vectors have developed resistance to these insecticides and the resistance alleles are spreading at an exceptionally rapid rate throughout Africa. Although substantial progress has been made on understanding the causes of pyrethroid resistance, remarkably few studies have focused on the epidemiological impact of resistance on current malaria control activities. As we move into the malaria eradication era, it is vital that the implications of insecticide resistance are understood and strategies to mitigate these effects are implemented. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.