Skip to main content
ARS Home » Plains Area » Manhattan, Kansas » Center for Grain and Animal Health Research » Stored Product Insect and Engineering Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #348792

Research Project: Sustainable Management Strategies for Stored-Product Insects

Location: Stored Product Insect and Engineering Research

Title: Rapid, non-invasive detection of Zika virus in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes by near-infrared spectroscopy

Author
item FERNANDES, JILL - UNIVERSITY OF QUEENSLAND
item DOS SANTOS, LILHA M - OSWALDO CRUZ FOUNDATION
item CHOUIN-CARNEIRO, THAIS - OSWALDO CRUZ FOUNDATION
item PAVAN, MARCIO - OSWALDO CRUZ FOUNDATION
item GARCIA, GABRIELA - OSWALDO CRUZ FOUNDATION
item DAVID, MARIANA - OSWALDO CRUZ FOUNDATION
item BEIER, JOHN - UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI
item Dowell, Floyd
item MACIEL-DE-FREITAS, RAFAEL - OSWALDO CRUZ FOUNDATION
item SIKULU-LORD, MAGGY - UNIVERSITY OF QUEENSLAND

Submitted to: Science Advances
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/26/2018
Publication Date: 5/23/2018
Citation: Fernandes, J.N., Dos Santos, L.B., Chouin-Carneiro, T., Pavan, M.G., Garcia, G.A., David, M.R., Beier, J.C., Dowell, F.E., Maciel-De-Freitas, R., Sikulu-Lord, M.T. 2018. Rapid, non-invasive detection of Zika virus in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes by near-infrared spectroscopy. Science Advances. 4(5):eaat0496. https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.aat0496.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.aat0496

Interpretive Summary: Diseases spread by mosquitoes claim over 700,000 lives each year and threaten 80% of the global population. The unprecedented geographic expansion of dengue and chikungunya viruses and the explosive outbreaks of Zika virus disease and yellow fever in 2015–2016 highlight the need for more effective surveillance of diseases at the national and subnational levels. The time and cost required to screen trapped adult mosquitoes for infectious diseases are currently major barriers to timely control of diseases. Conventional screening involves the amplification of viral genes in mosquito samples using complicated laboratory procedures at a cost of ~USD10 per mosquito, and this is beyond the budget of most disease control programs. Given the absence of accurate, rapid and affordable tools to detect viruses in mosquitoes, many disease control programs rely exclusively on human case data to identify transmission hotspots. This strategy results in reactive control interventions that are often applied too late to prevent the spread of disease outbreaks. Here we show for the first time that near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) can be used to instantly, cost-effectively and non-invasively detect Zika virus in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes with prediction accuracies of over 95%. The technique does not require specialized skills, reagents or sample-specific procedures. We anticipate that our findings will be expanded upon in the future to assist vector-borne disease surveillance programs in preventing disease outbreaks.

Technical Abstract: Vector-borne diseases claim over 700,000 lives each year and threaten 80% of the global population. The unprecedented geographic expansion of dengue and chikungunya viruses and the explosive outbreaks of Zika virus disease and yellow fever in 2015–2016 highlight the need for more effective surveillance of vector-borne diseases at the national and subnational levels. The time and cost required to screen trapped adult mosquitoes for pathogens are currently major barriers to timely control of vector-borne pathogens in disease-endemic countries. Conventional pathogen screening involves the amplification of viral genes in mosquito samples using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), but with a cost of ~USD10 per mosquito, this method is beyond the budget of most vector-borne disease control programs. Given the absence of accurate, rapid and affordable tools to detect arboviruses in mosquitoes, many vector-borne disease control programs rely exclusively on human case data to identify transmission hotspots. This strategy results in reactive control interventions that are often applied too late to prevent the spread of arbovirus outbreaks. Here we show for the first time that near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) can be used to instantly, cost-effectively and non-invasively detect Zika virus in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes with prediction accuracies of 94.2–99.3%compared with RT-qPCR. NIRS involves shining a beam of light on the head and thorax or the abdomen of a mosquito and analysing the collected spectral data against established models to instantly determine the infection status. The technique does not require specialized skills, reagents or sample-specific procedures. We anticipate that our findings will be expanded upon in the future to assist vector-borne disease surveillance programs in preventing disease outbreaks.