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Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2012 Jan;86(1):140-51. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.2012.11-0503.

Multiplex assay for species identification and monitoring of insecticide resistance in Anopheles punctulatus group populations of Papua New Guinea.

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  • 1Center for Global Health and Diseases, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, Ohio, USA.


Anopheles punctulatus sibling species (An. punctulatus s.s., Anopheles koliensis, and Anopheles farauti species complex [eight cryptic species]) are principal vectors of malaria and filariasis in the Southwest Pacific. Given significant effort to reduce malaria and filariasis transmission through insecticide-treated net distribution in the region, effective strategies to monitor evolution of insecticide resistance among An. punctulatus sibling species is essential. Mutations in the voltage-gated sodium channel (VGSC) gene have been associated with knock-down resistance (kdr) to pyrethroids and DDT in malarious regions. By examining VGSC sequence polymorphism we developed a multiplex assay to differentiate wild-type versus kdr alleles and query intron-based polymorphisms that enable simultaneous species identification. A survey including mosquitoes from seven Papua New Guinea Provinces detected no kdr alleles in any An. punctulatus species. Absence of VGSC sequence introgression between species and evidence of geographic separation within species suggests that kdr must be monitored in each An. punctulatus species independently.

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