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First molecular detection of Plasmodium relictum in Anopheles sinensis and Armigeres subalbatus

Jilei Zhang,Guangwu Lu,Patrick Kelly,Jing Li,Min Li,Jiawei Wang,Ke Huang,Haixiang Qiu,Jinfeng You,Rong Zhang,Yaoyao Wang,Yuanyuan Zhang,Chengming Wang.

Abstract
Background: Plasmodium relictum is one of the most important avian malaria species which is mainly seen in wild birds, with infections reported in more than 70 different species and at high prevalence. Aim: The aim of this study was to determine the molecular prevalence of Plasmodium spp. in mosquitoes collected in China. Method: A Plasmodium spp.-specific FRET PCR was established in this study to analyze five species of mosquitoes (1,620 Culex pipiens pallens, 806 Aedes albopictus, 377 Armigeres subalbatus, 168 Anopheles sinensis, and 80 Culex tritaeniorhynchus) collected in hand nets from homes in 25 provinces of China. Results: Only females originated from six provinces were determined to be positive (0.6%, 10/1,809). Plasmodium species were detected in three mosquito species, Cx. pipiens pallens (0.5%, 8/1,620), An. sinensis (0.6%, 1/168) and Ar. subalbatus (0.3%, 1/377). Of the three mosquito species positive for P. relictum, only Cx. pipiens pallens is known to feed on birds and is recognized as the natural vector of P. relictum. Conclusion: This is the first time that P. relictum has been detected in An. sinensis and Ar. subalbatus. P. relictum, the agent of avian malaria, was present in mosquitoes in China, including in mosquito species not previously thought to be the vectors.

Key words: Anopheles sinensis; Armigeres subalbatus; China; mosquito; Plasmodium relictum


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