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Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2004 Feb;70(2):105-9.

Geographic and ecologic distributions of the Anopheles gambiae complex predicted using a genetic algorithm.

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Division of Parasitic Diseases, National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia 30341-3717, USA.


The distribution of the Anopheles gambiae complex of malaria vectors in Africa is uncertain due to under-sampling of vast regions. We use ecologic niche modeling to predict the potential distribution of three members of the complex (A. gambiae, A. arabiensis, and A. quadriannulatus) and demonstrate the statistical significance of the models. Predictions correspond well to previous estimates, but provide detail regarding spatial discontinuities in the distribution of A. gambiae s.s. that are consistent with population genetic studies. Our predictions also identify large areas of Africa where the presence of A. arabiensis is predicted, but few specimens have been obtained, suggesting under-sampling of the species. Finally, we project models developed from African distribution data for the late 1900s into the past and to South America to determine retrospectively whether the deadly 1929 introduction of A. gambiae sensu lato into Brazil was more likely that of A. gambiae sensu stricto or A. arabiensis.

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