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Acta Trop. 2008 Jul;107(1):50-3. doi: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2008.04.009. Epub 2008 Apr 15.

Development of a multiplex real-time PCR assay for identification of members of the Anopheles gambiae species complex.

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Centre for Sustainable Pest and Disease Management, Biological Chemistry Department, Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, AL5 2JQ, UK.


Two high-throughput assays for the identification of members of the Anopheles gambiae sensu lato species complex have recently been reported. These methods, are based on TaqMan single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping that enables rapid scoring of mosquito DNA samples in real-time PCR reactions. Unfortunately, both assays are restricted in the number of species that they can identify and a combination of the two assays may be required to identify all possible species in certain regions. To overcome this limitation, and thereby further increase throughput while reducing costs, we have developed a new multiplex real-time PCR assay for identifying members of the An. gambiae complex. The new method uses three probes labelled with fluorophores with distinct emission and excitation spectra, allowing simultaneous detection of the two main malaria vectors from the non-vector sibling species, and can be used on single mosquito legs from silica-dried specimens. A genotyping trial of over 450 specimens collected from 13 countries in sub-Saharan Africa showed the multiplex assay to be highly specific and sensitive and it compared well against the two previously reported TaqMan assays and standard allele-specific PCR.

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