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Acta Trop. 2010 Apr;114(1):49-54. doi: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2010.01.003. Epub 2010 Jan 13.

Spatial distribution and r-DNA second internal transcribed spacer characterization of Anopheles dirus (Diptera: Culicidae) complex species in north-east India.

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Regional Medical Research Centre, NE (Indian Council of Medical Research), Post Box No. 105, Dibrugarh 786001, Assam, India.


The identity and distribution of the prevalent member species of the Anopheles dirus complex mosquitoes in the north-eastern region of India was investigated in a cross-sectional study. We altogether collected 267 individuals of An. dirus s.l. from 27 forested/forest fringed locations spread across the seven north-eastern states, identified the species using a ribosomal DNA (r-DNA) second internal transcribed spacer (ITS2) based allele specific polymerase chain reaction (ASPCR) method and sequenced the ITS2 locus in a sub set of mosquitoes. An. baimaii was identified as the main, almost exclusive (266/267), species of the Dirus complex throughout the north-east India with no intraspecific variation in the 479 base pair long ITS2 sequences in 59 of the 60 individuals sequenced. Ribosomal DNA of one individual from Assam state did not amplify in the ASPCR, possessed 786 base pair long ITS2 sequence and showed 99.7% similarity with the sequence of An. dirus species D (An. baimaii) from Yunnan province of China, later referred to as species X of the Dirus complex. These observations suggest the presence of another, possibly the new, species of the Dirus complex, sympatric with An. baimaii, in Assam warranting investigations on its distribution, biology and role in human malaria transmission in north-east India.

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