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1.  Infection of Laboratory-Colonized Anopheles darlingi Mosquitoes by Plasmodium vivax 
Anopheles darlingi Root is the most important malaria vector in the Amazonia region of South America. However, continuous propagation of An. darlingi in the laboratory has been elusive, limiting entomological, genetic/genomic, and vector–pathogen interaction studies of this mosquito species. Here, we report the establishment of an An. darlingi colony derived from wild-caught mosquitoes obtained in the northeastern Peruvian Amazon region of Iquitos in the Loreto Department. We show that the numbers of eggs, larvae, pupae, and adults continue to rise at least to the F6 generation. Comparison of feeding Plasmodium vivax ex vivo of F4 and F5 to F1 generation mosquitoes showed the comparable presence of oocysts and sporozoites, with numbers that corresponded to blood-stage asexual parasitemia and gametocytemia, confirming P. vivax vectorial capacity in the colonized mosquitoes. These results provide new avenues for research on An. darlingi biology and study of An. darlingi–Plasmodium interactions.
doi:10.4269/ajtmh.13-0708
PMCID: PMC3973502  PMID: 24534811
2.  Molecular Taxonomy of Anopheles (Nyssorhynchus) benarrochi (Diptera: Culicidae) and Malaria Epidemiology in Southern Amazonian Peru 
Anopheline specimens were collected in 2011 by human landing catch, Shannon and CDC traps from the malaria endemic localities of Santa Rosa and San Pedro in Madre de Dios Department, Peru. Most specimens were either Anopheles (Nyssorhynchus) benarrochi B or An. (Nys.) rangeli, confirmed by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism-internal transcribed spacer 2 (PCR-RFLP-ITS2) and, for selected individuals, ITS2 sequences. A few specimens from Lupuna, Loreto Department, northern Amazonian Peru, were also identified as An. benarrochi B. A statistical parsimony network using ITS2 sequences confirmed that all Peruvian An. benarrochi B analyzed were identical to those in GenBank from Putumayo, southern Colombia. Sequences of the mtDNA COI BOLD region of specimens from all three Peruvian localities were connected using a statistical parsimony network, although there were multiple mutation steps between northern and southern Peruvian sequences. A Bayesian inference of concatenated Peruvian sequences of ITS2+COI detected a single clade with very high support for all An. benarrochi B except one individual from Lupuna that was excluded. No samples were positive for Plasmodium by CytB-PCR.
doi:10.4269/ajtmh.2012.12-0429
PMCID: PMC3583324  PMID: 23243107
3.  Genetic Diversity of Anopheles triannulatus s.l. (Diptera: Culicidae) from Northwestern and Southeastern Colombia 
Anopheles triannulatus s.l. is a species complex, however in Colombia its taxonomic status is unclear. This study was conducted to understand the level of genetic differentiation or population structure of specimens of An. triannulatus s.l. from northwestern and southeastern Colombia. Cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) and internal transcribed spacer (ITS2) sequence analyses suggested high genetic differentiation between the NW and SE populations. A TCS network and Bayesian inference analysis based on 814 bp of COI showed two main groups: group I included samples from the NW and group II samples from the SE. Two main ITS2-polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) patterns were found. Pattern I is present in both the NW and SE, and pattern II is found in the SE specimens. To further elucidate the taxonomic status of An. triannulatus s.l. in Colombia and how these COI lineages are related to the Triannulatus Complex species, the evaluation of immature stages, male genitalia, and additional mitochondrial and nuclear markers will be needed.
doi:10.4269/ajtmh.2012.12-0285
PMCID: PMC3516268  PMID: 22949519
4.  Mitochondrial DNA Detects a Complex Evolutionary History with Pleistocene Epoch Divergence for the Neotropical Malaria Vector Anopheles nuneztovari Sensu Lato 
Cryptic species and lineages characterize Anopheles nuneztovari s.l. Gabaldón, an important malaria vector in South America. We investigated the phylogeographic structure across the range of this species with cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) mitochondrial DNA sequences to estimate the number of clades and levels of divergence. Bayesian and maximum-likelihood phylogenetic analyses detected four groups distributed in two major monophyletic clades (I and II). Samples from the Amazon Basin were clustered in clade I, as were subclades II-A and II-B, whereas those from Bolivia/Colombia/Venezuela were restricted to one basal subclade (II-C). These data, together with a statistical parsimony network, confirm results of previous studies that An. nuneztovari is a species complex consisting of at least two cryptic taxa, one occurring in Colombia and Venezuela and the another occurring in the Amazon Basin. These data also suggest that additional incipient species may exist in the Amazon Basin. Divergence time and expansion tests suggested that these groups separated and expanded in the Pleistocene Epoch. In addition, the COI sequences clearly separated An. nuneztovari s.l. from the closely related species An. dunhami Causey, and three new records are reported for An. dunhami in Amazonian Brazil. These findings are relevant for vector control programs in areas where both species occur. Our analyses support dynamic geologic and landscape changes in northern South America, and infer particularly active divergence during the Pleistocene Epoch for New World anophelines.
