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Anopheles gambiae sensu stricto (s.s.) is a primary vector of Plasmodium falciparum in sub-Saharan Africa. Although some physiological differences among molecular and chromosomal forms of this species have been demonstrated, the relative susceptibility to malaria parasite infection among them has not been unequivocally shown. The objective of this study was to investigate P. falciparum circumsporozoite protein infection (CSP) positivity among An. gambiae s.s. chromosomal and molecular forms.


Wild An. gambiae from two sites Kela (n = 464) and Sidarebougou (n = 266) in Mali were screened for the presence of P. falciparum CSP using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Samples were then identified to molecular form using multiple PCR diagnostics (n = 713) and chromosomal form using chromosomal karyotyping (n = 419).


Of 730 An. gambiae sensu lato (s.l.) mosquitoes, 89 (12.2%) were CSP ELISA positive. The percentage of positive mosquitoes varied by site: 52 (11.2%) in Kela and 37 (13.9%) in Sidarebougou. Eighty-seven of the positive mosquitoes were identified to molecular form and they consisted of nine Anopheles arabiensis (21.4%), 46 S (10.9%), 31 M (12.8%), and one MS hybrid (14.3%). Sixty of the positive mosquitoes were identified to chromosomal form and they consisted of five An. arabiensis (20.0%), 21 Savanna (15.1%), 21 Mopti (30.4%), 11 Bamako (9.2%), and two hybrids (20.0%).


In this collection, the prevalence of P. falciparum infection in the M form was equivalent to infection in the S form (no molecular form differential infection). There was a significant differential infection by chromosomal form such that, P. falciparum infection was more prevalent in the Mopti chromosomal forms than in the Bamako or Savanna forms; the Mopti form was also the most underrepresented in the collection. Continued research on the differential P. falciparum infection of An. gambiae s.s. chromosomal and molecular forms may suggest that Plasmodium – An. gambiae interactions play a role in malaria transmission.

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