In 1994, the first indigenous case of malaria since the 1960s was reported in Armenia, and the number of cases quickly increased in the ensuing years. In 1998, a roll-back malaria program was developed to eliminate the recently established foci of malaria infection and to prevent the reestablishment of malaria in Armenia. As part of this program, we carried out entomological surveys to identify the potential malaria vectors in the Ararat Valley, the area where most of the indigenous malaria cases had been reported. In particular, we attempted to ascertain the presence of Anopheles sacharovi Favre, which is historically the most important malaria vector in Armenia yet which had not been reported since 1965. In 1998–2000, we collected adult mosquitoes and larvae in the city of Masis and in three rural villages of the Ararat Valley. Species identification of the members of the Anopheles maculipennis complex was performed through egg and larval morphology, heteroduplex analysis, and sequencing of the second internal transcribed spacer of ribosomal DNA. Two species of the complex were identified: An. sacharovi, found in all of the study sites, and An. maculipennis s.s. Meigen, the most common species in the area. The reemergence of An. sacharovi in the study sites shows that the receptivity for malaria is still high in the Ararat Valley and, likely, in other regions of Armenia.
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