doi:10.4269/ajtmh.2011.11-0150
PMCID: PMC3205631  PMID: 22049039
5.  Genetic Structure of Anopheles (Nyssorhynchus) marajoara (Diptera: Culicidae) in Colombia 
Five Anopheles marajoara Galvão and Damasceno populations, representing diverse ecological conditions, were sampled throughout Colombia and analyzed using nine hypervariable DNA microsatellite loci. The overall genetic diversity (H = 0.58) was lower than that determined for some Brazilian populations using the same markers. The Caquetá population (Colombia) had the lowest gene diversity (H = 0.48), and it was the only population at Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium. Hardy–Weinberg disequilibrium in the remaining four populations was probably caused by the Wahlund effect. The assignment analyses showed two incompletely isolated gene pools separated by the Eastern Andean cordillera. However, other possible geographical barriers (rivers and other mountains) did not play any role in the moderate genetic heterogeneity found among these populations (FST = 0.069). These results are noteworthy, because this species is a putative malaria vector in Colombia.
doi:10.4269/ajtmh.2010.09-0482
PMCID: PMC2929056  PMID: 20810825
6.  Microgeographic Genetic Variation of the Malaria Vector Anopheles darlingi Root (Diptera: Culicidae) from Córdoba and Antioquia, Colombia 
Anopheles darlingi is an important vector of Plasmodium spp. in several malaria-endemic regions of Colombia. This study was conducted to test genetic variation of An. darlingi at a microgeographic scale (approximately 100 km) from localities in Córdoba and Antioquia states, in western Colombia, to better understand the potential contribution of population genetics to local malaria control programs. Microsatellite loci: nuclear white and cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) gene sequences were analyzed. The northern white gene lineage was exclusively distributed in Córdoba and Antioquia and shared COI haplotypes were highly represented in mosquitoes from both states. COI analyses showed these An. darlingi are genetically closer to Central American populations than southern South American populations. Overall microsatellites and COI analysis showed low to moderate genetic differentiation among populations in northwestern Colombia. Given the existence of high gene flow between An. darlingi populations of Córdoba and Antioquia, integrated vector control strategies could be developed in this region of Colombia.
doi:10.4269/ajtmh.2010.09-0381
PMCID: PMC2912573  PMID: 20595475
7.  Evidence for Pleistocene Population Divergence and Expansion of Anopheles albimanus in Southern Central America 
The micro-geographic structure of Anopheles albimanus was studied in southern Central America using partial sequences of the mtDNA cytochrome oxidase subunit I gene (COI). Analysis of molecular variance supported significant genetic structure between populations from Costa Rica and western Panama versus those from central-eastern Panama (ΦCT = 0.33), whereas the within group divergence was shallow and statistically insignificant (ΦST = 0.08). Furthermore, a statistical parsimony network depicted three divergent groups of haplotypes that were not evenly distributed across the study area. Our findings are in partial agreement with previous studies, yet they do not support physical barriers to gene flow or contemporary isolation by distance in this region. Instead, three co-occurring groups of An. albimanus may be the result of multiple introductions, most likely caused by historical fragmentation and subsequent secondary contact. In addition, the molecular signature of population expansion of An. albimanus was detected in central-eastern Panama approximately 22,000 years ago (95% confidence interval [CI] 10,183–38,169). We hypothesize that the population structure of An. albimanus, as determined by our COI locus analysis, is the result of late Pleistocene climatic changes in northern South America.
doi:10.4269/ajtmh.2010.09-0423
PMCID: PMC2803528  PMID: 20065014
8.  Short Report: Anopheles darlingi (Diptera: Culicidae) in Panama 
We report Anopheles darlingi in Darien Province in eastern Panama. Polymerase chain reaction–restriction fragment length polymorphism profiles of the single copy nuclear white gene and sequence comparisons confirmed the presence of 66 specimens of the northern lineage of An. darlingi. The parsimony network depicted 5 CO1 haplotypes in 40 specimens of An. darlingi, which connected through 7–8 mutational steps with sequences from Central and South America. Furthermore, the presence of haplotypes in Biroquera, Darien Province identical to those previously published from northern Colombia suggests that Panamanian samples originated in Colombia. Results of neutrality tests (R2 and Fu’s FS) were not significant and the mismatch distribution was multimodal and did not fit the model of sudden population growth. These findings may indicate a long and stable presence of An. darlingi in eastern Panama.
PMCID: PMC2769027  PMID: 19556561

Results 1-8 (8)