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Free Content Review of the Minimus Complex of Anopheles, main malaria vector in Southeast Asia: from taxonomic issues to vector control strategies

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Summary Background 

The Minimus Complex of Anopheles subgenus Cellia is composed of two sibling species, A and C, on the Southeast Asian mainland, and a third allopatric species E that occurs in the Ryukyu Archipelago (Japan), a malaria-free region. Anopheles minimus s.l. is considered to be one of the main malaria vector in the hilly forested regions of Southeast Asia. Despite a large number of studies over its range of distribution, it is difficult to have a global view of the ecological and bionomical characteristics of the individual species as different identification methods were used, generally without specific identification of the sibling species. Objectives 

(1) To review the main malaria studies on An. minimus s.l.; (2) to discuss recently published data on the biology and ecology of each sibling species; and (3) to identify gaps in our understanding of the Minimus Complex. Review Results 

Major biological and ecological trends are addressed, such as the high plasticity of trophic behaviour and the sympatry of species A and C over the Southeast Asian mainland. Despite the availability of rapid molecular identification methods, we still lack important information concerning the biological characteristics of each sibling species. These gaps must be filled in the future because An. minimus species A and C may exhibit different abilities to transmit malaria. Conclusion 

We expect that entomological surveys will employ molecular methods to clearly identify these two species, and thus elucidate the biological characteristics of each species. As a consequence, current vector control strategies will be improved by targeting the most efficient vectors.
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Keywords: Anopheles minimus s.l; Southeast Asia; bionomics; distribution; malaria; sibling species

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Institute of Research for Development, Centre of Biology and Management of Populations, Montpellier, France 2: Prince Leopold Institute of Tropical Medicine, Department of Parasitology, Antwerp, Belgium 3: National Institute of Malariology, Parasitology and Entomology, Hanoi, Vietnam

Publication date: 2006-01-01

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