Cryptic species within Anopheles longipalpis from southern Africa and phylogenetic comparison with members of the An. funestus group

L. L. Koekemoer, E. A. Misiani, R. H. Hunt, R. J. Kent, D. E. Norris, M. Coetzee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

House-resting Anopheles mosquitoes are targeted for vector control interventions; however, without proper species identification, the importance of these Anopheles to malaria transmission is unknown. Anopheles longipalpis, a non-vector species, has been found in significant numbers resting indoors in houses in southern Zambia, potentially impacting on the utilization of scarce resources for vector control. The identification of An. longipalpis is currently based on classical morphology using minor characteristics in the adult stage and major ones in the larval stage. The close similarity to the major malaria vector An. funestus led to investigations into the development of a molecular assay for identification of An. longipalpis. Molecular analysis of An. longipalpis from South Africa and Zambia revealed marked differences in size and nucleotide sequence in the second internal transcribed spacer (ITS2) region of ribosomal DNA between these two populations, leading to the conclusion that more than one species was being analysed. Phylogenetic analysis showed the Zambian samples aligned with An. funestus, An. vaneedeni and An. parensis, whereas the South African sample aligned with An. leesoni, a species that is considered to be more closely related to the Asian An. minimus subgroup than to the African An. funestus subgroup. Species-specific primers were designed to be used in a multiplex PCR assay to distinguish between these two cryptic species and members of the An. funestus subgroup for which there is already a multiplex PCR assay.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-49
Number of pages9
JournalBulletin of Entomological Research
Volume99
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2009

Keywords

  • Anopheles funestus
  • Anopheles longipalpis
  • Internal transcribed spacer (ITS2)
  • PCR
  • Phylogenetics
  • South Africa
  • Zambia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Insect Science

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