Anopheles culicifacies A

Range

Anopheles culicifacies is a complex of five species found in Cambodia, China, Ethiopia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, India, Iran and Pakistan, and An, culicifacies A is a malaria vector found in these last three countries.

The Culicifacies Complex includes five species informally named species A, B, C, D and E. The bionomics and ecology of the species within this complex have been largely studied in India and Sri Lanka, and there is a general lack of detailed information from other regions, especially the western areas of its range.

Habitat

The species of the Culicifacies Complex occur in different habitats, ranging from forested areas with perennial streams to deforested riverine ecosystems and irrigated areas. Larval habitats include irrigated canals, stream margins, seepages, borrow pits, hoof marks, rock pools, sandy pools near rice fields, rock quarries, newly dug pits, ponds, domestic wells, tanks and gutters. Immature stages develop in fresh-water habitats but tolerance to moderate salinity has been reported in Oman where larvae have been collected in concrete reservoir tanks containing brackish water. Similarly, species E is able to tolerate variable salinity caused by monsoonal rain in Sri Lanka. It exploits a wide range of aquatic habitats in Sri Lanka, reflecting the significant environmental adaptability of this malaria vector. An. culicifacies C has been observed to greatly outnumber species B in forested areas of Orissa, India whereas species C was found to be most common in deforested areas. In India, species A has been shown to be more abundant in villages with domestic wells, whereas species B was found in higher densities in villages with streams. Species of the Culicifacies Complex are abundant in plains, hilly and mountainous areas up to elevations of 1500m to 2000m in Afghanistan (Kabul region) and the Indian Himalayas.

Resting and feeding preference

Adult biting activity can occur during the first half of the night in cooler months (November-March) and during the second and third quarters of the evening in the warmer months (September-October), although peak biting activity has also been reported as occurring around 23:00 to midnight. Post-feeding behaviour of the species showed a higher tendency for resting indoors, mainly in cattle sheds, but outdoor resting has also been reported. As members of the Culicifacies Complex exhibit distinctly different behaviour, a more thorough study of the bionomics of each species must be undertaken to specifically and efficiently target control efforts against those species involved in malaria transmission.

Vectorial capacity

Four species of the complex (A, C, D, E) are reportedly malaria vectors in India where it is estimated they are responsible for transmitting 60-65% of all cases of malaria in peri-urban and urban environments. Anopheles culicifacies E, due to its high anthropophilic and endophilic behaviour, is the most important and efficient vector of Plasmodium falciparum and P. vivax in southern India and Sri Lanka. Species A, C and D appear to be mainly zoophilic. Therefore, these three species generally play very minor roles in malaria transmission although species C was found to be responsible for local malaria transmission in deforested riverine areas of central India. Due to its highly zoophilic behaviour, species B is considered to be a poor or non-vector.

This text was modified from Sinka ME et al. (2011) The dominant Anopheles vectors of human malaria in Asia-Pacific region: occurrence data, distribution maps and bionomic précis Parasites & Vectors 4:89.

Strains, genome assemblies and gene sets

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