Research ArticleEPIDEMIOLOGY

Rapid, noninvasive detection of Zika virus in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes by near-infrared spectroscopy

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Science Advances  23 May 2018:
Vol. 4, no. 5, eaat0496
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aat0496


The accelerating global spread of arboviruses, such as Zika virus (ZIKV), highlights the need for more proactive mosquito surveillance. However, a major challenge during arbovirus outbreaks has been the lack of rapid and affordable tests for pathogen detection in mosquitoes. We show for the first time that near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) is a rapid, reagent-free, and cost-effective tool that can be used to noninvasively detect ZIKV in heads and thoraces of intact Aedes aegypti mosquitoes with prediction accuracies of 94.2 to 99.3% relative to quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR). NIRS involves simply shining a beam of light on a mosquito to collect a diagnostic spectrum. We estimated in this study that NIRS is 18 times faster and 110 times cheaper than RT-qPCR. We anticipate that NIRS will be expanded upon for identifying potential arbovirus hotspots to guide the spatial prioritization of vector control.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

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