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      Malaria transmission dynamics at a site in northern Ghana proposed for testing malaria vaccines

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          Identification of single specimens of the Anopheles gambiae complex by the polymerase chain reaction.

          A ribosomal DNA-polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method has been developed for species identification of individuals of the five most widespread members of the Anopheles gambiae complex, a group of morphologically indistinguishable sibling mosquito species that includes the major vectors of malaria in Africa. The method, which is based on species-specific nucleotide sequences in the ribosomal DNA intergenic spacers, may be used to identify both species and interspecies hybrids, regardless of life stage, using either extracted DNA or fragments of a specimen. Intact portions of a mosquito as small as an egg or the segment of one leg may be placed directly into the PCR mixture for amplification and analysis. The method uses a cocktail of five 20-base oligonucleotides to identify An. gambiae, An. arabiensis, An. quadriannnulatus, and either An. melas in western Africa or An. melas in eastern and southern Africa.
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            Impact of irrigation on malaria in Africa: paddies paradox.

            The high population growth rate of the African continent has led to an increased demand for food and is in danger of outstripping agricultural production. In order to meet this need, many governments have sought ways of improving food production by initiating large-scale irrigation projects, involving reclamation of arid and semi-arid areas for the cultivation of crops. Although crop irrigation promises one solution to alleviating hunger and encourages economic growth, irrigation has often been blamed for aggravating disease in local communities. Malaria is one of the major tropical diseases associated with irrigation schemes, and changes in the transmission pattern of this disease following irrigation development have been a perennial subject of debate. It has often been assumed that high numbers of malaria vector Anopheles mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) resulting from irrigation schemes lead inevitably to increased malaria in local communities. However, recent studies in Africa have revealed a more complex picture. Increased numbers of vectors following irrigation can lead to increased malaria in areas of unstable transmission, where people have little or no immunity to malaria parasites, such as the African highlands and desert fringes. But for most of sub-Saharan Africa, where malaria is stable, the introduction of crop irrigation has little impact on malaria transmission. Indeed, there is growing evidence that for many sites there is less malaria in irrigated communities than surrounding areas. The explanation for this finding is still unresolved but, in some cases at least, can be attributed to displacement of the most endophilic and anthropophilic malaria vector Anopheles funestus Giles by An. arabiensis Patton with lower vectorial capacity, as the latter thrives more than the former in ricefields. Similarly, among members of the An. gambiae complex, some cytotypes of An. gambiae sensu stricto are more vectorial than others. For example, the Mopti form has high vectorial capacity and breeds perennially in irrigated sites, whereas the savanna form is often sympatric but more seasonal. Also we suggest that many communities near irrigation schemes benefit from the greater wealth created by these schemes. Consequently irrigation communities often have greater use of bednets, better access to improved healthcare and receive fewer infective bites compared with those outside such development schemes. Thus, in most cases, irrigation schemes in Africa do not appear to increase malaria risk, except in areas of unstable transmission. However, developers should take the opportunity to improve health-care facilities for local communities when planning irrigation schemes wherever they occur.
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              Molecular identification of sympatric chromosomal forms of Anopheles gambiae and further evidence of their reproductive isolation.

              Three chromosomal forms of Anopheles gambiae s.s., designated as Bamako, Mopti and Savanna, were studied for diagnostic PCR assays based on the analysis of the X-linked ribosomal DNA (rDNA). The study was performed on a 1.3 kb fragment containing part of the 28S coding region and part of the intergenic spacer region. The amplified material was cut with fourteen restriction enzymes to detect Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphisms (RFLPs). The enzymes Tru9I and HhaI produced patterns of DNA bands which differentiated Mopti from Savanna and Bamako; moreover, a distinct 'hybrid' pattern was recognized in the F1 female progeny from the cross of Mopti with either one of the other two chromosomal forms. The diagnostic significance of the PCR-RFLP assay was verified on 203 karyotyped females from field samples collected in two villages in Mali and one village in Burkina Faso. Agreement was observed between the chromosomal and the molecular identifications. No 'hybrid' molecular patterns were detected even among carriers of rare heterokaryotypes hypothetically produced by crosses between Mopti and Savanna. The results confirm previous observations indicating barriers to gene flow within An. gambiae s.s. and supporting the specific status of the taxonomic units proposed on cytogenetic ground.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Tropical Medicine and International Health
                Trop Med Int Health
                Wiley
                1360-2276
                1365-3156
                January 2004
                January 2004
                : 9
                : 1
                : 164-170
                Article
                10.1046/j.1365-3156.2003.01162.x
                © 2004

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