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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The Anopheles culicifacies complex and control of malaria.

Of the 50 or so species and varieties of anopheline mosquito in India, about 20 are implicated as vectors of human malaria. Of these, perhaps the most important and widespread is Anopheles culicifacies s.l. For the first 10 years of widespread DDT spraying, An. culicifacies remained susceptible to this insecticide - indeed, some thought it lacked resistance genes altogether. By 1960 however, resistance to DDT was apparent. DDT is a cheap insecticide, and its use is still favoured for mosquito control wherever it remains effective. But by the end of the late 1970s it appeared that DDT resistance in An. culicifacies (and other species) was a major barrier to effective vector control in several areas - particularly in parts of the northwestern states. Yet in other areas DDT still seemed to be effective. There was also increasing evidence from other studies suggesting differences in An. culicifacies found in different areas - particularly differences in seasonal prevalence and man-biting activity. We now know - as Sarala Subbarao discusses here - that An. culicifacies s.l. represents a complex of at least four sibling species. But in this case, one of the most important findings is that DDT resistance is mainly associated with species B which proves to be a very poor vector of malaria. Such findings, made possible by careful cytogenetic studies, have very important consequences for malaria epidemiology and control policies.[1]


  1. The Anopheles culicifacies complex and control of malaria. Subbarao, S.K. Parasitol. Today (Regul. Ed.) (1988) [Pubmed]
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