Development of a non-powered and CO2- free system for mosquito-borne disease surveillance

Mosquito-borne diseases cause mortality and morbidity worldwide. Many of these diseases, such as Zika, dengue, malaria and Murray Valley encephalitis have emerged in new locations. One of the reasons this happens is due to land use modifications such as the construction of artificial water impounding structures (e. g. dams, irrigation channels) for agricultural intensification in remote regions. These artificial water impounding structures provide permanent mosquito larval habitat which can potentially result in intensification and continuous (all year round) disease transmission. In order to minimise health and economic impacts of mosquito-borne diseases we need to improve existing methods of disease detection.

Primarily, we need faster, less complicated and more cost-effective methods as currently available. The currently available methods are costly and need specialized knowledge and consist of: (1) using sentinel animals; (2) complicated analyses of mosquitoes in the laboratory; and (3) traps to capture mosquitoes need suitable attractants (mainly CO2 ) and most require a source of electricity. We are aiming to develop a mosquito disease detection system which does not rely on power, does not use CO2, and uses mosquito saliva and excreta for virus detection.

This novel system for mosquito-borne disease surveillance will be cost-effective and could be applied almost anywhere and anytime.

  • Dr Dagmar Meyer

  • Professor Scott Ritchie

  • James Cook Universtiy

  • January - December 2018

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