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A Quantitative Assessment of the Relationship Between the Malaria Vector Anopheles gambiae sensu stricto and Environment in Mali

  • Author(s): Calhoon, Lisa Marie
  • Advisor(s): Xue, Yongkang
  • et al.
Abstract

Malaria continues to be a problem in much of Africa, largely due to a very efficient vector, Anopheles gambiae sensu stricto. Extensive research on the genetics of this species has found that there are some genetic distinctions within the species, which have led scientists to categorize them into different "forms," based on the environmental conditions the different forms inhabit. However, research has shown that in some locations, these forms coexist, yet they generally do not interbreed. One categorization, the "molecular" form, has two types; "M" and "S". In Mali, the M form generally exists in the hot and dry area of the vegetated zone, while the S form prefers the more wet and vegetated southwestern part of the country, yet between these extremes, they occur in sympatry. This research uses satellite derived environmental and climate data to learn what the associations are between mosquito form and immediate environment. We have found that there are environmental conditions that appear to be suitable to both the M and the S forms. These findings will contribute to further research on the species and may be useful for vector-control programs.

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