A Simple Key for Identifying the Sibling Species of the Malaria Vector Anopheles gambiae (Giles) Complex by Polytene Chromosome Cytogenetics
It has been established that Anopheles gambiae complex sibling species are the major Plasmodium malaria vectors in Africa; however, not all the sibling species transmit the infection. Easier molecular methods, PCR-based assays, have been developed to distinguish the several members of the A. gambiae complex. However, malaria vector research in less developed countries, particularly sub-Saharan Africa, is being hampered by the lack of PCR facilities in laboratories and the cost of carrying out the assay within lack of funding. Hence, the present study was designed to develop a simple identification key, based on an affordable method of polytene chromosome cytotaxonomy, for identifying the major P. falciparum vectors. The Identification Key was successfully used to identify two members of the A. gambiae complex, A. gambiae sensu stricto and A. arabiensis, which are the most potent malaria vectors in Africa; even so, it could not be used to establish the infective and the refractory strains.
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