n African Entomology - Identification of (Diptera : Culicidae) using ribosomal DNA internal transcribed spacer (ITS2) sequence variation

Volume 10, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1021-3589



Giles (Diptera : Culicidae) is arguably the most efficient vector of malaria in Africa. It belongs to a group of nine morphologically similar species, most of which play no role in malaria transmission. Studies on the group are hampered by the difficulties in identifying members of the group. A polymerase chain reaction single strand conformation polymorphism (PCR SSCP) assay can accurately distinguish three species within the group, namely Giles, Leeson and Evans. However, the SSCP gel profiles of two additional species, Gillies and Gillies & Coetzee, although different from the above three species, overlap in their profiles, leading to misidentification. We report on the development of an additional PCR assay able to discriminate between and on the basis of fragment size variation after amplification of the ITS2 region of rDNA. Combining these two assays it is possible to identify five of the most common species of the group found in southern Africa.

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