Dengue outbreaks occur regularly in parts of northern Queensland, Australia, and there is concern that these outbreaks may spread with the introduction and range expansion of the two main vectors Aedes aegypti (L.) and Aedes albopictus (Skuse). Problems encountered in separating larvae of endemic and exotic container mosquito species resulted in the development of a polymerase chain reaction diagnostic procedure that uses a restriction enzyme to cut the internal transcribed spacer region 1 of the ribosomal DNA to separate Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus from a number of common local container mosquito species which can be used at any stage of the life cycle, including eggs up to 8 wk of age. Identification was possible using desiccated or alcohol-preserved specimens with a response time of <24 h after receipt of the specimens.
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Vol. 44 • No. 2