A cocktail polymerase chain reaction assay to identify members of the Anopheles funestus (Diptera: Culicidae) group.

L L KoekemoerDepartment of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, School of Pathology of the National Health Laboratory Services and the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. lizettek@mail.saimr.wits.ac.za

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L KamauDepartment of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, School of Pathology of the National Health Laboratory Services and the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. lizettek@mail.saimr.wits.ac.za

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R H HuntDepartment of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, School of Pathology of the National Health Laboratory Services and the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. lizettek@mail.saimr.wits.ac.za

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M CoetzeeDepartment of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, School of Pathology of the National Health Laboratory Services and the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. lizettek@mail.saimr.wits.ac.za

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Anopheles funestus Giles is a major malaria vector in Africa belonging to a group of species with morphologically similar characteristics. Morphological identification of members of the A. funestus group is difficult because of overlap of distinguishing characteristics in adult or immature stages as well as the necessity to rear isofemale lines to examine larval and egg characters. A rapid rDNA polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method has been developed to accurately identify five members of the A. funestus group. This PCR is based on species-specific primers in the ITS2 region on the rDNA to identify A. funestus (approximately 505bp), Anopheles vaneedeni Gillies and Coetzee (approximately 587bp), Anopheles rivulorum Leeson (approximately 411bp), Anopheles leesoni Evans (approximately 146bp), and Anopheles parensis Gillies (approximately 252bp).

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