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Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2007 Sep;77(3):485-7.

A new robust diagnostic polymerase chain reaction for determining the mating status of female Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes.

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  • 1Ifakara Health Research and Development Centre, Tanzania; Center for Vectorborne Diseases, University of California, Davis, California, USA. kija@ihrdc.or.tz


The principal malaria vector in Africa, Anopheles gambiae, contains two pairs of autosomes and one pair of sex chromosomes. The Y chromosome is only associated with males and other Y chromosome-specific DNA sequences, which are transferred to women during mating. A reliable tool to determine the mating status of dried wild An. gambiae females is currently lacking. DNA was extracted from dried virgin and mated females and used to test whether Y chromosome-specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR) markers can be successfully amplified and used as a predictor of mating. Here we report a new PCR-based method to determine the mating status among successfully inseminated and virgin wild An. gambiae females, using three male-specific primers. This dissection-free method has the potential to facilitate studies of both population demographics and gene flow from dried mosquito samples routinely collected in epidemiologic monitoring and aid existing and new malaria-vector control approaches.

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